First Person Platforming

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Mirror's Edge (and other games where you need to do platforming in first person) works just fine. You know, if you have decent controls like on PC and if you're not crap at it. I still like Yahtzee for the ZP amusement but more and more his gripes are rooted in "I'm crap at this/this doesn't work on the consoles I choose over PCs when I can/I'm REALLY crap at this."

Mirror's Edge had great controls for platforming and there were very few moments where I got stuck not knowing where to go or how to get there. Quake 3 Arena both in normal matches and with the defrag mod (especially the defrag mod now that I think about it) proved quite clearly that platforming AND insane physics manipulation had absolutely insane potential.

First Person Platforming is fine... if the devs are half decent and the player isn't a concussed fucking marmot. Or a console peasant. A defrag run would look like some sort of sorcery to those creatures.

the thing about Mirror's Edge was that you weren't platforming in the sense of jumping from one section to another. I mean that in the sense that you didn't need to know the exact location of your feet since; if you came to boxes that you were supposed to climb, you didn't need to jump from one to the next, but rather you pointed your controller where you wanted to go and that's where you went.

In essence, it was a fps without the gun. I found I didn't die so much from just running off a edge, but because I missed where my controller was supposed to be pointing on screen.

One of the most important aspects of the game was that it made the platforming element something the player could see. You most often didn't miss a jump because of where your feet were(the ones not on screen) but where your cursor was.

Wow yahtzee do you actually play bullet hell games or do you just know them?
while I know it isn't the only bullet hell game around the thought of yahtzee playing touhou makes me chuckle I would absolutely love If he did a touhou retrospective on a bad release week there's just so much material for jokes.

Just saying: ladders were the single most terrifying things in Deus Ex -- I spent far more time quicksaving trying to get up (or god forbid, DOWN) a ladder without falling to my death than I ever needed to do in any boss fight or stealth run.

Yahtzee's right! No one would make breathing a quick time event! They would make blinking a quick time event!

You wouldn't turn the act of breathing into a quick time event.

Write it down WRITE THAT DOWN, YOU IDIOTS!

Anatomy and Physiology: THE GAME.

Akalabeth:
I completely disagree with the Mirror's Edge critcizism.
You ever do long jump yahtzee? You're not looking at your feet when you jump. Why would first person platforming be any different?

Mind you I think the main thing that games have missed is that, when you're in first person and platforming you do things differently in different circumstances. If you're taking a leap off a building like mirror's edge, then it should be as it IS in the game where you don't focus on your feet, you judge your distance to the edge and jump when appropriate because in real life that's how it would happen.

But if you're talking about slow, smaller platform progression, then there may be a great emphasis on foot placement and that sort of precision is generally not emulated in first person games.

This nails it. Long story short: if you're having that much trouble placing where your feet are in something like Mirror's Edge then my best guess would be that you never learned how to platform with your real body let alone one in a game.

The first-person platforming sections of Assassin's Creed: Revelations were not too bad. It played more like Portal than anything else, which was quite a change of pace for the game. And I liked finding out more about Desmond's life anyway.

I actually liked how vertical movement was implemented in the Brink
It was partial auto-pilot, because of that same reason Yahtzee mentions- inability to feel your character
And in general I like 1st person platforming
Maybe I'm a masochist :)

I never had any problems playing Mirror's Edge.
But clearly a lot of people did, so I guess that experiment just plain didn't work out overall.
Exception doesn't prove the rule, and all that.

I for one loved Mirror's Edge, and would absolutely pay for a sequel.

I thought that the perspective stuff was done pretty well in Mirror's Edge, and only stumbled at a couple of points because of some bad level design, but the engine I feel was workable and worked well when it did work.

Yahtzee's wrong this time. He can talk as much as he likes, but the fact is Quantum Conundrum worked. I didn't have any problems jumping onto the platforms, while I DO have many problems pointing a tiny crosshair with my mouse at a moving target in shooters. Should I therefore say that FPS's don't work? Nah, maybe it's just me. Maybe.

