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1026879 Posts in 41177 Topics- by 32786 Members - Latest Member: Tazkov

July 26, 2014, 01:07:41 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignsome indie game articles i found (theastronauts.com)
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Author Topic: some indie game articles i found (theastronauts.com)  (Read 3107 times)
Graham-
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« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2012, 03:11:08 AM »

i'll never understand people who say challenging games can't be memorable or "emotional" but oh well.

I think he's misusing the word "emotion." What he really means is the way games try to make you "emotional" with their stories or whatever. You're like supposed to be engaged in some murder-something in Heavy Rain but you're doing QTEs. Emotion - the word - is just misused. What he's really looking for is, "that deep shit everyone knows they can get reliably from movies/books but not from games."
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« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2012, 03:16:05 AM »

he kind of even specifically said the opposite: he listed memorable moments from games with gameplay. he just said that all tended to occur in the parts of a game that didn't have gameplay, not the parts of the game that did

This observation of his isn't even correct. If we all did a round table we'd quickly realize how emotional each of us has become in mechanics-heavy sections of gaming. The observation that memorable moments happen by-majority in non-mechanics-laden sections of a game just isn't even true. The most powerful moments in HL2 for me were most certainly not the passive parts. Listen to any human being talk about their experiences playing Half-Life (1) and remember all the "key" sections. They are largely the interactive parts. The AAA guy is just disillusioned.

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« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2012, 03:25:28 AM »

another issue is: does something have to be memorable in order to be good? there are plenty of good things which are not memorable, and a lot of bad things which *are* memorable

for instance, the "master of unlocking" in resident evil 1, and the voice acting in that game and in symphony of the night, are certainly memorable. the level design in those games was good but forgettable. but that doesn't mean that the best part of those games is what you remember about them

Ok, so this is coming up a lot. Be careful with the word "memorable." There is a big difference between powerful memories and clear ones. I remember a conversation I had with a girl I had strong feelings for 6 years ago. I don't remember a single thing we talked about. I had forgotten literally the day after. However, I knew a lot of things about her. I knew a lot of things that I felt. The second time I talked to her at length it was as if we had built lots of memories. The memories weren't clear, but they were powerful, they affected me, and I could draw from them.

Personal, abstract experiences are like this. It is incorrect to think that because you remember the details of one thing that you "remember it better" than something else you remember 0 details of but have lots to say about.

Everyone knows "do a barrel role," and I'm sure you'd quote it if we chatted back when we were young - chatting about star fox - but if we talked at length I guarantee you the passion and words would come from the things you did, not from the scripted events. It just so happens that a conversation like that is harder to get into, and even when you have one it's not like its particulars are glued into your mind.

There's this issue with "clarity of memory" that gets thrown around a lot in game design discussion. A lot of designers misunderstand what players like about their games because they are poor at extracting what the players felt when playing. Games are inherently interactive. Interaction is personal, abstract. It is by-definition more complex to talk about, analyze, write down, identify etc.

Sometimes this fact is forgotten and people incorrectly conclude that the cinematics in FF7 were what made the game great, because that's what everyone could agree upon was awesome. But it wasn't the cinematics, and that's why the more recent FFs are less popular, especially when you account for their budget.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 03:40:02 AM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2012, 03:35:46 AM »



This is so true that hurts.

Also, the so called "deep and/or memorable emotions" are not even a must in game at all. [rant] I was talking yesterday with friends about some game ideas, and they had this idea of a game in a origami world, and it had some pseudo confrontation of creator and creature in a kind of sad way, which instantly turned me off. He is a damn origami, he doesn't even need a story, he is already awesome by itself. But if he need a story, why does it need to be sad? Why this trend with sad stories? Why can't we just have some fun? [/rant]  Waaagh!

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« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2012, 03:41:26 AM »

Sad is our attempt for identity. "Fun" isn't seen as serious enough. It's growing pains.
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« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2012, 06:34:14 AM »

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« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2012, 06:52:06 AM »

Yeah, we should just give it time instead of bitching.
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« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2012, 07:27:14 AM »

He had me in the first article, where he encourages you to question the extreme amount of codified rules involved in AAA game making, but loses me in the second article.

"The best part of GTA3+ is riding around listening to the radio"
...while running down hookers and smashing things.

An entire game of just that anyway would be pretty boring.  Roll Eyes

"If you read discussions like Most Jaw-dropping Scenery or Sequence in a Game you can see that the things that people remember from their favorite games are:

    * Beautiful places
    * One off events like a helicopter boss fight or escaping a house on fire
    * Gameplay-less experiences like exploration or short interactive dramas"


Don't AAA games already focus heavily on those things? Isn't that why they're bad?

"And, on the other hand, in threads like that no one ever talks about the regular gameplay. No one mentions combat zones, jumping sequences, or enemy variety."


Because they're unilaterally not interesting in most AAA titles.

KGSDHFBDSdfsI'm going to throat-jab this guy.  Sad


edit:
I looked up The Walking Dead as his article suggested; what, what is this? I watched the trailers and it was like watching a trailer about a movie not something I actually play at all.  So Heavy Rain with zombies.

