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Thread: Explain to me...
01-01-2013, 04:27 AM #21
I think you're half reading comments then and running them through the Soldant filter and you're seeing, to a large degree, what you want to see and/or amplifying a small number of comments to represent more people or a larger attitude than they do. And yes, when you repeatedly slag off the work of my -friends-, it does annoy. It makes this place a slightly shittier place for me to visit when you repeat this guff for the three hundredth time. Believe it or not, it's not "anything indie", it's just stuff like this.
Call Of Duty, outside of a couple of complete noddies, doesn't get slated because it's AAA and manshoots are bad and innovation is dead at all. It gets used as an example of a certain kind of design that has caused the industry to shit its own pants trying to follow in its wake, it gets slated for Activision's occasional attempts at gouging the player base, for being a big budget game on a yearly cycle, it gets slated for having a very black heart and bringing Oliver North in as an advisor and for being pro-military and dodgy in how it chooses to tell its stories and many, many other reasons. You may/may not agree with these reasons, that's cool. But there's reasons and if you listen, you'll hear those reasons. "Because it's mainstream" invariably isn't one of them. It is not slagged off and an indie game feted in exchange. If anything, the thing you completely miss is that we indie developers have to wade through shit like this all the time where we're accused of having half baked ideas, art games being a wanky dead end where it takes no talent to get noticed and whatever else and people accusing us of having the easiest time of it compared to AAA games and the exact opposite is the reality.
It's shit a brick hard to even get a peep out of the press and it's even harder to get noticed by the public. If you're reading about an indie game on RPS, congrats. You're reading about one of the lucky few. This attitude you speak of does not exist in a large enough amount. If it did, fuck, loads of people I know would be swimming happily in cash because people were just throwing money at them *because* they're indie. This does not happen. I've seen the numbers, I've done the circuit myself. In many ways, I wish your reality was sort of true (aside from meaning we'd have to deal with more wankers on the planet) because it would benefit all indie developers immensely.
And the same thing goes for the "dumbed down" brigade. There's like six of them versus the rest of humanity or something whilst the vast majority of people are perfectly capable of holding a discussion without cracking their head against their own desks due to their own stupidity and inability to think in a straight line.
What I'm basically saying is, it'd be massively nicer if you could just say "you know what, I think these games are a bit toss" without stuff like this because that's all fair enough and at least honest.
Last edited by RobF; 01-01-2013 at 04:41 AM.
01-01-2013, 06:05 AM #22
I'm sorry if you don't like my opinions about some indie games or some of the attitudes and response I see from or regarding the indie sector, but I'm commenting on what I see and how I interpret it. I don't mean to sound like a vindictive corporate nightmare out to eat the heart of the indie sector while defecating onto its corpse, but I do mean to criticise it.
Wot I Think for A Valley Without Wind. Clearly has fundamental issues and while some people accept that it isn't a particularly great game, there's plenty of cries of "It's the concept that matters!" or "Yeah but they made AI War so maybe get it just to support them." Hell at times the WiT just seems to avoid saying that it's just not a good game, instead trying to opt for a kind of "It's a good try but not quite there yet" sort of conclusion. If it was a AAA title, it'd be much more brutal.
That was my point - some of the standards I see a remarkably different. Not that there shouldn't be different standards to take into account the difference in resources and time and so on (nobody's suggesting an indie should be held to the same standard as a AAA studio) but that we're far more forgiving of indie titles by default just because they're indies. Coverage, exposure, the challenge of being an indie, yes fine all valid issues, but as a gamer I don't care. I only care about what game you turn out, if you invested 5 years into making something that isn't very good, I don't see why I should give you a gold star. I wouldn't for a AAA game. We sure as hell didn't for Duke Nukem Forever to the point where flaws were exaggerated just for jokes. Why should we for an indie dev?
01-01-2013, 06:48 AM #23
I don't actually give two hoots whether you like my work or any of my friends work (and I'm slightly regretting hastily phrasing it awkardly like that in the first paragraph of my previous post because it's not what I meant but oh well). Honestly.
