Author Topic: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*  (Read 2454 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Dev
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,004
    • View Profile
Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« on: July 22, 2010, 12:23:23 PM »
So, a common question we get about the random collectibles in the adventure mode (tires, toy pigs, etc) is what their purpose is.  A lot of people expect to be able to spend them in some fashion or other, and we play off that expectation.  If you play through the adventure and watch all the cutscenes, the "purpose" of the collectibles should become pretty clear... namely that they have no purpose.

So why have them at all, then?  Well, it's partly a joke, and partly veiled commentary on my part.

I really am not a fan of achievements or of other extrinsic rewards in video games in general.  My feeling is that if you have to give someone a prize for playing your game, your game must not be all that fun.  However, conversely, there are some players who are so into the achievements and similar that they really want it in any game, and don't play games as much if the game doesn't have them.  So we have always had achievements in our games, because of not wanting to alienate them.  And I AM a fan of special challenges, which often are paired with achievements, which is a different sort of thing.  That adds to replay value and is a worthwhile thing in my opinion.

And really, I'm not dead-set opposed to achievements, really, I do enjoy them in some games.  I'm just opposed to the OCD-like way in which some players fixate on them.  I guess that's an individual's right, but it doesn't seem healthy to me.  In the story, the characters often comment on how you're picking up and hoarding a lot of useless stuff.  And Socrates in particular has a past of being an extreme hoarder.

Mostly the fact that the collectibles are (surprisingly) useless is just meant to be funny, but it's also a bit of a jab at a lot of other casual games that give useless rewards that aren't put in the game ironically.  Preying on the effectiveness of that Pavlov's Dog effect seems morally dubious to me.

A lot of this talk about "extrinsic rewards" and a "subtle commentary" probably sounds pretty pretentious.  That bugs me about the "artist's statements" with a lot of indie games; if you have to explain it for it to be significant, that's fairly pretentious.  My explanation here is mainly just for people who skip the story or who didn't play all that far through it yet and are deathly curious about it.  This commentary isn't intended to be elitist or pretentious, but rather just a simple observation that these sort of collectibles are often trash at best, and feeding an unhealthy hoarding habit at worst.  

And, if you go through the actual story rather than reading this first, we think it's pretty funny to realize that you've been lugging around all these spare tires for nothing. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.  Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline kout

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 07:18:58 PM »
And, if you go through the actual story rather than reading this first, we think it's pretty funny to realize that you've been lugging around all these spare tires for nothing. :)
My 1942 sheep and I think these toy robots aren't useless at all!

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Dev
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,004
    • View Profile
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 09:59:44 AM »
Well, true, sometimes toy robots aretheir own reward. ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.  Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline eRe4s3r

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,260
    • View Profile
    • My 3D Gallery
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2010, 05:42:05 PM »
Mhhh...

I found the collectibles pretty funny - for the commentary was not lost on me. However i maintain my line of argumentation that games need a online and local profile with ranks based on score + rewards (in form of medals or whatever) for particular achievements and that each game - not just once. For example in AI War i should get a "badge" for killing 500 ships for 1000 ships for 2000 ships etc - not an achievement, but something that constantly sticks to my persona profile and advances my rank. ;p

you might laugh - but many of the people playing BF BC2 do so for the many little "badges" and xp bonuses they get each round ;p And thats what i am trying to make you include for a while in AI War now (sadly it seems to have been buried again because of sidetracking by people thinking when i say XP and RANK i also meant unlocks.... which i do not unless you call "leveling up" an unlock).

I think such a system would add an immense amount of "gravity force" to games - for players who have played the game through twice or trice and just want to get a sense of (small) achievement when they play it again.

Or put bluntly - in RPG's not gaining XP is the reward for the brain, but getting level ups is. This is what WoW perfectly demonstrates (and at lvl 80 replaces *entirely* with higher tier loot gathering) (even before its basically 50% leveling and 50% the loot ;p
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 01:49:00 PM by eRe4s3r »
Proud member of the Initiative for Bigger Weapons EV. - Bringer of Additive Blended Doom - Vote for Lore, get free cookie

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Dev
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 26,004
    • View Profile
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 05:47:48 PM »
Well, I hear what you're saying with those, but a big part of the reason my wife and I stopped playing Borderlands was that there wasn't any real sense of exploration to us, just a lot of repetitive monsters, loot, and leveling.  Though honestly we were about to hit our level caps, which was a big disincentive, too -- so from that angle I agree, in some games it's the leveling and the skills/rewards earned that is the only thing keeping them interesting. 

But there are a lot of games that are fun for their inherent nature, and in those all you need is a set of goals and the players can go for them -- the way the stars, especially the green stars, are handled in Mario Galaxy 2 is a great example of that in my opinion.  I'm trying to get all of the stars in that game not because I want to brag about having them all, but because I want every drop of the gameplay from it that I can get, and collecting those stars gives me a focus for that, something to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

I think that the underlying principles of what you're saying are right on, I think that it can just manifest itself in more than one way.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Click here to get started with Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports.  Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Spikey00

  • Lord of just 5 Colony Ships
  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,696
  • And he sayeth to sea worm, thou shalt wriggle
    • View Profile
    • Spikey00's Community Forums
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2010, 06:02:31 PM »
(OCD here.  Are there any other embedded secrets in the adventure mode that I can collect even more of these fantastic objects from, beyond the puzzles?  I MUST CATCH THEM ALL.

</joke>)
A sea worm, a sea worm!  A sea worm for my command station!
irc.appliedirc.com / #aiwar
AI War Facebook
AI War Steam Group

Offline Echo35

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,703
  • More turrets! MORE TURRETS!
    • View Profile
    • Google Profile
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 10:20:53 PM »
I agree completely. I cannot stand Achievements (Unless of course they're a goal for something, like unlocks or whatever) and the people that live for them. Especially the XBLA people that whore out their gamerscore. The game should be fun and challenging in itself. To me adding achievements is just another cop out for making your game harder and take longer to complete.

On a side note, I think you should add to the joke by having a display for your "Collectibles" and possibly even Achievements for them in Steam and whatnot. Or you could really bring the joke on and put in Twitter integration for when you hit certain numbers of said Collectibles :P

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,066
  • A Paladin Without A Crusade...
    • View Profile
    • Follow On Google+
Re: Purpose of collectibles *SPOILERS*
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 01:45:45 AM »
Since I had no where better to put this:

I finished the campaign of Tidalis and all I got was a lousy pun.

I groaned out loud at the punch line. You did a good job on it, didn't see it coming, but man did I groan at that one.

Didn't quite finish the campaign, I did skip a few levels, but I got most of them done. I'll finish the rest of them later :). Great story though, I did enjoy it.

King
Honorable Gamer on the Interwebs...
Visit the Arcen Mantis to help out: http://tinyurl.com/6ps28
A Paladin's Blog: www.kingisaaclinksr.com
Related Reviews:   
Tidalis: http://wp.me/pQq2J-4Z
A Valley Without Wind: http://wp.me/pQq2J-G5
A Valley Without Wind 2: http://wp.me/pQq2J-1wc