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Keir_Eidos

Eric Lindstrom explains Player Tailoring

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Hi, just in case you haven't seen Eric's blog over on tombraider.com, he posted this new topic today:

"Some people in the office suggested that my next blog should be about how a simple conversation with Toby Gard resulted in a torn ligament, a splint on my left hand for three weeks, and ongoing physical therapy probably until we’re done with the game. But seeing as I can’t explain the cinematic I was acting out without spoiling the story, not to mention that the explanation makes me look pretty stupid, and you really just want to hear about the game and not my work-related injuries anyway, I’ll instead talk about one of our new features: Player Tailoring.

There are three aspects of Player Tailoring, as follows:

The first aspect is about immersion. You can separately choose to display or hide the following types of meta-information: whether reticules appear on enemies during combat, whether helper buttons appear when interacts are possible, and whether training panels appear telling you how to perform new mechanics. Some people like having meta-information displayed to keep things moving along, and some people dislike the intrusion these meta-displays represent. Both types of players can have what they want.

The second aspect is about physical challenges. Rather than having a single difficulty setting (though the game does start out with one that you can fine tune later) there are multiple settings to tailor the action elements of the game. You can set how healthy enemies are (how much damage kills them), how healthy Lara is (how much damage it takes to kill her), how much ammunition you can carry, and how quickly you have to react to saving grabs when you lose your grip.

The reason these are broken out separately is because players define challenge differently, and everyone is interested in different types of play. For example, some players love puzzles but don’t like fighting so much, so now they can turn down the health of enemies, not because they aren’t up to the challenge of stronger enemies, but because they want to de-emphasize the role of combat in the experience and blow through it more quickly – just a burst of excitement and then back to the exploration and puzzles. But those people who want less life-threatening combat don’t necessarily want an easy time exploring so they don’t want a free pass with respect to making saving grabs or taking falling damage. By adjusting these four settings independently, players can adjust their experience with respect to action and danger to their taste.

The third aspect is about mental challenges. At any point a player can call up Field Assistance and hear Lara give a hint or a task. A hint tells you, among all the different things in front of you, which would be a fruitful area to focus on. A task is something you can do that will advance you some amount. There is no concept of “When will my next hint be available?” because anytime you ask for assistance, Lara will always tell you to do something you haven’t yet done.

Why is this feature important? Just like I talked about for combat, people define and seek out challenges differently. Some people like exploring and fighting and puzzles, but if they're struggling with a puzzle, they’re ready to get the answer from a FAQ file on the Internet and get moving again. Why not make that feature available in an intelligent way, in the game fiction, where you don’t have to worry about reading a bunch of other spoilers while looking for the one you want? Not only does this feature support people who want the Tomb Raider experience but light on the puzzles, it’s good for the puzzle hounds because if it weren’t for Field Assistance, there’s no way we could have included so many elaborate and complex puzzles.

So by giving players the ability to control the display of meta-information, change the difficultly of individual game elements and not the game as a whole, and to access puzzle help when they wish without penalty, a whole lot of people will have a lot more fun, without anyone’s choices affecting the experiences of other players. That’s what Player Tailoring is about, and why it’s the way of the future.

Oh, the one thing the game will not tell you is how to get anywhere. Field Assistance will tell you what to do but not where to go or how to climb there. That’s up to you. Good thing Lara has a sonar device in her PDA, which you can use to map out the ruins in detail and help you navigate.

That is, if you want to. :)

Cheers,

Eric"

Good readin' eh? :)

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Extremely good reading! I love this option!

I'm so gonna have Lara's health low and enemies health high with low ammunition and no hints or tips for me, even if it does take me a year to complete. Awesome idea, Crystal/Eidos, this really should be the future of platform gaming, it's a great new tool for people. I'll turn the hints off too, though I'll keep the target reticules on, I like to know what I'm firing at.

MsC

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Awesome, I think I'm going to love this option too. I think I'll turn the enemies health down because I'm one of those people that loves the exploration and puzzles but is annoyed by combat... Dammit I'm trying to climb a mountain here, will you stop shooting at me!!!!!!!!

