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Freedom , Replayability, Options nd Non-Linearity


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I am playing Elder Scrolls : Oblivion lately and thinking how great it would be if the GR series could take a leaf out of their book as far as freedom, replayability, options and non-linearity are concerned. ( I am NOT talking about the rpg elements of that game but the freedom etc. aspects).

In Oblivion we have a full country as playing area and can go to any part at any time of the day. There are urban and rural areas and we can arrive at a location at dawn, noon, dusk or night and the map looks different. The weather also changes from time to time. Depending on my action the game changes and the game is absolutely non-linear.

Just imagine how great it would be if we had Mexico City and it's surrounding rural areas as our playing area which has been taken over by rebels. We could travel to any area we choose to, whether by foot or by choppers, and take on any enemies we like. Depending upon whether we choose to do a certain thing, the game will change, like if we can take out AA guns then we can have air support. If we do not or cannot take the AA guns out then air support will not be available. Everything will be dynamic and not linear.

If this is incorporated in a GRAW mission pack or sequel then that game will be more in keeping with the spirits of [GR], as far as non-linearity and freedom are concerned. Please tell me what you think and give reasons.

Edited by buddhiraja73
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I am playing Elder Scrolls : Oblivion lately and thinking how great it would be if the GR series could take a leaf out of their book as far as freedom, replayability, options and non-linearity are concerned. ( I am NOT talking about the rpg elements of that game but the freedom etc. aspects).

In Oblivion

Yes after playing a while all things get smaller :) We have a couple mods in the works and one already out that has taken out the zones in missions. Opens things up real well.

ES is exceptional.

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Thanks for update.

Although this game looks great its short comings are numerous.

neatly covered up by massive bloodshed (although corpse cleanup isn’t so good; this one poor shop has had 3 naked corpses in it for months now…).

Also, the main story line is, simply put, no fun. It’s not just the “you start in a prison with no equipment or past†lameness that’s been done so many times before (including Morrowind). There’s this big huge demonic invasion, opening up gates from a hellish world all through the countryside. You’re told things like “You must save him RIGHT NOWâ€, but we still have the theme of “do whatever you want,†so the invasion or execution or whatever will patiently wait until you go off and become head of every guild, visit every city a dozen times, or do whatever else you feel like…the main quest just doesn’t feel right in this context. You’ll also need to close many gates, and the sense of accomplishment for doing so is offset quite a bit by the tedium, as each “close the gate†quest is about the same.

Finally, we have an overall design flaw here. Morrowind’s flaw involved character development and the game world: namely, once your character got above level 25, there was nothing left to challenge him, making the whole game trivially easy. Oblivion fixes this by making the monsters and treasures “level†as your character does. So, a cave that would hold rats for your first level character holds trolls at a higher level. It sounds nice, but it creates new problems as well. First, the thrill of exploration drops off a bit; I know the monsters I meet and treasure I gather will all be set to my level—there’s no danger in encountering something far too tough for me to defeat with a simple thumping, and there’s no thrill of finding a great artifact far outside the power of my character (cf: The Hobbit). Second, the non-player characters generally aren’t leveled. A number of missions grant you help from additional soldiers and such. If you’re too high a level, the monsters you encounter will toss those soldiers around like confetti… leaving you all alone to deal with a horde of “leveled†monsters (at least you can loot the soldier’s corpses for extra gold). Curiously, the best counter to this is to design a character that does NOT go up levels. By basing your character around little used or unnecessary skills, you can get a character that goes up levels at a slow enough pace that you can see all the game has to offer; go up levels too quickly, and you’ll miss many monsters that simply won’t appear for high level characters.

As you can see it depends on what you read, the detail to maps has been at the expence of the game.

As in GRAW the balance is far better all games have there good points and bad.

[GR] is far more linear than GRAW but you can do a lot more in it.

Swings and roundabouts.

I suspect in the near future you will have your wide ares to play in with exceptional AI aswell, with Technology being pushed by games this will be inevitable in the furture.

At the moment we cant have it all.

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Colin, thanks for your input. :)

In ES: Oblivion, there is much much more than the main quest. Infact, the main quest, that you quoted, is rather ordinary compared to the numerous other superb quests. This game, just like any other, is not without flaws but the freedom and non-linearity are exceptional. I was refering to this aspect only.

In the mission pack, let us suppose we have a small part of a country which has been taken over by rebels. We have to free the area. This part has snowy mountains, woodlands and villages. We can go anywhere we want and take out the rebels in any order and at any time of the day during variable weather. Rebels from one part can come over to another -- because they have been called or because they have heard gunshots. My actions, or the lack of it, would change future events. I would love to see this in the future.

