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General Category => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: Nick650 on February 28, 2011, 01:24:08 AM

Title: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nick650 on February 28, 2011, 01:24:08 AM
As the title says, I'm really put off by the idea that you can't see crap when you stand behind a building, especially since you won't be able to see monsters or obstructions.

I'd love either an outline of yourself appearing or for the obstructing sprite to become translucent (preferably this) so you don't die a horrible death or frustrate yourself by getting stuck, due to the inability to see anything.

And also, walking all the way around a building is not a viable solution in my opinion because it's a massive waste of time and takes away from the immersion.


I'm obsessive about these things, and at the moment it's really annoying me that this may go unconsidered :P
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: tigersfan on February 28, 2011, 02:18:15 AM
This is what x4000 said about this issue in another thread:
Quote
Honestly I haven't had a lot of trouble with getting lost, because you can always just throw off a fireball to clear most things in your way, or at least to send up sparks showing where you are, etc.  There's also just simply not a reason to go behind buildings in most cases, as nothing of value will be seeded back there in the long term.  It's like running through a dark alley if you want to -- it can be a shortcut, but it can be dangerous, too.  You can always just go around.
I think, beyond that, it's really hard to say much about this issue until we actually get a chance to play the game.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: KingIsaacLinksr on February 28, 2011, 02:21:32 AM
This is pre-alpha, I wouldn't let anything bother you till BETA in all honesty. 

King
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nick650 on February 28, 2011, 03:29:01 AM
Yeah tigersfan, I've read that but I don't think coming up with workarounds such as spamming spells is appropriate... and I'm only mentioning this because of what x4000 said there. I don't want him to think of it as a closed case.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: tigersfan on February 28, 2011, 03:45:49 AM
I wouldn't worry about it too much yet. It may not be all that bad. But, you can't really say until you play it. If it IS an issue, and enough people think so, I have zero doubt that he and Keith will come up with some method to figure it out, but, people will need to play it first.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Echo35 on February 28, 2011, 09:48:44 AM
I wouldn't worry about it too much yet. It may not be all that bad. But, you can't really say until you play it. If it IS an issue, and enough people think so, I have zero doubt that he and Keith will come up with some method to figure it out, but, people will need to play it first.

I can't think of any past cases where, when enough people suggested something, it WASN'T put into the game. I'm sure if it's a problem, it'll be addressed, though I am with you. I hate when I can't see where I am or have a hard time orienting myself in a game.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Otagan on February 28, 2011, 01:04:31 PM
I thought that was kind of the point.  You go out and get a little lost, and can't always see what's nearby due to heavy tree cover.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Zhaine on February 28, 2011, 01:43:11 PM
This is pre-alpha, I wouldn't let anything bother you till BETA in all honesty. 

King

This, but looking at it now I also think it will be pretty likely that I'll be on the 'transparency behind buildings' when this does get to the playable stage. . .
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: RooksBailey on February 28, 2011, 05:47:53 PM
I'm gonna wait and see, too.  

That fireball quote has me a little concerned, though (but just a bit as this is, again, pre-alpha).  I hope magic isn't treated as so routine that you can just throw fireballs at everything in your path.  I would like to see magic as something that has to be carefully husbanded.  I would rather have to shoot arrows or something at a shadow because to do so with magic would leave me without a spell for x minutes.  I really don't want this game to turn into a A Valley With Harry Potter.  :D
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 02, 2011, 11:05:28 PM
About Magic
Magic is the most routine thing in the game, as much as a melee attack -- you can indeed throw fireballs at everything.  I'd say that magic here is easier than in Harry Potter, actually.  It's like using the boomerang in Zelda, or something like that.  Magic is easily just as central a part of this world as it is in Harry Potter, and it's something every human character in the game is at least moderately proficient at.

That said, there are degrees of magic.  The most powerful stuff... has to be way more carefully husbanded than in most games. It's hard to get at all, and then it's hard to recharge it once you do use it, if it's not outright limited-use.  These sort of ultimate spells aren't something you can spam, and aren't something that you'll want to waste when you have them.

