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FrankCSIS
11th Mar 2009, 14:54
A certain topic that has been discussed to death lately is making me realise quite a few people do not appear to fully appreciate the implication of game mechanics to one's experience, and that some seem to think a moment in a game is almost accidental, that no logic was ever involved or put into play to create it.

As arrogant as it may sound (trust me I'm the antithesis of self-cofidence ;) ), I thought I'd give a small crash course on creating a moment, and use a blast from the past as the main supporting example. It may be a long read, but I think many would benefit from the read. Who knows, maybe even René? :D

Pandora Directive is without a doubt the best game of the Tex Murphy franchise. It's a sci-fi adventure in which you play an old fashioned gumshoe PI living in the late 21st century. Your case starts as you are asked to locate a missing person, an old army/research buddy of your client who has worked on suspicious gvt researches. Game came out in 1996.

While the world wasn't open-ended per say, like most adventure games, once you ran out of things to do in an area you could always move on to another location using the travel panel, at any given moment. Always? Not exactly.

Your investigation takes you to the old and abandoned Roswell military base. Upon arrival you find it barricaded, scavenged, a complete mess. As you browse around, you eventually come upon a dorm that was barricaded, from the inside. Sneaking into the room, you will find a videodisk, the filmed journal entry of a terrified soldier hinting at what might have actually happened to the base. There seems to be something that's scaring everyone to death.

So far, as with the rest of the game, you can leave and go back to anywhere you please. Further search will eventually lead you to what you came to search for in the first place, the underground military base. Much more modern, in good order, but just as abandoned. A voice over adds to what you came to suspect for a while now, there's an eerie feeling to the place. There's also another problem, the vault door you came through cannot be opened from the inside. As you start to explore the base, a POV cutscene of someone or something moving around the corridors finally confirms what you might have thought. You're not alone down here.

And you cannot leave.

At this point, that much is clear. Find out what is here with you, and find a way to stop it, or you die down here. I was terrified. Ok so maybe I was about 13, but terrified nonetheless. The place is big, with a lot to explore, a lot of things to interact with, and very little time to find a solution. After a few minutes of exploring I get another cutscene, showing me precisely what is after me, and it's moving fast. Now I'm running in every direction like a headless chicken, trying to figure out a way to exploit the environment to shelter myself and stop this thing an entire military regiment failed to stop with blazing guns. And sure enough, I died.

You'd think dying and reloading to the last checkpoint would kill the effect, but it only made it worse. Now I knew for a certainty I could die, and I knew about how much time I had, give or take (no cheesy countdown before the place blows up kind of moment). Keeping my act together, I eventually found a way to trap it. Trap it, not kill it. And so I could move on to the rest of the base and search what I came for in the first place. All the same, I was just as worried for the entire duration of that "level", never too sure what to expect from that eerie base. When at last I found everything I needed, as well as a way out, I could travel back to the office. For the first time in hours, I breathed.

Now let us compare, with, say, Fallout 3. A fun game by all account, should I specify, but utterly lacking a moment. The game has hundreds of steampacks scattered around the map, and being weightless, you can carry about as many as you fancy. If that weren't enough, you find doctors everywhere who can heal you for an astronomical price, as well as thousands of food supplies who could bring you health and a sidedose of radiation. I don't know why anyone would even care to eat the crap, or why they even bothered with the whole radiation system, considering the open world allowed you to retreat at any given moment and simply crash on a bed for an hour in order to heal everything. It's quite simply impossible to die.

You might argue the moment described above is the result of good story-telling, and I'd say you're half wise, and half a fool. Even with a better story, even with a specific scripted moment intended to be scary or worrisome, it was simply impossible to fear anything in Fallout 3. Two very distinctive and unrelated game mechanics made sure it was impossible to worry about anything. This is the very principle of outstanding gaming. The balance between story and gameplay, and the synergy between the two.

And so you see, about 12 years later I still get goosebumps thinking back on Roswell, and a month after finishing it, I barely remember anything about Fallout 3. The first game is considered completely obsolete by the industry. I know, I had a notorious argument about it with Ed Fries, ex vp of MS Games who held the rights to the franchise but refused to greenlight another game from its true creators. The latter game is considered state of the art gameplay. The industry has moved on, indeed.

Capital_G
11th Mar 2009, 17:42
The only things to be affraid of in fallout 3 is to run out of ammo, and you can still hit em with a sledge hammer !

Ashpolt
11th Mar 2009, 18:23
Brilliant post, very well thought out and well written. I don't have much to add, except to say that I think some people will take this as being an argument for....the particular aspect of Deus Ex 3 you mention, rather than against it which I think (judging from your other posts) is what you were aiming for.

