Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
MeetyourUnmaker

The "filler" part of FPS

Recommended Posts

It seems in a lot of first person games there is a part where the level designers make a bunch of content that isn't up to the standard of the first few levels of a game actually.

 

So you usually see this happen in Episode 3 in a bunch of FPS games where the quality just goes down a lot for it. Is there a kind of term for it?

Share this post


Link to post

Laziness? Deadlines? Boredom? Burnout? Lack of imagination? "Filler?"

 

Can't think of a positive term that seems to apply. Arguably, most games don't have enough quality content, but I imagine it's difficult for the developers to know when enough is enough. And, most projects are behind schedule, and everyone is being rushed to be artistic...on a schedule, which really isn't how art works.

 

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth said (paraphrasing): "You have your whole life to make your first album - it consists of songs you've been playing your whole life. It's when it's time for the second album that the pressure is really on!"

Share this post


Link to post

Typically, the engine and the first half of a game are built co-currently and the second half of a game is built after the engine is normally largely finalized.

Share this post


Link to post

The thing is, unless you're going to go a third-act total refresh (sort of like how Daikatana has different arsenals and enemies every episode), there will come a point in your game where the player has seen most of what there is on offer and has developed the skills to adapt to what's going on (to an extent), so the novelty and "wow" factor has worn off. Often the end of a game is completely consistent with the rest of a game, quality-wise, it's just that you're not as impressed then as you were at the start.

 

Sometimes there is a crunch-time factor making the end of the game a bit more generic, or rushed, but I think there is also an element of plot driving this, too. Think about how many games have you storming some kind of fortress or whatever at the end, when you started off escaping prison or relatively on-rails and then went into some sort of more open world. Unreal has you escape a prison ship, explore an incredibly varied world and ends with you in dark corridors attacking an alien mothership. Wolfenstein: The New Order has the 1940s intro, then eases you into the changed world with more open missions before finishing up with you storming Deathshead's fortress on an assassination mission. A lot of Call of Duty (and other World War and modern shooter) games tend to start off with a spectacle mission (Operation Overlord, for example), before doing some more traditional settings and the odd infiltration mission before ultimately winding up with you attacking a stronghold, bunker or other fortress that can usually be described as dense corridors packed with enemies. Half-Life 2 does exactly this, ending in the Combine tower, which is meant to be large, oppressive and futuristic, losing the open spaces and contrast between human and alien tech that had dominated the game to this point.

 

I think the key thread of my above paragraph is that the introduction to the game is usually impressive and tightly scripted, the main body of the game is a learning and exploring experience and then, at some point, you've got to knuckle down to the final challenge, which often goes back to being a more tightly scripted affair in an environment that feels a bit "less" than the rest of the game.

Share this post


Link to post

Lots of game devs make the last level first and the first levels last so they have the experience of making better levels. In the case of Doom NukEem that first episode had to sell the game.

 

In the case of Vampire: The Mascarade, they went first level to last level and you can tell they ran out of time as environments get more empty and vacant. Then the staff was laid off and the company folded, which happens with 90% of game developers that don't have shareholders.

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, Phobus said:

The thing is, unless you're going to go a third-act total refresh (sort of like how Daikatana has different arsenals and enemies every episode), there will come a point in your game where the player has seen most of what there is on offer and has developed the skills to adapt to what's going on (to an extent), so the novelty and "wow" factor has worn off.

 

11 hours ago, geo said:

Lots of game devs make the last level first and the first levels last so they have the experience of making better levels. In the case of Doom NukEem that first episode had to sell the game.

 

In the case of Vampire: The Mascarade, they went first level to last level and you can tell they ran out of time as environments get more empty and vacant. Then the staff was laid off and the company folded, which happens with 90% of game developers that don't have shareholders.

 

I suppose, in some ways, that original plot might even act as a burden, forcing the developers to see it through to the end, where there's a definite end. Without the plot (think Doom), the developers are free to make as many or as few levels as they see fit, without the responsibility to make it all fit within a story.

 

In the case of Doom, the shareware concept kinda forced id to produce the same number of levels 2 more times, but they were free to make more, as they did with Ultimate Doom. Without having to fulfill a plot (or a set number of levels), the filler content can be avoided.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×