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txa1265
02-03-2003, 03:21 PM
Hi:

I know there have been ... a few ... threads about the potential sequel to JKII, and each has had some Single Player ideas in them. However, they always get quickly overwhelmed by MP thoughts / discussions / arguments. I am going to kick off (and hopefully we can sustain) a Single Player thread of ideas.

Like any of these things (including pre-JKII discussions) everything comes from what we didn't like or found missing in either a predecessor or similar games.

So here goes ...

My JKII Take (for context):
- Many here know I really love this game - it is my favorite game ever. I've been playing 'action' games since Castle Wolfenstein on a (new at the time) Apple ][+, and JKII is my favorite. Not perfect, but my favorite.

Getting Started:
- One thing - if I'm Kyle, don't make me start as a non-saber (or even saber-weilding) noob YET AGAIN, at least without some justification. Here's a thought - Kyle and Jan get blasted in the Raven's Claw by some evil baddie, Jan dies (or not), Kyle has to teach some young apprentice he was carrying back to Luke, who then takes over the game ... *then* you can start from noob levels.

Graphics:
- I know many will say that any new game needs to hop off the aging Q3TA engine to something new (I assume that is either Doom III or Unreal II?). For me, I understand that switching engines can cost a team a year (that from some Duke 4ever news a while back), so I say leave it alone for now. Given that DoomIII is slated for Dec 2003 (assuming no slips), and Quake IV for ~end of 2004, I just don't see it ... I guess I'd sum my hopes here as - get a new JKII-based expansion with Q3 engine in 2003, 'true' JKIII in 2005 with D3/QIV engine.

Story:
- I read a Unreal II review this weekend that said something that interested me - to paraphrase, they took their time telling the story, let atmosphere build, occasionally let you go somewhere where *nothing* happened. I don't want a BORING game, but I guess I'd like to see the game push further into developing the characters, environment, and motivations. I mean expanding cutscenes, but mainly by having the characters discover more stuff while the game unfolds.

Weapons:
- Let me just say that I'm a saber lover ... and used it almost exclusively after Yavin Trial. But there are clearly places when it pays to have a ranged weapon of sorts. Plus we had the first five non-saber levels ...
- I found the guns in JKII lacking. In most every way. I could rationalize Kyle starting with his Blaster only by mentally modifying the opening cutscene to end with him saying 'probably should have packed more weapons' and Jan saying 'umm ... yeah'. I can even deal with the entire Kejim section having only the blaster and stormie rifle. HOWEVER, once past that, I think you should do a bit better than just getting the bowcaster for all levels before the saber.
- What I miss is the equivalent of the shotgun from SoFII - close up instant death. I had hoped for the disruptor to be that - short range lethal, and then long range lethal with scope. Alas ...
- I've heard it said elsewhere - too many 'splash damage' weapons, not enough shooting skill rewards ...
- Finally - forget balance. Don't make it so weapons are uniformly introduced to me and my enemies. Give me special weapons they don't have, and give them weapons I can't get - or if I can, that there is little or no ammo for.
- OK, so maybe there is more. Don't let me carry 15 weapons at a time. Not without penalty, anyway. Or, allow you to outfit yourself at the beginning of missions, and get some type of bonus for not carrying everything - maybe more speed, or faster recovery, or something.

NPC's:
- JK and MotS had an abundance of NPC's, who were easily identifiable. In JKII, you had very few.
- I would like any new game to have not just more NPC's, but have some that are aliens, like rodians, etc. Have some co-op with you (like the Bespin guards), others just help with info, and still others just not want any trouble. I'd love to see some who turn on you if you enter with a saber drawn or kill someone. Or maybe you can mind-trick into giving info.

Level Design:
- JKII was less linear than MoHAA, RtCW or SoFII, but still too linear in many places. Levels like Yavin Swamp or Canyon give you multiple paths - Canyon in particular is excellent! I would love the ability to take it further - you're a Jedi, maybe you stumble on other troubles in a place like Nar Shadda or Coruscant - not plot-dependant, just 'Jedi business'.

Force Powers:
- This is always a tough one ... in many ways I like the powers in JKII. I think that at Level 3 your Push should kill like in Ep 1, but that is nitpicking.
- One thing missing on first run through - 'force sight' or 'sense'. I want to be on the other side of a door and truly 'have a bad feeling'. I want to know an enemy is coming before I get blasted / sabered. At higher levels I'd like to see shadows through walls - see where / who / how many. The reason I mention this is that on subsequent playthroughs I've used my knowledge of what is about to happen to approximate this and plan for it.
- Force Stealth - various of the books describe the ability to 'blend into the crowd'. I'd like to see that - rather than having to do a mind trick or just Force Speed, to use mana to just not be seeable by anyone.
- Return to the 'star' system, but in some different way. If I were to start out new, I'd like to be able to put 'developmental stars' towards powers I favor, which would allow me to advance faster on those powers, instead of getting a new power level when the level design warrants it or some other reason.

Enemy AI:
- No more Cheater AI. In ANY FPS. Ever again. 'nuff said.
- No safe havens. If they know I'm there they should pursue - through doors, elevators, whatever. I would understand if I was on the other side of a door healing and they came up and were reluctant to go through 'he has a lightsaber, you go first' or whatever, but at least pursue.
- No safe level havens. If I get to the level end with 30 stormies on my tail, and it is just a door like Bespin Streets, for example, then I should start the next level with 30 stormies 1-door away from blasting me.

Whew ... I'll take a rest for now ... anyone care to chime in?

Mike

Sam Fisher
02-03-2003, 08:59 PM
yea, i agree... especially with the force powers:D

Lime-Light
02-03-2003, 11:33 PM
Good points. I do think playing as Kyle's padawan would be a logical step, 'cause kyle getting older, and I wouldnt mind it if Jan got blown up or something, I just find her really lame.

The meat and potatos of the JK (SP) games has always been, of course, being a jedi with a saber and powers. I think a lot of effort should be put into the saber and force power side of things. The effects for the saber/force are respectable, but I'd like more. One thing I thought was lacking was the saber fights in JKSP. Sure, it was cool, but I think with SP you can be more leneant with the saber movements, make them more cinematic and stylized, so the saber duels resemble saber duels, and I'm willing to sacrafice functionality and control (in SP) if itfeels more like a SW duel.

With force powers, I'd like to see less strict linear usage of them in the levels. How about let me throw random objects at guys, or mind trick a guy fight for me or suicide or open a door. Another power I'd like to see is "distract" or something. In the movies jedi are always keying noises from a distance, then sneaking past. The stealth element in JK2 was weak as hell, and made no sense, but I think it could be implemented well with force powers.

One thing I missed from JK1 SP that didnt translate into JK2 so much was the big areas. You felt small in JK1, and JKO didnt do that as well. This was just a Q3 engine issue, but I'd also like to see better use of lighting in lvls too, because it wasnt in JKO.

I agree on the NPC and plot points you made txa. JK1 and 2 both had strong story lines, jk1 more so, and that's really important to a good SW game. I'd also like to see more dark jedi battles. Dessan and Tavion were weak, in character, number, and ability.

Thats all I can think oh right now.

Oh yeah: Bullet time! More slo-mo deaths and laser dodging baby!

