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View Full Version : How to build the perfect Tomb......Raider.



CatSuit&Ponytail
24th Jan 2008, 09:09
I felt like speaking about games when I read this (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74875) thread about Tomb Raider Anniversary.

I have stated before that I have noticed an unhappy tendency for new games of all types to be so console oriented that the mouse and keyboard of a PC are not equipped to control anything with complete success, but I find even playing games on the console with a gamepad, sometimes the controls are so haphazard that the word "control" no longer applies. I want complex moves to be key-mappable on a keyboard and mouse combo to eliminate that nasty key-jamming effect. I want perfect control, to be able to turn a bit without flopping around, to be able to run a straight line without having to continually compensate for gamepad paddles' inaccuracy. I want a logical, not hindering camera, logical movement, where pressing ^ or w always means moving forward, and I want to save wherever I want so I don't have to play one whole section over and over to the point of tedium, just to get to the place I need to practice to perfect. I do not think it's about evolving into a better gamer, I think it's about making better games. :)

Having said that generally, I do think Tomb Raider is fabulously great and is as hot as hades, most things are already perfect, Lara especially, but making the game adjustable in difficulty would serve all us varied gamers well :

*Site seer -easier puzzles and easier jumps and non-aggressive animals,
**Explorer -more puzzles but less badguys and mostly non-aggressive animals,
***Adventurer -puzzles and badguys and hard jumps,
+***+Tomb Raider -hard puzzles{timed} tough badguys, and extreme jumps.

I would also like to say that having option sliders for all those basic elements would allow us to create our own perfect blend of what we the gamer want from a game.

Puzzle amount +======================o+
Puzzle difficulty +=================o------+ ... Unhighlighted handholds [x] ... Button Hints Off [x]
Bad Guy amount +===========o--------------+
Bad Guy difficulty +==========o--------------+
Animal aggression +o---------------------------+
Jump difficulty +==========o--------------+

So. With the visual brilliance new games exhibit, there should be the quality of content and control working along with that brilliance to make the perfect game for all. :)


Oh, and I like a bit of length with the vastness of explorer games. ;)

Truly, CatSuit&Ponytail ;)

William Croft
24th Jan 2008, 09:29
Very well said, I mean on the last 3 TR games when you chose expert or hard its basicaslly the same as if it was on easy no harder jumps, no harder puzzles its all the same just the bad guys have a little more health. The idea that you produced is excellent and suits everybodys needs to be honest. Its a great idea although there is a bit I have to critisize. I don't really like the save whenever you want idea, and not also a big fan of the checkpoint idea either although I really liked TRI & TRIII's methord of saving (Diamond style), it added alot of atmosphere to it and it really made all the jumps scary and very tense. Although I have an idea *lightbulb* how about when you chose extreme + you get the OPTION to chose wether you have the save whenever you want or diamond style. That would be a great idea although the sytles below Extreme should be able to chose between checkpoint and Save whenever you want because they don't want it that hard and if they do they can go to extreme+. I think thats fair and everybodies happy :D You agree? :thumbsup:

CatSuit&Ponytail
24th Jan 2008, 09:42
I always prefer saving where I want no matter what game I play. To be forced to keep going when other things (life) need to be done just to save the game, is rude. :) My time is my own, and saving only at specific spots means my time is not my own. I do not like save-points because maybe I want to go back and try again from an earlier save to make it better. I fill up my save game folders, and it is my right. ;) That's a PC thing. :)

William Croft
24th Jan 2008, 09:48
I always prefer saving where I want no matter what game I play. To be forced to keep going when other things (life) need to be done just to save the game, is rude. :) My time is my own, and saving only at specific spots means my time is not my own. I do not like save-points because maybe I want to go back and try again from an earlier save to make it better. I fill up my save game folders, and it is my right. ;) That's a PC thing. :)

I've never tried a PC one *embarassed face* Although.... This is a hard argument:nut: anyway I really liked the specific spot saves It really added tense And made it all worth while and well scary :) we could have the option thing as I said as the top... That would be fair..... right :rolleyes:

CatSuit&Ponytail
24th Jan 2008, 10:31
I am all for more options. I like choices. :thumbsup: :)

