Scripted or sandbox?

#1 Posted by Kierkegaard (582 posts) -

That traffic stopping sequence looked planned, but the game never told the player, "hey, go cause an accident." I'm thinking you could wait for the DeMarco to come into the club or other variations. What do you guys think? Linear progression or Hitman style assassinations with multiple paths?

#2 Edited by MikeW1980UK (68 posts) -

I assume everthing in that demo was scripted, just like I imagine every demo at an E3 press conference is scripted. Still, got my attention.

#3 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Scripted, conceptual. A vertical ass slice.

#4 Posted by Brodehouse (9645 posts) -

It'll end up as sandboxy as the kills in Assassin's Creed.  It'll say "use jamming to cause a pileup" and if you don't do it, it'll say "target escaped!"
 
They didn't spend thousands of dollars animating a Drag Guy Out Of Car Say Some Stuff At Him Shoot Him sequence to have you shoot his car with a rocket launcher/force his car off a bridge/tail him and hit him with a throwing star as he gets out of his car.

#5 Posted by Totori (559 posts) -

I bet that's the scripted tutorial mission.

#6 Posted by slyspider (1159 posts) -

Don't care, sexyness was seen by me

#7 Posted by JFetch (119 posts) -

Scripted. If you watch the two demos you'll see the same things happen at the same time. The girl in the car gets shot both times even though in one demo the player wasn't near her. It's an early demo though, it's supposed to be scripted to show off certain things.

#8 Posted by Maajin (1052 posts) -

Scripted AND they weren't really playing that video. The exact same video was up on YouTube seconds after the presentation.

#9 Posted by BisonHero (6237 posts) -

@Maajin said:

Scripted AND they weren't really playing that video. The exact same video was up on YouTube seconds after the presentation.

Also, the version up on Youtube has a subtlely different ending. In the press conference, it switches perspective to another character, and actually gives another mission objective (which almost seems like 'wait, is this the wrong build of the game?') right before pulling back and giving the title of the game. In the one I'm seeing on Youtube, the focus stays on Aidan Pierce as he steals a car, then hacks the bridge controls to turn them into a sweet ramp, then the title of the game comes up.

#10 Posted by Intro (1206 posts) -

He chooses to jam the traffic light, but it seemed there were more options.

#11 Posted by Kierkegaard (582 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

It'll end up as sandboxy as the kills in Assassin's Creed. It'll say "use jamming to cause a pileup" and if you don't do it, it'll say "target escaped!" They didn't spend thousands of dollars animating a Drag Guy Out Of Car Say Some Stuff At Him Shoot Him sequence to have you shoot his car with a rocket launcher/force his car off a bridge/tail him and hit him with a throwing star as he gets out of his car.

Eh, they could have. Hitman team has. Sure, you'll have limited options, but I can imagine letting the dude park, sneaking up on him on foot, and not having to run from the cops. Or bringing that whole installation down on top of him. It's not inconcievable that that section could be played in multiple ways. He choose to run from the bouncers, for instance.

#12 Posted by 71Ranchero (2679 posts) -

Everything is pre-recorded at these shows.

If I had to make a guess I would say that was a portion of the single player stiched together with some online component.

#13 Posted by Funkydupe (3312 posts) -

If we can work together (and maybe against each other?) in a huge city that'll be very interesting. It sounds really hard to do right though, I hope they can achieve it and possibly start a great new IP.

#14 Edited by believer258 (11682 posts) -

I'm almost 100% sure that every demo was scripted so as to ensure a "good" show. Hell, I'd even bet that any Skyrim demos were scripted and that game is pretty damn open.

I do hope that the full game isn't scripted, though. I'll take clunky action and odd bugs over the uber-linearity that comes with most games these days.

#15 Posted by Kidavenger (3514 posts) -

It had to be scripted, imagine playing the game and those incidents didn't happen, it would be just another crappy shooter, which is what I imagine most of that game actually will be.

