Tag Archives: First Person Shooter

Doom Behind You

Dabs Technical Glossary: The Gaming Edition

It’s easy to enjoy the gaming experience without understanding all the terms and definitions used.  But once you do understand the most common terms, it opens you up to an even greater appreciation of some the games that you have enjoyed.  And you’ll be better equipped to speak to others about the games you enjoy playing.  We’ve put together a short guide, on some of the most common terms, which I think will at the very least be helpful for a few.  Let’s get straight into it:

The Mirror Edge protagontist in a model view
The Mirror Edge protagonist in a model view

Models:  Models are the digital shapes of everything you see on screen in a game.  Depending on the game and it’s level of detail, models can be very complex and highly detailed, but they don’t usually include any colour schemes or detailing.  When a model is finalised, the textures are added to it as well as colour.  Textures are designed to give colour to everything you see within the game afterwards.

HUD:  HUD stands for Heads Up Display.  The Heads Up Display is anything that you can see on the screen while you are playing the game.  For example this could be information that is in the game such as health, the weapon of choice, ammunition, and a map.  Because there is so many different genres of games and so many innovations in each genre, every HUD is unique.  Good HUDs that are created by developers can really make all the difference to the accessibility and overall quality of the game.

: Gameplay is a general term that refers to anything you can do in a game. Gameplay features can include shooting, jumping, buying and selling in-game items, and interacting with Non-Player Controlled (NPC) characters.  A game with a high number of available gameplay features gives the majority of gamers a unique experience.  When executed well, this is can make for a more interactive and fun game to play.

Doom's First Person Shooter perspective (FPS)
Doom's First Person Shooter perspective (FPS)

FPS (First Person Shooter)First Person Shooters are an extremely popular genre of videogames.  In this genre, you see through the eyes of your character, typically with a weapon in hand.  In a number of FPS games, your character has no dialogue at all.  This is done so that any reaction your character may have is imagined by you.  This tactic is most often used to immerse the player further into the story, allowing you project as much of your own creation onto the character as your imagination allows.   A few of the most popular FPS titles include Call of Duty, Halo and Doom.

RPG (Role-Playing Game)
: In Role-Playing Games, you control one or more characters, and every attribute about them.  This means that while you play the game, your character(s) may get stronger, faster, gain intelligence, or improve in a number of other skills.  Most RPG’s are based in fantasy worlds and can take cues from popular mythology.  This genre specialises in creating very large and interactive environments for the player to explore and to utilise a very wide range of items and weapons.  Games of this genre typically take a long time to complete and have good replay value.

That a briefly look at some of the terms you may come across, this I would say is level one.  Of course there is so much more we can go through and I expect this will make up a future blog post.

Please let me know what you think and if there are any other areas or terms you would like covered.  If this is the first level, what term do you suggest should make up level 2 of this gaming terms guide?


Weekly gaming tips. #1: Take it offline

I’ve been a gamer for well over 17 years now, so I’d like to think that the difference in my gaming skills between now and my 10 year old self playing Space Invaders is pretty substantial.  Whilst the majority of my gaming at the moment is casual, I’ve been through phases of wanting to be good, or at least, wanting to stop being beaten by everyone.  Because of this, I’ve always looked for an edge in the games I play, not because I was so good that edges were the only way to improve, but because I couldn’t ever bring myself to concentrate on one game long enough to become an expert.  For example, whilst my friends were clocking up the hours on Counter Strike, I was elsewhere playing other games.  Yet when I finally got involved, I had a lot of catching up to do.  It’s because of this that I’ve always tried to find quick fixes, little tips and tricks or even shortcuts to become better at games without having to spend hours practicing.  After 17 years, I got pretty good at it.

So it’s because of this that I’ve thought about running a weekly series of gaming tips to pass on a few of these shortcuts or pieces of advice to you guys. Obviously though, I’m just one gamer, so if you have your own bits of advice that you’d like to pass on then leave a comment and I’ll write it up. This week I’m looking at how you can improve your FPS tactics and movement in one easy step. By taking it offline

Dabs.com Weekly gaming tips. #1: Take it offlinePaintball in the forest. Wargames are a great way to build skills in online gaming, such as call of duty or counterstrike

Sometimes it can be easy to get too caught up in gaming and simply forget that it’s generally supposed to be a simulation of real life. First person shooters, sports games, adventure games, flying, and driving games are all areas that mimic what we would do in certain situations in the real world, so knowledge and experience in these real situations can transcend into your gaming, very often with a positive effect. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the game and fail to include experiences and tactics from real world situations, so perhaps it’s time to try a few new ideas and see what we can do in the real world to improve online.

