I recently read this blog post about an interesting game design concept, where being able to save game, and restart from that point onwards, is part of the game world, and NPCs friends and foe alike, are aware of this. Fame designer (author of the article) says that the villian would try to make you save in places which where impossible to get out of, or impossible to complete. This if made properly, it would be absolutely amazing and even more revolutionary than games like portal are/were.
However there are a couple of problems. So said villain has bested you and you have saved in a place from which you can't escape, what do you do? Well load up a different one, if the point of the game was saves, I'd spam the save buttons continuously. Why not restrict the amount of saves you can have then? Well that would be a nice idea, but if you save in the wrong place don't you'd have to restart the whole game.
One way around this is perhaps have an autosave, which saves at the beginning of each level/room/stage, one that can't be modified by you, the player. If you've taken a wrong turn, you load up the autosave. But this throws up some problems. How far apart will they be? It would still be frustrating to replay the same level over and over constantly.
As for the actuall mechanism, the only way a imagination-less and uncreative simpleton like myself can see any reason for saving, would be to save if your about to die. To make it that important to save you would have to die ALOT. If you die a lot, the game must be hard. And replaying large chunks of a frustratingly difficult game is not fun.
As for the actual story context, would NPCs be aware that you've saved and played through something a couple of times, with memories of you dying, or would they not remember previous encounters, only being aware that you have this mystical "savé" button and that you may have already played the conversation out 100 times before. If they do have memory then perhaps you would not play through the same bits over and over, with NPCs knowing you won't fall for the same trap twice, they lay a different one.
That sounds like a good idea, but most likely an implausible one. To think of one puzzle that would make sense, wouldn't be easy and at the same time isn't impossible, would be hard. To think of enough for a game would be impossible. To think of enough for a game that has constantly changing puzzles is so absurd that my face melted on to my keyboard and now I can type no longer because my face called up Mrs CAPSLOCK who hit me with a large, but spherical, cuboid, tulip. She also wants me to find her walrus, skin continent. The weather is all four dimensional today as well :(!
I was curios to see what other games Ukrainian Developer 4A games, currently developing Metro 2033, had made. None, so this is their first title, does not sound reassuring. But wait a minute, it isn't actually their first game! Wikipedia claims that these were the guys who developed the X-ray engine, use for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. So comparisons to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. seem to be justified.
Here's the entirety of the Wikipedia article :D
"The company was formed in Kiev, Ukraine It was founded by people who split off from GSC Game World a year before the * release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, in particular Oles' Shiskovtsov and Aleksandr Maksimchuk, the programmers who worked on the development of X-Ray engine used in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series."
*It actually had a second the here, I deleted it from Wikipedia though, aren’t I helpful.
Well hello all, I hope this isn't going to be one giant flame, however I, for the Winter equinox of this year passed, received Little King Story as a present. It will hopefully be of great interest to you, who ever you may be, to know, that I did not see why Linde (may have been Reverend Anthony, I can't remember which now) likes it so much. It is kind’a of meh...
N.B. This article assumes you've listened to the podtoid where Linde/Anthony jizzes about how awesome the game is.
The gameplay first and foremost, is simplistic and not satisfying. The basic gist is, you have guys who follow you and you have to fight, to do this you press A to throw them at the enemy, and press B to retreat them, when the enemy will attack back. This would be fine if battles weren't a significant part of the game, however they are, in fact it's about half of it, due to grinding, which seems to be the very heart and soul of Japanese developed games. Not to mention, boss battles are long and tedious tasks, which requite about 5 minutes of stupidly timing A, B alternation rate.
The other half of the game, is digging and building, which is even MORE tedious. You throw your men at a hole or bridge and wait... Or rather that would have been a good idea compared to what you actually do. You throw you men, wait, and then at some random, arbitrary stage when the hole has gotten bigger, your men stop. Then you have to throw them again. The period of time between them stopping is just big enough to make it annoying to wait, but small enough so that you can't pick up a glass of water (or whatever your gaming beverage might be). As with the combat, the digging is part of the grinding process, having to dig after fighting something, most of the time.
