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Game design Sins

Game design Sins
by on (#101689)
Just thought it'd be cool to have a topic that is more focused on the idea of how to design core mechanics and what NOT to do with them. Well, I'll start it off:

1. (After reading qbradq's post, I have to put this first) [Mainly applies to platformers] Losing control when jumping. Can't stand it, it only makes games less enjoyable. You should be able to control your character in the air, not a ton, but a bit to at least maneuver in situations.

2. [Applies to any game ever.] Using select to enter the start menu or pause, with start being used to select a gameplay menu. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but it's so annoying!

I'm sure I'll think of more/agree on others posts as this goes on. What are gameplay design choices that you hate?
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101693)
3gengames wrote:
Using select to enter the start menu, with start being used to select a gameplay menu. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head

The Legend of Zelda.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101696)
I'm starting to collect a list of sins as part of my multicart project. Far too many of the games in Action 52 have at least one of these sins:

Other sins include making important things hard to see through poor contrast or through overly busy backgrounds (Battletoads GB), the camera not showing enough in front of the player character (Lode Runner) or what's on the other side of a jump that the player is expected to make (Balloon Kid), too-small collision areas for grabbing ladders (RoboCop, Home Alone NES), level design not giving the player the chance to play with elements such as moving platforms before they are critical, and unskippable cut scenes between a respawn point and a boss fight. I don't agree with all of the "13 More Tips for Making a Fun Platformer" by Diorgo Jonkers, but they're still worth a read.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101701)
I don't agree that taking away control after you jump is ALWAYS a bad idea. Castlevania built the game around it. The trick is not so much to not do it, but to make your game work around it.

Kinda like how people complain Banjo Kazooie is a collect-a-thon, but the game is built around it...why is that a bad thing?
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101702)
I was gonna add that to my list....taking control away after getting hit and getting pushed back a ton ala castlevania makes me go mad too. :P
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101704)
- Changing the walking or running speed without the player actually changes anything (Faxanadu, New Super Mario Bros)
- Make the level 1 hard (difficulty should be reserved for later levels)
- Level 1 should also be as beautiful as possible graphically, and should have the best music composed in the game. After all people will want to see the best of your game just at the start, saving it for later is self-sacryfying as people could not play as far.
- Platformers : having your weapon too short ranged (Zelda II, Faxanadu)
- RPGs : Requiring hours of grind levelling. I consider this a design flaw, not "challenge".
- Relying on rare items drop to progress on the game (Bible games)
- Platformers : Respawning enemies (Ninja Gaiden)
- Platformers : Not having a "ghost" time after getting hit (King's knight, Cheetahmen 2)
- Not clearly noticing the player when an enemy takes damage (Metroid)
- Not clearly showing graphically which tiles are walkable and which aren't with high colour contrast

And last but not least :
- Having bad music. Everything in a game can be forgiven if the music is good. Well, almost.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101705)
Actually I have one I personally consider a sin

A "Nintendo hard" game that's really only hard because it makes you redo the same sections over and over till you got the exact timing. A good game imo does usually mean some memorization, and maybe has a few really hard parts, but should be mostly winnable because you're good at seeing incoming threats and managing to avoid them.

The knight room in castlevania is a GOOD example of this, it's hard. But you wont do the same thing twice ever in that room. You need a strategy, and good reflexes. It's not all down to memorization.

edit: Thought of another one. Enemies that respawn almost right away (or if you move the camera a little). That shit is unacceptable. edit2: looks like bregalad already had that one. Stil I second it!
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101708)
Oh yeah, bad controls. Bad controls will ruin any game, I don't care how good it is.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101709)
Bad controls are kinda vague though, better to concentrate on WHY they're bad controls
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101710)
It can be anything. Reversed from normal button actions, too hard to control a character, games take away your control at any point, takes too long for control to react, etc. All those are game breakers if they're really annoying.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101711)
So much of this is relative to me.

Respawning enemies is by design even in modern Kirby, so you can score their powers.

I tend to hate run buttons in almost every situation, (In any platformer, I'm basically never not pressing it.) but when combined with a stamina gauge in an adventure it can create some puzzles.

A button that does something with no visual cue. Goes with run buttons above. In Super Mario Bros. the player cannot find out from the game that B does something (except shoot fireballs if you're fire mario) just by pressing it once. Modern Mario games show a change in animation, so you might explore it a bit more.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101712)
I think the spawning enemies is only when you BARELY go off the stage. I think a 1/2 screen both direction not display window is good to remember enemies killed but want them to respawn.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101713)
It's not just stamina. Would you rather have a not-run button when trying to proceed unnoticed (Super Mario 64) or without trampling the terrain (Animal Crossing) or without taking movement damage (Prince of Persia)?
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101715)
Super Mario 64 has a joystick. I assume you mean 64 DS? In that case, yes. A not run button is better.

Animal Crossing is indeed a game where the run button just works. But not for things like flowers, which I just trample. It's because you spend time sneaking up on bugs and fish.

Like I said, so many of these things are relative.

Edit: Even lack of air control might not be totally bad. I believe I remember a game where the height or your jump was controlled by how hard you press down a pressure sensitive button before the jump. I haven't played it, but I'm not totally convinced it could never work.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101724)
Jeroen wrote:
I don't agree that taking away control after you jump is ALWAYS a bad idea. Castlevania built the game around it. The trick is not so much to not do it, but to make your game work around it.

Kinda like how people complain Banjo Kazooie is a collect-a-thon, but the game is built around it...why is that a bad thing?


Collect-a-thon is a subgenre. Having no control after you leave the ground isn't a subgenre, it's a a game mechanics decision. A very frustrating one. Sure, you can get used to it, you can even learn to be really good at a game with those mechanics. That doesn't mean it's a good decision.

Castlevania was a decent game for it's time, but it hasn't held up very well. By modern standards it's a terribly designed and implemented game, but with pretty good music and presentation.

Here's a fun exercise: compare CV1 to any of the GBA CV games. Then ask yourself which one controls better. The only difference between the two are controllable jumps. They all prevent the player from moving while attacking, they both have knock-back, they both have controllable jump height, similar inertia handling, etc.

Also, I happen to like the sword length in Zelda II. Maybe I've just got rose-colored glasses for that game the way a lot of people have for CV1 :D

So here's my sin contribution: Having enemies that you can't hit because they are lower than your attack. This could be because you can't duck, or because even while ducking the enemy is still too low.

