History SoYouWantTo / WriteAVideoGame

7th Mar '18 10:57:53 AM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** '''Competitive''': In ''VideoGame/ClashOfClans'', players can only be attacked whilst offline, with the AI controlling your defenses on your behalf. The Creator/Suda51 game ''VideoGame/LetItDie'' is a ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''-influenced permadeath {{roguelike}} where your slain character becomes an NPC enemy in a randomly-selected instance (yours, someone else's, whatever). If you kill a former PlayerCharacter this way, you get extra loot; if it kills ''you'', its owner gets bonuses. A lot of mobile games use this model because it allows you to "participate" (defensively) in battle even if you are not on your phone; additionally, because [[ArtificialStupidity AI typically isn't very good]], it means that most players will win -- a thing most players enjoy doing.

to:

** '''Competitive''': In ''VideoGame/ClashOfClans'', players can only be attacked whilst offline, with the AI controlling your defenses on your behalf. The Creator/Suda51 game ''VideoGame/LetItDie'' is a ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''-influenced permadeath {{roguelike}} where your slain character becomes an NPC enemy in a randomly-selected instance (yours, someone else's, whatever). If you kill a former PlayerCharacter this way, you get extra loot; if it kills ''you'', its owner gets bonuses. A lot of mobile games use this model because it allows you to "participate" (defensively) in battle even if you are not on your phone; additionally, because [[ArtificialStupidity AI typically isn't very good]], it means that most attacking players will win -- a thing most players enjoy doing.


Added DiffLines:

This is even true in more complex games. Daniel Friedman, a writer for Polygon, [[https://www.polygon.com/2018/3/7/17085874/reaper-overwatch-warwick-league-of-legends-character-design commented]] on how some of the simplest characters (in this case, Warwick from ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' and Reaper from ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'') are the best in their titles, simply because their extremely limited gameplay styles foster the development and expression of skill. They ''force'' the player to "git gud," as gamers like to say it these days, and offer freedom and creativity by limiting choice. (That's actually the MO of almost ''all'' popular video games these days. {{MOBA}}s and Hero Shooters like ''Overwatch'' and ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' are very specific about what each of their characters can and can't do. Despite the inherent limitations, these games are amongst the most popular, the most played and the most financially lucrative in the world. Take a lesson accordingly.)
3rd Mar '18 8:18:22 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Like any other trope, ludonarrative dissonance can be employed deliberately; ''[=BioShock 1=]'' did so, as did ''SpecOpsTheLine''. You have to be really careful about doing so, though, because the only thing it can possibly do is piss The Player off. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is the poster child for this subversion -- especially because it's the game whose critical analysis gave us the Player Objective / Actor Objective terminology. In ''[=MGS2=]'', the two were constantly at odds; Raiden might defeat a boss, but would never get to deal the finishing blow; and succeeding at sneaking aboard Arsenal Gear would result in Raiden getting captured (and having to escape [[MaleFrontalNudity butt-nekkid]]) and the destruction of the Plant which he had worked so hard to save. People didn't like playing as Raiden, because he never seemed to succeed at what he was trying to do. This was ''very'' much intentional; the whole point of Raiden as a character was to make fun of, or perhaps deconstruct, ''the player'', and their Player Objective of "Relive ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and get to be a badass like Solid Snake." Through Raiden, series creator Hideo Kojima was able to point at players and laugh: "You wanted to be Solid Snake. ''You are''. Contemplate ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest. Look at what a wreck Snake is. ThisLoserIsYou." This upset players [[SarcasmMode for some reason]]. Alienating your audience is a ''very'' dangerous thing to do, even if on purpose. So DoNotTryThisAtHome, unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.

to:

Like any other trope, ludonarrative dissonance can be employed deliberately; ''[=BioShock 1=]'' did so, as did ''SpecOpsTheLine''.''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine''. You have to be really careful about doing so, though, because the only thing it can possibly do is piss The Player off. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is the poster child for this subversion -- especially because it's the game whose critical analysis gave us the Player Objective / Actor Objective terminology. In ''[=MGS2=]'', the two were constantly at odds; Raiden might defeat a boss, but would never get to deal the finishing blow; and succeeding at sneaking aboard Arsenal Gear would result in Raiden getting captured (and having to escape [[MaleFrontalNudity butt-nekkid]]) and the destruction of the Plant which he had worked so hard to save. People didn't like playing as Raiden, because he never seemed to succeed at what he was trying to do. This was ''very'' much intentional; the whole point of Raiden as a character was to make fun of, or perhaps deconstruct, ''the player'', and their Player Objective of "Relive ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and get to be a badass like Solid Snake." Through Raiden, series creator Hideo Kojima was able to point at players and laugh: "You wanted to be Solid Snake. ''You are''. Contemplate ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest. Look at what a wreck Snake is. ThisLoserIsYou." This upset players [[SarcasmMode for some reason]]. Alienating your audience is a ''very'' dangerous thing to do, even if on purpose. So DoNotTryThisAtHome, unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.
28th Feb '18 1:37:23 PM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Real-time action games like ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' and ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' focus on Controls and Speed, resulting in a game with the qualities of Real-Time and Ease Of Play. The Player Characters in those games can't do a whole lot, in the grand scheme of things, but it's relatively easy to make them do those things. The upsides to this style of game are the (relatively) low barrier to entry; the downsides are the (relatively) limited movesets available to player(s).
* Turn-based games focus on Controls and Complexity, resulting in something that's comprehensive and easy to play (InterfaceScrew and GuideDangIt notwithstanding). Think about TabletopGames/{{chess}}, or FourX games, or even ''TabletopGames/DungeonsAndDragons'': there are a ''lot'' of things you can do in these games, but you cannot do them in anything even approaching real time. The result is a cerebral, strategic style of gameplay that will appeal to certain people and bore others to death.
* RealTimeStrategy and FightingGames have Complexity and Real Time, but result in high Complexity. A lot of fighting games have SomeDexterityRequired (hello, [[VideoGame/SoulCalibur Calamity Symphony]]) or require an entire keyboard for the number of buttons. This kind of game is good for people who can memorize a lot of information, but bad for people who just want to pick up and play.

