Extra Punctuation: A Hard Weapon Is Good to Find

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Making kills satisfying isn't just limited to weapons, nor does if necessarily have to make sense. I remember in the first Mercenaries game you would get money from blowing up vehicles. I don't know how it was supposed to make sense, but it meant that with every destroyed vehicle you got a nice, satisfying "CHA-CHING" in addition to the bright fireball and flying ragdolls of its former occupants. It really made blowing up jeeps and helicopters a true joy.

a phallocentric topic ..... no Yahtzee.....why we think that about your thrusting motions????

On topic, I loved the sound of the upgraded shotgun in Bioshock 2 - the BOOM sound combined with the kick of the gun was quite fun!

First thing anybody making a fps swords-and-bows game needs to do is make the swords affect the enemy. This is what ruined oblivion for me. Basically the entire appeal of mellee weapons is that, unlike bullets, you're beating them with a heavy, solid object, and they need to react accordingly. This was always what I liked about Condemned. They make beating somebody to death with a drive shaft FEEL like you're beating somebody to death with a drive shaft.

DiamanteGeeza:

captainjackofms:
People don't always appreciate all the little things, but it's worse when the developers don't. You have to really study everything about a game to get the full effect. I wanna be a game developer, but so far it's been daunting. Right now I'm a crew of one man doing the programming, graphics, and sound all together. Not easy....

I hate to get all 'when I was a lad' on you, but that's how we used to do things. My first few games were purely me. And then the NES came along and I had the luxury of having an artist alongside me.... I still had to do everything else though. Ah, those were the days.... ;-)

Seriously, though... it will actually be very beneficial to you to learn all disciplines so that you understand and appreciate them (even if you don't enjoy, say, the audio portion of it). The industry today is full of people from 'game development courses' (ugh) who have narrowly focused on one discipline and, even worse, a subset of a discipline - an example being a programmer who has *only* focused on shaders, and can't really do much else. A person like that is of limited value to my team.

Oh I enjoy it all (maybe programming the least), but it can still provide a challenge. I started working with game maker to work on the programming, majored in art and graphic design to work on my artistic skills, and have been in various bands and worked with music programs to work on creating my own sound. The idea's are plentiful, but it's the time and resources that take a toll.

What I'm very interested in is that you've been working on games for awhile, and if I could I'd like to talk to you sometime to ask advice. Though in this industry, you normally have to charge for that, so I won't be surprised if that is answered with a no.

The Scout from TF2's scattergun is one of the best feeling weapons I know of.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0A7D2ufqrU

There is something primal about a good sounding gun. Like a rumble of thunder, or a Harley Davidson motorbike.

captainjackofms:

DiamanteGeeza:

captainjackofms:
People don't always appreciate all the little things, but it's worse when the developers don't. You have to really study everything about a game to get the full effect. I wanna be a game developer, but so far it's been daunting. Right now I'm a crew of one man doing the programming, graphics, and sound all together. Not easy....

I hate to get all 'when I was a lad' on you, but that's how we used to do things. My first few games were purely me. And then the NES came along and I had the luxury of having an artist alongside me.... I still had to do everything else though. Ah, those were the days.... ;-)

Seriously, though... it will actually be very beneficial to you to learn all disciplines so that you understand and appreciate them (even if you don't enjoy, say, the audio portion of it). The industry today is full of people from 'game development courses' (ugh) who have narrowly focused on one discipline and, even worse, a subset of a discipline - an example being a programmer who has *only* focused on shaders, and can't really do much else. A person like that is of limited value to my team.

Oh I enjoy it all (maybe programming the least), but it can still provide a challenge. I started working with game maker to work on the programming, majored in art and graphic design to work on my artistic skills, and have been in various bands and worked with music programs to work on creating my own sound. The idea's are plentiful, but it's the time and resources that take a toll.

