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August 31, 2007

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sounds great... hope they post a video like from the recent IGDA San Diego session:
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=15305

The frustration of being answered "no" has been my constant companion throughout the single player portion of many games. Things like "This RPG can blow up that tower over there...can I use it to blow up this wall?" would yield a disappointing no as the grenade exploded unsatisfactorily on the static mesh. As a prime example, the game Black irritated me eventually when I realised you could only blow up things you were meant to blow up. It encouraged you to ask questions and experiment with the boundaries, but it didn't always deliver what it promised. (Though, that game did take leaps forward in terms of environmental destruction.)

With the advances in technology, I really hope all developers start using the hardware to its full potential and "answering yes".
Games like Bioshock and Medal of Honour: Airborne have already done this, using open-ended level design and fantastic game design choices that actually combine to create a game experience not far off from an Elder Scrolls RPG (The sky is very nearly the limit in those games, and you have a true sense of freedom and liberty). This is excellent to see in first-person shooters, and I hope other developers carry on this trend.

Erasmus - I think your response emphasizes the primary importance of controlling what the player asks. This is probably MORE important that what the answer is in the end, because the answer is typially a technology constraint whereas controlling the questions is just good design.

You say Bioshock and Airborne are good examples - but clearly it's not because walls in Bioshock are systemically destructible and can be destroyed by falling towers. These are good examples because they don;t invite the questions of whether or not you can destroy walls.

In a lot of ways, I think having a uniform simulation fidelity does most of the work - but it's hard to build such a uniformity in today's games and still have 'cool explosions'... nevermind the added challenge of having human entities simulated to the same fidelity as guns or vehicles....

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