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 Post subject: The spirit of this game
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:30 pm 
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Dinosaur egg
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I never cared much about dinosaurs or Jurrasic Park, though i did enjoy the movies. But this game, is in my top 10, and has been for years. For me, it was some random friend giving me some CD that said "Trespasser" on it, in late 2002. Played it, and never forgot it. I think the reason this game is still looked back at with fondness, is because of something that eludes many games; good immersion. Some multi million dollar games never achieve it, no matter how much crap they cram into them. When youre making a game, you may have something that creates immersion, but then you keep putting stuff in, that distracts from that, and becomes just a shitty sandbox filled with side quests.
Trespasser doesnt have much, so it doesnt have much to distract from the bare-bones world it has created. The feeling of loneliness is what, i think, makes this game a cult classic. Roaming among the derelict buildings, reminiscent of some long lost golden era of genetics, with the ever present feeling that youre here on your own, creates a strong dose of immersion. Hammond`s voice echoes in your head like some ghost from the past, while physics makes everything feel tangible... as long as it doesnt bug out.
Basically, its a one trick pony, but the trick works very well. Finally, this game has inspired me to make my own games, by showing me a game doesnt have to be complex to offer something of value, it just has to properly envelop you with the little that it does have, until you forget the real world, and completely get lost in it.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:28 pm 
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Compsognathus
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The correct terminus here would be "Game-Mechanics before Graphics". AAA most of the time do it the other way 'round and that's what makes them boring, dull and lacking of anything to remember. Another one would be "Graphics doesn't make a good game". Granted Tres did not look bad back then because they needed an engine able to show larger outdoor scenes. But what they actually did has been game mechanics. Granted underused as some fan projects showed later on but in the end the game mechanics came first. That's the true lesson here to learn ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:36 am 
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T-Rex Killer
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Welcome to 'Urassic.

Yeah Tres gives a bit of a vibe like that. As well I am thinking the consistent non-mainstream theme of the art assets throughout the ingame settings.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Albertosaurus
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Quote:
Yeah Tres gives a bit of a vibe like that. As well I am thinking the consistent non-mainstream theme of the art assets throughout the ingame settings.

It would have been fairly mainstream for its time, aside from the overall scale of the environments.

I think part of what makes the game great is that there just isn't anything else like it. Sure, there are plenty of games with larger worlds and better graphics, but do any of them allow you to pick up objects and move them around as part of their puzzle-solving mechanics? Maybe Half-Life, but there really hasn't been anything after that, and Half-Life was inspired by Trespasser anyway. Something else which I really enjoy is the fact that it feels so much like a sandbox without ever being completey unclear as to where you should go - this is especially true in the Town level. There are no contrived "go here, do this" quests, and the fact that never once does the game take control away from you to enter into some excessively long, unavoidable cutscene really makes it feel as if you're the only one moving things forward - not the game, not the story, YOU. Again, nothing else I can really think of like that.

I for one don't care whatsoever for "immersion" in video games, but I have to say any game which makes you feel like you're the only one deciding what happens, how it happens, and when it happens, is one which would definitely entice me more than a game which gives you a series of shooting galleries and tells you to make it from Point A to Point B before some animated guy nobody really cares about gets executed or whatever. That might be part of the reason why I really enjoy sandbox-type games, because I hate being told what to do and how to do it - I want to create my own adventure, not play one laid out for me, and Trespasser manages to accomplish that in is own unique way. You never feel like you're playing a series of levels laid out in a row, you feel like you're really journeying across this massive island, coming up with your own solutions to problems and such. Which is why I feel like some of the mods which we made later outdo the original game, as they eliminated the level structure and just gave us an open world to find our way out of.

As for the whole graphics thing...I have friends who are big-time Ubisoft or EA fans who have loved this game, despite complaining whenever I try to get them to play good games from a similar time period due to the old-timey graphics. Proof that graphics don't make the game, although I definitely appreciate nice visuals, so long as they have complement a solid foundation.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:40 pm 
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Compsognathus
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Todays sandboxing games suck though. They throw a bunch of things at your feet and tell you "do something with it on your own" but the game lacks any goal, has nothing but boring and repetitive quests (kill a random guy, a couple of minutes later another one spawns at the same place... why?!) and the world feels like "just made for you" with no life on its own. Tres made this all different. You haver a clear goal: get off the island alive. What way you achieve this is your own decision but you have an actual strong goal and direction. Enemies also exist once and don't respawn to try to make the game look bigger than it actually is. Which also means Tres had persistence inside the confines of one map. The world does not wait for the player to come, it is already there and he just gets caught up in it. All this makes quite the difference compared to what is labelled "sandboxing" nowadays.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:35 pm 
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You said it best. Gone are the days of using boxes to jump the town gate because you can't figure out where the last keycard is! :P

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:14 pm 
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Compsognathus
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TheIdiot wrote:
You said it best. Gone are the days of using boxes to jump the town gate because you can't figure out where the last keycard is! :P

You might laugh but this had been my first way in too. Actually the entire town map I sort of did in a crazy order. If I remember correctly I entered first the tech guy house (how was he called again?) by placing boxes against the walls. When I jumped over I nearly fell into the empty pool. Later on I figured out that you had been supposed to find a key card to his house somewhere else. I seem to have a knack for finding the reverse-way first I guess :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:30 pm 
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T-Rex Killer
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Well, I'd say the game not only allows you but even encourages you to do that. You know how I entered the security office in the town? I jumped from the helipad to the roof of the building and then through the hole above that office...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:08 pm 
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Albertosaurus
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machf wrote:
Well, I'd say the game not only allows you but even encourages you to do that. You know how I entered the security office in the town? I jumped from the helipad to the roof of the building and then through the hole above that office...

:lol: I seem to recall thinking of doing the same thing, but then realizing if I dropped through the skylight into the locked room, I'd be stuck in there. :P

Part of the fun of playing the game without any previous experience in it, as I did my first time, was trying to figure out if there were different solutions to problems. I really think IT and LAB are the best levels simply because they are the most open, and the ones where you're more likely to work out different ways to solve problems. I recall watching a friend play LAB, and he couldn't figure out how to get up on top of the storage containers, so he shot down the hanging plank and used it as a ramp to get up there. My own experience was different as only a couple of seconds into the level, the red Raptor by the construction trailer bumped into it and knocked it over, and had an "OOOoohhhh!" moment...otherwise I probably would have ended up stacking boxes again once I'd figured out the Atlantic puzzle.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Dilophosaurus
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Best memory of my first Trespasser playthrough was realizing I could actually hop Wu's gate using crates,
and that developers anticipated this move and placed some crates inside the compound to get back out.


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