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Who's on first? It depends on your POV...
August 25th 2001, 11:13 CEST by Paul Montgomery

A <a href="http://www.bigkid.com.au/cfml/bk_news.cfm?d=24&m=8&y=2001">post</a> on the Australian games news site BigKid tells us that it is entirely possible to play some courses on the SSX snowboarding game without touching the controller at all, and be quite successful.

The next time you load up SSX - for those fortunate enough to have Playstation 2s obviously - choose your character, select your course, and then just put the controller down, sit back, and cheer your racer of choice on.

This phenomenon is present in other games, most notably sports simulations. In EA's FIFA soccer franchise, the AI for your players does better than most humans' efforts, and the passing algorithm is so good that you hardly need touch anything else except the shoot button. Some games are built around the concept of being a spectator with only limited interactivity, such as God games, some RTSs and the Caesar/Pharaoh city building games.

Is it possible for AI to be too good in a game, so that it takes away the fun of control out of the player's hands? Would you rather be a third-person spectator watching your minions act out your limited range of commands, or do you prefer a first-person view with cigar clenched between your teeth and weapon in hand? Can there be a balance between the two in a single game?
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#1 by "Rambar"
2001-08-22 22:51:39
http://www.opencrap.org
Mwhaha, replicating muah's fisrt post antics using the web interface of course.
#2 by "Napoleon"
2001-08-25 12:28:32
Excuse me? The AI in Fifa is good? Damn, must've missed that then :)

Oh, and first!
#3 by "Napoleon"
2001-08-25 12:30:11
Must...type...faster...

:)

Seriously, I wouldn't like it much if all you did in a game was watching, but most games aren't like that, nor do I foresee them becoming like that, mainly because it's probably nigh-on impossible to make an AI good enough to do that.
#4 by "Napoleon"
2001-08-25 12:31:23
Must...type...faster...

:)

Seriously, I wouldn't like it much if all you did in a game was watching, but most games aren't like that, nor do I foresee them becoming like that, mainly because it's probably nigh-on impossible to make an AI good enough to do that.
#5 by "Speed"
2001-08-25 13:06:48
speed@crew.fragland.net http://www.fragland.net
I've seen the same thing in several F1 games where you can set the difficulty to easy and have help in turns, making that your car will drive better than you yourself can do if you're not an experienced F1 gamer and all you need to do is push the gas.
That way you can easily make it through the qualifications and only have to steer a bit during the actual race when you have to pass other cars.

I find it to be funny and it gives you a chance of watching the graphics and surroundings, but wether it improves the game is a totally different story though...
#6 by "Ashiran"
2001-08-25 14:26:56
ashiran@ashrain.net http://wtf.couchcrew.com
Frankly I would like the idea of an AI taking over. To a point that is. For stategy games it would be heaven not to have to concern yourself with micromanagment. I know there are games that already do that but they are usually way to slowpaced to be any fun in my opinion.

And btw if you want an AI that can play the game for you, buy Black
#7 by "Helios!"
2001-08-25 14:44:50
What's happening to me!? The safety interlocks for the power system have be
"Can there be a balance between the two in a single game?"
As opposed to what? A balance in multiple games?
#8 by "Terata"
2001-08-25 16:44:03
jeremys@artifact-entertainment.com
In Elite Force we had to intentionally power down the teammates you had on a lot of the missions, since originally they'd just destroy everything and all you had to do was walk along.  Of course, then people complained about that, so whaddyado...
#9 by "Desiato"
2001-08-25 17:35:57
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
It would be nice for AI (whatever type) to take over some of the mundane tasks in most RTS games. It would be even better if it could observe your patterns, and then popup a dialog "I've noticed that you have built this type of unit more than a few times, would you like me to take over this task?". For some people, and some strategies - it would be a godsend to not have to go through the build-ladder to get to a certain unit by hand. Then you could concentrate on a higher-level strategy. Little "helper" AI inventions would be quite welcome in my opinion.