Examples:

Battle of Olympus and Faxanadu: Can't duck, and some of the earliest enemies you can't hit, or have to have extremely good timing to hit them when they jump.
Zelda II: Those little spikey things on the ground. You can hit them with the down thrust, so it's not so annoying, but still.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101725)
Some annoying flaws in otherwise good games and games that did it all right:

Wario Land 3 - The controls are fun, the level layouts are interesting, but the format of giving each level four objectives that have to be completed in order, and having to unlock the most basic moves (Wario can't even swim at the beginning of the game!) makes me wish they rethought the overall progression scheme. Also, the mini-game is not optional and takes more practice to beat than you'll probably like. What got it right: Wario Land 2 didn't try so hard to expand the basic concept. You just tear through the scenery and collect stuff.

Mario 64 - Going for that 100-coin star in Rainbow Land? 15 minutes of work down the drain when you make one miscalculated jump or get knocked around by an enemy. What got it right: Mario Galaxy was a ten-fold improvement on Mario 64 with the spherical platforming and using black holes to indicate fatal dropoffs.

Skyward Sword, Megaman X5 - What do these two seemingly unrelated games have in common? Unskippable tutorial sections. What got it right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM

Ocarina of Time, Oracle of Ages - One game overabused the light world/dark world mechanic of LTTP, the other made so little use it was almost nonexistent. Once Link became an adult, there was no real reason for anymore gameplay with him as a kid except for a forced handicap dungeon. Ages had a boatload of moving between the past and future areas just to navigate some terrain. Seasons could be a bit cumbersome but it was more involving. (Did anyone expect to read about Water Temples and fish belly dungeons here?) What got it right: It would take an essay to explain how LTTP gels into perfection. Minish Cap recaptures some of the greatness with more open exploration.

Dragon Fighter, Holy Diver - Two NES games with some pretty fun platforming mechanics almost ruined by the endless barrage of enemies. A short sword (Zelda II flaw again) or limited ammo is your downfall. What got it right: Contra puts you at fault for not dodging a deadly obstacle since you always have the range to shoot it and ample warning to jump around it.

Bubble Bobble - It was excusable in the first game, but after Parasol Stars, the Bobble sequels should have equipped the dragons with a short-range attack. It is not easy to avoid enemies in these games, but since they're arcade games that's the point, obviously. What got it right: Parasol Stars is hands down the best Bobble game because you get a short-range attack and can still use bubbles by grabbing them with the umbrella.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101726)
qbradq wrote:
Jeroen wrote:
I don't agree that taking away control after you jump is ALWAYS a bad idea. Castlevania built the game around it. The trick is not so much to not do it, but to make your game work around it.

Kinda like how people complain Banjo Kazooie is a collect-a-thon, but the game is built around it...why is that a bad thing?


Collect-a-thon is a subgenre. Having no control after you leave the ground isn't a subgenre, it's a a game mechanics decision. A very frustrating one. Sure, you can get used to it, you can even learn to be really good at a game with those mechanics. That doesn't mean it's a good decision.

Castlevania was a decent game for it's time, but it hasn't held up very well. By modern standards it's a terribly designed and implemented game, but with pretty good music and presentation.

Here's a fun exercise: compare CV1 to any of the GBA CV games. Then ask yourself which one controls better. The only difference between the two are controllable jumps. They all prevent the player from moving while attacking, they both have knock-back, they both have controllable jump height, similar inertia handling, etc.

Also, I happen to like the sword length in Zelda II. Maybe I've just got rose-colored glasses for that game the way a lot of people have for CV1 :D

So here's my sin contribution: Having enemies that you can't hit because they are lower than your attack. This could be because you can't duck, or because even while ducking the enemy is still too low.

Examples:

Battle of Olympus and Faxanadu: Can't duck, and some of the earliest enemies you can't hit, or have to have extremely good timing to hit them when they jump.
Zelda II: Those little spikey things on the ground. You can hit them with the down thrust, so it's not so annoying, but still.


I actually beat castlevania quite "recently" (a year ago?) I felt it actually held up pretty damn well.
I should mention I never grew up with that game, or nes for that matter. (I had a snes as a kid, since i'm pretty young compared to alot of folks here)
At risk of being "that guy" heres a video on castlevania compared to cv4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww_PjqYQi5E

edit: whilst your at it, watch the one on cv1 and cv2 as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aip2aIt0 ... ure=relmfu
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101728)
Bregalad wrote:
- RPGs : Requiring hours of grind levelling. I consider this a design flaw, not "challenge".


The real challenge of an rpg is getting familiar enough with the equipment so it's not necessary to over-level. Phantasy Star is so devoid of any power outside of leveling there's basically a minimum grinding requirement. Later Final Fantasy games made it possible to progress with virtually no grinding by being creative.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101731)
Castlevania held up great? I myself love it, still haven't beat it...or even the 3rd level, but I really enjoy it.

And yeah, grinding is kinda annoying. There's some that get it just right and it's just enough to only make you stay in an area a little bit longer, those are always good. But agreed on stuff being lower than your lowest shot, that's a terrible design for sure.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101733)
strat wrote:
Bregalad wrote:
- RPGs : Requiring hours of grind levelling. I consider this a design flaw, not "challenge".


The real challenge of an rpg is getting familiar enough with the equipment so it's not necessary to over-level. Phantasy Star is so devoid of any power outside of leveling there's basically a minimum grinding requirement. Later Final Fantasy games made it possible to progress with virtually no grinding by being creative.


Great point! That's one reason I love doing low-level challenges on good RPGs. It's a very important balance to allow progression through skill or perseverance.

Also, didn't CV4 have the same uncontrollable jumps?
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101735)
CV4 had controllable jumps.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101737)
JimDaBim wrote:
3gengames wrote:
Using select to enter the start menu, with start being used to select a gameplay menu. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head

The Legend of Zelda.

The menu brought by the Start button kind of acted as pause though (gameplay effectively stopped while in it), so that didn't matter much. A better example would be After Burner (which has Start mapped to the afterburner =P)
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101744)
Oh I should add that action games with short range weapons (such as swords) must stop the player from moving when you attack.
I hate Crystalis for this very reason, I run towards an enemy, want to attack it, but it's I who is damaged... what a dumb game. Most overrated RPG ever. Oh well...
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101749)
Wow, this has become the "let's hate on everyone's favorite game" thread :D

I like Crystalis, but I do agree that the moving while attacking bit is a tad strange and takes some getting used to.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101754)
...I just realized I misread the post I quoted *headdesk* For some stupid reason I thought it was about games that used Select to pause instead of Start (which is just as bad anyway).
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101756)
Enemies that spawn too late: Batman Return of the Joker (NES)

When through a horizontal level, enemies appear at fixed positions, except they appear in what was previously empty space. They usually fire a projectile at you immediately, making it almost impossible to prepare or react. The snow level is infuriating because of this.

