How to Make Neverdead Better

How to Make Neverdead Better

Yahtzee takes us on a tour of why Neverdead has serious potential.

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You're not allowed to have mainstream games these days that look like they belong in the 16 bit era. Unless you're Nintendo.

No that really only applies to certain handheld games. I'd say change the 16-bit era to 8-bit era and that would describe Capcom more accurately. I mean, Mega Man 9 and 10 anyone?

The game companies need to go to you for advice more often. Every idea you have on how to improve (or just make) a game makes me really want to play it.

Now that there is a game that would actually be worth shelling out money for... Or so you'd think anyway. People actually got excited at the premise of this game.

You could have puzzles about tearing your head off and throwing it into a room in such a way that your old body weighs down a switch to keep a door open.

There's actually an online game with that mechanic. Use your limbs and body to activate switches, in order to get your head to an exit point.

http://armorgames.com/play/12550/pursuit-of-hat

I got Mafia for $2.50 last week on Steam, and I just want to tell it to learn about #1 as well. You do NOT make a third person open world game with shooting and platforming elements and have the camera so close to the player character that if not for the cutscenes, I wouldn't be sure he even has a set of legs. Trying to do anything that involves climbing something is a right pain as half the time you fall off immediately after the climb because you can't see what the hell your feet are doing. And the shooting is not so good either because the camera is pointed straight at his back, neck, and head rather than looking over his shoulder. And you can't change the camera in either of these cases, but for some reason, you can when driving which is the only place they got the camera right (well, until you stop, and then it starts pointing at a random patch of road you're not parked on). What I'm trying to say is that the camera in Mafia sucks balls as well and it's pissing me off!

... Okay, I'm calm again. I like the sound of the theoretical game in the article. The actual Neverdead though, I don't want to touch it.

With all your griping about putting having to put yourself back together in the review, I'm surprised you skipped over one simple concept: If you're going to give the arms auto aim, why not also have a simple recall button for limbs?

Even better: When you rip your head off, tour arms automatically shoot to your head. That's not just funny (since you're inmortal anyway) but it adds some mechanics: you can try to get your enemies between your head and your body and shoot them (painkiller style, much simpler than trying to ride your enemies) or throw your head and shoot it while in the air to make it fly further, like rocket jumping.

"Sometimes I worry that modern gaming is gradually shrinking the wide spectrum of gameplay mechanics into a single narrow red bar with "KILL" written on it sideways."

That's only in the big budget EA/Activision FPS genre. Keep digging through the indie bins; there's plenty of interesting stuff out there.

MediEvil 2 did a good job with the whole taking your head off thing.

You can take your head off and put it on one of the green hands crawling about and instantly switch between body and hand-head at the press of a button. It was mainly used for puzzle solving, scouting and general exploration. It worked well

DVS BSTrD:
With all your griping about putting having to put yourself back together in the review, I'm surprised you skipped over one simple concept: If you're going to give the arms auto aim, why not also have a simple recall button for limbs?

He lost his head during the review.

So wait, are you suggesting they turn it into Plok?

Sounds very much like Stubbs The Zombie :)

I repeat what I said in your last article: "Stop saying so many good game ideas if you're not going to make them and no one else will! It just makes things depressing when I know it will never exist!"

OT: Great ideas for fixing up the game. I'd love to see how you'd fix up some truly awful games (aside from this one).

I think you need to combine the head-throwing idea with a Portal gun - the resulting antics would be pretty epic.

"Actually, thinking about it, the whole concept works a hell of a lot better as a 2D platformer."

So, knowing nothing about this game, and after watching ZP last week, all the way up until reading this, I was certain that the game WAS a 2D platformer. Because that is the only possible arena where those ideas made sense. I'd even played a flash game called "Pursuit of Hat" that IS a 2D platformer that uses limb-detaching mechanics. It would never have even crossed my mind that someone would even try to use those mechanics in any other genre.

