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Games to abandon heavy mechanics to solely focus on story and immersion

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by PlayCreatively, May 18, 2016.

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Would you play a game with no menus, no HUD, no way-points but enticing story, world and characters?

  1. Yes

    82.8%
  2. No

    17.2%
  1. PlayCreatively

    PlayCreatively

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    I have a very distinct taste in games so I know I'm probably alone in this but I just wanna know for sure. As we know, video games are an interactive medium which combines all other mediums like movie, music and art.
    Allot of games are getting flaked for being "just a movie" and that games should be GAMES, but I'm actually on the other side of that spectrum. As games ARE experiences they can achieve more than simply being GAMES.

    So what I REALLY want to make is a game that is JUST an experience, no HUD, no way-points, no in your face goals, just an experience. But my worries are that people aren't ready for those types of games. Sure games like this do exist like Gone Home, but I want "normal" games to head this direction too. I'm not talking about turning games into walking simulators but instead get rid of all the game-y habits that have become the norm and JUST go for experiences.


    (Where is the game?)

    When I removed the HUD in Ratchet and Clank I, for the very first time in my life, felt like I was playing a cartoon! From that day forth I knew I wanted more games to offer these experiences and rid themselves of ALL immersion breaking features that we come to expect in video games nowadays and can barely imagine them without.


    I want to suggest a future where more games are about experiencing a unique story in a unique world through a unique protagonist. This sounds familiar right? It's more or less what many games are about, like: (Uncharted, R&C, Sly Cooper), it's all about you experiencing a story in a unique world through a unique character. However, when you also bring deep or attention-grabbing gameplay into the mix the focus starts to jump between story and gameplay and you guys know as designers that having more than one focus means less effectiveness of said focus. This is something all games do however. By having allot of focus on gameplay means the player gets less focus on the story and neither can shine the brightest while the other is hogging the spotlight (right?).

    We do have games that are heavily focused on gameplay with a story that is almost non-existent (Which makes the game better because of it. Can you imagine having to play a game that is heavily focused on gameplay like pac-man, but now with heavy emphasis on story? That would make the game terrible, better to have no story instead).
    However we have barely done the opposite. Game with a solid gameplay but nothing to take the attention from the story. Journey is the only game I can think of that does this well. The gameplay is smooth and fun but doesn't have enough depth to it for you to play around with and forget about the story.
    We keep on making games that are heavily focused on gameplay AND story. Those are two different things and just creates instances where you're slaughtering enemies just to get to the next story bit, those two just don't go well together unless you let one of them take the foreground while the other helps without stealing much of the attention (like Journey's gameplay doesn't take away from the story).

    Cut-scenes also often feel like entirely another place, another world even. The Ratchet in the cut-scenes somehow doesn't feel like the Ratchet in gameplay. It just doesn't feel like the same world.
    Something we have gone accustomed to is going from playing a video game to watching a movie | from watching a movie to playing a video game and instead of integrating these two together we just jump between them throughout the game. That does not sound like it blends well together.

    This brings me to my final verdict. What if playing a game would be like playing a cut-scene. This means going from (switching between watching a movie and playing a video game) to full on interactive movie. This means we aren't trading any focus and thus have made the most immersive experience a gamer can have (except for VR). Goodbye HUD, goodbye video game norms and hello playable movies!


    I often hear my mom and non-gamer friends say: "Wow this is like playing a movie!" and every time I get incredibly jealous, because to me it isn't like playing a movie. All of the game-y factors just keep reminding me that this is NOT real and this is just a game. Little things like: Camera being way too far away from the protagonist, protagonist always planted right in the middle of the screen, HUD covering the whole screen, distracting way-points, ALL of this keeps reminding me that the cut-scene is over and I'm back to playing a video game.


    (No HUD? No problem)

    So what I'm here for is to see if this is what other gamers want too. These games would still play like games but would have no HUD or any type of game-yness for that matter and the gameplay would solely be about playing through the experience without progression systems or anything that doesn't make sense in a story.

