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Why are we so mean to our NPCs?

So, I was just watching the footage for Aliens: Colonial Marines. From the comments, most people liked it more than me. The source of my burning rage was first every allied NPC's total lack of *actual* combat ability, and second the player's complete indifference to their plight.

The first one is pretty clear-cut and most irritating. At several points in the video, you can see a marine simply firing point-blank into a xenomorph while said beast simply sits there and takes it, maybe making the occasional lunge at the strange creature with the salt bullets who wont's stop annoying him, but it's kind of like a nice salt bath so he'll just keep the alien on his toes, because cocky aliens are a bitch.

Really devs? Not only in the command center, but also in the engineering and vehicle bay can this be seen. Furthermore, you can always tell that these will be the marines that are pulled into the wall, or help you up off your feet, or some sort of micro-cutscene-y thing (which, for the record, I love when done right [see Dead Space/2]). So I get that you can't have them die because otherwise your scripting would be all messed up. But having them sit there and uselessly pump bullets into the thing is irritating as hell. Let them kill, but route the aliens around them, or give them a reason to not be able to kill anything besides... no reason at all.

I'm pretty sure the only reason that they can't kill anything is so the player has that joy, anyways. How about instead they kill everything and then insult the player for his incompetence?

Now, the second thing, about NPCs dying all around you *and you not doing a single freaking thing.* I think I might be in the minority here (yes, I think there is a fair amount of people who agree with me on the above), but it makes me really sad and upset when I see a marine getting his face torn off by an alien and there's nothing I can do about it. Now admittedly, the player never really *tried* in this particular demo, so maybe you can intervene in these little take-down moments. Just the way he ran past so many screaming people... heartless, man. It's a very common feature, too. Like that one part in Dead Space 2 where someone opens the doors of an elevator Isaac is on, crying for help for a full three seconds at least, before being dragged off by a necromorph. All the while Isaac stands there dumbstruck. That made me quite upset. I wanted to save someone after accidentally shooting all sorts of people in DS1 :[

Admittedly, I don't know what the best solutions for these problems are, but I thought that I might as well vent my problems on the internet with little justification.

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Also, has anyone heard of the latest Ludum Dare challenge? Pretty intense. After several years of trying to put out an XBLIG indie game, but failing (mostly due to a terrible tendency to procrastinate), I have nonetheless picked up some not-insignificant knowledge of C# - as well as a very strong sense of frustration. This seems like the perfect outlet.

My plan is to make a sidescroller (a "pure" sidescroller - no platforming elements - just to make things easier for me) with some tower defense and RPG elements. In a month. What, is that not naive enough? Well, the plan is to put out an alpha and a donation button (because I actually do need money) and make a more fleshed out version to put on XBLIG and computers (with a port that is actually good, I assure you).
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About The Samaone of us since 7:56 PM on 11.08.2010

NOTE: I will most likely reply to any comments on my blog. People keep asking questions, I answer, but no indication that they expected an answer and therefor no indication that they looked for one.


I like Halo, Dead Space and Homeworld.

I am an artist, writer and coder.

I am working on some games for the XBLIG channel.

I like discussing all kinds of game-related stuff, as well as politics and other strange subjects. Hit me up. I have no good Dtoid friends! Maybe because the interface sucks.

I really can't think of anything. I hate bios. Just read my globs (that was a typo but I'll leave it).
Steam ID:7heSama


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