Talking Simulator

Discuss your favourite LRR streams!
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Kronopticon
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Kronopticon » 22 Oct 2016, 12:21

Garwulf wrote:Relating to this most recent Talking Simulator, a very good article from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/magaz ... ation.html


That is a fantastic article. There is something so fundamental about minecraft. In and of itself, it makes a wonderful kind of efficiency about itself through keeping the poly count low with its aesthetic. Which in doing so has made it so remarkably iconic. Cam and Alex are completely right on the "writing your own story" line of thinking. Helped by things like lack of loading times and such, so that realistically there is no break in the timeline, no pauses, no abrupt interruptions in the story that is being created.

Even in creative, people want to use the tools given to them to make something. Something usually outstanding and incredible; or even just to mess around and just make piles of **** for all the humour that would entail for them.

They speculated upon minecraft being a tool to implement the creation of a story, or just a tool of creation. I suspect personally, the best similarity is a canvas. In an empty creation server, it is a blank canvas. In a generated world it is a watercolour background, waiting for the foreground to be added by your own brush.

Minecraft is a tool, in that the paints are a tool. You can have a blank canvas and once something is placed on it, even a single dot, you have something to start with and work upon. Minecraft is a tool to create a story and the engine with all its many blocks and mechanics are different mediums to craft on a painting. Different paints and chalks and waxes. Minecraft is not only a canvas but the paints/wax/chalk/pencils/ink to colour and make that canvas. And it gives people a massive point to work from to create that beautiful painting of a story.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Gravity Pike » 23 Oct 2016, 21:44

I'm not sure how much of this is just ancient internet rumor, and how much is actual fact, but I seem to recall that a lot of the simplicity of the game had to do with Notch's relative inexperience in game development. The meter-scale objects and simple graphics were easy to implement. (Minecraft originally didn't run terribly well on even relatively powerful computers; advances like "don't render objects that the player can't see" came relatively late in the process.) "Adventure Mode" originally was going to be a story-mode; it just turned out that people liked the sandbox style gameplay a whole lot more. The history of mods and texture-packs and community-discovered recipes came from the fact that Minecraft was developed in Java, which is notoriously easy to decompile back into source code.

That's not to say that the devs aren't to be commended for picking up on the emergent gameplay, or that no one realized what was going on, or why it was a success. I just find it interesting that a lot of what makes Minecraft work was originally developed as a placeholder.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Kronopticon » 25 Oct 2016, 06:57

Gravity Pike wrote:I'm not sure how much of this is just ancient internet rumor, and how much is actual fact, but I seem to recall that a lot of the simplicity of the game had to do with Notch's relative inexperience in game development. The meter-scale objects and simple graphics were easy to implement. (Minecraft originally didn't run terribly well on even relatively powerful computers; advances like "don't render objects that the player can't see" came relatively late in the process.) "Adventure Mode" originally was going to be a story-mode; it just turned out that people liked the sandbox style gameplay a whole lot more. The history of mods and texture-packs and community-discovered recipes came from the fact that Minecraft was developed in Java, which is notoriously easy to decompile back into source code.

That's not to say that the devs aren't to be commended for picking up on the emergent gameplay, or that no one realized what was going on, or why it was a success. I just find it interesting that a lot of what makes Minecraft work was originally developed as a placeholder.


If memory serves from when I played it back in the day 8) when it was still Notch's IP you're probably correct. But I think that rampant customisability and modding are what made it such a hit. In that most AAA games don't have anywhere near as much user input and user testing. Which I feel contributed greatly, but Notch's inexperience gave little amounts of colour to the property, giving the game some of its blocky charming qualities, that almost make it feel retro.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby ThePasserby » 25 Oct 2016, 19:03

I am unsure if this is the correct place to bring games to the attention of Cam and Alex, but this game seems to bring up a lot of questions about today's surveillance state and things about ethics.

It is a game where you play from what I can tell, a double blind information gather person type? You gather the information deemed pertinent, basically the Machine from Person of Interest if it were a person...and that person were you.