HouseOfPain
11th Mar 2009, 18:47
The one "Moment" I had in Fallout 3 was traversing one of the Vaults, having the screen tint a dark purple and seeing 6 of your "Fathers" walking into different rooms.

I don't know why, but that gave me serious chills.

Great post though! I love those terrifying moments, the memorable moments. :thumb:

Capital_G
11th Mar 2009, 19:04
a boss fight, for example, can be awesome in therm of action, gameplay, etc, but to become a real gaming moment, it needs that twist that only a good scenario/atmosphere can give or have that unexpeted/''thats not normal !'' aspect in it.

by the way good post frankcsis, I just hope for you that the thread will only be moved and not closed

GmanPro
11th Mar 2009, 22:52
There were a lot of things wrong with Fallout 3. After about 30 minutes of playing, you've seen everything the game has to offer. I never felt a sense of consequence to my actions in that game. If I was quick enough, I could get through just about any fight ... at low level and with little gear. Instant immersion-breaker. It felt like just another 'game', almost Oblivion-esque in its gameplay-mediocrity. It wasn't a role playing game. Just an excuse to use a respected name in video-gaming ... to run around and blow things up.

Good post btw FrankCSIS

FrankCSIS
11th Mar 2009, 23:44
except to say that I think some people will take this as being an argument for

True enough, but they would see a cause and effect where I only hinted at a correlation. The trouble with Fallout's health were not the fact that there were Steampacks around, but their large availability coupled with the possibility of reloading your health for free any time you wished, it made the very notion of dying impossible. This is all part of a larger mechanical problem that plagues Fallout 3. It's impossible to fail anything in that game.

See, you don't need to boost your medicine skills, because healing yourself is pretty useless. You don't really need your hacking or lockpicking skills, because there's always 5 other ways around to whatever it is you want. There was no real need to upgrade any of your weapon skills, because so long as you had sufficient bullets you could always prevail over anyone. None of what you decided, none of what you did, brought any consequences. They were so worried about not upsetting the player's choices they made choices completely useless. In DX, when I deliberately chose to leave the GepGun behind because I needed the inventory room, I cursed myself later on when I ran out of LAM mines and still had two big mechs to destroy. Choice and consequences. It took me a solid hour to come up with a solution, but I did. You had tough calls to make in that game, and one way or another you'd end up paying for them. That's life, and that's how choices in games need to be. Otherwise, you can just remove choices altogether.

GManPro said it best, you can finish Fallout with a Level 5 character, and that is entirely and completely due to bad gameplay mechanics. The consequence of this is enormous on the experience of the game. The only thing that mattered in this game was not whether or not you could survive and succeed it, but rather which "cool" feature you would make use of to do it. As a result, the game becomes entirely forgettable.

Oblivion was the biggest farce of the lot though. I wonder what they were thinking, honestly. There is not a shred of logic behind the idea of leveling the world with you. What it means is you can just as easily finish the game as a Level 1 than you could a level 20. Way to defeat the point. I'm sure they all thought it was a brilliant and innovative idea at the time, some fine choice that went hand in hand with an open world.

GmanPro
11th Mar 2009, 23:52
The trouble with Fallout's health were not the fact that there were Steampacks around ...


Stimpacks



In DX, when I deliberately chose to leave the GepGun behind because I needed the inventory room...


Lol, I always kept the Gep Gun because it was my universal lock-pick :D

WhatsHisFace
11th Mar 2009, 23:53
So Deus Ex 3 should be a horror game?

GmanPro
12th Mar 2009, 00:00
No

He means that it should have consequences. Way to not read between the lines there buddy.

FrankCSIS
12th Mar 2009, 00:05
So Deus Ex 3 should be a horror game?

Haha, don't start. If it's a romantic game you wish to make of DX 3, the same truth and realities behind creating a moment remain. The synergy between what you wish to accomplish with the story and the mechanics you employ with the gameplay. This synergy was not respected with Fallout 3, for reasons made clear enough, but it was with Pandora Directive, as it was with Deus Ex. Two out of three have memorable moments. Guess which.

Laokin
12th Mar 2009, 00:39
A certain topic that has been discussed to death lately is making me realise quite a few people do not appear to fully appreciate the implication of game mechanics to one's experience, and that some seem to think a moment in a game is almost accidental, that no logic was ever involved or put into play to create it.

As arrogant as it may sound (trust me I'm the antithesis of self-cofidence ;) ), I thought I'd give a small crash course on creating a moment, and use a blast from the past as the main supporting example. It may be a long read, but I think many would benefit from the read. Who knows, maybe even René? :D

Pandora Directive is without a doubt the best game of the Tex Murphy franchise. It's a sci-fi adventure in which you play an old fashioned gumshoe PI living in the late 21st century. Your case starts as you are asked to locate a missing person, an old army/research buddy of your client who has worked on suspicious gvt researches. Game came out in 1996.

