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  1. #21601
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Isn't there a hole in your life now? Or is it finally complete?
    Yes there is. And I intent to fill it with IRL. Or maybe DayZ.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    You are an enemy of gaming.

  2. #21602
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I'm playing The Stanley Parable. The bastard boarded up the door to my broom cupboard.

    It's really quite lovely.
    I didn't actually try the broom cupboard. Once I'd got a couple of endings I did very quickly start feeling like the rest were just a matter of ticking off options on a list, and that got wearying after a while. And I don't feel the underlying premise is half as clever or insightful as the developers appear to think.

    Still really liked it, though. The sheer amount of craft that's gone into all the different routes is quite something, it made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions, several of the endings were a pleasant surprise and even if I don't think the game says anything that interesting or thought-provoking (beyond "Videogames are a bit weird, aren't they?" I still appreciate that it tries to.

  3. #21603
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Transistor.

    Yes, I can appreciate the style, the pause-combat is cool and I'm okay with non-stop talking. BUT first it's too much like Bastion. Then it's not weird enough, not something different, just a list of "cyber pop" tropes in some kind of "interesting" setting no one bothers to explain "because everyone in the game knows". The extreme "less is more" doesn't do anything for me. Either explain whats going on a little bit or gtfo. And in the end I think it really doesn't stand out on it's own as a work of fiction/game/art whatever. I mean I can start naming influences from the top of my head and there is not enough in the mix from the developers. Thats never a good thing.

    I don't know. I doubt I'll ever finish it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    You are an enemy of gaming.

  4. #21604
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I really liked that game.

    game

    Game

    Game.
    For those of us who are interested in distinguishing between different types of Interactive Computer Entertainment: would we consider it a game? I haven't played it, so I don't know. It appears there are multiple endings, so it could be a game. The distinction would presumably be whether there is some optimality criterion that can be applied to those endings. For instance, in the simplest case where there is one ending that is obviously better than the others, this would make it a game. If, on the other hand, there's no broadly-objective way of distinguishing the "goodness" of any of the endings, this would definitely not be a game. A large collection of possibilities exists between these two extremes.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  5. #21605
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    For those of us who are interested in distinguishing between different types of Interactive Computer Entertainment: would we consider it a game? I haven't played it, so I don't know. It appears there are multiple endings, so it could be a game. The distinction would presumably be whether there is some optimality criterion that can be applied to those endings. For instance, in the simplest case where there is one ending that is obviously better than the others, this would make it a game. If, on the other hand, there's no broadly-objective way of distinguishing the "goodness" of any of the endings, this would definitely not be a game. A large collection of possibilities exists between these two extremes.
    Not to resurrect this bloody argument again (eventhoughI'mjustaboutto)... but jeez, that is some world-class reaching you're doing there, my man. Almost as daft as "games are meant to be fun".

  6. #21606
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Not to resurrect this bloody argument again (eventhoughI'mjustaboutto)... but jeez, that is some world-class reaching you're doing there, my man. Almost as daft as "games are meant to be fun".
    In my post you're supposed to assume you're willing to make a game/not-game distinction and proceed under that assumption. I wasn't intending to have an argument.

    Under the assumption that such a distinction can be made, it shouldn't be too controversial to suggest that an ICE in which there can be no broad agreement on which "states of the world" are good and which "states of the world" are bad should be classified as not-game.
    Last edited by NathanH; 27-05-2014 at 02:54 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  7. #21607
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    I can get behind terrifying. There are several paths that, if they work for you, are very uncomfortable. I found the ending from switching on the mind control machine a bit overlong and posturing, but:

    returning to your apartment and being ceaslessly mocked as you are forced to strip away the fake vestiges of your life,

    going downstairs rather than up and being trapped in an endless looping corridor dream from which you cannot make yourself awaken until death saves you,

    and hurling yourself repeatedly to the ground until you expire while the narrator pleads with you for peace and companionship

    could all be disturbing and affecting. If they worked for you, which they did for me.

  8. #21608
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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I can get behind terrifying. There are several paths that, if they work for you, are very uncomfortable.
    Yeah, the apartment ending in particular was certainly creepy. Perhaps not entirely in a good way - it struck me as leaning a little too heavily on outright mockery and spite - but it was definitely unsettling, even so.