    (On a side note... all of this is design right? Design is pretty vague so I wasn't sure if this belongs here. I certainly believe so... I know designers are open to new ideas so I think this should be posted here)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
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  2. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    If it was achievable it would be pretty good but how are you going to give some feedback to the player & allow them to interact without a hud of some sort? In real life you can look at visual cues, body language, audio cues & just say what you want when you want but unless your game has no dialogue/conversation I can't see it being done as the player would have no feedback at points or way to interact in conversations. Even journey had very minimal hud items from the bits I've seen (never had a ps so haven't played it).

    But, I certainly am open to having minimal huds that don't clutter the screen or distract from what is happening.
     
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  3. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    It is an interesting idea, however you do need some type of HUD, for example to show the player what keys to use to interact with game elements, upgrade systems, story etc... so making a game entirely without a HUD is impossible. However I think the key for such an experience is to make the HUD as discrete and minimalistic as possible. Some games almost achieve this, such as War Thunder:
    Yeah, I that's why I said "almost". While the HUD is almost non-existent, some idiot decided that giant red and blue markers would make the game so much better. Let's take Fallout 4, which has a very minimalistic HUD:
    CRAP! Again, someone thought that having gigantic bars in the most hideous green color possible was a great idea. However, if we made the color something more minimalistic (white?) and scaled down the UI, you'd have an almost full-screen experience. However, sometimes it is totally necessary to interact with the HUD, which give us something as ugly and reality-breaking as this:


    Whoever designed Fallout 4's UI must be fired as not only is it as hideous as possible, but also very awkward to use. I don't even have to elaborate how unrealistic and jarring it is.

    All I'm trying to say is that making a game with no HUD or UI is practically impossible. Sometimes the UI is actually what makes a very stupid game fun, such as Candy Crush Saga:

    Personally, I think that making the UI as minimalistic as possible is key to making a realistic game. Which is why I think GTA5 has perhaps the best in-game UI:


    Even the shop where you can buy guns has a very clean UI (compare to Fallout 4):


    The UI is actually a realistic part of the game that doesn't jerk the player from the reality of the game.

    Just my 2 cents on the issue.
     
  4. PlayCreatively

    PlayCreatively

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    This is something we haven't spent enough time experimenting with. It is possible as all kinds of techniques already exist, by either attracting your eyes somewhere or simply having the protagonist talk to himself which is often done too. There are SO many ways to go about this that it must be plausible with enough play-testing and with new inventive techniques.
     
  5. PlayCreatively

    PlayCreatively

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    That is totally right. But the only reason it's not possible is because the game is made with a HUD in mind. Imagine if HUD was not used, they'd have to find cool and creative ways around that, which is really exciting! Obviously not all games can go without HUD and most can't. But the problem is, not nearly enough game devs are even trying! It's just something we expect, even tho it's the most immersion breaking game-y thing we have, it's just expected. And because of that we actually build games around HUD/inventory/game-y stuff. I can't remember how often I'm trying to be creative with my next game idea but always somehow end up with the most generic game JUST because I'm used to all these things. So used to them in fact that I unconsciously add in all of these game-y bits just because I can't help it.

    I've gotten so tired of them because how can a new game feel new when all other games share the same approaches to everything.

    I know I'd enjoy ANY game that has no HUD than a game that does just because that actually feels like something completely new and foreign to me.
     
  6. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    Having the player talk to the,saves is fine but how do you indicate to the player what they need to do to select between choices? That's where huds work.

    I'm not against the idea, just playing devils advocate & hoping that everyone will chip in & come up with something that addresses the issues & could work because removing hud will reduce the localisation effort & costs as well.
     
  7. PlayCreatively

    PlayCreatively

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    You're totally allowed to be the devils advocate! That's how we can actually explore this approach further.

    But what did you mean by player selecting choices? What choices? Do you mean IF there were choices in the game perhaps?
     
  8. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    Well, I'd be very interested to see a game with no HUD at all. While I do agree that most games have too much player-HUD interaction, I don't think the game is build AROUND the HUD. The HUD is there to provide information and options to the player. Any racing, crafting, puzzle etc... game simply can't work without a HUD. Seeing a game with no HUD would be very interesting, but probably frustrating too as the player would have problems knowing what's the next objective or even the point or progress of the game.
     
