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New patent from Nintendo and Miyamoto


HarMGM
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Kotaku is reporting that Nintendo along with Miyamoto have filed for a new sort of way of gaming.

In a game, this new play style would be broken up into three options: Game, digest and scene menu, according to the patent.

Game allows gamers to play the game in the normal way, though they can bring up video hints whenever they get stuck. These hints will appear in a screen that pops up in the top right corner of the screen.

Digest allows gamers to watch a video of a game developers play through of the game, which lays out the storyline and "flow of the scenario" from beginning to the end. At any time a player can press a button to jump into the action of the scene currently being shown. This is done by loading game saves downloaded automatically through a network.

Players will start the scene with the appropriate character attribute boosts and items for that part of the game. Saving is not allowed in digest mode.

The scene menu allows gamers to skip directly to a specific scene to play, without having to watch the digest or load a saved game.

I honestly do not know what to make of this. Obviously it could lead to developers becoming extremely lazy when it comes to design flwas("but you can skip those parts so what's the problem?" That you're fucking game isn't enjoyable you prick!) and also seems to remove the game aspect of a game.

Then again i've found myself quite stuck on some horrible level in a game which is just so frustrating. Rewarding yes but sometimes it's just so fucking frustrating i'd rather have skipped it all together. God of War's ‘Pillars of Hades’ come to mind. And the fact that you can't save in "Digest Mode'" is an interesting idea. Nice to know what comes after a certain bit or get some help into getting past a certain bit with a frustratring boss due to poor direction.

It's "The scene menu" that has me worried.

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Ah, so they've played Alone in the Dark, then (and added the ability to 'watch' the scenes instead of playing them).

I don't really have a problem with the skipping option being there, though it would depend on the game (obviously - it would hardly work in a sandbox title).

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When you consider the % of casual gamers who have bought the wii then i suppose this is a good feature to keep them hooked.

I have also found that the older i get the less patience i have with some games so the chance to skip a flawed part and continue the game is welcome.Again if you are a gaming god then switch the feature off and be none the wiser.

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Seems like a sensible extension of the the FAQ file and YouTube video to me. Obviously you'd want all unlockables / achievements to be dependent upon having played and completed the game properly though. Also there should be some kind of logistically off-putting "actually try and play the fucking thing first" (either number of attempts or time related) to stop people from reaching for the skip option too quickly / automatically.

Other than that, it seems like a perfectly reasonable way of ensuring that more people see further into games which will hopefully prevent developers from thinking they can get away with dropping the quality of later levels because "hardly anyone sees them anyway".

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oh what the hellthis is daft really isn't it?...

Grandma "Ohh this wii sports, great fun!!"

Grandson " Here, try this new Zelda game!"

Grandma "Ohhh noooo those are too difficult for me..."

Grandson "Not now! you can jump into the game at any point!"

Grandma "What?"

Grandson "Watch this video of the game makers playing it so you understand then you can control take over with this button!"

Grandma "Ok.........................................................................

.........................................................."

5 mins pass

Grandma ".................zzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ"

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So, has anybody here actually played Alone in the Dark, or did nobody get quite what I was squawking about? The 'Scene Menu' has been done before; the implementation wasn't bad, but then again, the game wasn't exactly brilliant. The 'video you can jump into' idea is quite interesting, though.

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no - this allows more casuals to play hardcore games. It's a good thing.

Not really- take an occasionally difficult game like Tomb Raider Underworld. I thought they'd struggle with the complicated controls as a first barrier let alone the difficulty.

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Going by the NeoGAF thread, it looks like it'll be used for the next Zelda game. The obvious worry for me is that I'd just go for the hint button without having a proper go at solving a puzzle. Kind of like how I ruined some PC games for myself back in the day by using quick save all the time.

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Going by the NeoGAF thread, it looks like it'll be used for the next Zelda game. The obvious worry for me is that I'd just go for the hint button without having a proper go at solving a puzzle. Kind of like how I ruined some PC games for myself back in the day by using quick save all the time.

I really don't fancy it for a new zelda. I think it would completely ruin the immersion as well by having big hints play on the screen as well as what you said.

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I really don't fancy it for a new zelda. I think it would completely ruin the immersion as well by having big hints play on the screen as well as what you said.

Possibly. They could always try and integrate it into the game world like they did with Lakitu and the camera in Super Mario 64.

I think a scene/chapter select is overdue though for Zelda. Even an option to jump straight into dungeons, bosses and other set pieces (like the escort mission in Twilight Princess) would be better than nothing.

