List of Convicted Fun Murderers

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Eich
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List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Eich »

Greetings,

I want to present all of the things which killed games in the last 10 years so that Wasteland 2 will not be charged as well. Be noted that I did not play Wasteland so some points may seems strange in the eyes of veterans.

1) Immortality vs. permanent Death
In games like 'Dragon Age' partymembers were degraded to mere expendable meatwalls. More than once I "sacrificed" a partymember to ensure the save extraction of at least one surviving member. Why? Because they were just unconscious and would stand up again as soon as the fight was over. This is absurd and pains my soul. But I'm sure there will be a perma death in Wasteland 2 so I won't go any further into this matter.

2) No Dialog
The year is 2012 and the world faces a dire threat. Huge parts of the population are kept in a comatose state by taking away their need to read. Roleplayinggames feature complete voice over and pictograms to ensure a seamless braindead state.
To cut right to the chase. If there is dialog please integrate:

+ at least 3 choices (preferable with different outcome)
+ whole sentences
+ some brain activity to figure out which the right choice could be

What to avoid:

- dumbed down word fragments instead of sentences
- choices with the same outcome
- different colours or pictogramms to show which choice does what

3) No Soundtrack & SFX
The year is still 2012 and my ears serve no purpose. Games are shipped without any kind of soundtrack or believable sfx. For instance Dragon Age 2 had at least 20 songs which were nothing more than generic background noise.
So please do not neglect this topic. For many people (like myself) a game rises or falls with it's soundtrack. Like I mentioned in another topic Mark Morgan did an outstanding job with Fallout and Planescape: Torment. For inspiration you could also listen to Kaoru Wada's Soundtrack for Cashern Sins.

Another important keystone are soundeffects. Just take out your old copy of Baldurs Gate 2 and take a stroll on Waukeen's Promenade. Close your eyes and you will think you are standing in this pulsating city yourself. I fear I cannot emphasize enough how important background sounds are for a believable athmosphere. In the wilds there ought to be wildlife. In the cities there is a need for screams and busyness.
There is no modern game which does this right. In fact there is no modern game which even tries to do this right.

4) Dead Interface
Did you see the interface of Skyrim or Dragon Age 2? It's horrible. My eyes are offended by this modern minimalist design. It destroys any athmosphere which is left. The interface has to be integrated into the world. The Pipboy was a brilliant idea and it still is. Another good example is the recently released Crusader Kings II. The interface is superb.

5) DLC
I do not even want to get started about this topic. I will only say this: Do resist. It's the root of all evil. It's a WMD (weapon of massive fun destruction).


____

Well that's about it. I think I have covered the basics. If there is another I want to add I will most certainly do so! ;)
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Quarex
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Quarex »

Your post pretty much nails it on every count. Particularly the "dead" feeling of a lot of recent games, both visually and aurally.

And while I hate "downloadable content" (the term just sounds so light and fun, right?), I think everyone can agree that "expansions" can be awesome, if they serve some specific purpose. Like if Wasteland 2 comes out and thousands of people are like "BUT WHAT WAS BEYOND THE IRON WALLS ON THE EASTERN EDGE OF THE MAP?" and the designers are like "oh, we did not think people cared about that ... uhhhh" then their choices are either to address it in Wasteland 3 or release an expansion elaborating on that part of the game.

Sure, we would all probably prefer Wasteland 3, but if their plans are for the next game in the series to be a prequel, or even a reboot of the original, or something, then we might never get an elaboration on that tiny part of the game that we want more of, without some kind of expansion.
Epsilon
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Epsilon »

One of the things that really stands out for me in these 'older' games like Fallout and it's sequel, Planescape and other infinity engine based games is exactly the ambience that the sound design delivers, as you go around town you can hear people yelling, in the desert you hear birds flying above you screeching or in an area with many trees you hear the wind as it moves the branches.

Sound is especially important in games when we're not having everything graphically served, which generally leaves little room for your imagination which is a mistake that many newer games make.
Because no matter how powerful the graphics card or how much time spent on textures and models, you can't outdo or compete with the human imagination.

This is also why something like Dwarf Fortress or Minecraft is enjoyed by so many people despite them not having good graphics, or none at all; they live and die based on the imagination of the player.

