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  1. #61
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    I just want more variety in my diet. Sure there are puzzlers, platformers, gardening simulators, and management games which have no violence whatsoever, but they're massively outnumbered.
    Right. Aside from the yearly iterations on the Football Manager series, I haven't played a really excellent management game in a fairly long time. Lately I've been reduced to analyzing the deficiencies in Kairosoft games (tip: Game Dev Story and Grand Prix Story are the only ones worth your time).

    I'd really like to come up with a good analogue for turn-based RPG combat sans violence, and without it becoming a totally abstract puzzle game. I'm out of ideas, though, and I think I'm ready to conclude that (abstracted) violence is the only recognizable context for certain varieties of game.

  2. #62
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namdrol View Post
    It is quite disheartening how little creativity this industry shows in comparison to say books/film/tv. It is also disheartening how little value is placed on gameplay by publishers, media, and gamers.
    This is how I feel about all media, really. Not just games. English class teaches us that there's only 7 kinds of conflict and only 20 basic premises for stories. They've all been done to death in every medium, and books and film tend to do it with more nuance and believability.

    What sets games apart for me is, as you so eloquently encapsulate it, flow. Active participation makes games so enticing for me, even if a portion of the game is non-interactive exposition. I love the concept of being given a premise and tying participative tasks to the continuation and resolution of that narrative. Personally, I love it all the more if it's in the rare Half Life style - unbroken, linear, and from the first person omniscient.

    Flow is a pretty special, selfish thing to wish for. You're not wrong to wish for it but there are few activities that are consistently fulfilling and engrossing. Like any other media, games have glorious moments and it's those we strive for as we plod through.

  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    I wonder why there isn't a first or third person soccer game that would have class based multiplayer with some fun dexterity / reflex based system for kicks and passes. Imagine that.
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  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    There's more to history than WW2.
    Shh, I'm trying to make him despair of our youths and take his own life. Although while we're on the subject, my school history class was a woefully inadequate two hours a week (less a few years in) covering only the big ones - Romans, Battle of Hastings, Henry the 8th, World War II. Anything I learned outside of those can be credited to Bernard Cornwell or historical video games motivating me to get off my lazy ass and go learn more.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    I wonder why there isn't a first or third person soccer game that would have class based multiplayer with some fun dexterity / reflex based system for kicks and passes. Imagine that.
    I remember the existence of a Half-Life mod that at least covers the third person part.

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I see no reason to remove killing from games. It's the only place where you can "kill" without consequences - it's great for venting. The argument that it allows to "train" for school shootouts is bullshit. Vast majority of games are quite unrealistic. While MW and BF try to look very realistic and offer many gadgets, they're a far cry from realistic behavior. That would be Arma, Operation Flashpoint etc which are niche at best. And the Ground Branch kickstarter which supposedly has special forces consultants and tries to represent stuff very realistically has failed spectacularly: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/.../ground-branch . They even model weapons as 3D objects in the game world so a big assault rifle is unwieldy indoors. Not many games do that. There's a lesson here - vast majority of gamers doesn't want realism, they want something that looks real and plays fun.

    Games are already defanged, aside from a few exceptions like God of War or Splatterhouse. Diablo 3 is cartoony and hard to take seriously. FPS games rarely have actual death animations, usually they just opt for "falls to the ground and stops moving". You don't even see blood on uniforms, not to mention explosions tearing people to pieces. I think it's because they don't want to limit their audience, a huge portion of gamers is 13-17 and Mature/Adult Only wouldn't work. Retailers wouldn't put them on shelves.

    As long as games feature conflict, killing is likely to pop up. It is possible to have conflict without killing or injuring people - for example in developed countries lawyers replace usual mercenaries. It's just that not as many people enjoy them. Trading games, M.U.L.E. and stuff are niche. Just like movie goers prefer bombastic spectacles to documentary movies.

    If you want to create a fun game without violence, don't start with a game about conflict and bend it into a game about non-killing. That's artificial, unnatural and looks out of place. There are management games, card games, racing games, sports. Or games like Knytt Stories and Thief where killing is impossible (on hardest difficulty in Thief 2 you are only allowed to kill beasts and undead).
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  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Shh, I'm trying to make him despair of our youths and take his own life. Although while we're on the subject, my school history class was a woefully inadequate two hours a week (less a few years in) covering only the big ones - Romans, Battle of Hastings, Henry the 8th, World War II. Anything I learned outside of those can be credited to Bernard Cornwell or historical video games motivating me to get off my lazy ass and go learn more.
    I'm then inclined to wonder if your emphasis on less-violent video games is so that you become motivated to learn aspects of history that don't involve war.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keep View Post
    Because it makes me realise "Shit man I'm wasting my time here, I've been playing this for nearly two hours! Still haven't done my laundry yet. Hm do I have a clean shirt to wear this weekend if I don't do the laundry? Oh yeah gotta remember to pay that bill before Friday. Jeez there are more important things to do with myself than play this game - and it doesn't even make sense! What the hell!"
    I don't really mind being reminded that what I'm currently doing is far better than all the tedious dross that forms Real Life.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #70
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I don't really mind being reminded that what I'm currently doing is far better than all the tedious dross that forms Real Life.
    Right, when it's far better. When you start noticing its nonsense, that kinda interferes with that judgment though.