Blood Brain Barrier:
Yahtzee's wrong this time. He can talk as much as he likes, but the fact is Quantum Conundrum worked. I didn't have any problems jumping onto the platforms, while I DO have many problems pointing a tiny crosshair with my mouse at a moving target in shooters. Should I therefore say that FPS's don't work? Nah, maybe it's just me. Maybe.

Very true. I loved the platforming in QC and in Mirror's Edge. As others have said, once you think about how you jump in real life, it's surprisingly intuitive.

Alakaizer:
I've found that the Metroid Prime series are pretty good first-person platformers. I think of them as platformers, because more of the point of the game is maneuvering through the world, whereas the enemies are just stuff to clear out of each room before you do so. I think that's the reason I have no problem playing the Prime trilogy, even though I suck at FPSs.

I don't really count the Metroid Prime trilogy as an FPS because it's more that just shooting an endless wave of Russians in a linear and boring landscape.

Fotonica.
Yahtzee has been, as always, proved wrong.

guitarsniper:
I never had a problem with missing stuff when I played Mirror's Edge. Maybe it's a PC thing, I dunno. It does seem like it might be harder to do that kind of precision platforming using a thumbstick to look around.

Played it on my xbox had absolutely no problem with missing stuff using a thumbstick. God I want a sequel to that game already!

All of these problems can be solved with the double jump, and the hookshot.

Yeah, I gave up on mirrors edge after a while. The shooting sections were awful and I wasn't over struck with the platforming felt clumsy when you got to the precision jumping sections.

I'm really looking forward to Dishonored at the end of the year, but the fact that it's in first person does worry me a little, especially after watching the dev in the gameplay video clumsily try to jump up onto an open window at one part (can't remember if it's the stealth or action gameplay vid).

Hopefully there won't be too much precision jumping in that, either way I'll be getting that game.

It's interesting to see the split between people that have no trouble with first person platforming and the people that have all the trouble with it. Personally I think it's fine.

I never got Yahtzee's criticism of Mirror's edge.
The first person platforming worked excellently for me, and I've never met anyone who has had the kind of problems he describes with it.
In my mind, it works as a great example for the fact that first person platforming can work.
It might probably have been improved if they made it so that the character - when running up to jump off a ledge - spaces her steps in such a way as to always take the last step at the very edge, as a human would do naturally. Preferrably with some sort of indication that the last step has been reached, as you would know that intiutively in real life.

Figuring out that your feet leave a ledge slightly after it leaves your field of vision isn't exactly rocket science though, and I found jumping in Mirror's edge intuitive as can be.
The only issue were that the controls could occasionally feel clunky and heavy when trying to navigate precisely while running, or being precise with your footsteps, in regard to hitting staircases with a running start without accidentally sliding sort of sideways on the way there and hitting the railing.

In contrast, 3D third person platformers have always felt horrible to me. I've always been jumping around hitting walls and shit, because the character changes directions and speed according to the movement of my joystick which is not a millimetre precision tool. In such platformers I've also always felt as I've been sliding around on a soapy surface whenever landing on a platform.
It's like guiding this little r/c car and trying to hit a narrow ramp at high speeds, but controlling the little fucker accurately from an outside perspective is just so difficult when the steering is that sensitive, so you end up missing the ramp over and over.

Alakaizer:
I've found that the Metroid Prime series are pretty good first-person platformers. I think of them as platformers, because more of the point of the game is maneuvering through the world, whereas the enemies are just stuff to clear out of each room before you do so. I think that's the reason I have no problem playing the Prime trilogy, even though I suck at FPSs.

I was going to say something about Metroid Prime as an example of doing it right lol.

I actually really like fps platformer mechanics

peruvianskys:
Very true. I loved the platforming in QC and in Mirror's Edge. As others have said, once you think about how you jump in real life, it's surprisingly intuitive.

I think the issue might be that certain gamers who have been raised on third person platformers have trouble adjusting from thinking of themselves as controlling a little jumping bastard from outside to thinking of themselves as actually being the one doing the jump, being there in the situation and playing it from the inside.
They're used to getting all the information they need from the visuals. "My characters feet are exactly three inches from the ledge", but playing something like Mirror's edge requires you to use your intuition and "feel" when your feet are at the edge of the jump.
Some people, like Yahtzee, just can't do it, I reckon.

