There is a huge List of FPS games. I have played some fps games in my earlyer years.
Half-life, duke nukem, American army, call of duty, resistance: fall of men, socom navy seals, unreal tournament, xonotic, red eclips, halo, team fortress, alien arena and even dinosaur hunter on facebook. I think that's about it. It's not a bad list but it's far from all the games that are out there.
FPS strategy canvas
Below here is my curve of an average FPS game. My biggest examples of FPS games are unreal tournament and call of duty because i believe they represent most of the FPS game that are out there. I will only cite notable aspects of other games instead of discussing the full games.
In galactic gladiators a match consists of 3 rounds. Every round has a different time limit.
Most FPS games really try to do their best with the levels. But the level aspect isn't just determinant by quantity and variation but also with lens 26 (functional space), 92 (lens of inner contradiction) and 93 (lens of nameless qualities). Level design is game design in detail and it isn't easy.
I designed GG not so it would have many levels. I designed GG so that the levels would vary much from one another. Before each round the player would go to his locker room to select weapons and the levels could change each round to increase the tension, making each level unique and dynamic.
The levels of the other games don't seem to line up with the theme. I always imagined that a shooting sport game would have a cheering crowd, a commentator and billboards in the levels, but I never saw that in any fast past shooting game.
The levels and modes of call of duty don't seem to line up with the war tactic theme of the game. If it's a war, why are they capturing a little flag? Americans army does it better in mine opinion. If you die, you're dead. And your team will have to compensate the loss. That is how real war goes.
The average curve of an FPS game doesn't vary much from the curve of an action/adventure game. Adventure games usely have more puzzles, higher mental skills and less multiplayer.
Aspects in detail
- number of objects
- Lens 28: the state machine
- Lens 29: secrets
- Lens 59: control
- Lens 39: meaningful choices
- Lens 48: simplicity/complexity
- Lens 49: elegance
- Lens 50 character
Most games have quit a lot of items and weapons. There are games with a insane amount of weapons but what's the point of having that much weapons. A.V.A. is such a game. Other games have only 1 gun, a paintball gun.
And what's the deal with health and armor packs? What's the difference between 100 HP+ 100 armor and 200 HP? What guns have more penetration attributes? I never noticed something of this in UT type of games.
The objects in GG where:
- 1 type of ammo for all guns
- mystery box (equal to mario kart)
- 9 or 10 guns (to start with)
For galactic gladiators I deleted healthpacks, when your armor is down your as good as dead anyway. 1 type of ammo pack, picking up rockets when you don't have a rocket launcher is silly. I added a mystery box where I stuffed in all special items like double damage, extra armor, higher fire rate etc. The mystery box worked like the boxes in mario kart. And last but not least around 9 guns where added. The guns could be sorted according to fire range. (short, medium or long range) Another important attribute was the speed of the projectile. It could be instant hit (bullet), stationary (mine) or something in between (rocket, plasma bolt). You also had no-damage guns like a plasma shield, mass enlarger and the armor recharge gun. I liked the fact that the plasma rifle in UT can do a combo, so I made it possible for each gun to have a combo with all other guns.
I have the feeling that many FPS games have a lot of secrets or should i say information that isn't displayed (or is badly displayed). Health, armor, ammo, special ability, rank and position. All this information is vital when you engage on your enemy.
Chess would not be the same if all the pawn types would be hidden from you and stratego wouldn't be the same if you know all the pawns of your opponent.
I decided to make almost any information clear to all players in the game. Players would have a shiny holographic armor so they would be easy to spot in all the levels. The amount of shininess would be determined by the amount of energy left in the armor suit. Players could see if the enemy is damaged or not. The numbers 3, 2 and 1 in the match would have that number displayed above their heads. The players armor would turn in a different color when he took a mystery box. (Like the purple gun in UT) And the game would announce the spawning of the mystery box. (I took that idea from xonotic)
If a player would reach killing spree status, that player would have his scores multiplied. That was the only thing i held back from other players.
Wrapping things up
All the lenses in Schells book are connected to eachother. That counts even more for the lenses in this curve.
The weapon combos, the pickable items and all the information would present the player with better and meaningful choices. Would you go for the mystery box and risk confrontation or would you gear up first? (traingulation) What weapon combo would fit you the most? What weapons would the other players take and how can you counter them? Would you go for the number 1 in combat or the would you kill the player with the lower armor first?
All the weapon combos made the game pretty complex, especially in team fights. (Picking guns to make combos is actually the same as picking a role in team fights. It's like team fortress only you could choose the guns, not the characters) But it the complexity also made it elegant.
Giving the player more information gave the game more character in my opinion. Putting powerful items (mystery box) in a open places filled with traps and trickery was something that seemed "not done" in the game world.
- Lens 30: emergence
- Lens 31: action
- Lens 17: the toy
- Lens 79: freedom
I gave GG a better score on lens 31 because of the strategic actions and basic/strategic action ratio. Playing with the combinations and interacting with the traps in the game made it a better toy to play with.
GG had less freedom though. You could only pick weapons during the time-out and you would spend the time-out in a small room.
Yes but Galactic Gladiators had less objects and less action so your overall curve should look different no?
Maybe, maybe not. An analysis of a game is still something subjectively, no matter how you twist or turn it.
A second problem is that I'm trying to analyse a game that isn't fully made yet. The best thing you can do in a situation like this is to make a strategy canvas of your concept according to game theorie. Make a simple prototype of your game and correct your strategie canvas according to your test.
Wait! What? Galactic Gladiators isn't made yet? What have become of the project?
I don't know. The last thing i heard was they where shipping the project from unreal engine 3 to unreal engine 4.
I left the project just before i could test all the game theorie. But the things I had tested seemed to confirm that theorie.
Ok. Where can i learn more about the game?
IndieDB and the goldenoak site. But I wonder if the game will ever be completely finished. And if it ever get's finished, what will be left of the original concept?