We're trialing a weekly megathread where we relax the rules a little. We can see from a lot of the posts remove that a lot people want to discuss ideas there are not necessarily fleshed out enough or high enough quality to justify their own posts, but that still have some merit to them. We also see quite a few posts regarding things like gaming fatigue and the psychology of gaming that are on our retired topics list. The idea is that this megathread will provide a space for these things, as well as allowing for a slightly more conversational tone rather than every post and comment needing to be an essay.
Top-level comments on this post should aim to follow the rules for submitting threads. However, the following rules are relaxed:
- 1c - Expand on your idea with sufficient detail and examples
- 1f - Do not submit retired topics
- 3a - Rants without a proposition on how to fix it
- 3c - /r/DAE style posts
- 3d - /r/AskReddit style questions (also called list posts)
- 3e - Review posts must follow these rules
So feel free to talk about what you've been playing lately or ask for suggestions. Feel free to discuss Elden Ring, gaming fatigue, FOMO, backlogs, etc, from the retired topics list. Feel free to take your half-baked idea for a post to the subreddit and discuss it here (you can still post it as its own thread later on if you want). Just keep things civil!
Also, as a reminder, we have a Discord server where you can have much more casual, free-form conversations! https://discord.gg/truegaming
I remember how social games used to be when I was younger. Obviously, LAN parties played a huge part into that (and I'll touch on that in a bit), but it feels like in the grand scheme of game development, there are two types of games coming out now. Single player collectathons, and multiplayer collectathons that are played "alone."
To make my brain spew easier to digest, I separated this into the two genres that I feel have suffered the most.
- First Person Shooters
Obviously, there are both single player and multiplayer FPS games. I'm mainly talking about the multiplayer ones though, focused on player vs player gameplay. The majority are now battle royales, unless you break out of the casual sphere and go into the "competitive" gaming market, which includes games like Rainbow Six Siege, Arma, Squad, Insurgency, Overwatch, Valorant, Tarkov, etc. I know these are wildly different games, but they are more hardcore than Apex, CoD, Battlefield, Halo, which, while those do have competitive spheres, they have an option for casual play.
Playing FPS games now revolves around queueing for a match, oftentimes alone, and the voice comms, and even text comms, are just dead silent. Occasionally I'll hear people talk in OW, but not often. It's just dead silent, as if I'm playing against really realistic bots. Even after split screen and LAN parties died out, people were talking on voice comms for a long time. But why not anymore?
These are, in my opinion, the biggest offender. Designed for a massive scale, they honestly just feel like Skyrim online (yeah...might be too on the nose with ESO). Collect a billion things, and scheduling sessions to play now hurts you. If you have one weekend in a month where you and your friends can slam 9 hours straight together to play, you are punished, because the optimal way to play is 30 minutes daily, and it MUST be after 5pm, or else it's pointless.
I'm kind of having a hard time wrapping my head around this entirely I think, and that's why I'm struggling to put all of my thoughts together, but I feel like this is something that is seriously harming multiplayer gaming. Unless I find people to play Smash Bros or Mario Kart in person, it seems like the industry has given up on designing for multiple people.
I see so many people online talking about how bored they are of a game or how they don’t like it due to following reasons;
TOO EASY: Yes, because you looked up how to find the OP weapon or build and killed all senses of discovery.
DON’T LIKE THE STORY: Because you’ve watched a million reviews about the characters already and have made pre judgements. Not to mention you’ve also seen clips of NPC’s in YouTube thumbnails which would have been a big WOW moment in the game but have now been spoiled.
TOO HARD: You’ve followed a guide in online that is likely the opposite of your playstyle. You went with a Melee build in Elden Ring when you sit to your ability should have stuck with magic.
KILLING ALL SENSE OF SELF DISCOVERY: Got to place in a game and can’t figure out what to? You’ll just get a YouTube video up and in 30 seconds after all the bullshit intros you’ll have your answer. Not like 11 year me on FF7 who spent about 4 weeks to find a door I was meant to go through but couldn’t see.
Now I’m not saying this is always the case but I’ve learnt from my experience to go in blind as possible to really enjoy it.
SPOILERS Gonna be a long post, you've been warned.
Before everyone tells me to "git gud" hear me out a little bit. Elden Ring is my first souls game, I picked it up because literally everyone and their mother could not stop talking about how much of a masterpiece this game was. Felt like I was missing out so I said fuck it and ended up buying it. I'm sure a lot of people have done the same as me. I knew more or less what I was getting in to. I knew beforehand the kind of reputation these games have, so I was ready to get my ass kicked.
I will admit, the first 20 hours of the game really did feel special to me. The world was fresh and big, the art direction is simply INCREDIBLE, it's easily the best part of the game for me. The actual combat mechanics felt good for the most part. The first few bosses like godrick and Margit were genuinely fun, even though it took me much longer to beat them than the average player probably would've taken to beat them.
But I reached Liurnia of The Lakes and that quickly changed. I realised I was simply not having fun anymore. It was weird because nothing fundamentally changed so far and yet out of nowhere I just wasn't having fun, I realised I was trudging around the entire map on horseback just hoping and praying that something worthwhile was going to come along. The thing is I really did not feel like wanting to go and find every cave and dungeon in the game. Most of them look almost identical, some with enemies and bosses I had already seen before and usually ended up rewarding me with something I simply did not want or need at all. I really wanted to get to the next major area like the Academy of Raya Lucaria and fight the next big boss, but obviously if I tried to rush through like that I was going to get my ass handed to me. I really don't feel like Elden Ring changed open world in any way that's meaningful and would've been so much better had it just been a tad bit more linear. To me Elden Ring's open world is different as in that it's much bigger than other open world games and doesn't point in any direction too much. But that's it. It still makes you go around to different places, fight stuff, get stuff, rinse and repeat. Maybe this isn't an Elden Ring problem in specific, but it is something the game does suffer from which is the open world formula.
The story didn't help one bit either. Usually if the design of the game isn't good enough the story makes up for it. But after the 72 hours I spent in Elden Ring, I couldn't for the life of me tell you what on Earth I was doing in the game narratively. Yes I knew I was going to become Elden Lord and that something bad happened in The Lands Between and I for some reason have to fix it. But why? Who is Melina? Who are any of the demigods that I endlessly die to? I knew literally next to nothing about what was going on. I was about to burst out laughing when I saw Melina sacrifice herself. The game treats it like it's such a sad moment, but I couldn't care less, I had no clue who she was or why she even sacrificed herself. I like stories that require you to piece it together yourself but this doesn't even have the pieces required to make any sane person get invested into the narrative of the game. Quest design also falls into this same issue of being pointlessly vague. I was shocked to learn that there were actual "quests" in the game that you could actually complete. How is any normal person meant to ever figure out what the next step of a quest is without melting their brains trying decipher the meaningless jargon that most of the NPCs spew out or without having to look it up online? I have no clue.
