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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ado View Post
    I don't see why you guys even argue over semantic bullcrap like genre definitions or, in this case, the definition of fun (which is extremely subjective, you all must admit).
    If you don't have these discussions then you get lots of people writing posts that all use the same words but everyone is using them to mean different things and so nobody has any idea what anyone else is saying. This thread is about whether games can be "not fun". It's rather important if you're posting your opinion about this that you are clear about what "not fun" means to you. Otherwise everyone else has no idea.

    It's not like you and I and everyone else have to agree on what "not fun" means, or all have to agree whether or not Dear Esther is a game, but it's absolutely vital that everyone is clear about what they mean by "fun" and "game", so that everyone else can understand where they're coming from. I don't care too much if someone thinks Dear Esther is a game, and I don't think they should care too much that I don't, but we need to know why each of us thinks that so we know what assumptions and definitions are being used so we know what everyone is saying. It also makes it easier to identify the things you agree with and disagree with if it's all laid out as openly as possible.

    Finally, the need to be clear and precise about everything you're saying is often useful to identify areas of your own thinking that you're not as comfortable with as you originally thought.

    Of course, I'm a mathematician, so laying out assumptions and definitions clearly is something I probably find rather more important and useful than many people.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  2. #62
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    ... but it's absolutely vital that everyone is clear about what they mean by "fun" and "game", so that everyone else can understand where they're coming from...
    I completely agree, and in the perfect world everyone would leave it at that and not argue over who's idea of "fun" is the right one and what the universal definition of "fun" needs to be so that the discussion can continue. Or "game" for that mater, or "FPS" or whatever...

    That's bullshit semantics for me because we all have our own understanding of those terms already ingraned in our minds and they tend to be extremely similar to that of the other forum members, only with a little personal twist (and this personal twist is what gets fought over usually). So, IMO, just skip the obtuse definition part and continue the discussion to it's productive and ultimate conclusion or exhaustion.
    Last edited by ado; 30-01-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    I'm responding directly to the mans comment on my post. You might see that as an opportunity to rail on me (because you seemingly can't get over your forum baggage), I just see that as a breach of the forum rules.
    You're not above the rules, and not all comments warrant response. That's kinda the thing: You can't fault people for derailing while contributing to said derailing. That's what hypocrisy is. You don't actually have to respond.

    I honestly don't care what you do, because I'm not a rulesmonger nor will I threaten to banthammer you using my magical self-appointed mod powers, but I do so very much enjoy pointing out each and every time you fault somebody for doing something you yourself do - as you do it so very, very often.

    This whole crusade of yours about nonexcellent behavior, for instance.
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  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Of course, I'm a mathematician, so laying out assumptions and definitions clearly is something I probably find rather more important and useful than many people.
    I've been thinking about this topic, and I think that's precisely the problem. Our current definition of "definition" comes from the formal sciences (mathematics and logic), where we can achieve clarity, precision, and consensus. It's relatively easy to define a point, a line, a plane, etc.

    The problem is that things get messier as soon as you step out of the formal disciplines. In the natural sciences, definitions already get pretty murky. In the human/cultural ones, striving for a consensual definition about pretty much *anything* is hopeless (you speak as a mathematician, I speak as a sociologist).

    Note that this isn't bad relativism - I'm not saying that because consensus is impossible, any definition is as good as any other. I personally tend to favor a pragmatic view in this subject: we attempt to reach a definition that's more useful to our purposes as a community. But it's not a definitive definition, nor a universal one. And that's ok - that's good relativism.

    All that to say that our recurrent arguments are not "pointless semantics" as some people think, but perfectly valid attempts to improve our perceptions/conceptions of things that matter to us as a community. Not everyone will agree with them, and that's fine. But I think that in general we always learn something new from these discussions, and that's a good thing.

  5. #65
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    definition of "definition"
    INCEPTION HORN

    ...now, frankly, I really find this discussion quite interesting, but I'm sorry that I can't help being amused and at the same time fascinated by the level of meta we're getting to.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    Heh, I know, and it was more-or-less deliberate. It's a subject close to my heart, though. I love epistemological discussions.

    But the point that I think wasn't clear from my previous post is that if we approach these discussions as attempts at "mathematical definitions", the result will only be frustration and animosity. But if we approach them as opportunities to survey different points of view and improve our own, then they can be fruitful and useful.

  7. #67
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    ...That's what hypocrisy is. You don't actually have to respond...
    Dont quite see why you dont follow your own advice, though. "Hey McFly! Are you some kind of... CHICKEN?!" and so on.

    Fun is, of course, very relative. MMOs to me are in general, very unfun due to the grinding aspect. I played Perpetuum Online, but stayed away from the grindy bits as much as I could, only doing it for the concepts that involved grinding in real life; ie. mining.

    But fun is very relative. I find games of Pente/Go Bang very fun from time to time, as well as other boardgames that are not about violence. Same goes for computer games, though less so.

