Friday, January 16, 2015

Interactive Friction: Far Cry 3: Episode 2: Now, I Will Teach You The Takedown

We have been made aware of the audio issue where Sam's audio is significantly quieter than my own and that of the game. This episode was recorded before that issue was made apparent, so we didn't fix it for this. (It will be fixed for Episode 4 and all episodes following it.)

We spend some time in this episode interacting with the game's hunting and crafting systems. Like I said in the episode, this is one of those acceptable breaks from real world logic. In the real world, you could use pretty much any animal hide to make the pouches, quivers, and holsters that you would need to hold everything. Leather is leather, no matter what the source is.

However, the game requires you to use the hides of specific animals to create specific holsters. The obvious reason for this is that it would otherwise be far too easy to just craft all the holsters in the beginning of the game. Since different hides are required, the designers can better control your progress in this area. Furthermore, it means that the player, as Jason, needs to grow in skill, to the point where no animal in the jungle is a threat to them. You earned that 4th holster, because you successfully killed a bull shark to get it.

Besides, most players probably won't even question it, so it's not a huge deal regardless. Even still, things like the distinction between Boar and Pig hides further stretch the credulity, even when you give the gameplay concession that you need different hides to create different holsters.

The whole element of gunfire not ruining the hides of your hunts is also another concession just to make the game more interesting. Otherwise, your arsenal would be limited strictly to the bow and melee weapons when hunting. Unlike other games, the bow is pretty much your only non-firearm ranged weapon. You get no throwing knives, crossbows, traps, or anything of the sort. If firearms couldn't be used to hunt, your entire weapon selection would be worthless.

The other major crafting items you obtain are the special leaves. All of the plants in this game are divided into colored leaves. Green leaves are used for medicinal purposes. Yellow leaves produce drugs that improve your hunting abilities. Red leaves are used to make combat enhancing drugs. Blue leaves are used in drugs that improve exploration. And lastly, White leaves are used in the creation of "Special" drugs. I have never actually seen a recipe that requires the use of white leaves, but I imagine they would have some pretty powerful effects. If anyone has any information in that regard, feel free to comment either here or on the YouTube comments of the video.

With those leaves, you can make some pretty powerful drugs. For example, a few green and blue leaves can be combined to make a drug that lets you breath underwater for a short while. As with the hunting, these drugs are an acceptable break from real world mechanics. In the real world, these drugs would be extremely useful. Such knowledge to create this drug, would be coveted by athletes around the globe. Still, these drugs need to have powerful, noticeable effects or players wouldn't use them.

I do not have a problem with hunting mechanics. I just find it interesting to analyze how designers try to keep in the real world, and what concessions they make for the sake of player enjoyment. It's something to think about.

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