Features you'd love to see in a video game

The recent threads about Fallout 3 reminded me of something I would have loved to see in the game, or a similar Oblivion-style first-person role playing game: usable vehicles with proper collision detection with other objects. A game where you could drive around the countryside in your battlewagon, find something cool you want to keep, and drop it in the back and keep on driving. The closest I’ve seen is Half Life 2: Episode 2, where there is one object that interacts with your car in this way (instead of falling straight through), and the car’s collision geometry makes it so it is incredibly easy for the object to fall out if you do anything.

If mobile objects like vehicles could include interactive features like doors or triggers for scripts, it would be even better.

Something akin to Sins of a Solar empire MMORPG but add in detailed damage to the ships as well as the models so that combat performance is degraded as battles unfold. Repair, recovery, and rescue would become serious components of the game.

Players would be ship and or squadron commanders, as they level up they are allowed to control multiple and or larger/more advanced ships.

For example:

A level 1 player may be a fighter pilot
add a wingman every level up to 5.

level 5 opens up the ability to take command of a frigate class ship

level 10 opens up destroyer class

level 15 light crusier class

level 20 heavy crusier

Level 30 Battleships

Level 50 Dreadnoghts

etc

midrange levels add the ability to have additional escort ships of lighter classes.

If desired a level 50 player could easily command a squadron of destroyer class ships and do so at a bonus if he is commanding fewer ships than his skill level would allow him.

Imagining the occasional level 50 epic badass solo fighter pilot would add some flavor to otherwise straightforward leveling situations. (" RED FIVE GOING IN")

Surface assault should also have a detailed surface combat system that may take hours to play out an assault. The rest of the game still continues while the ground assault is taking place.

The games should be paced so that conquering a planet would take at 20+ serious ground assault fleets several weeks to conquer a planet. To keep things interesting worlds closer to the “other sides” homeworld become progressively better for defense or require more/better supply lines to successfully support an assault. More players or more highly skilled troops would allow for quicker conquest.

Crew/troop experience would be a huge factor adding a “price on life” aspect that would make players hesitant to fight to the death unless cornered much like real millitary units.

I’d like to see more games incorporate the concept that if you’ve been fighting several battles, you aren’t going to be able to fight as well. This applies primarily to wargames, but it’d be good to see in single combat/FPS games as well. 99% of games follow the “you can fight exactly the same, no matter how much damage you’ve taken or how long your unit has been in battle” and I’m sick of it.

One good game that did this - the Command Series of Sid Meier & Ed Devers (Decision in the Desert, Crusade in Europe, and the Vietnam[sup]*[/sup] one). Units had effectiveness, which degraded with combat, as well as troop strength, which could be reduced through battle as well.

[sup]*[/sup] Have there been any other Vietnam wargames?

Yes, actually. There was the first person shooter "Vietcong, Battlefield Vietnam, there was a computer adaptation of Platoon. There was also the throroughly frustrating “Nam 1965-1975”

I’d like to see a game with a modular, user-editable, AI. In most current games, the “easy” level of the AI makes deliberate mistakes, or is mechanically crippled, the “normal” level is the best AI the developers could come out with before release, and the “expert” level is the same as the normal level, except it also cheats (extra money, extra units, etc.). They do this because human players will quickly find strategies and tactics that work better than whatever the AI is doing, at which point any fair AI ceases to be a challenge. But if, instead, users could edit the AI to teach it to use those tricks, too, then the AI could play a clean game and still challenge the human players. You could even have tournaments between various user-created AIs, and every so often, the game company could release a patch that makes the most successful AIs available to everyone (or people could just download AIs from programmers that make ones they like, like they do now with user-created maps).

This would work the other way, too: As the game gets more popular, you could also find out what mistakes newbie humans often make, and program the “easy” difficulty AIs to make those same sorts of mistakes, instead of holding back in unrealistic ways.

Hmmm… in MMORPGs, I’d like to see a ‘tourist’ mode. Your 'toon gets no XP, no chance of loot of any kind once they leave the outpost - but they can see the sights, the landscapes, the beasties.
It seems a shame, in some ways - I’ve been playing Guild Wars for a couple of years, but there’s some beasties I’ve never taken a close look at, solely because I’m too busy not getting killed by them.
Some artists have spent a long time making these things; I think I’d like the time to appreciate them.

I’d like that in games besides MMORPGS. Maybe have it so that beating the game once unlocks a tourist mode so you can just go enjoy the scenery that you didn’t have time to enjoy because you were too busy staying alive.

Warcraft 3 has this in the custom maps, you can alter the AI scripts (even make it send taunting messages under certain circumstances). Sadly you can’t integrate it into the normal maps (easily) and it never really caught on except for a few custom maps (using triggers and such is usually an easier way to control the AI).

Now you’ve tugged at my sense of nostalgia.

There was this game – a DOS game – called simply Seals. It was very DOS with big ugly polygon graphics and sprite generated soldiers, but it was one of the first attempts at a true 3D environment. There were huge spans of just green with an occasional leaf looking polygon floating in mid-air that represented deep jungle. The Cong had big yellow triangle hats, the huts were simple cubes, etc.

But oh was it fun. You commanded a squad of four Navy Seals. You were inserted via either boat or helicopter. You had objectives ranging from patrol an area to kidnap a general. There was much strategy and stealth involved. But also a certain attention to detail as well, in things like which weapons you chose for which mission, etc.

Damn. I’d play it right now if I could find an abandonware version of it.

You mean this one?

