Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Why some games feel better than others – part 2

Jumping

I chose jumping for this article as I think it’s one of the most basic functions
that has been in videogames since the beginning that is still being used today. Games as old as Donkey Kong and as new as GTA all feature jumping. It has gone from the main gameplay focus in games to one of many options that your character can perform.

Games have changed from 2d to 3d and jumping has remained a constant. Even as games shifted view from 3rd person to 1st person, jumping has hung around no matter what the current trend in videogames. Something so innate to videogames and yet read any videogame magazine and I’m sure you’ll find a review of a game where people are complaining about the jumping. A basic functionality of videogames and developers are still getting it wrong.

I don’t claim to have the perfect answer but when studying jumps in as many games as I could find, I noticed one common thing. How long the character was in the air regardless of 2d or 3d, this determines if a jump feels good or not. How long the player is out of control as their character floats around is very important. Oddly enough good jumps were around the same time and bad jumps were around the same time length.

I fully admit that my tests are not the most accurate in the world but it’s a starting point for a conversation. A conversation that hopefully developers can have with one another as they have their character jump and try to nail that elusive feeling of ‘good’.

My Testing Methods
I took a stopwatch and pressed start as soon as I pressed the jump button. I then pressed stop right when the characters feet touched the ground again. I did not account for any settling that the character may do in the animation. Most games allow for the player to navigate out of this settling animation so I discounted it completely. Also since I have only 2 hands I only tested the character jumping straight up while standing still. Some games have different animations for jumping straight up or jumping toward an object and I did not test those. Since it is a very imprecise way of measuring I repeated the same jump around 8 or 10 times and what you see is my average of those attempts.

Note that a lot of games which I consider to have great jumps have controllable jumps depending on how long you hold the jump button down, such as Super Mario Bros. When testing those I tried to take an average of how long the average jump is performed. Yeah, not the most precise thing in the world but like I said I want this to be the beginning of the conversation, not the end.

My Testing Results
Time is measured in seconds.

First lets take a look at some NES games


Super Mario Bros 1 – 0.75 seconds
Super Mario Bros 2 – 0.65 (I only tested Mario)
Super Mario Bros 3 – 0.75 seconds

Castlevania 1 – 0.72 seconds
Castlevania 2 – 0.68 (looks like they removed the slight hesitation at the apex of the jump)
Castlevania 3 – 0.72 seconds

Contra – 1.03 seconds
Ghosts and Goblins – 0.7 seconds
Ninja Gaiden – 0.9 seconds
Rush N’ Attack – 0.9

Now with just a quick look at these results I think you can see a pattern emerging. Good jumps fall within the 0.7 category, anything longer and you start having a jump that no longer feels good.

Now for some Playstation 2 games
Devil May Cry 3 – 0.75
God of War – 0.69
GTA3 – 1.10
Jak & Daxter 1 – 0.72
Psi Ops – 1.10
Ratchet & Clank 2 – 0.75
Shadow Of The Colossus – 1.10
Shinobi – 0.85
Sly Cooper 1 – 0.8

I won’t lie, I was kinda shocked to see that going from 2d to 3d a good feeling jump remains the same as far as time in the air is concerned. Personally I think that a good feeling jump outweighs any real world animation or scenario that your game is trying to present. Who cares if it feels or looks “arcadey” – players expect and need immediate response when it comes to jumping.

My numbers aren’t the most accurate thing in the world but I think it’s safe to say that somewhere between 0.70 and 0.80 is what most people consider a good feeling jump. Anything longer than this and the player starts to really notice how out of control they are during a jump. Anything less and either the jump serves no purpose or feels even worse than being out of control.

24 comments:

omar kendall said...

I like this premise and I applaud you for your testing practices, but this falls apart for me in one place - you never really established a criteria for "good" jumps or "bad" jumps other than how you personally feel about them. Making the conclusion that 75-80 is a sweet spot because a lot of games do it is reasonable, but all it proves is that a development trend exists, not a consumer one. I never knew that the jumps in Contrat or Ninja Gaiden were considered "bad," for instance, and they both fall outside of the proposed sweet spot.