DeTRiTiC-iQ
02-03-2003, 11:39 PM
Yes... Unreal 2 does suck...

I ermm mean, some good points provided they remain limited to singleplayer.

Lime-Light
02-03-2003, 11:56 PM
wtf was that?

txa1265
02-04-2003, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by Lime-Light
<pardon my snipping>
With force powers, I'd like to see less strict linear usage of them in the levels. How about let me throw random objects at guys, or mind trick a guy fight for me or suicide or open a door. Another power I'd like to see is "distract" or something. In the movies jedi are always keying noises from a distance, then sneaking past. The stealth element in JK2 was weak as hell, and made no sense, but I think it could be implemented well with force powers.

One thing I missed from JK1 SP that didnt translate into JK2 so much was the big areas. You felt small in JK1, and JKO didnt do that as well. This was just a Q3 engine issue, but I'd also like to see better use of lighting in lvls too, because it wasnt in JKO.

I agree on the NPC and plot points you made txa. JK1 and 2 both had strong story lines, jk1 more so, and that's really important to a good SW game. I'd also like to see more dark jedi battles. Dessan and Tavion were weak, in character, number, and ability.

Thats all I can think oh right now.

Oh yeah: Bullet time! More slo-mo deaths and laser dodging baby!

I agree with your comments ...

Force Throw should be put in. It would be a 'complex' power, in that you would have to activate, choose object, choose target. Then it would release and go. I'm not sure whether it should look like Darth Maul and the small piece, or like Dooku or Vader ripping stuff off walls ... perhaps it should depend on how big the item is and whether it is attached. I also agree with the distract - ObiWan in ANH is the perfect example. While we're at it, I'd like some combination of lightning, grip & push to let me do to someone what Dooku did to Anakin ...

I didn't have a major problems with the sense of scale and scope in the levels compared to JK1 - I thought JKII did a decent job. I thought the JK1 levels were often longer - even replaying it can be exhausting getting to the end of a level. But I thought many of the levels in JKII did a similar thing - like on the Doomgiver. The thing on that - the tram trip was disproportionately short for the scale. I would just say to the level designers for the new one - don't be afraid to let us run for 1-2 minutes getting nowhere and encountering noone, don't be afraid to have us on a huge tram trip, don't be afraid to have us wander aimlessly for a while. It may just be a resource thing - they restrict the level size to allow it to load. OK, but then break it up rather than compromise - I would much rather have had 2 or 3 Nar Shadda street levels with lots of side-paths and even more of that 'vertical city' feel (not to mention crowded areas!). Don't feel each level has to be distinct - you can have part 1 & 2.

I am always of mixed feelings when it comes to bosses. Generally I hate boss-battles. I thought Tavion - and Fyyar, for that matter - was better than Dessann in terms of a pure boss battle. But I look at it this way - did it really matter whether Luke defeated Vader and (through him) the Emperor in RotJ? Wouldn't they both have died when the DSII blew up? See - it wasn't just about killing them, it was about Luke's personal journey and about Anakin bringing balance to the force. Likewise, I saw Tavion and Fyyar as the boss battles, and Dessann as Kyle becoming a Jedi for real.

On your final note - I know you can alter the amount of slo-mo death through the settings. I turned it way up and it was quite distracting. Laser dodging, though ... I played on Nar Shadda last night and did the sniper-lean ... so cool when it happens ...

I also agree that the next game should put even more emphasis on saber and force. Make it the focus from start to finish. More puzzles requiring Force powers (remember all the Force Sight puzzles in MotS?), more saber battles, whatever ...

It would be interesting (but would never happen in a FPS) to get to choose characters like in a RPG - you could be Kyle (saber and guns), a guns only dude, or a Jedi student (saber and limited guns). Each has a part of the mission, but are independant. However, if you want a game as long as JKII, PLUS more 'non critical path' areas on maps, PLUS NPC interactions .. for 3 different characters ... not an easy task. On that front, I found JKII the longest 'modern' SP game I've played, longer than RtCW, MoHAA, Serious Sam, and so on. I'd like this one as long or longer.

I would also love it if Raven does this one, that they port the RMG (Random Map Generator) from SoFII to JKIIx. So you know, the RMG feeds variables (weather, terrain, mission type, etc) and generates a 'unique' single player mission. They are not a true story, but are a nice extension.

Mike

Lime-Light
02-04-2003, 03:14 PM
Another thing I'd like to see (what I thought I'd see in JK2) is dynamic environments. Nar Shadaa the second time was a let down for me agian b/c it didnt feel like a city at all! There was a ship flying by every 30 seconds and some patrons in the bar. Locales like coruscant in Episode 2 prove that there are other poeple in SW and they do spend time out of bars, so more NPCs and just plain old innocent bystanders would be cool, and maybe have some side plots (SW Bounty Hunter had extra bounties in the levels).

Also, niether JK1 or 2 have any kind of huge battle. It would be cool to be a wild card in a huge battle, but that might be hard in the EU, there arent any big clear enemies anymore.

Oh, and I forgot about Galak. I HATED that battle though, I had more trouble with him than Dessann, because I generally used blue saber and push/pull to kill in SP, and that didnt work at all for Galak.

mrsparkle
02-05-2003, 01:37 PM
I want to see different game modes besides FPS.

The classic trilogy (the only ones I recognize as Star Wars :)) had space battles and piloting scenes. The 1st and last movie ended with huge space assaults on death stars.

If there is a game engine out there that can support it, I'd like to see a mixup of the game action. Have FPS missions followed by space piloting, or ground piloting like Hoth, or defending against ships with guns (Star Wars, Han and Luke in the Falcon), maybe even fun side-games like gambling in a bar.

Things to make the game come alive a little more. I personally LOVED the older Star Wars games like X-wing and Tie Fighter. To me, Star Wars isn't complete without spaceship battles. If a game could successfully combine FPS with ship piloting, it would become the premier Star Wars game.

txa1265
02-05-2003, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by mrsparkle
I want to see different game modes besides FPS.

The classic trilogy (the only ones I recognize as Star Wars :)) had space battles and piloting scenes. The 1st and last movie ended with huge space assaults on death stars.

If there is a game engine out there that can support it, I'd like to see a mixup of the game action. Have FPS missions followed by space piloting, or ground piloting like Hoth, or defending against ships with guns (Star Wars, Han and Luke in the Falcon), maybe even fun side-games like gambling in a bar.

Things to make the game come alive a little more. I personally LOVED the older Star Wars games like X-wing and Tie Fighter. To me, Star Wars isn't complete without spaceship battles. If a game could successfully combine FPS with ship piloting, it would become the premier Star Wars game.

Successful is the key word to me ... look at Shadows of the Empire - tried to have some FPS, some space battle, and so on ... and was pretty lame and mediocre at everything.

I didn't like being forced to drive the tank around in MoHAA, and liked that I *didn't* have to drive the AT-ST in JKII (although I do every now and then).

In short, if they could successfully meld those different genres in a way that was interesting to fans of each genre, that would be something ...

mrsparkle
02-05-2003, 04:55 PM
Yes successful is definitely the key, and I don't think there's a game engine that could pull it off. Flight and driving in JKII is NOT successful :)

But I can dream can't I?

