Following on from last week’s poll question about using cheat codes, here is this week’s question:
Is Using A Walkthrough Cheating?
I believe that developers should provide walkthroughs with all games and mods they release. Especially if they have lots of difficult-to-reach areas. However, instead of simply providing a text or visual guide for you to blindly follow there must be other options. I especially dislike having to leave the game and search for solutions.
Perhaps the best known hint system is the Universal Hint System (UHS). “The Universal Hint System gives you just the hints you need to solve hundreds of computer games. Unlike traditional walkthroughs, the UHS lets you select specific questions and view only as much information as you want — from subtle nudges to full answers — so you can have more fun solving the game on your own.”
I remember reading about a system that was supposed to be included with Unreal but was eventually dropped. It allowed the player to get hints from the game itself. I have a feeling it would have been similar to the commentary system in HL2. An icon or symbol would be displayed that you could pass over and receive information. Of course the icon would have been much smaller and less conspicuous than the HL2 version!
Visual Walkthroughs is a great site and combines great screenshots with walkthroughs. Unfortunately there are only a few games covered and the owner has recently made the move from PC to Xbox 360 (Shame on him!).
This could have also been a possible solution, and in fact it could have been but I never got past the first few levels because I was bored. You would need to perform certain actions before you received the information because they should be a last resort. What I mean is that you should simply be able to open the PDA and call up the required information, it must “Cost” the player something, even if that is just time.
Putting aside the actual information delivery system for a moment it may be interesting to instigate some sort of payment system. For example it is possible to “buy” a cheat with either your health or weapons/ammo. For example you need to get past a difficult corridor and have 75% health, the system determines that you have to pay 25% of you current health to pass the corridor.
The purpose of this system would be to ensure that using cheats was seen to have consequences. Depending on the game there could be other things used in payment. This system would need to be built from the beginning and the developers would need to know exactly which areas or elements will cause players problems, this could be done with extensive beta testing.
I see a few main types of cheats needed. Firstly, the solution to a puzzle – where to put certain objects etc. Secondly, the exit or end of a level – perhaps you are simply lost. (Anybody remember the Spire in Unreal?) And lastly it could be passing a particularly difficult section – maybe you are very low on health and/or ammo and simply can’t do it.
In my dream mod, the developer would implement a system where if the level has not been completed in a certain amount of time then a hint is subtely shown to the player. These hints get stronger and stronger as the time goes on. The initial hint wouldn’t appear for quite a long time and thereafter would appear every 15 minutes. Perhaps there could be a setting in the options (or similar menu) that allows the player to choose the time intervals etc.
Ultimately the developer must provide a game or mod that is satisfying to play and finish. If this satisfaction can be gained with a little help then so be it. Players should also learn that cheating comes at a cost, perhaps a real cost via the game or perhaps through a lack of accomplishment after finishing a game.
Do you know of any other solutions for walkthroughs? Do you have another solution? If so, please comment and share your knowledge and ideas.
- Yes: 24%
- No: 76%
- Total votes: 51