With most first person shooters, there are so many tactics and techniques taken from real world combat situations that we can use in our gaming. Simply reading books written on the subject is a great way to improve your gaming, as is watching films and just generally immersing yourself in the most useful / informative situations. It’s amazing how many things you’ll pick up: Never going into a firefight without reloading first, never stop in a doorway, understanding cover and silhouettes (don’t stand on top of a building against the skyline..), understanding the benefits of high ground, staying with your squad, how essential clear communication is. The list is endless, yet they are all pieces of information that are spelt out by simply watching the right programmes or reading the right books.

However, the best way to really learn these lessons is by doing it in real life.  No, I don’t suggest you head out to a warzone (I hear respawns don’t work, for starters..), but there is obviously a much easier and safer way to try different thigns and see what works. Paintball (or Airsoft).

Now, I’ve been playing paintball for quite a few years and I’ve always found it’s a great way to improve my online gaming.  Whilst you don’t improve your accuracy with the mouse, you see huge benefits in the speed it takes you to understand a tactical situation, to estimate where your opponent will be coming from, in communications, team work, tactical movement and general self awareness in the game (for example, are you visible, can you be flanked, where’s the cover) and quite a few other areas that simply playing an FPS would miss out on. I know it sounds a bit obvious, but it really does help, so next time you have a free weekend, head out and play some paintball.  It makes a huge difference.




The greatest weapon never made

We all love our first person shooters, and will agree that it’s the progression of weapons that very often keeps us playing through to the next weapon.  Let’s have a think about it for a second.  The first FPS I ever played was Wolfenstein, which had the simple progression of weapons of pistol, automatic rifle, chain gun.  What kept me playing through the early levels was knowing that, eventually, I’d find the six barrelled might of the chain gun and be let loose on all manner of Nazi zombies.  Brilliant.

Next up was Doom 1, which had a very similar progression to Wolfenstein, but it was Doom 2 that really got me hooked.  Now I had the chance to get my sticky fingers on plasma guns, rocket launchers, shotguns, chain guns and the notorious but beautiful BFG.  This weapons progression had me hooked, and dragged me through each terrifying level (ok, I was only ten…) just to get the next weapon.

Nowadays we are spoilt for choice, with all manner of sniper rifles, launchers, remote mines, wire guided missiles, sentry guns and grenade launchers to aspire to.  Add to this the Apaches, airstrikes, tactical nukes and packs of angry attack dogs and you have a weapons progression to shed a tear for.

However, where do we go from here?  Until Call of Duty launches their year 3000 instalment with nanobot swarms, microwave grenades, solar flare focussing lenses, android attack dogs, and space monkeys, we’re going to be stuck with modern weapons.  Where do developers take weapon progressions?  Will we have anything to aspire to in future first person shooters?

This got me thinking about what we can do with what we already have.  What if we were to combine a few great weapons to make the ultimate gun.  Every weapon has supposedly been developed with a weakness.  The Plasma rifle from Doom 2 is notorious for churning through ammo.  Wire guided missiles leave the user exposed whilst they take control.  Sniper rifles are useless when enemies close with you.  Therefore, if you could take two weapons from any FPS and combine them, what would you select?

Here are a few to get you started:

1940s: M1 Garand from Call of Duty (7 round clip that is slow to reload) combined with the Thompson submachine gun.  You’d get the stopping power of the M1 with the large clip size and high rate of fire of the Tommy.

Modern warfare: Long range sniper rifle slung with an under barrel shotgun.  Hit them hard from a distance yet still have the fire power to knock them back if they find where you’re hiding

Fantasy / future:  Perfect Dark’s Farsight rifle (allows you to see through walls) coupled with the incredibly high fire rate (and visual impact) of Doom 2’s plasma gun.  Just watch your ammo levels…

So, jump over to Facebook and let me know your ideal FPS weapon.