Mafia: tried to make my own fun, but was thwarted

I had a great idea: on that bridge that opens up for ships, why not park a few cars right in the middle and watch them plunge into the ocean when the bridge opens up? Would that be cool or what?? I thought it would be.

Imagine my disappointment when, after carjacking four cars and parking them along the middle of the bridge (right over the crack), the boat arrives and does not go under the bridge! You can hear the “ding ding ding ding ding!!..” but the bridge does not rise. I went ahead and removed all the cars and finally the bridge opens up.

I’m sure if the developers were reading this, they’d be laughing and saying, “Yeah, we didn’t have time to do the physics for cars gradually falling into the crack of an opening bridge, and falling onto a ship below, so we wrote extra code to prevent this.”

But still, was anyone else disappointed by this?

Never tried it, never thought of trying it…you are weird sir :P

But I loved the game anyway. I kinda broke their physics engine a few times myself.

I had similar experiences in the GTA games

There’s an assassination mission in GTA3 where the target gets into his car and speeds off. I wanted to be clever so I place a bunch of cars around his getaway car to prevent his quick escape. When I trigger his getaway, poof my cars are deleted and the guy has no trouble escaping.

In Vice City, the mission where you race against your own getaway driver is really tough. So I place a super-fast car near the starting point to use instead of the junk car I’m given. I also place some barricade cars on his side of the road for good measure. When the race starts, poof my neatly placed cars disappear.

This is probably why games will stay constrictive to the player. Truly emergent systems are hard to design and test.

You’re also highlighting why the Reload Function should be destroyed. You shouldn’t be able to use a Crystal Ball in a game, realistically speaking.

You’re also highlighting why the Reload Function should be destroyed. You shouldn’t be able to use a Crystal Ball in a game, realistically speaking.[/quote]
Yeah. You’re just licensing the game, you know, you don’t own it. So stop trying to play it in a way the owners don’t intend.

Yeah. When you die, you should have to start the game over from the beginning. Alternately, when you die, the game should actually kill you. Perhaps by delivering a dose of a lethal drug via the controller. That would add more tension, realistically speaking.

Destroying the Reload Function is a Game Design issue, not a player issue.

Its understood that manipulations which destroy realism will happen with the Reload Function… eliminating the function allows for emergent gameplay among other benefits.

And possibly endless frustration. Having to play through an entire level just to be killed at the end over and over again is bad game design because people won’t find it fun. Playing games is not supposed to be a chore.

I’m all for limited reloads, because they enhance tension since you cannot save at every corner. But eliminating reloads completely is just stupid.


Destroying the Reload Function works in conjunction with other game design elements like transferral of identity (you possess a living character when your previously living existing one is killed) and moving games away from being kill-based.

Time and time again when I mention this people say “But Doom would be unplayable without Reloads!”.

I don’t see that as a problem… games like Doom can exist and have their Reload Function. Games that want to be immersive, realistic, have true AI, etc. should not have Reloads.

How about this…

You’re playing an Economic Competition game. You’re a CEO. But competition gets heavy and one day an assassin strikes and you’re dead. Now your identity is transferred into a Vice President of the company. An investigation is taken into the murder… your rival is suspected. Meanwhile your company continues along but is hurt by the lack of top-level leadership.

The key is for the game to continue and to continue to be enjoyable regardless of actions, however for every action in the game to have repercussions and since no action is undoable by means of a Reload, every action is meaningful. Death in this type of game might mean a demotion of sorts, and hurts the profitability of the company. Every action is part of a process that leads to a demotion or promotion, and helps or hurts the company.

Lets say you play badly and are fired from your job. Since you still have skills you can get a job somewhere else, maybe at your previous competitor. Perhaps due to your newfound passion and experience you rise up the corporate ladder, and uncover the mystery of the murder on the way…

Right now mistakes in games have no consequences other than the 5 seconds it takes to Reload. I hardly care if I make a mistake in a single-player game which is much of the reason I value multi-player games.

