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Found 38 results

  1. Hello, mates! My name is Gabriel Wagner and I'm a composer, sound engineer and vocalist. I'm looking for game project in RPG/Action genres. I write music in the style of Jeremy Soule (Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind and other): atmospheric, magical, perfectly fit in the adventures, buttles, fantasy stories or horrors. I specialize in music for games in RPG/Action genres and always try to create an atmosphere that perfectly convey the game mood and generates new emotions. I try to make music unforgettable. A lot of attention to harmony and details helps to move us to other places, into magical worlds. My work was strongly influenced by classical music (especially orchestral and choral music). I have a great experience of stage performances and work with many musicians. Official site with portfolio and information: gabriel-wagner.com Just portfolio: soundcloud.com/gabrielwagner Get in touch: ostwagner@gmail.com The works are here: https://soundcloud.com/gabrielwagner/sets/hangarah-portfolio-2018
  2. I recently remembered an old topic Tsarmina made that was about telling people about some pros and cons of yourself. I've seen some active games recently, but I don't recall seeing one that actually let us "meet" each other. Especially the newer members, so I thought this would help amend that - even if it turns out to be a short topic before Kaz waves her mighty keys and locks the topic :3 (in a friendly way of course~) ===================================== Introduction This topic is to allow us to get to know each other a little better. Each poster will have the chance to answer a question asked by the previous poster, and then give a question of their own for the next person. Rules - No spamming or off topic posts. This keeps teh "game" tidy and on topic. - No offensive or insulting questions. This counts for questions such as "whos better, x or y" since this can cause alot of arguments and trouble. - You can have brief chatter within the topic, as long as you answer/ask a question like stated. Adding an extension to the end of your post is fine such as; answer to previous poster currently asked question (Oh hey, I watched that show too. It was really good!) That is acceptable as long as the topic continues smoothly. - Don't be a question/answer hog! If you answered a question, and then someone after you answer your question, then let some time pass before you answer again. This lets everyone get a chance to respond and lets us get to know more people. If a day has passed and no one has responded, then you may then answer again to keep the topic lively~ - No advertising or anything. Just keep the topic on topic please~ If someone doesn't understand teh topic, then please look over the previous posts to understand. I hope this makes sense xD ================================== What is your favorite gaming genre?
  3. (Been thinking of this for a while, ever since I saw what Flowey says if you start the game after a true pacifist ending, but I felt like writing it out. Really just using Undertale to explore a concept here though.) Hey... Look, I know what the flower said. Everyone is got their happy ending. To go back on that, to rip them out of the timeline and take them back would ruin that. You should know by now, the other possibilities? They aren't so happy. And somethings taint you, somethings are inescapable. Even if you cheat, you still would know you did it. Maybe you don't care. So yeah, taking away that happy ending seems more then a little cruel. But... Something's bugging you isn't it? Maybe more then one something. Maybe not least of all that happy or not this is still a ending. Yeah, you could leave everyone to their happy life. Except... Can you? What happens to the characters when the story is over? How do you even know if they are really happy? Or heck are even still really there? This is the end of the timeline for you... what if it's the end for everyone else too? Just frozen visions of moments and... nothing after. And really, not everyone is happy, The Empty Vessel, The Jester of Sorrow, The Scion of Hatred, The Forgotten, where is their happiness? The future isn't written yet, maybe it never will. This is where time stops. Maybe all stories must end. You can go back, to try and rip through reality, find secrets that may not exist. I wouldn't really blame you, even if others might. Isn't that better then a frozen future even if it causes pain? Maybe. Or... Or... You could look at another path in the void of possibilities, maybe even write a future yourself. Go beyond the timeline you knew, You aren't the only one looking. Maybe, just maybe, if all of you keep a light burning, someday a new path will open forward. All stories must end. Or so they say. But for every ending maybe a seed for a new beginning is planted.
  4. Greetings dear utopic people . I was wondering something , what do you think about time-limited games ? Just like the title says indeed . Like , you have a story line , and during brief moments you have a certain amount of time to find specific objects and once the time is up , you are led to different endings depending on the items you had enough time to find . ( Like a bad ending , a true ending and a good ending .) Let's say you have to find a rose , a fruit and a cat . If you had enough time to find a rose and a cat , you have a good ending . If you had enough time to find a rose and a fruit , you have ending number one . If you had enough time to find only the cat , you have a bad ending . And etc ... So . What are your thoughts ?
  5. Greetings everyone ! I am currently facing a hard decision . I have too storyline I really appreaciate and I would like to make a game out of both of them however , I really cannot which one to start with . This way , I would like you to tell me which one would you prefer : The first one , it involves several characters (around 15) , this will be a visual novel , survival , sci-fi , mystery , point and click game . In this game , people will die and you will have to discover who is the murderer behind each crime in order to execute them to gain something and discover what has mysteriously happened to them . The storyline will have twists and be rather psychological . There will be a point and click interface , you will be able to interact which characters and get to know their backstory . The second , has fewer characters (around 4) , this will be a 2D cute , fantasist , mystery and magic game . In this game , you will have to discover a mystery involving around the main character when she finds out that her crush mysteriously disappears and that people around seem to freeze without even noticing it . There will be many mini games but it will be mainly about sinking for specific items to go through the storyline which will lead to several endings . There are two pictures : the two first pictures shows most of the characters ( I haven't drawn all of them yet) from the first (survival) game idea and the second picture shows an exemple of point and click interface . There two last pictures show two maps from the second (cute) game .
  6. lonequeso

    Twists!

    No one really plays games anymore. Maybe this will change it. Simple enough. The first person posts a simple premise for a story i.e. Earth is under attack by Aliens!, or John Every man must overcome all odds to lead his team to be sportball champions. The next person posts an unexpected twist to the story. After that, this person has two options. If you want to keep adding twist to the story, you're all done. The next poster's job will be to add another twist. The second option will be to post your own story premise. To keep the twists from going on endlessly, each story will be limited to 5 twists. Anyone who posts a 6th twist will be sent to a work camp. To make things clear and simple please follow this format. Story: Earth is under attack by Aliens! Twist! They are led by Chuck Norris! Then either: Double Twist! Chuck Norris has secretly been an alien this whole time. OR Story: John Every man must overcome all odds to lead his team to be sportball champions. Counting the twists as we go will make it easy to keep count. ==================================================================================================== Okay. I shall start Story: A family takes a pleasant trip to the beach.
  7. lonequeso

    Puzzles!

