Graeme's video response to the claim that "exploring is still exciting with highlighting":
The year is 2011. It is a time of great art direction, and promising multi-path gameplay...
"The takedowns, somewhat to my surprise I'll admit, are looking very polished and, for lack of a better word, fun. The gunplay looks intense, the multi-path gameplay look promising. I think we're just starting to see how much focus EM has placed on making sure the multi-path gameplay is balanced with the new and improved augmentation system."
It is also a time of anger...
"Whenever I walk into my room I get assaulted by a sea of orange... <shudder>"
Is this a joke, or do the devs believe that only 8 year olds and the mentally challenged are going to be playing DX:HR?...It's so dumbed-down, that it insults one at every turn...Talk about an immersion breaker"
"It's just not right! I can live with other design choices EM made, but this is something that just HAS to go!"
"Listen to the very vocal complaints. It is horrible! Absolutely friggan horrible!!!"
"Very disappointing. This was my one gripe with the game."
"I heard the stuff-member speak about how "immersive and real" they want to create the look and feeling of the game. Than I saw the yellow-glowing ladder. And than I cried."
"My god, the orange highlighting. I just watched the 8 minute video and was like "please turn this off"."
"So far, I haven't particularly disliked any of the decisions made by EM - but this one has me worried." - A Moderator
I don't even know if there is another side to this argument...
"Man.. 25 forum pages of highlight rebuttal cannot be wrong.."
"I don't think there is a single other complaint about the game that is as unanimous as highlighting.........seriously, pretty much everyone doesn't like it in its current state"
'Breaking News...other forums are having identical discussions...'
"For all you Deus Ex-ers, over on the Thief 4 side of things, we support the idea that 'highlighting' is terrible...We've even devoted a thread for the sake of arguing why it shouldn't be in either game:
"Take a look here, more disappointed people http://futuremark.yougamers.com/foru...d.php?t=144164"
"Also, a similar situation happening here: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/sa...deus-ex/711971"
"Worth mentioning that this same phenomenon is taking place at Gamespot, Youtube, IGN, literally everywhere this footage exists."
"I'm not from this newsgroups, but all the newsgroups where I see topics about this game say the same : This highlighting is just disgusting. "
'Gamers are signing up to DX:HR's official forums - just to argue against the controversial design choice of highlighting...'
"Signed up just to support the thread"
"I've just registered to say Please, NO!"
"I'm coming here, first posting, to express how utterly disappointed I am if this--what I have just read--is true. That being that this highlighted feature will have no means to be turned off."
"This is my first and last post on this forum. REMOVE HIGHLIGHTING."
"I've seen quite a few people who RARELY post on these forums as well as new members voicing their dissent."
"People who have never played a Deus Ex game are making new accounts to talk about how ty this looks."
"Ok, I just subscribe when seeing this gameplay video, just for saying, please add an option in order to delete this highlighting !"
'These people, Eidos, they're cancelling their pre-orders...'
"this awful, awful highlighting system that can't be turned off are starting to make me doubt my pre-order"
"This could actually affect my purchasing decision. I was planning to pre-order for the xbox"
"Wanting to pre-order this, but the highlighting is hurting pretty bad."
"But this highlight thing, is just too much. It's the final straw.
I've pre order the augmented edition. I'll cancel it, if nothing is done to prevent this... "thing"."
"I've preorder the game already, but now, if I learned that this option is just not added, I will simply cancel it. "
"When people start registering and threatening to cancel their pre-orders over such a modest issue, you really should meet their demands, especially when it can be addressed so simply."
'...always arguing that this feature ruins immersion.'
"People trying to sweep this under the carpet will fail. We support EM, we support DXHR, we do not support our optical nerves being fried by no choice but to be shown what's interactive, before you explore and discover that for yourself. "
"while I support EM and the development of HR, they claim they want an immersive game but things like this steal that immersion and creates the bland "I'm in a video game world" feeling."
"I would really like it to be in first person all the time, and that regenerated health is out of the way, but I accept that it's a choice of the designers, and I can live with that. But that highlighting...is just too much. Those things are ruining the immersion, and a challenge.. the trademarks of Deus Ex game "
"It is an immersion breaker and that can kill the whole experience."