to:

* Real-time action games like ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' ''VideoGame/Tetris'', ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' focus on Controls and Speed, resulting in a game with the qualities of Real-Time and Ease Of Play. The Player Characters in those games can't do a whole lot, in the grand scheme of things, but it's relatively easy to make them do those things. The upsides to this style of game are the (relatively) low barrier to entry; the downsides are the (relatively) limited movesets available to player(s).
* Turn-based games focus on Controls and Complexity, resulting in something that's comprehensive and easy to play (InterfaceScrew and GuideDangIt notwithstanding). notwithstanding) and gives the player tons of options, but doesn't move very quickly. Think about TabletopGames/{{chess}}, or FourX games, or ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'', or even ''TabletopGames/DungeonsAndDragons'': there are a ''lot'' of things you can do in these games, but you cannot do them in anything even approaching real time. time, and sometimes you can't even do them efficiently! The result is a cerebral, strategic style of gameplay that will appeal to certain people and bore others to death.
* RealTimeStrategy and FightingGames have Complexity and Real Time, Speed, but result in high Complexity. A lot require the player to commit a great deal of fighting games information to memory. They have big {{metagame}}s, from TacticalRockPaperScissors to control inputs with SomeDexterityRequired (hello, [[VideoGame/SoulCalibur Calamity Symphony]]) or require an entire keyboard to even remembering what the hotkey is for the number of buttons. a specific action. This kind of game is good for people who can memorize absorb a lot of information, information quickly, but bad for people who just want to pick up and play.


Added DiffLines:

* In Real-time Action games, responsibilities can also be split up. Consider ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' and {{MOBA}}s like ''VideoGame/Dota2'': players work together to achieve several goals (namely, "1) Don't lose, 2) Win") but are limited in what they, personally, can contribute to that victory (defense, healing, offense, psychological warfare, etc).
26th Feb '18 6:31:57 PM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Real-time action games like ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'', ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' and ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' focus on Controls and Speed, resulting in a game with the qualities of Real-Time and Ease Of Play. The Player Characters in those games can't do a whole lot, in the grand scheme of things, but it's relatively easy to make them do those things. The upsides to this style of game are the (relatively) low barrier to entry; the downsides are the (relatively) limited movesets available to player(s).

to:

* Real-time action games like ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'', ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' and ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' focus on Controls and Speed, resulting in a game with the qualities of Real-Time and Ease Of Play. The Player Characters in those games can't do a whole lot, in the grand scheme of things, but it's relatively easy to make them do those things. The upsides to this style of game are the (relatively) low barrier to entry; the downsides are the (relatively) limited movesets available to player(s).
26th Feb '18 6:27:53 PM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message




Added DiffLines:

!!'''Controls vs. Complexity vs. Speed'''
This is a tricky one because it's not a sliding scale; it's a ''triangle'', where gaining points in one means sacrificing points in two others. But, to get on with things:

In the ideal game, you can do 1) Lots of cool things 2) easily and 3) in real time. In reality, you will often have to sacrifice at least one of those ideals. The reason for this is simple: the human being is a limited creature which can only absorb, and react to, limited amounts of information. There is only so much a single player can do without getting overwhelmed.

Ultimately, many video games can defined by which of them they sacrifice.
* Real-time action games like ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'', ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' and ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' focus on Controls and Speed, resulting in a game with the qualities of Real-Time and Ease Of Play. The Player Characters in those games can't do a whole lot, in the grand scheme of things, but it's relatively easy to make them do those things. The upsides to this style of game are the (relatively) low barrier to entry; the downsides are the (relatively) limited movesets available to player(s).
* Turn-based games focus on Controls and Complexity, resulting in something that's comprehensive and easy to play (InterfaceScrew and GuideDangIt notwithstanding). Think about TabletopGames/{{chess}}, or FourX games, or even ''TabletopGames/DungeonsAndDragons'': there are a ''lot'' of things you can do in these games, but you cannot do them in anything even approaching real time. The result is a cerebral, strategic style of gameplay that will appeal to certain people and bore others to death.
* RealTimeStrategy and FightingGames have Complexity and Real Time, but result in high Complexity. A lot of fighting games have SomeDexterityRequired (hello, [[VideoGame/SoulCalibur Calamity Symphony]]) or require an entire keyboard for the number of buttons. This kind of game is good for people who can memorize a lot of information, but bad for people who just want to pick up and play.

