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Ten Maxims Every FPS Should Follow

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the do-it-right-the-first-time dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 155

The Game Career Guide site has up a story that tries to lay down some rules for a good First Person Shooter. The article advocates in favour of player choices, fast action, and rich environments; keep the boring cutscenes and make sure the players are getting a great bang for their buck. From the article: "Don't allow the player to play the game half-heartedly, which is a dangerous stumbling block at any point of the game. Example: Half-Life 2. While the introduction presenting the environment of City 17 was much more effective than the tram sequence of Black Mesa from the game's predecessor, the sheer length of time between point insertion and getting the crowbar would never have worked in any other game."

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HL2 (4, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18172910)

HL2 worked because you still had things to play with and see. You could still throw cans at the CP or make that hoola girl dance. It had enough small things we were entertained until the "main game" started. Plus at the time HL2's graphics were (and maybe still are) amazing, so when you saw all the tiny details you drooled instead of going "I need a gun!"

HL2 was deeper than gun and run even if that is the game play in effect. That is why it could do stuff without a weapon.

Re:HL2 (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173324)

Slashdot tip of the day : Tags are not comments, they're ment to help people search for topics. Write a comment or leave

I dunno if this is tip of the day.... I've seen this several times recently.

Re:HL2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175646)

I dunno if this is tip of the day.... I've seen this several times recently.

That's because sigs are not comments, they're meant for identifying the poster.

Re:HL2 (3, Informative)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173836)

HL2 was deeper than gun and run even if that is the game play in effect. That is why it could do stuff without a weapon.

What I loved about the opening segment of HL2 was the "chase" scene. You're just an unarmed civilian franticly running, trying to get away. I liked that aspect of the airboat chase as well, though that broke down a bit during a couple of "stop the boat and fix the ramp" puzzles. That stretched my suspension of disbelief a bit too far.

Re:HL2 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18174128)

No, HL2 worked because of hype and anti-Doom 3 sentiments. The physics in the game were ultimately useless, stupid and rarely applied in interesting way. The graphics had its moments followed by gastly textures and indoor environments that looked ripped straight out of Doom 3. And the only "weapon" that anyone ever cared about was the Gravity Gun. (The Bugbait was too limited by TERRIBLE pathfinding.)

Re:HL2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175690)

Were you dropped? HL2 shipped a long time before Doom 3.

Re:HL2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175872)

Were you? Half Life 2 shipped on November 16, 2004 [wikipedia.org] . Doom 3 shipped on August 3, 2004 [wikipedia.org] . In the calendar most of us use, August comes before November.

Re:HL2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177854)

HL2's source code was leaked in September, 2003, though. :)

Re:HL2 (0, Offtopic)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178326)

Discworld trolls believe they move backwards through time.

Re:HL2 (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174540)

Having just started Half life 2 this past week, I have to agree. At the very beginning I found myself wandering a bit, wondering where I had to go, but the game constrained my movements just enough that I wound up where I needed to be. I believe I had a good 10 or 20 minute trek before I got to the point that I had even a crowbar. While I did wish I had a gun, I fully understood why I didn't have one, and the game was set up in such a way that, even had I a gun, it wouldn't have done a lot of good at that point. I was kept more than busy enough and taken in by the game that it didn't bother me much that I had no gun.

And now, even though I do have guns (and some kick-ass ones, at that), I find myself doing much more than just running around shooting. The gravity gun is one of the best ideas for FPSs, ever. Now I can stack things up or use my imagination to get through situations rather than relying on gunning my way out.

That's one of the things FPSs need to work on. They may be called Shooters, but players should be able to do more in those games than just shoot.

Re:HL2 (5, Funny)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175670)

I believe I had a good 10 or 20 minute trek before I got to the point that I had even a crowbar. While I did wish I had a gun, I fully understood why I didn't have one

You didn't find a gun in a suitcase at the train station?

Re:HL2 (4, Funny)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175920)

...shit.

Re:HL2 (2, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174710)

Maybe its just me, but I found the first 10-20mins of HalfLife2 to be *by far* the best part of the entire game. It was good especially because you didn't have a gun and because you really hadn't all that much to do. You where after all in a city ruled by Combine, so you had to follow their orders and couldn't just wildly run around as you please. The beginning of HalfLife2 was great because it felt realistic, because it made sense, something I can't really say about the rest of the game. At the point where you get the gun the game fell pretty much apart for me and turned into yet another random run-and-gun game, maybe prettier then other, but not really any more interesting. There where a few other good cutscenes later on, but the core gameplay lacked any of the realism and feeling that was established in those first minutes. I would absolutely love a 'first person shooter' where you just run around like in those 10-20mins for all of the game, add a bit more interaction into the mix and you could end up with an awesome first-person-adventure kind of game, DeusEx already kind of did that and I would love to see a few more games in that direction, maybe with even less guns.

Re:HL2 (2, Informative)

Cyanara (708075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175566)

I still don't understand why people think HL2's graphics are/were amazing. Has anyone even played Far Cry, FEAR, COD2 etc? HL2's textures are painfully low res. You need a 1GB FakeFactory mod to bring most of them anywhere near acceptable. There is the occasional nice pixel shader, say in a glass door, but lighting is pretty pitiful, with pretty mild bumpmapping. The torch does not blend well with any of the weak looking shadows. The added HDR comes across as way too heavy handed and tacked on. And despite all this, loading times are pretty formidable. Far Cry came out about a year before it, and had beautiful textures, wide open spaces, amazing lighting, and great loading times (especially when reloading).

I know they say HL2 was designed to be able to run on low end computers, but is it honestly that hard to add an extra "very high" graphics setting to the game?

Re:HL2 - solid art direction (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176144)

The thing that people forget is that HL2's art direction was amazing. I can't think of another title in recent memory that had a higher level of visual cohesiveness on a reasonable polybudget. For example, darkness consistently equals safety throughout the game, whereas any point you're exposed to sunlight [sfhomeworld.org] is a location shrouded in danger [blogs.com] . This is consistent both internally and externally [angelsworld.de] . No-one, to my knowledge, has followed this color styling, yet it is an effective technique at making the player feel like an unwelcome outcast.

You can see how minimalist this tree really is [ign.com] . They only gave it just enough branches to cover the illusion, but not so many that it holds up to actual inspection. Another shot of said tree, from a more common angle [regmedia.co.uk] . By not wasting any polys, they really can afford to put more on-screen. Heck, look at leaves [tripod.com] . Artificially close, they are a big smear. But from the distance you normally see them, they can stick thousands of these things on screen, and they look beautiful.

Love the look of brick? Notice how in this shot [hrycaj.free.fr] they've burned the bump maps and damage maps and everything into the same texture? The increases the repetition in texture, but if you vary your geometry sufficiently the player will never notice. All they'll notice is a lot more is going on on-screen than they're used to. This technique looks terrible for big-open walls, but Half Life studiosly avoids big open walls within proximity of the player.

They even used a distinct pallete of blacks, muted browns, and light blues. [hlfallout.net] This was far before anyone else was using anything but super-saturated primary colors.

Ignoring any technical accomplishments, this [d3vour.com] is an achievement of strong visual composition and consistent, solid art direction.