Desiato
#10 by "theSAiNT"
2001-08-25 17:50:27
csl56@wincoll.ac.uk
hmmm
the question at the top seems a bit dodgy...
it's like asking is a first person shooter better than an RTS?

but don't worry
i won't nit pick...
i think i got the gist of the question...

i think path finding and mundane things like that could be improved in rpgs...that kinda thing
it's particularly irritating if your character doesn't know how to get where you tell him and you have to direct him every step of the way...

and major work needs to be done on interactive characters in fps's (i'm specifically referring to our good friends the hossies in CS and i've heard great stories about Daikatana). Mainly to do with pathfinding again...

Other than that I haven't really come across a game which plays itself...
except Black & White but that's meant to....
#11 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-25 18:23:24
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
Bullshit.  The second paragraph is the best ...

"Why? Because, in some instances, they'll naturally give the computer a run for its money. The best example of this was on Mesa Blanca where Hiro (all stats maxed) lead for most of the race."

I've been through all of SSX, and Mesa Blanca is the hardest race course of any of them.  Well, it gets easier once you learn a few shortcuts, but there is no fucking way you'll win by taking your hands off the controller.

See, SSX races go in 3 races ...

Quarter Finals
- pathetically easy
Semi-Finals
- about the same
Finals
- total fucking bitch
- you'd better know what you're doing if you expect to win this round

Sounds to me like they have a grudge against the PS2.  What better way to express it than to take a shot at one of it's best games?

SSX Tricky is going to own.  :)
#12 by "Cube"
2001-08-25 18:33:21
FIFA 2000 has an annoying habit of automating aerial balls...so that instead of controlling the ball (chest/foot trap) your player will head it [even when on their own; without being challenged in the air by the opposition]...and most of the time it goes to the opposing team. Cheers.

Then again, it's not as bad as the automated goal keeper in the original Actua Soccer. Once he got the ball, he'd decide what to do (kick upfield, throw etc.) - without your input. I'd always pray he didn't throw it, because every time, without fail, he'd throw it at the opposition striker's feet. :)
#13 by "szcx codemonkey"
2001-08-25 18:41:47
Fucking Australians...
#14 by "Creole Ned"
2001-08-25 18:49:53
cned@telus.net
I would dearly love to have a "scout" command for the scout cavalry in Age of Kings and have it go off sensibly exploring the map, rather than have to keep tediously right-clicking to create waypoints and having to check back because one led into a dead end and the scout did not have the intelligence to back out and continue on as before.

I've also found the hirelings in D2's LoD too powerful and it takes away from the experience. They seem to have perfect aim and timing, so they'll kill the little critters even before you've properly seen them. Plus they just plain crowd the screen when you're playing with friends, even at the insanely high resolution of 800x600. :P But they're fodder and you usually have oodles of gold to revive them when they do get killed, so no one will stop using them. A case of over-correcting a problem with the original game, IMO.

So there, cases for and against better AI. :)
#15 by "Joker"
2001-08-25 19:07:28
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
szcx codemonkey (#13):
Fucking Australians...


Right, they know jack shit about gaming, just like George "I love Chella" Broussard and Scott "I could sell my crap in a box to gamers, it's all about marketing" Miller.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behavior, Pedophilosopher.
- All your ass are belong to my wang, Jafd! Prepare to are penetration!
#16 by "Paparazzi"
2001-08-25 19:13:07
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
#13 szcx codemonkey
Fucking Australians...


Hey man, I've never even heard of that web site before.
And like Warren said, you cant win by taking your hands off the controller in SSX.
Sure, you might be able to eventually roll past the finish line, but about 2 hours after the competition.

=================================
I see stupid people. They're everywhere.
They don't even know they're stupid.
#17 by "Dumdeedum"
2001-08-25 19:18:24
#9 Desiato
...and then popup a dialog "I've noticed that you have built this type of unit more than a few times, would you like me to take over this task?".