Various games have attempted to merge more towards that Platonic Ideal of a video game -- complexity, speed ''and'' simple controls -- with varying levels of success. What's worth studying is the ways games have invented to ''get around'' these limitations.
* In Real-time Action games with NonPlayerCharacters, said [=NPCs=] may be controlled by AI. This can verge into a hair-tearing EscortMission, so the AI needs to be either smart ([[ArtificialStupidity yeah right]]), helpful in other ways besides combat, or have GameplayAllyImmortality. ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' was praised for capturing the latter two elements, and finding ways to justify the latter within the story. ''FinalFantasyXII'' implemented PausableRealTime, as well as the "Gambit" system, which allowed you to program your non-controlled characters to take (real-time) actions when certain criteria were fulfilled ("'''if''' [any party member] '''is''' [below 25% HP], '''hit them with''' [a Heal spell]"; "'''if''' [any enemy] '''is''' [flying], '''hit them with''' [anything Earth-elemental]").
* In Turn-based games, the question starts to depend on the scope of the decisions being made every turn. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' created a fluid battle system that only involved one character moving per turn (as opposed to ''Civilization'' where you might have to give orders to five or ten cities at once, not to mention your military); FourX games often implement a notification system, creating UI elements that remind you to do one of the (many, many) things you might want to do.
* Complex Real Time games often let you use (or create your own!) keyboard shortcuts to do things quickly. They also focus on the UI, providing you information that you can both absorb and ignore, depending on what you're trying to do at the moment. (Ignore it at your own peril, of course.)
8th Feb '18 2:21:30 PM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* {{Mobile Phone Game}}s are played on cell phones, particularly smartphones these days--AndroidGames and {{iOS Games}} are proliferate. They benefit from extreme portability, as well as the (relative) ease of touchscreen controls, but but most people don't have time to play a smartphone game for more than about 3 minutes at a time, so you'd better design the game accordingly. Additionally, whereas computers come with a 101-key keyboard and mouse, and consoles with a minimum of Thumbstick, D-Pad, 4 face buttons and 2 Shoulder buttons, a touchscreen phone has only... its touchscreen to display controls on. You will need to think hard about your GUI and how you want to display things. This is not to say that you ''can't'' have titles on a phone from genres that are normally dominated by computers (such as RealTimeStrategy title ''[[http://www.tactile-wars.com/en Tactile Wars]]'') or consoles (HackAndSlash ''[[https://www.rayark.com/g/implosion/ Implosion: Never Lose Hope]]''); it is simply to say that it's easier for the player to get in their own way on a phone.

to:

* {{Mobile Phone Game}}s are played on cell phones, particularly smartphones these days--AndroidGames and {{iOS Games}} are proliferate. They benefit from extreme portability, as well as the (relative) ease of touchscreen controls, but but most people don't have time to play a smartphone game for more than about 3 minutes at a time, so you'd better design the game accordingly. Additionally, whereas computers come with a 101-key keyboard and mouse, and consoles with a minimum of Thumbstick, D-Pad, 4 face buttons and 2 Shoulder buttons[[note]]and sometimes +2 shoulder buttons, +1 thumbstick, buttons _under_ the thumbsticks, and even a touch-sensitive interface if you're a [=DualShock=] 4[[/note]], a touchscreen phone has only... its touchscreen to display controls on. You will need to think hard about your GUI and how you want to display things. This is not to say that you ''can't'' have titles on a phone from genres that are normally dominated by computers (such as RealTimeStrategy title ''[[http://www.tactile-wars.com/en Tactile Wars]]'') or consoles (HackAndSlash ''[[https://www.rayark.com/g/implosion/ Implosion: Never Lose Hope]]''); Hope]]''; ActionRPG ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV: Pocket Edition''); it is simply to say that it's easier for the player to get in their own way on a phone.
2nd Feb '18 11:16:40 AM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


GameplayAndStorySegregation is a significant problem. You need to make sure your story and gameplay are encouraging The Player towards the same goals.

A quick foreward: to formalize vocabulary for this section, we are going to borrow some terms from James Howell's seminal work of games criticism, "[[http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/ Driving Off the Map]]." Particularly, we are going to talk about '''Player Objectives''' -- the things which a human being, sitting around in RealLife playing VideoGames, hopes to achieve -- and '''Actor Objectives''' -- the things which the PlayerCharacter, an in-game entity controlled by the player, hopes to achieve. These two are not always the same; for instance, in the ''The Last Of Us'' example above, Joel has the Actor Objective of saving his daughter, while the player has the Player Objective of correctly manipulating the Dualshock 3 controller in a way that results in Joel navigating through the in-game world, avoiding obstacles and zombie attacks. These are being established because conflicts between the two sets of objectives are not always in accord.

Sometimes Player Objectives beat Actor Objectives. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', and its notorious ending, is an example. Per WordOfGod, the CentralTheme of the story is, "[[TheChainsOfCommanding You can't save everyone]]." WarIsHell, and somewhere along the line you're going to have to choose [A] over [B] and watch [B] die a fiery, dramatic, slow-motion death with OneWomanWail in the background. In other words, there is no GoldenPath where you get absolutely everyone on your side. The salarians still believe that inflicting a SterilityPlague on the krogan, and resulting ChildlessDystopia, was justified? Then you have to pick between them and the krogan. The quarians won't stop fighting their RobotWar against the geth? Then you have to choose one or the other. This is a very effective Actor Objective, and the resulting game would have been awesome -- arguably, better than what we actually got (and what we actually got was pretty darn good, notorious ending notwithstanding). The ''problem'' is, Player Objectives mandate the inclusion of a GoldenPath. There's been one for the other two games in the series, and CentralTheme of ''the series'' is, "You can ''always'' TakeAThirdOption." For the third game to discard this would absolutely confound Player Objectives. So they kept the GoldenPath; it exists. You ''can'' get the quarians and geth to reconcile; and the salarians come around if you stick to your guns on the matter of the genophage. Even worse, situations in which there genuinely ''was'' no Third Option--in which you must condemn someone to death, with no recourse whatsoever, as you did on Virmire--were DummiedOut. ([[spoiler:It was to have been on Thessia: Liara and the Virmire Survivor were going to be your mandatory squad members, and you'd only have time to save one when the temple floor collapsed.]]) Thus, Actor Objectives were defeated by Player Objectives. The game tells you that you will have to do one thing but lets you do another. And, even worse, [[PoorCommunicationKills the writers weren't told about it]], with the result that there's no GoldenEnding even though there ''is'' a GoldenPath. (That disconnect is part of why the ending was so notoriously ill-received.)