While the world wasn't open-ended per say, like most adventure games, once you ran out of things to do in an area you could always move on to another location using the travel panel, at any given moment. Always? Not exactly.

Your investigation takes you to the old and abandoned Roswell military base. Upon arrival you find it barricaded, scavenged, a complete mess. As you browse around, you eventually come upon a dorm that was barricaded, from the inside. Sneaking into the room, you will find a videodisk, the filmed journal entry of a terrified soldier hinting at what might have actually happened to the base. There seems to be something that's scaring everyone to death.

So far, as with the rest of the game, you can leave and go back to anywhere you please. Further search will eventually lead you to what you came to search for in the first place, the underground military base. Much more modern, in good order, but just as abandoned. A voice over adds to what you came to suspect for a while now, there's an eerie feeling to the place. There's also another problem, the vault door you came through cannot be opened from the inside. As you start to explore the base, a POV cutscene of someone or something moving around the corridors finally confirms what you might have thought. You're not alone down here.

And you cannot leave.

At this point, that much is clear. Find out what is here with you, and find a way to stop it, or you die down here. I was terrified. Ok so maybe I was about 13, but terrified nonetheless. The place is big, with a lot to explore, a lot of things to interact with, and very little time to find a solution. After a few minutes of exploring I get another cutscene, showing me precisely what is after me, and it's moving fast. Now I'm running in every direction like a headless chicken, trying to figure out a way to exploit the environment to shelter myself and stop this thing an entire military regiment failed to stop with blazing guns. And sure enough, I died.

You'd think dying and reloading to the last checkpoint would kill the effect, but it only made it worse. Now I knew for a certainty I could die, and I knew about how much time I had, give or take (no cheesy countdown before the place blows up kind of moment). Keeping my act together, I eventually found a way to trap it. Trap it, not kill it. And so I could move on to the rest of the base and search what I came for in the first place. All the same, I was just as worried for the entire duration of that "level", never too sure what to expect from that eerie base. When at last I found everything I needed, as well as a way out, I could travel back to the office. For the first time in hours, I breathed.

Now let us compare, with, say, Fallout 3. A fun game by all account, should I specify, but utterly lacking a moment. The game has hundreds of steampacks scattered around the map, and being weightless, you can carry about as many as you fancy. If that weren't enough, you find doctors everywhere who can heal you for an astronomical price, as well as thousands of food supplies who could bring you health and a sidedose of radiation. I don't know why anyone would even care to eat the crap, or why they even bothered with the whole radiation system, considering the open world allowed you to retreat at any given moment and simply crash on a bed for an hour in order to heal everything. It's quite simply impossible to die.

You might argue the moment described above is the result of good story-telling, and I'd say you're half wise, and half a fool. Even with a better story, even with a specific scripted moment intended to be scary or worrisome, it was simply impossible to fear anything in Fallout 3. Two very distinctive and unrelated game mechanics made sure it was impossible to worry about anything. This is the very principle of outstanding gaming. The balance between story and gameplay, and the synergy between the two.

And so you see, about 12 years later I still get goosebumps thinking back on Roswell, and a month after finishing it, I barely remember anything about Fallout 3. The first game is considered completely obsolete by the industry. I know, I had a notorious argument about it with Ed Fries, ex vp of MS Games who held the rights to the franchise but refused to greenlight another game from its true creators. The latter game is considered state of the art gameplay. The industry has moved on, indeed.



Tex Murphy Owns. I played them all with my father when I was a wee lad, once of the best experiences I ever had with an adventure game next to Sam n Max. Although I wouldn't call it so much an adventure as much as a Detective Experience..... but pehnom none the less......

mad_red
12th Mar 2009, 00:54
Brilliant post, very well thought out and well written. I don't have much to add, except to say that I think some people will take this as being an argument for....the particular aspect of Deus Ex 3 you mention, rather than against it which I think (judging from your other posts) is what you were aiming for.

Yeah this should be clarified.

This doesn't mean that "as long as Deus Ex has its moments, anything goes." It just shows that a game is more than the sum of its parts.

It's very easy to screw a game even though you changed just a little part. Sure, you can change stuff, but you have to take the whole experience into consideration, and that's a really tall order. This is why they say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir though :rolleyes:

WhatsHisFace
12th Mar 2009, 00:57
No

He means that it should have consequences. Way to not read between the lines there buddy.
We get a lengthy anecdote and then a reference to Fallout's lack of a heavily scripted section. Where does consequence play into that at all? Please.

FrankCSIS
12th Mar 2009, 01:02
The lack of scripted sequence is meaningless. Regardless of script, as it is built, it would be impossible for F3 to have a memorable moment.