I wish there were some way to poll the public for data without making it seem like a focus test...

Derek Daniels said...

One of the problesm i had with writing this is exactly what you called me out on - who decides what is a 'good' feeling jump. I tried to gather some empirical data by taking a look at a wide variety of games with jumps.

Although I am hesitant to say that NES Contra has a bad jump I feel confident saying that it was a weird jump, something i've said ever since i first played it as a kid. Maybe back then I was comparing him to mario and maybe there is a part of me that still compares every single jump to mario.

Certain jumps, at least to me, feel obviously bad such as Shadow Of The Colossus. And maybe there is more to the equation than just how long the player is out of control but I will say this much. The next game I make with a jumping character, I will definitely time his jump out to fit within what I consider the sweet spot.

Anonymous said...

Did you try measuring your own jump? Was it near 0.7s? I honestly don't know the average jump duration of an average person.

There could be two reasons why 0.7s works well, meaning not necessarily good or bad, but just feeling comfortable.

1) Our jump is actually near 0.7s. We feel comfortable towards our own number.
2) 0.7s has worked well in few successful earlier games such as Mario and Castlevania. We could just be comfortable with our earlier jumping videogame characters. If Mario had 1.10s of jump time in mid 80s, how would we feel about Kratos' jump time now?

- Hyun

Derek Daniels said...

Hyun,

Thats such a good idea! When I woke up this morning and saw your comment, I grabbed the stop watch to try it out. I only jumped once (I won't lie - felt kinda silly) but I looked down and it said, '0.75' I started laughing and just finished getting ready for work. Maybe when I get home i'll dig up some Everlast or Kriss Kross and jump around more.

When I started writing this article, I meant to go back and play Donkey Kong which has to be one of the first games I ever played with a jump button. However I could only find the NES version which I don't remember being a good port, shrug. I remember that jump being super floaty but maybe it's not. When I look back and think of what has the best feeling jump, SMB1 immediately springs to mind.

There were a lot of complaints about the platforming in GoW1. There were a lot of variables - lack of camera control, spinning blades, poorly designed jumps, etc. However looking at some of the data that I collected I wonder if Kratos simply isn't in the air long enough. Something to definitely take a look at as we are working on part 2.

Speaking of part 2 - I finished single player CoD2, you guys did a fantastic job with that game. Congratulations.

Cory Barlog said...

Jumping kicks ass!!!

Great post! I take a great deal of comfort knoing that I work with people who are willing to break down these elements the way you did...cause you and I both know there is no way in hell I would do it.

Yak said...

This study is flawed. A 'good jump' is entirely subjective. Many people applauded the jumping in Halo 2, which is way longer than 1 or even 2 seconds of airtime. Similarly, who can ignore the enormous jumps and airtime in the new Hulk game. I say stick to playing games and enjoying them and stop over-analysing them :)

Derek Daniels said...

Hulk is a great example, I love his jump. But his jump is not only controllable with the charge but there is sort of a built in expectancy of how you think Hulk himself should jump. Not to say that there haven't been a ton of superhero games with bad jumps (including previous hulk games) but when you think of making a superhero game the first thing you want to do is have them jump over buildings. Getting that jump to feel good is the hard part and I think radical nailed it.

As far as jumping in 1st person shooters is concerned - well, I think someone could write a whole article about that. I remember when Metroid Prime ruined the series by going 1st person and thinking that platforming would be horrilbe but I hear they pulled it off. shrug

And thanks for the heads up on how I should only play games, unfortunately I also make them. So it is sort of my job to over analyze them.

Richard Foge said...

It is awesome to see the consistency of those numbers. It definitely is difficult to qualify the definition of what a 'good' jump is, but I think you did a great job at looking a nice cross-section of old and new.