''VideoGame/BioShock1'' had a similar issue: Actor Objectives mandate that you spare the Little Sisters, {{Heartwarming Orphan}}s who are victims of a heartless system, but Player Objectives are to kill them, because if you don't, ''you can't buy new magic powers.'' And the magic is kind of important in Rapture, not just as a plot point (the game takes place AfterTheEnd was brought about by ''abuse'' of Plasmids) but because your character, Jack, is barely one step up from an ActionSurvivor, and needs all the help he can get. Ken Levine at least had the wit to include MultipleEndings depending on which decision you made, but it still eroded the {{escapism}} that video games often offer as one of their prime selling points, because killing Little Sister resulted in the ''bad'' ending. Player Objectives were defeated by Actor Objectives because ''the game punishes you for accessing its content.'' This conflict was so egregious that someone actually coined an entire new term, "ludonarrative dissonance," to describe Actor Objective / Player Objective conflict.

Now, like any other system, the alignment of Actor Objective / Player Objective can be subverted; ''[=BioShock 1=]'' did so on purpose, as did ''SpecOpsTheLine''. You have to be really careful about doing so, though, because the only thing it can possibly do is piss The Player off. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is the poster child for this subversion -- especially because it's the game whose critical analysis gave us the Player Objective / Actor Objective dichotomy. In ''[=MGS2=]'', the two were constantly at odds; Raiden might defeat a boss, but would never get to deal the finishing blow; and succeeding at sneaking aboard Arsenal Gear would result in Raiden getting captured (and having to escape [[MaleFrontalNudity butt-nekkid]]) and the destruction of the Plant which he had worked so hard to save. People didn't like playing as Raiden, because he never seemed to succeed at what he was trying to do. This was ''very'' much intentional; the whole point of Raiden as a character was to make fun of, or perhaps deconstruct, ''the player'', and their Player Objective of "Relive ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and get to be a badass like Solid Snake." Through Raiden, series creator Hideo Kojima was able to point at players and laugh: "You wanted to be Solid Snake. ''You are''. Contemplate ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest. Look at what a wreck Snake is. ThisLoserIsYou." This upset players [[SarcasmMode for some reason]]. Alienating your audience is a ''very'' dangerous thing to do, even if on purpose. So DoNotTryThisAtHome, unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.

to:

GameplayAndStorySegregation is a significant problem. You need to make sure your Writing the story and gameplay are encouraging The Player towards of a video game is tricky for the same goals.

reason that films are trickier to film, and songs tricker to write, than novels: there's more than one storytelling language being used simultaneously. In all of these media, there is a '''story''' -- who the MainCharacter is, what they want, why they can't have it, and why the audience should give a [PrecisionFStrike] about it. But in films there's also "cinematography," which involves the aesthetics of the moving image and how ''it'' can tell a story; [[TheNostalgiaChick Lindsay Ellis]] has an excellent analysis of how camera angles in Creator/MichaelBay's ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' [[https://youtu.be/tKyrUMUervU actually obscure]] the only CharacterDevelopment in the film. In a song, you have lyrics, but you also have the music, and the two can work at cross-purposes -- for instance, the LyricalDissonance of a jaunty, happy piano tune to which Music/EltonJohn sing, "[[https://youtu.be/82wU5NfRfr4 Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself]]." And in video games, there's not only the story being told by the, well, story, but also the one being told ''by gameplay''. And, just as in the other two examples, sometimes the two stories don't agree.

And this is a problem.

A quick foreward: to formalize vocabulary for this section, we are going to borrow some terms from James Howell's seminal work of games criticism, "[[http://www.deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/ Driving Off the Map]]." Particularly, we are going to talk about '''Player Objectives''' -- the things which a human being, sitting around in RealLife playing VideoGames, hopes to achieve -- and '''Actor Objectives''' -- the things which the PlayerCharacter, an in-game entity controlled by the player, hopes to achieve. These two are not always the same; for instance, in the ''The Last Of Us'' example above, Joel has the Actor Objective of saving his daughter, while the player has the Player Objective of correctly manipulating the Dualshock 3 controller in a way that results in Joel navigating through the in-game world, avoiding obstacles and zombie attacks. These are being established because conflicts between the two sets of objectives are not always in accord.

