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MaxxQ1
16th Oct 2010, 05:35
Just got the new PC Gamer in the mail today and there's a short 2 -page spread about the police station level.

Maybe some (or all) of this stuff has already been mentioned elsewhere here, but there were a few new (to me) points of interest mentioned (my own impressions in italics):

During the run-and-gun portion

- Mentioned the previously talked-about part where Adam picks up a copier and uses it as portable cover. What I hadn't read before was that the copier, as well as other objects around the room were outlined, but apparently only after the strength aug is activated. Meh... not sure if I like this kind of handholding.

- Adam goes down another floor, finds a cop taking his own cover, and changes ammo to an explosive round, which he shoots at the wall behind the covered cop. This takes out the cop, and also tosses around other cops caught in the blast. This actually has some interesting potential.

- Adam then switches to a non-lethal gun. All that's said about it is that it tosses targets around, but won't kill them.

During the social run-through

- Talking to Wayne, Adams old buddy, we find out that they were both ordered to shoot an augmented kid. Adam refused and Wayne complied. Wayne's upset because his career took a nose-dive after that. Convo choices are "crush", "absolve", or "plead". Adam goes with "absolve", and Wayne apparently is visibly in need of that sort of thing.

- It's mentioned that for demo purposes, this bit was simplified, and that there are augs available that monitor heartbeat and sweat levels that Adam can use to make a decision on how to treat/talk to somebody. This also sounds interesting.

Stealth run-through

- As mentioned before, there's a dumpster that Adam can move to get over the fence. He then climbs up to the roof using the fire escape, only to find a locked door. His hacking skill isn't high enough, but he has enough skill points to boost his cranial slot (you can select individual body parts (I assume ones that are augmented) to upgrade), to make him smart enough to hack the door lock. Maybe the author of the piece was simplifying things, but adding skill points to your head makes you smarter?

- When Adam uses what is referred to by the author as a "wall-hack" aug (shows the location of everyone in the station), everybody within neck-snapping range is outlined. Again with the hand-holding...

- Adam takes out a door guard, then uses the body to gain access, as the door only opens in the presence of a recognized guard, alive or not. Anyone want to bet that this will be a third-person cutscene, like the takedowns?

- After getting through the door, Adam then searches the body and finds a PDA with the morgue access code on it. One improvement over DX - not all PDA's are just lying on the street waiting to be found. The PDA on the bathroom floor of The Hive notwithstanding.

Dead-Eye
16th Oct 2010, 06:10
- As mentioned before, there's a dumpster that Adam can move to get over the fence. He then climbs up to the roof using the fire escape, only to find a locked door. His hacking skill isn't high enough, but he has enough skill points to boost his cranial slot (you can select individual body parts (I assume ones that are augmented) to upgrade), to make him smart enough to hack the door lock. Maybe the author of the piece was simplifying things, but adding skill points to your head makes you smarter?
That's actually pretty ******* cool. Sounds like the skill system is way more in depth then we had at first suspected.

KSingh77
16th Oct 2010, 07:01
Outline for a third person takedown......

Really EM?

At least gives the option to turn it off.

JCpies
16th Oct 2010, 08:25
Outline for a third person takedown......

Really EM?

At least gives the option to turn it off.


Did you mean 'At least give the option to turn it off', or 'At least it gives the option to turn it off?'

Ninjerk
16th Oct 2010, 08:38
That's actually pretty ******* cool. Sounds like the skill system is way more in depth then we had at first suspected.

Sweat levels and heartbeat? I like it.

Gaunt88
16th Oct 2010, 08:47
Yes, the conversation system sounds promising.

*picks "crush"* *Wayne breaks down into tears* +25 rengade points "Goddamnit..."

Kodaemon
16th Oct 2010, 09:57
*picks crush*

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/1981/crushs.jpg

Mindmute
16th Oct 2010, 10:21
Mentioned the previously talked-about part where Adam picks up a copier and uses it as portable cover. What I hadn't read before was that the copier, as well as other objects around the room were outlined, but apparently only after the strength aug is activated.


I was afraid of this and it shows that sometimes being optimistic doesn't help, does it?

I strongly dislike this type of feedback and if turning the strength aug on outlines from a distance everything you can use it on, it will seriously cheapen exploration by creating "oh I see something I can move other there" moments.

It'll feel to me that instead of giving me tools and allowing me to use my creativity on what to do with them, that they pre-planned all my creative moments. It even cheapens for me the otherwise interesting feature of using random objects as improvised cover...

Dead-Eye
16th Oct 2010, 10:35
Adam Jenson == hacking life.

Corpus
16th Oct 2010, 11:04
The section where the door only opens for the guard. He might just drag the body into some sensors or something. Since he's not dead it might pick up something or maybe they have ID chips installed somewhere.

Hammich
16th Oct 2010, 11:31
what's everyone's beef with the highlighting system?

in the original Deus Ex, characters and objects you could interact with were highlighted with bouncing holographic box corners around them and a visible name of the object

Mindmute
16th Oct 2010, 11:56
what's everyone's beef with the highlighting system?

in the original Deus Ex, characters and objects you could interact with were highlighted with bouncing holographic box corners around them and a visible name of the object

It highlighted them when you were close and looking at them. Not when you were simply in the same room.

The first still forments exploration and curiosity by making you look around for things to interact with, while the other instantly tells you what can do, making the world feel a bit more "planned" and reducing the need to be inquisitive.
It's a nitpick, for sure, but they're not the same thing.

subtlesnake
16th Oct 2010, 12:01
I was afraid of this and it shows that sometimes being optimistic doesn't help, does it?

I strongly dislike this type of feedback and if turning the strength aug on outlines from a distance everything you can use it on, it will seriously cheapen exploration by creating "oh I see something I can move other there" moments.

It'll feel to me that instead of giving me tools and allowing me to use my creativity on what to do with them, that they pre-planned all my creative moments. It even cheapens for me the otherwise interesting feature of using random objects as improvised cover...
Well, it doesn't stop you from being creative; it just makes clear what your 'tools' within the environment actually are, so you don't miss an object. I look at at as being a function of the aug itself (telling its user what it can do), rather than being a function of the designer's helping hand.

I think it's a separate issue as to how much ingenuity using it requires. If near to every fence there's a conveniently placed crate to move, then the player *is* being hand held (but that will be the case whether the aug outlines liftable objects or not). On the other hand if you have to think "hang on I remember seeing large object a few encounters ago, maybe I can use that to jump on to this window ledge", then it's a different story. Also, it depends on whether there are plenty of liftable objects that turn out not be useful. Presumably when your strength aug gets high enough, you can lift anything not bolted down, so the whole environment will be full of outlines.

Irate_Iguana
16th Oct 2010, 12:02
what's everyone's beef with the highlighting system?

in the original Deus Ex, characters and objects you could interact with were highlighted with bouncing holographic box corners around them and a visible name of the object

It doesn't simply highlight physics objects. It highlights what you can interact with. It tells you specifically "this is what you can use, don't bother looking around for something else". In DX the system would let you know "Dude, there are a lot of boxes in this room". In HR the system will tell you "Dude, you can totally use the third box on the right for something.*wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*". That's the difference. And as an addendum, the highlighting in DX also spoiled several things and should have been improved.

Mindmute
16th Oct 2010, 12:08
I think it's a separate issue as to how much ingenuity using it requires. If near to every fence there's a conveniently placed crate to move, then the player *is* being hand held (but that will be the case whether the aug outlines liftable objects or not). On the other hand if you have to think "hang on I remember seeing large object a few encounters ago, maybe I can use that to jump on to this window ledge", then it's a different story.

In the instance of the firefight the article speaks about, I already see it as hand-holding, since it explicitly tells you there's cover to be attained there.
While the creative proccess is still there for the player, it removes a bit of the illusion that it was your idea rather than a possibly planned moment from the developers.

