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Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean Problems
Date: 12/6/13 9:45 am

I think that I agree with everything that you said so I just want to add comments.

To me the Grunts were the secret sauce (especially in the first game). It's not just that they were funny to fight - they said everything that they thought.

That was useful when you killed an Elite, "Leader dead! Run away, run away!" but it was also useful when they were behind you and were going to throw a grenade: "Down in front!", "Tossing one!", "Flare!". You could also keep an ear open whilst scrounging for weapons - you could hear that they were going to make a move on you, "Back me up! I'm with you."

And I LIKED them. I totally disapprove of them being involved in genocide but I saw them as being victims of oppression themselves. I don't think that they had much say on how things were done in the Covenant. And, although they were cowards, how brave would I be if a 7 foot tall, (1 tonne?), armored cyborg had just murdered all the Elites and most of my Grunt brothers and was now looking at me. At times they showed misguided but touching optimism and bravery in the face of me - in a tank - bearing down on them. Sometimes they thought that they had a chance against that ;-)

My impression of Grunts was that they always try to make the best of any bad situation that they find themselves in. Yes they can be scared and intimidated but they rally themselves and come back for more. Also they look out for each other.

Often it seems that game designers think that the only way to do an enemy is to make them: ugly, brutal, and evil. Bungie gave us enemies that could be liked (Grunts) and respected (Elites: to a degree).

Or designers concentrate on making the enemies difficult to fight - to make them tactically difficult to fight - fighting puzzles to solve - an intellectual challenge. That isn't an innately bad thing but there is so much more that could be done with them.

I think that 343 needs to rethink their enemies.

  1. Don't make them ugly. They can be alien but make them beautiful alien: like a mantis shrimp.
  2. give us enemies that we can relate to or like or respect
  3. concentrate more on making their mental/emotional states more apparent to the player - we need to understand them - to be able to anticipate what they are thinking

343 needs to get their AI guts, their combat designers, their level designers, animators and their sound guys working closely together to sell to the player that the player is fighting living, thinking agents that can be understood, tricked, and defeated through psychology. We shouldn't just be looking for game mechanics to give us an edge - we should be forming a model of how they think: anticipate actions, break their wills, take advantage of overconfidence or in-faction rivalries.

Maybe they should hire Jamie Griesemer; I think he understands this stuff.

I think step one for 343 is to make their enemies 'good looking' (whatever that means). The devs at 343 need to respect the enemies in order for the devs to take them seriously enough to make them good for us to fight. It's an attitude thing and might make them more inventive. Brutal-ugly-evil is a thought free way to make an enemy. It closes down invention.

Messages In This Thread

Enemy Personalities and Promethean ProblemsApollo12/5/13 10:24 pm
     Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean Problemsdavidfuchs12/5/13 11:32 pm
     Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean ProblemsRagashingo12/6/13 1:31 am
           Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean ProblemsApollo12/6/13 6:54 am
     Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean Problemsscarab12/6/13 9:45 am
           Important reading material.uberfoop12/6/13 11:58 am
                 Re: Important reading material.scarab12/6/13 12:58 pm
     AI personality = possibly best thing about HaloDervish12/6/13 1:33 pm
           And a note on PrometheansDervish12/6/13 1:44 pm
                 Re: And a note on Prometheansscarab12/6/13 2:20 pm
                       Re: And a note on PrometheansDervish12/6/13 4:41 pm
                             Re: And a note on Prometheansscarab12/6/13 7:05 pm
                 Re: And a note on PrometheansRC Master12/7/13 2:27 pm
     On diagloue, localization and last-gen problemskornman0012/6/13 4:05 pm
           Re: On diagloue, localization and last-gen problemAvateur12/6/13 5:55 pm
           Do they HAVE to localize it ?RC Master12/7/13 12:13 pm
     Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean ProblemsAvateur12/6/13 5:52 pm
           Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean Problemsscarab12/6/13 7:00 pm
                 Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean ProblemsAvateur12/6/13 7:29 pm
                       Re: Enemy Personalities and Promethean Problemsscarab12/6/13 9:45 pm
     General thoughts.Quirel12/6/13 10:24 pm
           Re: General thoughts.Avateur12/7/13 12:26 am
                 Re: General thoughts.Quirel12/7/13 3:36 am
           Re: General thoughts.scarab12/7/13 4:03 am
                 I forgot about the terminalsscarab12/7/13 4:20 am
                       Re: I forgot about the terminalsClarion12/7/13 9:41 am
                             Re: I forgot about the terminalsRC Master12/7/13 12:53 pm
                 Re: General thoughts.Avateur12/7/13 1:23 pm
                       Re: General thoughts.thebruce012/10/13 10:11 am
                 Re: General thoughts.Quirel12/7/13 3:36 pm
                       Re: General thoughts.scarab12/7/13 4:17 pm
                             Speaking of which...uberfoop12/7/13 4:23 pm
                             Re: General thoughts.Quirel12/7/13 5:02 pm
           *Like* *NM*thebruce012/10/13 10:07 am
           Well-articulated, good sir. *NM*The Lionheart12/11/13 12:35 am

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