  9. #21609
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    Taking a short break from Borderlands 2 for something a little more complex and pensive, I picked up DCS World today with a view to learning a cold start procedure for something, anything. I picked the Su-25T, and it's actually surprisingly easy, just turn on the electrics, switch on each engine, close the canopy, set flaps for takeoff, engage the navigation lights then off you go. Landings are a little more complicated.
    I was thinking of trying this the other day, the su-25t comes free with it? how long did it take for you to cold start? I also have the A-10C warthog add on and I think I read somewhere the cold start takes half an hour for that beast. I'm not sure i'm that hardcore for all that. I mostly like jumping into a cockpit and flipping random switches.

  10. #21610
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    All you have to do is play the mind control: on ending to see the truly terrifying nature of the situation. Spoilers:
    Yeah, but there's also the Zending and many comments throughout that mitigate some of that and there's the museum and HER comments ...
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  11. #21611
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    I don't think there's supposed to be one true narrator personality, or capability, or whatever. Consistency is not a useful part of that game.

  12. #21612
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    So I've finished Transistor. So it is a good game for sure, but somehow I liked Bastion better and I also think Bastion was a good game, not some godsend etc. Actually I will probably start replaying Bastion now, because that is actually my feeling after beating Transistor. Of course i loved esthetics, graphics and music, really atmospheric. Gameplay, interesting but pleasant but not with lasting appeal. My biggest grip is narrative and story though. Probably I'm just to old and this is a game for younger generation but the way it is delivered: constant narrator, esthetic, sparse text etc. actully left me cold and distant (and while i certainly noted novelty of Bastion narration, I also flet distant and missing whole chunk of story). What can I say? the game I felt the most immersed this year was ShadowrunReturns:Dragonfall which delivered it by good old fashioned text.

  13. #21613
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    I've recently revisited Starbound. After my initial bump with the Alpha I decided to put it aside for a while. The basic game was there and it was good to see it was on track. And that was good enough for me at that point. So fast forward a few months to the latest (unstable) version to see what has changed.

    Ehh... not a whole lot? The controls are still as floaty, progression is still messed up. The base is there, but there seems to be no actual structure underneath it. Reading up on the updates, I get the impression that they're focussed on random content updates, to avoid having to deal with the elephant in the room: The progression system. This may take quite a bit longer than anyone anticipated and if they get it down within 2014, I'd be surprised. Heck, even 2015 might surprise me still. Still, I got my money's worth out of it, so I'm not mad. The community is mighty toxic though and entrenched in the old "You must absolutely not report bugs, it's a beta!" idiocy of early access communities.

    ---

    The other game I played was Killer is Dead. I really don't care for the utterly idiotic Gigolo Missions in this. Sucks that you need to do them to get the subweapons. But the actual gameplay outside of that? Yeah, that's more like it. A story that is all kinds of weird, a style over substance approach to everything, really fluid and responsive combat and level design that could be straight out of a David Lynch Movie.

    Each Level is basically an episode of it's own, following a monster of the week approach. Each episode is more crazy than the one before that. And it starts off pretty crazy with a Escher'esque house in candy sweet colors and completely distorted space. There's a level where you fight a creature eating your dreams. While it is drowning a childhood version of the maincharacter. That happened. There's also an episode where you're on the moon. Without an astronaut suit, of course. But with a helmet! And you battle a fabulous king in a golden suit made out of leather straps. Trying to make sense of this has failed me so far, but I'm loving the weird and the absurd and how everything is filled to the brim with subtext. But it's deeply rooted in Anime, although it frequently lampshades or toys with the tropes therein - in some aspects it sticks to them a bit too well.
    Last edited by theForged; 27-05-2014 at 09:09 PM.

  14. #21614
    Obscure Node Sinnaj63's Avatar
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    On its [s]recent[/s]current Steam Sale, I picked up a second copy(Because DVD DRM is annoyin' as Hell) of SimCity 4, and I am now planning to get back into the game. I already terraformed a nice region that I can now turn into an urban area, voiding all the effort I made planting fancy oaks everywhere.

    Also worth mentioning is Kingdom of Loathing. Though some may say that it is not worth mentioning since I play it every day. Still, kinda worth mentioning.

    Last, I also recently decided to start playing Star Trek Online again. It kinda sucks one way but is awesome the other. Which is probably why I got back to it. Or because I couldn't decide what to play.

    Anyway, two of the games are MMOs, the other one is a massive timesink too, so I guess it's easy to figure out who needs a literal time machine as soon as possible.