Orwell
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby AxiomaticBadger » 22 Nov 2016, 04:09

Okay, quick disclaimer: I'm haven't seen all the Talking Simulator videos yet because I don't have the free time, so I may say things that are addressed in ones I haven't seen.

Graham wrote:The genre that shares a namesake, cyberpunk, is exemplified by its aesthetic, but also by its narratives that often deal with dystopias, transhumanism, or the pervasion of technology creeping into our human lives (as broad examples).

Steampunk is an aesthetic, inspired by applying modern technology to a Victorian era... it is a science-fiction setting. But what are steampunk stories saying?

I would argue that I have never seen/read a story that I could point to as "a steampunk narrative", because it is simply an aesthetic (and one that I think is kinda rad, if often overdone) that is applied to general sci-fi narratives.

That is fine, and does not make steampunk bad or wrong, but I argue that is all it is.


This, along with what Cam and Alex have said, really made my Soul hurt, partially because it's completely understandable but mostly because it's almost exactly opposite to what Steampunk is all about.

Simply put, Steampunk can be thought of as a combination of Cyberpunk and Romantisism.
It's very focused on Aesthetics because our aesthetic choices show what we, as a culture, consider important.
Steam and Clockwork are used because they look cool, but also because they are symbols of Craftsmanship and Artistry – when one thinks of a Steam Engine or piece of Clockwork in real life, one cannot avoid the association of being “lovingly restored”.
The Steampunk aesthetic is one which technology isn't 'hidden' or made as slimline as possible, but is celebrated and made visible - ever notice how often the clockwork is exposed rather than encased? Similarly, the clothing and architecture is made explicitly ornate or stylised because it implies the value they have to the creator/owner.

So rather than 'Style Over Substance' the point is that 'Substance Deserves Style' – that the Artefacts, Mechanisms and Structures we create should be beautiful because they should be valued for what they are, not just the function they perform.
The language of the genre serves the same effect: Having an Aether-Powered Airship is implicitly more compelling than having an Electric Blimp, even if they're ultimately the same thing.
You can see the same principles active in the Subculture – Authentic materials are better than substitutes, a device that in some manner functions is better than one that is simply decorative, and whilst off-the-shelf accoutrements are acceptable ones made (or at least modified) by the wearer are infinitely more preferable.

Thematically, the overwhelmingly common element is the interplay between culture, spirituality and technological advancement, specifically which elements of each which should be discarded, and which should be preserved.
Rather than being antagonistic a'la Cyberpunk, the interaction is presented in a more mutualistic fashion – individuals who promote one at the expense of another are nigh-universally the villains of the narrative.
The style of the typical setting presents this by using the trappings of a culture/period that faced those questions via industrialisation and imperialism, and again in the idealised nature of that setting.
Complaining that the setting is historically inaccurate or bringing up the evils of imperialism (“War Bad!”) will only get you weird looks because their absence is entirely deliberate.

Progressive Gender Roles are also a ubiquitous element – Female protagonists are the norm, rather than the exception.
By presenting Gender Equality and 'strong' women alongside gender-specific behaviour and sexualised fashion (for both genders) what results is the idea that Strength of Character comes from things like being Determined, Courageous and/or Accepting Personal Responsibility rather than being Masculine or Feminine.
Shocking, I know.

TLDR: Whilst the extent a given element is presented is dependent on the Author/Enthusiast, the unifying message is that “We Can And Should Choose The World We Live In”.
Other genres present ideas and concepts for consideration, with SciFi in particular inspiring innovation and development in our technology, but the idea that we can influence our Culture rather than being carried along with it is much rarer.
That Steampunk is so often used just because it's popular and “It's sticking Gears on everything” is disappointing on every level.

---

Next topic!

@Cam – I'm a bit confused with what you said about Bioshock Infinite, namely that 'You help the Vox and it's the wrong decision, Vox/Daisy is just as bad as the comstock' and so on.

