Profile
Search
Register
Log in
THE Video Game Discussion Thread
View previous topic | View next topic >

Post new topic Reply to topic
Strange Famous Forum > The General Forum

Author Message
mortalthoughts
LAME KID


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 11616
Location: MI
 Reply with quote  

i played fallout 3 and i just pissed everyone off to the point where i couldnt not die anywhere i went
then i didnt want to start the game over so now its collecting dust


not to mention all the menus drive me crazy! fuck a pipboy
Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:07 pm
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2019
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

In Fable 3 I think I ultimately earned less than 25000 gold doing jobs. The rest was by buying property as soon as I could (taking my gold all the way back down to zero) and exploring to find silver/gold keys and books, destroy gnomes, dig stuff up, do relationship quests, level up weapons, etc.

The more property I owned the less time it took to buy the next property on the list. The way it works out is that if you buy a property and lower the income from normal to low, it takes you less than 200 minutes of gameplay to recoup your original investment and everything after that is pure profit. Leaving prices at normal takes it back to 100 minutes, etc.

Hitting critical mass was mostly a matter of being able to open some of the 15-key treasure chests, demon doors, etc., and making judicious use of the pawn shop. I had essentially already hit critical mass by the time I unlocked the Mistpeak monorail station.

Dr. Sagacious is definitely right about the side quests. One of the first ones is a series of quests that culminates with you helping a married couple decide whether to kill their chickens or let them live; the dialog in the argument is intentionally stupid, with the husband fearing chickens like people in real life might fear untrained pit bulls.

The doc is also right about the flourishes in combat; that animation definitely makes the combat more fun to watch, even though it's still basically a rock-paper-scissors system as it unfolds.

The synthesis between these titles is exactly what I'm getting at, and it's something that happens organically in video games all the time. Call of Duty titles and Halo Reach have both developed RPG-style experience systems to reward ongoing interaction with the game; cover systems that started with games like Killswitch and Gears of War have slowly propagated into other titles, as have things like the platforming mechanics we first saw mature with Ico and Prince of Persia.

CliffyB from Epic was talking on the Joe Rogan podcast last week about how sometimes the only thing it takes to pioneer a new genre is a different camera angle, but to me the more interesting thing is the slowly dissolving boundaries between genres. I think that all of these different kinds of games are gradually converging around a common idiom. A long-term part of that common idiom is also something CliffyB discussed during his podcast: techniques for generative creation of games. Of the three game studios we're talking about, Lionhead is the most focused on that and I think Bioware has done the least amount (randomizing the contents of treasure chests? pssh...); I think the generative parts of Left 4 Dead are the most exciting piece of that franchise.

Rudy Rucker has written a bit of stuff in his online writing-about-writing about the concept of "gnarl" in science fiction. I have more to say about that and how it relates to the future of game design but for the moment I have people converging on my condo and a DVR full of TV that isn't going to watch itself. Back later tonight...
Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:09 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
 Reply with quote  

Who's up on the new X-Men arcade game? Bringing back some crazy quarter-poppin memories!
Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:50 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7789
 Reply with quote  

new? x-men arcade?
Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:41 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19373
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
 Reply with quote  

Captiv8 wrote:
Who's up on the new X-Men arcade game? Bringing back some crazy quarter-poppin memories!


Yeah I'm going to get that on my next paycheck. Loved that arcade game.
Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:43 pm
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
medicineman
HALFLING


Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 1393
Location: Iowa City
 Reply with quote  

Neuro wrote:
new? x-men arcade?


They're rereleasing it as an XBox downloadable I believe.
Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:49 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
 Reply with quote  

medicineman wrote:
Neuro wrote:
new? x-men arcade?


They're rereleasing it as an XBox downloadable I believe.


Just came out yesterday. You can play through it in about a half an hour, but you'll need to do so 6 times if you want all the achievements! Cyclops is still my favorite.
Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:13 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2019
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

A Facebook friend responded to me, calling Peter Molyneux a terrible game designer. My response ties into what I was talking about last night, so I'll post parts of it here.

...

I think it's uncharitable to call him a terrible game designer. Lionhead titles have consistently tried to produce worlds and characters that live and breathe in a way that nothing else in the video game industry does; it's an important and relevant vision that I think deserves long-term uptake in other titles throughout the game world.

