Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Reducing the Clutter

Games have become increasingly flashy and cluttered with special effects, numerous enemies, bombastic sound, and poor representation of these elements in the overall balance of the gaming experience. It is obvious that games don't have to be this way, and, if you trace the history of gaming from before we had controllers and computer processors, you'll find that games thrive on simplicity, straightforwardness, and elements that clearly communicate their function and rules. Such values I privilege in my assessments of videogames. After all, at the end of the day, if you have two equally fun, challenging, and deep games but one has a high learning curve that involves hours of play before the player can begin to train their eyes to sift through the gallimaufry of graphics, and the other is so cleanly presented that even those who aren't into gaming at all can watch you play and not only understand what's going on but offer helpful comments and/or advise, then it is clear that the latter game is better than the other.

In this post, I'll take a moment to point out some of the trends I have found that most easily lead to creating cluttered gameplay experiences.

simultaneously moving and shooting
  • Certainly some games handle this ability better than others. In general, the functions of moving and shooting work to deconstruct each other. In an FPS, if you try and shoot at an enemy, they'll probably move out of the way. As they're moving, they'll probably shoot at you. To keep yourself alive, you have to move as well while continuing to fire. Unfortunately, both character's movements shift the targets and thus the aim. This awkward shuffling dance is something I like to call the FPShuffle. At its worst, both players can't hit each other and dance around madly about until a lucky shot is delivered or some outside factor intervenes.
  • In non FPS games, moving and shooting generally increases the negative space of a given battle field. Take Geometry Wars for example. Once the game picks up, as you move away from you enemies and thus from danger, you can shoot in the opposite direction. The enemies in this case don't have any projectiles to fight back with, so they must mindlessly pursue you through your trail of hot death. Relatively, when you continually move back and shoot as the enemies continually move forward and die, you're practically standing still. Think of it like running around on an endless plain of nothingness. No matter how far you go, you're really always at the same place: right where you are. Of course, the sides of the stages in Geometry Wars provide boundaries, but these boundaries do little to reduce the expansion of the negative space into an endless plain.
  • Of course, when looking at cases of moving and shooting, you have to look at what extent each option is strategically important. In Super Smash Brothers Melee, the characters in the game have a lot of movement and dodging options. When players grab the super scope, fire flower, or ray gun, they have to fire it from a stationary position. Because these projectiles fire straight, they're relatively easy to predict and out maneuver. Before you say that the shooting function in this case is clearly secondary to the opponent's ability to dodge, it's important to note that the projectile wielding player still has access to their ability to maneuver, dodge, and most of their fighting moves as long as they're not firing. So the balance comes from using one's normal moves while switching strategically to the projectile. It's also interesting to note that Super Smash Brothers Brawl adding the ability for players to fire such weapons while moving. The ability to dodge multiple times in the air was added as well. It is clear that with the increase in air maneuverability and control comes an increase in to ability to shoot thus keeping both elements in check and balanced.
over powered player ability
  • If the player has too much control and power over their environment and enemies, then the developers have to do increasing more to ramp up the difficulty in a game. Take Geometry Wars again. Because the player can shot a dazzling spray of bullets, the enemies are simply no match. To keep the player interested and challenged, the game eventually fills the whole screen with different kinds of enemies the majority of which can be destroyed with a single shot. Doing this not only significantly adds to the amount of base level information that must be processed for the player, but it eats up game resources as well. Geometry Wars Galaxies for the Wii features a two player offline multiplayer mode. Even on a system as powerful as the PS3, online play for this game would be impossible. The speed at which the games moves and the amount of enemies on the screen is too much information for our current internet speeds.
  • Ultimately, the challenge in a game comes from the balance between the player ability to destroy the enemies and visa versa. Keeping the levels lower keeps the game manageable for the player and the technology.
speed of character/enemy movement
  • In the same way that the player's power is only relative to their enemies, speed is also relative to the enemies and environment. If the enemy bullets in a game travel blazingly fast, and there is no cover/defensive system, the player has to be able to out maneuver these bullets by moving even faster.
  • The sense of speed in a game can be created in a variety of ways. The most obvious method of creating speed is making the elements on the screen move faster so the player has less time to react to them. However, this same feeling of speed can be simulated by distracting the player. If the player just realizes a tiny slow moving bullet is inches away from blowing him/her up, then they'll feel that the bullet swiftly sneaked up to them regardless of how fast it actually travels. Giving the player a few simple things to actively process can fill their attention so that the game feels fast because of all the mental calculations they must do.
over bearing graphics/sound/special effects (especially for death animations)
  • Everyone loves cool graphics. Beyond telling us where things are by giving the objects in a game shape and form, they can simply look cool. According to the design philosophies of "form fits function," any sound or visual element should fit the function it has in the game. If I shoot an airplane out of the sky, I don't want to hear it moo like a cow. If I dodge out of the way of an energy blast on level 6, I don't want to secretly get hit by the invisible part of it because the programmers forgot to tighten up the graphics. Likewise, when I destroy a tiny insignificant enemy plane, I don't want it to explode in a dramatic lingering explosion especially if the explosion effect obscures my view of the game. Everyday Shooter features very interesting vector graphic effects that at times can get in the way of the gameplay. There are times when I lost sight of my character or incoming enemy bullets because the explosions were so dazzling.
  • Devil May Cry 4 has a similar problem. I feel that the developers were so proud of the graphics and animations they made for the main characters Nero and Dante, that in battle their flashy displays can be distracting and often obscuring.
invincible frames
  • Game designers used invincible frames back in the NES and SNES days to develop the challenge of a game without having to do too much work. In other words, such developers did what they could with their limited time, resources, and, most importantly, experience, and I appreciate the hard work they put into their games.
  • Now, there is no excuse for having obvious and excessive invincible frames for characters, and especially for enemies. Granted, invincible frames are completely necessary to create balance (especially for fighters). However, there is a skill and a craft into making them as clandestine as possible. Super Smash Brothers Melee does a great job hiding these frames by appealing to the 3rd dimension. If you get up from being knocked down to the ground, you have momentary invincible frames. If a projectile is traveling right at you as you stand up, it'll pass right through as if your character stood up and to the side dodging the blast. It's the same way for all the dodges in the game. You can even pause and see that the characters shifts quickly into the foreground or background to avoid attacks. The straightforward logic in these invincible frame concealments falls in line with the principle of "form fits function." Clearly being able to see a character side stepping a vertical attack needs no additional explanation.
  • Even games like Everyday Shooter and Geometry Wars concealed invincible frames nicely. If the player blows up and is spawned back into the action, they are invincible for a few moments so they can get their bearings straight. To add a form that fits these invincible functions, both games change the look of the player graphic slightly. They appear to have a small shield around them. When this shield goes away, it is obvious the invincible frames have run out.
  • Games like Devil May Cry 4 do a poor job of concealing their invincible frames. Knock an enemy down to the ground in DMC4 and you're free to slash them to pieces. But when they start to stand up, you can't do any damage to it at all. Your sword appears to pass through such enemies as if they were a ghost. What makes standing up so completely untouchable? You would think with all the next gen power in the PS3 and Xbox360, developers could have found a better solution.