You're absolutely right, though, that if there's enough "junk" elements so that everything highlighted isn't instantly useful and you still have to formulate the plans yourself, this type of feedback won't be an issue.
However, while it is unfair for the team aswell, they are dealing with a jaded crowd that already had to endure a terrible installment in this series, so many of us will always be afraid of the worst (especially if you consider the current trends in videogames regarding hand-holding and the controversial yet trendy decisions they've made so far).

azarhal
16th Oct 2010, 12:23
His hacking skill isn't high enough, but he has enough skill points to boost his cranial slot (you can select individual body parts (I assume ones that are augmented) to upgrade), to make him smart enough to hack the door lock. Maybe the author of the piece was simplifying things, but adding skill points to your head makes you smarter?

Wouldn't boosting the cranial slot boost the hacking "skill" actually? Everything is an augmentation now, no?

Blade_hunter
16th Oct 2010, 12:23
Yeah the conversation system is the only main game element which sounds interesting alon with their hack minigame otherwise nothing new here. that's the same police station sequence

subtlesnake
16th Oct 2010, 12:58
In the instance of the firefight the article speaks about, I already see it as hand-holding, since it explicitly tells you there's cover to be attained there.
While the creative proccess is still there for the player, it removes a bit of the illusion that it was your idea rather than a possibly planned moment from the developers.
Well, it depends how you see the system. If you see it as the "aug is telling me I can lift this object, and it would make good cover", then it's you using the data from the augmentation system, not the developers telling you what to do. If you think "the developers placed this object for me to use as cover" then it's different. Again, much depends on how conspicuous the object is, and how much ingenuity it actually required to use it.

What I'm saying is you should ideally think of the system as telling you "this is what's liftable, and this is what isn't", and not "this is what's *useful*".


You're absolutely right, though, that if there's enough "junk" elements so that everything highlighted isn't instantly useful and you still have to formulate the plans yourself, this type of feedback won't be an issue.
However, while it is unfair for the team aswell, they are dealing with a jaded crowd that already had to endure a terrible installment in this series, so many of us will always be afraid of the worst (especially if you consider the current trends in videogames regarding hand-holding and the controversial yet trendy decisions they've made so far).
That's fair enough, but for anything EM says you could interpret it two ways "they came to this decision after careful balancing, while striving to maintain the complexity of a Deus Ex game", or "they want to make another console shooter with Deus Ex elements". All I'm saying is I don't think what they've said so far rules out the first option, and I think even if they are genuinely trying to make a 'true' Deus Ex game, they're still going to make decisions that are controversial to fans, and pick mechanics that happen to be found in more recent, less 'cerebral' titles.


It doesn't simply highlight physics objects. It highlights what you can interact with. It tells you specifically "this is what you can use, don't bother looking around for something else". In DX the system would let you know "Dude, there are a lot of boxes in this room". In HR the system will tell you "Dude, you can totally use the third box on the right for something.*wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*". That's the difference. And as an addendum, the highlighting in DX also spoiled several things and should have been improved.
Presumably though it's physics based, so there aren't 'special' boxes you can lift: if the system only highlighted objects that the designers wanted you to use (irrespective of their size/weight), then it would be just another one of those purposefully 'broken' simulation systems.

What should happen is when you go into various rooms with boxes, the smaller ones you can lift (at your current aug level) should be highlighted. It then should be a further question as to whether those boxes are actually useful for anything. Perhaps for example, the larger boxes (which you can't lift, at the moment) *are* useful, but you might not necessarily consider this. Or perhaps none of the (potentially) liftable objects are needed for anything in the immediate vicinity.

Irate_Iguana
16th Oct 2010, 13:11
Presumably though it's physics based, so there aren't 'special' boxes you can lift: if the system only highlighted objects that the designers wanted you to use (irrespective of their size/weight), then it would be just another one of those purposefully 'broken' simulation systems.

In this interview (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/5930/inciting_a_human_revolution_the_.php) they specifically mention having fewer physics objects than DX. That's why I am so hung up on the fact that only "special" boxes will be highlighted. With a lot fewer physics objects each object they do highlight will have to be used for something. Maybe not in this room, but in the next. That creates an atmosphere where you just know that you need to look out for something to use that object with.

SageSavage
16th Oct 2010, 13:33
In this interview (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/5930/inciting_a_human_revolution_the_.php) they specifically mention having fewer physics objects than DX. That's why I am so hung up on the fact that only "special" boxes will be highlighted. With a lot fewer physics objects each object they do highlight will have to be used for something. Maybe not in this room, but in the next. That creates an atmosphere where you just know that you need to look out for something to use that object with.
Yes, I am concerned about that too. The more usable objects the better in RPGs and I also agree about the highlighting aspect. It'd be ok if it's optional, though.

AlexOfSpades
16th Oct 2010, 13:42
My review:

+1 = i like it
-1 = i hate it
0 = dont know enough to review

During the run-and-gun portion

- Objects are outlined. -1

- Explosive ammo. +1

- Non-Lethal Gun. 0

During the social run-through

- Conversation Choices with Wayne Haas. +1

- Augs to monitor heartbeats. +1

Stealth run-through

- Experience points to customize the character. +1

- Outlining targets in the walls. -1

- Entrance only with a guard. (Alive or not.) +1

- Finding PDA's on the body. +1

Score: B

Press Start to Try Again

luminar
16th Oct 2010, 15:04
My review:

+1 = i like it
-1 = i hate it
0 = dont know enough to review

During the run-and-gun portion

- Objects are outlined. -1

- Explosive ammo. +1

- Non-Lethal Gun. 0

During the social run-through

- Conversation Choices with Wayne Haas. +1

- Augs to monitor heartbeats. +1

Stealth run-through

- Experience points to customize the character. +1

- Outlining targets in the walls. -1

- Entrance only with a guard. (Alive or not.) +1

- Finding PDA's on the body. +1

Score: B

Press Start to Try Again

Well done, well done. +1 internets!

Pinky_Powers
16th Oct 2010, 15:18
- Non-Lethal Gun. 0

- Outlining targets in the walls. -1

These two seem wrong to me.

What more do you need to know the PEPS is awesome (http://dxhr.nanoaugur.net/dx3-weap3.jpg)?

And I honestly can't agree that it's somehow off that an EyeAug which lets you see through walls should outline potential hostile heat sources... that just makes sense to me.

http://media1.break.com/dnet/media/2010/6/4/deux-ex-human-revolution-e3-trailer-thumb.jpg

http://www.blogomatic3000.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/dx6.jpg

I do have a problem with the strength aug outlining movable objects, though. That seem a bit stupid.

MaxxQ1
16th Oct 2010, 16:13
And I honestly can't agree that it's somehow off that an EyeAug which lets you see through walls should outline potential hostile heat sources... that just makes sense to me.

I don't have problems with identifying hostiles through walls with augmented eyes. Where I have the issue is that it also displays (by outlining) targets who are within reach for neck-snapping. It's like a big neon sign pointing at the guy and saying "twist here".

I'd like to think that even in a game that is a 3D simulation on a 2D monitor, I can gauge how far away someone is, and whether I can reach his neck or not.

neoWilks
16th Oct 2010, 16:57
Don't have an issue with highlighting movable crates, copies, etc while a strength aug is active. If I'm in a firefight looking for some mobile cover, I don't want to activate an aug and run up to a desk only to discover the devs don't allow for this desk to be moved.

In an ideal world, every object would be interactive, I could throw that breakroom fridge at some unsuspecting dude's head. But since I don't think that's going to be the case, I don't really have an issue informing the player of what their options are rather than being intentionally vague about the whole process. Besides, pretty much any movable crate is going to look like every single other movable crate, putting a highlighting line around them won't your understanding of what is interactive, but it can at least allow for varied boxes about the levels. I find that preferable to the exact same metal crate everywhere, from airport to office building to military base.

The wall-smashing, I would prefer a simple distance meter next to your targeting reticule rather than highlighting NPC targets. The fact that NPCs are highlighted makes me think the wall-punch is entirely contextual, and I won't be able to smash through a wall unless there is a guard within range on the other side.

motsm
16th Oct 2010, 17:16
I don't really care if item highlighting is explained logically by augs, and even presented artistically sound within the world. It is just another means to the same end, and I can't stand the simplified end in which it caters.

