Gaming Confessions & Blasphemy

JillSammich wrote:
alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

This.

I feel like I'm better at turn-based strategy games because I have time to think. RTS, though... forget about it. I usually just play Starcraft on easy. Some would say I'm defeating the purpose, but I just can't keep up with the pace of those games. The first time anything attacks my base, I'm done for.

And I'm at the point in my gaming where my threshold for frustration in games is very low.

I recall hours of playing Lord of the Ring Battle for Middle Earth actually beating the ai a few times only to get completely smashed by someone online.
I also watched a few Company of Heroes vids on yotube where I have no idea how the players can do a million things at the same time.
...
But I always keep going back to the genre. I really want to be better at it. And it's not that I lack intelligence or anything. I just generally suck at these games.

JillSammich wrote:
alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

This.

I feel like I'm better at turn-based strategy games because I have time to think. RTS, though... forget about it. I usually just play Starcraft on easy. Some would say I'm defeating the purpose, but I just can't keep up with the pace of those games. The first time anything attacks my base, I'm done for.

And I'm at the point in my gaming where my threshold for frustration in games is very low.

You sound like you need to play some Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.

JillSammich:

I don't think it's correct to compare Starcraft and RTS games to turn based strategy. It's the thing the mind turns to because of the word "strategy," but the closest analogue to RTS and its tower defense offspring is really time management games like Diner Dash and Airport Mania. These games are equal parts strategy and execution.

So SC2 is first about figuring out how to do it "right," and then executing the plan. Going into a situation "cold" seems like that's how you'd play an RTS, but it's kind of not; ironically enough.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

If I buy someone a game as a gift, I always buy them a game that I like, even if I know they are not going to like it.

I do this to a degree, but I try to stick with titles that may be out of their wheelhouse/off the radar, yet a good fit for their tastes and/or gaming skillset.

I just purchased Tropico 4 Gold for my bud after recently being turned on to it myself via a GiantBomb Quick Look.

Last year I gifted him Mortal Kombat 9 after going ga-ga over it myself earlier in the year.

Dakuna wrote:

You sound like you need to play some Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.

Oddly enough, I just received Dark Souls for Christmas...

Also, Larry: I don't do too well with tower defense either. I'm totally aware that I'm not playing them correctly, but I'm kind of at a time in my life where I don't really have the time to figure out build orders and such. My APM is also atrocious.

Maybe it comes from the fact that I am, and started out as, a console player. It's difficult for me to navigate a full qwerty keyboard of shortcuts and stuff. I do well with my abilities in Diablo.

Maybe I should just stick to my baby games ;P

I'm cross posting this, sorry if anyone is offended but lots of people with what I think are relevant opinions read/post in this thread. To make it somewhat relevant, I will say I hate the xbox controller!

This seems to be a viable solution, I wondered if anyone had any experience with it.

http://www.gamingmodz.com/products/c...

Dakuna wrote:

I'm cross posting this, sorry if anyone is offended but lots of people with what I think are relevant opinions read/post in this thread. To make it somewhat relevant, I will say I hate the xbox controller!

This seems to be a viable solution, I wondered if anyone had any experience with it.

http://www.gamingmodz.com/products/c...

That actually seems pretty awesome. I know a lot of people hate the analog stick placement on the 360 controller, and prefer the DualShock. If it works, this could be a really cool alternative for people.

JillSammich wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

You sound like you need to play some Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.

Oddly enough, I just received Dark Souls for Christmas...

Also, Larry: I don't do too well with tower defense either. I'm totally

Its a Trap! Well, actually I loved those games.

My confession. My wife has played and beaten the entire Assassins Creed series and most other platformers out there like Prince of Persia or Batman Arkham Asylum. But I've never even been more than a Meh interested in playing any of those.

Prince of Persia the original is the only good game in that series.

alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

I've often wanted to play Final Fantasy Tactics to completion. I just can't wrap my head around it. I always suck. At some point in my life, I'm going to look up a step-by-step FAQ and just play through it. I just don't have the time right now.

JillSammich wrote:
alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

This.

I feel like I'm better at turn-based strategy games because I have time to think. RTS, though... forget about it. I usually just play Starcraft on easy. Some would say I'm defeating the purpose, but I just can't keep up with the pace of those games. The first time anything attacks my base, I'm done for.

And I'm at the point in my gaming where my threshold for frustration in games is very low.

Yup. The only strategy games I ever finished were MechCommander 2 and the Homeworld games. That's about it.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

If I buy someone a game as a gift, I always buy them a game that I like, even if I know they are not going to like it.

