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#1 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -

This question was brought up another site's podcast and they eventually got an answer from their community but then didn't articulate it very well on the subsequent podcast. 
 
It left me thinking though, and the fact that I didn't hear the answer bugged me. 
 
So why do we still have to "Press Start" to get past the title screens of so many games. 
 
GTA IV is the game that always sticks in my head as one of the games to eschew this, but then they didn't have a "front end" at all.  The game just started and you were in it.  It was kind of cool and I wonder why more game developers don't use that idea. 
 
Oh, and now for my usual disclaimer. 
 
This topic has most likely been brought up countless times before.  I suck.  I don't know how to use a search function and I should get off the internet now and leave it to the professionals to keep it the friendliest place on earth. 
 
Thanks in advance to anyone who just enjoys good discussion!
#2 Posted by Warfare (1632 posts) -

Well it is the start button.

#3 Posted by tobygw (580 posts) -

I think it is mainly just maintaining tradition, but I also think it gives for a better look. When I see the start menu I get into the mood and I see a full size picture before I start to see menus. It also makes it seem like I'm in control of when I start to do things because I can load the game and leave it on that screen sort of idling as I do other stuff around the house, then I can come back and actually start up the game and get into the menus. Just sort of feels right.

#4 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -
@Warfare said:
" Well it is the start button. "
#5 Posted by Detrian (1126 posts) -

We don't. It's just a stylistic choice for each game.

#6 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7614 posts) -

From what I've heard, it's retailers that like this option.  It means they can leave the game on the 'press start' screen with demo videos running.

#7 Edited by MattyFTM (14363 posts) -

Generally we don't press start at the beginning of games. The game always tells us to press start, but any other button will usually do.
 
As for the actual question, I don't know. I would assume it was just force of habit in game design. Just look at lives - they still exist in some games (and were in the majority of games until relatively recently) despite being a throwback to the arcade era, and being largely useless to the actual gameplay. I'd guess that press start screens are just a throwback to "insert coin" screens of arcade games, and they have just stayed in game design despite being redundant.

Moderator
#8 Posted by ninjakiller (3405 posts) -

Shrug, sometimes you pop in a game and go get a drink or use the bathroom before starting a game, it's just a courtesy from the designers imo.

#10 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -

Alright, fair enough.  Good answers from everyone.  Not to keep bringing up the other podcast, (it was Joystiq btw. I feel safe saying that because the GB crew seem to be on friendly terms with those guys) but the answer that they mumbled through sounded like there was some sort of technical reason on the part of the devs.  That kind of stuff always interests me because I love hearing stories about the process of game development.

#11 Posted by jim_dandy (891 posts) -

Fight the power. Press A instead of Start.
 
That'll teach 'em.
 
 Wait... unless that's what they want us to do.

#12 Posted by sparks50 (373 posts) -

Retailer demos.

#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

It's for the game to make sure that you're there, so it can begin gameplay. Trust me when I say that you want to be required to press start, whether you know it or not.

#14 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -

@jim_dandy said:

"Fight the power. Press A instead of Start.
 
That'll teach 'em.
 
 Wait... unless that's what they want us to do. "


LOL 
 
@Video_Game_King said:

"It's for the game to make sure that you're there, so it can begin gameplay. Trust me when I say that you want to be required to press start, whether you know it or not. "


 

Ahhh, good point.  I was afraid it might be some subconcious thing that  we just didn't think about.  That kind of stuff scares me.  GET OUT OF MY HEAD GAME DEVELOPERS!!
#15 Posted by ptys (1925 posts) -
@Irishranger:  Because it's tradition! Be careful, you're showing your age... LOL
#16 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -

BECAUSE IT SAYS "START"  

#17 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -
@ptys said:
" @Irishranger:  Because it's tradition! Be careful, you're showing your age... LOL "

I know, right?  But hey, my NES isn't that old....What's that?.....What just turned 25 years old?..... 
 
OH DEAR GOD!!
#18 Posted by Bones8677 (3224 posts) -

If we don't press start to start a game, then what's the reason to have a start button at all? And if we don't have a start button, then how do we pause the game?

#19 Posted by arab_prince (2053 posts) -

Good question. Quite useless if you ask me. And if games are going to become more realistic, and get the player more committed, things like this should be removed. And they very well might. Who know's what the future holds. If there was a first person RPG that once u started it it got you into the character, I think that would be quite immersive.