There is nothing wrong with first person platforming. Just because someone is not competent enough to play a first person platforming game doesn't make it a bad idea. It's all about how good you are. And thankfully there are still games out there that provide a challenge besides the usual "shoot them dudes". There are people who are abysmal at RTS games or fighting games. But saying that they don't work because you suck at them is pretty stupid if you ask me.

Platforming in third person view is a lot harder for me actually. I often miscalculate the distance between the object and the character. When I look at the character from a third person perspective, my perception of the actual distance between the character and the object (a ledge for example) is not accurate. In first person view it is accurate.

Hopefully I got inside the Yahtzee window.

1nfinite_Cros5 ninjaed my idea which is to augment first-person games with jumping elements by extrapolating from ideas we've already seen.

I had the same problem with Mirror's Edge that Yahtzee did, that some jumps were just too easy to screw up, resulting in a many-story plummet, a slow reload and eventually my consultation of walkthrough videos just to make sure I'm really supposed to be going that way (because I was often unclear). But Mirror's Edge had runner vision which would turn potential pathways red. I don't see why they could also color code reachable ledges based on a leap from your current trajectory.

A couple other devices were used in Portal that would be useful in a first-person platformer: The first device you could enable or disable, called the portal funnel, which adjusted your trajectory mid-flight to ensure if you were close to falling through a portal, you would. The other device was less demonstrated (and less obvious in the first game compared to the second) which made sure that if you placed a portal near a key location, it would position and align that portal just so that it would best serve the (developer's intended) solution to the puzzle.[1]

An elegent feature and nifty power was provided in the (now good ol') game Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Delphi's turbo ability would cause her to leap (that is, fly in a parabolic arc) to a point designated by her reticle. This as a secondary jump feature, or how someone jumps when they're also pushing forward (indicating he or she wants to jump to somewhere rather than simply jump up.) would provide an elegant solution. Perhaps a visual effect can be used to indicate targeting-for-jump a surface that is not directly visible from the player's perspective.

This is related to the issue of edge gravity, the best solution to which is to assume the player wants to hang off the ledge (whether to drop down or to hide from enemies on the surface). This is how it was handled in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, though interestingly not the Tomb Raider series that borrowed the same engine.

But Sands of Time has a special place in my heart specifically because in it, it was very easy for the player to get the prince to do amazing things. It was during my play-through of Sands that I realized that the less I have to manipulate the controls to do what I want in a game, the more easily I get immersed in the game.

238U

[1] Sometimes at the expense of unforeseen, more innovative solutions to the puzzle.

While I've never personally had any issues with first person platforming, I acknowledge that the majority does, so it is something that should be worked out.

Maybe I've just got better spatial awareness than most or something. :P

If anyone wants to really see how first person platforming can become excrutiantingly difficult go try out a game called "In momentum". Not only is it in first person. No. The whole game is based around jumping about on floating often tiny or narrow platforms and never slowing down, therefore gaining some insane amounts of momentum that eventually have you all but flying around in almost empty space. Oh, and you have to shoot at switches to open gates to take the fastest route to the goal. I participated in the beta, and one of the most common complaints was that people completely missed platforms that seemed to be sufficiently close to jump on/off from, that everything felt too weightless, and that it was hard to understand where the character box was. I think they solved one of these problems by casting a shadow under you, so you'd be able to see where you were going to land and steer (yes, you can steer in mid-air) towards the desired spot. Just try it. Then tell me if Mirror's Edge or Quantum Conundrum feel awkward.

From Yahtzee I get the idea that he believes that platforming only works in 2D. Here he is denouncing first person platforming, and on numerous times before he has stated that 3D platforming doesn't work (except in Sands of time trilogy, if you go by his word). I firmly disagree on this and think that many, many games have succeeded in doing 3rd peson platforming quite well. We're still solving the issue of 1st person platforming, but we're getting there.

True. My love for mirror's edge is a bit hard to defend at times.

Not much to argue here, even though there are lots of looong posts here. It can work, sorta... but mostly it doesn't.