I think I take this one further. When I buy someone a game as a gift, I often buy them a game that I want to play also but have no one to play with.

Warriorpoet897 wrote:
EverythingsTentative wrote:

If I buy someone a game as a gift, I always buy them a game that I like, even if I know they are not going to like it.

I think I take this one further. When I buy someone a game as a gift, I often buy them a game that I want to play also but have no one to play with. :P

I kind of did this with Borderlands 2 and Dead Island during Black Friday. I knew one of my friends really wanted Borderlands 2, and Dead Island was only $8, and there was another friend that could make a good co-op partner, so I just grabbed three copies each and kept a copy of each for myself.

Dakuna wrote:

Prince of Persia the original is the only good game in that series.

That was the one released in 2008, right?

Demosthenes wrote:
JillSammich wrote:
alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

This.

I feel like I'm better at turn-based strategy games because I have time to think. RTS, though... forget about it. I usually just play Starcraft on easy. Some would say I'm defeating the purpose, but I just can't keep up with the pace of those games. The first time anything attacks my base, I'm done for.

And I'm at the point in my gaming where my threshold for frustration in games is very low.

Yup. The only strategy games I ever finished were MechCommander 2 and the Homeworld games. That's about it.

Wow, if it weren't Warcraft 2 and Starcraft 1 &2, I think I might have the exact same record as you as far as RTS's go.

Looking back I've been defeated by:

Age of Empires 2
Warcraft 1
Every single Command and Conquer game up to Red Alert 2, maybe save one of them.
Star Wars Force Commander (only tolerated that for an hour because it was free from a software rep)
Final Fantasy Tactics
Ogre Battle
Starcraft: Brood War
Advance Wars
Battlezone

And I'm currently stalled out on Valkyria Chronicles. When I go back to it, it'll be with a guide.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

Prince of Persia the original is the only good game in that series.

That was the one released in 2008, right?

Oh, they made a game out of that Jake Gyllenhaal movie?

Tanglebones wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

Prince of Persia the original is the only good game in that series.

That was the one released in 2008, right?

Oh, they made a game out of that Jake Gyllenhaal movie?

I think you're referring to the 2011 one...

I think the late-90s push towards increasingly better graphics has harmed gaming.

Look at the fun in Doom. Look at the fun in Call of Duty Whatever. Have the graphics kept up with the overall fun factor? Graphics are fine and fun, but I feel like they've overwhelmed the creativity in many titles.

I think gamers are increasingly treated like idiots, and games (hi, Far Cry 3) have been diminished as a result of this assumption that you need to be led by the nose. I think this is because gamers are increasingly idiotic.

In the 80s and 90s, many (not all) games were played by folks who were considered to be pretty sharp. Increasingly, in the name of sales and ease, the daring assumption that we could figure things out on our own seems to be vanishing. This is a shame, and while exceptions exist, I think the immediate-gratification culture of the modern gamer is to blame.

As a parallel to this, anyone who complains about inventory management, unintuitive user interfaces, or momentary frustration when they are forced to struggle through adversity elicits an immediate negative judgment.

I should not, I realize. But I have a tacit below that overcoming challenge is the mark of a good experience, and when someone advocates for set-piece games that keep giving you Fun Moments rather than forcing you to learn and adapt, I tend to think that you are The Problem.

It's terrible.

TheHipGamer wrote:

I think the late-90s push towards increasingly better graphics has harmed gaming.

Look at the fun in Doom. Look at the fun in Call of Duty Whatever. Have the graphics kept up with the overall fun factor?

Are you arguing that Call of Duty X is no more fun than Doom? I'm not completely sure what the argument here is, though seeing as Doom is one of the milestones in the history of 3D Gaming I'd say it only helps to suggest that it is a part of the reason people have become such graphics whores throughout gaming's past.

As a parallel to this, anyone who complains about inventory management, unintuitive user interfaces, or momentary frustration when they are forced to struggle through adversity elicits an immediate negative judgment.

I should not, I realize. But I have a tacit below that overcoming challenge is the mark of a good experience, and when someone advocates for set-piece games that keep giving you Fun Moments rather than forcing you to learn and adapt, I tend to think that you are The Problem.

It's terrible.

I'm no usability expert, but a lot of what I've learned in those classes has helped to push my thoughts into what good game design is, and I cannot fully agree with you here.

Bad user interface is bad user interface and interferes with the enjoyment of a product. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it. What you are willing to deal with may be different, but bad design is just that. Bad design.