combos that are practically a substitute for a standard attack
  • Thanks to the work of developers like those at Capcom, combos are now ingrained into our videogaming consciousness. With a little skill, timing, and know-how, a player can string together a series of moves where, if the first hit connects, the rest are guaranteed. Why settle with just one good hit when I can get in a few? This is the essence of a combo attack: fitting together moves like a jigsaw puzzle in context to an enemy and a given situation. There is a significant level of satisfaction in finding these combinations.
  • When a game makes combos for the player to use that are as easy as hitting the same button over and over, or what's worse, hitting any button randomly and repeatedly, the combo loses its appeal. If any player can easily string together attacks in a combo, usually, the game boils down into a button masher and the enemies are given more health so that the players don't pile through them without any challenge. Kingdom Hearts suffered from this. In essence, the simple combos in Kingdom Hearts replaced the function of a one hit standard attack. Doing this is an easy way to drag out a game into mindless button mashing.
Parts of a game that the player can affect without seeing the direct results
  • Interactivity, the heart of the videogame medium, is essentially cause and effect; input and output. If I shoot that barrel of oil, it'll explode. If I arrange these blocks, they'll disappear. Being able to see, hear, or anticipate an event, do an action, and then experience the results is important for building the fiction of a game world and teaching the rules and intricate mechanics of a game.
  • This is where camera positioning and perspective are key. If you're battling enemies in an area by shooting arrows at them, it's important to see where those arrows hit whether it's on the wall or in the enemies. But if the camera or screen is positioned in a way where you can't even see what happens to the arrows you fire, then that's a part of the cause and effect that you're missing out on. If it's important for the player to know, then why hide it off the screen?
  • Geometry Wars suffers from screen positioning. Because the player is super powered with the ability to shoot wide spread bullets with unlimited ammunition, they're often killing enemies and hitting targets that are off the screen. As the game becomes increasingly more difficult, the player automatically gets a faster fire rate and more enemies to hit. More enemies and more bullets means more things that can happen off screen. To the player, it's all good because they're getting more points, and they don't even have to think about it. But that's precisely the issue at hand. The more the player can turn their brain off to the cause-effects of the game, in a sense the less interactive the experience is for that player. And because that works to deconstruct the core of the videogame medium, it can be said to increase clutter within a game.
too much HUD
  • This is an easy one. HUD stands for heads up display. It simply consists of all the menus, tags, meters, maps, radars, and any other pieces of information the game designers decide to slap onto the screen. Too much HUD not only literally clutters the screen, but HUD of this nature is implemented because the designers feel that it is important for the players to have such information at easy access at all times. In other words, the designers feel that the player must have access to information that they can't otherwise or easily gather from just looking and listening to the game. When there's too much HUD, the player tends to use the game visuals less while relying more on the information in the HUD. An example of this in Halo could be something as simple as running around with your eyes on the radar instead of on the screen because the radar can tell you if there are opponents lurking around the corner.
  • Valve's Team Fortress 2 designers wanted to do away with abstract and distracting HUD items. For them, if they could have everything from classes to characters be instantly distinguishable and understandable from a glance, then that would be more powerful than having to read such information from any kind of HUD. Instead of a map or radar, they designed their internal spaces to utilize shapes and light to guide the players naturally to their goals. Each class has a very distinguished design and animation that can be recognized in dim lighting or from a far. I believe it was Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons and Futurama characters, that believed a cartoon character was good/unique when anyone could recognize them from a silhouette. Such game design decisions help to prove how powerful "form fits function" is in an interactive medium.

