How Smart Uncharted Fans Changed Naughty Dog's Game

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#151 Posted by LP3 (15 posts) -

"gunplay"

A real word?

#152 Posted by kollay (1926 posts) -

@Mkrtich said:

For some reason I felt like the enemies were also different in Uncharted 3. Unlike in Uncharted 2, they don't seem to react to getting hit with bullets. Was that frustrating for any of you? I hated it and haven't felt like finishing the game due to that and the aiming.

You're not alone. I found the hitboxes of the enemy as weird and deceiving.

#153 Posted by zoozilla (977 posts) -

@Grognard66 said:

What I find most surprising is that this didn't come up in any of the reviews for the game and that this game had an even higher average rating that Uncharted 2. Shooting is the game mechanic used most often in this series (I had almost 500 enemies shot and the time spent shooting greatly outweighed the platforming, puzzles, etc.) so how could it rate better than the last one when the most basic game mechanic was demonstrably worse than the previous release?

The shooting mechanic was only "demonstrably worse" to those that had been playing Uncharted 2 religiously and were had intimate knowledge of the gunplay's intricacies. Most reviewers (and the focus group testers) didn't have that, so the gunplay seemed fine. It wasn't about the gunplay being "better" or "worse," just more or less like Uncharted 2.

#154 Posted by TPoppaPuff (237 posts) -

@LP3 said:

"gunplay"

A real word?

Damn right it is. Or at least it has been for the past decade I've used the term.

#155 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -

@Roomrunner said:

@RsistncE said:

...people actually give that much of a shit about a $60 video game that they would spend that amount of time and effort just to have aiming in the game changed? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Well, they got something out of it. Which is more than we can say about your post.

The concept of opportunity cost clearly evades you. My post took approximately 10 seconds to type up and wasn't meant to "get me something". At the end of the day these guys spent hours upon hours of their time to have a feature in a $60 product changed.

#156 Posted by CowsWithGuns (216 posts) -

Cool! And well written article.

#157 Posted by Pedant (3 posts) -

They were bitching on a message board which ND's community manager happened to use too. I guess that makes them 'smart'.

#158 Posted by Shaunage (687 posts) -

I finished the game without noticing it was any different. To be fair I hadn't played 2 since it came out, but 3 worked just fine. The difficulty spikes unreasonably in a few areas, and became super frustrating, but I never had a problem htting what I was shooting at.

It's a great approach by Naughty Dog. Weird that this didn't get done during the beta and actually ship with the game, though.

#159 Posted by Grognard66 (62 posts) -

@zoozilla said:

@Grognard66 said:

What I find most surprising is that this didn't come up in any of the reviews for the game and that this game had an even higher average rating that Uncharted 2. Shooting is the game mechanic used most often in this series (I had almost 500 enemies shot and the time spent shooting greatly outweighed the platforming, puzzles, etc.) so how could it rate better than the last one when the most basic game mechanic was demonstrably worse than the previous release?

The shooting mechanic was only "demonstrably worse" to those that had been playing Uncharted 2 religiously and were had intimate knowledge of the gunplay's intricacies. Most reviewers (and the focus group testers) didn't have that, so the gunplay seemed fine. It wasn't about the gunplay being "better" or "worse," just more or less like Uncharted 2.

I hadn't played Uncharted 2 in over a year and never played it religiously, but I knew in the first few minutes of Uncharted 3 that something had changed for the worse with the shooting mechanic.

#160 Posted by MormonWarrior (2541 posts) -

Now can somebody get them to fix the obnoxious, cheap enemy AI? It was a problem in 2 and it's even worse this time with enemies being WAY too good at flanking you and perfectly lobbing grenade launcher shots at you...and trying to use stealth is pointless because they can randomly see you even when you're in cover around a corner...there were a lot of really frustrating parts in this game.