Inventory may not be bad design itself, but it can also be completely unnecessary. I know a lot of people remember System Shock and other games, but not having played them I cannot grasp why the lack of an inventory in a game like Bioshock is really that horrendous a thing. The game that I played didn't need an inventory as none of the gameplay really required it. That's like complaining Half-Life doesn't have an inventory and thus is dumber for not having it.

Of course, sometimes developers are just dumb about how they "solve" a problem. Mass Effect was a perfect fit for inventory since it allowed for greater character customization. The problem was that the user interface was complete sh*t, at the very least on console. Instead of evaluating how companies like Square have been doing inventory on console since the mother f*cking 80's, however, they decided to just get rid of inventory in Mass Effect 2.

That was dumb.

I don't think that you can correlate the push for graphical enhancements and the push away from complexity. Doom was OMFG revolutionary graphics wise in its day. Also, as a modern game series Call of Duty is the antithesis of the graphics-whore model. They have been slowly iterating on the same engine for the past 6 games, putting things like gameplay and polish as the #1 things on the priority board.

Finally, while I agree in concept that games are a bit more simplistic these days I don't think you can put that on the developers or publishers, the gamers themselves are the problem. Games that sometimes treat people like idiots sell really really well, if you want games to be a "big deal" then you need to sell to those massive audiences. That is just part of the gaming hobby now. If those games didn't exist, the ones that are playable by millions and millions of people and that spawn sequels for the next five years, the gaming industry would probably look a lot like the comics industry these days, an anemic shadow of its former self that struggles to attract top talent and enough customers to keep going. By having that huge flotilla of great selling games you get spots for those really complex and interesting games of yore as well (Dark Souls, I love you).

EDIT: Post edited because ccesarano covered some of it better and I didn't want to reiterate too much

ccesarano wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

I think the late-90s push towards increasingly better graphics has harmed gaming.

Look at the fun in Doom. Look at the fun in Call of Duty Whatever. Have the graphics kept up with the overall fun factor?

Are you arguing that Call of Duty X is no more fun than Doom? I'm not completely sure what the argument here is, though seeing as Doom is one of the milestones in the history of 3D Gaming I'd say it only helps to suggest that it is a part of the reason people have become such graphics whores throughout gaming's past.

CoD is less fun than Doom was. Doom wasn't fun because of its graphics -- they were passable and cool, but they didn't stun us. We remember Doom because it nailed level design, darkness and light within those levels, and massive battles.

In many ways, Quake and its ilk fell down in comparison because they couldn't do that nearly as well.

ccesarano wrote:
As a parallel to this, anyone who complains about inventory management, unintuitive user interfaces, or momentary frustration when they are forced to struggle through adversity elicits an immediate negative judgment.

I should not, I realize. But I have a tacit below that overcoming challenge is the mark of a good experience, and when someone advocates for set-piece games that keep giving you Fun Moments rather than forcing you to learn and adapt, I tend to think that you are The Problem.

It's terrible.

I'm no usability expert, but a lot of what I've learned in those classes has helped to push my thoughts into what good game design is, and I cannot fully agree with you here.

Bad user interface is bad user interface and interferes with the enjoyment of a product. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it. What you are willing to deal with may be different, but bad design is just that. Bad design.

I think "design" talk is generally psuedo-intellectual wankery, regardless of industry.

It reeks of Ayn-Rand hipster bull to me, and I can't stand debating it. Ahem.

ccesarano wrote:

Inventory may not be bad design itself, but it can also be completely unnecessary. I know a lot of people remember System Shock and other games, but not having played them I cannot grasp why the lack of an inventory in a game like Bioshock is really that horrendous a thing. The game that I played didn't need an inventory as none of the gameplay really required it. That's like complaining Half-Life doesn't have an inventory and thus is dumber for not having it.

I think BioShock was terrible, boring, and predictable.

I loved System Shock, and loved System Shock 2 even more. They were unexpected, deep, and complex. BioShock felt like the Disneyland version of those masterpieces.

ccesarano wrote:

Of course, sometimes developers are just dumb about how they "solve" a problem. Mass Effect was a perfect fit for inventory since it allowed for greater character customization. The problem was that the user interface was complete sh*t, at the very least on console. Instead of evaluating how companies like Square have been doing inventory on console since the mother f*cking 80's, however, they decided to just get rid of inventory in Mass Effect 2.

That was dumb.

We're on the same page re: ME2. Hugs for everyone, and friends again!