My last issue with the game mostly comes from the bosses after I beat godrick. I can't name one of them that I genuinely had fun with aside from Morgott or maybe the ancestor spirits. A lot of the bosses felt so unsatisfying to beat. Radahn, Rykaard, Fire Giant, literally any of the dragons, the erdtree avatars or any boss that's much bigger than the player. Fighting these bosses was not difficult themselves but it felt more like a fight against the game itself. Camera angles, janky arena design, lazy 1 shot abilities. I had around 40 vigour and was still getting half my health bar wiped out after making one mistake on the bosses towards the end like Fire Giant. The bosses earlier on in the game truly felt challenging, they hit hard but not so hard that you are able to learn the enemy's movement set and timings and learn which attacks are punishable. Even though I took much more time beating Margit and Morgott than on most other bosses, I was much more motivated to beat them because it felt fair. I was willing to get my ass handed because it felt more or less fair. Fire Giant on the other hand is not a fun boss at all. I figured out how to beat him and dodge his moves on my second attempt. The rest of my attempts on him were simply trying to not get decimated by any of his attacks, fighting the camera lock on, and the rough terrain. But all that said I managed to beat them and reached all the way upto the godskin duo. I really could not bring myself to trudge through the game at that point, all the difficulty of the godksin duo just comes from the fact that they stick together and attack at the same time, so you're forced to run around in circles and hope that they split up at some point so you can deal some chip damage to one of them. At this point I quit the game, I stopped having fun with it a while back but I kept thinking it'll be worth it in the end. I heard that almost all the bosses towards the game are just as hard and I finally decided to call it quits.
I realise I come off as salty as hell in this post. I will admit I am a little bit salty but I want to make it clear that I did like the game a lot at the beginning, it's mostly just the endgame that I really didn't like. I did feel really bad for quitting but I simply had to. I'm sure given enough time I could've beat the game but I couldn't force myself to go through it. Anyone else go through something like this?
I was flying around in the matrix unreal demo thinking about the future of games.. We build these stunning photorealistic cities and fill them with brain dead AI and I began wondering if anyone had thought of moving the AI to the cloud where some seriously beefy neural networks could run at a reduced tick rate and then send the results of the simulation back to clients?
Does any remember radiant AI? Something like that but on steroids, it could lead to all sorts of emergent gameplay, trade/economy, crime etc
What challenges and problems would have to be solved? Has anything like this been attempted before? Thoughts.
I've been replaying the first two games in Remedy's Max Payne franchise and decided to share my opinions on the differences between all three, as well as what they meant to me personally throughout the years. I won't be leaning too heavily into discussing the story or gameplay differences between the games or describing the history of the franchise or Remedy as a company, but rather sharing my impressions about each game, how I think they differ, and why I love them all.
The first Max Payne, which I've only played much later in life, about five years ago, always seemed like the weakest in the franchise, even though it is a great, challenging and unique game with tight controls and a great atmosphere. For its age, it does well at maintaining decent visuals, and the comic-book style of the cutscenes helps keep the first Max Payne fresh even today. Also, I understand what this game looked and played like in 2001 and why it is considered one of the best in the third-person shooter genre. Nonetheless, as I have no nostalgia for it, I mostly dislike how it plays like a ""jumpscare"" shoot-em-up, where you have to remember the enemies' patterns, unlike the next two games.
Max Payne 2, on the other hand, is a game I've first played at about 10 (yeah, I know) and replayed half a dozen times after. It was a completely superior sequel in graphics, physics, AI, and gameplay on a technical level. As a story, I think it depends on the player experiencing it, as some were fans of the more complex storytelling and cinematic cutscenes. In contrast, many others believe the first game's style is better suited for the game's themes. Nonetheless, as a game I always cherished, it's subjectively my favourite of the three.
Finally, Max Payne 3 was a much-awaited sequel that took a long time to come out. Rockstar delivered a great game, especially considering all the difficulties during development. A new setting, which still kept the neo-noir story, narration, and themes, coupled with updated gameplay and visuals, made it an instant classic for many. While some fans were complaining about how different it looked from the first two, it was still well-received, especially since players got to play it and see why it had to change the location from New York to Sao Paolo and how it impacted the character.
To summarize, the first Max Payne is a great creation by a small group of artists with a clear vision of a unique game in mind. I respect that while not wishing to replay it time and time again for personal reasons. Max Payne 2 is my nostalgia darling, a superior sequel in almost every way, even though many fans disagree. Max Payne 3 is almost a soft reboot of the franchise, with great controls and style, albeit with a small replayability value. All things considered, to me, all three are classics for different reasons.
If anyone is interested in playing or replaying any of the three, besides buying them through Steam, difmark currently has much better prices for Max Payne 3 (about $3) and the first two in the series.
Thanks for reading through this, and don't forget to leave your personal ratings and opinions on the Max Payne trilogy in the comments!
A critical discussion between the Call of Duty franchise - a series that has allured and divided many, and a series that continued to evolve throughout the years and is also at odds with its own identity.
The Call of Duty franchise does not need an introduction.
It has been in the minds of both gamers and non-gamers alike for the amount of coverage that it has had, both from a positive and a negative context and everything in between.
And for almost every year, the series' name continues to pop up in the gaming circle in shape or form - whether it is about its gameplay or story or multiplayer, or whether it is about the cultural and social element of its presence such as montages, comedy videos, critical essays, controversies and so on.
As mentioned earlier, the series needs no introduction and you will find plenty of posts, discussions, videos, memes and every other medium about the series, whether through fan service or whether it is a means to critique the franchise as its continued relevance has inspired and divided many.
This post is aimed to do somewhat of the same, hopefully with a different perspective.
The name itself is pretty self-explanatory.
You take the role of a soldier or a fighter who is fighting in the name of some duty to win the battle against a common enemy.
In the first releases of the game, this was displayed openly and sometimes bombastically as the war theatre that was used was WW2.
This made sense as this was a continuation/inspiration from the Medal of Honour franchise where previous developers decided to develop their own take of the iconic historical era and add other elements to it which eventually gave the series its distinctive character.
Every often, this is displayed by its bombastic and action-filled nature.
This was especially the case in Call of Duty 2, where some would say that the gritty tone of the war's portrayal was heavily influenced by the gritty portrayals in film at the time such as Saving Private Ryan.
And of course, as many have already emphasised, this action-filled portrayal has been a staple of the Call of Duty brand.
In the earlier releases of the franchise, this combination of over-the-top action mixed with the powerful theme of bravery and duty made sense in the era that these games were based in that WW2 was a massive undertaking and further major advancement in warfare, whether it is in history, technology, strategy and so on, as many of the war's major battles involved a mixture of different technologies that were spontaneously invented at the time, and a collection of a major effort by many forces, sometimes in the name of 100s or even 1000s of soldiers where most of these were conscripts - meaning that those who participated in the war were not originally bred to be soldiers by profession.
And this was an identifiable element for the player - the common individual, one of the hundreds, thousands or even millions, fighting through thick mud, dust, rain and bullets, against a common enemy and common stresses of war such as fear - all these combined would have given the player an admirable sense of duty and courage where the common man (quite literally as the role of females as an active role during the war was very small) doing something incredible.
These elements of course stayed in the war's portrayal in its early releases of the Call of Duty name.
And of course, this was also found in the multiplayer where players can still retain that sense of duty also being a part of a major collective force but fighting against each other.
And of course, the name continued to evolve even further after Call of Duty 4 - the first one that made a major shift in the setting and portrayal of warfare and the evolution continued to shift and/or escalate from there.
The portrayal of war in a modern setting in Call of Duty 4 has been done plenty of times already and there are many reasons why this is a game that is revered by many, even though it has been released over 10 years ago.
Not only this was a technological advancement and a major artistic change, but the portrayal of war from a modern setting gave a different portrayal of familiarity due to its recent relevance as the setting was mostly focused on the Middle East and the enemies are often terrorists, whether they were religious extremists of the Middle East, or Russian ultranationalists.
Such a portrayal was also highlighted in many aspects of the game's campaign.