Regardless of script, the sudden change of mechanics of Pandora, for that specific scene, permitted this moment. What they meant us to feel was fully consequential to how they allowed us to play it.

WhatsHisFace
12th Mar 2009, 01:43
The lack of scripted sequence is meaningless. Regardless of script, as it is built, it would be impossible for F3 to have a memorable moment.

Regardless of script, the sudden change of mechanics of Pandora, for that specific scene, permitted this moment. What they meant us to feel was fully consequential to how they allowed us to play it.

Fallout 3 doesn't have a memorable moment? Maybe if you're Leonard Shelby. I remember quite a lot of Fallout 3. From small things like getting into school-yard style fights in the vault, to stepping into the sunlight for the first time, to blowing up Megaton... there's lots to remember.

Pandora had an atmospheric and tense segment. That is really good for Pandora, especially considering it's an older game and all, but Deus Ex 3 doesn't need to lock you in a chamber with a monster, or really pull any gimmick, to be memorable. If the game is good enough, it'll have memorable moments. Heck, I still remember my first time playing Super Mario Bros.

FrankCSIS
12th Mar 2009, 02:17
It had no gaming moment. Pretty sights and good music, a fun background and a good backstory inherited from much stronger past games. None of this consists of a gaming moment. I have plenty of other types of fiction giving me this.

So let's just give up on games and watch movies of sunrises, shall we.

What's that game that came out about watching flowers grow? That's got to be a memorable gaming moment right there.

And for the love of hell, when did I ever suggest locking you in a chamber or any so-called gimmick? I took one game as an example. There are dozens out there, all with their moments. Their gaming moments. Whatever they relied on, it was intrinsically linked to their gameplay decisions. Don't purposefully ignore the point, it's insulting to everyone.

Edit: Actually, I disgress. There was one gaming moment I had almost forgotten. The bit where you visit the life simulation engine. You know what, it's the only time in the game the mechanics are actually modified, and you don't know what to expect of anything. Surprise surprise.

WhatsHisFace
12th Mar 2009, 03:14
It had no gaming moment. Pretty sights and good music, a fun background and a good backstory inherited from much stronger past games. None of this consists of a gaming moment. I have plenty of other types of fiction giving me this.

So let's just give up on games and watch movies of sunrises, shall we.

What's that game that came out about watching flowers grow? That's got to be a memorable gaming moment right there.

And for the love of hell, when did I ever suggest locking you in a chamber or any so-called gimmick? I took one game as an example. There are dozens out there, all with their moments. Their gaming moments. Whatever they relied on, it was intrinsically linked to their gameplay decisions. Don't purposefully ignore the point, it's insulting to everyone.

Edit: Actually, I disgress. There was one gaming moment I had almost forgotten. The bit where you visit the life simulation engine. You know what, it's the only time in the game the mechanics are actually modified, and you don't know what to expect of anything. Surprise surprise.
So in order for a game to be memorable, it's mandatory to change the way it's played? I guess that's what made all those EA James Bond games so awesome (http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbx/goldeneyerogueagent), right? Because suddenly you'd be driving a vehicle with no idea of what's going on?

Thanks, but no thanks. Games like Deus Ex, Half-Life, Doom, Quake, Unreal and Halo ended up being very memorable games without throwing a jarring sequence in for the sake of... throwing a jarring sequence in.

I mean, how would a game like Half-Life benefit from having one of these so-called "gaming moments"?

FrankCSIS
12th Mar 2009, 03:18
That's not what I said. At all. I accuse the game mechanics of getting in the way of creating an experience. Upon further thoughts, I admit to being wrong, after remembering one small memorable experience. I find it amusing that this specific experience is the one moment in the game where the mechanics are actually modified and no longer get in the way.

You could also say the same of the intro, which at least tried to be original. I will grant you the bully sequence. Again, the mechanics, in this part, do not get in the way. In the rest of the game, they do.

Had they been like this for the entire game, we would have experienced it a lot more. As it is, everything I've lived in the game, I experienced it from the trailer. The wasteland, a big nuclear blast, you and your dog walking in the sunlight, and a really good song, that was all in the trailer. I could've stopped there, I didn't need to play the game. Except for the two sequences I grant.

Half Life has plenty of moments, all permitted by mechanics who made them possible. So did DX. It had loads of them. Fluctuations of emotions, whatever they may be, as well as differences in rythm, and yes, scripted moments. All supported by gameplay elements. This is what a game is about. At least one who aspires to offer an experience.

GmanPro
12th Mar 2009, 05:21
Half-Life was full of memorable moments dude. Practically the entire game was memorable.

The jet fly by when you crawl out of that tunnel on Surface Tension and the VALVe theme music starts playing. Actually that entire mission was awesome. Blowing up tanks with those packs of C4, fighting your way towards Lambda Bunker. You get your first Rocket Launcher and take down some Apachi's.