  9. PlayCreatively

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    Actually if you wanna see a game entirely deprived of HUD then just look at Journey or any VR game. They have no HUD and therefore have shown me tons of creative and entertaining ways of placing texts and information onto the environment itself. It's very much possible to have a game without HUD, but it DOES affect the outcome of the game, the same way the outcome of the game will be different if it's made with HUD in mind. I don't want ONLY HUDless games out there but I'd love to play more games where the game was built with no HUD in mind, it would only make for a fascinating and fun game.
     
  10. RockoDyne

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    The thing is most of these points are red herrings. They are easy things to point to as what took you out of the experience, but if you cite the HUD and game elements, chances are you were never immersed to begin with. The most damning case would be if the style of gameplay makes no sense in the world, but I doubt you can find many games that do that that aren't weird as hell.

    My other gripe is this stuff already exists. Visual novels have been around in Japan for decades. You get Emiya Shirou out of it, who I will bring bring up as one of the best deconstructions/reconstructions of a lot of hero archetypes (especially Japanese ones). Then there are adventure games which have toyed with heavy notions of immersion since Myst. It's just that neither genre was ever mainstream in the west.

    At the end of the day, what sells hasn't been immersion, but engagement. It typically takes minutes to become engaged, but hours to be immersed. Unless you can come to grasp the magic circle better than most in the industry (not actually a high bar since I don't think most really understand why it's called that), trying to bank on immersion won't get you anywhere.
     
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  11. PlayCreatively

    PlayCreatively

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    The premise I mentioned is actually the type of games I want to make in the future. I just wanted to know if others were actually interested into that premise too. I'm only 17 and I'm already tired of video games. You may say that then I shouldn't be making them but that would be totally wrong. I'm tired of the games that are being made and the only way for me to have games that I wanna play is to make them myself. I'm not lying when I say that I didn't experience the beauty of Ratchet and Clank until I removed the HUD. However, this isn't only about HUDs. The commenters made it about HUDs either because that was the only thing they understood or the only thing they agreed with. I'm actually pitching the idea of a game being as immersive as a movie. So I'm talking about totally different type of genre here.

    Imagine a game, I'm gonna go with Sly:

    I'm Sly and I'm on a roof. My phone is buzzing, I answer. Bentley is on the phone and tells me a plan and then tells me to go through the window of the house with the lights still on. I look around, find a way to that window and I enter.
    Just this small bit is nothing new. But what devs do to ruin my experience is to have the whole call integrated into a cut-scene, showing exactly what window it is by pointing the camera at it, when I finally get my controls back (which really should be illegal in a medium that is all about interaction, which is being taken from you!) an arrow is inside of the game, floating above the window, pointing at where I'm supposed to go and in the right upper corner of the screen is text telling me that I'm supposed to enter the window and also telling me that that's a task I have yet to complete to progress the story. Oh and let's not forget the mini-map in the bottom left corner.

    All of that is completely unnecessary for a linear story game. This may not be annoying to you but that is why I posted this, to get a feeling for the crowd. I'm not trying to struck gold here, I'm just making sure that people wouldn't actually deny playing it for being a movie game.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  12. tedthebug

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    Yep choices, preferably interesting choices. If the 'player' isn't making any choices other than which direction to wander then I don't see the product offering anything that a movie doesn't. Some choices might be 'do i open this door or not?' but you'd need to indicate that that is a choice. If an npc asks the player a question then the player would need to be able to choose an appropriate response (I hate those games where npc's talk at you & you just stand there).

    In your example, what if you decide not to answer the phone? or you wanted to argue with your friend? In that example the player has very little agency or need to do anything except what they've been told to do whether there were flashing arrows or not.
     
  13. PlayCreatively

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    Cool that you mentioned the phone because that was exactly what I had in mind when writing.

    What I wanna do is to make layers of hints for the player. This is something that would take allot of extra work but I'm not talking about making a full 8h experience anyways. So basically the phone would ring, you have the option to answer or not. If you don't answer something else happens (next layer). Perhaps Bentley will actually come running to you because he thought you were dead for not answering the phone and gets angry that you weren't. Then he tells you to go inside.