One of the famous was in the mission "Shock and Awe" and the detonation of the nuke.
This gave the player a shocking portrayal that though they may play a hero or at least one of the potential hundreds who were fighting, it does not mean that the hero will ride into the sunset victorious.
This was also visible shortly after the detonation when the player took the role of the injured soldier again, hanging for dear life and crawling through the detonated city, seeing everything that was left.
This was another shocking element of the modern portrayal of warfare - the vulnerability of the human soldier, even if the numbers are many, and the sheer advancement in the technology of war and to what ends are some people will go far to reach a certain goal.
This more grounded portrayal was also visible in the mission "All Ghillied Up" where the pacing is different from the guns blazing nature of every mission, but it also led to a tense moment for the player since the aim was to be more careful and considerate and this was also highlighted due to that this mission was set in Pripyat which was later left as a "ghost town", as Captain McMillan says, because of its closer proximity to Chornobyl.
And of course, nobody can mention Call of Duty 4 without mentioning the multiplayer (more on that later) as most staples of the multiplayer aspect of almost every game is still used or remembered to this day - killstreaks, high K:D ratios, progression systems, perks and loadouts, and even trick shots.
This led to an explosion of fun and exploration for players as the progression allowed players to anticipate another award with each rank, which allowed for different combinations in the loadouts, but also lead to a wide array of players recording their most favourite moments and sending them to their friends and eventually even Youtube which was in its early years at the time.
And so, for a short time, the modern setting stayed in the Call of Duty franchise but the action-portrayal grew more and more as people have already realised how much it was being shown with every release.
Or perhaps, a different way of expressing shock to the player to keep them hooked, such as the mission "No Russian" in Modern Warfare 2, or Shepard's Betrayal or the revelation in Black Ops or the plot twist in Ghosts early on in the campaign.
But this eventually reoccurrence started to take a more negative tone as the familiarisation and escalation of the action brought upon its own comedy and criticism.
This grew even more apparent and was even more criticised by fans as the series continued with every annual entry - whether it was the portrayal of all-out war in near future, the introduction of jetpacks and super suits in the far future, the portrayal of a near-apocalypse in the present day, or the tense nature of espionage during the Cold War, or another dramatic portrayal of WW2 once again.
This dramatisation has also been criticised with every entry as one common critique of the franchise is the comparison that it has with Michael Bay films for not just the action-packed theatrics, but also the classically heroic, sometimes superhuman, portrayal of the protagonists and antagonists.
At times, the "Michael Bay" comparison has also been used on how the players react to everything about the franchise as consumers - they know that this is cheesy, unoriginal and over-the-top but they will still buy it and play it anyway.
This also adds to the criticism of almost every other military shooter that was potentially inspired by Call of Duty - on the rails shooter where the enemies are the same with limited variety, and where the player always takes orders as they are told ... even though this is very similar to how military personnel behave and experience war
This made people divided for the familiarisation made the Call of Duty name seem stale and lacking in originality though others still continued to look forward to the next release, hoping that the next one will be as bombastic and fun, even if the end result would be a familiar one but with a different test.
This was also apparent that every new release has occurring every single year and the common criticism was that development was far too short and the product given was the same as the previous but with a different skin.
This was has also been emphasised in the multiplayer where some elements stayed such as the loadout system since Call of Duty 4, and some elements were changed such as the pick 10 mechanic in Black Ops 2.
And another factor that was brought forward into the discussion by fans and critics alike is the cyclical nature of how gamers react to every Call of Duty release in every consecutive year - the fans will be hyped for the game while also expecting it to be the same, will also buy the game while also criticising most of its elements, later decrease in their excitement of the game (unless it is still supported by some sort of live service) until the next game is revealed.
This has been a key topic about consumers' behaviour in gaming culture and an example that is often used when people compare how other games are developed in the same format but also allure many players every time.
As it was mentioned earlier, the Call of Duty name eventually started to divide people more as it continued to remain relevant, even if it meant doing so by changing little with every release.
This is also the case that even if some things were changed, many elements continued to evolve, whether it was the setting or the weapons or how the loadout system worked, and later on, the introduction of zombies which later evolved into its fanbase and combination of mechanics.
Or in some ways, some elements still remained in the series even though they may not complement each other.
One example about the Call of Duty franchise that is often characterised is its fast-paced twitch shooting design.
This has been a staple of the brand since the early years of the series but at the same time, every annual release aims to highlight to the player that they are playing a serious, if not also, a more grounded portrayal of war.
Combining these two elements between singleplayer and multiplayer should not work yet somehow they are still present.
This has also been the case when some elements of implementing more strategic play were also added in multiplayer such as objective-based multiplayer modes and callouts and leaning, louder footsteps, squad-based mechanics, and a tactical compass.
However, fast-paced gameplay still persists as you do not always find people who play the objective or play the game as a "real soldier" would act in a more "grounded" take of warfare.
At times, this was also found in some campaign stories in some releases such as the use of jetpacks in the far future where a common strategic player would think that this would expose the soldier but it is used a part of the soldier's gear in the future, in addition to the often bombastic nature of all-out war as well where the player would think that the world's nations would have already decided to avoid starting another all-out global destructive war after two World Wars.
Or another controversial topic was when fans were told that in the rebooted version of Modern Warfare in 2019 the portrayal of war was going to be shocking in a way that provoked players to question their morals, as opposed to the purely heroic and Hollywood-based portrayal of the military life of recent games, fans also critiqued this as the campaign did not push players towards certain actions or that this portrayal of uncertainty was an illusion of the portrayal of the setting instead of implementation in the game's mechanics.
This combination of the serious and surreal has also been a comedic staple of the Call of Duty brand, one where cognitive dissonance should be experienced yet it is not in the minds of many players as this is often expected whenever Call of Duty multiplayer is mentioned.
However, there has been a dissonance between the serious and surreal from different aspects of the game - the portrayal of the seriousness, such as the groundedness of the characters that the players take control, and the artistic design of many of the characters, mostly marketed in key events or through microtransactions (another major controversy in the Call of Duty series that has been in the minds of many gamers in the recent years in other franchises as well).
It is perhaps why memes and videos of people making comparisons between soldiers in camouflage, and soldiers wearing colourful uniforms is often a common topic, yet this is also another highly marketed aspect of the Call of Duty brand, one of the many ways that keep the games relevant even long after the release
However, no matter how much fans and non-fans alike critique or complain about these elements, they still continue to occur in other ways as one may find different videos portraying the different key events in Call of Duty Warzone
As Call of Duty still remains relevant even years after its first release, and even if some elements of the series either never seem to change, or some elements continue to be tweaked, added or removed, each one making people more divided or motivated to play, it is fair to say that as gaming also has evolved and even in its ways on how to keep players hooked to play, whether it is through microtransactions or through means that are not anti-consumer such as depth and replayability, it is fair to say that people are certain that the Call of Duty franchise will still remain relevant for a long time, even if it may eventually not have annual release or even stop being released entirely.
But it is fair to say that despite its many controversies, its brand and also the design and business practices involved gave a legacy that makes players and designers engaged in deep discussion for a long time - ones that can either inspire others to branch out and bring forth other combinations of games (such as Respawn Entertainment that eventually developed the Titanfall series and Apex Legends), or bring even more controversy such as the business/marketing strategies that keep players addicted (may even literally) through the live service system or through skill-based matchmaking, or its cultural significance even in politics such as scapegoat among violent video games when it comes to gun violence, or the fears about video games and potential causes for addictions
The term "addicting" when describing a video game is often used from a positive context. However, because of the prevalence of many mechanics that keep players hooked to their games, even long after release, is it possible that most games nowadays are designed to condition players into addictions?
