In Defense of Hepler Mode

Phlakes

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Mar 25, 2010
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Haven't you heard? If it's not what the majority of the online gaming community wants, it's the work of the antichrist (See: every fucking thing since ever).

draythefingerless said:
Have a look at this. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_novel]

And even then, that's not the point. If a cutscene is part of a game, it's part of the game, whether you had to shoot people to get to it or not.
 

draythefingerless

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Veterinari said:
I love the idea of a Helper Mode. In a story-driven game I'm there for the story, and unless the gameplay is really, really good it's really just something I put up with

Darkmantle said:
This idea would make the achievement system essentially worthless, wouldn't it? Like, I could skip the combat and cinematic sections, couldn't I just achievement whore every game?
Uh, I'm not really sure what the achievement system has to do with this? If you mean "You unlocked this chapter!" achivements, this could be solved very, very easily. Just tie the achievement to the last boss or door or something. Problem solved.
simply verifying that the skip option wasnt used is enough.
 

Kahunaburger

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May 6, 2011
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It's called a visual novel. I hear them VNs are pretty popular over there in the Japan.

...or I guess on our side of the pond some text adventures work that way, too.
 

Chairman Miaow

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Nov 18, 2009
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The only thing I have to disagree with in the article is the comparison of somebody fast-forwarding through a movie. Fine if they have seen it before, but if they haven't and they are fast-forwarding through it, then yes, they very much are watching it wrong. The fast-forward isn't put in there so that people with no attention span can skip through the movie.
Also, this is kind of relevant and funny.
 

Nohra

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Two things on the "recent Hepler controversy":

One, the image that sparked it is actually pretty old, like at least a few years old.

Two, skipping the gameplay in a game is basically saying "I want to read a book/watch a movie." If the experience is designed so you can skip the parts of a game that are actually a game, then there's no point in doing the combat/puzzles/whatever anyways. They're not adding to the experience at that point. You can't build up a character as being a complete and total badass and oh my god how are we going to defeat this guy he's so tough, then have a little button that says "Push X to kill boss!"

Everything in a game should, in the end, contribute to the experience. That's one of the reasons why stupid stories or lots of pointless cutscenes bother most people. They don't /add/ to the game, they take away from it.
 

FredTheUndead

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The idea is ludicrous because games are a package. The combat should be setup so as to add to the pacing of the whole experience. Say the characters go into a dungeon, you hit this stupid skip button, then it shows them at the bottom looking ragged and exhausted. You have just cut a big chunk of game and destroyed the pacing. If your problem is that the combat is shitty, the solution isn't to skip it, it's to NOT HAVE SHITTY COMBAT. The very idea is giving developers an excuse to be lazy and also reeks of again marketing games to people who don't like games (such as, demonstrably, Hepler). That, as Yahtzee said, is like marketing books to the illiterate.


As for Hepler herself, while the community at the time certainly didn't handle things correctly, she IS nothing less than a living tumor, one of many Bioware developed and rotted down to nothing because of.
 

Fr]anc[is

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A properly constructed dialog wheel should let you make decisions about how things play out in the world, let you use your dialog-based skills to get your way, and uncover new lore.
That sentence should read "A properly constructed dialog system". It does not have to be a wheel, and in fact the wheel is stupidly limiting and restrictive. I hate that it has spread beyond Mass Effect.
 

Worr Monger

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The limited edition of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence included an entire "Hepler disc"... you could just sit there and watch the story and skip all the gameplay... and it was longer than most modern films.
 

Scrustle

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I agree, but I think a lot of emphasis should be put on that this idea can only work in certain types of games. What I mean is that to skip combat in most games just to enjoy the story seems to completely ignore the whole point of playing a game. A game is enjoyable because it has a framework in which you can interact with the world of the game towards some sort of goal. If you're just watching a cut scene then what's the point? Go watch a movie instead. Obviously in a game like Mass Effect the dialogue and to some extent the cut scenes are a part of this interaction with the game world, like the article states, so it seems reasonable to allow skipping of other content. But if we allow people to skip interactive content in a game in favour for something non-interactive then it sells the whole medium short. Interactivity and gameplay are what makes this medium uniquely appealing. It would be like games were being made to try to appeal to everyone, whether they actually enjoy them or not. That's something that should never happen.
 

orangeban

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I do wish the solution wasn't to let people skip combat, but instead to make combat fun so people wanted to do it. However, I'm not an idiot, I recognise that's not possible, so a skip system will have to work.

I feel that in the whole Hepler rage, people just assumed her suggestions were terrible. The debate seemed to be over whether we should condemn her for it as we have, or just frown disapprovingly.

I mean, I thought it was an alright suggestion, many a times have I got sick of shitty combat, or even decent combat. I think of GTA IV, where I just couldn't beat some of the helicopter sections, but I wanted to advance the story.

Edit: Actually, I think that if we did include the skip option, it would send a message out to designers that games don't *have* to be about combat. You want to make a game focused on story? Sure, we'll go for that. But if we have it that combat must NOT be skipped and portray it as the central element of a game, then developers will be pressured into making combat the central focus on the game.
 

BreakfastMan

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Jul 22, 2010
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Dexter111 said:
As for what she said, no it's stupid. If someone wants to skip parts of your games (which extends to movies too really) or if parts of your game can be skipped you did it wrong and fail abhorrently as a game designer, go back to the drawing board and try again
I am sorry, but this statement is just absurd. So, if one includes an optional multiplayer mode, one is a bad game designer? If someone includes sidequests in an RPG, they failed as a game designer? What, should all modern games be entirely linear, so as to ensure we cannot skip anything? Can you see the problem with that statement?