It seems like many of you are fine with the feature simply because it can be explained within the world.

KSingh77
16th Oct 2010, 17:16
Sooo

We can pick some objects and use it as cover?As long as it's solid and can with stand bullets,right?

neoWilks
16th Oct 2010, 17:30
I don't really care if item highlighting is explained logically by augs, and even presented artistically sound within the world. It is just another means to the same end, and I can't stand the simplified end in which it caters.

It seems like many of you are fine with the feature simply because it can be explained within the world.
How is highlighting a movable box any different than using a non-highlighted movable box that looks exactly the same as every other movable box in the game?

Because both are being highlighted, simply in different ways.

subtlesnake
16th Oct 2010, 17:45
I don't really care if item highlighting is explained logically by augs, and even presented artistically sound within the world. It is just another means to the same end, and I can't stand the simplified end in which it caters.

It seems like many of you are fine with the feature simply because it can be explained within the world.
And because it's a useful way of communicating to the player what he can and cannot do with the objects around him. If the only objects around you are those needed to solve nearby puzzles, then that's just poor design in general (which HR might - but hopefully won't - suffer from).

motsm
16th Oct 2010, 18:57
And because it's a useful way of communicating to the player what he can and cannot do with the objects around him. If the only objects around you are those needed to solve nearby puzzles, then that's just poor design in general (which HR might - but hopefully won't - suffer from)."What I hadn't read before was that the copier, as well as other objects around the room were outlined, but apparently only after the strength aug is activated."

I very rarely find object highlighting and onscreen help needed, and it's more often than not just annoying. Thief 3's intrusive blue glow is a perfect example, and removing all item highlighting with a mod had no adverse affects throughout the game, as you learn the rules and mindset of the developers within a couple of hours. Human Revolution's seems similar to Thief 3's by default, and doubly bad with the strength aug activated, highlighting all possibilities around you. The solution I've seen which offers the best of both worlds, is simply coloring, or slightly changing the crosshair when you hover it over an interactable within range. Hell, I've even seen this used in Human Revolution in other context's, so they obviously know of it's strength's.

neoWilks
16th Oct 2010, 19:15
"What I hadn't read before was that the copier, as well as other objects around the room were outlined, but apparently only after the strength aug is activated."

I very rarely find object highlighting and onscreen help needed, and it's more often than not just annoying. Thief 3's intrusive blue glow is a perfect example, and removing all item highlighting with a mod had no adverse affects throughout the game, as you learn the rules and mindset of the developers within a couple of hours. Human Revolution's seems similar to Thief 3's by default, and doubly bad with the strength aug activated, highlighting all possibilities around you. The solution I've seen which offers the best of both worlds, is simply coloring, or slightly changing the crosshair when you hover it over an interactable within range. Hell, I've even seen this used in Human Revolution in other context's, so they obviously know of it's strength's.
But highlighting an interactable object after you've activated a strength augmentation is not a simplification. You've already made the tactical judgement: "I'm going to use an aug to take advantage of my environment." The problem solving is choosing the aug, that's already done. Now we need to communicate to the player which objects can be moved and which cannot.

Otherwise, the player is running from object to object, trying to figure out what they can interact with. That's not a challenge, that's bull****. It is no different than having similarly styled objects strewn about every single level that also clearly convey the prospect of interaction.

Other instances of augmented reality, like a compass, I do not like. Usually the point of the game in those situations is to explore and discover different options and means to complete your objectives. In games like TES, exploration is an end within itself. These sorts of things are not benefited through the use of a compass, it just makes things easier. But that is not is what is happening here, there is no message popping up saying, "USE THE COPIER!" They are respecting players' problem solving skills and smart thinking, while still giving them the necessary information to play the game fluidly.

Should Deux Ex not have an ammo gauge, either?

Mindmute
16th Oct 2010, 19:35
But highlighting an interactable object after you've activated a strength augmentation is not a simplification. You've already made the tactical judgement: "I'm going to use an aug to take advantage of my environment." The problem solving is choosing the aug, that's already done. Now we need to communicate to the player which objects can be moved and which cannot.

Rather than the gunfight, then think about the situation where, by a fence, the player will systematically choose the strength aug with no particular plan in mind and it only highlights the objects he needs to use to move forward.
Did that player solve the problem, or was the problem merely solved for him?

Back to the firefight, in my opinion it falls under the same situation. Being aware that he's allowed to move some objects as cover yet having no particular plan, a player engages the strength aug and the game tells him what to use. In that instance I don't see it as solving the problem either, since there was no plan or concrete intention about him using the strength aug.



I understand your point and I'm not totally against it, however in my opinion solving the problem is a two step solution: picking the tool and using it right and that's two different steps that should be learned by the player from past experience.
In fact, if the number of physics objects is ever drastically low, for example: if only the copier and another random object or only cover objects are highlighted on screen, then it might aswell have been a "use the copier or the other random carp" pop-up, since it'd serve the same purpose.

neoWilks
16th Oct 2010, 19:50
Rather than the gunfight, then think about the situation where, by a fence, the player will systematically choose the strength aug with no particular plan in mind and it only highlights the objects he needs to use to move forward.
Did that player solve the problem, or was the problem merely solved for him?

As opposed to simply knowing what is movable by virtue of it being the exact same generic box throughout the entire game? I'm not really seeing any sort of complexity issue here. Please explain how highlighting a movable object is far more mentally involving than seeing these everywhere:
http://www.it-he.org/deus/crates1.jpg


Back to the firefight, in my opinion it falls under the same situation. Being aware that he's allowed to move some objects as cover yet having no particular plan, a player engages the strength aug and the game tells him what to use. In that instance I don't see it as solving the problem either, since there was no plan or concrete intention about him using the strength aug.

Um, the plan was to use an object as cover, that is why the strength aug was activated. If the player had no intention to use an object as cover, they never would have activated the strength aug. By activating it, they necessarily intend to use it to move heavy objects.

Otherwise, activating it was a mistake. No one just randomly turns on augmentations (especially in a game where merely activating them saps energy).


I understand your point and I'm not totally against it, however in my opinion solving the problem is a two step solution: picking the tool and using it right and that's two different steps that should be learned by the player from past experience.
In fact, if the number of physics objects is ever drastically low, for example: if only the copier and another random object or only cover objects are highlighted on screen, then it might aswell have been a "use the copier or the other random carp" pop-up, since it'd serve the same purpose.
Again, you need to show an actual distinction this and clearly movable objects used in every other game ever. How is artificially creating frantic situations by not giving the player pertinent information a challenge in any other sense than being extremely frustrating.

My point is, when you have such a wide range of interactive objects, from copiers to crates, to who knows, you need to show the player what can be used. Can I use a chair? Can I use a desk? Can I use a filing cabinet? How about a dumpster? The game obviously isn't going to allow interaction with every single piece of the environment. You'd rather the player just flail around helplessly until they've figured out the artificial rules of the gameworld? That is not challenge.

Mindmute
16th Oct 2010, 20:01
As opposed to simply knowing what is movable by virtue of it being the exact same generic box throughout the entire game? I'm not really seeing any sort of complexity issue here. Please explain how highlighting a movable object is far more mentally involving than seeing these everywhere:
http://www.it-he.org/deus/crates1.jpg

How about making enough different elements moveable and let the player make an educated guess? I'm pretty sure I'll be able to move that copier and other decoration, but not a wall. It's not like there's a plethora of different props that would be likely candidates at any given time.



Otherwise, activating it was a mistake. No one just randomly turns on augmentations (especially in a game where merely activating them saps energy).


They might and likely will, if the game has a gimmick that tells them where they should use their tools.




Again, you need to show an actual distinction this and clearly movable objects used in every other game ever. How is artificially creating frantic situations by not giving the player pertinent information a challenge in any other sense than being extremely frustrating.

