Why (lots of) modern gaming design sucks - a study of Megaman and Megaman X

Alucard

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM
(NSFW language inside)

This is both hilarious and brilliant.

Basically, games should teach the player without needing to say all that much in terms of in-game instructions. His breakdown of Megaman X is just wonderful. It's worth the time investment to watch this for any gamer.

What do you guys think?
 

Glass Rebel

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Oct 12, 2010
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Wow, Egoraptor totally stole this from GameTrailers!




It's a very nice analysis and shows how much thought went into the level design of these games back then. Going one step further and looking at game design from a "scholarly" could lead to some interesting results but sadly not many people seem to be interested.
 
Sep 9, 2012
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Great video. I saw it a few days ago in another (less positive) thread.

It (sometimes) sucks because many games aim for realism and being cinematic. Those design directions don't always make for the best gameplay.
 

Dr Dogg

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I can remember watching this ages ago and couldn't get Roll saying "Mega-Man, Mega-Man!" out of my head for weeks (maybe because I was playing Skyward Sword at the time and Fi was doing my nut in). Older games did this and Super Metroid is the perfect example of telling you how to play the game by gameplay alone.
 

Pie and Beans

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And then you watch Game Grumps and realise that Egoraptor himself needs very fucking IN YOUR FACE unskippable tutorials on how to do the simplest of things in games.
 

Magnus

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Wish the dude would cut most of the lame humor out and get to it. The speaking cadence is just fucked most of the time. Pads the whole video.

Great vid otherwise.
 
Jun 28, 2011
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Great video. I saw it a few days ago in another (less positive) thread.

It (sometimes) sucks because many games aim for realism and being cinematic. Those design directions don't always make for the best gameplay.
I don't really think realism has anything to do with it.
 

Fox Mulder

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And then you watch Game Grumps and realise that Egoraptor himself needs very fucking IN YOUR FACE unskippable tutorials on how to do the simplest of things in games.
I've never seen those, but are they trying to be entertaining or constantly talk while playing? Kind of hard to do both at the same time well.
 

Fudgepuppy

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It's sad to see though, that in a 3d-environment taught-input is much harder, as things have more boundaries and more complex elements to them.

Some games really do nail this in a 3D-environment, but for an example, how you could you teach someone to play Arma 2 without making them go through a tutorial while looking in the manual for how you fucking jump over fences?

Still incredibly smart stuff.
 

kodt

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Seems like he copied his humor directly from Mr. Plinkett's (RedLetterMedia) Star Wars reviews.
 

jooey

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Seems like he copied his humor directly from Mr. Plinkett's (RedLetterMedia) Star Wars reviews.
Seems like you were strapped for time and needed to insult him somehow and pulled the first funny yet just barely similar YouTube thing you could think of.
 

Rickenslacker

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I think one of my favourite opening cutscenes to a game is MMX2's. You're headin' somewhere fast on a bike, Green Biker Dude is riding in parallel with you, he gets shot down (RIP) and you jump off yours as it slams into an enemy and crashes into the wall. All in the span of about 5 seconds then you're pumped up and in control.
 

kodt

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Seems like you were strapped for time and needed to insult him somehow and pulled the first funny yet just barely similar YouTube thing you could think of.
Lots of jump cuts, cutting off the end of phrases right after the punchline and continuing on as normal. Plinkett does this all the time and he does the exact same thing.

Also naming a name and showing the wrong picture (IE: saying Obama and showing a picture of Nelson Mandela. Plinkett did the exact same thing.

Also, this guy's humor just seems too forced, and the comics are a little obnoxious.

These "angry game review" videos are getting a little out of hand. Angry Nintendo nerd was pretty funny, but eventually it became hit or miss. Now it is just overdone.
 

Acerac

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When I saw this thread title I assumed it was sequalitis. Glad to see it posted again...

When's the next one going to be? :(
 
Feb 28, 2009
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When I saw this thread title I assumed it was sequalitis. Glad to see it posted again...