Sometimes Player Objectives beat Actor Objectives. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', and its notorious ending, is an example. Per WordOfGod, the CentralTheme of the story is, "[[TheChainsOfCommanding You can't save everyone]]." WarIsHell, and somewhere along the line you're going to have to choose [A] over [B] and watch [B] die a fiery, dramatic, slow-motion death with OneWomanWail in the background. In other words, there is no GoldenPath where you get absolutely everyone on your side. The salarians still believe that inflicting a SterilityPlague on the krogan, and resulting ChildlessDystopia, was justified? Then you have to pick between them and the krogan. The quarians won't stop fighting their RobotWar against the geth? Then you have to choose one or the other. This is a very effective Actor Objective, and the resulting game would have been awesome -- arguably, better than what we actually got (and what we actually got was pretty darn good, notorious ending notwithstanding). The ''problem'' is, Player Objectives mandate the inclusion of a GoldenPath. There's been one for the other two games in the series, and CentralTheme of ''the series'' is, "You can ''always'' TakeAThirdOption.TakeAThirdOption; there ''is'' a GoldenPath." For the third game to discard this would absolutely confound Player Objectives. So they kept the GoldenPath; it exists. You ''can'' get the quarians and geth to reconcile; and the salarians come around if you stick to your guns on the matter of the genophage. guns. Even worse, situations in which there genuinely ''was'' no Third Option--in which you must condemn someone endure the PlayerPunch of condemning a NonPlayerCharacter to death, with no recourse whatsoever, as you did on Virmire--were DummiedOut. ([[spoiler:It was to have been on Thessia: Liara and the Virmire Survivor were going to be your mandatory squad members, and you'd only have time to save one when the temple floor collapsed.]]) Thus, Actor Objectives were defeated by Player Objectives. The game story tells you that you will have to do one thing but gameplay lets you do another.the exact opposite. And, even worse, [[PoorCommunicationKills the writers weren't told about it]], with the result that there's no GoldenEnding even though there ''is'' a GoldenPath. (That disconnect is part of why the ending was so notoriously ill-received.)

''VideoGame/BioShock1'' had a similar issue: Actor Objectives mandate that you spare the Little Sisters, {{Heartwarming Orphan}}s who are victims of a heartless system, but Player Objectives are encourage you to kill them, because if you don't, ''you can't buy new magic powers.'' And the magic is powers are kind of important in Rapture, not just as a plot point (the game takes place AfterTheEnd was brought about by ''abuse'' of Plasmids) said "Plasmids") but because your character, Jack, is barely one step up from an ActionSurvivor, and needs all the help he can get. Ken Levine at least had the wit to include MultipleEndings depending on which decision you made, but it still eroded the {{escapism}} that video games often offer as one of their prime selling points, because killing Little Sister resulted in the ''bad'' ending. Player Objectives were defeated by Actor Objectives because ''the game punishes you for accessing its content.playing all of it.'' This conflict was so egregious that someone actually coined an entire new term, "ludonarrative dissonance," to describe Actor Objective / Player Objective conflict.

Now, like Like any other system, the alignment of Actor Objective / Player Objective trope, ludonarrative dissonance can be subverted; employed deliberately; ''[=BioShock 1=]'' did so on purpose, so, as did ''SpecOpsTheLine''. You have to be really careful about doing so, though, because the only thing it can possibly do is piss The Player off. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is the poster child for this subversion -- especially because it's the game whose critical analysis gave us the Player Objective / Actor Objective dichotomy.terminology. In ''[=MGS2=]'', the two were constantly at odds; Raiden might defeat a boss, but would never get to deal the finishing blow; and succeeding at sneaking aboard Arsenal Gear would result in Raiden getting captured (and having to escape [[MaleFrontalNudity butt-nekkid]]) and the destruction of the Plant which he had worked so hard to save. People didn't like playing as Raiden, because he never seemed to succeed at what he was trying to do. This was ''very'' much intentional; the whole point of Raiden as a character was to make fun of, or perhaps deconstruct, ''the player'', and their Player Objective of "Relive ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and get to be a badass like Solid Snake." Through Raiden, series creator Hideo Kojima was able to point at players and laugh: "You wanted to be Solid Snake. ''You are''. Contemplate ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest. Look at what a wreck Snake is. ThisLoserIsYou." This upset players [[SarcasmMode for some reason]]. Alienating your audience is a ''very'' dangerous thing to do, even if on purpose. So DoNotTryThisAtHome, unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.
23rd Jan '18 11:39:04 AM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Sometimes Player Objectives beat Actor Objectives. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', and its notorious ending, is an example. Per WordOfGod, the CentralTheme of the story is, "[[TheChainsOfCommanding You can't save everyone]]." WarIsHell, and somewhere along the line you're going to have to choose [A] over [B] and watch [B] die a fiery, dramatic, slow-motion death with OneWomanWail in the background. In other words, there is no GoldenPath where you get absolutely everyone on your side. The salarians still believe that inflicting a SterilityPlague on the krogan, and resulting ChildlessDystopia, was justified? Then you have to pick between them and the krogan. The quarians won't stop fighting their RobotWar against the geth? Then you have to choose one or the other. This is a very effective Actor Objective, and the resulting game would have been awesome -- arguably, better than what we actually got (and what we actually got was pretty darn good, notorious ending notwithstanding). The ''problem'' is, PlayerObjectives mandate the inclusion of a GoldenPath. There's been one for the other two games in the series, and CentralTheme of ''the series'' is, "You can ''always'' TakeAThirdOption." For the third game to discard this would absolutely confound Player Objectives. So they kept the GoldenPath; it exists. You ''can'' get the quarians and geth to reconcile; and the salarians come around if you stick to your guns on the matter of the genophage. Even worse, situations in which there genuinely ''was'' no Third Option--in which you must condemn someone to death, with no recourse whatsoever, as you did on Virmire--were DummiedOut. ([[spoiler:It was to have been on Thessia: Liara and the Virmire Survivor were going to be your mandatory squad members, and you'd only have time to save one when the temple floor collapsed.]]) Thus, Actor Objectives were defeated by Player Objectives. The game tells you that you will have to do one thing but lets you do another. And, even worse, [[PoorCommunicationKills the writers weren't told about it]], with the result that there's no GoldenEnding even though there ''is'' a GoldenPath. (That disconnect is part of why the ending was so notoriously ill-received.)

