F'ing Up Isn't So Bad

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F'ing Up Isn't So Bad

Failing isn't the end of the world.

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It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

I agree with this. Imo, whenever you're going to have something "awesome" happen in any format, there always needs to be someone (writer/stuntman/player ect.) who does something actually awesome.

For me The "Shotdodge" in Max Payne 3 is like the conversation wheel in an RPG: You're driven to go back and try again and again until you get it right.

I dislike the impossibility of succeeding in MP3. No matter what you do, he's always going to fail- even when you can see his mistakes coming, there's no way to avoid them. This really rubbed me the wrong way.

Still, it's miles better than ME3's chances of "failing" because you haven't been 100% P or R up to that point.

I love fucking up too

Mistakes are great in any aspect of life. One of the best ways to learn something is to fuck it up entirely. And some fuck ups in life are truly memorable.

In terms of games, I agree wholeheartedly that scripted events have a time and place but the unexpected things, good or bad, are the ones that you remember:

Recently I started a game of FIFA Street and instead of passing back to my team, I tried lobbing back to my team. The lob ended up being an own goal into the top corner that the goalie misjudged. Did it suck for me? Yes. But it is still the goal I remember the most in that game.

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

The problem here is that you don't truly fail as progress is merely stalled. This can lead to pacing issues where a death puts you back a few rooms rather then auto-loading you to the begining of the room you died in (which is a system also riddled with problems that hinder gameplay).

The problem with these systems is that they may be restricted by the narrative/themes of the game or if implemented, might actually grate against the intend of the games narrative and themes.

In fact, that can be seen as an issue in itself... narratives/themes in games try to emulate Film (films being a linear and rigid medium inherently). There aren't many game narratives that are specifically tailored towards gaming, that actively works in favor of Gamings interactive and emergent potential.

I completely agree. There is only one thing better than doing something awesome in a game that works, and that's when you do something awesome that fails horribly to do what you were trying to do but still gets you the win.

When those things happen they are the best conversation materials. The world would suck if no one ever F@#ked up! How would we judge success if we couldn't compare them to failure? Well I guess we could compare them to each other, but then it just would turn into a who did the most insane thing contest. After a while it would be like, "Oh, you blew up 2 planets? Ha, I blew up 3!".

Besides, sometimes some people need to F@#k up.

Ragsnstitches:

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

I was one such person. I always played with the vita-chambers turned off.

The problem with those and systems like them is that they remove the consequences for fucking up. They don't even penalise your progression the way a checkpoint or quickload does.

A perfect system would allow you to fail, penalise you for it, but then (at least in the case of a non-terminal failure) allow things to keep going without compromising the narrative... somehow.

The only example I can think of is losing a battle in a strategy game. You suffer a failure, but the wheels keep turning. However that sort of thing can't really be adapted to other forms of gameplay.

The bit you said at the end there, like we'd never know happiness without sorrow and stuff, I still think chocolate would taste brilliant even if we didn't have broccoli. Broccoli, in no way, affects the taste of chocolate. I think Lindit Bunny's taste better than Cadbury's cream eggs, not because cream eggs are bad, but that Lindit Bunny's are better by comparison, even though I love Cadbury's cream eggs. There doesn't need to be a binary switch between happiness and sorrow, there can be inbetweeny bits, and some inbetweeny bits are better than others. But happiness compared to extreme happiness, I would choose the latter, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't have happiness because one is better. But yeah, I see what you mean.

Ragsnstitches:

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

The problem here is that you don't truly fail as progress is merely stalled. This can lead to pacing issues where a death puts you back a few rooms rather then auto-loading you to the begining of the room you died in (which is a system also riddled with problems that hinder gameplay).

The problem with these systems is that they may be restricted by the narrative/themes of the game or if implemented, might actually grate against the intend of the games narrative and themes.

In fact, that can be seen as an issue in itself... narratives/themes in games try to emulate Film (films being a linear and rigid medium inherently). There aren't many game narratives that are specifically tailored towards gaming, that actively works in favor of Gamings interactive and emergent potential.