#16 Posted by spartanlolz92 (511 posts) -

they said in interviews its open world.

bu this is probably a scripted event i mean gta has them so does assasins creed.

even if this is scrpited he couldve used one of the other features to take him down like let him get to the club jam the communications so hes like wtf and then blast his brains out.

#17 Edited by Fjordson (2448 posts) -

This looked amazing, but thinking about it more after the presser, I really wonder how a full game of this would play. Having it be truly open world seems tough without everything being scripted.

I mean, will you have access to all those hacking abilities in between missions? People already complain about killing sprees and other crazy stuff in Grand Theft Auto clashing with the more serious story. And that's just running over a few cops or killing random hookers. What happens when you can take down integral city systems in seconds? Derailing trains, causing massive car crashes, etc.. You could cause city-wide pandemonium pretty quickly. And then you're supposed to go into a mission, like the one we saw in the demo, and be low key?

Also, what happens if De Marco doesn't crash there? Does a mission failed screen pop up and make you retry it? Or can you just wait outside for him in a car, and tail him once he leaves the art gallery? And then where does he go?

I really hope this turns out well. Looked fantastic and it seems ambitious. But I need to see more, pretty skeptical right now.

#18 Posted by ShockD (2393 posts) -

Since it's Ubisoft, I assume it will be something sandbox-ISH like Assassin's Creed. Then again almost every mission will have it's scripts.

#19 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread. 
 
Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.

#20 Posted by Jimbo (9776 posts) -

We don't know what the other powers are yet, but there's nothing special about the 'Fuck with the traffic lights' power as long as you read it as 'Make the nearest x cars crash into each other at the intersection'.  I'm sure you'll be able to trigger that at a random intersection if you really want to (probably on a cooldown or something).
 
I would expect you to typically have a handful of options available for dealing with a situation. For instance, I don't think that mission would force you to go outside and cause a car crash. It might say you have to talk to him before killing him (ie. just killing him on sight would be a fail state) or it might have an alternative where you can pick up whatever info you need from him from a PDA on his body or something.  I agree that the very specific cutscene suggests there would only be one way to deal with the situation, but it was from a controlled demo in which they were trying to show off the game in the most impressive light possible.  Everything before that point did not imply strict linearity in that mission.

#21 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic
Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread. 
 
Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.
Ugh..:/
#22 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread. Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.

so you're going to let a thread full of conjecture sway your opinion...

#23 Posted by pweidman (2307 posts) -

The demo was obviously heavily scripted to show off the game, so we'll have to wait and see about the real gameplay options. But damn that world and the detail in it just blew me away. So many questions, but mine would start w/platforms, and a fidelity comparison to what they showed at E3.

#24 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@CL60 said:
@AhmadMetallic
Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread. 
 
Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.
Ugh..:/
@doobie said:

@AhmadMetallic said:

Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread. Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.

so you're going to let a thread full of conjecture sway your opinion...

You tell me, do the "it's scripted" posts make perfect sense or not? 
Exactly..
#25 Posted by Brodehouse (9645 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic Really consider the alternative. What makes the Hitman sandbox element fun is that there are so many options packed into a small area. When you start extending that to an entire city it's lost, you wind up doing The Thing That Worked Before every single time.

That's becoming a problem with 'toolbox' games like Assassin's Creed and Infamous and so on. They give you 8 different tools to accomplish your objective but you naturally gravitate towards The One That Works Every Time. BioShock had the same issue with electrobolt and the wrench. You can either choose the one that works or something suboptimal, and that's an unfortunate choice.
#26 Posted by N7 (3574 posts) -

The demo could have been scripted to the heavens and back, but it doesn't change how amazing it was.
 
The game, however, will not be scripted. You could have handled that mission in a lot of different ways.
 

Or maybe I could have taken a different approach. Maybe I could’ve followed the guy to the park and then taken him out much more subtly than just starting a firefight. So I think letting players express their freedom – and not just through violence, though he’s definitely capable of it – and mixing it up with his ability for control, that’s the sweet spot. I mean, he hacked a traffic light but ended up in a firefight. That’s the sweet spot we’re aiming for.