It is not criticism I take issue with. It's the same constant repeated sweeping generalisations and snide jabs in topics that whilst I have no doubt "is how you see things", don't quite tally with the reality. Your view, whilst you're welcome to hold it, even welcome to say it out loud, is not exactly based on the soundest of premise hence I would prefer it if you'd just outright say "I think x is crap" rather than this all the time. And I know full well you mean to criticise it. I'd ask you to question how you're criticising it, why you're criticising it, not that you're criticising it.
If you're going to put your idea out there, be prepared for criticism, and at times it'll be merciless.
There's leeway but it's the kind of leeway that simply accepts that a game by one person will not be the same as a game with a 50 million dollar budget. Beyond that, indie games get judged as any game would, they get judged as games and people like or dislike them as they see fit. The indie easy ride you're trying to create is a fiction and trying to dress my response up as me not accepting criticism or thinking indie games shouldn't receive criticism is bizarre. I'm telling you, point blank in no uncertain terms, they do get criticised, they get criticised harshly, devs get criticised. I get criticised and that's how the majority of comments and threads play out.
I'm saying that the idea, the very idea that we get preferential treatment flies in the face of all sales figures, 99% of comments and comments sections on the internet and 99% of press coverage. You're extrapolating the odd comment here and there as if it's the norm comment rather than an exception. It is an exception. And reading someone trying to frame it otherwise when the reality is so very different is what makes the snide remarks upsetting.
Last edited by RobF; 01-01-2013 at 06:52 AM.
01-01-2013, 07:55 AM #24
I go have a happy new year's party, and RobF and Soldant are slagging off each other or whatever the hell it is you call it when people absolutely refuse to accept the other's point of view:
Soldant: Sometimes indies are worthwhile. If we had a foolproof system of figuring out when that is, we wouldn't have a forum here.
RobF: Nobody gives a shit about your shit until your shit is worth giving a shit about. So man the fuck up and learn how to take the shit.
01-01-2013, 07:58 AM #25
01-01-2013, 08:05 AM #26
RobF: Clearly we're not going to get anywhere with this (or cherry-picking examples) so we might as well agree to disagree, but before that - I'd just say that you're somewhat misinterpreting what I'm saying. I never said there's a free-ride for indies. But the standards are different. We disagree in why or how they're different, but we at least agree that there is a difference. Also I don't deliberately go out of my way to upset you or piss you off, there's nothing personal here.
01-01-2013, 09:51 AM #27
Well there's perspective. We can see things our character shouldn't be able to see, like things above him or through solid surfaces. When a platformer uses static unmoving screens (Flashback, Braid, Dizzy, etc) it's usually one big puzzle, and thanks to the view we can absorb the whole picture and come up with a solution much faster than we could by running around in first-person. Then there's the colourful environments platformers tend to use - a feature sorely lacking in today's AAA brown market. Trine 2 was a feast for the eyes.
I'm not really into platformers, but if something has personality like Super Meat Boy, I'll snap it up. In fact no genre is entirely off limits as far as I'm concerned. Except Wii/Kinect dance games.
01-01-2013, 10:31 AM #28
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01-01-2013, 01:11 PM #29
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The genre isn't as limited as you think, it uses the same gameplay mechanics in different ways to offer slightly different experiences, but that's what all genres do.
This isn't a personal dig, cause that's not my thing, but its silly to criticize or generalize an entire genre for anything other than the rules that define the genre, and even that is problematic because many such rules serve a function to the adherents of said genre. There are undoubtedly works of merit in it, small differences that distinguish individual pieces from other members of the genre, differences in execution, and utter dreck.
So, as someone who likes platformers here's a list of the ones I've played recently, and why I like them.
NSMBwii - Very neat 4 player coop mechanic. Penny arcade was right to call it super divorce brothers.
DKCR - perfectly honed challenge, never too frustrating to get through, has some beautiful sunset levels.
Kirby's Epic Yarn - really neat use of fabric to create and alter levels. Lack of challenge made it a bit dull at times.
1000 Amps - minimalist graphics and neat use of screen changing mechanics made for a very enjoyable puzzler
Adventures of Shuggy - It had some interesting puzzles, but it was far too floaty (your character lacked friction) for my tastes. It seemed more a collection of mechanics from other platformers than a game in its own right.