Theses are just a few games that I've mention that have some clutter some where in their design. Hopefully, you'll be able to come up with some more examples. Feel free to post any that you think of.
  • geometry wars
  • everyday shooter
  • Devil May Cry
  • Ninja Gaiden
As a final note, I invite you to play Neo*RPG if you haven't already. And if you have, play it again. The download for the game can be found along the right side under the "Downloads" section.

Neo*RPG is an example of a game that eliminates every single one of the types of clutter that I have previously outlined. You can't move and shoot at the same time. Your character isn't overly powerful at all. The speed of movement for the enemies and characters seems slow at first, but quickly feels fast as the levels becomes increasingly complex and the enemy design starts to layer together. The graphics are minimally designed, while at the same time were added to communicate a specific function or condition. There are no invincible frames. Combos emerge from the simple mechanics. In other words, there aren't built in combos. They all have to be set up. All the action is all on the screen. And the HUD is very minimal.

Playing Neo*RPG should give you a hyper clean gameplay experience. Though it's far from perfect, Neo*RPG is a great game to teach with and learn from, and I will be continually referring to it in the future. In the meantime, go find some clutter.

12 comments:

Korey said...

Very interesting post. I sometimes find Smash Bros. Brawl cluttered, in the sense that too much is happening for me to follow everything. In 4 person matches with most of the items turned on, unless I put some distance between myself and the chaos, I find myself occasionally resorting to button mashing just to try to survive the onslaught. Of course, I'm also not that good at Brawl. I suppose this type of item-filled Brawl fight is what differentiates Brawl from other fighters, or preofessional no-item fights. It's much more chaotic and visually hard to follow.

And thinking of HUDs, I really like the type of HUD in games like Metroid Prime, where it's integrated in the game world. I don't find it distracting because I know it's on my visor, as Samus. Although it does have the radar, similar to Halo.

KirbyKid said...

korey:
Very interesting reply. I know that with Melee the first thing players had to do in order to climb the skill latter was tame the chaos. When a match is a 4 player free for all with lots of items, the amount of chaos is very high. When things get crazy, it is very hard to follow things visually.

Integrating HUD into the game world/fiction is a clever solution. I'm glad you brought up Metroid Prime.

Matt Carter said...

