Drop The High Scores

rembrandtqeinstein

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I'm going to write a solitaire type game soon and was planning on a global high score system. But this article changed my mind about the interface.

The game end screen will show your local high score with an option to view the global high score list. If you happened to place in the top 1000 on that list a message would say "Grats, you made 782nd place on the global high score list."

It would be like the steam global achievements percentage list. Never the first thing you see but still present if people are curious.
 

Howling Din

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Mar 10, 2011
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Idea: What if there was an online multiplayer mod for Evil Genius? It would have other player's lairs appear on the world map. And give you the option to send minions there like any other territory. Then your minions appear on the other player's island in the same way as enemy agents. I mean, the appeal of Evil Genius is the ability to cause mischief and mayhem at other people's expense from the snug safety of your childish tree-fort. This appeal is doubled if you're victimizing actual human beings.
 

samaugsch

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I Have No Idea said:
Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Nobody one would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world.
Was that sentence supposed to make any sense?
Took me a second to figure it out, too. I think he means, "Nobody that anyone would want to spend any time with trapped near the buffet table at a dull party gives a shit about who has the best score in the world."

Captcha: Sun Tzu says

Are the captchas quoting TF2 videos now?
 

Sheo_Dagana

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As much as I enjoy single-player games, I like the idea of the presence of other players. I love Star Wars: the Old Republic for the ability to play by myself, but the other players lend to the depth of the game. I feel like I am part of a community. Seeing so many players struggle towards the same goal endears me to a title all the more.

Community level designs are a great thing. The problem is that in games like inFamous 2, there were players that made missions impossible and they loved to brag about it. That is literally the same thing as being an asshole and admitting to it. Or being like Spock.
 

Yal

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Dec 22, 2010
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LTK_70 said:
From the headline I thought you would have read the recent Spacechem Postmortem [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/172250/postmortem_zachtronics_.php?page=2] on Gamasutra and its discussion of the histogram high score model as being vastly superior to numbered leaderboards. Frankly, it's astonishing that there aren't more games that use a simular model.
I was going to mention SpaceChem, it's got the only high score system I've ever paid any attention to. When a game tells me I'm number 4000 in a big list, well, ok, that is certainly a number, but point at my position on a bell curve and suddenly I can actually evaluate that information.

So simple and so obvious, why was it not invented the day after the online leaderboard? It's not like the visualization of a large data set is a cutting edge problem.
 

BENZOOKA

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Oct 26, 2009
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This is exactly what has been bugging me and I've mentioned it numerous times on the forums and maybe elsewhere too.

Ditch 'em
 

Zom-B

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Yeah, the high score thing has got to be bogus. My wife and I like to compete to see who can get the highest score on Bejeweled's Butterflies mode. I finally had a pretty zen moment and hit almost 4 million. Then I decided to check out the high scores table and I'm to believe that four people have reached the apparent maximum score of 2,147,483,647. That's two billion points. That's either outright hacking or 4 very OCD people who spent hours if not days reaching that score.

Secondly, my first experience with asynchronous gameplay was a now defunct game called Duels. (Duels.com, but the website, which stayed up for a good year or more after the dev team abandoned the game seems to be gone for reals now). It was actually a really great game with a very loyal fanbase, but the devs inexplicably just dropped all support. The game itself was great. You had a "duelist" who you could send on click based quests to start. You earned gear which you could assign to slots and each class had special abilities.

Eventually you would have your duelist outfitted and send it to the arena to compete with other players. You'd challenge someone, set your loadout, pick ten actions for the round and then wait for your opponent to respond. Once they accepted, set their player up and clicked fight, the duel would play out. You'd come back, watch it play out and then move on to your next challenge.

