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  1. #1
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    Moments in gaming that make you feel proud of the industry, and moments of despair

    Gaming provides moments of euphoric highs and crushing lows and I'd like to hear about yours. I've had plenty of occasions where I get so utterly snared by a game that I can rant, rave and philosophise about its innovation and genius for days and to complete strangers. Equally however, there are some moments that just hurt my face and make me question whether some obstacles will be too difficult for gaming to ever overcome.

    I advise marking spoilers throughout as we don't want to ruin the moment for anyone else.

    Positive
    Bioshock 1 reveal and gaming surprises (Spoilers)
    Even though the final scene with Andrew Ryan will be touted as the most emotionally charged, the reveal from Fontaine had my head spinning for days. The way a player implicitly trusts the quest giver and carries out all objectives makes it very difficult to dispute manipulation and mind-control in-game. There have probably been others that have done this little twist before but this little manoeuvre had me literally questioning the way I play games for some time after.

    Something similar had been done in Oblivion (the quest where you hallucinate and kill goblins/villagers) and provided a good measure of guilt on conclusion. The game actually had a quite frightening bug on my return as for some reason the slaughtered citizens were still standing outside their houses and slowly slid backwards with no reaction into the ground and behind a rock all the while staring into space...

    I may be alone here but the twist in Gears of War 2 (not a major fan in any way) with Dom and Maria (IIRC) was crushing to me. I'm a big softie at heart so the reveal of her condition actually gave me goosebumps. It may been a twist that others saw coming but it was an emotional moment dropped in a game I had written off as a bit of macho shootie fun.

    The Witcher 1's possible bombshell with Alvin at the very end blew my mind for days. The subtle hints and player involvement in the outcome really staggered me. I'm yet to get through Witcher 2 and am hoping for more!

    Negative
    Mass Effect, The Witcher 1 and romance in gaming
    Despite strong efforts to move this forward from companies like BioWare this is definitely where mainstream gaming as an art form regularly struggles. While we often play games to feel like omnipotent overlords of our little sandbox I would like it if practically every female character wasn't falling all over themselves to fall at my feet. I can't attest to playing as female characters with enough experience to make any kind of a judgement so maybe another gamer could fill in here.

    I understand, yes Geralt is an exotic sterile STD free bad ass, yes Shephard is a strong leader with diamond cheekbones but I would love for NPCs to be able to react with a little more agency to their advances. As it stands it just seems to be a case of picking the 'right' dialogue options or carrying around a rose in your inventory to have your way with most of the characters. A little more emotional involvement and development as opposed to 'I've got a case of the pre-final mission randy' would be great. I tend to get emotionally involved in most media so after gravitating to someone like Tali in ME2 her shy/nervouse dispotion came across really well while Shephard bleeted inanities like 'you're the one for me' and 'I want to be with you'. I understand that this is difficult for developers but I would love for a character to really grow into this situation rather than toss a coin towards the end of the game.

    I really enjoyed the Bastila sequence in KOTOR 1 for instance, even though it was most likely mired in many of the same difficulties, I felt a real progression. Games such as Fable basically reducing a relationship to a few emoticons feel like they break immersion. I remember in Morrowind trying desperately to get a Khajiit lady's ex off Skooma and moving in with her, only for her to disappear a few days later in some kind of a bug. That was actually quite a horrible moment and made me feel quite lonely.

    Anyways that's my input for now. I'd love to hear some of your own memories.
    Last edited by Skeletor68; 01-09-2011 at 04:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Please detail an example of a woman in the The Witcher being "too easy".

  3. #3
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    Act III, you walk out of Triss' house and just to your left is a noblewoman. Literally the first person I spoke to in this new area. She wants me to bang her, for a price. I refuse and she is delighted that I treat her so badly, cue silly 'collect em all' sex card.

    Also, when you go to get the lute from the merchant's house, blind drunk, you can bang his daughter after beating up her Dad even though she was just in a relationship with one of your friends with a few words.

    Does that answer or am I missing the argument? I haven't played Witcher 2 in case it has changed.

    *Edit* I don't want to derail too heavily I'd just like to see what people see as their personal triumphs and bugbears in relation to our lovely hobby.
    Last edited by Skeletor68; 01-09-2011 at 04:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Please detail an example of a woman in the The Witcher being "too easy".
    Pretty much every woman (such as the gossip or the one or two women in the village) where you can give a simple token (ring or shawl or flowers) and then sex card. Thats all those npcs exist for too.

  5. #5
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    Sex in real life is very easy for some men. With basically have a long list of womens that want to get in bed.

    I have know at least 2 men of that type. Always with a few womens behind, trying to be the next. ..

