Game pet peeves

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Daemian Lucifer

Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:14 am

The title says it all,anyway,lets start with:

Unskippable intros.
Seriously people,if I gave a damn about your company,Id already known that you made the game,and if I didnt care,your logo sure wouldnt change my mind.This is what the credits are for anyway.And seriously,every time I start the game I have to look at the same 30 seconds of crap flying around?What happened to that nice "skip intro option"?Are you *kaheaandubisoftkah* so insecure that you have to bombard me with your damn logo every single time I start the game?

Tied to that:
Unskippable cutscenes.
Ok,once the scene might have even worked,and had some nice stuff in it.And I appreciate that you want to show your hard work.But 5 times is too much.And if I really thought your scene was that good,I wouldve looked it again on my own.You know,in a place usually labeled as "Extras-cutscenes",which has also mysteriously disappeared lately.What,you dont think your work was adequate enough to get its own entry in the game extras,but has to hide behind a checkpoint wall?

Which leads us to:
Checkpoints.
This needs to die.Now.It made sense when memory was scarce,but it makes no sense now.If you want to make your game that challenging,then give us 1 save slot that we can use at any time.And no,the "its too hard to correctly store all the data" excuse doesnt fly.Its your job to make a product thats appealing to me,its not my job to make your job,for which I am paying(which I started regretting more and more),easier for you.Stop.This.Idiocy!

And now to you,next poster.

*Yes,no qtes for me.They are annoying most of the time,but Ive stayed away from resident evil,so I havent seen ones that are too annoying.But Ive seen them done right however.
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Humanoid

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Humanoid » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:33 am

Neutered save game interfaces - back in the mid-90s we'd progressed to a point where games could use the standard Windows UI (or a reasonable facsimile of it) to name our savegames whatever we wanted, and place them whereever we wanted, and even rename and delete them with the same method. Now we have an abstracted system where you likely have no control over naming and organisation, and have to play silly buggers guessing where they're actually stored - not to mention usability issues such as the usually obscenely low number of entries the interface can show at a given time. Seriously, modern displays can have in excess of ten times as many pixels of those we had less than than two decades ago, but they can only show less than five entries at a time?

Useless menu animations - we spend hundreds of dollars on fancy tech like SSD to shave precious deciseconds off system response times, and then "artsy" designers take it all back and more by having unnecessarily fancy menus that slide, zoom, or fade into view. Admittedly this is not as common as my other gripes, and is probably more prevalent with media like DVD movies, but still.

Deferred rendering engines - I don't know the technical detail, but I do know the net result is that it's either impossible or very very difficult to implement effective and proven anti-aliasing techniques, and instead force users to resort to crappy post-AA techniques that do things like blur the entire screen. I'm going to single out the Unreal Engine 3 here due to its ubiquity, but plenty more are guilty of the same. And though I come from a position of relative ignorance, I'm going to go ahead and blame consoles for this.

Dialogue sub-menus - similarly to the save game issue: there's plenty of screen real estate, just show me all my bloody options at the same time, jeez.
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A. Hieronymus Bosch

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby A. Hieronymus Bosch » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:13 am

Taking control away from the player - Specifically doing so during gameplay segments. It doesn't bug me when this happens like in HL2e3 when Gordon gets pinned to the wall, but it sure as Hell does when I'm in the middle of a firefight or ordering units around, like in Company of Heroes.

Unfair AI advantages - For example, in strategy games it's pretty common that raising the difficulty slider simply gives your AI opponents more resources and / or lowers their costs. This bugs me to no end. If you can't program an AI system that acts more tactfully and instead have to rely on giving the enemy more dakka, then you're making the wrong type of game.

"Web 2.0" Interfaces - Like the menu systems in Skyrim, this is something that just grinds my gears. It seems horribly lazy and broken at the same time. It's usually ugly, to boot. -- Edit: Not to be confused with wiki-style interfaces.
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X2Eliah
Location: Sweden
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby X2Eliah » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:43 am

Wiki-style interfaces: Hate them, hate them, hate them. I really dislike the anemic 90's "lol just started computing" look that Wikis in general have, and to move that ugliness into a game... just NO.