I agree with your general points, and I think there have even been examples lately of games working to reduce the clutter on-screen. While not a great game, one thing I liked about Ratchet and Clank: Future was that they only bothered to put annoying sidebars or menus up on the screen when you needed to use them. I think the problem inherently lies in our technology. With new and improved graphics comes this need to fit as much onto the screen as possible, and games don't always need that.

I think Geometry Wars is a great example of simplicity working well in a modern game. It's not complex from a gameplay standpoint, but it's attractive to look at and fun to play.

Eric Middleton said...

This is the first of your posts that I have read and I found it very interesting. I do have some disagreements however.

"simultaneously moving and shooting"

I don't think that allowing a player to move and shoot is necessarily a bad thing. I really only find the FPShuffle in console shooters because of the severe limitations of analogue stick control. In real FPSs (read: PC shooters) where strafing and aiming is much more intuitive and easier, it can add a layer of depth and skill at the expense of realism. This is evident in such gems as Counterstrike and TF2. Other games implement designs that attempt to curb this. This is evident more realistic shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield. In these, as you move your aiming reticule expands making it much more difficult to aim. The result that scoping in on a target is in most cases more beneficial, which is reflective of real life. Also, you tend to move slower, which is also reflective of real experience. Some games such as Insurgency Mod for Source even remove the aiming reticule and all other elements of a HUD all together. The guns in game are very realistically modeled . They all have real sound clips recorded from a gun range and they all have realistic recoil. This leads to an experience where you must scope in order to get any sort of accuracy, and the recoil on automatic weapons forces you to do short bursts of 3-4 shots, which is what soldiers and policemen officers are trained to do. I could go with more examples, but I think you get my point.

"In the same way that the player's power is only relative to their enemies, speed is also relative to the enemies and environment. If the enemy bullets in a game travel blazingly fast, and there is no cover/defensive system, the player has to be able to out maneuver these bullets by moving even faster."

Some games implement bullet time effects which I have always thought was an interesting design choice. It is true that since Max Payne introduced it has been whored out excessively, but done right it can add a lot to the game play.

"Parts of a game that the player can affect without seeing the direct results"

This is true in some cases like you outlined, but true immersing game play requires just this. Think about the real world. There are many things that affect you that you do not directly or even indirectly cause or see. In truly immersive worlds these types of events must be able to happen, but should not be forced, like overly scripted sequences. They should happen naturally, arising from other player interaction or from realistic AI. For instance, in WoW or any other MMO, the prices at the auction house fluctuate daily, sometimes hourly. As for AI, I have yet to see this implemented effectively. Fable tried but ultimately failed. Unfortunately realistic computer AI is very hard to accomplish, especially on today's hardware (take it form a CSE major). In tomorrow's generation we may have sufficient computing power, or at least have enough power to compromise effectively.

"too much HUD"

I agree whole heartedly with this. Going back to WoW, it is especially apparent here. There is often too much information needed in the HUD that it distracts from the actual graphics on screen. On some fights, I look exclusively at my bars and frames instead of the big monster I'm currently slicing into. Here is an example, but its not the worst I've seen (and my own is a little worse) but this will give an idea:
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/full11045.jpg

"Geometry Wars Galaxies for the Wii features a two player offline multiplayer mode. Even on a system as powerful as the PS3, online play for this game would be impossible. The speed at which the games moves and the amount of enemies on the screen is too much information for our current internet speeds."

This is out and out false. The power of the PS3 has nothing to do with the online mode of the game, or lack thereof, and neither does the speed of the internet. Internet protocols are internationally and very specifically defined by the IEEE for all platforms and instances, be it Windows, Macs, PS3s, 360s, UNIX, Linux, Solaris, or any of the other 500 billion operating systems in use today and tomorrow. No one platform performs internet functions better than any other. As for speed, there is no game that generates enough data that would clog an internet line. Games like Battlefield 2142 can have 32 simultaneous players running or driving various vehicles around. Each player has access to guns which fire several hundred rounds/minute. Not to mention external things like air strikes and the like. The same can be said for CoD4 and many, many other games. None of them lag horribly because of the amount of of content traveling through the interwebs to and from each player's client. No, the reason Galaxy Wars does not have an online mode is because getting two or more computers to talk to each other over the internet, over a LAN, or even two processes on the same machine SUCKS. Trust me. You hear of games getting delayed all the time because their online components weren't up to par. It takes a lot of work, a lot time, a lot of frustration, anger, stress, and usually alcohol to get even two computers to be able to talk to each other. Trust me, I know first hand. Far more than I ever wanted to know.


