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Archie
Second-rate Anihawk
(04-27-2012, 01:31 PM)
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The most recent game I've played that respected my intelligence was Legend of Grimrock. The puzzles are generally well designed and the devs generally gave subtle hints, but not outright answers. I felt like a dumbass when stuck on a puzzle and a genius when solving it.
TedNindo
Member
(04-27-2012, 01:41 PM)
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Half Life. Which is why I consider it a great FPS. The learning curve is very natural and unforced.

I would also say Metal Gear Solid because you are given a lot of tools to figure out to solve things on your own.

The Witcher games. They aren't very intuitive. You find out a lot on your own.

The original Crysis had very intelligent gameplay imo. Like most sandboxes it just gives you a bunch of tools and you have to figure out how to best use them.

A good game doesn't need a tutorial. A good game has a very natural flow of you figuring things out. Who cares if you die. You learn from it and you get to have that experience.

I don't want to start a game knowing everything. Figuring something out is far more rewarding then it being handed to you and being told '"it's used for this" to later find out that it was only only thing to use it for.

OOT for instance has a mix. It tells you a lot of the basics so that anyone can manage to get going. But there are a lot of little things put in that you will only find through experimenting with the items and world given to you.

A good game learns you the rules that the gameplay and world are built around, it gives you a great internal logic and leaves you to fuck around and rewards you for it too imo.

Portal is another great example.
Last edited by TedNindo; 04-27-2012 at 01:47 PM.
Sqorgar
Banned
(04-27-2012, 01:44 PM)
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I haven't played it, but Dwarf Fortress?
Zissou
Member
(04-27-2012, 01:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark

Fake filler is the worst. Ive really kept away from most grinding RPGS lately because of it (unless its portable), Phil Fish probably thinks in a similar way to Blow, too bad he sucked at making a joke out of it.

The Zeboyd guys (Cthulu saves the world) are a great example of making a fluid RPG that doesnt waste your time (and also have a similar philosophy).

I know this is mostly refering to the first phrase you quoted but i think it should be noted.


As for holding your hand, well yeah, i think we can all agree. You can make a tutorial a natural part of your game, and fun. Specially if you dont start by assuming the player is a fucking idiot that needs to have everything explained by big giant word boxes on the screen and such.

Portal was a tutorial for 3/4 of the game, and even though that granted; it fits with the game's theme and story, it just felt right and rewarding.


Games just need to explain their mechanics by making you play them, not read them.


People say most of portal was a tutorial and it's true- and it's a sign of good game design, I think. You should've have been prepared for each subsequent challenge by the cumulative learning accrued up until that point in the game. If not, the game is flawed. Gaming and learning are completely intertwined.
nicoga3000
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:02 PM)
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Originally Posted by Sqorgar

I haven't played it, but Dwarf Fortress?

I'm not sure DF ever expects you to know what you're doing, haha. <3 DF
protonion
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:11 PM)
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Darksiders.
Here's the puzzle. Now do it. The portal dungeon esp had some really tough parts, but it never gave you even a hint.


The worst offender of course is Zelda SS. Not only the handholding was ridiculus but the actual tasks were pathetically easy.
Ra1den
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:15 PM)
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Why is Blow singling out Japanese games in that quote? Western games are exactly the same. Probably worse actually.

There seems to be a trend among industry people to point out flaws in modern gaming and act like the Japanese are the only perpetrators.
Jb
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ra1den

Why is Blow singling out Japanese games in that quote? Western games are exactly the same. Probably worse actually.

There seems to be a trend among industry people to point out flaws in modern gaming and act like the Japanese are the only perpetrators.

As if he didn't play a lot of modern retail games.
vixlar
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:20 PM)

Originally Posted by TedNindo


A good game doesn't need a tutorial. A good game has a very natural flow of you figuring things out. Who cares if you die. You learn from it and you get to have that experience.

...

A good game learns you the rules that the gameplay and world are built around, it gives you a great internal logic and leaves you to fuck around and rewards you for it too imo.