The SMB games are good examples of how to do this, where the enemies spawn offscreen to the right, so you can see them immediately when the screen scrolls over their position.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101759)
Man, I've never had that problem with Crystalis ever. Maybe I don't run head first in to enemies though? Still think it's above and beyond any other RPG on the NES, but meh.

And no win situations in general, if you can't avoid an attack with moderate skill, the design of said enemy is wrong. Ala G 'n' G.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101760)
There's too many bad game design issues I can list. I'll only focus on my experiences with Final Fantasy III NES.

* No win scenarios. Especially ones that you could win. Very counter intuitive.
* Unnecessary management. For instance, the user must manually unequip each item before changing a job. This could be done automatically.
* Logic breaking passable walls - especially if required for further progress.
* Segmented inventory. The Big Chocobo as a secondary storage should have just been part of main storage.
* Unexplained instant death zones on world map. There's a path between statues on the world map that is instant (and without warning) death.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101761)
Sik wrote:
A better example [of Select as pause] would be After Burner (which has Start mapped to the afterburner =P)

How else should a game map buttons to three actions without having to be ported to the Genesis?
  • Jump, primary tool, secondary tool
  • Jump, attack, guard
  • Jump, attack, dash (Mega Man X)
  • Jump, pass, run (NBA Jam)
  • Primary attack, secondary attack, guard (Mortal Kombat; Smash Bros.)
  • Primary tool, pick up, run (Animal Crossing) although you could do like City Folk and not allow running if there is something under your feet to pick up
No, up can't always be jump if it's already bound to climb ladder, aim upward, or walk north.

3gengames wrote:
if you can't avoid an attack with moderate skill, the design of said enemy is wrong.

Is Sephiroth's design wrong in Final Fantasy VII? [Spoiler] can't avoid being killed off for real just before the halfway point.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101763)
tepples wrote:
3gengames wrote:
if you can't avoid an attack with moderate skill, the design of said enemy is wrong.
Is Sephiroth's design wrong in Final Fantasy VII? [Spoiler] can't avoid being killed off for real just before the halfway point.


I think he's referring to action games :D

LOL on the spoiler bit :D
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101778)
I guess I could get into some more general stuff..

Game Designers who assume the player will do it their way.
Forcing a certain play style will always fail. I personally had no trouble with the first level in God of War but was completely devoid of talent regarding the Dragons Lair/Simon Says key press sequences. With no way to complete the level I promptly took out the disc and never played again.

Disallowing back-tracking
Especially important in RPGs. Not only does entrapment in a current area feel extremely linear but it disallows additional leveling if needed.

Invisible walls and rooster-blocking
Nothing is more game breaking than an invisible wall. Pointless flavor-text to entrap the player in the current event is also frustrating. Give real, physical reasons the player cannot progress.

Negative Reinforcement
Equipment wear. Starvation. Realism for the sake of realism. Anything that penalizes the player for not playing as intended.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101781)
Also, the player and the enemies should be subject to the same rules. Nazo no Murasamejou takes a hit in playability because enemies can shoot at an angle while you're restricted to two axes. The lack of diagonal movement in Startropics and Zelda I is acceptable because most enemy attacks (Except for some bosses) don't move diagonally, either.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXLEtKo5jcY&t=2m40s
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101783)
tepples wrote:
Sik wrote:
A better example [of Select as pause] would be After Burner (which has Start mapped to the afterburner =P)

How else should a game map buttons to three actions without having to be ported to the Genesis?

Map Start to pause and Select to the third action... (the opposite of what After Burner does) A good example of this would be Power Blade, where A is jump, B is normal attack and Select is bomb.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101803)
Quote:
Map Start to pause and Select to the third action... (the opposite of what After Burner does) A good example of this would be Power Blade, where A is jump, B is normal attack and Select is bomb.

This should count as a "sin" too. Select and Start buttons are hard to reach during action.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101807)
Start is easier to hit during action sequences than select, which is why it's often mapped to a third command.

Kinda funny, the AVGN lists the "Seven Deadly Sins" of game design in his Kid Kool ree-view link. And yes, one complaint is uncontrollable jumps :D
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101815)
Bregalad wrote:
Quote:
Map Start to pause and Select to the third action... (the opposite of what After Burner does) A good example of this would be Power Blade, where A is jump, B is normal attack and Select is bomb.

This should count as a "sin" too. Select and Start buttons are hard to reach during action.

The A button on the Mega Drive is horribly hard to reach too (the thumb is only ready to press two buttons at any time and it usually sits between B and C, making A pretty hard to use in practice), yet many games use the A button constantly (while also using the C button as their main action). You're meant to leave the third action as an exception you rarely have to use.

And the problem here is that we have been taught that Start is pause, so making it anything other than pause is just plain unintuitive.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101816)
What I think is OK:
  • Lack of control after jumping
  • Enemies can shoot at an angle while you're restricted to two axes
  • Unwinnable situations if you play it wrong, if you can undo (such as restoring save game file)
  • A button that does something with no visual cue, if the instruction book/instruction sheet tells you what that button does
  • Fixed jump (I prefer it)
  • Disallowing backtracking in RPGs to disallow additional leveling, is actually a good idea
  • Time limits

What I think is sins:
  • Too much ammunition
  • Too many bonuses
  • Wrong hit boxes
  • Repeat things over again to earn unlimited points
  • Requiring hours of grind levelling (there are many ways to fix it, including penalizing you for it)
  • Unskippable cutscenes/tutorial
  • Too slow text
  • No instruction book
  • Too few traps
  • Making everything extremely obvious even if you have not think of it

SMB2J and Super Mario Forever has good level design and does it correct.

