Autor Thema: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun  (Gelesen 4572 mal)

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Offline Melan

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #15 am: 21. August 2013, 11:24:52 »
If the developers of Doom had the technology for true 3D back then, they'd included jumping.
See: Quake, Duke Nukem 3d, Ultima Underworld - once designers figured it out, they added it to their games because it added to the 3D experience. You see this trend towards increasing environmental interaction and mobility, even experiments with complex physics and destructible terrain (mostly still unexplored). In comparison, you have a modern strain of 'cinematic' gaming, that doesn't believe extending the scope of interaction and simulation, as well as player choices is advantageous, and instead prefers a much more directed experience. The Half-Life series, particularly the HL2 episodes, is the game that has epitomised this philosophy the most.

The question is, how does a game give you the feeling of being a master thief: by locking you into a set of mechanics that simulate mastery, or by giving you a set of abilities you can master (even in different ways)?

Here is another example: in Dishonored, you play an assassin who gains supernatural abilities including short-range teleportation, summoning rat swarms to devour your enemies, possession, the works (you can also jump and mantle very well). Yet you can play the game in a way where you are an assassin who does not actually kill anyone (it is bloody hard, BTW, and, well, some of the guys you meet really deserve to be killed). Does that make Dishonored a bad (unfocused) game about a master assassin, or a very good one?

Offline Benjamin

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #16 am: 21. August 2013, 13:39:45 »
Short answer: Cut scenes yay! ;D

The game that made me most angry was Venetica, where you got struck down in cut scenes, from opponents you'd otherwise easily defeated. I wrote a (german) article about it here: Venetica by Deck13

Offline Settembrini

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #17 am: 22. August 2013, 11:08:54 »
Why anyone would want his gaming experience to be more like movies is beyond me.
Gaming is the stuff I do when I am fed up with listening and watching.


Offline alexandro

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #18 am: 22. August 2013, 19:18:23 »
But then, the Thief-series never was very good in any sense of the world (any game where the only way to win is the "trial'n'error-reload" combo is one that is quickly deleted from my harddrive).
I am sorry to point it out, but there is virtually no trial and error in Thief: there is 'good at it' and 'not that good at it'. If you are good at it, the AI will not even know you have been there.  ;)

I'm sorry to point it out, but that is just not true.

Because of the cramped quarters, scouting is almost entirely chance-based:
you turn around a corner and find yourself within 1-2 meters of a guard. If you are lucky, the guard is facing in the opposite direction. Otherwise you just hit your first reload.

Because of the danger of "just scouting ahead" taking out guards or luring them away is a pain in the behind. Oftentimes you attract too much attention, because there were other guards you didn't see (because you couldn't get past the first set of them) and you have to deal with an agitated flock of them wandering around and eventually running into you (because you have no way to know where they are and limited "safe" passages to retreat to). *Blues-Brothers-ragequit*>:(

One of my friends likes the game, however, and claims to have completed it without reloading. I asked if I could see him Play and - I kid you not - he was continually pausing the game and drawing a 2D-map of the building he was in, marking the position of the guards and plotting where his next move.



Just more proof for me, that 3D-sneakers don't work (isomorphic Sneakers, like "Commandos" on the other hand... I loved those to bits)

Offline BoyScout

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #19 am: 22. August 2013, 19:45:42 »
3rd Person does the work pretty well in 3D-stealth games. 1st person is almost every time unplayable since you can't imitate a human 180° view on a monitor without distortions. Aliens vs Predator tried this of course.



"if you can't jump, it's not a game"
is that the quintessence?

Zitat von: benjamin
But since that's a game, I want to try stuff and explore. What else is the purpose of a game?
There are different kinds of games. At some point we all have to deal with the fact that not all of them are tailored around our personal preferences.
Who would deny that there are awesome, strictly linear games out there (even ones i wouldn't play myself). Somehow they even managed to do some without jumping feature. Could Diablo 2 be better with jumping? Maybe. Surely with pirates ;D
Of course there're also games that benefit from jumping but also non-linear games that don't need it.
If "more" would mean "better" in every case, why can't garrett fly? More freedom of movement, more to discover. He is human? Ah, fuck that when you can explore the Shores of "the city"...

Movie-like doesn't necessary mean "i have no choice". Likewise, "movie atmosphere" and "movie mechanics" are different terms. I would use german komposita if i could to make this easier to understand.
Thank god, many game companies stopped harassing us with this - still not working - sandbox crap like Elder Scrolls XXXV or the like. There were great non-linear, non-jumping games since the early digital years anyway. Nowadays I'd rather prefer any The Witcher 2 (Geralt can't even jump, i never noticed up to this point) and there are still much of choices in it. At the moment i'm playing lords of midnight from 84' and despite it's minimilatistic approach (there's no jumping btw) there are some tough decisions to make, too.
« Letzte Änderung: 22. August 2013, 19:56:32 von BoyScout »

Offline Melan

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #20 am: 23. August 2013, 09:31:38 »
I'm sorry to point it out, but that is just not true.