''VideoGame/BioShock1'' had a similar issue: Actor Objectives mandate that you spare the Little Sisters, {{Heartwarming Orphan}}s who are victims of a heartless system, but Player Objectives are to kill them, because if you don't, ''you can't buy new magic powers.'' And the magic is kind of important in Rapture, not just as a plot point (the game takes place AfterTheEnd was brought about by ''abuse'' of Plasmids) but because your character, Jack, is barely one step up from an ActionSurvivor, and needs all the help he can get. Ken Levine at least had the wit to include MultipleEndings depending on which decision you made, but it still eroded the {{escapism}} that video games often offer as one of their prime selling points, because killing Little Sister resulted in the ''bad'' ending. Player Objectives were defeated by Actor Objectives because ''the game punishes you for playing it to its fullest extent.'' This conflict was so egregious that someone actually coined an entire new term, "ludonarrative dissonance," to describe Actor Objective / Player Objective conflict.

Now, like any other system, the alignment of Actor Objective / Player Objective can be subverted; ''[=BioShock 1=]'' did so on purpose, as did ''SpecOpsTheLine''. But you have to be really careful about doing so. Another extremely controversial game, ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', caught a lot of flak ''because'' it did so. Actor Objectives and Player Objectives were constantly at odds; Raiden might defeat a boss, but would never get to deal the finishing blow; and succeeding at sneaking aboard Arsenal Gear would result in Raiden getting captured (and having to escape [[FrontalMaleNudity butt-nekkid]]) and the destruction of the Plant which he had worked so hard to save. People didn't like playing as Raiden, because he never seemed to succeed at what he was trying to do. This was ''very'' much intentional; the whole point of Raiden as a character was to make fun of, or perhaps deconstruct, ''the player'', and their Player Objective of "Relive ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and get to be a badass like Solid Snake." Through Raiden, series creator Hideo Kojima was able to point at players and laugh: "ThisLoserIsYou." Players didn't enjoy that for some reason. Alienating your audience is a ''very'' dangerous thing to do, even if on purpose, and "alienating your audience" is the only thing misalignment of Player Goals and Actor Goals can possibly achieve. So DoNotTryThisAtHome, unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.

to:

Sometimes Player Objectives beat Actor Objectives. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', and its notorious ending, is an example. Per WordOfGod, the CentralTheme of the story is, "[[TheChainsOfCommanding You can't save everyone]]." WarIsHell, and somewhere along the line you're going to have to choose [A] over [B] and watch [B] die a fiery, dramatic, slow-motion death with OneWomanWail in the background. In other words, there is no GoldenPath where you get absolutely everyone on your side. The salarians still believe that inflicting a SterilityPlague on the krogan, and resulting ChildlessDystopia, was justified? Then you have to pick between them and the krogan. The quarians won't stop fighting their RobotWar against the geth? Then you have to choose one or the other. This is a very effective Actor Objective, and the resulting game would have been awesome -- arguably, better than what we actually got (and what we actually got was pretty darn good, notorious ending notwithstanding). The ''problem'' is, PlayerObjectives Player Objectives mandate the inclusion of a GoldenPath. There's been one for the other two games in the series, and CentralTheme of ''the series'' is, "You can ''always'' TakeAThirdOption." For the third game to discard this would absolutely confound Player Objectives. So they kept the GoldenPath; it exists. You ''can'' get the quarians and geth to reconcile; and the salarians come around if you stick to your guns on the matter of the genophage. Even worse, situations in which there genuinely ''was'' no Third Option--in which you must condemn someone to death, with no recourse whatsoever, as you did on Virmire--were DummiedOut. ([[spoiler:It was to have been on Thessia: Liara and the Virmire Survivor were going to be your mandatory squad members, and you'd only have time to save one when the temple floor collapsed.]]) Thus, Actor Objectives were defeated by Player Objectives. The game tells you that you will have to do one thing but lets you do another. And, even worse, [[PoorCommunicationKills the writers weren't told about it]], with the result that there's no GoldenEnding even though there ''is'' a GoldenPath. (That disconnect is part of why the ending was so notoriously ill-received.)

''VideoGame/BioShock1'' had a similar issue: Actor Objectives mandate that you spare the Little Sisters, {{Heartwarming Orphan}}s who are victims of a heartless system, but Player Objectives are to kill them, because if you don't, ''you can't buy new magic powers.'' And the magic is kind of important in Rapture, not just as a plot point (the game takes place AfterTheEnd was brought about by ''abuse'' of Plasmids) but because your character, Jack, is barely one step up from an ActionSurvivor, and needs all the help he can get. Ken Levine at least had the wit to include MultipleEndings depending on which decision you made, but it still eroded the {{escapism}} that video games often offer as one of their prime selling points, because killing Little Sister resulted in the ''bad'' ending. Player Objectives were defeated by Actor Objectives because ''the game punishes you for playing it to accessing its fullest extent.content.'' This conflict was so egregious that someone actually coined an entire new term, "ludonarrative dissonance," to describe Actor Objective / Player Objective conflict.

