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KillPixel

Retro FPS Polling Station

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>5-10 minutes

>Episodes

>A strong protagonist is prefered but I can live without one.

 

If you vote anything other than this, you are wrong. 

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2 hours ago, Mr. Freeze said:

 

If you vote anything other than this, you are wrong. 

Thats like, your opinion man

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30-60 minute levels on the first playthrough. If you're going to take the time to make a game, you might as well make the levels interesting. And really that time frame seemed to be pretty common among the usermade Quake levels I've played, and even Doom 1 and 2 had quite a few levels that would take around 30 minutes on your first play.

 

Episodes and individual levels are more enjoyable to me. Not even episodes really, just having each level separated allowed for more artistic diversity between them. It really became noticeable in Quake 2 and Half-Life when everything had to tie together during level transitions. I thought "Oh look, a small hallway that breaks up the vis distance between two areas, bet it's going to be a new level!" I do really miss the individual levels with their own themes or layouts. Quake was great at this. Yes it was a bunch of brown and muted green, with blue showing up in the last episode, but the levels were fun and varied.

 

For protagonists, it depends. If they're developed and verbose, they need to be likeable. I'm absolutely fine with a mute protagonist as long as there's no NPCs talking to you constantly. Half-Life 1 & 2, I'm looking at you. Doomguy and the Ranger are fine, they're there to do one thing, and that's kill everything they see. However, Caleb was a great verbose protagonist because they didn't have him take anything seriously. His cackle after blowing up some zombies with dynamite was fantastic. And I know Blood 2 was kind of crap, but when you ride the elevator up to the third level and he says "It's howdy doody time kiddies, the bad man is here" still makes me laugh. Duke on the other hand always annoyed me, probably because they intentionally made him an unlikable, over the top narcissist.

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4 minutes ago, Jello said:

For protagonists, it depends. If they're developed and verbose, they need to be likeable. I'm absolutely fine with a mute protagonist as long as there's no NPCs talking to you constantly. Half-Life 1 & 2, I'm looking at you. Doomguy and the Ranger are fine, they're there to do one thing, and that's kill everything they see. However, Caleb was a great verbose protagonist because they didn't have him take anything seriously. His cackle after blowing up some zombies with dynamite was fantastic. And I know Blood 2 was kind of crap, but when you ride the elevator up to the third level and he says "It's howdy doody time kiddies, the bad man is here" still makes me laugh. Duke on the other hand always annoyed me, probably because they intentionally made him an unlikable, over the top narcissist.

 

Duke is meant to be a caricature/parody of ultra macho 1980s action heroes, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, etc...

 

That's the whole joke. 

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The level time was the one that I had to put the most thought into. In the end, I voted for 10-30 minutes, but only on the first playthrough. Generally I think that any second/third/whatever playthroughs should be much shorter. I would not want to have a level take 20 minutes when you know exactly what you are doing.

 

Episodic structure is pretty cool.

 

Speaking about games in general, I don't really care whether a game has a strong and well defined protagonist or not. However, given the atmosphere of the game you are making, I would prefer a silent protagonist in this case.

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1 hour ago, Master O said:

 

Duke is meant to be a caricature/parody of ultra macho 1980s action heroes, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, etc...

 

That's the whole joke. 

 

I get it. I mean, it ain't funny, but I get it. 

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i love ginormous levels really

system shock and hexen are distinctly much more my thing than duke 3d

quake is amazing but i thought the weakest part of the game was the way the levels played themselves and the silver key is never particularly far away from the silver door and etc. let me get lost instead :)))

 

no opinion on level format or protagonist, cos i can see reasons for any of them. level duration is just something i always wanna be long

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Level time: 5-10 minutes

Though 10-15 might be more like it in some cases.  30 is generally too long.  The way I see it, level divisions should be seen as a bit akin to checkpoints.  If the level's too long to reasonably beat without saving in the middle, it's too long.  If you're not going to use them in a checkpointy way, hubs/continuous world might be better.

 

Level grouping: Episodes

Original Doom / Heretic did it right.  Doom 2 and megawads thereof get kind of onerous since you can't really complete a discrete unit of the game in one sitting (unless you're a mad speedrunner or something I suppose) and half the time I lose interest by the next day or two.

 

Protagonist: I prefer no protagonist to a lame protagonist

Duke Nukem is a good bad example of a character who's obnoxious and detracts from the game, it was novel at the time but he really doesn't hold up.  But TBH about the best time I can think of having liked a defined FPS protagonist was Parker from Red Faction and that was mainly because he was generally expressing what I was already thinking as a player (An escort mission?  Can't I just shoot this jackass?)

 

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19 hours ago, Master O said:

 

Duke is meant to be a caricature/parody of ultra macho 1980s action heroes, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, etc...

 

That's the whole joke. 

Ironically punching down never, ever works. Duke 3D is a great game but I cannot stand Duke Nukem the character anymore. All ironic toxicity is in the end actual toxicity.

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I always bet on Duke, but we're all entitled to our taste in video gamery. Duke is both homage and parody I'd say, to me it is funny and charming. And I don't think a womanizing perv type of character in fiction is inherently toxic either, certainly no more so than say a fictional hitman etc. But discussing what is or isn't good to have in any medium of fiction is an even more wide ranging topic.

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10-30 minutes, 5-10 is way too short, kinda undermines the levels unless there's like 20 per...

 

...episode. episodes are harder for games to pull off though since it requires the devs to essentially remake the start of the game all over again, which has to actually be fun and solid to keep players invested. blood failed in this regard for me, it was losing me towards the end of episode 1 and the start of episode 2 kinda fell flat so i just stopped playing

 

redneck rampage protagonists or riot

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30-60 minutes (well, more like 20 minutes), at least for the first time playing it.  I especially like to stop and enjoy the scenery.

