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View Full Version : How to make the player visit a sandbank (a lesson in self-defeating design)



Sushiglutton
06-22-2014, 03:38 PM
Was thinking about all the things AC4 does in order to make the player visit those generic sandbanks in AC4.

(I obviously don't claim the steps were taken in this order. I have no idea when and why the various systems were added)

Step 1: A sandbank is placed somewhere in the Caribbean open world. Unfortunately players just sail by it.

Step 2: A button prompt for "look at location" is added and shown everytime the player sails by one of the sandbanks. If the player taps a button the camera will zoom in. Now some players get curious and jump off the Jackdaw and swim to the sandbank. However they quickly learn that there is nothing there, so after a while they stop bothering.

Step 3: Chests are added to the sandbanks. Now players visit a few more. After a while however the players realize that the generic rewards in the chests are not really worth it given how tedious it is to swim back and forth. Also some people don't know about the chests and are not able to find them.

Step 4: The chests are marked on the map. This ensures everyone can at least find the chests. Still some players won't bother though.

Step 5: Chests are now required for 100%! Finally something to put pressure on completionists! A few more desperate players make the swim!

Step 6: Add Animus fragments and flasks. Some players are still resisiting. What is needed is to add a greater variety of collectibles. If they are not interested in a bit of loot, then perhaps they can be tempted by the message-bottle story?

Step 7: It has come to the developers attention that some people won't open the chests even when standing right next to them. This will not stand! A tingling sound, designed to annoy the player and make him do whatever necessary to make it stop (in this case open the chest), is added.

Step 8: Templar challenges, with funny cheats as rewards, are added to give a solid reward for doing everything! It seems like some players require more tangible rewards than a mere 100%. Ok we give them that if it will make them swim to the sandbanks!


Victory: Finally the data shows that the number of people visiting the sandbanks is maximized! This is a triumpf for the the developers. They have succesfully fooled the players into doing something they don't want!


Or is it??? What has really been gained here? You have made the player consume a greater percentage of the content and spend more time in your game. For what? Does it make the player feel like he got more value out of the game? I believe the opposite is true. Many player's feel like their time was wasted. Some realize they were manipulated which is not a nice feeling.

This is just one example, but unfortunately I feel Ubisoft is going more and more in this direction. To me it seems like they are inspired by companies like Zynga and King and their succesful use of analytics to support design decisions. Please do not go there Ubi!

jayjay275
06-22-2014, 03:46 PM
Good thread. I myself cannot stress how irritating this was in Black Flag. Even though I like to complete all the content in open-world games, collectibles are the most boring thing, especially when there are hundreds of them in the same type of place....

Farlander1991
06-22-2014, 03:52 PM
While I agree that chests on sandbanks in AC4 are annoying, I think you're overthinking the design process that went behind them (not to mention that a few steps such as chests being required for 100% and the tingling sound when near them was present ever since AC2).

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 05:12 PM
this started in AC1 with flags

"Oh! People aren't exploring our cities enough! Let's add 420 flags!"

jmk1999
06-22-2014, 05:37 PM
this started in AC1 with flags

"Oh! People aren't exploring our cities enough! Let's add 420 flags!"
lol... just ONE of the reasons i can't stand AC1. it's the worst in the series and the game that almost made me not want to continue the series and NOT buy AC2 until the very last second (yeah, even missed out on one of ubi's LAST decently priced collector's editions... blah).

anyway, in regards to AC4, i didn't finish those, even though they're placed on the map. there's no real incentive aside from a single abstergo challenge. if it were an achievement and a costume/weapon, or something else, that might be a different story. there's quite a bit of work involved in gathering all the fragments and chests (especially when you already have a ton of money by the end of the game).

Farlander1991
06-22-2014, 05:50 PM
this started in AC1 with flags

"Oh! People aren't exploring our cities enough! Let's add 420 flags!"

To be fair, flags in AC1 were supposed to be subversive, to show the futility and pointlessness of such collectibles. The idea wasn't really seen through, and the irony is that AC2 from the same developers instead of removing the feature played this 'tons of collectibles' thing straight, and it sadly became one of the staples of the series.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 05:53 PM
you could always listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or music while doing the collecting stuff.

