Author Topic: My "Realism" Career Mode. (feedback welcome, and encouraged!)  (Read 5955 times)

Internetlad

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I've posted a couple times about my "dream" career mode, and while I know everybody has a different vision of the perfect game, I figured I'd throw this out and see who likes it.

Basically what I'd love to see in the game is a career mode where you start as, literally, a nobody. Some Joe Schmoe with 500 bucks in his pockets and a dream.  Take that 500 bucks to a junkyard and buy a barely running vehicle and some junkyard parts to upgrade it, just like a real sunday racer would.

You will have problems, at least to begin with. Maybe your 20 dollar carburetor is flooding the engine, causing stalls. Maybe your brakes lock up and you have to choose to cut them and run without brakes, or to replace the part causing the issue and risk going broke in the process if you lose the next race. Maybe the transmission is going out, causing a loss of power on some of the gears. Your character has a decent understanding of how to replace these parts, but maybe he should hire a mechanic to look at it? Maybe it'll be OK after all?

This, in my mind, introduces several things that will make NCG unique and fun.

1. Losing is fun. Winning is hard. Your car will mess up. This will teach you early on that it's OK to lose. You don't have to come in first for every single race. One of the biggest things I've noticed myself do in racing games is get a "If you're not first, you're last" mentality. I'll restart races ad nauseum until I can finally get that gold trophy, every time. If it's sometimes impossible to come in first, then this will be nicely sidestepped, and can give you a great sense of accomplishment when you do well despite everything that's wrong with your vehicle, or manage to scrape together enough cash to fix it.

2. Every career is different, every player has a different experience. Maybe I had issues with the motor seizing up in my career, and had to figure out how to fix the problem (repair, replace, or scrap?). When you do, not only do you get a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of the highs and lows as if you are actually doing this, but you will also get a cool story that you can share to other members of the community, and hear their unique experience as well.

3. You will have to climb the ladder from the very bottom if you want to be the best. You don't start with a magically perfect car that performs at peak condition every time. You form a bond with the clunker that you put together, and have a companion in the races ahead, for better and worse.

4. This introduces something most other racing games don't have in the form of a highly replayable career mode, in depth money management, difficult choices on choosing the cheap, unreliable part, or the expensive reliable one, and having to deal with problems on the fly, even if they occur in real time in a race. Never before have I seen a mainstream racing game where you actually have potential consequences for choosing the parts you do, instead of a linear progression of "part A is superior to part B, it's a no-brainer."

I hope to get some feedback on this idea, because I really think it could set NCG apart from the crowd even moreso than it is, and give it a distinct flair. I know everybody isn't in the game for realism, and maybe this could be implemented next to an "arcade" career that doesn't have the same difficulty level as a compromise. I understand not everything can be put in the game, and this would be a large item to implement, but I would be thrilled if it was at very least given notice and consideration.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you leave some feedback on the idea!

EDIT: sorted some redundancies and cleaned up the list a bit.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 12:48:00 AM by Internetlad »

SkinnierSteve

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Wow, you just described the game I've been dreaming of for a long time!
If they make the career mode like that, it would be amazing! Literally the best game ever made! I would really love it if they make it like you described! Your ideas are all amazing! I think there should be 3 career modes: Arcade, Balanced and realistic.
I would choose the realistic one you just described, because I've always wanted a realistic derby game with a realistic and dynamic story that is different everytime you play, and with dynamic car damage and realistic mechanical damage and random part failures if you buy cheap junk. I really really really hope they make it like you described! It would be truly epic, and it would feel extremely immersive and awesome!
Specs: Windows 10 pro 64-bit, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 ROG STRIX Edition, Intel core I5-3470 3.20 GHz quad core, 16 gigs of ram, 700 watt huntkey power supply. Controller: Xbox 360 wired 
Steam name: SkinnierSteve
youtube channel name: SkinnierSteve

Internetlad

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Glad you liked the idea. I think it would be a really cool experience, and I haven't seen anything like it in any other racing game I can think of off the top of my head.

Usmovers_02

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Seems like an interesting idea. I won't even say "it doesn't fit the NCG theme" because it could if done right. Nonetheless I really don't like it. For me it would make losing frustrating. I thought the career in FO:UC was PERFECT and doesn't need changing.

Internetlad

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Like I said, I can see how it isn't for everybody. This mode would be for people who are either looking for a more realistic challenge, or people who are gluttons for punishment. A lot of indie games have made losing into a really big market, think FTL, Dwarf Fortress, et al. I think it could nicely be applied, even if more gently, to a racing game and provide a lot of excitement.

SkinnierSteve

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I agree, it sounds awesome! On the news forum there is a post called upgrade upgraded, and bugbear said they want to make it like you described. They say they also want to make you jack the car up to change the wheels, or go under the car and unscrew a broken part and screw a new part in or open the hood and put a turbo in, and they also said they want to make it so that there are no best parts. Deciding which part is best is up to the player. They also said they want to put rare parts in the game that are hard to find for sale anywhere. They said they want to make it like street rod.
Specs: Windows 10 pro 64-bit, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 ROG STRIX Edition, Intel core I5-3470 3.20 GHz quad core, 16 gigs of ram, 700 watt huntkey power supply. Controller: Xbox 360 wired 
Steam name: SkinnierSteve
youtube channel name: SkinnierSteve

Usmovers_02

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I'd also like to add something I just posted in another topic. Random failures make sense in a sim but this isn't a sim. The fact of the matter is that random part failures are frustrating. Frustration in games = not fun. I DO like systems that make not finishing first okay though. FO2/UC had such a system. Each career race was part of a small tournament so you got points. I can't count the amount of times I've finished an entire series w/o a win but won the overall. I loved this system and would like to see it return.