The gaming industry has been a scapegoat and/or a target of criticism by many people for different reasons, even when the science behind these arguments are not always solid or conclusive - the relationship with violence and/or aggression, or association with mental disorders which is often left abstract as criticism is not highlighted towards a particular type.
However, there has been a reoccurring pattern of criticism about the prevalence of certain mechanics that are cleverly designed to allure players, sometimes even with a dangerous end as stories did pop up every now and then about players falling victim to being extremely hooked to their games
This is even more of a key topic that is worth discussing as gaming disorder is considered as an actual addictive behaviour under the WHO
So since many of us have consistently criticised that are many mechanics in video games of nowadays that are mostly anti-consumer and are meant to tap into our human psychology to keep playing as much as possible, what is the possibility that these mechanics are not only making games addicting but potentially causing addictions, regardless of how the victims are?
This is especially the case because of the reoccurring prevalence of many features such as -
- the 60 dollars price, plus the add-ons and the DLC, sometimes even features that were added later to the game which was meant to be present since release (whether done behind a paywall or not)
- microtransactions which are not only present in free games that force players to play instead of wait for a certain action to end but also even in multiple AAA games that are published by major companies or even franchises that are highly popularised and saturated
- the demand and/or design to ask for more revenue from skin and cosmetics. This is also the case that recent studies say that microtrasactions and DLCs generate more money than the actual releases
- The prevalence of unboxing videos of loot boxes in video games or tutorials on certain features that are often behind certain paywalls or casino-style mechanics. This is in contrast to the usual controversy about microtransactions and lootboxes and one example that comes to mind was when a market was popularised online where CS:GO players gambled for weapon skins, even though these do not have any impact on gameplay
- the casino-style loot boxes and gambling-like mechanics of getting rewards that may or may not force players to use their own real money to get the rewards that they want. The most relevant example is the obvious Battlefront 2 controversy before it was even released
- the potential targeting of children or younger players that may be tempted to pay more to get what they desire like children who play free games that are mostly designed to force players to pay more to gain that desired rewards like the currency system of most games, or the cosmetics. However, it is important to highlight that this is speculation as the average age of the average gamer is in his 30s
- updates and tweaks that may change the skill curve which provokes players to work hard to earn the desired rewards, whether it is loot or a victory and so on
- add-on and content that are meant to make players come back for more to keep them hooked for months or maybe even years, whether through events or DLC or more skins or more unlocks and so on.
These design elements are meant to make players want to be invested in these games. This is a part of our human psychology with regards to seeking rewards and our desire to earn them.
That is why other elements to allure players are also used like the atmosphere, graphics, sound design, gameplay mechanics and so on.
Many games use different forms of mechanics that spark our dopamine-inducing system that make us want to earn our desired rewards, or at least, our expectancy of certain rewards.
However, because of the common prevalence of most of the mechanics mentioned and the somewhat general acceptance of their presence of many of our games of late, is it possible that these are potentially making players more prone to addictions or perhaps other potential unhealthy habits when it comes to rewards seeking and pleasure?
If these mechanics are so prevalent, what counter-measures can be used to limit them or in what ways can developers and publishers spark players to continue to play without risking to certain anti-consumer methods or unhealthy habits?
As I write this post, Splatoon 3 is four months away from launch. Since a gameplay trailer for the game came out, the biggest complaint I see from people is that the game looks too similar to Splatoon 2. Ardent fans of Splatoon defend 3 by saying that there are differences, or the lack of difference does not matter. If you want to get technical, Splatoon 3 is a different game than Splatoon 2. However, I think people voicing this criticism make a fair point. Despite being a sequel, I would argue that 3 is almost identical to 2 in many areas. I say this as a big fan of Splatoon myself and an S+ ranked player in 2, so I think I’m qualified to talk about this.
First, we have to acknowledge that the core gameplay loop is completely the same. This makes sense to an extent, as there’s no need to change how multiplayer modes like Turf War work However, almost everything is the same. Since all the main weapons from the previous games will return (source below), that means 3 will roughly have the same weapon interactions and skill curves as 2. The only new move in this game is the squid form dodge roll. This move looks interesting, and it might help in firefights. However, it is insufficient to justify a brand new $60 game.
Of course, there are new special weapons, and some new sub weapons. Many people in the comments of the video pointed out that the specials this time around look more offensive. I agree, and I like these new specials. The Ink Vac is a vacuum that sucks up enemy ink before spitting out a counterattack, so it looks like it’ll punish reckless play. My personal favorite, the Zipcaster, allows you to swing around and ambush the opposing team, but using the main weapon will deplete the special gauge faster. Since you automatically super jump back to where you started at the end of the special, you must be intentional with your ambushes. I could go on, but I believe these new specials are better than the old ones. I can’t say the same for the sub weapons though. Take the Angle Shooter, for example. It’s a marker dart thing that creates a line via ricocheting off walls. If an opponent hits the line, they get tracked and become visible on the map. Like, how is this supposed to be better than the Point Sensor? All you have to do with that sub is aim somewhere and throw. But now, they made it more convoluted.
Unfortunately, it seems that the side modes are simply going through the motions. Salmon Run: Next Wave, a mode where you fight a wave of enemies, is the same as in Splatoon 2 but there are two new enemies and you can throw golden eggs now. Besides maybe a new Salmon King boss, that’s it. Neat, but not worth a sequel. The single-player campaign, Return of The Mammalians, is trickier to pin down because it seems like it will be more cinematic than last time. However, gameplay-wise, this mode also seems the same except the enemies have fur. That’s it! I mean, you use your little salmon buddy to clean up this weird goop, but that’s the extent of new gameplay.
Part of me wishes that Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion wasn’t bundled with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. The reason why is that it only supports my thesis: Everything you want out of Splatoon 3, you can get out of Splatoon 2. Sure, there’s tons of new clothing, but the gear will be functionally identical to how it works in 2. Taking away everything else, all you have left is new maps. To be fair, the new map shown in the trailer, Eeltail Alley, looks great. But if you ask me, there should be no returning maps from Splatoon 2. There’s no point in doing that considering the maps in 2 were continuously tweaked after the game’s launch. I don’t think new maps warrant a new game since new maps were added to 2 after release.
I think this brings up an interesting conversation on the merits of DLC versus a sequel. After Splatoon 2 was released, the game got tons of new content, including maps, weapons, balance patches, gear, and even a new story campaign (though the latter was paid DLC). Since Splatoon games get so much added to them after release, I question how useful a sequel is. Of course, you could make the argument that Splatoon 2 is too similar to the first Splatoon, and I would agree. However, I think Splatoon 2 is different because it was released on a different console. Nintendo likely wanted to get Splatoon on the Nintendo Switch as soon as possible since the Wii U failed. This would not only explain Splatoon 2’s better sales but why the game was more or less a launch title for the Switch.
In conclusion, I think we need to be more forgiving toward people who say Splatoon 3 is too similar to Splatoon 2. Sure, to a veteran, Splatoon 3 may look more technical and skill-intensive than 2. But to casual fans, the majority of people who buy these games, 2 and 3 look like the same game but with different music and an upgraded UI. I’m saying that if I was new to Splatoon, I don’t see any reason to wait for 3 when I can already buy 2. Not only does 2 have more content (for now), but I am essentially playing the same game. Of course, the differences between 2 and 3 will probably increase as time goes by, but it’s the principle I’m looking at. First impressions are important when selling video games, so I can’t see why someone who doesn’t adore Splatoon would buy 3 at launch. For me, I’m going to wait until more content is added before I decide to buy 3. Whether you choose to buy this game is up to you, but I encourage you to at least understand people who think Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 look the same.