He's trying to take the scope of the epic quest, and marry that to the "living world" concept that has been extensively developed in things like The Sims, Animal Crossing, and Harvest Moon. It's a challenging engineering project because it's inherently fractal in nature: that vision needs to be implemented in a holistic way, tying together a variety of different scopes with vastly different scales. This world, this country, this city, this family, this person, this relationship, this hero.

That's the part Fable gets really right; where it enters the "uncanny valley" is in the places where they have to stop the embellishment. Jobs become rhythm games, communication with NPCs becomes a choice between interaction animations that move some meter in one direction or the other, property ownership is reduced to "god game" style resource management, a character's progression of life experiences teaching him new skills and abilities is reduced to spending points to unlock stuff, etc.

The fundamental game that you play to interact with the world isn't very good; the changes you are able to effect in the world by playing that game are quite rich indeed.

None of this is something a terrible game designer could deliver. He's pushing the envelope with his games in the same way that Team ICO has been pushing the envelope with theirs -- and the games feel incomplete for much the same reason. It's a worthwhile effort, at least.

...

Rudy Rucker has something he maintains called The Writer's Toolkit, it's a long-ish PDF which is basically technical advice for writers, particularly of science fiction. In there he has this section where he describes a concept called gnarl:


Quote:

6.1 What is Gnarl?
I use gnarl in an idiosyncratic and somewhat technical sense; I use it to mean a level of complexity that lies in the zone between predictability and randomness.

The original meaning of “gnarl” was simply “a knot in the wood of a tree.” In California surfer slang, “gnarly” came to be used to describe complicated, rapidly changing surf conditions. And then, by extension, something gnarly came to be anything with surprisingly intricate detail. As a late-arriving and perhaps over-assimilated Californian, I get a kick out of the word.

Do note that “gnarly” can also mean “disgusting.” Soon after I moved to California in 1986, I was at an art festival where a caterer was roasting a huge whole pig on a spit above a gas-fired grill the size of a car. Two teen-age boys walked by and looked silently at the pig. Finally one of them observed, “Gnarly, dude.” In the same vein, my son has been heard to say, “Never ever eat anything gnarly.” And having your body become old and gnarled isn‟t necessarily a pleasant thing. But here I only want to talk about gnarl in a good kind of way.

Clouds, fire, and water are gnarly in the sense of being beautifully intricate, with purposeful-looking but not quite comprehensible patterns. And of course all living things are gnarly, in that they inevitably do things that are much more complex than one might have expected. The shapes of tree branches are the standard example of gnarl. The life cycle of a jellyfish is way gnarly. The wild three-dimensional paths that a humming-bird sweeps out are kind of gnarly too, and, if the truth be told, your ears are gnarly as well.

I‟m a writer first and foremost, but for most of my life I had a day-job as a professor, first in mathematics and then in computer science. I‟ve spent the last twenty years in the dark Satanic mills of Silicon Valley. Originally I thought I was going there as a kind of literary lark--like an overbold William Blake manning a loom in Manchester. But eventually I went native on the story. It changed the way I think. I drank the Kool-Aid.

I derived the technical notion of gnarl from the work of Stephen Wolfram, best-known for his ground-breaking book, A New Kind of Science. I first met Wolfram in 1984, when researching a popular-science article for Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. He made a big impression on me, in fact it‟s thanks to him I sought work as a computer science.

Simplifying a bit, we can say that Wolfram distinguishes among three kinds of processes:
- Too hot. Processes that are utterly predictable. This may be because they die out and become constant, or because they‟re repetitive in some way.
- Too cold. Processes that are completely random-looking.
- Just right. Processes that are structured in interesting ways but nonetheless unpredictable.

This third zone is what I call gnarly. Gnarl isn‟t a word that other computer scientists use at this time, but I‟m expecting my usage to become more popular with the publication of my nonfiction book The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul: What Gnarly Computation Taught Me About Ultimate Reality, the Meaning of Life, and How To Be Happy.

Gnarliness lies between predictability and randomness. It‟s an interface phenomenon like organic life, poised between crystalline order and messy deliquescence.

Gnarliness lies between predictability and randomness. It‟s an interface phenomenon like organic life, poised between crystalline order and messy deliquescence.

Although the gnarl is a transitional zone, it‟s not necessarily narrow. I‟m going to find it useful to distinguish between low gnarl and high gnarl. Low gnarl is close to being periodic and predictable, while high gnarl is closer to being fully random.