Laggy UI:Now, I play all games with a mouse and keyboard. If the mouse cursor in game, especially in menus, is not immediate, or lags, or has acceleration, then that is a stupid UI and the UI coders need a beating. Witcher 2 is a perfect example of a UI completely ruined by (horrendous lack of) mouse responsiveness and lag.

Floaty mouselook: Somewhat related to the above, because they appear in the same games a lot.. But I want my mouse's settings to map to game settings 1:1. I have already set up the sensitivity I want, the delay I want, the smoothing I want - STOP OVERRIDING IT. In fact, stop treating my mouse as a joystick cursor - code a proper mouse support without stupid deadzones, accelerations and smoothing. I did not spend entirely too much money just to have you neuter all the benefits of that 5200dpi laser.

'Oldschool' difficulty: I'm sorry, but I am just too old and cranky to bother with "challenge" if that means reloading and failing all the time. I want progression, I want to see new stuff, and I want complexity. I do not want a brick wall of hitpoints where I have to twitch-reflex my way through normally impossible situations. Replaying over and over is not fun, it is stupid. And if the game's hardness relies on forcing you to lose and replay fights over and over, then screw that game. Give me my normal, give me my easy/casual even.
Blovski

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Blovski » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:06 am

Unskippable intros.
...
Unskippable cutscenes.


God yes. Especially intros to strategy games. And multiplayery ones. You hear me Borderlands... replaying Jade Empire with a devilmaycare attitude to saving thanks to the new load of RPGs autosaving for you every minute and a half, nothing annoys me more than when I can't skip a cutscene for the third time because I died on the same fight for the same reason.

Unfair AI advantages


I've come to accept these as kinda reasonable as long as the AI continues to respond in a reasonable way to things. I'm much keener on having the advantages be laid out explicitly by the game instead of kept under wraps - so, AOE III's expert +50% resources is far better than having the same advantage without telling you. I think I play strategy games fairly well, so I can normally always bully a non-cheating AI into submission, and there are always going to be ways for a player to exploit kinks in AI code or take advantages of post-launch developments in the metagame in a way the AI can't. If I want a challenge, the AI is going to have to cheat.

I think Rise and Fall despite its appalling DRM issues and patchy UI did a really good "non-cheating" AI.

Personally, I don't like automatic health regeneration.
radthemad4

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby radthemad4 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:16 am

Elevators: Just standing in a small boring room (and sometimes not even being allowed to move around) and doing absolutely nothing. Worse if they're absolutely necessary to reach certain areas or if you often need to use them. I'd prefer a loading screen any day.

I also hate it when the skip dialogue button also selects dialogue if no NPC dialogue is left(e.g. Mass Effect)
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:34 pm

X2Eliah wrote:'Oldschool' difficulty: I'm sorry, but I am just too old and cranky to bother with "challenge" if that means reloading and failing all the time. I want progression, I want to see new stuff, and I want complexity. I do not want a brick wall of hitpoints where I have to twitch-reflex my way through normally impossible situations. Replaying over and over is not fun, it is stupid. And if the game's hardness relies on forcing you to lose and replay fights over and over, then screw that game. Give me my normal, give me my easy/casual even.


Ill mirror this.And keep in mind that this is coming from someone who actually played I wanna be the guy for months,for fun.So when I say that having just a single hard difficulty is stupid,Im not saying that because I SUX AT GAMZ.I am saying that because I dont want to play super hard all the time,and because in some games hard means just the same as easy,only more so,which is just tedious.

And if you granulate difficulty settings(like giving handicaps,AI smarts,ironman mode,etc),youll get an even bigger plus in my book.
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swenson
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby swenson » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:56 pm

Unskippable cutscenes/intros: I've gotta mention them again. Worst is when there's SOME cutscenes that can be skipped, but not all of them, so you're stuck wondering "Is this a skippable one? Nope, maybe the next one will be."