I'd also be curious how the amount of control over the jump that the player has makes a difference. I remember getting really frustrated with the original Castlevania over the lack of control I had over my momentum, (unless I'm thinking of something else...)

It might be good to find some of those 'extreme' jumps that feel really good asn do this with them as well. I FREAKING LOVE Venom's high jump in Ultimate Spiderman. I think you are right when you mention the expectancy factor though. Those monster jumps are definitely an exception and only appropriate for certain situations, like large, open cities where accuracy is rarely an issue.

And keep analyzing, please. The only way we can really understand and teach things like this is if they are quantified.

Good read, Derek.

kiki said...

This reminds me somewhat of the over-analysis of literature, movies and other forms of entertainment. Sometimes in retrospect we attribute meaning to things where there is none. In the case of jumps, an arbitary set of numbers doesn't set any kind of standard, nor does it really help with game development. I'm sure a lot of this is coincidental, although it makes interesting reading nonetheless, if only as an example of the lengths people will go to in the quest for 'deep analysis' of games.

I think serious analysis of gameplay should always come from the layperson and their feelings. I'm sure for many gamesplayers, what they consider a 'good jump' and what you consider the same, would rarely coincide. Perhaps that could be a follow up study?

Maj said...

Kiki: Overanalysis of literature? What?? Just because you don't care about the intelligent things intelligent people say about intelligent writing doesn't make it any less valid.

And did you just actually say that serious analysis is only valid when it comes from the least qualified person? Wow, nice.

JamalB said...

Random factoid: I once saw a study on the human jump and 1 second is about maximum hangtime. Even Jordan's foul-line dunks were only 1 second in duration.

I think that the article is over- simplifying what makes a jump "good"...or at least failing to establish causality between this "sweet spot" duration and the quality of the jump.

Contra's jump serves a much different purpose than mario's jumping. Mario's path is often obstructed by difficult sequences of platforms that require the player accurately gauge jumping distance and duration...in essence, jumping is the main form of interaction in a mario game. Contra, on the other hand, uses its jumps more for avoiding enemy fire and has fewer required jumps that will cost you a life when missed. Further, upon losing a life in contra you don't lose any level progress as you typically do in Mario games. As a result, I tended to use jumps as a panic reaction in Contra-style games. The ability to control of your movement in the air up until you hit the ground again made this jump nearly ideal for this purpose.

The .7 second hangtime theory also suffers a bit when considering later mario games that allowed hovering or floating to the ground slowly. I think these jumps remain satisfying due to the increased control the player has during their increased hangtime....also, the extra hangtime is player activated and deactivated, which adds some padding as necessary if the jump timing or distance was a bit off...I also wonder what game presentation constaints make the .7 so satisfying. It might be aided by implicit assumptions about framerate, character size, jump height (as measured in some game specific units...like mario being able to jump 2 bricks high), lack of momentum upon landing, enemy interference with jumps (part of why I don't like Castlevania 1's jumps), etc...


Perhaps some combination of the degree to which a player is in control of a jump, the duration of the jump, and the average penalty for missing a jump would provide a better metric for measuring the quality of a video game jump? The hulk game others have mentioned seems to have satisfying jumps due to meeting this criteria. It compensated for its long jumps by giving the player control of the jump duration (up-front), allowing them to lock onto a target for the jump's endpooint and having pretty lenient penalties for missing a jump...from what I played of it, at least. Jumping was often optional in that game since hulk could run straight up walls, which also likely helps jump satisfaction.

Heiko said...

Heh, what a debate this subjects kicked off. In my opinion you would also need to include other factors into your formula, in particular game pace and movement style. In terms of game pace, being out of control in faster paced game obviously sucks. while in a slower paced game it's barely noticeable. Secondly if a character is designed to be particularly acrobatic with say combo chains or something then a longer hang time can be to an advantage. of course a longer hang time when enemies are wailing on your from all sides sucks too. I really hope you do investigate this more it's a really interesting subject, the jumping sweet spot!

Derek Daniels said...

Richard - thanks for reading man! Never had a chance to meet you but I recently played Socom for PSP and I think it's one of the best if not the best games that handles going from ps2 to psp. Even with GTA, i found myself wanting a 2nd analog stick but never with Socom. Hopefully one day we can have a talk outside of this silly blog.

JamalB - One of the reasons why I included Contra's jump is because there are sections of the game where you need to jump over chasms to progress further in the game. I agree with you that jumping is by far secondary (where as primary in smb) but I still attest that their jump feels weird. Giving the player complete movement control with the jump helps out a lot but I wonder if they added that in to help dodge bullets or land on platforms easier.

With later mario games - such as mario sunshine that gives the player the ability to hang in the air I always saw more of a band aid to 3d platforming. I think it's a great thing that they give the player this ability - but it's not innate to the jump, since it has an acitivation command. It's like an advanced form of double jumping. But at the end of the day, regardless of how it feels, I still view it as a solution to bad cameras, whack jumps distances, etc.

BTW, I agree with you completely about Castlevania's jump sucking when you got hit by a medusa.

Heiko - games with air combos such as marvel, gow, dmc, etc - what usually happens is that when you press a button in the air your character will float in the air longer than intended to. This isn't a bad thing at all but when writing this I totally disregarded any other button commands to augment the jump. So double jump, divekicks, air combos etc I threw out the window.

A lot of this stems from the fact that I was working on a game before that got cancelled that had a female character jumping around. When trying to decide on her animations and all that fun stuff we spent a lot of time messing arund with gravity rules, how long she was in the air, how long she was at the apex, did she flip, etc. I think at the end of the day a good jump is almost something the player doesn't recognize. If the character that they are controlling feels good it won't even stand out. Bad jumps however always stand out. Although I agree it's subjective upon what is considered a good/bad jump I think we can all agree that there is such a thing as a good and a bad jump.

JamalB said...

Right after I wrote that post, I realized that Contra jumps have a third purpose, in additon to navigating terrain and avoiding bullets: jumping is the only time that you can shoot straight down in a contra game. Again, we're at an impasse at which is the more likely reason behind the increased player control of the jump since you could easily say it's there to avoid enemy fire from below while you're shooting down or just there to help hit the odd platform...

Castlevainia's jump's also suffered due to seeming to just pull you out of the sky after Simon's jump peaked. There wasn't much of an arc, just a startling drop. I think that makes the mental penalty for missing a jump higher since your failure isn't obvious until simon decides to drop like a rock 2 pixels away from where you were trying to go. I definitely felt like starting a level over was a high price to pay for a jump so "artificially" missed. I liked Castlevania 3 much more than 1, due to the addition of the pirate guy that could climb walls and grab the side of platforms.

Also, about the mario games: chararcters in mario games could hover starting with SMB2's princess. Admitedly, a lot of people didn't like SMB2, but I think there tons of reasons for that aside from the jumps...although, the jumping height did changing due to carrying something was a bit odd...why introduce realism at that point? Still, SMB3's racoon tail, Mario World's cape, etc. all added a floating ability to their jumps and were met with stellar sales and reviews. Do you think that was also a bandaid, perhaps needed to prevent the player from falling down 5 screens once their flight ended?


Also, about Mario's back-pack in Sunshine...I felt it was an unnecessary addition. I played quite a bit of Mario 64 in college and the jumping distance wasn't all that hard to gauge...of course, it had the advantage of setting my standards rather than having to adhere to them. It was a bit of a hinderance to have to constantly do your own camera work, but the controls and added jumping abilities like wall jumping and backflips, again gave the player enough options to go about solving puzzles the "right" way or making up their own solution. In Sunshine, I felt like the bugs in that game, like falling right through some platforms, and the "silohouette cam" kind of make judging the quality of jumping a bit harder. However, the back pack made some things way too easy for me. I already had my bag of wall jumping tricks from the previous game and the backpack and lenient wall jump timing just made some parts of the game to easy. Most stages could be cleared with the repeated sequence of backflips-> wall jump -> turn around and grab wall you just jumped off...perhaps that's why I liked the flat shaded stages without the back-pack the best.