Jolts
02-05-2003, 04:59 PM
halo pulled it off nicely. It also had the nice half-life style of level loading creating the illusion of huge areas, next star wars game should follow that lead vs one big level.

Katarn07
02-05-2003, 06:23 PM
OK, this takes place at the time of Shadow Academy, alowing Kyle to kill some Dark Jedi students of Brakiss's.

You start out training some Jedi on Sulon with their Force powers, no saber. Your home is attacked by Brakiss's mercs to capture your children. You and the students must fight your way from the badlands toyour house. You can obtain a bunch of guns along the way.

Your daughter has been captured. You, Jan, and the two Jedi students must chase down the mercs and Dark Students to get Kyle's daughter. Well, to cut to the chase: your daughter turns evil and you must fight her and turn her to the light. Would be cool if you were forced to kill her.

Darth Vicious
02-06-2003, 07:57 PM
Okay, this is pretty obvious to me. The sequel (and probably final Jedi Knight game) Will be placed in the New Jedi Order. (no flames please. These are just ideas and beliefs)

Due to the nature of the NJO, as well as what we know of Kyle after JKII (joined luke's academy and became a weapons instructor for young students, all the way till the invasion.) Kyle does NOT have to start as a saberless forceless n00b.

As the Force doesn't work properly on the Yuuzhan Vong ANYWAY, Kyle can still be nasty powerful in the Force, but yet has to rely on his saber skill and reflexes to get the job done... no more cheesy force-choke + saber throw.

Another good thing -- The vong are primarily melee fighters, and their weapons can stand up against (though not for long.) Lightsabers... this sort of thing would make for kickass duels.

Moreso, it's not "another dark jedi" story, which saves it from being the same old thing.

Obviously, this is sequel stuff, not expansion pack stuff, but one could hope...

Besides, and i find this interesting, The latest of the NJO books, Force Heretic 1, has actually made mention of Kyle Katarn... Because, for some reason, he wasn't at the Jedi council meeting like he was supposed to be...

:D

Khier
02-15-2003, 12:34 AM
Well I can't think of nearly as many suggestions as you guys, I think that stances specifically for the double bladed saber and dual sabers would be cool, maybe you can have a choice of using double bladed or dual sabers much later on in the game? I also very much agree on more spacious levels with more activity, like innocent bystanders and whatnot. :p Ok so I'm not quite as imaginitive as you guys since that's all I can think of

txa1265
02-15-2003, 10:46 PM
OK, two events have occurred since this thread started that have me thinking:
- The release (and response to) Unreal II
- The cancellation of RTCW: Enemy Territory

Perhaps UnrealII should make us appreciate the Quake III engine ... and a decent story. I've not finished it yet - and don't care if I do. It can be beautiful to look at - given the right hardware - but that beauty is fairly skin deep. JKII has so many things over that game ...

More telling is the cancellation of the RTCW sequel. MoHAA:Spearhead is a short, small single player pack that was overpriced for what it had. RTCW looked like MotS for RTCW - something that actually added features, and was very ambitous as it seemed to have co-op mode single player.

Between the two of these we might find somewhere to temper our own expectations for what is coming next for JKII ... I would trade advanced graphics (and even major alterations in Force Powers and Saber control) for a great storyline and a long game.

Mike

yolkboy
02-15-2003, 11:24 PM
Hmmm.... I agree with everything you guys have said. I don't know if I can add anything more. :( Anyways, I would like to see force throw again. Also persuasion so no one knows you are there. Aaaahhh, I would like to have all the old JK force powers back! :D Oohh, have the MP Force Powers from JO in SP too. I wouldn't mind kicking some stormtroopers down! :trooper:
Again, less linear and larger levels. And a better story line.

Emon
02-16-2003, 12:51 PM
If a JO expansion or sequel even exists, it wouldn't be in the NJO, and it wouldn't be some lame arbitrary story line that some fans thought up on some forums.

Why? First of all, if they are expanding on JO, they are expanding on JO's story. It would be stupid to call it an expansion and have it take place in a totally different setting and not have anything to do with the original game. Same goes for a sequel. They're not going to call it part of the Dark Forces / Jedi Knight series if it has nothing to do with it. Since Kyle is involved in the NJO, a JK game with it might eventually be made, but not when LEC still has so much they can do with the existing saga.

Changing to an unrelated story like that and calling it a sequel or expansion is not only illogical, it would be bad for business. When people see the words "Dark Forces" or "Jedi Knight" and Kyle Katarn on the box of a game, they are going to expect it to be closely related to the existing characters, story and saga.

StormHammer
02-18-2003, 10:03 PM
*pops head around door*

Yes, some very interesting points already raised...and lots of good ideas.

As someone who has completed Unreal II...well, the game was short, the story not well enough told, and it was basically a straightforward FPS with some interesting and even great moments. But it wasn't a game that redefined the parameters of an FPS. Yes, it looked gorgeous...but you didn't spend long enough in each environment to actually appreciate the graphical splendour.

Anyway, getting back to the specifics of this series of games...you had Dark Forces with it's mercenary style, interesting environmental puzzles, secrets, and a solid story. Then you have Jedi Knight...which is still one of my all-time favourite games, and brought so many engaging gameplay elements to the genre that are still found lacking in many recent titles. MotS brought along some improvements. Then Jedi Outcast brought us an intriguing mix of play styles, but some puzzles that seemed, to me, a bit redundant. Each game has it's strengths and weaknesses, and any future games in the series need to make the weaknesses into strengths...and basically just tweak the strengths a little bit to make them even better.

For me, Jedi Knight was a great experience due to the level of control you had over the way you played it. From a 1st/3rd person view, to being able to choose and improve the Force powers you desired, to just run-and-gun with the arsenal of weapons at your disposal, or go for saber and force. The moral code and branching storyline were both inspired, and worked well. Choosing to protect (or even kill) innocent bystanders was excellent. Even the cut scenes were dramatic and interesting.

Then came Jedi Outcast...and I was dissatisfied with the way some of the player choice was stripped away. No more choice over force powers, no ability to play dark/light side, no branching story based on your actions and choices, fewer NPCs. But it did bring other elements to the fore...improved saber combat, improved force power use, a few 'mini-games' (such as shoot the TIE fighter), some escort duty, more lightsaber battles, and AI allies fighting alongside you. I felt the story was not as strong as in Jedi Knight, but acceptable. The in-engine cut scenes were a bit painful to watch - especially when I consider that RTCW used the same engine, but the animation and lip-synching was a lot smoother in those characters.

So what would I like to seen in an SP sequel?

Well...I am starting to question whether cut scenes that only involve dialogue (particularly between your own character and NPCs) are really necessary. Half-Life managed perfectly well without them...keeping you in-character, and looking through your characters eyes, as important information was imparted to you by NPCs. Even when something happens to you that is scripted...why not have it happen while you remain in-character? For example, when Desann force-grips you in Jedi Outcast, I think that would have been even more effective if you'd remained in-character, and saw the screen blur at the edges, and start to swim as you start to lose consciousness. This can only help to increase immersion, IMHO. I'd much rather retain freedom of movement, even explore my surroundings, as someone is giving me some information. But even better would be simply instigating the conversation myself, and having a choice of questions I can ask. In my view, there's nothing wrong with this kind of RPG element in an FPS game, but then Deus Ex is one of my favourite games too.