    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    I'd really like to come up with a good analogue for turn-based RPG combat sans violence, and without it becoming a totally abstract puzzle game.
    There're two types of social interactions you can model: a really complicated one that has to take into consideration that these are people involved. Or a fight.
    Free speech don't mean unchallengeable speech.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keep View Post
    It's not because I like reading into things that I talk about them. It's because they interfere with my ability to just get on with the game and enjoy myself.
    Indeed. The big thing for me with the No Russian level in MW2 was this 'WTF?' about a guy who was barely 5 minutes beforehand a grunt running around to impress a General to suddenly being part of some Russian Terrorist airport slaughter crew (did we miss the years of covert training somewhere?) and that Makarov planned the entire thing so that he could use you as a scapegoat. As crazy plans go, it only makes sense if Makarov knew he wasn't going to get killed and that you'd make it to the extraction point. It makes no sense externally or internally. It's just dumb everyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keep View Post
    Because it makes me realise "Shit man I'm wasting my time here, I've been playing this for nearly two hours! Still haven't done my laundry yet. Hm do I have a clean shirt to wear this weekend if I don't do the laundry? Oh yeah gotta remember to pay that bill before Friday. Jeez there are more important things to do with myself than play this game - and it doesn't even make sense! What the hell!"
    Great media draws you into the experience, whether it's a book, a film, TV show or music and you lose yourself in it to the extent that the real world becomes background and you exist in the moment. Games because they are interactive are slightly different, but there are strong parallels between them and most forms of artistic production in that after a while you can become absorbed into the process (the flow state that Namdrol referenced earlier on). A lot depends on the sort of game, but also a lot also depends on the type of gamer.

  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakysh View Post
    What an odd thing to say. There have been works exploring deep things through the prism of combat (the Illiad, for example) forever, but there have also been works doing exactly that through many other elements (anything featuring Socrates, all the pastorals ever, that sort of thing). Violence is key to some of this, but so is an absence of violence, and the latter is often under-represented in gaming. Discussing that is entirely worthwhile.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    There's more to history than WW2.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    My History Channel education is almost as good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Shh, I'm trying to make him despair of our youths and take his own life. Although while we're on the subject, my school history class was a woefully inadequate two hours a week (less a few years in) covering only the big ones - Romans, Battle of Hastings, Henry the 8th, World War II. Anything I learned outside of those can be credited to Bernard Cornwell or historical video games motivating me to get off my lazy ass and go learn more.
    Well, despite the fact that my post was a joke there are many examples throughout history of violence being used to solve a problem (or attempt to solve one) that didn't involve war. (i.e. assassinations, murder/destruction of property/bodily harm as scare tactics, etc, etc, etc,,,)

  13. #73
    Lesser Hivemind Node Leopig's Avatar
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    The game some Aussie devs are making where you play a War camera man looks like a nice change. A first person shooter where all you shoot is film.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopig View Post
    The game some Aussie devs are making where you play a War camera man looks like a nice change. A first person shooter where all you shoot is film.
    There hasn't been any news about that one for a while. Wonder if it's still being made.
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  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    English class teaches us that there's only 7 kinds of conflict and only 20 basic premises for stories. They've all been done to death in every medium, and books and film tend to do it with more nuance and believability.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keep View Post
    There're two types of social interactions you can model: a really complicated one that has to take into consideration that these are people involved. Or a fight.
    I think this pretty much sums up where we're at with technology currently. The central characteristic of 99% of narrative is conflict, but interpersonal conflict is not something that machines are good at replicating without using violence. A program is not able to model the intricacies of human emotions, desires, and ambitions. A program (at least currently) can't decide that it should cooperate with me because I remind it of its deceased father who, while abusive, was the only person who was ever there to support it after its mother left when it was 3. Machines are, however, more than capable of handling the details of violence, which pretty much boil down to hit or miss, alive or dead.

  16. #76
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    If you want to create a fun game without violence, don't start with a game about conflict and bend it into a game about non-killing. That's artificial, unnatural and looks out of place. There are management games, card games, racing games, sports. Or games like Knytt Stories and Thief where killing is impossible (on hardest difficulty in Thief 2 you are only allowed to kill beasts and undead).
    I'm confused as to how you consider sports games to be about something other than conflict. Unless you are defining conflict as "violent conflict" (which is just cheating), then there are plenty of really interesting conflicts that are non-violent. Some of them have been made into games, some of them are physical, and some (like sports) are both.

    I guess that's what I find baffling: that people who play a lot of games aren't comfortable with realizing when playing games that they're playing games.
    It's more intricate than that. When I tried to explain my position, for example, you said it was completely different from my original statements--both of those posts came from the same head space and to me said very similar and utterly inter-related things. Let's see if I can explain this better.