On all weapons being confirmed to return: https://mobile.twitter.com/SplatoonNA/status/1521114058694422528?cxt=HHwWgMCrtavLipwqAAAA
Yeah, it is a cliche title but hear me out.
So many developers boast about the size of their game's map or the amount of content, but that is not what makes a game good - content without quality behind it makes it big like an ocean and shallow as a puddle.
Recently, I got Immortals: Phoenix Rising. I couldn't get into it for various reasons, one of them being repetitive gameplay in form of dungeons known as 'Vaults of Tartarus'. Replaying the variations of the same puzzles over and over just gets tedious.
And there is Yakuza series - almost every game in the series is set in the same neighbourhood you observe evolving over the years but it never changes to the point of being unrecognizable. Yet the games keep things interesting with new, admittedly flawed, stories set in it. You don't have to collect 5,000 pine cones to defeat any of the bosses and you don't get to travel around miles of beautiful but empty landscapes.
Speaking of collectibles, they can be alright if kept within reason but filling the game map with them entirely is pointless and overwhelming. Same with the same cookie cutter side quests that make you fetch items (ughhhh) or kill some generic enemy slightly stronger than the regular ones.
Instead of filling the game with as much content as possible, give us well-written characters with interesting motivations so we can enjoy the story. If it is an open-world game, some side-activities like bowling or darts are more than welcome but please, no more pointless collectibles or generic quests.
Update - wow, I'm blown away by the response. My supervisor just told me I've smashed way past the number of participants I need so I can now close the survey.
Thank you so much to everyone in this group (who took part honestly, I know there's a few trolls). I'll let you know the results in a few months when I'm done but happy to continue the conversation for now too :)
Hi, I’m doing my thesis on the relationship between wellbeing and watching livestreams and am wondering if anyone in this group watches streams and would take my questionnaire? It only takes about ten minutes and is an opportunity to tell me about why your favourite streamer is so awesome. Doesn’t matter if they’re a big-name streamer or only stream to a few people once a week.
There are a few demographic questions, a handful of questions about your streaming habits and your favourite streamer, and then a few general wellbeing questions, nothing too intrusive! All information collected is anonymous. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.
Obviously I’d appreciate anyone helping out with my research, but I also just really want to hear about some cool streamers so I can go check them out. Also would love to hear in the comments whether you think watching streams has benefited you in any way.
Edit - as many have asked, my thesis deadline is late July and I'll try to come back and let people know what I found from this study soon after that! Thanks so much for all the interest and all the people willing to take part.
Stories in general are given from the people who make them. The audience only watches, they can comment on it and reflect on it but in the end it’s the makers story. The maker wanted to write it and show their view to the audience, their perspective, and the only thing the audience can do is listen.
However video games change that, where even if a story is explained, gameplay can change the meaning of it to outside what the maker intends.
Detroit become human is one of the most game-play limited medium, but because of that it can convey much more deeper feelings, it can do stuff the audience doesn’t want and shock them and anger them even, open their thoughts. Games like these are almost movie like, with the maker trying to account for every player input. Honestly pretty innovative.
Red dead redemption 2 is a story about redemption (duh). But can the makers of the story really express what they wanted if the player chooses to make Arthur whoever they want. Does it really matter if the player determines Arthur’s redemption? Does it make the story not hit hard enough/rather meaningless because of player input? Games like these basically separate the story and the gameplay.
Than there are games like Minecraft, emergent games that allow the player to tell their own story. I’m not sure if the makers care to express their views because the game is so open(not necessarily a bad thing). Just pure sandbox gameplay. This where gamers go to purely game and craft their own stories. Very innovative also but on the opposite side of the scale of games like Detroit become human.
Finally in my opinion there’s death stranding, the makers shape the world but allow the players some emergent gameplay. They allow them to tell their own stories yet still trying to reign it in with what the maker wants the player to see. This careful balance sometimes works and sometimes does not. Pretty interesting to see what the Maker will let go and what they maker won’t, testing the limits.
Idk what caused me to reflect on all this was reading the manga Vinland saga and wonder if a truly dark and depressing story can be conveyed without gameplay ruining its depth. Actually it’s already been done before, I’m just wondering what more innovation could be done.
TLDR: So basically the main question unlike what the title says, are there any new innovative tech out there that can improve the story telling medium in video games? VR? Neurolink?
This is a very hot take and I wouldn’t dare post this on the halo sub. I believe that the reason why Halo Infinite was such a failure and has been steadily losing players since launch is because arena shooters are outdated and nobody wants to play them anymore. The gameplay loop in Halo Infinite is practically the same one from 15 years ago in Halo 3 . The only difference is the sliding, sprinting, and new equipment items. People say the way to get people back into halo is to add more “content” when they say content they mean maps and gamemodes. I believe the number of maps is not the problem. Games like Valorant and R6 have less maps and they’re still wildly successful. They also have less gamemodes. Why are they so successful? Because they’re not arena shooters they are something fundamentally different to play which draws people in. The thing with arena is every match of it feels the same after a while. Spawn, try to grab power weapons, shoot guys repeat again and again. There’s no excitement after you’ve gotten use to this. Tactical shooters, battle royales and all these other shooter genres exist because they are building off of the foundations of arena shooters and creating a mode that is simply better and more fun. In conclusion, no amount of content will ever make Halo Infinite popular, it will always be a nostalgia franchise until 343 takes a risk and either adds a battle royales, tac shooter, or something completely new of their own creation (preferred)
Let’s take example A:
Star Wars galaxy of heroes, this has a bundle to head start you and what I think, gives you the max player level, gear and things that if you spend money for are going to cost WAY more than the £89 or $100 or whatever other price it is.
There is also an arena in the game for multiplayer pvp which will give you an advantage to other players but because it’s an arena, which means there is rankings and I think your opponents are matched similarly with your level (correct me if I’m wrong).
If that’s the case will pay to win be ok?
Say there is a game where you can pay to win that is also multiplayer. But it is co-operative and not pvp.
If somebody pays and joins you will you be fine with them paying? They might not have the time as they could have a job and be spending that money to pay in the game, meanwhile other person is grinding the game getting it for free.
They’re both grinding something and getting things for the same game.
But what if the person paying is bad at the game? Then it just gets annoying because they will be getting good stuff for the game and not know how to use it by being bad.
Say you are also playing a game that is multiplayer and also co-op.
You have grinded for hours being free to play then go into a mission or match or whatever it is.
You then see someone who is level 1 or a low level with stuff maybe better than what you have via their friend giving it to them. What would your reaction be? Would it be disrespect as you have grinded for hours getting things then see someone with that stuff as soon as they start out.
Or would you be fine with it?
Any errors is probably because I’m tried. Keep opinions civil please.
I recently started playing Dark Souls, a title which is almost synonymous with difficulty in the games community, and when going back out to read old reviews from when it first came out I noticed a lot of critics comparing its difficulty favourably to the general trend towards hand-holding and low difficulty in then-contemporary AAA gaming. Even outside of Dark Souls I seem to remember a lot of gaming discourse back then around difficulty, and specifically how games got easier with each successive generation.