Where cut scenes are still important in Star Wars games is when showing events that are happening to others, and for showing space vessels etc., in flight. I thought the CGI ship sequences in Jedi Outcast were quite good...and CGI in general would have been better throughout. So, I guess I'm saying I would prefer to see CGI-rendered cut scenes in any future expansion or sequel.

When it comes to storyline...it has to be solid, and it has to be engaging, if not enthralling. The problem is that we've all seen most plot-points of movies before, dressed up in different ways, and it's getting progressively harder to tell a certain type of story in an interesting way. I mean, having just played Unreal II, and learning what that story was about...at the end I thought...so what? They could have done so much more in developing the characters and situations in that game, which would have had a greater impact on both the story and the ending.

Basically...that is what the best stories boil down to - how someone faces a particular challenge in their life, and how they relate to others. Character background and personality must be as important to how a story develops as the underlying plot, whatever that may be. If you don't care about the characters involved, then the story loses some of it's edge. I think developers are sometimes frightened to go the next step in character development in games, to actually develop virtual relationships that count. So I have to applaud Raven for attempting to redress that in Jedi Outcast, but in a way it backfired due to the in-engine nature of the cut scenes, which were not very convincing.

As for AI...and NPCs...I'd love to see something approaching what was achieved in NOLF2. As someone who is currently halfway through that game...I have to say what a great example it is of what can be achieved with imagination and ingenuity. Just take a look at the Siberia levels (the entire mission) to see how well a mission can be structured, yet give the player a great sense of freedom in how to approach it. You can complete the mini-objectives preceding entry to the base in any order you like. Once inside the bases...well, you realise just what decent AI is all about, when your opponents basically live their lives in front of you...on patrol, asleep, taking a leak, having a cup of coffee - it just feels so randomised and realistic, and it keeps you on your toes when you're trying to sneak through them all.

I mention this because...well, too many recent games give you enemies in the same place, in every linear level, who do exactly the same thing in the same spot until you turn up to shoot them down. Not only does it get boring after a while...but in the point raised in one of the posts above, you know what to expect the second and third times through, and just adapt your approach accordingly. I'd prefer levels where each time I enter them...I don't know where each of the enemies are, or what exactly they are doing.

The other thing of note is that due to obvious terrain size restrictions of that engine...you could walk back and fore between different levels, instead of having a linear progression through a game where preceding levels are now closed off to you. Half-Life managed the same sort of thing, allowing you to cross a threshold and enter another level, but the load time was so small, and the continuity between levels so seamless, that you
hardly noticed. And then you could come back the same way to get access to a different area - or objective.

I do prefer multiple pathways through levels too...and even multiple ways to achieve an objective. For SP games in particular, this improves the prospect of replayability, because you can try different tactics, and different routes, the second time through. Again, Deus Ex managed to achieve this admirably, offering you the option of stealth or all-out attack, and different ways to get from point A to point B, so as a player you were not restricted to a set path, and a set way of completing a particular task. Of course, levels have to be designed with these considerations in mind.

One of the things I disliked about many of Jedi Outcast's levels was that you could often find yourself in a situation or position you could not get out of without dying. This seemed strange to me, consdiering that in Jedi Knight you often had a way out if you made a wrong turn or mistake. Fallen into that hole? Well look...we provided you with an elevator to get you back up again. Whereas in Jedi Outcast, if you fell into the water on the mining colony level, you simply died. I would have preferred it if I could have jumped into the water, taken some damage, swam to shore and climbed up a path to get to my last position - at least that would have alleviated the need to watch so many loading screens (which is frankly beginning to annoy me).

And that brings me onto another pet hate of mine. Some recent games now put you in a position the first time through where you invariably end up dying...and when you reload, you have to rethink your tactics and try again. If you have to reload more than once, then I think there is something fundamentally wrong with that encounter or circumstance. Part of it comes down to not having a 'back door' to get back out of difficulty in some instances...but sometimes an enemy just proves to be immune to certain types of weapons, and you have to find the right one, and use it in just the right way, to progress. This is particularly true of 'boss' levels. I prefer more open-ended gameplay, where I don't simply die for making an easy mistake.

I do feel that driveable vehicles should not be that much of a problem, even if the Q3 engine was still used. If you can drive a snow scooter in NOLF2...you should be able to drive a swoop or speeder in a Star Wars game. Who cares if the engine cannot cope with huge open terrain...there are ways to get around that, as Raven proved in the 'Train' level in SOF, and later the road chase and helicopter levels in SOF II. All it takes is ingenuity, and a willingness to try to make it work...and I feel these elements really add so much more to the overall gameplay, because it gets you away from simply running around on foot blasting enemies. I was one who really enjoyed driving the AT-ST in Outcast, so I'd love to see even greater vehicle interaction.

When it comes to NPCs...I agree with other posters that there should be far more neutral NPCs in levels...that not everyone should immediately aim a blaster at your head if you shoot someone. There should be innocent bystanders, of multiple races, who should attempt to run and hide at the first sign of trouble. And I strongly prefer situations where I can either choose to help someone, or let them die, or even kill them myself - as in the original Jedi Knight. It is just more realistic...and even moreso for the game not to finish with a GAME OVER message, because you didn't save enough civilians, or whatever. I hate any instance of a GAME OVER message that does not include the death of my character...because it enforces that linear approach to level and story design. In real life, you make mistakes, and people can die...but your own life doesn't end. So in a game...I would prefer that my actions are simply noted - that other NPCs may not react well to me if I am seen cutting down others, or not helping others. More than anything else, this brings back morality into the gameplay, because you suffer the consequences of your actions in real-time. In the Jedi context, you swing towards the Dark side, and that is as it should be.

Taking that the logical step further, I don't see any reason why some of the really key choices you make cannot have a direct bearing on how the story develops from that point. Deus Ex managed that quite well. Yes, it means a lot more work in designing alternative scenarios, and perhaps even levels...but surely it is worth it if it improves replayability, and the gamer is going to try playing the game a different way, and see those other levels the next time through?

So...bring back the things that worked well in Jedi Knight...from allocating points to force powers the gamer wants to develop (and I mean from the very beginning of the game), and even expanding on that to include other skills, such as accuracy, and stamina, and stealth, and proficiency with different types of equipment. Bring back the role playing aspect in SP, even to the level of choosing your character's appearance, and choosing which weapons you wish to carry into each mission. I loved the way SOF limited your number of weapons, and I'd love to see that in another Jedi game - because it's now just about what you can physically carry...but what you should choose to carry dependent on your play style. If you want to sneak-and-stun...then lets have the equipment and weapons to play that way. If you want to run-and-gun, then lets have the equipment and weapons for that style too.

Keep the mix of gameplay styles...from the mini-games to the escort missions. Throw in a 'defend the base' level, like Unreal 2. And come up with some new and exciting stuff. I mean, in NOLF you had a couple of sniper levels, then you had to shoot down helicopters from a cable car...then fight off bad guys as you freefall to catch someone who has a parachute. These kinds of play styles can really break a game up from the monotony of running and gunning.

