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God of War, Counter-Strike, 360 Design at GDC 47

Some more great writeups of GDC events are now available. Gamasutra's coverage continues to be comprehensive, with articles on the localization of Counter-Strike, the development of God of War, and the a design postmortem on the Xbox 360. God of War: How the Left and Right Brain Learned to Love One Another discusses the ways the dev team balanced the needs of the artists, designers, and programmers to create a cohesive title. The Localization of Counter-Strike in Japan gives the reader some object lessons in what it's like to take western ideas and translate them to an eastern culture. Finally, Ophelea wrote to mention a story on the design of the Xbox 360. From this last article: "The user interface was one of the more difficult designs to accomplish. While the original Xbox had 250MB of space to utilize, the Xbox360 had only 4.5MB uncompressed or 1.5MB in total! Not only this, they expanded on the original Xbox's 45 screens and grew it ten fold to 450 screens! Several iterations were gone through with the end result being a combination of several of these schemes."
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God of War, Counter-Strike, 360 Design at GDC

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  • From the CS Neo article:
    Hiding and sniping are no-nos
    I'm confused as to why they would include the sniper rifles (as seen in the original picture) if they didn't want you to use them as originally intended.
    • So long time players can scream at people who dare to buy a sniper rifle and call them "n00b" and claim that they are using an aimbot because obviously noone but them could hit a barn without using cheats.
    • No big problem here. They're trying to target their audience and create an experience that will bring people back. If this audience differs from the US audience, then changes in the gameplay are appropriate.

      It's no secret that Japanese gamers are not US gamers.
      • That's the most painfully generic comment I have ever seen. It explains nothing; it merely reiterates the original article in general, and focuses nothing on my question.
        Were you aiming for a different post to reply to, and somehow hit mine?
    • They want to catch the cheaters []
    • It is a constant source of amazement to me that so many multiplayer games include sniper rifles.

      They provide unsatisfying deaths often on both ends and are the primary tool of choice for campers. Ive left more than a handful of games because of sitting there waiting for a couple of clowns to stop sitting in a shady corner and actually go and shoot something.

      I dont understand the weapon, I dont understand people who use them. Well unless they use it in my half arsed manner where Ill run around and occaisiona
      • Hmm, well CS has a way to deal with snipers (smoke or flashbang) to allow you to get close up, and most of the other games have some way of making the sniper rifle's power and stealth balanced (like quake3 with the multicolored rail, CS with FB smoke and high price of rifle).

        I actually always liked campers/snipers... once they shoot you know where they are, once you get up close they are defenseless and they usually camp the same spot (or the usual "camper" spots) so regularly firing a few rockets or tossin
    • This whole thing sounds like he tries to recreate Quake with the Source Engine.

      If you don't want sniping and camping, why play CS at all?

  • Where are these Ledzone Counterstrike arcades? Anyone got some addresses? Or, better still, GPS co-ordinates (Japanese addresses are tricky.)?
  • by eviloverlordx ( 99809 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:47PM (#15011816)
    The characters are gritty, burly, and not particularly appealing - so Namco got an artist to anime them up a little, replacing sweaty gringos with guys in primary-colored spandex and PVC shoulderpads

    This isn't looking too good...

    and hairy guys in fatigues and ski masks with antigravity-busted women in three square inches of purple nylon.

    ...but I can live with it.
    • This is my problem: I love video games, but I hate sugarry pop culture. I wish video games weren't based on the comic book tastes of the countries these games come from. On my PS2 I have two games, Gran Turismo 4 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, because I don't like either the Japanese anime style nor the US comic book style. Japanese RPGs have interesting combat engines, but I don't know how to sit through all the pop culture madness that assault me in dozens of unskippable cutscenes. I remember bei
      • I'm glad you're views aren't the strong majority.

        I hate overly realistic "Gung-Ho" militant shit in games.

        I couldn't give 2 rat's asses about racing games that look like my TV is tuned to some motosporting event. And as much as I like some racing games, I'd rather see more Carmageddons than Grand Turismos.

        I'll puke if I see one more historical war rehash as a 3rd person shooter. I'll take Shogo's Comic Influence over any of the newest first person shooters any day.

        I think the reason a lot of gamers feel t
  • More information on their offical website [].

    Seems to be built on the Source Engine rather than the original. Models look interesting though, along with the levels.

  • And not a single screen dedicated to setting the bitrate used for ripping music from CDs to be used as a soundtrack in the games.

    Why design a 5.1 hifi Dolby Digital Surround capable box if all you're going to do is rip audio at the equivalent of 128kbits?
    • There are several reasons... some good, some bad.

      The good: 128kbits is the "standard" for MP3s nowadays, and by not including a lot of settings in ripping, they simplified the interface. 128kbit is a good bitrate. It is pretty small, but sounds OK. Also, higher bitrate may take too much resources if you are playing an mp3 while playing a game. Because this is a game console, and not a PC, I think it is a reasonable decision.