Y'know, if it makes it less tedious.

SixKeys
06-22-2014, 06:04 PM
this started in AC1 with flags

"Oh! People aren't exploring our cities enough! Let's add 420 flags!"

AC1's flags were actually there to point out the absurdity of collectables. Patrice said he put them there knowing they were completely pointless, to show people that collecting things just for the sake of collecting is pointless. Of course, gamers being what they are, the joke was lost on most people.

Edit: Farlander already said it better than I. What started out as subversive was played straight in the sequels.

jmk1999
06-22-2014, 06:08 PM
after the ALREADY repetitive nature of AC1, the flag thing was just straight evil. :nonchalance:

Farlander1991
06-22-2014, 06:29 PM
AC1's flags were actually there to point out the absurdity of collectables. Patrice said he put them there knowing they were completely pointless, to show people that collecting things just for the sake of collecting is pointless. Of course, gamers being what they are, the joke was lost on most people.

Sometimes I think, can you blame them? I think that joke is something only less-experienced gamers would understand, because they're less used to gaming tropes and would see through it earlier. I mean, collectibles are a very common thing in games for a very, very long time. And as a life-long gamer, my first thought all those years ago regarding the flags was, 'If there's so many of them, there must be something really awesome when we collect them'.

And when you have a long-established trope like that, I don't think it's enough to just throw in hundreds of flags with no reward at the end (which is not entirely true anyway, XBox players get achievements for flags) to subvert, rather than annoy. You either subvert it by NOT having tons of collectibles at all (so the result would be either, 'look, an open world game with no collectibles!') or by having very few collectibles with meaningful results for collecting them (so it would be, 'look, unlike in other games, I don't have to collect 100s of pointless things to get this one little thing'). Or, in another case, make a point out of it (smth like Little Inferno or Spec Ops, which make a point out of being games of their respective genres). But it's just there, putting the default expectations in the mind of the player and not doing anything with them except not meeting the expectations (which AC2 and further games decided to fix by just meeting the expectations, rather than doing something more clever or user-friendly).

SixKeys
06-22-2014, 06:40 PM
Sometimes I think, can you blame them? I think that joke is something only less-experienced gamers would understand, because they're less used to gaming tropes and would see through it earlier. I mean, collectibles are a very common thing in games for a very, very long time. And as a life-long gamer, my first thought all those years ago regarding the flags was, 'If there's so many of them, there must be something really awesome when we collect them'.

And when you have a long-established trope like that, I don't think it's enough to just throw in hundreds of flags with no reward at the end (which is not entirely true anyway, XBox players get achievements for flags) to subvert, rather than annoy. You either subvert it by NOT having tons of collectibles at all (so the result would be either, 'look, an open world game with no collectibles!') or by having very few collectibles with meaningful results for collecting them (so it would be, 'look, unlike in other games, I don't have to collect 100s of pointless things to get this one little thing'). Or, in another case, make a point out of it (smth like Little Inferno or Spec Ops, which make a point out of being games of their respective genres). But it's just there, putting the default expectations in the mind of the player and not doing anything with them except not meeting the expectations (which AC2 and further games decided to fix by just meeting the expectations, rather than doing something more clever or user-friendly).

I think if AC1 had been better received overall, they would have gotten away with a joke like that. But like jmk1999 said, people who already thought the game was repetitive probably saw it as just another design flaw to be "corrected". So they did in AC2.

I agree that it was just badly implemented. Maybe they should have made the joke more obvious by having AltaÔr comment on why he's wasting his time with all these flags. They sort of did that actually, with the one mission type where an informer tells you to collect flags for him because Al Mualim finds it sooooo important. There was something about the self-important way he said it that made me think they were taking the p!ss. But yeah, since most games absolutely rely exactly on that kind of time-wasting with no irony whatsoever, the joke is easily lost.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 07:30 PM
I think the Arkham games do collectibles in a good way.

HercRembrandt
06-22-2014, 07:32 PM
It certainly never occurred to me that the flag collecting was supposed to be a joke of some kind, though in my defense, AC1 was my very first console game. At the time I was looking to get more into gaming to, ahem, offset some other hobbies that seemed to be trending toward the spectacularly unrewarding, and my "PC Master Race" membership was about to be revoked on account of my substandard rig. So I just figured it was how things were done in the Great State of Consolia.

It would be simplistic to write it off as just a gag, though, since it actually worked as a method to get me to explore around and not miss some of the cool stuff in the world that was so subtly presented. In the end, though, I gave up at some point without finding all of the flags (and probably not even every single Templar, to my shame) because I'm one of those people who gets physically uncomfortable (with the cold sweat and nausea etc.) by continuously waving the camera around, which you kinda have to do to look for hidden stuff. Sometimes I get a little touch of the OCD about games, but it was easier to give up since there weren't even any Trophies on the PS3 for finding everything, so that was manageable. (Actually, thinking about it kinda makes me want to go back and search for them :p)

However, AC has begun to lean way too much on Collectible Hunting as content, and it's not even justified by any remotely plausible plot reasons. You could argue that ripping up the flags was a gesture of resistance at least. But the last AC I played was Liberation, and man... Why was Aveline collecting all that junk?

Of course, the longer you keep players "engaged" with "content", the longer it takes them to sell off the games and block Ubi from making a sale of their own. So there's that. But it's not giving me the good feels as a player.

Locopells
06-22-2014, 08:21 PM
I wouldn't mind the flags, if we could add an in game map. As it is, I've only done them twice.

Sushiglutton
06-22-2014, 08:33 PM
While I agree that chests on sandbanks in AC4 are annoying, I think you're overthinking the design process that went behind them (not to mention that a few steps such as chests being required for 100% and the tingling sound when near them was present ever since AC2).

I was joking a little bit and ofc I have no idea what the actual thoughtprocess was. It's just a bit strange to me how many systems are in place to incentivize the player into doing boring stuff. It doesn't make any sense.


I wouldn't mind the flags, if we could add an in game map. As it is, I've only done them twice.

Haha :D!

Sesheenku
06-22-2014, 09:00 PM
I agree with all of it except for the bottles, those actually contained messages which added more depth to the Sage. I collected them because they held narrative value, the 200 reale chests and animus fragments can go die though.

I've truly gotten sick of Ubisofts artificial extra content. Either spend the damn time to make an engaging side quest line or something like that or DON'T do it. It needs to be captain kidd mission level quality or not included at all.


you could always listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or music while doing the collecting stuff.

Y'know, if it makes it less tedious.

Seriously you are too damn submissive to everything game related.

When the industry gives you lemons, you eagerly shove them down your throat and say "Thank you sir! Can I have some more?"

Stop that ****, when games give you this lazy ******** in the form of lemons, you take that lemon and tell them to shove it up their *** and bring you some strawberries instead cause you don't like that sour crap.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 09:21 PM
I actually like to eat lemons Mr. Cave Johnson.

Besides, it doesn't really matter because these are just games, I can choose just not to do the collectibles if I think they're boring or if they don't have anything worthwhile at the end. It's not like they really take much time to make, they just plomp these things down randomly around the world.

Sesheenku
06-22-2014, 09:36 PM
I actually like to eat lemons Mr. Cave Johnson.

Besides, it doesn't really matter because these are just games, I can choose just not to do the collectibles if I think they're boring or if they don't have anything worthwhile at the end. It's not like they really take much time to make, they just plomp these things down randomly around the world.

I like lemons too, you know it's bloody metaphorical.

So what if you can choose not to do them? Why should I lie down and accept crap as extra content? Why should I not complain when they could make the side quests as good as the Homestead ones or the Captain Kidd ones and yet still don't?

As I said, make them engaging or don't include them at all.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 09:41 PM
I never said that you should. If you handed me a petition or a poll that asks me if I would support removing these pointless collectibles that aren't worthwhile, I would say yes.

Doesn't mean that I don't have to make lemons into lemonade when I'm given them.

frodrigues55
06-22-2014, 10:00 PM
I wouldn't mind the flags, if we could add an in game map. As it is, I've only done them twice.

You have done them TWICE?! :eek: Ugh, I hate when collectibles are not in the map. I am NOT going to look at every single corner for those flags, lol.