Rock Paper Shotgun
#27 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@CL60 said:
@AhmadMetallic
Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread.

Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.


Ugh..:/
@doobie said:

@AhmadMetallic said:

Well then, my excitement for Watch_Dogs has just been demolished by this thread. Eh, it's for the better. Disappointment was pending anyway.

so you're going to let a thread full of conjecture sway your opinion...

You tell me, do the "it's scripted" posts make perfect sense or not? Exactly..

they just sound like guesses to me.

#28 Posted by Jimbo (9776 posts) -
@Brodehouse said:
@AhmadMetallic Really consider the alternative. What makes the Hitman sandbox element fun is that there are so many options packed into a small area. When you start extending that to an entire city it's lost, you wind up doing The Thing That Worked Before every single time. That's becoming a problem with 'toolbox' games like Assassin's Creed and Infamous and so on. They give you 8 different tools to accomplish your objective but you naturally gravitate towards The One That Works Every Time. BioShock had the same issue with electrobolt and the wrench. You can either choose the one that works or something suboptimal, and that's an unfortunate choice.
It's only a problem if one of the tools is the equivalent of a sonic screwdriver, or if they keep presenting you with the same task over and over again.  If they change the paramaters of the tasks enough, or incentivise different approaches enough, they should be able to avoid that issue.
 
I agree that the 'sonic screwdriver' issue has become more prevalent in games though, and it is unfortunate (it's all but killed FPS as far as I'm concerned). Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, for example, is a much more varied and enjoyable experience if you choose to follow the 100% sync objectives - it's just a question of incentivising it sufficiently for people to bother.  Make it make sense in-game to not just take the cheap option every time.
#29 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
@Brodehouse said:
@AhmadMetallic Really consider the alternative. What makes the Hitman sandbox element fun is that there are so many options packed into a small area. When you start extending that to an entire city it's lost, you wind up doing The Thing That Worked Before every single time. That's becoming a problem with 'toolbox' games like Assassin's Creed and Infamous and so on. They give you 8 different tools to accomplish your objective but you naturally gravitate towards The One That Works Every Time. BioShock had the same issue with electrobolt and the wrench. You can either choose the one that works or something suboptimal, and that's an unfortunate choice.
It's only a problem if one of the tools is the equivalent of a sonic screwdriver, or if they keep presenting you with the same task over and over again.  If they change the paramaters of the tasks enough, or incentivise different approaches enough, they should be able to avoid that issue.  I agree that the 'sonic screwdriver' issue has become more prevalent in games though, and it is unfortunate (it's all but killed FPS as far as I'm concerned). Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, for example, is a much more varied and enjoyable experience if you choose to follow the 100% sync objectives - it's just a question of incentivising it sufficiently for people to bother.  Make it make sense in-game to not just take the cheap option every time.
Yup, I agree with this. Watch Dogs could totally be a non-scripted multi-optioned cyberpunk/spy adventure if the tasks are ballsy enough to be diverse and break out of the norm of video games, and if the game actually implements a legitimate system within a game that allows multiple, equally awesome approaches and results, rather than piling pseudo options on top of the thing that worked.
#30 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@Fjordson said:

I mean, will you have access to all those hacking abilities in between missions? People already complain about killing sprees and other crazy stuff in Grand Theft Auto clashing with the more serious story. And that's just running over a few cops or killing random hookers. What happens when you can take down integral city systems in seconds? Derailing trains, causing massive car crashes, etc.. You could cause city-wide pandemonium pretty quickly. And then you're supposed to go into a mission, like the one we saw in the demo, and be low key?

I've never really understood this complaint. In GTA*, you don't have to go around on a crazy ass killing spree. You just have the option--much, as dark as it sounds, like real life. Open world games are about giving players a certain set of tools in an environment which they can then alter. The crazy killing sprees and insane nonsense that gamers then do is of their own volition, and I don't think the developers should be held accountable for it or force large constraints on to what a player can choose to do. However, if you want to argue that perhaps developers don't but enough counter measures to going totally apeshit, well, then I'd be in agreement with you somewhat.

