Every day I'm philosophisin

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Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby ThinRedPaste » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:32 am

Reading through these forums, it seems to me that we're spending a lot of time stuck on nuts and bolts details, without having a concept really nailed down or following any sort of design philosophy. I'm also noticing us drifting in different directions and that can never yield good results. So I want to use this thread to try and get that stuff set up a little more concretely and get us all on the same page.

I guess a decent place to start, since TS is obviously our primary inspiration, is for everyone to put down what they think TS essentially WAS to them, or the basic "formula" for what made it fun. Sum it up in a sentence, then give another sentence or two regarding how you'd like to see that applied to Double Action. Let's not get too explainy until a few people have done that much.

I'll start:

TS was a fast paced, stylish shooter featuring realistic weapons used by unrealistic people.

I'd like to see us allocate our realism points in that way; arguments have been made against things like restricting rifleman mobility, on the grounds that doing so makes no realistic sense. I say we should distance ourselves from reality in terms of what characters can and can't do, which will give us a lot more flexibility with regard to balance and differentiating playstyles.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Oreo » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:42 am

TS was an "arena" style shooter that, similar to Quake and Unreal Tournament before it, focused on rewarding a player's mobility. Its defining characteristics were its weaponry based loosely off real-world guns and its blatant emphasis on action movie cliches, being extremely self aware of its inspiration and embracing it.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Norgsnigel » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:52 am

TS embraced extremely mobile players, and offered a fair diversity among weapons to choose from.The one thing that made TS the game for me as the fact that you actually could dominate everyone with a single pistol if you were good enough. Other worthy key features I dug a lot were the weight system and the implementation of actual recoil.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Dan » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:10 am

TS was an old-school style deathmatch shooter that felt like the developers said "Wouldn't it be cool if..." and applied that to everything in the game. Things like the bullet dodge or being able to hold your guns sideways added character to the game, but it felt like all the resources and time went into these "awesome features" and not enough time went into making it a "balanced game." Look at how many unnecessary guns TS had and what a nightmare to balance the game was.

As much as I love TS, and I've said this repeatedly, I don't think we should be making another TS. I think this new game should be a lightweight and simple action game that is rewarding, in itself, to play. So many shooters are about unlocking new weapons now that they seem to forget that the gameplay itself is the reward. Look at what happened to TF2: the game is unplayable for me now because they just added more and more bloat.

Key words: Tight, small, balanced.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby DragonNinja » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:11 pm

Divin' Shootin' Asplodin'
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Riet » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:43 pm

boost and fu
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Vino » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:01 pm

In my mind the primary driver of fun in TS was the escapism factor. The motion of a dive isn't in itself an inherently fun thing until it's paired with the idea that you are an action badass. It's something a person couldn't really do in real life.

On the specific subject of rifle users, they should have a disadvantage. Every weapon in fact should have an advantage and a drawback - this is one of the essential building blocks of fun. In TS the rifle's disadvantage was primarily related to speed and stunting ability. This had balance problems in that if their "DPS" (sorry about that term) was higher than pistols they would dominate, but if it were lower they would be ineffective. As we learned this problem could not be mitigated with adding recoil. This system also had the penalty of taking the game's primary feature - diving - away from an entire class of weapons.

So the solution I'm going to try is to restrict them with a different kind of mobility. This is what I think the aim in feature can provide. Without it, rifle users are inaccurate and can't cover long distances with their weapon (which should be one of the rifle's advantages.) But when aimed in the rifle user is slower and has tunnel vision. So the rifle user's game becomes a tradeoff between having the advantages of his weapon available to him versus having mobility.

(Notice how none of my justification of this has anything to do with "realism")
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby ThinRedPaste » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:06 am

oh no! he's seen through my clever ploy!

But no, that sounds fine. maybe. the rifles would have to be really terrible un-aimed for them to not still be better at everything in close range.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Vino » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:21 am

Yeah I was thinking that too. We'll playtest it and if it turns out that system won't work we'll try something else.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Antagonist » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:18 pm

Since everyone who's describing TS here is talking about mechanics and balance (or lack thereof) and I pretty much agree with y'all, I'll talk about the design and "cool features". TS to me was cool because it was the only game that looked and felt anything like the media that everyone liked back then.

Back when TS was being made, the movies people had watched and wanted to "play" were The Matrix (sorry but it's true), Face/Off and all of John Woo's older shit, Jackie Chan movies and Jet Li's Hollywood debut movies. The games people played were Quake 3, Counter-Strike, Soldier of Fortune (that's where we had the Deagle reload anim from, and probably the knife throwing too) and Max Payne. TS had design elements and features from all of those movies and games and I think that's what pulled me in.

I remember when I saw the first TS 1.5 screenshots on Planet Half-Life shortly after getting a new gaming PC to share with my twin brother. To see a guy playing TS and firing akimbo uzis at a guy diving away and shooting back with akimbo berettas, while the interior of that lobby from The Matrix was exploding with debris everywhere around them was more than just cool. Being used to games that had only few similarities to the actual feeling of an action movie; that was the most impressive thing I had ever seen in a single screenshot. Downloaded that shit and played for hours every day.