I think Zhukov ment that it would be neat if you could mess up in a game in more ways than just having to die, and reload.
Like in MP3 you can mess up the bullet time jump, but you won't "automatically" die because of that. Not that it won't increase your chances to die.

This is like my pet peeve. Though it's sort of forgiveable (not okay, but forgiveable) in most third person action games nowadays because it's doing kind of an RPG thing where it's just shoving you along a predetermined narrative, but the blue shells in Mario Kart have no such excuse. The game is so afraid to let people fail that it explicitly snatches victory away from the guy in first place, that's some kind of Harrison Bergeron shit happening there. And what makes it extra tragic is that it's a race, it's literally not over till it's over, even if you fuck up there's a whole race ahead of you to make things right, so they're literally "fixing" a problem that doesn't even exist. I value all the time I spent getting stomped in Street Fighter games because it resulted in me becoming awesome at it.

Zhukov:

Ragsnstitches:

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

I was one such person. I always played with the vita-chambers turned off.

The problem with those and systems like them is that they remove the consequences for fucking up. They don't even penalise your progression the way a checkpoint or quickload does.

A perfect system would allow you to fail, penalise you for it, but then (at least in the case of a non-terminal failure) allow things to keep going without compromising the narrative... somehow.

The only example I can think of is losing a battle in a strategy game. You suffer a failure, but the wheels keep turning. However that sort of thing can't really be adapted to other forms of gameplay.

I don't think it is very likely to "believably" remove the "die" and "start over" bit in most games. Don't get me wrong, some games could probably pull that off, and have it fit the narrative. But with a lot of games you can get to certain points where continuing without starting over wouldn't make sense, or it would be like a reverse of the "suppose to lose" fights that you can't fail.

I think adding in mechanics that you can succeed/fail at without having to die directly because of the failure is the best way to go.

I was just thinking this on my first playthrough of Diablo 3 gradually anticipating the point where I could finish the game and actually play it at a level of difficulty where I could fuck up.

Then I realised that I had to play through on the easy mode for EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER.

Since then I have been playing the Arma II mod, DayZ a glorious Roguelike PvP environment spread over 220 square kilometres of imaginary central Europe, and has

-Hunger that needs to be fed with baked beans and tins of sardines, or the occasional murdered cow assuming you have a knife to butcher it with and matches to light a fire.

-Thirst that goes up faster the more you run to be managed by quaffing soft-drinks or from trusty canteens that are never full when you find them.

-Managed body temperature, managed blood pressure (You bleed a lot.) Morphine for broken bones, pain killers that act more like hard liquor because all they do is stop the shakes.

-Zombies. Lots of zombies. Zombies that will jump at you in the dozens if you make too much noise forcing you to fight for every bullet, bandage, and can of spaggetti-o's. And if you run out of bullets for the zombies chasing you, pray for nighttime so you can throw a road flare to distract them (If you have one.)

-And a sparse population of other players who might help you out, or, far more likely murder you and nick all your stuff.

Id been managing all these things quite well. I had a couple of cans of baked beans, two canteens of water, a decentish rifle with a couple of full magazines, a good pistol and the shitty starting one with ammo for both, a tent, a decent racksack, compass, map, and binoculars. Then I fell off a set of stairs and broke both my legs.

I lay there unconscious until I bled out.

Much better than Diablo.

Imp Emissary:

Zhukov:
[snip]

I think adding in mechanics that you can succeed/fail at without having to die directly because of the failure is the best way to go.

Some games do that, at least kinda.

There's this one bit in Human Revolution where you have to protect Malick, your pilot. If you don't dispatch the enemies in time she dies, but the game keeps right on going.

Of course, that doesn't stop people from quickloading the failure away, which is exactly what I did.

Something tells me Yahtzee wants some Cadbury's Créme eggs.