    I dont have a problem with violence, though.
    Last edited by QuantaCat; 30-01-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Dont quite see why you dont follow your own advice, though.
    I have different aims. As I'm sure you've noticed, I don't give a flying fuck about derailments. Rarely does a conversation stay on-topic for long unless you're in a business meeting.
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  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    All that to say that our recurrent arguments are not "pointless semantics" as some people think, but perfectly valid attempts to improve our perceptions/conceptions of things that matter to us as a community. Not everyone will agree with them, and that's fine. But I think that in general we always learn something new from these discussions, and that's a good thing.
    Agreed. I honestly don't get the need by some people have to pour scorn on the interests/fascinations of others. I've little interest in Solium Infernum, but I've never yet felt the urge to go to the Sol sub forum and bomb a thread about it....bizarre really.

    As regards the topic. I'm very much with the extra creditz guy in that 'fun' is a pretty thin slice of the human experience, and that the medium is at the point where in we should be moving beyond that as a principal motivator or even a necessary requirement.

    Personally I'm pretty tired of shooting/killing people in games, especially given the often ludicrous kill counts that are a resultant of challenge generally being measured in numbers Vs actual complexity. I remember getting to the end of GTA IV and checking my stats and despite my best efforts to play Nicco as a 'decent guy' I'd killed over 800 NPCs throughout the game (including about 100 cops) and that just seemed completely nuts. Now sure GTA IV isn't attempting to be a Sim, but that number of kills makes Rambo III look tame.

    Compare and contrast with Alpha Protocol. I pretty much kept deaths to a minimum in that as far as I could, but took action when necessary like a spy/operative would. A lot less kills, but a much greater sense of value to them as a result. Executing Leland at the end was probably one of the most satisfying kills outside of multi-player I've ever had. He totally earned my desire to put a bullet through his head, through his actions throughout the game.

    I think if anything what I want to see is more added meaning to ingame interactions, to build personal investment so that the payoffs (both good and bad) are that much more emotive and effecting. I think both Spec Ops:The Line and The Walking Dead very much deliver in this regard, because you've ownership over your actions and the consequences of them (albeit within the frame of limited choices). Although I enjoyed the narrative aspects of 30 flights and Dear Esther and I can admire them on a technical level in terms of production, because there was minimal interaction there was no sense of personal ownership to the experience and I'm not seeing that as a fruitful direction for game development to go.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 30-01-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
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  10. #70
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I have different aims. As I'm sure you've noticed, I don't give a flying fuck about derailments. Rarely does a conversation stay on-topic for long unless you're in a business meeting.
    I can understand that and somehow, I find that necessary. People wouldnt let themselves get derailed if they didnt find it interesting.

    However, you dont *need* to comment on kads complaint about derailing, even if it is hypocritic. Thats what I meant. I dont mind a good derail myself.
    Last edited by QuantaCat; 30-01-2013 at 10:17 PM.
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  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Derailments are one thing, I don't think anyone minds too much, some of the very best discussion comes from derailments. Probably because it means the posters are actually leaning toward things they want to talk about, rather than just the confines of the topic. That's the way it goes, conversation or any discussion rarely stays on point for long, and that's absolutely fine.

    I think that every single thread ending up with back and forth between a few people trying to catch each other out is a different matter though and it's a bit of a pain because there is still very much life in the thread other than trying to put the boot in.

    So, on that note and a semi-related topic, has anyone actually ever forced themselves to play a game a certain way and found themselves not enjoying it because of the rules they've put on themselves? A couple of times while playing Dishonored and Hitman: Absolution I've sat back and seen in my quest to be a nice person and not kill anyone I'm not really having a lot of fun, because I'm not really being creative. Anyone else had this? I nearly punched my own face off in frustration in the last couple of levels of Mirrors Edge because I did not want to kill anybody, when it had literally no impact on the outcome whatsoever. I guess Dishonored is a little different but still.
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  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    So, on that note and a semi-related topic, has anyone actually ever forced themselves to play a game a certain way and found themselves not enjoying it because of the rules they've put on themselves? A couple of times while playing Dishonored and Hitman: Absolution I've sat back and seen in my quest to be a nice person and not kill anyone I'm not really having a lot of fun, because I'm not really being creative. Anyone else had this? I nearly punched my own face off in frustration in the last couple of levels of Mirrors Edge because I did not want to kill anybody, when it had literally no impact on the outcome whatsoever. I guess Dishonored is a little different but still.
    For sure. With Dishonored I tried to avoid killing, but towards the latter stages of the game the frequency of the guards etc meant the fun/frustration line of the challenge was firmly crossed and it became a hell of a lot easier to just kill the guards Vs keep constantly reloading when things went tits up. Similarly with Mirrors Edge I tried to avoid using the guns Vs unarmed but the combat model was terrible and it just became a lot easier to shoot the guards Vs try and incapacitate them.

