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What features should *every* video game have?

Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Games and Technology
My first online console FPS was Resistance: Fall of Man. It has a couple of really neat features; to name a few, it has experience-based matchmaking, dedicated servers for both ranked and unranked matches, multiple options for mic communications including push-to-talk and separate channels of live-mic, and a party setup. (I'm told Halo has a party setup as well but I've never played it.) It also has an in-game buddy list (separate from the PSN list), an in-game clan list with support for blast messages, an in-game messaging function, and loads of options for custom matches.

So I played R:FoM for a good eight months (hur hur lolsony) and then I get into the Warhawk beta. Imagine my surprise when there is no party setup, no way to send messages in-game, no easy way to get multiple buddies on the same team in the same game, and on and on.

This made me wonder - did the guys at Incognito simply miss the memo that R:FoM has a stellar online setup? Or did they just not see these things as a priority?

Several games have come out since and none have come close to the awesomesauce that is R:FoM's online - yes, RB6 has in-game messaging, but no parties or dedicated servers (or clan support). COD4 has parties, but no dedicated servers or in-game messaging. Etc, etc.

So this is the thread where we will propose and discuss features that we think are integral to a good game, regardless of genre.

I'll start:

-Any third-person game needs to have good camera controls. There are very few valid exceptions to this.

-Any game with online multiplayer needs to have dedicated servers. Period.

-Same for in-game messaging support.

-I need to be able to stop playing and turn the console off without losing more than 5-10 minutes of play. This can be done with either a save-anywhere feature (Oblivion) or frequent checkpoints (CoD4).

-I want in-game buddylists. On PSN you can have up to 50 friends on your list, well I've got 75 guys in my clan, and then there are the other people I like to play with as well. I hate saying 'sorry no room' to my friends.

-Every single game needs to have an instant replay feature like Skate. Except it needs to output the videos/photos as standard-format files to the HDD. The amount of replay this adds to a game simply cannot be described.

-You should be able to do a barrel roll. I think we can all agree on that.

So... go!

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Lord Yod on
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Halo 3's video recording should be manditory, but Halo 2's matchmaking should have been manditory aswell and that hasn't worked out exactly.

    Burtletoy on
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    meatflowermeatflower Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Save anywhere. An argument can be made for checkpoints but I think in the end they cause more frustration then they're worth.

    meatflower on
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    PbPb Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    New Game+. I don't care if it's fucking Solitare, give me New Game+.

    Pb on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Pb wrote: »
    New Game+. I don't care if it's fucking Solitare, give me New Game+.

    Damn you.

    Magus` on
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    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    This is bound to be brought up by someone who will elaborate more than me, but I think there are plenty of games out there that wouldn't benefit much from some of the features you name. But I think you're spot on about the console turnoff loss.

    Delzhand on
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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If you are going to have online, just go ahead and copy everything Halo 3 did. No one will mind, in fact, we'll celebrate it. Just quit trying to make your own shitty matchmaking.

    Gorilla Salad on
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    SunshineLollypopsRainbowsSunshineLollypopsRainbows __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Decent writing.

    SunshineLollypopsRainbows on
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    But at least we're not fatasses.
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    XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    No QTEs.
    Preferably not cutscenes except in Half-Life terms.


    Ideally the same insane levels of imagination and polish as Super Mario Galaxy or Half-Life 2, but this may be too much to expect from most.

    Decent writing.

    Xagarath on
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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I think more games need QTE's, but they need to handle them right. For bad examples, See Jericho, Spider-Man 3. For good examples, see RE4, God of War 1 and 2, and some 4th game that I haven't played.

    Gorilla Salad on
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    puase-move camera, a la super smash bros. if it'll be gamebreaking, only allow it during new game+

    PikaPuff on
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    PataPata Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Decent writing.

    I totally need a massive epic tale describing Tetris.

    Pata on
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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If it's got cutscenes, every scene should be pausable and skippable.

    Houk the Namebringer on
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    Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    meatflower wrote: »
    Save anywhere. An argument can be made for checkpoints but I think in the end they cause more frustration then they're worth.
    Wrong. Games like Meteroid and Castlevania wouldn't be nearly as fun or addictive if you had the ability to just save wherever you wanted. Part of the fun is "making it to that next save point."

    Edit - Honestly, I don't know that there are any features that every game should have. Any given game should be the sum of whatever parts make that game fun. There is no one feature that will automatically make any game better, it's all about choosing the features that will make a particular game the best it can be.

    Big Dookie on
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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Oh, and Capcom.

    Take every one of your Resident Evil writers(especially for Zero and the entire Survivor series), kill them all(this is only doing the world a favor), and hire decent ones who can make a logical story and good one-liners.

    Gorilla Salad on
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    Cilla BlackCilla Black Priscilla!!! Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Magus` wrote: »
    Pb wrote: »
    New Game+. I don't care if it's fucking Solitare, give me New Game+.