Derek Daniels said...

JamalB - one of the more interesting thigns about Contra's jump aside from everything you mentioned is that the character flips in the air. Most games the characters do not. There is a problem when you have the character flip, when do you stop the flipping animation to cut to the attack animation in the air. In 2d it's usually not so bad, it stands out worse in 3d cause you can see the character from any angle. Its interesting that Contra just said screw having an animation and magical bullets fly out the flipping jump any time you press the button.

All the talk about Castlevania sequels got me thinking about other sequels and how they handle their jump. I went back and loaded up Ninja Gaiden 2 and 3 and found something interesting.

In part 1 - he flips all the way up and all the way on his jump. If you press attack he stops his flpping anim and plays the attack anim. In part 2 he flips til he hits the apex then he goes immediately to falling while standing straight up. In part 3 he behaves roughly the same but it looks like they gave him some dampening to lessen the harshness of going from flip to being straight. In both 2 and 3 the character is in the air for less than he was in part 1. I only played part 1 back in the day though.

BTW, I never played Castlevania 3 - is it good?

Haha - i had totally forgotten they added weight with items in SMB2. What a weird game that is.
Regarding the floatiness on the racoon tail/cape I think again we stradle the line on what people expect to happen and good feeling gameplay. Dropping 5 screens at once and not being able to manuever out of the way of a hole that leads to your death would suck. The raccoon tail/cape felt awesome and in fact I wish they would have brought some of those back in New Super Mario Bros.

I think most people agree that the stages with no backpack are the best in Mario Sunshine. I am not a big fan of that game in general though prefering mario64.

For whatever it's worth I was playing Street Fighter for a minute today and Ryu's straight up jump falls within what I call the sweet spot.

Speaking of the sweet spot - I still view it as more of a guideline than a rule. A starting point for designers to implement their jumps then they can go in whatever direction they like. The amount of time a player is out of control is an important one - so even if you jump is longer than my sweet spot, giving the player the ability to move their character in the air helps out a ton and perhaps even negates my sweet spot. It's games more like GTA where you have no control for so long that I think qualifes more as a bad jump than contra's.

Heiko said...

This brings to mind something some designer said, but I can't remember which designer or exactly what it was they said! I believe it was something like you know when it's good when people never recognize it, or good design is when people never realize there intereacting with design. Bleh, either way it comes down to the best ones are the one you never have to think about. This is gonna bug me all day.

JamalB said...

Heiko: Actually, I was thinking of a somewhat contrary quote which was that first MacOS was criticized for it's UI because it was the first OS interface simple enough to actually critcize. If you're really far off base the whole thing breaks down and there are so many things wrong that you don't know where to begin. If it's in the ballpark, then you can talk about what you don't like with a clear eye to what was intended or what would be optimal. But, yeah, I've often said that silence is the sound of a job well done. Not too many people call in to tell you things are wonderful with your work.

DD: I really liked contra's decision to not change the animation during a jumping shot. The last thing I need is my hitbox or my perception of it changing while I'm in a firefight. You also touched on the issue I've feel seperates 2-d fighting games from 3-d ones--in a 2-d fighters the animations often change to match your inputs while in 3-d fighters you more often have to adjust your inputs to sync up with the animations. Tons of exceptions to that generalization, but I do think that 2-d games feel more dynamic (or perhaps chaotic) at times due to the fact that a move may immediately be cancelled by the motion for another move. Now, I'll shut up about that since I'm sure you've thought about such issues much longer than I have...

