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  1. #21
    Network Hub orcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    Yeah, but GTA is still very much a parody at heart, it's aiming for cartoon violence and doesn't even try to take it seriously. Contrast with for example the original Mafia, where even speeding or running a red light brought the law down on you.

    With the sandbox games I do think the vast majority is simply laziness from the developer. It's much quicker and easier to randomly spawn something for the player to fight than come up with a more involving way to entertain the player while they go from A to B. It's the old D&D wandering monster table - getting sick of bland featureless tunnels? Forgot to come up with any description of this part of the dungeon? Chuck in a bunch of random stuff for the players to fight and hope they don't notice!
    That's somewhat true for the earlier GTAs, but recently? GTA4 is dead serious, about a war criminal from the Balkans coming to America to start a new life... and (in many cases, brutally) murder another hundreds to thousands of people during gameplay, then fret about his war criminal past during cutscenes. They're trying to be :deep: and realistic and drop the ball everytime you get player control over Niko Bellic.

    It's totally understandable that this dissonance is immersion breaking for some players.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    That's what consuming media means in this context. There's nothing philosophically toxic to the idea of fun in the phrase "consuming media."

    I can assure you I am not trying to dislike games. I play games to have fun. For me, fun usually involves thinking. Sure, I can enjoy mindless activities too. Varied interests and all that.

    I have more fun when I'm invested in the game. If the game engages at a purely mechanical level, than I can meet it there and enjoy it or despise it on those merits alone. But when the game aims to tell a story and asks me to engage with that story, I think I'm perfectly justified in being frustrated when pointless combat cuts into the middle of it and asks me to wait a while before we get back to things. It's possible to bring combat in without dropping all of the momentum being built, it just takes a little more thought on the design end. It isn't a matter of me stubbornly refusing to engage the game on its own terms; it is a matter of those terms being incoherent and difficult to engage with.
    Well, that's entirely different from what you were saying originally. I have no problem if you think the pacing of a game is off, or that the balance between various elements is wrong.
    Last edited by NathanH; 18-06-2012 at 01:36 PM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    Could you make an FPS game that isn't in some way based around violent conflict?
    Pokemon Snap?

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I find it baffling that you can have played video games for so long as find such things "immersion-breaking". They're just standard in video gaming, you should be used to them by now and not notice them. You shouldn't even be stopping to think about them. Stopping to think is a mistake.
    The problem is when you play a game that does things differently, it knocks your assumptions out of whack. After playing DX:HR entirely non-lethal, I found it took a good couple of hours to get back into the mind-set of 'just kill everything' that the vast majority of games use.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    After playing DX:HR entirely non-lethal, I found it took a good couple of hours to get back into the mind-set of 'just kill everything' that the vast majority of games use.
    Yeah, it was like a game of sneaking up behind people and tapping people on the shoulder EXTREME.

    Personally I loved ghosting levels, but in your first play through ghosting means missing out on things, that makes me a sad panda.

    It would help is dxhr hadn't had an xp system which ultimately rewards ocd.
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  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namdrol View Post
    Three things come to mind:
    1) It isn't violence, it is simulated violence. The distinction is important. Viewing and/or witnessing real violence is quantitatively and qualitatively different. You can see it in PET scans when subjects are exposed to the real vs the simulated.
    Discussing the effects of violence isn't really for this thread, but this does lead to an important point. Without a way of quantifying levels of violence in games, how can we compare them for discussion?

    The RTS market is not as big as the FPS market, but it's still a big one for competitive multiplayer. I don't think it's unreasonable for me to state that Call of Duty is more violent than Starcraft, but what about Starcraft compared to a non-violently themed FPS (like Nerf Arena or a paintball game)? Those games still follow the design of familiar shooting games, they involve firing pretend guns at people, but does the lack of blood and death make them particularly less violent? Things get even more complicated if you throw in a real sport like football, a non-violent sport that often invokes agression and violence in fans and players.

    As for why violence is the primary game mechanic in competitive multiplayer, I'm not sure that's a 'problem' that can or should be solved. Sports games are popular, but lots of the people who want to play sports will do so on a playing field rather than a games console. Chess (and other board games) are popular, but lots of the people who want to play them will do so with friends around a table. Of the genres that are specific to video games, FPS is the most easily accessible and most supportive of casual play (despite the lengths some 'hardcore' players will go to).

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Also I don't consume media, I play games.
    Games are media. Interactive media where you as the play engage with and dictate how events play out Vs films, Books or TV shows where you observe and absorb the creation of others. Some interactive media is broader than others (Skyrim Vs MW for instance) but the distinction is you as the player are driving the experience.

    Also what's with the 'don't think about it' sentiment? the whole point of this forum is to discuss games and the nature of them.

