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  • "SmoothHavok" started this thread

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Monday, March 18th 2013, 6:30pm

Comparative Gaming (TLDR warning)

Just a concept I've been kicking around. Taking games as case studies in relation to others, finding the pros and cons of each, and how each game operates with their own unique modes of functioning with these mechanics. And then determining, on a general scale (think about how politics works with the Political Left and Right and Economic Up and Down) and basically plotting where games sit on this graph. And from there, determining how someone would make the best game (and how would you like to see BF4 to develop, even if it's just speculation). But graphing and technicalities aside, let's just discuss [FPS/TPS] games and comparing them. I guess I'll start off with a few questions you guys can debate.

1. Firstly, the issue of lethality in FPS games. Lethality (as in the damage models in a game) have reached a strange dichotomy. On one half, you have arcade arena shooters, that are fast paced, and usually run on a power-ups basis, and glide platform. Then on the other half, you have the simulators, where tactics and caution are favored to keep you on top of your game. Where do you think lethality sits, and what ideal game models (from arena to sims, and all in between) fit the ideal damage model.

2. Vehicle and Infantry. Where does it fit, when does it, and when should the idea be scrapped entirely? Vehicles are usually seen as infantry crushing machines, even when that may not be their main purpose. What degree do games go through to balance this?

3. Maps. Urban versus the wilderness versus the exotic, what maps cater to what types of gameplay? What maps best cater to a certain game mode? Larger maps tend to favor larger players, so that the density of player activity is always kept hyped and attention grabbing. Larger maps also, in most cases, tend to cater to vehicles, and larger, usually more dynamic objectives (whatever they may be). Urban maps tend to favor smaller numbers of players (though scale could be adjusted accordingly, unlike outdoor maps) and clutch situations. Vehicles are extremely limited, and objectives are subject to meat-grinders and funnels.

4. Objectives/Game Modes, and what makes one fun and fresh, and what makes on dull, repetitive, and generally unappealing (frustrating even?). What makes a game mode or objective a constant flux of situational changes, where effort and team work need to be paramount, and how far does it go in terms of dynamics before you can't rely on PUB teams to form coherent plans of actions, and you pretty much end up frustrated with the complexity. Which age old objectives or games modes have proven to be fun throughout the ages despite their simplicity. Where does perfect meld of simplicity and dynamics meet, and in what ways can a game form its basis of other features around this?

5. Team work is integral, and to what extent does a game go to cater to teammates, and essentially, pit players to rely on their teams. How heavily should this be considered. Should there be room for an individual player to carry the team on their back? Should freedom of class selection be the desired route, or should players be pledged to a specific, specialized role. Where do you see the perfect medium of this.

6. Survival mechanics are also another layer that games like to add. Simulators go in depth with features like broken bones, concussions, bleeding, thirst, fatigue, and hunger, where as authentic arcade shooters only use features like suppression, limited sprint (still a form of fatigue), and revives. Which survival mechanics keep you attentive to your approach of a game, which ones are too punishing, and again, where do you think is the perfect medium.

These are the only questions I could conjure up in the moment. Specific and detailed answers would be preferred, especially if you're explaining those "perfect mediums". Simply put the respective number to the question your answering. I look forward to what people have to say. Expect more questions to be added, suggestions are welcomed. :thumbup:
G3A3 or bust

Gunners and passengers are just for show.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "SmoothHavok" (Mar 18th 2013, 6:41pm)


Cheapnub

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Monday, March 18th 2013, 6:57pm

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A nice and controversial topic :> However, this has been getting studied for years now. It is the reason why there are different games like Call of duty, arma, battlefield, medal of honor, crysis, counterstrike...
Every game is different, and there are no bad games (unless they're completely unplayable, but that put aside): Each game is designed for a certain audience, and attracts them in a certain way. Take for example the reason why CoD has grown to be such a popular game: It is incredibly easy to get into, and it relies more on reflexes than on strategy. This is the kind of game that you can play at any time of the day, and anyone can play it. Cod is marketed for the bigger audience, and they did an awesome job at that.
Now take for example Arma, this is a MUCH more slow-paced game, which relies more on strategy than it does on tactic. This game fills in the empty space that is left behind by the "twitchshooters".

One can go on about these different games for ages: All of em are different, and have different methods and targeted audiences (even though the targeted audiences might change over time).

The base things you named are what make these games different. Damage model: Do you want to have generally slow-killing times to make things more strategical, or make the killing times really low to allow for quick fast-paced action?
Basic gun mechanics, so that everyone can play it, or put some more depth into using your gun so that it will also apply to those that don't want to just point and click?...but hey, what if you put some point-and-click weapons in that same game, so that it also applies to the bigger group, while making those weapons slightly worse so that the main point of the game still lies at the advanced gunmechanics, while you've just 'doubled' your audience?
Or maps, big maps or small maps? Are you going to make maps where the player can constantly only go in 3 directions, allowing for purely tactical gameplay where reflexes are everything, or will you allow the player access to the full map to give access for strategical play and the creation of frontlines?
Or vehicles. will you make your game vehicle-only, to fill a gap, or will you allow infantry as well to apply to the masses? And what if you get both, but give the infantry powerful options to still control the map? Or what if you do so, but only allow them to be truly effective when working together?

Teamwork, it can be great fun. But it can also be a burden ("these 15 snipers in my team just won't stop sitting still on those hills, i cant play the game!")...or will you focus more on the lone-wolf aspect so that the game is something that can be played at every time of the day, once again being a mainstream thing?
Objectives: Will you make it heavily objective-focusses, forcing people to fight for a GOAL, or will you make the objectives a simple "meh...you can do it if you want to" thing so that people can, once again, just play the game after a hard day at work?
Survival: Do you want to make it the most realistic thing, making people feel more like the "real stuff", or do you want it to be nice and fun?

All these things are relatively simple, and have been studied by years. Companies like Activision clearly go for the masses, while Arma goes for the leftovers, with battlefield trying to make itself more tempting for the masses as well. And what happened to medal of honor? They tried the same as Activision, they tried to directly compete.
Companies have reasons for things, the best ones are the ones who will make things for everyone. But either way, the end-results are clear. The science in games is a serious one, and trust me...it has been around for years.
We've arrived at the age where games get made based on psycho-analysis reports and gameplay-analysis. Everything that you can think of has already been thought of, thoroughly.

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