Rucker continues to discuss the specific implications of incorporating gnarl into literature, giving a number of specific examples of what he's talking about.

Fractal structures are interesting because no matter what resolution you use to look at them, there is always more detail just beyond the horizon. Gnarl in the literary sense is partly about incorporating this kind of out-of-focus detail into your world because having a sense of that as you follow along the main story helps the world to pick up a sheen of truth.

The difference between interactive fiction (video games) and static fiction (film, literature) is that in static fiction the author controls the positioning of the camera lens; gnarl can be static, hinting at evidence of complexity that never gets fully fleshed out on the page or in the scene. In interactive fiction, the author cedes partial control over the positioning of that camera lens to the audience; in this case gnarl must be dynamic and generative in the same sense that the surprising detail of fractal structures emerges from comparatively simple initial equations and starting conditions.

So, as relates to video games that contain Fable's particular brand of embellishments: the value of those embellishments is that they make the world the player is exploring more truthful, more real, more gnarly. The story doesn't have to be about the epic quest, it can be about the relationship between the hero and a girl he met in town, married and had a child with; it can be about the hot-and-cold relationship that hero has with his family as he tries to balance the world's need for him to go on quests with his family's need for him to be near, safe, and a part of their lives. The Fable franchise gives us a taste of that, but the lens it uses to show us this gnarly and fractal world isn't powerful enough to zoom in to the higher resolutions that the game hints should be there.

Is this a sin in video games, to hint at things that you may not fully deliver? One of the big differences between GTA: San Andreas and GTA 4 was that GTA 4 took a lot of things out. San Andreas had them all in, but didn't deliver on a lot of them. I think there's an argument that GTA 4 was the better game because it more fully delivered on everything it promised. Mass Effect 2 was largely considered to be better for the things that it took out. Fallout: New Vegas goes the opposite direction from Fallout 3, adding gnarl back in through faction reputations and a much more complex crafting system.

Molyneux is, I think, using Lionhead's games to search for advances in gaming technology that will eventually give us a kind of generative realism in these worlds; an Animal Crossing where the anthropomorphic animals who talk to you do so in something other than the non-specific glossolalia they use today, or a GTA game in which every person on the street can become either a random victim or a permanent part of the story depending on whether you choose to shoot them or introduce yourself.

I think there's an open question whether that work belongs in TED talks and research papers rather than on retail shelves, but I do thing that in the long term the outcome will be powerful and widely adopted.
Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:25 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2019
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:23 pm
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
 Reply with quote  

You'd better believe I'm downloading that badboy post haste!

Been strolling through the creepy woods of Bright Falls with Alan Wake of late. Definitely some interesting aspects with the light needed to destroy the dark essence, and the is he insane/ is it just a story / just a dream aspect. The folks around Bright Falls sure do use generators and flares a lot. And I'm tired of losing all of my gear every time I start a new episode. Who keeps taking my shit? Leave me alone, jerks.
Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:40 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7789
 Reply with quote  

that dead money looks awesome

i still have a loooooong way to go before i even think about d/ling that though
Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:44 pm
 View user's profile Send private message
mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9263
Location: london
 Reply with quote  

how does the dlc work? does it just open up a new area of the map or something? Hope it'll be released for pc eventually, but yea ive still got ages left in NV anyway
Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:21 am
 View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
 Reply with quote  

mancabbage wrote:
how does the dlc work? does it just open up a new area of the map or something? Hope it'll be released for pc eventually, but yea ive still got ages left in NV anyway


I thought it would have something to do with the Northwest Passage that's pretty much at the exact northern point of the map. You can't get into it at all, so I figured that the DLC would unlock it. But now that I've seen the trailer I have a feeling you'll respond to a distress signal or something only to be knocked out and kidnapped.
Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:04 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2019
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
 Reply with quote  

There's a locked and abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker just to the east of the no-man's land between Camp Forlorn Hope and Nelson, there has been some speculation that this bunker will become unlocked as part of that DLC.
Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:45 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brynjar



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 1475
Location: Rivertown
 Reply with quote  

DLC is such a ripoff, buying extra content that could have been included in a game I bought for over $100 (fucking exchange rate) less then 6 months ago is just an outrage.
Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:00 am
 View user's profile Send private message

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 110, 111, 112 ... 358, 359, 360  Next
All times are GMT - 6 Hours.
The time now is Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:09 am
  Display posts from previous:      


Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
Template created by The Fathom
Based on template of Nick Mahon