SkinnierSteve

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For some people random part failures are fun and it makes things interesting, but for the people who doesn't like it, they could add an option to turn it off. btw, there are no games that I know of that has random failures.
Specs: Windows 10 pro 64-bit, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 ROG STRIX Edition, Intel core I5-3470 3.20 GHz quad core, 16 gigs of ram, 700 watt huntkey power supply. Controller: Xbox 360 wired 
Steam name: SkinnierSteve
youtube channel name: SkinnierSteve

Internetlad

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Yeah, I wouldn't be expecting to see parts failures in the arcade racing mode. Even with failures in the game, it wouldn't be hard to adjust the difficulty/severity Maybe something like this

Arcade-No failures
Balanced-Minor and Performance Failures (loss of power, etc)
Realism- All failures (Crappy engine throws a rod in the middle of a high RPM rev, tire blows out on a hard turn))

I agree that having it 100 percent random would be fairly frustrating. A system of forewarning probably would be good to implement. Maybe every part has a "likelihood" of near future failure. Could be the game just spits out a red number at the bottom of the parts specs "70% failure chance within next year" then the game rolls a dice when you buy the part and sees how long it will run before it goes. Might keep more with the theme of the game if they translate that into the character looking at the part and saying "This part looks pretty worn out, it could go at any time" or "This part looks pretty fresh, it should be fine until I can upgrade." or whatever.

If the racing works on a schedule, maybe instead of racing you have the option to "service" your car, which will give you indications about which parts need to be replaced. This would eliminate completely random failures and allow the player a chance to replace parts that are about to go.

It would probably work best if the player knew why what happened did happen. Maybe there could be a failure summary report where it sums up which part went and how severe it was.
IE:
Damage Report
Old Transmission experienced loss of power throughout race due to worn bands.
Junkyard Tire started losing pressure at 1:04 into race.
Junkyard Engine threw a rod at 2:02

Most problems would offer a quick patch up. Maybe a tire patch kit is 20 bucks, and the replacement parts are the tranny are 75 if you diy, but then you have to weigh that against going to the junkyard and buying another cheapo part.

In this way it feels like the parts you're putting on actually have a consequence rather than "I'm sure glad I put those SS racing wheels on, the grip is so much better!" The player should have a decent idea, or be guided into the idea, that if you do not maintain your vehicle, it will fail (You haven't done a service check in 3 months, Go now [Y/N]).

Lack of maintenance will greatly increase the risk of failure, and proper maintenance, while not eliminating the problem completely, will help alleviate it and save you money in the long run. In this way it's not a "Surprise! You lose!" game mechanic, it's a series of choices that impact you later.

Usmovers_02

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I think your ideas are fine for a different type of racer. Another theme of the FO games is that they're pick up and play. You can sit down for 15 minutes, do a few races and really have fun with it then put it down and not think about it. With part failures there becomes a reasonable possibility that one of those 2 or 3 races you run will be a waste of time. It also means that after the race you now have to deal with managing your car and increasing the amount of time between races. Sure may only be a 30 second case of hitting the "service car" button but the problem with that is that any player with half a brain is going to do that every few races. As such there will never be part failures and time spent developing the feature would be wasted. If they go more in depth and make you repair each part manually then that's just annoying and keeping you from racing.

TLDR: It's a fine idea for games where managing your car is supposed to be part of the gameplay but not for a pick up and play racer.

Internetlad

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Whether it's worth the time and effort for a feature that some in the community would like and others wouldn't, that would be the biggest consideration that has to be made. I think it's difficult to say where this game is going at the present time. Some people are expecting FO3:More Explosions Edition whereas this idea is certainly for a more hardcore and realistic player. I just wanted to put the idea out there, and let people kick it around and talk about it a bit.

Don't get me wrong,  it would be awesome to see in the game, but as I stated in the OP, that's a long ways away from just the idea.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 12:39:32 AM by Internetlad »

SkinnierSteve

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Well, Bugbear said they want to make you spend a lot of time in your garage and not just on racing and derbies. They said they want to make it like street rod, which I think would be great!
Specs: Windows 10 pro 64-bit, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 ROG STRIX Edition, Intel core I5-3470 3.20 GHz quad core, 16 gigs of ram, 700 watt huntkey power supply. Controller: Xbox 360 wired 
Steam name: SkinnierSteve
youtube channel name: SkinnierSteve

Usmovers_02

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That's true. I forgot about that. I still don't want part failures though.

SkinnierSteve

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What if they tell you in what condition each part is for example: Radiator health: 80% or something like that. And then when the radiator is at around 20% health, then it has a chance to fail, and you need to replace it with a new one. That way you can prevent parts from failing in the middle of a race or derby. Well, except of course if it gets damage from crashing the car.
Specs: Windows 10 pro 64-bit, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 ROG STRIX Edition, Intel core I5-3470 3.20 GHz quad core, 16 gigs of ram, 700 watt huntkey power supply. Controller: Xbox 360 wired 
Steam name: SkinnierSteve
youtube channel name: SkinnierSteve

Internetlad

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I think that's the trick though. obviously if it was easily preventable then it would never happen, and that entire portion of the game would be missed by everyone.  Even in a brand new vehicle there can be issues with belts, hoses or random failures, and don't forget computer glitches are becoming more and more common in chipped vehicles.

The easiest way to deal with the problem of people not wanting to have equipment failures, is have a casual career mode, or have a tickbox for the features you want in a new career a la XCOM.