I hate that (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177738)

My favorite games are the Half-Lives and the Halos. One is made by Bungie, who is owned by Microsoft, and will only play on their console (or Windows Vista) -- although there was a sort of halfhearted port of the original Halo. The other is made by Valve, which was founded by a bunch of guys who left Microsoft to make games.

Halo has decent tech, except you have to buy an xbox to experience it.

Half-Life has absolutely awful tech. Half-Life 2 still has loading screens, and they're awful -- no progress bar, but still a LONG wait. And Valve can be quite unhelpful to the community, and they've used DirectX 9 -- and I think Doom 3 proved that OpenGL could've been just as good a choice, if they weren't [ex-]Microsoft sellouts.

Looking at what's out there, it looks like Doom 3 is one of the better engines out there now -- that or the new Unreal. But Half-Life 2 uses its tech better. Doom 3 probably has more polys, and has more advanced shadows, but Half-Life 2 has the HDR, and just flat-out looks better. Even in Quake 4, people mostly look like they're plastic -- but Alyx looks as good as ever.

I really wanted to like Doom 3, and I do, but it's nowhere near as good a game as Half-Life 2, native Linux port or not, OpenGL or not, Carmack's Reverse or not. And I want to hate Halo and the Xbox, and I hate to support Microsoft so directly, but at the same time, Microsoft can afford to commission an orchestra to record the music for a game trailer.

Resistance: Fall of Man is actually looking pretty cool, too. And I know fl0w is nice. But I hate Sony soo much...

And all of that pisses me off. The companies I want to hate the most are actually doing really damned well at focusing on what really matters in games, while the companies I want to like just don't make anything fun to play. Only exception is Nintendo and some indie people (Introversion, Wolfire)...

I hate that-confusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177886)

"Looking at what's out there, it looks like Doom 3 is one of the better engines out there now -- that or the new Unreal. But Half-Life 2 uses its tech better. Doom 3 probably has more polys, and has more advanced shadows, but Half-Life 2 has the HDR, and just flat-out looks better. Even in Quake 4, people mostly look like they're plastic -- but Alyx looks as good as ever."

How much of this is "tech", and how much is simply good design? Don't confuse the two. The forner constrains both the original designers and mod makers.* The latter constrains whomever has limited time.

*I'm excluding "patches" by either party that change the tech, although the former has an inside advantage.

Re:I hate that (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178410)

Even in Quake 4, people mostly look like they're plastic -- but Alyx looks as good as ever.

However the Combine in HL2 do look like action figures.

Re:HL2 - solid art direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177960)

For example, darkness consistently equals safety throughout the game, whereas any point you're exposed to sunlight is a location shrouded in danger. This is consistent both internally and externally. No-one, to my knowledge, has followed this color styling


Someone has not played any of the Thief games.

Re:HL2 (1)

angrymilkman (957626) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176332)

he's forgetting the most important thing: skippable cutscenes, remember how annoying gears of war was where you have to wait for the cutscene to finish?

Thou Shalt Not Expect Good From John Romero (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18172936)

nuff said

TFA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18172952)

Why are so many first person shooters poor, repetitive, linear, and formulaic? This question came up during a conversation with a friend, and he and I came up with some ideas that we noted were present in what we considered great first person games. From that and succeeding conversations, I came up the ten maxims that every FPS should follow.

1. Get into the action early

  Draw the player into the world by force; use that initial confrontation to set the tone. This first impression must be followed up by developing the tone.

Example: Call of Duty. The speech of the commissars at the beginning of the Russian campaign, mixed with the planes, explosions, and machine gun nests is dangerous, intense, and doesn't go on forever.

  Don't allow the player to play the game half-heartedly, which is a dangerous stumbling block at any point of the game.

Example: Half-Life 2. While the introduction presenting the environment of City 17 was much more effectively than the tram sequence of Black Mesa from the game's predecessor, the sheer length of time between point insertion and getting the crowbar would never have worked in any other game.

2. Create a world that invites, encourages, and rewards smart thinking

  Combining fallback points, fortified positions, and stretches of exposed ground intelligently allows the player to choose when to make a run for safety or to take a stand.

Example: Far Cry. The mixed terrain and objects gave the world a "real" feeling, allowing stealth or brute force to move Jack through the game.

  Always running in circles or darting around the same corner to pick off one enemy at a time is boring, and forcing the player to figure out the "trick" is an exercise in frustration (not challenge) if done poorly or too often.

Example: Painkiller. Despite featuring a wide array of locales and enemies (and lots of them) every level managed to be the same combination of jumping in circles as enemies appeared from every side.

3. The game world is the real world

  There should almost never be just one way from one place to another; the player should never feel constrained in their options.

Example: Halo 2. The open city environments allows Master Chief different ways to complete his objectives, adding replay value to the game by rewarding the player for doing nothing more than exploring their environment.

  Highly linear game play quickly becomes repetitive and predictable; using false paths to provide the illusion of free choice only serves to make players angry.

Example: Quake 4. Every objective that Kane is given is straightforward and straight forward. The rationale behind each one is obvious: in order to delve deeper into Stroggos, the various companies need enemies cleared out. Throwing the player into a tank offers little variety; each mission is either an arena or a tunnel through the various installments.

4. No one lives forever

  While playing, there must be a sense of urgency and empowerment; there must be a meaningful reward for timeliness and effectiveness (even if not immediately so).

Example: Call of Duty 2. Sitting still is not an option, and trying to fight the war alone is a suicide mission. Furthermore, the player's participation is not optional; there are no invincible allies that can clear the room while you hang back.

  Failing this, the immortality or immediate mortality of allies or enemies that hinges upon whether the player is present makes the player useless as a hero; they are relegated to the role of mute witness.

Example: F.E.A.R. The Point Man has the amazing ability to be one room over or one second too late when anyone that can help him is in danger.

  5. Make the character's abilities and options suit the world they inhabit

    A player's armaments, protection, and surroundings need to make sense in terms of their location, power, and weaknesses. Done right, the player has little difficulty identifying themselves in the role of the character, or (better yet) being the character.

  Example: F.E.A.R. By limiting the number of weapons that can be carried by the Point Man, players must decide which weapon to use to engage the enemy, or risk swapping for a gun that may not be helpful for the coming battle.

    An unbalanced game alternates between hordes of enjoyment-less cannon fodder (that only serve to drain ammunition) and ill-equipped players battling bosses.

  Example: Serious Sam II. The game moves from one grind to another, the only viable strategy is running in circles, hoping that the boss will show up before all Sam's guns are empty.

  6. Let the player realize their mistake and survive (sometimes)

    Giving the player the split-second to realize that they've made a mistake is often under-used, allow the player some freedom in using their judgment in deciding whether to charge, cover or run (even if they're wrong).

  Example: Halo. When Master Chief stumbles upon a room full of Elites, the player can beat a retreat and try to get one with a sticky grenade while the player reassesses the situation.

    Punishing any mistake with instant death will, if done indiscriminately, prevent the user from learning and adapting; they will either keep hitting their head against the wall or try everything.

  Example: Doom 3. With enemies having the ability to appear from any corner, cabinet or wall panel, the Marine has half a second to turn and realize that demons come from that part of the ceiling before being slashed.