Examples:
  • Super ASCII MZX Town (note: everything in the bulleted list under "Criticize" is untrue): There is some puzzles, everything is visible right on the screen all at once. Nevertheless, if you don't think about it correctly you may go wrong, and many people tend to do it wrong (although some are thinking and realize what is wrong so as not to try it). In one level there is a corridor of lava with two potions: kill enemies (destroys most creatures in the board), and wind (which causes the player to move in random directions until it expires; the player can still move normally as well, and the movements are added together). Just so you don't forget: They aren't mislabeled. Nothing is mislabeled; they are all labeled correctly. Some people think the kill enemies potion is good and the wind is just to trick you, you have to escape quickly before you fall in the lava. And then they say, the water is flowing to the west, how can you go east, that is impossible? Actually the level will become unwinnable if you use the kill enemies (it is apparent if you actually look at the screen and see the consequences of what is done), and the wind potion should be moved elsewhere to use it; this is how you get across the water. In addition, there is a shortcut very visible that still many people fail to see somehow. (At least in this game you can save/restore any time and make multiple save files. The in-game help file (accessible anywhere) even tells you to make multiple save files a lot, and still most players ignore this.)
  • In some text adventure game I made once, you have limited inventory, which is important since the game is otherwise unwinnable. There is one room with a mind control device tell you to "PICK UP THE BOMB" (it will explode once picked up). To survive, you have to enter with full inventory, so that when it tell you to do so, you get a message telling you your hands are already full. Later you can get a spell of unlimited inventory, and then you have to come back in, yes there is a way but let's see if you can think of the solution? (In this game too, you can save/restore any time and make multiple save files.)
  • tvtropes: Better would be: On the wall is a button and a closed door near it (with no handle or anything). There is a sign on the button labeled "Inorganic Vaporizer Ray". There is a sign on the door labeled "Push button to open door" and an arrow pointing to the button on the wall. Pushing the button opens the door and activates the vaporizer ray; but the vapoizer ray effect is time-delayed (with no hint as to this), and there are some objects you need to destroy in this way, while other objects you must prevent from used with this; but you can use the time delay to your advantage if you manage to figure it out after it happen to you!
  • if-cruelty diagram: Better would be: You find a key, cross the bridge, find a door to open so maybe you should go back to get the key. But actually you need to do that later not now; for now you should find another path. (And anyways, the bridge is broken now.) If you got the key right away, someone will steal it from you, open the door and activate the self-destruct sequence.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101819)
Um, SMB games have controllable jumps. It's one of their defining features.

Anyway, just goes to show you it takes different strokes :D
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101822)
Often the right (sometimes accidental) combination of awkard 'sins' can make a game special and addicting. It's all a matter of context in my opinion.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101824)
Brickman wrote:
Often the right (sometimes accidental) combination of awkard 'sins' can make a game special and addicting. It's all a matter of context in my opinion.
Yes I think so, it depend on the game, on your opinion, and on other things.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101841)
In case you can't watch videos where you are, AVGN's seven deadly sins of Kid Kool are
  1. (3:22) Ratchet scrolling makes it hard to recover your weapon.
  2. (3:44) Needing to run so fast to cross gaps that you can't react to lethal obstacles.
  3. (4:05) Not enough space to accelerate to make jumps, combined with no mid-air acceleration.
  4. (4:34) Time window to leap out of water after skipping over its surface is too short.
  5. (5:13) Leaving the top or bottom of the screen freezes the game momentarily while an entire screen scrolls in. It's like SMB2's but worse; at least SMB2 only scrolled 60% at once.
  6. (5:42) Invisible coin blocks interfere with jumping over enemies, like in the various platform-hell hacks of SMB1 and SMW.
  7. (6:11) Leaps of faith to a screen below with potentially deadly hazards.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101866)
tepples wrote:
In case you can't watch videos where you are, AVGN's seven deadly sins of Kid Kool are
  1. (3:22) Ratchet scrolling makes it hard to recover your weapon.
  2. (3:44) Needing to run so fast to cross gaps that you can't react to lethal obstacles.
  3. (4:05) Not enough space to accelerate to make jumps, combined with no mid-air acceleration.
  4. (4:34) Time window to leap out of water after skipping over its surface is too short.
  5. (5:13) Leaving the top or bottom of the screen freezes the game momentarily while an entire screen scrolls in. It's like SMB2's but worse; at least SMB2 only scrolled 60% at once.
  6. (5:42) Invisible coin blocks interfere with jumping over enemies, like in the various platform-hell hacks of SMB1 and SMW.
  7. (6:11) Leaps of faith to a screen below with potentially deadly hazards.
I don't see the video either, although, what I think of it is: Items 1 and 6 are actually good thing not sin. Item 7 I agree is probably bad. Item 5 seems like it would depend if there is some reason it need to take a long time to load somehow. Items 2, 3, and 4, I have not information for a proper opinion (probably even the video may not help much; it help to play game to see if it is good or not).
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101877)
Quote:
what I think of it is: Items 1 and 6 are actually good thing not sin

Wait, what? How 6th is not troublesome?
Some "sins" for Adventure games like Dizzy or Monkey Island.
1.Pixel hunting.
2.Not provinding any clue about what to do next.
3.Make player to go back and forth long distances with Items.
4.Making puzzles unfair or illogical.
Yes, I'm looking at you, Treasure Island Dizzy.
5.Not clearly stating about player goal(s).
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101881)
Looking for a list of Adventure games that violate the proper rules of game design? Just look for the Sierra logo.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101888)
tepples wrote:
6. (5:42) Invisible coin blocks interfere with jumping over enemies, like in the various platform-hell hacks of SMB1 and SMW.

zzo38 wrote:
Items 1 and 6 are actually good thing not sin.

Remind me to never ever even remotely consider playing a game or rom hack you've made.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101889)
lidnariq wrote:
tepples wrote:
6. (5:42) Invisible coin blocks interfere with jumping over enemies, like in the various platform-hell hacks of SMB1 and SMW.

zzo38 wrote:
Items 1 and 6 are actually good thing not sin.

Remind me to never ever even remotely consider playing a game or rom hack you've made.
Remind yourself. I don't want to remind you. Do you hate "Super ASCII MZX Town" and so on from the descriptions I have given and linked? It is not a platform game.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101899)
Dwedit wrote:
Looking for a list of Adventure games that violate the proper rules of game design? Just look for the Sierra logo.

I'm not really a Adventure games geek. I played only few commercial ones(and bunch of freeware). You mean Siera is pretty bad? Thanks, I'll remember about it :wink:

lidnariq wrote:
Remind me to never ever even remotely consider playing a game or rom hack you've made.

+1, I hate cheap traps like this myself(unless it won't make you die).
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#101979)
Denine wrote:
Dwedit wrote:
Looking for a list of Adventure games that violate the proper rules of game design? Just look for the Sierra logo.

I'm not really a Adventure games geek. I played only few commercial ones(and bunch of freeware). You mean Siera is pretty bad? Thanks, I'll remember about it :wink:

Sierra games are known to try to troll the player on about every single occasion they can, and then some more.

Denine wrote:
lidnariq wrote:
Remind me to never ever even remotely consider playing a game or rom hack you've made.

+1, I hate cheap traps like this myself(unless it won't make you die).

They're cheap even if they don't make you die because at best they're a waste of time... which in itself is a bad thing.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#105176)
Denine wrote:
2.Not provinding any clue about what to do next.


You mean you didn't know to go to that one specific tile in the desert on Final Fantasy 1 with the "FLOAT" item to make the airship appear?

slobu wrote:
Disallowing back-tracking
Especially important in RPGs. Not only does entrapment in a current area feel extremely linear but it disallows additional leveling if needed.


