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Wyrdsmith

Getting attached and the reason most people don't

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Some thoughts on UC and gaming:

My ship, the GCV RAINIER, has managed survive a massive engagement right out of spacedock, several concerted attack runs by enemy cruisers, and several raider attacks to boot. I actually haven't been 'savescumming' (as we nethackers like to call it) either. One thing I've noticed is that the immersion level of the game deepens considerably the longer you play a single ship.

That 'Mk1 Shuttle' ceases to be a meaningless asset and becomes the 'Mk1 shuttle I flew that marine mission against the insurgent base with; the one that got us out alive while half it's systems were shot out'. Your crew ceases to be random cannon fodder, and you start feeling (at least I do) attached to them. You worry when you take your ship into battle because they could get killed. People complain in the reviews that UC is dry and boring. A recent magazine review actually stated that you need to be 'obsessive and fettishistic' to even enjoy it. Excerement.

Maybe in the future, folks might actually, umm, you know, PLAY the game a bit first? Like a good book, UC takes time to get into. I love the fact that the game lets you have room for the imagination, for your own stories, adventures etc, and doesn't lead you around through the nose.

Here's the reason I think most people don't get into UC, BCM, etc. We'll use my roomate as an example. *glances over shoulder* See, I convinced him to buy UC the other day, since I am having a blast with it (and hoping to play som MP over the network). He gets it, installs it, and plays it for about 15 min and says 'it's boring, there's no point to it.' I argue otherwise. I tell him about all the great stuff you can do. He says the same thing, over and over.

After talking to him, what I realize is that he really means 'I don't like it because it doesn't tell me what to do. I'm lost.'. It's kind of sad, but a lot of gamers feel that way I think. They want to be led, coerced, pushed. They don't want to (or even remember HOW) to engage their imaginations to participate in a game. They want everything spelled out for them, like my roommate. They want the game to take the PLACE of their imagination, rather than stimulate it. When you think about it, that's a bit scary.

Meanwhile, my ship (and I do mean MY ship) is undergoing a refit in prep for it's first long range mission into the unknown. I'm a little worried she won't make it back.

I mean that. I have NO IDEA what will happen, so *I'm a little worried*

That's worth twenty bucks ANYDAY.

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YOUR RIGHT!!!!

THATS THE REASON MY FRIENDS DONT LIKE IT

people just dont have imaginations these days.

also one friend said "its too big" LOL

THATS THE POINT

its meant to have depth!!

"That's worth twenty bucks ANYDAY"

i payed 17 GBP for a pre owned copy!!, UC is really hard to find in england

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Yeah, got to say I agree. I had a friend round to show him why I've been spending all my time locked in my room with the curtains shut. I just showed him what I could do in the game and he came back to me and said. 'This game is boring, i dont want a go, it doesn't look vast, it looks very limited to me, and what are you meant to do? What is the point?'. Like you said, he just wanted a game that would hold his hand through every bit. But then what am i supposed to expect from a man who thinks that the best space-sim ever was 'Star Trek: Bridge commander'.

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Bridge Commander? Blech. My roomate thinks along those lines as well.

Here's a question for you all: WHY do you think so many people want their hands held these days? Here's my spin on it. I think it's because the graphics, sound etc have gotten to the point where people no longer need to use their imagination when playing games. Kids especially are so overstimulated that they really don't develop imagination as much I think. I started out gaming with the old Atari 2600, and worked up to an Atari 800. Lol. You NEEDED an imagination to play stuff back then, and it really deepened the experience. Plus, I think, most people don't read books as much as watch TV anymore, which dampens the imagination too. What do you all think?

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quote:

Originally posted by Wyrdsmith:

Bridge Commander? Blech. My roomate thinks along those lines as well.