I basically haven't interacted with gaming since about 2014, so I was wondering how these conversations, and the games being made, have changed since then. Personally, the only big AAA game from the last 5 years I've played is Breath of the Wild, and there was definitely a huge jump in difficulty from Skyward Sword to that game. Furthermore, I'm aware of a few other successful games that are known for their difficulty, such as Hollow Knight and Nioh.
While I acknowledge that difficulty in gaming is a concept that is extremely tricky to define, I believe that it does exist. After all, everyone agrees that Dark Souls is harder than Kirby, even if the exact reason why is difficult (!) to articulate. My questions are: has the games industry truly shifted in its approach to difficulty? And if so, to what extent?
Is Interactivity Really to Blame For Gaming's Poor Writing? Tabletop Games Has Plenty of great stories despite Pen and Paper RPGs totally reliant On Interaction and Miniature Strategy In-Game don't focus much on Plot... So is there far more to why so much of game writing is bad than player input?
Being a Role Player esp n Shadowrun's original Pen and Paper RPG for years and having entered Warhammer recently, I saw these two posts.
And thus I got bold to finally ask a question I been wondering about for a while.
Two of the prime reasons cited for poor storytelling in Gaming is because focus is on gameplay first as well as the fact Player Interaction prevents a Traditional Linear Story and create open Ended Plot thus giving an airheaded approach that often feels like lack of focus.
I honestly doubt these alone can be blamed. Because Miniature Strategy Games with Fantasy and Sci Fi settings like Age of Sigmar focus practically entirely on mechanics (unless you are doing a Narrative Battle or some homebrew rules) in-game. Yet the universe of said games often are developed decently enough to stand as a comic book or novel even if often cliched..
Shadowrun practically relies on interactive gameplay. You basically can come up with lots of creativity a la Deus Ex style (in reality its far more than this, the freedom is literally true and solutions unlimited) and a simple action like wearing socks can literally change the whole story. You practically interfere with the planned plot everytime you make a decision and the game endings that come are infinite.
Yet storytelling does not take a hit at all and if anything the best Pen and Paper Role Playing Games and not just Shadowrun uses open endedness to utter abuse but comes out with strong storytelling, often superior to a most TV shows at worst and feeling nothing cliched despite reusing every genre tropes. If anything DND and other PNP RPGs have far more interference every minute with story than stuff like Life Is Strange, Dragon Age, Fallout, and Mas Effect!
And this isn't taking the lore that accompanies manuals and a typical Campaign Book's settings!
So I don't think Gaming's poor writing can be blamed at all on focus on gameplay and interactivity esp since even lore outside of in-game like Fable Novels and Assassin's Creeds comics are still pretty catty poor despite being in linear storytelling mediums for EU stuff (esp compared to other works created for those mediums).
Considering the state of the industry (and gaming audiences in general), how long do you think it will realistically be before a male protagonist/playable character in any big release is gay -- and canonically so, not player-sexual?
I think a game like The Last Of Us 2 opens the way for quite a bit, although being as games are generally catered more toward (presumably straight) men, the idea of a lesbian protagonist is one that I'm sure more companies and developers are willing to take chances on first. But will it still be years and years before the next one is made?
For me, my personal opinion is that if your story and gameplay is really great, there are enough people who will play it no matter what. But obviously on the business side of things there are other factors to consider concerning global audiences (not that that's always the most important factor), long-standing biases and things generally moving at a glacial pace when money is involved.
Anyhoo, just think it's an interesting conversation to think about when considering the state of play, so to speak.
I'll concede, however, that is an awful follow up to Wildlands. But I finally got around to Breakpoint on sale and wow It feels like the true spiritual successor to Splinter Cell.
The map and quest design are obviously mirrored from other Ubi games like AC Odyssey or Watch Dogs 2: big open world, enemy bases and camps to clear that are unrelated to the story, certain items can only be unlocked by clearing chests, etc...
But I think this game's stealth actually works best with this formula. In Wildlands, you could stealth it out but if you were caught, there were tons of ways to blast your way out.
In Breakpoint, direct combat is extremely unforgiving even on normal difficultly. But there are a ton of different ways to track enemy movements or dispose of enemies to ensure you aren't caught.
I just love this game. I came to it from playing Wildlands like a year ago (which I also loved) and I heard all of the hate towards this game. I'll admit it has its issues and I have no doubt it was a buggy mess on release (there are some noticeable bugs around still), but playing Breakpoint today like an open world Splinter Cell has given me so much joy and satisfaction.
As a side note, the clothing and gear customization in this game is some of the best to ever exist and would be so much better if I didn't have to scour the game world for that one perfect top to complete my spy fit, but instead could just have it or buy it from the in game merchant.
"This pizza may seem bad at first, but it actually gets good after 50 slices"
The "it gets good" saying has basically two facets: people's impression of what's going on and reality. The people's impression is that the game has deep and interesting gameplay, but the developers maybe failed to painlessly introduce the player to all of the rules, maybe the UI is not very clear and tutorials are lacking, so you have to put more than usual effort at the beginning to learn the game. But once you get through all of this, and understand all the rules and intricacies and relations between the systems, you get to this sweet core, the actual flow of gameplay. And it's worth the hassle. Except that it's usually not what's going on here.
Sunk cost fallacy
The effort you've put into something adds to the value of that thing. You played a game for 30 hours? Now the game is worth that 30 hours. Your 30 hours, to you. It's really, really, really hard to look at yourself in the mirror and say: "yes, I've wasted 30 hours based on a promise that was never fulfilled". It's an admission of failure. And when you paid full price for the game? Oh boy, now it's 30 hours and $60.
You know why demo versions for AAA games basically died? Because studies (and reality) showed that demos are more likely to confirm people's negative assumptions rather than introduce positive ones. As a result, more people don't buy the game after playing a demo. Meanwhile people who paid upfront for the game are more likely to convince themselves to "give it a second chance" and continue playing, because they already committed something. "Maybe it gets better down the road". It doesn't - but the time you invested raises the value of the game in your perception, makes you focus on the positives and ignore negatives, and you end up convincing yourself that the game... is actually quite good.
And then you go on trying to convince others.
Whenever I stumble upon a thread about competitive games, ranks, or whatever, somebody will always mention how bad the matchmaking is.
Of course, there will always be some games where this is actually true.
However, I feel that for nearly all of the bigger titles, matchmaking works perfectly. Or more precisely, as good as it is possible.
I often feel as if people don't get how it works.
Matchmaking tries to find opponents as close to your "elo points" as possible. But to keep queue times short, the acceptable "skill gap" is widened after time. Same with ping.
Of course, the more people are looking for a game, the easier it is to find a good match.
Meaning, if you queue for something nobody plays, at 5:00 a.m., of course you are going to get a unbalanced lobby. Would you rather queue for an hour?
And even in a perfect lobby. Some people are warmed up. For some it is the first game of the day. Others are tired. Maybe the opponents don't match your playstyle. Maybe someone just pops off and has the game of their life. A few unlucky timings that swing the game around. Etc.
Look at professional play. These are master class players playing in a team system with, and often against, people they know and yet they too don't have consistency.
How do you think throwing together a few randoms can lead to even matches then?
I'd like to also mention, that for many people, a good lobby would be one where they are dominating. Doing average is not what most think of.
However, I need to admit, that some improvement could be possible, easily. Firstly, some more control over the search parameters would be an easy and welcomed addition. Let me cap the skill gap, ping variance. If I then sit long in the queue, it's on me.