I do believe however that sound effects are very important in a combat sense, think for instance of the SMG in fallout when you go up to someone and put it on burst mode and can 'hear' the bullets enter the body and it slumping down on the ground. Here the graphics only serve to show you that it actually happened, in your mind there was no doubt it did based on what you heard.
Similarly 'umph' sound laser rifles make followed up by a body cut in half and falling to the ground, or with plasma rifles as people disintegrate, their final screams echoing in your ears as they turn into a puddle of goop.
And lets not forget the sound of the barrels of the minigun as it kicks into gear and starts firing :)

Graphics should only serve to make it easy for the player to navigate the space his PC and party are in and help him figure out the tactics he'll apply to a given situation.
Graphics should never be the end itself, which is seen in these first person shooters that are unfortunately very popular these days.
danvolodar
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by danvolodar »

Eich wrote: 2) No Dialog
The year is 2012 and the world faces a dire threat. Huge parts of the population are kept in a comatose state by taking away their need to read. Roleplayinggames feature complete voice over and pictograms to ensure a seamless braindead state.
To cut right to the chase. If there is dialog please integrate:

+ at least 3 choices (preferable with different outcome)
+ whole sentences
+ some brain activity to figure out which the right choice could be

What to avoid:

- dumbed down word fragments instead of sentences
- choices with the same outcome
- different colours or pictogramms to show which choice does what
Voice-acting is actually nice if only for us non-native speakers to get some language practice - after all, I believe more of my buddies learned English through Fallout than through the teachers' efforts. But it's in no way top-priority, of course.
Otherwise, couldn't agree more that choices should be meaningful and actual phrases in a dialog, not some vague ideas with predictable effect noted with an icon.
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enderandrew
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by enderandrew »

Charging 3 bucks for horse armor is evil. Expanding a game with hours of solid content is worth a couple bucks. If you never purchase DLC, then you're missing out on some really good gaming experiences.
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Kide
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Kide »

Agreed.

And just want to add, that the way some games had more dialogue options if you were intelligent or knew medicine etc, was just awesome. But for example the way Fallout 3 put this into game was just plain annoying (you need 25/50/75 of a certan skill, and it is visible in the text box!) Or you can't try and do some mission because you do not have required skill level of visible 50 or something.... That really takes the enjoyment of trying to do it and get there a lot more boring. Some things are better to be mysteries, and nice suprises (did not know I could find this kind of stuff if I have doctor skills and enough intelligence in this computer for example), than to give you exact knowledge on what you need to get to do something or see something.....
Matej
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Matej »

A lot of games today (and ever since 3D became the norm and 2D a niche) focus too much on graphics, and the story and gameplay end up feeling like afterthoughts.

Also, most games now cater to the modern player, who has the attention span of a goldfish. Thus resulting in things such as automatic respawn, any need for strategy or tactics replaced with jumping around each other while shooting from point blank range, realistic weapons and skills replaced with constant seizure-inducing flashing lights & magic spells all over the screen, etc.
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Plasmablaster
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Plasmablaster »

Epsilon wrote: Sound is especially important in games when we're not having everything graphically served, which generally leaves little room for your imagination which is a mistake that many newer games make.
Because no matter how powerful the graphics card or how much time spent on textures and models, you can't outdo or compete with the human imagination.
(..........)
Graphics should only serve to make it easy for the player to navigate the space his PC and party are in and help him figure out the tactics he'll apply to a given situation.
Graphics should never be the end itself, which is seen in these first person shooters that are unfortunately very popular these days.
I couldn't agree more. You nail it with accuracy and power. Room for Imagination is very, VERY important and while graphics in general are in contest with imagination, the soundtrack is not, it is actually an asset for that, that's why it's so important, that's why truly memorable games almost always have strong soundtracks with real psychological impact and that's why I immediately decided to pledge money once I saw that Mark Morgan would write the soundtrack for Wasteland 2. This guy is pure genious, the fallout 1 & 2 soundtracks are perhaps the most atmospheric (without being cheesy) pieces of sound I've ever heard. I hope he does as good a job as in those old diamonds.
My personal project of sci fi love:

http://www.plasmablastgames.com

Lots of quality sci-fi tank and aircraft models in 1/300 scale.
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ankou
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by ankou »

I just want to say that I agree with every post in this thread, and I couldn't have said it better.
When there's lead in the air, there's hope.
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valcik
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by valcik »

High loading times can murder fun for me. I would rather take 8-bit graphics, than wait several minutes while entering new location or building.
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Ekaros
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Ekaros »

Eich wrote:
5) DLC
I do not even want to get started about this topic. I will only say this: Do resist. It's the root of all evil. It's a WMD (weapon of massive fun destruction).
After game is done and revenue earned from no backer sales. I would love to get an EXPANSION. 15$ or so and content amounting half of the game. It might come a year later, but it's worth to wait for full sized expansion again, not just small single areas or quests...
Azriel
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by Azriel »

Eich wrote:Greetings,

I want to present all of the things which killed games in the last 10 years so that Wasteland 2 will not be charged as well. Be noted that I did not play Wasteland so some points may seems strange in the eyes of veterans.