Nothing wrong with Bridge Commander. It is a fun game to play.

quote:

Here's a question for you all: WHY do you think so many people want their hands held these days? Here's my spin on it. I think it's because the graphics, sound etc have gotten to the point where people no longer need to use their imagination when playing games. Kids especially are so overstimulated that they really don't develop imagination as much I think. I started out gaming with the old Atari 2600, and worked up to an Atari 800. Lol. You NEEDED an imagination to play stuff back then, and it really deepened the experience. Plus, I think, most people don't read books as much as watch TV anymore, which dampens the imagination too. What do you all think?

I think you might be on to something here.

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quote:

They want the game to take the PLACE of their imagination, rather than stimulate it. When you think about it, that's a bit scary.

I believe, you hit the nail, right on the head

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Interesting thread.....

I played Bridge Commander and enjoyed for about 5 minutes. Everything in the damn game was about shooting things and I got sooo bored!

With UC, you can have so much fun exploring the galaxy, going on raids, defending conveys, visiting strange new worlds and new civilizations and it's soooo much better.

Sadly though, there will be a good chunk of people who don't get it. They don't want to think for themselves they just want to be lead around by the nose. Shame really but there you go....

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quote:

Originally posted by Wyrdsmith:

I started out gaming with the old Atari 2600, and worked up to an Atari 800. Lol. You NEEDED an imagination to play stuff back then, and it really deepened the experience.

As I read this the first time, it reminded me of discussions I'd had around video games vs. imaginative roleplay (the stuff kids do naturally, not the adult games). I think your entirely right. People forget that the greatest VR computer known to man is part of the original equipment.

I tried to help my cousin get into BC years ago with this analogy: the Battlecruiser games are like a box of toy soldiers. You get men, tanks, cool planes, *cough* interstellar battlecruiser *cough*, and with BC, you even get a prepopulated Sandbox to play in. I think he made some comment about always losing toys in the sandbox; really he just wasn't excited enough to put in the time to learn it. Partly I'd blame it on video culture and the decline of imagination, but some of it is just individual nature. He's always looking for the next great story, wether to read it, watch it, or play it. I'm always looking for the next great world to explore. He wants a game; I want a game system. We're looking for inherently different experiences.

(side note: my 6 yr old son is a big Mario fan, but he thinks tooling around Mars in one of those little buggies is pretty cool, too.) (Next bike ride we'll probably be Mario and Luigi... on Mars!)

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I think another thing that puts people off, is that everything happens in real time. People have become impatient and cant stand having to wait hours for things to happen. But i think it adds to the immersion factor. If you have to wait a few hours to get your CC and fighters repaired after a huge battele, you feel that you dont want it to happen again! you even start being sparing with resources because you know its gonna take a while go get them back, its one of the things i love about this game!!

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You know, SC posted a link to an interesting article in this thread which I thought made a good point. Namely, that players of these kinds of games didn't start playing super-complex sim type games. During their heyday, many sims were somewhat arcadish (relative to later sims in the nineties) and people who learned to play the simpler stuff got interested in the increasingly complex and realistic stuff.

I've always been an on again off again flight simmer, so when I saw the complexity of this game it didn't put me off, but I will say that the experience of playing has been more of a puzzle than a sandbox. The fun I'm having is predominantly organized around trying to accomplish simple things. Of course, I'm still relatively new to the whole thing, so perhaps my interests will graduate at some point.

I'm not sure it's a failure of imagination however. Kids are still bursting with that, which accounts for the flourishing of independent modifications, skins, artwork, etc. for the games those kids really love to play. If I had to put my finger on the real difference between UC and other games in terms of how it captures a demographic, I'd just say that UC seems to capture the thinking man's game that requires careful planning to accomplish a goal (whatever goal you choose) instead of split-second reflexes, sound, noise, and explosive action (not saying UC lacks these, but it does make you pay for them after the action, which is not a feature of the former kind of game).

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I just read the article that bashes UC. It's in the new CGW. The fact is the guy who reviewed it isn't even part of the normal reviewing team. He's also a FPS only buff. The facts so far that I've gathered in my few months playing it is:

1. It has a high learning curve. The fact you actually have to ready your manual and keep it handy for the VAST amount of knowledge and features in the game should point out that its not like other sims.

