• 75 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

We already had a thread on water levels, but I'm curious what you think constitutes shitty game design.  Do you cringe every time you run into a quick time event in a shooter or platform game?  Did you cry when you had to drive a clunky car in Alone In The Dark?  What about timed segments where you're stuck waiting for / on an elevator and have to fight off hordes of enemies?

Share some of your pet peeves and games in which you ran into that one part in that one game and said "God damn it, God of War was so awesome up until this spinning blade bullshit!"

#2 Edited by atejas (3057 posts) -

Flat, lifeless gameplay-Mako in Mass Effect, real-time combat in Fallout 3(from what I've seen).

Rehashed grimdark recovering health corridor shooters(yeah, I'm looking at you, Project Origin)
ESCORT MISSIONS. IN ANY GAME. EVER.
Honestly, elevator waiting scenes arent too bad. Episode One, anybody?
#3 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

Silent Hill 4 had an escort mission that was 4 hours long.

D:

#4 Edited by DanCarmichael (220 posts) -

Broken controls. If i have to fight with the game just to play it then it ceases to be fun.

Also old and over done gimmicks: Escort missions (mentioned above), quick time events, fetch quests.

#5 Posted by Metasin (219 posts) -

bad cameras, see ninja gaiden

since God of War was mentioned I have to say they pulled off a lot of things that would suck in any other game, quick time events, an escort mission for a friggin' box!

#6 Posted by TheGTAvaccine (2884 posts) -

The escorting stuff in RE4 ruined the game for me.

#7 Posted by diehard (10 posts) -

You said there was already a thread about water levels, but I just have to reitterate how much I lothe shifting water around from one room to the next. 

#8 Edited by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -
Metasin said:
"an escort mission for a friggin' box!"
Now there's an area where Portal excelled.

...although I guess it's not a traditional escort mission since you have to kill it.
#9 Edited by dankempster (2252 posts) -

Over-generous use of exploding barrels in FPS games. Honestly, developers, we appreciate that you've made some pretty cool explosions, but we don't need to see them in every corridor. We're perfectly capable of killing most enemies with our gun, we don't need to take advantage of splash damage.

Lazily crafted puzzles in action adventure games. Putting two levers very far away from the door that they open does not constitute a great puzzle, it constitutes boring backtracking. Give us something we actually have to think about.

#10 Posted by MerlijnVH (108 posts) -

As a game designer, my philosophy is that you should have fun with the player and not try to work against the player. The ancient old example of this is having the player run through a corridor, then remove the floor from underneath the player into a pit of lava or whatever. I also have a general dislike for sequences under time. Its cool to put pressure on the player, as in Bioshock where the tunnel started collapsing. There are no repercussions if the player is slow however, because the tunnel never actually collapses with the player still inside. Yet it gives a sensation of fear and wanting to move quickly. When you have to do something inside a specific amount of time, however... two levels in Call of Duty 4 spring to mind. The War Room & The Mile High Club on veteran difficulity. Sure, they're challenging. Doesn't mean they're (in my opinion) fun, though.

#11 Posted by Rowr (5518 posts) -

I agree. I am not a fan of timed sections.

QTE i can deal with as long as they arent bullshit to perform, or the penalty is to high. God of war handles them fine. The bourne game does not.

3d platformers with bad cameras.

Unresponsive, or "delayed" controls.

Grinding to progress.(Its only grinding once the fun has worn off so this one is kind of variable, and is the players decision in many games particularly mmo's i guess. .)

#12 Posted by Ma7moud (805 posts) -

Quick time events, Bad camera and Invisible walls.

#13 Posted by Gamer_152 (14065 posts) -

The one thing that probably annoys me most is dodgy camera in games,t notably in situations where you need a good camera... Yeah, Ninja Gaiden 2 style. However I'm also very much annoyed by things like bad voice acting and badly thought out gameplay/level design. Generally I can appreciate the effort that has been put into making the game, my real annoyance comes when I play a game where it just feels like it's been made purely to make the company a bit of money and no effort has been made to make a good game.

Moderator
#14 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -
MerlijnVH said:
"two levels in Call of Duty 4 spring to mind. The War Room & The Mile High Club on veteran difficulity. Sure, they're challenging. Doesn't mean they're (in my opinion) fun, though."
None of Call of Duty 4 on veteran is fun.
#15 Posted by Patchinko (841 posts) -

The "kill 200 boars" phenomenon. Basically in reference to a type of fetch quest where you have to pick up X number of items or kill Y number of a certain enemy and then you'll finish the quest. They're a constant in World of Warcraft and present in all sorts of other games, and they're incredibly mundane and annoying.