* I'll admit that this is a contentious claim as the older ones had things like "rampages" and what not, but those are still pretty optional things that you can choose to do (and seems to be, thematically, something Rockstar is no longer interested in). Other open world games like Bethesda games or Assassin's Creed, however, are similar games that don't necessarily require open mass slaughter but merely leave it open as an option.

#31 Edited by Icemael (6312 posts) -
@N7 said:

The demo could have been scripted to the heavens and back, but it doesn't change how amazing it was.
 
The game, however, will not be scripted. You could have handled that mission in a lot of different ways.
 

Or maybe I could have taken a different approach. Maybe I could’ve followed the guy to the park and then taken him out much more subtly than just starting a firefight. So I think letting players express their freedom – and not just through violence, though he’s definitely capable of it – and mixing it up with his ability for control, that’s the sweet spot. I mean, he hacked a traffic light but ended up in a firefight. That’s the sweet spot we’re aiming for.

Rock Paper Shotgun
In Gamespot's livestream the developers said you could also complete the mission by hacking a drawbridge to cause a traffic jam, and shooting the target with a silenced sniper rifle from a rooftop. So yeah, unless they're lying there will definitely be options.
#32 Posted by Jimbo (9776 posts) -
@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Fjordson said:

I mean, will you have access to all those hacking abilities in between missions? People already complain about killing sprees and other crazy stuff in Grand Theft Auto clashing with the more serious story. And that's just running over a few cops or killing random hookers. What happens when you can take down integral city systems in seconds? Derailing trains, causing massive car crashes, etc.. You could cause city-wide pandemonium pretty quickly. And then you're supposed to go into a mission, like the one we saw in the demo, and be low key?

I've never really understood this complaint. In GTA*, you don't have to go around on a crazy ass killing spree. You just have the option--much, as dark as it sounds, like real life. Open world games are about giving players a certain set of tools in an environment which they can then alter. The crazy killing sprees and insane nonsense that gamers then do is of their own volition, and I don't think the developers should be held accountable for it or force large constraints on to what a player can choose to do. However, if you want to argue that perhaps developers don't but enough counter measures to going totally apeshit, well, then I'd be in agreement with you somewhat.

* I'll admit that this is a contentious claim as the older ones had things like "rampages" and what not, but those are still pretty optional things that you can choose to do (and seems to be, thematically, something Rockstar is no longer interested in). Other open world games like Bethesda games or Assassin's Creed, however, are similar games that don't necessarily require open mass slaughter but merely leave it open as an option.

The developer is always accountable for the experience to some degree (short of the player deliberately being a dick or whatever), because they designed the game.  If they make a conscious decision to give you the tools and opportunity (even incentive in some cases) to act like a dumbass between missions because it's 'fun' or whatever, they are also responsible for any loss of immersion that follows as a result of the player deciding to act like that.
 
There's not really a right or wrong answer here, it just depends what experience the developer is trying to deliver.  The Mafia games use an open-world setting without being intended as sandbox games, and that does have certain benefits, like the game feeling more focussed in what it's trying to achieve. I imagine Watch Dogs will be very sandboxy in between missions if people want to treat it like that, but depending on what the developer is trying to achieve, it might make sense for them to disincentivise (your character) acting like a dumbass just for the sake of it.
#33 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Fjordson said:

I've never really understood this complaint. In GTA*, you don't have to go around on a crazy ass killing spree. You just have the option--much, as dark as it sounds, like real life. Open world games are about giving players a certain set of tools in an environment which they can then alter. The crazy killing sprees and insane nonsense that gamers then do is of their own volition, and I don't think the developers should be held accountable for it or force large constraints on to what a player can choose to do. However, if you want to argue that perhaps developers don't but enough counter measures to going totally apeshit, well, then I'd be in agreement with you somewhat.