2. The game isn't the most graphic intensive. Not meaning that the game doesn't have good graphics but that the graphics are not as intensive as DOOM 3 or UNREAL 2004. But then again in either of these games can you fly a Heavy Cruiser to planet for a planetary bombardment and get the itchin' for some hands on combat and decide to take a shuttle full of marines down to the surface for some good old hostile takeover.

3. Depth. I really shouldn't have to say anything about this to you guys considering you all know how DEEP this game is. DOOM 3 and Unreal 2004 are limited in scope. WAY LIMITED. In space sims as well, the only thing I could compare this to is Freelancer and even then that game is still limited.

4. Involvement. Yes sounds weird doesn't it but trust me on this. I've been in the FPS/ SIM community and its stale. They have clans and they was wars and whatnot. But how many communities actually have the Developers talking with them? After they put out a game , some (i.e Raven software *cough cough*) don't even bother to patch their game let along listen to what the players want.

Bottom line: This game is amazing with the amount of depth that is in it. I would say that this is the makings of the Space / RPG genre.

And thats my take on it

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quote:

Originally posted by Severniae:

I think another thing that puts people off, is that everything happens in real time. People have become impatient and cant stand having to wait hours for things to happen. *snip*

I agree, I would like to also add that perhaps that they don't have the time to wait for hours for things to happen, with the shortage of leisure time people are looking for the most "bang for the buck" from their games.

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quote:

*I agree, I would like to also add that perhaps that they don't have the time to wait for hours for things to happen, with the shortage of leisure time people are looking for the most "bang for the buck" from their games.*

I don't think it's a time issue (although it is with UC, perhaps). You can have a creative, stimulating game that involves your imagination and/or creative faculties. An example might be Animal Crossing which, although I don't really like it much, is very open ended and requires a lot of participation and imagination to enjoy, while only playing 30 min or so a day. As to UC specifically, I don't think it takes that much time to enjoy. It DOES take a lot of effort to PLAY well, yes, but not to start enjoying. I was having a blast after a couple of hours or so. I sucked at it, yes, but I was having fun

I think the main thing with the people who say UC was too hard to get into are the ones who don't read the manual, the folks who just like to 'jump in'. THEN UC's an exercise in frustration. I got stuck in a meeting at work and read the whole manual , so i was all set by the time I got home. The UC interface looks much more counter-intuitive than it is. Once you actually dive in, you can see why the SC set it up the way he did. Playing the game, as far as controls are concerned, is really a cinch once you leanr how it works.

Staying alive is a whole other shopping spree.

As to the whole 'waiting' thing, I've found it makes for a unique experience. Perhaps it's just me. It forces me to actually approach the game differently. It's become kind of an after-work unwinding thing. I kick back, fire the game up, and do mostly automated trading runs at present. I grab a good book, something cold to drink, and kick back. I RELAX. When the alerts sound, I dive straight in, and it's nail biting and edge of the seat panic for a bit. Very much (so I've heard) like real life patrols in wartime. I wonder if the SC programmed it that way because of this? I almost feel like an off-duty captain getting called to the bridge, you know? More of that imagination stuff we've all been yammering on about

So, to wrap up my after work diatribe, here's another reason people don't like UC: It forces you to change the way you play games. It changes the experience. People don't like change. We humans tend to stick with the familiar, and unfortunately, miss out on a lot in the process, you know?

So, how do you guys handle the downtime?

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quote:

When the alerts sound, I dive straight in, and it's nail biting and edge of the seat panic for a bit.

I've played the game off and on in much the same way, but I have yet to experience this. When the alarm goes off I generally finish the page or so before putting it down to take care of business. My ship has never been damaged by external forces. I'm not even sure my shields have gone below 50%. The only threat I feel in UC are intruders, and that's a very slim threat since docking at a friendly station eliminates it pretty much instantly, and capturing an enemy station in order to dock with it takes only a few minutes.