This x 1000

I remember one interview to Shigeru Miyamoto, where he said that Level 1-1 in Mario Bros. was the most difficult to do, because it should be intended for the player to be familiar with the rest of the game. He said something like, "you advance, but you see tw enemies coming. What I do? you jump the first one trying to avoid it, but the blocks stop your jump and you fall over the goomba... and he died! So it how you learn that jumping on enemies could kill them"

For me, the game that respect your intellingence in every aspect is Super Metroid.
guidestone
Banned
(04-27-2012, 02:22 PM)
Frozen Synapse.
Durante
I'm taking it FROM here, so says Mr. Stewart
(04-27-2012, 02:25 PM)
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Generally picking "Japanese games" when talking about hand-holding just shows that the speaker has a very narrow, dare I say ignorant, perspective.

There are plenty of games from all regions that demand some thought from the player (eg. I recently played Legend of Grimrock and Resonance of Fate), and plenty of games from both that act like you would forget to breathe if they don't remind you every few seconds (the one I played most recently was the Diablo 3 beta).

If anything, I would say that due to the simple fact that there are more western "AAA" productions, hand-holding is even worse in those overall.
kafiend
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:31 PM)
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I rarely have rage/quit moments but if I do its ALWAYS early in the game and down to interference in letting me play.
redcrayon
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:31 PM)

Originally Posted by matrix-cat

When I was playing Uncharted 3 there was a puzzle where I had to look for something in a big warehouse near the start of the game. I found these pressure platforms spaced out in exactly the right pattern for a car to park all four tyres on them, and I was jumping up and down on them thinking I was really clever and that I'd solved a neat puzzle all on my own. And then nothing happened. I ran around for another five minutes before finally happening over the random spot that I had to be on to trigger the scene where Drake the character discovers the thing I found minutes ago and then explains it to me. A little bit later all four of the characters in the scene had to jump on separate pressure pads to open a secret door, so Drake starts a countdown. When he reaches 1 the game pauses and puts a big X button prompt on your screen because the developers didn't trust you to remember what the most basic input in the game was.

So... not that.

I remember that. Knowing that you have 3 other party members there, I had solved the 'puzzle' in seconds after decades of 'block-moving' puzzles, but did exactly what you did, had to run around waiting for an NPC to point out something so obvious I had seen it as soon as I walked in the room.

Absolute lowest common denominator difficulty there. If you fail a gunfight twice, why doesn't it ask you if you want to skip those bits? Why does it assume that the only thing players might find hard is anything that doesn't involve shooting things in the face?
sixteen-bit
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:32 PM)
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Super Metroid is this way, but I don't suppose it's very modern.
codecow
Visceral Games
(04-27-2012, 02:36 PM)
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I think Portal 1-2 and Half-Life 2 are perhaps the greatest examples of what I'd call ab initio game design.

I remember the first time I played HL-2 and saw the physics puzzles. Nothing is explained to the player. There must be an expectation of how certain objects will behave from the player's life experience and then the game must hold up its end of the bargain by reacting in a way that makes sense.

The Portal series is similar except the player learns the rules while playing the game and then must apply them.

The design talent that is on display in those Valve games is really quite amazing in my opinion.

Another example from HL-2 is the level design. Often it's not exactly clear where you need to go, I spent a bunch of time exploring parts of the levels and even if I wandered down a non-progression pathway there was an ammo pack there for me.
Typographenia
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by Durante

Generally picking "Japanese games" when talking about hand-holding just shows that the speaker has a very narrow, dare I say ignorant, perspective.

Watch the video. He clearly says it's in regards to the games he has played, he doesn't think it has anything to do with cultural differences, and he calls out companies like EA/Activision for having developed ways of approaching how they make their games that he feels are totally wrong too.



