July 12, 2006
Unexpected Complexity of Simple Games

This [via robot wisdom] is what I enjoy so much in SOCOM 3:

A good FPS player is more than just a good shot or someone incredibly agile with a mouse, it’s about predictive behavoirs. Will the countering team have a sniper rifle? Will they come down path a or b? in groups? etc. A good player is able to position themself by surprise and take advantage of the level instead of the other player’s ping time or lack of a huge screen and gyroscopic mouse etc.


It’s being able to build a model of user behavior and know who will run with the group and who’s going to be slinking around the unprotected corner.

When I was playing the game a lot and was at the height of my abilities, it seemed to be more like rock-paper-scissors or chess than a twitchy shooter. I would think “I ambushed three guys in the mountain pass last round, and they seem like decent players but not great, which means next round they'll probably go to the hilltop to get a better view of the pass, so I'll hide behind the wall and snipe them as they climb the hill.” And that's a simplified version of what I was doing.

If I was really in the zone it could feel like the time when I was a kid and I was able to beat my sister ten rounds in a row at rock-paper-scissors, just by getting into her head and figuring out what she was thinking I would do next.

Posted by jjwiseman at July 12, 2006 03:27 PM

It's not that complicated if you can't even get online in the first place. :(

Let me know when you get a copy of Halflife 2.

Posted by: Chris B. on July 13, 2006 06:41 AM

So you continue to torture naive adolescents with your mind games?

Posted by: Jennie on July 13, 2006 01:30 PM

Indeed he does. I wet my pants.

Posted by: Naive Adolescent on July 15, 2006 09:57 AM
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