When's the next one going to be? :(
Zelda. Based on what he said in Game Grumps, there might be some misinformation regarding Skyward Sword. I imagine he knows that now after the videos got bombarded with comments about it, so maybe it's been delayed.
 

revolverjgw

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It's great and all, Mega Man X is an immaculately designed game, but it's a sidescroller with 2-3 buttons. I could give my mom the controller and she'll be able to figure out how to get out of that pit if I give her a minute, and then from there she'll have the gist of the entire game. When in doubt move right. If you see something move, press this button, if you can't move right any more, press the other one. I could give her Call of Honorable War 22- Electric Bugaloo and I might as well be asking her to perform brain surgery. Changing direction while walking forward will probably give her fits, never mind doing this while drawing a bead on a moving target in the distance that you have to zoom in, adjust your reticule over, press the other trigger and then remember to reload after but also move aside because that grenade icon means you're about to explode, and by the way you better be standing behind a barrel while you're doing this and remember to press the crouch button and watch that radar for the red blip because you're going to be doing this again in one second when the bad guy behind you in this huge 3D space gets close except this time you'll die instantly unless you press the melee button and when you've done this 15 times in 30 seconds you need to look for the door 100 meters behind you with the little flashing thing on it. We as gamers underestimate how complex games are nowadays, and every day tons of gamers play their first game, or their explore a new genre for the first time. This shit is CRAZY complex, really.
 

FourMyle

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^ Pretty much.

And then you watch Game Grumps and realise that Egoraptor himself needs very fucking IN YOUR FACE unskippable tutorials on how to do the simplest of things in games.
Which is one of the many reasons why I think this video is dumb posturing. Everything he talks about Megaman doing is done in a lot of games today and even if if isn't then that's because the aim of the developers is not a trial & error approach. Not every game has to or wants to be a Megaman/Demon's Souls in terms of design. There are indeed games that hold your hand for way too long (Zelda TP/SS, for one) but there are also many that let you jump right into the action and let you figure shit out by yourself. The video games of today are a lot more complex than the sidescrolling days of MM. There isn't a game design "key for all locks".

But hey, anything to make yourself feel elitist.
 

CoachKevin

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Aug 27, 2009
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Holy shit that is a great video. Explains exactly why most of my gaming is on my older systems (NES/SNES/PS1/Dreamcast).
 

Jucksalbe

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While the video is already a bit old (and somewhere deep inside NeoGAF there's already a thread about it), it's still relevant, so it doesn't hurt that it gets some more attention.
I'm playing Ni no Kuni right now, the game designers here must really think their players are a bunch of idiots.
 
Jun 23, 2012
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Lots of jump cuts, cutting off the end of phrases right after the punchline and continuing on as normal. Plinkett does this all the time and he does the exact same thing.

Also naming a name and showing the wrong picture (IE: saying Obama and showing a picture of Nelson Mandela. Plinkett did the exact same thing.

Also, this guy's humor just seems too forced, and the comics are a little obnoxious.

These "angry game review" videos are getting a little out of hand. Angry Nintendo nerd was pretty funny, but eventually it became hit or miss. Now it is just overdone.
Plinkett is entirely monotone. This guy clearly yells too much to be ripping that off. He's been around for years and he's always been pretty loud. Not the same redlettermedia, who also was not the first to use jump cuts.

And since I think I saw this around the time I was playing Skyward Sword, really stood out to me. Assassin's Creed does this shit as well. It doesn't just pause and flash a message saying "Do this to do this," it has to give you a 10 minute unskippable tutorial for everything.
 

OceanBlue

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While the video is already a bit old (and somewhere deep inside NeoGAF there's already a thread about it), it's still relevant, so it doesn't hurt that it gets some more attention.
I'm playing Ni no Kuni right now, the game designers here must really think their players are a bunch of idiots.
Part of that probably has to do with how games are pitched to producers in Japan.
 