What I'm very interested in is that you've been working on games for awhile, and if I could I'd like to talk to you sometime to ask advice. Though in this industry, you normally have to charge for that, so I won't be surprised if that is answered with a no.

Sure... DM me with your questions - I'm happy to help if I can.

Probably one of the scariest aspects of the Fatal Frame horror series is the absence of conventional weapons. The camera obscura has the point and shoot mechanics of a gun without the satisfaction of a powerful crack or significant reaction from the enemy. You're defending yourself with a freakin' camera after all.

Phlakes:

EDIT: Also, swords in Oblivion feel terrible. There's no force behind those swings and enemies usually have no reaction. The only thing that makes heavier weapon better is the impact sound. Bows on the other hand, one-shotting someone with an arrow feels amazing. It would be better if the physics sucked less.

Have to say I agree here. In the end for Oblivion I made an on touch spell that dealt 100 points of damage in every area (Frire, Frost, Thunder etc..) purely since if its going to feel like I'm massaging the enemy to death it might as well look like it.

All guns also have to feel unique when they're fired. A very old multiplayer does that perfectly - Counter Strike 1.6
All guns sound equal to the damage they do. Guns that do the most damage are louder and stronger (AWP, AK47, Desert Eagle)
CoD 4 did a good job too. But MW2 guns sounded like someone's chopping wood. I don't understand how they could let that happen.

The alt-fire Plasma thingies from the Combine Energy Rifle in Half-Life 2. They had a delicious pre-fire warmup noise/action, and you could easily feel/imagine feeling the recoil on it. Plus it bounced around and disintegrated enemies.

This is exactly why I loved the .357 from HL2, it just felt powerful, throwing combine into walls and all that. It was also perfectly accurate at range, and with a decent firing rate.

It's funny how 10-20 years ago, none of these things listed mattered, and now we can't do without them. It's game evolution baby.

I think certain games like Bulletstorm would not have been as good if the enemies reaction to each damage intake was not believable. Like a shot to the groin making them grab their cluster and kneel down.

sgtshock:
Making kills satisfying isn't just limited to weapons, nor does if necessarily have to make sense. I remember in the first Mercenaries game you would get money from blowing up vehicles. I don't know how it was supposed to make sense, but it meant that with every destroyed vehicle you got a nice, satisfying "CHA-CHING" in addition to the bright fireball and flying ragdolls of its former occupants. It really made blowing up jeeps and helicopters a true joy.

This is why I always preferred Just Cause 2 to Mercenaries 2. Causing general chaos gave you additional resource availability, and access to new missions because it destabilized the order of the island. Plus the grapple hook was genius.

Phlakes:
Bad Company 2 has the sounds down, naturally. Especially the Barrett. It's like you can hear the tubular metal.

COMPLETELY disagree. Maybe it depends on your sound card and whether you have a base system, but for me the guns always sounded far-off and weak, like the whole thing was happening in some distant, far-off battle. Additionally, your character was unable to keep a firm grip on his weapon, and rather than a "straight-back" force that conveys that this gun is powerful even for your bulky commando, it jitters around in the ironsights simply conveying that it will not have perfect accuracy. Plus, some weapons like the smoke grenade launcher were surprisingly ineffectual.

Two games I can recall having very "forceful" realistic guns: Killing Floor and the Call of Duty series (surprisingly, all of the CoD clones have utterly failed what makes CoD's guns good)

Yup, agreed. Its why I stuck with the plasma cutter in Dead Space rather than trade up, and why I never go for energy weapons in Fallout 3 (pewpewpew).

This is one of many things that Mount and Blade gets right.

You can call the graphics a bit retro and the quests repetitive, but for a game called "Mount and Blade", they really nailed horseback combat. You run a spear through someone from horseback and you can practically feel the wet solid thump in your arm as the tip strikes.

rollerfox88:
Yup, agreed. Its why I stuck with the plasma cutter in Dead Space rather than trade up, and why I never go for energy weapons in Fallout 3 (pewpewpew).

