Thursday, September 03, 2009

7 Deadly Sins of Gaming - Sin 3

Sin 3: Cameras

Oh my sweet freaking god.

I am inventing a new law right now. I'm freaking serious. This is an actual law that will be punishable by death.

If you design a 3D game, you must immediately play that game from beginning to end. If, AT ANY TIME, the camera obstructs your view or makes it difficult to play, YOU DELETE THE ENTIRE GAME AND START THE F&%@ OVER.

Honestly, I don't give a shit if your game cost fifty million dollars to make and it's supposed to ship in a week.

You delete that shit and start over from scratch.

Really, is that so much to ask?

I realize nothing's perfect. I understand you're doing the best you can with the physical limitations of the game environment.




You're designing a video game. There are two basic components to this situation:

1) game


If you, through your design, fail to successfully provide both of these components, then you have not created a video game.

Instead, you have created a torture device that punishs players for even trying to play your stupid game.

Oh, hey. I just entered a new room. It's bound to be filled with enemies, so the last thing I want is for the camera to shift... Why am I looking at the back of a wall?

And I'm dead.

Good job, game designers. You fail at life.

If you can't properly design a 3D game, then maybe you should go back to designing 2D games. There's no shame in that.

Okay... There's a little shame in that.

Actually, there's a lot of shame, but at least you'll be creating games that don't make people want you to stab you in the trachea with pencil.

That's important.

Or, hey, you could make a sudoku game. Yeah. I mean, you won't have any problems with the camera and you know there just can't be enough sudoku games on the market.

See? I'm helping.

If there is any one thing we gamers need to truly enjoy a game, it's immersion. We need to disconnect from our own environment and actually be inside the game.

That's kind of hard when every time you turn a corner, you're looking in through the front of your own head while someone you can't see is bludgeoning you with a bat.

As you can imagine.

Really, you're just hurting yourself. There is nothing that is going to piss us off more than a terrible camera.

I mean, there are people who go out and spend thousands of dollars on video equipment. Hell, they spend thousands of dollars on cables to hook up said equipment. They are fanatical about getting the best video possible.

And you're giving us a camera that shoots randomly around the room or doesn't let us see the people that are killing us.

Does that make a lot of sense?

One of these days, some video freak is going to walk into a video game company and start shooting people.

No... Not me.

That really isn't my style. I'm more of a kill one or two people and then call it a day kind of guys.

What they should do is team up with some porn directors. You know, have some sort of camera angles seminar where they can share trade secrets and shit.

Ever notice that multi-angle button on your DVD remote? Yeah, porn invented that.

They know this stuff. You never see a scene suddenly go sideways or up at the ceiling or something.

They stay where the action is.

That's what video games need.

No. Not that kind of action.

That would look downright ridiculous on the Wii.

Seriously, if you're designing a game or are thinking about designing a game, please, please, please put some thought into the camera.

I beg of you.

Don't make me shoot you.


At 9:51 PM, Blogger Kahsha said...

Viva la 2-D!!!

First bitches

At 12:33 AM, Blogger Vorinia said...

Yeah, recently been playing Sacred 2 and I hate how I'm in one room trying to kill stuff, while the camera is hooked behind a wall in the next room allowing me a lovely view of a desk or some such other uninteresting item.

My wife actually felt physically sick playing Tomb Raider: Underworld, due to the camera jumping around in the enclosed spaces.

Gotta love those 3D "game designers" <.<

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Kenny said...

I actually welcome the return of 2-D games, just because I don't have to worry about cameras shifting every 10 seconds.

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Bufuman said...

Rest assured, there WOULD be a developer that made a Sudoku game with a bad camera.

"What the hell? Zoom out! I'm trying to figure out this square, but how am I supposed to do that when I can only see 4 boxes? Shit, I just put a second 6 in that square because I couldn't see the other one. Thanks a bunch, you piece of crap."

At 3:16 AM, Blogger Tommy said...

To be honost, I don't think the makers of Muramasa should feel any shame.

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Richard said...

there's nothing wrong w/ 2d games.

examples: Shadow Complex & Trials HD on XBLA

At 6:55 AM, Blogger Chewie said...

Not allowing you to move the camera is the worst part of it. I've had a few sticky moments trying to adjust the camera when I enter the room but I am able to adjust it. That is the point. Static cameras should die.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Mil'bereth said...

Yeah, and the devs solution to this is make more shitty 1st person games rather than fix the problems with the third person ones...

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Angelique said...

Some one obviously hasn't played Odin Sphere.
Otherwise that someone wouldn't be saying anything bad about 2D games.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger TridenT said...

The trouble with three-dimensional cameras in games is that you have the following options:

* First-person perspective - congratulations, you've made an FPS, and you cannot under any circumstances involve a jumping puzzle where the viable platforms are less than twice your personal radius. Moreover, you're beating a dead genre in the face. We're good on FPS'es. Seriously.

* Third person, straight behind, manual camera - Well done game developer, you've just given up on making a working camera for a 3D environment and told the player to do work for you. Shame and indignity on your family name.

* Third person, controlled by the environment - Also known as God of Warovision, this is potentially the single most annoying camera you can use in a game. At the very least make me do it - I can do it better.

* Third person, over the shoulder - This poor bastard love child of FPS and that last thing I just insulted made its popular debut in Gears, and frankly it works - but at the expense of being able to see the front of your character.

That's it. That's all the ways that have been invented to do three dimensional cameras.


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