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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignsome indie game articles i found (theastronauts.com)
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Author Topic: some indie game articles i found (theastronauts.com)  (Read 5430 times)
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« on: November 09, 2012, 03:58:11 am »

http://www.theastronauts.com/2012/10/reboot-your-aaa-brain/

Quote
Listen to gamers evangelizing a small mod they just played not because they’re pretentious pricks, but because they found something special there, something that does not exist anywhere else.

Wonder why some indie games make more money than your games even though they don’t look as pretty.

Investigate why millions of people can be good at an indie game even though this game does not feature a tutorial you put so much faith and so many resources into.

http://www.theastronauts.com/2012/11/why-we-need-to-kill-gameplay-to-make-better-games/

Quote
I think than when we’re focused on overcoming a challenge – we try to kill an attacker or win a race – we go into savage beast’s survival mode and shut ourselves down for any “higher class” emotions. Our vision gets extremely narrow, and we’re no longer multi-tasking. Beating the challenge becomes the only thing that matters.

The best example is QTEs. You either engage in them emotionally or win them, but you cannot do both at the same time.

Does it mean that if you want a deeply emotional game, you should drop regular gameplay, with all its core combat loops, gameplay mechanics and other voodoo?

Yes.

they were apparently written by the creative director of gears of war judgment, bulletstorm, and painkiller. i don't necessarily agree with them (for instance i don't agree that removing gameplay completely from a game is the best way to make it meaningful and engage the higher brain), but it's interesting to me that when prominent AAA developers jump ship and go indie their criticisms of how AAA games are designed tend to be even stronger and more vociferous than than the average indie dev's criticisms of that.

in other words, *even the people designing* all that mindless hi-res shooting, handholding tutorials, and quick-time events hate that stuff, and often hate it more than the average gamer does
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 04:09:27 am by Paul Eres » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 04:23:27 am »

Well it's not like a publisher says "hey here;s X$, do whatever you want". They are designing under a strict set of guidelines.
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 04:44:14 am »

ya. i think a big part of this is that "creative" types of people (including the people who make indie games, but *also* the people who make AAA games) tend to want more thought and memorability and meaning in their games than the wider market does. publishers know this and tell those creative types to make games they don't personally want, knowing that that is what *most* people in their audience want

i think this quote from one of those articles is relevant here:

Quote
But if we remove the challenge and trial and error gameplay from video games, can we even still call them video games?

Who cares? Do you play games to pass the time or to create memories?

that question was rhetorical, but it actually *should not* be rhetorical. many people do play games to pass time, not to create memories. the idea that the people who play angry birds, or even the people who play world of warcraft, are trying to create memories is ridiculous. they are looking for ways to kill some time, not to have their mind expanded or whatever
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 05:05:02 am »

if you want to remove gameplay, just go and make a movie
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 05:08:07 am »

if you want to remove gameplay, just go and make a movie

i think what they want is something that is interactive, but has no gameplay. movies aren't interactive

like for example, simcity and minecraft and interactive toys like those don't have gameplay, but aren't movies
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 05:28:28 am »


 simcity and minecraft and interactive toys like those don't have gameplay
?
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 05:38:32 am »

Thanks for the friday reading.
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 05:50:58 am »


 simcity and minecraft and interactive toys like those don't have gameplay
?

they have play but no game -- like someone blanked out the game. they have ____play or something
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 05:55:23 am »

What? If you remove gameplay you remove a game. Then it's just an animation.
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 06:00:30 am »

toyplay™
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 06:03:52 am »

I had a big reply but I had to delete it on second thought.

There certainly is a big section of people who are playing games as merely a way to pass the time. I thought I could clearly define that group of people but as I wrote it out I kept coming upon subsections and exceptions.  I guess I have to think on it for a while.

For instance I feel like the dota players and street fighter players are a bit different from the angry birds players but I'm not sure why. Maybe because dota and street fighter involve playing against other humans?
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 06:10:22 am »

What? If you remove gameplay you remove a game. Then it's just an animation.

i think it's the other way around. if you remove the game, you remove gameplay. it's not if you remove gameplay, you remove the game. in particular, if you remove *goals*, you remove gameplay, and it's no longer a game. but you can still "play" with it, as in simcity and minecraft and etc.

For instance I feel like the dota players and street fighter players are a bit different from the angry birds players but I'm not sure why. Maybe because dota and street fighter involve playing against other humans?

i think dota/sf players are playing neither to pass time or to form memories; they're largely playing to get better, to gain skill in a competitive e-sport. same with starcraft players.
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 06:10:44 am »

i'll never understand people who say challenging games can't be memorable or "emotional" but oh well.
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 06:12:14 am »

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

i don't think he said that. specifically he just said that it gets in the way, and that the most memorable parts of games he listed were all parts without gameplay. so he didn't say that a game can't be memorable unless it has no gameplay, just that if there were no gameplay getting in the way it might be even more memorable

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
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 06:16:50 am »

well it was written by creative director of  gears of war judgment, bulletstorm, and painkiller.

Those are indeed games where his arguments would hold especially true. Not to invoke a very played out image but this holds especially true considering his pedigree. If perhaps he worked on games where level design was a priority he might not have such a jaded viewpoint.

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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 06:31:15 am »

i'm not sure about that. i can certainly remember fun levels from games. but would i say that the most MEMORABLE thing about a game is its level design? only extremely rarely

for instance, starfox for the snes has good level design. but the most memorable part of those games for me isn't the level design, but stuff like "do a barrel roll!", the take-off sequence, narrowly escaping a battleship as it's exploding, falco telling me to mind my own business, slippy always getting in trouble, and fighting the giant face at the end. also the music. largely that memorable stuff has nothing to do with the level design

i kind of intuitively feel that the most memorable part of any game will always have to do with its scripted events, bosses, characters, or dialogue, not with its level layouts, no matter how good a game's level design
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 06:59:43 am »

I guess it's to each his own. The "do a barrel roll" etc stuff was second to the layout of the levels for me. Dodging the various asteroids to get the opening into the secret level in the bottom section. The whole first level, trying to complete it as smoothly as possible.

I dont even really remember slippy getting into trouble until you mentioned it just now. Hell I didnt even remember who slippy was. I always liked the rabbit best.

Don't even get me started on Doom2. I annoy the hell out of people with my love of its level design. I'm a frequent member of Mapcore (a level design community primarily) and even they thought my specific love of various moments in doom2 levels was weird.


That said I think generally you are right. I think more people probably remember starfoxes allies than the levels themselves.

EDIT: now I want to play starfox again Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2012, 07:08:36 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
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« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2012, 07:09:11 am »

Then again looking back on my previous post. I have to stand by what I said.

There's a reason I still play oldschool fps'es today rather than the COD single player campaign and I'm quite confident it's NOT nostalgia. Doing some garbage between cutscenes is basically a pseudo-7thguest.
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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2012, 07:10:41 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

I'm actually not that well versed with RE1 but when it comes to SOTN the voice acting is hilarious but not the reason I look back upon it with fondness. It was the giant sprawling mansion you had to explore.

I dare say once again it was the level design.
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