1) Immortality vs. permanent Death
In games like 'Dragon Age' partymembers were degraded to mere expendable meatwalls. More than once I "sacrificed" a partymember to ensure the save extraction of at least one surviving member. Why? Because they were just unconscious and would stand up again as soon as the fight was over. This is absurd and pains my soul. But I'm sure there will be a perma death in Wasteland 2 so I won't go any further into this matter.

2) No Dialog
The year is 2012 and the world faces a dire threat. Huge parts of the population are kept in a comatose state by taking away their need to read. Roleplayinggames feature complete voice over and pictograms to ensure a seamless braindead state.
To cut right to the chase. If there is dialog please integrate:

+ at least 3 choices (preferable with different outcome)
+ whole sentences
+ some brain activity to figure out which the right choice could be

What to avoid:

- dumbed down word fragments instead of sentences
- choices with the same outcome
- different colours or pictogramms to show which choice does what

3) No Soundtrack & SFX
The year is still 2012 and my ears serve no purpose. Games are shipped without any kind of soundtrack or believable sfx. For instance Dragon Age 2 had at least 20 songs which were nothing more than generic background noise.
So please do not neglect this topic. For many people (like myself) a game rises or falls with it's soundtrack. Like I mentioned in another topic Mark Morgan did an outstanding job with Fallout and Planescape: Torment. For inspiration you could also listen to Kaoru Wada's Soundtrack for Cashern Sins.

Another important keystone are soundeffects. Just take out your old copy of Baldurs Gate 2 and take a stroll on Waukeen's Promenade. Close your eyes and you will think you are standing in this pulsating city yourself. I fear I cannot emphasize enough how important background sounds are for a believable athmosphere. In the wilds there ought to be wildlife. In the cities there is a need for screams and busyness.
There is no modern game which does this right. In fact there is no modern game which even tries to do this right.

4) Dead Interface
Did you see the interface of Skyrim or Dragon Age 2? It's horrible. My eyes are offended by this modern minimalist design. It destroys any athmosphere which is left. The interface has to be integrated into the world. The Pipboy was a brilliant idea and it still is. Another good example is the recently released Crusader Kings II. The interface is superb.

5) DLC
I do not even want to get started about this topic. I will only say this: Do resist. It's the root of all evil. It's a WMD (weapon of massive fun destruction).


____

Well that's about it. I think I have covered the basics. If there is another I want to add I will most certainly do so! ;)
I agree with most of these, but

1, I actually think KOing party members instead of flat out killing them is an improvement. As long as one member survives then they should just be KO'd imo. Going from one part of the make to another JUST to get a replacement member is a pain in the ass. There are some limited things that have improved.

2, Agreed wholehartedly except I want at least 6 choices, I really want something like planescape torment huge dialog/tree list that opens up new dialog based on skills, with deus ex (original) huge book dialogs. Here is an example (minus the huge book sentence dialog) I wrote in another thread:

NPC "You want me to teach how things work?"

You:
"Please teach me everything, I want to know how to survive in the world today"
"Better safe than sorry, so yea, teach me whatever I need to know"
"(barter) Well, I am sure I will need this, but since I am new, how about giving me a discount on those weapons since you like me so much"
"(persuasion), sure, but you think training and weapons is enough? How about giving me some free weapons and a little cash to start off with, since you are such a good person and you don't want all that training to go to waste with me dying right?"
"*Grunts affirmative*"
"I know some stuff, just give me the short list"
"(medical/survival/inteligence), I know about all the poisons from animal/plants, how to fix a bullet wound, how to survive harsh environments, but I might need a refresher in weapons"
"I am good, no thanks"
"Just the bare minimum, I don't want to spend all day here"
"Hurry up, I met a hot lady last nigh and we are going to be busy later if you know what I mean! *thinks:oh yea and she is your wife!"
"(seduction) so, how about we teach each other a thing or two when your off, my place or yours?"
"no thank you *walk away*"
"Do I look like an idiot? I don't need anybody's help"
"*punch NPC* That is for asking a stupid question"
"(brawl)*Knock out NPC, take wallet, carry and sell to slaver* Think I got it?"
"*shoot NPC*"
"You hungry? I am! (cooking/cannibilism)*shoot NPC, then cook and eat its corpse* Thank you for lunch"
"(weapon expert)*shoot NPC and take his wallet* "I am taking your money as payment for teaching YOU what the world is like, hopefully you will live and learn your lesson?"
"*Shoot NPC, Take his wallet, Find out where the rest of his family lives so you can kill off his family members and make sure the stupidity in his family isn't passed on to future generations*"
"*Shoot NPC, Take his wallet, Find out where the rest of his family lives so you can capture and sell them to slavers for a profit*"

...etc

3 and 4 I agree with, 5 is a bit trickier. Not a DLC, but a full on expansion packs like the old days is what I think we all would want.
lordfrikk
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by lordfrikk »

If you listen to some tracks of Mark Morgan like Trader's Life it really serves to provide the ambiance and (in case of this specific track) it evokes the feeling of bustling city (at least for me it does), which I consider to be really great, because it functions as both music and sound effects. I believe Fallout had some random ambiance on top of that (dog barks etc.) which helped the atmosphere even more.