William Croft
24th Jan 2008, 10:41
I am all for more options. I like choices. :thumbsup: :)



Then it is agreed! Pleasure doing business with yoiu *Hands over suitcase* :rasp: :D

Rai
24th Jan 2008, 11:30
I'm really liking some of your ideas Catsuit. I've never had a real problem with any of the save systems. Which game was it had the collect the save crystals? I wasn't so keen on that one. All I remember was being stuck in an area and not having any saved up and being frustrated 'cus I kept on dying and having to redo loads. Now that was bothersome. :eek:

I particularly like the different level options. But these should be interchangeable with the each new level. I wouldn't want a game to stay easy all the way through. I wouldn't want to be a novice still in level 10 (depending on how many there are of course), I'd' want to be build up my status gradually. I'm probably over complicating things though.

GoranAgar
24th Jan 2008, 12:25
Very clever wife I have. :D

But let us not forget about Zip and Alister.

Zip and Alister settings:

[x] Puzzle hints off
[x] funny talk off

And with the setting shown only speech files that contribute to the story telling remain.
:)

CatSuit&Ponytail
24th Jan 2008, 12:32
I'm really liking some of your ideas Catsuit. I've never had a real problem with any of the save systems. Which game was it had the collect the save crystals? I wasn't so keen on that one. All I remember was being stuck in an area and not having any saved up and being frustrated 'cus I kept on dying and having to redo loads. Now that was bothersome. :eek:

I particularly like the different level options. But these should be interchangeable with the each new level. I wouldn't want a game to stay easy all the way through. I wouldn't want to be a novice still in level 10 (depending on how many there are of course), I'd' want to be build up my status gradually. I'm probably over complicating things though.

Thanks Rai! :) I was thinking the option sliders would always be available when you press Esc-->Options, so if an area has, say, huge spiders, and you hate huge spiders, you turn their aggression off so you won't be wierded out by them, or if you had to wait three hours on hold listening to musak you could increase the number of bad-guys to shoot. :lol:

Thank you Husband, :D ....I had completely forgotten about Zip and Alister! :o

TDK
24th Jan 2008, 12:36
i agree with you the checkpoints are really annoying
I always prefer saving where I want no matter what game I play. To be forced to keep going when other things (life) need to be done just to save the game, is rude. :) My time is my own, and saving only at specific spots means my time is not my own. I do not like save-points because maybe I want to go back and try again from an earlier save to make it better. I fill up my save game folders, and it is my right. ;) That's a PC thing. :)

LisaB1962
24th Jan 2008, 14:24
I too prefer the save whenever you want option. The checkpoint system only works well in linear games, not in a game where you return to places. Either give me official save points a la God of War or save anywhere.

While I also love options, I would rather the programmers concentrate on returning Tomb Raider to real exploration. Stop programming what Lara can or cannot do in a location. If it looks like Lara should be able to grab, she can--not just official "hand holds." If I want her to jump high and grab, she will---not just do a gimpy hop because the programmers decided she shouldn't climb there.

While I realize invoking the old games will doubtless make me need a flame suit, a large part of the fun of the old games was trying to get someplace because Lara would try to get there. You'd see a ledge and think "OMG---there's no way to get there" . . . and then you would. Now Lara won't even try, and I find it rather . . . annoying. :whistle:

I'm all for increasing puzzle difficulty if it means finding more stuff, but not Silent Hill hard puzzle difficulty. :confused:

I can think of no game that allows difficulty to be changed from level to level. :confused: The few I've played that do allow you to jete to easy from normal do not let you go back to normal once you've played the easy card. Not against the idea, mind you, I just think there's probably some huge programming reason you can't change a global parameter like that mid-play.

GoranAgar
24th Jan 2008, 15:46
While I also love options, I would rather the programmers concentrate on returning Tomb Raider to real exploration.
But this is part of the Problem. Everybody has a slightly different understanding about what Tomb Raiding is. So, with whatever decision the guys at CD make, they only match with a portion of the fans.

With this idea, a lot more people can enjoy Tomb Raiding the way they imagine it.