    In that instance you had 3 options: answer, not answer but go inside anyways or just never answer. Even tho this didn't change the plot or anything, this to me would be incredibly surprising, funny and better than any "real" choice I get to pick in many games. I find this even more immersive than game changing picks because games always have to hammer it in that THIS IS A CHOICE! instead of making it feel like a real choice by you not really knowing or even thinking about it until you have made the choice.

    Having the game trust that I know what I'm doing is important and I don't like it when they try to instruct me in some very unimaginative ways. Having things unfold almost like it was meant to be can be done with these layers.

    Do you value real choices more than fake choices disguised as real choices because to me both choices make me feel like I'm there interacting with the world.
     
  14. PlayCreatively

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    (I'm also gonna add) I'm actually talking about you entering a world through a character, so you're basically role playing as him so you wanting to argue with your friend would be out of character perhaps. Games are already like this, you're experiencing a story through a character but you never take over the character you ARE the character, which I find fun. When I was young I played Sly Cooper and the fun then and now (because I'm a baby) is getting to be this amazing, charming character experiencing a story through his eyes.
     
  15. RockoDyne

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    To put it into perspective, almost all the games that relied on immersion came out before you were born or at least in kindergarten. Saying you're already tired of games just says to me you haven't even tried most genres, much less scratch the surface of them. You probably haven't even dug deeply into the genres you do like.

    First and foremost, giving the player one specific way to do things is S*** game design. Now between given nothing to solve and given no clue there is something to solve, I would much rather have a pretty strong clue what to do. I can remember a time before rigorous QA and gameFAQs meant backtracking for hours in the wrong parts of the game just because you didn't realize you had to interact with the door three times for some reason, and it sucked. These days people need to continue on briskly, or else they immediately break all immersion by looking up an FAQ.
     
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  16. Ryiah

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    Bethesda's games are an interesting example because it's almost inevitable that someone will want to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the HUD. Skyrim has a mod called Immersive HUD which affects how the various aspects of the HUD are handled and will hide them when they aren't actually necessary.
     
  17. PlayCreatively

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    I go on IGN more than daily and many other sites, I should know about most games that are coming out and I cling onto all games that I think might be interesting to me. The games I love are 3rd person platformers with interesting characters. They are so few and far between I can literally count them all.

    I actually stated that Bentley would call you and tell you to go inside the only window with the lights on. That's pretty straight forward and not worthy of looking up guides on the internet.

    Also giving the player one way of doing things is pretty common. I mean there was only one way of completing every task in Journey and that game is a huge thing. Same with all of the Sly games... almost all games really.
     
  18. MV10

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    You just described what can happen if you ignore the phone in Grand Theft Auto. Come to think of it, GTA:V can also be played (with a considerable increase in difficulty) without any HUD or mini-map. If I remember right, you don't even get the wanted-level indicators if you turn off the HUD. Nor do you know how much money you have, how badly injured you are, or a host of other things that you need to know to actually play the game.

    I suppose part of your point is exactly that -- to design the game so you don't need HUD feedback. But injury is a great example of where a HUD simply works best. Imagine running around in GTA and having to constantly perform a "realistic" check of your health. How does that work? Look down at your arms and legs and count bullet holes? The HUD is there becase you, the player, are not actually there. I suppose you could take the realism further and treat gunshot wounds or car wrecks as the catastrophic injuries they really are, and some games let you do this, too, but the closer you get to real life, the greater the risk of losing entertainment value.

    In other words, at some point you start to defeat the whole reason most people play games: to allow them to do or experience things they can't do in real life. The minute you add interactivity to storytelling, people are going to try to push the limits -- they are going to try unrealistic things -- so strictly realistic feedback is likely to break down. You are therefore either limiting your audience if you aren't well-known, or you're frustrating your audience if you have broad recognition.

    And I emphasize "most people" because this is really a question of target audience. As others have already pointed out, games like you describe have been around for decades. But the audience is limited because the appeal is limited. Real game design involves defining your target audience, and the gaming marketplace has already answered your question: most people don't mind HUDs.
     