#16 Edited by diehard (10 posts) -
MerlijnVH said:
"As a game designer, my philosophy is that you should have fun with the player and not try to work against the player. The ancient old example of this is having the player run through a corridor, then remove the floor from underneath the player into a pit of lava or whatever. I also have a general dislike for sequences under time. Its cool to put pressure on the player, as in Bioshock where the tunnel started collapsing. There are no repercussions if the player is slow however, because the tunnel never actually collapses with the player still inside. Yet it gives a sensation of fear and wanting to move quickly. When you have to do something inside a specific amount of time, however... two levels in Call of Duty 4 spring to mind. The War Room & The Mile High Club on veteran difficulity. Sure, they're challenging. Doesn't mean they're (in my opinion) fun, though."
I agree with you on Time.  Elite Force II was frustrating with some of their time missions where you had to rescue so and so before assimilation, etc.  That just came to the
front of my mind because I'm currently doing another play through of it.
#17 Edited by Rowr (5518 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"MerlijnVH said:
"two levels in Call of Duty 4 spring to mind. The War Room & The Mile High Club on veteran difficulity. Sure, they're challenging. Doesn't mean they're (in my opinion) fun, though."
None of Call of Duty 4 on veteran is fun."
I enjoyed the challenge of the levels up past the tv station.

Then it was just to much.
#18 Edited by Oni (2098 posts) -

Stealth sections in anything that is not a stealth game. Fahrenheit, Broken Sword 3, Dreamfall, you are all guilty of this! For some reason it hits adventure games the hardest. Just don't do it, guys... how much proof do you need that it is not fun?

Basically anything that feels shoehorned into a particular game.

I think the Ninja Gaiden games (recent ones) have lots of terrible game design. I'm a ninja. Close combat is my specialty, it's the fun part of the game. Why, then, are there so many enemies with annoying ranged attacks? Why are there boring-ass water levels? Why is the game made so stupidly frustrating and un-fun in parts? Stick to your strengths. It just annoys the hell out of me when a game that has great core gameplay gets ruined by awful level design or cheap enemies or whatever.

#19 Posted by Jayge_ (10221 posts) -

To me, one of my biggest gripes is TERRIBLE multiplayer map design. Games that fall prey to this include Battlefield: Bad Company and Halo 3. Call of Duty 4 in many ways falls short too. I mean, all kinds of triple-A games come out that have absolutely no memorable maps, and a lot of them just downright aren't *fun*. Take Wetworks or whatever in CoD4 for example- you could have an entire fucking ship to play around in! Cavernous mazes interior, more open fights topside, the map could have been the greatest; but no, it's just a bunch of limited shit. I hate on Gears of War a heaping ton, but one of the things it did right was give people levels they'll remember. Whether it's for the glitches, or just the design itself. Things like Gridlock, for example. Or take Unreal Tournament- the king. I don't think there has ever been a more popular map in the entire world than Facing Words, besides maybe DE Dust. They just click; but I can't stand when a developer releases an amazing offering with completely shitty maps. I was so pissed at Bungie in particular on that one.

And DICE. I mean c'mon, Battlefield maps are usually so great...

Meh.

/rant

#20 Posted by Nude_Dude (1076 posts) -

I'll use an example on the Ant Bully for GBA:

At some point you enter a mini-gun turret and have to shoot bullet-like stuff to dangerous wasps coming at you. About 5-10 min. spent just shooting those thingies around, and killing a couple of wasps when they appear. It's boring alright, but then you have to do this another 2 times! And lose at one, you have to restart all over again.

This is just a good example of what I hate in videogames: long replay value wannabes. This usually comes bundled with boring-to-death uninspired and simple segments.

#21 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

How about...randomly generated levels.

First time you play the tree is on the left.

Second time you play the tree is on the right.

Neither time was interesting or memorable in any way.

#22 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Escort missions are the pinnacle of nah.

#23 Posted by MB (12190 posts) -

Cutscenes just as boring as, but longer than, The Horse Whisperer.

Moderator
#24 Posted by LCad (269 posts) -

Various elements used in Fire Emblem.

#25 Posted by drsalvador (108 posts) -

unskippable cutscenes.

#26 Posted by HistoryInRust (6287 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"MerlijnVH said:
"two levels in Call of Duty 4 spring to mind. The War Room & The Mile High Club on veteran difficulity. Sure, they're challenging. Doesn't mean they're (in my opinion) fun, though."
None of Call of Duty 4 on veteran is fun."
Call of Duty 4 on veteran is fucking broken.  Enemy AI is always aware of your position, Team AI does nothing to assist you in battle (I've had myriad instances of enemies running past my teammates, toward me, and my squad does nothing but watch as I am slain with the utmost of brutality), the checkpoint system is arbitrary as hell.

Seriously.  No Fighting in the War Room was the worst experience in a First-Person Shooter I've ever had, and I play a shit-storm of First-Person Shooters.
#27 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

Well the seperatists have advanced X-ray vision contact lens technology that the USA & UK are not yet privy to.