Anyway, RooksBailey, sorry to disappoint but magic is the most central and prevalent thing about this game.  You can shoot arrows as well if you like, of course.  Physical and Magic are the two main branches of attacks.  But magic is also used for a whole host of stuff other than attacks, unlike physical weapons.

About Seeing Yourself Behind Stuff
The comment about throwing off a fireball was sort of a flippant comment, but it's true in a literal sense.  If you absolutely don't know  where you are, you can cast some magic and see what you see.

That said, becoming unseen behind buildings and other objects is a part of gameplay, not something that is unexpected to us.  In a 2D game, there are limited opportunities to provide a sense of unease and like you are unable to see your surroudings.  In a 3D game, there can be foliage or whatever to your sides, and there is the simple case of enemies being behind and above or below you, out of your line of vision.  In a 2D game, you have no line of vision in that sense.

Well, the line of vision that is created here is front/top on, actually.  You go behind an object, and it obscures you and whatever else is back there behind it.  This is... new.  It creates a bit of tension when you go into a dense cluster of trees, or into the claustrophobic space between a bunch of buildings.  You can't see what's in there until it leaps out at you, if it's going to.

You're also not required to go in there.  You can blow up trees, if that's what it is, or avoid heavily-treed areas entirely, if you want.  As with dark alleyways in NYC, you don't have to go down them.  It's perfectly fine to go right around, and in some cases safer.  Don't give me the "waste of time" argument -- it takes all of four or five seconds to go around a building in this game, eh? ;) 

I should also note that it's extremely hard to get stuck on an obstacle, because as you walk it slides you around them -- this makes walking through even really dense forests quite easy to do, and isn't something seen in most other games (though we got the idea from a smaller feature of Zelda 1).

I think the worry here is that you'll get lost on the screen.  "Oh noes?  Where'd I go?"  I jest, but I understand the worry -- I had wondered if that would be the case, too, and implemented the current system as sort of a "let's see how this works."  And you know what?  I don't think I've ever lost track of myself.  Sometimes I've gotten caught by a monster behind a building, but that's where the fireball approach comes in.  You can also hit tab to cycle through targets, so if you're paranoid about lurking targets that's one way to avoid them.  Of course, if you're being chased by one target, firing at it, and another leaps out at you... ;)

In short, as many folks in this thread note, I wouldn't borrow trouble before you've tried it.  We're going into public alpha and beta for a reason, because we want testing feedback, but so far for myself, Keith, my wife, and his wife, none of us seem to have ever felt lost.  It's kind of like touch typing, you don't need to see your hands to know where your fingers are, anyway.  Unlike a strategy game, you are not meant to look at the screen of an adventure game and be able to just pick out everything on it from a surface view.  You have to move around and explore, destroy things and look in things, prod things to see if they bite...

It's a balance between clarity and immersion.  In the Silent Hill games, for instance, the best ones had terrible, clunky controls.  This was no accident.  It made your character feel weak and slow, and by extension upped the terror factor.  On paper it might sound like that would decrease the immersion factor, but in practice for thousands of players who love the classics from that series, the effect was just the opposite.  When later Silent Hill games made you into some sort of action hero military dude who could execute on all your fighting thoughts at a moment's notice, something was very much lost for those games, and they were not nearly as popular.  AVWW doesn't have clunky controls or anything, that's not my point, but what it does have is a disconnect between what your character could nominally see, and what you can see.  In some senses you can see much more than your character, in others, you can see less.  So far it works quite well, but it's one of those things you have to play -- not watch -- to really get.

If we absolutely had to, I could make a way for the character and enemy images to automatically create borders around themselves that would show up behind buildings.  I've thought about it more, and it is definitely technically possible, and something that can be done at runtime so that it doesn't require any more artwork load for me.  At best, it would probably be an optional-on feature, though, as I think it would detract from the aesthetic and the mood, as well as increasing graphical load by a low-moderate amount.

That said, I think that feels like an RTS game, not like an adventure game.  You need that there because your dudes run around without you a lot of the time, and you have a lot of dudes.  Where did you even put them all?  In an adventure game... you only have one character, and if you are confused where they are or which one they are, all you have to do is press an arrow key or an ability key.  Voila!  Your character moves into view, or does some action that gives away their position. 