I remember the platforming bits in the Jedi Knight series.. which worked because since the first you could change to a blocky third person.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
I had to point out to him that the secret was to jump a moment after you think you need to jump, 'cos the ledge you're jumping off disappears from sight about half a second before your feet actually leave it.

Funny, I seem to often have the opposite problem. Especially when I play as the Scout in TF2: I often jump off a ledge and then discover that I can't mid-air jump because it turns out I didn't actually jump off the ledge after all; I fell and used my mid-air jump a split second later.

The one thing that Mirror's Edge had, and other first-person platforming games need, is degrees of success or failure. In mirror's edge, if you miss your vault of a fence, you don't fail. you just do a slightly slower clamber-up, rather than a pretty speed-vault. It had that room for error, and actually pretty good feedback about whether or not you'd made your timing right. it also had a pretty good tutorial level, with the player able to look at another character doing the animations that the player would do, before they did it.

I think they put QC in a first person perspective because it helps to give you the feeling of being overwhelmed, seeing as you are supposed to be a little kid after all. And from what I've seen, there isn't a great deal of precision jumping involved.

guitarsniper:
I never had a problem with missing stuff when I played Mirror's Edge. Maybe it's a PC thing, I dunno. It does seem like it might be harder to do that kind of precision platforming using a thumbstick to look around.

I think he played QC on PC actually because I remember him moaning about the inability to change graphical settings.

I've never understood how people had trouble with Mirror's Edge.

Maybe it's harder with a controller, I wouldn't know, but with a mouse and keyboard the first person acrobatics worked fine for me.

Basically what he's saying is "I suck at first-person platforming".

Mirror's Edge is a perfect example of a first-person platformer done right, but Yahtzee doesn't like it because he isn't good at it. I didn't have any problems with knowing where my feet were in that game.

You know,there is a game that has the perfect mechanic for first person precision jumping,only it is in third person:Assassins creed series.Imagine the flow of mirrors edge if you could only hold the jump button and have faith do the jump when she leaves the edge.Then jumping would be as natural as it is in real life.But then again,there would be no challenge in that.However,such a system would be perfect for a puzzle game like quantum conundrum.

DVS BSTrD:
The only time I ever platformed in a first-person perspective was escaping the favela in MW2. The problem, as Yahtzee says, is the timing. With third person you can just wait until your character reaches the edge and THEN decide to jump. With first person you have to preset the moments you press the buttons based solely on your feel of the speed of the character. All your actions are more or less preset. And when your timing is off, you usually don't have an opportunity to reorient yourself. I got through the favela pretty easy on my first play through (I only had to retry it once because I missed the rope ladder at the end). When I went back and replayed the level however, I fell down so many times it seemed like the only reason the militia hadn't caught up and torn me to pieces was because the game felt sorry for me. Maybe it's just easier to remain aware of perspective when you're playing on a PC format.

But of a tangent, but I hate the way Yahtzee uses the word "immersive" here to describe FPS when the problem is that the perspective is the problem here, providing no actual sense of self--which is a problem specifically because it's less immersive.

But PC players complain about this in Mirror's Edge, too. A lot of the reviews have similar scores across PC and consoles, and basically say things to the effect of "the game is awesome despite the perspective." This isn't universal, but there are some filthy console peasants who do fine by ME on their inferior platform, just as a lot of PC players died a lot.

This was sort of my point. I actually managed to BEAT Dick Tracy for the NES, but it doesn't negate criticisms (like AVGN, for example). The game is broken, but not TOTALLY unbeatable, no matter what people say. And I was determined to get my allowance worth out of it.

Now, when people like the one I quoted at first point out that that had no problem with the controls, it's sort of like saying that Dick Tracy wasn't broken because I beat it. Or, more to the point, I've never had the Red Ring/DRE for my XBox/Playstation, so the respective consoles didn't have any problems.

I say this having not played a lot of Mirror's Edge, but it seems the overall effect is there.

And the thing is, people will defend First Person ANYTHING to the death these days, because it's what they're familiar with, not what necessarily makes a good game.

Funny that he should mention Max Payne, considering that awful sequence in the first game where you have to dive onto a train.

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