PDA

View Full Version : Hard to Understand Some Design Decisions



paladinlegend
6th Feb 2007, 16:26
My wife and I have played most of the Tomb Raider games since the earliest years. TR is my wife's favorite game series. She was so thrilled when I bought her the game, and she started playing right off. Due to the strange save game mechanic, I cannot really be playing while she is, but after seeing how frustrated my wife is at this game, I must report some bewildering design decisions in hopes that future games correct these choices.

My comments are too late for this game, but I hope my comments help for the future.

1. The save game mechanics are simply archaic. Why must players wait until checkpoints to save? Only kids want that in a game (for the challenge, I guess?). Adults need to stop playing at a moments notice, and don't want to waste our time replaying sequences. Why can't game designers understand that!!

2. The first boss fight was so tough for my wife, that she gave up for a long time. I searched all over the web for cheats to help her get past it. But the designers made the unbelievable choice to only make the cheats unlockable by the people who least need the cheats. What kind of thought process is that?!?! Cheats are needed by people who want to get past the tough boss fight, and should be made available for the people who need the help, not the expert gamer!!! This is supposed to be a GAME for FUN, and if something is too hard, let people use a cheat to get past it and play on. (Those who don't want cheats don't have to use them.) I know boss battles need to be tough for the majority of the players, but the cheats should be accessible to those who need help!!! What were you thinking???

3. And by the way, in this game you cannot even change the difficulty for a boss battle. You would need to replay the entire level! What kind of poor design is that???

Lunideth
6th Feb 2007, 21:12
Ok dude. If you say so then you havent palyed all eralier tomb raiders because:
1. The are very much harder than legend. Legend is easiest game in tomb raider series.
2. In earlier tomn raiders save was too "check point save"
3. if you really have played all earlier tomb raider then you wouldnt have any difficulties with legend

RaiderGirl#1
6th Feb 2007, 22:30
I think that Eidos should make the 'save game mechanics' a choice for the players. So you can play(or save) the way you would like. I think that some people actually enjoy having the chance to start over from the last checkpoint, becuase maybe they find that they can find another way to do better and not die or whatever, so easily. And then for the people who don't like it, maybe Eidos could make it so you could save just when you wanted to.

rabid metro
7th Feb 2007, 01:40
... TR is my wife's favorite game series...

...
2. The first boss fight was so tough for my wife, that she gave up for a long time. I searched all over the web for cheats to help her get past it. But the designers made the unbelievable choice to only make the cheats unlockable by the people who least need the cheats.
...


paladin, i think your #1 and #3 complaints stem from your #2 complaint.
i hope you don't think i'm trying to discount your feelings, but ...

about that complaint ... Legend was designed to satisfy the complaints, worldwide, that the sequence of earlier tomb raider games was "becoming increasingly unapproachable, unfathomable and too hard" for the casual player. the majority of people that populate these boards are die-hard fans and tend to believe that Legend is sooo watered-down from earlier versions that it is too ultra-easy. in that light, your complaint seems dramatically at odds with the majority here. however, outside of this world, the overwhelming opinion is that Legend met the challenge of reducing the "unapproachableness" factor and that the game was just about right, in terms of difficulty. Legend was/is a huge commercial success ...

oh yeah, back to your complaint, the first "boss" battle is in japan (3rd level), yes?
before this, you face various mechanical puzzles and mercenaries and so on, but nothing that really qualifies as a traditional boss.
i'll assume you are talking about the Japan level and here's my reaction ...
that dude was tough (at first). his AI was super-frustrating and the fact that you barely got a glimpse of insight before getting killed in the boss battle and having to replay the level to get back to the battle was getting a little old, but i was making progress ... i could kill that guy a little more each time ...

... needless to say, i now laugh at the dude and try to intentionally find new, clever ways to beat him ... but this isn't supposed to be about me ...

the boss battle in japan does not, to me, seem out of line with previous tomb raiders. i can think of numerous other bosses from earlier games that were clearly harder, so i can't sympathisize with the complaint that the boss was "so tough". to me, it was normal, tomb-raider, tough. does your wife feel that this boss is drastically different from earlier tomb raiders???

i'll move on ... you wanted to help your wife with cheat codes and they seemed out of reach. kudos for wanting to help ... but I don't see the point of playing this game (or any game) in "cheat mode". strangely, i feel entitled to cheat codes after having beat the game. here's my point, i believe that game designers generally have a winning strategy for players in mind. the trick is usually to "check your ego" at the door and then "read the game situation" for clues. personally, i hate it when the point of a game is to somehow be magically, manually dexterous in order to make progress. IMO, Legend mostly avoided that flaw, and it seemed that you could make significant progress by gathering your wits about you and remaining calm, in the face of imminent threats. (isn't that supposed to be Lara's personality???)

let me change gears and maybe you'll better understand what i'm trying to say ... the majority of people that choose to regularly play sudoku puzzles generally forgo "cheating" (i.e. looking at the answers). puzzles, to these people, wouldn't be worth it, if they could casually be solved. on the other hand, people that want the puzzles to be overly simple probably won't invest much in playing them. so the challenges have an inherent degree of difficulty to them, in order to attract a following and be enjoyable ...