You can go completely behind buildings in FF6 even, but it was never a problem there -- if you get sucked into a random encounter in that game while you're behind something, you might be quite lost when you come out a bit later, but simply moving reveals you.  In AVWW, there isn't even the disconnected nature of being sucked into battles and then regurgitated onto the area map a while later.


Bottom line: as Echo35 mentioned, we listen to testing feedback, so even if you disagree with the above about seeing yourself behind buildings, don't get too freaked out.  We'll see what people think when more folks have it in hand, but honestly it hasn't been at all a concern with our very earliest pre-alpha testers, and I don't think it will bother you in practice (aside from the way it is supposed to bother you, in terms of making it feel dangerous to get closed in).  A technical solution is possible for those who just absolutely hate this, if there are those sorts of folks in the end, but I insist that at least in alpha people try it this way first.  Never know until you try something, right?  Creating mood in a 2D game is surprisingly hard to do, and this has been an unexpectedly pleasurable tool in the arsenal for this game; I'm reluctant to discard it unless it causes wider problems, which so far I haven't seen evidence of.  We'll work it out, one way or another -- deep breaths. ;)
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nalgas on March 03, 2011, 07:03:58 AM
Well, the line of vision that is created here is front/top on, actually.  You go behind an object, and it obscures you and whatever else is back there behind it.  This is... new.

Well, sort of.  It's been done plenty before, but usually on a limited scale and mostly for hidden/secret stuff.  I think the reason it's usually been on a limited scale, though, is that it can be frustrating/annoying, depending on the situation.  Now that it's technically feasible, games tend to make objects between your character and the camera translucent or transparent to avoid that, which I usually approve highly of.  I'll wait until I see how it works in AVWW before making any judgments one way or another, though, because it's not that I think that it can't work, more that I can understand why some people are a little worried after seeing some attempts fail to make it work in some other games.  If you can pull it off and make it feel "right", though, super.

It's a balance between clarity and immersion.  In the Silent Hill games, for instance, the best ones had terrible, clunky controls.  This was no accident.  It made your character feel weak and slow, and by extension upped the terror factor.  On paper it might sound like that would decrease the immersion factor, but in practice for thousands of players who love the classics from that series, the effect was just the opposite.  When later Silent Hill games made you into some sort of action hero military dude who could execute on all your fighting thoughts at a moment's notice, something was very much lost for those games, and they were not nearly as popular.

To be fair, I haven't played any of the Silent Hill games and can't directly comment on them, but people have made the same claim about the Resident Evil games, which I do have some experience with.  My experience with them tells me that it makes them awful and unplayable and completely sucks all the fun out of them.  It did not make me feel afraid; it made me feel angry.  I'm all in favor of having the character in the game like that be terrible at fighting so you have to fear enemies and avoid them and run for your life, but I feel like there are better ways of accomplishing that than making your character handle like a tank.  Even the Wii version of RE4 made me somewhat cranky (not anywhere near as much so as the earlier games, but still enough that I never finished it).  Apparently someone likes them, though.  Heh.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 03, 2011, 10:11:42 AM
Fair enough on the perspective thing -- I can definitely appreciate that.

Regarding Resident Evil... I really think that stands apart from SH.  I feel pretty much the same as you about RE, as do a lot of people apparently.  I didn't even make it quite all the way through RE4 out of frustration.  That said, I still go back to SH2 every so often, because the controls aren't bad... they're just not... immediate, I guess is the word.  You turn slowly, you hit slowly, it's hard to aim your weapons with huge precision, that sort of thing.  But you aren't getting locked camera angles like in RE1 or anything like that.  SH2 still stands out as one of the pinnacles of gaming, for me (for more on this, The Escapist had a great Zero Punctuation about it).
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nalgas on March 03, 2011, 11:15:33 AM
I still go back to SH2 every so often, because the controls aren't bad... they're just not... immediate, I guess is the word.  You turn slowly, you hit slowly, it's hard to aim your weapons with huge precision, that sort of thing.  But you aren't getting locked camera angles like in RE1 or anything like that.  SH2 still stands out as one of the pinnacles of gaming, for me (for more on this, The Escapist had a great Zero Punctuation about it).