Mangar The Dark
24th Jan 2008, 16:19
Very clever wife I have. :D

But let us not forget about Zip and Alister.

Zip and Alister settings:

[x] Puzzle hints off
[x] funny talk off

And with the setting shown only speech files that contribute to the story telling remain.
:)

Rather than making them an option, why not just make them like Lara's journal? If you're stuck on a puzzle, and you want some help, you press a button and Lara calls up Zip & Alistair on her headset to ask for their input. Kind of like RAD mode on the binoculars-- you just use it whenever you want a little extra assistance. Or never use it if you want to figure it all out on your own.

zakker
24th Jan 2008, 17:49
I felt like speaking about games when I read this (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74875) thread about Tomb Raider Anniversary.

I have stated before that I have noticed an unhappy tendency for new games of all types to be so console oriented that the mouse and keyboard of a PC are not equipped to control anything with complete success, but I find even playing games on the console with a gamepad, sometimes the controls are so haphazard that the word "control" no longer applies. I want complex moves to be key-mappable on a keyboard and mouse combo to eliminate that nasty key-jamming effect. I want perfect control, to be able to turn a bit without flopping around, to be able to run a straight line without having to continually compensate for gamepad paddles' inaccuracy. I want a logical, not hindering camera, logical movement, where pressing ^ or w always means moving forward, and I want to save wherever I want so I don't have to play one whole section over and over to the point of tedium, just to get to the place I need to practice to perfect. I do not think it's about evolving into a better gamer, I think it's about making better games. :)

Having said that generally, I do think Tomb Raider is fabulously great and is as hot as hades, most things are already perfect, Lara especially, but making the game adjustable in difficulty would serve all us varied gamers well :

*Site seer -easier puzzles and easier jumps and non-aggressive animals,
**Explorer -more puzzles but less badguys and mostly non-aggressive animals,
***Adventurer -puzzles and badguys and hard jumps,
+***+Tomb Raider -hard puzzles{timed} tough badguys, and extreme jumps.

I would also like to say that having option sliders for all those basic elements would allow us to create our own perfect blend of what we the gamer want from a game.

Puzzle amount +======================o+
Puzzle difficulty +=================o------+ ... Unhighlighted handholds [x] ... Button Hints Off [x]
Bad Guy amount +===========o--------------+
Bad Guy difficulty +==========o--------------+
Animal aggression +o---------------------------+
Jump difficulty +==========o--------------+

So. With the visual brilliance new games exhibit, there should be the quality of content and control working along with that brilliance to make the perfect game for all. :)


Oh, and I like a bit of length with the vastness of explorer games. ;)

Truly, CatSuit&Ponytail ;)

well, it is a briliant thinking of you about the ultimate TR game. but i think it takes a lot of programming from the developers. for me give me the hardest bad guy's , aggressive animals and extreme jumps with unlimited medi packs and super guns with unlimmited ammo. now that is the perfect tomb raider for me:p

LisaB1962
24th Jan 2008, 19:49
But this is part of the Problem. Everybody has a slightly different understanding about what Tomb Raiding is. So, with whatever decision the guys at CD make, they only match with a portion of the fans.

With this idea, a lot more people can enjoy Tomb Raiding the way they imagine it.

You might have had a point had you not modified it with "slightly." Slight differences of opinion are not a problem. The problem is a game like Legend bears little resemblance to Tomb Raider as a game, and quite a bit to action games like POP and GOW. There is a huge difference between the two genres. It's like comparing checkers and chess. Same board, yet totally different games.

I agree that it's a thankless job for the guys at CD, but I can't see how changing the difficulty settings would have made Legend more "Tomb Raider." It was one long straight pipe from start to finish. *thinks* OK, getting Z & A to be quiet may have helped. :D

floydthebarber
24th Jan 2008, 20:42
I felt like speaking about games when I read this (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74875) thread about Tomb Raider Anniversary.