Long, unskippable tutorials in which you don't have most of your stuff: I understand that every game needs some form of tutorial at the beginning. I concede that it's a good thing to teach players stuff in the game itself rather than force them to read a manual or do an external tutorial. But make it interesting! Or give me all my abilities, at least! If I'm starting a game for the fifteenth time, I hate having to do exactly the same thing as I did the last fourteen times--especially if the rest of the game is more open. Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2 again (and 3 to a degree, though thankfully it was vaguely shorter), Oblivion... there are many offenders.

No option to alter a characters appearance/skills/class/species at the end of the long, boring, unskippable tutorial: Oblivion did this one very, very right. Mass Effect 2 did this very, very wrong.

No option to alter FOV: I'm so glad the "change FOV" trick was explained in regards to Spoiler Warning's playthrough of Mass Effect 3, because I felt like I was wearing blinders.

Not letting me save whenever I want: up to and including in the middle of a firefight. But people will savescum!, say Mr. Game Dev. Who cares?, says I.

X2Eliah wrote:'Oldschool' difficulty: I'm sorry, but I am just too old and cranky to bother with "challenge" if that means reloading and failing all the time. I want progression, I want to see new stuff, and I want complexity. I do not want a brick wall of hitpoints where I have to twitch-reflex my way through normally impossible situations. Replaying over and over is not fun, it is stupid. And if the game's hardness relies on forcing you to lose and replay fights over and over, then screw that game. Give me my normal, give me my easy/casual even.


I like games that offer a challenge, but I much prefer games where you have to carefully plan out your strategy to games where you must jump at precisely this moment and land on that specific ledge that's one pixel wide and wait for precisely this long and... That's not real challenge, that's "we're too lazy to make you have to think, so we just made it difficult in stupid ways."

EDIT:
Daemian Lucifer wrote:And if you granulate difficulty settings(like giving handicaps,AI smarts,ironman mode,etc),youll get an even bigger plus in my book.


I missed this the first time around, but yes--that kind of thing would be awesome. Bastion sort of did this with the various gods, right? But even if it wasn't an in-game thing, it'd be pretty cool. And the game devs could still have preset selections of these settings to create default "Insanity"/"Hardcore"/whatever modes.
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X2Eliah
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby X2Eliah » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:59 pm

Ooh. A mention of this on another thread reminded me:

I really don't grok Party-based games: just don't like 'em. And if I do like the game, I put all the party-companions on full AI control and just "pilot" my char.

Now, this requires explaining (as I've discovered over the years trying to explain this dislike) - When I play a game, I play a main character as "myself". I won't play [student sitting at pc playing games], of course, butessentially I will be [x2eliah the mage] or [x2eliah the wasteland courier] or [gordon freeman with x2eliah's brain]. I won't make, or roleplay, e.g. [suzanne the gunshop owner] or [jeeves the homicidal butler], and even when games enforce a personality and name on my character (dishonored, deus ex), I will still PLAY them as 'myself' - making the choices that *I* would make, and and using the character as an avatar of myself.

So - that's how I play games. And, obviously, you see the issue: when there is a fully party-dependent game, I am meant to play as a nebulous overlord, directing all four partymembers as a detached person. I can't do that. I don't feel right controlling, say, Aveline or Alistair directly, letting my own character fling spells on autopilot. I mean, I'm not playing Aveline, I'm playing Hawke. Thus, I should be 'controlling' Hawke 100% of the time. Games that force party-control like so actually really ruin my immersion and enjoyment, and because of the way they are often balanced, I end up having to play on the lowest difficulty just to get through fights without micromanaging the party.
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Retsam

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Retsam » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:02 pm

swenson wrote:Not letting me save whenever I want: up to and including in the middle of a firefight. But people will savescum!, say Mr. Game Dev. Who cares?, says I.