Yeah, you could make it a little paperclip, people would love that.  The general idea has merit however, just whenever computer programs try to guess what I'll do next they invariably get it wrong. I'd rather just have more automation, eg. point X should have Y people guarding it, if any die then automatically make and send replacements.

And why hasn't anyone done a freeware remake of Cannon Fodder yet?
#18 by "RedLine"
2001-08-25 19:31:45
redline@realitypod.net
I think having an AI that can virtually play the game for you would be useful in some situations.  For example, how many times have you heard someone say negative things about a game just because they aren't very good at it?  Probably a few times.  Quite often they're talking about an FPS... some people just don't seem to "get" the control system for FPSes... especially the single player story-driven ones where there are a bunch of different controls and you need to bind half your keyboard.

What would be nice would be an option, or a set of options, to allow the computer to take over various tasks.  Then the people who wanted to could just enjoy the story and the graphics, and have enough input so they feel part of the story, but not so much they get frustrated.

Also, because it's an option, the rest of us could turn it off.  I guess things like, auto targeting, so the cross-hair just automatically "locks on" to the nearest/most dangerous baddie, and you just have to pull the trigger.  Some kind of predictive auto-weapon switcher as well, so if you're in, say, a close environment, like tunnels, it would use your shotgun-type weapons (Assuming you had ammo for that weapon), but if you were in a more exposed location, like a large room or something, it would switch to a machine gun type weapon.  And if you were up against a badass character, it would switch to a more powerful weapon.

I'm not saying I would like that particularly, but I know a few people who enjoy FPSes, but bitch about having too many control options, they just want to "point and click" so to speak.  Again, if all this was optional, everyone would be happy... ok, well, perhaps not... but you get what I mean.
#19 by "superion"
2001-08-25 20:01:10
www.veryshamefull.com
#11, the Aus SSX might be different.

doubtfull, but hey, who knows, EA AUS might of added something zany like that in.
#20 by "Paparazzi"
2001-08-25 20:05:51
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
#19 superion
#11, the Aus SSX might be different.

doubtfull, but hey, who knows, EA AUS might of added something zany like that in.


Ya, all our courses are just straight lines on about a 30 degree angle down a hill...
I thought thats how its supposed to be ?!

=================================
I see stupid people. They're everywhere.
They don't even know they're stupid.
#21 by "wizardque"
2001-08-25 21:37:29
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#11 Warren Marshall
Bullshit.  The second paragraph is the best ...

"Why? Because, in some instances, they'll naturally give the computer a run for its money. The best example of this was on Mesa Blanca where Hiro (all stats maxed) lead for most of the race."

I've been through all of SSX, and Mesa Blanca is the hardest race course of any of them.  Well, it gets easier once you learn a few shortcuts, but there is no fucking way you'll win by taking your hands off the controller.

See, SSX races go in 3 races ...

Quarter Finals
- pathetically easy
Semi-Finals
- about the same
Finals
- total fucking bitch
- you'd better know what you're doing if you expect to win this round

Sounds to me like they have a grudge against the PS2.  What better way to express it than to take a shot at one of it's best games?

SSX Tricky is going to own.  :)


I don't see this in the post...  where did they say, PS2 sucks and now we shall smack down SSX.

What else I didn't see in the post though was a point...what is actually the question?  Do we like it when the game helps us?  Do we just want to watch a game play it self?  What is the question...

As for SSX...one of the best all time games...

And Finals aren't that hard once you know them..yer right Warren...but the point isn't whether it's hard or not...but whether the game makes down by itself without your hands on the controller...  it does...my daughter plays that game and loves it because it's so much fun for her...she's 3 years old and pulls off some mad tricks and finishes the game...because the game helps her along...

At least I think that was the point...

SSX TRICKY TEAM NEEDS TO HURRY AND FINISH...I'M JONESING!  