The first time you see one of those large Xen grunts, locked up behind some glass like some sort of scientific experiment. Then when he sees you and busts out of the glass, the lights turn off and he starts shooting you full of bees (or whatever those things were).

And who could forget the infamous train ride intro. When I first saw it (I was pretty young) it felt like it took forever. But each subsequent viewing, I am filled with wonder at how awesome Half-Life is.

The Gman, always peering at you from afar, adjusting his tie and casually walking away. Pure immersion.

The first time you come into contact with the Tau Cannon. You can hear the scientist talking to one of the Barny security guards about it, and they accidentally charge it up too far and BOOM.

When you sneak up behind those two Recon Grunts talking to each other about how you killed one of their buddies. Or when you hear one of them screaming "We got Freeman!" Ahh man, great moments all.

As for Fallout 3, mega-meh. The intro level with the vault and growing up was annoying and pointless. Fallout 1 started off with you already outside of the vault. You got a quick intro-cutscene to establish the plot and off you went.

Just about the only thing I really remember about FO3 to be honest was the end sequence with the giant robot. And I'm not saying that I liked that part, because I didn't. It screamed console-itis. Nothing like what a Fallout game should be.

WhatsHisFace
12th Mar 2009, 11:45
I don't even know who's siding with what in this thread. The OP is so poorly expressed and "Game moment" is never properly defined. You just give an instance and expect everyone to latch on to what you're saying, with no real relevance directed from Deus Ex 3.

So maybe define your terms and express what you want for Deus Ex 3 better.

lumpi
12th Mar 2009, 11:51
A nice insight. I too start to think that story seems to be - lo and behold - overestimated in modern game design. It is reduced to movie-level story archs that have no connection to game mechanics nor make full use of the interactivity a game can provide. Also, to be honest, game stories have hardly ever been good enough to carry the whole experience (like in a movie). Mostly because they have to act as a symbiotic vessel for gameplay and become meaningless without that connection (for proof, see any movie based on a computer game).

Since somebody excluded Half-Life from the honor of having a "gaming moment", I want to counter this with one of the most memorable scenes in FPS history (and it's in HL1):

The huge, green, hearing tentacles.

Amazing scene. I can still remember very vividly how Barney told me "Be quiet, that thing hears you". And immediately you had to use the environment differently than you ever used it before. Walking slowly became essential. Grenades turned into loud, expensive diversions. Seeing the huge, deadly - but blind - tentacles tab that metal catwalk all around you, the sound they make while doing it... as intense as it gets. And after all, you spent an hour or so just preparing a huge trap to burn those creatures with a test rocket, since your conventional weapons were useless against them.

And that's just one of many "moments" in HL that were created entirely using game mechanics rather than an elaborate back story.


I had a notorious argument about it with Ed Fries, ex vp of MS Games who held the rights to the franchise but refused to greenlight another game from its true creators.
Don't you love modern copyright? :D

mad_red
12th Mar 2009, 15:07
Whoo, I'm starting to get this thread...

The ultimate moment for me in DX has always been the Hong Kong market. The whole world is upside down, and you've just made a daring escape. Then you find yourself in this big city to explore, and gunplay takes a back seat.

Another great moment is going after the generator in NY. I didn't have the skills yet to just fight my way through a messy situation, so I had to take every precaution, locate every enemy one the roofs, plan the whole thing through. Pure awesome.

Another great game was Planescape: Torment. You can't really die - you just resurrect again. But the game still manages to instill you with fear of unknown consequences of dying. Yet there are certain things that you can achieve through dying.

Right now I'm playing Bioshock. It's fun, but it doesn't have many moments for me. The battles, getting new abilities, gameplay, etc. are all pretty standard. A good game with great general atmosphere, but nothing that's special or unique. The game simply fails to tickle the mind.

lumpi
12th Mar 2009, 18:28
The ultimate moment for me in DX has always been the Hong Kong market. The whole world is upside down, and you've just made a daring escape. Then you find yourself in this big city to explore, and gunplay takes a back seat.

Yes, amazing. I'm so glad someone else is putting this moment to the top of the list. It's by far my favorite "moment" in Deus Ex.

I hesitated to use it as an example, though. If I understood the op correctly, this is a thread about "depth" being important in gameplay as much as story/atmosphere. Which ironically seems to be a lesson lost in modern game design.

The Hong Kong levels, to be perfectly honest, are the only area in Deus Ex that actually looks good. :D So, yea, it's as much style at it is substance to me... It was the moment I suddenly "got" the Deus Ex aesthetics and it all worked. Of course, the quiet nature of the setting, and the ability to explore the city are as important.

