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<  Design concepts  ~  Frustration

yhancik
Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 07 May 2006 Posts: 10 Location: Belgium
Instead of polluting the "Stylisation in character design" thread, let's start a new one here on frustration (or maybe it's not the right word) in gameplay.

I know a few examples (i guess there are many others)

Takeshi no Chousenjou
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takeshi_no_Chousenjou
a game "made by a man who hates video games" according to the credit screen at the end
there are videos on youtube
it looks like the most annoying things come from repeating the same action over and over, and waiting
I like how, at some point, there's a kind of side-scrolling shooter where your... spacecraft or whatever is continuously shooting, and you have to avoid the "enemies" (innocent ducks)
it's like reversing the idea of side-scrolling shooter Wink


Penn & Teller's Desert Bus
I'll copy-paste from Wikipedia
Quote:
The objective of the game is to drive a bus from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada in real time at a maximum speed of 45mph, a feat that would take the player 8 hours of continuous play to complete, as the game cannot be paused.

The bus contains no passengers, and there is no scenery or other cars on the road. The bus veers to the right slightly; as a result, it is impossible to tape down a button to go do something else and have the game end properly. If the bus veers off the road it will stall and be towed back to Tucson, also in real time. If the player makes it to Las Vegas, they will score exactly one point. The player then gets the option to make the return trip to Tucson—for another point (a decision they must make in a few seconds or the game ends). Players may continue to make trips and score points as long as their endurance holds out.



Victi / Vigil
http://www.freegamer.net/
If i had time i'd translate the whole interview of the game designer, but the idea is to mistreat the player, by the ambiance, by the gameplay and the visuals (as you said, Michael, it's sometimes hard to recognize things)
"We totally cut out the effort/reward diptych . You made an effort, well you made an effort. Period."
From what i heard, most people didn't finish the game.


Any other examples ?
And should gameplay be frustrating ?
What about actual real realism ? In the real world, there are no heroes, if you get a bullet in the knee, you can't walk much anymore. So a totally realistic game would be frustrating, wouldn't it ?
(that makes me think of a game called Bureaucracy by Douglas Adams... isn't bureaucracy the best example of real-world frustration ? Wink )
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Michael
Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:27 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I think making fun of frustration only makes sense if you only consider the fiero-seeking part of the audience. But there's a lot of people out there who play games not for the challenge or the competition but just for the experience, for "being in the world" or just to pass some time. To the latter group, most normal games are already frustrating enough. Making them more frustrating on purpose can really only mean anything to the "hardcore" group of players.

I must admit that a real-time bus ride of 8 hours sounded like a very interesting concept until I read that there was nothing to see along the way. Then it just sounded like a drinking game or something.

Also the parodies that you mention assume a sort of maturity in the medium that I just cannot see. To me it seems that most of the frustration is just the result of bad design. I could be wrong, however. Perhaps some people really enjoy being frustrated. But if so, then definitely only some people. The joke is lost on all the others.
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yhancik
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 07 May 2006 Posts: 10 Location: Belgium
I know, i know, i'm one of those who like the games for "being there", and also more for "experimenting" than for the challenge.

And while i'm not looking for more frustrating games, I think that frustration might have its place in a "non-challenging" experience.
Not a frustration that comes from bad design, neither from challenges, but from our limits, our choices, impossibilities, things we have no power to change.

If I enjoy "being in the world", would I enjoy it in a different way if I know that my character or the world will die in 3 hours ?

I don't even think it should be a "commentary" on life's frustration (i'd hate this), but an experience, in another context (videogames) where you can go back in time, replay.

Now maybe "frustration" is the best word for this idea...
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:21 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
yhancik wrote:
If I enjoy "being in the world", would I enjoy it in a different way if I know that my character or the world will die in 3 hours ?


Idea Idea Idea That's a great idea! Shocked Very Happy
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yhancik
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 07 May 2006 Posts: 10 Location: Belgium
But of course it would be too "easy" if you could play the game again with the same character or the same world... they'd need to be exceptional and singular Wink
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Mooncalf
Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:04 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Feb 2007 Posts: 18 Location: New Zealand
I can't remember the name of the text adventure game which had a poisonous snake which was a death sentence, but not an immediate one, to the player...

Star Control 2 had an under-the-hood "doom clock", when a certain date rolled around, if you hadn't managed to complete the necessary tasks then you'd lose the game. About halfway through the game a psychic warns you of this. *Edit* And boy do your priorities change. X3

Hell, think of PACMAN, it was like being aware of the spectres of death, knowing where they are and that through your actions you can extend your life...

It's a wonder why no-one has revisited that idea with similar focus, dump a player in an urban cityscape in pretty 3D, give them no weapons but reasonable athletic ability, and then set a few ethereal hounds on their heels, their only hope of salvation in collecting enough A to activate escape method B X3

I never think of older games as irrelevant in terms of game design, since plenty of newer games are steps backward. I don't play pacman because I like fancy graphics, but that's not to say I don't still appreciate it's design, or don't think that it could be successfully reinvented.[/i][/quote]


Last edited by Mooncalf on Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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yhancik
Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:24 am Reply with quote
Joined: 07 May 2006 Posts: 10 Location: Belgium
that would be a funny idea for a "modern" pacman Wink
i can totally picture a mix between http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQg7qOB5Heg and http://www.tothegame.com/screenshot.asp?id=5624
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Mooncalf
Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Feb 2007 Posts: 18 Location: New Zealand
Hehe, of course the idea ends up not being pacman at all, but still, could be fun :3
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