Most Underrated Gaming Design Element

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MidnytRain

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Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Thursday, August 01, 2013 10:41 PM ( #1 )
I've played a lot of games, in my time, and some just truly stand out to me than others. For a long time I never really knew why, but recently it dawned on me. I have to give my "favorite games" awards to those with great level design. To me, level design is what makes the difference between "meh," and "memorably outstanding." I recently watched some gameplay for Wolfenstein: New Order (which more people need to be talking about), and while the game doesn't seem to do anything new or innovative, it's the level design that really sold it to me and made me want to play it. It's the same element that made me love Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, Resistance 1 and 2, Super Mario Galaxy, and others so enjoyable. Do you agree? What is that one crucial game design element that gamers don't give enough praise to?
Ducky

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Thursday, August 01, 2013 11:16 PM ( #2 )
The bad guys.

A game where the player can empathize with the enemy is what does it for me. The recent TombRaider and TLOU are good example where you can listen in on enemy chatter. Makes them feel more human rather than just meatheads blocking your way.
Older examples are games like the original FEAR and NoOne Lives Forever.

For non-human enemies, I guess you can't really have them chatting, so it's just their overall design that I look for. For some reason, horror games usually do this best. 
The Suffering, for example, which had a type of enemy matching each type of death penalty, which I liked because it fit the theme of the game. Or SystemShock2 which has monsters apologizing to you as they're about to bludgeon you to death.
Tewi-Inaba

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 2:20 AM ( #3 )
intuitiveness
I'd like more games where they drop you off
you get your items
and figure out everything from there by little clues nudging you forward
DaSouls did it well so did many early nintendo games


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Pandamobile

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 2:38 AM ( #4 )
Balance. 


Team Fortress 2 (circa 2007) was, in my opinion, the pinnacle of multiplayer game design.  Every class and every weapon had strengths and weaknesses that you would have to take into consideration with every encounter with another player. 


After reading the thread title again, I've realized that balance might not be an "underrated" game design element, so I'll change my answer to "balance with variety" because it's easy to balance a game where everyone is shooting the same sort of weaponry (Call of Duty, Killzone). Perfectly balancing 9 very different classes with 3+ different weapons/items and distinct abilities is something few other developers besides Valve can pull off.
<message edited by Pandamobile on Friday, August 02, 2013 2:46 AM>
TheNocturnus

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 2:47 AM ( #5 )
Class limits. Counterstrike was perfect with this. Each team could only have a set amount of snipers, medic, assault class etc... 

It prevents a bunch of snipers glitching to the top of buildings and camping all day... cough.... Battlefield 3... cough...

I can't think of any current game that has this feature.
 

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Bladesfist

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 3:04 AM ( #6 )
TheNocturnus


Class limits. Counterstrike was perfect with this. Each team could only have a set amount of snipers, medic, assault class etc... 

It prevents a bunch of snipers glitching to the top of buildings and camping all day... cough.... Battlefield 3... cough...

I can't think of any current game that has this feature.



Or just get rid of loadouts and have these weapons and gear scattered around the map.
Pandamobile

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 3:13 AM ( #7 )
TheNocturnus


I can't think of any current game that has this feature.



That's because it's restrictive. 
-MD-

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 4:05 AM ( #8 )
Health pickups.  They are one million times better than regenerating health.


@Panda - TF2 is still pretty balanced even though the number of weapons since launch has increased tenfold.
<message edited by -MD- on Friday, August 02, 2013 4:07 AM>
Eiffel

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Re:Most Underrated Gaming Design Element - Friday, August 02, 2013 5:04 AM ( #9 )
Pandamobile


Balance. 


Team Fortress 2 (circa 2007) was, in my opinion, the pinnacle of multiplayer game design.  Every class and every weapon had strengths and weaknesses that you would have to take into consideration with every encounter with another player. 


After reading the thread title again, I've realized that balance might not be an "underrated" game design element, so I'll change my answer to "balance with variety" because it's easy to balance a game where everyone is shooting the same sort of weaponry (Call of Duty, Killzone). Perfectly balancing 9 very different classes with 3+ different weapons/items and distinct abilities is something few other developers besides Valve can pull off.


Was gonna say, balance is the one thing missing from gaming these days. Now we have periodic updates to "balance" weapons, embarrassing. 





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