These days, game concepts are pretty much at the 2002 standards. They're all about space marines being bulky and firing big guns. If there's ever a game that is "actiony" in sort of like a TS way; the main character is either gay-looking like Bayonetta or New Dante; or has bionic arms and is emo. Come to think of it, the only game that's anything similar to TS is the COD series, cuz of the akimbos, quick-killing guns and shit. I swear the Modern Warfare devs came up with a lot of their shit from playing TS. There's even a "strike package" in MW3 that gives you a huge buff and a 2x score bonus when you reach 9 kills. Guess what it's called. Yeah, it's called "Specialist". Okay. Well, COD is a mock soldier sim and not an "action shooter game" like TS, so it's not like COD is a worthy spiritual successor but still.

The movies we watch today are darker and edgier than the ones that we watched when TS was happening (when the basic tone of the game was developed). People really seem to like the action sequences from Bourne and Taken that are fast and brutal and have that "realistic" look, while still exceeding the excitement level of shit like The Matrix. If we can tap into that Bourne-feeling, I think the game could look really impressive to todays audience. I'm not saying that we need to reel a lot of people in, but it's always good to appeal to someone other than the people that make (or help make) the game.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Hadji|DP » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:59 pm

Antagonist wrote:The movies we watch today are darker and edgier than the ones that we watched when TS was happening (when the basic tone of the game was developed). People really seem to like the action sequences from Bourne and Taken that are fast and brutal and have that "realistic" look, while still exceeding the excitement level of shit like The Matrix. If we can tap into that Bourne-feeling, I think the game could look really impressive to todays audience. I'm not saying that we need to reel a lot of people in, but it's always good to appeal to someone other than the people that make (or help make) the game.


Antag has a good point in terms of the aesthetic design of the game. TS was made in an era where it was shit like The Matrix that was being upheld as THE action movie. Now we have extremely gritty action films that de-emphasize the fantastic nature of action films. However, TS's aesthetic philosophy was that if it was in a popular action movie, you're in. I think that's a good thing to keep in mind, and a big-tent approach to reeling in all tropes of action cinema will allow us to reach alot of people. Plus haven't you ever wondered what would happen if Jason Bourne and Chow Yun Fat ever got into a gunfight? Its that kind of action fantasy I feel that TS did get right and should continue over to this game.

Vino wrote:So the solution I'm going to try is to restrict them with a different kind of mobility. This is what I think the aim in feature can provide. Without it, rifleem users are inaccurate and can't cover long distances with their weapon (which should be one of the rifle's advantages.) But when aimed in the rifle user is slower and has tunnel vision. So the rifle user's game becomes a tradeoff between having the advantages of his weapon available to him versus having mobility.


We can have other approaches to the Rifle Question besides mobility if we're not sticking to any semblance of reality. We can basically engineer it so that rifles are at their most effective when in ironsights. I remember reading a suggestion that stunting gives players the same bonus accuracy that you would get from bringing the weapon to your sights. Perhaps rifles can not have this bonus whilst stunting, ensuring that at close-range players do not abuse the stunt and rifle in order to build meter like crazy.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Antagonist » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:35 am

Hadji|DP wrote:We can have other approaches to the Rifle Question besides mobility if we're not sticking to any semblance of reality. We can basically engineer it so that rifles are at their most effective when in ironsights. I remember reading a suggestion that stunting gives players the same bonus accuracy that you would get from bringing the weapon to your sights. Perhaps rifles can not have this bonus whilst stunting, ensuring that at close-range players do not abuse the stunt and rifle in order to build meter like crazy.

Maybe all guns that are larger than a pistol and are able to fire in full-auto should just slow you down, have slower reload time and depend much more on the use of sights. The only real benefit of having a rifle or full-size smg like the MP5SD should be ranged damage and accuracy.
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Vino » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:39 pm

So Antag just to be clear, you are not suggesting that DAB be dark and edgy?
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby Antagonist » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:52 pm

If you compare Bourne/Taken/Collateral kinda action sequences to Matrix/Equilibrium, the former are a lot grittier compared to the bullet-dancing of the latter (which is fine but kind of done to death). But no, I don't think we need to put dark and edgy New Dante in the game. I'm just saying a bit of that up in your face shaky cam Inception snow base fight scene shit that the kids like could attract a lot of men.

It can be stylistically realistic but it doesn't need to lack humor. Fallout 2 is the funniest game in the world, and while there isn't a sense of complete and utter realism, there is nothing hilarious about its art style. I'm a little worried that DA could end up with a design that's out of style. Like, I don't think we can aim for the TF2 (not original) or Timesplitters thing... or do the 1990s movie references too hard. Yaknow... That's just what I think. Don't have to mind any of my viewpoints or even read any of it. I am just philossisisin pretty hard because... I don't do much except worry about DA when I'm not at work... :$ ...
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Re: Every day I'm philosophisin

Postby floater » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:32 am

ThinRedPaste wrote:I guess a decent place to start, since TS is obviously our primary inspiration, is for everyone to put down what they think TS essentially WAS to them, or the basic "formula" for what made it fun. Sum it up in a sentence, then give another sentence or two regarding how you'd like to see that applied to Double Action. Let's not get too explainy until a few people have done that much.


Late for this party as well but... For me, TS was as much as about the pleasure of fragging and stunting but also about the added layer of constantly thinking "can it be done?". Can I take out the guys in the next room with my throwing knives? Can I do it while stunting? And if a plan came together, it was extremely satisfying time after time. This was basically the essence of what I enjoyed in TF2 as well: Being able to top myself in more interesting things than k/d ratio. So, I would like to see another game where I am able forget the scoreboard and keep coming back because of the totally ridiculous stuff I somehow managed to nail once, and then try to pull off some more because of the feeling that it can be done.
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