OMG, seriously. I remember getting to disc FOUR of Final Fantasy VIII and being stuck in some shitty realm with no HP, no items, and now way to get out. I would have
had to beat Sorceress Adel, which would have never happened with the condition my party was in at the save point. I had to start the f*ing game OVER. Which,
I will likely never do ever again :).

And I don't know if it's been added, but allowing the player to get stuck in a section on a level (as in, the player cannot physically get out of this spot) and having no way to
start the level over. THAT SUCKS. There's the infamous disappearing ape on Cheetahmen 2 that will allow you to get stuck on the boss of the game infinitely. I've also had it
on games (I can't think of which one off the top of my head) where I've been stuck with no way to die/start the level over. Serious problem.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#105813)
A couple of these are just my own elaborations on what's already been said because for the most part I agree with all of it.. Except the part where invisible coin blocks that kill you are ever good. They aren't.

-Disorientation. Like jumping the hoverbikes in Battletoads. As opposed to jumping around and throwing pipes in River City Ransom where you can pretty much always "feel" where you are.

-ALL CAPS if you can help it. Understandable though if you can't.

-Forced backtracking. At least in say Final Fantasy VI, they mask it by giving you new, cool people to use.

-Forced collection is far worse though. I could never finish Yoshi's Island for example because my OCD made me need to collect all the crap in the level, but because I was being forced to collect it by negative reinforcement, aka a lesser score, it just pissed me off.

-I agree that unnecessary management is bad, but to expound: unnecessary mechanics. Like, instead of just going down the stairs in Dragon Warrior, you have to select the STAIR command out of a list. It's not even management at that point. It's additional button presses and aggravation.

-I hope I'm not alone on this one. When moving platforms change direction with no warning. Let's say a platform is moving left to right and back again. I think there should be a brief moment near the change in direction where the platform decelerates, stops, and then accelerates back up to speed, like the pendulums in CV3, instead of, um, all I can think of is one section in Adventures in the Magic Kingdom where jumping from moving platform to moving platform is made unnecessarily difficult by my inability to track their movement.

-And speaking of Mickey Mouse, how about stupid friendly AI? Stop committing suicide, Minnie, and don't heal me when we have one heal left and my HP is full, generic, computer-controlled RPG ally!

-Alarms that never shut up like the low health warning in Metroid, or Navi.

-Hand-holding. I don't think anyone here is really into it though, so that's nice. But to paraphrase that Sequilitis vid and then David Hellman who made Braid: game mechanics should be given away cleverly as they're needed, not insultingly and before the player can have the joy of his/her own discovery. Putting the gameplay instructions in the attract mode like Kirby did was an excellent alternative to in-game help boxes.

-Cliched stories. I don't wanna save another princess. Maybe for a change I could be the princess. Or maybe I go through the whole game to save the princess only to find out at the end that she's the Big Bad Boss... Yeah, that's still cliche.

-Making it hard for the returning player to know what he's been doing. I always thought in RPGs, it would be nice if the record-keeping guy could bring you back up to speed after restoring your save. Just maybe he doesn't float around your face screaming it at you the whole time you're playing.

-Don't kill the rockin tunes by loudly filling up the bosses health bar, Mega Man 1-6!

-Sexism. Female characters don't always have to be sexual or helpless and male characters don't always have to be tough or heroic.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#105815)
Quote:
-Alarms that never shut up like the low health warning in Metroid, or Navi.

Oh my god yes, this is a game design sin for sure ! This is the reason I never made it far in any Zelda in the first place. The alarm basically says "you're dead". And this would be the same as reducing your lifebar's size, but in more annoying.

Quote:
-Sexism. Female characters don't always have to be sexual or helpless and male characters don't always have to be tough or heroic.

I completely agree with this one. I think that globablly, RPGs tends to be less sexism than other games in general. By the way my game will feature a heroic female main character :) And no dumb striptease at the ending (it's everyone's guess which game I'm talking about......)

Quote:
-Don't kill the rockin tunes by loudly filling up the bosses health bar, Mega Man 1-6!

Didn't cause me any problem, except in Mega Man 4 where the music completely stops when there is a life-bar sound effect AND that the life bar fills slower than in other Mega Man games. But MM4 is the black sheep of the series anyway.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#105819)
Heavy wrote:
A couple of these are just my own elaborations on what's already been said
-Don't kill the rockin tunes by loudly filling up the bosses health bar, Mega Man 1-6!

This is sorta related. I don't know, but I'm very used to how when you select a stage in Rockman 1 the sound effect of the bonus points accumulating playing along side with the awesome tune (all tunes in the game are awesome, but for some reason this is the most awesome one to me), when the tune is about to stop. In fact, I consider that sound effect part of the tune. In Rockman 2, since the score feature is removed, that sound effect doesn't play any more and I personally feel that something is missing and even think that the tune is not that awesome any more. Similar thing to the health bar sound effect. While I personally do love to hear pure sound tracks I also consider that sound effect part of the boss fight, and sorta part of the tune, though it's not as emotionally moving as the one mentioned above and I can live without it.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#105821)
Hip Tanaka's soundtrack for Metroid was designed around sound effects being part of the "tune" as a reaction against the generic catchy pop that other game studios were putting out.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#105823)
It's a matter of personal preference, but I really think the catchy pop in Mega Man games is 100000 times better.

However I think Solar Jetman had a really well made "ambiant" soundtrack in 8-bit.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106004)
Heavy wrote:
-ALL CAPS if you can help it. Understandable though if you can't.

A lot of old games had monospaced fonts where the size of a character is square. Do lowercase in that case and unless you're very careful you'll end up with a squished look, and more often than not it'll just end up looking worse than all caps. Which is something that annoys me from most fantranslations, they insist on doing lowercase but then make lowercase look horrible.

Also there's the issue of resolution, if the text is too small you could end up with unreadable lowercase (depending on how the font is styled). Again, same thing.

Both of those excuses are pretty much non-existent in higher resolutions since if you can do that chances are you're probably using a variable width font in the first place, and it's very unlikely all caps is going to look good in such a case (small caps can end up looking good though).

Heavy wrote:
-Hand-holding. I don't think anyone here is really into it though, so that's nice. But to paraphrase that Sequilitis vid and then David Hellman who made Braid: game mechanics should be given away cleverly as they're needed, not insultingly and before the player can have the joy of his/her own discovery. Putting the gameplay instructions in the attract mode like Kirby did was an excellent alternative to in-game help boxes.

Super Metroid handholds a lot. It's just subtle about it. But yeah, if you need to explicitly explain something, it probably means something is wrong with the design in the first place (and it isn't intuitive enough)...

Heavy wrote:
-Cliched stories. I don't wanna save another princess. Maybe for a change I could be the princess. Or maybe I go through the whole game to save the princess only to find out at the end that she's the Big Bad Boss... Yeah, that's still cliche.