Eversion - I would have liked to see a bit more refined graphics, but the dimension shifting aspect was pretty neat and made for some moderately difficult puzzles. The Braid parody was a nice touch, but it should have had two secret endings.
Saira - Nice exploration mechanics and beautiful graphics, but it felt a bit long.
Waking Mars - The graphics were uneven in quality but ultimately negligible. The growing and exploring mechanic was quite fun, but the seed limits on plants (especially in settled areas) were annoying. The narrative was fascinating if predictable. Far more fun that it's ignorable flaws indicate.
Beep - a mediocre effort with amateur art and a lack of mechanical changes. It feels half-baked.
Capsized - absolutely gorgeous vibrant art chained to (swinging/ jetpack) mechanics that are interesting the first levels, but feel too static in the long run.
Gish - never liked it enough to get far into the game. The are isn't great, and the wall-sticking mechanic didn't grab me.
Nightsky - pretty enough. Mechanics do change. But overall I felt it was slow and a bit boring.
Super Meat Boy - I hate this game. It's art is ugly, amateurish, and disconnected. It doesn't matter to me if that was a choice or not. The difficulty is masochistic for no damn reason. It's an exercise in dick-waving on the part of the developer and players that I want no part in.
And Yet it Moves - Serviceable papercraft graphics combined with a neat orientation mechanic and solid feeling physics and objects make this an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
Blocks that Matter - This is pretty, but ultimately inconsequential. The block building is fun, even if the main game doesn't provide much challenge. The platforming is a bit cludgy, but normally creativity makes up for that.
Cloning Clyde - It's not that pretty, but the cloning aspect was okay. The game wastes the players time too often, and there's no reason for combat.
Limbo - A game in love with its own pomposity. Dreary but well executed graphics are interesting. The cruelty of the game is a giant screw you to players, making the game purposefully annoying. The intent to create an emotional connection by showing a child die in 300 different ways is hamfisted at best and cynically calculated at worst.
Nyxquest - fun wind mechanics and enjoyable flight, but it was wise to make the game as short as they did.
Pixel Junk Eden - Beautiful, bright minimalist graphics. The time mechanic was a stupid mistake, and they should have patched it out. Otherwise exploration is a joy.
Rochard - Very pretty 3d graphics. Playing with gravity isn't new, but it did a good job of it. The story and VA are terrible, and most of the game isn't very challenging.
Sideway - Very neat graffiti aesthetic, and moving around 3d buildings as a 2d object was cool. It had okay mechanics, but boss fights were annoying.
Trine - Is just fun. The wizard had neat ways of killing things / solving puzzles, and the assassin was quite fun to swing around. Combat was solid, jumping was fun, the levels were beautiful.
VVVVV - The difficulty is perfectly balanced. Anywhere that is downright masochistic is also optional. The music is great. The programmer graphics fit the game.
Bit Trip Runner - Wonderfully addictive. Great music mechanic and bright graphics.
Unepic - A little too grindy for my tastes, and enemies are a bit too powerful in some section. Combat is great, loot is cool. I quit after the everything is designed to mess with you world though. Loosing your best weapon after some dick mage makes you drop it and a thief steals it is not fun.
So that's the list of platformers I played the last twoish years, some are good, some are bad. I don't always agree with critical consensus or disagree. This is much the same of any other genre. If you don't like it, that's fine. Notice that most of the games have quite different mechanics, so the genre isn't as limited as you might think.
Last edited by Internet; 01-01-2013 at 01:16 PM.
04-01-2013, 03:03 AM #30
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And whenever RPS covers the 'premium' end of indie gaming, so $30+ price points, they tend to mention and judge the game more harshly. I'd imagine if the next CoD game comes out for $10 it will get an easier time of it.