The thing is, you don't help the Vox.
You don't free Chen, nor do you deliver them the weapon/machinery that had been confiscated: you travel to a reality where they already have Weapons and are in armed Revolt, or in other words a reality where the Vox has been more aggressive from the start.
This is highlighted when Booker 'remembers' that his alternate self burned down the Hall of Heroes, contrasting that overtly destructive act with the benevolent subtext of you rescuing Chen Lin and gathering equipment (the fact that they are weapons is a mitigator but the behavioural implication remains).
This grants Elizabeth's line that Daisy isn't any better than Comstock greater impact: Better or Worse have little meaning when what is evaluated isn't what the individual does, but rather the entire range of actions that person could perform. Likewise, we are presented with the Vox as both Allies and Enemies, as the hope of an oppressed people and as the new oppressors.

It's the same as with the Luteces; If you can see all the doors, you can't walk through them anymore.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby TheHoss12 » 28 Nov 2016, 09:53

Cam and Alex Should compaire Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby hascow » 28 Nov 2016, 17:52

One topic that I don't think has been talked about on this show that I think is fascinating is the blend of mechanics and narrative. More specifically, how mechanics can help the narrative. One great example of this that I would love to see Alex and Cam play is "Brothers: A tale of two sons" which is still my favorite example of this done really well.

It is sort of related to the narrative game topic of interaction, and how that is something games can add to a story. But the mechanics of a game are another part of that. The form of the interaction can tell a story in the same way that the ability to interact itself can.

Anyway, love the show, although I haven't gotten to watch it live lately. Keep it up!
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby unpronounceable » 28 Nov 2016, 18:21

hascow wrote:One topic that I don't think has been talked about on this show that I think is fascinating is the blend of mechanics and narrative. More specifically, how mechanics can help the narrative. One great example of this that I would love to see Alex and Cam play is "Brothers: A tale of two sons" which is still my favorite example of this done really well.

It is sort of related to the narrative game topic of interaction, and how that is something games can add to a story. But the mechanics of a game are another part of that. The form of the interaction can tell a story in the same way that the ability to interact itself can.


They did talk about that in their double feature of Dear Esther and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. They first look at Dear Esther as a "walking simulator" which lacks traditional game mechanics, and contrast that with Ethan Carter, as it adds more traditional game elements to tell its story.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby hascow » 02 Dec 2016, 08:16

unpronounceable wrote:
hascow wrote:One topic that I don't think has been talked about on this show that I think is fascinating is the blend of mechanics and narrative. More specifically, how mechanics can help the narrative. One great example of this that I would love to see Alex and Cam play is "Brothers: A tale of two sons" which is still my favorite example of this done really well.

It is sort of related to the narrative game topic of interaction, and how that is something games can add to a story. But the mechanics of a game are another part of that. The form of the interaction can tell a story in the same way that the ability to interact itself can.


They did talk about that in their double feature of Dear Esther and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. They first look at Dear Esther as a "walking simulator" which lacks traditional game mechanics, and contrast that with Ethan Carter, as it adds more traditional game elements to tell its story.


yeah, I watched that episode. There was some good discussion there, but Brothers specifically has an interesting relationship between the actual mechanical way you interact with it, and the narrative of the fameplay.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 04 Dec 2016, 09:27

Having just watched the My Summer Car stream, the game that it most reminds me of is Kerbal Space Program.

Stick with me, I'm going somewhere with this.

KSP is a game about exploring space in a fashion that, like My Summer Car, treads a strange line between realism (Newtonian physics models and parts used on actual rockets) and user-friendliness (good UI, simplification of physics, parts and rocket construction). Like My Summer Car, it's a game that combines construction, piloting and just noodling around doing Stuff as core gameplay. And crucially, it's another game that leaves a great deal of the experience up to the user; it puts no requirement to make the player go through the (rather laborious) tutorial, makes no real effort to explain the orbital mechanics involved (or some of the advanced piloting/construction techniques- though it ends up teaching them very well) and its developers would probably freely admit that the best learning experience is achieved by watching YouTube. Despite the introduction of a career mode and contracts system in later editions, the real core of the gameplay challenge is user-generated; players decide to go to the moon or Duna or build a space station out of an asteroid mostly of their own volition. The game does not prompt people to stage space battles with self-built fighters, cruisers and carriers or create scientific colonies on distant worlds, or attempt sub-orbital formation flying, but stuff like that is where the real challenge and sense of achievement in KSP lies. My greatest ever KSP experience was the sheer elation achieved by breaking off a poorly-positioned part by crashing into a lunar mountain peak after about two hours' effort.

