Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rage the game for PC, my review.

OK, when I first played this game after installation I found the graphics to be excellent, the town layout very good and the diversionary activities (gambling and racing) to be also very good.
I did find some things they could have done better and it looks like they rushed this game, as Bethesda seems to do. I am referring to the Fallout series and how you just cannot die at all. When a character cannot die and there is nothing to LOSE from dying the game. Thus the game loses all flavor or risk and thus the reward is a "ho-hum, I guess I won that amusement park ride - complete with safety bars".
I also found to my shock that I could win EVERY LEVEL with just a shotgun and a sniper rifle. The shotgun had rockets that shot super accurately and I would have used them all the time except you cannot loot a gibbed body. Now looting bodies is rather moot as money does grow on trees in this game and you end up with ridiculous amounts by the end of the game. Additionally you end up with many more weapons than you actually need. This brings me to how they could resolved this. They could have limited the number of weapons you could carry at any one time to three and then severely limited your movement speed and dodge by upping it to four. Also they could have implemented an encumbrance system that would have had the player actually balance what that player needed for each mission. To me, only the shotgun and sniper rifle did 90% of the work and could have done all of it if it were not my curiosity of how the other weapon's animations looked like. Now you KNOW that not much effort was put into game play dynamics when a player uses a weapon to just appreciate the weapon's animation.
Also, you want to upgrade your car? Just go out there with plenty of missiles, spend two hours blowing up an apparently unlimited supply of bandit cars and fully upgrade your car.
When rewards in a game are a direct result of expending time with little risk of setback the game comes off as dull and more like an interactable movie and not a video game.
The enemies were predictable as World of Warcraft spawns, were as easy to take down as cardboard cutouts that moved and did little to impede your progress through the level (with the help of F5, the save function). If you want excitement in a FPS, then compel the player to exercise caution and use of tactics, not brute force.
The gambling was not as dynamic as I had hoped and too easy to manipulate. All you have to do is hit F5 when you WIN and then F9 right before you lose. The least they could have done is prohibit the save and load function when gambling and in enemy areas to add an element of risk. Again, when you have risk of having to start over it adds a potential element of accomplishment.
I give a solid 6.0 for graphics, decent level layout and good voice acting. I knocked off 4 points due to the fact that there just was not enough risk, you only NEED two or three of the weapons really to accomplish ANY mission and by the end you end up with more ammo than you really need.
Also, I thought the ending was a cut scene until I saw the credits. A game player should be saying "you have to be kidding me" at the completing a video game. I don't think I fired a single rocket at a bad guy due to not having too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

About game damage and real life...

It has been said (maybe by me) that all game mechanics have a basis in real life to a certain degree of accuracy. To what degree this accuracy to real life is up for debate if you have that long to talk about it. The question crossed my mind the other day concerning physical damage to characters and vehicles in game. Most of us know that a short sword does 1d6 damage and the average 1st level character in D&D is about 8 hit points. We also know that from GURPS certain materials has resistance to certain types of damage.
The question is this:
What does one point of damage equal to Newtons of force in real life?
The next question crossed my mind is:
What density and molecular composition does a material need to have in order to 100% resist that one point of damage?

I understand that in role playing games predictive outcomes are the realm of randomness to some degree. Because excessive detail grinds any role playing game to a halt there must be an element of unpredictable  randomness to situations encountered by players. With this said it would add flavor and sense of connectivity to our adventures if we could input elements that predicatively behave more like the world we are familiar with. Just as analogies are the best way to get an idea across with so many few words, having a root to real life analogue to the role playing props we use would bring a more believable and exciting element to the role playing experience. To try to connect our real world to a mentally fabricated one is what science fiction (not science fantasy) is all about!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Outdoor Night Game Ideas 1

OK, when I was younger and my younger siblings were just into their tweens, I was a good by inventing very cool ways we could play outside. This did both to take advantage of the beautiful weather as well as bond with other people in the neighborhood.
Now that my siblings are older with families of their own, we still follow this tradition of playing outside just as the sun went down. Nope! We don't watch TV or play video games - we play NIGHT GAMES!
Some of the notable examples of these really cool get to gethers are the following:

Sardines, Hide and go seek, Kick the can, Hide the glow in the dark objects and glow-in-the-dark ball tag.

I have invented a new game that requires just a few things. This way you can play kick the can or nerf gun fights on any lawn.

Barrier ball
You can either try to knock out of play the other players or use up your foam ball trying to 'capture' forts.  Once a barrier has been claimed by a team it takes at least two players to 'capture' it by each person placing a foam ball on the top of each post. Once 'captured' no one person from the other team may hide behind it.
Items needed: 
Four foot high poles pushed about one foot into the ground with a sheet of plastic between them that is about 6 feet long creates a sort of fence. This acts like a three foot high barrier that is six feet long that would block any thrown objects (like airsoft, nerf or foam throw balls) from contacting the person on the other side.
Twelve foam balls or a set of nerf guns that are similar for each side.