Little things in computer games that really do it for you

I’m currently playing Divine Divinity (RPG, PC), and I’m utterly fascinated by the ability to just move random things around the landscape, such as boulders, chairs, barrels, treasure chests, stacks of hay, etc. And they actually stay there, even if you leave the area or quit the game and come back later! You can even move (and carry!) containers to store your crap.

I currently reside in a house (well, I’m essentially squatting in the abode of a murdered citizen), and I’ve taken to carrying random containers from around the game world, teleporting back to my house, and essentially decorating my interior. Now I have about 10 containers around my bed, where I organize all my junk in a way that makes sense to me. Whenever I need something, I just teleport in, grab it, sleep, then teleport back. I must admit, I started out using barrels as containers, but I’ve gradually replaced them with nicer looking golden vases, painstakingly moving the stored items from one container to another. It’s a little disturbing, but hey, it’s my house. I’ve always wanted to be an interior designer. :smiley:

Another nice little treat is that some animals in this game world hunt each other. I’ve seen random cats hunting rabbits and mice, and the chase (if I follow) sometimes lasts several screens. Eventually the prey succombs and its corpse litters the field. :eek:

In Soldier of Fortune II awhile back, I fired a shotgun at a terrorist inside a lab, through a plate glass window. As it happened, I just missed him, and he ducked around a corner.

A minute or two later, I rounded a corner, and encountered the guy again. He was still alive—battered, bleeding, and upper body peppered with shards of broken glass from the window that shattered.

Nice touch. :smiley:

I read somewhere - might have been somewhere on this board, even - that the people who did Morrowind had a whole bunch of guys whose job was to add clutter to the maps … so you can go into a house, for example, and find that it’s well stocked with utterly mundane stuff like clothes, cutlery, crockery, bits of food … It makes the whole setting feel more substantial. I like it.

I bought Sims 2: Seasons because it added fireflies to the gameplay.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (which was the follow-up to Morrowind) has pretty much all of the same elements that are described in the OP. There are several houses that you can buy, and I’ve taken the time to fill the shelves and trophy cases. The only problem is that sometimes when you go back into the house, the items sometimes bounce and fall to the floor, messing up all my hard work. :mad: In a couple of my houses there’s a big pile of treasure on the floor.

STALKER has this type of thing. You’ll be strolling along and hear gunfire coming from over the next hill - it’s soldiers being attacked by mutated dogs and fighting them off. When you get there you’ll find either dog or soldier corpses. It’s those little things that make you really feel like the game world is going on about it’s business whether you are around to observe it or not.

For RTS games it’s usually comments from your troops that make me smile. From the original “What is it?” that you got when you clicked on a peon in Warcraft, this has evolved. Company of Heroes has this in spades. In addition to having everything on the screen capable of being blown up (buildings, trees, roads - you can call in a couple of artillery barrages and turn a pristine village into a moonscape) the voice acting just makes the game.

A few examples:

Engineers upon finishing construction of something: “Good enough for Army work”.

Rifleman when ordered into battle: “Tie your shoelaces Johnson it’s time to go!”

Engineers again when told to build a defensive structure: “If I see one more g***amn sandbag…”

They will also call out if they are under fire, and what is attacking them thus making listening to them crucial to gameplay. Good stuff all around!

Ratchet and Clank - Going Commando

There is one particular cut scene that comes up after you fail at a mission a few times… Clank says to Ratchet… “Wow! you sure are having a tough time with this… I wonder why?” Then both characters turn and l;ook at “you”… and say nothing…

Laughed my ass off first time I saw that


What I enjoy most is when you kill an enemy he drops the weapon he was using and when you search his corpse you find his armor. None of that kill a guy with a flaming sword with full plate and they drop a health potion but not their arms and armor. Same with animals you don’t have wolves dropping brass rings or some nonsense. Makes you feel like these are actual creatures in the world.

Creepy little FPS called Fear. Enemies are other soldiers who you can hear yelling orders to each other as you fight. The situation is five soldiers in a medium sized room with myself just outside the door. I turn on my reflex mode (slo-mo) and burst into the room with my shotgun out. Blow the first guy in half, shoot the guy on the opposite side in the head, and toss a grenade in the general direction of the last three getting one of them in the blast. As I back out of the room I can see blood and body parts all over the place. While I’m standing in the hall reloading, I hear this exchange:

Soldier: “Oh, my God!”
Leader: “Move out.”
Soldier: “Fuck that!”

