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-   -   Rampant Games - the Hardcore Gamer's Manifesto (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15929)

aries100 January 8th, 2012 18:32

Rampant Games - the Hardcore Gamer's Manifesto
 
Jay Barnson from Rampant has added some points to the original manifesto created by Cliff Harris in his Bite Size Hardcore Manifesto on his blog. The first 8 points come from Cliff, the last 3 points (from 9-11) come from Jay Barnson.
Quote:

1) No pandering to casual gaming stereotypes. No gratuitous kittens or ‘cute’ cuddly characters.
2) No time wasting. No splash screens, intros, or FMV. We have 30 minutes tonight for gaming. Ensure all 30 minutes have us interacting with the game.
3) No Grind. We have day jobs. leave the grind to the kids in the F2P MMOs where it belongs. Give me decent, varying content, without filler. And don’t reward grind either, with bonus achievements for time played, or 1,000 low level rats clubbed.
4) No nickel+diming. We have proper jobs and disposable income. If the game is good, we will buy outright. Don’t keep breakign immersion to try and sell us $0.05 worth of magic pixie dust.
5) No oversimplification. We can cope with 2 mouse buttons, maybe even 3, and a wheel. We can cope with right clicking, tech trees, customisable units and mods.
6) No mandatory training levels or tutorials that cover the obvious. This is my 245th first person shooter. I can guess that WSAD moves, the mouse looks, and the mouse shoots. At the very least, let me skip tutorial stuff I don’t need.
7) Don’t patronize us. We shouldn’t get an achievement for hitting the jump key, or told we are awesome soldiers for hitting a tin can. Leave that crap for kids in kindergarten.
8) Be original. We have gamed before. We have fought in many a crate-strewn corridoor, and killed many a rat and returned their hides to someone who is too lazy to do it themselves. We have heard many tales of lost kingdoms and evil wizards. Surprise us. Please.
9) No arbitrary save-game restrictions! With some acceptable exceptions (like in the middle of a combat sequence, for example), I expect to be able to save and exit the game at any time, and then come back and pick up more-or-less where I left off. If for some technical reason your game does have “checkpoints” rather than save-anywhere, EVERY SINGLE FRICKIN’ ONE OF THOSE CHECKPOINTS SHOULD BE A VALID SAVE LOCATION! None of this B.S. about having three or four checkpoints in-between valid save points. You obviously DO have the game state recorded from each check point in memory, so there’s no reason you can’t store it to the disk.
10) Make your PC game as playable as possible WITHOUT a game controller plugged in. It’s fine to port a game from the consoles and note that the game plays “best” with a controller. You optimized it for that input device, that’s fine. But make a friggin’ effort. Not all PC gamers want an XBox controller plugged into their system, but they DO want to play your game, especially as a “casual” diversion between sessions of “serious” work. Ridiculous control schemes that are obviously just brain-dead remappings of controller inputs poorly implemented on the keyboard are not acceptable. And no, players won’t appreciate your attempt to “force” them to use a game controller on their PC.
11) In addition to keeping the cut-scenes short, make them easy to pause, review, or at least check out the summary and critical exposition / explanations revealed in the scene. Because when the wife enters the room and needs to talk, she does like having to wait until the cut-scene is over.
Do you agree with Cliff and Jay?
More information.

CrazyIrish January 8th, 2012 18:32

Don't disagree with any particular point.

Ball_Breaker January 8th, 2012 19:04

Me neither; point 9 is absolutely mandatory imho.

Roland January 8th, 2012 19:07

What game/s encompasses all or even most of these points?

I'd say (for me) that Morrowind hits all with the possible exception of #2…I recall quite a bit of time trying to figure out what to do or where to go, but maybe that was my own limitations ;)

edit - yes, #9 is a must!

Alrik Fassbauer January 8th, 2012 20:35

THis is imho the very best piece of "player opinion" I have read for years.

Everything is nailed down, hit the spot of it all, and is formulasted so that it doesn't allow a single "yes, but…" from, the side of the developer or the publisher.

Personally, I'd add Number 12:

12) Keep the world's environment as logical (according to the world's rules or at least according to common sense) as possible and don't create situations with "parachuting enemies" [like in Dragon Age 2] where the gamer is left wondering where they all come from ? Or why we didn't kill the boss but only his/her 5th body incarnation ?

Ball_Breaker January 8th, 2012 21:22

Nice one Alrik; no one hasn't thought of it yet ;).

jhwisner January 8th, 2012 22:00

Most of those requests seem pretty reasonable sorts of things for a lot of gamers. When I saw the title I was expecting the sort of garbage you often hear from self-labled hardcore gamers; the things that remind me of this:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide…core-Hypocrisy

After reading the actual article and introduction to the followup in particular, it is obvious that these are not the gamers they are speaking to or wish to come across as speaking for. The addendum to the list makes it particularly clear that the author thinks the label is not particularly useful and that the dichotomy between casual and "hardcore" gamers is not only a false split but that this perception leads developers to make worse games.

