Game Mechanics - an Intelligent discussion amongst developers

In a previous thread I got into a discussion with another UE4 developer about inventory mechanics. I enjoyed the discussion but it was simply in the wrong area to have it in. So as I thought about it and he suggested, I decided that I would make a thread about Game Mechanics, how to use them, what good ones are, what bad ones are and what we think of the games that use them.

So with that being said let me start this discussion.

I have chosen the topic of lean mechanics to start with.

Begin: Lean mechanics are one of those things that I feel can either make or break a game for me. For example I rather enjoy payday 2, but I find its lack of lean extremely frustrating for the type of game that it is. You wouldn’t put lean into a game like Unreal Tournament, or Doom. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the gameplay, simply due to the fact the core mechanic for the game is movement. In a game like Payday 2, you spend more time defending an area from the enemy AI which flood in like pigs to a food trough. In order to actively combat this enemy you have to step out from the corner of what ever area you are to even take shots exposing your character to the blunt force of enemy fire.

Moving forward I must state that I do not feel that all first person or 3rd person games need lean. Its nothing something you can shoehorn into a design because it can and will completely change the dynamics of game flow. If I recall Modern Warfare 1 actually had lean built into it but was removed in later iterations which makes perfect sense to me. The games core mechanics again focus more of movement and twitch based reflexes then tactical positioning for firefights. On a flip side to that coin Battlefield has actually incorporated a form of lean and peak into its gameplay mechanics which I welcome entirely, but feel that the actual implementation is a little wonky at times.

What are your thoughts?

As old school R6 player, I prefer lean, it’s makes things more tactical and tense. At the same time it creates slower gameplay and steep learning curve, which most players won’t find applying. I think they’ll be more acceptable to in SP/Coop cause it adds to the experience. But it’s not easy to implement on controllers, that’s where I think the auto lean works best. FarCry3 had nice auto lean, similar to BF but it had cover leaning when crouched and blind fire without exposing yourself, though it was disabled in MP.

You could always make it third person*. This means the camera will give you the equivalent of a lean, and there will be no learning curve for the player to deal with, or a decrease in gameplay speed.

*Yeah, this is probably a bit TOO radical, but I though it was worth pointing this out.