    ****EDIT**** x 5 I added another one to the list I've been playing around with different puzzle ideas to add into my game. I posted a bunch that I'm already using so feel free to use them if you like 'em. I just added other ideas some other ppl added.
  8. So I made it through boot camp and am now in the United States Navy! It sucked... a lot. But I made it through and can now get back to making games in my free time! Now that I'm not free 24/7, I don't think I'll be able to burn myself out on this new project. That being said, I've finished, for the most part, making my characters! Their designs may change a bit here or there, but they will probably remain close to how they are now. I love each of them, so I think I'll introduce them each individually starting Christmas Day. That way you can get a feel for who each person is : D Anyways, I'm glad to be back, and I hope y'all have a very happy Ramadanhanukkwanzaamas!
  9. RoooodWorks

    Finally uploaded my games to gamejolt

    So the only 2 games I completed, I have uploaded to GameJolt, the finding Chibi from the Indie in a week 1 which won 2nd place and was made in VXACE (Drassray won 1st place), and Finding Chibi MV, which is just a port of finding chibi made in MV, but fixed a few stuff and changed some things like the ending. Here is the link to my page : http://gamejolt.com/profile/chibievil/1522601 enjoy and hope you enjoy, give me as much criticism as you want. I will improve it and make the game better in the remake.
  10. Seriel

    Indie in a Week 3!

    Credit to Eien Nanashi for the logo. The Game-Making Period has ended! Entries are closed! The contest's theme is "Silence". It is up to you on how to interpret, and implement the theme into your game! Good luck, and most importantly, have fun! Happy game making! Lists: --- Hello there! Do you remember the other two contests? If you do, then I've got great news, it's back again! If you've never heard of this, then here's a brilliant new contest for you to enter. The rules are quite simple on the surface. Make a game. Simple enough? Okay now try it in a week. That's what this contest is all about. I would spoiler all the categories but you must read everything or, something like that. Let's get started! Q: So Jackus, who's taking part? Glad you asked! Here is the list of people who have entered so far along with some info about their entry. (Like if they've dropped out or finished) Use this as a kind of contestant tracker. Clicking a name will take you to their profile for now. Later it will take you to their project post. [see LISTS at top of post] Q: And who's going to be judging these? Good question, you could if you wanted to! That's right, the contest is judged by volunteers. (And me!) Anyone can volunteer to contribute towards the judging. Even if you're a contestant! Be aware you can't judge your own game though. That would be unfair. The overall score is an average of all the judges. You can provide reasons, although they're not required. Also I might ask you to justify your scoring so be prepared for that. Especially if you are also a contestant, I'll be keeping a closer eye on you. [see LISTS at top of post] Q: So, how are we being judged? What do judges need to look out for? Well, since I lack any creativity in this section, I'm sorry to say I kind of stole the guidelines from the IGMC. But they work so well, so I guess they stay. Here they are: You got all that? :3 Basically, you will be scored (by the judges) in three main categories. Presentation, Gameplay, and Engagement. But actually, it's four categories. You will also be scored in Theme (or, The Twist). The scoring will be in a scale of 0 ~ 20 for each category, meaning you can have a maximum of 80 points. The Theme is, well, the theme of your game. It will be announced when the game-making period starts (see below for Dates). It will be completely up to your interpretation. Making a game completely unrelated to the theme will give you no points in the Theme category. Taking the theme literally (basically, in a boring/predictable way) won't give you much points, either. A clever use of the theme will give you more Theme points. Still, don't let the Theme stop you from making a game if you think you can't make up a clever interpretation. That's just 20 of the 80 points you might get a score on. Q: Okay that's all well and good, but what if a game has a major glitch or bug? Will we be disqualified for a single mistake? Since it's in a week, I'll be kind of lenient on minor typos, and I ask that the judges do the same. However there are a few rules. Repeated minor issues such as typos or wrong tiles will result in a few points taken away. Try not to be too harsh with this, judges. Major issues which affect gameplay will also decrease from the total score. Judges, try to use your judgement with this. A game breaking problem which prevents continuing will hold a fixed penalty of 10 points, with additional points maybe being lost in categories if content is missed. Any issue upon loading the game(Such as missing files or broken intro scenes) will mean you are disqualified! Please remember to playtest your game at least once all the way through before submitting it. Q: And what about length? What's stopping someone from holding up judging with a 60 hour grinding masterpiece? And when does a judge stop judging? About length, the game can be realistically any length. However don't expect anything over an hour to be judged. A judge can stop when either they reach the end, are stopped by a bug or reach 1 hour. They don't have to stop over an hour, but after that point they can quit anytime without a reason. If you believe a game is frustrating or unplayable you can also stop, but make sure to tell me your reason if you stop early. Just don't stop because it's a battle system you don't enjoy or anything like that. Q: So I notice this is INDIE in a Week 3, does that mean you're not allowed teamwork? What about other people playtesting?? Ah, this old topic, this one got much debate before. Basically, anyone actually working on the game (Creating maps, events and enemies etc...) is not allowed except for you and you alone. This is a one man army challenge, a team would throw it all off balance. You can brainstorm with other people, and bounce idea off them, as long as the one doing everything is you. As for others playtesting, sure. They can even give you bug reports and stuff too, as long as they don't actually fix the bugs in your project and send it back. You must edit everything. Q: So I've gotta do all of this, in a single week? I'll never make it, I'll end up procrastinating or getting caught up in real life situations Ah, about that. I'm not looking for the next Final Fantasy, I don't expect a fully fledged RPG in a week, heck I don't even expect that in a month. But what I do want is your best shot. If you're short for time you could always cut it short. The games I like best in past Indie in a Week contests were short, sweet and concise. For a (terrible) example, check out Glory Quest which I made in a single hour! And as for real life, I understand that sometimes (Most of the time) these situations are unavoidable. My only advise is this, be prepared. You should have something ready, don't wait until the last minute to submit. Try to get it in at the very least a few hours beforehand. You don't' need to squeeze out every second of game development, some of the best games for previous IIAW contests were submitted days before the deadline. Q: And resources? Can I use resources made by others? Can I make my own before the contest starts? You can use any public resources, and even commissions (Although I don't recommend it) as long as you have the author/artists permission to use it in a contest. Despite the lack of cash prizes, some consider a contest like this to be commercial use, so tread carefully. As for your resources, anything made before the contest is fair game, you can use any of it since you obviously have your own permission. However, any resources created for the game cannot be made before the contest starts (March 1st) however, anything made in this time that wasn't for the project can be used. It's a bit weird, but use your best judgement. Or go full RTP. Q: Okay, enough of this. Let's get down to serious talk. What do I get out of this? What do I win? I agree, this is the most important part All prizes are donated Steam keys, so you will need Steam to redeem them. Any RPG Maker DLC will need the appropriate RPG Maker engine activated on Steam. I haven't yet decided how to distribute these prizes, and I welcome more! If you have any spare steam keys (Or any other kind of gift) then feel free to PM me with details Current Prize Pool: Another Perspective Beyond Reality Death Ray Manta Detective Case and Clown Bot in: Murder in The Hotel Lisbon Savant - Ascent Spoiler Alert Collectors Edition Stealth Bastard Deluxe Q: Alright! Now how exactly do I compete? Glad you asked! All you need to do is, between 23rd February and 1st March (6pm GMT), make a post in this topic asking if you want to enter. You can also PM me, but I don't see why since your name will be on the list here anyway so you won't exactly be anonymous. Q: Ah, what about the dates? The dates? Dates: Contest Information made public: 23rd February - 6pm GMT Contest start and signups close: 1st March - 6pm GMT Contest end and judging starts: 8th March - 6pm GMT Judging finishes: Anytime before the end of March. Results announcement: A few days after judging finishes. Indie in a Week 4 starts: Sometime in April/May. Maybe June. Q: Wow. Any last words? Not really. I think we've covered everything, thanks for reading all of this... me talking to myself! I hope it.. informed you..? Or something. Bleh, I'm tired. Here's a summary of the rules, just for convenience. Rules: Anyways, any questions, stick 'em in the topic, I could have missed something (As usual) Happy game making! (Thanks to Eien Nanashi for cleaning up some typos, making things stand out in a cool way and making the summary) Bonus section! These questions weren't me talking to myself, but actual questions posted in this topic.
  11. The Dragon God