-wizard
Not your average wizard.
#22 by "wizardque"
2001-08-25 21:41:09
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#14 Creole Ned

I've also found the hirelings in D2's LoD too powerful and it takes away from the experience. They seem to have perfect aim and timing, so they'll kill the little critters even before you've properly seen them. Plus they just plain crowd the screen when you're playing with friends, even at the insanely high resolution of 800x600. :P But they're fodder and you usually have oodles of gold to revive them when they do get killed, so no one will stop using them. A case of over-correcting a problem with the original game, IMO.


Stop the crack...less crack for you will help...first you say they are too good...then you later say they are fodder...  Can't be both ways...

As for there effectiveness...  They are helpful, but not overly helpful...in the first game they were completely useless, but I don't see them throwing down on things, killing before I can...  I like it when they freeze things or help hack on things, but they aren't more powerful or faster than me...  Are you using the that special class, "geek", and have no maigc power?  :)

-wizard
Not your average wizard.
#23 by "wizardque"
2001-08-25 21:43:27
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#20 Paparazzi
#19 superion
#11, the Aus SSX might be different.

doubtfull, but hey, who knows, EA AUS might of added something zany like that in.

Ya, all our courses are just straight lines on about a 30 degree angle down a hill...
I thought thats how its supposed to be ?!



LOL...yeah, some of the course in the USA version of jumps and pits and turns... "zany" things like that.

I wouldn't think there would be huge differences between localized versions...right?  I mean in terms of gameplay.

-wizard
Not your average wizard.
#24 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-25 23:33:02
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
I don't see this in the post... where did they say, PS2 sucks and now we shall smack down SSX.

Since what they said has no basis in reality, it seemed like a slam against the console.  Just my opinion and all that ...

What else I didn't see in the post though was a point...what is actually the question? Do we like it when the game helps us? Do we just want to watch a game play it self? What is the question...

My point is that you can't just take your hands off the controller and win.  Was I being too vague?

And Finals aren't that hard once you know them..yer right Warren...but the point isn't whether it's hard or not...but whether the game makes down by itself without your hands on the controller... it does...my daughter plays that game and loves it because it's so much fun for her...she's 3 years old and pulls off some mad tricks and finishes the game...because the game helps her along...

All racing games will do this.  Play any racing game, and hold down the accelerator.  You'll eventually reach the end of the course.  You won't win though.
#25 by "None-1a"
2001-08-26 00:41:49
none1a@home.com
All racing games will do this. Play any racing game, and hold down the accelerator. You'll eventually reach the end of the course. You won't win though.


You seam to be forgetting that the 'trick' requires a player with max stats (and I'd assume the AI boarders at much lower levels). It makes since that if one charicter can slide down the hill faster then another he would win with out player input (assuming of course nothing gets in the way).

Racing games are the same way (I remember managing the arcade mode in GT2 and the slower sim races by using a much faster car and not worrying about things like turning).
#26 by "wizardque"
2001-08-26 00:50:00
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#24 Warren Marshall

My point is that you can't just take your hands off the controller and win.  Was I being too vague?


I wasn't talking about your point, I meant the point of the article...it appears I was to vague


All racing games will do this.  Play any racing game, and hold down the accelerator.  You'll eventually reach the end of the course.  You won't win though.

But, in SSX, as we know...you don't have to hold down anything (just put down the controller)...  that was the point, I believe...

-wizard
Not your average wizard.
#27 by "Rambar"
2001-08-26 01:03:50
http://www.opencrap.org
#3 Napoleon
Must...type...faster...

That would not have saved you.  Look at the date on my post and the date on the story. :)
#28 by "Mr.Sparkle"
2001-08-26 01:43:56
modron@psu.edu
Great, the next thing these game developers need to do is implement some A.I. that automatically gives positive reviews and BUY NOW links on the same web page.
#29 by "Sgt_Hulka"
2001-08-26 02:44:56
rwaring@teamevolve.com http://www.teamevolve.com
#13 szcx codemonkey
Fucking Australians...



