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Who Did It First?


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Audio Logs. What game introduced them? I mean specifically the type where you find stuff in the world that is then read out and you can listen to as you play. I don't mean an email or something on a screen or where you can only listen to something in a menu.

 

My mind says Doom 3 but I'm guessing there was something before then. I'm guessing some RPG might have included them first...

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Sticking to just FPS's/actual audio-logs with, um, audio rather than pure text, you're going back at least as far as System Shock. One of its more clear-cut influences on future game design.

 

Edit: damn it, Rsdio! :P

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On 10/10/2020 at 14:57, Billy Brown said:

I remember clicking the thumbstick to light up the way to the next main mission objective in Dead Space feeling like a revelation at the time, largely so I could ignore it and explore all other avenues first. Perhaps it was present in stuff I hadn't played before it, though. I know one of the Fable sequels introduced a breadcrumb trail or something similar that might have been at a similar kind of time.


Fable 2 iirc it defaulted to on but in the options you could turn it off & trigger it with a press.  It’s interesting seeing all the praise Ghost of Tsushima gets for the wind when it’s basically just a more graphically advanced version of what we did over a decade ago.

 

On 10/10/2020 at 16:02, Thwomp said:

The hot/ quick wheel. I first saw it in Red Faction Guerilla, but no doubt it was done before. 

 

Secret of Mana for one.

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8 minutes ago, Rsdio said:

Not sure if it's the first, but System Shock had them a decade earlier.

 

8 minutes ago, Wiper said:

Sticking to just FPS's/actual audio-logs with, um, audio rather than pure text, you're going back at least as far as System Shock. One of its more clear-cut influences on future game design.

 

Edit: damn it, Rsdio! :P

System Shock is one of my gaming gaps so I didn't know this. @Wiper It doesn't have to be an FPS. I'm thinking things you discovered in the environment that were then read aloud to you as you played. Trying to differentiate it from Phone/Codec/Transmissions that give you mission or game info.

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Yeah, I was largely including those caveats as I'm reasonably confident it's the first within those - it being just at the cusp of CD-ROM uptake and an early FPS makes it easier to be confident that it's the first within those limitations.

 

I can't think of anything earlier even outside those constraints, but it's very possible earlier RPGs did it - the audiolog is very much just a sci-fi take on the traditional "letter as lore/quest/story trigger" that fantasy RPGs enjoyed. I wonder if the original Wasteland might have used them, for example?

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13 minutes ago, Wiper said:

Yeah, I was largely including those caveats as I'm reasonably confident it's the first within those - it being just at the cusp of CD-ROM uptake and an early FPS makes it easier to be confident that it's the first within those limitations.

 

I can't think of anything earlier even outside those constraints, but it's very possible earlier RPGs did it - the audiolog is very much just a sci-fi take on the traditional "letter as lore/quest/story trigger" that fantasy RPGs enjoyed. I wonder if the original Wasteland might have used them, for example?

Possibly. I have no idea. I wanted to single them out as although they seem to reside alongside letters and papers etc, the way they allow the player to keep playing whilst listening is quite different. Letters and things to read require interaction from the player, and stop proceedings dead whilst you wade through them (I'm thinking of the books in Elder Scrolls games), and even the Codec entries in Mass Effect stop dead once you return to the game. The ability to simply listen to a short in-game podcast whilst playing is quite different, I think, in the way it affects the flow of a game.

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Yeah, if we limit it to audio logs that actually play as audio then I would be surprised if anything predates System Shock. A demonstration of a log in effect:

 

 

Earlier parts of the footage include other while-the-game-plays audio, but they're in the form of radio comms and "friendly" AI messages, so not exactly the same thing. 5:00 in is definitely a log, however.

 

Also, um, spoilers for the opening area of a 26 year old game, I guess? ;)

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First games with time-rewinding systems? I don't mean just resetting the player character and other enemies/objects to their original positions (like dying and restarting at a checkpoint), but ones that let you rewind to an arbitrary, player-chosen situation within the last few seconds.

 

Racing games - I think the first Race Driver: Grid (2008), was the first, right? And from there into the Dirt games, and then into Forza and others?

 

Other genres - The earliest I know of was Blinx the Time Sweeper (2002), but I never played it so I don't know if it was as extensive as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003).

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I can't think of any earlier examples than Blinx or Grid. Any game that had a built-in replay function had almost the same thing - and games had them since the late eighties, i.e. Hard Drivin, Indy 500, Killing Game Show, etc - but nobody made the connection that they could use it in a gameplay context until much later on.

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1 hour ago, Nick R said:

First games with time-rewinding systems?


Pitman/Catrap on the Game Boy? That was 1990 but was a conversion of a 1985 Sharp MZ-700 game. I don’t know if the original had that feature though.

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Croc was a 3d platformer but it played like a crock of...

 

Chequered flag on the lynx had working wing mirrors and proper stereo sound that replicated the direction cars were approaching from.

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On 16/10/2020 at 21:53, mwaawm said:

Croc was a 3d platformer but it played like a crock of...

 

Chequered flag on the lynx had working wing mirrors and proper stereo sound that replicated the direction cars were approaching from.


Pretty sure Geoff Crammond's REVS on the BBC Micro had working wing mirrors, and would have been out a few years before the Lynx was released.

 

Maybe also Durell's Turbo Esprit game - which has to be a contender for the first truly open world '3D' driving game, GTA-style.
 

(Nah, quick Google of game images show no wing mirrors in it. Still in with a shout for the first game of it's type.)

 

 

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On 16/10/2020 at 10:42, Wiper said:

Yeah, I was largely including those caveats as I'm reasonably confident it's the first within those - it being just at the cusp of CD-ROM uptake and an early FPS makes it easier to be confident that it's the first within those limitations.

 

I can't think of anything earlier even outside those constraints, but it's very possible earlier RPGs did it - the audiolog is very much just a sci-fi take on the traditional "letter as lore/quest/story trigger" that fantasy RPGs enjoyed. I wonder if the original Wasteland might have used them, for example?


Ultima did a bunch of stuff to aid world-building; don't specifically recall incidental in-world lore. But has to be a good bet.

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