How about highlighting if you look at it, even from a distance, rather than just activate it when the aug comes on, no matter where you are or what your perspective is?

I'm not against this kind of feedback per se, I just think it removes one of the stages of solving the problem, which is actually deciding where to use your tool and replaces the decision of turning on the aug to see if you can make a path/cover with those nearby boxes with the decision of turning on the strength on and letting the game tell you which boxes you should use to move forward.


Do you want to agree to disagree? I have my opinion and you have yours and it'll stick at that, since our definition of planning is different from the get go.

neoWilks
16th Oct 2010, 20:18
How about making enough different elements moveable and let the player make an educated guess? I'm pretty sure I'll be able to move that copier and other decoration, but not a wall. It's not like there's a plethora of different props that would be likely candidates at any given time.

Right, if everything was movable, this would be an entirely different story. But really I doubt it is. No doubt, after a level or so, you'd probably have figured out that that desk over there can't be moved. But what I'm saying is that that is not a worthwhile revelation. Just tell the player what is within the scope of his/her abilities.

You shouldn't have to "figure out" what is within the scope of your powers. You should have to "figure out" how to apply those powers in a given situation. Simply knowing a box is movable isn't enough, you're going to have to decide how to properly employ that knowledge as well.


They might and likely will, if the game has a gimmick that tells them where they should use their tools.

I sincerely doubt that. Unless you are in some sort of puzzle room out of a Zelda game, it's unlikely you're going to be so clueless as to how to respond that you'll simply begin activating random augmentations hoping for some feedback from the game.


How about highlighting if you look at it, even from a distance, rather than just activate it when the aug comes on, no matter where you are or what your perspective is?

Sure, I'd have little problem with that. But in that case, you don't even have to express an intention to use environmental cover (through the activation of an aug). You are informed immediately "This object can be moved" with a quick scan of the room.

This is why I feel it's entirely arbitrary to decide the highlighting of an object after activating a strength aug is somehow hand-holding.


I'm not against this kind of feedback per se, I just think it removes one of the stages of solving the problem, which is actually deciding where to use your tool and replaces the decision of turning on the aug to see if you can make a path/cover with those nearby boxes with the decision of turning on the strength on and letting the game tell you which boxes you should use to move forward.

Do you want to agree to disagree? I have my opinion and you have yours and it'll stick at that, since our definition of planning is different from the get go.
You've just reversed the order.

-Desire to use environmental cover
->See box
->Activate Strength Aug
->Move box

I am saying there is little discernible difference between that and this:

-Desire to use environmental cover
->Activate Strength Aug
->See box
->Move box

The important part is step one.

Mindmute
16th Oct 2010, 20:27
You've just reversed the order.

-Desire to use environmental cover
->See box
->Activate Strength Aug
->Move box

I am saying there is little discernible difference between that and this:

-Desire to use environmental cover
->Activate Strength Aug
->See box
->Move box

The important part is step one.

Except that in the order I'm thinking about, you gather all the necessary ingredients to use cover. On your order, you express the desire to move it and the game responds by giving you what to move. While it's still your decision, the game did one of the steps for you (the one where you identify the object to use as cover).




Like I said before, it's a nitpick and I completely understand what you're trying to say and why you feel that way about it, however I'd much rather be the one doing all the steps to solve my problem, even if it means I'll fail a few times with an incorrect attempt.



ps:when I said they could've highlighted the item when you look directly at it, I meant when that happens AND the respective aug is on, as visual confirmation that you can do what you planned to beforehand.

Irate_Iguana
16th Oct 2010, 20:58
I sincerely doubt that. Unless you are in some sort of puzzle room out of a Zelda game, it's unlikely you're going to be so clueless as to how to respond that you'll simply begin activating random augmentations hoping for some feedback from the game.

Not random augs. You'll only flash the augs that you know will provide you with clues about the environment. You'll do this when you are about to engage enemies or to see if there are some nifty secrets in a room. Since the game will reward you for this behavior with information players will be more likely to do it. It's also the path of least resistance in figuring out what to do. A built-in hint system. Unless they manage to include a huge penalty for flashing your augs on like that there aren't any drawbacks to the player, but there will be plenty of positives.

pringlepower
16th Oct 2010, 21:05
Not random augs. You'll only flash the augs that you know will provide you with clues about the environment. You'll do this when you are about to engage enemies or to see if there are some nifty secrets in a room. Since the game will reward you for this behavior with information players will be more likely to do it. It's also the path of least resistance in figuring out what to do. A built-in hint system. Unless they manage to include a huge penalty for flashing your augs on like that there aren't any drawbacks to the player, but there will be plenty of positives.

Haha reminds me of when I used to repeatedly turn my flashlight aug on/off to conserve bioenergy since I was OCD about ammo and energy use. Never used a cell :). Eventually resorted to using the sword to light the way.

motsm
16th Oct 2010, 21:07
But highlighting an interactable object after you've activated a strength augmentation is not a simplification. You've already made the tactical judgement: "I'm going to use an aug to take advantage of my environment." The problem solving is choosing the aug, that's already done. Now we need to communicate to the player which objects can be moved and which cannot.

Otherwise, the player is running from object to object, trying to figure out what they can interact with. That's not a challenge, that's bull****. It is no different than having similarly styled objects strewn about every single level that also clearly convey the prospect of interaction.


Should Deux Ex not have an ammo gauge, either?Did you even read my post? I already used Thief 3 as an example of removing the object highlighting, and it covers my opinion quite clearly. I also mentioned a perfectly acceptable and much more subtle alternative that works for someone like me, and still provides others with visual feedback.

No Ammo gauge? Perfectly fine by me.

PlasmaSnake101
16th Oct 2010, 21:35
I have a gut feeling that the highlights can be turned off, just like tips in other games. You should be able to tell what is movable cover by seeing if it has wheels. Additionally, you should be able to tell what walls can be knocked down with the basic aug showing no reinforced beams or a thinner appearance, something like a lighter shade with the aug activated. As you upgrade the aug you should be given heads ups on what walls can be broken through some kind of text box, the same deal with the way they show the identification of weapons.

They need to have me on staff for Deus Ex4.

rhalibus
16th Oct 2010, 22:43
It would seem that a simple toggle option for the highlights (like the 'id' toggle option for DX1) would make everyone happy. :)

Bluey71
16th Oct 2010, 23:46
How is artificially creating frantic situations by not giving the player pertinent information a challenge in any other sense than being extremely frustrating.

Absolute rubbish. What you actually mean is, that it is frustrating for some people - like you.




It would seem that a simple toggle option for the highlights (like the 'id' toggle option for DX1) would make everyone happy.

Yes it would, and it has been suggested a number of times in the past - 1 - 2 years ago now. EM have had plenty of time, and input, to get this put right.

KSingh77
17th Oct 2010, 00:44
Hell I'm all for turning the thing off.

I don't want to lead around by hand with the highlighting crap.

FrankCSIS
17th Oct 2010, 05:39
As opposed to simply knowing what is movable by virtue of it being the exact same generic box throughout the entire game? I'm not really seeing any sort of complexity issue here. Please explain how highlighting a movable object is far more mentally involving than seeing these everywhere:

I've written extensively on gaming experience, a concept that is thrown around a lot but rarely understood, and this right here should be a no-brainer as to its effect, but not necessarily for the obvious glowing reason.

Regardless of how Deus Ex ended up handling it, and reagardless of its limitations, what is clear here, from numerous interviews as well as the general design philosophy, is that their goal was to expend on the idea I've expressed a few times that true interractivity comes from the player constructing his experience, and the game responding to it accordingly.