EDIT: And furthermore, if that is the case, every single game designer since the dawn of games has failed abhorrently as a game designer, since every single game I can think of has had at least 1 part someone, someone wanted to skip or could skip.
 

WanderingFool

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Shamus Young said:
Maybe instead of adding Hepler Mode, developers should make games where the story and gameplay are in harmony instead of competition. But if Hepler Mode is possible - if combat is nothing more than an obstacle between cutscenes and nothing you do in a fight will have consequences later on - then I don't see any reason not to give players the option.

Something that im curious about, if you find the combat as nothing more than an obstacle, I would have to ask why play the game? If you just want to see the story, watch a playthough on Youtube, there are pleanty there. Its a lot easier than suffering through the gameplay you do not enjoy. Hell, thats what I did with L.A. Noir, rented it, did not like it, but wanted to know how it continued. Thankfully Im subbed to someone on youtube that just happened to have did a completely playthrough of the game. Granted, its not the same, but if you dont like a particular element to a game, why tortur yourself with having to play through it?
 

Knight Templar

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Shamus this is why I love what you have to say.
However this was just as much a 4chan /v/ thing as it was a Reddit thing.
 

Eamar

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Nohra said:
skipping the gameplay in a game is basically saying "I want to read a book/watch a movie." If the experience is designed so you can skip the parts of a game that are actually a game, then there's no point in doing the combat/puzzles/whatever anyways. They're not adding to the experience at that point. You can't build up a character as being a complete and total badass and oh my god how are we going to defeat this guy he's so tough, then have a little button that says "Push X to kill boss!"
So you would choose not to utilise Hepler Mode. Other people have different opinions, as demonstrated by the modest support the idea has here, and they could choose to use it. The emphasis is on *choice* - we all enjoy different things: something you love in a game might be something I'd find incredibly dull and want to skip, or vice versa. Nobody loses either way.

Personally, as someone who's into writing and loves a good story, the idea that some people skip dialogue and cutscenes irritates me. Doesn't mean I don't think they should have the option to do so.

What I'm trying to say is once someone has bought the game they can play it however they want. It doesn't make a difference to how anyone else plays, so why's it a problem?

FredTheUndead said:
As for Hepler herself, while the community at the time certainly didn't handle things correctly, she IS nothing less than a living tumor, one of many Bioware developed and rotted down to nothing because of.
Classy. I take it you know the woman personally then? Seriously, why would you even say that about another human being, especially one with whom you are only tangentially familiar?
 

FredTheUndead

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Eamar said:
Nohra said:
skipping the gameplay in a game is basically saying "I want to read a book/watch a movie." If the experience is designed so you can skip the parts of a game that are actually a game, then there's no point in doing the combat/puzzles/whatever anyways. They're not adding to the experience at that point. You can't build up a character as being a complete and total badass and oh my god how are we going to defeat this guy he's so tough, then have a little button that says "Push X to kill boss!"
So you would choose not to utilise Hepler Mode. Other people have different opinions, as demonstrated by the modest support the idea has here, and they could choose to use it. The emphasis is on *choice* - we all enjoy different things: something you love in a game might be something I'd find incredibly dull and want to skip, or vice versa. Nobody loses either way.

Personally, as someone who's into writing and loves a good story, the idea that some people skip dialogue and cutscenes irritates me. Doesn't mean I don't think they should have the option to do so.

What I'm trying to say is once someone has bought the game they can play it however they want. It doesn't make a different to how anyone else plays, so why's it a problem?

FredTheUndead said:
As for Hepler herself, while the community at the time certainly didn't handle things correctly, she IS nothing less than a living tumor, one of many Bioware developed and rotted down to nothing because of.
Classy. I take it you know the woman personally then? Seriously, why would you even say that about another human being, especially one with whom you are only tangentially familiar?
Because she is a writer and absolutely abominable at her job? I'd say the same about David Gaider, her awful, terrible, partner in crime, but he makes himself a slightly less obvious target while she shows disdain for both the products and people that provide her livelihood.

And again, doing that is marketing games to people that do not like games. There's no point to it, and every example of it has only weakened the industry in terms of putting out quality products.
 

xedobubble

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Isn't this pretty much what created the entire Let's Play concept? Enjoy the entertainment of the game without slogging through the actual gameplay and loading times?

I love games, but god do I love let's plays.
 

FredTheUndead

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DrVornoff said:
I read the article, I merely disagree with it. His example of combat being a chore in the Witcher 2 could be improved merely by having Witcher 2 combat not be shit in the first place.

And yeah no Hepler is awful. I don't dislike her because she's a woman or anything (that'd be an odd place to come from for a variety of reasons), I hate her because she's a bad writer who clearly dislikes games, and who when originally called out for her bad writing basically used "you just hate it because I'm a woman" as a defense.
 

goliath6711

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Fr said:
anc[is]
A properly constructed dialog wheel should let you make decisions about how things play out in the world, let you use your dialog-based skills to get your way, and uncover new lore.
That sentence should read "A properly constructed dialog system". It does not have to be a wheel, and in fact the wheel is stupidly limiting and restrictive. I hate that it has spread beyond Mass Effect.
How is it "stupidly limiting" when you don't know how large the conversation wheel is?
 

octafish

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Darkmantle said:
This idea would make the achievement system essentially worthless, wouldn't it? Like, I could skip the combat and cinematic sections, couldn't I just achievement whore every game?
The achievement system IS essentially worthless. Anyway if you skipped stuff you would skip the achievements.