"It's absolutly immersion killing, and that's the first thing that popped to my eyes. It's awful and there is way too many hightlight."
"Having a USE ME sign on an item reminds me that I'm playing a game."
"I don't think I will be able to play DX3 if objectives are highlighted from a distance because it will completely ruin the immersion."
'I need you to tell them that highlighting in DX1 was not like this. They cannot use that argument. They cannot implement this feature.'
"In Deus Ex, the highlighting of objects was done to tell you when you could interact with an object. Meaning that when it's highlighted, all you have to do is click it and you will interact with it."
"In the original (and even in IW) you had to discover the object and have it right in your face before anything came up letting you know that you could interact with."
"Bottom line: every intractable object in the DX environment was highlighted when you looked at it. The only difference between that and HR seems to be the distance that works from."
" This does not eliminate "choice" but it eliminates "freedom" - or at least the sense of freedom the player has in their mind. It also in turn does its part to eradicate great potential moments where the player used their noggin, took an intelligent look around the room, noticed a grate/cupboard/item/keypad/etc that may or may not be useable, then pursued it, to success."
"In most cases, having gotten close enough to the object in the first place, it probably means it was your intention to use it, and the outlining just makes it clear that it is in fact a useable
"DX1 highlighted objects to tell you that you've currently moved close enough to an object to be able to use it "
"Another big issue is that DX1 only highlighted one thing at a time. In the DX:HR demo I can see multiple instances of at least four crates, turrets, or doors all highlighted at once"
'I always wanted a choice of what happened to highlighting...'
"Honestly, I'd be happy just having the crosshairs change color or shape when rolled over an interactive object at close range (say, under 3 feet)."
"I would love the option...Eidos-Montreal can surely, easily and cheaply satisfy everyone by implementing a slider in the options that selects between:
1. Default highlighting as is.
2. 'Classic Deus Ex' highlighting, one-object within usable range. "
"JUST GIVE ZE DAMN OPTIONS to us "
" I have been lurking for a while, but I couldn't take it anymore...please EM, the highlighting should be toggleable."
"well it's almost 100% clear that they have to make highlighting optional or need to change the way it works"
"Please turn it off or make it optional."
"This game is about options, so please give us the option of turning it off."
"An option to turn off the highlighting, for experienced players, seems pretty reasonable."
"highlighting = don't like it and don't want to use it. It should be optional for experienced players."
"GIVE THE PLAYER THE *** CHOICE THAT IS ALL"
"Ok, I just registered to voice my opinion against highlighting! It's just not right! I can live with other design choices EM made, but this is something that just HAS to go! An on/off toggle would be perfect.."
"I really do hope that in the end it is a part of a difficultysetting or a toggle in the options."
"Highlighting needs an OFF option"
"Make it optional. This is a game-breaking feature for a lot of people."
"I think highlighting should be limited to things you are looking at which are within reach."
"Okay, so add on top of that another, optional, condition that only that object which the player can currently interact with is highlighted. This special category of object already exists in the game. The code which highlights the world objects should check which object the player can currently interact with and apply the highlighting shader(s) to that. End of story.
"He is right though, with the pop-up available you really don't need highlighting. (Though this isn't news, that's why there's 20 threads begging for it to be removed)"
"Why not just give the highlighting its own options slider? On the max end, XX number of objects would highlight at a given time. On the min end, no objects would highlight. Also, a distance slider would be nice: on the max end, objects highlight from XX feet away, on the min end, they illuminate X feet away. See how easy that is? How easily implemented that would be?"
"Eidos MT, you really need to set an option to turn that off in-game, this is the worst hand-holding of a player I've seen yet.
"Make highlighting an option and make sure consoles have it too."
"So pretty much the solution is to give players the option to turn that aug off? That seems pretty simple."
"Easy solution is to tweak it in DX difficulty to have a narrower field of activation, constrained by a shorter range." - Another Moderator
"Yes....PLEASE .WE NEED THIS OPTION"
"I'm really hoping that the "Deus Ex" difficulty option disables this."
"This needs to be optional by a toggle function. "
"Up front, as I said before, I totally agree this should be able to be turned on or off."