  19. PlayCreatively

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    Yup :(, It is clear that it's not something people would go out of their way to buy. The only way it would sell is if the game is good enough in the first place, like Journey. However I do wounder if people at least actually notice and feel the difference. However I will probably keep on with the same vision of making (mostly) experiences for the gamer market and just see where it leads me.

    Side note: Not all games need health bars. Uncharted 4 doesn't have a health bar so no HUD was needed. There's always another way around HUDs.
     
  20. MV10

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    The desaturation of the screen is effectively a full-screen health bar, though I grant it's more immersive as HUDs go.

    There ARE people who go out of their way for stuff like this, I was just pointing out that your wish that games would move in this direction in general seems highly unlikely. Devs know they can communicate basic information through HUDs and that gamers will accept it, so that eliminates having to allocate scarce resources to resolve questions that are probably quite difficult to address in more creative ways.
     
  21. PlayCreatively

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    Oh, well that's a relief. However what I'm hoping is for at least some games to try this. Like I have stated somewhere before, I don't want only HUDless games, I just want people to have an open mind for it and hopefully get some games made with that in mind, I know I will.
     
  22. Martin_H

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    Didn't read the whole thread, so sorry if I'm repeating something that was already said:

    Dead Space had a good way to make displayed information not break immersion. I think to get a good game done this way, you have to make theme and gamedesign actively contribute to that goal and think extra hard about creative ways to convey information and give feedback. It can be done, but not without sacrifices and some might not be willing to make these, both on the sides of devs and players. I'm all in favor of going no-HUD if it's done well and enhances immersion more than it creates frustration. If it was easy and the all around better solution everyone would do it. Also I wouldn't be surprised if no-HUD games alienate large numbers of players that need the obvious information to be able to play the game. Some might "not be hardcore enough" or "willing to put effort into playing" to deal with a lack of information. E.g. Thief 1 had no waypoints in the HUD, you had a very rough paper map, but you only vaguely knew in which area you were. You had to use a compass to find your way around and get an idea where you are. Such a design might not be too popular nowadays.
     
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  23. Kiwasi

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    You really should try out some early games, from before the days of well developed feedback systems. Doom comes to mind. You would often kill all the enemies in a level, and then half to go back and spend half an hour finding the red keycard that you missed in your travels. Most modern players would quit and never come back.

    From the OP it seems like you are asking for story driven movie like games. I'd suggest you might be barking up the wrong tree looking to blame the HUD. Have you tried playing something more story/character focused? Say Telltale Game's Walkong Dead?
     
  24. Farelle

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    Proteus, it's not realistic, but it has no HUD at all. And I agree, I think there should be more experimenting with this kind of stuff, I also want to try that myself, but it IS difficult, because we are so used to using HUDs.
    I'm pretty sure it's possible though, mostly through shifting the HUD into the game world, making it part of the world. Like as example for my fantasy-mmo I want to try out how it feels to click visible backpacks on your character instead of clicking on a bag UI icon to open them.
    I have also seen more and more games with crafting to go the route, that you put crafting items on the ground and then it automatically assembles to "something" (I think the game was TUG) instead of working through a crafting interface.

    Of course all those things do have a drawback...the less you do with HUDs the more you have to do with ingame elements in form of visual or audio feedback, that is clear enough for a player to recognize it as such.
    Specially feedback is important and in games we do lack alot of our real life abilities (peripheral vision, full body control, touch sensory, smell etc.) Practically in games we are half blind and we need to compensate for that.
     
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  25. PlayCreatively

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    I'll definitely try Doom someday. I'm not a fan of 1st-person games but as my friends are giving me flack for not having played Doom I'll give it a go.

    I've played a bunch of Telltale games but they don't have the interactivity that I SO desire. It simply came to mind that allot of games have these great characters but they waste that into gameplay that doesn't have too much to do with the story in the first place. Many games have a weird disconnect between the gameplay and story. I don't hate that, but I know I'd enjoy the story more if the gameplay would be more connected to the story. I want to feel more involved with the story and do more story based gameplay than running in a room filled with bad guys that I need to take out for the next cut-scene to begin.

