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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    And most novels do not make good movies.

    And most movies most certainly do not make good games.

    So?
    It almost sounds like you're suggesting that games should be judged against games, movies against movies and books against books...

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Which is what I was saying.
    Now we're going in circles trying to find an argument.

  3. #23
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    I agree with him, RPG stories in particular are utter toss. If you are playing them for the story I would suggest that would get considerably more from reading a book.
    Last edited by baboonanza; 29-11-2012 at 04:10 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    That's what the reasoning of all reviews boil down to too, I liked it/I didn't. I agree with him though, the Mass Effect games are very mediocre titles with high production values and meaningless romance.
    No, good reviews do more. Everyone can have some stupid opinion, but I value opinions that are well reasoned inifnitely more. I agree with the guy, but he hardly gave any reasoning behind his opinion, which makes his opinion immediately dismissable.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    It almost sounds like you're suggesting that games should be judged against games, movies against movies and books against books...
    inorite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkasaurusmex View Post
    Which is what I was saying.
    Well, yes. Except I prefer at least twice the snark you're offering.

    Quote Originally Posted by baboonanza View Post
    I agree with him, RPG stories in particular are utter toss. If you are playing them for the story I would suggest that would get considerably more from reading a book.
    I can't play a book.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Guardian View Post
    I don't see how some guys opinion on what constitutes good science fiction is relevant in general. Especially if all that guy's got to his name is an upcoming PSN arcade game Dyad.
    It's relevant because I agree with him. That should be enough. He could be anybody, a personal attack won't make his points more or less relevant. It tells more about you than him.

    A good game makes a story, not the other way around. Everywhere outside computer "games", you'll be treated like an idiot for suggesting games are for storytelling. Try to tell a story during a football match. Even Game Masters in pen&paper RPG games - which have many similarities to telling a story - know that it's futile and ultimately harmful to force a story on players. A good GM should be able to take the story off the track if it makes sense, if players decide to try something interesting but unexpected.

    Don't confuse entertainment software with games. Sim City is not a game - not according to its own creator. He offers a ball as a comparison. A ball is not a game. You can do many things with it, but you need to set your own goals. Only then it becomes a game. Minecraft is not a game, not any more than LEGO is. LEGO is not terrible and neither is Minecraft, but they're not games.

    And don't mess with Science Fiction. The term has science in it, meaning there's an expectation of rigour, methodology, and honesty. It has to be plausible. If you want to set a story in the future because you like lasers, explosions and cool effects - and you keep inventing things like wormholes to get pesky physics and distances out of the way - don't call it Science Fiction. Science Fiction is not for people who dislike science. Call it Space Opera, or, if you prefer a more neutral term - futuristic. Both of these terms are widely recognized so you don't lose anything.
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  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    I miss when games had compelling stories that kept me playing just to find out the next plot twist. I remember Final Fantasy II and III (in the US) were like this. Why don't they make games like that anymore? Well, it's because I'm 33 years old. I can play all the JRPGs I want, but I can't be 10 again. I think, for me, there's a lot of nostalgia involved in wanting good stories in games, but it's nostalgia for the mindset of a 10 year old, not really nostalgia for classic game design. It's not that I'm older so I need more literary stuff in stories, actually, it's just that I'm older so I start to fall into that trap of, "I've seen this before, be more original!"

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Explain how telling a story in a video game is self defeating?

    You're not allowed use the excuse "books do it better".

    Go.
    It's easy. Games are games.

  9. #29
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    I'm still trying to decide whether my Game of the Year this year is XCOM or The Walking Dead. So what this guy is saying is beyond mere bollocks to me. It seems to have emerged out of a total separate universe where I suppose Mass Effect is the only game that has ever existed?

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    It's easy. Games are games.
    That doesn't answer the question at all. I'll just take it you're not going to try attempt to do so and leave it at that.

