Titanfall and Verticality in Pilot movement, Lateral movement in Titans...

#1SigmaLongshotPosted 2/10/2014 11:08:06 AM
"Titanfall Topic! BLARB BLARB BLARB!" - there, I said it first, so you don't need to post it or variations on that sentiment.

I personally work for a games company and though whilst my job isn't core design, I am a designer tasked with some intricate nuance-nitpickery and general idiosyncratic alteration. What's come to my attention is that a lot of people are slating Titanfall for other titles it's apparently "too much like" - and yet there are a lot of things that are either unique, or like entirely different games.

The very first thing that should be noted is the elephant in the room - Call of Duty (specifically the Modern Warfare style of multiplayer). It's evidently very texturally similar, and the general speed, depth and locomotion evoke Modern Warfare 2 especially. But this is the veneer - the outer coating - and should be gauged as such. Titanfall actually has one thing that brings it more in line with the late 90s/early 00s in terms of general gameplay.

Verticality - the ability to see the playing field by more than just two or three vertical levels, but full movement on a horizontal plain - and scale vertical distances quickly - that's something actually further in line with Unreal, Tribes, and perhaps even Quake 3 Arena - though with the added gravity of this generation's expected physics.

Furthermore, though the pilot gunplay is slightly more forgiving in terms of damage output/absorption than, say, Call of Duty Ghosts, it retains that weapon "feel". Though once again, allowing a more diverse, multi-slot inventory for weapons, this retains a more "classic" mechanic.

And then the Titans themselves. Now this one is a point that, whenever I raise it, people go nuts - but think about it before you condemn it. The energy output, shielding, increased height and damage - it's to appeal to the Halo crowd. If you cut away the jump height of a Spartan and made them three times the height, the gameplay wouldn't be immensely dissimilar; moreover, look at the in-titan HUD, circle-strafe and quick-dodge mechanic - THAT is lifted straight from Metroid Prime, where the combat is all about LATERAL agility over VERTICAL agility.

It's easy to dismiss the game's design on first glance entirely on what's seen in videos - but that's not completely fair. Until you play it, you simply cannot judge how different the combat styles and nuances in battle are. It has far, far more interesting design influences than simply "CoD again" - if a game that looked precisely like CoD was to be judged solely on it's mimicry value, then surely Medal of Honor: Warfighter would be just as popular.
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#2motoraptorPosted 2/10/2014 11:39:05 AM
Interesting insight, Sigma.
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#3bgwilly255Posted 2/10/2014 2:06:38 PM
SigmaLongshot posted...
"Titanfall Topic! BLARB BLARB BLARB!" - there, I said it first, so you don't need to post it or variations on that sentiment.

I personally work for a games company and though whilst my job isn't core design, I am a designer tasked with some intricate nuance-nitpickery and general idiosyncratic alteration. What's come to my attention is that a lot of people are slating Titanfall for other titles it's apparently "too much like" - and yet there are a lot of things that are either unique, or like entirely different games.

The very first thing that should be noted is the elephant in the room - Call of Duty (specifically the Modern Warfare style of multiplayer). It's evidently very texturally similar, and the general speed, depth and locomotion evoke Modern Warfare 2 especially. But this is the veneer - the outer coating - and should be gauged as such. Titanfall actually has one thing that brings it more in line with the late 90s/early 00s in terms of general gameplay.

Verticality - the ability to see the playing field by more than just two or three vertical levels, but full movement on a horizontal plain - and scale vertical distances quickly - that's something actually further in line with Unreal, Tribes, and perhaps even Quake 3 Arena - though with the added gravity of this generation's expected physics.

Furthermore, though the pilot gunplay is slightly more forgiving in terms of damage output/absorption than, say, Call of Duty Ghosts, it retains that weapon "feel". Though once again, allowing a more diverse, multi-slot inventory for weapons, this retains a more "classic" mechanic.

And then the Titans themselves. Now this one is a point that, whenever I raise it, people go nuts - but think about it before you condemn it. The energy output, shielding, increased height and damage - it's to appeal to the Halo crowd. If you cut away the jump height of a Spartan and made them three times the height, the gameplay wouldn't be immensely dissimilar; moreover, look at the in-titan HUD, circle-strafe and quick-dodge mechanic - THAT is lifted straight from Metroid Prime, where the combat is all about LATERAL agility over VERTICAL agility.

It's easy to dismiss the game's design on first glance entirely on what's seen in videos - but that's not completely fair. Until you play it, you simply cannot judge how different the combat styles and nuances in battle are. It has far, far more interesting design influences than simply "CoD again" - if a game that looked precisely like CoD was to be judged solely on it's mimicry value, then surely Medal of Honor: Warfighter would be just as popular.


What you say is pretty reasonable, but with all due respect, could you provide proof of your work position? That would really make your insight more solid.
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Disabled Vet. USMC-Sgt 0844.
#4SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 2/10/2014 2:10:31 PM
What you say is pretty reasonable, but with all due respect, could you provide proof of your work position? That would really make your insight more solid.

The email address linked to my account if my ubisoft one if that helps?
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/
#5Reflex-ArcPosted 2/10/2014 2:20:41 PM
Sigma, I just wanted to say thank you for the flow of worthwhile content to this board. I consistently see you bringing topics that elicit worthwhile discussion, and sometimes genuine laughter, that are not based on derogatory statements in any particular direction. I just wanted to let you know that they do not go unnoticed and that your topics are appreciated.
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Case | Mother Board | CPU (OC'd!) | Video Card x 2 | RAM | PSU | SSD | HDD | Some Fans | Monitor | Mouse | Keyboard
#6XenoMechaPosted 2/10/2014 2:41:42 PM
"I work at Block Buster....."
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PSN: Eternius00
#7SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 2/10/2014 2:44:31 PM
Reflex-Arc posted...
Sigma, I just wanted to say thank you for the flow of worthwhile content to this board. I consistently see you bringing topics that elicit worthwhile discussion, and sometimes genuine laughter, that are not based on derogatory statements in any particular direction. I just wanted to let you know that they do not go unnoticed and that your topics are appreciated.


Do you know what? Having waded through so much trite, nonsensical slap-fights on this forum I'd really questioned whether or not posting genuine insights and in-depth synopses was worth it - if maybe, people were totally uninterested in the actual discussion of gaming as an entertainment form (as opposed to a mere thing to fight about).

This message genuinely does give me a huge boon to my optimism, Reflex. Thanks for it.

If only we could be a little bit more accepting - a little more open-minded - that one game featuring an avatar of you battling a foe could be more enjoyable than another game where an avatar of you battles a foe.

Cheers man. If you ever come to Scotland, I'll get you a pint.
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/
#8SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 2/10/2014 2:46:17 PM
XenoMecha posted...
"I work at Block Buster....."


I already stated my Gamefaqs account was linked to my Ubisoft employee account. Check it out, bro!
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/
#9Skynet82997Posted 2/10/2014 2:55:48 PM
Well said.
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XBL Gamertag - SkyNett / PSN ID - SkyeNett / Clan - TheSynndicate
#10SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 2/10/2014 3:09:19 PM
Without getting namby-pamby game-designer-whinge-minge about it, this is actually called "distilled genre theory" - where a game attempts to isolate and later refine the absolute most pure points of a genre.

The antithesis of this is, in the industry, referred to as "the feature creep", where the designers instead to disregard good game design for padding out inventory, weapon set, abilities, resolution, frame rate - and generally making the experience "bigger".

Titanfall is perhaps one of the first major distilled genre game since Team Fortress 2, and I commend that.
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/