#28 Posted by xxNBxx (971 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"How about...randomly generated levels.

First time you play the tree is on the left.

Second time you play the tree is on the right.

Neither time was interesting or memorable in any way."
LOL

How many games really have randomly generated levels?  Diablo 1 and 2 and...  I don't see it being part of bad game design cause is such a small part.

Any game design can be shitty if not implemented right.

Lets make a short list of game design that  done shitty and done right

Mission:  Kill guy X- (done wrong) You go to kill guy X only to find that he is cheap as all hell 
                                    (done right)  You go to kill guy X and he is challenging but not frustrating

Mission: Escort - (done wrong) You are escorting an AI that can't defend himself in anyway and can die at the drop of a hat
                                (done right)  Escorting someone that can't die and can defend themselves

Mission: Collection/ fetch - (done wrong)  collecting X number of  body part that should be in the mob everytime (bear hearts) but isn't forcing you to kill 3 times as many
                                                ( done right)  Fetching an Item off a mob that drops the item every time.

Mission: Go talk to this guy - (done wrong)  Go talk to this guy thats on the other side of the map, only for him to tell you to go back to the first guy.  (yay i love being a ping pong ball)
                                                     ( done right)   Go talk to this guy thats not more then a few mins away and for that guy to give you a quest that has you do something near him.

Mission: Quick time action - (done wrong)  Press A now press B really fast, no pause, press A *you fail* try again,  to try again you have to play through 10mins of gameplay.
                                                    (done right)  even if you fail you can quickly try again, or even if you fail there are more then one path to win.
#29 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

Mission: Quick time action - (done wrong)  Quick time actions are used.
                                                   (done right) Quick time actions are not used.

#30 Posted by HistoryInRust (6287 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"Mission: Quick time action - (done wrong)  Quick time actions are used.
                                                   (done right) Quick time actions are not used."
Haha.
#31 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -
Voice Acting - (done wrong) In order to fit voice acting on the disc, the script is broken down to small, easily digestable, badly written traileresque "dialogues" and most of the story is told in cutscenes. Also, semi-professional voice actors are employed because its "only a videogame".

Voice Acting - (done right) Professionals act out a script for scenes that enhance the storytelling, portraying well written characters. Long sequences of story and character exploration exist, either in text form or somehow made interactive. Localizing the voice track for non-english-speaking countries is only done when choosing the english/original version remains an option.

Sadly, 80% of games do it wrong.
#32 Posted by Xolare (1279 posts) -

Definitely My Definition of horrible graphics. My definition is an over usage of Blur, Bloom, and other expensive effects. Halo 3 is also a culprit of this. As well as Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War.

#33 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -
Xolare said:
"Definitely My Definition of horrible graphics. My definition is an over usage of Blur, Bloom, and other expensive effects. Halo 3 is also a culprit of this. As well as Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War."
Meh, that's not game design per say, but that's pretty much how I feel about desaturation.
#34 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -
HUD (heads up displays)

done wrong: Games trying to establish a certain atmosphere or setting, sucking the player in, or games that want to look like movies ruining the entire concept by putting happy, colourful little icons and bars everywhere although they aren't needed, reminding you every second that you are playing a video game. Examples: Silent Hill 4, Final Fantasy XII, Metal Gear Solid 4.

done right: keeping the amount of HUD as small as possible, or abandoning the concept altogether. The only thing the player sees is the characters and the setting. There are systems employed to let the player know when he's low on health, etc., or there's HUDs but they disappear when not needed. Examples: Silent Hill 1+2, ICO + Shadow of the Colossus, Metal Gear Solid
(there are, of course, exceptions in genres and situations)

#35 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -
#36 Posted by Oni (2098 posts) -

Yeah, randomly generated levels. What lazy asshole decided that was a good idea? Persona 3, I'm looking at you. Let's run through 20 floors of a dungeon that comprises of the same hallways over and over and over again until you want to throw up!

Disagree on SotC's HUD being elegant in any way. There is a HUGE circle by the end of the game that takes up a large chunk of the screen. And a little icon to let you know what weapon you've got selected, and a bog-standard health bar that gets bigger and bigger.

#37 Posted by dankempster (2252 posts) -
Meowayne said:
"HUD (heads up displays)

done wrong: Games trying to establish a certain atmosphere or setting, sucking the player in, or games that want to look like movies ruining the entire concept by putting happy, colourful little icons and bars everywhere although they aren't needed, reminding you every second that you are playing a video game. Examples: Silent Hill 4, Final Fantasy XII, Metal Gear Solid 4.

done right: keeping the amount of HUD as small as possible, or abandoning the concept altogether. The only thing the player sees is the characters and the setting. There are systems employed to let the player know when he's low on health, etc., or there's HUDs but they disappear when not needed. Examples: Silent Hill 1+2, ICO + Shadow of the Colossus, Metal Gear Solid
(there are, of course, exceptions in genres and situations)"
Sorry, but I think Shadow of the Colossus had one of the most hideous HUDs in the history of gaming. The grip meter looked awful! What better way to detract from the immersive environment than sticking a massive pink circle in the corner of the screen? I'd rather the game had no HUD and alerted you that you were losing grip in some other way.