OT: Strongly agree with the points. Juxtapositioning things is such an important aspect of making games -or anything- entertaining. As Jim said in his latest show, it wasn't the number of shooters that made E3 dull; it was the lack of anything different. I'd find it a lot easier to get into modern shooters if they broke things up a bit, even if it was just the main character having an acid trip, seeing the world in rainbows and the enemies as clowns, pirates and ninjas.

(Captcha: Million dollars. Yes I would like that captcha, how did you know?)

Ragsnstitches:

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

They didn't, because allowing for fuck-ups doesn't mean denying the ultimate fuck-up (dying for good). If you fuck up in Deus Ex then the good bit is recovering, just missing out on death, re-enacting your plan from another angle or altering it completely. (Or running the fuck away.) The same principle works for something far less dynamic like The Sands of Time - you get retries, but you can still actually die.

The Vita chambers don't do that. They eliminate death, and subsequently all manner of threat, completely. The game's harder if you fuck up, yes, but only in an irritating way. I'm not forced to reconsider my plan, I just start hitting stuff with wrenches until they start dying and I stop respawning.

ACman:
snip

Ha, I got into Day Z about a week or so before D3 came out. I don't give a shit about Diablo, but my friend had been waiting for it for fucking years. I showed him Day Z, and even though he doesn't admit it, I'm pretty sure he plays it a lot more than Diablo 3. Before Diablo 3 he was talking to me about it quite a lot, now if we talk on Steam it'll only be about Day Z.

Anyway, Day Z certainly knows how to do fucking low-points like nothing else. Last time I met another player the idiot caught a zombie's attention whilst I was in a barn, then the bloody thing followed him in, ran head-first into me and on its first hit managed to break my legs and caused me to start bleeding.

After taking out about 50 of them all waddling into this barn, neither of us had morphine, so I couldn't fix my legs up. He went into the nearby town to try and find some, 10 minutes later (of me sitting in a barn), a little message pops up in chat says he's been killed.

So, only one thing for it: I drag myself around this fairly large town for 15 minutes before finding the body of another survivor and 3 morphine shots in his back. After that I'm back to full health, the town's full of loot (as is the body of the guy who got me into shit in the first place, which I find being eaten by 3 zombies), and now my character's been alive for around 15 hours, in spite of being a gnat's dick away from death.

That was infinitely more interesting, exciting and tense, than any set-piece dreamt up by one of the many failed filmmakers that seem to have wormed their way into mainstream developer studios.

Success is definitely more sweet when there's a risk of failure.

DVS BSTrD:
For me The "Shotdodge" in Max Payne 3 is like the conversation wheel in an RPG: You're driven to go back and try again and again until you get it right.

That's pretty much how I felt during certain parts of the game. Mainly whenever there was a high place I could jump from, something I could jump through, or something I could blow up. Max Payne 3 had these little things here and there that were just screaming for you to use them.

Sure Max, you could hide behind that crate, dodge a few grenades, take out the enemies in this room with some diffulty then do the same for the second wave so you can run up the stairs and across the cat walk to the next section.

OR you could shotgun the fuck out of the guys in front of you, force your way up the stairs while returning fire, finally get to the catwalk shooting at whoever's up there and then bullet dodge off the catwalk as the next wave of enemies enter the room while raining death from above.

It took me about 8 times to actually pull this off.

And it was completely fucking worth it!

I've been playing Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep lately, and I feel like it's a really good example of giving a player ample opportunity to fuck up. In fact, in stark contrast to KH1 and KH2, the game really punishes you if you attempt to buttonmash your way to victory. You weren't paying attention to your deck, accidentally activated Surprise, and just kept spamming X? Too bad, now you get to be stunned. Counter hammer into a giant spinning spike attack? Prepare to watch your character take about a dozen hits back to back in rapid succession.

While it doesn't have the same level of spectacle as rolling headfirst into a doorframe, diving onto a live grenade, or shootdodging your way off a top-story fire escape, the dichotomy between mistakes and successes and ease of messing up even mid-move is still there, allowing the player to still feel like a badass when they dodge a lightning ball, block a surprise teleport stab, and counter with a massive combo all in the span of a few seconds.