See, that sounds more like the right way to do it to me, too.  Maybe I should see if it runs well in PCSX2 (hooray for having a fast CPU), because this is something like the 800th time I've heard how great it is from someone whose taste in games I largely agree with.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 03, 2011, 11:17:24 AM
It's definitely worth a go, however you can approach it.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: zebramatt on March 03, 2011, 12:01:16 PM
Do I need to have played SH1 to enjoy the sequel?
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 03, 2011, 01:35:52 PM
Do I need to have played SH1 to enjoy the sequel?

Definitely not.  I actually played SH2 as my first SH game, and then played SH1 later.  The characters and themes are entirely different, and to be honest I only sort of enjoyed SH1.  SH2 is very much a stand-alone concept and actually I think it's best as the first introduction to that series.  No other game in the series comes close to that one, though, I should warn you.  So you're starting with the best there.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: zebramatt on March 03, 2011, 01:45:26 PM
Do I need to have played SH1 to enjoy the sequel?

Definitely not.  I actually played SH2 as my first SH game, and then played SH1 later.  The characters and themes are entirely different, and to be honest I only sort of enjoyed SH1.  SH2 is very much a stand-alone concept and actually I think it's best as the first introduction to that series.  No other game in the series comes close to that one, though, I should warn you.  So you're starting with the best there.

Given how many games I own and how little time I spend playing (so few of) them, that sounds ideal!  :D Thanks for the recommendation!
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: dumpsterKEEPER on March 03, 2011, 02:20:28 PM
Bah, you guys are trying to make me dig out my SH2 disks aren't you?  ;)

I bought the PC release shortly after it came out and greatly enjoyed it, but never got around to finishing it.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 03, 2011, 02:29:12 PM
zebramatt -- You bet!

dumpsterKEEPER -- It came out on PC!?!  Wow, I need to get that.  I hate having to have my PS2 hooked up just so I can play that game and FFXII.  Everything else is on my PS3, Wii, DS, or PC.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: dumpsterKEEPER on March 03, 2011, 02:49:34 PM
Yep, it did. That was before DVDs were prevalent, so it came on 5 or 6 CDs. I've read that it has problems running on Windows 7 64-bit, but I've not tried it so I have no personal experience.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nalgas on March 03, 2011, 02:57:21 PM
dumpsterKEEPER -- It came out on PC!?!  Wow, I need to get that.  I hate having to have my PS2 hooked up just so I can play that game and FFXII.  Everything else is on my PS3, Wii, DS, or PC.

That's convenient, because I just checked, and it's supposedly a bit flaky in PCSX2 still.  However, FFXII appears to work perfectly in it, so between that and the PC version of SH2, that would eliminate the need for the PS2.

It's still not perfect for everything, but for the games it works for, it works really well.  I had Frequency and Disgaea running full speed with no bugs or anything in whatever version was current about a year and a half ago, even in software rendering mode doing everything entirely on the CPU (which I mostly tried just for the sake of seeing how hard I could push my new (at the time) i5 750; I was rather impressed by the result).
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: BobTheJanitor on March 03, 2011, 03:48:54 PM
I'll speak up for SH1 here. It's definitely worth playing, although I will say that it's probably going to be very aged at this point. We're talking early PS1 graphics, so it's not exactly pretty by modern standards. That said, the gameplay should still be fine, and it stands out for me as the gold standard classic of survival horror. Before this, you pretty much just had RE style monster-jump-through-window startling type scares. SH1 was the first game that actually tried to do something psychological and freak you out with the creeping, slowly approaching but never quite visible horror.

Whenever it does have startle scares, it ramps up the fear by first making you expect it, then having it not happen any time that you would expect it, so you let your guard down, THEN having it pop out later. (If you've played it, you know the lockers in the dark school, is all I'm saying.) This works amazingly well as compared to the scares in something like Dead Space. Every single vent has a monster in it. What's the scare value in that? If I see a vent, I know I just have to take 5 steps past it, turn around, and shoot the monster. Yawn. Now if every 10th or so vent had a monster in it, that would up the scare value, because you never know. Really, it would take a lot more to help Dead Space be a truly scary experience (not that it's not a fun game), but that's a digression.