KSP has been heavily tweaked since its earliest days in order to make it less abstract than something like My Summer Car, and it creates a very distinct experience. It also does not go in for the Desert Bus-style 'slow gameplay', through the magic of time acceleration. But there's distinct similarity between the core motivations behind both games; if you like the look of My Summer Car, have a poke round YouTube and decide if KSP might be up your street.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Garwulf » 27 Dec 2016, 07:08

So, thanks to Talking Simulator my wife gave me a copy of Roadside Picnic (the game that inspired S.T.A.L.K.E.R) for Christmas, and I devoured it in a day. It's a VERY good book. Some observations (and spoilers):

1. S.T.A.L.K.E.R does not manage to do the book justice, but not for the reason I had expected. The game isn't dark enough. There's an existential dread that rises from the Visitation's utter lack of answers that the game doesn't capture. In the game, you get something resembling an explanation if you go down the right path, and that grounds you. In the book, the characters never get any answers that might ground them...and neither does the reader. The book ends with Red (the stalker who serves as the main protagonist) finding the golden orb and making a wish, but we never find out if that wish is granted. From the visitation, we now know that we are not alone in the universe, but we also know that we will never be able to connect with those who visited us in any meaningful way - we can no more communicate with them than an ant can communicate with us.

2. The Zone in the book is much more dangerous and unpredictable than it is in the game. Sometimes the only warning that there is some sort of trap that will kill a stalker in some horrible fashion is the rumpled clothes on the ground that used to be a human being. Some of the "traps" are quite memorable - one character has all of the bones in their legs disappear with the exception of their knees and has to be pulled out of the Zone.

3. The book feels a lot like an exploration of the early stages of religion. The visitation has happened, but we will never know why they came, why they left, or whether they will come back. We do not know what the original intended purpose of the artifacts in the Zones are. Most of the story is about how people deal with encountering something this much greater than us after it has touched them - some try to profit from it by becoming stalkers and entering the zone illegally, some try to get away from it by emigrating, some try to learn from it by joining the Institute and studying the artifacts...but nobody can escape it or its consequences.

4. For all of its darkness, the book is very optimistic. The Zones are terrifyingly unpredictable and dangerous, but many items that get pulled out of them make humanity's life better in the end. Red might have suffered because of his connection to the zone - he has been imprisoned for years for "stalking" (quotation marks to differentiate the book's use of the word from our modern use), his daughter has lost most of what made her human because of how the Zone affects stalkers, and he is desperate to fix his life, even if he has to sacrifice somebody else's to get to the orb...but when he finally makes his wish, it is a selfless wish for everybody. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Roadside Picnic is that even when faced with contact with something so much greater than us, the goodness in humanity survives.

Anyway, great book - and many thanks to Cameron and Alex for talking about it on stream and letting us know that it existed.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Garwulf » 29 Dec 2016, 15:56

Just thinking of my wish list for games I would love to see them do (with the full understanding that Alex and Cameron have their own list, and probably don't need any suggestions to pad it out):

- The Thing (this was a game that tried to reproduce the same type of horror as the movie, had a really ambitious vision of what it would be, and ran face-first into the technological limitations of the time - definitely one of the more interesting failures)

- Doom (the original - this game is a full-on Citizen Kane moment that changed everything from how games were made to who made them to how they were played, and it would be great to see an analysis about why it worked so well on a design level)

- Diablo (there's a LOT going on in this game, from design interface to the mythology in the background, and it broke the mold in a lot of ways...it's no accident that this game almost single-handedly resuscitated the RPG genre)