* I'll admit that this is a contentious claim as the older ones had things like "rampages" and what not, but those are still pretty optional things that you can choose to do (and seems to be, thematically, something Rockstar is no longer interested in). Other open world games like Bethesda games or Assassin's Creed, however, are similar games that don't necessarily require open mass slaughter but merely leave it open as an option.

The developer is always accountable for the experience to some degree (short of the player deliberately being a dick or whatever), because they designed the game. If they make a conscious decision to give you the tools and opportunity (even incentive in some cases) to act like a dumbass between missions because it's 'fun' or whatever, they are also responsible for any loss of immersion that follows as a result of the player deciding to act like that. There's not really a right or wrong answer here, it just depends what experience the developer is trying to deliver. The Mafia games use an open-world setting without being intended as sandbox games, and that does have certain benefits, like the game feeling more focussed in what it's trying to achieve. I imagine Watch Dogs will be very sandboxy in between missions if people want to treat it like that, but depending on what the developer is trying to achieve, it might make sense for them to disincentivise (your character) acting like a dumbass just for the sake of it.

Oh, no, I do agree with that. That's what I was meaning with that last sentence. They need to get better about it in a way that not only offers up actual consequences for going insane, but maybe even makes it beneficial (LA Noire flirted with this, though it was implemented in way too a "video gamey" way with the points system). I'm just saying that I don't think you should remove the option to go crazy with a clearly restrictive system but rather, deepen the open-world mechanic by actual consequences to actions.

Which I realize is vaguey sounding, but I'm not a game designer.

#34 Posted by N7 (3574 posts) -
@Icemael said:
@N7 said:

The demo could have been scripted to the heavens and back, but it doesn't change how amazing it was.
 
The game, however, will not be scripted. You could have handled that mission in a lot of different ways.
 

Or maybe I could have taken a different approach. Maybe I could’ve followed the guy to the park and then taken him out much more subtly than just starting a firefight. So I think letting players express their freedom – and not just through violence, though he’s definitely capable of it – and mixing it up with his ability for control, that’s the sweet spot. I mean, he hacked a traffic light but ended up in a firefight. That’s the sweet spot we’re aiming for.

Rock Paper Shotgun
In Gamespot's livestream the developers said you could also complete the mission by hacking a drawbridge to cause a traffic jam, and shooting the target with a silenced sniper rifle from a rooftop. So yeah, unless they're lying there will definitely be options.
Whoa. Are you serious!? That's insane. That goes ahead and allows you to make small changes to the story too, since he won't be able to lay him on the ground and shoot him in the head.
 
Man, this game will be nuts.
#35 Posted by Hunger (19 posts) -

It's hard to say. Context-sensitive situations with multiple outcomes to a single situation is something we've seen before in gaming, but I think just the presentation of the Watch_Dogs demo was so awesome that people are skeptical. Games like Assassin's Creed and Hitman have done this, where they give you a bunch of tools that can be utilized in any way you want to complete an objective. The tricks, techniques and tools at your disposal in those types of games is basically the hacking smartphone that the protagonist uses.

#36 Posted by Fjordson (2448 posts) -

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Fjordson said:

I mean, will you have access to all those hacking abilities in between missions? People already complain about killing sprees and other crazy stuff in Grand Theft Auto clashing with the more serious story. And that's just running over a few cops or killing random hookers. What happens when you can take down integral city systems in seconds? Derailing trains, causing massive car crashes, etc.. You could cause city-wide pandemonium pretty quickly. And then you're supposed to go into a mission, like the one we saw in the demo, and be low key?

I've never really understood this complaint. In GTA*, you don't have to go around on a crazy ass killing spree. You just have the option--much, as dark as it sounds, like real life. Open world games are about giving players a certain set of tools in an environment which they can then alter. The crazy killing sprees and insane nonsense that gamers then do is of their own volition, and I don't think the developers should be held accountable for it or force large constraints on to what a player can choose to do. However, if you want to argue that perhaps developers don't but enough counter measures to going totally apeshit, well, then I'd be in agreement with you somewhat.