Drastically improve the stealth elements. Jedi aren't simply about going into battle...they sneak around too, and look for the best opportunities. Why should it not be possible to simply sneak into a base, sneak past the guards, disable some of the security devices by hacking systems, and get to your objective unseen and undetected? Then maybe you trigger an alarm, and have to fight your way out...but the option should be there, and give the player more choice.

Other things that would be nice to see are proper day-night cycles...so you can simply wait for darkness before making a final approach to an objective, for example.

And sky textures that actually move. Some of the skies in Unreal were simply awe-inspiring, and some of those in UT2K3 are also breathtaking. Seeing a planet suddenly come up on the horizon and block out the sun would be fantastic...because it improves your immersion in another universe, where things like this must happen.

Lighting is another important aspect of level design...and I did miss having the lightsaber give off light in Outcast, when it worked so effectively in Jedi Knight/MotS. Having more shadows...and being able to hide in those shadows...would also be welcome in any future episodes.

A greater variety of weapon designs (to include some exotic alien weapons), and an improved inventory of things you can carry...and even showing what you carry while in 3rd person...would for me improve the sense of immersion.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it here...

Jolts
02-18-2003, 11:01 PM
so in short you want everything kotor has minus the turn based combat and with a new improved jo combat system? Thats what I basically want....

The Count
02-19-2003, 07:51 PM
I think they should just have Kyle and some unbelievable plot with another Dark Jedi I mean we all want saber fighting don't we yes that's why it's called Jedi Knight not Yuzzan Vong, Padawan training use your lightsaber against a gun endlessly or an amplishaft just good ol' fashion killing Dark Jedi with lightsabers the next Jedi Knight game another Dark Jedi and Kyle it wouldn't be Jedi Knight otherwise.

The Count
02-19-2003, 07:55 PM
By the way the new game should have real Star Wars guns like the ones in Dark Forces those guns kicked ass, not crappy merson missle system or what not Fusion Cutter, CONCUSSION RIFLE (loved that gun with all my heart) Rail Detonator etc.

Emon
02-19-2003, 10:12 PM
JO does have real Star Wars guns, the others were all made up just for the games. No one had ever heard of a Rail Detonator, Concussion Rifle or Carbonite Gun before those games.

The Count
02-19-2003, 10:27 PM
Bah, they are just crappy guns, a rail detonator is far more likely to be a star wars gun than a Merson missle system

StormHammer
02-21-2003, 06:07 PM
I'd like to see more organic kinds of weapons. After all, the Star Wars galaxy is a big place, with lots of diverse races, and I would imagine there are some pretty weird and nasty weapons in some systems.

Even having some of the bounty-hunter type weapons would be a change, such as web-guns to tangle opponents, poisoned darts (and dart throwers), etc... I mean, you even have assassin-bugs in AOTC. I think it would be great to open a door, throw something really nasty into the room beyond, and hear the yells and screams as it attacks those within.

I get a bit tired of the old pistol, shotgun, machine-gun, rocket launcher line-up in a lot of games. Unreal II is a poorer game for not bringing back some of Unreal's more original weapons, like the BioRifle, ASMD ShockRifle and Razorjack.

By all means bring back the concussion rifle - at least for SP - in any further instalments of this Jedi series.

Another possibility is being able to remote control an armed drone, so you can clear a path through lots of enemies...then just go in and mop up. Maybe even hack into something like an Imperial Probe droid.

That's one of the things I wanted to do in Outcast...take Jan's place and hack the systems myself.

I've obviously played too much Deus Ex...

txa1265
03-04-2003, 11:59 AM
Excellent post as always StormHammer. While I'm not the DX fan you are I agree with much of what you mention.

The guns were a letdown in JKII. I didn't care much because of the saber - which I thought was very well implemented. But there was no 'shotgun' in any real sense, not like in SoFII anyway. The weapon balance was too weak early on, and later on I was so hung up with the saber I didn't really care much. They were utility weapons - three missles to drop an AT-ST, and so on.

But why should I only have those weapons available to my enemies? And why should my enemies only have weapons available to me? I also strongly agree with the need for new weapons - not just different sci-fi variants on the same old weapon set, but somthing new. Think seismic charges from Ep2.

I also agree with more interaction, like via remote. I thought the mouse droid and R5 were a good start, and the *option* driving the AT-ST was also good (even if I don't use it most of the time).

I think that a lot of what we're talking about is adding RPG *elements* to JKII. Not making it a RPG, so don't start the 'wait for KOTOR or Galaxies or ...' comments. But subtle changes - like having the ability to determine a Force level, and if it is below your current max you'd sustain longer or recover mana faster. Or the ability to turn on and off powers - like a quick speed burst.

I'd like whatever comes next to give us lots of choice - the AT-ST option was gratifying in part since I hated driving the Tiger tank in MoHAA. I'd love side-plots - finding a prisoner like you found Lando, and having him ask for help, you could say 'sure' or 'sorry, bud, I have a galaxy to save!' or whatever.

One of my big force power wishes was mentioned before, I think. It is like Persuasion in JK1, the ability to go through an area unnoticed. I'd like more power to choose to kill or not.

Mike

I'm not so nice about my feelings on Unreal II ... better weapons wouldn't have saved it ... in much the same way Dark Forces and JK1 remain great games *despite* dated graphics, Unreal II is a very mediocre game *despite* tremendous graphics ...

StormHammer
03-04-2003, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by txa1265
But why should I only have those weapons available to my enemies? And why should my enemies only have weapons available to me? I also strongly agree with the need for new weapons - not just different sci-fi variants on the same old weapon set, but somthing new. Think seismic charges from Ep2.

Good point. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to use a large variety of weapons...but perhaps you are better using some than others. So if you pick up a Gaffi stick, you could use it, but not very well. Or if you mess with unfamiliar explosive charges, there's a chance they might go off in your hand. :D

I'd like whatever comes next to give us lots of choice - the AT-ST option was gratifying in part since I hated driving the Tiger tank in MoHAA. I'd love side-plots - finding a prisoner like you found Lando, and having him ask for help, you could say 'sure' or 'sorry, bud, I have a galaxy to save!' or whatever.

Agreed. Small side-quests that you don't have to complete can add another dimension to the gameplay, and should offer up little rewards to make them worthwhile. :)

I'd like more power to choose to kill or not.

I totally agree. I want to see a return of a more moralistic type of gameplay, so you don't automatically have to shoot everything in sight. Jedi were supposed to revert to weapons as a last resort, and I see the Jedi Mind Trick (or Persuasion) as a force power that should be introduced practically from the outset (with initially limited ability), along with Speed and Jump, so you can run and hide if discovered. Really, I'd hate to see a return to starting another game in this series with no Force powers at all. For complete beginners, who are unfamiliar with Force use, you can simply offer them the chance to train at the Jedi Academy with the Luke-alike - and it should be an option, so those who've played previous games can get stuck right into the action.

I'm not so nice about my feelings on Unreal II ... better weapons wouldn't have saved it ... in much the same way Dark Forces and JK1 remain great games *despite* dated graphics, Unreal II is a very mediocre game *despite* tremendous graphics ...

Yeah, you're right, it's just an average shooter with a recycled plot. :( [Stormtrooper voice] Move along...move along...[/Stormtrooper voice]

AKPiggott
03-04-2003, 02:46 PM
I agree with all this talk of NPCs and whether or not you can kill them. The only NPCs that were in JO were the droids and the Ugnaughts and they were all too few and far between.