I can think of twenty examples, but wondering if I can lift up some explosive barrels, load them on a cart and push my explosive cart towards an unsuspecting enemy, and seeing the plan come into motion, has an enormous effect on gaming experience. Surely you see the difference between this, and a highlight around a copying machine which immediately suggests I should pick it up and start running with it, because it's one of my only glowing options in the room. It's the same as pushing TAB on a flash-based puzzle game when you're stuck, really. There's much more to be said on this, but I really don't think it necessary.

neoWilks
17th Oct 2010, 05:45
ps:when I said they could've highlighted the item when you look directly at it, I meant when that happens AND the respective aug is on, as visual confirmation that you can do what you planned to beforehand.
Sorry, thought you meant like in Deus Ex.

Except that in the order I'm thinking about, you gather all the necessary ingredients to use cover. On your order, you express the desire to move it and the game responds by giving you what to move. While it's still your decision, the game did one of the steps for you (the one where you identify the object to use as cover).

I just see this as basically a non-decision. Most movable boxes are so blatantly interactive they might as well be highlighted. If you think they ought not be highlighted and also ought not be blatantly obvious, then it just feels like you want the game to try to trick the player. And not in a "This was a clever and devious plot" sort of way, but in a "haha, you thought could move that?!" sort of way.


Like I said before, it's a nitpick and I completely understand what you're trying to say and why you feel that way about it, however I'd much rather be the one doing all the steps to solve my problem, even if it means I'll fail a few times with an incorrect attempt.

I would have no issue with a game approaching things this way if absolutely every object in the environment was interactive. Even if certain objects, like a desk or bookcase were so heavy you could only move them very slowly.

But when there are inevitably going to be certain objects that are firmly rooted to the ground, and neither your super-powered arms nor a direct-hit from a rocket launcher will move them, no difficulty is sacrificed by letting the player in on this.

Not random augs. You'll only flash the augs that you know will provide you with clues about the environment. You'll do this when you are about to engage enemies or to see if there are some nifty secrets in a room. Since the game will reward you for this behavior with information players will be more likely to do it. It's also the path of least resistance in figuring out what to do. A built-in hint system. Unless they manage to include a huge penalty for flashing your augs on like that there aren't any drawbacks to the player, but there will be plenty of positives.
Presumably activating the Strength Aug saps your energy cells.

It's not like using a block as cover is some extremely intelligent, skillful tactic. I really don't see how anyone could think someone would turn on their strength aug hoping for feedback without any plan of what to do. We are not talking about a Puzzle Room where you need to figure out an escape or something. We're talking about a dude using a box and stuff for cover.

It's like playing an open world game and getting upset that the ten percent of doors to buildings you can actually open are highlighted. Certain doors are interactive, certain ones are not. Telling the player which ones are is not making the game suitable for Stupid PeopleĀ®. It's just letting them know they can go inside this one.

Did you even read my post? I already used Thief 3 as an example of removing the object highlighting, and it covers my opinion quite clearly. I also mentioned a perfectly acceptable and much more subtle alternative that works for someone like me, and still provides others with visual feedback.

Yeah, I read your post and I understand your position. I think your position is arbitrary and basically wrong, hence my post.


No Ammo gauge? Perfectly fine by me.

Is the presence of an ammo gauge "simplifying things for the player" in such a way that merits criticism?

Absolute rubbish. What you actually mean is, that it is frustrating for some people - like you.

Do you have an actual argument? Or are you just going to make dick assumptions?

EDIT:
Missed Frank's...

I can think of twenty examples, but wondering if I can lift up some explosive barrels, load them on a cart and push my explosive cart towards an unsuspecting enemy, and seeing the plan come into motion, has an enormous effect on gaming experience. Surely you see the difference between this, and a highlight around a copying machine which immediately suggests I should pick it up and start running with it, because it's one of my only glowing options in the room. It's the same as pushing TAB on a flash-based puzzle game when you're stuck, really. There's much more to be said on this, but I really don't think it necessary.
In Deus Ex those barrels were highlighted, as was the cart. Not after you activated an aug, but a simple glace over highlighted them. Which indicates intent better? Simply glancing at something or actually using up energy to activate an augmentation?

Nothing described here is something that could not also be conceivable in HR. HR highlighting some objects doesn't mean there's going to be some sequence where it highlights an explosive barrel, a "+" flashes, it highlights a cart, and then an explosions symbol flashes. If the barrel and cart are highlighted, you still need to make a connection that the two can be combined, rather than assume the barrel is simply one other thing you can pick up and the cart is simply another potential object for mobile cover.

Obviously if the copy machine was the only interactive object in the room, this would be a problem. Not because it is highlighted, but because it's the only interactive object in the room. The problem in that situation is that you are limiting the player, highlighting is merely incidental. Will that be the case in HR? Maybe, can't really say.

FrankCSIS
17th Oct 2010, 06:10
Plants were also highlighted in DX. Other than re-arranging the office, do you seriously think the devs highlighted them to suggest we use them as cover? The problem here is that I'm quite keen to believe decisions have been made and staged as to which objects should be used in every situation, and the highlight is a clue pushing you in that direction, whereas in DX the square highlight was mainly there for practical reasons, namely single out one specific object to ensure what you saw was what you would pick up, and describe it. What you did with it was entirely out of your sordid imagination. Sometimes it worked, sometimes you just looked silly and then died.

I will admit I'm extrapolating, here, but from past experience, we can make wagers of little risk when a choice is made to simultaneously highlight all the objects which can be used in a room, at a glance. To me the design decision speaks louder than the end result, considering what the market has been producing. Again I may be wrong, but what it suggests is sinister, really, and makes me want to stay awake and avoid my bed, and the subsequent nightmares to come.

I heavily suspect there is a discrepency in design between what I have described as DX, and at-a-glance highlight, but perhaps I'm just too fearful. Or maybe it has to do with this ridiculous vomit-inducing magical glow-o-vision in Assassin's Creed which highlights your target or other people of interest, in case you're too drunk to tell them apart from the rest of the useless crowd.

This is another case of we shall see,*I guess.

pringlepower
17th Oct 2010, 06:43
Plants were also highlighted in DX. Other than re-arranging the office, do you seriously think the devs highlighted them to suggest we use them as cover? The problem here is that I'm quite keen to believe decisions have been made and staged as to which objects should be used in every situation, and the highlight is a clue pushing you in that direction, whereas in DX the square highlight was mainly there for practical reasons, namely single out one specific object to ensure what you saw was what you would pick up, and describe it. What you did with it was entirely out of your sordid imagination. Sometimes it worked, sometimes you just looked silly and then died.

I will admit I'm extrapolating, here, but from past experience, we can make wagers of little risk when a choice is made to simultaneously highlight all the objects which can be used in a room, at a glance. To me the design decision speaks louder than the end result, considering what the market has been producing. Again I may be wrong, but what it suggests is sinister, really, and makes me want to stay awake and avoid my bed, and the subsequent nightmares to come.

I heavily suspect there is a discrepency in design between what I have described as DX, and at-a-glance highlight, but perhaps I'm just too fearful. Or maybe it has to do with this ridiculous vomit-inducing magical glow-o-vision in Assassin's Creed which highlights your target or other people of interest, in case you're too drunk to tell them apart from the rest of the useless crowd.

This is another case of we shall see,*I guess.

Well you COULD use plants as cover. I did, they last a couple shots.

Personally I think the decision was more a side-effect of the new art style. Since the hot new thing is "clutter", it's probably important to differentiate between interactive elements of the environment, and decorative stacks of books. If you look at some of the environments, they are very busy and well, cluttered.

Cronstintein
17th Oct 2010, 07:24
This type of highlighting, while unnecessary is going to be far less annoying than the yellow outline around every interact-able object in the environment. I really hope they give the ability to turn off this.

http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=113259 (latest screen shots, bottom of post 2, page 1)
(sorry if this has been beaten to death already, been away from the forums for a while).

I don't mind if there's like a vision button that highlights stuff for you if you're worried your missing something, but having everything touchable lit up on a constant basis takes away from the pretty graphics they spent so much time producing.

Tverdyj
17th Oct 2010, 07:26
hmm
my opinion: highlighting usable items works in some games--specifically RPGs with loot (i'm thinking of The Witcher, and how after every scuffle you'd have to endure a bout of pixel-hunting just to pick up the loot without it).