  15. #21615
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    I didn't actually try the broom cupboard. Once I'd got a couple of endings I did very quickly start feeling like the rest were just a matter of ticking off options on a list, and that got wearying after a while. And I don't feel the underlying premise is half as clever or insightful as the developers appear to think.

    Still really liked it, though. The sheer amount of craft that's gone into all the different routes is quite something, it made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions, several of the endings were a pleasant surprise and even if I don't think the game says anything that interesting or thought-provoking (beyond "Videogames are a bit weird, aren't they?" I still appreciate that it tries to.
    The cupboard wasn't an ending. Just another little moment where, as you say, the sheer amount of craft that went into it we both impressive and laugh-inducing.

    I wouldn't say it says anything insightful that "hasn't been said" but I think it certainly says a lot more than video games are weird. On the whole, across the various endings, it's interested in the distinctions between character and player but also between character and game-maker. It's interested in the collaborative nature of games design and in the collaborative nature of game play. It doesn't say much of great detail about any of these subjects, because the form it uses is not well suited to say much of detail. However, within the constraints of the form I could pick out quite a lot of things that it seems to be saying that are of interest to me. If nothing else, it's an excellent example of showing rather than telling (despite the superficial evidence to the contrary), of breaking the fourth wall just enough to get the player involved in a meta-awareness of this and that without expressing an explicit thesis on the matter. It's a deconstruction more than an essay. And that's just fine with me. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I don't think there's supposed to be one true narrator personality, or capability, or whatever. Consistency is not a useful part of that game.

    That was sort of my feeling as well. Reading sinister-ness into it, to me, requires respecting the agency of the narrator's character in a way the game consistently rebels against.


    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    In my post you're supposed to assume you're willing to make a game/not-game distinction and proceed under that assumption. I wasn't intending to have an argument.

    Under the assumption that such a distinction can be made, it shouldn't be too controversial to suggest that an ICE in which there can be no broad agreement on which "states of the world" are good and which "states of the world" are bad should be classified as not-game.
    Since when does good or bad come into it? Games can have neutral outcomes or subjective outcomes. To the extent that it is useful to classify games vs. not-games, I don't think the goodness or badness of outcomes, relatively speaking, is important. The goal need only be apparent as a goal compared to not providing input. Dying is the inevitable goal of Tetris--is the end of the game a good outcome or a bad outcome? Well that depends on your subject assessment of your score.

    I will say that o the extent such distinctions are meaningful to begin with, Stanley Parable is best described as a PC or Video Game ... but not necessarily best described as a game more generally. I think to argue it is not a video game would be the utmost of foolishness. That is it's entire heritage, it's entire concern, it's entire presentation, it's entire conceit. It needs to be understood as a part of gaming, indeed as a game, for the elements of it that are meta-game-like or not-game-like to function as intended. It is a paradox, a dialectic. A video game that is not necessarily a game but is nonetheless a video game.

    So ... I guess I could get behind not calling it a game. I can't get behind not calling it a video game and I cannot get behind calling it a "not-game." The term "not-game" contrasts it explicitly with games--it's a dichotomy with games. That's the wrong thing here. We need a dialectic.

    I think it is much more useful to understand these sorts of things in terms of overlapping and qualifying labels than in terms of revoking labels. We should be seeking clarity, sure, but not seeking to limit our ability to discuss these topics by removing useful elements of perhaps insufficient classifications. Language is about communication; if you insist on games being associated purely with things that have outcomes that can be said to be good or bad in a research project that's one thing. But if you do it in less formal discussion you are quite simply communicating poorly. It's not a matter of ideology at that point but a matter of clarity and communication.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 27-05-2014 at 10:41 PM.
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  16. #21616
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I wouldn't say it says anything insightful that "hasn't been said" but I think it certainly says a lot more than video games are weird. On the whole, across the various endings, it's interested in the distinctions between character and player but also between character and game-maker. It's interested in the collaborative nature of games design and in the collaborative nature of game play. It doesn't say much of great detail about any of these subjects, because the form it uses is not well suited to say much of detail.
    I think a lot of the things it touches on vis-a-vis choice ultimately being an illusion are just kinda... they're arguably as pointless as topics of discussion as the very choices they're making fun of. Interactive entertainment currently offers a shallow approximation of real choice and consequence that's tissue-thin at best. We all know this. That we accept this regardless is a reflection on our own desire for control and agency and how we might well be lacking same in our day-to-day lives. Most of us know this. The game doesn't really do much beyond offer this as an observation, to me - the game design endings, for example, are amusing but they don't add any depth to the central gimmick beyond another way to say "All this effort, and for what???". For all the craftsmanship I think the whole thing still relies on very easy mockery that we'll be able to continue throwing at games until the Matrix becomes reality - there's a real case to be made that it's no more insightful than "Ha ha ha, isn't it weird that the dude in Bioshock Infinite eats beans out of garbage cans?". And it could be accused of detracting from the things other people have been able to achieve even with these horribly flawed, imperfect tools. (Christ, Bioshock 2 elicited more of an emotional response from me, and that's a meatheaded, crudely put-together game about shooting people in the face at heart.)