Now that I think of it though, 2D games (especially fighting games) have been doing this right for decades. I'd bet every Street Fighter player has at some point jumpkicked just a bit too high and been promptly rewarded with an uppercut to the butt. A misaimed grenade in Worms can blow your own worm into the water and make you feel comically stupid. A bad jump in Prince of Persia can slam you into a wall and drop you onto a bed of spikes.

I'd give more examples, but I have a sudden, uncontrollable urge to play Metal Gear Solid 2 and faceplant Raiden into some stairs.

P.S. Thanks

Yeah weakness and ability to fuck up are kinda nice to the setting of a game. Hard to convince someone yer just some novice at the start of the game when you're still taking down giant lizards with a slingshot. Or for that matter when every other thing you do actually prevents the destruction of a planet so you literally can't fail without breaking canon. Puts you on too high a pedestal. Rather than being some retired hotshot pilot, be the bullet runner that falls off the fighter the first few times he tries to get on. One should almost just dump achievements so the individual stops worrying about getting perfect playthroughs and just roll with the punches.

Well I'm going off on several tangents here.

But yeah, that's what is kinda interesting about a Fallout style game and such. O, did you not mean to set off a nuke next to that orphanage? Well it's a crater now. Yeah you could reload the game, but the game also keeps going through alot of wanton destruction. I don't know if it would be particularly enjoyable to remove the "unconscious" immunity from key characters, but it would be more interesting to keep it pretty limited.

TheNaut131:

DVS BSTrD:
For me The "Shotdodge" in Max Payne 3 is like the conversation wheel in an RPG: You're driven to go back and try again and again until you get it right.

That's pretty much how I felt during certain parts of the game. Mainly whenever there was a high place I could jump from, something I could jump through, or something I could blow up.

Max Payne 3 had these little things here and there that were just screaming for you to use them. Sure Max, you could hide behind that crate, dodge a few grenades, take out the enemies in this room with some diffulty then do the same for the second wave so you can run up the stairs and across the cat walk to the next section.

OR you could shotgun the fuck out of the guys in front of you, force your way up the stairs while returning fire, finally get to the catwalk shooting at whoever's up there and then bullet dodge off the catwalk as the next wave of enemies enter the room while raining death from above.

It took me about 8 times to actually pull this off.

And it was completely fucking worth it!

Which chapter was that?

DVS BSTrD:

TheNaut131:

DVS BSTrD:
For me The "Shotdodge" in Max Payne 3 is like the conversation wheel in an RPG: You're driven to go back and try again and again until you get it right.

That's pretty much how I felt during certain parts of the game. Mainly whenever there was a high place I could jump from, something I could jump through, or something I could blow up.

Max Payne 3 had these little things here and there that were just screaming for you to use them. Sure Max, you could hide behind that crate, dodge a few grenades, take out the enemies in this room with some diffulty then do the same for the second wave so you can run up the stairs and across the cat walk to the next section.

OR you could shotgun the fuck out of the guys in front of you, force your way up the stairs while returning fire, finally get to the catwalk shooting at whoever's up there and then bullet dodge off the catwalk as the next wave of enemies enter the room while raining death from above.

It took me about 8 times to actually pull this off.

And it was completely fucking worth it!

Which chapter was that?

Cahpter 5 I believe.

Zhukov:

Imp Emissary:

Zhukov:
[snip]

I think adding in mechanics that you can succeed/fail at without having to die directly because of the failure is the best way to go.

Some games do that, at least kinda.

There's this one bit in Human Revolution where you have to protect Malick, your pilot. If you don't dispatch the enemies in time she dies, but the game keeps right on going.

Of course, that doesn't stop people from quickloading the failure away, which is exactly what I did.

That there is a perfect example of how to let the player fail besides just killing them.

I personally, in RPGs always end up with a kind of over powered character. I can still get killed if I don't pay attention yeah, but that's not so much like the failure/succeed as it is just don't "let" them kill you. However, I am one of those people that can (key word=can) end up caring about not so important NPCs. So even if the game can't kill me, it can threaten others, and if they die then I F@#ked up.