I had half an idea to do a choose-your-own-adventure type visual novel from multiple points of view; you could either play through each character’s path individually (in which the game assumes the “default” choice for everybody else), or you could load the choices from a previously saved game.

This probably wouldn’t be fun to play in reality, since eventually the game becomes deterministic, but the idea is at least interesting, IMHO…

Realistic flame thrower in a military FPS. My needs are simple.

Mercenaries 2 does this, somewhat. You’ll be tasked with delivering boxes [take-away, packed lunches, donor hearts] to military junta outposts strewn accross the country, in a pickup. The boxes rattle and shuffle realistically in the back as your car drives accross bumps and swings. I always airdrop a RPG kit box onto the back because a) it keeps the boxes in place and b) if someone ruins my shit, I’m ready to deliver the RPG pain, baby.
What I’d like to see is “Full Body Control” in a FPS. The closest thing I’ve come is Might & Magic: Dark Messiah, where your limbs are visible and collisions knock you off your feet. (As well as opponents theirs after, say, throwing a box at them) But implemented as a way of steering your soldier, so it’s not just “point me in this direction and I’ll glide over the terrain.” Running full pelt straight forward should see your body extending forward, arms and legs pumping, and if you hit a rock or a tree - well, you should fall, shouldn’t you? You should be able to throw yourself sideways, ragdoll mode, and land. (One of the things that annoys me the most is that ragdoll effects in modern game only comes into action when the character dies.) It would do wonders for cover, since you could throw yourself sideways along a fallen tree and be able to raise yourself incrementally to fire back, instead of just a)lying prone, in which case you can’t see shit and you’re just asking for a grenade assfuck b) crouching at a set height, which serves to put your head up on a platter for any goon with a sniper rifle and c) standing tall, which is just a dumb thing to do, overall.

Incorporate things like the mechanisms in Assassin’s Creed and Mirror’s Edge and you could just leap from a roof to another roof. The roof’s edge would hit you in the midriff for falling damage, you’d double over but you’d still be able to pull yourself up. (Tomb Raider, take notes! I’ve had it with your damneable "split-second-precision timed jumps!)

This’d go doubly well for weapons. Instead of your gun being a stationary, static pillar of certainity pointing square at the middle of your screen, it should actually be consigned to your side or slung on your back while running. Or held over your head while crossing a river. Or scraping along behind you while you’re crawling through the underbrush in search of a sniping location. You could actually use that visual conceit, the bipod on the machine guns you’re lugging around, to get a steadier arc of fire if it was warranted instead of just lazily setting triggers for “mounting” the weapon on arbitrary sandbags and walls strewn accross the landscape. The same goes for sniper rifles - don’t tell me you’ll shoot a .50 cal from the shoulder from preference.

And a pony.

ETA: I also want soldiers in all RTS games to actually be able to do the things we expect kindergardners to be able to grasp. Company of Heroes, I’m looking at you; why the fuck do you have to be British to be able to dig a bloody trench? Is this some sophisticated joke I’m not getting?

Weapons effects/animations in the only major flight simulator available for the Mac, even if even the simple “smoke puffs” from bombs that did no “damage” to begin with were removed because the author is a prima donna who doesn’t like criticism and was apparently acting on the behest of his art guy who’s apparently developed overbearing pacifist bugaboos who’ve both got half the user community—the half that doesn’t seem to solely want to use the simulator to hyperaccurately drive Cessnas around in circles—over the proverbial barrel and I can barely get a straight answer out of the few freeware plugin developers over what more advanced features are even possible to work into future versions of the stopgap plugin developed to replicate some of said perfectly functional weapon effects…

Not that I’m bitter. Or anything.

Also, more lever-action and/or double barreled shotguns. I’m tired of pump-actions in FPS, even if they’re good ones. (The M590 in SoFII? Perhaps my all-time favorite.)

Well, I liked the IDEA of Spore. To bad the actual game blew moose cock (both figuratively and thanks to the Creature Creater editor, literally as well). So let me start with what I would like to have seen, for each mode:

Creature Mode - It should basically be a sort of RTS / Sim / Tycoon game. Basically you have an ecosystem and try to evolve your creatures faster than the other species to obtain sentience, but without destroying the balance (ie don’t kill off your entire food suply). Kind of like what it does now, but not sucking and more interactive and Sim-like. Like not only do you design the creature but you also decide if they are solitary, herd/pack/swarm creatures, do they build nests, how fast do they reproduce,etc.

Tribal / Civ Mode - Shit. Just make the game Age of Empires II / Supreme Commander wrapped around a 3D map where you design everything yourself. Lots of different resource types and tech levels. Lots of diplomacy options.

Space Stage - Basically make it like Sins of the Solar Empire where you can design your own ships. And figure out how to integrate it with the various planets. Basically what I want is a whole integrated land / air / space battlespace around each planet.

I’m also a big fan of sandbox games like GTA 4 and Dead Rising. Problem is that while there is a lot of enviroment to explore and fuck around in, the story still only advances through a series of linear missions. I think what I would like to see is more of a open-ended roll playing aspect to it. Like there are many different victory conditions and where you define the story based on your actions. Not just a few “choose your own adventure” kill/spare Fraido paths.

A clock reading off my system clock.

Hey, I don’t have a clock in that room. It’s annoying to have to go off and check the microwave clock or find my cellphone timer.

I think Civ IV does this. It has an alarm too IIRC.

Damn, I lost track of this thread. I’m at work right now, and I’m going directly out after work so I won’t be able to check this link until much later … and my curiousity and nostalgia is peaked!