How to Pass the Time While Waiting to Play A Game

How to Pass the Time While Waiting to Play A Game

Waiting for loading screens, matchmaking or installs are a pain, so Yahtzee has come up with four solutions to some wait time scenarios that could actually work.

Read Full Article

I like Bayonetta's idea of letting you practice combos. Smash Bros (at least the 3DS version) has something similar. Of course, there's always the classic lines of text explaining stuff about the game and lore, but those only really work when the lore is interesting and the game is complex. I'm sure if developers really wanted to, they could cut down on loading times dramatically, as they did with Bloodborne, but I guess that would be too much work, wouldn't it?

Unfortunately a lot of this is avoided due to Namco's patent on "minigames during a loading screen". Which, fortunately, is set to expire at the end of this year! So I would expect to see a lot more of this 2016 and beyond.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl had a decent idea, with the sandbag fights while you wait for online battles. It wasn't much, but it was better than just waiting.

Rayman Legends has a loading screen where you can see Rayman running across a little silhouette world, but you can take control of him if you want (not much to do, but loads are never more than about six or seven seconds anyway).

VALVE games get a big fat F in this regard because of engine limitations. Since its inception, the Source Engine has been unable to do anything during load screens, and even simple things like a progress bar in Left 4 Dead or the fancy robot animations in Portal 2's co-op mode are quite a stretch for it. It's quite a shame, really, because in a more modern engine, linear games like Half-Life 2 wouldn't have to have any load times at all once the game is started. Actually, adding support for asynchronous loading is my single biggest hope for Source 2.

P.S. Thanks

The whole having to do mini games during fast travel or get penalized seem like it would be annoying cause fast travel can happen alot in some games and at least I know that I would probably grow bored of being forced to play minigames

Nintendo is doing this with Splatoon; you can play a "Squid Jump" minigame while waiting for online matchmaking, and three other minigames can be unlocked with the Splatoon amiibos. They don't quite fit Yahtzee's criteria of "it has to in some way go towards the larger game", but it's still cool.

Kingdom Hearts games almost always have some minigame you can do during the end credits.

kenu12345:
The whole having to do mini games during fast travel or get penalized seem like it would be annoying cause fast travel can happen alot in some games and at least I know that I would probably grow bored of being forced to play minigames

I was thinking the same thing; a bonus would be a nice incentive to do them, but penalizing someone because they didn't want to repeat the same quicktime event for the 100th time seems harsh.

On a related note, Assassin's Creed handled this issue in a terrible way. You could move around as the character during a loading screen, but it was in a foggy otherworld with no other characters or items. All you could do was run in circles, slash the empty air, and spin. It seemed like a really wasted opportunity to train you in important aspects of the game that you don't always use- for instance, it could give you a group of enemies so that you could practise fighting large groups and getting the combos down so you could do that in the real game, instead of you running away when you alerted the guards because fighting them all is very risky and your target will get away in the meantime.

Honestly, I'd much prefer some practical training in core gameplay than a meaningless minigame for a tiny bit of XP. Sports games seem to have this down; in Fifa 15, when you're waiting for a match to load it will set up one of several drills so you can practise getting around defenders, taking shots, goalkeeping, etc., and when the match is loaded a button prompt appears so you can drop out of the drill when you feel like it. Imagine if Far Cry 4 had a system where you could practise shooting down eagles, or CoD gave you a breaching event.

Even giving the player just a teeny bit of agency while loading is better than naught; like moving the cursor in Silent Hill 4.

Yahtzee's fast-travel minigame one sounds like it belongs in a Monkey Island game, or one other Tim Schaefer game, because of getting kicked in the balls for failing at them.
Every Assassin's Creed game until Unity let you run around what they called the Memory Corridor (that space where the player character would somehow talk to their victims after each kill) while the game was loading, like the city was about to build itself around you.

Scenario 2 makes me wonder if Yahtzee has been secretly playing fifa.

In an RPG, loading would be a good time to let the player look at the map and check and rearrange their inventory.

I always thought that fast travel loading screens should have a cutscene showing your character actually traveling. Like if you're playing Skyrim, you'd see a montage of your character dramatically riding their horse across the landscape while epic music plays. I remember that Metroid Prime 3 had something like this, so when you took your spaceship somewhere you'd see an animation of it flying through the atmosphere. It would help make it feel like you're really traveling across the world, rather that immediately warping.

EDIT: All I want for GTA Online is the ability to mute people while the game loads.

Why not have the next level loading while you play the current level? You have to halve the detail in your levels of course, but I'm sure gamers would appreciate a game never stopping to load more than a bit of extra detail.

09philj:
In an RPG, loading would be a good time to let the player look at the map and check and rearrange their inventory.

You sir, are a genius. Also, if we can reach them without combat, we should be able to buy and sell from the vendors at our destination.

Manjina, eh? Pronounced how exactly? ;)

Warframe has a neat little loading screen where you can make your ship, which is cruising at the speed of light through space, bob up and down like a majestic, metallic dolphin.

Thanatos2k:
Kingdom Hearts games almost always have some minigame you can do during the end credits.

Really? I've only played KH 1, 2 and Final mix 2.5 did they have them or was that much later?

OT: I like a lot of these ideas. I know punch-out on the wii let you punch names in the credits spelt incorrectly or the name of characters. I think smash bros has been doing that since the first one as well. The first one was great because you target someone's name you would find out details of what their actual job was. Melee had something similar, can't remember if brawl had one.

Shadows of Mordor has great loading screen filler

Its a a voiceover of characters talking, fleshing out some of the story. Its perfect filler material because you don't need it to complete the game but its satisfying knowing the details of the world you are exploring.

Yet another reason SoM was the best game from last year.

I like your ideas, Yahtzee!
My first instinct was "explore the map!" for Sandbox games...

And you can place markers and sometimes find something (moderately or quite) interesting that is generated randomly.
That'd be better than staring at the map with all the stuff marked you got off Google, no?

CAPTCHA: practice makes perfect. I guess not for loading times... :(

The reason they dont really make mini games as load screens is because Namco owns the idea. They found out that they made the first game that had such a loading game and they copyrighted it.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=5,718,632.PN.&OS=PN/5,718,632&RS=PN/5,718,632

Their copyright expires soon if they dont renew it.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here