    So that part of The Witcher is not unrealistic or crappy.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Skeletor68's Avatar
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    @Tei
    Yes I know there are guys out there with pheromones as powerful as a vat of sex panther, and not all games need to be realistic in this aspect. If we want to push narratives in gaming up to the next level though I just think we will need to have NPCs react a little more like real people and not a sex vending machine that works if you drop in the correct items.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletor68 View Post
    Act III, you walk out of Triss' house and just to your left is a noblewoman. Literally the first person I spoke to in this new area. She wants me to bang her, for a price. I refuse and she is delighted that I treat her so badly, cue silly 'collect em all' sex card.
    One of two such NPCs in the game if Wikia is to be believed. Never ran into her myself.

    Also, when you go to get the lute from the merchant's house, blind drunk, you can bang his daughter after beating up her Dad even though she was just in a relationship with one of your friends with a few words.
    I'll grant that one, although it's she who initiates things. I think there was supposed to be something of a revenge motive in there but they didn't string it together properly.

    In contrast I'll point to Carmen who isn't beddable at all despite being a prostitute, and Shani with whom one has to develop a relationship over an extended period before being able to bed.

    More broadly I think your criticism of being able to 'move things along' by selecting the right dialogue options is, well, absurd. No, we don't have sentient NPCs yet. So I'm more interested in exploring the context of given examples than the mechanics.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardJimmy View Post
    Pretty much every woman (such as the gossip or the one or two women in the village) where you can give a simple token (ring or shawl or flowers) and then sex card.
    It doesn't strike you as a little ironic to walk around giving random women flowers and then to bemoan the lack of realism in their responses? Personally I remember trying it a few times once I noticed the 'trade' option and unless my memory is very much mistaken most of them laughed at me.
    Last edited by Rii; 01-09-2011 at 05:16 PM.

  8. #8
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    It doesn't strike you as a little ironic to walk around giving random women flowers and then to bemoan the lack of realism in their responses? Personally I remember trying it a few times once I noticed the 'trade' option and unless my memory is very much mistaken most of them laughed at me.
    One of them happened at the start of the game, where I hadnt traded before. I found something it said to give to women as a gift (started playing a long time ago, before all this discussion) and promptly had a sex card. Its not a case of the actions fo the witcher being unrealistic, the fact remains that these npcs are put there solely for the sex cards. Talk to other villagers and you dont go into a dialogue screen. Those that do give no information other than a card. In fact, you can even find her flowers on her dead former lover:

    Video of encounter, [NSFW due to card being shown]. It takes under 30 seconds from meeting to "finding a nook somewhere".

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletor68 View Post
    pheromones as powerful as a vat of sex panther
    This phrase made me chuckle. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardJimmy View Post
    One of them happened at the start of the game, where I hadnt traded before. I found something it said to give to women as a gift (started playing a long time ago, before all this discussion) and promptly had a sex card. Its not a case of the actions fo the witcher being unrealistic, the fact remains that these npcs are put there solely for the sex cards. Talk to other villagers and you dont go into a dialogue screen. Those that do give no information other than a card. In fact, you can even find her flowers on her dead former lover:

    Video of encounter, [NSFW due to card being shown]. It takes under 30 seconds from meeting to "finding a nook somewhere".
    So you can exchange greetings with every woman in sight, but only some of them will give you time of day i.e. enter into conversation, all of whom have something to offer under the right conditions - quests, items, relevant conversation, sex, whatever. What you seem to be complaining about here is either that the developers haven't gone to the trouble of creating entirely pointless extended dialogue scenes, or that the game evidently perceives sex an endeavour of itself (on par with other facets of life the game models such as eating/drinking/sleeping and, of course, murdering tons of dudes). The former suggests a lack of regard for game development as an expensive and necessarily limited endeavour, the latter a puritanical sensibility of no interest to me.
    Last edited by Rii; 01-09-2011 at 05:42 PM.

  11. #11
    Network Hub gundrea's Avatar
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    Proud: Finding my name

    Despair: The fall of Westwood.
    "A victory so bitter it would be better we had not won," --General Transh

    The Devpit: For all your literature, gaming, IT and defenestration needs.

  12. #12
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    So you can exchange greetings with every woman in sight, but only some of them will give you time of day i.e. enter into conversation, all of whom have something to offer under the right conditions - quests, items, relevant conversation, sex, whatever. What you seem to be complaining about here is either that the developers haven't gone to the trouble of creating entirely pointless dialogue scenes, or that the game evidently perceives sex an endeavour of itself (on par with other life manifestations as eating/drinking/sleeping and, of course, murdering tons of dudes). The former suggests a lack of regard for game development as an expensive and necessarily limited endeavour, the latter a puritanical sensibility of no interest to me.
    Dont try and completely misrepresent what I am saying. I am not saying sex shouldn't be in games. Saying sex is "on par with murdering tons of dudes" is a bit strange however. My point is that by placing in token place item here, get sex (in under 30 seconds) the game is making a rather simplistic encounter. You asked to show a woman who was "too easy" in the game, we gave examples.