I would like to say Deadly Premonition did a pretty good job of this, because it's really up to you to figure out the inner-workings and flow of the town. They'll guide you towards certain missions and locations for story reasons, but how you deal with shaving, interacting with characters at times/locations, the hidden items, and all the bizarre things it presents the player are done with the expectation that you will recognize how things fit together.
padlock
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:39 PM)
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Braid

Deus Ex

System Shock (I and II)

Alpha Centauri

Grim Fandango.
Ventilaator
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:41 PM)
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Q.U.B.E. was excellent in teaching you its mechanics. Not a single tutorial in sight. When there was a new mechanic to introduce, they just put you in a small room with the new thing you need to know and let you figure it out. Not having your intelligence insulted feels good.
PjotrStroganov
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:45 PM)
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Shadow of the Colossus.

I think I've said the same in a topic a few years earlier. It doesn't spell out what the player has to do. It would be a bit strange if it did because the focus of the game is exploration and problem solving.
Last edited by PjotrStroganov; 04-27-2012 at 02:49 PM.
yogloo
Member
(04-27-2012, 02:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zissou

People say most of portal was a tutorial and it's true- and it's a sign of good game design, I think. You should've have been prepared for each subsequent challenge by the cumulative learning accrued up until that point in the game. If not, the game is flawed. Gaming and learning are completely intertwined.

Portal is an amazing example. Makes you feel good playing it.
A Link to the Snitch
Snitch
(04-27-2012, 07:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by Riposte

I really want Blow to list exactly what Japanese games he has played for this point of view. Like if it turned out he's only been playing Zelda, then I wouldn't be a bit surprised.



Like moistly dry.

(Cave Story is actually quite dumb 95% of the time. The real answer to this question is "hard games".)

No, not like moistly dry. To be complex in its simplicity means that it does a lot with its gameplay without overwhelming players as well as without babying them.
Phonomezer
Banned
(04-27-2012, 07:39 PM)
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Fez
Imbarkus
Member
(04-27-2012, 07:42 PM)
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Htown
STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
(04-27-2012, 07:57 PM)
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With the exception of maybe Zelda, Japanese games hold your hand way less than western games.

I get the idea that J.Blow doesn't actually play all that many games.

Also, it's easy to claim your game doesn't hold hands as much as somebody else's games, when your game is based on 2D platforming concepts that were created, refined, and made popular by Japanese games, and are essentially deeply ingrained in anyone picking up a controller.

You don't HAVE to teach people how to play 2D platformers. By the time they've played Braid, they've already played 35 games with that basic concept.
Last edited by Htown; 04-27-2012 at 07:59 PM.
KevinCow
Banned
(04-27-2012, 07:58 PM)
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I feel like tutorials are probably the hardest part of a game to do right.

I agree with Johnathon Blow. I hate when games hold my hand too much, tell me exactly what to do before I've even had a chance to figure it out myself, interrupt to tell me the next step when I've already figured out the next three steps in my head.

But, on the other hand, I also really hate when a game just tosses me in with little to no instruction, and I get stuck or keep losing and have no idea what I'm doing wrong. As evidenced by the popularity of Demon's Souls, there are clearly some people who like this kind of game. But me? I'm more likely to just give up and play something else. I really hate when it happens, but there have been a fair number of games that I was interested in, but gave up within the first few hours because I just had no idea what to do.

There's a fine balance between giving the player too much help and not giving them enough, and there's another fine balance between making the help you do give too subtle or too obtrusive.
synt4x
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:09 PM)
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It's funny that Japanese games used to be so good about this back in the day, but now they're the ones that hold ones hand the most. Look at NES and SNES games. No stupid tutorials there unless it was really needed. It was assumed that you knew how to play a game back then and therefore it didn't feel the need to explain every little detail to you. You could look at a problem in a game and come up with the solution yourself without having to have gone through a tutorial explaining that particular problem.

Though sometimes this backfired a bit, where the game expected you to know things that were not logical even in the context of the game. Especially during the 8-bit era. CV II: Simon's Quest comes to mind as a great example of that.
ScOULaris
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:16 PM)
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Both Mario Galaxy games are perfect examples of introducing mechanics and twists on the formula in small doses, allowing the player to figure them out and assimilate them as they progress through the game. Mario Galaxy is pretty much platform game design at its finest, with the exception of its somewhat text-heavy opening.