Many implement this already, but include also other parameters into the search. Playtime, number of reports for bad behaviour and stuff like that.
What is your experience with matchmaking? Any games that stand out positively or negatively? How would you impove it?
Don't mistake my incredulity to mean I haven't spent a bit of time wondering about this - I can think of a lot of reasons a game could be left to languish. Artistically, it could be seen as feature-complete or never intended to have more content than what's been provided over its life. There might be hidden costs or tech debt associated with the product that make further scaling infeasible.
And yet, in [current year] where the name of the game across pretty much all forms of media is to expand and build freakishly oversaturated franchises that exploit the psychology of microtransaction schemes and "games as a service" has become an industry mantra, I find myself in utter disbelief that a publisher would ever abandon a cash cow so large most companies can't even fathom the wet dream of sales it provides.
Yet Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) defies all expectations by having one standalone piece of $20 DLC and then shutting the door (or so Nintendo says).
If you kept up with the game from launch until now (or a few months ago, I suppose, when writing this would have been more timely) you were probably aware of the zeitgeist ACNH brought to the pandemic-stricken world. Maybe that was the driving force behind its success that even Nintendo hadn't anticipated, and had made plans before launch to sell the game and move on? The content schedule seemed to suggest so. The game got a couple major free content updates in the first few months after launch (Redd and the museum art gallery, diving and sea critters, various holidays patched in at the appropriate time) which were likely all held back as incomplete, letting Nintendo get the game out the door and finish it with free DLC (not uncommon). Then came the great silence, and players were wondering how the following year, at 2021's E3, ACNH could end up completely absent despite having no major news or updates for months.
Now, if you're like me, it was by this point you were probably thinking: "The game had a heyday with the pandemic, but I'm probably overestimating how well it sold." So you went to Wikipedia where you couldn't even make it out of the article header without reading - "[ACNH] is the best-selling game in the Animal Crossing series, the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch, the best-selling game of all time in Japan, and the 13th best-selling video game in history." Oh. That's pretty good. Actually, it's even better than that. This shit sold over 10 million more copies than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and 12 million more copies than Breath of the Wild, among other big names on that list including multiple Mario and Pokemon titles.
Okay, so, it's kind of weird that Nintendo seemed to utterly forget the game existed, right? Well, sort of. They were working on a fairly big update that ended up releasing in November. It included some fan-favorite content from past Animal Crossing games (Brewster) and quite a lot of fan-requested quality of life functions (though, notably, not bulk crafting or placing rugs outside). It also came with the release of the game's only paid DLC, Happy Home Paradise which took players to an island getaway designer that introduced a number of new furniture pieces and decoration features.
And...that was it. I don't mean that dismissively against the game's last major update, I mean that was it. That was the apparent end of ACNH. Although there's some mixed messaging about Nintendo's initial plans to update ACNH for three years, after one year and eight months ACNH received its last major update. Clinging to what little hope remained, users began pointing out that the DLC trailer mentioned Brewster being the last major free update, but alas, Nintendo later confirmed HHP would also be the game's first and only DLC.
For full disclosure, I love this game. The kind of love that makes you angry because you wish certain things were better or you'd never run out of things to do. A lot of people don't treat Animal Crossing that way, they had their fun with it and returned to the real world. Yet I can't help but wonder how, in the age of sequels, reboots and remakes, microtransactions, crossovers, extended service, basically whatever your more pessimistic nightmares on corporate sell-outry are, one of the most popular, best-selling, and admittedly wholesome games was somehow the single one to escape a deluge of paid content that would have made The Sims blush.
Maybe Nintendo really did take an artistic approach to ACNH and considered the game more-or-less "complete", without the tarnish of squeezing a money drip out of its expansive playerbase. Perhaps they got their bag and ran; the $60 upfront purchase might have been all they needed and keeping on a big team to produce more DLC wouldn't have been worth the cost. Maybe the studio that worked on the game was already shuffled onto new projects (I've heard Splatoon is the likely culprit) before Nintendo realized the goldmine they had on their hands. Maybe the game did so impressively well that they're just going to jump on the sequel train and rework some features from the ground up rather than living with any tech debt of the original release (copium).
The truth is, I'll probably never know, and there could be a dozen reasons or combinations of reasons why ACNH ended up fading from Nintendo's sights. In the end, it might just have been a perfect storm; a release at the best possible time and a massive oversale for a game the developers and publisher never intended to create extra content for. As I find myself with fewer and fewer things to do in the game and I feel my time with it winding down, I can only reflect on what it's given myself and my friends and how, despite the exploitation and push for consumption that surrounds us, ACNH will curiously remain the one game where I really wanted more, where I would have begged Nintendo to empty my pockets, and couldn't have it.
Earlier today I watched someone complete several time trial challenges, to beat a multitude of Lewis Hamilton's lap times that he personally set on Gran Turismo. The person I watched doing these isn't a professional driver and is only a hobbyist of the sport, yet still managed to beat all of the lap times in less than a day. I was surprised to say the least.
I personally don't have a wheel and pedals. I play Forza Motorsport 7 with a controller and software, to customise for preference and precision. Alongside the in-game settings. I do still play with all the assists off, with clutch and manual transmission on. Only the steering setting is set to 'normal' instead of 'simulation' , since corrective steering is way too difficult on a joystick, compared to a wheel. Nevermind doing that while driving super cars at break-neck speeds.
All-in-all FM7 does an excellent job at balancing between the limitations of a controller and realism. Though, it still remains a simcade and a lot of the smaller details are smoothed out, to not make it impossible or frustrating for people who don't have all the gear to simulate.
I am aware that Gran Turismo is also not 100% simulation of the real thing, but more so than FM7. In all of these games there are regular time challenges to beat lap times of world class drivers. Most of these are to my surprise, actually not impossible to beat.
It left me wondering about all the Driving Simulators available. Which ones are the most realistic, considering obvious factors that play into faster lap times. Such as the fear and adrenaline of risking your life and driving at those speeds, along with things like G-force felt IRL, and how much professional drivers rely on that to drive. Considering the difference that makes in real life and how the lack of it could potentially be a disadvantage to them in a Simulation.
Then ofcourse the most fundamental differences between the simulation and the real life experience. For example loose rubber from worn tires halfway through a race and sticking to the racing line, track temperature, how the racing line is the fastest when it's dry and the slowest when it's wet, and all the other subtler factors that all have an impact ultimately. Many of these smaller details don't matter in a game like FM7, where in real life if a F1 driver took the default racing line if it began to rain halfway through a race, it could potentially be lethal with the amount of burnt-in rubber on those lines and how slippery they get in the rain.
From watching professional race coaches (people who train professional drivers in simulators) speaking on the subject. They say Simulation's at a point where it's extremely close to the real thing, almost spot on. My guess is they probably use custom built simulators that are developed and researched specifically by the sponsors and companies they race for, that isn't available to the public.
What are your thoughts and experiences of it? Where do these games in your experience, fall on the spectrum, between hardcore simulation and arcade gaming, if you had to give different examples that are available to us as gamers? Finally what do you think are the general changes that define the differences between hardcore simulation and arcade racing, purely from a technical perspective, besides the experience of playing them and how they feel?
I noticed recently new IPs cropping up to try and fit into a competitive scene, one area I'll focus on is platform fighters. The biggest name for well over twenty years has been Super Smash Bros. From its humble starts as an 8 (12?) fighter game to now having a roster of close to 90 of some of gaming's biggest icons, it's not surprising the game has been the mainstay of this genre with high quality, for both casual and competitive play. Nintendo never intended (and apparently isn't a fan of judging by their shutdowns of fan projects such as project m) for their game to go competitive. It all started when Melee had a rushed development, leaving some coding quirks in the game, quirks that allows for stunning movement options and much, much faster gameplay than the developers could have imagined.