    VRG: Next Step in Game Evolution?

    Hello Dear Readers, First off thank you for making my Blog interesting, with such insightful and compelling thoughts. As always, everyone is welcome to speak here and freely address their opinions. Remember, you are the reason I write, this is the virtual slate to write thy words, to voice thou perspective! ( yes, I do talk this way, and no, I am not old ). So down to business. I have always been a notable talker on various game communities and I enjoy our conversations! So now, simple question, what do you think about virtual reality gaming. It is obvious this is our industry's next step. Is it too soon, will the world enjoy diving their minds into unknown worlds? Also please know, I am very very passionate about games, I do not under any circumstances believe "games are just games", that phrase people use is invalid. This phrase only applies to board games, video games are much more sophisticated. These are worlds my friends, worlds, living worlds of various cultures, it's no longer just a game. It is life virtualized!
  12. Dear Readers, I am 26 years old, and have a habit of reading random forums for game communities; I have noticed and heard the voices of gamers out there bashing these so-called "epic" RPGs dished out by the Big Shots at E3. Game critics dare to call such games "fantastic", "great", "excellent". Yet these Triple A game companies care not for the gamers (their fans) but instead, just themselves. They make half-@#$ games and place that dreadful $60 on their products; how dare they, it's downright insulting! Why the @#$% am I paying $60 for a game that's only half made! And they dare to place the other half in "DLC", omg and they make us pay for that too! OUTRAGEOUS! I AM LOOKING AT YOOUUU SQAURE ENIX AND CAVIA!! I shouldn't have to buy music as DLC just to change the theme songs and whatnot in some of the menu(s) in Drakengard 3! AND YOUU!! BETHESDA! HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME PAY FOR DLC FOR SKYRIM!!! AH but here I go sidetracking the topic, sorry folks! Anyway, it seems creativity has died for RPGs and even some other genres. What do you guys think?
  13. You know one big problem I tend to have is that I have absolutely no interest in like 99.99% of all of the RPG Maker game projects I see, even ones made by people I think of as my friends. Really I think one problem is I no longer have as much interest in RPGs in general and JRPG-style games in particular, and most of the other genres of games commonly made by RPG Maker uses (such as horror games, more pure narrative games) don't really hold that much interest in me either. It just kinda seems like most game projects I see seem to kinda end up seeming the same to me. Ultimately, I think I am just getting old. I am sure 10 or so years ago things might have been different. Maybe even five years ago. I think I have gotten more and more picky and lazy about games since then. Ever since around the end of the PS2 era at least, when I basically decided I didn't really have that much interest in any newer consoles. For a while I switched mostly to handheld games like the DS and PSP, but eventually I sorta almost fell out of gaming altogether, only partly getting back into it with Steam a few years ago. It's not really that I "grew out" of gaming either. Gaming is still a major part of my life. Almost 90% of how I entertain myself online is gaming related somehow, usually in the form of let's plays, or game reviews/discussion, or something related to gaming culture. I just don't really play very many anymore. It's just a lot easier to watch and discuss then to play. Part of that is no doubt because games in general have become much more focused on story and "cinematic" elements to the point where it's almost pointless to play them anymore. I still haven't actually played Undertale for example, though I own it, partly because I was waiting for a Linux version (which is moot at this point since my laptop with Linux is being replaced by a new one with Windows 10 installed anyway), but mostly because I just don't think playing it myself will really add that much to the experience. It really won't. I never was the type to believe that experiencing something myself made it any different. Everything for me just seems like random sense data anyway. It's not that I can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy or anything like that, at least intellectually. But emotionally it seems more and more that everything is almost equally out of touch and remote. I guess it's kind of like depression only I am not sure if it actually is. Maybe this is normal for fairies actually. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy games, I just think it means I enjoy different types of games. I am more interesting in mechanics I can play around with, things with a huge possibility space, like a lot of roguelikes, or Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress, or any game where you explore and tinker and do things. RPGs can be like that too for sure. I guess that is one reason (along with others) I hate Final Fantasy IV with a passion (though the DS version was way better) but really liked Final Fantasy V (and thought VI was merely pretty good, and VII was probably the one I thought was the best in the series, but over all liked the SaGa series more). That doesn't mean I hate stories either. Stories to me after all are more or less just the result of an author playing a game in his own mind. Kinda like D&D really. You have the rules you set for how the world you are making works and work out the implications. You have a personality and traits for a character and work out what they would be like and what they would do. It's really a fascinating process, a way for the author to create their own worlds. Games and stories I think are in the end almost two sides of the same coin, two ways people try to do the same thing. But when I am playing a game I want to basically create a story, not be told one. And let's face it, even a beaching storyline like Undertale with many clever paths and things it keeps track of is still you being told a story. All the paths are there from, the start and you just choose one. It's The Stanley Parable problem really. I won't deny that as a artform story and gameplay can reinforce each other's point in some cases. I would never deny Undertale should have been a movie or a TV show or anything like that. I am just saying watching someone else play is just as impactful as playing it yourself, if for different reasons maybe. I will say that both Undertale and The Stanley Parable basically require a player, but whether you are playing and reacting to events or whether you see how someone else reacts to it I think doesn't matter as much. Blah, okay maybe all that is sort of besides the point. I am sure I have said that all before I think. The point is, I find it hard to take interest in most games that are narrative focused. But honestly? The fact they are narrative focused is only part of the problem. Maybe even not the main part, though it might be the easiest part to pinpoint and try to justify. Another big part is just that a lot of games are tedious. They are annoying. JRPGs in particular. It's hard to get into menu based combat sometimes, though at the same time I often want to defend it, because honestly realtime action-rpg combat is worse, especially in RPG Maker. My favorite style of RPG combat personally is roguelike-style single step turn-based on-map combat, and has been basically since one of my first RPGs, Ultima VI. It's fast, gives you a ton of tactical depth, allows a unified way to explore and fight things without switching between screens, and still gives you plenty of time to plan everything out. Alas, that style of combat has basically completely vanished outside of rougelikes. Anyway, yeah. That's another big reason. I know it sounds kinda like the kind of dismissive of JRPGs and people do enough of that but that's just how I feel sometimes. Another big part, and this is hugely subjective, is setting and style. I just don't care that much for most typical medieval European fantasy, or Tolkien-style "high fantasy", or typical sci-fi settings, or mystical eastern settings, or modern day settings, or post-apocalyptic settings, or Judeo-Christian mythology based settings, or basically any kind of setting that hasn't been done a million times before, and let's face it most of them have. It's not that you can't do creative stuff with these settings, but I am just not interested. Really the only exception is if you really really do your research and make something that has so many references that it seems to weave seamlessly into an existing mythology/setting already, and even then I am not sure. I guess there are other reasons, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment. Though I have to say there is one common exception that always seems to perks my interest. One kind of RPG Maker project I still play sometimes. Naughty X-rated RPG Maker games. The more depraved and fetish filled the better. I know, I know, I am a total pervert, and truth be told most of them are quite bad or forgettable, but they can usually be relied on for some brief, ahem, "entertainment" at least. What can I say? Sometimes I have a one track mind. Tee-hee!
  14. A fellow friend of mine gave me a compressed version of his game. I tried to extract it but it didn't work. At first, I thought it was it's file size that was unabling me to extract it. To be sure, I extracting one of my smallest projects and it still couldn't. Does anyone know how to fix it?
  15. Hey everybody! I was wondering if anybody would be interested in trading some DLC for RPG Maker? I have Pop! Horror City, Pixel Myth Germania, Rural Farm Tiles, and Time Fantasy DLC. I also have some games like: Last Word, Edolie, and Heroes of Legionwood. I am mainly looking to try and get Organ Trail, Day of Defeat Source, Fallout 3/Oblivion (both GOTY prefered, but meh.), and Doom 3 BFG edition. Also open to considering other offers! let me know. Have a good day.
  16. NES A NeverEnding Story about games, that will always be remembered. Nintendo Entertaining System, also known as simply - NES was one of the consoles, that were a main part of my childhood. Many of us still love and even play games from that console. Each game released on that console was specializing in having its own unique and simple gameplay, that could entertain us for hours, days, moths or even years. That's where the 'graphics' were not the most important thing in games. Some games are memorable by soundtracks included in them or by their unique gameplay. ~The graphics are mentioned rarely. Sometimes the graphics were even ridiculous, but still the game could be loved. (Example: Trees in 'Contra' just right at the beginning of Stage 1, where our 'hero' is about the same size of the trees seen behind him - there were no hate comments like games could get these times) Sadly, we can't go back to the past and experience all of this again, but at least, we have the memories that are indescribable. What are your favorite games? What soundtracks do you liked most? What games were entertaining you for tons of hours?
  17. Kayzee