Originally posted by txa1265
In short, if they could successfully meld those different genres in a way that was interesting to fans of each genre, that would be something ...

Not really. Unless you have an equal appreciation for each of those genres. I don't particuarly like flight sims, so X-Wing levels in mid-FPS would annoy me a bit. I've always believed the best way to maintain interest in a First Person Shooter is to add plenty of variety, among that a couple of good drivable vehicle sequences would be a bonus.

Originally posted by Emon
Changing to an unrelated story like that and calling it a sequel or expansion is not only illogical, it would be bad for business. When people see the words "Dark Forces" or "Jedi Knight" and Kyle Katarn on the box of a game, they are going to expect it to be closely related to the existing characters, story and saga.

Having said that, I would love to see a really good Star Wars FPS that doesn't focus on Kyle Katarn and not necessarily the same era as the Dark Forces games are set.

Originally posted by StormHammer
Where cut scenes are still important in Star Wars games is when showing events that are happening to others, and for showing space vessels etc., in flight. I thought the CGI ship sequences in Jedi Outcast were quite good...and CGI in general would have been better throughout. So, I guess I'm saying I would prefer to see CGI-rendered cut scenes in any future expansion or sequel.

I disagree. Game engines are getting to the point where in-game cutscenes more than suffice (look at NOLF2 and Mafia). They flow better with the stuff in-game and they allow more freedom for SP editing.

Originally posted by StormHammer
Keep the mix of gameplay styles...from the mini-games to the escort missions. Throw in a 'defend the base' level, like Unreal 2. And come up with some new and exciting stuff. I mean, in NOLF you had a couple of sniper levels, then you had to shoot down helicopters from a cable car...then fight off bad guys as you freefall to catch someone who has a parachute. These kinds of play styles can really break a game up from the monotony of running and gunning.

Agreed. The variety in NOLF made it such a bold and special game, I'm surprised the varying styles haven't since become industry standard.

txa1265
03-04-2003, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by AKPiggott
Not really. Unless you have an equal appreciation for each of those genres. I don't particuarly like flight sims, so X-Wing levels in mid-FPS would annoy me a bit. I've always believed the best way to maintain interest in a First Person Shooter is to add plenty of variety, among that a couple of good drivable vehicle sequences would be a bonus.

... 'scuse me ... I've been taken a bit out of context. I said it would be 'something' ... I didn't like SotE all that much - it was an OK attempt at several game type, none were excellent. I think that FPS and RPG are somewhat blendable (not combinable, if you get the gist of my semantics), but other types are a distraction to the main course of a FPS.

I agree that by adding game modes as 'variety' rather than substance would maintain the interest. Again I mention the AT-ST compared to MoHAA's tank. I also think of the level on Doomgiver where you can shoot at Tie fighters - pure fluff, no purpose, yet I go there each and every time :)

Mike

AKPiggott
03-04-2003, 03:17 PM
Sorry I got the wrong idea. Still, you summed it up pretty nicely.

txa1265
03-04-2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by StormHammer
Good point. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to use a large variety of weapons...but perhaps you are better using some than others. So if you pick up a Gaffi stick, you could use it, but not very well. Or if you mess with unfamiliar explosive charges, there's a chance they might go off in your hand. :D


Very much agree, [Obscure Jazz Reference]like Ornette Coleman taking up violin![/Obscure Jazz Reference]. Seriously, I think that would be an excellent way to do things.


Agreed. Small side-quests that you don't have to complete can add another dimension to the gameplay, and should offer up little rewards to make them worthwhile. :)


I wonder what rewards ... ? Should it be effective skill points? Like a '+2 to hit' type of thing? So if you accomplish many side-tasks, meet an equal foe, and saber lock, you would win?


I totally agree. I want to see a return of a more moralistic type of gameplay, so you don't automatically have to shoot everything in sight. Jedi were supposed to revert to weapons as a last resort, and I see the Jedi Mind Trick (or Persuasion) as a force power that should be introduced practically from the outset (with initially limited ability), along with Speed and Jump, so you can run and hide if discovered. Really, I'd hate to see a return to starting another game in this series with no Force powers at all. For complete beginners, who are unfamiliar with Force use, you can simply offer them the chance to train at the Jedi Academy with the Luke-alike - and it should be an option, so those who've played previous games can get stuck right into the action.


Luke-alike, Ha ha ha. Hadn't heard him called that! I thought the guy did a reasonable job.

Anyway, I agree. Jedi Trials for all, training as an option. If you fail the trials, you go back to training ;)


Yeah, you're right, it's just an average shooter with a recycled plot. :( [Stormtrooper voice] Move along...move along...[/Stormtrooper voice]

But the graphics ... they really are awesome on the right hardware ... I thought the snow on the JKII Demo was cool - but in Unreal ... I just hung around outside for a while, then said, oh well, I guess I have to keep playing ;)

Mike

txa1265
03-07-2003, 03:14 PM
I was looking at the Stratos strategy guide for JKII (someone posted it on a Mac usenet group), and saw the description of the Flechette as a shotgun. Interesting ... but to my earlier post, I wish I had is on Kejim, or at least Artus. I liked the shotgun in SoFII (I *know* it is overpowered, but I like it anyway) and how you get it early on in the game. That provides somee decent balance - you have people taking shots at you from too great a distance to pop them with the shotgun, but when you get near they're toast. The bowcaster is a necessity, I know. But I still wished for a 1-hit kill weapon before getting the saber.

Mike

Jared
03-09-2003, 03:01 PM
I don't really know about any of the rumors or anything. I don't think there was anything wrong with JKII except for the Multiplayer. The MP was weak. The JK and MOTS mp I still play over the JKII one. And I wish you would start with your saber, instead of having to earn or get it.

boinga1
03-09-2003, 07:06 PM
ahh ahh ahh! no MP discussion... j/k :lol:

txa1265
03-10-2003, 06:54 AM
Originally posted by TK-421
<snip> And I wish you would start with your saber, instead of having to earn or get it.

Ignoring the MP stuff ;) ...

The question of when you get the saber - and the gameplay prior to getting the saber - is one of those fundamental issues that splits players and kept down review scores ...

I personally like the first several levels, find them fun and challenging, but do wish I had something more powerful to take out stormies with. I certainly understand it in the context of the story.

I think that most people really want the saber right away in the next game.

Mike

txa1265
03-17-2003, 11:32 AM
Stormhammer should be happy ... I have totally lost interest in *ever* finishing Unreal II (maybe I'll be bored someday ... nah, probably replay JKII again). So I eBay-ed my way into a copy of Deus Ex (I never played it - I borrowed a friend's CD, didn't run correctly on my laptop at the time, he left our company ... of well). Based on what I've done so far I have some thoughts about applying things to JKIIX / JKIII.

First, I really do like this game (I've just entered Hong Kong, if anyone cares), but know it won't be my favorite ever, nor likely crack my top 5 ... but will definitely be in my top 10. It is also clear (to me, anyway) that this game shows an evolutionary path from JK1.