"Give us the option to disable the highlighting, or make it off automatically in the Deus Ex difficulty!"
"Still not convinced. It would be very nice to have the option to turn it off, or tone it down.. "
"THIS is very bad. It really NEEDS to be made as an option, or a CFG variable."
"Well i will throw my hat into the ring as well and agree to a toggle highlight option in the menu."
"Indeed but if I had the option to toggle it on/off, I'd be ok with it. "
"I can't stand all the highlighting (ladders? really?!) and hope that someone at EM takes the time to check the forums. With all the people speaking out against it, making it optional only makes sense."
"I think the glow should be a toggle (on/off) on every difficulty setting."
"There. Everyone is satisfied; the players most vocal about this, the players who like this system, people do not cancel their pre-orders, Eidos-Montreal gets more sales and it receives a reputation of accommodating player concerns. If people somehow struggle to find objects, then they'll turn it back on, if they manage fine without it and desire less assistance, they'll turn it off. "
"Totally agreed. it just looks ugly, and that's as much of as an issue as the handholding aspect for me. The game world looks (artistically if not technologically) beautiful, so it seems a shame to spoil it with thick, opaque, glowing outlines. I'd like the option to get rid of it for the sake of not spoiling JJB's hard work as much as anything else."
"Honestly, if I have to play the full game with orange highlights everywhere, i'll quickly get annoyed. Not only that, it completely kills the art and aesthetics."
'How do you feel Eidos? The game can still have highlighting...but only one object should be highlighted at a time.'
"It makes much more sense to have 1 object highlight itself when you are in range to use it and when you can interact with it. Running through a level and having boxes, grenades, and guns, highlighting up as you run past them is just ridiculous."
"No orange-hunting. Highlight things only once we are right in front of them and are pointing at them."
"Even if highlighting was simply limited to the object you happen to be current staring at, it would be an improvement."
"If the game simply highlighted objects you are pointing at, one at a time, and only these that you are about to interact with, it wouldn't be so bad. It would, indeed, be helpful."
Gaming companies have the power to hold our hands...
"Eidos, I assure you: my attention span exceeds that of a vole. I won't be needing the game to continuously hold my hand."
"It ruins the visual integrity of the game and people are not retarded to begin with as to need such excessive hand holding."
"I have to agree with all the fuss about highlighting. I really looks too much like handholding to
see every interactable item highlighted from doors to ladders to boxes."
"Glow for the tutorial, ok, glow throughout the game? I don't understand how that got this far."
'You'll never read all the posts on this topic...' (so here's a summary)
"TL;DR Page summary for EM:
Community doesn't like highlighting.
But we'll never stop posting...
"why did they feel the need to make the orange outline soo damn thick and glowy when the
objects close. If they'd kept it to a far more subtle thin outline I doubt there would be quite as many complaints.
"I think this is the part that grates with most of us, why did they feel the need to make the orange outline soo damn thick and glowy when the objects close. If they'd kept it to a far more subtle thin outline I doubt there would be quite as many complaints."
"That at least would make it feel like a helpful addition to the cyberpunk-setting and it wouldn't ruin immersion as much by inversly highlighting everything in the gameworld that is not interactive."
"Obviously I haven't played the game, but I'll be pretty shocked if reviews dont mention this as something quite annoying; it is pretty intrusive"
"Yeah, the highlighting has been bugging me since the first footage was released."
"I find it really strange that the devs thought anyone would like this."
"I don't know why the devs want to assualt gamers with ugly bright highlighting crap"
"Please listen to the community on this, it is a very little thing to fix."
It's not the end of the world...but it could be the end of Deus Ex.
To the developers - we're not pretending that we could do a better job than you guys. I think the way you've approached the art direction, the multi-path gameplay, balancing the multi-path gameplay with an awesome augmentation system, all looks very promising. You also have a very promising opportunity here, not just for your game, but for your company as whole. You have a legion of fans who, if you show them that you are willing to listen to them, will stick with you through thick and thin. There are lots of people here that express their opinions in immature ways, but there are a lot of us that are mature, responsible, and feel as though we deserve to be heard and acknowledged. I know that it is easy for you to turn your back and say, "They're just a bunch of immature, losers. We have reached out to them and they don't reciprocate any respect." I think that, instead of criticizing us, you need to look at yourselves and say, "Why do these people feel disrespected and unacknowledged?"