After capturing or destroying every station I could find (I thought setting that goal for myself would give me weeks of playtime to reach, turns out it was an evening's "work"), I must admit I couldn't find many more reasons to load the game up again. I haven't been able to think of any goals to set myself that I'd find fun and challenging to accomplish without imposing limits that would in turn break my immersion (like attacking a base, on foot, alone).

Is my fantasy too limited or am I just too early in the game for the AI to offer any resistance (I'm about 4 days in I think)?

I so love the vision of the game. But I am having a hard time finding "my" game in it.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mascot:

quote:

When the alerts sound, I dive straight in, and it's nail biting and edge of the seat panic for a bit.

I've played the game off and on in much the same way, but I have yet to experience this. When the alarm goes off I generally finish the page or so before putting it down to take care of business. My ship has never been damaged by external forces. I'm not even sure my shields have gone below 50%. The only threat I feel in UC are intruders, and that's a very slim threat since docking at a friendly station eliminates it pretty much instantly, and capturing an enemy station in order to dock with it takes only a few minutes.

After capturing or destroying every station I could find (I thought setting that goal for myself would give me weeks of playtime to reach, turns out it was an evening's "work"), I must admit I couldn't find many more reasons to load the game up again. I haven't been able to think of any goals to set myself that I'd find fun and challenging to accomplish without imposing limits that would in turn break my immersion (like attacking a base, on foot, alone).

Is my fantasy too limited or am I just too early in the game for the AI to offer any resistance (I'm about 4 days in I think)?

I so love the vision of the game. But I am having a hard time finding "my" game in it.


Make yourself a fleet and head to gammulan space,Blasting bases,randoming planets...(I havent yet done it myself but i have seen SCs(and many vets) posts clearly stating that you wont stay alive for long)

hope it helps

PS. BTW try to role play better(I dont mean nonsense limitations)while this wont make the game much more difficult,it will make it MUCH more fun.(To do this spend some time in Appendix,especially HISTORY section)

ON topic:You'll probably laugh at this but after finding about Interactive Fiction concept(just a week ago),I started playing (and enjoying) text-based games.What I realized is that tech isnt improving the games(not in all games though) its just changing them,theres a TRADEOFF: you take pretty pictures and give away imagination and detail(and in most cases gameplay).But the most amazing(to me) thing Ive found out is that I prefer a well written text(or at least graphics that give room to imagination and actually adds something to gameplay)which gives huge amounts of brilliant details about an object; TO the most advanced 3D graphics on earth even with all shadows and lightning because it cannot reach the the quality of the object I conjure in my mind.

Im not saying 3D graphs is meaningless what I say is they should be used to improve the standards of 80s rather than creating a new one which is NOT any better.You know what,after learning about those times and making my mind about those stuff,

I started to understand and appreciate BC games even more as it has the same original and inventive approach to gaming while using the tech of our age.

FYI this came from a 19 year old guy

[ 08-26-2004, 09:34 AM: Message edited by: Wolfheart ]

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quote:


Originally posted by Wyrdsmith:

Staying alive is a whole other shopping spree.


hehe, yep

quote:


Originally posted by Mascot:

I so love the vision of the game. But I am having a hard time finding "my" game in it.


Well, declare yourself an expert and call it a day.

And unless and until you have actually played a single Commander career up to his retirement and you have amassed a fleet, got even conceivable medal there is etc, you haven't played nor experienced the game as I envisioned it. Capturing stations and making money is *not* what the game is about; that why the IA and ACM scenarios have clear goals in that they have a begin and end phase (though with the ACM you can continue into ROAM without having to start an actual ROAM scenario).

If the goal was about making money, capturing stations and being done with it, then you've probably already got back your $19.99 I think.

