Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Oil it or Spoil it!

quote [ An overly literal collision engine will make you fall as soon as your feet leave solid ground. But what if you give the player just a few extra frames, and if they push the jump button a few milliseconds too late, you still give them a valid jump? ]

As opposed to the last one, this article gives some insights in that forgiveness sometimes makes for a better game experience. There was a longer Twitter conversation featuring even more adjustments collected in a Polygon article.
[SFW] [games] [+4 Interesting]
[by Paracetamol@10:02amGMT]


spaceloaf said @ 3:56am GMT on 16th Jan [Score:1 Underrated]
I like the concept, but I think the author made the term too broad. I don't think the quality of life improvements mentioned in the beginning of the article are really the same as the mechanic "assists" at the end.

In modern games, any quality of life enhancements are just basic good design. Having shortcuts, reducing button presses, streamlining menus, etc, these are all things that any good designer should be thinking about regardless of genre. Many of those improvements are patched into games after release because they just fix minor annoyances rather than change how the game plays.

The mechanic "assists" are more interesting because those are deliberate design decisions which can significantly affect the gameplay. In those cases, I think a lot of it depends on how much feedback the game gives you in the first place. How easy is it for the player to accurately reproduce what they visualize in their head? That question is vastly different for every game, and thus the amount of "assist" needed is different.
Paracetamol said @ 6:41am GMT on 16th Jan
Right, but on the other hand I would argue that the Dwarf Fortress experience mentioned in the other comment applies it's own rabbit hole oil– albeit more attractive to certain players.
spaceloaf said[1] @ 7:05am GMT on 16th Jan
I don't disagree there.

But that's why I covered my ass said "modern games."

I feel like Dwarf Fortress is deliberately retro. In a similar way, old school adventure games often had ridiculous menus where you choose from a large list of verbs ("pick up," "push," "pull," "open," "close," etc.) even though only one or two could really apply to a given object. In both cases the obfuscation is part of the challenge of the game.

I still maintain its not really "good" design from a modern perspective, but you are right that sometimes people want that old-school flavor.
cb361 said @ 10:46am GMT on 15th Jan
Young people today. In my day we were eaten by ghosts, whether we liked it or not. But we were happy.
5th Earth said @ 12:35pm GMT on 15th Jan
Dwarf Fortress is presumably the ultimate example of a game without oil.
Headlessfriar said @ 6:18pm GMT on 15th Jan
I think Epic Mickey was game ruined for lack of oil. I really wanted to like it, but between it asking you to adjust your tv’s brightness and contrast for just that one game, and the controls being finicky as all get out, I found it unplayable.

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