      The Bad: Anything more could have DRM implications? Perhaps making crystal clear cop
      • by Inoshiro ( 71693 )
        If you have lots of hearing damage in the high end, perhaps it is ok. However, to me, I can hear the distortion in vocals over the engines in Sega GT and Project Gotham. That means it's bad.

        What's bad about a higher bitrate? Nothing. It chews less CPU time to encode and decode (after all, the trade off is compressed representation vs. CPU power), and results in a better representation of the music file. The Xbox HD is fast enough loading that you can have your 64mb of ram section up such that you have
        • I think that your usage is kind of an edge use case. most people who are going to use that feature will use it just like they do in iTunes and other applications: they'll just take what the machine gives them. They don't think to change the options, they just press or click the button that says "rip" and they're happy. I'm not saying that you're wrong, that it would be a good option, but I think the vast majority of people who would use this feature aren't concerned about the level of control you want. The
        • I'm not really sure I understand your complaint. Or that you even understand your complaint.

          You can rip music to the Xbox 360 hard drive, yes. It would be incredibly dumb given the limited space, and that's why you find that option near the bottom of the list.

          Near the top of the list are options far more palatable. You can connect an iPod (or another MP3 player, or a PSP, or just a regular USB drive with music) right to the front of the Xbox. It'll play MP3, unprotected AACs, etc., whatever bitrate you
          • " I'm not really sure I understand your complaint. Or that you even understand your complaint.

            You can rip music to the Xbox 360 hard drive, yes.

            You don't. I'm talking about the Xbox. It's half-baked. I'm sure the same half-baked folks who made the Xbox rip at 128kbps have equalled crippled the Xbox 360 (from my limited time playing with it at a friend's place, pointless FWOOSHING menus comes to mind).

            They have improved the MP3 usage if what you say is true, but they should've had enough brains to get i
            • So let me understand this correctly... your complaint has to do with the original Xbox, a 5-year old interface on a console that (at the time) was the first one to introduce custom soundtracks for gaming (and to this day is the only one to do this). That console ripped to 128 WMA which, like Apple's AAC, provides better sound quality at lower bitrates and worked in hundreds of games. Your complaint is that you should have been able to waste more space on the 8 GB hard drive.

              Kind of boneheaded, in my opin
  • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @02:07PM (#15011947) Journal
    Wow. In a game like CS where kills actually count for something (since you don't instantly respawn), the karma idea is pretty lame. Oh no, you shot someone from too far away. Don't ambush them as they approach their objective, either. And if you turn a corner and find a dope staring in the opposite direction, don't shoot him until he turns around or you step in front of him.

    After all, killing him wouldn't be fair unless he knows you're about to do it and has a chance to kill you first.

    If they'd fought WW2 by those principles, it would have been a SHORT war.
    • this is what happens when you try to make the game fair for everybody. because fair for everybody means fair for the least skilled player. what is it with asian countries (i'm asian in the US and have traveled through china, singapore, japan, etc) and creating these ninny nanny states that foster sissies and wierd fetishes?
  • I found the fact that he didn't think Japanese players could handle the scenario of terrorist/counterterrorist, especially if the terrorists won. Is this some kind of crude stereotype? are Japanese hypersensitive about this issue specifically? Or just in general? I don't know, but I would speculate they're also pretty sensitive about WWII games, no? More or less so than the Germans?
  • On the other end of the karma stream are cheap hits. Hiding and sniping are no-nos; Taninami wants to encourage players to always fight fair, and shoot each other from the front. The system can detect when a player shoots someone from behind, and will send a warning. If a player is camping, again with the warning; if the player persists, he will show up on the radar. Taninami is fascinated that even with this disadvantage, still some players persist at misbehaving.

    This is what happens when you hand game des
    • Re:Worst. Mod. EVAR. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SSCGWLB ( 956147 )
      What, no kamikaze mode? They should be able to strap 10 HE grenades to their spandex torsos and fling themselves at the other team!!! I bet the loosing team doesn't even have to commit Seppuku! Kids these days, sure don't have the starch of their ancestors.

    • Reading that one made me think "sounds like they didn't want CounterStrike at all".

      I mean really, there are plenty of games that focus on offense, action, sexy anime-style characters with big boobs and violent fun. Counterstrike isn't one of them. UT would probably be ideal if it wasn't so old (UT2k4 is very FPS-noob-unfriendly though).
  • From the article:
    "we didn't want to change it; we didn't want to ruin it."
    uh... yeah. The core mechanic, maybe, but I'd say you can only loosely call the game counter-strike now. I find it funny that (I have been lead to believe) the japanese are pretty xenophobic when it comes to western games but a lot of the character designs are not only western but overtly caucasian. What's up with that?

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous