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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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This is a problem I've been having with a lot of games recently, not just Silent Hill games or even Horror games (though especially for horror games.) It just seems like games have been getting so casual-oriented recently. What I mean by that specifically is that games are afraid to punish the player. The player must always be constantly rewarded and making progress, and heaven forbid there be any setbacks!

Usually the way this problem manifests is by having checkpoints all over the place, and basically letting the player respawn right after they die with little to no setbacks. Let me give a specific example... I tried a horror game recently called "Amnesia." I'm sure many of you, being horror fans, have played this game as it has received a lot of praise, and for good reason. It's one of the best horror games I've played recently, in terms of atmosphere it's awesome. But it has a fatal flaw... yes, you guessed it, it is infected with the "casual gamer" virus. In Amnesia, if you die, you respawn in the same room or close to it... you lose none of the items you collected... and finally, the monster that killed you despawns, allowing you to make further progress. So in effect, the monsters in this game are absolutely no threat to the player whatsoever. Once I learned that, my fun with this game was ruined.

So naturally, I'm worried that this mentality will infect Silent Hill as well. I am really hoping that this game goes back to the old fashioned method of save points, since this is the logical method for a horror game. Checkpoints only work for linear games, and letting the player respawn after death is the worst thing a horror game can do, IMO. What about you guys... anyone else given this any thought besides me?

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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 20 Jul 2004
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i don't know why you would be worried. there's been nothing shown, or said to even suggest that Downpour will be "casual."

also, what do you mean by "old fashioned method of save points"? The save points for SH have remained the same since the first game. unless you mean you don't want what's in place to change to an auto-save checkpoint system?


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 19 Jul 2007
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The funny part is that it's the hardcore gaming culture that believes it's entitled to finishing games and has caused gaming to become progressively easier since the late 80s.

The so-called "casuals" tend toward games that have no actual ending and, therefore, can't be completed.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."

Missing since: 04 Oct 2010
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Eh I don't mind games that don't punish you alot, mainly because I'm not very good at video games and I buy them to have fun. In the case of Silent hill, I play for the story NOT the gameplay, so it being easy I really have no problem with. Also isn't that what hard mode is for?


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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I always thought there were many, many savepoints in Silent Hill since SH1 (Except for Homecoming) so I actually don't mind :/

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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So, the OP wants the game to frustrate and annoy everyone who likes to actually progress through the game. To that, I say go back to your old Nintendo games which were ridiculously hard for no good reason.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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I should also bring up that the "respawn where you died" thing came from PC gaming, and PC gamer culture has always looked down upon console gamers as a bunch of unsophisticated children.

So, once again, this has not a thing to do with "casuals."

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 30 Mar 2009
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Silent Hill games have never been anything but casual (with the exception of some of the hard puzzles in 2 & 3) there has never really been any challenge in any of the games.

In the entire series (and 5 + run throughs of each game) I think I've died about twice (both times on the first boss of the first game). If we add in SH:SM then there's probably another 3 or 4 deaths in there, oh, and I think I got a game-over on the SH2 PH basement race.

What I guess I'm saying is that I doubt many people play Silent Hill for the challenge, but rather for the story and atmosphere. Honestly, the game can be as casual as it wants as long as it's got a strong story and good atmosphere/art design. Look at SH2, the most highly regarded game in the entire series, and it's a fucking cakewalk.

(granted, I haven't played on any of the extreme difficulty modes in 3)

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 28 Sep 2009
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All the Silent Hill titles have been similar. Having a paranoia casual/hardcore complex about a Silent Hill game probably means you need to go and work on something else for awhile. :wink:


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 08 Mar 2006
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Meh, it just needs to have difficulty settings, and then everyone can play it at the level that they want.

Homecoming didn't have difficulty settings, did it? That game was stupidly difficult.

Shattered Memories had a wonderful difficulty system during the nightmare sequences that the longer you kept getting caught by the creatures, the slightly stupider the AI would become. Not that that would help you make your path through the maze much easier!

I dunno, I'm of the firm belief that games should encourage you to get through to the end. Otherwise it's a waste of money on the part of the consumer, and it's a load of unseen creative material on the part of the game developers.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 25 Jul 2010
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Skele wrote:
i don't know why you would be worried. there's been nothing shown, or said to even suggest that Downpour will be "casual."



So true.
This is one of the many things I find so f☠cking stupid and annoying by fans.
Getting "worried" and judging and making silly assumptions while we haven't even seen a single video of gameplay...


Plus, anyone remembers Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden on the NES... where you had to go through the long last stages, kill the final boss (3 forms), and if you died anywhere doing so (including in the 3 forms last battle), well, you were brought back to the actual very beginning of the last stages and had to re-do everything if you wanted to finish the game.
Seems better?
There's punishment, and there's stupidity.

Personally, I appreciate not being brought back to the last save point... if I made it once, I made it (why should I re-do puzzles I did before dying? Why should I have to re-do all the way back to where I died?). It changes nothing on the game, personally (like this could "ruin" a game... so lame).

When I was a kid I had all the time in the world. Nowadays, I barely have time for videogames. So I want to move foward.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
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So, from what I can gather, you interpret casual to mean it doesn't make you replay long sections of a game over and over again because you die?


Firstly, I'm glad this has been done away with in most games. If you're truly stuck at a section and you have to keep redoing the last fifteen minutes (or much, much more in many games) just so you can retry what you're having trouble with you're not going to stay interested. Games should not make you want to do something else because you're not enjoying them.

Secondly, won't you be just as fearless if you're having to continually start from a save point instead of a recent auto-save? I really don't see the difference other than forcing you to trudge through all the things in between.

I understand your concerns, but I think it's a little early to be worrying too much about something like this.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 02 Aug 2005
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That's why the difficult setting were included in the first 4 games, you could choose a challenging adventure or just a peaceful journey... The last games have been forcing us to an unique difficult level (Except Homecoming that has Hard and Harder and the only help that you have there is that your health meter gets half filled when you choose to continue instead to load your save file)...

The original Silent Hill games had LOTS of savepoints that could be reached anytime (I generally gets +40 saves in my first playthoughs) so you easily can kill an enemy and go save, then kill another enemuy and go save, then pick an object and go save... The only difference with the checkpoints is that the CPU saves you a bit of time... I remember that my loved SH1 also had checkpoints, if the lizard kills you you were able to continue your game even if you don't have a memory card in your (Although I don't remember how much you have to do again)

Just enjoy the game even if it has more "Casual" stuff, I try to enjoy every new game (Even Homecoming although I really hate it) and focus in the good things while I ignore the bad things...


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."

Missing since: 04 Mar 2007
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I'm all for a proper checkpoint system.

I'd like to be able to complete games I purchase and see the story through, especially if one of it's selling points is a story driven single player campaign.

In fact the reason developers are dumbing down their single player games is primarily because many people don't finish the games. There are a variety of reasons for this other than simply difficulty. But this trend as you put it also encourages developers to be more multiplayer focused and comes at a detriment to the single player campaigns because they don't feel like putting any effort into the campaign if many people don't bother to finish games.

Some of us don't play simply for the thrill of difficulty. We like interactive storytelling and we'd like easy access to experiencing these things. In fact games have reached a broader market form easier systems to compliment gameplay that is still challenging without being frustrating.

Besides which, you can always opt to play by choosing higher difficulty options that are more punishing if that's your thing. I personally like to know I can get through a game without too much frustration.

The best way is to keep the fixed save points as they traditionally are, and also some well thought out checkpoints should you fail. But these aren't auto-saving over your original save file. If you exit the game you will begin at the last save point.

Anyway, none of the SH games have had auto-save features. And I haven't found any issues with the way Silent Hill has always done it. I don't think they will be implementing any autosave checkpoint things, but then again a checkpoint system may make sense depending on the sort of game that it is. If it has us running a lot through great distances against enemies we have a lot of trouble killing before we reach the next viable save point in a location that makes sense, then it would make sense to have a checkpointing system.

As an exmaple, Shattered Memories might've been a lot less frustrating to play had it implemented checkpoints during its chase sequences. Instead the game received heavy criticism for it because doing them over and over again ceases to be scary and more just a pain in the ass to the point where ones entire experience with the game will always be hampered. I myself and other people I know greatly disliked these, so when it came time to go through them again it as not met with horror, but just annoyance. Having a good checkpointing system in there without having to start again from the very beginning would have been far better. Though to be fair there are other issues with Shattered Memories chase sequences besides requiring you to restart from scratch.

There is a lot of stuff in old school games that made them terribly difficult, but some gamers mistake these games as being purposely hard for challenge as if it was the developers intentions, when in reality it was simply bad game design and technological limitations and the need to make players spend more 'quarters' that produced this 'challenge.'

I dare say that games like Silent Hill can reach a broader audience and grow as a series without selling out to mediocrity and action gameplay if it made itself less punishing to play. But I don't honestly believe the series has ever suffered from that problem for the most part aside from the old tank like character controls which are incredibly hard for casual people to get around.

Horror, even in films, has always been niche. But it's relatively cheaper to make with higher profit margins so we always get more horror films. Games however will always require high production budgets because its far more technical and still prohibitively more expensive and time consuming than going to the movies.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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I don't care what they do, so long as they implement a difficulty setting.

Seriously. Downpour desperately needs to have a difficulty setting. For the love of god, learn from Homecoming's mistakes. Don't force players into an all-out, action-packed, hack and slash monster brawl.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Maybe "casual" is not exactly the right word. I'm not necessarily worried about Silent Hill being too easy, it's okay if it's easy enough that you don't die often (in fact, I think that if the game is properly balanced, the player shouldn't die often if they're careful.) And of course, there should be meaningful difficulty settings.

And some people who've mentioned that earlier Silent Hills have tended towards the easy side are right. That's one of my problems with SH2... it's much too easy even on hard mode. SH1 and 3 had a perfect level of challenge though, I think. Anyway, I certainly don't want Silent Hill to be frustrating or "nintendo hard", or to use a modern game, "Demons Souls Hard." I think the challenge level of SH1 or SH3 is fine, and I don't mind if the series keeps that level of challenge.

My main problem just comes with the trend that, as someone observed, has become big in PC gaming recently, and seems to be leaking into console gaming as well. The trend to not punish the player for dying at all.

Typographenia wrote:
Firstly, I'm glad this has been done away with in most games. If you're truly stuck at a section and you have to keep redoing the last fifteen minutes (or much, much more in many games) just so you can retry what you're having trouble with you're not going to stay interested. Games should not make you want to do something else because you're not enjoying them.


Yes, that's basically what I mean. Let me explain exactly why I feel that way: I think, (for me at least) a huge part of the psychological horror factor is just the fact that there is *risk.* And I don't just mean the fact that if something kills you, it forces you to watch a graphical representation of your death... I mean in a literal sense, it threatens to setback your game. IMO a horror game *needs* this sense of risk, and without it the psychological power to scare the gamer is completely neutered. This has been my experience with some recent PC horror games I've been trying, like Amnesia and Dead Space.

However, at the same time, I'm not saying that I think a game should be designed so that there is a frustrating part where you need to keep redoing your progress over and over to keep getting past a difficult part of the game. I think that style of design is actually bad for horror games, because if the player is getting frustrated they are probably no longer scared. (That was part of the problem with SM) What I'm saying is that I don't mind if the game is relatively easy, and if you don't die a lot, but I need to feel when I'm playing that there is some sort of risk.

Let me use a game as an example that I have been playing recently, and is ironically the scariest game I have played since Silent Hill: Minecraft. Yes, Minecraft. You wouldn't think so from looking at the graphics, but this game is actually quite effective as a horror game, and I'm not the only one who says so. It's effective because of the darkness, because the creepy monster sounds sort of work on the same level as the radio, and especially because if you die, it's back to your spawn point with a decent chance of losing all your items. That's a pretty high level of risk, depending on how far you are from your spawn point, and is honestly a huge factor in making that game scary for me, despite the retro-graphics.

Typographenia wrote:
Secondly, won't you be just as fearless if you're having to continually start from a save point instead of a recent auto-save? I really don't see the difference other than forcing you to trudge through all the things in between.


The "forcing you to trudge through things in between" is the entire point, to me. There has to be some sort of punishment for dying, or else the monsters pose no threat and thus lose their psychological power to scare. It's possible that a more avant garde game would think of a better punishment than simply losing progress, but I can't think of any right now. It's not necessary for the game to be hard, but that risk still needs to be there.

Typographenia wrote:
I understand your concerns, but I think it's a little early to be worrying too much about something like this.


You're probably right. My fear is probably irrational at this point... but in this case I just thought it might be an interesting topic to bring up.

VIVIsect wrote:
Seriously. Downpour desperately needs to have a difficulty setting. For the love of god, learn from Homecoming's mistakes. Don't force players into an all-out, action-packed, hack and slash monster brawl.


I could not agree more!

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 30 Sep 2009
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Actually, you don't have to save; it's a privilege. If you want your game to be more ... difficult? then just don't save (at every checkpoint) :/

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 30 Jan 2011
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Tillerman wrote:
It's possible that a more avant garde game would think of a better punishment than simply losing progress, but I can't think of any right now.


Maybe they could incorporate irreversible in-game changes if you die before a certain point. Or like getting the Bad or Bad+ endings in SH1, only throughout the game. So that the only way to get your Good ending would be to die very, very few times. Just a thought.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Worried that Downpour will be too "casual."
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
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Don, Aman wrote:
Maybe they could incorporate irreversible in-game changes if you die before a certain point. Or like getting the Bad or Bad+ endings in SH1, only throughout the game. So that the only way to get your Good ending would be to die very, very few times. Just a thought.


That's an interesting possibility... although for some gamers, I think that actually might be *more* frustrating than the alternative.

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