04-01-2013, 03:34 AM #31
I think that if a lot of people really like Braid and Limbo and whatnot, then we can sort of stop there. There's not much sense in calling all of the fans of Braid hipsters so as to explain why games that you personally don't enjoy become popular. Isn't the whole "It's popular, but I think it's crap, what's with that?" mentality at least part of why people dislike the whole indie/hipster shtick in the first place? Some folks were saying that being indie doesn't make games special, and that critics and fans shouldn't go easy on games that are indie. Fair enough ... but what made you folks think people are going too easy on indie titles? Perhaps that indie games are more popular than you think they deserve to be? I hope not.
The first thing I'd argue here is that not all artsy-indie-platformers are quite so same-y as the people who particularly dislike them claim. Nor do they appeal to the same people, or try to do the same things mechanistically or stylistically. Second, a lot of games are crap but indie games tend to be cheaper whether or not they are crap. Third, people who wouldn't otherwise buy the game will play it when it costs $5. This means it's going to have broader exposure (not necessarily deeper, but broader) and get both press and attention outside of it's normal niche. Lastly, artsy indie platformers haven't caught the "let's make the game X hours long" disease quite so badly as AAA titles have. In my experience, developers in the artsy-indie sphere are less likely than their AAA counterparts to create a game that stays past it's welcome.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
04-01-2013, 12:20 PM #32
04-01-2013, 12:53 PM #33
04-01-2013, 04:08 PM #34
04-01-2013, 04:11 PM #35
04-01-2013, 04:29 PM #36
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I am not necessarily good at platformers, but I do enjoy them from time to time. For me, a good platformer needs to have satisfying mechanics for traversing the world and the world itself must be engaging. A recent (and fantastic) example of this would be Rayman Origins. The world and artwork were so varied and amazing, I just loved every minute of it, and the controls were very tight. I have also enjoyed Super Meat Boy, although I suck at it. I am also interested in Dustforce, as another post mentioned, because the world-traversal mechanics look very interesting and fun.
I would make a distinction, however, between pure platformers and physics-puzzler platformers, to which your post seems to be specifically referring. Those games, to me, are more about the world and less about the mechanics (the Trine series is a good example).
Just like many other game genres, I personally go through phases where I want to play them a lot, then I lose interest for awhile.
04-01-2013, 04:30 PM #37
Explain to me... what it would take to get game protagonists who reflect real life demographics rather than idealized comic book forms from the 90s, other than murdering the top developers wholesale.
04-01-2013, 04:30 PM #38
I'm not sure how 2D games such as platformers are limited in comparison to 3D games (aside from an axis of movement). It is just a question of how much level of abstraction you are willing to take. For timing-based puzzles, jumping, and shooting mechanics I vastly prefer 2D platformers because the controls are precise and generally don't require a mouse.
Some people like really abstract games such as... I dunno, Super Hexagon? For me the sweet spot is a person running around and doing stuff. I prefer that to most "modern" 3D games because I don't care for looking at the world through a targeting reticle. I just don't enjoy sweeping my mouse across things and clicking the LMB a lot.
I sometimes feel less immersed in 3D games because flaws in the world are noticeable. I hit the uncanny valley, I guess, and the motion can be sickening. Plus 2D platformers lend themselves well to pick-up-and-play, gaming in small bites.
Maybe you're not picking on 2D platformers, but on all platformers. What do you see as limited? Which aspect of gameplay? Is it because there's no inventory? Well, depends on the game. No RPG-esque stats? Same. No crafting? Not true, really depends.
Honestly there are very few mechanics that have not been implemented in platformers. Maybe not in ALL platformers, but if you feel there is one same mechanic that belongs in all games and therefore makes them superior to platformers I don't know what that is.
04-01-2013, 04:40 PM #39
I find the inability to see forward the most annoying limitation. That and the two axis movement. Those were the kind of limitations I meant and thus wouldn't apply on 3D platformers. Not sure if there are any / many, and they'd surely have their own set of issues. Sidescrollers don't make for good exploration games either. There's the mentioned inability to see forward, but also the "absolute" nature of it. Terraria for example, I can go left or right. When I come back, I'll be backtracking 100% same route.
04-01-2013, 05:00 PM #40
As long as this thread appears on the first page of the forum, I will not be able to skim the page without hearing this in my head:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z2Z23SAFVA&t=1m43sSupport for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.