To be fair, almost every story you can find is cliched, in pretty much any media. What happens is that in many cases the focus is just on the personal lives of a few characters rather than e.g. "hey we have to save the entire world" or something else of epic proportions like that. There aren't many games that just focus on its characters and nothing else.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106018)
Heavy wrote:
-Hand-holding. I don't think anyone here is really into it though, so that's nice. But to paraphrase that Sequilitis vid and then David Hellman who made Braid: game mechanics should be given away cleverly as they're needed, not insultingly and before the player can have the joy of his/her own discovery. Putting the gameplay instructions in the attract mode like Kirby did was an excellent alternative to in-game help boxes.

There's a video about how the first level of Mega Man X is a disguised tutorial for all the core game mechanics.

Sik wrote:
A lot of old games had monospaced fonts where the size of a character is square.

Only because the programmers were lazy. In the 16x4 tile window that Faxanadu used, for example, it could have rendered four lines of VWF text like my multicart menu does.
Image

Quote:
Do lowercase in that case and unless you're very careful you'll end up with a squished look

Does the text in Concentration Room, Russian Roulette, and Thwaite look overly squished? What about Pokemon?

Quote:
Also there's the issue of resolution, if the text is too small you could end up with unreadable lowercase (depending on how the font is styled). Again, same thing.

True, some text, such as that in Mario Is Missing and Mario's Time Machine for Super NES, is next to unreadable. But the text in the screenshot above doesn't appear unreadably small on my SDTV or my HDTV.

Quote:
But yeah, if you need to explicitly explain something, it probably means something is wrong with the design in the first place (and it isn't intuitive enough)...

How should, say, Dr. Mario have worked with no tutorial?

Quote:
To be fair, almost every story you can find is cliched, in pretty much any media.

Do you read TV Tropes?
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106028)
tepples wrote:
There's a video about how the first level of Mega Man X is a disguised tutorial for all the core game mechanics.

Even the title screen (it hints that X can shoot).

tepples wrote:
Only because the programmers were lazy. In the 16x4 tile window that Faxanadu used, for example, it could have rendered four lines of VWF text like my multicart menu does.
http://pineight.com/mw/images/d/dc/Action_53_details_page.png

I take that, just wanting to have things done because there's a tight deadline to comply with means you're lazy, OK. Not to mention that for the case of 8-bit systems there were memory limitations so you couldn't afford to have dedicated tiles for entire lines of text (or in the case of the NES, you couldn't even write to tiles unless you were willing to go with CHR-RAM).

And don't get me started about what happens for text that needs to be updated often (like numbers). You don't want to be rendering tiles in software in a case like that (even if all numbers have the same width there's the issue they need to be aligned to tiles).

tepples wrote:
Does the text in Concentration Room, Russian Roulette, and Thwaite look overly squished? What about Pokemon?

Again, I said if you aren't careful. A lot of people seem to think that lowercase characters must fill the full 7 pixels width, resulting in horribly squished characters as they end up being 7×5 most of the time. That just looks plain wrong.

And Pokémon's font is horrible both in uppercase and lowercase =P

tepples wrote:
True, some text, such as that in Mario Is Missing and Mario's Time Machine for Super NES, is next to unreadable. But the text in the screenshot above doesn't appear unreadably small on my SDTV or my HDTV.

I guess (although beware of font size when you consider the distance between the player and the TV!), although I'd have probably tried to draw the characters differently given that size. Especially because of the kerning, though some characters also look odd x_x; (mainly when put next to other characters, depends on the word)

tepples wrote:
How should, say, Dr. Mario have worked with no tutorial?

I never paid attention to the tutorial... (heck, I didn't even remember it had one)
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106041)
Sik wrote:
tepples wrote:
Only because the programmers were lazy. In the 16x4 tile window that Faxanadu used, for example, it could have rendered four lines of VWF text like my multicart menu does.
http://pineight.com/mw/images/d/dc/Action_53_details_page.png

I take that, just wanting to have things done because there's a tight deadline to comply with means you're lazy, OK.

For the first game, I can forgive this. But for another game using the same engine, there's time to do it right.

Quote:
Not to mention that for the case of 8-bit systems there were memory limitations so you couldn't afford to have dedicated tiles for entire lines of text

Faxanadu and Super Bat Puncher have dedicated tiles for lines of text. Faxanadu because the Japanese version has kanji, and Super Bat Puncher because the developer wanted a 4 pixel border at the top and bottom of a 3-line area.

Quote:
(or in the case of the NES, you couldn't even write to tiles unless you were willing to go with CHR-RAM).

Perhaps I'm just a fan of the UNROM and SNROM boards. I've noticed that a lot of Chinese Famicom games go the TQROM route and include a few kilobytes of CHR RAM on an MMC3-compatible board because unlike Japanese, Chinese doesn't have the workaround of writing everything with kana.

Quote:
And don't get me started about what happens for text that needs to be updated often (like numbers).

For a status bar, I agree, tile-based text is more forgivable.

Quote:
tepples wrote:
Does the text in [my own games] look overly squished?

Again, I said if you aren't careful.

So I was careful in my adaptation of Susan Kare's Chicago font? Thank you.

Quote:
I guess (although beware of font size when you consider the distance between the player and the TV!)

Compare it to the downward trend of font sizes for sports score boxes since the mid-2000s, and it's not quite so bad.

Quote:
although I'd have probably tried to draw the characters differently given that size. Especially because of the kerning, though some characters also look odd x_x; (mainly when put next to other characters, depends on the word)

If you feel like it, PM me some of the changes you'd make.

Quote:
tepples wrote:
How should, say, Dr. Mario have worked with no tutorial?

I never paid attention to the tutorial... (heck, I didn't even remember it had one)

Dr. Mario came with a manual, which players were expected to read. Later games such as Kirby's Avalanche had an autopilot tutorial in its attract mode. Tetrisphere, whose rules were even harder for players to "discover", would boot to the tutorial on a fresh save file.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106047)
tepples wrote:
For the first game, I can forgive this. But for another game using the same engine, there's time to do it right.

There wasn't that much code reuse back then, and what was there generally wasn't touched at all unless the game really required it.

Also remember that rendering text with a variable-width font can eat up a lot of time compared to fixed-width, as well as requiring more RAM usage, more VRAM usage and more VRAM bandwidth usage. If you were tight on time or memory and/or couldn't afford to optimize the code then the option seems obvious.