#20 Posted by FongGhoul (233 posts) -
@Irishranger said: 
I know, right?  But hey, my NES isn't that old....What's that?.....What just turned 25 years old?.....  OH DEAR GOD!! "
 
This fact absolutely terrifies me. I am so old.
#21 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -
@Irishranger said:
" @ptys said:
" @Irishranger:  Because it's tradition! Be careful, you're showing your age... LOL "
I know, right?  But hey, my NES isn't that old....What's that?.....What just turned 25 years old?.....  OH DEAR GOD!! "
have u been in the closet this whole time?  dear god...
#22 Posted by FalseDeity (229 posts) -

I agree with the retailer theory. It makes it easier for people to see what game it is from a distance.

#23 Posted by Hamst3r (4479 posts) -

 
Fine. From here on out, "Press Start" will be replaced with, "Eww, get the fuck away from me, creep. Don't touch my buttons!"

#24 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -
@FongGhoul said:
" @Irishranger said: 
I know, right?  But hey, my NES isn't that old....What's that?.....What just turned 25 years old?.....  OH DEAR GOD!! "
 This fact absolutely terrifies me. I am so old. "

I was going to say Atari at first, but that was more of a "flip reset switch to start" than a "Press Start".  Then we would have had the youngest readers sitting in a state of goggle-eyed, disbelieving, wonderment, and everything would have broken bad from there.
#25 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -
@Bones8677 said:
"If we don't press start to start a game, then what's the reason to have a start button at all? And if we don't have a start button, then how do we pause the game? "

I love how my topic has caused some people to go  into a state of psychological introspection. LOL.  Seriously, though, thanks for the good discussion everyone.  These sorts of discussions actually make me feel a little better about humanity from time to time.
#26 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -

i don't have any problem with start screens or pre-game menus. if they weren't there i'd have to wait for the game to load only to have to manually pause it so i could go and make a snack or something. 

#27 Posted by trophyhunter (5800 posts) -

To start them duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

#28 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

I hit the Any button or Any key... what's this "start" thing all about? 

#29 Posted by EveretteScott (1451 posts) -
@FongGhoul said:
" @Irishranger said: 
I know, right?  But hey, my NES isn't that old....What's that?.....What just turned 25 years old?.....  OH DEAR GOD!! "
 This fact absolutely terrifies me. I am so old. "
#30 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -
@ZeForgotten said:
" I hit the Any button or Any key... what's this "start" thing all about?  "

 oh god WHERE IS THE ANY KEY
#31 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Toms115 said:
" @ZeForgotten said:
" I hit the Any button or Any key... what's this "start" thing all about?  "

 oh god WHERE IS THE ANY KEY
"
Failure! My keyboard actually has a key named "Any" 
#32 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -
@ZeForgotten said:
" @Toms115 said:
" @ZeForgotten said:
" I hit the Any button or Any key... what's this "start" thing all about?  "

 oh god WHERE IS THE ANY KEY
"
Failure! My keyboard actually has a key named "Any"  "

#33 Posted by adoggz (2055 posts) -

oh god, this is why I can't play any PC games, my keyboard doesn't have a start button.

#34 Edited by StefanTheLegend (167 posts) -
@tobygw said:

" I think it is mainly just maintaining tradition, but I also think it gives for a better look. When I see the start menu I get into the mood and I see a full size picture before I start to see menus. It also makes it seem like I'm in control of when I start to do things because I can load the game and leave it on that screen sort of idling as I do other stuff around the house, then I can come back and actually start up the game and get into the menus. Just sort of feels right. "

I agree with this. But i also do think it is kind of useless, as I do like it how GTA4 just puts you in the game straight away. If anyone remembers, the first  'inFamous' had a very interesting start screen as they kind of ingrained it with the actual story. It was like press start at the bottom, and the back ground was a streaming live image of empire city that was untarnished and totally fine. You press the 'start' button and you trigger an explosion which destroys the city, which commences  the overall game. From then on, every time you started the game, there was no 'start' screen as it just put you in the game straight away. I thought that was kinda neat because it symbolized that it was player's character, Cole McGrath, who was the cause of the explosion.   
#35 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -
@ZeForgotten said:
" @Toms115 said:
" @ZeForgotten said:
" I hit the Any button or Any key... what's this "start" thing all about?  "

 oh god WHERE IS THE ANY KEY
"
Failure! My keyboard actually has a key named "Any"  "
... I demand a picture of your keyboard!
#36 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -
@StefanTheLegend said:
"@tobygw said:

" I think it is mainly just maintaining tradition, but I also think it gives for a better look. When I see the start menu I get into the mood and I see a full size picture before I start to see menus. It also makes it seem like I'm in control of when I start to do things because I can load the game and leave it on that screen sort of idling as I do other stuff around the house, then I can come back and actually start up the game and get into the menus. Just sort of feels right. "

I agree with this. But i also do think it is kind of useless, as I do like it how GTA4 just puts you in the game straight away. If anyone remembers, the first  'inFamous' had a very interesting start screen as they kind of ingrained it with the actual story. It was like press start at the bottom, and the back ground was a streaming live image of empire city that was untarnished and totally fine. You press the 'start' button and you trigger an explosion which destroys the city, which commences  the overall game. From then on, every time you started the game, there was no 'start' screen as it just put you in the game straight away. I thought that was kinda neat because it symbolized that it was player's character, Cole McGrath, who was the cause of the explosion.    "

Oh, god.  Now I feel even worse that I haven't played inFamous yet.  I've got to see that.
#37 Posted by krystians (402 posts) -

The Start menu us like an entree. I can tell if I am going to enjoy the game of even if I feel like playing it.

#38 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

I like title screens. It's like the front cover of a book. Many games have great title screen music to get you in the mood as well.

#39 Posted by Xakura (126 posts) -

Most of people's counterarguments here fall through in games that have a menu after the press start screen (which most have). You could still launch it and do something else, etc.  
 
In my opinion it's completely useless, but how much I'm annoyed is directly proportionate with how much time it takes from pressing start to reaching the main menu.
#40 Posted by ESREVER (2681 posts) -

The "Press Start" screen is known as the "Invitation to Play." 
 
Kind of an industry standard in all games. But I always press X or A, cause I'm a rebel.

#41 Posted by Irishranger (245 posts) -
@ESREVER said:
"The "Press Start" screen is known as the "Invitation to Play."  Kind of an industry standard in all games. But I always press X or A, cause I'm a rebel. "

Ahhh, now that's what I was looking for.  I knew there had to be some sort of technical or psychological reason for it on the part of the devs.  That pretty much sums up the thought process of it.
#42 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Toms115: You have an awful lot of pictures of men on your PC, don't you? 

 
@Azteck: If I had a camera I would give you pictures!  
I shall figure something out at the next lan party! 
#43 Edited by fisk0 (3975 posts) -
@adoggz said:

" oh god, this is why I can't play any PC games, my keyboard doesn't have a start button. "

Most PC keyboards made after 1995 have a start button, it's the key with the Windows logo on it, used to bring up the Windows start menu. Funny enough, if you press it when most games asks you to press the start button, the game will minimize or crash, as the windows start menu is opened ..
#44 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -
@ZeForgotten said:
" @Toms115: You have an awful lot of pictures of men on your PC, don't you?
 "
i love it when homosexuality is implied and humour is derived from the implication. so chill.
#45 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Toms115 said:
" @ZeForgotten said:
" @Toms115: You have an awful lot of pictures of men on your PC, don't you?
 "
i love it when homosexuality is implied and humour is derived from the implication. so chill. "
So it is not ok for me to make jokes then? How about you chill? 
#46 Posted by StefanTheLegend (167 posts) -
@SuperfluousMoniker said:
" I like title screens. It's like the front cover of a book. Many games have great title screen music to get you in the mood as well. "
True that.
#47 Edited by Toms115 (2316 posts) -
@ZeForgotten: you're free to do whatever you like lol, i'd just rather jokes aimed in my direction to be somewhat  humourous. at least make me laugh if you're going to make fun of me would be the thesis of this post, i guess.
#48 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -
@ZeForgotten said:
@Azteck: If I had a camera I would give you pictures!  I shall figure something out at the next lan party!  "
Is the button custom made?
#49 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

I don't know, so they can play a cutscene eventually, then when you press start, you can get into the options and other stuff.

#50 Posted by KingBroly (1645 posts) -

To start the game, perhaps?