Anyway, I agree with Sushi. The sandbanks in Black Flag are, in my opinion, one of the most tedious activities AC has ever presented.

They would be ok if they were inside cities, but the whole process of jumping of ship and swiming back was boring as hell, especially considering the absurd number of tiny islands for you to reach.I don't think anyone actually found them fun, so I wonder why the hell developers were thinking?

My method to go through them was hit the ship into the sandbanks, let go of the wheel, run like mad to the nearest point of impact (usually the front, with the long mast) and jump off the ship. Of course it didn't work properly because as soon as you hit the sandbanks the ship starts moving away from it. By the time you are back, the Jackdaw was already miles away from where you left it. Sigh.

rprkjj
06-22-2014, 10:23 PM
You have done them TWICE?! :eek: Ugh, I hate when collectibles are not in the map. I am NOT going to look at every single corner for those flags, lol.

Anyway, I agree with Sushi. The sandbanks in Black Flag are, in my opinion, one of the most tedious activities AC has ever presented.

They would be ok if they were inside cities, but the whole process of jumping of ship and swiming back was boring as hell, especially considering the absurd number of tiny islands for you to reach.I don't think anyone actually found them fun, so I wonder why the hell developers were thinking?

My method to go through them was hit the ship into the sandbanks, let go of the wheel, run like mad to the nearest point of impact (usually the front, with the long mast) and jump off the ship. Of course it didn't work properly because as soon as you hit the sandbanks the ship starts moving away from it. By the time you are back, the Jackdaw was already miles away from where you left it. Sigh.

Actually, the most tedious would be the underground tunnels from AC3.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 10:27 PM
I actually really liked the underground tunnels just for the experience. It was sorta spooky. I loved it.

frodrigues55
06-22-2014, 10:34 PM
I actually really liked the underground tunnels just for the experience. It was sorta spooky. I loved it.

I kinda liked them too. It had ambience and at least demanded some sort of thinking every once in a while. Even some corners had their own surprises at times. And anything that doesn't involve jumping off the ship and swiming back is valid in comparision, lol.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 10:42 PM
Yeah I'm excited to explore the catacombs of Paris. And I love the fact that the architecture of Paris reminds me of the Colonial styles of AC3 combined with the older architecture of Paris.

Sesheenku
06-22-2014, 10:43 PM
I actually really liked the underground tunnels just for the experience. It was sorta spooky. I loved it.

Atmosphere was excellent but the content itself was just bleh.

Nobody likes mazes, especially not when they're sole purpose is to act as fast travel points.

I remember playing AmericanMcGees Alice and it makes you go through a hedge maze at one point, it doesn't feel bad cause it's not drawn out and its rather infested with enemies and minor little portal puzzle but its short and it only takes a few minutes to understand what needs to be done.

As a person who has designed levels I can only imagine that the poor level designer must have been bored out of his/her mind just laying down these horribly rectangular hallways all over the place and just slapping a brick textures all over them.


I never said that you should. If you handed me a petition or a poll that asks me if I would support removing these pointless collectibles that aren't worthwhile, I would say yes.

Doesn't mean that I don't have to make lemons into lemonade when I'm given them.

Always spare a lemon or two to throw back in a show of refusal while you sip your lemonade.

Jexx21
06-22-2014, 10:55 PM
Haha, I like that last statement.

I don't agree with you all the time but I regard that you're actually trying to give me advice, so just in case you were wondering, in that other topic where I said "Thank You," I wasn't doing it out of spite (okay maybe a little ​bit) but I was actually thanking you because I can see you're trying to help me.

Sesheenku
06-22-2014, 11:04 PM
Haha, I like that last statement.

I don't agree with you all the time but I regard that you're actually trying to give me advice, so just in case you were wondering, in that other topic where I said "Thank You," I wasn't doing it out of spite (okay maybe a little ​bit) but I was actually thanking you because I can see you're trying to help me.