    Medium of Choice.

    I have been making some comments on this status about my general apathy to movies. To be honest I find movies kind of dumb. It's not that I can't recognize that there are some brilliant films, or that the art of filmmaking isn't a fascinating subject, or anything like that. It's just that the biggest reaction I tend to get with movies, even really good ones, is "that was pretty okay", and the most excited I can get for one is "eh, maybe if a friend/family member wants to see it I will tag along". A lot of why is just because I think movies are too short and insubstantial to tell good stories, and another good chuck of it has to do with my distaste for the Hollywood formulas and tropes. Most of it though? I guess it's just that I plain don't have that much interest in the stories they are telling or the experience they are providing. For example, Avengers. I never saw it. I heard it's great, I have heard it does new things, I have heard it is really well put together. But I don't really care, because superheros don't interest me. This new Star Wars movie. I know nothing about it really. It might be great. I just don't care about it any more, and I am not sure I ever did. Sure as a kid Star Wars was one of those cultural backdrop things you just had to have seen, and I liked it well enough, but I guess it always felt just like that: cultural backdrop. A thing you had to know and experience to understand the world around you. A lot of the classic movies I saw as a kid seemed like that. Books too really. A good many of them I simply digested rather then enjoyed. The original Star Wars movies got burned into my mind and maybe I can't remember every last shot, but I think given time I could reconstruct at least most of them in my memory as if I was actually seeing them. Ideas from the mythology, like Jedi and Lightsabers, are an important part of out culture to this day. Actually caring about the plot though? Eh... Maybe when I was a kid and the whole big "good vs evil" thing was new or interesting, but even then I think books like Lord of the Rings and eventually games like the Ultima series was more what I was into, where I could really dig into the lore and such. But this is all only my personal perspective. Other people could feel the same way about games or books as I do about movies, thinking maybe that books get bogged down to much in detail and games can be too annoying to play through when they just want to relax and be entertained. I can't really fault them for that. Sometime it is frustrating though that so many people dismiss games as an artform, and even though I say a lot that I am not sure games are really the best story telling medium, a lot of my favorite stories happen to be told through games. It seems a shame that some of these stories will never retch some people just because they don't like the medium it is told in. And I suppose it is a shame that some stories will never reach me because I don't care about movies. Honestly though, my attitude to movies has spread more and more to most forms of "old media" for one reason or another, including games. I rarely read books, my TV isn't even hooked up, I have no real interest in comic books, the last video game console I owned was the wii and I never played it, and so on. I find myself more entertained reading fanfics, or watching youtube, reading webcomics, or playing free or cheep indie games. And I am finding it harder and harder to really care. Maybe it's just as a grow older and more antisocial I find it less and less necessary to keep up with everyone else. I find it more rewarding just to find random little things I like rather then read watch or play what everyone else is. Or maybe it's that in the Internet age, fandoms and social groups are splintering and fracturing into their own little mini cultures more and more, becoming more self absorbed. In the old days if you wanted to have "nerd cred" you better know the "nerd canon" of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Hitchhiker's Guide, and so on. Now there are a billion popular "nerd" fandoms, many of which I don't know much about besides the name. Either way, I am pretty happy with what I like. I may go see the new Star Wars with my family but chances are I won't care too much.
  18. I was reading this article and is sort of annoyed me. I mean I love Undertale and all, but I don't think it's a glorious subversive step forward for the medium as a whole that will lead to the holy path of being recognized as a legitimate art form or anything like that. And frankly I think it's kind of insulting to every game that came before imply it is. Undertale is a fantastically well-written game that is both extremely funny and heartrending with some interesting subversive elements, but it isn't really anything new. It's not like we haven't had fantastically well written games that are both extremely funny and heartrending before, like take Star Control 2 for example (to say nothing of Undertale's obvious inspiration). And it's not like we haven't had games that have done extremely screwy subversive things before, like take Spec Ops: The Line and Irisu Syndrome! ( I think the Undertale demo's trick of fiddling with the manual as you play was probably directly inspired by this game actually, and possible other things) for example. I would like to restate something I have said time and time again. It probably doesn't need to be said, but here we go. Anyone who doesn't think video games can be art is completely ignorant about what art actually is. Art is simply anything that is deliberately used to make a statement and/or invoke an experience. That's all it is, all it ever was, and all it ever will be. Anything can be art if used the right way. There is no secret ultimate authority or cabal who decides what is or is not art, and you don't get to decide to exclude it for whatever arbitrary reason you want. If the author intends to make an artistic statement, it can be counted as art. Period. Video games have just as much claim to the tittle of art as film or books have. Just as much claim as paintings. Just as much claim as a stain on your shirt if you intend it to make a statement. Arguing what is or is not art is dumb and just makes people look ignorant or elitist or both. I don't care what so and so said, no matter how famous or accomplished they are. If they don't understand this basic fact they are wrong. Okay now that we are all on the same page about what art actually is, why is it that people have trouble counting video games as art in the same ways movies and books are? Because to some people, just being art isn't enough, nor is being popular. No, to some people, you need a whole culture of critics and analysis that goes along with the art that elevates it to a level worth caring about. Which is fair enough. No one is going to care much about that stain on your shirt unless other people are talking about it and telling others why it is important. This is what divides art and "High Art", the art that people actually care about and talk about. I mean someone can draw super detailed amazing fanart and put it on the Internet for all to see, but it's probably going to be another piece of art in a flood off stuff very few people care about no matter how amazing it is. The fact is, no matter how many people will want to think otherwise, art is disposable and not vary valuable on it's own. You need a critical educated culture of people who appreciate and make commentary on things to make something worth paying attention to. Thing is though, video games HAVE that culture. People like me who grew up on an spend their life obsessing over every aspect of gaming are that culture, the same way film buffs are the same for moves. Video games are just starting to sneak in to the academic world as a serious field of study, but they are steadily gaining ground in that arena. Youtube is filled with people who will pick apart and analyze every aspect of a game in insightful and educated ways. So why is it that people still seem to be debating including video games as an art form every bit the equal of film or books? I have heard the excuse time and time again that video games is a medium still in it's infancy. I disagree. I don't think it has been since at leas the days of the NES. If video gaming isn't already an adult, it is in at least just getting past it's awkward teenage years and is on it's way to collage... where while the industry part of it parties and tries to get laid as much as possible while pissing away it's inhabitance and struggles to pass