Anyways, those are my thoughts. Thanks for the interesting read.

KirbyKid said...

Matt Carter:
Ratchet and Clank does have a very clean look to it's HUD. Good find.

Eric Middleton:
Moving and shooting isn't a bad thing. I was trying to point out what cascading effects it can have on the design of other elements in a given game. I know you specialize in FPSs (especially PC FPSs). Those games have come a long way working with moving and shooting. Many of the great designers have found wonderful solutions to the issues that come up from implementing moving and shooting. Unfortunately, there are a lot of games from other genres that are cluttered because of this decision.

Another more contemporary example would be Viewtiful Joe for the Gamecube/PS3/DS. I think they did the best job of implementing "bullet time" as well as a lot of other "dangerous " and possibly "overused" mechanics.

Though I don't like "imersive realistic" games because I think it's very misleading from a design standpoint. Even in your WOW auction example, the player can see the direct results of their interaction with the auction. I was speaking more specifically of cases where you are interacting directly and not indirectly in the larger scheme of things. Sure, to make a game world seems alive, there has to be things going on all the time (or at least when the player looks in that direction).

That WOW picture hurt my eyes a little. Be careful what you post next time.

And for your last comment, I've been following the Geometry Wars developer blogs and they said specifically that because of the hardware and the way the Internet works, their game couldn't support online play. They even called their limited DS wifi play as being a miracle.

FPSs have serious lag issues, even when you think they're running smoothly. In general, the FPS genre can mask lag so that the game still feels smooth but the interactions are still off.

That's like saying starcraft has smooth online play with hundreds of units per player. It's more complicated than that. It all comes down to what genre a game is and how it's coded.

I've done some net coding myself. I know what I'm talking about....

fight fight fight.

Nice post though. Thoughtful and thorough.

eric middleton said...

I agree that how a particular piece of software is coded will determine how well it will run, but I just don't buy that geometry wars couldn't be online capable. In the world of computing, everything is about compromise.You can accomplish anything with brute force (trying every single possible combination of input/output until you find something that works) but it will probably be slow. People have been finding workarounds for things like this since the first computer circuit was made. I'm sure they could make it work, it would just require some clever trick or another.

All online games have lag issues, you are right. Information cannot go from a player's client to the server, from the server to another player's client and back again instantaneously. It may be really really fast but the lag and it is either unnoticeable or there are some clever tricks to masking it.

As for my WoW example,I was really talking about other player's influence over it. More broadly, changes in the game it self can shift the value of items in ways unforeseen. For instance patch 2.4 is about to hit for WoW and it will allow players to smash a certain "rare" enchanting material into 2 of another kind. Right now, the first is worthless (even though it is epic in quality) and the second is expensive (and it is only rare in quality). Nobody knows how exactly this going to effect the economy yet, but it safe to assume the value of the items ill normalize some what. That was the point I was trying to make.

XIX said...

The clutter is there to hide the lack of design.

The morons like the clutter, as far as I can tell what they want is a fruit machine experience, where they might win a free ipod whilst still pretending they are playing an actual game.

Pi said...

While I agree in general with your points (that, in general, design 'clutter' is bad) I feel that, especially in relation to Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden, you are confusing the aesthetics of the design with the design of system. In DMC the whole point is that the moves are completely over-the-top. The whole point is that most enemies are absurdly easy to beat. Because the game isn't about beating enemies. It's about sending demons back to hell in style. It's about the S rank. It's not about reaching the end, it's about getting there like badass.

As for NG, I honestly don't see how you can feel that the the design is in anyway cluttered. Realistically, what could you 'cut' to make it uncluttered?

also, I cannot get Neo*RPG to work. Has it been Vista-approved? :)

Lastly, thank you so much for making this blog. It's great to see smart people like you get serious about taking gaming forward.

KirbyKid said...

XIX:

I like your bold stance on the issue.

I feel that the clutter from last gen and the gen before it were necessary as everyone was still getting used to 3D and other burgeoning genres.

But now, where we're seeing X game on its 4th iteration, I expect the developers to take a hold of their game and craft the experience by learning from the past.

This is not too much to ask... or demand.