All-in-all a decent list of requests which includes features I would like to see more of and bemoans developer habits I can't stand (like unskippable long cutscenes which make launching or replaying the game tedious). Probably not something many people who would actually call themselves "hardcore gamers" would agree with, but something I and many gamers I know would and that looks to be the author's intent.

Carnifex January 8th, 2012 23:19

This was a nice read. I approve of this message, and the sentiment. Easy games are bad, mmmkay!


-Carn

Tuco January 9th, 2012 01:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by jhwisner (Post 1061119920)
Most of those requests seem pretty reasonable sorts of things for a lot of gamers. When I saw the title I was expecting the sort of garbage you often hear from self-labled hardcore gamers; the things that remind me of this:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide…core-Hypocrisy

Jim Sterling is the biggest (in many ways) idiot on the internet, by the way.

CountChocula January 9th, 2012 01:56

As for #11, I'd love to see cut scenes and QTE's done away with altogether. Find a way to tell the story through the gameplay.

Zephyr January 9th, 2012 02:57

13. Add an Option to skip all logo and intro videos on successive game start-ups. A gamer shouldn't have to edit an INI file or delete/rename a video file to speed up loading or avoid annoying pregame crap.

CountChocula January 9th, 2012 03:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zephyr (Post 1061119963)
13. Add an Option to skip all logo and intro videos on successive game start-ups. A gamer shouldn't have to edit an INI file or delete/rename a video file to speed up loading or avoid annoying pregame crap.

You have to wonder at the kind of hubris that inspires publishers to make their logos unskippable.

OTOH, perhaps NVIDIA makes cash payments for games that force you to watch their animated logo.

RampantCoyote January 9th, 2012 03:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by CountChocula (Post 1061119965)
You have to wonder at the kind of hubris that inspires publishers to make their logos unskippable.

OTOH, perhaps NVIDIA makes cash payments for games that force you to watch their animated logo.

It's a requirement for some engines / toolsets / publishers that their logos have to be unskippable for X seconds. It's part of the contract. No joke.

jhwisner January 9th, 2012 03:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by RampantCoyote (Post 1061119968)
It's a requirement for some engines / toolsets / publishers that their logos have to be unskippable for X seconds. It's part of the contract. No joke.

Ah ok then I guess you could use the number of individual brand logos on the game box as a good rule of thumb to guess how many splash screens you have to sit through before playing.

guenthar January 9th, 2012 07:03

I agree with most of this (especially #9) except for #1. Why can't you have a brutally difficult game with cute kittens and cuddly characters since it would make it all the more hardcore to have a cute kitten tearing you apart and stand above the bloody mess of your body licking it's fur clean.

PS. I think it is okay to have FMV's and in-game scenes but you should be able to skip them and have an outline of what went on in your journal. I do agree about QTE's though since they are the bane of gaming.

Menigal January 9th, 2012 08:43

It all seems good to me, especially 9. It's insane that this even has to be mentioned (repeatedly, every time a list like this is made!), and even more insane how many people defend awful save systems.

Maybe we should take those people, give them a randomly set period of time to play a game, then force them to immediately stop where there are when time's up. See how many of them change their tune once they have to play like the rest of us for a few days. :p

zakhal January 9th, 2012 08:49

This is pure gold. I couldnt agree more. Especially with the "no grind". I quit wow because it felt like a job. If I work I want to get a pay atleast.

Quote:

1) No pandering to casual gaming stereotypes. No gratuitous kittens or ‘cute’ cuddly characters.
2) No time wasting. No splash screens, intros, or FMV. We have 30 minutes tonight for gaming. Ensure all 30 minutes have us interacting with the game.
3) No Grind. We have day jobs. leave the grind to the kids in the F2P MMOs where it belongs. Give me decent, varying content, without filler. And don’t reward grind either, with bonus achievements for time played, or 1,000 low level rats clubbed.
8) Be original. We have gamed before. We have fought in many a crate-strewn corridoor, and killed many a rat and returned their hides to someone who is too lazy to do it themselves. We have heard many tales of lost kingdoms and evil wizards. Surprise us. Please.

CountChocula January 9th, 2012 09:06

I think for the save game restrictions, it really depends on the game.

I enjoy games where I die and reload frequently, without any saving restrictions.

However, I must admit the checkpoint system worked very well in Hard Reset, as it was a sort of nod to the old school NES games in a way. Without the checkpoints, the game would have only lasted a couple of hours at most.

Menigal January 9th, 2012 09:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by CountChocula (Post 1061119995)
Without the checkpoints, the game would have only lasted a couple of hours at most.

To me that's just bad game design/lazy padding. If I ever have to stop playing, either by dying, having to do something, or running into a game-stopping bug, and later replay a lengthy section of the game soley because of a ludicrous save system, then I usually stop playing the game. I know this, so if I if know a game has a system like this, I generally don't spend my money on it.

If someone thinks a game is "too easy" or "too short" if they can save whenever they feel like it, then they can restrict their saves however they want. My time's too valuable to me to play through the same 10 minutes of game again because I died or had to go help my wife with something, though.

DArtagnan January 9th, 2012 09:43

Oh, I have about 200 more :)

But I agree with all of them, though I realise I'm not entitled to any of it.


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