Castlevainia 3 was pretty good from what I remember, but that's by pre-symphony of the night standards. It had a password system which made it much easier for me to like...think that's where Alucard first shows up, along with 2 other characters you can assign as your backup (you could transform into the other character at no cost anytime, but you only had 1 person aside from Simon). I haven't played it in years, though...

Street fighter is an interesting case since, you the speed is customizable after SF2 Turbo. The jumps are obviously sped up but don't feel odd because of it. Really makes me suspect that common framerate as something that allows .7 to show up so many different games.

jchensor said...

Yeah, Castlevania 3 was a great game, IMO. Though I enjoyed the first one more, the third one was probably the strongest and most robust of the original series. One of the best things about it was that it returned to the same level of difficulty present in the first Castlevania.

Also, Dawn of Sorrow for the DS pretty much has an homage to the game. When you beat DoS and get to play the Julius Belmont Mode, they have Alucard and Yoko Belnades to use (Yoko being the descendant of Sypha from C3). They brought back all of the old powers to the returning three characters (Alucard changing into a bat and being able to shoot three fireballs, Yoko having her three magic spells, and Julius getting all of the old sub-weapons from before) along with some new abilities. Swapping between the characters almost gives the same animation as when you swapped characters in C3.

They should have found a way to add a wall crawling theif as well to makeit complete. ^_^ But it was very cool from a nostalgia point of view to play.

- James

JamalB said...

I just played that DS Castlevania yesterday and you made me even happier that I bought it. Wall crawling would be even better, but you probably wouldn't need it too often.

Anonymous said...

Late to the party...so i'm catching up. Great post Derek and great to see so many replies. I'm glad to know that magical number now and could have used this research back in the day. I went through the pains of trying to discover the elusive good jump a few years ago and wanted to share a little on what I found.

1.) The jump should be as immediate as possible, which Derek covers in part 1 of this post. Responsiveness. In 2d games, the second you press the button, the character is jumping in the air. 3D games sometimes push the realism factor and add the player crouching before he jumps. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus seem to do this, which forces the players to learn how to time their jumps.
2.) The jump has a limited amount of control. Which has been discussed in this thread already. Castlevania’s “no control jump” feels horrible in comparison to Mario’s “oh my god here comes a Bullet Bill, HOLD UP!” jump. I love that Contra’s jump was analyzed to discover it was created to dodge bullets and shoot down. I remember playing Contra and your first reaction to the jump is WTF? Then a guy approaches from behind and you jump over his bullets while shooting straight down and your second reaction to jumping is FTW!
3.) Time in the air, as you have analyzed and discovered the sweet spot. BTW, I tested the game I worked on. Air time is between 0.8 and 0.9. Almost had it! L
4.) Animation the character performs must match the action in the air. I think the game I worked on got away with a longer jump because the character flips 2 times before ending in an upright pose. Seems to be the trend with longer jumps. If the character weren’t flipping in the air we would think the jump looks “floaty”.

JamalB made an excellent comment about the character’s hitbox changing if the animation changes. We ran into this EXACT problem. When we changed our jump to a flip, it looked like you should be able to make it on top of ledges easily, but you couldn’t because the character’s collision didn’t change during jump. So we had to add a collision change during the jump flip.

5.) Jumping straight up should have a lot less control than jumping forward. This ends up making sense to the player because of the character’s momentum. If you can suddenly move fast in the air without any reason we destroy the illusion of creating a believable jump.

I think all these factors are important in creating a good jump for a platforming game.

The last factor I can think of puts a twist on all the above variables.
6.) The jump must serve the game’s purpose. This is where things can get messy. If the game isn’t purely about platforming, then things change.
Contra: Insane amount of control over your jump for dodging bullets and shooting down.

Ninja Gaiden Black: Air time = between 0.6-0.7. Because you want to perform air attacks on standing enemies and move quick like a ninja.

Shadow of the Colossus: Not as responsive to create a sense of realism.