So what would I take from this that I'd like to see in a JKII expansion / next version?
- Dialogue: even if it is functionally useless. Imagine the bar on Nar Shadda as an interactive discussion rather than a scripted pseudo-cutscene ... sure you eventually have to kill everyone and so on, but it would be nice to learn something from the patrons and the bartender.
- Carrying limits: I like guns, I love the saber, but I like the ability to have both ... just in case. But I think the idea of anyone carrying 15 weapons plus full loads of ammo plus supplies and maintaining full agility is a bit much. I don't think we need total realism, but I think that having to choose what to bring would make the game more interesting (and difficult for both players and programmers). Perhaps always having the saber and bryar, getting to choose a 'light' and 'heavy' weapon, and some mix of explosives and items like binocs. Something like Deus Ex or SoFI/II.
- Upgrades / Mods: I still want a 'shotgun' for JKII, like the one in SoFII, a 1-hit-killer. Perhaps rather than changing the weapon explicitly it could be done like weapon mods in Deus Ex. Imagine the second Kejim level having a 'power' mod for the Bryar that made it a 1-hit kill from close range? Or one that gave the E11 'accuracy'?!?
- Menus for actions: rather than Mind Trick being one-dimensional, wouldn't it be nice to have a choice - distract, confuse, get information, control, or whatever?

Obviously, much has been said about 'flexible plotlines' ala JK1 and Deus Ex. While I know that adds complexity exponentially, I would be happy with having the plot be responsive to my actions and the level of play. For instance, I meet Luke and say 'I think I met one on Bespin' about Reborn ... WTF, I met several even on 'Jedi' difficulty.

Just a few more thoughts ...

Mike

txa1265
03-17-2003, 03:19 PM
Another Deus Ex thing I like is revisiting areas. I'm only halfway through the game, but feel I could go through UNATCO witth my eyes closed. I liked that with the Jedi Academy in JKII, but could have used more of it - like on-ship or something.

Mike

txa1265
03-26-2003, 01:10 PM
OK, I finished Deus Ex. Very good game. Yet a few more comments ...

- As I got to the end it occurred to me that I'd never taken the dark path all the way to the end in JK1 ... I am just a light-sider by nature. I couldn't do what it took to pursue the dark path, I was morally opposed to it.

- I had a hard time deciding which ending to choose. I didn't feel morally attached to any of them, nor did I feel good or bad about the choices left behind.

- But it did make me *think* ... which is more than most games do. Take SoFII, for example ... no big surprise who the bad guy was, so just kill him and be done.

- I am starting to tire of games in which I reach my full potential as a player right before the game ends. I want to stretch out and enjoy the fruit of my labors. JKII was better than most in that regard - you get almost the whole final Yavin mission with close to full powers. Still ...

Mike

Anakin
03-27-2003, 04:20 AM
Force Powers
Force Seeing/Sense Is a must, but as I will continue to banter on, this can be done now, if we had the SP SDK. So moving on from that.

Things that Jedi Outcast lacked, was atmosphere, there was never any apart from the Yavin Swamp, i could 'feel' like I was there, but the other levels like Nar Sharda, lack of NPC's and ships and other things going on made it quite wooden and boring.

The whole expansion of a level within a level is one that needs to be looked at, Jedi Outcast was at the end of the day to predicatable, you knew how to get one end of the level from the begining, there was no other way of getting around it, if there were mulitple paths and mulitple things like 'Jedi Business' that would be great. Dare I say it but Star Wars:Episode 1 Game did that :p

To be honest I cant see why a Jedi would ever have to carry around such a large amount of wepons just his lightsaber and his Blaster would be enough for me,.

Cutscenes, hard one to choose on, AK brings up some good points about the whole CGI thing and In game, but surely if there was goals within goals in the levels that were built maybe the cutscenes would work better.

Main things I hope they look at
The Expansion of Force Powers
Levels within levels.
and dare I say it support for editing it and SDK for SP/MP :P

txa1265
03-27-2003, 08:26 AM
Nicely put!

I'm not so hard on the non-swamp levels, but share your criticism regarding lack of NPC's and other 'life on Nar Shadda' impacting the enjoyment of the level. [edit - as I've said before, I can live with Bespin being empty, as it seems they are always clearing that place out - TESB, also I think in one of the books. But having Nar Shadda as empty as it was, only occasional sky-cars, was the 2nd most rediculous thing ... only after SoFII's vacant Hong Kong ...!]

As for TPM, my neck still hurts thinking about that isometric view ... wait, I just fell over :D ... but the point about side-trips is very true.

I agree also with you on Force Sight - it was one of my first comments. I really want to come upon a door that should be locked - but isn't, and use my sense to 'have a bad feeling', but then also know what is waiting for me.

I think that the RPG/reward system from JK1 should be re-invented, along with the 'level in level' ideas. Let me get send on side-missions to free the security guards or rescue the trapped family, but then reward me for it in a real way. Deus Ex has me thinking more about this. Perhaps create a 4th level to Force Powers, and provide some 'points' system to put towards your powers based on solving side-tasks, exploring off-path areas ('secrets', or 'exploration bonus'), or something else. Not at the expense of the 'planned Force Upgrade' system in JKII, but as an addition.

Another thing to lose - level stats. It makes it more of a game and less of a story. I preferred SoFII's 're-arming' screens. You were at a base, and it was time to review your next mission objectives and grab some portable death (just add terrorists);) Perhaps have missions land you in your 'meditation room' on ship, or somewhere in the Jedi Temple, or whatever.

I also agree with the weapons. Even in non-saber games, like SoFII, Deus Ex, MoHAA, RtCW, etc, etc, etc ... I always choose a few weapons and stick with them. I don't need 12 weapons on hand at all times. Give me a saber (always) Bryar (always), room for a light repeater (e.g. E11) and heavy weapon (missles, concussion), some TD's, and supplies.

I really want a good JKIIExp / JKIII. Even if that means waiting (not that I want to wait).

Mike

txa1265
03-27-2003, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by Anakin
Force Powers
Cutscenes, hard one to choose on, AK brings up some good points about the whole CGI thing and In game, but surely if there was goals within goals in the levels that were built maybe the cutscenes would work better.

Main things I hope they look at
The Expansion of Force Powers
Levels within levels.
and dare I say it support for editing it and SDK for SP/MP :P

I have no problem with CGI cutscenes, and let me just say to those who want live action again - LET IT GO!!! :) Seriously, the expense is higher, and the game community philosophy has changed. I don't see it happening again. Ever.

That said, I would like fewer of the in-game scenes and more 'semi-scripted interactions'. Again I go back to the Nar Shadda bar scene - let me ask the questions and wander around rather than taking me out of things when I approach the bar.

I do hope they eventually do full support for editing. I would pay money (I'd actually be willing to spend ~$20 each) for Dark Forces and Jedi Knight1 (and MotS) re-done using the new engine and saber combat system.

Mike

StormHammer
03-27-2003, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by txa1265
I do hope they eventually do full support for editing. I would pay money (I'd actually be willing to spend ~$20 each) for Dark Forces and Jedi Knight1 (and MotS) re-done using the new engine and saber combat system.

Mike

Why pay for them, when they are already being developed by the MOD community? Have you tried the Dark Forces mod demo yet? It rocks, IMHO. And Dark Forces 2 Enhanced is coming along nicely - they're doing some sweet work on that mod. They just need time and more support to continue development, but what they've achieved so far looks very professional.