Other than that, this game springs to mind:



(aka the best game ever made)
BeautifulMemory
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:21 PM)
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DMC doesn't teach you how to play at all and a lot of people claim they simply don't care for the skilled play and prefer the dumbing now of the new DmC

So I guess those people don't want their intelligence to be respected
Gen X
Trust no one. Eat steaks.
(04-27-2012, 08:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by MoGamesXNA

Why are people listing games made after 1999?

Because that's when games started getting substantially easier?
Persona7
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:24 PM)

Originally Posted by Log4Girlz

Skyward Sword.

I spit out my drink and laughed really hard.

Skyward Sword is the exact opposite.
jetjevons
Bish loves my games!
(04-27-2012, 08:25 PM)
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I cannot wait for The Witness. My mind is ready.
Haunted
(04-27-2012, 08:25 PM)
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Originally Posted by BeautifulMemory

DMC doesn't teach you how to play at all and a lot of people claim they simply don't care for the skilled play and prefer the dumbing now of the new DmC

So I guess those people don't want their intelligence to be respected

Can't respect what doesn't exist!
Deified Data
(04-27-2012, 08:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by PairOfFilthySocks

WTF is this shit? Do all these indie devs just play Skyward Sword and then use that to comment on Japanese games as a whole?

Pretty much. Just another indie dev who thinks he knows what all gamers want. Fuck this line of thinking.
Crewnh
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(04-27-2012, 08:30 PM)
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I can't think of any modern games. Well yeah, apart from the Souls series.
louiedog
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(04-27-2012, 08:30 PM)
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I think that Valve is pretty good at teaching you how to play the game without telling you how to play the game.

I forget what game that I was playing recently but I was going through the tutorial and none of the buttons worked until the game spent 3 minutes showing me how to use A to jump or the right stick rotating the camera. Did they think that letting me jump before they'd even shown me how to walk with the left stick would somehow confuse a new player? What percentage of people playing that game had never played one anything like it before? 0.003%? It was really slow and frustrating to have to deal with that.
volturnus
Banned
(04-27-2012, 08:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by Log4Girlz

Skyward Sword.

True in some aspects, but people are intelligent enought to see that they didn't give a fuck about left-handed players and that it would be easy to implement.
The controls are already terrible, being force to play with the right-hand makes it even more frustrating.
SalsaShark
Trust no one!
Keep your laser handy!
(04-27-2012, 08:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by mclem

I can only really think of tutorial content in the very first test chamber, along with a few brief instances when new mechanics are introduced. After "Speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out" I'm not sure there's anything that's particularly tutorial-ly, other than perhaps a brief demonstration of handling the turrets.

Are you confusing something *styled* as a tutorial - which the entire test chamber section of the game could be seen as - with something that's *actually* a tutorial?

well, lets say i meant more "hand-holdy" in the best way possible, instead of the usual interpretation of a tutorial, given the game's nature.

also that post is a great point to what i was saying, your idea of tutorial there is "game explains you how to do something", portal is a tutorial in the sense that you keep discovering the game's mechanics and new ways you can play around with them by playing the game.

emphasis on what Zissou said:

Originally Posted by Zissou

Gaming and learning are completely intertwined.

FrontalMonk
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:40 PM)
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I read the topic and expected the first response to be SpaceChem. Son, I am disappoint.
KevinCow
Banned
(04-27-2012, 08:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by BeautifulMemory

DMC doesn't teach you how to play at all and a lot of people claim they simply don't care for the skilled play and prefer the dumbing now of the new DmC

So I guess those people don't want their intelligence to be respected

See, I don't understand why DMC couldn't keep the same combat system, but do a better job at teaching the player how to play. When I tried playing the first one way back when, I got stuck at the spider boss at the beginning and gave up, and haven't touched the series since.

I like a lot of the stuff about the series, and have enjoyed those aspects when they've been put into other games that didn't completely destroy me for not immediately understanding them.
vixlar
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:43 PM)

Originally Posted by Persona7

I spit out my drink and laughed really hard.

