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Proper care and indoctrination of the unwashed masses

Dharma BumDharma Bum Registered User regular
edited March 2008 in Games and Technology
So I've got two room mates and a girl friend, all of whom I love dearly. None of them are gamers beyond the occasional desktop tower defense or MSN checkers. This is a problem for me, as most of my free time is taken up playing video games hardcore style, and I'm constantly trying to bring them in to co-op games so they aren't just hanging out in my room, staring at the screen like a zombie as I organize my RE4 inventory. I'm proud/ashamed to report that literally after years of playing Gears of War with me, my woman has recently figured out how to use both analog sticks at once in order to run and turn at the same time - running and looking up and down, we're still working on, which makes me pretty much screwed if I'm ever taken down.

blah blah blah, tl;dr:

My question to you is this: Is there a trick to training non-gamers, at least as far as shooters go? I really can't remember getting used to the analog nubbin on the N64 after roughing it with an original PS controller. But it seems like people who go from NES to a 360 controller are shocked and stunned by these twelve dang ol' buttons and two devil sticks.

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Dharma Bum on

Posts

  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The Wii? The Wiimote by itself is simple and intuitive and NES-like enough, and then once they're used to that you can slyly start them playing a game using the Nunchuk, and work your way up from there.

    DeathPrawn on
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  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    What you need is the Gamer Boot Camp. It's like training for the Marines but without all the physical exertion or mental toughness.

    Bitchslaps should be handed out heavily for mistakes. In fact it's not like the Marines at all, more like dog training.

    Leashes are optional.

    Kagera on
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  • irnirn Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If it's Gears... Usually a private hosted annex match... just have a free for all... after a couple games they pick up... not everyone though will get it...

    irn on
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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Let me guess - at the slightest attempt to look up or down they're either staring at their feet or the floor?

    I would say that you just need patience, but it sounds like you have plenty of that. I learnt how to use a dual controller while playing Morrowind - maybe you should get her to play a game that focusses more on wandering around looking at things so she can get gradually used to the controls.

    Rhesus Positive on
    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • VicissitudeVicissitude Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    At least your old lady tries to play games with you. I haven't been able to talk my wife into playing with me since Soul Calibur 2 on GC.

    Vicissitude on
  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    What you need is the Gamer Boot Camp. It's like training for the Marines but without all the physical exertion or mental toughness.

    Bitchslaps should be handed out heavily for mistakes. In fact it's not like the Marines at all, more like dog training.

    Leashes are optional.

    :winky:
    I'm so very, very sorry.

    Pata on
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  • SnareSnare Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I know where you're all coming from. Why can't our better halves play games to our standards? :(
    I'm currently playing SSBM and have no humans to play with :(

    Snare on
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Alternatively, both get into an alternative genre together. I kick my girlfriend's arse at FPS games, but we're pretty evenly matched at sports and racing games.

    Rhesus Positive on
    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Teach 'em the same way you learned.

    Start with a 2600/NES/SNES/SMS/Genesis/some other 2D console(depending on preferred games, available games, and available consoles), and work your way up. Once they've gotten one console(ideally a 2 or 3 buttoner), work your way up to the next.

    Worst case scenario short of utter rejection? You're playing a lot of oldschool co-op instead of newschool co-op.

    yalborap on
  • Dharma BumDharma Bum Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Alternatively, both get into an alternative genre together. I kick my girlfriend's arse at FPS games, but we're pretty evenly matched at sports and racing games.

    Actually that's exactly right. They do alright in other genres, but I'm a shooter guy. What the Hell is it about a first person camera angle that turns people into ledge plummeting fools?

    Dharma Bum on
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  • DarklyreDarklyre Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Dharma Bum wrote: »
    Alternatively, both get into an alternative genre together. I kick my girlfriend's arse at FPS games, but we're pretty evenly matched at sports and racing games.

    Actually that's exactly right. They do alright in other genres, but I'm a shooter guy. What the Hell is it about a first person camera angle that turns people into ledge plummeting fools?

    It's generally due to sensitivity and a clash in your body's lack of motion vs. the character's movement. You know how people twitch their controllers in a certain direction when playing platformers? It's much like that when it comes to shooters. Not being able to physically move your entire body in a direction makes walking around a bit disconcerting. Plus, sensitivity settings and crosshair acceleration can lead to funky things when aiming.

    Darklyre on
  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    My roommates never played games, other than one playing old shitty racing games he pirated years ago. Then one day they decided to use my wii. 3 weeks have gone by and they've bought 3 (shovelware) games and yesterday they bought their own wii. That was the only thing I had going for me when they move and they decide whether or not to keep me around.