I don't often do this, but what ccesarano said.

I think inventory/looting is something too many developers throw into their games without thinking about it (and there's other game features you can point at in that way too), not thinking how to make it an enjoyable part of their game that strengthens it.

Scratched wrote:

I don't often do this, but what ccesarano said.

I think inventory/looting is something too many developers throw into their games without thinking about it (and there's other game features you can point at in that way too), not thinking how to make it an enjoyable part of their game that strengthens it.

I tend to agree. Drat! I was trying to be blasphemous.

alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

Right there with you, buddy. In the early days of WC3, I loved the game but clinically sucked at it.
A friend of mine was above decent. I enjoyed WAY more watching him play and getting kicked in the teeth 8 out of 10 times.

TheHipGamer wrote:

I think gamers are increasingly treated like idiots, and games (hi, Far Cry 3) have been diminished as a result of this assumption that you need to be led by the nose. I think this is because gamers are increasingly idiotic.

In the 80s and 90s, many (not all) games were played by folks who were considered to be pretty sharp. Increasingly, in the name of sales and ease, the daring assumption that we could figure things out on our own seems to be vanishing. This is a shame, and while exceptions exist, I think the immediate-gratification culture of the modern gamer is to blame.

I think this is a passing "fad" to some extent. I'm only just starting yesterday's podcast but I'm glad to hear that 2012 is the rebirth of challenging games.

At some point in the the last few years, with the explosion of casual gaming and facebook games of all types and spades, gaming has become even more mainstream. Studios and publishers cast the widest net to date, and the entry barrier had to be lowered (reads: entirely buried).

Fable and its breadcrumbs trail comes to mind, and if I understand correctly, FarCry 3 does this as well. Take the player by the hand to an extreme fault where everyone is treated as sheep in a herd.

As everything, the industry is compensating itself, creating a "niche" of games that are not as accessible. Once there's a few blockbusters in this new niche, the gaming industry will rediscover difficulty as a hook for games and take the breadcrumbs away, or to the very least, turn the option off as default.

Didn't one of the latest Mario franchises have a "3-fails earn you a Yoshi to breeze through a level" gimmick of sorts?

mrtomaytohead wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

Prince of Persia the original is the only good game in that series.

That was the one released in 2008, right?

Demosthenes wrote:
JillSammich wrote:
alexjg42 wrote:

Ok, let's see if this makes any sense. I love strategy games, but I really really suck at them. Often even scenario campaigns gets the better of me. I'd really like to get better though.

This.

I feel like I'm better at turn-based strategy games because I have time to think. RTS, though... forget about it. I usually just play Starcraft on easy. Some would say I'm defeating the purpose, but I just can't keep up with the pace of those games. The first time anything attacks my base, I'm done for.

And I'm at the point in my gaming where my threshold for frustration in games is very low.

Yup. The only strategy games I ever finished were MechCommander 2 and the Homeworld games. That's about it.

Wow, if it weren't Warcraft 2 and Starcraft 1 &2, I think I might have the exact same record as you as far as RTS's go.

Looking back I've been defeated by:

Age of Empires 2
Warcraft 1
Every single Command and Conquer game up to Red Alert 2, maybe save one of them.
Star Wars Force Commander (only tolerated that for an hour because it was free from a software rep)
Final Fantasy Tactics
Ogre Battle
Starcraft: Brood War
Advance Wars
Battlezone

And I'm currently stalled out on Valkyria Chronicles. When I go back to it, it'll be with a guide.

Oh wait, I meant RTSes, Turn-Based Strategy Games, I'm actually alright with. FFT was the big one I've finished, the Advance Wars and Fire Emblem games, I inevitably get to the last battle and get stuck. 4 games, all with my last save on the final battle that I could never beat. And that generally comes down to a ridiculousness in those games with the final battles. Suddenly I'm squaring off against guys who are 10 levels higher than the previous battle and there's no desire from me to grind for that.

ccesarano wrote:

Of course, sometimes developers are just dumb about how they "solve" a problem. Mass Effect was a perfect fit for inventory since it allowed for greater character customization. The problem was that the user interface was complete sh*t, at the very least on console. Instead of evaluating how companies like Square have been doing inventory on console since the mother f*cking 80's, however, they decided to just get rid of inventory in Mass Effect 2.

Worth pointing out that they did in ME1 the exact same thing as what Square's did with all the FF games, which have sh*t inventory management.

And they tried to make it "better" on the PC version, and failed completely there.