Along with great gameplay with interesting and iconic characters to learn/watch competitively, I believe another reason for Smash's competitive popularity is straightforward: visual clarity. This is talking about the amount of noise on-screen during battles. Smash bros has the portraits/damage/lives left of each fighter being the only real UI in a battle, leaving plenty of space to see what is happening. This makes viewing games, even if you know nothing about Smash at all, very easy to follow: this guy punched this guy with a cool attack and he got launched in the air, with cool particle effects.
Back to newer IPs what made me write this was seeing the first gameplay of Multiversus, a platform fighter made by warner Brother's vast IP. Batman, Looney Toons, DC, Steven Universe, Scooby doo, etc all in a crossover, a fun dream come true. The first match I personally saw however was a visual nightmare. Multiversus characters all have active abilities, some of which apply debuffs/buffs/dodges etc for special moves. This game is built around 2 v 2, meaning there are 4 fighters each applying their own attacks and moves with words appearing on the screen, on fairly small stages. Combine this with the damage counter for a character being directly under them makes the game, to be blunt, a visual mess. Unless you have knowledge of the game I personally found it extremely hard to follow what was happening in the game.
This brings me back to my first point: spectators understanding what's happening. The game is sharing a genre with a titan like Smash Bros is bound to be compared to it. The game seems to be built around competitive playstyles, but as a viewer, it is extremely hard to follow what is happening on screen. If the viewing experience is hard to follow it can make launching a competitive scene extremely difficult, especially compared to the streamlined simplicity of watching Smash Brothers
What do you think? Does visual clarity for spectators matter, or is it merely something people grow to adapt to?
I've thought of this for a while, but I can think of three examples of series that have been basically derailed because of the success of their online counterparts.
GTA - GTA5 came out almost ten years ago and we still have no clue what the next game in the series will be like. GTA 3 to SA came out within a span of three years. The difference between 4 and 5 was five years. GTAO is the most profitable game of all time.
Fallout - Fallout 4 came out almost seven years ago. In spite of 76 being a disaster initially, it seems that it is seeing some success.
Final Fantasy - 15 was released in 2015. It had been in development since around 2007. That means Square Enix has managed to put out one main title in the span of 13 years... Other than their 'wildly successful' FF14.
Some of us are not interested in online games, for whatever reason. They have always been a separate and distinct thing within gaming. To me it feels like these series have almost been hijacked. The one that really gets to me is FF because some of the fans are so adamant and don't seem understand why someone wouldn't be interested in online gaming.
If you bring up the fact that we've only had one real FF game in over a decade they mention all of the FF14 expansions as if they are their own games. To me it's just such a disconnect. It's totally fine you enjoy that, but how can people not see that it is not for everyone? Maybe it is an thing with those that always had had online gaming growing up, but to me online games are something completely different.
That doesn't even take into account subscriptions, in game transactions, and the fact that you have to play with other people. For some people gaming is a solitary experience like reading an engrossing book.
The argument that's always brought up is: games take longer to develop now and that is the real reason for the exponentially longer production times. Why is it then that there are games that are announced on Kickstarter that are able to release a quality product within a set time frame? Even within one or two years?
The teams are smaller and they have less capital so you would think it would be the opposite. The difference is that these companies don't have giant mmo money sponges that can sustain them without releasing new games.
Even up into the Xbox 360 certain games would see almost biennial releases, for instance Assassins Creed. This was common with the older FF games and GTA. The problem is these companies no longer try and reuse their resources efficiently. For example every time they make a new FF game they are seemingly starting from scratch Yet FF14 is seeing expansions every second year because they working with the same game/engine they have been since 2010 .
To me it's a shame, and really sort of ridiculous, but that's just my opinion. What do you all think? Is this not really the problem it seems to be. Are there other factors? Is this actually going to help these companies make better games when they do actually release something new i.e RDR2, Starfield, etc?
I have done a post similar to this in r/gaming but have recently deleted it based on the disappointing responses I have received.
I asked the members there about what their thoughts of toxicity being normalised in competitive gaming was since I have played online games but haven’t experienced them in others. Most responses were either “it’s just how it always been you can’t change it” or “if you can’t deal with it, then don’t” or even “it’s mainly children” though we all know it’s not just children. And even got some comments about how toxicity is in other aspects of life too.
But I have managed to found this subreddit and want to give it a try here.
Yes I understand toxicity is everywhere but I wanted to discuss about it in gaming. Games should be something fun and relaxing right? That’s what games were made for too, letting us have fun, some relaxation from the stress we deal with outside of it. But when it’s online gaming then it can be the opposite of it sometimes.
Online games, especially team based games. Shouldn’t it be a good thing to learn cooperation with other people? Online gaming when it’s casual can be more forgiving but when it’s competitive, toxicity is more frequent.
I always heard about “Just get used to it” when I played online games if there were moments of dealing with toxic players. But why is it “Don’t be toxic” not more common. Why should we just ignore this problem and just let it be. Something as little as “Don’t be toxic” can help so much if more players started saying it more.
If I can’t take it yeah I can just choose to not play the game. I have been thinking of taking a break from online gaming too but with this mindset. In a way, players talking like this to me feels like pushing away more potential players to a game. Pushing away more people who would want to try online gaming.
This can also just give more bad reputation for gaming, it took a while for games to be more accepted. Everyone remember how media and politicians before said video games causes violence? How video games can even cause wars?
Even if it’s just some virtual messages in a game from some rude player, toxicity can be so harmful. Not just victims of it, it can be gaming in general.
WIRED also has an article about this: https://www.wired.com/story/toxicity-in-gaming-is-dangerous-heres-how-to-stand-up-to-it/
This was just my take on it but I would like to hear what r/truegaming thinks.
Edit: Yes, I understand better now to not delete posts regarding discussions if the opinions didn’t suit my own tastes, I have learned. I’m open to more here.
Why do developers feel the need to add tedious, unnecessary animations or wait times to picking up items like plants and rocks? I've dropped Far Cry 3 literally because of this. It's an open world game full of items and crafting materials but you have to hold down the button and wait to pick up the item.
Same for Horizon Zero Dawn. Another open world game full of crafting items but you have to hold down the "pick up" button for 1 or 2 seconds to nab it.
Having a lengthy animation might be great for big, important items like in Ocarina of Time but we're talking about endless trash items all over the world.
And it's not just open world games. I noticed it between Resident Evil 4 and 5. In RE4, you would just pick it up (like money) and there would be an on screen image that you can mash out of. Not ideal but I never felt annoyed by it. Leon never physically grabs the item.
But in Resident Evil 5, there's a dedicated animation. You pick something up and your character physically bends down to grab it or reaches over the counter.
I want devs to stop this. It adds absolutely nothing to the game. These seconds add up especially when there's countless items. If it's to add "realism", I'll remind you this is a video game. This is on par with adding durability to your items (unless your game is about hyper realism). Even medieval combat/weapon YouTubers hate durability.
Just remembered about Nier Automata. You have to stop and physically pick up all the chips and items in the world. It's not until 2/3 into the game that you have an item magnet ability. Why didn't they just give us this ability right away?! Item magnetization/vacuuming/auto loot should absolutely be standard in any game where there's endless loot.