#161 Posted by Roomrunner (790 posts) -

@RsistncE said:

@Roomrunner said:

@RsistncE said:

...people actually give that much of a shit about a $60 video game that they would spend that amount of time and effort just to have aiming in the game changed? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Well, they got something out of it. Which is more than we can say about your post.

The concept of opportunity cost clearly evades you. My post took approximately 10 seconds to type up and wasn't meant to "get me something". At the end of the day these guys spent hours upon hours of their time to have a feature in a $60 product changed.

Or to take advantage of a rare opportunity to have first hand contribution to the hobby they love, and developer they respect. These people like games. They like discussing games. This wasn't a petition or campaign. They literally worked along side Naughty Dog (who reached out to them, mind you) and deliberated mechanics, because they are into that stuff. No concept evaded me. You're just carelessly judging what time well spent is. Which brings me back to what my point was in the first place - stop busting, you buster.

#162 Posted by buckybit (1455 posts) -

For me the story is "how a smart game studio allowed for fans to improve on their already shipped game" - but that's not as catchy a headline and credits the 'big guy' not the little ones. I get it.

#163 Posted by Indefatigable (1 posts) -

I had just completed an Uncharted 2 Crushing run a couple weeks before 3 came out, and it had gone notably smoother than my UC1 Crushing run, in part because I'm a lot better at console shooters now than in 2007. Then comes UC3 which I start on Normal because I kinda wanted a simpler experience after UC2 Crushing, and I was continually perplexed by why it was so hard the aim. Like many others, I have a tough time explaining it. I still don't completely understand why, but I'm hoping ND and the fans that dropped into their studio have figured out.

#164 Posted by Hemmelight (159 posts) -

I bought U3 and immediately after being given a gun I felt something was wrong. I really hope this change is reflected in single player as well because I had no problem with the shooting mechanic in Uncharted 1 and 2 but I had to turn off the game this time out of frustration with the shitty controls.

#165 Posted by Yadilie (380 posts) -

So, are they also changing how terrible the multiplayer is?

#166 Posted by tweetspot (166 posts) -

i loved uc2 mp, but played the subtober multiplayer once and couldn't stand the aiming. didn't buy the game. i'm glad i wasn't the only one that had a problem with it. i thought i may have gone crazy.

i'll probably buy the game whenever the hell i can get done/tired of skyrim. awesome they took criticism well and made appropriate changes.

#167 Posted by Stubert73 (82 posts) -

Given the very nature of forums, it's very hard to sit down and articulate what you think is wrong with a game and so much simpler to say something sucks and leave it at that. Good on the fans for taking the time to provide useful critiques.

#168 Posted by AkIRA_22 (54 posts) -

This is cool. Well done ND for being open, and well done to the Neogaf guys for being constructive, we need more of this kind of thing.

#169 Posted by BitterAlmond (401 posts) -

@Soap said:

Only Naughty Dog could spin fixing their broken ass aiming into something positive.

#170 Posted by SheBites (22 posts) -

Well it's good to see that they care enough to listen to the fans and bring in some people to try to fix stuff that most people found wrong with the game. I'm only like 5 chapters or so in so I think I'll wait to continue when they patch it up but really didn't notice much of the problems they did. Skyrim and Saints Row 3 should keep me busy till then anyways :).

#171 Posted by KamasamaK (2407 posts) -

@Delta_Ass said:

Well played Naughty Dog. Now if you'd just let me come in for the next 2-3 weeks to take you through the issues with Elena's face.

Oh yea, I'd issue all over Elena's face. Wait, what were we talking about?

#172 Edited by NaCl (108 posts) -

@BitterAlmond said:

@Soap said:

Only Naughty Dog could spin fixing their broken ass aiming into something positive.

Game developer try to fix issue with game. Even invited gamers to their offices to air their "grievances" and help out pin-point what they are unhappy about, so the developers can tuned it to exactly how they would like it.

Only bitching GiantBomb commenters could spin what is a positive response to feedback into something negative.

#173 Posted by Eyz (451 posts) -

Using fan feedback is always for the best!