I am. Too soft of a philosophy causes a mere settling for life where I believe that one should take action and make life meet their expectations as well as possible, AC is a prime example, those that affected change were those that did not settle, that set out to make life meet their expectations rather than accept it for what it is, obviously some of it is actual history and most revolutions were made up of people precisely like that, people who set up to force life to meet their expectations rather than accept whatever is given.

Farlander1991
06-23-2014, 07:52 AM
Btw, I don't agree that collectibles like flags and chests are bad per se. But the design philosophy of having to collect ALL is clearly flawed. (Btw, my favourite collectibles are the sea shanties, I actually enjoy the little navigation challenges they provide and they reward with an awesome song :D AND there's not hundreds of them per location ). The thing is, stuff like little collectibles should be of the 'something to get on your way' principle, not 'something to go out of way to get'. Let's say you parkour from one location to a mission location, and there are things that you can take on the way if you want.

So this essentially means that chests should just be something you can open on your way if you want to get a little bit of extra cash. They don't count towards 100% completion, you don't have to open ALL of them. Things like Animus Fragments and flags? The reward, be it an outfit or some cheat code or smth, should come from collecting 30-35% of these things at MOST, rather than all of them, because, once again, it should be just something to get on your way with a nice little present for a little bit of your trouble.

I'm actually curious how Unity will handle that. Especially with the principle that they're talking about 'not every house interior has a mission, but every house tells a story'.

Locopells
06-23-2014, 09:11 AM
You have done them TWICE?! :eek: Ugh, I hate when collectibles are not in the map. I am NOT going to look at every single corner for those flags, lol.

I lost the savegame from the first time I did it, so had to do it all over again...and I cheated, I used an online map, but it's a pain switching in and out of the game constantly, and trying to match up that map, and the in game one...


I actually really liked the underground tunnels just for the experience. It was sorta spooky. I loved it.


Yeah I'm excited to explore the catacombs of Paris.

This!

pacmanate
06-23-2014, 01:08 PM
I never understood animus fragments in AC4... why were they even there? In ACR it made sense, Desmonds mind being all over the place and such.

But yeah, chests and animus fragments in the Caribbean were just annoying. No incentive to do either seeing as fragments just gave you a challenge and the money you got from chests was minimal.

Xstantin
06-23-2014, 06:49 PM
It looks like Animus Fragments are coming back in Unity. You can see a small shiny orb in the E3 Single Player at 4:23 when Arno gets to the rooftops (Amancio talks about skyline and navigation).

Sushiglutton
06-23-2014, 07:10 PM
It looks like Animus Fragments are coming back in Unity. You can see a small shiny orb in the E3 Single Player at 4:23 when Arno gets to the rooftops (Amancio talks about skyline and navigation).

Ouch :(. I suppose Ubisoft's open-world algorithms have deemed it a cost effective piece of content in terms of player time/dollar.

Locopells
06-23-2014, 07:18 PM
Looks a bit like a tiny flag also...

Escappa
06-23-2014, 07:23 PM
It looks like Animus Fragments are coming back in Unity. You can see a small shiny orb in the E3 Single Player at 4:23 when Arno gets to the rooftops.

I just hope that all the things they put into the game, i.e collectables, makes sense; and that they don't put in things JUST because they always been there. Like it would be weird to run around Paris collecting feathers even though feathers been present in almost every title up to date.

LoyalACFan
06-24-2014, 01:28 AM
I think the Arkham games do collectibles in a good way.

They do. Because they're 1.) rewarding considering they unlock new missions and a breadcrumb trail of XP for continual upgrades, 2.) challenging and fun to find in most instances, and 3.) sensible within the lore since you have to interrogate informants to reveal them. Contrast that with AC4's sandbanks, which carry practically no reward, aren't challenging or fun, and are just magically shown to you on the map.

I don't think collectibles are inherently bad, but AC has historically butchered them. I never knew the flags in AC1 were facetious until I read this thread, because I never bothered to collect them and I assumed it was just a run-of-the-mill game trope. The only good collectibles AC has ever given us were the shanties and buried chests (the ones you have to find with a map, not the random 200R sandbank ones). AC2's glyphs were cool but I don't really think of those as collectibles per se.

Jexx21
06-24-2014, 06:04 AM
The almanac pages in AC3 would have been better if they were more adapted to our times rather than a direct copy of what was actually written.