Great fucking game. Unfortunately it really had a component of "get out the spread sheet and optimize" which was what you had to do if you wanted to top the leader boards, but it wasn't too bad. I think I eventually climbed to spot #24 before I started dropping again and then devs began withdrawing supports- bug fixes, ability nerfs and boosts, etc. - and then I kind of faded out. Checked back a few times to see if the promised support had ever returned, but it did not. Too bad, because as I said, it was a really well done game and the asynchronous play was a great model. I still miss it every now and then.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Leader boards are actually a REQUIREMENT for XBLA certification. All XBLA must have some form of leader board or competitive competition.
 

esperandote

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Most people can't even imagine themselves in top 10 in any worldwide rank and that puts anyone off but I still like having them around, world wide ranks should be on the background and the main rank should be your friends scores and yours like Facebook games do.
 

MrBaskerville

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Mar 15, 2011
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"Another example that comes to mind is Demon's Souls and the ability to leave messages for future players, but the missed potential there is that there's no incentive to write the things."

I´m not really sure if there really needs to be any benefits. In Demon´s Souls people gladly try to help each other, even though they don´t have any reasons to do so. They help and they try to trick people, just for the heck of it, maybe because players enjoy reading the messages, that gives us a reason to create our own. Apparently it works without an incentive, other than: "if you help me, i might help you". I would be concerned that if you implemented benefits for helping, the tricksters might dissapear, unless ofcourse that they also had some benefits. Hmm



Personally i also hate the world spanning leaderbords, i really prefer the classic top ten, where you type in your name when you rank high enough. It´s fun to compete against your own scores, but also possible to compete against scores made by friends. I hate that it has become standard to bind the score to the profile, makes it more complicated than practical.
 

Lord_Gremlin

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Apr 10, 2009
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I don't know. I remember myself being very high on PS3 Bulletstorm echo leaderboards (first 10) and my friend was number 1 at some point, just loved this game so much...
Truth be told I don't mind worldwide leaderboards but only care if I absolutely worship the game.
 

Dresos

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Jun 17, 2011
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High scores is just way to measure how well you did in a game. I rarely check global high scores when I play Audiosurf but it's fun just to compete with your friends.
 

Uratoh

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High Scores can provide an 'impossible challenge' to keep people playing...though in some cases they really are pointless. Dungeon Defenders is one of those 'all about drops and numbers' things, but its scores couldn't mean less...even on the official servers people still manage to hack, so the 'best' scores tend to be literally impossible...and blatently so. 13 million points by the third wave of the first level? Who are they kidding?
 

TrevHead

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As someone who plays Shmups and other arcade games it saddens me to see folk hating on highscore. Reading that article just made it obvious that Yahtzee is one of "those" people. Older gamers who played arcade games as a kid and now thinks of them as old fashioned, something which gaming should grow out of because they have. To me it's the same idiotic thinking as bro gamers who think that any game other than a FPS is a waste of time and shouldn't be made because they don't like them even if others do.

Highscore especially in arcade games is the purist form of just about every competitive game, And like other types of measurement is basically all stats and numbers.

Removing highscore from arcade games is just like saying a football game should remove score, Diablo should remove stats or a FPS Deathmatch should remove its score system too.

While I agree that some games could move away from score to something else, however imo most games need stats and score to keep them interesting and give them depth. Maybe in the future when we are plugging a cord into the back of our heads that games could see more real world goals and objectives, however atm most games need them.

"or someone who has the necessary brain defects to want to play the same bloody game all bloody day"

That's a fallacy tbh, many arcade gamers play their games in short 1 or 2 hour sessions, its the fact they play these games over a number of years that they master them. That and the fact that because arcade games are hard and played in short bursts makes many players bring their best A game rather than just grind away while half asleep for hours so many other gamers do.

OFC to be at the very top you probably need to put in more time at the sacrifice of other games but that's just like anything competitive, However some arcade gamers might go to extremes like the Donkey Kong World Record players, but those games tend to be very early arcade games like space invaders that never end rather than game over in 30-60 mins, those types are more of an endurance marathon than anything else.

EDIT
sorry if my post come off as been dickish however arcade highscore is a hot button topic with us types
 

ace_of_something

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I'm just thinking of every racing game EVER where the top 5 scores or so on a roughly 3 minute race are always ALWAYS something unrealistic.Motorstorm Apocolypse a game where most laps take 45-90 seconds nearly every race's top handful of spots are something like 7 seconds for the entire race.

medv4380 said:
Wouldn't it be nice if Dragons Dogma was just a tick. The NPCs from someone else were just randomly generated, and the "gift" yours came back with was just Randomly assigned from a loot table.