How about incorporating mistakes into the game dynamic rather than treating them as something to be swept away in a 5 second whitewashing?

When you see an enemy AI unit in a game, you have no feelings for him. Why should you… he is merely something that will momentarily be dead. Its amusing that the term is “Artificial Intelligence”… if the thing was REALLY intelligent there’s no way he would be fighting a creature that has the ability to turn back time even (and especially) after death or injury.

Take Deus Ex… Walton Simons does some aggressive posturing. How ironic and irrelevant that is… all Simons is is a matter of time. All he is is a roadblock which can be passed quickly or slowly. A matter of a variable number of 5 second Reloads. If Simons looked at me after his posturing he would become terrified… he would see a man completely unfazed. Why should I care about his posturing when he can do no more than slow me down?

As I said, there are many, many, MANY reasons to destroy the Reload Function. I completely agree that other game design elements have to be introduced in conjunction with it… Doom must have its Reloads.

TRUE Artificial Intelligence in a FPS would lead to every enemy running away from you. You after all are far more terrifying than any Cyberdemon. Unlike them, you have the godlike Reload Function at your beck and call.

you didn’t kill simons the first time? pathetic!!

seriously, i like the sound of the identity transfer. a lot. make me a fun game using it! :D

It’s just tiresome when someone tells me that I only like games the way they are because I haven’t reached his stage of enlightenment. If only we were all bodhisattva, then we could understand what he was talking about–but we are merely karma-burdened layabouts without the strength of vision to see that all we need to do is overcome our karma so that we may eventually reach nirvana and shunya, as taught to us in the Mahayana Buddhist parable in Saddharmapundarika Sutra 4.

Yes, I see what you’re trying to do here, Brian, and I applaud your efforts. Help us unburden our karma so that we may finally reach shunya.


As another poster stated before, I want to have fun, not “fun.”

The good old “save anywhere” debate. The most cliched game topic ever.

Wait a minute Gordon, you think the designers should have had the bridge open up even if there were cars parked right on the split? Man that’s unrealistic. I don’t think designing the physics had anything to do with it.

Although I agree it would have been fun. :)

You would not believe how much time is spent making sure these kinds of things can’t happen.

It’s a game for the testers, once the core game is locked down, to try and find weird crap like this that breaks things…

Yeah, the reload function sometimes ruins games for me as well, so I just don’t use it unless I have to.

I’ve been playing Fantasy General through again only (and always) saving on mission completion, and I played System Shock 2 through without saving until I got to the Body of the Many (That level is just too hard for ironman.)

Takes some discipline but if the game is more fun that way then you do it.

Sort of like Nethack (which I played for maybe 20 minutes.) You could copy the save file every time you quit, but some people don’t.

insert editorial rant about designing interesting failure modes

  • Alan

There is no such thing. Failure is a break from the game’s reality – “interesting” in that context just means that it’s a funny bug, not that it’s somehow better than a covered case.

Thanks! I also block airplanes in MSFS as they taxi to the runway. All those 747’s lined up…knowing all those passengers are becoming uncomfortable, wondering why the plane isn’t taking off…well, it reminds me of why I love PC gaming so much. :twisted:

It would also allow for less gameplay, since parents, college students, kids who have parents who say “NOW!,” and many others would pretty much have to stop gaming… The “Save” is the interface between gaming and reality.

As for turning off saving or limiting saves to force different game play styles, I have no problem with that. But just make it a toggleable Iron Man option, don’t force it on me.

The game saves upon quitting. “NOW!” would result in a quit and save… no problem. Of course, there would be only the one save file, barring backups.

The Load function is still in play, just not the Reload.

As I have repeatedly said, this game design element has to be understood from the ground up and from Day 1 of the game development. Things like “identity transfer” are incompatible with both allowing reloads and not allowing reloads. Toggleable just doesn’t work.