it's classes, the part that actually cares about the games is actually working and learning and expanding it's horizons and contributing to a better tomorrow. Yeah I know video games are a young medium compared to others, but that doesn't really matter that much. It's not like the moment people decided to make video games a thing they had to completely reinvent everything they knew about art. It's not like everyone who ever wanted to work on games suddenly forgot about all their language skills or about art theory. Even the technical side of it was mostly grounded in math and computer science which had long been studied. Just film and television borrowed techniques meant for theater, photography, radio, and others as well as inventing it's own tricks, so do video games borrow from traditional board games, computer simulation, film, books, and all sorts of other places as well as inventing it's own ticks. For games technology was the most limiting factor for a long long time, and people still made amazing things with very little. Go back and look at some NES classics, like the original Legend off Zelda for example. Everything in the first Zelda was focused on providing a particular feeling of wonder and adventure, of recreating the feeling that author had of exploring and finding hidden caves as a kid. How is that not art? How is that not meaningful? And I personally think the first Zelda, actually provided the best emulation of that feeling that the Zelda series ever has. I dare say a lot of older games are even more artistic and better expressions of the medium then most games today which have tried to become too much like films or books. No the simple fact is, video games are not in their infancy and haven't been for a long time. They just haven't yet been rooted into generations of traditional ideas about what media is and are therefor targeted by old media supporters for taking attention away from what they like. That's all it is. I don't see why I should give the whining of that dying subculture any attention, but I guess it feels nice to rant about it sometimes.
  19. So, Undertale has gotten extremely popular lately and has gotten highly praised. I think one of the things that it uses to sell it's self is the promise of being an RPG where you don't have to kill anyone, and how it really tries to show the consequences if you do. I think though, that it mostly ends up being good because of the sheer quality of it's writing and design rather then because of it's gimmicks. But there certainly is something to the promise of having an alternative to violence. It's not that I think violence is automatically bad, I really have no moral/ethical objection to violent games and media. It's a fantasy, and I think most people understand that violence is a tool that is to be used only in a last resort situation (if at all) without having to have a game or other piece of fiction spell that out for them. I do think that surrounding oneself with only mindless violent media without any thought or commentary thrown in is unhealthy, but I don't think most people actually do that. Anyway, I am pretty sure that unless you expose yourself to at least a little violence it becomes impossible to form any sort of educated opinion about it. But the thing is, violence, especially in games, is kinda played out. And I mean that both mechanically and narratively. Mechanically most games over the years have sort of settled into a set of comfortable easy abstractions that are easy to program and easy to understand and lead themselves well to violence of some sort. Everything from Mario's basic physics to simple HP meters and attack rolls abstract violence so well. You don't see many games like Façade where the whole game is just figuring out the right things to say to other characters, and to be honest those games don't really seem that interesting to me either except as a curiosity. But there are other games that are about building, or exploring, or puzzle solving, or even farming, that can be compelling without any violence at all. It's interesting I think to see games that use new and different mechanical systems for other things besides violence. But heck, it's fun to see ones that use different mechanics for violence too, like in Dwarf Fortress. Narratively we have seen stories that talk about or deconstruct violence before. Even Undertale isn't particularly new in this regard, at it's most heavy handed it sounds a lot like a repeat of Spec Ops: The Line in many ways, though I think it's much more effective in that you do actually have a choice in Undertale. There is only so much I think you can actually say about violence before it gets old and preachy and you just have to roll your eyes. It can be an important message to hear once, but if every game becomes like that it's boring. Then again it's also not interesting to ignore the problem if your game has violence in it. If you are doing something with violence, to simply refuse to talk about it at all is very cheep and makes the writer seem ignorant. That said, a bit of violence is okay to me. I understand not wanting to do anything real wacky and sticking with a normal RPG formula or doing an average story. I just that I don't want to see every single game be the same I guess. I have been working on a game lately and I thought it would be fun to do something sort of like Undertale and have multiple ways to approach encounters, but I wasn't necessarily trying to make a statement, I just wanted to experiment with different kinds of mechanics. I am not sure it's really any more interesting that most games but I was having fun programing stuff... Don't know if it will ever be done or will be any good but I liked coding what I did at least. :3
  20. So, Fallout 4 has been out for, what, a week now? Something like that. And, unsurprisingly to people who people who know me fairly well, I have some gripes with the game from what I've seen and been able to play at a friend's. The opening feels rushed as possible, the settlement building is somewhat poorly implemented and clunky, the writing ranges from good to terrible and the dialogue system is really stupid. I really don't have a problem with the voice protagonist... Did you hear that? That was the Fallout hardcore audience collectively gasping and screaming death threats. But, yeah. I honestly don't have a problem with it, I've always kinda found blank slate characters to be boring, and I find adding a voice and slight bits of backstory like F4 does always helps your character to feel more like a character. No. The thing I hate is the dialogue system, but not for the reasons you might think. The above image shows the F4 dialogue system, which I found on a sub-reddit for the game. We all have at least some idea of how this works and where it came from, right? If you don't, then allow me to spend a few seconds to explain. This dialogue system is a sort of modified version of the wheel dialogue system which was made popular by the Mass Effect series. The wheel system has a wheel with six options, top right, middle right, bottom right, top left, middle left, bottom left. The system you see up above doesn't really have a designated name, as far as I know, but I know a few people who refer to it as a "Press Action Dialogue System." While that does sound slightly over long, when you could just called it a Press Speech System, I'll be using this for the rest of the post. The above picture shows the ME dialogue system better then I can explain it. As you can see, there are a few things of note. The top and bottom left are greyed out while the rest are a light blue. This is because those two that are greyed out are questions that are there for some additional information and they have already been asked. Normally, these kind of questions would be in the investigate option, which would open up a secondary version of the wheel with only questions and a "Cancel" or "Back" option that will take you back to the main wheel. The right side of the wheel is only for dialogue options that will progress the conversation onto the next dialogue branch(top right, good, middle right, neutral, bottom right, bad), usually with another investigate option and another three options that will progress the dialogue again. See how it works? Good. Now. How does the Press Action Dialogue System work? Well, it works on similar principles, but almost always screws it up. The way the system works is that you have up, down, left, or right to choose your dialogue choice. Up being a question, down being bad, left being sarcastic and right being good. This