    Firstly, a lot of people play games to get away. To be drawn into an experience. When pieces of that experience miscommunicate and cohere badly, you're thrown right back where you started. When this kind of player encounters inconsistencies and unintentional silliness they aren't getting what they came for and it dampens the experience. Many of these same players quite enjoy intentionally absurd games--the absurdity was intentional and cohered with the work in such a way that it either kicked them out of the world in an enjoyable fashion or that the immersion-breaking elements were part of the players contract with the game, so to speak. They were mentally prepared for it so it never felt out of place or incongruous and never hurt their enjoyment.

    It is the difference between a really badly made film an an well done parody. One can be utterly boring while the other can be fun and even intellectually stimulating even if both use the same tired, overused, boring plots and tropes--the execution, tone, and quality of writing are key here and it isn't any different with games.

    I'm as baffled by you as you are by me and people making similar points. I've found a lot that I enjoy playing and thinking about in the medium and I want more of that. I feel like a lot of game developers want more games that players can think about without having to worry about breaking the systems. They certainly like to say so in interviews. But it all falls apart in the execution to make way for retreading tired, useless mechanics simply because they are the traditional way of things.

    That's my big argument, really. We need to be really smart about mechanical design if we're going to make games. Games are dynamic, they have to respond to the player and make the player want to respond back. We can't just put pieces together, tell the player to suspend disbelief and go with it as easily as other mediums can--the result is skinner box instead of a gaming experience, something people do rather than something they play. It's less of a problem when a movie is weakly interactive than when a game is. A lot of game violence is weakly interactive--a chore you have to do with weak mechanics and little relevance to the greater picture--either mechanical or narrative. It isn't a matter of waking up from play and suddenly being horrified to realize you were playing a game. It's a matter of falling asleep in the first place and waking up to realize you've just been taping keys for several hours without really getting much out of it.
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  17. #77
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keep View Post
    There're two types of social interactions you can model: a really complicated one that has to take into consideration that these are people involved. Or a fight.
    Think outside the box. Think of all the ways you can do a "fight" that aren't violent or necessarily physical. Or all the ways you can allow player input at simple interaction points and leave the complicated model to acting, narration, implicit clues, and other non-input mechanics. There are all sorts of things we can do with conflict that haven't been explored much in video games--some of those have been looked at in table top games and some of them are still being worked on across the entire gaming medium.

    Furthermore, I think your dichotomy is wrong. A fight can also be just as complicated at the social level. If we allow two people to "just fight" we can allow two people to "just talk" without modeling their complexity. The conversation can even be interesting with the right topic and the right mechanic for player input. Believable characters certainly help, but even simpler creatures than us have more to their social interactions than fighting. Even if we just stick to things that have been translated into game mechanics fairly frequently, there's always sex.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 18-06-2012 at 11:33 PM.
    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. #78
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    Every video game ever made is ridiculous when you stop to think about it. That you've played and enjoyed lots of video games tells me that you are quite capable of ignoring such things. Keep ignoring them. You've been doing it for years. Don't stop now. You can't fix it. As soon as you fix the current things that's "breaking immersion" you'll just move on to the next one, and en route you'll have introduced new actual problems. You can't fix it. It's here to stay and it's not a problem.

    As an example, take your other post. You're wanting to use talking instead of combat. But of course to make a decent game out of this you have to make a conversation system that matches typical video game combat systems, you have to create a conversation system with essentially infinite possibilities. Try doing that without "breaking immersion". You're not going to fix your non-problem, you're just going to shift it to a different context.
    Last edited by NathanH; 18-06-2012 at 11:42 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  19. #79
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Every video game ever made is ridiculous when you stop to think about it. That you've played and enjoyed lots of video games tells me that you are quite capable of ignoring such things. Keep ignoring them. You've been doing it for years. Don't stop now.
    I've been trying to take you at your word and be reasonable, but its becoming rather difficult. Especially when you decide you understand my motivations and experience better than I do.

    "When I stop to think about it" games are no less ridiculous than any other medium. What makes you say that exactly?

    Where does this notion that entertainment shouldn't be important or thought provoking come from? Let alone that it shouldn't evolve and that I should just take it as it is?

    Do you have anything new to contribute, or or you going to continue to insist that people are playing games wrong because they play them differently? You don't seem to be trying very hard to understand why they play differently, and you still claim to be baffled. No wonder you're baffled.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 18-06-2012 at 11:51 PM.
    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. #80
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    If you have thought about things deeply and intellectually, then you'll be able to tell me why you allow yourself to "break immersion" when, while playing a game, you realize you are playing a game. Once you've done that we'll be able to move on.

    Edit: Let's stop this, shall we? I apologize for being annoying. I've just had lots of similar arguments with other people and it gets me angry quickly. Saying "immersion" around me tends to make me angry. Probably a consequence of too much time on Thief forums.
    Last edited by NathanH; 19-06-2012 at 12:14 AM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

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