    EDIT because I have to mention it: And I'm fairly confident I really could write an essay about how Deadly Premonition's astonishing ending says far more touching, insightful things about the relationship between player and character in a few minutes than the entirety of Stanley's adventures, and that's almost as horribly flawed and imperfect as games get. (Also, given how Swery's talked about the creation of York, maybe the relationship between creator and character too.)

    This is nitpicking to some extent. Again, I stress I really liked it, I can see why other people really liked it, and even more so if they (like you?) enjoy thinking about who the man is behind the curtain and what he's doing back there. It makes a point worth making, certainly. But I do think the sheer novelty of it (name me another game that's made the same point quite so blatantly and in the same fashion) did lead more than a few reviewers to excuse its flaws just for the hell of it.
    Last edited by Eight Rooks; 27-05-2014 at 10:59 PM.

  17. #21617
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Sure. I thought the pacing falls flat in what is for want of a quicker way to say this I shall call it's second act. Once you've experienced a certain amount of the content, there's no "swtich" that goes off to give you a sufficiently distinct (or sufficiently meaningfully indistinct) intro sequence off of which to fly off to the unseen corners of the experience.

    It's a one-act piece, but it is non-linear in such a way that requires it to have two acts worth of length. That's a problem, especially since it starts to eat away at the potency of the game's core conceit. By trying to engage with more of the game after you've passed a certain point you couldn't possibly know you had passed (and before which you might not have encountered the parts of the game that comment on precisely this phenomenon making the game's dialog with you weaker when you get to those parts) ... you make the game less engaging. That was my biggest problem with it.

    I really didn't take anything it did as mocking, though. So I can't really respond to your criticisms with respect to that because I didn't ever feel like it was mocking me or mocking games or mocking the tropes it used. I felt like it gave me, indeed, very clear signals it was aware of the whole "tropes are tools, use them but understand them" side of things.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  18. #21618
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I really didn't take anything it did as mocking, though. So I can't really respond to your criticisms with respect to that because I didn't ever feel like it was mocking me or mocking games or mocking the tropes it used. I felt like it gave me, indeed, very clear signals it was aware of the whole "tropes are tools, use them but understand them" side of things.
    I'd say it was both. I don't think they openly set out to mock in a "Ha ha ha, look how clever we are and you're not" sort of way or anything, and I don't mind Wreden showing off up to a point because he clearly is a lot smarter than wot I am, but little things he's said in interviews and moments like the apartment sequence came across as a good deal nastier than they needed to be, IMO. I don't think the game as a whole is trying for any one particular tone, but I'm fairly certain that consciously or otherwise there's something of that negative tone in how Wreden thinks - I feel like it bleeds through here and there in the way the game's been written and constructed and I don't think that's always a good thing. (Sometimes it is, of course. It wouldn't be the same game without some level of darkness to the humour. But I can't help feeling there is a line somewhere that it's stuck a foot over here and there, whether or not it meant to.)

    Again, I freely admit this stuff is nitpicking, in large part. But it definitely knocks the game down from AN ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR THE AGES for me, which a lot of critics were treating it as, RPS included.

  19. #21619
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Fair enough. I'm not sure I agree, but I totally get where you're coming from.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  20. #21620
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    I finished Shank 2. Klei sure makes great games, and while Shank 2 is just more Shank you can't deny that they make some tight and fast gameplay with a lot of responsiveness.

    Also I've been playing Costume Quest. Is fun and cute but I don't think the mechanics will hold for the full game. I've beaten the second part (the mall) and I'm getting bored. Does anybody know if it's worth keeping with it or should I just leave it there?

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