Now, like any other system, the alignment of Actor Objective / Player Objective can be subverted; ''[=BioShock 1=]'' did so on purpose, as did ''SpecOpsTheLine''. But you You have to be really careful about doing so. Another extremely controversial game, ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', caught a lot of flak ''because'' so, though, because the only thing it did so. Actor Objectives and can possibly do is piss The Player Objectives off. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is the poster child for this subversion -- especially because it's the game whose critical analysis gave us the Player Objective / Actor Objective dichotomy. In ''[=MGS2=]'', the two were constantly at odds; Raiden might defeat a boss, but would never get to deal the finishing blow; and succeeding at sneaking aboard Arsenal Gear would result in Raiden getting captured (and having to escape [[FrontalMaleNudity [[MaleFrontalNudity butt-nekkid]]) and the destruction of the Plant which he had worked so hard to save. People didn't like playing as Raiden, because he never seemed to succeed at what he was trying to do. This was ''very'' much intentional; the whole point of Raiden as a character was to make fun of, or perhaps deconstruct, ''the player'', and their Player Objective of "Relive ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and get to be a badass like Solid Snake." Through Raiden, series creator Hideo Kojima was able to point at players and laugh: "ThisLoserIsYou."You wanted to be Solid Snake. ''You are''. Contemplate ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest. Look at what a wreck Snake is. ThisLoserIsYou." Players didn't enjoy that This upset players [[SarcasmMode for some reason. reason]]. Alienating your audience is a ''very'' dangerous thing to do, even if on purpose, and "alienating your audience" is the only thing misalignment of Player Goals and Actor Goals can possibly achieve.purpose. So DoNotTryThisAtHome, unless you're 100% sure you know what you're doing.
23rd Jan '18 11:26:39 AM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Graphics are always a big thing in video games these days. Everyone wants good ones... but creating good ones takes a lot of time and effort. It can also require a great deal of processing power in terms of the hardware necessary to run your game. Even worse, graphics ''age''. Games that were considered to have stellar, cutting-edge graphics ten years ago (''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', ''VideoGame/TheSims II'', ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} II'') look dated today. One simple workaround is to look at games which ''don't'' look dated--''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' and ''VideoGame/{{Limbo}}'' come to mind. What do these games have in common? Simple: they don't try to be photorealistic. Instead, they have an ''art style'' with graphics that aren't ''supposed'' to look like "reality" and instead like... well, whatever they're trying to achieve (cel shading, sliding silhouettes, etc). And, since they achieve it, their graphics become timeless. There's a Sliding Scale Of Photorealistic Vs. Artistic, and while both of them take money, the second one lasts longer.

Beware, ''beware, '''beware''''' the trap called the "Minimum Viable Product." As the term suggests, this is a benchmark that you and/or your team sets, representing the absolute most bare-bones version of the game that can be released to consumers. Exactly what this benchmark consists of -- what the core loop looks like, how many extras are available, how much content you have, if there is multiplayer, etc -- is going to depend on the nature of your product itself. For instance, for Creator/TelltaleGames, the MVP is "An engine and 20% of the content" because their games are episodic and the "Expansion Packs" consist solely of data that is slotted in later. But if you're on the team that made the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' your minimum is "the engine, ''all'' the content, and every bell and whistle we decide to add (including some extremely-well-hidden option that [[UrbanLegendOfZelda lets you revive Aerith]])." This can vary even within your genre; the creators of the [[MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena MOBA]] ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' decided to ship their game with 40 characters, whereas the competing ''VideoGame/{{Demigod}}'' went out with a mere ''eight''. (And that's why you've never heard of ''Demigod''.) Additionally, it's going to go up and down as the product evolves -- this is done, that is not; we can't implement this feature for various reasons; ExecutiveMeddling requires us to add [this], whether or not it fits. ''And'' it's prey to the current climate of gaming, specifically the "Games As Service" model that dominates. Because games can be, and are, updated on a regular basis, it's become increasingly acceptable to take an ObviousBeta, declare it meets your MVP, and ship it. ''Whatever you do, don't do this.'' Very few games that shipped half-finished were financial successes, because the simple fact is that if players are going to spend a full game's worth of money, they want to receive a full game's worth of content for it, ''today'', not tomorrow. Even worse, because of the way people play games these days, they're gonna go through content fast. People who make smartphone games can tell horror stories about how they shipped games which, they thought, had months of content, only to have players get through it in days or even ''hours''. When this happens, players lose interest, and fast. The fate of games like ''VideoGame/FalloutShelter'' and ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' are examples of games that ''could'' have gotten huge... had they been released with sufficient content. But no: someone took a half-finished version and declared it the the Minimum Viable Product, even though it couldn't hold people's attention. And didn't.

to:

!!! Graphics
Graphics are always a big thing in video games these days. Everyone wants good ones... but creating good ones takes a lot of time and effort. It can also require a great deal of processing power in terms of the hardware necessary to run your game. Even worse, graphics ''age''. Games that were considered to have stellar, cutting-edge graphics ten years ago (''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', ''VideoGame/TheSims II'', ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} II'') look dated today. One simple workaround is to look at games which ''don't'' look dated--''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' and ''VideoGame/{{Limbo}}'' come to mind.''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', ''VideoGame/{{Limbo}}'', ''VideoGame/SpiralKnights''. What do these games have in common? Simple: they don't try to be photorealistic. Instead, they have an ''art style'' with graphics that aren't ''supposed'' to look like "reality" and instead like... well, whatever they're trying to achieve (cel shading, sliding silhouettes, etc). And, since they achieve it, their graphics become timeless. There's Of course, to achieve this, you need (someone to provide) very strong art direction, which is also a rare commodity. It's TechnicianVsPerformer for graphics, and the question is which one you decide to throw money at. But there's a Sliding Scale Of Photorealistic Vs. Artistic, and while both of them take money, the simple fact is that the second one lasts longer.

ages better.