I quite like the energy weapons in Fallout 3, especially the Plasma weapons. I like the satisfying squishy noise when enemies liquidise!

Incidentally, as someone who used to go clay pigeon shooting and target pistol shooting now and then when I was a kid, I have to say that actual guns, while satisfying in their own way, are nothing whatsoever like sex.

I wanted to write something more insightful than "yeah, I agree with Yahtzee and my favourite gun is X" but that's really all I got. I do totally agree with Yahtzee here. As soon as a game fails to include one or more of these methods of feedback we've grown accustomed to, it feels unsatisfying. We might not even be able to say why the game is unsatisfying, it just is.

I remember playing games before they included things like reload animations and hit reactions from enemies and I didn't realise those things were needed until someone thought to include them. In really primitive 2D sidescroller/platformers enemies would at least flash or slide back a few pixels (or in the case of Super Mario Bros., the enemies generally die in one hit).

I remember when Killzone 2 was being hyped up, people were going on and on about the hit detection - in particular I saw one clip where the player ran up to an enemy and unloaded a clip into him. The enemy reeled back and shook all around like he was having a seizure.

"Look at that awesome hit response" people said, enthusiastically rubbing themselves through their sweatpants.
"Why the fuck is that guy still standing after being hit point blank by a full clip from an SMG?" I asked. Ok, the reaction to being shot, great. You know what else is a great reaction to being shot? Falling the fuck down.

The one thing that bugs the hell out of me in Silent Hill 1 (aside from the weird walking controls) is how fake the gun shots sound... The same can be said for System Shock 2 (though thankfully there's a mod for it).

Capatcha:
image
˙˙˙ʎɐʍ ʇɐɥʇ pǝuɹnʇ pɐǝɥ ɹnoʎ ɥʇıʍ pɹǝıʍ ʞooן noʎ

ms_sunlight:

rollerfox88:
Yup, agreed. Its why I stuck with the plasma cutter in Dead Space rather than trade up, and why I never go for energy weapons in Fallout 3 (pewpewpew).

I quite like the energy weapons in Fallout 3, especially the Plasma weapons. I like the satisfying squishy noise when enemies liquidise!

Incidentally, as someone who used to go clay pigeon shooting and target pistol shooting now and then when I was a kid, I have to say that actual guns, while satisfying in their own way, are nothing whatsoever like sex.

They are for me - one small squeeze and BANG!, its over.

Spot on. Just Cause 2 did this wonderfully--the only gun that really felt weak was the assault rifle; even the starting pistol made a satisfying pew-pew noise, to say nothing of the glorious pounding of the revolver or minigun. The explosions were the the same way--they sounded perfect, and there was the added thrill of seeing a differently-shaped fireball depending on what you blew up.

Ooooh. Now I have to go play it some more.

i prefer some of the world war two games because of this... even hamstringing myself with bolt action rifles against sub machine gun users. and COD:world at war has a headshot mechanic that causes a "plunk" of your bullet penetrating the enemy helmet and ending their brain pan that is just tasty combined with the satisfying CRACK (semi intended pun) of the bolt action.

Quake II's rocket launcher, the BFG 10k, the M60 in Blops, all good sounds.

also, the revolver in the original Half-Life, the SPAS-12 from the sane game, most of those guns had great sounds.

You er... wanna box of tissues there big fella?

Yes the details. After years of gaming, I went shooting as a boy. The double shotty I liked, the boom, the sound of destruction of ant-hills, the clack opening and closing, the slide of the shells. It had a satisfying feel in the flesh. My favourite though, was a Mauser long rifle, heavy shells, bolt action. An authentic weapon from WWI. There was a bit to do between each shot, and it sure was loud and powerful. Games do need to remember what using weapons involves, to convey the feel and the sounds. I also do a bit of fencing, and that sport has so many small satisfying sounds in a bout. The tang of a beat, the scrape of a parry, the screech of locked swords, the thud of contact, the swipe of a missed cut, the whirr of a feinting blade. Good judges can even determine what happened in a bout purely by sound. This is a part of reality, and an essential part of excitement in games.