I think GTAIV got the concept of a HUD right - sleek, aesthetically pleasing, useful but never intrusive, and disappearing when the information isn't necessary.
#38 Posted by whackmypinata (941 posts) -

I hate not being able to fall off a cliff. Running in place against invisible wall pisses me off.

#39 Edited by Bear (247 posts) -

1) When games that are very difficult aren't designed so the the player can quickly start over with the least frustration in between.
If I am getting pissed off by a game the last thing I need is to do is go through multiple screens or menus to start over. A simple yes/no screen that brings straight back without any further waiting would suffice.
Some examples are:

Elite Beat Agents - Need to touch the screen and then wait until a yes/no screen appears which isn't necessary

Ninja Gaiden 2 - Some save points are too far away from difficult parts with lengthy easy areas in between.

2) Dumb AI partners that you can't walk through in small, narrow indoor levels.
Examples:

Half-Life 2 - Doorways in buildings are annoying because they only fit one person and that one person is usually an AI if they are following you. At least they have the courtesy to apologize for being dumb.)

3) Having to kill every last enemy in order to advance.
This can become very tedious in games with large expansive environments in which the enemies consist of dumb AI that are just hiding in a corner while not firing at you at all.

4) Seeing cool things that you think you could do or places you could explore, but can't.
This includes things like invisible walls.
Examples:

Resistance: Fall of Man - Would have been cool if you could crouch jump to climb up large stacks of boxes and attack your enemies from above.

5) Pointlessly given controls after a cutscene only to run straight into another cutscene

#40 Posted by Karmum (11517 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"Metasin said:
"an escort mission for a friggin' box!"
Now there's an area where Portal excelled.

...although I guess it's not a traditional escort mission since you have to kill it."
Well, you don't have to kill it, you just won't progress that far.
#41 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

I felt I had to kill it.

#42 Posted by Xolare (1279 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"Xolare said:
"Definitely My Definition of horrible graphics. My definition is an over usage of Blur, Bloom, and other expensive effects. Halo 3 is also a culprit of this. As well as Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War."
Meh, that's not game design per say, but that's pretty much how I feel about desaturation."
Hmm. I guess you're right. But what's a really shit in the face is an escort mission, with time, with a retarded teammate. Call of Duty 4 anyone? Guess who's this "teammate" I'm talking about.
#43 Posted by chazer127 (213 posts) -
#44 Posted by Xolare (1279 posts) -

Horrible voice acting is that big of a game killer. Games like Resident Evil, House of the Dead, and others, had some pretty bad voice acting, but they were good games.

#45 Posted by Dalai (7016 posts) -

One that bugs me is this idea of a pointless lives system.  Why do some games give you x amount of lives when you can save at any time?  It's one of those old-school ideas that has become obsolete in a world of instant saves.

Another one?  Health regeneration.  Oh, shit!  I'm flashing red.  Get in a corner and sit for 10 seconds... and be cured miraculously.  I prefer the health pack system or maybe a regeneration system that increases your health much, much slower.

#46 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

I hate it when you're playing a JRPG and then you advance to a point in the story where it doesn't tell you what to do next, so you have to visit all the overworld map locations and talk to everyone until the game hints at something. And of course there's no objectives list or journal or anything because Japanese people actually watch the cutscenes. Fuck.

#47 Posted by Relys (984 posts) -

Quick time events. Fo shizzle.

#48 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -
Xolare said:
"Horrible voice acting is that big of a game killer. Games like Resident Evil, House of the Dead, and others, had some pretty bad voice acting, but they were good games."
"I hope it isn't Chris's blood!"
"You almost became a Jill sandwich!"
"JILL! It's dark down there, you go first!"
#49 Posted by Leon31 (125 posts) -

Quick time events if done to the point of over kill, unskippable cut scenes(I'm looking at you square), bad voice work, really bad AI especially in the areas where you need them to succeed which leads me into the god awful escort missions. Still can't find a game that does them right. And finally, invisible walls; at least Oblivion went in the right direction with really high cliffs.

#50 Posted by xruntime (1920 posts) -
Patchinko said:
"The "kill 200 boars" phenomenon. Basically in reference to a type of fetch quest where you have to pick up X number of items or kill Y number of a certain enemy and then you'll finish the quest. They're a constant in World of Warcraft and present in all sorts of other games, and they're incredibly mundane and annoying."
I agree. For this reason, I avoid many MMOs and RPGs. 
I think cut scenes are just fine.