I will never forget that jump from the hotel window to the apartment on the other side of the street.

Castrol GTX
12th Mar 2009, 18:57
Or the time when you wake up in the prison cell, Navarre tells you Paul is dead, then you proceed to escape. I think everyone would list that.


I don't even know who's siding with what in this thread. The OP is so poorly expressed and "Game moment" is never properly defined. You just give an instance and expect everyone to latch on to what you're saying, with no real relevance directed from Deus Ex 3.

So maybe define your terms and express what you want for Deus Ex 3 better.

No, we all get it, you just want to be nitpicky and act smart.

Jerion
12th Mar 2009, 20:18
Or the time when you wake up in the prison cell, Navarre tells you Paul is dead, then you proceed to escape. I think everyone would list that.

No Question. :cool:

The next 'moment' right after that is when you first hit the Hong Kong market after busting out of the MJ12 Helibase. Things go from dark and mysterious straight to plucky and light and hopeful. It brings up the "you really are in a different part of the world now". And of course, blowing up Luis Pan with a rocket. :whistle: :D

GmanPro
12th Mar 2009, 22:19
The huge, green, hearing tentacles.

Amazing scene. I can still remember very vividly how Barney told me "Be quiet, that thing hears you". And immediately you had to use the environment differently than you ever used it before. Walking slowly became essential. Grenades turned into loud, expensive diversions. Seeing the huge, deadly - but blind - tentacles tab that metal catwalk all around you, the sound they make while doing it... as intense as it gets. And after all, you spent an hour or so just preparing a huge trap to burn those creatures with a test rocket, since your conventional weapons were useless against them.

Ahh man, yes. Great moment. Probably my all time favorite 'boss' sequence in an FPS.

Opposing Force was full of great scenes too


The ultimate moment for me in DX has always been the Hong Kong market. The whole world is upside down, and you've just made a daring escape. Then you find yourself in this big city to explore, and gunplay takes a back seat.

Oh, I think that there is no doubt that Hong Kong is the coolest part of Deus Ex. It had everything. I was sooo sad when I finally had to leave, but Paris was pretty fun too.


Or the time when you wake up in the prison cell, Navarre tells you Paul is dead, then you proceed to escape. I think everyone would list that.

I felt so bad leaving Paul in the apartment by himself on my first playthroguh :D . To be honest, I didn't think that I had any choice in the matter. I think I finally stuck around and helped him out on my third playthrough :scratch: .

Ok let me think about more great moments...

Ah HAH! One of my all time favorite video gaming moments. When I finally got into Baldur's Gate city for the first time. The whole atmosphere of the game shifted. Actually, its very similar to the feeling I got when I first arrived in Hong Kong, only Baldur's Gate was much much bigger with more to do and explore. Ah man, I'll never forget the first time I walked into Sorcerous Sundries (the best fantasy shoppe ever ;) ) and was able to sell all of my loot and buy all sorts of awesome new gear. Priceless, grade A-immersion.

FrankCSIS
12th Mar 2009, 22:55
I'm glad to see we suddenly have dozens of moments pouring in!

Since what I said is so poorly expressed, Face, let me put it in the most simple form as it could possibly be for anyone to understand. I thought I didn't have to spell it out entirely, but since it seems to be the case...

A story is just that, a story. There are tons of good stories out there. I have dozens in my head as I write this, and no doubt you have just as much. A story is nothing until we express it into a form or another. In order to express it, we need a medium.

Should I chose to put it book form, I will need certain mechanics. I will select a language, a format, and a style. The same story could easily be a short novella or a 900-page book, but one format will suit it best. I can use all sort of narratives and styles, but whatever I pick, they need to be chosen in accordance to what I wish to express with my story.

To turn it into a movie I will have a lot more choices to come up with. From direction to script, from editing to lighting, from soundtrack to dialogues, all of those mechanics need to be in tone with the story I wish to express. Otherwise, as it is the case most of the time with movies, it ends up as wasted potential. How many movies started off with a brilliant premise only to turn into a poor mess? The reason is quite simple to explain, not so much to fix. The mechanics elaborated and used within the films did not go into the same direction.

Games are even more complicated than movies. As well as every other art direction needed in movies, you have to throw on top of it every possible combination of game mechanics. Now, no offense intended to anyone, and I'm not pointing the finger at Eidos here, let us be clear, but a lot of people involved in game designing are not fit to work on movies, and yet the medium asks of them to do that and thrice times more.

Even if much more complex than a film, the "recipe" behind them remains the same. In order to turn a good story into a game, and create an unforgettable experience with memorable gaming moments, the mechanics have to go in the same direction as the story and the experience we intend to create. You can go on and on defending Fallout 3, one single example I picked out of a possibility of hundreds, but the fact simply is that every single mechanical decision they have taken is in direct contradiction with what the game, the story, and the general mood intended to create. The experience is entirely lost into the gameplay.