#174 Posted by Soap (3563 posts) -

@NaCl said:

@BitterAlmond said:

@Soap said:

Only Naughty Dog could spin fixing their broken ass aiming into something positive.

Game developer try to fix issue with game. Even invited gamers to their offices to air their "grievances" and help out pin-point what they are unhappy about, so the developers can tuned it to exactly how they would like it.

Only bitching GiantBomb commenters could spin what is a positive response to feedback into something negative.

Well if it had been an issue that wasn't obvious from the beginning then I would be applauding them, if it wasn't that they had rushed it to meet a deadline rather than actually shipping the game with a working aiming system I wouldn't be blaming them, if they had admitted to it when first caught out rather than posting a bitchy blog about how the entire community was wrong I wouldn't have a problem either.

So yeah, I'm bitching, but it's perfectly justified.

#175 Posted by NaCl (108 posts) -

@Soap said:

Well if it had been an issue that wasn't obvious from the beginning then I would be applauding them,

That's the thing. It wasn't obvious.

They receive no complains during internal testing, nothing that I know of during beta either.

if it wasn't that they had rushed it to meet a deadline rather than actually shipping the game with a working aiming system I wouldn't be blaming them, if they had admitted to it when first caught out rather than posting a bitchy blog about how the entire community was wrong I wouldn't have a problem either.
So yeah, I'm bitching, but it's perfectly justified.

The aiming system from what I have heard works just fine. Just not to the liking of some who are kicking up a fuss.

ND decided to address it anyway.

Can't believe people are bitching at them for going out of their way to address what is in the grand scheme of things a relatively minor problem.

#176 Posted by Will_M (343 posts) -

I bet there's a bronze statue of Crash Bandicoot in the ND lobby. At least i would hope so. Anyways, good on them to going to these lengths to try and fix their game. And to everyone saying "it should've been fixed at release"... well thanks for that, you can go to sleep peacefully knowing you've made yet another comments section all the more painful to read.

#177 Posted by Soap (3563 posts) -

@NaCl said:

@Soap said:

Well if it had been an issue that wasn't obvious from the beginning then I would be applauding them,

That's the thing. It wasn't obvious.

They receive no complains during internal testing, nothing that I know of during beta either.

if it wasn't that they had rushed it to meet a deadline rather than actually shipping the game with a working aiming system I wouldn't be blaming them, if they had admitted to it when first caught out rather than posting a bitchy blog about how the entire community was wrong I wouldn't have a problem either.
So yeah, I'm bitching, but it's perfectly justified.

The aiming system from what I have heard works just fine. Just not to the liking of some who are kicking up a fuss.

ND decided to address it anyway.

Can't believe people are bitching at them for going out of their way to address what is in the grand scheme of things a relatively minor problem.

Right, well as someone who did play the game I can say that in my opinion it wasn't minor, the aiming made the combat a nightmare to play and sucked any joy out of fighting, and when it made up a good 70% of the gameplay it left me really dissapointed.

I imagine the reason it wasn't picked up upon was because testers usually don't want to say anything to negative about the game, after all, offend someone about their work and you could lose your job.

Also the aiming in multiplayer is different to singleplayer, so the beta wouldn't of picked up on it anyway.

#178 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1232 posts) -

Really shady story. If they want the community to give feedback they should go to them, not invite random people from fucking NeoGAF. Being a good little bitch and not stepping on anyone's toes does not equal real knowledge about problems with video games. Eloquence is a nice to have feature not a tell-tale sign of being smart, helpful or anything like that. They want to seem like they are being 'democratic' about their balancing process (which is a silly idea to begin with) and try to prove it by giving four random internet forum nerds a tour of the studio - it seems like exceptionally dumb viral marketing.