Would you know the difference?
It DOES do that every time you rest it says your pawn helped someone and gives you a random loot. Unless an actual person rents your pawn, the pawn will have their PSN account attached to it's note. Also if the PSN account is on your friends list you can rent the pawn for free. Which is great for me since I have two friends with the game and they are similarly leveled. We have optimized our pawns to make a complimentary party, abilities wise.
Because we're geeks.
 

Veldt Falsetto

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Dec 26, 2009
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I agree BUT...I love scoreboards for games at first.

I was so proud of myself when on the end of the first weekend of Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing's release I had the quickest time in the world on quite a few tracks, I'm also pretty proud of being 35th in the UK in score on El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron's Normal difficulty and I hadn't actually played these games for all that long.

Now sure, it's actually embarrassing when the Sonic 4 leaderboards are all full of people who cheated and beat every level in 0 seconds or the top 100 players on the CoD4 leaderboards are all called different variants of CoD4HAX but when you get a score good enough to place in the top 10 or 20 percent of a games leaderboard and you haven't hacked or over played...hell that's something to be damn proud of and THAT'S why leaderboards rock!
 

TrevHead

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Veldt Falsetto said:
I agree BUT...I love scoreboards for games at first.
Well the thing about leaderboards is that legit players near the top of them can usually spot a hacked score from a mile away.

What's worse is when the game has a glitch in it that ruins the balance of the game and ruins the leaderboards. Sina Mora is just like that because the devs didn't realise that many shmup players have a controller with autofire on it. (rolls eyes)

I think many competative game / genres have an internet community outside of the game and have their own leaderboard or ranked matches so a broken in-game leaderboard isn't that much of a disaster.

If console manufacturers could bring those communities into their own chat / grouping system and make it easier for others to find them it would improve the state of so many niche competative games. Again Valve show's how it's done with their own community grouping system and forums thats tied directly into each game.
 

Darkness665

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Dec 21, 2010
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Great idea.

Dark Souls was instantly more fun when I unplugged the tube connector. If my character has died then I re-tube once in awhile to see if there are any messages close by or some interesting deaths. Bloodstains were interesting but most of them now to be the idiotrii jumping to their deaths so quit. Un-tube. Restart. Back to fun. Your solution is much better.
 

his1nightmare

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Nov 8, 2010
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Well Well, casual Yahtzee opens once again his mouth just to tell the most casualish things one could imagine.
True Arcades (and by true I mean games like eXceed, Touhou (I know neither has worldwide leaderboards)... or a bit more modern examples like Jamestown) are simply meant to be played over and over again, and unlike regular games, they do a damned good job at it. Only someone who spent enough time trying to max out a score in a bullet hell knows how good it is at keeping you playing.
Someone like Yahtzee couldn't possibly comprehend this kind of topic simply because he plays games searching for other aspects than being drawn completely into the moment, to not make a single mistake for hours long gameplay.
Some games definitely have a score system being utterly useless, Devil May Cry 4 is one of the best examples (forcing you to farm in a game which is not about farming, repeating levels can't be anymore boring). Arcade games? They worked for 40 freakin' years by now, and they still work well.
To boost you ego you have 3(/4) things available. (Achievements,) Leaderboards, Speed-runs, professionality; in THIS order.

(Achievements became utter garbage as early as certain people started to put them on a podium they never belonged to.)
Leaderboards are only garbage if the game makes wrong use of them.
Speed-runs are even liked by developers.
Professional play speaks for itself.

What have all of these things in common? Playing the same game over and over and over until you stand above others. So, insulting one insults all to a certain degree.
Add: Hackers are present in all of these topics, but how often do they get away it with it, being as highly praised as a legit player would be? Not that often.

This statement is the hell of a subjective opinion and another reason why we live in the century of bad players who don't even know how bad they actually are, and why.