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#123130 - 06/14/03 02:55 AM Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I've been thinking about dying in games -- I've been encountering it fairly regularly and it was mentioned in the Action Elements thread as something of a Pet Peeve for adventure gamers.

Is dying over and over again really worse than having to try over and over again to solve a puzzle? If so, why?

If the game brings you back to the point at which you died without having to reload a saved game, does this eliminate the frustration? Or is the implied violence in itself a particular problem?

Does the "You Have Died" screen give the impression that the game is exulting in the inevitability of the gamer's failure?

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#123131 - 06/14/03 04:12 AM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I've never had problems with dying in (adventure) games - as long as I don't die excessively, die without warning, and/or die without a good reason. If the game can take me back to the point just before I died (like in Cryo's Atlantis), then that's even better because if I forget to save my progress then there's less of a consequence.

Trying over and over to solve a puzzle is not frustrating for me - as I know what it is I am aiming for. I find it more frustrating if I don't know what to do next and walk around aimlessly. However, I do admit that certain puzzles in Jewels of the Oracle were HIGHLY frustrating (especially the one where you're suppose to somehow identify pairs of objects that are related - I eventually resorted to using online cheats).

I also dislike how some games allow a player to end up at a deadend but doesn't tell you when you get to that point - so you end up walking around endlessly in frustration.

Finally, I don't believe a "You Have Died" message is intended to (in your words) "exult in the inevitability of the gamer's failure" - if done right. However, I do admit I've not played many games where the player dies a lot as I've not been terribly keen of adventure games where you die, like tomb raider.

Hope this response helps smile

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#123132 - 06/14/03 08:16 AM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
gsd Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 85
Loc: Sacramento, Ca. USA
If dieing is a logical consequence of poor decision making on my part, I can live with it just fine. However, if I die because I stepped into a dark hole or something with no warning or for some other completely illogical reason it really gets to me fast!

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#123133 - 06/14/03 10:27 AM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Rckasea Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 2565
Loc: Colden,N.Y.
Hello,
I have heard ALICE scream so much,that I am ready
to either turn the sound off or use a cheat code.
Some games go to black and say your Dead. This little girl screams in agony,most disconcerning!
_________________________
" If you decide not to chose, You still have made a choice"....Getty Lee

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#123134 - 06/14/03 11:56 AM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35291
Loc: southeast USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Becky:

Is dying over and over again really worse than having to try over and over again to solve a puzzle?
Yes

Quote:

If so, why?
For one thing you have to wait to reload, which isn't usually instantaneous.
Also it kills the immersiveness. It jerks you out of the story and reminds in no uncertain terms that you're just playing a game. This isn't such a big deal in unrealistic cartoony games where humor is more important than story. But it's very important in more realistic games with realistic characters.

Quote:

If the game brings you back to the point at which you died without having to reload a saved game, does this eliminate the frustration?
Depends on the game. In a cartoony game like Gold and Glory it wasn't even obvious that you'd died. You were just instantly taken back to before you messed up. So you didn't have to see the character die over and over. But this was not a realistic game.

Quote:

Or is the implied violence in itself a particular problem?
Sometimes. It depends on the game.

Quote:

Does the "You Have Died" screen give the impression that the game is exulting in the inevitability of the gamer's failure?
I've never considered that at all.

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#123135 - 06/14/03 01:32 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23328
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi smile

I don't mind dying in an adventure game if, as others have already said, there is a "retry" button or some other "second chance" facility wave
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#123136 - 06/14/03 01:43 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Rowan Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 3968
Loc: Toronto, Canada
A bad place to die is after a disk change, as in Shivers2, where you have to reload the previous disk to return to your safe place, and then proceed to solve the puzzle on the next disk. There was no save option on the 2nd disk.

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#123137 - 06/14/03 02:22 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
SuMac Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: New Hampshire
Rowan, I was just going to mention the ending of Shivers II, as the absolute worst puzzle to fail in, because of having to go back to a previous disk to reload, then change to the next disk to try the puzzle again. And it had an impossibly short length of time to get it right. I tried it 5 or 6 times, and then said "The heck with it!" (I actually said something else, but I can't post it here. LOL)

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#123138 - 06/14/03 03:01 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Advpuzlov Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/05/99
Posts: 2027
Loc: USA
Interesting thread about "dying in Adventure games." In action sequences, where you have to accomplish something (not necessarily obvious) in a very limited amount of time, and failure to do so causes you to "die" and you have to restore to an earlier save, it can become most annoying. "Dying" is not so bad if you are automatically brought back to the critical step, particularly if you do not have to change a CD or watch an extensive video before you can even try a different approach. Even so, I do recall my frustration in the tavern scene in ATLANTIS I. Even after I knew what to do and arranged to do it very quickly, the positioning of that very last click eluded me, and then things happened so fast that in a repeat I had trouble remembering where exactly was that critical clicking position, since I was desperately clicking all over the place. Was I glad to get out of there!