- Echelon (this is a 1987 game by Access that I'm guessing most people have never heard of - it was an early attempt to do SF planet exploration, and did just about everything wrong...the surfaces don't have colliders, the game used the actual clock on the CMOS for timing, which meant that you had to reset it after you played...but it was also probably about a decade and a half ahead of its time, was trying to pull off a really ambitious idea on computers that often had less than 640K of RAM, and if it had been made today by an indie studio, it would probably be an amazing game)

- Warcraft III (there's some really interesting storytelling going on in this game, where the RTS genre is being used to try to tell a very nuanced story with developed characters)

- King's Quest (the original, not the remake...this game is basically the reason that video games have graphics today - it's a Citizen Kane moment in and of itself, and a very different type of open-world game design with puzzles based almost entirely on whimsy...it's a very different world of gaming)

- Carmagaddeon (this was a title where the developers decided to do the same type of satire as Death Race 2000 - you get extra time and bonuses for smearing pedestrians, and it sends up the entire idea of video game violence with glee...and this ruffled a LOT of feathers when it came out)

- Zork (this game goes back to 1977, and pre-dates the time when graphics were considered necessary or even desirable - and often weren't possible...how do you present a gripping gameplay experience when all you have available is a fraction of the computing power of a rudimentary flip phone?)

- Civilization (the very first one - it's an attempt to build a game about the whole of human history that was short changed by Microprose when it was being developed, and, in part, as a result is very flawed in some very interesting ways)

So, that's my current wish list. Sort of curious...anybody else got some titles they're dying to see on Talking Simulator?
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 30 Dec 2016, 05:18

My own personal wishlist:

- Orwell. Aka, if Papers, Please was about a modern day democracy; see my essay thread for a more detailed dissection of why.

- Freedom Bridge. Free online flash game you can finish in all of sixty seconds, but it's an excellent illustration of the use of mechanics as both narrative and metaphor; hardly worth its own episode, but something that I feel makes a good point about game design.

- KSP, as described above. Not something to go into dry, however, so it's a particularly tentative hope.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 20 Jan 2017, 04:40

Re: the Life is Strange stream- I watched it on catchup today (as someone who thoroughly enjoyed playing through the game a while back), and whilst the stream was as good as ever I must confess the part I found most intriguing was reading Arclight_Dynamo's views on the characters thereof and general life frustrations. People in this community continue to be interesting, if a shade frustrating.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Bergie » 04 Feb 2017, 13:15

Just want to reiterate, I really like the show. However, we were watching Pt. 1 of Life is Strange and I wonder if it is at all possible to have the microphone moved a bit further away from Alex. When he. . . exclaims enthusiastically, it is as if he is inside my head and scrambling my brain. I know it is a reaction he can't significantly control, but the sudden increase in volume is jarring.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Tim_McM » 19 Feb 2017, 11:41

I've only recently started watching Talking Sim and have highly enjoyed the usually intelligent and analytical consideration of the games played.

For a host of reasons (mostly involving living in the UK and not wanting to keep my wife up all night) I'm unlikely to ever appear in the twitch chat while you're live, but I will endeavour to converse on here (when I have coherent thoughts to offer).

I've particularly enjoyed the slow development of the "what is a game" and "what defines gameplay" conversations that have been progressing, especially in Layers of Fear, and what does and doesn't add to the feel of the game.

In this vein would be very interested to see you work through To The Moon, which is far more interactive story than game and I would be curious to see where your thoughts went with it. It has many issues (I'd recommended reading the negative reviews as many of them are justly critical of the flaws) but also a beautiful underlying story and concept, and great soundtrack.

Mostly I would like to see you expand the conversation of gamehood and where gamification adds or subtracts from the game's narrative.

Keep up the great content, I'll be back.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Garwulf » 02 Mar 2017, 07:14

So, before tonight's Talking Simulator, some links that people might enjoy...

A GDC post-mortem of the original Doom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnkCujnYNSo

My own exploration of the place in history of the original Doom: https://www.pcgamesn.com/most-important-pc-games-doom

Jim Sterling on the Doom Guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AphprlpAVyE
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 02 Mar 2017, 16:11

OK, I know I'm a week late on the VoD, but I thought I'd add to the discussion regarding the ending to Life is Strange.