TL;DR: MM is on board, don't you worry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUeuujNQuVk
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UniversalWolf
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by UniversalWolf »

I'd say Hand-Holding is a convicted fun murderer. I just started playing Thief a few days ago, and I think that game hits on the right method: you have very general Objectives, but no step-by-step instructions for how to complete those objectives, and you have a map, but it's very poorly drawn and even in some cases inaccurate.

If there are little blinking arrows on the screen pointing me where to go for the next step of the current quest I'm on, I'm going to flush my boxed copy down the toilet.
"The only way to fight hate is with more hate." -Eric Cartman
malakar
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by malakar »

OP pretty much nailed it to be honest. I'll had to that:

PLEASE avoid the Mass effect/Dragon âge 2 dialogue wheel, which as bee adapted fore retarded people (for the record I like both games). Having a little stupid picture telling you right/neutral/bad thing to do is horrible. You don't even need to think, or know what you'll say because you know it's the right/wrong/neutral thing. It's important to see the whole sentence we're going to see and please do not place them in an order which is going to be easy to figure out. I want to think twice before answering, I want to be conflicted and I need to regret it if I did the wrong choice.

Yes, DLC sucks, except if it's a full fledged expansion. Which is nice.
billt568
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Re: List of Convicted Fun Murderers

Post by billt568 »

Eich wrote:Greetings,

I want to present all of the things which killed games in the last 10 years so that Wasteland 2 will not be charged as well. Be noted that I did not play Wasteland so some points may seems strange in the eyes of veterans.

1) Immortality vs. permanent Death
In games like 'Dragon Age' partymembers were degraded to mere expendable meatwalls. More than once I "sacrificed" a partymember to ensure the save extraction of at least one surviving member. Why? Because they were just unconscious and would stand up again as soon as the fight was over. This is absurd and pains my soul. But I'm sure there will be a perma death in Wasteland 2 so I won't go any further into this matter.

2) No Dialog
The year is 2012 and the world faces a dire threat. Huge parts of the population are kept in a comatose state by taking away their need to read. Roleplayinggames feature complete voice over and pictograms to ensure a seamless braindead state.
To cut right to the chase. If there is dialog please integrate:

+ at least 3 choices (preferable with different outcome)
+ whole sentences
+ some brain activity to figure out which the right choice could be

What to avoid:

- dumbed down word fragments instead of sentences
- choices with the same outcome
- different colours or pictogramms to show which choice does what

3) No Soundtrack & SFX
The year is still 2012 and my ears serve no purpose. Games are shipped without any kind of soundtrack or believable sfx. For instance Dragon Age 2 had at least 20 songs which were nothing more than generic background noise.
So please do not neglect this topic. For many people (like myself) a game rises or falls with it's soundtrack. Like I mentioned in another topic Mark Morgan did an outstanding job with Fallout and Planescape: Torment. For inspiration you could also listen to Kaoru Wada's Soundtrack for Cashern Sins.

Another important keystone are soundeffects. Just take out your old copy of Baldurs Gate 2 and take a stroll on Waukeen's Promenade. Close your eyes and you will think you are standing in this pulsating city yourself. I fear I cannot emphasize enough how important background sounds are for a believable athmosphere. In the wilds there ought to be wildlife. In the cities there is a need for screams and busyness.
There is no modern game which does this right. In fact there is no modern game which even tries to do this right.

4) Dead Interface
Did you see the interface of Skyrim or Dragon Age 2? It's horrible. My eyes are offended by this modern minimalist design. It destroys any athmosphere which is left. The interface has to be integrated into the world. The Pipboy was a brilliant idea and it still is. Another good example is the recently released Crusader Kings II. The interface is superb.

5) DLC
I do not even want to get started about this topic. I will only say this: Do resist. It's the root of all evil. It's a WMD (weapon of massive fun destruction).


____

Well that's about it. I think I have covered the basics. If there is another I want to add I will most certainly do so! ;)

Strongly agree on Crusader Kings II interface. Furthermore, their character screens should be a model how how to handle traits, skills, and character management.
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