I have stated before that I have noticed an unhappy tendency for new games of all types to be so console oriented that the mouse and keyboard of a PC are not equipped to control anything with complete success, but I find even playing games on the console with a gamepad, sometimes the controls are so haphazard that the word "control" no longer applies. I want complex moves to be key-mappable on a keyboard and mouse combo to eliminate that nasty key-jamming effect. I want perfect control, to be able to turn a bit without flopping around, to be able to run a straight line without having to continually compensate for gamepad paddles' inaccuracy. I want a logical, not hindering camera, logical movement, where pressing ^ or w always means moving forward, and I want to save wherever I want so I don't have to play one whole section over and over to the point of tedium, just to get to the place I need to practice to perfect. I do not think it's about evolving into a better gamer, I think it's about making better games. :)

Having said that generally, I do think Tomb Raider is fabulously great and is as hot as hades, most things are already perfect, Lara especially, but making the game adjustable in difficulty would serve all us varied gamers well :

*Site seer -easier puzzles and easier jumps and non-aggressive animals,
**Explorer -more puzzles but less badguys and mostly non-aggressive animals,
***Adventurer -puzzles and badguys and hard jumps,
+***+Tomb Raider -hard puzzles{timed} tough badguys, and extreme jumps.

I would also like to say that having option sliders for all those basic elements would allow us to create our own perfect blend of what we the gamer want from a game.

Puzzle amount +======================o+
Puzzle difficulty +=================o------+ ... Unhighlighted handholds [x] ... Button Hints Off [x]
Bad Guy amount +===========o--------------+
Bad Guy difficulty +==========o--------------+
Animal aggression +o---------------------------+
Jump difficulty +==========o--------------+

So. With the visual brilliance new games exhibit, there should be the quality of content and control working along with that brilliance to make the perfect game for all. :)


Oh, and I like a bit of length with the vastness of explorer games. ;)

Truly, CatSuit&Ponytail ;)

Superbly stated! :thumbsup:

As a PC gamer, I have railed against the "consolization" of all games for a long time. The controls (and I use that term loosely when I talk about many modern games) have become less like "controls" and more like advisements.

When one wants to turn in an incremental fashion from a standstill position in the old games, all one did was "turn" and move forward when one was faced in the required direction. Now it is all convoluted; one turns in 90° segments, and one tries to adjust they rotate 180° about. And the camera at this point is looking at your avatar in the face rather than where you are going. The precision is gone.

Again, thanks for the well-thought out post. It's nice to see that I am not alone. :)

Spong
24th Jan 2008, 22:20
Have you overdosed on imagination juice today CatSuit?
That's one hell of an undertaking for the poor old devs at Crystal Dynamics. Just playing the different difficulty levels alone would require maps that change in their layout to conform to the challenge.

It's a nice thought, but I don't think any of it's ever gonna happen.

Oh yes, one more thing...


...an unhappy tendency for new games of all types to be so console oriented that the mouse and keyboard of a PC are not equipped to control anything with complete success...

That's simple, PCs are never really built with playing games in mind, are they? Last time I heard, they're primarily machines to do work on.

floydthebarber
24th Jan 2008, 23:14
Oh yes, one more thing...

That's simple, PCs are never really built with playing games in mind, are they? Last time I heard, they're primarily machines to do work on.

Yes they have, since the dawn of personal computers. I started gaming on my Commodore C-64, than moved through my Apple IIc to my IBM PS/2 through sooo many 'til my present beast. So gaming has been on computers from the get-go. I remember many a fun evening in the mid-80's playing games that were no more than dots on a monochrome screen.

PC's have driven the technology in gaming. Consoles are upgraded rarely, but PC technology is practically updated on a daily basis. But now that is changing. Stagnation may set in.

Spong
24th Jan 2008, 23:22
If PCs are built with gaming in mind, why is it so blooming hard to get games running on them with any ease? They're for use in the workplace, gaming on a PC is, and always has been, secondary.

Anyway, back on topic...

floydthebarber
24th Jan 2008, 23:31
If PCs are built with gaming in mind, why is it so blooming hard to get games running on them with any ease? They're for use in the workplace, gaming on a PC is, and always has been, secondary.

Anyway, back on topic...

Hard for you maybe, simple for me. :)

It's the changes in the control elements that the op was referring to. In the past, games that were originally designed for the console were ported very well to the pc. Now they seem to be thrown on the pc with little regard in the design for functionality. Legend and Anniversary fit this description for me.