Obligatory Shamus Link. The problem may not simply be that the devs are trying to prevent save scumming. (As an aside, I liked Mount&Blade's approach, where at the beginning of the game, you basically choose whether or not you're allowed to save scum)

To add my own:
Online games that require unique usernames but disallow numbers. If my usual nickname, Retsam, is taken, I generally just add numbers to the end of it. (Retsam19 is almost always available) But then occasionally I'll run into the occasional game that Retsam is taken and doesn't allow usernames to have numbers. And 1) it's hard to find a modification to my username that isn't just awkward, and 2) There's next to no point, in my opinion. Yes, seeing usernames with numbers and special characters sort of diminishes my immersion in the medieval fantasy world that you're trying to create, but so does seeing users like "xxSephirothButtStuffxx", and for that matter, if you include any sort of unfiltered player communication, you've pretty much thrown any user-related immersion out the window. (Unless your setting is a magical land where everyone can telepathically communicate with others, and primarily does so with curse words, cryptic references to otherworldly events, acronyms, and accusations against others sexual orientations.)
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swenson
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby swenson » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:31 pm

I had completely forgotten about that post, thanks for the link!

I suppose it is true, saving in combat is difficult. But it's difficult, not impossible, so I maintain that I prefer games that let me do it. :)

On the other hand, games that only let you save when you're out of combat have the advantage of always letting you know if there's an enemy still lingering about... I used that all the time to check for more enemies in Mass Effect.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:45 pm

swenson wrote:I suppose it is true, saving in combat is difficult. But it's difficult, not impossible, so I maintain that I prefer games that let me do it. :)


Plus it is their job to make the game convenient,so "its difficult" is no excuse.You know what else is difficult?Making a big house.But you dont expect to get the same amount of money for making a small house,because thats easier to do.Putting seats in public transportation is also more difficult,but we wouldnt let no seats become the norm either.So why should we be more lenient towards game developers for something just because its hard to do?
Blovski

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Blovski » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:17 pm

Single-save games.

There's no excuse.
Knut
Location: Norway
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Knut » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:49 pm

I really dislike sticky cover systems. It just never seems to understand when I want to stay in cover and when I want to move. I much prefer to be able to just hold crouch, and the lean or pop out of cover myself.
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A. Hieronymus Bosch

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby A. Hieronymus Bosch » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:08 pm

swenson wrote:No option to alter FOV: I'm so glad the "change FOV" trick was explained in regards to Spoiler Warning's playthrough of Mass Effect 3, because I felt like I was wearing blinders.


I'd like to add to this: increasing the FOV regardless of the lack of in-game option should not make shadows look like blocky pixel-ish crap.
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Lovecrafter

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Lovecrafter » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:09 pm

Bullshit fights: If the gameplay is based on slow, methodical and lethal combat, the last thing I want to see is a boss that zips across the arena and has a twitch-based mechanic. Oh, and anyone who thinks it's a great idea to make their boss invincible until it's finished a full loop of attacks should take their degree and contract to the nearest paper shredder.

Voice actors on Valium: Whether it's due to an incompetent director or the actor phoning it in, this one always gets on my nerves.
Steve C

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Steve C » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:30 pm

radthemad4 wrote:Elevators: Just standing in a small boring room (and sometimes not even being allowed to move around) and doing absolutely nothing. Worse if they're absolutely necessary to reach certain areas or if you often need to use them. I'd prefer a loading screen any day.

I also hate it when the skip dialogue button also selects dialogue if no NPC dialogue is left(e.g. Mass Effect)

Ratchet and Clank was the first game I saw this and I have to say I loved it compared to loading screens.
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swenson
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby swenson » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Blovski wrote:Single-save games.

There's no excuse.


Unless it's something like a roguelike where the single save is the point of the game--in these cases, I don't actually mind them. Or like Minecraft. Sometimes it's nice to play a game where there's no going back.
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A. Hieronymus Bosch

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby A. Hieronymus Bosch » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:56 pm

swenson wrote:
Blovski wrote:Single-save games.

There's no excuse.


Unless it's something like a roguelike where the single save is the point of the game--in these cases, I don't actually mind them. Or like Minecraft. Sometimes it's nice to play a game where there's no going back.