I don't think it can get any simpler than this. even with the best story, the best atmosphere, the best soundtrack and the best voice acting, no moment, no experience, nothing memorable will ever come out of a game if we neglect the synergy between story and mechanics, yet it is more and more the case with large productions. Gaming aspects go into too many directions and the logic behind game making gets lost in the confusion. Read carefully all the moments listed by fellow posters, and try to understand what made them possible. If you still feel like insulting what I say, read it again and again until you figure it out.

Edit: I just noticed you asked me to define what I meant for DX3. This thread was intended for some people here to stop underestimating design decisions by saying such and such mechanical choices have no incidence in the overall effect of a game. I thought I'd present it slightly differently with the OP to make some realise what defines a good moment, but more essentially what makes any memorable moment possible in the first place. I had no idea even that could get lost into some people's minds.

mad_red
13th Mar 2009, 00:35
I don't think it can get any simpler than this. even with the best story, the best atmosphere, the best soundtrack and the best voice acting, no moment, no experience, nothing memorable will ever come out of a game if we neglect the synergy between story and mechanics, yet it is more and more the case with large productions.

I hear you. I think the Hong Kong levels are perfect examples of this. Why? Imagine playing them with Shoot, jump, and crouch as your only abilities... it would truly suck bat-nipples. That level is great not just because of the story and atmosphere, but because the gameplay allows for it.

Mindmute
13th Mar 2009, 02:17
Ah HAH! One of my all time favorite video gaming moments. When I finally got into Baldur's Gate city for the first time. The whole atmosphere of the game shifted. Actually, its very similar to the feeling I got when I first arrived in Hong Kong, only Baldur's Gate was much much bigger with more to do and explore. Ah man, I'll never forget the first time I walked into Sorcerous Sundries (the best fantasy shoppe ever ;) ) and was able to sell all of my loot and buy all sorts of awesome new gear. Priceless, grade A-immersion.

In that series, my favourite part has got to be when Irenicus steals your soul and you begin having the "dreams" about reclaiming your godly heritage and giving in to the Slayer. Best moments in a game -ever- for me.

You had a strong, misterious nemesis (can't completely call him a villain) and some real motivation towards hunting him down, it was a turning point in the game and the emphasis on that was placed well.

GmanPro
13th Mar 2009, 02:25
^^ Ahhh *goosbumps*. Great moments all. The game started getting more epic at that part. The Githyanki pirates to the Sahuagin citadel to the vast and awesome Underdark. My party went from like level 15 to 23 :D. Bioware really knew how to pace an adventure back in the day.

crimethinker
13th Mar 2009, 16:55
It's good to see many people remembering getting thrown into an MJ12 jail, but no one's specified the part I loved about it: getting your first communique from Daedalus and thinking, "Who the hell is this guy?"

While HL:OF was mentioned, the best moment has to be the opening cut-scene with you looking out the side of the plane and seeing your wingman blown to pieces, and everyone panics; and the pilot says on the radio "OH $#|T! Goose 3's down! Goose 3's down!"; and after your plane gets hit, your commanding officer throws himself out the doorway, etc.

Oh, and Walton Simons saying, "Hello Denton. What an expensive mistake you've turned out to be. I've ordered the troopers to kill you, because frankly, I can't be bothered to wait for that damn killswitch to work."

WhatsHisFace
14th Mar 2009, 15:35
I'm glad to see we suddenly have dozens of moments pouring in!

Since what I said is so poorly expressed, Face, let me put it in the most simple form as it could possibly be for anyone to understand. I thought I didn't have to spell it out entirely, but since it seems to be the case...

A story is just that, a story. There are tons of good stories out there. I have dozens in my head as I write this, and no doubt you have just as much. A story is nothing until we express it into a form or another. In order to express it, we need a medium.

Should I chose to put it book form, I will need certain mechanics. I will select a language, a format, and a style. The same story could easily be a short novella or a 900-page book, but one format will suit it best. I can use all sort of narratives and styles, but whatever I pick, they need to be chosen in accordance to what I wish to express with my story.

To turn it into a movie I will have a lot more choices to come up with. From direction to script, from editing to lighting, from soundtrack to dialogues, all of those mechanics need to be in tone with the story I wish to express. Otherwise, as it is the case most of the time with movies, it ends up as wasted potential. How many movies started off with a brilliant premise only to turn into a poor mess? The reason is quite simple to explain, not so much to fix. The mechanics elaborated and used within the films did not go into the same direction.