Because of the cramped quarters, scouting is almost entirely chance-based:
you turn around a corner and find yourself within 1-2 meters of a guard. If you are lucky, the guard is facing in the opposite direction. Otherwise you just hit your first reload.

Because of the danger of "just scouting ahead" taking out guards or luring them away is a pain in the behind. Oftentimes you attract too much attention, because there were other guards you didn't see (because you couldn't get past the first set of them) and you have to deal with an agitated flock of them wandering around and eventually running into you (because you have no way to know where they are and limited "safe" passages to retreat to). *Blues-Brothers-ragequit*>:(
That's not how it works. Thief relies on moving from safe position to safe position while observing your environment for clues of the AI's presence and activities.
  • As long as you are in the shadows and don't make much noise, you will never be noticed unless a guard bumps right into you (and in T1, sometimes not even then if you stick to a wall or a corner).
  • There are keys to lean sideways and forwards, which allows you to peek around corners without getting detected.
  • Most AI are on a patrol route, which you can observe and exploit to sneak through a gap (their footsteps and grumbling, together with the pretty accurate 3d sound propagation system, provides more than enough clues they are coming).
  • Stationary AI tend to turn around and can mostly be bypassed another way anyhow.
  • As long as you find a way to get up to the rafters, or a high ledge, most guards will not notice you as easily, since they are looking forward and sideways (they have peripheral vision, but that's pretty weak).
  • The equipment you carry includes water arrows to put out torches and fires, as well as moss arrows to muffle loud surfaces.
This is always more than enough to sneak through a level without killing or even knocking out any AI (although the latter way to play is harder). And I have never met anyone who drew detailed patrol maps, although I guess that's also a way of playing it.

Just more proof for me, that 3D-sneakers don't work (isomorphic Sneakers, like "Commandos" on the other hand... I loved those to bits)
Clearly all those Thief players have been doing it wrong for more than a decade, then. (And we are back to the thread's original point: reinventing games to save them from faults they did not have.)
« Letzte Änderung: 23. August 2013, 09:35:56 von Melan »

Offline Melan

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #21 am: 23. August 2013, 09:42:13 »
"if you can't jump, it's not a game"
is that the quintessence?
"Removing a feature that was fairly integral to a game series, and trying to justify the decision with an appeal to designer authority is not a sign of good design" is more like it.
Or maybe even: "Games with complex environmental interaction and games which focus on creating a 'cool cinematic experience' have different needs."

Offline alexandro

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #22 am: 24. August 2013, 00:44:52 »
Zitat
  • As long as you are in the shadows and don't make much noise, you will never be noticed unless a guard bumps right into you
Considering the tight corridors, when a guard is moving in your direction you can
a) stay where you are (and the guard will bump into you, since it can't move around you)
b) try to evade the guard (which means moving out of the shadows and possibly being spotted)

Zitat
  • There are keys to lean sideways and forwards, which allows you to peek around corners without getting detected.
The controls are hell, though. Trying to move just enough to get into a peeking-position (but not enough that you turn the corner completely)...well, it sucks.

Zitat
Most AI are on a patrol route, which you can observe and exploit to sneak through a gap
Which requires
a) identifying the patrol ("Is this the same one I saw ealier, or a different one?")
b) not getting lost in the maze (as The Doctor put it: "All the corridors look the same!")
 
Zitat
(their footsteps and grumbling, together with the pretty accurate 3d sound propagation system, provides more than enough clues they are coming).

The sound propagation is anything BUT accurate. You never know which side the sounds are coming from (playing the game, I felt like being in an echo chamber).[/list]

Offline Melan

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #23 am: 24. August 2013, 10:20:14 »
Well, it looks like our differences on Thief are irreconcileable. So it goes.

Offline Dirk Remmecke

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #24 am: 30. August 2013, 14:34:24 »
Oh. When I was at gamescom in Cologne last weekend I was thinking of you when I saw this:



Too bad that it seems to suffer from the same problems as 4e. Namely, a redefinition of the play experience.
"Aspects were best when they were just 'Cliches' in Risus."
TristamEvans

Offline Settembrini

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #25 am: 12. September 2013, 19:15:26 »
What is yours is mine.

How poetic!

Offline alexandro

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Offline Benjamin

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #27 am: 31. Oktober 2013, 07:23:22 »
Sometimes money just seems to attract idiots who make idiot decisions. Ah well. The Making Games magazine is full of it. Sometimes they have a brilliant head writing, but most of the time it's tyranny of fun.

Offline Teylen

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Re: It is for your own good: How Thief 4 is being optimised for maximum fun
« Antwort #28 am: 02. Dezember 2013, 15:19:34 »
I'd be less worrierd about a missing ability to jump, but that the designers expect the players to know when it's approtiated / possible to jump.
Unless there's a visiual indicator (not very immersive) it just sounds like an aweful idea.

Another rather awkward thing is that they mention they'll tweaked the "swoop"-move so it can't be used to run. Sounds like:
Welcome to the extra slow sightseeing experience. You'll just love to walk / sneak by that marvelous, lone, dark alley for the 20th time.