So it looks like you all managed to communicate your thoughts on communication pretty well. And yes, I’d like to apologise for an opening sentence like that. It makes me feel like someone who’s worryingly excited about holding a seminar on the new human resources regulations for correct use of the kettle. I could just delete it but starting’s the hardest bit of any article. I suspect I’m getting a little off topic here.
So back to communication in games. This was one of those weeks where our wonderful community came up with some points that I honestly hadn’t considered when writing the article. I love getting those kind of responses, it’s really nice to have someone point out a new direction that’s worth considering. For example TheDemocrodile pointed out that same games significantly benefit from having your communications stripped back.
I`d prefer no communication with me in certain games, survival horror for example, i`d rather just be this dude that awful stuff happens to, battling my way through horrors and occasionaly glimpsing events that fill in the story (newsflashes on the side of buildings etc)
There are certainly a lot of games that can benefit from this approach, particularly those where you really want to enhance the feeling of isolation. Obviously it might frustrate some players who don’t notice all the clues dropped into the environment, but it’s still something more games could experiment with.
Billsmugs bought up an interesting point about having your actions impact the world, in that he doesn’t like to feel he’s picking the cutting off some chunk of the game.
I don’t particularly like having my choices having a huge effect, it makes you a bit nervous about choosing the “wrong” option, but in some cases it can work well.
That’s certainly something that does catch me out in games sometimes, although more so when it’s an obvious binary choice at some pre-determined point in the game. To me that feels limiting, like an artificial choice is being forced upon you. When it’s a system like the one used in Mass Effect it feels, to me, more like a natural progression and somehow less limiting.
Simplebob had a good point to make about Demon’s Souls, a game I’ve never tried. However, from the description of the communication system it certainly sound like something fairly unique.
Loved the (lack of) communication in Demon’s Souls. Probably helps that I’m not a fan of online chat etc, but the system of leaving messages on the ground and seeing spectral versions of other players completely locked in the atmosphere of the game world.
Somehow tying player communications into the world in such a deep way sounds truly exciting as a concept, rather than the typical voice communication. Just having something that feels different is nice.
This week’s final comment comes from philbert8, who looks to the future. I’m looking forwards to getting an answer to his point as well.
I’m waiting to see how you communicate in Journey, it’s going to fascinating.