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rubberducker
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i can understand why it was neccessary on the spectrum and C64. i can understand why it was necessary on my amiga and even my ps 1. but now i have had enough. i no longer understand.

i know things need to load, that is a given. but why do games companies pay so little attention to hiding load screens. it's basic fuckin presentation. and i find it takes me right out of a game.

its like they pay so much attention on defining the next best hi res texture mapped enviroment, that just don't care about hiding how they get it on our screens.

nintendo are the only company out there that realise it is an antiquated and out dated form of presentation that should have been dumped when the ps 1 came along.

all we need is something to keep us amused for the few seconds it takes to load (metroid, zelda, star fox, mario and even red dead revolver do it). it's so fucking simple - that not to include it seems like piss poor design.

maybe it's just me. but i am hoping for much less of this next gen.

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Valve made a very good attempt with Half Life. Since then..nothing. The loading screens in Deus Ex : Invisible War were a joke, and I still think that Crytek missed a trick with Far Cry. Those huge environments are just begging to be seamlessly connected. Loading bits of the next level bit by bit, as locations behind are gobbled up "Langolier style" would be a good way of doing this. The end of the carrier level epitomised my disappointment. I was almost expecting to be able to "drive" that boat to my next destination, rather than the scene fading away, and then..........A BLOODY LOADING SCREEN !!! :blink:

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If it's a military game it should be a screen that has a guy holding a palm top, and on it it says 'updating schematics'. Kick ass!

It does break the immersion somewhat...

'initialising polygons for the game world'

Streaming is the way forward, Jak and Daxter did it amazingly.

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Aye, I agree with Hitcher... what does Ninja Gaiden do? I thought "man, this takes forever to load!!" only it never does it again, once "installed" or whatever. Fantastic!

I only tend to notice it when I'm playing stuff that's not on the 'cube though and I don't think loading times are getting longer (ahh, retro CD goodness) although they ain't getting any shorter either!. Steel Battalion is a nightmare at times 'cos some levels take ages to load up and then it'll give you a white screen for a few 10 seconds or so while the level "initialises" :blink:

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Rallisport 2 does a good thing; the car set up screens are accessible while the level loads, so at least you've got something to do for the 30 seconds or so that it takes. Of course, you don't ever NEED to change the car setup on this game, so it's academic. But it's a good idea nonetheless.... :blink:

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Its a difficult one this. The problem is the amount of memory in machines has increased in line with the speed of transferring data, so we still have the same problem with loading screens as we always have done. Poo.

Streaming is a potential solution, but I know our game still had loading screens (short ones though!) as there was still an initial caching of the data to RAM. Otherwise you start the level in an empty world and watch it gradually appear. Not pretty.

I honestly can't see a way round this, apart from the minigames idea, until we get the ability to stream media into RAM fast enough to be undetectable.

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Midtown Madness 3 was one of my pet hates 'cos the icon that says it's loading is replaced by a similar looking "Press 'A' to continue..." kind of message, one that doesn't look any different on glancing at the screen.... often, we'd sit there for a few minutes before someone would read the screen proper.

RE's doors? Great! They can be skipped in the Gamecube version, no?

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I was delighted to see that REmake at least had shiny new doors instead of the tatty old playstation ones...

Door anims are better than staring at a black screen, I suppose, and at least they kinda keep you in the game..... if it wasn't for them we'd probably have a stock image of a zombie holding a loading sign or some such....

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RE's door animations then:

Good or bad? :blink:

Started off good, but then there was the backlash. Where do we stand at this time?

I didn't mind them to start with, but when you forget to pick up something and have to walk through fifteen of the bastards, it starts to grate. At least the likes of MGS/ FF has the grace to fade to black and back in, and loads at a decent pace.

I'd like to see more things during loading. Evil Zone on the PS had a nice little Episode Guide type thing to distract you. A blue bar is somewhat less exciting.

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Midtown Madness 3 was one of my pet hates 'cos the icon that says it's loading is replaced by a similar looking "Press 'A' to continue..." kind of message, one that doesn't look any different on glancing at the screen.... often, we'd sit there for a few minutes before someone would read the screen proper.

RE's doors? Great! They can be skipped in the Gamecube version, no?

of course, on the other hand you can still live-chat DURING the loading screens :blink:

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I grew to slowly hate the 'Resident Evil' creaking door screens. I know it didn't take particularly long but it just got painfully irritating. I would have preferred it if they just printed a big fat "LOADING" on the screen!

'Deus Ex 2' was horrible! I used to think my Xbox had crashed when the loading bar used to pause for about 30 seconds without moving.

'Jack and the Beanstalk' on the Commodore 64 used to take for-bloody-ever to load! And it wasn't very good either!

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It's amazing how low my tollerance for lengthy loading has become these days. I remember having to wait 30 minutes for Trashman to load on my old C64 back in the (225 on the tape counter :) ).

These days I get really annoyed at anything over a few seconds. In PES3 one of the things that mad me insane with hatred for the game was the lengthy loads between every f*cking menu, almost as bad as the original WRC on the PS2. I fact in this generation the PS2 seems to harbour a few of the worst culprits for this offence. I just wish more would stream and keep it hidden like they did in Jak & Daxter.

One of the main things I'll look for in future hardware is next to nil loading times.

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can any developers shed light on why we need the word "loading..." and not some nice disguise?

in a game like riddick surely the designer could have just made the corridors longer or something to disguise the load...

you might as well have a title saying "remember it's just a game..."

i'm off now to go kill a games designer with a stanley knife. "games made me do it!"

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Don't like loading? You should try Broken Sword 3 on the PS2. This game gives loading times a whole new meaning. The way it handles the rooms makes Resident Evil look sophisticated.

Examples of good loading:

JakII & Primal. Both these games stream their levels constantly off the DVD. They disguise the significant break points with teleports or portals.

You can run for over 15minutes in one direction and never experience a load.

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can any developers shed light on why we need the word "loading..." and not some nice disguise?

in a game like riddick surely the designer could have just made the corridors longer or something to disguise the load...

you might as well have a title saying "remember it's just a game..."

i'm off now to go kill a games designer with a stanley knife. "games made me do it!"

The word loading is needed to stop idiots thinking their ps2/gc/xbox is broken. Its a rule ALL developers have to follow. It also must be animated in some way if over so many seconds long.

It is possible to do stream loading with large corridors, but the game has to be made with this in mind from the start. For example, you have so much ram to play with, most of this is filled with the current level, you also need to delete some of this ram and fill it with the new data as you run along. Not an easy task for a programmer. Then you have disc access times, if the files are in the wrong place you'll get gaps in the game world as it loads in. Burnout is a good example, or if you open your gc disc drive at the right times it wont realise its open and the game will continue playing. but when you come to the next loading bit, there will be no game world there. If a file is huge (like a building) and its not in the right place on the disc it can just pop up mere feet in front of you, where before was a gap to outside the world.

Oh another good example is GTA3, if your disc is scratched or dirty you may find certain files dont load, like fences, but the collision detection is still there.

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