| 19:30:52 27 August 2011
On forum: 02/13/2011
Message edited by:
This is going to be a long one, but bear with me. I've pretty much just been listing all the good and bad points of all three games and then expanding them into hopefully useful suggestions. |
Helmet immersion - When you wear gasmask, hood or eco suit enviourment sounds more dull, or you can hear wind blowing in your head (like in real life). You also can see dust and raindrops on your goggles That would be also cool to see stalkers taking off their gasmasks when entering the base.
PDA Radio - yeah I bet devs already had in mind radio stations. I have an idea to sauce that up - when you have turned radio on, it can be sometimes interupted by surreal and disturbing noise waves - a proof that Zone lives.
- Good ideas! The radio would be a good item to have in addition to the PDA, something where you might have to tune in to a specific frequency in order to receive updates and information, but a sort of side benefit of that would be that at any time you could tune it manually and hear these strange and terrifying sounds.
- I’d also like to take realism up a notch in terms of environments. If I’ve learnt anything of game development, it’s the tiny details that make something feel real and draw you in. So when wearing a gasmask your vision and sound are very obscured, and bits of dirt get stuck to it. Wind should be a dynamic sound, so that it’s loudest when you’re facing it and changes direction as you do (like SoC did with its rain if you noticed).
- Possibly having cleaning objects as a secondary action. It sounds tedious but might actually be quite effective. Instead of having to find a mechanic to repair your weapons, you could do it yourself. It would take a while but it’s something to do when hiding from a storm or relaxing at a base. This could apply to gasmasks that become more dirty over time. It’s the small, every day actions such as turning on a light switch that make you feel that you can do anything in a game and really draw you in.
- Following on from that, I loved the unique weapons and would jump at any opportunity to personalise my own in STALKER. The men in the Zone would, in all seriousness, become attached to their weapons and personalise them, as with Strelok’s gun, or the Lynx rifle. I’d love to be able to paint it a matt black or engrave initials into it.
- Sound should also play a bigger part. In a similar way to the details being the key to drawing the player in, a huge expanse of sounds of all varieties make the place feel alive. As proof of the importance of sound to humans, you can show someone a picture of the scariest monster imaginable but it won't be frightening. You hear someone scream though, and we're immediately on edge. STALKER Complete did this especially well. When players are unable to tell the difference between an ambient sound and an NPC, you know you've done well. Also, sounds should be a huge mix, from the faded echoes of something banging hundreds of meters away in a corridor of an underground lab, to the tiniest footstep or rustle in the grass behind you.
- The Zone needs an introduction. Instead of just plonking the player down at the beginning where there’s an anomaly a few yards away, it would be far better to have the player start at an area of relative safety and comfort on the border of the Zone and progress inwards, watching as the world becomes more and more surreal and dangerous. There could then be a shift in the Zone that means that the way out becomes barred because of a new anomaly.
- Combine artifacts with objects to create benefits. In all three games you’ve had unique objects such as a vest soaked in an anomaly that has healing properties. If you expand this, you increase the value and appeal of artifacts. So for instance, combining a Goldfish with your suit might create a dense gravitational field around you that pushes bullets off their course and causing only glancing blows (for reduced bleeding or health), or deadens your noises to those around you (for increased stealth). Mixing Flash and Moonlight together and coating specific parts of a weapon could be a complicated, lengthy and expensive process, but might result in subsonic ammunition? There are a huge range of possibilities.
- More varieties of objects. Each object wouldn’t simply be a direct copy of another. In artifacts you’d get huge variations between each one, both in appearance and effect, and they seem like the sort of things to get only more powerful each time. It would be great to find a small Moonlight, but leave it in a hidden electrical anomaly one day and come back another and find it had become more stronger (or grown?). Or to come across an unusually strong Kolobok artifact that was twice as potent as the more common ones because it had remained hidden for longer. Would be a great way to reward exploration?
- This also applies to other objects such as light sources. A head torch would be ideal, but perhaps the player has to scrounge for objects first, finding only a cheap lighter and having to make his way through an underground facility with it, only to have it blow out occasionally or have to turn it off and hide quietly when a bloodsucker becomes attracted by the light.
- I’d like to see it become more realistic and challenging, but still keep elements of the first games. For instance, the PDA could be an in-game object that you view rather than a menu screen. It could tell you the amount of other PDAs or heat signals in the area, but not where they are or what faction they belong to. All it would do is beep faster when they come closer. But then again, not every NPC would have a PDA.