Development is all about priorities because there are so many limiting factors -- time, technology, gamers' pc power, personnel, money etc. These factors could hinder the introduction of this concept and I understand that. After all, GRAW has made a lot of progress in so many directions and I love the gameplay. But, if possible from a development point of view, I would love to see this in the future.

The campaign mode is getting a bit boring, after hours and hours of play, as I know where the enemies are. I would like to see a firefight mode introduced by a patch where

- It can be played in SP and Co-op

- I can play with my AI team in SP.

- Enemies would appear as groups of 6 or more ( group behavior is so much better ).

- They either appear at random places and/or have large patrolling areas. ( In Graw, the patrolling areas are very limited and they are virtually in the same place while patrolling ).

- Enemies can come over from other areas and some( 50%) of them are more mobile than Graw and would try to hunt down the player stealthily. Some(50%) enemies are defensive ( like Graw ) as that behavior is also enjoyable.

- Any other means by which I won't know where my enemies are, nomatter howmany times I replay. Also, the different areas of the large and wonderful maps are actually utilized.

Can anyone from Grin state whether this game-mode is being planned for SP and Co-op by a patch. This would result in so much replayability. Thank you.

Edited by buddhiraja73
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Mitchell, this is your mission, do you choose to accept it, roam free in the jungle for 5 days and shoot anyone you can see.Including small animals and hostile plants. If you can, please try to collect as much gold as possible while you are out there. An evac rescue-pegasus will be sent out for you and meet you at the rendevouz point when you have collected enough mana and experience.Good luck.

Ps.The trolls are marching towards pentagon again so if you see any, shoot to kill.

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Mitchell, this is your mission, do you choose to accept it, roam free in the jungle for 5 days and shoot anyone you can see.Including small animals and hostile plants. If you can, please try to collect as much gold as possible while you are out there. An evac rescue-pegasus will be sent out for you and meet you at the rendevouz point when you have collected enough mana and experience.Good luck.

Ps.The trolls are marching towards pentagon again so if you see any, shoot to kill.

Swedish Humour I believe, I think he is saying not a good comaparison ;)

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Mitchell, this is your mission, do you choose to accept it, roam free in the jungle for 5 days and shoot anyone you can see.Including small animals and hostile plants. If you can, please try to collect as much gold as possible while you are out there. An evac rescue-pegasus will be sent out for you and meet you at the rendevouz point when you have collected enough mana and experience.Good luck.

Ps.The trolls are marching towards pentagon again so if you see any, shoot to kill.

I am playing Elder Scrolls : Oblivion lately and thinking how great it would be if the GR series could take a leaf out of their book as far as freedom, replayability, options and non-linearity are concerned. ( I am NOT talking about the rpg elements of that game but the freedom etc. aspects).

Wille should take a reading course. :P

Fact is, as it stands, Graw is a very linear game ( even though the maps are non-linear ), because we are given one objective at a time and there are too many triggering events like MOH. ( Kill this guy to the right, oh ! now the tank will come .... ) In every forum, I am seeing people complaining about this aspect.

In GR1, we were given multiple objectives even though it was not a rpg game and we did not have to collect gold and kill trolls. We liked that and did not want that changed, but alas ! Another very successful military game, Operation Flashpoint, also gave the gamer much more freedom than Graw does. It ended up becoming a classic.

The enemies are also, more or less, in the same place every time we replay. This is reducing replayability a lot and I request this aspect to be addressed, even for the SP players.

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Mitchell, this is your mission, do you choose to accept it, roam free in the jungle for 5 days and shoot anyone you can see.Including small animals and hostile plants. If you can, please try to collect as much gold as possible while you are out there. An evac rescue-pegasus will be sent out for you and meet you at the rendevouz point when you have collected enough mana and experience.Good luck.

Ps.The trolls are marching towards pentagon again so if you see any, shoot to kill.

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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That would be great and all, but it can't happen.

The technology and juice which would be required to make all that possible (while maintaining the graphical status quo) are immediately obvious, so I won't go into that.

Apart from the hardware limitations, you're talking about completely changing the style of the game.

If this is incorporated in a GRAW mission pack or sequel then that game will be more in keeping with the spirits of [GR], as far as non-linearity and freedom are concerned. Please tell me what you think and give reasons.

That's a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think? You make it sound like GR was a totally free-roaming experience. I think people around here give GR more credit than it deserves when talking about linearity.

The game you're describing would be 'more in keeping with the spirits' of Operation Flashpoint or Soldner, not GR.

Another thing to consider is the direction of the publisher. It should be obvious by now that alot of publishers, not just Ubi, are gearing toward epic, story-driven games with intricate hollywood plots. GRAW is just another example of this.