I tell ya, those Aussies are wackos!  Except that Nicole Kidman creature.  She's a hottie!

......................It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education!
#30 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-26 02:52:17
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
wizard
But, in SSX, as we know...you don't have to hold down anything (just put down the controller)... that was the point, I believe...

Yes, but that's only because you're on a snowboard standing on snow/ice.  The rider moves forward because of the laws of nature.  Racing games don't have this inherent movement, so to simulate the effect you'll have to press the accelerator.
#31 by "wizardque"
2001-08-26 06:20:11
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#30 Warren Marshall

Yes, but that's only because you're on a snowboard standing on snow/ice.  The rider moves forward because of the laws of nature.  Racing games don't have this inherent movement, so to simulate the effect you'll have to press the accelerator.


Exactly...we are in complete agreement on how nature works and acceleration in cars...  :)   The ONLY reason this article was written, was because of those exact nature esque effects in SSX...because you do go downhill and can complete the courses designed, without doing anything.  Racing games have been around for a while and none have generated such an article...  that's all I way saying...  it inane and useless for me to go on further about such a thing (at least I feel it is for me...probably could have skipped this message all together), but it's late so it seems needed :)

-wizard
It just feels wierd posting people that use thier real names and not using mine...my name is Matt :).
#32 by "JMCDaveL"
2001-08-26 06:22:25
jmcdavel@mailandnews.com Official Kmart Employee of PlanetCrap
Slow news day?

*gets banned from LTM.net*
#33 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-26 07:03:10
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
Quick experiment.  I started up SSX and let my Elisa race on Mesa Blanca.  She's completed the entire circuit, has maxed out stats and has the rank of "Superstar".

The only thing I did the entire race was press the "select" button to reset her on the course when she was in trouble I knew she couldn't get out of on her own.

I finished the race dead last, finished 1 minute and 12 seconds behind the 5th place rider.  At no time, was she ever higher than 5th place.
#34 by "wizardque"
2001-08-26 07:06:22
wizardque@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#33 Warren Marshall
Quick experiment.  I started up SSX and let my Elisa race on Mesa Blanca.  She's completed the entire circuit, has maxed out stats and has the rank of "Superstar".

The only thing I did the entire race was press the "select" button to reset her on the course when she was in trouble I knew she couldn't get out of on her own.

I finished the race dead last, finished 1 minute and 12 seconds behind the 5th place rider.  At no time, was she ever higher than 5th place.


Right...and without select she wouldn't have made any place...probably have finished, if lucky...and the article was saying something about that...  I'm just not sure what the original topic was about?  Are supposed to decide whether this was bad?  Whether we liked games helping us...?  Whether Elisa looked good on the snowboard?  :)

-wizard
Not your average wizard.
#35 by "None-1a"
2001-08-26 07:18:08
none1a@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
#33 Warren Marshall
Quick experiment.  I started up SSX and let my Elisa race on Mesa Blanca.  She's completed the entire circuit, has maxed out stats and has the rank of "Superstar".


Forget Mesa Blanca, try a simpler course, and with really crappy opponents.
#36 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-26 07:40:55
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
Forget Mesa Blanca, try a simpler course, and with really crappy opponents.

I used Mesa Blanca because that's the course that Big Kid claimed to have used.
#37 by "Stepto"
2001-08-26 08:44:50
stepto@gamersangst.com http://www.gamersangst.com
The geek in me thinks this is just too damn cool.

The game player in me must admit that I've been pretty pleased with AI in games lately.  I've been replaying X-Wing Alliance and find the enemy pilots in that game are skilled but not too skilled.   In addition I've also just recently finished Dune: Emporer and was pleasently surprised that playing the different races against the AI playing the other races wasnt near as predictable as I thought it would be.  One of the cool things about the AI is that it really will use the strengths of each race in combination to attack, then if you counter the primary strength of the AI's race, it knows to switch over to other tactics.