!!! Minimum Viable Product
Beware, ''beware, '''beware''''' the trap called the "Minimum Viable Product." As the term suggests, this is a benchmark that you and/or your team sets, representing the absolute most bare-bones version of the game that can be released to consumers. Exactly what this benchmark consists of -- what the core loop looks like, how many extras are available, how much content you have, if there is multiplayer, etc -- is going to depend on the nature of your product itself. For instance, for Creator/TelltaleGames, the MVP is "An engine and 20% of the content" because their games are episodic and the "Expansion Packs" consist solely of data that is slotted in later. But if you're on the team that made the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' your minimum is "the engine, ''all'' the content, and every bell and whistle we decide to add (including some extremely-well-hidden option that [[UrbanLegendOfZelda lets you revive Aerith]])." This can vary even within your genre; the creators of the [[MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena MOBA]] ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' decided to ship their game with 40 characters, whereas the competing ''VideoGame/{{Demigod}}'' went out with a mere ''eight''. (And that's why you've never heard of ''Demigod''.) Additionally, it's going to go up and down as the product evolves -- this is done, that is not; we can't implement this feature for various reasons; ExecutiveMeddling requires us to add [this], whether or not it fits. ''And'' it's prey to the current climate of gaming, specifically the "Games As Service" model that dominates. dominates.

Because games can be, and are, updated on a regular basis, it's become increasingly acceptable to take an ObviousBeta, declare it meets your MVP, and ship it. ''Whatever it, often by MovingTheGoalposts to accommodate the product that currently exists. '''''Whatever you do, don't do this.'' ''''' Very few games that shipped half-finished were financial successes, because the simple fact is that if players are going to spend a full game's worth of money, they want to receive a full game's worth of content for it, ''today'', not tomorrow. Even worse, because of the way people play games these days, they're gonna go through content fast. People who make smartphone games can tell horror stories about how they shipped games which, they thought, had months of content, only to have players get through it in days or even ''hours''. When this happens, players lose interest, and fast. The fate of games like ''VideoGame/FalloutShelter'' and ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' are examples of games that ''could'' have gotten huge... had they been released with sufficient content. But no: someone took a half-finished version and declared it the the Minimum Viable Product, even though it couldn't hold people's attention. And didn't.
didn't.

Now, the flipside is that MovingTheGoalposts is a common feature of game development, as artistic, technical and scheduling limitations fall into place. Eventually you will have to compromise. YouTube's [[https://www.youtube.com/user/Warbot40/videos Design Doc]] gaming-analysis channel gives [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdt5zCdXoSc an example]] of an adapation of ''Film/ANewHope'' in which Luke can decline the CallToAdventure and spend the rest of the game in a FarmingSimulator. This is something that, almost certainly, would get cut during production, because its return-on-investment is dismal. Goalposts will move; goalposts ''have'' to move. The key is to know which of your goalposts are critical to the game you want to create.
17th Jan '18 1:57:08 PM slvstrChung
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The model pioneered by [=MMORPGs=] and Microsoft are the "Games As Service" model. You create a game, you release it, you update it frequently. There are multiple places you can make money: [=MMOs=] charge a monthly subscription, for instance, while most {{Mobile Phone Game}}s that use this model place limits, sometimes artificial ones, on gameplay and then offer "In-App Purchase" options to let you get around it--''VideoGame/FarmVille'' forces you to expend Energy on every action and regenerates it slowly (1 charge every 15 minutes, one charge every hour, etc), but allows you to purchase more for real money. They may also allow you to LevelGrind your way to certain bonuses or simply buy them for convenience and time-saving. This can verge into BribingYourWayToVictory, but the company's not likely to care, since they're the people you're bribing--and, in well-designed games, the fact that players ''can'' buy power will be worked into the CompetitiveBalance.

to:

* The model pioneered by [=MMORPGs=] and Microsoft are the "Games As Service" model. You create a game, you release it, you update it frequently. There are multiple places you can make money: [=MMOs=] charge a monthly subscription, for instance, while most {{Mobile Phone Game}}s that use this model place limits, sometimes artificial ones, on gameplay and then offer "In-App Purchase" options to let you get around it--''VideoGame/FarmVille'' forces you to expend Energy on every action and regenerates it slowly (1 charge every 15 minutes, one charge every hour, etc), but allows you to purchase more for real money. They may also allow you to LevelGrind your way to certain bonuses or simply buy them for convenience and time-saving. This can verge into BribingYourWayToVictory, but the company's not likely to care, since they're the people you're bribing--and, in well-designed games, the fact that players ''can'' buy power will be worked into the CompetitiveBalance. Of course, in any situation where players can buy power, you ''also'' have to think about the game's overall economy -- how far you want the LensmanArmsRace to go. Suddenly you need to understand financial matters like [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation hyperinflation]]. The good news is that if it ''works'', you can find yourself enjoying the benefits of games like ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' or ''VideoGame/GameOfWarFireAge'', which consistently earn their creators millions of dollars '''a day'''.
This list shows the last 10 events of 57. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=SoYouWantTo.WriteAVideoGame