    Damn you.
    Yeah, this.

    Cilla Black on
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    meatflowermeatflower Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I think more games need QTE's, but they need to handle them right. For bad examples, See Jericho, Spider-Man 3. For good examples, see RE4, God of War 1 and 2, and some 4th game that I haven't played.

    Shenmue? The inventor of the QTE. Naruto adds a twist on it in that you pick which button is going to come up and the order so it's a little easier in that sense. And of course Mass Effect...though their quality is debatable. See the PA comic.

    meatflower on
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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Every RPG should allow you to re-watch every cutscene and FMV whenever you want. One of the few things Xenosaga Episode III did right.

    All multiplayer games should let you save videos and screenshots. Yes, Halo 3 spoiled me, but it's something I want every MP game to have from here forth.

    That's about it right now. I would also love anything that gives you incentive to replay the game, either with new levels, characters, bosses or whatnot. Keep in mind that I'm emphasizing the "new" part; A harder mode doesn't qualify.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
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    Cilla BlackCilla Black Priscilla!!! Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    If it's got cutscenes, every scene should be pausable and skippable.
    Also you should be able to watch them later if there are some really cool ones.

    Cilla Black on
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    TyrantCowTyrantCow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    meatflower wrote: »
    Save anywhere. An argument can be made for checkpoints but I think in the end they cause more frustration then they're worth.
    Wrong. Games like Meteroid and Castlevania wouldn't be nearly as fun or addictive if you had the ability to just save wherever you wanted. Part of the fun is "making it to that next save point."

    I have to agree with Dookie.
    Playing Contra 4... and I shut off my DS in anger. I should have to suffer the consequences and restart from the beginning. "Would you like to restart from where you left off?"

    TyrantCow on
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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    meatflower wrote: »
    I think more games need QTE's, but they need to handle them right. For bad examples, See Jericho, Spider-Man 3. For good examples, see RE4, God of War 1 and 2, and some 4th game that I haven't played.

    Shenmue? The inventor of the QTE. Naruto adds a twist on it in that you pick which button is going to come up and the order so it's a little easier in that sense. And of course Mass Effect...though their quality is debatable. See the PA comic.
    There we go. 4th one that I didn't play.

    Gorilla Salad on
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    rayofashrayofash Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Halo 3's video recording should be manditory, but Halo 2's matchmaking should have been manditory aswell and that hasn't worked out exactly.

    How does Halo 2's matchmaking system work and why does everybody love it so much?

    rayofash on
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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Oh, another thing RPGs desperately need but very few actually comply: Databases.

    Keep track of the large list of characters, their relations to each other, what that fancy-named city was supposed to represent, what war am I participating in again, etc. Again, score one for Xenosaga Episode III, even if 75% of the database was useless information that tried to wrap up the smaller plot points.

    It sure came in handy for FFT though.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    If it's got cutscenes, every scene should be pausable and skippable.
    Also you should be able to watch them later if there are some really cool ones.
    I didn't list this only because I would consider it not necessary, but extremely good to do if possible.

    Houk the Namebringer on
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    SunshineLollypopsRainbowsSunshineLollypopsRainbows __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Pata wrote: »
    Decent writing.

    I totally need a massive epic tale describing Tetris.

    Fine, amend that.

    If the game is trying to have any semblance of a story, decent writing.

    SunshineLollypopsRainbows on
    Australia is totally shafted for each and every entertainment release ever.

    But at least we're not fatasses.
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I've said it before but: the input spiral in Beyond Good and Evil needs to be adopted. That fucking faux-keyboard screen most games use just magnifies everything silly about real keyboard design, and it takes ages to input stuff.

    durandal4532 on
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    LitanyLitany Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    If it's got cutscenes, every scene should be pausable and skippable.

    Just this. Other things are subjective to the game in question, but at no point should I have to choose between soiling myself and seeing the end of Snake Eater.

    ..I mean...playing a game. Yeah.

    Litany on
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    Cilla BlackCilla Black Priscilla!!! Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah. It's pretty easy to argue for the "save anywhere" philosophy by saying you could always just make yourself not save, but having real boundaries is very different from making them up yourself.

    Cilla Black on
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    SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint. Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I've said it before but: the input spiral in Beyond Good and Evil needs to be adopted. That fucking faux-keyboard screen just magnifies everything silly about realy keyboard design, and it takes ages to input stuff.

    Fucking yes. The keyboard spiral was brlliant.

    SirUltimos on
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    SunshineLollypopsRainbowsSunshineLollypopsRainbows __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    I've said it before but: the input spiral in Beyond Good and Evil needs to be adopted. That fucking faux-keyboard screen just magnifies everything silly about realy keyboard design, and it takes ages to input stuff.

    Remind me, is that the one where it's sort of like Mass Effect's dialogue selection, but with a keyboard?

    Because if so, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

    SunshineLollypopsRainbows on
    Australia is totally shafted for each and every entertainment release ever.

