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Re(1):A Breath of Old Chats
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[QUOTE] Regarding why BOTW is so much fun, this [URL=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EvbqxBUG_c]recent viral video showing off some possible interactions[/URL] is worth many words. [URL=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyMsF31NdNc]Here is the entire GDC talk[/URL] discussing how the physics and chemistry involved in the link above were conceived, then (in the later third) how the development team settled on the over all art direction of BOTW. It's about 90 minutes long but it was peculiarly interesting to have the video running in the background as I was actually fooling around in the game. [URL=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHoHsy0c300]Meanwhile, Capcom is kindly thinking about poor 3DS owners who can't join in on the fun.[/URL] [/QUOTE] What is interesting to me is that they struggled with re-discovering what Western games for the longest time called "emergent gameplay", a term which got so trodden into the grown that people don't invoke it so much anymore. "Emergent gameplay" was especially used to describe the open-world games that took the world by storm following GTA3, even though it certainly existed in games long before that. A kind of central problem in general with GTA, though, has been that aside from certain NPCs, the only real interaction you can have with NPCs comes in the form of stealing their cars and/or attacking them. The way they describe novel and unanticipated situations and solutions arising from interactions of AI and systems is pretty much exactly what emergent sandbox gameplay has aimed to be. But I really like that they are aiming to find words to describe the mechanisms and design philosophies by which they seek to generate emergent gameplay. That and this is the same kind of thinking I espouse whenever I talk with people about the old Microprose X-COM versus the new Firaxis X-COM: the new one is a smoother, more carefully designed tactical experience with all kinds of more modern progression mechanics. The older one certainly had a lot of tactical consideration in it, but it would often choose to be a more freeform simulation instead of a well-balanced tactical game, and so the player had a lot more freedom to do silly things and get into novel situations. It also had terrific integration between its disparate game systems, which made everything seem multiplicatively meaningful. One entertaining article about this was about the game Red Faction Guerilla, a game which had an incredibly delightful building destruction simulation. When describing how to design missions for it, one of the designers said that making zones that were open to possibility was very difficult for them coming from the traditional FPS/TPS level design mentality. Indeed, some of the mission zones almost seemed TOO open and lacking in thought, because it was just like they made zones, threw in some enemies and items and physically interactive things, and put you on one end and an objective on the other. On the flip side, for me one of the most amazing missions involved protecting a convoy from snipers which were in multi-story buildings, because blasting apart chunks of the building to reach the snipers was really fun. It had the right combination of an environmentally interesting situation, a premise that put a little bit of pressure on me, and a vast amount of opportunity to leverage my creativity with the game systems. I think in a truly ideal situation where a game is designed with emergence as an objective, in the player's mind it more becomes a setting in which stories/narratives get generated. I need to stop blabbing so much!
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