I also thought that the peg leg trinkets were great collectibles since they gave you actual missions, I just wish we could actually see what the trinkets were :P

Farlander1991
06-24-2014, 07:17 AM
The almanac pages in AC3 would have been better if they were more adapted to our times rather than a direct copy of what was actually written.

I also thought that the peg leg trinkets were great collectibles since they gave you actual missions, I just wish we could actually see what the trinkets were :P

Peg Leg trinkets are good in principle because they're few in numbers. However some of them just stand in an open place and they're boring to get. Some of them are very cool to get. My favourite one was the trinket in the chasm, it was a real puzzler how to get down there. Which is what I think collectibles can very well be - small navigational challenges.

Shahkulu101
06-24-2014, 07:23 AM
How did you get down there? I only got it because I found a ledge slightly lower down than the rest but still got critically damaged.

Farlander1991
06-24-2014, 07:40 AM
How did you get down there? I only got it because I found a ledge slightly lower down than the rest but still got critically damaged.

I think that's the only way? You can jump in a way to not get damaged too much (need to jump so you'd push against the cliff midair halfway down). That ledge leads to a cave where you can do a leap of faith on the other side, but I'm not sure if there's a way to get there from the other side.

Xstantin
06-24-2014, 08:26 AM
If that's the one near Connor's village you follow the forked tree, then climb some rocks to reach entrance it's actually on the opposite side from the chasm.

RinoTheBouncer
06-24-2014, 09:06 AM
Five stars to this thread!

Whether itís the sandbanks, the feathers, the Animus Data Fragments or the flags, and though theyíre all optional stuff, AC devs have been trying too hard to make you collect these stuff, not knowing that most of us would rather do some story-related side missions than bother doing a repetitive swim-to-sandbank-get-the-chest-swim-back-to-the-ship kinda quest. Cheats are good, but what good are they when you canít save your game even with the ones that donít make gameplay any easier or any harder? itís like they give you the collectibles, the give you a reason, and then put something that defeats both. I give you chests and fragments, I promise you a cheat reward and once you get it, I disallow saving so youíre like ďwhateverĒ.

I wish Ubisoft understands that this is a game, yes but itís also not a Mario or Pacman kinda game. You donít have to collect stuff, you donít have to be doing these stuff and though theyíre optional and are only for those who want a 100%, why not put something more entertaining, more story related and less repetitive and boring? I finished ACIV 100%, so Iím not saying this cause itís too hard for me, Iím only saying this because I want to be entertained and challenged to get a 100% rather than get bored to death.

wvstolzing
06-24-2014, 10:06 AM
Didn't these 'collectibles' start with the first blockbuster 3D open world game, i.e., GTA 3? Possibly the 2D GTAs had them too.

I've always thought that the purpose there was that the devs wanted to show off their hard work creating a city: Imagine creating all those streets and alleyways, and balconies facing the sea, and knowing that *no one* will get to see them if they stick strictly with the missions, 'story' or otherwise. I think it's a cunning way of making the player see your work.

LoyalACFan
06-24-2014, 11:06 AM
Didn't these 'collectibles' start with the first blockbuster 3D open world game, i.e., GTA 3? Possibly the 2D GTAs had them too.

I've always thought that the purpose there was that the devs wanted to show off their hard work creating a city: Imagine creating all those streets and alleyways, and balconies facing the sea, and knowing that *no one* will get to see them if they stick strictly with the missions, 'story' or otherwise. I think it's a cunning way of making the player see your work.

This can be accomplished through other means. Having actual, substantial missions populating the majority of the map would be ideal, but it doesn't even need to be that complex. I think it was Jexx who brought up Arkham City's collectibles being a good example of how to do collectibles right, and he's absolutely correct. The Riddler trophies in that game took to you every nook and cranny of the map, yet provided a fun challenge and unlocked meaningful content. By and large, AC collectibles are just "run to map marker, stand over item." And they rarely even reward you properly for the effort.

Jexx21
06-24-2014, 11:47 AM
The Arkham series is just generally superb all around, except in the story department, but even then the story is still quite enjoyable, and Origins was a step up in those regards.

