Define: On Rails

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Conjuration

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#1 Conjuration
Member since 2006 • 3562 Posts
I was always under the impression that games that are considered "on rails"  don't allow you to control your advancement in the game manually (like House of the Dead or an R-Type).

But people seem to use the term to describe games which are linear in design (such as:  an old Mega Man game).

So, what's the real definition of a game that's "on rails"?
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-Spock-

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#2 -Spock-
Member since 2006 • 7072 Posts

Like you're strapped to the front of a train. While shooting. That's the best I can do. :|

 

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Master__Shake

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#3 Master__Shake
Member since 2002 • 6214 Posts

I was always under the impression that games that are considered "on rails" don't allow you to control your advancement in the game manually (like House of the Dead or an R-Type).

But people seem to use the term to describe games which are linear in design (such as: an old Mega Man game).

So, what's the real definition of a game that's "on rails"?Conjuration

 

The real on rails defintion is like your first statement. House of dead is a good example. Game like megaman levels would be discribed as linear by anyone who knows what they are talking about. Anyone who says on rails about a megamna game is an idiot and picked up buzzwords off of interviews and reviews.

 "On rails" comes from games that aim for the feel of amusement park rides.  Also the character/camera in an on rails shooter is usually tied to a spline created by a designer.

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SWIFFT

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#4 SWIFFT
Member since 2003 • 764 Posts

[QUOTE="Conjuration"]I was always under the impression that games that are considered "on rails" don't allow you to control your advancement in the game manually (like House of the Dead or an R-Type).

But people seem to use the term to describe games which are linear in design (such as: an old Mega Man game).

So, what's the real definition of a game that's "on rails"?Master__Shake

 

The real on rails defintion is like your first statement. House of dead is a good example. Game like megaman levels would be discribed as linear by anyone who knows what they are talking about. Anyone who says on rails about a megamna game is an idiot and picked up buzzwords off of interviews and reviews.

 "On rails" comes from games that aim for the feel of amusement park rides.  Also the character/camera in an on rails shooter is usually tied to a spline created by a designer.

very well said.

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pumpkinescobar

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#5 pumpkinescobar
Member since 2002 • 982 Posts
limited mobility along a predetermined path through the game world.
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Alaris83

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#6 Alaris83
Member since 2004 • 1620 Posts

"On-rails" can also be defined as a lack of choice in the way the game progresses. You could call most early FPS games as an "on-rails" experience since every level had a stright forward, linear path from beginning to end. A critic of the FF series might call the games "on rails" due to it's strictly pre-defined story and pacing. If a game doesn't allow for deviation from a certain path, it is "on-rails."

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hot114

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#8 hot114
Member since 2003 • 4489 Posts
Simply a game where your advancement is predetirmined.

Like R-type and gradius where the world continues to scroll onward towards the ending of the level without any influence of the players movement
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OGTiago

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#9 OGTiago
Member since 2005 • 6546 Posts
You can't control the path your character takes.
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brandon2802

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#10 brandon2802
Member since 2004 • 1773 Posts
Killer7, a very good rail game.  Some of you guys are saying games like the onld Mario are 'on-rails'.  Thats not what I though rail games were.  The new Resident Evil for the Wii will be on-rails.
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Skylock00

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#11 Skylock00
Member since 2002 • 20069 Posts

Killer7, a very good rail game.brandon2802
Killer7 really isn't an on-rails game, though.  It's like Myst/7th Guest in the sense that it's a traditional adventure game with set paths that you go from one point to another, but you are still in control of where you go in general, and whether you move forward or backwards.

Movement may be restrictive, but Killer7 isn't an on-rails game.