It definitely uses the bad-at-combat mechanic for the hero, and you're usually better off just running if you can. You don't find enough ammo to take down all the shambling horrors anyway. But something else that it uses, which is more pertinent to the discussion I think, is odd camera angles. Sometimes you'll walk into an area and the camera will be way up near the ceiling and twisting crazily as it follows you. The whole point is to throw you off and make it so you can't see what your character would see, thereby freaking you out all the more. It has some areas where the camera won't follow your view around a corner, so you know your character can see what's over there, but all we the viewers get to see is half a broken wheelchair peeking around the corner and a vague red glow. So what's back there? We don't know, and that's much more fear-inducing than anything they could possibly show us.

So anyway, SH1 good, SH2 also good, although to be honest I never felt it was quite as scary as 1. It probably helped to play 1 first when it was at the pinnacle of gaming technology. If someone were to go into it now, I can perhaps see why they would have trouble seeing it as being quite so scary.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 03, 2011, 04:22:15 PM
I first played both about 8 years ago, thereabouts, so neither was quite new even then.  The reason I like SH2 better is because of the story, honestly.  SH1, to me, was just a bit campier, regardless of whether or not it was scarier.  SH2 was my first foray into survival horror as a specific genre, although I'd always liked games like Quake II, etc, which sometimes trade in scares and such.  The voice acting in SH2 is not always the pinnacle of what can be done, but the mood and atmosphere is, and as Tycho at Penny Arcade said (to paraphrase) "it's story was poised to rip young husbands apart."  Aye, that it did.

Not that I feel like SH1 was a bad game, but like the whole RE series it was campier.  SH2... to me, that was exploring a lot of more serious, darker, and thematically scarier stuff.  Some of the ideas in that are what haunt me, rather than just stuff making me jump (though there was that, too).

But it's all a matter of taste!

(Can this thread get more off topic? ;))
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: BobTheJanitor on March 03, 2011, 06:21:10 PM
Topics are just vague suggestions.  ;)

I'll admit that SH2 was clearly the more mature and less campy game. Some of the character motivations in SH1 honestly don't make sense by any stretch of the imagination. I mean I can accept that Harry would cross hell to find his daughter, but the way that he does it like a wooden automaton, only reacting vaguely to the insane things that are happening around him, yeah that's pretty silly. The first time the walls started turning into bleeding rusted metal, I would have gotten out of there. All that said, it definitely scared the hell out of me like no game has really managed to since. I should probably go back and play it some time and see how well it works for me now, since it has been many years since I've played any of the titles.

SH3 was pretty good too, actually. Anything beyond that though, meh. I'd like to see a new survival horror game that really touches that primal fear reaction, but nothing has done it for me lately. Amnesia is probably the closest I've seen from recent releases, but it has a few small flaws that ultimately sucked the fear factor right out of it for me, sadly.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 03, 2011, 06:40:18 PM
Good points all around. :)

I actually liked SH3 pretty well, but I just don't go for the cult stuff.  I admit I didn't finish that one, as I found it too freaking scary.  I think I made it through the subway and that's it, so that's not even that far into the game, I suspect.  I still have it, and keep thinking of going back to it "some day," but the few times I have I've just had to set it aside!
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: HitmanN on March 04, 2011, 09:42:27 AM
That said, I still go back to SH2 every so often, because the controls aren't bad... they're just not... immediate, I guess is the word.  You turn slowly, you hit slowly, it's hard to aim your weapons with huge precision, that sort of thing.

I'll pitch in my opinions here too, quickly. Staying off-topic, sorry. ;)

SH3 is the first in the series that I played. Finished it twice in fact. Then I tried SH2, and it wasn't bad, but I never finished that one. Not sure why, but I just dropped playing about halfway through, and never resumed. Probably had something more interesting to play at the time.

In any case, the series is good, but what prevented it from being awesome for me actually were the controls. Clumsy, slow and sometimes restrictive or borderline unresponsive. A game with a good atmosphere AND slick controls would've been a blessing.