    I also don't want the game or side characters to hold my hand nor do I want to hold theirs. I want us to be equals so that I feel more apart of the story (when the characters are holding your hand you don't feel like you're apart of them and when you're holding their hand then there's no one to be apart of)

    So ultimately when OUR plan fails (just some hypothetical plan), I'll be as devastated as the characters are in the game. Often when the plan fails I just think "ok where is the GAME taking me now...", I just feel so disconnected from the story because I'm always being held by the hand, so much that I never even need to pay attention to what's going on to know what to do).

    So what I'm saying is to merge these things together. It would make a game with less mechanics and less GAME to it but that would leave more room for story based interactivity. I know only few people would/could enjoy the game but my desire to feel more apart of a game is enough for me to ignore that.
     
  26. MV10

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    You'd need a pretty epic AI to pull that off.
     
  27. PlayCreatively

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    Well I'd try to give the illusion that the AI is good. In reality it would be bunch of layers of outcomes that aren't huge but regular enough for the player to feel like he's somewhat controlling the situation. However I haven't tested any of this, this is all just a theory that I'll play-test hopefully sometime in the future if I'll be lucky enough to be able to.
     
  28. Aiursrage2k

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    I was actually annoyed at how scripted uncharted 4 was I just quit. Whenever I thought i died, or failed and would have to try again it turned out it was part of the game design.
     
  29. PlayCreatively

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    Could you give me an example? What was apart of the game design?
     
  30. Aiursrage2k

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    I was playing the boat level (the very first one), i thought I died but it was part of the game (where you have to fall in the water) but it turns out its a scripted sequence. Then there was another scene where you were escaping the prison and I feel down (I thought i was gameover again) and turned out no it was another scripted section. When I finally made it in the first puzzle room, the door that was locked finally opens.

    I was running on one the narrow beams and you would have to slam the stick in the perpendicular direction to have a chance of ever falling off. You can only swing on an object if you are facing the right direction, you have so much room for error you cant miss. When your climbing up the walls you cant fall off. I was trying to solve the first box puzzle and I couldnt even push the box down a hole (it was constrained), i was trying to jump on-top of a shed with the box and couldnt do it.

    I got to the scene where you had to steal the card from the waiter and gave up, I was so frustrated with the game at that point, I might come back to it later.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
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  31. MV10

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    Very similar to why I stopped playing the Tomb Raider series. Tons of "now you're playing / now it's scripted," then I saw that little blinking indicator telling me which button to press so I could briefly feel like I was interacting ... no thanks.
     
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  32. PlayCreatively

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    I agree. It was starting to feel last gen when I kept loosing the control of the game. And sometimes games do it when it's not even needed which irritates me allot. I feel like the greatest sin in video games is to remove the controls from the player.
     
  33. neoshaman

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    Look at firewatch, also farcry 2 had some idea
     
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  34. Hyblademin

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    There's a lot of variation in the things you take issue with. It ranges from "things that most people don't have a problem with because they WANT to focus on gameplay (HUD)" to "things that a LOT of people have a problem with... because they want to focus on gameplay (scripted scenes, quick-time events)".

    The style you're arguing for is super specific and walks a fine line between what many gamers already like and don't like. You're interested in a cinematic interactive experience, but one that feels real on a higher level than a game. You want to achieve this by eliminating things that break immersion, like the HUD, and by introducing complex interactions from real life that typically don't exist in games. What it all boils down to is that you are trying to allow an unpopular genre to emerge, which is commendable, but you're criticizing gameplay-focused games too much. There's no reason not to have both.

    Fun games (that is, those whose gameplay mechanics are satisfying to resolve) are designed to be fun. How the game is played comes first; a narrative that suits the mechanics is second. Those games that focus hard on the narrative tend not to actually be fun to play, good story or not.

    Just a few more quick notes for you to consider:

    -HUDs exist in real life. They are no more unrealistic than a fluorescent lamp.

    -Scripted events can be vastly annoying under certain circumstances, but are not evil. If the floor below you were to crumble, you are going to fall downward, and you can't do anything about it. Losing control is not inherently immersion-breaking, even if it happens often. It might make it boring, though.

    -Making what is essentially a choose-your-own-story into something opaque and fluid will take a lot of work, and will limit the amount of gameplay that actually appears in the project. A walking simulator with a story is still a walking simulator.
     
