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Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:43 pm
by Brentai
I'm upset because it's all stepfamily stuff and not enough girl scouts requiring dick in payment for cookies

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:43 pm
by Brentai
I accept this page break.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:22 pm
by MarsDragon
In the sphere of porn I'm familiar with, stepfamily stuff started as a way to get around Amazon's content restrictions. Turns out incest is a fairly common kink (forbidden fruit and all) and trying to rule away something where the entire appeal is the taboo doesn't work so hot.

I dunno about all your "videos" and stuff though.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:34 pm
by Newbie
After I finished Outer Wilds myself, I found that I didn't really want to be "done" with the game yet, so I've been watching every Let's Play I can find on youtube and Twitch. It's funny that this should coincide with the release of Mario Maker 2, because it's a really effective way to demonstrate just how hard it is to calibrate difficulty for a broad audience.

Mario Maker shows you exactly where people die in the levels you upload, and it almost doesn't matter how easy you try to make your platforming: if you put something on the path to the ending that can kill the player, somebody will die to it, no matter how easy it is to avoid. You'd think I'd remember that from any of the numerous times we've seen that demonstrated in the past, and yet that fact catches me off guard every time it comes up again.

But even aside from simple execution, Outer Wilds shows how easy it is for players to miss critical environmental details or even UI elements. Players are constantly overlooking notes they can interact with on the floor and the walls; they regularly walk past the canisters of fuel which would save them from having to constantly return to their ship. The game has a very hands-off approach to its tutorials, so if they don't take the time to really examine the options available with their tools like the signalscope and little scout, they might never realize that the former provides a telescopic zoom function, while the latter has an actual handheld photography mode. Missing stuff like doesn't really prevent you from playing the game, but some challenges are a lot more needlessly fiddly, and there's exactly one obstacle near the end of the game that REQUIRES you to be able to zoom in on it. Then there was the guy who decided he didn't want to rely on the shipboard computer that the whole game was basically built around; since he wasn't regularly checking it to see how his discoveries were each related to the big picture, he'd underestimate the importance of major discoveries he'd made, and he'd latch on to disproven hypotheses or fixate on a certain approach to getting information he thought he needed to answer a question, when his computer could have shown him that there were no more answers to be found in the places he was looking.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:12 pm
by mharr

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:11 pm
by Thad
I hated Navi's "Hey! Wissen!" as much as the next guy, but damned if it didn't take me half an hour to notice an offscreen grapple point in Wind Waker that was only signposted by Link's eyes moving to look in its direction.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:00 am
by Friday
If there's one thing I learned about game design from ek2, ek3, making my own hobby rpg that I forced R^2 to screenshot LP, making my own shitty proto-knytt levels and forcing Brentai to video LP them for me so I could get feedback, and watching Romo play Mega Man 2 and find Metal Man's Stage harder than Quick Man's Stage, it's this:

I know dick all about difficulty tuning, nobody knows dick all about difficulty tuning, and everything you make is ten times harder than you think it is, and then after you've accounted for that, it's still five times harder than you think it is.

(And if you're a masocore lover like me, it's another 3 or 4 times harder than you think it is.)

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:12 am
by nosimpleway
Friday those Harpies and their partywide stun were awful why would you do that

and the corridors of Evil fire too I guess

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:33 pm
by Thad
I read a comment recently by a game designer, I forget which one, to the effect that Conan O'Brien's Clueless Gamer series is a masterclass on shit designers take for granted.

I'm sort of perpetually late to the party, particularly on rapidly-evolving genres. I remember picking up Doom 3 and being baffled by wasd controls, picking up Ghostbusters and having tremendous difficulty with using one shoulder button to aim and another one to fire, and button-mashing my way all the way through Arkham Asylum, restarting on Hard Mode, and then realizing oh, you're supposed to *time* when you hit the Attack button.

There's a vocabulary to game design, and it can be fucking impenetrable. I knew somebody once who hadn't gamed since the NES; she found modern (circa 2000) games intimidating because there were too many buttons.

I'm still teaching my nephew stuff like "use the D-pad to navigate menus, not the stick.". (It probably doesn't help that Nintendo loves to make you use the stick for menus and other shit where the D-pad would make a lot more sense, but that's a whole other rant.)

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:50 pm
by Friday
There's a vocabulary to game design, and it can be fucking impenetrable.


This is probably the most pertinent idea about difficulty. The "randomness" in how different people experience difficulty in games -mostly- comes from how well versed they are in the language of games.

I've played games most of my life and have played almost all the possible genres, so when I encounter something I find difficult, I have a thousand different "words" to try.

To us, the sharp "pinging" sound when you shoot or slice a boss means "you are hitting this boss where he is invincible, or during a phase where he is invincible" but imagine someone who just... didn't know that that is what that meant. They might waste ten or more attempts shooting a boss in the body instead of the head and dealing no damage the entire time. Especially if that boss doesn't have a life bar, and a lot of games don't show you that information.

There are ways around pitfalls like that, of course (showing a life bar, actually showing your bullets bouncing off, having Slippy chime in eventually with "it looks like we need to shoot it in the head!") that can clue players in, but the problem is that game devs are almost always gamers themselves and thus know the language, and thus write in that language.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:20 pm
by Brentai
The other problem is that players may ignore or actively refuse the help you give them. Arin's dogged refusal to read text means you somehow have to communicate everything in the game nonverbally; meanwhile I'll never forget the time I got Frocto stuck on a boss for ten minutes because his laptop screen was too dark to see the air currents coming out of a lava pool.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:19 am
by Esperath

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:20 pm
by Mongrel
holy shit

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:39 pm
by pacobird
Wow.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:24 pm
by Mongrel

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:55 am
by beatbandito
Game Healing Types:
Medpack / Armor
Camping / Resting
Auto / Cover Heal Over Time
Shield Recharge / Healthpacks
Potions / Magic / Healing derived directly from another resource
Lifesteal

Unless I'm missing something obvious, I think the 'Estus Flask' health potion with its recharging based on stage completion (kinda, to sloppily describe it) might actually be a new type of healing mechanic that I'd like to see more titles use without going full 'soulslike'.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:44 am
by mharr
There are those games where you don't have a way to recover from being close to death, and use some other mechanism to deal with the issue such as jumping to a new host body, rewinding time or spending resources on a fresh clone.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:26 pm
by Mongrel
Food (usually functionally equivalent to healthpacks or potions though)

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:30 pm
by Brentai
Food/hunger can be tied to health regeneration as is the case of MGS3/Minecraft/maybe a couple others. Not precisely a straight regen system since it still hinges on the use of item resources and can be modulated by eating more or less.

The Estus Flask is a heal spell on a Vancian magic system. Your day is now ruined.

Re: Game musings and news

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:47 pm
by beatbandito
Technically I guess, but it's an independent system from any magic. The growth of which is not tied to any stat. You're not sacrificing any resource but that heal for that rest period, even if you divorce it from the respawn system.