As I write this, I can bet anything that you haven't even made enough EPs, medals, achieved sufficient goals etc, to call deem yourself worthy of command. Just because when the klaxxon goes off, you merrily continue reading your book, doesn't mean anything other than the NPCs that happened to show up at the time, are incompetent.

Even I - who designed the game from the ground up - can't even proclaim that I've seen it all, so I find it hard to find my game. And I know this game like the back of my hand. I've had thirteen years to study it.

In fact, it is along these lines that I have completely revising the career backend so that in the upcoming MMO, you're going to be playing for the better part of 3-4 months to even get ANYWHERE near command of a cap ship. Doing that in a single player game is just a waste of time (for a game like this) because of the use of save/reload which is usually abused to no end.

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So SC, can you tell me why the AI have this annoying habbit of going silent for an hour straight, only to pop up and attack when I'm:

A: On DOCK approach

B: On planet approach

C: On jumpgate approach?

I'll be Ten K from target vector when suddenly an all out firefight starts up and I have to turn around and intercept swarms of fighters, a cap ship or two... and all while muttering obsceneties about how annoying it is to have to TURN AROUND and never get out of a system. My latest endevour has been trying to explore... but I can't get anywhere for having to turn around and kill off enemies. I'll never make Centris at this rate... Obsidia's completely out of the question.

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quote:


Originally posted by Admiral Tigerclaw:

So SC, can you tell me why the AI have this annoying habbit of going silent for an hour straight, only to pop up and attack when I'm:


No. Thats how the AI reacts; it does what it needs to when it needs to, if/when it can. I have no control over it; neither does the game actually.

What his has to do with the price of rice in China or this thread, eludes me. Please don't hijack this thread or you will regret it.

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quote:

Originally posted by Admiral Tigerclaw:

I'll be Ten K from target vector when suddenly an all out firefight starts up and I have to turn around and intercept swarms of fighters, a cap ship or two... and all while muttering obsceneties about how annoying it is to have to TURN AROUND and never get out of a system.

Do what I do... turn a blind eye towards those red blips and move on. A facet of "getting attached" to your ship/crew is the role-playing aspect of it. If you choose to fight every red blip you see...

Admiral: "Commander!! Didn't you see that the USS-Cannonfodder was under attack?!? Why did you not assist?!?"

Commander (me): "Er... someone must have been messing with the colors of the viewscreen, Admiral. I saw GREEN dots, not RED dots... Resnig!!!!"

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A comment on the game being 'too easy' (snicker): Play something other than a carrier. Try a career as a raider in one of the smaller heavy cruisers. I did that. It's much harder, but a lot of fun.

How about my other point? That people don't get into games like UC because they change the way that people have to play/interact with them? Almost all the complaints that I've read about UC (that are not whining about some problem that could be solved by glancing at the manual) go something like this:

'This game is no fun. The FP career isn't like halo/doom/half-life. The space career isn't like freelancer/wing commander etc' Many people don't want to use the imagination, and we've established that, but do you all think it may also be an unwillingness to change the way they PLAY games? Everyone whines about how most games are 'all the same', but when they're different, the reviews are always as above. They want the new game to play like the old one with some new bells and whistles. UC make you play the game different, and I think that scares some people off. Comments?

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by Mascot:

I've played the game off and on in much the same way, but I have yet to experience this. When the alarm goes off I generally finish the page or so before putting it down to take care of business. My ship has never been damaged by external forces. I'm not even sure my shields have gone below 50%. The only threat I feel in UC are intruders, and that's a very slim threat since docking at a friendly station eliminates it pretty much instantly, and capturing an enemy station in order to dock with it takes only a few minutes.

I so love the vision of the game. But I am having a hard time finding "my" game in it.

You seriously need to play this game as a Raider. This is no "down-time", and barely enough time to re-arm and repair before some cocky-assed NPC thinks that they can make you a notch on thier belt.

In BC, as a Raider, everyone and everything is gunning for you (even other NPC Raiders).

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