- Have more objects and artifacts scattered around the map. Exploring is one of the most satisfying things in the Stalker series, so improve and expand it. CoP was brilliant at laying small objects around a map – scraps of paper, documents – but they were always part of a mission. I’d love to come across these things by accident and piece together a story by myself – it’s a far more rewarding way of telling a story by letting the player do it themselves.
- More social behaviour. The use of Russian speech didn’t bother me except for when NPCs would sit and chat and I had no clue what they were saying. This niggle aside, I’d love to be able to sit down around a fire with other stalkers, and have real conversation emerging. Instead of having the awkward point and click conversations, you’d get stories of what they saw, rare artifacts they found, mutants they escaped from. This could be an interesting alternative to finding out information instead of just asking them.
- I’d also love to be able to handle the artifacts like you handle a weapon. One description from the first game said that the artifact Soul was particularly beautiful to study by firelight – I honestly wanted that. It could just be an idle animation, and we get to see these amazing objects close up instead of them being just that – objects.
- Create more unique objects. Finding the unique weapons, PDAs, objects and artifacts was probably the most satisfying aspect of the game for me.
FAULTS AND IMPROVEMENTS IN THE EXISTING GAMES
- Make the Zone less tame! CoP really held your hand in this, and always told you what to do and where to go. Even finding artifacts, which in the first game was one of the greatest aspects, was reduced to just checking the map to see which ones had appeared. It made it too easy, and became a chore rather than a joy. The first did this far more successfully. Artifacts should be random and mysterious, not explained scientifically. The feeling of coming across an artifact by accident is far superior to making the rounds of the anomalies, checking to see if an artifact is there and moving on.
- Realise that the most frightening aspect of the tension in STALKER is the wait. The first bloodsucker I encountered in the Agroprom was terrifying, but above ground in broad daylight and they become nuisance. Limit the most terrifying mutants to dark, narrow environments where they can pop up from anywhere, and lower the number. The less scripted they feel, the more frightening and unpredictable they become.
- It also didn’t make sense that you introduced mutants in their own context (chimeras coming out at night, burers in small dark underground spaces etc) but then come across them in the broad daylight and in the open. It completely ruins the fear of them. Limit them to their own environment, whether that be a chimera that stalks a dark forest or controller in a network of caves and you absolutely dread going in there because you know what awaits. It's important not to overuse your best asset.
- This also applies with more common mutants. I think many people simply got frustrated when they couldn’t go 50ft without being attacked by boars or dogs. If you make each encounter with these creatures rarer, you make them more exciting. Perhaps they attack only if you get too close.
- Environments – One severe disadvantage of CoP’s layout was that because there were only three maps, they had to cram everything in despite being so big, but to avoid the player seeing too much of the map at once, they introduced huge hills to mask the view. Whilst SoC’s many small maps made things awkward at times, it meant that developers had enough room to make these maps feel more natural.
I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.
| 17:01:13 4 October 2011
On forum: 10/04/2011
I recently just played through Shadows of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat for the first time. I loved them, here are some suggestions.|
1. Many of the anomalies you can add to your belt are too weak and so you just end up selling them. I think there should be more useful ones so it's a more difficult choice whether or not to sell them.
2. In regards to weapons/armor upgrades the technicians do: I noticed some of the upgrades the technicians perform are quite worthless. For instance, one time I had a decision that was something like:
*Add 30% to armor
*Add 25% to psy protection
In this case the piece of gear already had a decent amount of armor so adding 30% more would be useful. However, it only had like 4 bars of psy protection, so adding 25% psy would only add one bar, which is worthless. So, basically, choosing 25% to psy is wrong. I don't think there should be any wrong answers when upgrading gear. I think the choices should be interesting and based on player preference.
3. Is there a way for the player to make their own mark on the map? If not, there should be. For instance, I make a mark on the map, that mark is blue, and now there is a blue arrow on the minimap along with the other arrow that is for the main quest. This would prevent players from having to bring up the main map so much in order to make sure they are headed in the right direction.
Sorry if these have been suggested before, I'm too lazy to read through all those pages
| 22:54:33 8 October 2011
On forum: 10/08/2011
Drop always on|
"Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. Permanent internet access is required. Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection. Software piracy is an issue for us, we try to fight it, but within reason."
Always on is NOT within Reason you are number three then i will stay away from 1. ubi 2.blizz 3.gsc
screw always on Restriction Management