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    Silent Hills are one of the things that make me proud - solid gameplay, excellent music and mature themes (loneliness, losing someone you love, coping with loss, guilt, emotional torment). Simply put, one of the best things ever that have come out of gaming. Especially 2 and Shattered Memories, and I'm going to be a heathen here, but I also liked Homecoming, since it can be interpreted in quite a few ways.

    Negative sides... well, the focus on killing as the main gameplay mechanic. Strategy games, manshooters, RPGs, what have you, pretty much all of them revolve around killing others. Surely there must be other ways to drive the story and gameplay? And speaking of story, a shameful thing that most of the writing in video-games is very, very bad. Or when not bad, bland. Combine these two, and I remember why I love adventure games so much.

  14. #14
    Activated Node BathroomCitizen's Avatar
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    Proud moment: the first time I wandered into Ultima Online. It was like that virtual world shown on my screen was alive, even if it had ugly graphics.

    Negative: the dark years where we've been subjugated by console ports.
    It's a bit obvious, but someone had to say it.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardJimmy View Post
    Dont try and completely misrepresent what I am saying. I am not saying sex shouldn't be in games. Saying sex is "on par with murdering tons of dudes" is a bit strange however. My point is that by placing in token place item here, get sex (in under 30 seconds) the game is making a rather simplistic encounter. You asked to show a woman who was "too easy" in the game, we gave examples.
    I'm not misrepresenting what you (and Skeletor in his first post) are saying. I don't think you're thinking through the implications of what you're saying. You're both holding sex to an entirely different standard from everything else the game does. And it's an unreasonable standard to boot, totally incompatible with how video games are made and indeed how they are played. There are but a limited number of explanations as to why this might be the case.
    Last edited by Rii; 01-09-2011 at 05:58 PM.

  16. #16
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I'm not misrepresenting what you (and Skeletor) are saying. I don't think you're thinking through the implications of what you're saying. You're both holding sex to an entirely different standard from everything else the game does.
    No, im suggesting that the way the game looks at sex is just silly. From the naked (possibly objectifying) sex cards to 30 second encounters. I am not saying (as you seem to think) that sex is sacred, or should be done after marriage or whatever "puritanical" label you want to make up, I am saying that sex, as represented in the game, is silly.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardJimmy View Post
    No, im suggesting that the way the game looks at sex is just silly. From the naked (possibly objectifying) sex cards to 30 second encounters. I am not saying (as you seem to think) that sex is sacred, or should be done after marriage or whatever "puritanical" label you want to make up, I am saying that sex, as represented in the game, is silly.
    If the way The Witcher does sex is silly, then the way it does everything is silly. And yet here we are talking about sex in particular. Why is that?

  18. #18
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    If the way The Witcher does sex is silly, then the way it does everything is silly. And yet here we are talking about sex in particular. Why is that?
    Beacuse you asked this: "Please detail an example of a woman in the The Witcher being "too easy"." I responded with examples. Paying flowers to get a silly sex card is different to paying money to get bread in the game though, or asking to meditate.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    High: Getting 600 WoW players to work in concert to bring down the battlegroup.

    Low: Realizing nobody outside of WoW gives a shit.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraveyardJimmy View Post
    Beacuse you asked this: "Please detail an example of a woman in the The Witcher being "too easy"." I responded with examples.
    Examples which contradict your point. You're talking about unnamed NPCs who are indistinguishable from one another to the casual eye, only some of whom will deign to engage you in conversation (reflecting the fact that they are individuals of different temperament) and who will require specific - usually unspecified - gifts if you are to gain their affections. In other words it's quite hard work, and jibes not at all with the idea that the game is populated largely by women who're falling over themselves to sleep with you.

    The timescale argument is simply laughable. Leaving aside the fact that the game clock does not run in real-time, do you know what else Geralt can do in 30 seconds? Pretty much anything the game allows him to do at all, bar run from one side of the map to the other. Easiest place in the world to secure employment I can tell you. Again this is 'sex is different from everything else' stuff which one can only conclude is rooted in puritanism.

    Paying flowers to get a silly sex card is different to paying money to get bread in the game though, or asking to meditate.
    No, it really isn't. Meditation allows you to distribute skill points, which increases your proficiency in murdering things, which aids in furthering the narrative which constitutes the framework of the game experience, where the latter consists of the totality of inputs and outputs in their various interrelationships.

    The viewing of the sex card? The hearing of the dialogue preceding that? The choosing of the dialogue options? The discerning and fulfilment (via logic or experimentation) of the 'victory conditions' to progress? The finding and selecting of the NPC? All part of the game experience. Of course you could claim that that's just so much wank, but then we have to roll back the sequence far enough to differentiate sex from Supposedly Meaningful Stuff. And what we discover is that Meaningful Stuff is Stuff Wot Contributes to the Murdering of Tons of Dudes.

    Sex? Bad
    Violence? Good

    Hmm, seems familiar.
    Last edited by Rii; 01-09-2011 at 06:56 PM.

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