What is a "hardcore gamer" and will they be reached?


I would totally dig procedural in cyberspace. Other than that, probably not.

I’ve also suggested rearranging geometry in said cyberspace–something I hope the designers consider.


Procedural generation isn’t limited to that though, nor are your examples arbitrary. For example, Peter Jackson used it to create soldiers in the Lord Of The Rings films, and the game Spore used it extensively for its creatures. It’s just having a set of rules and then applying some randomized seed to generate something within those boundaries, that’s all. So yeah it can do mountains obviously, but mountains have rules: can’t be shaped like needles, or spheres, or cubes, etc. So would something like textures on said walls, and I don’t see why not the 3D models either, or some aspects of the sound and music. It can do more than just rearrange the dungeons in Diablo, developers just haven’t fully explored its potential yet. I would be interested to see a game that builds on what Spore did and generate some wacky monsters rather than have a ton of identical skeletons or trolls or whatever.


Totally digging this post.


Arbitrary was probably the wrong word. Naturally there have to be constraints so that what you get isn’t stupid looking and it would probably be a good idea to use on AI meshes to give each one a unique appearance. All I was pointing out is that as far as the level geometry goes, SS doesn’t really lend itself to procedural methods. I think such an environment would set off alarms with players because certain features wouldn’t make sense. “Why is there a steam pipe here? What’s that beaker doing on the restroom sink? Why is there a 10 foot door in front of a crawlspace?” Stupid examples maybe but you can see how there might be anomalies that were not expected and to catch them and then clean them up after the fact might negate any savings in time/effort you might gain.


The only thing I’m concerned with about SS3 is…

Will it be casualised? (easy/dumb down GUI/lack depth)
and will this be because it’s going on console? (consolisation)

I think that’s one thing we can all agree on with System shock (as a fan)… It has to have depth at a very minimum. That’s one of many things about the System shock games that today they don’t do much of… (depth). Even most of today’s games don’t compare to System shock 2. Which is sad when you think about it (because no ones really pushed it/improve upon it). If they do go to console will they keep the depth? or disgard it like so many others have for the sake of more money.


discard* typo


They will of course try not to disregard it, as it is blatantly stupid to say “we’re going to pass on depth for this game because it makes the console version easier to design”. Rather, what might end up happening is several devs throwing around some really cool ideas and then the console controls guy saying “Well how are we gonna bind that to the controls and integrate it into the GUI… and is it going to be clunky and awkward? Will our console audience be able to adapt to this style of play readily? Ok so that idea is out…”

I already shudder at the thought of playing a game that was designed to work on a console because there are just some things you can’t do well without a mouse and keyboard, period. There may be reasonable compromises so I hope Otherside finds them. The other question is whether the game’s “personality” will suffer because of the perceived “mentality” of console gamers vs the more traditional origins of PC gamers.

Again, we must go back to SS2 as a benchmark. It was a shooter at heart whereas SS1 clearly wasn’t. It appears as though SS2 was streamlined to increase accessibility. Magically this was not at the expense of the game’s overall quality for those who liked SS1. I think the main reason for this was an adherence to old principles that were used to make SS1. Emphasis on granting the player maximum control, customization and detail, making some very moody and immersive environments, keeping the story from going off in too many crazy tangents and getting the pacing and difficulty pretty spot on. There are some balance issues with SS2 but they’re not too bad considering.

The other thing I just want to mention quick about both games that I loved: They were juuuusst non-linear enough. What I mean is that your objectives throughout are fairly linear. Do this, do that, then do this or that, then do this… but in both games you could use the entire game world how you pleased, re-tread old territory under different conditions… you didn’t feel locked on rails but you didn’t feel like you were in an endless sandbox either, getting bored with the complete lack of direction and urgency. I liked that. It struck a good balance. I like the idea that the space station (or ship in the case of SS2) is mine to explore but I still have a clear purpose the entire time.

I have developed kind of a gaming ritual where, before I finish the game I’ll retread the entire ship and stand in the exact spot I started the game from, so I can look around and remember what it was like several hours ago when I last stood there.



I meant more on the lines of “Let’s discard some depth to appeal to a greater audience.” (like console). The greater the appeal/audience the greater the sales… the greater the sales = more $$$. Art/freedom of expression > Money. Why do so many spend millions on masterpieces. Games are an art form and I apreciate them… I think most of us got laughed at by others growing up (especially if your the SS generation) for being into games. I’m quite passionate about games in general and hate seeing the depth of games lacking in todays triple A’s… especially for originally PC games. PC games had no limits then BOOM suddenly they did (console appeal market). I used to be filled with wonder at the next PC game coming out… but now… it’s all standardised and mostly predictable/dull. Just concerned SS3 might go down the same path.

I understand they have to make money at the end of the day. But I bet most of the budget is spent on graphics in triple A’s… Gameplay > Graphics. You could have the best most amazing virtually real graphics going… but if there’s no gameplay there. It’ll suck.


I would be really, really, really, really, REALLY disappointed if the gameplay was to get dumbed down because of the console realease. Just hope they make two versions to avoid simplifying the PC version, but whatever comes, I’m digging.