Highscore tables and 1-ups

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matonen
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Highscore tables and 1-ups

Post by matonen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 13:27

What's the point of having a highscore list and 1-ups in a game, that allows free saving? This always troubled me when playing Wolfenstein 3-D (though the same thing is in other PC games too) when they didn't really serve any purpose at all.
When you compare them for example, Super Mario games: you always start at the beginning of a level or the last checkpoint, until you run out of extra lives. And when you run out of lives, your score gets saved and resets back to zero.
So were games like wolfenstein meant to be played without free saves?
They removed the lives in games like Duke Nukem II and Doom, though. So maybe it was just a mistake.

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VikingBoyBilly
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Re: Highscore tables and 1-ups

Post by VikingBoyBilly » Tue Oct 27, 2009 14:20

matonen wrote: When you compare them for example, Super Mario games: you always start at the beginning of a level or the last checkpoint, until you run out of extra lives. And when you run out of lives, your score gets saved and resets back to zero.
That's a terrible lie. The scores were never saved after you turned off the game so it was completely pointless to everything except arcade games. Because, you know, in arcades there were actually OTHER PEOPLE to compete with for those scores.
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Post by DaVince » Tue Oct 27, 2009 15:09

The GBC version did save the scores though, and it allowed for saving. But if you loaded a game your score would reset to 0 and you'd start from that specific level, so you wouldn't have a chance of making a high score.
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matonen
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Re: Highscore tables and 1-ups

Post by matonen » Wed Oct 28, 2009 20:08

VikingBoyBilly wrote:That's a terrible lie. The scores were never saved after you turned off the game so it was completely pointless to everything except arcade games. Because, you know, in arcades there were actually OTHER PEOPLE to compete with for those scores.
Oh, sorry! Didn't know about that, seeing as I don't own any old consoles. :S

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Post by TerminILL » Wed Oct 28, 2009 21:08

I guess they didn't really think it through when they put those features in Wolf3D. There are worse programming oversights that have been made.

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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Wed Oct 28, 2009 21:21

I think the exp system in hexen 2 is even more ridiculous. it was obviously just tacked on and, after you beat the game, if you start playing another scenario (like portal of praevus) you started back at level 1 =/
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Post by Commander Spleen » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:31

I don't see what the problem is with free-saving games. What still bothers me though, is that in Keen (for example), points that are collected in a level are kept when you die, but also have the potential to give you an extra life. If there's one level that contains at least 20,000 points (in Keen 1-3, anyway), the high score table is only a representation of how much time one has to waste going into a level, collecting enough points to gain a life, dying, then re-entering.

But, there is still a solution in the works for this...

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Post by lemm » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:36

But if the average player will die twice before being getting 20,000 points...

If the points-to-lives relationship is linear, then points items should be set so that the average player will die once (on average) before getting enough for a 1up. Kind of like the mr black pack.

Of course, if the player is REALLY good... then that system doesn't work anymore.

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Post by Levellass » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:04

According to TVTropes, this is a common affliction of games, and I must agree. I wonder what a 1 life walkthrough would look like. (Win the game without dying once.) Certainly I rarely, if ever, let myself lose a life in Keen, and because of the lives, I didn't find out about game saving for years.
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Post by KeenRush » Thu Oct 29, 2009 14:55

Stuff the levels full of candy. Make the high score list sort in ascending order. The smallest score is the best. :)
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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Thu Oct 29, 2009 16:16

But if more than 10 people have been listed, then the best playthrough isn't even on the list. It's a display of the top ten worst players :p
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Post by Commander Spleen » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:14

Hence ascending order. 0 would be at the top of the list.

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Post by lemm » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:36

I guess what you need is a points/deaths ratio in your high score table.

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Post by Commander Spleen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:13

That would be a viable workaround, to a degree. There's already a patch that can count deaths, if that could somehow be implanted into the high score table it would make things a bit more realistic.

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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Fri Nov 13, 2009 14:33

And there's a fact anybody can make it up there without finishing the game. Counting the parts retrieved, tantalus rays disabled, and oracles saved was a way to represent this, but someone without all those things could still make it to the top score above those who did get them.
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