Spong
25th Jan 2008, 00:06
Hard for you maybe, simple for me.

At what point did I refer to myself?
I play games primarily on consoles, machines purpose-built to play them and have a control system that's just as purpose-built. Does a PC come with a pad as standard? No. A PC doesn't have a standard because their uses (beyond their inherent work capabilities) are determined by the individual user's needs.

floydthebarber
25th Jan 2008, 00:32
At what point did I refer to myself?
I play games primarily on consoles, machines purpose-built to play them and have a control system that's just as purpose-built. Does a PC come with a pad as standard? No. A PC doesn't have a standard because their uses (beyond their inherent work capabilities) are determined by the individual user's needs.

What do you call the keyboard and the mouse? That's as standard as you can get. And games have utilized this control system from the get-go. Never used a gamepad, and never will.

Bampire
25th Jan 2008, 02:01
I'm going to make this a short post, and just flat out say: I agree, lovely point!
I'd rather have things which you can adjust yourself, it makes people appreciate the game more.

Verios
25th Jan 2008, 06:01
All comes down to time vs development costs. While these are very good ideas I don't foresee it happening. Lowering the difficulty of bad guys and bosses is one thing, but to cater every puzzle, level, etc... to every minority group out there that feels Tomb Raider should be "this way" or "that way" would just be too time consuming and development nightmare. On a side note, I can't possibly be the only one that found the last two Tomb Raider games on hard...well...overly easy? heh

Spong
25th Jan 2008, 07:31
Never used a gamepad, and never will.

Your loss mate, you'll never play a modern-day game the way it was intended. :rasp:

Xcom
25th Jan 2008, 13:53
Very nice post, Cat. I agree with the first part completely, but have to disagree with the second. :p

I agree that "difficulty" shouldn't be achieved by forcing player to battle with controls and camera (which leads back to the 1st part of your post).

As for difficulty and challenges in a more conventional sense, I think that in case of TR, they should remain as they are. Having some kind of sliders may seem like a good idea in theory, but something tells me it will only create more reason for various fans to criticize the game for. The lowest difficulty will still be too hard, the highest still too easy, and the sliders (of course) won't work as they are supposed to.

So, I think I have a better idea: if somebody can't solve a puzzle or beat some boss, they should get a walkthrough. :D

rabid metro
29th Jan 2008, 02:30
what i would like to see in future tomb raider games:
(assuming checkpoints, levels and profiles similar to TRA)

when i pass a checkpoint, a name tag should flash briefly to identify that checkpoint. after successfully completing the level, when i replay the level, it should allow me to start from any checkpoint in that level. let's say that the checkpoints i visited are geographically ordered in a scrolling list. oh yeah, levels could have "non-essential" areas (and checkpoints) that aren't needed to complete the level but if you explored those areas you might unlock or swap a cool item, gain knowledge or hints in an (unreversible) exchange for cool items, play a mini-game/physics puzzle or perhaps just access an area where you could hone some skill. stuff like that ...

and, of course, the usual stuff like 8 regions with 4 levels per region, a great plot with cool plot twists and explanations (i.e. why did we see Natla boxes in TRL?), having the adrenaline dodge just be a tool in your arsenal along with TRL-style bullet-time and so on. to be honest, tho, every TR has had signature moves so TRU could add something new, too.

two paws up to catsuit. that's all for now ... its nap time.
:cool:

sapphire33
30th Jan 2008, 10:07
Awesome post, Cat. :thumbsup:

Great difficulty options - something for everyone.

And I really want a 'save at will' option too. This would make me want to go out and buy future TR releases! :)

John Carter
31st Jan 2008, 12:42
Yep, 'Suit, agree with your list o'stuff. Absolutely must have the save-anywhere feature.

TRU needs a level editor. Crytek's Crysis's Sandbox editor goes to show that editors aren't too hard or complex for modern games. I see over on trchronicles.com forums somebody is making a pretty decent looking Tomb Raider mod for the Crysis sandbox editor. That being the case, you should be able to make your own TR levels in a TR game again.