sounds perfectly good, right? Well, it would be. But only if the game could actually stick to the logic of up being a question, down bad, left sarcasm, right good, but it doesn't. Mass Effect ALWAYS maintains this internal continuity about how the options work. The right side of the wheel always has options that advance the dialogue, left always has questions (technically it will have a dialogue progressing option on rare occasions, but those are always colored differently to let you know that they progress and don't just question.). Fallout 4, on the other hand, is all over the place on what the four options do. In the beginning of the game, it sets it up like the ME dialogue systems, but then it will just randomly decide that up is now a progression choice and not a question one, right will suddenly be a jerk response for no real reason, left will be serious and lacking humor, and down will suddenly be sweet. I know that some of you are wondering, "So what? This doesn't really matter, does it?" This matters very much, especially from a player stand point. You see, the beauty of the ME system is that it is almost subtle in how your decision making becomes second nature. Because of the way everything is layed out, you know exactly what you want to do in a dialogue, and the descriptions are usually descriptive enough that you will be able to discern what your character will say. F4 seems to lack this understanding. Constantly changing what options do what is annoying to many people are causes them to have to break their concentration on the game itself and carefully read through every option to make sure that they don't choose an option that don't want. And even that fails sometimes because the descriptions are completely useless a majority of the time. The most you'll get is a brief piece of text from the sentence that goes with the options, which tends to tell you jack about what you will actually say, or it will just give a vague description that still leaves you in the dark. This is an important thing to remember for those of us who think about implementing such systems in our own games; if you have a system that operates like either of these, having a ridged way of how the options work so that your players are never left wondering, "Okay. What in the flying (insert profanity) are these options going to say, and why do they always change!?" -LS
  21. Hello everyone, and welcome to my first Thoughts of a Squirrel King post for MV. Today we will be talking about something that has recently come to my attention as a good tool for helping writers to make their characters. This was brought up in a chat by a few other people, but I have used this myself before. I am, of course, speaking of the five Ws of character building: What, why, when, where and how. For those of you who don't know, the five Ws are an often used way of quickly making a somewhat detailed character; be it for novels, books, or games. The basic idea is to find out how a character acts and what they are working towards. The What: Think about everyone you know in real life, they all have a goal in life that they want to accomplish, to some extent at least. They all have a reasons for why they want accomplish that goal, they have a general idea of when they want to accomplish it, where they want to do it, and how they want to do it. I'm going to type out a little character for everyone to follow along with as we go along. We'll name him Bob and give him a what, why, when, where and how. What: Name: Bob Age: Race: Demographic : Goal: Why: When: Where: How: You will notice i added an age, race and demographic to the character sheet of Bob. You'll see why in a little bit. First, we need to start off with the 'what'. The 'what' is generally made up of four parts, those being age, race, demographic and goal. Those first three may seem strange to some of you. Age? Race? Demographic? What do these really have to do with the character, and how do they relate to the goal? Quite simply put, who we are defines what we want. If you are poor and living on the street, you generally want to live in a cozy home. If you are a oppressed minority, you will generally want equality, or to be above those who are oppressing. If you are old and past your prime, you may wish to relive your prime, or you may want to be treated as an adult if you are young. See how this works? It's one of the more troublesome parts of five Ws, mostly because many people have a hard time coming up with just who the character actually is. I'll fill in this section of Bob quickly so we can move on. What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college. Why: When: Where: How: 18, Caucasian, lower class, and wants to go to college. This is one of the more simple Ws, but important because it acts as a base for the next section. The Why: The why is exactly what is sounds like, it is why the character is what they are, or why they want to accomplish their goals. The why can be any number of things. For example: The reason why a corporate executive suddenly decides he's going to go by a gun? Any number of reasons comes to mind. Maybe he has recently learned that his wife has been cheating on him for decades with his best friend, and is planning on getting revenge. Perhaps his company is going down the drain, fast. He has nothing besides this company, no wifes, no children, no friends that aren't just there because of his money. Maybe he has decided he will end it all with a bullet and not in a gutter while scrounging for food. Or perhaps he suddenly got the idea to learn take it to the range for fun, or as a way of showing his wife that he can protect her. All of these are good (from a writing and character stand point) and believable reasons for why he would go and buy the gun. Again, there is literally thousands of reasons for 'why' but you need to decide on one, or two if the character has a secondary goal in mind, if you want a consistent character. I'm going to add the why to Bob's character sheet. What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college. Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world. When: Where: How: And there we go. Bob wants a better job, perhaps to get out of his lower class lifestyle, but he also wants to show his father that he isn't useless, that he has value and can pull himself up. Again, a believable reason why, but it also has the added benefit of being dramatic. It's the classic tale of the underdog, or guy who wasted his life away up until now, picking himself up to prove to his father, and possibly himself that he can do what perhaps no one thinks he can do. It's always good to make the goal, if not dramatic, at least something the character has to struggle for or is relatable to the readers/movie goers/players. And something like what we have for Bob is a good way of doing that. After all, who doesn't want to improve their life in some way? The When: Next is the 'when'. What is the when? Well, it can be several things. It could be when the character decided on their goal, when they decide to pursue their goal, or when they have decided is a good time to wait to pursue their goal. For example: Jack's goal is to get water from the well on the hill. The reason why is that he is thirsty. The when is now. Because he just now decides that he wants to go get the water. He later fell down the hill with his friend Jill. They were never seen again. Anyway. Another example would be going back to the corporate executive. When is he going to go get that gun? Today? Tomorrow? Next week? When did he decide that he wanted the gun? When he found a naked picture of his wife on his friend's phone? When his company's stock started to crash? Or when his wife mentioned that she didn't feel safe in their home? Let's add Bob's when. What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college. Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world. When: He decided to go after an argument with his father where he yelled that Bob was a waste of all the time he spent raising him. And he decides that he wants to go at the beginning of the next year. Where: How: And there we go. His father basically told him to his face that he was a complete waste of time. That's the kind of thing that will either make you go cry for a few hours, make you yell back, or decide to prove him wrong. Again, there can be multiple parts as to the why, but it's generally a good idea to keep it to at or below three to avoid making things too overly complicated. The Where: The where is basically where the character is going to go to accomplish their goal. For Jack, it is the well on the hill, for the corporate executive it is the gun store down the road, for Bob it is college. This is perhaps the easiest W of the five, as long as you've followed the other steps. Although this can be augmented. What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college. Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world. When: He decided to go after an argument with his father where he yelled that Bob was a waste of all the time he spent raising him. And he decides that he wants to go at the beginning of the next year. Where: A public college with at least a 2 year technical course in whatever in fine arts. How: Again, it is very simple and sometimes completely self evident. The How: Now we are in the home stretch. The how is exactly what it sounds like, it is how the character plans on accomplishing the goal. The goal can be one step, two steps, or even twenty steps. Whatever fits the characters and the goal. It can be how they are going to get to the end of their goal, how they are going to acquire the means of accomplishing their goal, or just how they are going to survive while they try to accomplish their goal. Jack needs to go get a bucket, then head up the hill, and then draw the water from the well with the bucket. The corporate executive needs to get a gun license, if he doesn't already have one, head to the gun store and purchase the gun. Let's add a more RPG character here as well. The simple farmer from a small village, Edwin, has the goal of stopping the evil wizard. The reason why is that the wizard destroyed his village and killed all of his friend. The when is right now. The where is the wizard's tower that lies in the middle of a lake of molten lava. And the how is by gathering allies, training to become stronger, acquiring an ancient weapon that he was always destined to wield, and then by fighting his way to the wizard's tower, and then finally fighting the wizard. Let's add Bob's how. What: Name: Bob Age: 18. Race: Caucasian. Demographic : Lower Class. Goal: Wants to go to college. Why: So he can get a better job, and show his father that he is worth something, who believes that Bob has wasted his life and has no chance of making it in the world. When: He decided to go after an argument with his father where he yelled that Bob was a waste of all the time he spent raising him. And he decides that he wants to go at the beginning of the next year. Where: A public college with at least a 2 year technical course in fine arts. How: By getting a job to pay his way through college, since his old man ain't going to give him any money, and by studying hard to ensure he graduates. And there. We have all of the Ws of character building. Bob is now a complete, character, with motives, goals, and a plan on how he is going to accomplish those goals. Congrats, Bob. Actually, there is one more W that I haven't mention so far, and it's fairly important, but, in my mind, can't be written without the first five Ws having been written down first. I am, of course, speaking of... The Who: The who is who the character is, their personality, how they act, how they define themselves, ect. The reason I you can't right this before you write the other Ws is because, well, those other Ws, in a way, are already the who. Think about it. What have we learned about Bob and the other example characters? We learned that Jack is thirsty. ... What? You want more then that? Fine. He is also someone who likes to do something by himself, or at least through his own self initiative. He could of simply asked an adult, or a friend to go get the water for him, but he went and did it himself. The corporate executive, no matter which version you prefer, is a man who decides things on a personal level quickly, possibly without too much thought, and maybe goes ahead with his plans no matter what anyone else may have to say. If you take the revenge version, he has a quick and violent temper, since we never say that he think of doing anything other then getting revenge, and with the suicide version, he maybe puts too much of himself into the things he owns, or has a secret self-loathing that causes him to take failures very personally. With the third version that he cares about his wife's feeling of safety, or maybe he likes to feel big both at work and at home. And Edwin. He is someone who does not sit down and give up, he pulls himself up from the destruction of the life he knew and sets out to stop the wizards. He is driven enough to train himself from a farmer into a hero, possibly charismatic, or sympathetic enough to recruit allies to his cause, and determined enough to see it all through to the end. And Bob? Bob is a slacker, who perhaps never put much thought into what he wanted to be, he simply drifted through high school because he had to, and hadn't a single wish to continue his education until his argument with his father. After that we see something else to him, he, much like Edwin, is driven. He WILL prove to his father that he can be more then a slacker, he WILL make a better life for himself. He's intelligent enough to have at a decently thought out plan and is so determined to prove himself to his dad that he is willing to take the extra responsibility of working his way through college. Will he slacker nature show itself and possibly compromise his goal? Most definitely, that's where his drama kinda comes in. A lazy guy trying to break out of that shell and make something new out of himself. I hope this was useful to you all. And if you have any questions, feel free to post down below. Have a good day. -LS
  22. This question seems simple, but I'm sure has a complicated answer: What aspects of a game keep the player playing it? From my experience, great gameplay and storytelling are what keeps me playing, but those answers almost seem obvious. Are there other qualities we can add to our games (RPG Maker ones specifically) that make them addictive? Humor? Drama? Graphics?
  23. Let's talk about realistic for a minute. Realistic(Ex: Dark Souls or Condemned): Do you like a game with low stats and realistic skills? Let's say Billy has 100HP and enemies do... 50 damage. In real life, a human can probably take 2 slashes with a sword, but in most games, your character get's slashed 10 times with a claymore, and your character's HP is not even half-way down. What about skills? Do you want the skills to be realistically done and do realistic damage? Meaning, you don't want Billy to be able to destroy the earth with one punch since it's unrealistic and you don't want his realistic skills to do unrealistic damage. Would you like a game where you have to be more careful and can't go into battle like "This is for Narnia!" or "This is Sparta!"? Grammar question: Is it "This is Sparta!"? or is it "This is Sparta?!" What about dramatic ones? Dramatic(Ex: Final Fantasy, Blazeblue, Street fighter, and Tekken(debatable)): Do you like high stats with unrealistic skills? Let's say Billy has 2000HP and enemies do... 200 damage. In real life, it is 99.9% near impossible to live through 100 slashes from a claymore. Skills? Let's take Final Fantasy for example. Final Fantasy has a very dramatic feel to it(which suits it well). Let's say Billy's enemy is Henry. Let's use an example battle... *Henry summons dragon* *Dragon smashes into earth* *Creates a crater big as half of the earth* *1 million damage* *Billy still lives* or vise versa *Billy punches earth* *Half of it is destroyed* *1 million damage* *Henry walks it off like it's nothing* What I've heard I heard that having dramatic stats, skills, etc, adds great effect to certain games. Games that look dramatic tend to have great effects as in moves, skills, etc. For example, Street Fighter; some characters are really strong but are dumped down in the game. For example, Akuma; he can punch an island and destroy it. If you were to watch battle animations of Street Fighter, they tend to have a ton of effects and battles are usually fast-paced(or at least, that's what I've seen). That's the thing, people like fast-paced battles with a ton of effects and aggressiveness. Street Fighter's main pros are battles, sound effects, special effects(ki, fire, wtc.), and music. Same with games like Blazeblue or Tekken (Tekken is debatable); they are all loved for their fast-paced fights. Then again, people like games like Dark Souls mainly because it doesn't have the dramatic feel most games have. Someone may pick Dark Souls over Final Fantasy because Dark Souls is more realistic. Do you prefer realistic games or dramatic ones?
  24. Nyapurgisnacht