Games with restrictive controls is one of my pet peeves. I hate it when I perform an action, and I cannot cancel the action half-way, even if it would realistically be possible. For instance, reloading in Fallout 3. If I press to reload a weapon, I can't access pib-boy, switch weapon or do anything but walk around until the reloading has finished. This is particularly annoying with stuff like Rocket Launchers, when it can take several seconds. At the point where I have a rocket in hand and am about to put it in the weapon, why can't I just cancel, put away the rocket and not reload the launcher, if that would allow me to switch to another weapon faster? Why do I have to wait three seconds for the rocket to go into the weapon, by which time the enemies are in melee combat already (which I was able predict, and thus wanted to cancel reloading), making the rocket launcher pointless, and I still have to switch to a safer weapon, usually costing me at least a bit of health. Even more annoying is reloading a laser pistol (or was it the rifle, anyways), when after inserting the battery, the character sometimes has to open the cartridge slot and slam the battery in again, before being able to shoot. It's a nice effect of a poor condition weapon, but I sure as hell don't want to spend an extra second looking at stuff like that when I want to be shooting the bad guys instead. Every time I die because of such an event increases the likelyhood that at some point I've had enough and just quit playing the game. Showing me visual effects and motions to enhance immersion is fine, but it should not affect my controls in gameplay-affecting way. When I lose in a game, I want to lose because the bad guys defeated me. Not because the game prevented me from fighting back or evading.

I don't mean to say that players should be able to perform anything at anytime, but if the actions are ridiculously long, include unnecessary extra actions and/or often restrict any other activities at the same time, without being able to cancel, it's just frustrating to control. This wasn't a huge problem in SH games though, I think. It was even possible to strafe while swinging melee weapons, unlike in a lot of games where a melee attack stops the player's movement. It's a been a long time since I played the SH games, and I don't remember exactly how the controls were, but I do remember that I found them lacking in finesse, sometimes lethally so (for the main character). Still, the atmosphere was so awesome that the controls weren't an enjoyment killer.

So, to me, clumsy controls do not contribute to atmosphere or immersion, but take away from enjoyment. Not saying I need to be able to perform ninja moves and jump around like a superhero or anything either. Just that restricting a character's available actions to very basic moves is much better way of adding a clumsy feel than making performing those moves a pain.

That's my opinion anyways.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: x4000 on March 04, 2011, 09:48:27 AM
I think it's telling that while I enjoyed SH2 for the way it made me feel, if I were to make a game I wouldn't be able to bear making it in quite the same fashion.  For some reason, I think that particular game (and SH1 and SH3, really) got a free pass from me where others wouldn't, because the atmosphere was so freaking compelling.  It's hard to say.

But I couldn't agree more that creating long animations that you can't get out of, etc, is really frustrating.  That bugged me in Fallout 3, too, come to think of it.  And I find FF8 to be pretty much unplayable now, since the Espers (or whatever they are called) have such incredibly long animations that can't be skipped at all.  That's a game I never finished, and I wanted to go back and give it another go last year, but I just couldn't get past that one thing.  I have better ways to spend my time.

That said, I didn't feel like anything in any of the SH games was that egregious or nearly so.  But now we're getting back into the realms of taste, heh.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: HitmanN on March 04, 2011, 10:20:59 AM
SH's controls weren't definitely horrible, I've seen a lot worse, but for me it was still the thing that took away that 1 point from them being a 10/10 rating game.

Oh the topic of scary games, I've also liked the Condemned series, although it was more about surprises rather than suspense. Mainly because of it focusing on melee weapons, which adds a more personal feel to the combat, unlike other similar first-person view games. My favorite event in the series is definitely in Condemned 2, the level after the plane crash, with the lodge and the huge bear.

I'm also reminded of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth from several years back. I played the PC port and found it very atmospheric, although maybe a bit too much focused on the stealth gameplay. Still, there was constantly a feel of pressure that the whole village with its crazy folk were after you, all the while also being surrounded by the supernatural. That, and the main character pretty much going insane near scary events.