It's kind of like how no one can beat Batman/Superman, so they just hold innocent people hostage, and say stay away or they die. So instead of the challenge being to beat the bad guys it's to beat them without letting the innocent people die.

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

If you want a great example of this, try Heavy Rain. I'm not sure if it's the same on the highest difficulty level, but despite the quick-time nature of the events, you can still screw stuff up but succeed. It's hard to describe... but lets say, you're running through a grocery store. You hit an input sequence - you vault over an overturned display stand. You miss it, someone bumps you with your cart, you stumble, but continue onwards. But just maybe, you fail AGAIN, and this time you slip on a wet floor, fall over, and get crushed by a tipped-over grocery shelf (none of this actually happens by the way, just an example I made up). It doesn't provide for as spectacular failures as Max Payne, but what REALLY made it for me was that you were never sure if your next mistake COULD be your last. It made successes more exhilarating and failures more tense, and even if you failed, you had to be ready for the next action.

I can fit 3 Cadbury's Creame Eggs into my mouth.

Thats all.

Zhukov:

Ragsnstitches:

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

I was one such person. I always played with the vita-chambers turned off.

The problem with those and systems like them is that they remove the consequences for fucking up. They don't even penalise your progression the way a checkpoint or quickload does.

A perfect system would allow you to fail, penalise you for it, but then (at least in the case of a non-terminal failure) allow things to keep going without compromising the narrative... somehow.

The only example I can think of is losing a battle in a strategy game. You suffer a failure, but the wheels keep turning. However that sort of thing can't really be adapted to other forms of gameplay.

I think Heavy Rain and Farenheit tried that sort of thing, except you can still lod up the chapter you fucked up to get the desired outcome in Heavy Rain.

Zhukov:
The only example I can think of is losing a battle in a strategy game. You suffer a failure, but the wheels keep turning. However that sort of thing can't really be adapted to other forms of gameplay.

Nor does it do what you're suggesting you want to have happen here. Losing a battle in a strategy game may not cause you to get a game over at that instant, but the long-term ramifications of that loss are likely to cause you to lose five, ten, twenty minutes further down the line.

Delayed game over is still game over. You're already dead even if you haven't accepted it yet.

Shjade:

Zhukov:
The only example I can think of is losing a battle in a strategy game. You suffer a failure, but the wheels keep turning. However that sort of thing can't really be adapted to other forms of gameplay.

Nor does it do what you're suggesting you want to have happen here. Losing a battle in a strategy game may not cause you to get a game over at that instant, but the long-term ramifications of that loss are likely to cause you to lose five, ten, twenty minutes further down the line.

Delayed game over is still game over. You're already dead even if you haven't accepted it yet.

Which strategy games have you been playing?

If losing a single battle loses you the entire game then they obviously weren't very good ones.

Woodsey:

Ragsnstitches:

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

What about a system similar to Bioshocks Vita-Chambers? The way they work is that, even if you fuck up, the game world continues on and you simply respawn in another location, the world still been afflicted by the fuck-up you caused earlier. Unfortunately that can't work for every game (and there are those who think that Vita Chambers didn't work for Bioshock anyway).

They didn't, because allowing for fuck-ups doesn't mean denying the ultimate fuck-up (dying for good). If you fuck up in Deus Ex then the good bit is recovering, just missing out on death, re-enacting your plan from another angle or altering it completely. (Or running the fuck away.) The same principle works for something far less dynamic like The Sands of Time - you get retries, but you can still actually die.

The Vita chambers don't do that. They eliminate death, and subsequently all manner of threat, completely. The game's harder if you fuck up, yes, but only in an irritating way. I'm not forced to reconsider my plan, I just start hitting stuff with wrenches until they start dying and I stop respawning.