S.
#38 by "None-1a"
2001-08-26 10:50:17
none1a@yahoo.com http://www.opencrap.org
I used Mesa Blanca because that's the course that Big Kid claimed to have used.


There are three reason I can think of that aren't outside possiblity for Mesa Blanca being used.
1: He lieing is ass off about that course working for hits (most likly)
2: The charicters in the aus version have lower stats.
3: The stats have a larger effect on gameplay.

As bad as it's sounds 2 isn't that large a jump. Simmaler things have been done with a few other console games. RE/Biohazzerd has less ink ribbons and ammon in the japanse release because it was thought that with out a difficulty setting the rest of the world would view the game as too hard since gaming isn't as big a past time any where else. GT2's license test where vastly different in the time required to get gold depending on what version you had (the japanse version had harder road course test, and the europen version has harder rally test). 3 is also possible if they got any complates about the differances not being really noticable in other releases (peark of a latter release, time to tweak based on customer feedback).

The idea that you can win is sound, and should work on all versions (ignore any other clames made by the sites opperator). Don't just ignore it based on the clame he made on the course since there could be differances or he could have just gotten really lucky.
#39 by "dukope"
2001-08-26 11:54:15
2: The charicters in the aus version have lower stats.


does anybody localize for australia?
#40 by "GreatGooglyMoogly"
2001-08-26 11:54:43
uh@huh.com nyet
Who cares about silly racing games?
#41 by "Paparazzi"
2001-08-26 12:01:17
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
This topic sux0rs
I'm gonna fire up SSX and let my guy slide down.
See if i can win, heh

=================================
I see stupid people. They're everywhere.
They don't even know they're stupid.
#42 by "Paparazzi"
2001-08-26 12:04:07
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
While i wait....

From the article (let me finish that sentance)

Why? Because, in some instances, they'll naturally give the computer a run for its money. The best example of this was on Mesa Blanca where Hiro (all stats maxed) lead for most of the race.
...
...until he rounded the second corner, smacked into the fence, and got stuck.

Australia web sites suck.

=================================
I see stupid people. They're everywhere.
They don't even know they're stupid.
#43 by "Paparazzi"
2001-08-26 12:33:27
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
On the easiest setting using my homey Mac (rank- Contender)

Snowdream, finished last (30 second behind the next guy) and needed to reset him 4 times.
Elysium alps - last (1 min behind the next guy) Reset 5-6+ times (lost count heh)
Mesa Blanca - last (50 sec behind) Reset about 10 times

Funny Fact #1 I got a score on each race thanks to railing
Funny Fact #2 Getting past the finish line proved difficult on each track heh
Funny Fact #3 I got a speed boost on Mesa :p (just missed 2 others)

Can i be a newsreporter too mummy?

=================================
I see stupid people. They're everywhere.
They don't even know they're stupid.
#44 by "Hugin"
2001-08-26 17:36:18
lmccain@nber.org
I don't really play racing games (aside from Wipeout XL), and I've never played SSX, except at a PS2 demo kiosk at a store for five minutes (it didn't grab me).

But I'd like to point out (re: the last paragraph of this topic poser
"Would you rather be a third-person spectator watching your minions act out your limited range of commands, or do you prefer a first-person view with cigar clenched between your teeth and weapon in hand?"
) that "interactivity and control" is very different issue than the perspective the game interface gives the player. Third person "god"/management, and even most RTS games are generally designed to maximize the player's sense of control over the game environment, as compared to a first person game. What constitutes an acceptable level of player control and interactivity changes pretty radically genre to genre, comparing Elite to Descent Freespace to Privateer is doable, comparing any of those to say, Raiden or Xevious in one direction, or Homeworld in another, or Moo2 in yet another is tough, and probably pointless. Even though you could honestly say (if you were glossing over detail to someone who was ignorant of all of them) that all seven games were about spaceships fighting each other.

