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Sessler's Soapbox: Collection in Games

Posted: April 5, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Collection in Games
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/52209/sesslers-soapbox-collection-in-games/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/266380_LGST/soapbox-4-5-11.jpg
Video_52209
Adam talks about how collectibles in games can either help you explore or bring you out of the experience depending on how they're implemented.

Comments are Closed

  • Pitstop

    I agree with nearly evrything that's been mentioned before. It feels good to know I'm not alone!

    In some games I have found myself becoming obsessive about collectibles to the point that it actually does detract from my overall enjoyment of the main story of the game. I also get extremely frustrated when I know I've missed one. For example, while playing Alan Wake recently, I saw a thermos, but before I could grab it a cutscene occured and my character ended up moving into another area, and I couldn't go back and get the thermos. I found myself aggrivated by that a lot more than I like to admit.

    In shooters collecting seems hard and irrelevant because the action moves too fast. I still haven't found all those darn neko cats in Army of Two: TFD! I did find all the death cards things in COD:WAW, but never used them for anything. I enjoyed RE5 a lot, so I eventually found all the plates as I played through it repeatedly.

    Currently I've been playing Dead Island, and the collecting here has been really good in keeping with the flow of the game. While doing the side quests I am constantly searching for weapon cases or spare parts to use for upgrades, so I have found several of the ID cards almost by accident.

    And lastly, those Riddler trophies in Arkham Asylum were great. I hope they'll be back in Arkham City, since I've already pre-ordered it. :-)

    Posted: September 29, 2011 12:57 PM
    Pitstop
  • zzaz3

    I was obsessed with Ape Escape when I was little. Everyday I would play that so I could find every monkey and every gold token and unlock ever mini-game. I probably spend the better half of my childhood searching for monkeys in a video game. It sounds sad, but it was worth it when I got them all!

    Posted: April 27, 2011 9:58 PM
    zzaz3
  • ltmreal

    well spoken!

    Posted: April 23, 2011 12:32 AM
  • wiggum

    I always get a giggle out of looking for collectibles in the Call of Duty and Battlefield:Bad Company games. My A.I squadmates will be in the middle of some furious life or death firefight screaming at me to "get over here" and I'm just puttering around going "yeah, yeah, keep your shirt on, I gotta go look on that desk for some intel or in that hut for some gold bars. It ain't gonna kill ya to wait for me, is it?" Hee.

    Posted: April 13, 2011 11:37 AM
    wiggum
  • Keerplop

    I find collectibles and side missions to both be in the same place in my mind, that is if I think I will care I get a guide otherwise I don't worry about it at all. Some games I find it a waste to play through the whole game if I don't do every side mission and to make sure of that I use a guide. Same with collecting, I am not going to just kinda collect items, it's all or nothing. I used a guide to get all the items in Crysis 2, but I didn't even bother in Red Faction: Guerrilla. My Nephew didn't use a guide for Crackdown and ended up getting 498 Orbs before he gave-up, and I don't ever want to be in that position.

    Posted: April 12, 2011 8:39 PM
    Keerplop
  • MrLuigi64

    I think it's hysterical that Pokemon screen shots are flashing in the background during Sessler's video on the pointlessness of collecting. Points as always were solid, keep em coming.

    Posted: April 11, 2011 7:47 AM
    MrLuigi64
  • Warlogy

    I want to say thanks for showing some love out there in this video; really inspired me. I cant defiantly tell you love what you do . A good game with awsome collectables I'm thinking Super Metriod right now. Does that count? The game would was amazing and like you said without exploring every nook and cranny you really miss out on everything a well natured game has to deliver to the gamer. I was also pretty drawn into Star Ocean: Second Story and Earthbound for the entirety of hidden dialog you could uncover by getting your hands dirty.

    Posted: April 10, 2011 4:08 PM
    Warlogy
  • Warlogy

    I want to say thanks for showing some love out there in this video; really inspired me. I can defiantly tell you love what you do. A good game with awesome collectables I'm thinking Super Metroid right now. Does that count? The game world was amazing and like you said without exploring every nook and cranny you really miss out on everything a well natured game has to deliver to the gamer. I was also pretty drawn into Star Ocean: Second Story and Earth Bound for the entirety of hidden dialog you could uncover by getting your hands dirty.

    Posted: April 10, 2011 3:58 PM
    Warlogy
  • Loki'sVengeance

    I think the idea of having item collecting during the main quests is a good thing for most cases. While people may argue that this distracts the gamer from the story is partially incorrect statement. Throughout the game the player is in control of the character and therefore in charge of making the most or least of the experience. For many games this idea of collecting is sometimes the only way to really add depth and layers to the game without sacrificing pacing of the game. Games like Homefront are examples of collecting done well. The news clippings found in the game allow the player to see back story and see how the past events lead to the current predicament. I do see where there is a argument proving that collecting is a strategy used by developers to only add game play, but at same time I would ask for ways to at least make my 60 dollars investment worth more.

    Posted: April 10, 2011 3:19 PM
    Loki'sVengeance
  • Loki'sVengeance

    I think the idea of having item collecting during the main quests is a good thing for most cases. While people may argue that this distracts the gamer from the story is partially incorrect statement. Throughout the game the player is in control of the character and therefore in charge of making the most or least of the experience. For many games this idea of collecting is sometimes the only way to really add depth and layers to the game without sacrificing pacing of the game. Games like Homefront are examples of collecting done well. The news clippings found in the game allow the player to see back story and see how the past events lead to the current predicament. I do see where there is a argument proving that collecting is a strategy used by developers to only add game play, but at same time I would ask for ways to at least make my 60 dollars investment worth more.