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  35. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Making an unpopular genre to emerge?

    I would say it has already emerged, it's call "walking simulator" and it's a sub genre of adventure game, and some of them have found decent success (amnesia, soma, walking dead, life is strange, stanley parable, until dawn, heavy rain, dear easter, journey, etc ...) and the "depth" and complexity of their design increase over time.
     
  36. PlayCreatively

    PlayCreatively

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    1- I'm actually not suggesting interactions that aren't used in games, rather simply have a trust in that the player knows what he's doing. Of course that would isolate those who can't read the environment as well as many gamers can but I'll try to fix that with layers (like I mentioned somewhere to someone else above me) which consists of subtle little layers of hints at what you're supposed to do. The hints start to get more obvious in time so the player should always figure it out.

    What this does is giving the gamers that are frustrated by all of the hand-holding in many story driven games and can finally utilize their gamer instinct to the fullest, still without totally isolating the less experienced gamers.

    2- I definitely agree that you should start with gameplay then move to story as story is more flexible than gameplay.

    However many games focus allot on story like Uncharted, Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed and games alike. Perhaps they aren't as enjoyable because you perhaps aren't interested in to role-playing or living yourself into the game as much as you just like pure game mechanics, then that's just taste, not that the game is actually worse for implementing the story allot into the gameplay.

    3- My problem with HUDs is that they diminish cinematic moments. Movies don't have HUDs (nor do most eyeballs) so it just lessens the cinematic appearance for me.

    4- But falling through the floor should be a shocking thing, but it just isn't if it happens too often and/or you're not given the responsibility to react to what happens, which is what games are more or less all about. If it happens in a cutscene then you can just watch it without having to react to it.

    5- It's not a choose your own adventure. Choices don't always need to have REAL consequences to feel unique and make you feel involved. When you play, you're constantly making your own little decisions and creating your own little story through the gameplay. Having multiple ways of achieving a goal is within itself a choice which affects your experience, not the game itself however.

    Imagine watching a gameplay and barely being able to see if it's gameplay or not, wouldn't that be Awesome?! That would make every gameplay a cutscene which makes it feel like you're constantly affecting the game because then there's no black and white for whether you're making a REAL decision or not.

    This can be achieved with nothing more than animation and camera. The only way to see if something is gameplay is by seeing if the camera is moving un-cinematic-like or positioned with the player in the dead middle of the screen and incredibly zoomed out. The second thing is animation which is a big challenge but animation is so important to me that I would have spent allot of time on it anyways.


    You more or less see what I desire but don't quite know how I'd implement it. Games like I described do exist but they have simple gameplay, I just want a more story based gameplay to that.
     
  37. MV10

    MV10

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    I kind of like this in theory, although you should realize that most games accomplish this more simply by just making the interactions configurable from a settings menu (HUD elements, tutorial help, quest markers, subtitles, whatever). I can think of at least two good reasons for that. The first obvious one is dev time and effort -- players are OK with just setting up the game the way they want, and devs don't have to come up with this subtle progressive-help system and implement it everywhere (which sounds pretty complex to me). The second reason is player satisfaction -- you would have to absolutely nail this feature the first time or I imagine it could get very annoying. If a player wants that "hand-holding" then they have to wait around for the game to notice. If the player is like you and wants to explore but doesn't do it fast enough then the game may feel like it's nagging the player. (I'm the every-nook-and-cranny exploring type in open world games, and I feel the quest systems tend to nag a lot as it is -- Skyrim, GTA, etc.)

    Some of the challenges in making VR games may actually be better-suited to the type of thing you're after. NO camera control other than your head, for example... but the complexity of designing and implementing the game goes way, way up...
     
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  38. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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  39. Bionicle_fanatic

    Bionicle_fanatic

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    I don't generally like the no-HUD thing, as on full screen games it's practically impossible to stop/pause those games without restarting your computer. [:p] HUD should definitely be kept as unintrusive as possible, but I think completely eliminating it would be shutting off a major form of game <> player communication.

    And I definitely agree that there should be more games that are story based, though. [:)]
     
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