I'm not sure how well this will work in a DX game. by which I mean, i can SEE how the devs would explain this--your augs are a part of you, not just a bunch of nanites swimming in in your flesh. this time your augs are directly wired to your brain, and it makes sense to get a tactical feedback on what the augs can be used on.

of course, to stay true to the DX formula, these should mark out the "obvious" routes--i.e., somehting standard that the people developing the augs would think of. that doesn't mean that there wouldn't be things not immidiately noticeable that you would be able to use later on.

for example, (if we had destructible terrain) take the boxguard encounter. if you were to turn on the strength aug,you would get tactical feedback of what's usable in the environment. say you could pick up a crate and toss it at the boxguard. that's vanilla and bland.
now, if your rocket launcher missed, and instead you hit a wall of the office, or a loading crane, making it collapse. and you'd then use your strength aug to lob a piece of the wall, or a part of a metal crane into the boxguard, using the same strength aug. however, since this isn't exactly something the aug makers would predict happening, the said pice of debris didn't get highlited, since it didn't match the "database of pick-uppabale objects", so to speak. meaning, it would still be there for the player to discover.

That's the kind of gameplay possibilities I want from DXHR.

MaxxQ1
17th Oct 2010, 07:33
In Deus Ex those barrels were highlighted, as was the cart. Not after you activated an aug, but a simple glace over highlighted them. Which indicates intent better? Simply glancing at something or actually using up energy to activate an augmentation?

The difference between DX and what I understand about the highlighting in DX:HR is that in DX, you had to be right in front of the object before it becomes highlighted. This was true of every single pick-uppable object in the game, as well as newspapers, datacubes, computers, locks, doors, bodies, and anything else that could be interacted with.

OTOH, my understanding is that by activating the strength aug, everything that can be picked up using the aug gets highlighted, regardless of it's distance from you. When I walk into a room in *any* game, I don't want everything to start glowing like a big ass neon sign, screaming "Pick me up!"

What's the point of experimenting/exploring if everything's already pointed out to you?

singularity
17th Oct 2010, 20:33
The difference between DX and what I understand about the highlighting in DX:HR is that in DX, you had to be right in front of the object before it becomes highlighted. This was true of every single pick-uppable object in the game, as well as newspapers, datacubes, computers, locks, doors, bodies, and anything else that could be interacted with.

OTOH, my understanding is that by activating the strength aug, everything that can be picked up using the aug gets highlighted, regardless of it's distance from you. When I walk into a room in *any* game, I don't want everything to start glowing like a big ass neon sign, screaming "Pick me up!"

What's the point of experimenting/exploring if everything's already pointed out to you?

I can see how this could be a serious problem, and honestly don't want them to include this either. But, if you look at the screenshot we have of a "glowing object" (the only one I've seen thus far), the hackable object is right infront of the player and relatively close.
http://dxhr.nanoaugur.net/dx3-screenshot54.jpg

As for the descriptions of the room highlighting with the strength aug activated, if this turns out to be true, then I can see problems. The first being the notion that (especially with higher levels of strength aug) the entire room could be highlighted, which would not only look horrible but also be quite distracting.
The second is similar to what Mindmute was talking about earlier. I'm all for there being visual representations that give the player access to more info (i.e. a health guage, ammo counter, indication of a climbable ledge, etc) -- after all, it isn't real life, and the player needs a way to be reminded of the "rules" of this constructed world -- where they can go, what is going on, etc. In a game like DX, however, I think the rules should be learned by the player, and there should only be as many "reminders" as necessary.

For example -- after up-grading my strength aug to level 3, I might make a whole new save and experiment for an hour seeing what new items I can pick, what I can do that I couldn't before, etc (the same as I might experiment if I had ACTUALLY gotten robotic arms grafted to my body and didn't know their limitations).
Or, if I had just upgraded to level 2, got in a fire fight, and had to run to an object, thinking I could pick it up or move it for cover, but because I didn't know the limitations of my aug, found that I couldn't. I would then be forced to improvise on the spot, resulting in a very tense, and potentially rewarding situation, where my ability to think fast made up for my lack of knowlege of my limitations.

The two above situations are ones that I think many a DX player would enjoy, as they embrace some of the tennants of the original DX (and it's design philosophy). However, having everything usable highlight within 30 feet with the push of a button would render the two above scenarios moot.

I'm ok with highlighting -- but I want it to be not too dissimilar from the original DX -- you have to look at the object and it has to be within 4 feet of you. We could even compromise by saying that when you look at an object this way, the game will tell you in it's highlight box if you have the strength required to move it, etc before you try to (so long as it's handled in a way that isn't cluttered -- maybe color code the highlights).

Just my 2 cents.

motsm
17th Oct 2010, 21:57
Yeah, I read your post and I understand your position. I think your position is arbitrary and basically wrong, hence my post.What exactly is wrong with my alternative suggestion of visual crosshair feedback? It remains completely functional without being so ridiculously intrusive. I can't see a single thing arbitrary and wrong about it from any players perspective but those wanting all of their options quite literally glowing with angelic auroras.

tartarus_sauce
18th Oct 2010, 04:20
I just don't get the complaints about outlined objects. Isn't that the future? Anyone here used google goggles? Same essential principle. I think some players need to stop thinking of this feature as "hand holding" and start thinking of it as a tool that's consistent with the world that the devs are creating.

Here I'm thinking about that sequence from Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence where Batou's first person perspective was featured, displaying the targeting info for two hand grenades he needed to shoot, or telling him where to aim for his big jump when he infilitrated the floating gynoid factory. It's no more handholding than using the Google Maps system on your smartphone to get directions to a restaurant.

If you're so obsessed with expoloration and creativity that you want to have to use your strength augs on every single object in a level to see if you can pick them up, you need to get a life. Seriously.

neoWilks
18th Oct 2010, 04:34
What exactly is wrong with my alternative suggestion of visual crosshair feedback? It remains completely functional without being so ridiculously intrusive. I can't see a single thing arbitrary and wrong about it from any players perspective but those wanting all of their options quite literally glowing with angelic auroras.
Nothing's wrong with it, never said anything was. I said that there is similarly nothing wrong with the system described in the preview. Then I pointed out the reasons as to why I didn't think there were worthwhile distinctions between your proposed system and the one being used. This is what I thought was arbitrary.

Seriously, if they implemented your system, I wouldn't care. That would be perfectly fine. I just also don't care if they keep the system they have in place. I'm far more upset about other features, and while I can respect the perspective of dudes like Frank who see this as indicative of the larger design philosophy at work, I'd rather not criticize based on speculation. I'm far more angry about the bad gameplay elements I know are present.

MaxxQ1
18th Oct 2010, 06:13
If you're so obsessed with expoloration and creativity that you want to have to use your strength augs on every single object in a level to see if you can pick them up, you need to get a life. Seriously.

Gotta love how folks just don't *want* to understand. The above quote is pretty much on the same line as "All you h8erz just want DX1 with prettier graphics."

I don't mind highlighting objects to see if I can interact with them, as long as I'm within a few (game) feet of the object, and I happen to be looking at it. That's exactly what DX did, and it was a subtle highlight. After a little while of playing DX for the first time, most people are able to figure out just by looking at an object whether they can pick it up or not - small metal crates, TNT crates, wooden crates, cardboard boxes, etc. could be readily identified, even from far away, without the need to highlight.

You also find that certain crates/containers are *not* liftable, but you can push them. These also become quickly indentifiable, and just a glance from across the room or area, with no highlighting, can tell the player that these can't be picked up, but they can be pushed. Adding the strength aug finally allows one to pick up those too-heavy containers, or couches, armchairs, etc.

DX:HR apparently highlights every interactable object (that can be picked up/carried) in an area as soon as you walk into the area - at least if you have the strength aug activated. Don't you think that'll look a bit busy? All these crates and copiers and whatnot all glowing. And the glow ain't exactly subtle, if that highlight around the computer we've seen in that screenshot is any indication.