To the forum members. Let's show EM that we can be respectful and responsible in this discussion, but let's also not hesitate to let our voices be heard. Vote in the poll and lets show EM what we think is the best course of action on this highlighting issue.
My vote: Limit highlighting to one object when in usable range.
Graeme's video response to the claim that "exploring is still exciting with highlighting":
This is to be a mature request, made by a mature and honest member of the Deus Ex community who has been supportive of many of the team's decisions (third person, cover system, takedowns) throughout this game's development. Furthermore, I would say that my confidence in such decisions comes as a result of a massive amount of evidence that suggest that this team has what it takes to deliver on such a big title. I trust you guys and gals to to DX proud, I really do, but based on the most recent gameplay trailer there is something that is just simply incompatible with Deus Ex: highlighting which way to go.
For those reading who don't know exactly what I mean: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...iled-interview (about 23 seconds in)
As I understand from the interview, this is part of the retinal prosthesis augmentation that you get early in the game. I hope this means it can be shut off...but here's what I think: I think that this is not an aug at all...rather, it's just a mechanic in the game that they are calling an aug so that jives with this whole 'augmentation' thing they have going on. Similar to the retinal aug in IW which was the inventory system basically. What does this mean for us? It means that either it's not going to be something that can be shut off...or, if it can be shut off at all so that we aren't being told which way we can go, it means we'll be missing out on other important features it provides that should be in the game independent of this hand-holding feature.
Now I can hear the developers at EM already: "It's not TELLING you which way to go, it is merely pointing the possible ways to go!" And that is EXACTLY the problem.
Cast your minds back, if you would, to the original game...and think of any mission. Just consider how utterly un-immersive it would become if you had some obnoxious glowing border around all the possible vents you could open, or things you jump up on. The fun of DX was found in a whole number of things, one of which was of course doing things your own way. "We have that in our game!" comes the eager cries from EM. Yes, you do. You've been beating it to death. But what you don't have is allowing the player to DISCOVER in which ways they can do things which was just as much part of the fun in DX. Consider the following examples, and ask yourself if they would be better or worse if this 'highlight objects' mechanism had been in place:
-Discovering the secret floor under Jacobsen's office. Better or worse?
-The back way up onto the statue
-Any number of secret areas: airfield room, Chow's apartment, NSF mole people room
-The sewers at the airfield. Firstly, when you have to get around the lasers and secondly, when you can take the pipes all the way to the airfield docks (via the helicopter bay).
-Bunker hideout in the catacombs. All the water tunnels in the catacombs that you can use to sneak around.
-Using the vents to get into A51
-Vents under MJ12 lab
-Vents around Versalife labs
-NY cemetery tunnels
I'm sure you can think of your own favourite examples.
I feel dreadfully afraid that when I'm playing this game I'm going to be able to see, "Ah, well here is where EM put in the stealth approach, here is the guns blazing approach and here is the social approach". I don't want to see that, and I don't think anyone else does either. I don't want to be presented, on a silver platter (with gold highlighting around my options), my choice of stealth, combat, or social. That's not immersion, that's not interesting - it's boring. Let us discover these paths for ourselves.
Re: Highlighting. David Anfossi further responds on Twitter:
Vote on how you want highlighting in Deus Ex: HR Destructoid http://t.co/hs7xFMm #DXHR
about 3 hours ago via Tweet Button Retweeted by 7 peopleTwitter: Jeffachoo
Q: In DX:HR, will there be an option to disable the orange "glow" around interactive objects?
A: No, it is actually part of Jensen's vision. Trust me, it's not intrusive at all; you'll have to play it. Don't trust video.
This is a French article using an online translator, so apologies in advance for any errors.
Response to highlighting discussion (David Anfossi):
25 Mars 2011
Did you think they were sunglasses? (debate on augmented reality)
We think it's necessary to open a debate, so here it is: let's talk of the luminous glow!