Alucard

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This really hit me when I saw it for the first time last night.

It hit home because I have a friend who worked on the PS2 game, Dark Sector, and he said the mantra from the higher ups was basically "we need to be as condescending as possible."
 

KojiKnight

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It's a video all game design students should be forced to see... but even then it won't change things because designers have less control over design than those above them who will force bad decisions down on them.
 

sn00zer

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Well to be fair to Megaman games are really simple in what you can do...move, shoot, jump, dash,change weapons...thats pretty much it
In modern games you can do so much more stuff, that more explicit tutorials are needed...
Take I dunno GTA
-Shoot
-Change Weapons
-Take Cover
-Steal Cars
-Change Views
-Aim
-Open Doors
-Blind Fire
-Analogue movement
-Jump
-Target
-Open map (set markers, look at objectives)
-Call Friends
-Use and earn cash
-etc.

There is so much you can do in games now that the player will not know unless explicitly told...now I agree there is probably a better way to do it than long tutorials, but simply saying "look at Megaman isnt it so great" isnt going to cut it

EDIT: Basically what revolverjgw said
 

Ra1den

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It's great and all, Mega Man X is an immaculately designed game, but it's a sidescroller with 2-3 buttons. I could give my mom the controller and she'll be able to figure out how to get out of that pit if I give her a minute, and then from there she'll have the gist of the entire game. When in doubt move right. If you see something move, press this button, if you can't move right any more, press the other one. I could give her Call of Honorable War 22- Electric Bugaloo and I might as well be asking her to perform brain surgery. Changing direction while walking forward will probably give her fits, never mind doing this while drawing a bead on a moving target in the distance that you have to zoom in, adjust your reticule over, press the other trigger and then remember to reload after but also move aside because that grenade icon means you're about to explode, and by the way you better be standing behind a barrel while you're doing this and remember to press the crouch button and watch that radar for the red blip because you're going to be doing this again in one second when the bad guy behind you in this huge 3D space gets close except this time you'll die instantly unless you press the melee button and when you've done this 15 times in 30 seconds you need to look for the door 100 meters behind you with the little flashing thing on it. We as gamers underestimate how complex games are nowadays, and every day tons of gamers play their first game, or their explore a new genre for the first time. This shit is CRAZY complex, really.
Yeah this is true.
 

sn00zer

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And its not like gamers dont know what to do...they just dont know how to do it....
They know they need to run in a certain section, but when you are given potentially 10+ buttons to do it you need to be told what to do....I dont want to "discover" what button shoots, tell me what button shoots ill figure it out from there
 
Jun 9, 2011
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It's great and all, Mega Man X is an immaculately designed game, but it's a sidescroller with 2-3 buttons. I could give my mom the controller and she'll be able to figure out how to get out of that pit if I give her a minute, and then from there she'll have the gist of the entire game. When in doubt move right. If you see something move, press this button, if you can't move right any more, press the other one. I could give her Call of Honorable War 22- Electric Bugaloo and I might as well be asking her to perform brain surgery. Changing direction while walking forward will probably give her fits, never mind doing this while drawing a bead on a moving target in the distance that you have to zoom in, adjust your reticule over, press the other trigger and then remember to reload after but also move aside because that grenade icon means you're about to explode, and by the way you better be standing behind a barrel while you're doing this and remember to press the crouch button and watch that radar for the red blip because you're going to be doing this again in one second when the bad guy behind you in this huge 3D space gets close except this time you'll die instantly unless you press the melee button and when you've done this 15 times in 30 seconds you need to look for the door 100 meters behind you with the little flashing thing on it. We as gamers underestimate how complex games are nowadays, and every day tons of gamers play their first game, or their explore a new genre for the first time. This shit is CRAZY complex, really.
I know 60 year olds who raided in Everquest who can't figure out how to block in Street Fighter. I mean, I get your point, but it's the immediacy that's usually the problem, not the complexity.