That's cool and everything, but the game you're talking about would have no place in this new publisher's idea of plot immersion. It's difficult to make a game non-linear if the story includes plot twists like the "man on the inside" and people being betrayed, etc.

For things like that to happen, you need to funnel the player into certain situations. A certain amount of scripting has to be employed to make sure we are going to walk into the right place at the right moment to trigger plot-furthering dialogue or events (embassies exploding and stuff).

All that stuff looks great on paper, and I have always wanted a game like that too (pretty much found it with OFP), but in my opinion it is unrealistic to hope that you will see your ideas featured in the GR series, at least with the publisher's current idea of what we want in the games we play.

Edited by 2nd Ranger
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@ 2nd ranger

You and Colin are the only ones, till now, who have replied to this thread in a mature manner, so thank you. :thumbsup:

That would be great and all, but it can't happen.

The technology and juice which would be required to make all that possible (while maintaining the graphical status quo) are immediately obvious, so I won't go into that.

Apart from the hardware limitations, you're talking about completely changing the style of the game.

The style of the game won't change completely because we will be playing one area at a time, only the areas won't seem like water-tight compartments and enemies from other areas can come over. As far as technology goes, games like GTA have also produced maps which are seamless and you can go anywhere, so it is possible. Maybe, the other aspects of Graw are much more developed and take up more resources. But, sometime down the line, this maybe possible to implement even in Graw, as technology progresses.

If this is incorporated in a GRAW mission pack or sequel then that game will be more in keeping with the spirits of [GR], as far as non-linearity and freedom are concerned. Please tell me what you think and give reasons.

That's a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think? You make it sound like GR was a totally free-roaming experience. I think people around here give GR more credit than it deserves when talking about linearity.

The game you're describing would be 'more in keeping with the spirits' of Operation Flashpoint or Soldner, not GR.

GR1 was a completely non-linear game as far as a single map was concerned. It was perhaps the first high quality game that had this concept. A sequel of GR, after 5 years, could have extended this idea of non-linearity into a bigger area. That is what I meant by keeping with the 'spirits of GR'.

Another thing to consider is the direction of the publisher. It should be obvious by now that alot of publishers, not just Ubi, are gearing toward epic, story-driven games with intricate hollywood plots. GRAW is just another example of this.

That's cool and everything, but the game you're talking about would have no place in this new publisher's idea of plot immersion. It's difficult to make a game non-linear if the story includes plot twists like the "man on the inside" and people being betrayed, etc.

For things like that to happen, you need to funnel the player into certain situations. A certain amount of scripting has to be employed to make sure we are going to walk into the right place at the right moment to trigger plot-furthering dialogue or events (embassies exploding and stuff).

All that stuff looks great on paper, and I have always wanted a game like that too (pretty much found it with OFP), but in my opinion it is unrealistic to hope that you will see your ideas featured in the GR series, at least with the publisher's current idea of what we want in the games we play.

I agree with you on this point. The real reason why this has a relatively lesser chance of happening is because the publisher does not want a completely non-linear game. Most of the shooters these days are somewhat linear and the emphasis is on stories rather than replayability.

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Buddhiraja,

Just give it time. You need to wait for the community to create mods that will eventually give GRAW some replayability.

I purchased Ghost Recon about two years after its initial release. I thought it was a great game. When I started checking out the community and the number of mods available, I was breathless. The Silent Killers and FNG server side mods were amazing for creating the replayability for the game.

I too have Oblivion. Its modding community is about the same as OGRs. That game has only been out for a couple months and it has a ton of mods. However, the replayability of the game will never meet that of an on-line community. If you want infinite replayability, you need to go to Galaxies, Evercrack, or Guild Wars.

Yeah, GRAW is significantly limited in its abilities at the moment in comparison to [GR]. But, the modding community hasn't even gotten their official GRAW Igor yet. Heck, Ubi and GRIN could come out with GRAW:IT or GRAW:DS in the next year which could open up a lot more maps, more weapons, and more fun.

'Til then, try America's Army or [GR]. They have more maps and more playability for the moment.

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The one thing to remember here is the Team realise some areas of the game need extra work, I would imagine this L /Mission type you talk of is being improved all the time.

I like the fact that the new Graw doesnt have choke points its about time....I would love to see a sqad move down a street like a real sqad would and take out everyone they see...Like in reel life ..Squad movement and fireing tactics.

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I agree with you on this point. The real reason why this has a relatively lesser chance of happening is because the publisher does not want a completely non-linear game. Most of the shooters these days are somewhat linear and the emphasis is on stories rather than replayability.