Skyward Sword is the exact opposite.

I love Skyward Sword... but you are right.

You enter for the first time a room: "Look master, those big and different patterns on the wall wich says 'Put an arrow here' seem to react to pointy things, just like the arrows you just obtained. Don't forget to chose your bow from your inventory and press A..."
RevolverFox44
Banned
(04-27-2012, 08:43 PM)
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I agree, but signaling out JP games is pretty ridiculous, loads of western games do the same thing or are worse. Quest arrows, logs with step by step directions, crumb trails, tutorials out the ass, on the fly difficulty adjustment, etc. both do it but many times I have considered this one of the many reasons I like JP games better, they don't do this as much, almost every western game these days has loads of hand holding, compromises and "safe" design decisions to make games as accessible as possible. I think the better place to place blame is the big budget AAA games in general that are afraid to take risks or do anything that might put some people off.

There's a LOT more to the Japanese game industry than Nintendo. (I don't own any current Nintendo systems but have heard a lot of complaints about Skyward Sword, not sure if many others have been similar).
Ranger X
Kohler: 1, Ranger X: 0

PS: Itoi > Kojima by a good green country mile
(04-27-2012, 08:44 PM)
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A game about discovery? Not holding your hand? Here's the very definition:

MattKeil
BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
(04-27-2012, 08:46 PM)
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Heartily agree with the Shadow of the Colossus and Witcher callouts, but I'll add one that I would rank above SotC in this department:



Ico tells you nothing. No "move L Stick to rock cell," no "make your way up to the cage," no "use the stick to attack the shadows," no "press X to jump," no nothin'. You have to discover every single thing Ico can do all by experimentation and through cues in the level design, and it works flawlessly from start to finish. The game is an absolute triumph of design.
synt4x
Member
(04-27-2012, 08:50 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ranger X

A game about discovery? Not holding your hand? Here's the very definition:

Actually, yeah. I did not understand how to do anything when I tried this.
MechaX
Member
(04-27-2012, 09:01 PM)
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Originally Posted by TedNindo

I would also say Metal Gear Solid because you are given a lot of tools to figure out to solve things on your own.

"Snake, get in front of the ladder and press THE ACTION BUTTON (Triangle) to climb up the ladder!" "So all I got to do, is get near the ladder, and press the Action Button to climb up it? Got it!"

Yeah, I'm sorry, but this can't be Metal Gear Solid (any one of them, actually). Even in scenarios where it's not obvious where to go, your CO is bound to call in and painstakingly tell you where to go and how to get there.
Anth0ny
Member
(04-27-2012, 09:07 PM)
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Dark Souls instantly comes to mind.
udivision
(04-27-2012, 09:16 PM)
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The probolem with trying to appeal to everyone is that not everyone has the same "intelligence level." They doesn't excuse excessive handholding but that provides a better reason for it's existance than the developer's insulting you.
MDSLKTR
Member
(04-27-2012, 09:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by Dabanton

So BulletStorm doesn't respect the intelligence of the player?

"Press RT to shoot". Funny thing is the story is actually not that dumb.
the thoroughbred
Member
(04-27-2012, 09:18 PM)
I think this view can be applied to many things. The general mass don't like to feel unintelligent, they hate the feeling, so instead of approaching things they don't understand to learn, they instead avoid it. Because if they avoid it they don't need to confront the fact that they don't understand something. Or they simply discard the topic as something they don't need, like labelling it as lame or nerdy.

My point. Movies are exactly the same. Most commecial crap makes the audience feel better, as they don't feel patronised by it. Whereas those who enjoy the challenge and don't mind the feeling of not knowing something find commercial movies to be unintelligent.
the thoroughbred
Member
(04-27-2012, 09:35 PM)
Minesweeper is pretty good. If you didn't read the help file, you'd have no idea what to do. I think it's pretty cool, how you just randomly click on squares wondering what the hell is going on. Then suddenly "Game over", and that experience of wondering is this a game or a paint application. And figuring out what all the numbers represent. That is a steep learing curve.

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