Overall, I think I slightly more prefer first-person view in games like these. It's a much more involving feeling to have the enemies come at you in first-person view, especially in chase sequences.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nalgas on March 04, 2011, 10:31:35 AM
And I find FF8 to be pretty much unplayable now, since the Espers (or whatever they are called) have such incredibly long animations that can't be skipped at all.  That's a game I never finished, and I wanted to go back and give it another go last year, but I just couldn't get past that one thing.  I have better ways to spend my time.

Funny that you mention that, because my friend just loaded up his old save from that a week or so ago, and that was one of the first things I remembered about it and complained to him about when he told me he was playing it.  Not only are the animations aggravatingly long, the "boost" feature (push square to be marginally less useless!) tries to force you to sit there and pay attention through the whole thing so you can button mash at the appropriate time, instead of giving you a 30 second window to go grab a drink or check if you've gotten any important messages (which you really shouldn't have to do to pass time during a game, but at least it beats sitting there doing nothing or mashing buttons).  Giving the player something irritating to do during them is not only not the correct solution to excessively long animations being repetitive/boring, it's the polar opposite of the correct solution (which is of course to make them shorter and/or skippable).

However, much like most FF games, there's pretty much no reason to ever summon the stupid things starting fairly early in the game.  They're kind of handy at the beginning, and occasionally their abilities are useful later, but once you collect all the useful spells (either by drawing or refining them from cards), you just junction those to all your characters to pump up every stat to absurd levels, and then you destroy everything with basic attacks/abilities/spells in a tiny fraction of the time.  When it comes down to it, the most useful thing the summons do in that game is let you turn cards into spells/items/stat boosts.  Actually summoning them is just a waste of time.

Meanwhile, back in the land of scary-ish games, I liked a lot of stuff Eternal Darkness did with the sanity effects, although it's a bit more actiony and a bit less survivaly.  Still roughly 40 hojillion times more interesting than any of the RE games I played, though.  And speaking of RE, I've always thought that Ravenloftholm in HL2 was a better RE4 than RE4 was.  And then speaking of HL2, the Korsakovia mod is holycrapawesome, but I think that already came up on here recently (I want to say it was because of Bob, but I'm not 100% sure of that).  And then speaking of weird indie stuff from the past couple years, The Path also has its moments and is quite possibly as strange as Korsakovia, but in a different sort of way.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: BobTheJanitor on March 04, 2011, 01:58:04 PM
I never played the path, I might have to check it out. Korsakovia is great at atmosphere and horrible at gameplay. If you didn't have to noclip through half of it to keep from raging at falling off the terrible platforming levels, it would be awesome. Also I kind of get what they were trying to do with some of the sound effects, giving a real visceral feeling of noise getting into your head, but still, loud static is annoying. Overall though, definitely worth playing. You might also check out Dear Esther by the same guys. It's a guy walking around an island during the day. Nothing scary about that right? Well... try it out.  ;D

Huh just looked up Dear Esther and saw it was being remade as a commercial product. Hopefully they realize what was good about it and don't ruin it, but it seems likely that they'll want to bump it up with extra spoooooooky darkness and fog and so on. And maybe some zombie demon dog robots jumping out of a series of grates. And a machine gun. Man I hate modern commercial survival horror.

Edit: After reading this RPS article and the comments from the devs, I am no longer worried about the commercial release ruining it. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/11/remade-dear-esther-to-get-full-release/
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: Nalgas on March 04, 2011, 02:11:13 PM
Huh just looked up Dear Esther and saw it was being remade as a commercial product.

Weird.  I didn't know it'd gotten that far.  I saw last year, or maybe 18 months ago, that it was being redone still as a mod but with higher quality art assets and more polished and stuff like that.  At the time, only a very small sample had been completed, but it looked good and in the spirit of the original version.  Didn't know someone had actually picked it up since then.
Title: Re: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects
Post by: BobTheJanitor on March 04, 2011, 03:46:35 PM
I looks like the guy that was doing the amazing looking remake is still the one working on it, it's just graduated from mod to indie game. I'm OK with that. If the delivered game really does look like the screenshots, I'll buy it just to gape at it and be amazed that someone managed to do that in the source engine.