Because all it is, the glow, is "augmented reality". If you permit, here is a little summary of what AR is. Augmented reality indicates informatic systems that make it possible to combine 2D or 3D virtual images with our natural perception in real time (source:wiki).
AR is already a part of our everyday lives, with more than a dozen apps on the iPhone etc...imagine the possibilities in 2027! We couldn't leave it out. A little scoop only for you. Because of certain problems during development, we couldn't fully exploit the potential of AR, but it's a concept we would like to develop if we had to do another Deus Ex.
This subject emerged after the posting of an eight minute detailed walkthough showing multiple paths and multiple solutions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IAjLQj_xQY
Here is a little summary of the reactions:
- I'm not dumb to the point that i need a glow on objects i have to use
- the luminous glow on objects completely breaks the immersion!
- i don't need a glow telling me that i can open a door...
You can say that we're repeating ourselves, but this factor is very important for us, the debate comes from people who have never played the game. Fundamental point, because in the comments I've read things like this: it breaks immersion, it makes the game too easy. That's incredible, isn't it?
Well going forward with the reasoning, all the journalists and the players (players like you and not members of the studio, if I can say so) who have played the game, praise the immersion and the fact that the game isn't easy at all, instead it's a challenge.
Come on,i'll give you another information (you are spoiled): during the development, we communicated a lot with the publisher in order to make sure that our approach in design and balancing of the game was well understood. Deus Ex HR is a game that requires to think before you act, a game that challenges you but leaves you an opportunity to continue and understand what you did wrong. It was important for us, the creators, that this approach was respected and i am very satified of the support we received from Square-Enix. In the end, the game totally respects our intentions, without any compromise.
My conclusion will look a little direct, but it's completely impossible to judge the immersion and difficulty level without having played. IMPOSSIBLE
I encourage you to read this article of our friend RaHaN, article that contains this passage: "Because Deus Ex doesn't seem to be an easy game like the majority of modern productions. We have to be attentive, take advantage of the environment and the limited resources, to hope to get through without problems."
We love to be challenged by the players (even if sometimes it's a little violent...) and this is not a defensive post but more a way to share with you our opinion as creators of the game. In conclusion, you really need to understand that we spent four years of our lives to create this unique experience and i guarantee you that Deus Ex HR is completely immersive and a challenge for the player.
We have total confidence in our design choices and this debate has given us the desire to create a demo to prove our points. Starting next week, we'll work with marketing and we'll do our best to release a demo. Attention, I'm not promising anything, but we'll try!
The debate is open and this time, I've invited JF, my director for the game, to join us. We'll have fun.
Jean-François Dugas - DIRECTEUR DE JEU Jean-Francois Dugas - DIRECTOR OF PLAY
David Anfossi – PRODUCTEUR David Anfossi - PRODUCER
Vuzi: I gotta say we disagree that we do not take into account the opinion of the players. We opened a forum at the beginning of the concept for the game and we have made several focus tests and 12 players playtested with targets, and target players are not casual players but fans of Deus Ex, shooter, RPG and story driven.
The most amazing thing in this debate is that none of these players (hardcore as they are called) did not mention any problem with augmented reality. None. So you understand my surprise.
People who have ACTUALLY PLAYED the game, ie the playtesters/reporters don't appear to have any problems with the highlighting. Not all the playtesters have been represented because they may still be subject to the NDA (?).
However, here are a few comments from playtesters (and normal gamers) via a quick browse just now on ve3d.ign, destructoid and neogaf.com sites (some are members here too):
Warren Spector"I’ve had a chance to look at the game, and I have to say they’ve really done a good job from what I’ve seen.”
DaedaYou can all trust me from playing the game: you will still miss stuff despite the highlighting.. heck I missed an entire room full of hostages in the hands on demo.
KokoroPersonally I do not understand why the yellow halo triggered such reactions. It made me think of a view of a "robot" somehow, as if the character had some sort of scanner in the eyes (which must be the case with his implants) that analyzed the environment. It is futuristic and enhances the immersion, so, at least for once, the indications and the onscreen interface is justified. Finally it's how I saw it myself.