Anyone...back to the question of cut scenes..

Originally posted by AKPiggott
I disagree. Game engines are getting to the point where in-game cutscenes more than suffice (look at NOLF2 and Mafia). They flow better with the stuff in-game and they allow more freedom for SP editing.

Yes, you do have a point. NOLF2 and Mafia's cut scenes do look very nice, with hi-res models, proper lip-synching and facial animation, and I do believe NOLF2 uses motion-capture due to the level of smooth micro-movements. However, the Q3 engine does not seem very capable in this area, although RTCW managed quite well.

If they are going to continue to use in-engine cut scenes, then they really need to look very seriously at motion-capture, including micro-movements, very hi-res and detailed models that actually move around fluidly (a toss of the head, shifting weight from one foot to the other, putting a hand on hip etc. ), and proper (complex and smooth) facial animation and lip-syncing. Giving characters their own individual little habits (like brushing a hand through their hair, picking their nose, or what-have-you), also brings them alive as individuals. Also, sometimes when you see a character make a gesture, it is too slow. In real life, people also make sharp, quick gestures and movements.

Lastly, they still need to work a great deal more on cutting between different shots, camera angles, and all the rest of it. A cut scene should feel more like a mini-movie, with things going on in the background, dynamic action and interesting composition. In short, they need a film-style director to frame shots, including close-ups of character's faces.

Originally posted by txa1265
Another thing to lose - level stats. It makes it more of a game and less of a story. I preferred SoFII's 're-arming' screens.

Yes, I'd like to see something similar to SOF - but even SOF had stats at the end of each mission. Good examples of games that managed without stats are Unreal and Half-Life. Personally, I don't think stats are really necessary these days. In Unreal, for example, a small part of what makes me want to replay it is not knowing if I found all the secret areas. Today I prefer to focus more on achieving objectives, and I couldn't care less how many headshots I got, how many enemies I killed, or how many gold pieces I managed to collect. All of those things could be implemented within the context of the game...like you overhear a conversation...

"Did you hear about the massacre on ??? Base? I hear they got hit by a battalion."

"No...it was one man."

Or....

"Someone infiltrated the base and killed a couple of guards. Thank the stars we had light losses."

Or...

"Well, they may have invaded the base...but they didn't find my secret cache of weapons..."

These things could also take the form of written journals, or something. That keeps you in the context of the game...and lets you know you could have done better, or that there were things you missed.

Originally posted by Anakin
Things that Jedi Outcast lacked, was atmosphere, there was never any apart from the Yavin Swamp, i could 'feel' like I was there, but the other levels like Nar Sharda, lack of NPC's and ships and other things going on made it quite wooden and boring.

Yes, I agree to an extent. It depends on the type of atmosphere they are aiming to create, though. Personally, I didn't think the Swamp was that great...because to my mind swamps are places festering with all different types of life, from buzzing insects to dangerous predators, with dark moody lighting, things slithering past your boots, and noises all around. It may be cliche, but it works for me. :D

The problem usually arises when trying to realise a true city-scape. You not only need the size and depth for the level...you need to populate it with believable characters going about their business. Baron's Hed in JK (and Katraasi space-port in MotS) remains one of my favourite levels simply because of the number of neutral NPCs going about their business. Unfortunately, they were mostly humans...and in the Star Wars universe it's simply not that realistic if all the aliens are against you.

If they are going to make any city-style levels in a sequel, they really do need to seriously take this on board. There should be lots of different types of aliens moving around (not simply standing still), going about their business, and you shouldn't know which are enemies and which are not just by seeing a particular type of alien. To my mind, you should only know someone is your enemy when they start firing at you...or take other action against you. Other aliens should run for cover when the shooting starts - or on the odd occasion maybe even help you.

I don't know how they are going to get around the limitations of some of these game engines, that do not allow large numbers of NPCs on screen at the same time. However, we all know that other game engines can manage it, and so lessons need to be learned. If poly-bumping can retain character detail with fewer polygons, and allows a greater number of characters on screen at a time, then I'm all for it. I'll be interested to see how Rebellion cope in the Judge Dredd game that's in development, because they have stated there will be a high number of NPC's making up the crowds of Mega-City One. :eek:

Of course, the other thing that needs to be taken on board in city scenes is the number and variety of droids...and actually seeing moving ground vehicles (land-speeders, swoop-bikes, maintenance vehicles, repulsor sleds etc). Just take a look at Tatooine in Star Wars: Special Edition. Therein lies the problem...we've all seen it on the big screen, and now we want to see it replicated on the small screen.

Anakin
03-27-2003, 10:29 AM
True, cost need to be kept to a min, on an expasion as it is just to rake some more moeny in for the Devs, as well as the bundle packs and the expansion pack by them self's.

If I ever finish my Ansion level you will see what I would of liked to of seen in Nar Sharda and Bespin, lots of things going on and NPC's.

Anakin
03-27-2003, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by StormHammer

Yes, I agree to an extent. It depends on the type of atmosphere they are aiming to create, though. Personally, I didn't think the Swamp was that great...because to my mind swamps are places festering with all different types of life, from buzzing insects to dangerous predators, with dark moody lighting, things slithering past your boots, and noises all around. It may be cliche, but it works for me. :D

The problem usually arises when trying to realise a true city-scape. You not only need the size and depth for the level...you need to populate it with believable characters going about their business. Baron's Hed in JK (and Katraasi space-port in MotS) remains one of my favourite levels simply because of the number of neutral NPCs going about their business. Unfortunately, they were mostly humans...and in the Star Wars universe it's simply not that realistic if all the aliens are against you.

If they are going to make any city-style levels in a sequel, they really do need to seriously take this on board. There should be lots of different types of aliens moving around (not simply standing still), going about their business, and you shouldn't know which are enemies and which are not just by seeing a particular type of alien. To my mind, you should only know someone is your enemy when they start firing at you...or take other action against you. Other aliens should run for cover when the shooting starts - or on the odd occasion maybe even help you.

I don't know how they are going to get around the limitations of some of these game engines, that do not allow large numbers of NPCs on screen at the same time. However, we all know that other game engines can manage it, and so lessons need to be learned. If poly-bumping can retain character detail with fewer polygons, and allows a greater number of characters on screen at a time, then I'm all for it. I'll be interested to see how Rebellion cope in the Judge Dredd game that's in development, because they have stated there will be a high number of NPC's making up the crowds of Mega-City One. :eek:

Of course, the other thing that needs to be taken on board in city scenes is the number and variety of droids...and actually seeing moving ground vehicles (land-speeders, swoop-bikes, maintenance vehicles, repulsor sleds etc). Just take a look at Tatooine in Star Wars: Special Edition. Therein lies the problem...we've all seen it on the big screen, and now we want to see it replicated on the small screen. [/B]


One day we will get it all :)
The lack of pushing the engine to the limits was the main problem, but at the end of the day there is only such much Mr Normal PC will take. Unlike most of us who have monsters in there PC's. A bit like mine :p

I think the whole thing just boils down to how long can Activsion make money off the game before releasing it, and how long will the community stay with out the rest of the editing tools that were promosid. Thats a different topic all together. :)