Then again, what do I know, I'm not even that interested in Uncharted and always hated the shooting parts. I just really hope this nonsense doesn't spread and not many developers start listening to a crowd that is as anonymous, diverse and random as the legions of fans of mainstream bestsellers. BAD fucking Gothic 3 flashback, a case where the developer also used starstruck random fanboys to keep up the illusion they were giving a fuck about their customers a little longer. You already fucked up your game despite obscene financial success and budget Naughty Dog, get over it and try again.

#179 Posted by Thompson820 (410 posts) -

To insane commenters: When there is an apparent problem with your product you absolutely should be open to the idea of getting people who experience the problem to come and explain it, but this by no means means that you are going to start seeing people become involved in the actual development process. This was a great thing for Naughty Dog to do to resolve this specific problem, no more no less. Calm down.

Online
#180 Posted by Robo (773 posts) -

Great. Whoever buys my used copy of this game might enjoy playing through the campaign slightly more than I did.

#181 Posted by Jasoncourt (60 posts) -

The fact that they ' give a crap' enough to listen to the community post-release... and then go to the effort to bring in players for feedback is pretty awesome.

I also agree with some people here that this kind of thing doesn't give some complainers too much more if an ego that is already inflated. But if it helps the games, I can live with it :)

#182 Posted by kollay (1926 posts) -

@NaCl: Aiming is a 'minor' problem? Really?

#183 Posted by Peacemaker (1101 posts) -

I think what Naught Dog did was great. I'm still waiting for the patch to come out before I play through the game a second time.

#184 Posted by Freefall1025 (18 posts) -

It's great to see the developer listen to the fans and address issues in a timely manner. U3 is a great game.

#185 Posted by SirChrisofCooke (21 posts) -

Customer crowd sourcing their problem is brilliant.

"You think our game is busted? Fine, come on down and fix it with us!"

More companies should do this.

#186 Edited by NaCl (108 posts) -

@kollay said:

@NaCl: Aiming is a 'minor' problem? Really?

Does it work? Can you hit the bad guys? Do the bad guys die?

If yes. Then it's fine.

What people are complaining about is the "feel" of the gunplay. Otherwise it's more or less functional.

Not to mention Uncharted is mostly an adventure game. Gunplay is a relatively small part of it. Unlike say in Gears of War where shooting is the "main course" and practically all you do.

#187 Edited by NaCl (108 posts) -

@Soap said:

Right, well as someone who did play the game I can say that in my opinion it wasn't minor, the aiming made the combat a nightmare to play and sucked any joy out of fighting, and when it made up a good 70% of the gameplay it left me really disappointed.

Well, they see it as a problem too and are trying to fix it now. Don't see what some of you people are complaining about.

I sure they would have "fixed it before release", but the feedback from their internal testing show no issues and they can't fix what they didn't know was a problem. They aren't psychic you know.

PS: And what I meant by "minor" is, Uncharted is an adventure game, combat isn't exactly the "main course" unlike in say Gears of War. And it still works doesn't it? You can shoot bad guys. Bad guys die.

I imagine the reason it wasn't picked up upon was because testers usually don't want to say anything to negative about the game, after all, offend someone about their work and you could lose your job.

Also the aiming in multiplayer is different to singleplayer, so the beta wouldn't of picked up on it anyway.

I doubt that.

QA testers have send "worse" reports than "the gunplay doesn't feel right" - like "when you pick up item A followed by item B, the game crashes".

Tuning the gameplay is much easier (just a matter of changing a few variable in memory or at most a recode of the controlling code) than fixing major bugs that in theory shouldn't exist thus the programmers (for the moment) don't have a clue what is wrong.

And from what I heard ND is a remarkably "open" company, QA probably chats with the gameplay designers on a regular basis.

As mentioned in the article, it's more probable that the QA testers just "got used to it", as the changes to the gunplay was most likely implemented incrementally.

#188 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

That's it, I'm buying a PS3 because of Naughty Dog.

#189 Posted by Soap (3563 posts) -

@NaCl said:

@Soap said:

Right, well as someone who did play the game I can say that in my opinion it wasn't minor, the aiming made the combat a nightmare to play and sucked any joy out of fighting, and when it made up a good 70% of the gameplay it left me really disappointed.