So, hooray thinking outside the box? I guess?

Stuff for the far superior sequel

Why not attach your disembodied head to decapitated monsters?

See that big ogre looking thing? He's got super strength. Blow his head off and attach yours to control him and smash through that wall there. That guy with the wings. He can fly. The guy with the runners legs... You get the idea.

You could also start changing out other limbs from other monsters. Build a weird flying creature with giant ogre arms.

I'd design the head throwing thing to a similar control that fps games use for precision grenade tossing.

You think Yoshi tossing his unborn manchildren was disturbing, let's see how you deal with my lopped off hands!

Criticized for not giving any constructive criticism? I always thought that's exactly what you do in Extra Punctuation - related to issues in your latest review, you explain your standpoint and round out the argument, suggesting parties who have done it correctly, improvements to be made, etc. Anyhow...although I haven't even played Never Dead, I can imagine most of these mechanics making for interesting new elements in the game play. Still give props to Never Dead to try and do something different; maybe not totally original, but definitely unique.

Neverdead, despite its issues, was actually fairly good. It introduced some fun, relatively new ideas during a time where devs and publishers are too afraid to do anything except remaking everything into FPS's. Everything you suggested would make the game much better and I would definitely buy the sequel if they changed those suggestions.

Despite all the problems you laid out for NeverDead, I would definitely buy it if it went up on Steam for a sale. I mean, how many games allow you to rip off your own head? No matter how badly it's implemented, it still sounds good.

Also this:

Yahtzee
You can sort of see where I'm getting at here, but if you insist on having both short and long range combat, you have to understand how the camera's position affects the two different gameplay styles. If Neverdead could only have had one camera position it should have gone for the higher-up hacky-slash kind, because I hardly see how it can be my fault that my head's been bitten off by a demon dog Zombie who was telegraphing his attack from a blind spot two feet behind me.

Pretty much explains the reason I don't like Left 4 Dead all that much, especially on the higher difficulties. Thanks YZ.

capt.fodder:
I think you need to combine the head-throwing idea with a Portal gun - the resulting antics would be pretty epic.

Someone needs to make that damn game! I would even pre order it for full price.

Zachary Amaranth:

DVS BSTrD:
With all your griping about putting having to put yourself back together in the review, I'm surprised you skipped over one simple concept: If you're going to give the arms auto aim, why not also have a simple recall button for limbs?

He lost his head during the review.

YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

Sorry. Now that that's outta the way, I was actually looking forward to this game. Hearing how it fell short of the finish line really disappointed me. Also hearing Yahtzees take on actually improving the game makes me wish he was a member of the biz.

It's sad but an article like this could be written for almost every bad game. Every single one I've played I've thought the same things; "why didn't they just do X" "why isn't Y more like Z". I dunno it still blows my mind that so many bad games get released, and titles that seem to have big budgets and actual competent talent behind them but the execution is just so misguided and almost blissfully unaware of its flaws until the product finally hits shelves.

I know it sounds insane but I think what Double Fine is doing with their kickstarter adventure title; having tonnes of input from their own fan community is exactly what more studios need to do. QA simply isn't cutting it for so many devs, they need diverse feedback from as many people as possible and at much much earlier stages of development. I would love to be able to see a game in its prototype stage and say what I think is cool/uncool. They wouldn't need to care what one individual thinks but if a whole mass of people have the same response then perhaps they would adjust their game accordingly.

Yea, turn it into a 2D platformer. You design games too Yahtzee, right? I think you're on to something. Go for it!

Yahtzee:
But I suppose 2D platformers aren't exactly showing off the technology, are they. You're not allowed to have mainstream games these days that look like they belong in the 16 bit era. Unless you're Nintendo.

I am confused. Are you calling out other developers for not using a perfectly good genre because it's not modern enough, or are you goimg out of your way to mock Nintendo again for using 2D platformers?

 

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