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you know - shigsy isn't going to appear from nowhere, grab the controller out of your hand and finish the game for you at the first sign of frustration. For a start, this will be optional. Something that you can switch off if you want. Then - if the game detects that you've been stuck for a while (like me and that bloody spider ball boss in metroid echoes) then it'll give hints and eventually offer to solve it for you.

Oblivion and Fallout allow you to dynamically change the difficulty slider whenever you want... omg Bethesda are trying to destroy hardcore gaming. :(

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How soon until a horde of apoplectic self-identifying "hardcore" gamers (mostly of the American variety, if the "Celda" and Wii Music furores are anything to go by) descend upon Nintendo's castle with pitchforks and torches?

If this doesn't intrude on the game playing experience to a significant degree for those who don't need it, it sounds like a genius way to ease their expanded audience to games more like the ones we've all been playing for years. I'm just wondering how the marketing will be pitched to draw them in.

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you know - shigsy isn't going to appear from nowhere, grab the controller out of your hand and finish the game for you at the first sign of frustration. For a start, this will be optional. Something that you can switch off if you want. Then - if the game detects that you've been stuck for a while (like me and that bloody spider ball boss in metroid echoes) then it'll give hints and eventually offer to solve it for you.

For something like a boss battle, I wonder if they'd be better having an adaptive difficulty. That boss wouldn't have been much bother if there was more time or if it had less health. That way, you can still have the satisfaction of beating the boss.

Oblivion and Fallout allow you to dynamically change the difficulty slider whenever you want... omg Bethesda are trying to destroy hardcore gaming. :(

That's not a fair comparison at all.

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It's not the same thing at all as Craig says, in Fallout you'd never see a video appear with it showing you how to do something, that would ruin the atmosphere. A difficulty slider in Zelda wouldn't bug me at all.

As long as theres an option to have it off or it doesn't intrude at all, then it's cool. I'd hate it if it was forced in anyway though.

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Wait, haven't we been doing this with emulators for around a decade now? You know, the whole zsnes movies thing, and sharing savestates?

Reminds me of the gameplay videos I'd watch on Videopower back in the day, for NES games, where'd they'd show you tricks and how to get past stuff - now taken over by youtube videos of tricky parts. This could be awesome when used with shmups...

TBH, I see nothing new in this. Interesting, yes, new? Not by a long shot. They're just taking old ideas and making them mainstream, implementing them in an easy to access fashion.

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I'm just worried that devs who use this and see their casual audience skipping large parts of their game, will dumb their game down in the next installment. Something I like to call the "Prince of Persia" effect.

Lets get one thing straight at this point though. None of us know just exactly what this is about, what it will be used for and how. We're all filling in the gaps with our imaginations and fears. As long as we're acknowledging that and accept the blatant hyperbole that's being bandied around, we can continue to argue to our hearts content.

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The patent suggests it can be turned on and off. Seems like an intelligent and elegant solution of having a game that's not dumbed-down for the self-appointed hardcore and offers a way in for those without the time/inclination to spend hours considering how best to defeat a boss or solve a multi-room puzzle. Best of both worlds, really.

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I'm just worried that devs who use this and see their casual audience skipping large parts of their game, will dumb their game down in the next installment. Something I like to call the "Prince of Persia" effect.

I rather think the opposite is more likely. It gives the masses of developers who are shit scared to try anything remotely "hardcore" on the Wii free reign to do so without completely alienating the casual audience, because if a bit is too esoteric for Mr & Mrs. Average, they can watch a developer do it and consequently adapt for the future or skip that element entirely without getting frustrated, giving up on the game and never, ever opting for something similar again. I think it could open things out considerably if judged carefully - the question remains as to whether the majority are imaginative enough to offer anything for Wii that isn't a cut-down rendition of a 360/PS3 title, a mini-game compilation or one of the myriad pieces of licensed fare

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If it can be switched on and off I don't see the issue, and it would sure beat traipsing off to gamefaqs if you get truly stuck. At the moment Nintendo are trying to adapt their 'hardcore' games to make them more accessible (see Phantom Hourglass) but the problem is that the more experienced gamers find them unfulfilling and too patronising. This sounds like a way to be able to maintain a challenge for more experienced gamers while allowing less experienced gamers to enjoy them too, and by providing hints or videos it could also help verse beginners in some of the logic we tend to take for granted.

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Half the enjoyment for me is not knowing everything about the game before I jump in. This is a stupid idea for lazy, cowardly morons.

At least it's optional, but I'll be surprised if it doesn't have a negative impact on the game as a whole.

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