Although you can get around that, if you're a filthy save scummer. ;)
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dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby dudecon » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:23 am

Oh man, all of the above! Thanks for voicing these concerns. Here's one of my own:

Games that want to be Books or Blockbuster Movies
If you have a sweet idea for a movie, please oh please, don't make a computer game! If you've got this cool story in mind and everyone just has to hear about it, I strongly advise that you not get into game design. I'm trying to play a game, not hear your story. Red card for conveying this story with unskippable cutscenes as above.
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Rebel Canuck
Location: Victoria, BC

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Rebel Canuck » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:06 am

Scripted platforming sections where the main character is running AT the camera

This happened a couple of times in Tomb Raider where Lara is running at the camera and you can't see where you're going, and IT DRIVES ME CRAZY. There's no excuse for this! I know you're going for the "Indiana Jones running from the boulder" thing, but developers.. PISS OFF WITH THAT. There's no reason for this crap, why can't Lara see where she is going?
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McNutcase
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby McNutcase » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:55 am

Rebel Canuck wrote:Scripted platforming sections where the main character is running AT the camera

This happened a couple of times in Tomb Raider where Lara is running at the camera and you can't see where you're going, and IT DRIVES ME CRAZY. There's no excuse for this! I know you're going for the "Indiana Jones running from the boulder" thing, but developers.. PISS OFF WITH THAT. There's no reason for this crap, why can't Lara see where she is going?

and on a similar subject, Messing With The Camera While The Player Is Moving. Especially if this Camera Screw (you can go to TVTropes yourselves) turns into Control Screw as it inevitably does because movement controls are almost always camera-relative. STOP IT.

One that annoys the heck out of me in Saints Row 3: HUD theft. In some of the more scripted sequences, where I'm being given a gun I didn't bring in with me (whole other peeve, but I can cope) the game takes away my HUD. I can tell I'm losing health because the screen is doing all the normal health-loss things of turning red and blurring, and the sounds of heartbeat are coming up, and obviously I'm using bullets from a limited magazine (albeit with unlimited reloads), but I can't see how I'm doing for health, and I can't see how much of a magazine I have left. Which turns into a big problem when the enemy that needs one full magazine to the face shows up and I have to burn time reloading halfway through my burst because they ALSO took away my ability to manually reload. So I guess it's HUD Theft and Excessive Combat Scripting.

My big peeve, though: Thou Shalt Allow ALL Keys To Be Rebound. All Of Them. Sleeping Dogs violated this commandment, and I hated it for it. I finished it, I enjoyed it, but I was ALWAYS annoyed by there being un-rebindable uses of Enter (which is NOT a thing PC games should EVER use) and the arrow keys (which are NOT A D-PAD, DEVELOPERS!) since I play games right-handed. Which means my right hand is on the mouse doing fine steering, my left hand is in its usual place over the home row, and neither hand is anywhere NEAR the only keys you can't re-bind.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:43 am

Just remembered this one:
The Awesome Button.There is no excuse for this one.No,its not consolitis,because there are a bunch of buttons on the controller that can be used for all these stuff,so binding a dozen actions to a single button is just as annoying with a controller as it is with a keyboard.
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McNutcase
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Re: Game pet peeves

Postby McNutcase » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:18 am

Daemian Lucifer wrote:Just remembered this one:
The Awesome Button.There is no excuse for this one.No,its not consolitis,because there are a bunch of buttons on the controller that can be used for all these stuff,so binding a dozen actions to a single button is just as annoying with a controller as it is with a keyboard.

It's NOT the Awesome Button. The Awesome Button is what Saints Row 3 has: a MODIFIER, to "do whatever you were doing, but more awesomely". What you're complaining about is the Do Shit button. You have one button, which causes your avatar to do... something. What said thing is is context-dependent, and may or may not resemble what you desire said avatar to do. The other term is control overloading.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Game pet peeves

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:56 am

McNutcase wrote:It's NOT the Awesome Button. The Awesome Button is what Saints Row 3 has: a MODIFIER, to "do whatever you were doing, but more awesomely". What you're complaining about is the Do Shit button. You have one button, which causes your avatar to do... something. What said thing is is context-dependent, and may or may not resemble what you desire said avatar to do. The other term is control overloading.


I know all that.But in their infinite wisdom,they did call it the awesome button,and Im not letting it go.Yes,I am bitter.

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