I had to pause the game because I was laughing so hard. The first thing I thought of was that I probably would have said the exact same thing in that situation.

I also liked the way the enemy would call the alarm if they heard you or saw your flashlight. I always wondered where the Evil Mastermind[sup]TM[/sup] was getting all the blind and deaf soldiers for the other games, you know, the ones where you could wander around making as much noise as you wanted and shining your light all over the place without arousing any suspicion.

In Final Fantasy XII they’ve set up a kind of seamless battle mode, so you don’t have to deal with ‘‘random encounters’’ and you can see the creatures just kind of doing their own thing in the background and decide whether you want to fight them or not.

I was trying to decide whether I could take on a t-rex and a wolf early in the game, and while I stood waiting from a distance the t-rex slaughtered and ate the wolf.

It made my day.

You need the Decorator Assistant mod. It creates two spells you can buy, Summon Decorator Assistant and Remove Decorator Assistant. When you cast the spell, it creates an object like a small altar that you set objects on. You use it to set objects in exactly the position you want them, even attaching them to walls, and then lock them in place. Then, you’ll never have to worry about bumping into them again. I mostly use it to display my extra weapons on the walls of my houses, but it’s great for placing things like bowls and goblets on a table.

I loved in City of Heroes how people you saved from a mugging made a point of coming after you and thanking you. Really made me feel like a superhero.

In Oblivion and Morrowind, I felt like every little thing I did mattered. Talking to certain people at certain times, even if it was just a happenstance click, revealed interesting information and gossip. It made the world feel incredibly alive. That plus all the other things mentioned above, of course.

In Starcraft, each race had such a distinctive feel. I really felt like I was commanding a group of pissed off marines, or a creeping infestation of Zerg, or a highly advanced, near-noble race of whatevers.

The little videos that go along with assassination attempts in Medieval II: Total War go a long ways toward making me feel like I’m commanding a stealthy murderer or a bumbling moron. I love them.

Last one: In Civ IV, the different auras Great People give off when you use them (gears for engineers, for example) just set me all aflutter. I don’t know why, but they really do it for me.

I loved the fact that in Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas, if your character just stood around in a busy area, stuff just happened, like police chases or pedestrian confrontations. The other day, I caused a car to explode, which brought a firetruck. A pedestrian carjacked the firetruck, but the fireman pulled the guy out of the truck and started fighting him! Then a second passerby jumped in the truck and drove away, leaving the fireman fistfighting the carjacker!

And similar to the OP, In World of Warcraft, I love that animals hunt each other.


For me it was Alien vs Predator. I’m playing the Space Marine campaign, creeping through a dark hallway when the ominous blips start on my proximity sensor. Sure enough, a fully-grown alien appears and charges down the hall at me. I’m backing away, pulse rifle firing away on full automatic… and then my pulse rifle jams! It nearly gave me a heart attack, and resulted in decapitation for my poor Marine.

It’s a good touch as far as realism goes - when was the last time you saw an FPS character stop to field-strip and clean their rifle? - and it was such a perfect conjunction with the situation that it’s been stuck in my mind ever since.

Yea, it seems like I would love Morrowind and Oblivion, but my computer isn’t up to snuff. I’ll have to play those when I upgrade… It’s annoying being limited to older games, but I guess I’ll be able to pick them up for cheap later.

In the vastly underappreaciated Rise Of The Triad, I loved it that the German soldiers would get on their knees and beg for their lives, and then they’d fall over pretending to be dead. If you turned your back they’d get up off the ground and steal your weapon. (“Gimme that!”)

More recently, I loved it in Metal Gear Solid that you could hide under a box. The guard would walk by and say “Hey - what’s that? Eh. It’s just a box.” And then if you hid in the box long enough some other guard would put you in the back of a truck and drive you to another floor.

I like the Space Shuttle launch after a really good game of Tetris on my GameBoy.

I don’t game much.

On Myth, the debris was pushed around by grenade explosions. Including unexploded grenades which had some chance of exploding themselves and pushing the debris around some more. Also, enough blood would turn the dirt to mud, with the appropriate effect on mobility.

I loved how sometimes, if you threw two grenades at once, the first would sometimes detonate and bounce the second back into your ranks. It was the kind of love that made me want to throw my monitor out the window, but it was still love nonetheless.


[hijack] what is a Myth fan to play these modern days?