  7. The story isn't more important than the game

    A truly immersive environment can convince the player that the world outside their immediate location exists, their presence is felt, and that others are capable of assisting them.

  Example: Half-Life 2. The convenience of certain battles upon Gordon's arrival is suspect, but there is evidence that somehow, in some way, humanity has survived the decimation of Earth.

    Surrendering partial or total control of the character's actions is acceptable if done for brief periods, but excessively long or frequent cut scenes or in-game cinematics can be overwhelming

Example: No One Lives Forever 2. Despite the consistency of the cinema scenes with the overall themes and tone of the game, the long, uninterruptible movies of quip-filled jokes and double meanings made the unique feel of the game feel forced.

8. Players want abilities, not gimmicks

  Design the game around a fundamental element of the world, and allow multiple ways of interacting with that element that fundamentally change how players play.

Example: Republic Commando. By making squad combat a fundamental property of the game, and making that concept easy to use, learn, and develop, the game introduced squad combat in a manner that was more refined and subtle than before.

  Tasks, goals, and objectives that fail to be instructive, insightful, (or are trivial or in the end pointless) are only frustrating.

Example: Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. The addition of the Hellstone and the Grabber added minimal replay value to the game; the Grabber in particular had limited use (except for solving newly-created puzzles and avoiding traps). The Hellstone, while a focus of the story, was rarely needed in regular game play.

9. Know when to take the training wheels off

  Done well, the player will accept training as part of the game, or will be able to easily find out how to do something for the first time.

Example: Perfect Dark. The Carrington Institute is not only a level in the campaign, but a full-featured training ground, including a shooting range that allows players to test their accuracy and unlock new guns, as well as the different characters from the Institute mission that Joanna can interact with to learn how to use her equipment or engage in duels with holographic foes.

  Some actions need no explanation, so don't. Instructions or commands that aren't part of some larger task will make the player feel like they're just jumping through hoops.

Example: MechWarrior 4: Vengeance. As complicated as the movement commands are, few are really needed for the combat seen in the game and the tutorial presents them in a boring and elementary way. Also, disabling the 'Mech so the player can only do what they're told is annoying. This could have been better done by allowing a separate "free play" area, and separate pilot lessons that delved into the finer points of navigation, movement, lance control, and fighting.

10. The player must always know the objective

  If the player truly understands what they need to do, even if they don't know exactly where to go, they will decide upon the best course of action, and will be given the freedom to review their plan or adapt to changes in the task set before them.

Example: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The player is occasionally given pointers to the area to investigate next, but no information on how to get there. The world of Aether is open to a large degree of exploration, scattered with clues that can be easily reviewed when they become relevant.

  Making players wander the halls looking for the one switch, elevator, or undefeated enemy only serves as a reminder that the game is waiting for the player to finish.

Example: Quake 4. Chaotic Stroggos or not, Kane has the hardest time activating elevators, torso delivery systems, or jet engines. Even turning on a barrel delivery system requires a fifteen minute detour, which is enough time for his ally to be removed from combat. However, regardless of their purpose, they can be found at the top of ladders or lifts, sometimes in places not even visible from what the panel activates.

I do not have the audacity to call these ten concepts rules, but I do feel that these ideas are of primal importance to this genre. No amount of flashy graphics, deep story, or sophisticated artificial intelligence can trick the smart gamer for long. I also believe that in the end, those previous three concepts are not memorable; graphics and A.I. will improve, and players want a game, not just a story.

I am asking that those that develop games, those that test them, those that review them, and those that buy them to look at this list above. Is what these ideas describe what you see? Is what these ideas describe what you want?

Patrick Congdon is a computer science student at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He has played video games since the original Super Mario Brothers, playing both console and computer games with a passion. He has played games from nearly every genre, rating his favorites as being Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Perfect Dark, and Guild Wars. He has worked for Motorola in developing integrated interfaces for testing tools. On the side, he enjoys thinking up game ideas and is working on a novel. Also, for some reason, he finds graph theory fascinating.

Other contributors:

Amar Gupta is a computer science and economics major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He's solely a PC gamer who enjoys FPS and RTS games and has a hard time getting excited about the recent wave of MMORPGs. He considers Blizzard the model gaming company because they consistently deliver high-quality games with enjoyable single-player campaigns and incredible multiplayer dynamics. When he's not playing video games, Amar enjoys reading about the latest computer hardware and watching movies.

Don Hamilton is probably worse than you are at Counter-Strike, but more than makes up for it with his professional-level skills in Pinball and Need For Speed Underground 2. He is also an amateur voice actor and author, and moonlights as a caped crusader for justice... and pwns noobs.

Dan Hatch fell in love with the FPS genre playing Marathon on his old PowerMac, and has been a loyal fan ever since.

Sean Campbell started playing Goldeneye while recovering from a basketball injury and hasn't stopped gaming since. His interests span multiple systems and gametypes. After Goldeneye he moved on to Perfect Dark and later games such as Halo and Halo2 before getting involved with computer games such as Counter-Strike.

And *still* nobody mentions this: (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177420)

Music. Nobody ever mentions the contributions that the musical composition in a game (or even the soundtrack's implementation in the game's sound design) even though humans are intrinsically affected by music. Evidence of this pops up all over the place. Sociology experiments ask strangers to socialize find that they talk about what most and first? Music. Surveys ask (admittedly sometimes self-selected) respondents how important music is to them? They say 'very'. The human predisposition for music is very thoroughly tied to the organization of our brains. Still, many otherwise competent game directors, and movie directors, barely think about the powerful effect of music on the "feel" of the work in question.

Examples:
How much a part of the Megaman universe is rounded robots, and how much is the beepy/boppy music? How much of the mood of Metroid is due its visual design, and how much due its music? The Final Fantasy musical scores are varied, moody, and well-tailored to the environments (of course they are; as I'm arguing, in a real way they *are* the environments!). Check out Yasonuri Mitsuda's early soundtracks for an example of music so good that the unknown composer is catapulted into fame. The music of Halo is varied in style, pace and motive, and shouldn't work, but it does because it's just so good and because it's so thoughtfully matched with the game. The soundtrack of Einhander is one of the most varied, yet coherent electronic/techno compilations I've ever heard, and that game is a shooter! The film scores for the original Batman? The Empire Strikes Back? West Side Story? Field of Dreams? JAWS?!? These are a few of my favorite things... Watch Castaway sometime and note how the movie uses THE COMPLETE ABSENCE of scoring for a vast and continuous portion of its running time: he's stranded on a deserted island after all. All this music contributes immeasurably to the works in question, and I doubt even the most musically indifferent among you can honestly claim their music does not affect your appreciation of these works.

Shooters feel the benefit of, or wrath of their soundtracks as much as every other type of game and every other audio-visual art form. I estimate that any given individual's regard for a game can be altered by at least one full "degree" by the quality of its music alone. Shooters must be especially vulnerable to this, as they are often built narrowly to begin with and don't have much else to save them if they screw up one of the few gamer-hooks they actually attempt. Music is a human-hook. All gamers are humans. Whether there is a game, or movie, or play involved, or only the music itself, music is important.