    EskimoDave on
  • Chris WChris W Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Guitar Hero has turned my wife into a gamer, and pretty much anyone who visits as well. I've never seen a game suck in so many people who've never touched a console.

    Chris W on
  • troublebrewingtroublebrewing Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I think wii sports was the game that brought my wife into the fold.. you're obviously past that point though.

    I tried to get my wife to play halo a couple of times, and like you said she had a hard time with the controls of a FPS. Only thing I can think of is to keep trying to get them to play with you and let them know they have to keep trying because there's a learning curve that they can conquer. I know my wife is stubborn like that and will keep on trying just because. Co-op modes will also help.

    FPS's aside and if you just want to game with non-gamers let me recommend, Rock Band (Guitar Hero), Wii Sports, Smash Bros (wife loves it), and any side-scrolling beat 'em ups available to you by VC or XBLA or classic systems.

    As I type this I'm playing yahoo pool with a friend just because (talk about casual)

    Cheers!

    troublebrewing on
  • frrserfrrser __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2008
    is Guitar Hero really like that? I just ordered the 360 version, look forward to it

    frrser on
  • troublebrewingtroublebrewing Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    frrser wrote: »
    is Guitar Hero really like that? I just ordered the 360 version, look forward to it

    if by "like that" you mean makes people not typically inclined to play video games pick up a fisher price guitar and rock out then your answer is a resounding HELL YES

    troublebrewing on
  • BasilBasil Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Out of idle curiosity, I'm sure you've gone over this with them, but do they know whether they prefer inverted or standard control, and for that matter, are they sticking to it?

    I've seen people who didn't know they could flip the looky bit in action, it's painful. Reminds me of my own suffering when I finally switched from inverted to standard.

    Basil on
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  • troublebrewingtroublebrewing Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Basil wrote: »
    Out of idle curiosity, I'm sure you've gone over this with them, but do they know whether they prefer inverted or standard control, and for that matter, are they sticking to it?

    I've seen people who didn't know they could flip the looky bit in action, it's painful. Reminds me of my own suffering when I finally switched from inverted to standard.

    good point!

    troublebrewing on
  • RocketlexRocketlex Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I think the best way to train new gamers is to start out with more simple games. I wouldn't try anything dual-analog for a long while into the process. You start with 3D platformers and work up to that kind of thing. It's an incredibly unintuitive and disorienting system, honestly, so it's best to at least have one stick you're comfortable with before adding another.

    Rocketlex on
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  • mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I second the Wii and Rock Band. I'd also like to add Portal -- and don't feel bad if someone loses interest while still in the 'training room' phase. People don't have to play all of a game to get a lot of good out of it.

    There are three related issues at work here:
    * helping someone develop the fine manipulation skills required to play modern games well
    * helping someone learn the standard interface items and game mechanics present in a variety of types of games
    * encouraging someone to enjoy specific games, especially some of the same kinds of games you enjoy

    For building camera skills: I recommend Viva Pinata (advanced controls only,) Portal, and Marble Blast Ultra. Also, coop Rocket Race on Halo 3 could be fun and educational, as long as you're extra supportive when she makes mistakes and you make it clear you don't actually care about winning.
    For becoming familiar with FPS game conventions: get Doom from XBLA and introduce her to the classics. From there maybe find an FPS with a god-mode cheat.

    mspencer on
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  • RocketlexRocketlex Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'd start with something in the vein of Ratchet and Clank. It's mostly a platformer, but gently introduces mild dual-analog control elements.

    Rocketlex on
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  • GlalGlal AiredaleRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Dual analog sticks are a pain in the ass even if you've years of PC shooter experience behind you, or maybe especially then- I'll second Rocket's recommendation, Ratchet&Clank were what taught me how to use them properly (mostly because looking up and down is usually optional and only seldom necessary).

    Glal on
  • BasilBasil Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I learned the right hand analogue stick in an odd way. See, I played Freespace 2 with a trackball mouse. To death. And every modded campaign I could find.

    By the time I got a Ps2, I was already well prepared.

    v---- Grove speaks troof in spades. I built a stable of DotA fanatics in just this fashion.

    Basil on
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  • GroveGrove Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    One good method to use if you have several friends who are new to gaming/dual analog sticks: let them team up on you. I'd always let my buddies do this in Halo and would further gimp myself by only using melee kills, or other restricting gameplay. This unites and excites them. Plus you aren't trying at all because you're so gimped. I'd always beat them, but I'd make sure it was just barely so they felt like they were progressing. After awhile they'll usually ask you to start using weapons or trying so they can test their skills. At that point you got em.