Sprite-based text (as opposed to tilemap-based) kind of got the slack here since to achieve the variable width effect it was enough to just change the X coordinates of the sprites. Also if you had a large font you could kind of cheat - e.g. you could have a font where the average character is 16×16, then the letter "I" could be 8×16 and the letters "M" and "W" could be 24×16, and so on (those sizes would be tile-aligned, making them much easier to handle). This doesn't seem to have been used much, though.

tepples wrote:
Perhaps I'm just a fan of the UNROM and SNROM boards. I've noticed that a lot of Chinese Famicom games go the TQROM route and include a few kilobytes of CHR RAM on an MMC3-compatible board because unlike Japanese, Chinese doesn't have the workaround of writing everything with kana.

A lot of Chinese games also took the wasteful extreme route of making dedicated banks for every piece of text. Yes, that means common characters got repeated all the time =P

tepples wrote:
So I was careful in my adaptation of Susan Kare's Chicago font? Thank you.

At least you didn't squish it =P I'm annoyed at how a lot of people insist on giving them the full width of the tile -_-' Either make it nearly square or squish it vertically (goes along the flow of the text), squishing it horizontally just looks plain wrong.

There are a few details such as how serifs are handled that probably could have been done better, but at least it's more readable than several fonts I've seen x_x;

tepples wrote:
Compare it to the downward trend of font sizes for sports score boxes since the mid-2000s, and it's not quite so bad.

Or games in general, HUDs become nearly unreadable -_-' Everybody is like "if you can afford a 360 you can afford a HDTV" completely ignoring it's an issue of the text being big enough to be readable at a distance in the first place. I can read the small text in modern games but it takes me double as long compared to the bigger text of old games.

tepples wrote:
If you feel like it, PM me some of the changes you'd make.

No need for PM:

Image

Changed the general size from 4 pixels to 5 pixels to help make lowercase don't look as crap when crammed into that height, though this may mean rearranging some of the text. If you really need the current width I can give it a try again. Also changed the height from 6 to 7 pixels... Remember that most of the text is lowercase characters so the average distance between lines is 3 pixels (and in fact this is also the case with your current font).

tepples wrote:
Tetrisphere, whose rules were even harder for players to "discover", would boot to the tutorial on a fresh save file.

I saw some gameplay on YouTube... didn't take me long to figure out the mechanics =P OK, would have taken a bit longer in practice given one wouldn't know anything beforehand, but even then it doesn't look that hard to figure out the basics.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106084)
Then do you have example of what you consider a "good font" and what you consider a "bad font" ?
I'm not native english speaker and I didn't understood what you said earlier.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106560)
Heavy wrote:
A couple of these are just my own elaborations on what's already been said because for the most part I agree with all of it.. Except the part where invisible coin blocks that kill you are ever good. They aren't.
I disagree, but, I guess much of it can be a matter of opinion.

Quote:
-ALL CAPS if you can help it. Understandable though if you can't.
Yes, it depend on the font. But I don't think ALL CAPS is necessarily always bad.

Quote:
-Forced collection is far worse though. I could never finish Yoshi's Island for example because my OCD made me need to collect all the crap in the level, but because I was being forced to collect it by negative reinforcement, aka a lesser score, it just pissed me off.
I don't understand you very well. If you can still complete the game without it, then why are you saying you need to collect it?

Quote:
-I agree that unnecessary management is bad, but to expound: unnecessary mechanics. Like, instead of just going down the stairs in Dragon Warrior, you have to select the STAIR command out of a list. It's not even management at that point. It's additional button presses and aggravation.
Especially if you can remap the buttons to make it work better anyways....

Quote:
-I hope I'm not alone on this one. When moving platforms change direction with no warning. Let's say a platform is moving left to right and back again. I think there should be a brief moment near the change in direction where the platform decelerates, stops, and then accelerates back up to speed, like the pendulums in CV3, instead of, um, all I can think of is one section in Adventures in the Magic Kingdom where jumping from moving platform to moving platform is made unnecessarily difficult by my inability to track their movement.
Actually I think is OK moving platforms change direction with no warning, but they should follow a pattern instead of just going at random.

Quote:
-And speaking of Mickey Mouse, how about stupid friendly AI? Stop committing suicide, Minnie, and don't heal me when we have one heal left and my HP is full, generic, computer-controlled RPG ally!
I agree it is not so good; the player should be given an option to turn off the friendly AI entirely (whether you fix it or not, but the AI should be fixed if you can). However I think stupid opposing AI is a bit worse.

Quote:
-Alarms that never shut up like the low health warning in Metroid, or Navi.
Agreed; the player should be given an option to turn off those warnings.

Quote:
-Hand-holding. I don't think anyone here is really into it though, so that's nice. But to paraphrase that Sequilitis vid and then David Hellman who made Braid: game mechanics should be given away cleverly as they're needed, not insultingly and before the player can have the joy of his/her own discovery. Putting the gameplay instructions in the attract mode like Kirby did was an excellent alternative to in-game help boxes.
Or put the instructions in the instruction book!

Quote:
-Cliched stories. I don't wanna save another princess. Maybe for a change I could be the princess. Or maybe I go through the whole game to save the princess only to find out at the end that she's the Big Bad Boss... Yeah, that's still cliche.
Yes, is good making up many different idea instead of always the same way; I too do try to make up the games with different kind of stories. (e.g. Instead of killing everyone you have to avoid it.) (e.g. Instead of collecting all of the money you have to leave it alone so that you can claim to be poor or whatever.) (e.g. You could have a second character starting at the end therefore you have to go forward and backward.) (e.g. The end is BIG_MONSTER but they are good, not bad, you shouldn't kill them please (it is MEDIUM_SIZE_MONSTER who is bad); this one is one of my game.)

Quote:
-Making it hard for the returning player to know what he's been doing. I always thought in RPGs, it would be nice if the record-keeping guy could bring you back up to speed after restoring your save. Just maybe he doesn't float around your face screaming it at you the whole time you're playing.
Maybe it depends on the game and on many other things, whether it would be reasonable to make something like this; possibly it could be a menu which if it is selected, will tell you these things, if you request it, so that it doesn't annoy you otherwise.

Quote:
-Sexism. Female characters don't always have to be sexual or helpless and male characters don't always have to be tough or heroic.
Agreed, but I think this is like the "Cliched stories" above, not really separate in my opinion.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106571)
zzo38 wrote:
Heavy wrote:
When moving platforms change direction with no warning. Let's say a platform is moving left to right and back again. I think there should be a brief moment near the change in direction where the platform decelerates

Actually I think is OK moving platforms change direction with no warning, but they should follow a pattern instead of just going at random.

For a simple repeating pattern that doesn't venture far outside the screen in a game without a strict time limit, the repetition is usually enough warning. Likewise for a pattern with a guideline shown on the background.