I would agree with Cam that the choice to sacrifice Chloe is to accept her loss- the last episode makes it very clear that the timeline has, on multiple occasions, been doing everything it can to kill her. Time seems to want Chloe dead this week. However, I would disagree with the idea that to save Chloe is to be in denial about her loss- because she does survive, and we have not just denied her loss but successfully prevented it.

Although Chloe has been 'killed' multiple times this week, none of them are as a result of your actions (one could argue that her death in the storm when you are in San Fran is 'your fault', but that's a whole 'nother exploration). We human beings like to ascribe narratives to events that are in fact random, going back to ancient mythology (a la Orpheus) and the personification of the natural world as gods. But nowadays we know that that isn't how the world works, and the only god in this story is us. There is no malevolent force out to try and kill Chloe- she's just spending a week pissing about with dangerous stuff as her life unravels around her, and a person moreover whose array of potential accidents you have explored extensively. I don't think that accepting this argument means being in denial about her loss, but rather it is to consciously deny that her loss needs to happen. I think my reasoning for doing this is that I didn't, at least at time of playing, see this story as any kind of myth regarding mortality, but rather as a self-contained little character piece, and the decision to save or sacrifice her had, I felt, to be entirely situational rather than as some grand allegory for human loss.

I spent about ten minutes thinking over my final decision to save Chloe. This decision wasn't based on some grand ethical standpoint, but rather the following argument: we have been given the ability to deny Chloe this fate, and have time and again throughout this week saved her. After all that, I felt that to just give in to the spuriously 'natural' way of things would be to do her and that effort a disservice- ultimately, that felt like the best option of those immediately available. I've not written this because I feel that Cam & Alex's arguments are wrong, purely because I felt the need to add something to 'the other side's' opinion, since that seemed a little under-represented. Regardless- thank you for letting me talk about a game I love again, and for Talking Simulator continuing to kick ass.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby PMAvers » 09 Mar 2017, 20:56

There was some talk about possibly doing DNF as a Talking Simulator in the future. Something that might be interesting as a conversation is Tale of Two BUILD Engine Reboots. DNF's failings at trying to update to the times versus Shadow Warrior 2014 actually pulling it off.

Unrelated to that conversation, I *would* love to see Wolfenstein: TNO. All the crazy levels of detail they put into world building on that game could be interesting to talk about.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Genghis Ares » 10 Mar 2017, 00:22

DNF does have a pretty long and rocky history. I'm pretty happy to have taken part in finally getting it released at the very least.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby TubeAlloy » 12 Mar 2017, 11:34

I just popped in to say that while I agreed with 95% of what the guys were saying for the Aliens: Colonial Marine discussion I do think Aliens is a good franchise for a video game. I'd love if the guys went back to AVP2 gold from the 90s and played the Marine campaign for the first two levels just to contrast the atmosphere, pacing and overall lethality of the aliens.

You can argue that AVP has the addition of predators which affects the game, however I don't think the preds actually show up until the 4th or 5th level so you can treat the beginning of the Marine campaign as a pure Aliens game up to a point.
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Tim_McM
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Tim_McM » 13 Mar 2017, 08:06

I haven't actually seen any of the Alien franchise so until you commented on "everyone knows about the chest burster" I had no concept of what the trapped guy with exploded torso meant. and have only limited understanding of why the guy in the umbilical erupted into alien baby. Confirming your opinion that the game leaves enormous holes in the understanding of anyone who isn't familiar with the content.

Despite the number of RPG styles games I play I get really frustrated by quests/missions where time urgency is implied or stated but there's no impact for durdling. It didn't matter how fast or slow you were the ships would keep pea-shootering each other until you got to the control console just too late. much like the initial "save the mcguffin mission" if the end is entirely pre-determined you need to put a lot of investment into getting the player to engage with the mission and the story it supports.