DaBuddaDaHighlighting is not an issue, nor does it make the alternative paths clear from the start, love- Someone who's actually played the hands on demo
It highlights what you are able to interact with. It doesn't tell you to do anything. 99% of the things you can interact with won't have any bearing on the direction you decide to take in a mission.
TemplaerDudeI can't wait till this game comes out and proves every twit in this thread screaming bull completely wrong. Go go Eidos.
CaLeYou seriously lost all credibility here. I'd love to see you make a better game. People are so uptight nowadays.
To all of those that are complaining about the highlights, have you also complained about the Visor in Crysis 2 that allows you to see how to handle each combat situation as well as highlight enemies? Why has no one complained about that with that other game? Probably because it's not a big deal.
3ofDiamondsI agree, there's way too much hubbub surrounding something as insignificant (to me, at least) as highlighting. If Eidos is willing to listen, shouldn't they be asking for something...bigger?
ShintaI can't believe anyone actually cares about the highlighting that much. An ON/OFF option seems best if it's really that big a deal for people. But honestly, the guy has cybernetic implants all over, probably including his eyes. It makes sense that they could have highlighting around certain objects.
Sickboy007This holier than thou attitude on a gaming forum is really laughable.
Teh Glow is SRS BIZNS
IlostmycookieI don't really care either way m'self. I just want that game in my hands right now!
tea_and_crumpetsLooks good to me. The people *ing about the HUD and highlighting are embarrassing.
Sir LegendheadHaha, no, seriously. From an aesthetic viewpoint I kind of like the highlighting, and it makes sense from a functional standpoint as well. The guy has little video screens that unfold in front of his eyes. Might as well put them to good use, right?
BrahsefIf I let 3rd person cover and highlighting of useable objects turn me off to games, I should just quit gaming.
Graphics weren't the best, but they aren't the worst. Pretty much all graphics are good enough for me now. Being a graphics whore is so 2000.
Regenerative health actually makes sense in this game due to augmentations. I mean, who didn't take that ability in the original anyway?
I just don't understand how people are writing this game off because of this, when the original game had awful stealth components, awful graphics, and awful voice acting. And towards the end of the game the freedom became quite restricted compared to the beginning. The best story ever in a video game of course made up for all of this. It also may have had the best first half of a game ever.
We really need to call forth all those playtesters who are willing to share their honest experiences (if any NDA that they've signed has now expired). We've found some on neogaf... but there are more to be found elsewhere. Its' probably easier for them to find us. Spread the word, people!
A note regarding any confusion about the playtesters:
Originally Posted by K^2 View Post
As far as playtesters go, highlighting makes their job easier. You know, thing they get payed money for? If they can immediately spot active objects, they can do all the bug-testing routines faster. Them not complaining about it is absolutely non indicator.
"My name is Alexandre and I’m the Playtest and Research Manager at Eidos-Montreal.
A playtest is a very serious research based on specific market research methodologies. Thus even our playtesters recruitment needs to be extremely rigorous.
Indeed, depending on the objectives of the playtest, we can recruit different kind of players profile in order to understand how different types of players react while playing the game.
Here for Deus Ex:Human Revolution, we already playtested the game several times (and we’ll be playtesting the game more and more in the next weeks!), and met different kinds of players according to our objectives.
So...yes. To be honest, we don’t only recruit major hardcore players, or only Deus Ex fans. However, I can assure you that we always have at least one player out of three that played some of the previous Deus Ex games. Some of them are huge fans of the series and are actually giving some very constructive feedback about the game in order to make sure we please Deus Ex fans also.
Besides, we would not recruit people who only play games like Call of Duty or Halo, because of course our game is not meant to be a pure run and gun experience. We always make sure we recruit people regarding the genres they play and the games they’ve been playing in the last year. Of course, we’re more looking for people who have an interest in RPG and stealth gameplay and also not reluctant to play in 1st person.
Regarding the type of player, we don’t only recruit major hardcore players (but we still get some!), but we never recruit casual gamers as those people are just usually not the audience. A game that is not intuitive can become frustrating which spoils the experience, and we want this new Deus Ex to remain accessible and enjoyable also to newcomers (as much as it is for you)."