Pi:

I've heard this argument on DMC before. Here are a few points I have in response.

DMC4 is not cluttered because of the easy to beat enemies or the over the top fighting moves. DMC4 is cluttered because of the poor camera and how that affects the players ability to interpret 3D space.

Compared to some of the other games I noted, DMC4 isn't nearly as cluttered. And in the grand scheme of things, almost all games have a little clutter somewhere.

And as a general note for talking about what a game is about. It's hard to make a point about how the game is meant to be played. Even if you have the developers quoted to support your claims, a game can only be evaluated based on what the player must do to beat the game. S ranks aren't needed to beat the game, therefore they do not represent the base level of play. So even though DMC4 IS all about style and whatnot, it's more about simply beating up enemies.

And as for NG, that game has a really bad camera system. Also, the apparent "intelligence" of the enemies, their numbers, and the combat system all create clutter.

As a side note, Mario Galaxy really showed me (and the world) how 3D space is really done. That's another article for another day though.

Neo*RPG has not been Vista approved because it's an executable from Game Maker. I've never used a Vista machine so I'm not sure how to help you. If you figure out how to get things work, do let me know so I can possibly help others in the future.

Thanks everyone for all the comments. This has been an interesting conversation.

Pi said...

kirbykid:

I have a real problem with your claim that 'a game can only be evaluated based on what the player must do to beat the game'

The problem I have with this statement is what about games that can't be beat? What Tetris, Space Invaders, any Multiplayer Online Game (MOG, I refuse to use MMO!) ? And what of games with difficulty levels? On what level do we need to 'beat' the game in order to properly evaluate the game?

I'm also going to disagree with your assertion that we cannot say how a game was 'meant' to be played. I think that with some games (any 'sandbox' game, or the like) this is true, but when you look at something like DMC, where the game's emphasis, from the interface, to the combat, even the main character's personality is so grounded in this idea of 'style', that we can safely say that DMC was meant to played for, if not an S rank, at least a cool-looking run in general. I feel our differences on this point might be related to skill players v. tourists

As for Neo*RPG, I have Game MAker on my computer (I'm taking a game design course), is it possible that I could get the .gmk file as just make the exe on my machine?

Pi said...

I forgot to mention this in my last post, but I completely agree with you on the matter of camera in those games. I feel that in general, the camera has been ignored in relation to 3d games. You say Mario Galaxy did it well? That's another reason for me to pick it up then!

The only game I felt really did camera well was God of War, and to a lesser extent, Gears of War.

KirbyKid said...

Pi:

The criteria necessary to evaluate a game beyond what can be explicitly and objectively delineated, usually spirals off into a tangled web of authorial intent, the cool way to play, boring way to play, and the other inane stances on the issue. (wow, big sentence.)

Basically, I can't expect a player to play my game any farther than what is necessary to win. If this means playing a "boring" yet efficient way, then many players will opt for that.

It really all comes down to game rules. Even with games that seemingly have no ending (tetris, space invaders, MMOs/MOGs) one can evaluate what it takes to accomplish the objective. At the end of the day, games are all about emergence. Just because you CAN do something, or a game has evolved to a point where crazy new things are possible, those possibilities are secondary to what MUST be done to play the game in order to achieve the goal even if that goal is to survive as long as possible.

As for you DMC comments, definitely. The game is built to make it easy for the player to pull off stylish moves. The game also encourages playing with style with the style meter. But that's as far as it goes; just encouragement. Without getting into what really is stylish or not (cause that's another tricky area), it's possible to play DMC without being flashy, stylish, or cool. You could use your gun all the time and (theoretically) beat the game (or at least get through many of the battles).

It doesn't matter if you can get a SS rank in a particular battle if you can simply run past the enemies and continue. In the end, the choice is the players. In order to circumvent this entire choice vs. play experience, I simply focus on what things MUST be done to continue. I feel that it's a clean way of evaluating a game. Only after doing so, should additional encouragements and other aspects of a possible play experience be factored in.

I think I may be able to dig up the .gmk file. Shoot me an email so I can email it to you.

Mario Galaxy makes all other 3D games use of 3D terrible in comparison. And it's camera is nothing short of perfect (especially considering how advanced and intuitive the game play is).

I was just talking about GOW's camera today. It definitely worked. Also, Zelda Twilight Princess had a wonderful camera as well.

Thanks... I'll read the articles from your link soon.