 

I prefer episodes.  Hubs are my least favorite, which is probably one reason I never got into Hexen that much.

 

A strong protagonist is preferred but I can live without one.

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10-30 minutes. I feel like in these types of games, anything less than ten minutes is too short and anything longer than an hour is too long. Of course this also depends on where in the game the level is, they should start relatively short and get progressively longer with each map. I like to admire the scenery if it exists, and I enjoy getting to know a location quite a bit.

 

Episodes. As much as I love a good megawad, I don't think I've played any of the 32 map long IWADs all the way through in years. The level progression gets really tiring when there is constant buildup to the next thing. Separate episodes reset that buildup, making it feel more like you've just finished a chapter in a book as opposed to watching a ten hour long documentary in one sitting. I enjoyed HeXen quite a bit, but I don't get the impressing that you're making that kind of game from everything you've shown.

 

A strong protagonist is preferred but I can live without one. I love me a good protagonist, like Caleb for example, but I don't find myself liking Dusk any less simply because I can't find any reliable info on Duskdude (I've seen maybe three different descriptions of his backstory and I still have no idea what he actually looks like).

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I'm psyched to see "Episodes" currently leading the level structure poll. That concept needs a good comeback.

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6 hours ago, Xaser said:

I'm psyched to see "Episodes" currently leading the level structure poll. That concept needs a good comeback.

I love these things.

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6 hours ago, Xaser said:

I'm psyched to see "Episodes" currently leading the level structure poll. That concept needs a good comeback.

 

 

Can you get away with keeping (some) weapons and equipment from episode to episode, or does that go against the whole idea?

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Thank you to everyone who voted and to those who took the time to share their insights in this thread.  The more the merrier, I say!  I consider every opinion and point raised as they all contribute to better and more informed decisions!  Thanks!

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I like Duke Nukem as a video game protagonist, but he's not someone I'd be very fond of if he were a real person. I actually think I like Sam Stone a bit more, even though I don't like his games. 

Edited by Ajora

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Level playtime: 10-30 minutes. Anything less than 10 is generally too little content to stay memorable. 20-30 is probably my preferred range for the average map, although I do enjoy massive maps as well.

 

Level structure: No preference. As long as the maps are interesting, I don't mind whether it's packed into an episode or a single, continuous journey.

 

Protagonists: As long as the gameplay is good, it doesn't matter much. Since we're talking about an action-based FPS, and not some kind of RPG-hybrid where you have to make tough decisions and your consequences matter, whether the protagonist is silent like in Doom or throws out quirky one-liners like in Duke/Shadow Warrior makes no difference to me.

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On 2/25/2018 at 8:37 PM, Mr. Freeze said:

 

I get it. I mean, it ain't funny, but I get it. 

 

nolaugh3e4.jpg

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Marathon is proof that even a classic Doom/Quake-style FPS doesn't need to have an active protagonist to have a good story. Even though some of the story centers around the player character, he and by extension you are mostly just in for the ride (and the alien slaughter.)

 

As far as level length and structure, it really doesn't matter and is dependent on what you're trying to accomplish with the game. A straightforward, episodic structure a la Doom is perhaps the purest form of the genre, but a Quake 2 series of hubs allows for greater interconnection between spaces -- and when you have multiple levels strung together like that it really doesn't matter how long they are.

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On 25.2.2018 at 10:48 PM, KillPixel said:

If you don't mind:

 

level playtime

 

Level structure

 

Protagonists

 

Playtime: about 15-30 min. Not that I don't enjoy "sharp, punchy" maps, or long adventures, but the middle ground is best.

 

Level structure : I prefer udoom's episodic structure over 32 maps in a row because it's easier for a theme change and resets the player without the death exits. Hub is worst, never know where I have flipped that damn switch and where I should go next.

 

Protagonist : who cares. I yam what I yam and I'm Popeye the sailor man

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5-30 mins for level playtime. I like an equal variety of shorter and longer levels. Anything much more than 30 mins works better as a once in a blue moon thing. I also think level ones should not be much longer than 5 minutes.

 

Episode structure is king, but I honestly dont mind Doom 2 style either. Hubs I personally think work better in games like System Shock and Metroid Prime.

 

Protagonist: Don't really mind either way. I'd even be on board with full character customization.

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Playtime: 5-15. I don't have a whole lot of free time thanks to work and school, so I prefer maps that are short and sweet.

 

Structure: I prefer either episodic structure or continuous levels. 

 

Protagonist: I don't mind a somewhat-defined protagonist like Duke, Caleb, or Lo Wang in Build Engine games or Gordon Freeman in Half-Life. As long as who they are isn't shoved down my throat every 5 seconds, and as long as the game itself is really fun to play, then it doesn't bother me.

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I like my levels to be long. 30-60 minutes is the sweet spot for me. Was very pleased that the levels in Doom 2016 fit that category. These are also the kinds of levels I like to make.

 

The protagonist should be exaggerated manifestations of the masculine archetype. Besides the classic heroes we all love, I think the Doomslayer and the modern incarnation of B.J Blazkowicz are very good interpretations of this archetype. They should be unique but easy to understand. I am tired of the 30-something edgy ex-special-forces stock character.

 

The structure does not really matter as long as the levels are varied from a aesthetic and gameplay perspective. I guess an episodic structure would force the devs to make their episodes distinct from one another. 

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In the episodic format, one level can be 3 minutes long and another can be 40 minutes long. And that's good. Also you start the episode with only the basic guns and then get more as you go along and you meet stronger enemies. There is more of a progression.

 

It's better for speedrunning, too. Hmmm, I can't think of any disadvantages of the episodic format.

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