Specifically responding to Zhukovs post, he did say "without getting a game-over or the subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind". I figured Zhukov meant that the game wouldn't just end if you fucked up... as in the definitive fuck up (death/mission failure). The vita chambers are one of the very few examples that this actually happens...

I also said that they had a negative impact on the game in that they fuck up the pacing in a similar way to arbitrary backtracking for the sake of extending play time, more so then a quickload/autoload would.

Deus-Ex actually has more going for then just the immediate reaction to your own actions. Not only does the "recovery" work well for it, like evading enemies if discovered, but may actual impact the game in a meaningful way... for example:

As I said already (and which I believe is a generally acknowledged flaw in game design) the problem with most games is that they rely on Hollywood standard narrative templates, which are inherently linear and passive experiences, that are at odds with the interactive and emergent nature of video games. This issue can result in 2 major problems...

1. A games narrative (or themes) restricts the mechanics or impact the gameplay can have in a nonabrasive way (doesn't conflict with the conditions placed by the Narrative and themes). This can be seen in most "Realistic" shooters. There are only so many permutations one can apply to guns shooting people and people avoiding being shot (and excuses to shoot). This is one of the reasons the genre of First Person Shooters (let alone its subgenres) struggles to surprise people at a mechanical level and is loaded with more cliches then any other genre.

or 2. The impact of gameplay or the mechanics in use, do end up detracting from the conditions set by a narrative or Theme. This is what Yahtzee has experienced in Max Payne. The fun he had with the game flew in the face of the themes he was being fed... rather then the story adopting the attitude of the player (which it can't in this case really), it forced the player into narrative scenarios that grated against their own experience. The fun mechanics and feelings of empowerment were directly opposed by the morbidness and fatalistic nature of the main character.

These are 2 common problems applying a linear and rigid model for story telling that expects passive viewing (film) on top of a medium that enables even the slightest degrees of freedom from the partaker. They will also be ever present issues unless every game adopts branching stories, which I don't think is necessary either. Developers just need to be more aware of how the gameplay and narrative mesh.

Haven't played Max Payne 3, but I'm glad to see Just Cause 2's unintentional succcess-by-fucking-up made it to a mention. Though, that's more about the engine being a bit silly, rather than intentional sequences, so take that for what it's worth. Kind of interested to play Max Payne, then, if only to see some of these ridiculous bullet-time possibilities.

One of my favorite game critic tosspot words at present is "Organic" as applied to a videogame experience, meaning that its entertaining moments and situations play out live, as in, within the standard mechanics, rather than as part of some pre-animated set piece or cutscene, which is "inorganic". Organic is good, and inorganic is not.

But see, I don't think inorganic, like cut-scenes, is necessarily a bad thing all the time. There's one simple law with games, and that is the player can't be trusted to follow the story or even make the character act rational when given the choice. Cutscenes are useful when you want to make sure the player is paying attention, instead of running around the house stealing everything and killing the dog while the important contact they've been sent to meet can only watch helplessly and recite their scripted dialogue, pleading for help from the maniac who set a hapless villager on fire not five seconds ago. And sometimes you can completely miss something purely by accident if you're not looking in the right direction.

Zhukov:
It occurs to me that it would be nice if games could find a way for the player to fail every now and again without getting a game over and subsequent failure-cancelling time rewind.

The only way I can think of is when, if you fail, someone else dies. For example, in Deus Ex Human Revolution

. Mass Effect 2's suicide mission is another example. You don't get an automatic do-over if someone else dies (unless it's an escort mission, which no-one likes). It's incredibly motivating to not fuck up in that case, almost as much so as something with perma-death.

Stealth games do a really good job of allowing fuckups because fucking up just means you've been spotted and you have to run like hell. Arkham City took this even further by giving you all those gadgets as failsafes. You'll still might die, but the game allows you to feel the chagrin of a fuckup without actually killing you.

But in action games, fucking up usually means you got shot and died. Regenerating health is kind of good for this, because you can have a small, brief fuckup with no lasting consequences, but it has problems of its own. Any other ways you can allow brief fuckups in a shooter?

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