Of course, that may be why there aren't quite as many interactable objects in DX:HR as there was in DX - all the highlighting/outlining must make the screen look like the Vegas strip at night.

Even ten years on, game tech hasn't changed enough for them to have completely different designs/models/textures for every single object in the game. That means that once you see a copier and realize you can pick it up and use it as cover, you can pretty much be assured that any other copier you find that looks like that first one will be able to be picked up and used in some way.

There's no reason to highlight/outline every damn object in every damn area you go to in every damn level of the game, all the way through the entire damn game, every damn time you fire up the damn strength aug. Damn!

I should "get a life?" Because I actually want to use the gray matter between my ears and think about how I'm going to go about a given situation, instead of having it handed to me like I'm a 1-year-old sitting in a high-chair being spoon-fed? Sorry, I'll take thinking over drooling any day.

singularity
18th Oct 2010, 07:15
I just don't get the complaints about outlined objects. Isn't that the future? Anyone here used google goggles? Same essential principle. I think some players need to stop thinking of this feature as "hand holding" and start thinking of it as a tool that's consistent with the world that the devs are creating.

Here I'm thinking about that sequence from Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence where Batou's first person perspective was featured, displaying the targeting info for two hand grenades he needed to shoot, or telling him where to aim for his big jump when he infilitrated the floating gynoid factory. It's no more handholding than using the Google Maps system on your smartphone to get directions to a restaurant.

If you're so obsessed with expoloration and creativity that you want to have to use your strength augs on every single object in a level to see if you can pick them up, you need to get a life. Seriously.

I think you're missing something here. The arguement isn't "is this plausable" -- it most certianly is. The arguement is "would highlighting everything movable be a good design decision for DX3"

The current state of the arguement is that those for it state that the player needs feedback in order to make informed decisions within any game, and the highlight system is simply another form of feedback (like an ammo-counter or health bar onscreen -- furthermore, gameplay without the highlighted items could lead to unnecessarily frustrating scenarios.

Those who oppose this highlighting claim that it may be distracting and overly "hand-holding," removing some of the problem-solving and experimentation gameplay elements that DX has been known for in the past.

Many of us, it seems (myself included), support a happy medium, however -- similar to the original DX (and many other RPGs today) in which interactive and usable objects are highlighted once a player is within several "in-game" feet of them, allowing for both player feed back, while not being overly obtrusive and cluttering to the player.

Cronstintein
18th Oct 2010, 10:59
I don't think it's hand holding, just kinda ugly. I prefer minimal huds and minimal highlighting in general. Take another look at that link, there are items on the surface to the left of the hacking terminal (with the large Press Me X from 20' away, hrmph) all lovingly surrounded in orange.
Not a huge deal but not something I would have chosen.

I don't think these are distance based since in the other screen shot the gun on the ground is pretty far away and still orange.

WildcatPhoenix
18th Oct 2010, 13:55
The highlighting is ugly, yes, but I can see its purpose (especially if the designers hope to incorporate more unique world items than Big Crate, Medium Crate, Little Crate).

Why not make it a temporary system? In other words, make the highlight portion of the strength aug function like a sonar "ping" in a submarine, a quick burst that washes over the screen to temporarily point out objects that can be lifted. But don't leave it there on the screen the entire time the aug is active.

Jerion
18th Oct 2010, 13:59
I understand it's purpose: If the are lots and lots of doodads in the levels and only some are useable, then there needs to be a quick way to distinguish between those that are interactive and those that are not. The implementation might be dislikable but the role it plays is understandable, even necessary.

Fluffis
18th Oct 2010, 14:12
I understand it's purpose: If the are lots and lots of doodads in the levels and only some are useable, then there needs to be a quick way to distinguish between those that are interactive and those that are not. The implementation might be dislikable but the role it plays is understandable, even necessary.

I've got a nice little solution for that: Make them all (or, at least, most) useable. :)

Pinky_Powers
18th Oct 2010, 14:26
I've got a nice little solution for that: Make them all (or, at least, most) useable. :)

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

I was truly disheartened when we found out there would be fewer physics objects in HR than we had in DX.

Honestly, after Half-Life 2, Oblivion and Crysis, I thought the industry was heading in the right direction in terms of world interaction and immersive simulation. :(

TrickyVein
18th Oct 2010, 14:29
Not to mention all of the various accoutrement scattered around everywhere in FO3. After seeing some vids of FNV, rooms look empty. It's a bad way to go. All of that junk really helps pull you into the environment - kicking tin cans around, bumping stuff off of shelves, etc.

xsamitt
18th Oct 2010, 14:32
EM really needs to at the very least make this an option for the not so smart gamer.Highlighting things really feels like I have ADD or some such inability to take the time to explore the world properly.It's going to feel like a true console game if they keep this aspect to the game for sure.
EM please listen to us just this once?

WildcatPhoenix
18th Oct 2010, 15:22
Honestly, after Half-Life 2, Oblivion and Crysis, I thought the industry was heading in the right direction in terms of world interaction and immersive simulation. :(

It was pretty jaw-dropping the first time I played Half-Life 2 and discovered I could pick up the individual shards of glass from broken beer bottles.

Imagine using your strength augmentation to turn any ordinary, household object into a weapon. Like beating a guy down with a broom stick (hey, contextual takedowns!) or a phone book, Jason Bourne style.

Pinky_Powers
18th Oct 2010, 15:36
It was pretty jaw-dropping the first time I played Half-Life 2 and discovered I could pick up the individual shards of glass from broken beer bottles.

Imagine using your strength augmentation to turn any ordinary, household object into a weapon. Like beating a guy down with a broom stick (hey, contextual takedowns!) or a phone book, Jason Bourne style.

It would be freakin' amazing. :)

Imagine being able to pick up a random object, turning on your strength Aug, and throwing it at someone's head, rendering them unconscious. :eek:

FrankCSIS
18th Oct 2010, 15:38
More interractivity is a given solution, but I think it was clear early on that the physics would not be as developped, so I'm not "disapointed" in that area. Although of course it's hard to fathom a stepback in evolution, I suppose ressources were spent elsewhere.

I also understand the need to identify objects which can be used within the rest of the art. I just don't see how one button making everything glow is a necessary evil, when games have always found more subtle solutions to deal with this, solutions that did not immediately suggest, at a glance, what the player was supposed to do in order to advance.

Tartar, if you push your own logic to its limits, which is what one must always do to see if his reasoning stands, what we would have is a game that plays itself, also known as a movie. I say this not to exagerate, but because you bring up examples which suggest as much.

As for it being an example of the future, it does not paint a bright one indeed. I think of my aunt, an elementary school teacher, who has to deal with color codes for everything now. She can't tell the kids to bring their english binder for the third period, but instead has to remind them to bring the yellow binder. Do you see how perverse this is, if ever so subtle? Thankfully, there is technology out there complex enough to force them to reason in other ways, but this color code, it's sad and pittiful. And I'm not saying things were better in my time, really, because my education is laughable compared to my grandfather's, which was probably around when education in this country was at its peak. Before him it wasn't so great, and after him we saw the birth of color codes, or similar features, anyway.

Ashpolt
18th Oct 2010, 15:58
It was pretty jaw-dropping the first time I played Half-Life 2 and discovered I could pick up the individual shards of glass from broken beer bottles.

Imagine using your strength augmentation to turn any ordinary, household object into a weapon. Like beating a guy down with a broom stick (hey, contextual takedowns!) or a phone book, Jason Bourne style.

...And if you could do this in DXHR, you wouldn't need an outline to show you which objects were interactive. That's (part of) the problem with the outlines: by highlighting objects you can interact this, it heavily implies that the majority of items are not interactive.

SageSavage
18th Oct 2010, 17:36
by highlighting objects you can interact this, it heavily implies that the majority of items are not interactive.