Side note on Sci-fi space battles (and universes in general) I highly recommend the Honor Harrington Series (except for the most recent 4 or so books) it's a detailed and expansive internally consistent and complex reality spanning multiple multistellar polities in a continuous flux of conflict and politics. Most of the stories centre on protagonists in various navies with appropriate amounts of space battles all fought out with intricate rock-paper-scissors defences and weapons. Warning: serious reading commitment, including anthologies we're somewhere around 20 books with aconnected narrative that spans centuries (the main novel line alone covers several decades).

Back on track, some amount of this could be because I'm a PC gamer not console user but that looked and felt like it should have come out alongside Oblivion not years after Skyrim. The insight from the actual dev about how things came about would be really interesting to see further explored at some future point.

I have no idea what it would be but I'd be really interested to see a stream of a game that ended up really bad because, instead of the "play it really safe and end up generic" path which has been discussed several times now, the designers took a load of risks to make something new and special and most of the risks didn't pay off or pan out as hoped.

Going further back:

I've finally played enough of ME3 to feel comfortable going back and watching the ME1 stream, your conversation about the messianic nature of Shepard was interesting as I'd never actually considered it in that light. Certainly he draws close to him others who are not whole and (assuming you follow paragon choices) generally act as a guardian and comforter but most of those who follow him are significantly competent in their own right and tend to be outcast due to square peg-round hole syndrome rather than overlooked and helpless.

I feel like the devs missed a trick in LiS ep5 during the walk through your flashbacks of the set game points. I think it could have been much more impactful to walk through all your critical decision points and rethink all of your "but what if?" comments now that the full impact of those earlier decisions was revealed.


Keep up the interesting conversations and enjoyable content



Edit: Hey-o I just ran straight into the story comes last issue you've mentioned several times, I came up with a great game mechanic and then went "hmm how can I story around this mechanic" and then the tropes began.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Genghis Ares » 14 Mar 2017, 14:27

I don't know much about what ACM was like before 2010 apart from it going through several iterations. But I think part of the reason it wasn't given more focus earlier on was because a new Aliens vs Predator game was also being made and came out in 2010.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby Tim_McM » 21 Mar 2017, 00:22

Some thoughts, which you touched upon in the So What, which stimulated my thinking:

On how much gameplay in horror: I've never really understood the horror genre, for a variety of reasons it's never appealed to me. The Layers of Fear playthrough made me understand why people could enjoy it, the visceral emotion of the unknown and uncontrolled. Isolation had none of that same feel partly from the fact that knowing it's an alien game means you already know what the shock point is (which is probably why the Working Joes worked so well for Alex because they were unexpected the first time). The fact that you had tools and equipment and weaponry and what felt like control over your own destiny made it feel far more actioney than horrorey despite the lack of actual action (best exemplified by the "couldn't work out sneaking, eh, kill 'em all" scene).

Fragility of Horror: Also: why gameplay involving death and save reloads sucks. You only get one shot, the clearest example was the layers of fear scene with the recursive maze of running dolls which the first time was disturbing and the third was entertaining which is when this conversation really got started (for me atleast). Once something is anticipated or expected it is reduced either to "yeah that's cool, hey remember how good it was the first time?" or worse "ugh, got to go past the jump scare zombie attack again" or the content appropriate equivalent.

Alien AP skins over other games: if the fact that the shock is known before you ever start playing isn't the killer this might be your problem. From your comments, neither of the games you've played have been trying to make an Alien game. They've both been trying to make "a game" and have it do what other games selling well at the time are doing then are applying Alien paint over it to attract the fan base.
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Re: Talking Simulator

Postby PMAvers » 23 Mar 2017, 16:39

Genghis Ares wrote:DNF does have a pretty long and rocky history. I'm pretty happy to have taken part in finally getting it released at the very least.


You know, thinking back on it, I did have some fun with it. It felt just like they had to stretch development efforts out over way too much of a game. On the other hand, the DLC shows what they could have done if they were more focused since it was actually pretty good.

Maybe going back to a old-school episodic structure (or new-school, if you count Telltale-style games) could've worked for it. Put out a polished and good four-to-five hour experience for the first episode and maybe multiplayer? And then work on getting a content pipeline working for future episodes to keep development focused... focused... on making good additional content.

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