* I'll admit that this is a contentious claim as the older ones had things like "rampages" and what not, but those are still pretty optional things that you can choose to do (and seems to be, thematically, something Rockstar is no longer interested in). Other open world games like Bethesda games or Assassin's Creed, however, are similar games that don't necessarily require open mass slaughter but merely leave it open as an option.

Oh, personally I'm with you. I've never had a problem with that because...it's a game. I don't want R* or any other developer taking control away from me in between missions just because they're going for a more grounded tone in the story or whatever. My suspension of disbelief doesn't really falter just because of something I do when I'm fooling around in a world.

But I see the complaint a decent amount when it comes to GTA, so I'll be interested to see how that'll be handled here. Especially since this looks to be even more grounded than GTA and even has somewhat of a slteath element to it (at least based on what we've seen so far). I think what you said about more counter measures or consequences for players going crazy could be an intriguing solution.

#37 Posted by Jay_Ray (1071 posts) -

My guess will be it turns out like the Assassin's Creed series. The first one is incredibly ambitious and simply can not realize the potential. It will be Watch Dogs 2 that really capitalizes on everything you want to happen.

#38 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Fjordson said:

I mean, will you have access to all those hacking abilities in between missions? People already complain about killing sprees and other crazy stuff in Grand Theft Auto clashing with the more serious story. And that's just running over a few cops or killing random hookers. What happens when you can take down integral city systems in seconds? Derailing trains, causing massive car crashes, etc.. You could cause city-wide pandemonium pretty quickly. And then you're supposed to go into a mission, like the one we saw in the demo, and be low key?

I've never really understood this complaint. In GTA*, you don't have to go around on a crazy ass killing spree. You just have the option--much, as dark as it sounds, like real life. Open world games are about giving players a certain set of tools in an environment which they can then alter. The crazy killing sprees and insane nonsense that gamers then do is of their own volition, and I don't think the developers should be held accountable for it or force large constraints on to what a player can choose to do. However, if you want to argue that perhaps developers don't but enough counter measures to going totally apeshit, well, then I'd be in agreement with you somewhat.

* I'll admit that this is a contentious claim as the older ones had things like "rampages" and what not, but those are still pretty optional things that you can choose to do (and seems to be, thematically, something Rockstar is no longer interested in). Other open world games like Bethesda games or Assassin's Creed, however, are similar games that don't necessarily require open mass slaughter but merely leave it open as an option.

The developer is always accountable for the experience to some degree (short of the player deliberately being a dick or whatever), because they designed the game.  If they make a conscious decision to give you the tools and opportunity (even incentive in some cases) to act like a dumbass between missions because it's 'fun' or whatever, they are also responsible for any loss of immersion that follows as a result of the player deciding to act like that.  There's not really a right or wrong answer here, it just depends what experience the developer is trying to deliver.  The Mafia games use an open-world setting without being intended as sandbox games, and that does have certain benefits, like the game feeling more focussed in what it's trying to achieve. I imagine Watch Dogs will be very sandboxy in between missions if people want to treat it like that, but depending on what the developer is trying to achieve, it might make sense for them to disincentivise (your character) acting like a dumbass just for the sake of it.
It doesn't even have to be open world IMO, just implement real solid systems that allow diversity and creativity for the player. I like to create the scenario, I like to write history within the game, I don't like it happening around me for me to watch, or being forced to do a certain 'awesome' task only when the game allows/encourages it.
#39 Posted by ChaosTony (102 posts) -

"Oh that was scripted, no way they'd make it possible to do that if it wouldn't happen every time, etc."

Wow, there is a lot of cynicism and lack of imagination in this topic >_>

#40 Posted by mmtimmytime (2 posts) -

I was definitely coloured intrigued by the fantastic trailer, but I am wondering how much freedom the game will give you to play with the different sandbox tools available from the premise. Some scripted events are fine but I hope it's mainly controlled by the player.

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