Re:TFA (1)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177542)

3. The game world is the real world There should almost never be just one way from one place to another; the player should never feel constrained in their options. Example: Halo 2. The open city environments allows Master Chief different ways to complete his objectives, adding replay value to the game by rewarding the player for doing nothing more than exploring their environment. Highly linear game play quickly becomes repetitive and predictable; using false paths to provide the illusion of free choice only serves to make players angry.

Personally, I feel he got this one completely wrong. Halo's levels were open and allowed you to reach and complete your objective in different ways. Halo 2 doesn't even come close; you get railroaded through a confined passage of enemies everywhere you go. Sure, the levels themselves were MASSIVE, but invisible barriers and instant kill zones stopped you from exploring anything.

The only exception was Metropolis [The city level] wherein you could get on top of buildings with clever jumping. But once you get up there, it was easy to see that the developers hadn't really fleshed it out: Bad textures, invisible walls, an incomplete skymap, no weapons to use, and being able to just run past every enemy encounter without having to fight. [None of them could get on the roofs.]

Contrast this with Halo. The only level with an arbitrary invisible barrier was the island. [Silent Cartographer] and even then, you could drive the warthog out a kilometer or so into the water before you hit it. [Halo 2 let you go about ten feet.] That whole island is like the epitome of open design. Other levels in Halo did restrict your movements [For instance, Truth and Reconciliation] but they did it in a way that made sense. In Truth and Reconciliation, you're stuck on a narrow windy path on the side of a gigantic cliff. In Assault on the Control Room you are at the bottom of a gigantic canyon. Not just that, but the actual playable area is huuuuge. Assault on the Control Room is easily several kilometers long, and almost always 100+ meters across in every location.

In Halo 2, the levels are equally massive, but you can't actually go anywhere. Yeah, those gigantic pillars in the Covenant holy city might be actual geometry, but you can't reach them because they're behind invisible barriers and instant death zones. The only path you can take is usually confined to being about 10 meters across. Unless they wanted you in a vehicle. Then it was more like 50 meters.

This is actually one of the largest complaints from fans of the original game, and I'm really surprised that the author would choose Halo 2 as his example of open gameplay. Halo 2 wasn't open, it was confined spaces with very shooty, spray n' pray weapons. Almost like the game was designed by committee to 'FPS standards', that included stupid things like boss battles and so on.

Maxims for creating an annoying opinion piece. (4, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18172966)

1. Split your limited content onto multiple pages to increase ad impressions
2. Say stupid and inflammatory things you know people will disagree with, like: "The story isn't more important than the game" (Don't bother having a plot) or "The player must always know the objective" (Don't even think of making something that has elements of adventure gaming)
3. Include useless flamebait at the end of the article like proclaiming MMOGs as bad, or announcing that one game company is superior to others.

Really (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173080)

The article was on 2 pages. Were we reading the same article? I don't consider that amount of content to be too little for 2 freaking pages.

Inflammatory? Nowhere in the article did the authors insinuate that games should not bother to have a plot, their assertion was that a good plot would still make for a boring game if the gameplay elements are not there - and I reckon the vast majority of gamers will agree with that.

And where in the world did the article claim that MMOGs were bad? Not to mention one of the authors lists "Guild Wars" amongst his favorite games - hardly an anti-MMORPG fanatic.

Re:Really (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173452)

And where in the world did the article claim that MMOGs were bad? Not to mention one of the authors lists "Guild Wars" amongst his favorite games - hardly an anti-MMORPG fanatic.

Keep reading.... You were so close!

Re:Really (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173540)

Why, why was it on two pages! There is *no* reason! Even dialup can handle all the text of the article on one page without trouble. The only reason is to repeat the ads.

Re:Really (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18174116)

The only reason is to repeat the ads.
What ads? [adblockplus.org]

Re:Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176842)

There is another purpose that has nothing to do with presentation: Splitting an article over at least two pages shows you how many visitors actually read the article and how long it takes them between loading page one and two.

Re:Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18174866)

The grandparent post was following his own advice for creating an annoying opinion piece.

Re:Really (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175202)

Guild Wars is NOT an MMORPG, it's nothing more than a larger scale Diablo.

You fail it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175494)

Guild wars is not a mmog. Its just like diablo and counter strike. A small number of people (even less than counter strike) playing together on a map. MMOGs have at least hundreds of people interacting in the same world. And it is generally a persistant world, not just a map.

Mod parent up (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173082)

Well said. Has anyone else noticed a trend toward:

1. Split your limited content onto multiple pages to increase ad impressions

happening more often? Slate started doing it recently, even for a second page with one small paragraph.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174668)

Well, what if that sort of behaviour results in a lower price for ad impressions, and as a result everyone will have to do it to keep up.

Re:Mod parent up (4, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175654)

It seems to me to be pretty much

Re:Mod parent up (4, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175684)

the same as always.

Re:Mod parent up (0)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176660)

Nice! Especially if "funny" mods increased

... karma.

(... which they don't)

Nearly all right (5, Interesting)

megalomaniacs4u (199468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173004)

Not bad, I agree with the list but they missed some pet peeves:
  • Thou shall not steal my carefully collected, especially the one decent gun I like and use.
    Examples: Red Faction, Quake 4, and too many others
  • Thou shall not have pointless out of character stealth levels in an out & out action game.
    Examples: RTCW, MoH:AA
  • Thou shall not use dumb jumping puzzles to slow the player down
    Examples: HL2, Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast, Prey*

* = Although the gravity & portal puzzles made a welcome change, they were used as a substitute for jumping puzzles.

Nearly all right-Jumping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18174334)

"Thou shall not use dumb jumping puzzles to slow the player down
Examples: HL2, Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast, Prey*"

Try Painkiller:Battle out of Hell. Pointless jumping puzzle it definately has.

Re:Nearly all right (again) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175442)

I shall.
Thou shalt.
It/he/she shall.
We shall.
You shall.

Re:Nearly all right (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176542)

Thou shalt not use Forever as the last word in the game's name ;)

Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (4, Insightful)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173122)

Too many FPS games get so caught up in their own little world that they forget about making the experience fun. I recently beat Doom III (three years late, I know) and one word best describes it: boring. Sure, the weapons and environments (Mars, hell) are damn awesome, but the actual gameplay is monotonous and contrived. I actually turned on God Mode just so I could beat the game faster...

Now look at Team Fortress Classic. No other online FPS is as fun and entertaining, for me anyway. And the game is almost 7 years old! TFC has no story, virtually no learning curve, no preset environment, and the graphics aren't that great. It just has balanced classes and some awesome maps (Dustbowl is one greatest FPS maps ever crafted). Red Team and Blue Team just kill each other amid a sea of gibs for no reason...and I love every second of it!

Games need to step back and realize that it's not all about production values and storytelling and graphics (though these things are important). It's about fun and entertainment, too.

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173650)

You too?

I'm surprised, I've talked to a lot of gamers who were so bored with Doom3 that they turned on God Mode and just went at it to see the end boss.

I did that with Quake4 too. The challenge just stops being fun, and it becomes boring.

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174736)


I'm surprised, I've talked to a lot of gamers who were so bored with Doom3 that they turned on God Mode and just went at it to see the end boss.

That was me. I got tired as hell of flipping between a flashlight to see in impossibly dark corners and a gun to kill whatever jumped out of the "monster closet" that passing over some point opened.