Another type is the "timed puzzle", when you really have to get your brain in high gear to get through it. I guess I am in the "more contemplative" class and, when, as sometimes happens, I don't even know that something is being timed (no "clock" or "thermometer" or other countdown indicators), I will die while I am in the process of taking notes. That irks me. "Hey, you didn't tell me this was timed!"

If you know the puzzle is timed and if you don't have to go back too far when "timed out," then it is not so bad if you can learn something about the puzzle after each "death," so that after a bit one can work it out. I can live with these as long as the "solution" is rational.

Now I go to the other end of the spectrum. I played a game some years back in which I died so many times I no longer even recorded the event. It was great fun because of the imaginative variety of ways you could die. This game was SECRETS OF THE LUXOR. I found myself looking for "ways to die," and did all sorts of things "wrong" just so that I would see in what innovative way the developers had devised for my demise. It has been quite a while since I have played the game and I intend to replay it with someone who hasn't played it before. Then we can joyously go to our doom together. laugh
_________________________
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

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#123139 - 06/14/03 03:12 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Quote:
I've never had problems with dying in (adventure) games - as long as I don't die excessively, die without warning, and/or die without a good reason.
Quote:
However, if I die because I stepped into a dark hole or something with no warning or for some other completely illogical reason it really gets to me fast!
Dying without warning and without a good, logical reason may be akin to running into a puzzle that's there without a good reason -- it seems like an arbitrary barrier stuck haphazardly in the middle of the game. I wonder if excessive dying is a way on the designer's part to extend game play. I haven't played a lot of action games, but I have watched my son play them, and dying without warning seems to happen so frequently that it leads me to the conclusion that there must be gamers out there who enjoy it.

Quote:
Also it kills the immersiveness. It jerks you out of the story and reminds in no uncertain terms that you're just playing a game.
I feel the same way, especially in a first person game. I find it easier to deal with death in a third person game because I feel more at a distance in a third person game.

Quote:
Finally, I don't believe a "You Have Died" message is intended to (in your words) "exult in the inevitability of the gamer's failure"
Did I really write this? Maybe I should resist the urge to post questions at 3:55 am.

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#123140 - 06/14/03 04:45 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
hehe - I thought those words are fine and quite brilliantly worded actually wink Almost wish it's something I would've come up with myself...

I have to agree with Advpuzlov with regards to the tavern puzzle in Atlantis 1 - that's one of the few spots in the game that I highly disliked (eventually referred to the walkthrough but still kept dying, then I realised I clicked on the wrong hotspot, *blush*)...

In discussing this issue and re-organising my thoughts, I've come to the following decision about death in adventure games:
- the designer ought to give the player a chance to recover from an error (unless the error in itself was obviously unrecoverable)
- after failing the chance to recover from the error, then it'd be fair to kill off the player in a logical manner that outlines why the player died.

An example can be used from Return to Zork - if you wandered into any dark place without light - then you see a message about the grue... at this point in time, you have a few seconds to get out of that place. However, if you didn't get out in time, then there's a short message hinting why you died. Most importantly, the load game interface can be quickly access to make the whole process shorter.

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#123141 - 06/15/03 06:55 AM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
SuMac Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: New Hampshire
Ah, yes, the taven scene in Atlantis I - the second worst timed puzzle ever. Or maybe THE worst, because I never got through it. Only Syd's saved game came to my rescue, and let me go on with the rest of the game.

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#123142 - 06/15/03 01:17 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Cynch Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/05/00
Posts: 1159
Loc: Arlington, WA, US
These are all great posts...I've enjoyed reading each & every one of them. laugh

I agree with the point someone brought up--it is less painful in the 3rd person games..or should I say less "personal"? lol

There is only one game that had a sequence in which the manner of dying was so offensive I almost gave up trying to get past it. I refer to the "pendulum" segment in GK3. I loved the game, but the thought of repeating that segment keeps me from replaying it. <img border="0" alt="cry" title="" src="graemlins/cry.gif" />
Cynch
_________________________
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths
we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

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#123143 - 06/15/03 01:21 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Drizzt Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 3790
Loc: Sweden
I prefer dying.
_________________________
Are they dead? Yes. Unlike you they have but one life...and they wasted it for your sake!

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#123144 - 06/15/03 02:55 PM Re: Is Dying the Most Annoying Way to Lose?
Bristol Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/10/00
Posts: 1796
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I only find dying annoying when I've forgotten to save and have to go back, often having to do a really tricky bit over again. I'm in the middle of playing all the Tomb Raider games and have gotten quite hardened to Lara's screams as she falls off high places, gets shot, etc. etc. etc. Generally just say "dumb broad" and get on with it.

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