Exactly. Not only is it unwanted handholding for many, it actively works against the illusion that you are playing in a credible world. Instead it highlights how limited your possibilities really are. It threatens said illusion at least as much as the 3rd person view does. Both are quite counterproductive, IMHO. Add to that some invisible borders and you sure as hell have a recipe for disaster [Note to the angry internet men: no, this hasn't been announced, hinted at or rumoured about. Yet.]!

Abram730
18th Oct 2010, 18:32
I was afraid of this and it shows that sometimes being optimistic doesn't help, does it?

I strongly dislike this type of feedback and if turning the strength aug on outlines from a distance everything you can use it on, it will seriously cheapen exploration by creating "oh I see something I can move other there" moments.

It'll feel to me that instead of giving me tools and allowing me to use my creativity on what to do with them, that they pre-planned all my creative moments. It even cheapens for me the otherwise interesting feature of using random objects as improvised cover...

options
<gameplay tab>
[x] highlight useful objects

everybody is happy this way.

I'd like to add that I like the info cards in 3D space that I've seen so far... I really liked that in Dead Space.
I found it much better then overlays.

Mindmute
18th Oct 2010, 18:36
options
<gameplay tab>
[x] highlight useful objects

everybody is happy this way.

Yup, that'd work fine for me, but they haven't been too keen on making that sort of compromise so far.
Even if it were just a function of the eye aug, that you could buy and upgrade with skillpoints, I'd be happy.

subtlesnake
18th Oct 2010, 19:12
Exactly. Not only is it unwanted handholding for many, it actively works against the illusion that you are playing in a credible world. Instead it highlights how limited your possibilities really are. It threatens said illusion at least as much as the 3rd person view does. Both are quite counterproductive, IMHO. Add to that some invisible borders and you sure as hell have a recipe for disaster [Note to the angry internet men: no, this hasn't been announced, hinted at or rumoured about. Yet.]!
Not if there is a reason you can't interact with everything in the environment, i.e some objects are currently too heavy to lift. If there are objects within your weight range that you arbitrarily can't pick up/move etc. then that's a different thing entirely. It will be very disappointing if the latter is the case.

Fluffis
18th Oct 2010, 19:20
Not if there is a reason you can't interact with everything in the environment, i.e some objects are currently too heavy to lift. If there are objects within your weight range that you arbitrarily can't pick up/move etc. then that's a different thing entirely. It will be very disappointing if the latter is the case.

Not that I know, of course, but the info so far seems to indicate (unless I've missed something) the latter case. Unfortunately.

Cronstintein
18th Oct 2010, 19:29
I understand it's purpose: If the are lots and lots of doodads in the levels and only some are useable, then there needs to be a quick way to distinguish between those that are interactive and those that are not. The implementation might be dislikable but the role it plays is understandable, even necessary.

I agree, many people would probably appreciate not having to click on everything to see if they can pick it up. It just ...looks...ugly :(
Maybe if it wasn't orange, I dunno. Or only when you mouse over something, but perma-highlighted? Kinda gross.


EDIT
That still doesn't excuse the giant "PRESS X HERE TO HACK!" I mean really, is that necessary? In the opening map/tutorial sure, everywhere else? Please no. I think in this day and age we can recognize an electronic device. Keypads/computers are commonplace enough that I don't think we need giant arrows pointing them out :/
And hopefully I can remember what button activates things by not having recent head trauma. Does each enemy have a thing over his head saying, "Press trigger here"? No. We don't need it on computers either.

I would also enjoy if it didn't say "Hacking level 3 required" or what-have-you. Just be punishingly difficult and make the player log-off well before he finishes the hack. If he's not careful he sets off an alarm, otherwise just gets a lesson in needing proper skills. (This would require hack difficulties making sense: police station" lv2. Secret underground government bunker? Lv5.) This adds an element of danger and tension to when you start a hack rather than: Player looks at terminal level. Player scoffs. Player either hacks or walks away.
Anyway not everyone would probably agree with me but that's my opinion on the matter.

Dead-Eye
18th Oct 2010, 19:39
It doesn't simply highlight physics objects. It highlights what you can interact with. It tells you specifically "this is what you can use, don't bother looking around for something else". In DX the system would let you know "Dude, there are a lot of boxes in this room". In HR the system will tell you "Dude, you can totally use the third box on the right for something.*wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*". That's the difference. And as an addendum, the highlighting in DX also spoiled several things and should have been improved.

Yeah I want to pick up the coffee machine and throw it at someones head! Also I want to bash open the soda machine and steal all the lemon lime.



Otherwise, activating it was a mistake. No one just randomly turns on augmentations (especially in a game where merely activating them saps energy).

Yeah actually they would. I know I will just to see what can and can't be used.




The game obviously isn't going to allow interaction with every single piece of the environment.
Yeah it isn't and this is really a step backwards for the franchise.


Plants were also highlighted in DX. Other than re-arranging the office, do you seriously think the devs highlighted them to suggest we use them as cover?
Plants where suppose to be used to distract guards. Although almost no one used this.

SageSavage
18th Oct 2010, 19:41
Even if your engine doesn't allow for a game world with numerous interactable objects, there's not need for highlighting because after the first few minutes (or tutorials) the player will intuitively know what is likely to be interactive and what is likely there for decorative reasons only. I think DX1 did it pretty good and it boggles my mind how a modern game can be more limited in that regard than its 11 year old predecessor.

KSingh77
18th Oct 2010, 20:13
Next thing you know,all the npc's will be highlighted,can't waste anytime with useless npcs that don't relate to the story,it's a fast pacing shooter afterall.

Dead-Eye
18th Oct 2010, 20:19
I don't think it's hand holding, just kinda ugly. I prefer minimal huds and minimal highlighting in general. Take another look at that link, there are items on the surface to the left of the hacking terminal (with the large Press Me X from 20' away, hrmph) all lovingly surrounded in orange.
Not a huge deal but not something I would have chosen.

I don't think these are distance based since in the other screen shot the gun on the ground is pretty far away and still orange.

And again I don't think there highlighted because if they where they would be the same color as the thing in the center that's being highlighted.

Jerion
18th Oct 2010, 21:23
And again I don't think there highlighted because if they where they would be the same color as the thing in the center that's being highlighted.

The word you're looking for is "outline" ?

Cronstintein
18th Oct 2010, 21:36
Ah yes, sorry if I was unclear what I meant by highlighting.

neoWilks
19th Oct 2010, 06:19
Yeah actually they would. I know I will just to see what can and can't be used.

Am I fundamentally misunderstanding the Augmentation System in place here? I was under the impression that you had a very limited amount of energy "pips" at your disposal. Only enough to use Augmentations a few times per level/area without employing some sort of energy cell.

If someone is just firing off Augmentations without any sort of intent, they will be completely wasting their resources. Something still within the realm of possibility, but so incredibly stupid that I really can't see anyone aside from a few preposterously daffy mooks.

Cronstintein
19th Oct 2010, 07:08
I'm pretty sure you're right Wilks. With pips rather instead of a bar, I don't think flashing your augs for vision purposes will be nearly as common.

Dead-Eye
19th Oct 2010, 09:10
Am I fundamentally misunderstanding the Augmentation System in place here? I was under the impression that you had a very limited amount of energy "pips" at your disposal. Only enough to use Augmentations a few times per level/area without employing some sort of energy cell.

If someone is just firing off Augmentations without any sort of intent, they will be completely wasting their resources. Something still within the realm of possibility, but so incredibly stupid that I really can't see anyone aside from a few preposterously daffy mooks.

Do you think the strength Aug will draw energy when it's not actually lifting something? Not to mention even if you do wast a pip turning it on it would still be worth it, and if I somehow I ended up actually needing that resource I can just reload after I die but I still got the information.

MaxxQ1
19th Oct 2010, 14:50
Do you think the strength Aug will draw energy when it's not actually lifting something?

Probably. It did in DX.

Pinky_Powers
19th Oct 2010, 17:20
preposterously daffy mooks.

You're one of my new favorites... for that alone. :D

Ninjerk
19th Oct 2010, 18:25
I like your hacking system, Crons.