    As regards the topic. Personally I'm fairly optimistic that things are going to improve in the long term. Half the problem with games comes down to the limitations of the technology, in terms of the environments Vs LoD complexity as well as the number of concurrent AI you can having running about at any point in time and the processing limits of the 360 (weakest link in the chain). With a new console generation coming where the emphasis is going to be on processing power given grpahics have largely tapped out I think we're going to see richer game experiences. I look at a game like Watchdogs and albeit it 'goes to gun' in the final third, from what's been said by the developers that's not the only way to play it. The great problem is with a game trailer is that a guy hiding in a closet or sneaking past guards is not that much fun to watch Vs playing it because you've no personal investment with what you are seeing. Thus why we get 'go to gun' in the trailers for hitman, Splintercell, Watchdogs & the last of us even though in reality that's likely not the way most people are going to play them.
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  7. #27
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    I think "consume media" is an incredibly pompous and silly way to say "play games". I also don't believe video games are a medium, but that's talk for another day. Finally, I don't mean never to think, but I mean don't think about things that are obviously standard video game Things That Don't Make Sense. It doesn't make sense that in most RPGs you butcher far more people than actually seem to live in the towns, like it doesn't make sense that there are only a few dozen NPCs per "city", but it's just standard video game stuff that you are used to. If you stop to think about it during play, you're running the risk of the dreaded "breaks immersion". The sensible video gamer avoids thinking about it during play, because they know that it's a bad idea.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    The sensible video gamer avoids thinking about it during play, because they know that it's a bad idea.
    But now we're trying to discuss it on a forum. And it is something that should be discussed. Why are these standard things in video games, and why should they remain standard?

  9. #29
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    Because they're usually for the best. Even were it technically possible to, for instance, have your RPG cities to be the correct size with the correct number of inhabitants, this would be a bad idea.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #30
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    NathanH: Just because something is the standard doesn't mean it's optimal. The point of starting this thread was to discuss how believability in situations like those you mention can be improved. I'm not screaming in anguish over how I can't enjoy games anymore. This issue is not preventing me from having fun. It's just a thing I've been thinking of and feels can be improved.

    Finally, I don't mean never to think, but I mean don't think about things that are obviously standard video game Things That Don't Make Sense.
    The "obviously standard" stuff is often the most interesting stuff to think about.

  11. #31
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Because they're usually for the best. Even were it technically possible to, for instance, have your RPG cities to be the correct size with the correct number of inhabitants, this would be a bad idea.
    Why would it be a bad idea? I think it sounds fabulous. In some games it would be stupid and unnecessary, certainly, but I wouldn't make a rule out of it just because of that.

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    I like violent video games.

    Why all the hate? There are plenty of non-violent games out there. Puzzle games, RPGs, sports games, hell even some "violent" games like Metal Gear Solid can be played through without killing anyone.

  13. #33
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    I LOVE games where the conflict is something other than man hunting man. Portal, The Sims, Audiosurf, Tetris, Lemonade Stand, Need for Speed, Braid, Bejeweled, and pretty much every adventure game are all greatly enjoyable and don't involve killing others.

    That being said, this is us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXFlnlrk2zg

    We are predators. We playfight. That's why violent games don't concern me. I grew up playing equal parts Wolf3D and Police Quest. I think predatorial play scratches an itch of instinct in us that, left unaddressed, leaves us unsatisfied and unbalanced. I'm happier hunting pixels than real deer, that's for sure.

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I also don't believe video games are a medium, but that's talk for another day.
    Take it up with BAFTA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...elevision_Arts

    I'm sure they need enlightening
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  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    I feel like I can't trust Kadayi's signature anymore.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    Why would it be a bad idea? I think it sounds fabulous. In some games it would be stupid and unnecessary, certainly, but I wouldn't make a rule out of it just because of that.
    You'd never be able to find anyone, you'd always get lost, it'd take ages to get anywhere...

    I don't think the believability of such situations needs to be improved because as soon as you are thinking about the believability for more time than it takes to think "this doesn't make sense, but that doesn't matter" you're doing it wrong. As such, I don't see the point in addressing non-problems, because addressing non-problems is a waste of time and risks creating actual problems.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  17. #37
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    Is it possible to play games wrong? I don't think so. You're assuming that the reason why people play games is just to have fun, but there are plenty of other good reasons.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    . If you stop to think about it during play, you're running the risk of the dreaded "breaks immersion". The sensible video gamer avoids thinking about it during play, because they know that it's a bad idea.
    Whilst true, there's a bigger picture in which stopping to think about it you may hit upon a solution to the problem that just broke your immersion. It's worthwhile talking about at least surely?

  19. #39
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    No. Do not look behind the curtain. Ignorance is bliss.

    Edit: This was supposed to be in allcaps for extra sarcasm, but the forum stopped it :(

  20. #40
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by postinternetsyndrome View Post
    Why would it be a bad idea? I think it sounds fabulous.
    A realistically-proportioned city would be a *wonderful* setting for an open-world game. I'm sick of roaming the countryside in RPGs, I want to explore Manhattan or Amsterdam or Lankhmar.

    Even the GTAs compress urban settings to a fraction of their real size. Cities are big.

    I loved the cities in Daggerfall, despite the fairly primitive random layout. It felt like you were in a real place. http://img93.imageshack.us/img93/791...fallmap1jg.jpg
    Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 18-06-2012 at 02:53 PM.

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