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This is truly amazing! This is the best way to please everyone as each one of us likes to play differently! I'm not sure what I'll do but i hate to be stuck, so i'll definitely leave the hints on. Same about the target. Just not sure about Lara and enemies' health. Will decide that later.

I wonder if the amount of ammo she carries will affect how fast she can run or jump, for example! That would be extremely realistic and cool! :)

BPanther

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That sounds so good to me.

Hell, I was wondering why it took SO MANY bullets to

kill a tiger

in that one game play video! LOL!!!!

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Well if I can talk to zip whenever I want, can I tell him "Shut Up" ?!! I hope so. :D It would be fun.

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Guest Fusion

I'll try to make mine as realistic as possible. I doubt lara can hang there more than 4 seconds single handed. I like alot of shooting if its when I want it. New area, new challenge, not like in Anniversary in the first tomb just after the swinging blades and there's the little dinosaur (name is on the tip of my tongue) that dinosaur just appears and its fast and stupid. But I have a problem now, 2 or 3 bullets would kill something in real life and thats too easy. I like the reticules cause I want to know what im shooting at lots of things are possible in this game I dont want to think im shooting bats and i just shot a bridge down (happened in anniversary in the demo for me) that just limits my exploration can enhance it too, The health all depends on the challenge, never been bitten by a tiger personally think it might sting a little so it will be high

found this on TRC screen001_nm.jpg

Edited by Fusion

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I am seriously liking this . Very nice indeed.

But I have a problem now, 2 or 3 bullets would kill something in real life and thats too easy.

Not always at first.A lot of times 2 or 3 would put them down and immobilize them without killing them immediately. Eventually they will die but not at that moment.

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Guest Fusion

That would be cool if you could immobilise them then the come at you a little while later limping or something

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I am seriously liking this . Very nice indeed.

Not always at first.A lot of times 2 or 3 would put them down and immobilize them without killing them immediately. Eventually they will die but not at that moment.

Unless you head-shot them! In that case, one bullet is enough!;)

BPanther

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The fact that you need Lara to stay alive in order to complete the game, I'll keep her health on high and the enemies' on low. Reticules will be on and as for the other options, I'll have to wait and see. I know for a fact that I do love exploring and surveying the land, terrain and landscape.

Player Tailoring..... I like this game already.....

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Unless you head-shot them! In that case, one bullet is enough!;)

BPanther

That is true except that doesn't happen unless you have the laser sighting on the gun/rifle. That is one thing I would like to see CD bring back,the laser sighting that was used in TR: TLR.

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Player Tailoring, how awesome is that? To be able to adjust TRU so that it suits your gameplaying abilites is a great idea. I hate getting lost, so the sonar on the PDA sounds perfect. I enjoy battling the enemies, but not so much that I can't focus on solving the puzzles. Looking forward to trying out different settings to see which one I like. Also, this increases the replay value, since you can go through it all over again with entirely different settings. :woho:

Thanks for posting, Keir! :)

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Also, this increases the replay value, since you can go through it all over again with entirely different settings. :woho:

That's a really good point AJ - a different type of game every time you play, so much better than just 'harder than before'.

Personally, I'm with Shrensh - I much prefer the puzzles to the fighting, and as you know, I mark a fights difficulty as to whether I can actually kill something myself or give up and get my son to do it for me so I can get on with the game :lol:

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Guest Fusion
Thanks! I know what you mean about giving up on the fight. I've been known to set a game aside for weeks until I'm ready to try another round with a big boss battle.

I think I hold the record. 1 year till gap untill I could beat Boaz and I brought TR2 in about 2000 and only beat it about a year ago. That first level is hard if you've never played TR before

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This feature sounds brilliant. Wonder how many fans will select the hardest options (like me, yay!)? It'll be fun fiddling about the options and see how much it truly affects the game =).

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Guest Fusion

Did anyone else like me turn off the auto grab for Anniversary, if you choose your point carefully you can jump off the top of the column in st francis folley and live. I might make a vid

Edited by Fusion

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