Yeah, it's a shame, really. Storylines are fine and everything, but I think there is a line that games should not cross. If I want to be engrossed by a plot, I'll watch a movie. These intricate plots come sometimes work in games, but I would rather not have them in military shooters like the GR series.

In Ghost Recon, you had your basic story about Communist hardliners, and that's why you're there; enough said. I liked how the story was only played out in the briefings. You got little bits and pieces of a greater plot. You don't really need to know anything else because you are just the team on the ground.

It's kind of like when you're watching a Tom Clancy movie and you see short sequences involving SF, but you don't see their side of things because it isn't integral to the rest of the story. However, in the game you are the soldiers, and it's the now the other side of the story that doesn't concern you, but you still get bits and pieces of what is happening.

If a publisher was comfortable with that sort of concept, maybe they'd start giving players more freedom, which would lead, as you say, to more replayability. That is why I think it is the publishers' Hollywood plot mentality that is compromising the openness of their games.

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Mitchell, this is your mission, do you choose to accept it, roam free in the jungle for 5 days and shoot anyone you can see.Including small animals and hostile plants. If you can, please try to collect as much gold as possible while you are out there. An evac rescue-pegasus will be sent out for you and meet you at the rendevouz point when you have collected enough mana and experience.Good luck.

Ps.The trolls are marching towards pentagon again so if you see any, shoot to kill.

I am playing Elder Scrolls : Oblivion lately and thinking how great it would be if the GR series could take a leaf out of their book as far as freedom, replayability, options and non-linearity are concerned. ( I am NOT talking about the rpg elements of that game but the freedom etc. aspects).

Wille should take a reading course. :P

Fact is, as it stands, Graw is a very linear game ( even though the maps are non-linear ), because we are given one objective at a time and there are too many triggering events like MOH. ( Kill this guy to the right, oh ! now the tank will come .... ) In every forum, I am seeing people complaining about this aspect.

In GR1, we were given multiple objectives even though it was not a rpg game and we did not have to collect gold and kill trolls. We liked that and did not want that changed, but alas ! Another very successful military game, Operation Flashpoint, also gave the gamer much more freedom than Graw does. It ended up becoming a classic.

The enemies are also, more or less, in the same place every time we replay. This is reducing replayability a lot and I request this aspect to be addressed, even for the SP players.

This fall we will have the exact game that you seek, as well as quite a few of us. The game is called Armed Assault and is from the creators of OFP. Heres the link. http://www.armedassault.com/

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Hmmmmm maybe low res, poorly created and skinned player models and 5 year old looking maps is what you are waiting on but I will pass. Honestly the screens on that game look like they were taken 5-6 years ago, GR1 has better graphics than that game...hell WW2OL has better looking graphics. Could just be that it all looks cartoonish to me.

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GR1 was a completely non-linear game as far as a single map was concerned. It was perhaps the first high quality game that had this concept. A sequel of GR, after 5 years, could have extended this idea of non-linearity into a bigger area. That is what I meant by keeping with the 'spirits of GR'.

I completely agree with you buddhiraja73. There are several excellent concepts of GR1, that I (and many with me) saw as 'natural' features to develop further in the sequel.

Eg. open maps, non-linearity, freedom, damage and injury models, non arcade gameplay (MP), immersive rural environment, replays, observation mode, server options and tools...etc

But some were lost somehow...(at least in the initial release version)

I don't know how it happened? Probably time pressure (14 months to make the game) but maybe also another preferance or idea of how gameplay should be?

It is a good thread you've started and although the 'Oblivion reply' from GRiN_Wille is rather funny, I think they need to consider the issues you are raising for possible GRAW add-ons. GRiN seems a buch of descent and professional people and I'm sure they'll consider all constructive feedback.

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Lost? I dont know about lost, I think the best thing to do is what till we get our SDK and a few new misions are cranked out. If the editor comes with the scripting support and it should, we will have the ability to make those wide open forrests and deserts and have multiple ways to acheive our objectives. If the editor comes out with ways to do math and spawn bad guys depending on the comaplex math (random number generation and eqautions) they way IGOR did then I think we will be able to make the mission play differently each time (to an extent) and bring back what everyone thinks is missing.

Edited by RuTHlezz1
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Hmmmmm maybe low res, poorly created and skinned player models and 5 year old looking maps is what you are waiting on but I will pass. Honestly the screens on that game look like they were taken 5-6 years ago, GR1 has better graphics than that game...hell WW2OL has better looking graphics. Could just be that it all looks cartoonish to me.

Thats fine, but these screenshots posted at other site do not look 5 years old at all. Plus the E3 2006 trailer shows the game very well.

SS Link

http://www.armedassault.org/web2/screensho...12-59-05-51.jpg

Edited by }PW{ Payback
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