I love the first 2 in the Doom series and play Doomsday [doomsdayhq.com] all the time with the high-res packs but Doom3 was a boring waste.

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177806)

Well, Quake 4 wasn't so long, and was actually decently fun to play -- once.

But Doom 3, after awhile, Godmode just goes on. The game was too damned long and repetitive. The atmosphere is about the only thing it has going for it -- the sound, the lighting, the direction, and the monsters jumping out of walls was pretty awesome, once.

But playing a second time through is only really fun to show people that we have games on Linux, too, and that's getting old -- Beryl is a bit more useful these days.

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (1)

textstring (924171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173842)

shit, you consider tfc to have no learning curve? your general fps gamer these days doesn't know how to bunny hop or rocket/conc jump

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175162)

your general fps gamer these days doesn't know how to bunny hop or rocket/conc jump

One of the best things about "Gears of War" is no retarded jumping around.

Bunny hopping (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176522)

your general fps gamer these days doesn't know how to bunny hop or rocket/conc jump
Do you know this because Harvey [wikipedia.org] knows this?

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (2)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174640)

Too many FPS games get so caught up in their own little world that they forget about making the experience fun. I recently beat Doom III (three years late, I know) and one word best describes it: boring. Sure, the weapons and environments (Mars, hell) are damn awesome, but the actual gameplay is monotonous and contrived. I actually turned on God Mode just so I could beat the game faster...
Actually, a lot of people would agree with you here. Doom 3 ratings on GameRankings [gamerankings.com] are decent at 88%, but more successful FPS games/franchises, have scored a lot better, probably because they were fun.

Re:Where's the bullet point for "fun"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176202)

TFC has .... virtually no learning curve ...


Maybe my vocabulary is poor, but my only response to that line is simply "LOL". Team Fortress in all its incarnation is probably THE hardest FPS to learn how to play EVER. Even after Valve dumbed it down (once at inception, and 2-3 more times over its life), it was still too complex for the vast majority of gamers. TFC is difficult to learn and difficult to master. The majority of players get stomped easily by even mediocre clan players. As soon as something else came along (Counter-strike, and various other FPS's) people fled. TF (and TFC, and Q3F, and ETF, and every other TF clone) hasn't had new blood playing for over 4 years.

Will TF2 save the game? I doubt it. FPS gaming has advanced beyond TF. I'm just hoping Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will fill the void of class based teamplay. Battlefield certainly hasn't.

What a great idea! (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173126)

A FPS based on Maxim magazine content!

What kind of idiot reads Playboy? (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173440)

Please. Maxim and the lot are nothing more that Playboy with pasties.
And the only value you might get out of Playboy is the old articles by HST.

Well I can think of 3 Maxims... (2, Informative)

narftrek (549077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173128)

What about "Red Neck Rampage"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18173218)

Red Neck Rampage kept you into the game because it was funny!

I'd have to disagree here... (5, Insightful)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173336)

An unbalanced game alternates between hordes of enjoyment-less cannon fodder (that only serve to drain ammunition) and ill-equipped players battling bosses. Example: Serious Sam II. The game moves from one grind to another, the only viable strategy is running in circles, hoping that the boss will show up before all Sam's guns are empty.
Sometimes just playing a game where you just mindlessly kill stuff is very enjoyable. You don't ALWAYS want a deep plot or innovative gameplay, you do occasionally want to have hordes of enemies charging at you. FPS games could probably be subcategorised anyway. You'll want your deep, immersive enivronment like HL2, fast action like Serious Sam or maybe more of a horror FPS like FEAR.
I can agree with the writer at places, but one person's set of ideas for what an FPS should be will be completely different to that of others.

Re:I'd have to disagree here... (2, Insightful)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174632)

This is very true. This is what made Diablo 2 so popular; some people love just slaughtering vast hordes of enemies.

Re:I'd have to disagree here... (2, Insightful)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175768)

I'm guessing you didn't like D2, at least judging from your comment. IMO the reason D2 (and WoW) is popular, is because people like collecting stuff, be it runes, magic items or experience. It gives a sense of accomplishment, even if it is just a series of bits.

Re:I'd have to disagree here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176700)

Yeah what the hell, Serious Sam 2 ruled, it felt like some insane-o Saturday morning cartoon. Now if you were trying to play Deus Ex with gameplay like that, it would be a legitimate complaint, but come on, not all FPS's are the same. I mean he may as well add "Don't have sequences where the main character runs around in a giant spiked hamster ball"

Re:I'd have to disagree here... (1)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176928)

Actually I loved D2, I've poured hundreds of hours into it. Back in high-school my friends and I were addicted; we'd have week-long LAN parties, where a few friends would bring their computers over to my house for days on end, and we'd play all night every night and even drive home on our school lunch breaks just to get that extra half-hour in. We were addicted.

Thing is, I never cared about collecting things. I don't even pick anything up when I play until I get at least to Nightmare difficulty, aside from the occasional staff/wand with + to spells for cash. I just slaughter as many monsters as I can. You may have somewhat of a point about people liking collecting things, but I never really saw it.

You can have both. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177946)

If you want a plot, play through Halo and Halo 2 for the first time, on whatever difficulty is still doable, and not insanely frustrating, but not easy.

Want hoards of people to kill? Play on Easy, and just grab a tank and let loose. Would be perfect if the cinematics were skippable (although I don't often skip them).

Unfortunately, I haven't played many games that do both well. Probably need to actually start buying some new games...

My biggest annoyance: (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173368)

The amount of games that have useless "cinematic" cutscenes, just for the hell of it it seems, seem to be growing.

It doesn't only affect FPS games either: Neverwinter Nights 2 - even though it is more in a "stop and talk" genre was full of trying-to-be-cinematic-but-not-quite-there cutscenes. The kind that tweak the camera position every time a new sentence begins, and don't really add anything significant to the story.

These are the kinds of things I can't stand! If you are going to jolt me out of playing and have cutscenes, you'd better give me something damned interesting to look at/listen to, something that is imperative in telling the story.

Re:My biggest annoyance: (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177728)

NWN2 is supposed to be like having your computer turn into a Dungeon Master, you really have to expect a lot of talking in a game like that. Personally I think it works quite well, although it does limit the replayability a bit since my patience will likely run a bit thin at sitting through the same story again.

Some are worth buying the game for. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178054)

Final Fantasy X: that first Blitzball game, and the destruction of Zanarkand. The assault on Bevelle.

Halo 2: Return to Sender. Also, Helljumpers, and Johnson meeting the Arbiter.

Then there are the cinematics that aren't so amazing that they make me glad I bought the game, but are also fun and entertaining and nothing I'd ever skip, even when they are skippable:

Jak II and 3: Multiple, particularly Jak getting his voice in Jak II, and the end-of-the-series cinematic for Jak 3.

Doom 3: Your first Pinky. One of the more terrifying moments in the game for me, and it moves so perfectly into action, bashing the door in, and I'm going "Holy shit, I have to fight THAT??" It wasn't even a particularly tough monster, but that cinematic gave it style.

I agree, there are plenty of bad ones, but the above aren't necessarily imperative to the story. "Return to Sender", in particular, is pretty much wholly unnecessary -- there are any number of ways they could've gotten rid of that bomb, or they could've just left it disarmed. It ultimately doesn't change whether or not we head off to Installation 05, but it is still just fun to watch.