And that's not even addressing the fact that purchasing your own equipment from the quartermaster with standard credits is completely idiotic. You're in the freaking military. They give out guns to everyone in it. It doesn't make any sense that you're so special you have to buy your own equipment, when the grunts get guns that are just as good for free.

I was about to write paragraphs about how design is far from psuedo-intellectual wankery, but I find I've lost interest. The TL;DR is that I agree with ccesarano. Good design, like you see in both new and old games like Mega Man and Dark Souls, allows you to play within the rules of the game, but still guides you to your ultimate goal. Bad or lazy design, like seen in Bad Dudes or Final Fantasy 13, makes it obvious that you're being led around by the nose.

That said, a game having bad or lazy design doesn't inherently make it a bad game. The two examples I picked above were carefully chosen, because they're still enjoyable and fun games, they just don't bother hiding that you're following a straight line to the end.

Scratched wrote:

I don't often do this, but what ccesarano said.

I think inventory/looting is something too many developers throw into their games without thinking about it (and there's other game features you can point at in that way too), not thinking how to make it an enjoyable part of their game that strengthens it.

WHOO!

Wait, was that a back handed compliment? D:

TheHipGamer wrote:

CoD is less fun than Doom was. Doom wasn't fun because of its graphics -- they were passable and cool, but they didn't stun us. We remember Doom because it nailed level design, darkness and light within those levels, and massive battles.

In many ways, Quake and its ilk fell down in comparison because they couldn't do that nearly as well.

I think this is more a matter of taste. I remember digging Medal of Honor: Frontlines but a bit sad that it didn't really nail that "holy sh*t battlefield war aaaaugh" feel like I had hoped (in hindsight, could have easily been a product of being a PS2 game). One of the reasons I fell in love with Halo was because some of the levels gave that sense of feeling, and then I really dug into Call of Duty 2 and 4 for similar reasons.

I like the games like Doom and Quake, but they're not my favorite samples of the genre. They're just simply going after a different kind of gameplay style. Unfortunately, it's a style that is mostly forgotten and rarely does someone do it justice (I DO like the Serious Sam game they released on XBLA, which was the first one, right? That one is great fun, though particularly co-op).

Point being despite being the same "genre", the goals and styles of the game are different enough its more a matter of preference than one being better than the other. It's just a damn shame your preference is barely met these days.

I think "design" talk is generally psuedo-intellectual wankery, regardless of industry.

It reeks of Ayn-Rand hipster bull to me, and I can't stand debating it. Ahem. :)

Oh fine. I can't help it if I find it fascinating when an interface or gameplay can be intuited by the user so perfectly they don't even realize they're being strung along by a developer that just really understands their psychology.

We're on the same page re: ME2. Hugs for everyone, and friends again!

Don't touch me.

cube wrote:

Worth pointing out that they did in ME1 the exact same thing as what Square's did with all the FF games, which have sh*t inventory management.

I'd disagree with a couple of small details that make a big difference. I feel like Mass Effect's inventory management would have been a lot better if they didn't list out each individual item, but grouped them together. So instead of, say +3 Gun of Shootening after +3 Gun of Shootening, you have +3 Gun of Shootening x2.

There were other nitpicks I had, but it's been so long since I played ME1 I forget what they were.

Of course, console games aren't without their own faults. I think Chrono Trigger is the JRPG that allowed you to not only see what benefits and detriments new equipment would give in a shop, but could allow you to equip it there as well. Some games picked this up today, but others are missing it and require you to exit the shop, open the menu, change your equipment, then close the menu and enter the shop menu again.

That many steps in a process is just damned inconvenient.

I tend to agree with Ahrezmendi and Cesarano on the whole game design argument. While I find that it can become wankery to people who know nothing about ACTUAL game design (yet still try to discuss it as if they are experts), I know for a fact that there is a lot of psychology involved in actually designing a game.

Also nobody seems to want to dig into a discussion, so I'll just leave it at that.

I think it's a very interesting discussion, and would love to delve into it, I'm just busy and tired right now.

I recently watched Indie Game: The Movie, and there's a scene where the designer for Super Meat Boy goes over the basics of how he designed the levels for the game. It was really interesting to see how much thought he put into the layout of each level, the level progression, and how he tests the player at every stage without it being obvious that he's testing you. The outcome is that the player has this huge sense of accomplishment when they conquer a level, but really the designer just wants to be certain the player knows the basic concept down pat.

I think Super Meat Boy is a prime example of excellent game design.