In response to “Cart, Horse” from The Escapist Forum: I think your approach to starting this business is well thought out and well researched. With this solid foundation, your success is guaranteed! I applaud your ability to balance both home and work. You all must have very robust lives. I imagine your expertise in storytelling helps to bring richness to all aspects of yours, your families and your partners lives.Can’t wait to see and read more!
In response to “A Childhood in Hyrule” from The Escapist Forum: I disagree with the assertion that games are becoming more player-submissive. How many open-ended games are there now, compared with ten or twenty years ago? More importantly, in today’s linear games, how much more can the player do than in the linear games of ten or twelve years ago?
What we’re finding – and Half-Life 2 and Garry’s Mod together make an excellent example of this – is that, regardless of whether the player has to do the same things in the game world, there are always more things that the player can do.
Eventually, we’ll reach a point where the developer creates and populates an environment, and comes up with a story he’d like to tell inside of it, and lets the player loose in the environment, and tries to steer him toward the story – which, what do you know, is just like what a tabletop RPG does. Technological limitations, not only in hardware but also in the fundamental (but diminishing) lack of creativity exhibited by non-Turing-test-passing software, are what makes the separation.
– Bongo Bill
In response to “The Slow Death of Game Over” from The Escapist Forum: I agree wholeheartedly that part of the tension and frustration of Dead Rising was the fact that saving wasn’t the act of a moment, but a part of your planning and pathing. While I enjoyed hammering through the GTA3 series, and more recently The Godfather on the Wii, there’s almost nothing to come back to. Dead Rising I also haven’t come back to, but I intend to at some point try again, just to assuage my own curiosity as to whether, with a little more aggressive travel and fewer passes by the save points, I could have saved more people.
On a side note, the game-over screen is alive and well on handheld gaming devices. Then again, they rely much more on the “pick-up and play” style of gaming which is reminiscent of arcade machines like Operation Wolf or Silent Scope which let you choose your mission and hence difficulty, without having to play through the earlier easy stuff. A handheld game that you can’t basically switch off with very short notice is nearly useless. (I dunno about the PSP, but the DS has the close-lid mode, which generally suspends the game, and is useful for some situations such as switching buses, but doesn’t really help once you’ve arrived at your destination.)
In response to “The Slow Death of Game Over” from The Escapist Forum: I’d just like to say that the save anywhere idea is a great thing, but at the same time it should be accompanied with harder battles, more challenging games, and so on. If anything save anywhere is only accompanied with easier games. I have yet to beat Super Mario 1 yet I’ve beat a couple recent games with out ever saving once except when it’s mandated.
Save anywhere is a wonderful functions as people here mentioned but the very simple fact is that games as a whole have been made easier as well as giving save anywhere, what should have been done is increasing the difficulty of the game as you give more saves, not making it easier.
In response to “The Slow Death of Game Over” from The Escapist Forum: Some games have done away with saves completely, and become wildly successful based off of a good gameplay mechanic.
For example, the arcade game Geometry Wars on the Xbox360. This is a game that can be played in short doses, 10-30 minutes at a time, and depending on your skill level, a game can last between 5 minutes to some of the best reaching multiple hours. The game has zero story, only a few extra lives to start-more can be earned, and doesn’t feature any levels at all. The only mark of you making progress is noticing how many more enemies are coming on the screen at once.
This was also one of the top games played in the early life cycle of the 360. It still has a loyal and active community.
Regarding saving as a whole, I think it comes back to not only telling a narrative, but what the mass consumers want as a whole. As the gaming population ages and expands, there are many fewer “hardcore” gamers left. We are a dying breed, being replaced by casual games and people who don’t want the mostly impossible challenge of a Ninja Gaiden. They want a quick escape, and be able to return to life anytime. As much as the narrative has driven the save system, the change in the majority of consumers purchasing games has put pressure on the industry for this change as well.