I guess part of the problem with moving platforms that instantly change direction is inertia. NTSC NES games run at about 60 fps, and any platformer with an adult male hero shown as about 32px tall represents 1 m as 16px. So if a platform's velocity changes from +1 px/frame to -1 px/frame within the space of 1 frame, that's an instantaneous acceleration of 2 / 16 * 60 * 60 = 28.1 m/s^2 = 3 g. How does the character keep his footing?

zzo38 wrote:
the player should be given an option to turn off the friendly AI entirely

Unless the target platform isn't powerful enough to render the view for a second simultaneous player who would replace the friendly AI. I don't remember a lot of NES games with split screen; that didn't become common until the Super NES era, and even then only for racing games.

zzo38 wrote:
Or put the instructions in the instruction book!

How many video game stores that sell used games guarantee that 100% of the products for sale have manuals?

Heavy wrote:
-Cliched stories. I don't wanna save another princess. Maybe for a change I could be the princess.

That's fairly common. Look at Super Princess Peach for DS, the two deuterocanonical Zelda games for CD-i, or adaptations of any of several Disney animated feature films.

zzo38 wrote:
(e.g. Instead of killing everyone you have to avoid it.)

With the stealth fad that Metal Gear Solid started, this has become common.

zzo38 wrote:
(e.g. Instead of collecting all of the money you have to leave it alone so that you can claim to be poor or whatever.)

Flashback to Streemerz from Action 52?

zzo38 wrote:
(e.g. You could have a second character starting at the end therefore you have to go forward and backward.)

Backtracking in some video games has become so hated that TV Tropes had to cut out the entire example section from its backtracking article because it had become impossible to keep the example section from becoming a complaint-fest.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106572)
Quote:
I guess part of the problem with moving platforms that instantly change direction is inertia. NTSC NES games run at about 60 fps, and any platformer with an adult male hero shown as about 32px tall represents 1 m as 16px. So if a platform's velocity changes from +1 px/frame to -1 px/frame within the space of 1 frame, that's an instantaneous acceleration of 2 / 16 * 60 * 60 = 28.1 m/s^2 = 3 g. How does the character keep his footing?

How many people can jump more than their own heigth without running ?
If physics in video games were real they could only jump 25cm or so, representing only 4 pixels.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106573)
Bregalad wrote:
Quote:
I guess part of the problem with moving platforms that instantly change direction is inertia. NTSC NES games run at about 60 fps, and any platformer with an adult male hero shown as about 32px tall represents 1 m as 16px. So if a platform's velocity changes from +1 px/frame to -1 px/frame within the space of 1 frame, that's an instantaneous acceleration of 2 / 16 * 60 * 60 = 28.1 m/s^2 = 3 g. How does the character keep his footing?

How many people can jump more than their own heigth without running ?
If physics in video games were real they could only jump 25cm or so, representing only 4 pixels.


I'm with you, this is not real life simulators. Also, you would have to bend your knees first and push off, making for a really long lag between pushing the jump button and the character actually jumping. Getting fast response from the controls is really important in a game. I hate it when you can't control a character in mid air, also a physical impossibility (without wings etc).
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106574)
Not to mention games allows you to smash your head against the ceiling without getting wounded.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106595)
zzo38 wrote:
Or put the instructions in the instruction book!

And 99% of the players will ignore them. It's better to not need instructions in the first place.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106603)
tepples wrote:
I guess part of the problem with moving platforms that instantly change direction is inertia. NTSC NES games run at about 60 fps, and any platformer with an adult male hero shown as about 32px tall represents 1 m as 16px. So if a platform's velocity changes from +1 px/frame to -1 px/frame within the space of 1 frame, that's an instantaneous acceleration of 2 / 16 * 60 * 60 = 28.1 m/s^2 = 3 g. How does the character keep his footing?
Well, a lot of other things are also not realistic, such as money staying in the air, too. (And the things other people listed already)

tepples wrote:
zzo38 wrote:
the player should be given an option to turn off the friendly AI entirely

Unless the target platform isn't powerful enough to render the view for a second simultaneous player who would replace the friendly AI. I don't remember a lot of NES games with split screen; that didn't become common until the Super NES era, and even then only for racing games.
What I meant is if the friendly AI is turned off then you have to play alone. In some games and in some systems you may have it possible a separate display for a second player if needed, but you could also play without any friendly AI or second players to replace them. (If you want to make the game difficult, you could even have the second player to try to make the first player lose, or to have an option to make the friendly AI attempting to make you lose!)

tepples wrote:
zzo38 wrote:
Or put the instructions in the instruction book!

How many video game stores that sell used games guarantee that 100% of the products for sale have manuals?
I don't know; probably not a lot, though. (At least with the computer game system I am in the process of designing, if you want your game to be officially licensed (which is not required, unlike Nintendo, etc), you have to include a copy of the manual as a DVI format file on the disc, you have to include a copy of the box art as a file on the disc, and various other requirements. Therefore if they lose the manual they can print another copy!)

tepples wrote:
zzo38 wrote:
(e.g. Instead of killing everyone you have to avoid it.)

With the stealth fad that Metal Gear Solid started, this has become common.

zzo38 wrote:
(e.g. Instead of collecting all of the money you have to leave it alone so that you can claim to be poor or whatever.)

Flashback to Streemerz from Action 52?

zzo38 wrote:
(e.g. You could have a second character starting at the end therefore you have to go forward and backward.)

Backtracking in some video games has become so hated that TV Tropes had to cut out the entire example section from its backtracking article because it had become impossible to keep the example section from becoming a complaint-fest.
These are simply examples I made up; of course there are many new ways to make things. You can do more complicated than this if you like to as well, or combine things in strange way, etc. You don't have to make all game the same way; make them difference! (Even though, there might be some similarity, you can still make them difference.)

Nioreh wrote:
I hate it when you can't control a character in mid air, also a physical impossibility (without wings etc).
I happen to be one that likes this feature in some games, though.

Sik wrote:
And 99% of the players will ignore them. It's better to not need instructions in the first place.
It depend on the game, if you should need instructions or not, but at least I prefer, put them in the instruction book, instead of interrupting the game and annoying the players with things that you might not want.
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106617)
Sik wrote:
small caps can end up looking good though

Reminds me of the TI 99/4A's small caps "lowercase" (upper line).
Re: Game design Sins
by on (#106625)
Quote:
It depend on the game, if you should need instructions or not, but at least I prefer, put them in the instruction book, instead of interrupting the game and annoying the players with things that you might not want.

I prefer, too but you have to admit that some games managed to make fun tutorials. Atelier Iris Eternal Mana (PS2) comes to mind. In fact I watched the tutorials just for how fun they are (instead of to learn how the game mechanics works).