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More dramatic range for second person shooter games.

Don't just watch him kill zombies. Feel what he feels!
  (+1, -2)
(+1, -2)
  [vote for,

Youtube is full of short movies captured from second person shooter games. Examples abound. Intrinsically, one would think these action packed sequences would make good TV but they do not. They are boring.

The reason is that the player icon in SPS has all of the dramatic range of his direct line ancestor, the paddle in Pong. When video games were solitary or mano y mano endeavors this was fine: the icon was a tool to play the game and the player was already aware of what he was feeling. But now games are turned into video - a different end use. Even if the video is only meant to demonstrate an aspect of the game, the Keanu-like SPS player icons cripple even that application.

This also hamstrings interplayer communication during multiplayer games. For example, a player who wishes to jubilantly humiliate his fallen opponent repeatedly crouches over him. The meaning is clear only to fans of these games. It does not make for good video.

I propose that various actions be integrated into the game for the purposes of improving watchability. The actions would be triggered with a sequence of key presses akin to the special moves in kung fu games. Player icons can break into a quick Charlston, wiggle hips, ride an air pony etc - ideas for moves could be culled from the playbook of end zone braggadocio maneuvers. There might occasionally be use for moves implying states of mind other than triumph - pensively rubbing chin, scratching butt, punching wall in frustration, crying, barfing, etc.

bungston, May 11 2009

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       Although adding an appreciable dimension to computer games, I still do not foresee this idea transforming Youtube clips of someone else playing a computer game into anything other than absolute lameness.   

       [+], though. I do enjoy FPSs when *I'm* playing them.   

       I would be remiss were I not to mention the most realistic FPS available on the market today: Operation Iraqi Freedom.
MikeD, May 11 2009

       It occurs to me that FPS is not what I have in mind. FPS you are looking out of the shooters eyes. I mean the games where you see a little dude running around. What are those, second person shooters?
bungston, May 11 2009

       Second Person Shooter games?
MikeD, May 11 2009

       Yes. Just so.
bungston, May 11 2009

       i dislike FPS/SPS-games that show the killing of humans, and i would dislike them even more if the avatars would seem happy doing murder.   

       In games like Portal, though, where all the violence is directed towards inanimate objects, this would make the game much more attractive.
loonquawl, May 12 2009

       I'd suggest that this thing really represents a Third Person perspective - unless the protagonist has been carefully tailored to represent your own personal features - more so, a proper Second Person perspective game, if it were temporally accurate would tend to depict you in the process of playing a Second Person perspective game, in which you are depicted playing a Second Person perspective game, in which...at which point the gameplay becomes so devilishly recursive that it becomes unplayable and you go off and investigate whether there's anything more interesting in the fridge.   

       There are some precedents to an ever widening range of set movements in third person games - in fact, you might categorise (as you have done to some extent) a computer (previously "video") game in terms of the range of expression available to the protagonist as depicted on screen.   

       I forget the sequence now, but the "Mortal Combat" video games of the mid nineties had an option to "taunt" the other player using a sequence of wiggles and button presses - and more recent games of a various ilks have similar features - taunting other players is a common function provided by games programmers. I've never played it, but seen clips from World of Whatsit that seem to show player "avatars" doing all sorts of silly things, just as you describe - so, in short, I think this idea is already very much out there.
zen_tom, May 12 2009

       In all fairness, [Loonquwal]; Were the avatar realistic, it would express anger or fear whilst "murdering" the people trying to kill it. The happiness doesn't set in until the fight is over and you realize you are one day closer to coming home to your family, alive.   

       Role Playing Games often show the character from a third person's vantage, [Bungston].
MikeD, May 12 2009

       I think the games you describe are multiple-first-person (you're first person but so is everyone else). Maybe you could call them first people shooters.   

       The game Little Big Planet (while not a first people shooter) has a large range on motions, outfits, and expressions you can make your character do. It's one of the game's big selling points. In other words video game designers are on top of this.   

       Also, there is an entire genre of animation using 3D video game systems, called Machinimation, where whole crews will get together, each person performing a different character in real time. Plus you can alter things in post (like camera position). I think the medium has potential. Like a massive virtual puppet show.
calculust, May 12 2009

       What you describe is currently baked / widely known to exist in many modern first-person shooter games, including Team Fortress 2, Unreal Tournament, and Tribes. Pressing a series of buttons makes the characters do some endzone-dance-type move, and sometimes there's an audible "taunt" too.   

       I'd say the real cause of boring game video is the one-dimensionality of the action. Stuff explodes bloodily. Wooho.   

       Also, what [loonquawl] said. See, I'm not such a nerd...
sninctown, May 12 2009


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