  11. #31
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    From a standpoint I think is shared by the general PC gaming community, why on earth would a 11+ year old game like PS: T still be discussed and praised if we didn't care about stories? In fact, I've come to realize in the past few years that story aspects (plot, characters, universe) vastly outweigh other aspects of games and while a game with the right stuff (storywise) may require a little oomph to move it along, it wouldn't even be worth playing in the first place if it didn't have the right stuff. It's the same reason games like Europa Universalis remain niche while Crusader Kings 2 was mentioned more than any game (even with the likes of dishonored and xcom) in the "Game of the Year" thread on this forum.
    Choices aren't meaningless at all either. What reason would even provoke that idea? Generally you don't get a choice between several completely separate progressions in storyline, but making decisions that alter the outcome of certain events is by no means meaningless, it's what really separates a game from a book or movie isn't it?

  12. #32
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    It's disappointing so many developers still think of a "video game story" only as what you shovel to the player in a cut scene.

    Also, calling it an "NP-hard problem" is laughable in that it's clear he doesn't know what NP-hard even means. Just say "I don't know what to do besides cut-scenes" and be done with it.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    That doesn't answer the question at all. I'll just take it you're not going to try attempt to do so and leave it at that.
    He's right, even if he doesn't phrase it in an accessible way. Games are for playing. Games are for acting. Games are not for being told stuff and watching stuff. I don't insist that this kind of entertainment should disappear - just don't call it a game. It's more like "Choose Your Own Adventure". If you want to confront the strange man, go to page 34. If you want to follow him, go to page 22. If you would rather buy a newspaper, page 67. Nowadays many computer "games" don't even have a loss condition - as long as player doesn't stop playing. Rage, Prey, Bioshock and others just make you respawn. So the point that you have to "aim well" is untrue. At the very least, a game should be played against an opponent (or a challenge) that is on your level. Otherwise it's too easy and outcome is known.

    And it's not just that mechanics are important in a game. They make and define the game. Outside of computer "game" community, games are distinguished by their rules. If Heroes of Might and Magic III was a board game (possible, but awfully time-consuming to calculate everything) it would be called an expansion to Heroes II. Yes, because mechanically Heroes III is extremely similar and it's the least innovative HOMM game in the entire serries. It adds the least number of mechanics. Oh yeah, it has new pictures and a different set of "cards". So does Munchkin Cthulhu.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    He's right, even if he doesn't phrase it in an accessible way. Games are for playing. Games are for acting. Games are not for being told stuff and watching stuff. I don't insist that this kind of entertainment should disappear - just don't call it a game. It's more like "Choose Your Own Adventure". If you want to confront the strange man, go to page 34. If you want to follow him, go to page 22. If you would rather buy a newspaper, page 67. Nowadays many computer "games" don't even have a loss condition - as long as player doesn't stop playing. Rage, Prey, Bioshock and others just make you respawn. So the point that you have to "aim well" is untrue. At the very least, a game should be played against an opponent (or a challenge) that is on your level. Otherwise it's too easy and outcome is known.

    And it's not just that mechanics are important in a game. They make and define the game. Outside of computer "game" community, games are distinguished by their rules. If Heroes of Might and Magic III was a board game (possible, but awfully time-consuming to calculate everything) it would be called an expansion to Heroes II. Yes, because mechanically Heroes III is extremely similar and it's the least innovative HOMM game in the entire serries. It adds the least number of mechanics. Oh yeah, it has new pictures and a different set of "cards". So does Munchkin Cthulhu.
    The whole let's stop calling this a game argument is so tediously pointless to me. And it's flatly false - there is *no* binary division between game and not-game. There's instead a full and varied spectrum, between experiences where gameplay is important, and where gameplay is secondary. As there is between games whose graphics is abstract, and those that are realistic. And whose mechanics are simulationist, and those that are fine tuned for balanced gameplay. And ones where challenge is essential, and where challenge is mostly for pacing and spacing out set-pieces. Throwing down on 'oh this and that isn't a game' serves no one any good at all, except as a way of finding disagreement with someone who puts that threshold at a slightly different position and enjoys different types of experiences. It's just dumb.