very good article as always.
i had a close encounter with such changes lately. Started playing World of tanks, however it being mostly flash-based the shooting animation lags my slow graphic card a lot. So i found a solution - removing the smoke and spark of a turret when firing removes the lag. result is you only see the shot hit the enemy and there is no animation of your gun shooting. and now it feels so much less fun shooting at enemies. and yet spot on you write article about it. your a mindreader :)

So glad you put the Doom II super shotgun in there, that thing was meaty even through the PC speaker!! Personally I think Rise of the Triad deserves at least a mention, Firebomb, Excalibat, Drunk Missile, Flamewall, shit, even dog mode's sneeze attack had more oomph than half the shit they release now days.

Why was Killing Floor not mentioned here? Every weapon in that game has a great feeling of weight and impact, probably the best I've ever felt in a game.

Phlakes:
Bad Company 2 has the sounds down, naturally. Especially the Barrett. It's like you can hear the tubular metal.

And for damage feedback, nothing I've seen has beaten the first F.E.A.R.

EDIT: Also, swords in Oblivion feel terrible. There's no force behind those swings and enemies usually have no reaction. The only thing that makes heavier weapon better is the impact sound. Bows on the other hand, one-shotting someone with an arrow feels amazing. It would be better if the physics sucked less.

The F.E.A.R. shotgun is incredible, I remember using it as a sniper rifle. That's how good it was/is.

I don't know, differet weapons can make you feel differently. Certain weapons just have a fun aprouch to doing damage like "The Bouncer" from R&C 2 and 3. That weapon just made you feel like you were spraying death across the entire screen with an impossibly large initial shell and the hundreds of little bouncing bombs it unleased, with their "BOOM!-tinkle tinkle tinkle POP!-POP!POP!POP!POP!".

Of course other waepons make you feel stealthy and conceled; anyone who has played STALKER;SoC will proabaly have encountered the Vintar BC (or AS-Val) with its rapid scoped silenced fire and very visable shells/ bullet physiscs you really felt both the kinetics of the weapon and a sense you could just lurk in the bushes with it for hours picking off what you pleased.

The feel of your weapons is very important to the feel of your game, personally i think this is *another* flaw in the CoD model of things; it simply does not fit into the 'realsic and gritty' world that you are a floating gun with no real weight. It works for breazy fast-paced shooters like Quake 3 or UT but not millirary stlyed shooters. Your guns need to reflect your game.

This is my biggest problem with MMORPGs, you make your attack and go through an animation but the enemies never flinch. Whenever there's an ability that has a tangible impact on the battlefield such as Death Knights Death Grip in WoW or the amazing Wormhole in City of Heroes I end up over-using them just from being starved of impact.

As far as "feeling" and "sound" to a gun without it being anything out of the ordinary, I always thought highly of Killing Floor's pump shotgun. It wasn't very powerful, but sounded like a cannon, felt like there was actual effort into pumping it each time (based on animation), and still gave enemies a strong kick-back when it did finally punch through their health.
Not much I can say on that game's overall positives, but some design choices like that have gotten me to look back on it somewhat fondly.

Demons Souls, every weapon is satisfying as hell. Even the smallest blade sounds like its tearing into your opponent and thats only slashing, getting a backstab or a counter in sees your character jamming the given weapon right into the victim and kicking him/her away violently.

For me some of weapons in Fallout 3 were the best. Especially the hunting rifle and the Fat Boy. The Hunting Rifle had a beautiful shot sound and I loved the reload; while the Fat Boy made a very satisfying 'phoot' noise as you launched the nuke.

Where can I get the "Game Maker" Yahtzee was using?

Sounds like fun..

EDIT:
OT: The Metal Gear series have some of my favorite guns: from the SOCOM to the PSG1. They were all great.

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