[2-minute warning, :) ]
personal taste is ... personal taste, and its hard to argue with. however, i don't think that the game designers have erred in terms of degree of difficulty or "approachability", with this game. if the gameplay doesn't evolve then i would worry (however crystal dynamics seems to have a great read on the pulse of its customers, so i'm not worried). you could argue that more customizing options are in order ...

so i'm mostly confused: why is the general tomb raider series a favorite, and yet, this first boss battle, which harkens back to challenges of old, somehow not right??? (you know, of course, that the boss challenges will get tougher? ...)

They say that in Tomb Raider, if you can see the light, get out of the way! :rolleyes:
They sat that love is just a second hand emotion ... :scratch:

paladinlegend
7th Feb 2007, 03:22
Rabid Metro, thanks for the thoughtful reply. Also thanks to the others who posted.

The essence of my point is that the designers would have better-served more people if they had done some very simple things differently. Things that would not have taken away from anyone else's experience, but improved it for those that need an easier route from time to time.

Some of the responses somewhat miss my point. Comparisons to previous games in the series are NOT the point. The point is: why did the designers make design choices that limit options for one class of gamer, yet would not have hurt the experience of other gamers? We are not trying to ruin YOUR experiences. We simply want options that will improve ours.

Since they have the cheat codes built into the game, why make it accessible only to the experts who need it the least?? That makes NO sense. It would have been trivial to make it easy to unlock for those that want or need it to move past a tough fight. For those that don't want to use cheats, they don't have to!!

Regarding save games vs. checkpoints: why should PC users have to live with the archaic system of checkpoints? RaiderGirl's suggestion that both options be available has it right - desingers should allow people to play the way they want.

BYW, regarding earlier games' bosses being tough, that is NOT the point. For those that are trying to understand us, I will explain that in previous games in the series, when my wife would get stuck once in a while, she would have me play the boss fight for her, which was no problem since I had always already completed the game before her. In the case of Legend, I am not playing it (at least not yet). Since I could not find a cheat for her, she finally convinced me to try to do the boss fight for her anyway (yes, the Japanese guy who flings green rays at you), even though I was not familiar with the commands, etc. Eventually, I was able to beat the guy, allowing her to play on. But our aggrevation could have been easily avoided if the designers had made the cheats available.

And if you wonder why she likes the TR series even though the boss fights are tough, remember that the bulk of the play experience is NOT boss battles. It is puzzles and jumping sequences, etc.

rabid metro
7th Feb 2007, 05:27
... the customizing options thing is something that CD must sort out.
inevitably, they will not be able to please everyone ...

paladin, why can't you have two games going?

on a console, this means separate memory cards.

(i haven't played Legend on a PC, but in previous TR's)
on a computer, you could designate separate save directories (or the equivalent).

then you could play ahead in your game and help wifey, in hers, when needed. perhaps the issue is more time-related ...


They say that although it takes 2 to tango, it should only take 1 to raid tombs ... ;)
They say that in any legendary tomb, cheaters are always winners!

chipfryer
16th Feb 2007, 23:10
What a fabulous idea! :)


I think that Eidos should make the 'save game mechanics' a choice for the players. So you can play(or save) the way you would like. I think that some people actually enjoy having the chance to start over from the last checkpoint, becuase maybe they find that they can find another way to do better and not die or whatever, so easily. And then for the people who don't like it, maybe Eidos could make it so you could save just when you wanted to.

BassViper
19th Feb 2007, 18:14
Yes chipfryer.

I agree with you totally. Save options should always be at the option of the player as to how to use them. If you want to venture forth for a long time without save, and have to replay the last long scenario over, so be it.
But once you've mastered a certain scenario to nearly the last instant and THEN die, what you want to do is get past the dying point without having to go to the trouble of replaying that which you have already mastered.

All this does is induce boredom and frustration with being forced to re-do that which you already know.

It's like having to recite the same boring old poem in front of the class in school.

Lemmie save me just before I die so I can work on the problem of how to keep from gettin killed in the first place.

Neoweed
19th Feb 2007, 18:26
The save game option in legend and it started in TR3, with the green double pyramids, seems for me that they created the game for the consoles. And then they recreated the game for the PC. Thats why, I think, the save option is made that way. When one goes to the software shop you can see that the consoles are taking over the PC. It is sad to see that happening, because most console games are shooters or arcade stuff gaming. In fact it is gaming for the masses. Try to find an adventure game these days. There are some, but very little compare to the arcade games. It is like World of Warcraft: They started very nice as real RPG, but later they have modified the game more and more as a massive arcade game. Not my cup of tea! I hope some of you readers will say that I am wrong! But if I am wrong tell me what games are without the arcade aspect! There are not many of them!

DKSM
20th Feb 2007, 00:16
I think one easier part for designers when creating games with checkpoints is the limitation of bugs. I know in Chronicles if you saved during part of the VCI levels you lost because the machine-thing fell in the hole.

If the game saves at checkpoints, the developer only needs to worry about saving at that particular point and how it might affect on-going situations running in the game, rather than leaving us to save at possible pivotal points that could initiate a bug, some of which may be hard to spot as you would be able to save in a multitude of different positions.

Neoweed
20th Feb 2007, 16:42
Yes, I agree, it is also a thing to think about it.