    Who cares what you call it? The fact is, people like to play stuff like the Walking Dead. Games writers like to write about them. Self-described gamers like to discuss them. Jumping in with NotAGame!! just makes you look like a dick.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fhnuzoag View Post
    The whole let's stop calling this a game argument is so tediously pointless to me. And it's flatly false - there is *no* binary division between game and not-game. There's instead a full and varied spectrum, between experiences where gameplay is important, and where gameplay is secondary. As there is between games whose graphics is abstract, and those that are realistic. And whose mechanics are simulationist, and those that are fine tuned for balanced gameplay. And ones where challenge is essential, and where challenge is mostly for pacing and spacing out set-pieces. Throwing down on 'oh this and that isn't a game' serves no one any good at all, except as a way of finding disagreement with someone who puts that threshold at a slightly different position and enjoys different types of experiences. It's just dumb.

    Who cares what you call it? The fact is, people like to play stuff like the Walking Dead. Games writers like to write about them. Self-described gamers like to discuss them. Jumping in with NotAGame!! just makes you look like a dick.
    Can I give you a hug? It's like you went inside my mind and wrote what I thought better than I could've ever done.

  16. #36
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    That's absolutely silly considering the complexity of old text only games. he's just being a doofus to get press.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    A good game makes a story, not the other way around. Everywhere outside computer "games", you'll be treated like an idiot for suggesting games are for storytelling. Try to tell a story during a football match.
    A good game can make a story, but you can do it the other way around too. A good football match generally does have a narrative to it. Indeed, from what I've seen, the most 'exciting' football matches are those with strong narratives. The 'boring' ones are those without one. Sure, in that case, sport creates story. But there's nothing intrinsically wrong with doing it the other way round. Friday Night Lights is terrific and uses the mechanics of American Football to create certain dramatic moments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    It's easy. Games are games.
    Fair enough. Would you also argue that dance is dance, and therefore any dances that attempt to tell a story are equally stupid? Likewise music is music, so narrative in music is dumb? And painted art is art, so telling a story through that is silly? And don't even think about putting a bunch of illustrations together and calling them a comic book and pretending that has a story, because we're only there to look at the pretty pictures right?

    And hell, why do books get away with special treatment? Prose is prose right? We're there for the elegance of semantic construction, the beauty of a well-formed paragraph, the evocative descriptions and the smart, witty dialogue. Don't go putting a fucking story in it! That's ruining the purity of the written word! If you want a story get someone to tell you one! Books are for pretty combinations of words!

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Fhnuzoag View Post
    Throwing down on 'oh this and that isn't a game' serves no one any good at all, except as a way of finding disagreement with someone who puts that threshold at a slightly different position and enjoys different types of experiences. It's just dumb.
    Conversely, it's dumb to argue for simplification of critical language vis--vis videogames. There's a huge difference between something like the Walking Dead and DayZ which should be apparent for anyone. Now, no matter what you may think, 'game' is a well-defined concept that usually pertains to a system with rules and goals that the 'player' interacts with. According to that, the Walking Dead is a terrible game, where a player is limited to walking from point A to point B and occasionally pressing a button during a QTE sequence. Most of the stuff happens outside the system, because you can't interact meaningfully with it, since it's a linear narrative with some deviations here and there.

    On the other hand, DayZ is a fantastic game. It has a loosely defined goal, i.e. to survive, and the complexity of the rules allows for a vast range of possible interactions within the system. Countless truly fascinating stories have come out of the game, and there's not a single line of dialogue or cutscene in it.

    So what is exactly wrong with making this distinction, when the Walking Dead fails spectacularly at being a game but while it's obvious that the developer's intentions lay elsewhere? Clearer notions would lead to a better understanding and a fuller appreciation of things that they define. Same as it ever was.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    He's right, even if he doesn't phrase it in an accessible way. Games are for playing. Games are for acting. Games are not for being told stuff and watching stuff. I don't insist that this kind of entertainment should disappear - just don't call it a game. It's more like "Choose Your Own Adventure".
    We used to call them game books.

    Language changes, and language has moved on. Game now encompasses video games, there are far more people that see 'game' as the sort of thing we talk about than what you're trying to limit it to. And in that case, I'd suggest that if you really want the distinction to exist in the word, maybe stop calling your thing 'game' and call it something else instead?

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Are we actually devolving to the definition of the word "game?"

    Dear lord in heaven, grant me the ability to smite these noobs.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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