The other bits of the game are well made, I guess... but any good points have been smeared with the wet brush that is the bad mechanics of the core gameplay. Even the charm of racist subtext is lost. Sure you have an insane general who’s been waiting for 40 years to conquer the world, and is simply using you as a puppet; however, by this stage I really don't care.
What it is probably necessary to mention, before I stop writing is I didn't finish the game, in fact I could only muster up the will to play it for 3-4 hours. So at 4 hours 1 minute, it may completely change and turn awesome, however I doubt it. Right now it’s on its way to a friend of mine. Hopefully he will enjoy it more than I did.
The new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game is out with a discount for any one who has the previous games and Metro 2033 coming out in a month with a free copy of Red Faction guerilla with it. Those Russian commy developers sure are good at capitalist deals and sales. UK prices £15 with discount, £20 without.
I have the game and I want to buy it again cause of this great sale, you don't already have it, you must buy it, even if you don't have a PC, or dislike RTS games. You must buy it. You must. You actually have to buy it or I will stab you. Don't eat for a month if you can't afford it, its worth starving for. Buy it. Now.
What the fuck are you doing reading this? You're meant to be buying it.
You're a fucking twat if you're still reading this and havn't bought it yet.
I don't care if this is fanboyism buy it, or I will murder you.
Oh sure, they have the software aspect covered, but imagine if they monopolised hardware. High prices, low quality and barrels of fun… or did I mean bugs? I’ve been thinking however, it would not be such a hard thing for MS to do. They already have the 360, which is basically a computer without the failware that is Windows. Why don’t they release a gaming PC? When thinking about this in depth there would be major advantages and disadvantages to such a plan for gamers.
Is this the future of PC gaming?
If MS released a PC, which, like the 360, had all the hardware needed for the next 4/5 years of gaming in it, there would be no need to buy new graphics cards, more RAM, better processors. You would go down to your local shop (Gamestation, Game or whatever the American equivalents are), open the box, plug in a couple of cables and done - your very own shiny new PC without all the building and constant upgrading. It would mean that all the games would run. No need for checking the specs and looking for the latest drivers. Like a console, you would get it, put in a disc, and play. However, you’d still have all the functions and extravagant comforts of the PC, such as being able to type and point where you want to.
You could go on the interwebz, read the latest gaming news, check your email or visit an inappropriate website or five, all whilst being on what is basically your console. It could be hooked up to a monitor or TV, have a controller or mouse and keyboard, and be all in one machine.
These machines would come in 2 flavours - standard (for your fail people i.e. non-gamers who only need it for stupid non-gaming needs) and gaming (for non-fail people i.e. gamers). Developers would develop their games to run on the gaming versions. They “could” make them like Crysis which doesn’t run on anything, ever (if you claim it can run on your computer you’re a dirty liar! Games don’t run… they have no feet), but simply not enough people would have machines that could run them.
Forgive me, I had to.
But this isn’t just speculation (well it is, but justified speculation) - after all, you can get keyboards for your 360, go on Facebook, send each other messages over the Enternet (this new system could be called “E”-post). Could we possibly see our consoles turn into PCs in the next generation? If this one carries on till 2012/2013 or even 2014 as some people claim it might, who knows what could happen in the next 4 years? People thought the Wii would stop selling after a year or so when people realised it was a gimmick - it didn’t, and it still hasn’t.
But do we actually want a world where MS rules the PC hardware world as well? I certainly would like to be able to play all the PC games that are going to come out in 4 years time on the machine I am writing at now, but were that to happen, other consoles would have to have their own operating systems (or something similar) to keep up, and would they be any good? Would this spark a new dawn where the new, Sony-developed operating system, Doors (pardon the obvious clichéd pun), ruled all software? Or would Apple take the semi-anticipated step into gaming consoles? This is now unanswerable territory, but to be honest, as long as it doesn’t lead to one company dominating the market, I would not mind one device for all my electronic needs - in fact I would welcome it.