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Jamie John

Things that all games should have

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A couple of things:

 

God Mode for action games.

Once you complete it and unlock the stuff that makes it harder (nightmare difficulty etc.) you should definitely get a god mode where you get chance to have every power and ability from the off.

 

Options for the hearing impaired.

I don't have an impairment, but often play games wth no sound (the realities of playing games in the same room as your SO and not isolating them yourself in a headphone bubble, fact fans) and the number of games that have audio cues that you completely miss is bordering on negligence. Once again, the ignorance of the non-impaired is just so deeply entrenched - it should be front and centre of your mind when you're designing these things.

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Battlefield games have the option for extremely extensive control adjustments. You can adjust how quickly the reticle moves when aiming as opposed to just looking around and so forth. More games should do that. 

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3 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

 

Doesn't this make more sense as a platform thing than a game thing? All the PC storefronts track time played, does the PS4 just not do it or something?

A lot of this stuff would be better controlled via the OS and enforced by the platform-holder in certification - screen size, time played, controls.

 

In particular controls: you should be able to set system-wide or per-game command overrides, and there should be an API so that in-game UI prompts reflect the user's setting. The 360 went some way towards this I think - it's a shame it wasn't extended for this generation. The Xbox Elite pad (and possibly vanilla XB1 pads) do let you remap and save multiple profiles but it could be much better e.g detecting which game you're playing and automatically selecting the profile or at least allowing quick switching of profiles.

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54 minutes ago, Gabe said:

Save anywhere

I know a lot of people say it encourages save-scumming/breaks the game (somehow, I don't know)/ruins the developer's vision etc - but I don't care. I have very limited gaming time these days and so many games have inconsistently spaced checkpoints or (real old-skool - save points) and I don't want to lose gameplay because of it. There's literally no downside, because for those that want experiences to remain 'pure' then just don't use the option.

I wonder if this could be done at an OS level as well, in the same way as suspend mode works? Suspend only works for a single game presumably because the state is stored in RAM and fills it up but I wonder if that could be offloaded to the HDD or cloud so you can just pick up precisely where you left off in any game, regardless of its save system. Like suspend, the state would be deleted when you resume so you can't save-scum it.

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5 hours ago, witchypoos said:

Screenshake toggle/slider

Yeah, I know, I'm sorry. I fixed it, though.

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5 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

 

Doesn't this make more sense as a platform thing than a game thing? All the PC storefronts track time played, does the PS4 just not do it or something?

I think it probably does track how much time you spend on each application- but it just doesn’t give the user an option to view that.

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5 hours ago, stefcha said:

 

Also you can set run to be a toggle, rather than tap based. Kind of already does what you want, really.

 

Run, not sprint. I have run toggle on, but if you want to move up to 88mph you have to hammer the sprint button. 

 

Ive got another one: realistic day/ night cycles for games like Red Dead. Watching the sun zoom across the sky takes me right out of the experience. 

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20 minutes ago, Floshenbarnical said:

 

Run, not sprint. I have run toggle on, but if you want to move up to 88mph you have to hammer the sprint button. 

Not if it’s set to left stick click. 

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Two things that Bayonetta did, which contributed a lot to the generally polished feel of that game's presentation, and which more games should do:

 

Practice mode on the loading screen

Every game with a heavy reliance on combos should have this. I suppose how practical it is depends on how much of a game's loading time consists of loading the environments and enemies. If most of the loading time is taken up by loading just the player character models/textures/game engine/sound effects, then it might not be worth it.

 

Menu based cutscene-skipping in addition to an "instant skip" shortcut

Cutscene skipping is good, but there have been times when an accidental press of the Start button has led to me skipping a scene accidentally, the first time I've played the game. So it's better when the first press of a button during the cutscene brings up a menu with "Resume" and "Skip" options (ideally with Resume as the default).

 

But wait! That means you have to press Start > Right > Action button just to skip a cutscene; I'm a busy man, I'm too lazy for that! Thankfully Platinum thought of that: a press of Back + Right Trigger together will instantly skip the cutscene without bringing up the menu. And it's not just the storytelling cutscenes it skips; it works on the Angel Attack minigame announcements and the Gates of Hell intros too.

 

(Just a shame it can't be used to skip the Infernal Demon boss-finisher attacks, which are spectacular the first time, but that bird-eating-snake one feels particularly long, and the volleyball bouncing one and the quickly gets less funny the more you see it. I suppose they couldn't make them skippable because they include QTEs.)

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Text & UI scaling - I've lost count of how many games this year I've played where I've had to strain my eyes to make out basic UI elements and menu text (off the top of my head, Monster Hunter World, Diablo on Switch, Red Dead 2, Spider-man, God of War - although they patched it in later). 

A lot of devs would benefit from not exclusively developing and play-testing their games sat at a desk, one foot away from their monitor.

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21 hours ago, Keiths_Dad said:

Colour blind settings. Most FPS games seem to have them now, but now that we've moved on from blocky graphics with about 8 colours at a time on screen, it can be really fucking difficult to pick out key elements. FPSes can be a nightmare when you can't determine who is on your team (although as I've already said, most have accommodated for this), and racers can be difficult if the signposting blends into the background.

 

Games which do not have this are unforgiveable in this day and age. To quote colour blindness stats: "Colour (color) blindness (colour vision deficiency, or CVD) affects approximately 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women in the world. In Britain this means that there are approximately 3 million colour blind people (about 4.5% of the entire population), most of whom are male" (source: http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/). That suggests that a large proportion of gamers have some form of colour blindness, which may be very mild but is infuriating when it has an effect.

 

My son loves Splatoon, and has mild CVD. One of the things that I am sure helps him is the colour lock function that, when switched on, means one team is always orange and the other is always blue, two colours that are easy to distinguish for those with colour blindness. So simple, and so inclusive without detracting from other gamers' experiences. In fact, given the high rate of CVD it should (IMO) be an OS-level option that could be picked up automatically by games.

 

The other thing that all games should have is Majima Goro.

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