    Grove on
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  • SnareSnare Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The Wii and Guitar Hero do suck people in pretty good, but still leaves them struggling with 'old-school' controllers with sticks and button. Maybe they are waiting until they can control it with their brains? Then WE will be the ones looking silly :)

    Snare on
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I still can't play FPSes with analog sticks, and I've been gaming for years.

    Crimson King on
  • MasoniteMasonite Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    yalborap wrote: »
    Teach 'em the same way you learned.

    Start with a 2600/NES/SNES/SMS/Genesis/some other 2D console(depending on preferred games, available games, and available consoles), and work your way up. Once they've gotten one console(ideally a 2 or 3 buttoner), work your way up to the next.

    Worst case scenario short of utter rejection? You're playing a lot of oldschool co-op instead of newschool co-op.

    This may be a double-edged sword though. On one hand, the controls are more simple, but on the other, the games are generally harder and less forgiving.

    Masonite on
  • cjeriscjeris Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    If you have a Cube or a Wii, try Metroid Prime (the first one). It's a first-person game that isn't really an FPS; you use only one stick which switches from move to look by another button press, aiming is lock-on based, the pace is slow, you have to jump a lot, and the game forces you to constantly examine your environment. It's good training.

    cjeris on
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  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I think you have to start at the beginning for stuff like this.

    If someone isn't a gamer, it probably means that gaming, so far, hasn't 'hooked' them yet.

    Trying to throw them into the fray with a dual analog FPS with different weapons and skillsets is taking them from one extreme to another.

    What I recommend is trying to have them play something more approachable first, and work your way up from there. They're not going to want to play games much if they don't get much 'reward' for it.


    You could try some XBLA games. Or older consoles with less complicated interfaces. Or some 360 games, of which I do not know, that are more approachable. Well some people have mentioned GH and RB, both great suggestions. Plenty of nongaming friends of mine are addicted to that.

    People have mentioned the Wii, which I fully endorse in such a scenario, but I can understand if you don't want to invest in another console.

    slash000 on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Geometry Wars has a nice and simple control scheme, and a great difficulty curve, anyone can probably find enjoyment in it.

    LewieP on
  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Dharma Bum wrote: »
    Actually that's exactly right. They do alright in other genres, but I'm a shooter guy. What the Hell is it about a first person camera angle that turns people into ledge plummeting fools?

    In addition to some of the other stuff mentioned, there are issues of motion sickness and inexplicable headaches for some. 3D graphics presented in a certain way seem to physically mess with some people.

    For those interested in a more general gamer initiation, in addition to Wii stuff and music game stuff, The Sims can be like lacing a drink with heroin in terms of addiction rate. Sid Meier has made the observation that games based on stuff people are familiar with have a higher approachability for the non-hardcore crowd and the various sports in Wii Sports, musical instruments, and life in general are all things that most people we know will have been exposed to by the time they reach high school.

    Steel Angel on
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I found that tilting it doesn't work very well, and once I started jerking it, I got much better results.

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  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    yalborap wrote: »
    Teach 'em the same way you learned.

    Start with a 2600/NES/SNES/SMS/Genesis/some other 2D console(depending on preferred games, available games, and available consoles), and work your way up. Once they've gotten one console(ideally a 2 or 3 buttoner), work your way up to the next.

    Worst case scenario short of utter rejection? You're playing a lot of oldschool co-op instead of newschool co-op.

    Conveniently, the Wii can cover both ends (old-school and current-gen) in one console. I can't speak for XBLA or the PS3 equivalent, but the VC spans over twenty years' worth of gaming and, with a Classic Controller, scales from NES DPad, A + B all the way up to GameCube pile-o-buttons-and-sticks (and then, amusingly, back to Wii A + B) as needed.

    Vyolynce on
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  • gilraingilrain Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Some helpful, if early, advice from our friends at PA:

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    gilrain on
  • DirtyDirty Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    At least your old lady tries to play games with you. I haven't been able to talk my wife into playing with me since Soul Calibur 2 on GC.

    Heck, I can't even play SC2 with my girlfriend around since she knows I used to play it with an ex of mine. I'm surprised I've never come home to find it "mysteriously missing."

    Dirty on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2008
    Try switching them to Legacy sticks. I can't play Halo on default sticks setup at all.

    FyreWulff on
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