Heavy Rain with zombies is an example of what all games should be more like to this guy.  Lips Sealed

edit 2x:
Although, he does make me think that maybe we should have a distinction between games that are heavy on story-telling vs. games that are heavy on doing things.  Or rather shooting zombies in the face and collecting trinkets vs. interacting with characters and finding out their story because goddamn it I want to know because they're interesting.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 08:14:12 AM by Ben_Hurr » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2012, 11:35:50 AM »

Sometimes this fact is forgotten and people incorrectly conclude that the cinematics in FF7 were what made the game great, because that's what everyone could agree upon was awesome. But it wasn't the cinematics, and that's why the more recent FFs are less popular, especially when you account for their budget.

but the thing is, imagine ff7 without the cinematics and music and story and so on. imagine it had bad graphics, and was done on the nes, like this ff7 nes chinese remake hack:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM57S1DsSAY

the gameplay is essentially the same between the two versions of the game (there were obviously some differences, but the essential difference is mostly graphics and music, not game mechanics). but almost nobody would enjoy the ff7 nes game more than the ff7 ps1 game, they aren't even remotely the same experience
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« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2012, 12:01:09 PM »

but what if the game didn't have gameplay?

what i'm trying to get at here (and with my previous post) is that both mechanics and aesthetics are important. even in a game that's mostly about audio, visuals or writing, the "gameplay" (mechanics, level design etc., ESPECIALLY level design) helps "frame" these things and tie them together.

think of it like cinematography and editing in films. of course the average moviegoer doesnt remember camera movements and cuts but that doesn't mean they aren't extremely important. would transformers be a mega blockbuster if it all the scenes were static camera angels with no cuts?
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« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2012, 12:34:46 PM »

i think that is true, but the big issue to me is that most devs (especially indie devs) think the frame or structure is the most important part, purely because it is the essential part. but most essential and most important aren't the same thing

here's an analogy: the plot is the essential part of a novel, but it's not the most memorable or important part, other parts (characters, writing quality, etc.) can be more important than the plot. a novel without a plot (a rising sequence of events with a climax and resolution) isn't strictly a novel at all, but writers know enough about writing not to get caught up in thinking *only* about the plot and thinking the plot is the only thing that matters, because although a plot is essential, the reader doesn't actually remember the details of the plot so much as they remember the characters, setting, favorite scenes, dialogue, and so on. the plot creates the frame, but you need to fill in that frame with something besides the frame itself. if a novel is pure mechanical plot, with no characterization or descriptions of scenery, no background lore or flashbacks, etc., it'd be pretty boring

similarly, perhaps gameplay creates the frame, but if the frame is all you have you may as well be making board games or pure rule sets with no graphics, animation, sound, etc. -- in other words if all you care about is gameplay, there's no reason to use video or audio at all, or to have a setting or characters or anything like that, you can just do what "go" does and use abstract circles and lines and squares and colors (this is the inverse of the "just make a movie" thing)

i think that thing about game dev (that devs tend to think gameplay is the only important part) probably has ego as an origin. programmers tend to be guys in their 20s who like to think what they are doing is not only essential, and not only important, but the *most* important. they like to look down on the artists, musicians, writers, and so on. usually they are more highly paid, and would see it as an insult if the artist or musician made as much as they do. so to support that they've created this whole theory about gameplay and fun being the only thing that matters in a game at all, and that anything besides gameplay is just optional eye candy at best, a destructive plague at worst
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 12:45:25 PM by Paul Eres » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2012, 05:03:16 PM »

level designs are sort of a big complex thing that doesn't fit easily into memory. you can't make a meme out of a level design
Dark Souls managed to do that for me, in contrary to your assumption.
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« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2012, 06:33:39 PM »

If a game makes you do sections over and over you can commit them to memory pretty readily - Dark Souls is a pretty good example of that sort of thing.  The first two stages of Super Mario Bros are etched into a lot of people's heads, same with the castle hub in Mario 64 (and most of the levels in general, as you do each one like 8 times to beat them).  I have the first four levels of Thexder permanently commited to memory, and they are pretty maze-y.  Same with the map of King's Quest III, which the game took you through so many times due to the time limit and the frequent deaths.  Clock Town in Majora's Mask is a super-memorable location due to the 3 day cycle.
Of course, having memorable visual design and music helps all of these games.  I read an interview with Dave Wise about the Donkey Kong Country music and he thought that the reason so many people remember the Bramble Blast stage theme was that the level was so difficult.  
I remember the level layout of Chemical Plant Zone better than Green Hill Zone despite it being the second level because it has the catchier theme.
So it works both ways.  He just cherry-picked some examples and tried to make a broader point.
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C.A. Silbereisen
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« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2012, 02:15:50 AM »

actually come to think of it, level designs tend to be one of the most memorable aspects of a game. it's not like remembering what places look like is difficult.
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« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2012, 02:29:17 AM »

but the thing is, imagine ff7 without the cinematics and music and story and so on. imagine it had bad graphics, and was done on the nes, like this ff7 nes chinese remake hack:

...

the gameplay is essentially the same between the two versions of the game (there were obviously some differences, but the essential difference is mostly graphics and music, not game mechanics). but almost nobody would enjoy the ff7 nes game more than the ff7 ps1 game, they aren't even remotely the same experience

Yeah, I'm not saying elements outside of the mechanics don't matter. I mean, imagine a girl with a great personality, combines with yours like magic. Now shave her head, make her look like a man (assuming you're straight). Won't feel the same way will you?

Personality and looks, mechanics and scripted shit. You need a good combo of both to make the player feel something. I'm not denying that.

edit: I see this is Sinclair's post too.
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