    With Hitman:A I have tried to do most of the missions suit only as well as silent assassin, but some are again just obnoxious in terms of the hoops you have to jump through in order to succeed. I don't doubt somewhere someones managed to play the entire game suit only & silent assassin and I can only kowtow to their patience and commitment in that regard (bold pioneers that they are) because the time to really go that far frankly eludes me these days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
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  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    So, on that note and a semi-related topic, has anyone actually ever forced themselves to play a game a certain way and found themselves not enjoying it because of the rules they've put on themselves?
    Try walking everywhere in a Bethesda game. You're only hurting yourself.
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  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Try walking everywhere in a Bethesda game. You're only hurting yourself.
    I once tried a self-imposed "realism" mod in which I tried to carry only about as much stuff as seemed reasonable for the character (the weights aren't very realistic for weapons and many of the very small items, so I mostly went by quantity and gut-reaction to avoid making the evaluation part of it too tedious). And damn ... that combined with walking everywhere made the game a bit of a pain. Picking up valuable loot has become such a part of my gaming paradigm that the idea of exploring and questing and even treasure hunting as a lone man with feasible carrying capacity (I assumed a backpack or similar even though I didn't have any moded in) felt awkward and tedious. Trying to get enough sleep was a rather awful experiment. The whole enterprise ended pretty quickly and I was back to ... well, this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbQQzePzt4

    And as stupid as it seems when I think about it, it's fun enough in the moment.
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  15. #75
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    So, on that note and a semi-related topic, has anyone actually ever forced themselves to play a game a certain way and found themselves not enjoying it because of the rules they've put on themselves?
    These days I make it a point to have zero restrictions on myself when playing a game, and just go with the gut as I play the game itself instead of setting rules on myself or to go our of my way to hunt for achievements or grind for that special item or whatever... I do this even if the game has a silly morality system like Dishonored that rewards you for playing like a pansy (or whatever you want to call it :P). Playing games this way has tremendously enhanced my enjoyment of them.

    However I used to make restrictions to my play and used to chase silly goals like to get the one bullet achievement in Ep.1 or play pure paragon in Bioware games (or even pure renegade). But I realized I was doing this to "max" the game on the cost of my own enjoyment of it, so I just stopped paying attention to achievements and grinds and morality systems in games at all. If a game forces me to go down a path like that (like most MMOs do for example), then that game loses considerable value in my eyes.

    Still, self imposed restrictions can be fun sometimes, especially in the games I adore and have played out to death. Like Dark Souls for example, where I would for example play a paladin (heavy armor, large 2h swords and only holy and lightning spells allowed), or a samurai or whatever. Or Baldur's Gate, which by design is a game of restrictions and having fun with those XD
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  16. #76
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    The whole enterprise ended pretty quickly and I was back to ... well, this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbQQzePzt4
    That was brilliant.
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  17. #77
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    That was brilliant.
    My sister sent that to me when I told her I play Skyrim. :)
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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    So, on that note and a semi-related topic, has anyone actually ever forced themselves to play a game a certain way and found themselves not enjoying it because of the rules they've put on themselves?
    I tried to play Thief without being detected and without blackjacking anyone, because everyone on the Thief forum was like "this is the right way to play" but it was just utterly tedious so I had to stop. It takes ages and you're rarely doing anything interesting. Maybe next time I play I'll use a "no more than x takedowns", like used in the mission Framed. I thought that was good: you had the opportunity to use all your tools on the annoying guards, but for innocuous ones it was better just to ignore them.

    I tried to play Skyrim and Oblivion with food-and-sleep mods, but this proved entirely pointless after about level 5. Early on, combined with my other rules that made me weak relative to the world and usually poor, it was reasonably interesting. But after level 5 I always had enough food and could easily find somewhere to rest so it was just wasting my time. Still, these rules have to be tried---I play Oblivion and Skyrim with a bunch of house rules and game mechanics mods that really make the game more exciting in non-obvious ways. I recommend anyone try developing semi-hardcore death rules: when you die, you get some random penalties depending on what killed you (bandits will steal high-value low-weight items and gold, marauders will steal gold and high-value items and weapons, vampires may turn you into one or kill you, necromancers are scary...). Suddenly everything because more exciting, your progress is frequently "reset", you're scared to carry all your best items around with you at once, and it's really sad when you have to delete your 90-hour savegame after you mistake a vampire coven for a bandit lair.
    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
    I recommend anyone try developing semi-hardcore death rules: when you die, you get some random penalties depending on what killed you (bandits will steal high-value low-weight items and gold, marauders will steal gold and high-value items and weapons, vampires may turn you into one or kill you, necromancers are scary...).
    That's one element I feel is most missing from games like Skyrim. Everything tries to kill me ... nothing runs away out of self-preservation or tries to avoid me or tries to subdue me and rob me without necessarily committing murder, or tries to simply throw me out of the building ass-first ... and the guards decide murder is the proper response to far too many crimes which could be part of the setting but it doesn't feel like it is.

    I never considered what sorts of things I can do player-side to simulate those sorts of mechanical effects. I'll have to put some thought into that now.
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  20. #80
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    That's one element I feel is most missing from games like Skyrim. Everything tries to kill me ...
    Even the butterflies? Maybe it's just you... ;)

    But seriously yeah, I thought it was kind of absurd that they had the "Oh no don't kill me!" animation added, after which the said bandit or whatever would promptly get back up and take another swipe at you. What was the point of that? First few times I paused to see if they'd actually run away or something, but nope. And it's not like there's no mechanic for them to escape, what with the Fear spell, so I don't know why they didn't include it.

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