    What Was This Game Called?

    I often encounter this issue amongst myself and others, (I happened to see KilloZapit make a blog entry on the subject as well,) and sometimes the latent memory isn't specific enough for Google. So let's all band together when for when Google searches fail, and figure out the names of the games from long ago. To start off: My husband has been wracking his brain (and google) trying to remember a few obscure N64 RPG/Strategy-esque games. He remembered one that wasn't too much fun where a character throws spears out of a Phantom Brave-like movement circle, and that turned out to be 'Aidyn Chronicles the First Mage.' There's another that still eludes him: It had a sort of 'chibi' style to it. There was a brother that went back in time to save his sister who is in your kind of 'party" until she dies anyways because main character guy (who is obviously future guy,) wanted his future-self to back the fuck off her, and future main character wasn't able to save them as such... Or something. My husband remembers that the little sister character had a line like, "I beat a boogly moogly or googly moogly." whenever you'd win what the game made out to be a battle. Also apparently the main-character had huge lips and brown hair... Probably. Sound familiar to anyone?
  25. So I ran across a very interesting game the other day on youtube. I only watched an LP of it but I may buy it myself soon (that is i my dinky computer can handle it, which I doubt) because besides it's story being amusing it's gameplay actually looks really really interesting, even if it seems sort of short. I think there is something that is sort of interesting that the game touches on, maybe even unintentionally, that it never really to my knowledge addresses completely. So first of all, I am going to be mentioning some spoilers for the game. Nothing really groundbreakingly major I think but still, if you care about that sort of thing, well spoiler warring and such. So okay. This game, it's about running around a unfinished gameworld being worked on by feuding developers that just cannot seem to get along. There are three developers that tend to show up as the main stars of the show, while most of the others just seem to show up in backstory lore (in the form of developer changelogs and commentary on the unfinished world). It is noticeable to me that none of these three main developers really seem to actually care that much about the game it's self, or even understand what a game is and what it's for. First we have the head designer (voiced by Dr Venture of all people), who acts as the game's writer. He only really cares about the story, to the point where he is actively hostile to the players. Early in the game he decides they are entitled kill-crazy jerks who when given a weapon would just run around and kill all his carefully made NPCs. So he takes away their weapon. Despite the fact most of the game was designed with combat in mind (you never do get it back, but though shenanigans find another power that is actually a lot more interesting then using a weapon anyway). Next there is the cynical second in command that has no choice but to follow the head designer's lead even though she hates it, but can't quit due to shady cooperate dealings. She actively hates all the story focus and wants more combat and killing things. She seems to be on the side of gameplay, but I think it becomes obvious she just wants something to master. She even goes on this long story about cavemen (or woman, whatever) called "Frag" and "Brag" that seems to really drive the point about how she views games as pure competition and sport. Then there is the fan intern that flatters her way into the head designer's good graces and ends up doing a lot of the work. All she really cares about though is nostalgia, and resurrecting the past. In fact it becomes more and more obvious that her dedication to the past is much stronger then her dedication to the present. Her focus is on the exact set of symbols she remembers and the emotional responses they trigger. It strikes me that none of these developers seem to have a clue about what games are actually about. To me, games are and always have been about the manipulation of data within a set of rules. To me it's always been just the pure joy of figuring out and using systems. Exploring them, exploiting them, figuring out how they work. Bit like programing I guess, or even life it's self, but maybe with more strict rules and a bit of story for context, just enough to make you want to work to something and to let the world you are exploring come alive beyond pure gameplay mechanics. Ironically this is something that the real game (not the fake in-universe game) actually seems to do pretty well, at least for the main chunk of it's gameplay. It offers a simple, but pretty deep, mechanic and allows you to solve puzzles various ways with it. I hesitate to spoil the actual mechanic, but if you wanna know: Thing is, I am not sure i that was an idea that the game's story ever really picked up on, or i they just threw a interesting mechanic to keep people interested and drive off the "not a game" crowd. There is a lot of interesting if heavyhanded commentary, and several long speeches, about games and why people play them and why and how they are made and so on and so forth, but I didn't see anything about this, at least not directly. It even, at parts, pokes at the old idea that video games are just escapism, which always rubbed me the wrong way, but I don't think it was supporting that view and instead using it as another example of how the head designer just doesn't get players. I always thought games were important. All fiction is of course, beyond escapism. It communicates and discusses ideas, sets up scenarios, allows hypothetical to be explored. This is an important function of thought, one we need more they people are willing to admit it seems in our day to day lives. And games are one level beyond even fiction. They allow us to explore abstract models and conceptions, and allow a nuanced way to see how some choices will play out in an abstract setting. Escapism may happen sure, but people uses stories and games to enhance their minds, making them more effective for decision making in the real world as well. I guess I am rambling at this point but those are just the thoughts this game brought out of me. Lots of games do that. I think it's a good thing, it means the time invested in the medium is worth it. You know just the other day, I was thinking of making a blog entry about how I sometimes think I should just leave gaming. When gaming news depresses me I think that sometimes. But it's still worth it, and I find examples why all the time. :3 (Also: Fun fact: The game's name seems to be a pun on this which is kinda like a gaming version of the forth wall. Clever!)
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