Good topic, useless article (5, Insightful)

tomaasz (5800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173478)

The article doesn't really say anything interesting. The authors merely express their wishes as players. As an inspiration for game designers, this is more to the point: http://www.theinspiracy.com/Current%20Rules%20Mast er%20List.htm [theinspiracy.com]

And here's my favorite game design rule:

In every game there should be a five second goal, a 30 second goal, a 10 minute goal and a 5 hour goal (actual times may vary of course):

5 seconds - see what's behind next corner, shoot an enemy.
30 seconds - get to next floor/building, find key, make something explode, see nice scenery.
10 minutes - get new weapon, encounter new enemy, finish a level.
5 hours - finish the game.

As long as the goals and rewards are enticing enough, it's all fine.

Re:Good topic, useless article (1)

Artaxs (1002024) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174750)

The author has some good points, but he left out the most obvious and important one of all: Thou Shalt Make It A Good Online Multi-Player Game. The Single Player mode is only fun for 1 (maybe 2) plays through. What makes a FPS game continually enjoyable is a well-balanced deathmatch or objective-based team game. TFA lavishes praise on CoD2 (also excellent to play online, though he doesn't mention it) and half of the article's points are about HL2... but no mention of Counter-Strike?!? CS:Source is the most popular online FPS, and for good reason.

Any discussion of what makes a good FPS game is pointless unless you at least touch on the topic of multi-player.

Re:Good topic, useless article (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175074)

The game sure as hell better last more than five hours!

Re:Good topic, useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18175100)

Hmph. I'd argue that both of these articles fall prey to the unfortunate modern trend of making every game beatable by anyone lest someone get "discouraged" and return the game. This is doing nasty things to single-player, multi-player, and maybe most dramatically to massively multiplayer games. Learning curves force individuals to internalize the game mechanisms to a significant degree; since every task in your average modern game has to be completable on the second try by a one-pawed slow-eyed gorilla, end play quality suffers immensely.

I don't get it (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173566)

So as far as HL2 goes, was getting the crowbar that late in "half hearted" or not? Because I sure as hell felt the panic of someone chased when running through the apartments completely unarmed while CP stormed the place, and after they've been shooting at you while you frantically looked for an exit from the train yard, it's rather satisfying to club a CP thug to get your first pistol to gun down his buddy. Not too half-hearted if you ask me.

The gunships always felt kind of contrived though, and taking them down was nothing like the immense satisfaction you got from blasting the chopper that had been harrassing you through a good chunk of HL1. Or maybe I'm just jaded.

FPS's in general though are getting really quite old. In virtually all of them, you zip around on perfectly flat surfaces at cheetah speeds shooting with perfect accuracy due to your glass-smooth and unfaltering run, with your main interface to the world being your always-visible gun. Games like Gears of War may not be advancing cliched concepts much, but are at least shaking up the stale control mechanics somewhat. Normally I rail against "console-ification" of games, but I can only welcome these developments.

Re:I don't get it (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178158)

The gunships always felt kind of contrived though, and taking them down was nothing like the immense satisfaction you got from blasting the chopper that had been harrassing you through a good chunk of HL1. Or maybe I'm just jaded.

Yes, you are. Maybe I'm just too young to remember, but it seems to me that the HL1 chopper wasn't as obviously or as persistently harassing. Just a flyby every now and then, dropping a few troops, maybe.

In HL2, the chopper chases you for quite awhile, and you're frequently having to duck underground, or chase it off with a gun turret, until you finally get a decent weapon to take it down. And when it comes down, it comes down with a BOOM.

The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (2, Interesting)

oni (41625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173586)

You want to know what the best FPS ever was? Quake 3 with either the Threewave CTFS mod or CPMA mod.

The reason is simple, the action is fast and well-balanced. I'll talk a bit about both points:

1. Action - playing quake in either of these two mods is like being in a fucking kung fu movie. That's the way it feels. You get in people's faces. You dodge, you rocket jump, you move fast.

When I play Halo or Half Life or (god help us) CS, I feel like the goal of the game is to hide and creep. If you turn a corner and find yourself with a bad guy, you hold down the trigger and spray and pray.

The feeling in quake is just so much better, in part due to the running speed, and in part due to the ability to rocket jump off of walls. I played UT for a while and it was better, but I still felt like I was stuck in molasses.

2. Balance - in quake 3, the weapons are better balanced than any other game I've ever seen. A rocket hit does exactly as much damage as a railgun, which does exactly as much damage as a shotgun (up close) or a nade. What that means is, the guy with the railgun doesn't necessarily own - not if you out smart him. Get in close and your shotgun is more powerful. This also means that switching weapons is a useful tactic.

What I see in other games is that some weapons are clearly better than others. That simply isn't true in quake (unless you are a complete newb). It also means that nobody can camp you in quake (unless you are a complete newb). Case in point. Everyone remembers the map q3ctf4. Play that map (in threewave mode) and let someone get on the railgun platform and start camping. I guarantee you I can kill him. All I have to do is dodge his one round, then jump on the bounce pad. I'll be up on the railgun platform before he can reload and I'll have a shotgun, so now I'll have the advantage.

Take a look at this video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4392915597 663174837 [google.com]

Note the speed of the game. It's just crazy. They aren't making games like that anymore. Modern FPSs are slow and boring. Even Quake 4 sucked.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173768)

I have to agree with you. Q3 was by far the best FPS ever made. It kind of boggles the mind that it has been 10 years already. I remember my P3 with 64MB of RAM and a DSL line being the only thing I needed to pwn face on Q3. I'm surprised you didn't mention RA3. That add-on was a great addition to an already great game.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (2, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174368)

It was released in 1999, so it's not quite 10 years, but it's still depressing to think that gameplay hasn't advanced at all since then. I can think of two reasons why: the rise of consoles and the rise of LCD monitors. Console controllers aren't precise enough for Q3 speed gameplay, and LCD monitors are capped at 60Hz (even those that sync to 75Hz resample down to 60Hz) and most have perceptible lag. People who say 60Hz is enough obviously never played a fast FPS at high level. I used to play Q3 on a CRT at 180Hz, with the detail turned down to almost minimum. I never got to pro standards, but I'd kick ass on public servers. Another possibility is that pro-level Q3 is the highest possible achievement for human gaming, and the human brain is simply too slow for anything faster or more complicated.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174438)

I never got to pro standards, but I'd kick ass on public servers. Another possibility is that pro-level Q3 is the highest possible achievement for human gaming, and the human brain is simply too slow for anything faster or more complicated.

If you kicked ass on public servers you probably were close to pro-level. I never played Q3 at the pro-level but everytime a "pro" would come onto a pub server I'd end up going neck in neck with him. A friend of a friend of mine who went by the nick "Undertow" was supposedly pro-level and I didn't have any problem keeping up with him.

Translocator (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173816)

I'm guessing you didn't use it much in UT.