That’s all. Sorry for the long post/summary. I love talking about game details like this.

Adam
-An animation breakout system is your friend!

Anonymous said...

In regards to jumping and "why some games feel better than others" I think it's also a matter of "what do you do with the jump", aside from the duration factor.

For me, the sweetness of a jump is given by how much can I control the environment and my character with a jump. The continuous flow of movement when going from jump to roll to jump to wallrun to walljump to roll to jump etc. Jumping in a game feels good when my character feels like water poured into a vassel with a chaotic form, it never stops and moves gracefully from one plane of geometry to another, without forced stops and recoveries aside from the really neccesary ones (like falling from great heights).

I also had a tremenduous amount of fun with something as simple as the shoulder jump in Ninja Gaiden (the Xbox one). The way that you can control an enemy with just a stick and a button, without hurting him or attacking him yet he is completely under your power, was extremly rewarding.

I think that it's very important for a jump to be more than just a helper in reaching higher areas or getting over obstacles.

As for duration, that’s something that you tune and not set in stone. It depends on your type of game, on the type of character, the character’s animation and so on. 0.7-0.8 seems like a good starting point though, yet fine tuning it until it bleeds flow and fun is where it’s at I would say.

-Frankie

Max Szlagor said...

Interesting post. I didn't catch this when you first wrote it up so this comment may just float in the wind.

I remember reading this fact a few years ago in regards to 2d games and I believe the comment was made that Sonic also had a similar jump time to Mario, amongst other successful 2d games. The source of this info is slipping my mind at the moment.

It's interesting to see that the rule carries over to 3d. One of the things I wonder about is that if, as developers, we end up using a similar number subconsciously because we tend to play games in a similar genre when developing our own games. The other thing I wonder about is if this number serves as a good litmus test for making future games. Are we going to ask if we are around 0.7-0.8 for our jumps?

I actually think that the original Ninja Gaiden has a pretty good control feel to it outside of the birds that send you flying off platforms and the "stickiness" of the walls. One of my friends takes pride in flying through the game in under 30 minutes I believe.

It's good that someone like you is investigating this and I encourage you to collect other data. I'm kind of curious about other properties such as run speed and whether or not there is any correlation there. Again, I believe it could be attributable to "borrowing" the feel of other games, but who knows. Maybe we have our own golden ratios in games?

Derek Daniels said...

Max,

Don't worry I have email notification turned on so I get an email when someone comments.

I have had another article related to game design on the backburner but have just been really busy with life/work to get to it. Maybe this weekend or something.

Regarding quantifying other things I think there are other similiarties. I forget who did it but I read somewhere that someone took how long it takes to cross the bob-omb area of SM64 and compared it to GTA3 and their 1st city (name hella escapes me right now for some resason) and they were comparable. I think they also included that main 1st area of Jak 1 as well.

I was reading your blog and I saw your comment about our unlockable content in God of War 1. The honest answer as to why it wasn't playable - our engine had changed so much from when that stuff was originall created to what we shipped with that it didn't even load up. I agree 100% with you and i think we are going to try to do more of that in part 2. We'll see though.

Anonymous said...

To those people who are complaining about over-analysation, you are reading a game designer's blog. Are you simple? What did you expect to read here? His job is to examine and study what makes "good design". And it sounds like he is right on because everything he is saying is making sense. If you just want to blindly criticize everything you read than bug off.
To Derek, this was a great post. Very interesting. This is the kind of stuff I love to study as well. The first thing I thought when you did this study was I wondered what the average human jump was as well. And I see others had the same thought. I find it highly amusing that your preliminary jump test that morning showed a .75 for your first jump. It seems we relate to the jumps in those games that feel good because they are more accurate. While no one could probably tell you offhand how long a person jumps on average, they will know if it is not adhering to proper physics. Just like you can tell bad cg creations are fake because they don't move correctly.
Great blog.