Games are even more complicated than movies. As well as every other art direction needed in movies, you have to throw on top of it every possible combination of game mechanics. Now, no offense intended to anyone, and I'm not pointing the finger at Eidos here, let us be clear, but a lot of people involved in game designing are not fit to work on movies, and yet the medium asks of them to do that and thrice times more.

Even if much more complex than a film, the "recipe" behind them remains the same. In order to turn a good story into a game, and create an unforgettable experience with memorable gaming moments, the mechanics have to go in the same direction as the story and the experience we intend to create. You can go on and on defending Fallout 3, one single example I picked out of a possibility of hundreds, but the fact simply is that every single mechanical decision they have taken is in direct contradiction with what the game, the story, and the general mood intended to create. The experience is entirely lost into the gameplay.

I don't think it can get any simpler than this. even with the best story, the best atmosphere, the best soundtrack and the best voice acting, no moment, no experience, nothing memorable will ever come out of a game if we neglect the synergy between story and mechanics, yet it is more and more the case with large productions. Gaming aspects go into too many directions and the logic behind game making gets lost in the confusion. Read carefully all the moments listed by fellow posters, and try to understand what made them possible. If you still feel like insulting what I say, read it again and again until you figure it out.

Edit: I just noticed you asked me to define what I meant for DX3. This thread was intended for some people here to stop underestimating design decisions by saying such and such mechanical choices have no incidence in the overall effect of a game. I thought I'd present it slightly differently with the OP to make some realise what defines a good moment, but more essentially what makes any memorable moment possible in the first place. I had no idea even that could get lost into some people's minds.
So your solution is to make a linear, cinematic style game. Gotcha. No thanks, that's a terrible idea for a Deus Ex title.

FrankCSIS
14th Mar 2009, 16:09
I give up. Understand what you want.

People believe what they want to believe, Calavera

GmanPro
14th Mar 2009, 17:56
So your solution is to make a linear, cinematic style game. Gotcha. No thanks, that's a terrible idea for a Deus Ex title.

Except that Deus Ex was in some ways very similar to a linear, cinematic style game. It felt like a James Bond movie ... only better.

Reaper47
14th Mar 2009, 19:13
So your solution is to make a linear, cinematic style game. Gotcha. No thanks, that's a terrible idea for a Deus Ex title.

lol, man, just read it again. He says exactly the opposite.

Here, an attempt at an even shorter explanation (of how I interpret the op):

Instead of having a vague background story to justify you trying to get from point A to B, you should use gameplay to tell a story of what's happening between A and B. A and B themselves aren't that important in games, especially when it comes to truly memorable moments. Gameplay should be a story.

That's it.


Deus Ex had a very complex back story (see here (http://archive.gamespy.com/articles/april02/dxbible/)), a story that is shining through every corner of the game world. But it is only there as a background, a canvas for the gameplay. As great as it is, the developers never relied on it to create the experience and instead made sure to make the gameplay as diverse and deep.

It seems like many modern games try to write an over-length movie script, make it look spectacular with graphics effects and then tear some narrow holes in it to fill with stuff that only happens when you press the "A" button. No matter how deep the story is, if the gameplay is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the game has sacrificed 50% of its depth.

FrankCSIS
14th Mar 2009, 19:24
Gameplay should be a story.

I think I just heard the Horn of Jericho.

Nothing else ever has to be said. It might be a good idea for every studio to hang that on their door.

GmanPro
14th Mar 2009, 19:58
Gameplay should be a story.

Exactly.

Anyone remember this narrative:


Liberty Island, mission 1. This is my second attempt, i have just reloaded to the point just before i got in. The guard inside the statue has sound the alarm and i have 3 nsf in my trails. I go up the stairs(not the big ones that leed to the boss, the smaller ones, left and right by the entrance). I see a NSF guy in front of me. I shot him, point blank, in the face, without even consciously thinking about it. There is a medkit holding box in front of me. No time to get out the crowbar. I shoot it and grab the medkit. The three guys have gotten up. I am behind the column. I stay still to allow my aiming reticle become smaller. But the guys are coming fast. I get out of hiding and fire a shot. Miss, fire again, and i get a guy in the head. His buddies shoot me in the arm. Great, now i cant fire. I will loose the fight if i stay there. 2 vs 1, not very good odds. I run to the edge and jump down. One of them shoots me in the chest. I fall down and my legs (already wounded) are broken. My torso goes red (-15 from the jump). Oh, great. I press F1. Hmmm, i ve got 2 medkits. If i take a bullet in the torso i am dead. Lets see. I heal the torso (+60 because i raised my medical skill) and the other one i use it on all parts. Great, now my legs are mended, and my arm is a little better. Maybe i stand a chance. The ending is too epic, it involves me, the bot, a gas grenade, the sniper, my trusty gep gun and my enemies dead bodies. But i am starting to get bored of writing it.