Well, they see it as a problem too and are trying to fix it now. Don't see what some of you people are complaining about.

I sure they would have "fixed it before release", but the feedback from their internal testing show no issues and they can't fix what they didn't know was a problem. They aren't psychic you know.

PS: And what I meant by "minor" is, Uncharted is an adventure game, combat isn't exactly the "main course" unlike in say Gears of War. And it still works doesn't it? You can shoot bad guys. Bad guys die.

I imagine the reason it wasn't picked up upon was because testers usually don't want to say anything to negative about the game, after all, offend someone about their work and you could lose your job.

Also the aiming in multiplayer is different to singleplayer, so the beta wouldn't of picked up on it anyway.

I doubt that.

QA testers have send "worse" reports than "the gunplay doesn't feel right" - like "when you pick up item A followed by item B, the game crashes".

Tuning the gameplay is much easier (just a matter of changing a few variable in memory or at most a recode of the controlling code) than fixing major bugs that in theory shouldn't exist thus the programmers (for the moment) don't have a clue what is wrong.

And from what I heard ND is a remarkably "open" company, QA probably chats with the gameplay designers on a regular basis.

As mentioned in the article, it's more probable that the QA testers just "got used to it", as the changes to the gunplay was most likely implemented incrementally.

As a tester their is a huge difference between saying, this causes the game to crash and your design is wrong, the later of which you just don't do and in this case is what needed to be said, also it doesn't take psychic to tell that it was broken, all they had to do was play the game themselves or have focus testing.

Anyway, I'm done.

#190 Posted by NaCl (108 posts) -

@Soap said:

As a tester their is a huge difference between saying, this causes the game to crash and your design is wrong, the later of which you just don't do and in this case is what needed to be said,

I doubt ND game designers are so "closed" and easily offended when it comes to feedback about their work. They would not have survived in the industry this long if they were.

I have no idea why you have such a negative impression of ND's game designers, testers, programmers etc ... just about everyone really.

I have seen the behind the scene videos of their games, they are a pretty damn smart bunch of people. You don't make games of Uncharted's calibre by being a bunch of dumbasses.

also it doesn't take psychic to tell that it was broken, all they had to do was play the game themselves or have focus testing.
Anyway, I'm done.

They have, and they found nothing wrong! That's what I'm trying to tell you!!!!

Game design is subjective. Either you like it or you don't - there is no "broken". But ND decided to add an different gunplay system anyway, post-launch at that, for people who don't like the new one.

To be honest, they don't really have to "fix" the game. They can design the gunplay however they like - it's their game. As a customer, you have 2 choice, either you buy their game or you don't. That's the it.

#191 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

The shooting is still pretty bad in Uncharted unfortunately

#192 Posted by metal_mad (25 posts) -

i want uncharted 3

#193 Posted by BlaineFromMaine (7 posts) -

I'm just impressed that they listened to the community and something "positive" came out, even if it's fixing something that many believe shouldn't have been a problem to begin with. Still, a good outcome.

#194 Posted by Antiimony (19 posts) -

Great story Patrick

Online
#195 Posted by mewarmo990 (829 posts) -

This is a good story, it reminds me of the E3 2011 Bombcasts. 
 
Some fans might not care too much about the actual details of what goes into making a game, but I'm glad Patrick is covering it.

#196 Posted by RitzkriegRap (52 posts) -

Their response time was very impressive. Go GAF! :P

#197 Posted by Hopskotch (19 posts) -

Awesome to see a company taking the opinion of its users to mind

#198 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

So was this game ever patched?

#199 Posted by sage3k (19 posts) -

I would love to see Naughty Dog take on a super hero License. their games have been amazing marvels to date and since they are not working on the Jak and Daxter Series.. I would love to see them take on a complex license like RockSteady did with Batman.

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