    But at least we're not fatasses.
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    XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I think more games need QTE's, but they need to handle them right. For bad examples, See Jericho, Spider-Man 3. For good examples, see RE4, God of War 1 and 2, and some 4th game that I haven't played.

    I fear I have to disagree. God of War used them extremely badly.

    God Hand and RE4 did not, but they're very much the exceptions, and RE4 came dangerously close.

    QTEs encourage lazy game design, general lack of imagination, and other such undesirable traits. I would be delighted if we never saw them again in any circumstances whatsoever.

    Xagarath on
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    OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    If it's got cutscenes, every scene should be pausable and skippable.
    Yeah. Also, if your game has a lot of text and the game insists on putting it on the screen a character at a time, pushing a button should put it all on the screen at once (or there should be an option to turn this feature off), instead of going all Okami and making me sit there watching letters appear at the reading speed of a third grader ("Cin..." "Cincinnati." "...cin..." "Cincinnati" "...nat..." "Cincinnati"). Otherwise I don't think you're a game developer so much as a gigantic asshole.

    Orogogus on
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    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Another RPG faux-pas: Visible Weapons and Armor.

    If I obtained some rare armor woven a thousand times over from the scales of legendary dragon gods, and my character is still wearing the shitty set of rags he started out with in the beginning, then what's the damn point?

    I'm looking at you, Eternal Sonata.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah. It's pretty easy to argue for the "save anywhere" philosophy by saying you could always just make yourself not save, but having real boundaries is very different from making them up yourself.

    Solution: good checkpoints if you must have them, easy mode has save anywhere.

    Keeps it from being the Call of Duty 1 Vetran "1 shot... save. step forward... save" or the CoD 2 Veteran "fuck fuck dammit, lets do that same 15 minutes again because someone spawned in the house we cleared."

    durandal4532 on
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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    SirUltimos wrote: »
    I've said it before but: the input spiral in Beyond Good and Evil needs to be adopted. That fucking faux-keyboard screen just magnifies everything silly about realy keyboard design, and it takes ages to input stuff.

    Fucking yes. The keyboard spiral was brlliant.
    I always forget about this. 9001 times yes!

    Gorilla Salad on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'm looking at you FFXII, but I'll let it slide since you were awesome for the rest of the game.

    Narian on
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    Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Obviously not all features apply to all games - multiplayer-only shit won't be necessary for Elder Scrolls games.

    Discuss things that are applicable to their genre - RPG games need X, FPS games need Y, etc.

    Can someone explain how the Halo 2/3 matchmaking works? Someone suggested using Halo 3's online setup, but since it has no dedicated servers I'm suspicious.

    Lord Yod on
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    Cilla BlackCilla Black Priscilla!!! Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I also kinda like the checkpoint saving system because it forces me to go back and replay certain parts enough that I become good at them. With quick save you're never really required to become skillful, just lucky.

    Cilla Black on
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    LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Another RPG faux-pas: Visible Weapons and Armor.

    If I obtained some rare armor woven a thousand times over from the scales of legendary dragon gods, and my character is still wearing the shitty set of rags he started out with in the beginning, then what's the damn point?

    I'm looking at you, Eternal Sonata.

    I didn't mind the fact that the armor didn't change when you got a new type of it - it keeps the characters look. What did kind of irk me was that when lets say Polka got a new umbrella - a black one for example - she was still using the same fucking one she had at the start of the game. At least have different looks for the new weapons you get =/

    First game that came to mind when I thought of this was Final Fantasy 9 and 10. You could upgrade your armor, but the characters always looked the same. When you got a new weapon, even if you were upgrading from Longsword to Longsword +1 the new one looked different.

    Loathing on
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    Gorilla SaladGorilla Salad Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Lord Yod wrote: »
    Obviously not all features apply to all games - multiplayer-only shit won't be necessary for Elder Scrolls games.

    Discuss things that are applicable to their genre - RPG games need X, FPS games need Y, etc.

    Can someone explain how the Halo 2/3 matchmaking works? Someone suggested using Halo 3's online setup, but since it has no dedicated servers I'm suspicious.
    Essentially, instead of having dedicated servers, they just make it so that if the host quits, it switches to someone else, so the game doesn't stop there. It's just a small delay.

    Gorilla Salad on
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    Spectral SwallowSpectral Swallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    A solution(that they are already doing) for the 'save anywhere' thing is to have the temp saves like the GBA Final Fantasy's.
    For those of you unfamiliar, you can save whenever you feel like, but if you do you have to turn off the game. And when you restart you're back at the same spot, but that save is gone. Then there are the real save points which are kept forever.

    Something I'd like to see RPGs adopt is the talking system of Mario Galaxy. Where when you run close to someone their word balloon pops up without having to push any buttons. It's really really simple, but I absolutely love it.

    Spectral Swallow on
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