Does the viewpoint of a game effect specific aspects of it?

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Esoko 101 Jan 23, 2013 at 23:08

I am currently doing a study into how different viewpoints effect the way in which games are played and the way they are constructed within these different viewpoints. For research purposes i was wondering what people thought on this subject, does the viewpoint have any effect on the game or is it simply just another angle for a game to be played at. Does the viewpoint of a game have any influence on the visual style of the game such as level aesthetics etc? Does it have any effects on the narrative of the game? Are certain viewpoints specific to certain games and genres and will not work in any other or do they just suit that specific genre better ? Is there any specific games in which the viewpoint could have been done differently to improve the game or is there any specific games in which the viewpoint of the game is perfect for the game that it was intended, and if the viewpoint is perfect is there any advantages that the specific viewpoint gives the game?

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Reedbeta 167 Jan 23, 2013 at 23:42

What do you mean by “viewpoint”? Are you talking about camera placement, like first-person vs third-person and such?

If so, it definitely has an effect on the way the game world is built - for a third-person view there has to be space for the camera and character to move around, so generally things have to be scaled up a bit larger and you cannot have such tight spaces as you can in a first-person game.

Also, first-person games don’t let you see as much, since you have a limited FOV. In a third-person game you can see the space around your character, so it’s a bit like having peripheral vision - for instance you can see attacks coming from the sides or behind that you wouldn’t be able to see in first-person. That definitely affects the feeling/mood of the game; a first-person view may make you feel more vulnerable for instance.

First-person is of course a key part of the FPS genre, while role-playing games and action games usually use third-person cameras because you want to see the character. Some other kinds of games will let you use either one, such as driving/flying games - some people want the driver’s seat / cockpit view, while others want to see their vehicle from outside. I’ve also played some games where it would use a first-person view for guns, but you also had a sword / melee weapon, and for that it would switch to a third-person view.

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fireside 141 Jan 24, 2013 at 04:39

Yes, I think the further away the camera, the more strategy oriented the game play. First person tends to have the least amount of strategy because there is less to see, so it’s more about quick reflexes and reacting to the environment. Shooters, some types of sports games, and games of exploration work best in first person. Third person view can take in a small group of people, so usually used for rpg’s. Pure strategy tends to use a higher overhead view. The larger the group of people, the more strategy involved because of different skills, etc. A first person view connects us the most to the character since we are literally looking through his/her eyes, but it also takes away personality. We don’t see the character as someone unique, they are mere extensions of ourselves, so the story tends to feel tagged on unless the player is able to steer the outcome. A closer third person view works best to introduce story, strategy again takes away story because the characters are too far away and tend to be viewed as small cogs in a bigger wheel.

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tyree 102 Jan 24, 2013 at 05:04

what hasnt been mentioned but is the hardest view. is the fixed view, which first person could be considered fixed view. but in games where the designer gives you a predetermined view the you cant rotate. those are the hardest games to make.

if the designer doesnt give the player a good angle, it doesnt work at all. god of war did an alright job of it. it didnt work for me in devil may cry. but a preset view that cant be rotated is the hardest one to get right by far