I can't play another FPS without feeling like i'm crawling. The original 1999 game translocator made it feel like you were running at super-speed while requiring skill to use and avoid dying. The odd telefrag made it that much more fun.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18174924)

I always found that Q3 had too many jump pads and required too much of a twitch response.
Q2 has a better pace that results in games with a more strategic feel, especially with a small number of players.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (2, Interesting)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175800)

To each their own. To me Q3 lacked any sort of depth. It was just all twitch. You could kill or be killed in a matter of seconds as every weapon did too much damage. CS is more exciting in the sense you actually care if you die and try to be more cautious. Strategy mattered more as throwing yourself at the enemy would be stupid.

In any case, this was more about single player than multi-player...and Q3s single player was terrible.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (2, Interesting)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176156)

Q3 is only pure twitch if you don't know the maps. The strategy is all about predicting the enemy's movements while balancing the need to control as much of the map as possible with remaining unpredictable yourself. When you've played for long enough the "twitch" becomes purely automatic - you see them, you rail them, with no conscious thought in between. For this reason the rocket launcher is the most interesting weapon, as it depends so much on your predictive ability.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177536)

I've already moderated, but I'm posting anonymously because I felt the need to comment here. I have to agree that Q3 was one of the best out there. I did play a lot of TFC, CS, and in the end DOD too, and I enjoyed all of them, but nothing matched Q3 for that all out, consistent adrenaline rush. Sure, there would be tense moments in TS, such as the time that I took out the last 4 terrorists stealthily with my M4 and USP. Or the time that I managed to single handedly control a particular choke point in a TFC map as a sniper(with reload help from our team's engineers who could resupply me on the fly). And there was even the time that I performed a similar stunt as a german sniper in DOD, hiding behind enemy lines and waiting to take them out only once they were in an open area so as not to give away my position (they didn't know that I'd had a bead on them for the last 30-45 seconds).

Still, those were all tense moments in those individual games. Nothing beats Q3 for that sheer, always on, constantly there, pedal to the metal adrenaline rush. I used to describe it as the "fire and forget" phenomena. Especially with the rail gun: you see somebody, anticipate their movement, pull the trigger, and turn around to find your next target. Most games you follow the shot through to see if you took down the enemy. In Q3, following your shot through can many times get you killed. If you don't see the score for the kill, only then do you turn back around and reaquire the target. It really is hard to believe that it was 2000 when my group of friends at college really got in to this game. We played a lot of games, but it was Q3 that we would all play when we felt like having a free for all. (Especially after I found the Linux version for only $15 at some site -- then ALL of my friends ponied up the cash just so they could get a legit key.) We even tried some UT, Serious Sam, and the DM mode in a few other games. None of them seemed as balanced and as fast paced as Q3. I can remember playing DM in HL would many times first turn in to a rush to find your favorite weapon and then turn in to a tactical game as you try to corner the other guys for a good shot from your magnum or crossbow or whatever. HL DM, IMO, suffered from a severe lack of weapons balance.

I never played the CTF mods for Q3, but when it comes to straight DM games, Q3 FTW.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (1)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176398)

Did you try UT (1999 version) witn the Half EO mod? I used to love that (back when there were servers that ran it) and your description of the perfect game sounds just like it.

Re:The Best FPS was made 10 years ago. Case Closed (2, Insightful)

XO (250276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176690)

Q1 was the best of the Quake series, followed by Q3/Q4 and Q2 .. Q4 i thought was just the same as Q3 but with improved graphics .. really seemed that way.

I've been bitching up a storm on the Unreal engine forums, about how EVERY game made with Unreal feels like crap compared to Quake ...

Molasses? Amen brutha (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177266)

I can not stand watching those so-called FPS (Halo or Half Life or (god help us) CS). How can one get the adrenalin rush crawling pathetically like that? Sure the slowdown works while you're playing as Gordon Freeman, but in deathmatch or CTF you *do* want to be like Trinity er I mean Neo :) Give me the hurtling head-bobbing speeds of Q1 and Q3!

You might like Lugaru. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178216)

Not exactly an FPS, but it does have Quake3-like speed, especially on Insane difficulty.

Personally, I like most FPSes, and I care more about whether it's fun to play, has a decent plot, etc, than simply raw running speed. UT04 seems a nice balance between Quake3-like insane brawls and actual patience and skill with things like sniping (there are actually headshots, a concept no Quake seems to care about).

Also, did you actually play through Quake 4? I seem to remember that after your Stroggification, you can run as fast as Quake 3 -- but you'll never get the level of insanity you're looking for in a true single-player game that tries to have a story and semi-linear progression.

Kane will kill him for that (1)

QueePWNzor (1044224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173652)

That guy was just plain cruel to Quake4. Though the level design was linear, it was still interesting and challenging; you always had to figure out how to get through tough enemies in some sections. I also found it pretty easy to find proper switches, save for occasional parts such as the "break the glass" part near the beginning. He also failed to mention the unique parts of levels. The conveyor-belt journey to the purification area was unforgiving, and though it was short, it succeeded better than most other takes I've seen. Soon after, the Putrification Monster was also superior to most other games' takes. Story aside, Quake4 is amazing at almost everything it does.

Didn't read the article.. (1)

sugarman (33437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173654)

but "lots of crates" made the top 3, right?

Missing something... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18173788)

If you provide a sniper rifle in the game, provide sniper spots to shoot at something. It's very frustrating when you have this nice weapon but nothing to shoot at from a distance. The sniper rifle does show off a weak AI if you can shoot one AI but the other AI doesn't react appropriately.

Pet hates (4, Interesting)

payndz (589033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174058)

In FPS games, some of my pet hates are:

Enemies who shrug off massive damage
It's (borderline) bearable in something like Doom. Who knows how a demon from Hell would react to a shotgun blast to the face? But in a game like Black, which is supposedly 'realistic', it pisses me off. If you take 10 M-16 bullets to the head at a range of four feet, you are dead, and I don't care if you happen to be wearing body armour.

Super-accurate snipers
Black again (though it's not the only example). If you can see some much as a single pixel of a bad guy, not only can they see you, but they can instantly snipe you while you're still bringing up your rifle. Fuck off.

Boss battles
Yes, I know bosses are now an unavoidable part of gaming, however much one despises them. But there's a tendency in FPS games to go for the R-Type approach - namely that some tiny and obscure weak point has to be hit repeatedly with pinpoint accuracy before the boss suffers any kind of damage, then another, then another... Come on! (Even worse are the kind where some weak point has to be hit repeatedly within a time limit, and any error resets everything.) At the very least, offer a brute force alternative - let players just hit them with everything they have. Players who find the weak point can be all smug that they saved some ammo. Everyone else can go 'Well, killed that fucking annoying obstacle. Now I can get on with the game.'

All these things have made me give up on games that I'd enjoyed up to a certain point, simply because the annoyance and frustration factor outweighed the fun. If I'm not enjoying a game, I'll stop playing it. And I sure as hell won't buy the sequel.

my top tips in no particular order (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18174164)

#1 fancy effects are no substitute for fun level design

F.E.A.R. wow loads of shiney, then lots of running through empty rooms till you hit the next 'tripwire'. Oh and complete jap film ripoff.