LoyalACFan
06-24-2014, 12:42 PM
The Arkham series is just generally superb all around, except in the story department, but even then the story is still quite enjoyable, and Origins was a step up in those regards.

I think Asylum was great too TBH. City kind of suffered from a case of too many villains and not enough time. I mean, Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman, Ra's al Ghul, Hugo Strange, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Solomon Grundy and Clayface all in one night? Yeesh. I feel like they should have saved Ra's and Two-Face for Arkham Knight, dropped Penguin, Grundy and Freeze altogether or made them side missions, and focused on the Batman-Joker-Strange triad. Catwoman and Ivy's involvement was kinda meh, but that whole thing was a side story anyway and didn't bother me that much.

Jexx21
06-24-2014, 12:57 PM
I actually liked City's story more than Asylum so...

RinoTheBouncer
06-24-2014, 01:18 PM
Didn't these 'collectibles' start with the first blockbuster 3D open world game, i.e., GTA 3? Possibly the 2D GTAs had them too.

I've always thought that the purpose there was that the devs wanted to show off their hard work creating a city: Imagine creating all those streets and alleyways, and balconies facing the sea, and knowing that *no one* will get to see them if they stick strictly with the missions, 'story' or otherwise. I think it's a cunning way of making the player see your work.

I understand your point but I think they can accomplish that by having actual story-related missions that take places in these locations, missions that span the entire world you’ve created as well as cutscenes. But to lure someone like that, it would be a cheap attempt like someone creating a painting with so many black areas and putting flashing lights on the blank parts to make you concentrate on them.

wvstolzing
06-24-2014, 02:33 PM
This can be accomplished through other means. Having actual, substantial missions populating the majority of the map would be ideal ...


I understand your point but I think they can accomplish that by having actual story-related missions that take places in these locations, missions that span the entire world you’ve created as well as cutscenes.

Yes, but there's something to be said about seeing things just for the sake of it, without any particular purpose. The collectibles themselves are pointless for the most part, but looking for them does get people roaming about the place like clueless tourists, simply admiring the scenery (hopefully).

Many of the Riddler trophies did have cool puzzles associated with them, though there may have been a tad too many of those. The 'riddles', though, were a clever way to have people look attentively at the insane amount of *detail* in the scenery. (Actually, with B:AK they'll probably go berserk with those details ... I'm equally excited for that game, as I am for ACU; that's why I got a PS4 despite the fact that I'm a pauper. Sigh. :( :p) Though to make that kind of thing work, you need precisely to have a character like E. Nigma in your toolbox.

Jexx21
06-24-2014, 05:34 PM
Eh, Peg Leg worked fine.

So, say for Unity, you have a Thieves Guild in Paris. They tell you that they have information on certain things, but that they require recompense in the form of items. So, throughout the world there are items like jewelry, prized artifacts, etc. and you have to steal them. But maybe you have to get past guards and traps to find some of them, maybe some of them are hidden in unique places. Find enough of them, and fence them to the Thieves Guild for this information, and then you get a new side mission!

Voila, you got collectibles in the vein of the Peg Leg trinkets and similar to the Riddler trophies from Arkham. Also you get some third-person competition for Thief :P

RinoTheBouncer
06-25-2014, 09:26 AM
Yes, but there's something to be said about seeing things just for the sake of it, without any particular purpose. The collectibles themselves are pointless for the most part, but looking for them does get people roaming about the place like clueless tourists, simply admiring the scenery (hopefully).

Many of the Riddler trophies did have cool puzzles associated with them, though there may have been a tad too many of those. The 'riddles', though, were a clever way to have people look attentively at the insane amount of *detail* in the scenery. (Actually, with B:AK they'll probably go berserk with those details ... I'm equally excited for that game, as I am for ACU; that's why I got a PS4 despite the fact that I'm a pauper. Sigh. :( :p) Though to make that kind of thing work, you need precisely to have a character like E. Nigma in your toolbox.

Maybe that’s true, my friend. But I guess they could’ve at least let the Animus Data Fragments unlock something for you in ACIV like they did in AC:R. Now that would’ve been something collectible and also story related.