Much ado about running

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Grabthehoopka
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Much ado about running

Post by Grabthehoopka » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:50 pm

Matt posed this question earlier in his dev diary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ANfBfy66YY

However, the number of comments and pageviews on his videos are always not as high as they should be. So, since it's an extremely important decision of potentially game-changing importance, I figured it deserves a place here in the suggestions board, and since I shouldn't start a video just to link to a youtube video, I figured, why not bring the discussion here?

So, community, should there be running, why, and how?

Grabthehoopka
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by Grabthehoopka » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:23 am

I will start. I already suggested this on the youtube video, but if there's things to run from and places to hide in, I think that running should be part of interacting with them. For example, if there's a door you want to go through, and there's something after you, when you hit the interact key, the character will run towards it and run through the door. If there's a hiding spot, you hit the interact key and the character will run towards it and hide.

Doing this solves the two main problems he is concerned with: keeping running situational, and not adding a "run" button.

Of course, the mechanics are in the air, like how the controls would work if there are more than one "running" object on screen, or whether or not to do it when a monster isn't present, but anyways, that's my idea.

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:32 am

I definitely agree that running shouldn't be an always available toggle option, that will kill the pacing.

Telltale's Walking Dead was mentioned in the video, and although that game takes control away from the player a lot, something it looks like you don't want to do at all with Neverending Nightmares, one thing they did that I liked was make the player's movement speed situational to what was going on. When you're just solving minor issues and talking to people, like at the farm near the beginning, you move at a normal walking pace, slow enough you don't look ridiculous but fast enough that it's not frustrating. When there's danger, you move at a jog or run. Sometimes the character is injured and that will slow you down. In either case the movement speed remains constant throughout the particular scene.

Based on the demo, Neverending Nightmares looks to have a lot more player freedom of movement, and be much more about exploration than the cinematic set pieces of Walking Dead, but I think a mechanic like this would be the best compromise if it's feasible to implement. That way you as the designer would have control over how fast the player can navigate the space, allowing you to set the pacing, but the player is still in control of where they go.

Grabthehoopka
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by Grabthehoopka » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:21 pm

RightClickSaveAs wrote:Based on the demo, Neverending Nightmares looks to have a lot more player freedom of movement, and be much more about exploration than the cinematic set pieces of Walking Dead, but I think a mechanic like this would be the best compromise if it's feasible to implement. That way you as the designer would have control over how fast the player can navigate the space, allowing you to set the pacing, but the player is still in control of where they go.
I agree that this is a good, simple idea, HOWEVER- I have a problem with context-sensitive things like this. On one hand, it would clearly telegraph there being danger afoot, similar to the radio in Silent Hill, and this could be used to ratchet tension up a great deal, but, on the other hand, it could potentially be exploited by players as a sort of "radar" to let them know if they're actually in danger or not.

It COULD work if there were parts of the game where the character ran despite not being in any actual danger, or if there were some other situation that the game establishes the character runs in, like a kind of timed puzzle or something. At the end of the day, you want to inject some level of uncertainty into it. In a horror game, the player should never feel like they're reeeeally in control, or that they reeeeeally understand what's going on.

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matt
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by matt » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:48 pm

To some extent, I was thinking that adding running would add more interactivity and give the player more control, which I think is important for immersion.

While I'm definitely not opposed to it happening automatically, I'm not sure that will meet the design goals for which I was consider adding it.

For the time being, I'm focusing on adding the enemy interactions. We may or may not need a run to make those feel compelling, so that may make my mind up for me.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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miumiaou
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by miumiaou » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:55 pm

I don't like the idea that the character run all time since walking is important too in a horror game

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gagaplex
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by gagaplex » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:06 am

Short running, WITHOUT an asthma meter, but with heavy breathing and an invisible meter, I'd be fine with. I'd hate to see a GUI or something like that, though, in this game (same goes for a health meter or similar, if more than one hit can be survived). I like seeing things represented on the character (like the "inventory" where he simply carries what he has in his hands) instead, so use heavy breathing sounds, maybe with appropriate heaving animations (similar for wounds). :-)

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matt
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by matt » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:05 pm

Right now, I'm working on short sprints with breathing sounds to represent the stamina meter. If you run too much, which is currently set to maybe 8 seconds, then you have an asthma attack, and have to remain still.

I'm not sure if I'll keep it, but I think it seems promising. You can't always run because of the asthma attack. Since running is a bit of a pain in the ass, I suspect people will save it for when they really need it - ie. escaping from a monster. Plus, I'm thinking about having some enemies that are alerted by sound, so you never know when you shouldn't use it. :)

I think it has the potential to be more frightening because when you are running because there is the tension that you might not be able to continue running...

It's just a prototype for now, so I'm not ready to commit to it. I need to play around with it more.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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miumiaou
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by miumiaou » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:14 am

I think it'd be really great

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Much ado about running

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:31 am

That sounds like a great compromise! I never thought about it, but I'm playing through Alan Wake and it does a similar thing. He moves around at a jog because there are so many endless forests to run through (my enjoyment of the game is really being tempered), but there's a full-on sprint option that punishes you for overusing it, because it slows him down for a while afterwards while he recovers.

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