#2 invincible, infinate ammo teammates are boring

HL2 - Ep1. lets try and move her into position so she does most of the firing

#3 running around in the dark with a torch is only fun for about 30 seconds

Doom 3 - HL2 Ep1

#4 Episodic content with no 'wow' moments or different gameplay is a ripoff

compare HL2 Ep1 with HL2. In HL2 you had great bits like piloting the boat and car, controlling the crane and antlions, that bridge walk, that whole area with the mad priest (hellxxxx somehting i cant remember), able to mess about with security turrets etc. where ep1 has annoying bit with gravity gun, annoying bit in the dark, then just running around and shooting. with a crap 'lets try and extend the game time' right near the end

#5 ammo

ive got to used to FPS, i conserve all the ammo i can, often restarting a level just to use more ammo. or i go all the way through not using grenades/rockets etc thinking 'i wont use them, ill really need them in a minute', only to find i finish the game without using them. perhaps an intelligent ammo placement system? or just have infinate ammo, would suit me.

#6 try and cut down on 'LOADING'

Deus Ex 2 - arggghh. GTA:SA seems load sections dynamically, shouldnt really be a problem for anything else.

#7 Please learn from Deus Ex

multiple ways of solving problems, multiple choices in the ways to gain entry, see new things every time you play the game. Still playing Deus Ex every 6 months or so.

Re:my top tips in no particular order (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18178274)

I thought HL2: EP1 had its moments, particularly the beginning. The hug... wow.

Otherwise agree with most of your points. I like how Halo makes you worry about ammo, but also prevents you building up an arsenal -- you can only carry two weapons. I like how Halo and Halo 2 don't have loading screens.

Invincible teammates... First, I'm fairly sure I've seen my Alyx die in HL2: Ep1. But also, it depends how you play it. You can pull back a bit and let Alyx take care of everything... and you can turn GodMode on. Or you can just play it.

One thing I wish developers would remember, though: At least try to keep up with current tech. The LOADING is a perfect example of this -- you're adding all kinds of shit like bigger and shinier textures, HDR, and whatever the cool graphics term of the year is, and you can't even do simple dynamic loading and level of detail? You keep adding more guns, planes, whatever, and your engine still relies on Internet Explorer?

These developers embarrass me as a programmer and a gamer. Please stop.

Or, let me put it this way: If you have a bad game with a good engine, you can at least add good content later, or license the engine to someone else who will. But if you have a good game with a bad engine, it's a lot harder to port your stuff to a good engine later, meaning you'll have to really start from scratch if you want to make a sequel with a good engine. Sometimes you can make incremental improvements, but if the engine really sucks (I'm looking at you, EA), it may be cheaper to scrap it altogether.

Only one maxim... (0, Flamebait)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174200)

There's only one maxim that I'd like to see game designers follow regarding FPS's: stop making them. Seriously, it's a stale genre. Use your imaginations and come up with a new type of game. Then 10 years from now when THAT genre is stale, I'll post a cranky rant on Slashdot about how they need to come up with another revolutionary innovation. Get cracking!

Or rather... (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18174400)

Fixed: Ten Maxim magazines are much more entertaining than most of today's video games.

no (5, Interesting)

tartley (232836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175178)

I couldn't disagree more. The industry is suffering a crippling dearth of innovation and risk-taking, and suggesting that everything has to match up to some prescribed formula as described could not be more damaging for the industry. How about instead of adding more restrictions, we remove the crippling existing ones that make every darn game the same? How about a FPS with no fecking guns in it, just once?

Re:no (2, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18175944)

How about a FPS with no fecking guns in it, just once?
I read this statement and almost immediatly thought "How lame would that be?" But after a second thought, I realized that is exactly what Portal [wikipedia.org] will be: an FPS without guns. I am still very excited about Portal, but I didn't even place it in the same category as an FPS, more of an FPP (First Person Puzzler.) I think you're on to something. Innovation is a wonderful thing, and at its core, it is essentially about genre bending. HL1 was great because it brought intresting twists the the FPS genre.

Personally, I think the FPS genre is getting pretty huge and may be ready to split off into some real subgenres. The article describes something of an Action FPS, oriented around giving the player an experience concentrated in the action, but not mindless action. This is opposed to a sort of Adventure FPS, like HL2, which can get away with sacrificing some of the action in ways that promote the player's adventure through the storyline. Then there's Doom 3 and Quake 4... they're out there as FPS games, but not quite the same as modern FPS games; they reminded me more of the old Shoot-em-ups style arcade games, not necessarily as mindless but still lacking that strange quantifier that makes an gamer 'mindful' of the environment he's in. Of course we'll always want, and need, those genre bending games like Portal, or HL1, or Farcry.

no-nuts to that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176178)

"I read this statement and almost immediatly thought "How lame would that be?" "

There's a Doom3 mod that allows one to play as a monkey who's "gun" is coconuts. It has a catchy tune.

It also seems that others have the "quality" [tweakguides.com] itch as well.

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176002)

A FPS with no guns in it? What would the S stand for then?

Re:no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18177212)

A FPS with no guns in it? What would the S stand for then?

Splatter.

Think lawnmower, braindead style.

Re:no (0)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18176582)

How about a FPS with no fecking guns in it, just once?

How about URU, where your not armed. Or the thief series, where your weapons (bow, sword, club) barely work on people who've seen you. Or maybe one of the elder scrolls games, like Oblivion or Morrowind where you've got swords, bows and spells, but you keep them shieved for most of the game. These games don't simply not exist just because you havn't played them and want to bitch about first person games.

The industry is suffering a crippling dearth of innovation and risk-taking, and suggesting that everything has to match up to some prescribed formula as described could not be more damaging for the industry.

My guess is that you havn't read through these "formula" either, if you had, you would know they are deliberately suggesting that the game doesn't just become one more boring linear cliche with poorly implemented and irrelivant features witch just leaves it the same as every other game. But the distingishing feature of those who like to bitch about the game industry not innovating is the staunch refusal to play the games that DO stand out (which happens to be a fair percentage of them) or listen to those people who actually have constructive ideas to change the problems that games today have.

What about Thief? (1)

KatchooNJ (173554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18177760)

A FPS without guns? Anyone here ever play Thief?

I still feel that Thief is one of the best games I ever played. Maybe because it was so original and different! :-)

Long, unskippable cutscenes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176534)

You should _always_ be able to skip cutscenes, particularly if they're longer than about 10 seconds (Here's looking at you, KOTOR2).

The Ten Commandments of FPS Gaming: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18176630)

10: Thou shalt not have boss battles unless thou are DooM. Completely ruins the immersion factor

9: Thou shalt not force the player to watch long-ass cutscenes. F.E.A.R. did this really well. The few cut scenes were short and sweet, and it went one step further by having an "Interactive Cut scene" in the form of the hallucination sequences.

8: Thou shalt not have more than 3 minutes between huge-ass firefights. Any smaller number of gunfights can take place between, but you need a bunch of guys to shoot or it gets boring and easy.

7: Thou shalt not place too little ammo in a level.

6: Thou shall have intelligent A.I., both friendly and enemy. Again, see F.E.A.R.

5: Thou shalt not force the player to switch weapons to throw a grenade.

4: Thou shalt have plenty of cover available to both you and your enemies.

3: Thou shalt not have jumping puzzles

2: Thou shalt not not have a shotgun in the game. WW2 shooters, I'm looking at you.

1: Thou SHALT NOT have inhumanly-accurate and/or one-hit-instant-death enemy snipers. HALO 2, I'm looking at you.
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