To put it another way, one could certainly make an enjoyable first person shooter set on an alien world wherein your soldier is pitted against the soldiers of enemy political factions and the planet's own psionic mobile fungus worms...but it would be really hard to argue that this theoretical game offered the player more "control" than the Alpha Centauri game that actually got made.
#45 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-26 19:03:46
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
Funny Fact #3 I got a speed boost on Mesa :p (just missed 2 others)

Haha, yeah, I got one too ... the last one on the course I think.  That was funny as hell.  Of course, I quickly went flying off the track and had to reset, but it was funny while it lasted.
#46 by "JMCDaveL"
2001-08-26 19:51:07
jmcdavel@mailandnews.com Official Kmart Employee of PlanetCrap
A first person perspective actually limits your vision. :P
#47 by "m0nty"
2001-08-27 02:44:16
paul.montgomery@delphigroup.com.au http://www.delphigroup.com.au
Just to reiterate what this post was about, I should quote the last two sentences of the BigKid story:
It should be noted that at other times, the rider will flail about in a ditch or gully or, you know...behind a rock, but my flat-mate was well-pleased with himself, deriding the rest of us in the room as "un-supportive". The crazy mothers that occupy sports fields Saturday mornings and yell instructions at the coach may soon be coming to a lounge-room near you.

The point is that this guy's flatmate was having a better time with the game by not playing it, and instead cheering on his asleep-at-the-wheel snowboarder from the other side of the room. As has been evidenced by some of the above posts, there is entertainment to be had by relaxing in your armchair and watching your avatars play your game-on-rails by themselves - and whether you won is not the point.

I'm amazed that no one has picked up on this idea by creating a mod for one of the popular FPSs which is not playable: consisting solely of a bot sequence which you watch passively in the manner of a movie or TV show, complete with script etc. It wouldn't be particularly difficult, as all you would need would be a microphone to record original dialogue. The potential for using UT or Q3A mods as artistic expression is endless.
#48 by "m0nty"
2001-08-27 02:59:31
paul.montgomery@delphigroup.com.au http://www.delphigroup.com.au
Hugin (#44):
To put it another way, one could certainly make an enjoyable first person shooter set on an alien world wherein your soldier is pitted against the soldiers of enemy political factions and the planet's own psionic mobile fungus worms...but it would be really hard to argue that this theoretical game offered the player more "control" than the Alpha Centauri game that actually got made.

Well, I wasn't so much talking about Alpha Centauri when I mentioned God games. SMAC, and its antecedents in the Civ series, are glorified board games which owe more to military simulations than any other genre.

Although I'm a huge fan of SMAC, don't get me wrong, there are some limitations to the game. One city is much like any other... you don't have a SimCity-level of control over your cities. Also, your military options are limited to attacking, bombarding, or fortifying. When it comes down to it, the game still consists of moving game pieces around a board. This is not a criticism, but it forms one of the bases of the thread: would you rather play SMAC as a futuristic board game, where you don't really get down and dirty with your colonists, or would you rather be Colonel Santiago takin' names and killing alien freaks?
#49 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-08-27 03:11:57
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicboy.com
The point is that this guy's flatmate was having a better time with the game by not playing it, and instead cheering on his asleep-at-the-wheel snowboarder from the other side of the room. As has been evidenced by some of the above posts, there is entertainment to be had by relaxing in your armchair and watching your avatars play your game-on-rails by themselves - and whether you won is not the point.

Actually, there is some truth to that ... When I was really into Street Fighter 2, I would often watch the demo matches and try to guess who was going to win and stuff ... it was actually enjoyable.

I understand this paints me as an even worse geek than I could have ever hoped for, but ...  ;)
#50 by "Terata"
2001-08-27 03:18:26
jeremys@artifact-entertainment.com
Hey Warren, ever looked at shoryuken.com?  =P
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