    Posted: April 10, 2011 3:18 PM
    Loki'sVengeance
  • teefeez

    I admit I find myself at times being frustrated with collecting in games. Ultimately what I decided is that I would not start collecting until after my first playthrough. This allows me to "live in the moment" so to speak during a campaign. Then I can go back through a second or third time and grab the collectibles, but at that point I am usually just doing it for the achievement(s). This doesn't really solve collecting for power-ups, which can be a drag. The two exceptions to that I can think of right now are Crysis 2 (nano catalyst) and Dead Space 2 (power nodes). I have to admit in some ways I miss the days of Doom where you just got progressively more powerful guns to tackle the progressively more challenging game. And I agree with the idea that it's all Microsoft's fault for introducing achievements and GamerScore to begin with. But hey sometimes it works. And at least now there are rewards for gamers who habitually want more than just the standard experience.

    Posted: April 9, 2011 8:43 AM
  • kings_legacy

    Collecting things in game is good as long as it prove some benefit that isn't complete waste of your time. Like there is a huge difference between getting a weapon that owns everything to getting 500G.

    The reason why also some side quest is important is yes you do have limited time to usually get it/ the quest becomes meaningless after you reach certain point i.e you already have better stuff.

    and lastly whats the point of getting powerful weapon after beating the game unless the story is different?? You all ready achieved your goal of beating it so that side quest item just became obsolete (unless playing for trophies/achievements).

    Posted: April 8, 2011 10:21 AM
    kings_legacy
  • Dredgon

    I totally agree with Adam, this was a great Soapbox! I too like to play side quests before the main ones, and I also understand the longevity collectibles lend to games. I love and hate collectibles, they can be great or they can be frustrating but overall they are very common. I feel like Alan Wake and the coffee thermoses/manuscripts were the greatest recent use of the game mechanic, as the pages were part of the story and the thermoses were a great allusion. I also loved how Assassin's Creed Brotherhood put them on the map as icons, that way it is much better and workable to hunt down every flag. Some may argue that it is cheating but I know I did not go after the 200 pigeons in GTA IV because they were not marked, nor some of the other high number, monotonous chores of collectibles. As long as there is a manageable number and the reward is just I have no complaints about finding all the collectibles, but when they start taking away from the story or wasting my time, I'm done!

    Posted: April 7, 2011 6:48 PM
    Dredgon
  • OG1-KENOBI

    I have just been playing thru the witcher enhanced edition myself after reading the book "last Wish" that the games were based on and Im so glad I did as it is IMO a truly great experience.

    Posted: April 7, 2011 3:51 AM
    OG1-KENOBI
  • tygreen19

    its goooood! i love lego star wars!

    Posted: April 6, 2011 11:41 PM
  • C00James

    I generally agree it's all about how well developed the world of the game is. If it's not some place I want to hang out in then why collect.

    Personally,I tend to not find myself collecting a lot in games especially if you're supposed to collect a lot of a given thing. I don't think of it as a gimmick to expand the game, I just don't find it engaging. I do consider myself thorough in terms of questing or carrying out other in game quests. However, there are some exceptions, like the bobble heads in Fallout 3 that others have mentioned. I loved the world of New Vegas as much, but because the snow globes only gave money and not stat boosts I didn't really go and find them all. Also in a lot of adventure games and shooters with collection quests I find myself compelled more towards completing quests and less towards going out of my way to collect things.

    Case in point, I didn't collect all of the golden skulltulas in Ocarina of Time. Little side quests are fun and the world of hyrule and the surrounding areas is great, but I felt no engagement with the find all of the golden skulltula quest. On the other hand one of my best friends did.

    I loved the world of Mass Effect 1 and 2, but their collection quest was not fun at all. I think this is due to being focused on non-spaceship game play and episodic storylines the collection quests took me out of the world all together. After all how many times in Star Trek did the Enterprise stop to mine planets without some interesting story going on, I can't think of any, especially if there was an invasion going on. I don't think Captain Sisko on Deep Space Nine would have stopped to mine ore while the Dominion was threatening to invade. Sci-fi analogies aside it really took me out of the game.

    On the other hand in an open world game there is very little structure. There's no feeling of once you're done with an area you have no need to go back. Once done with the water temple in Ocarina was there really a need to return? In an open world game collection quests, I feel, are a bit more bearable because the world is more dynamic. In games that are not open world it just feels like exploration which leads to collection is tertiary to the main quest and side quests/companion quests. None the less there should be some compelling if not engaging reason to collect things.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 11:21 PM
    C00James
  • Argama

    I think Alan Wake is one of the offenders on the matter of collection I can quickly recall. Finding the missing manuscript pages is fine, but those Thermostats make very little sense. I'm still trying to figure out what made the developers agree to put that in. I mean, they worked so hard concerning themselves about the pacing of the game. Surely they must ha---ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL!!!

    Posted: April 6, 2011 9:12 PM
    Argama
  • Thresher_V

    That's why I liked Fallout 3 so much better than Vegas. The bobbleheads actually made you want to collect them because of the bonuses and the fact you can display them in your home... Not so much with the snow globes, sure you can display them, but the money you get for them is pointless in a game where you can get all the caps you want if you are patient in the casino.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 6:58 PM
  • ZekeFreek

    Did you not play New Vegas? Or just forgot to mention it?

    Also, I thought this video would be about collection of games, not "in" games, lol.

    Posted: April 6, 2011 5:58 PM
    ZekeFreek
  • AngelsandDemons

    I remember collecting those darn cog tags in GOW were annoying because of how fast paced the story was. I didn't feel like slowing down to look for tags when millions of lives hung in the balance....

    Posted: April 6, 2011 3:53 PM
    AngelsandDemons
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