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Author Topic: Sunset  (Read 42154 times)
DevDennis
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« Reply #160 on: June 24, 2015, 10:00:26 AM »

Hey,

I'm sorry it didn't go well with sales. It is strange to me. But I guess you never know what succeds or doesn't.

In my own opinion I didn't buy the game because it seemed a little too expensive for what you would get. It didn't appeal to me being in a apartment only I like to explore.

If it's sold as a art game I would like to see something more different and stylized.

But thats just my opinion. I think it has a nice polish to it and I like that it's story driven.
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« Reply #161 on: June 27, 2015, 03:49:00 AM »

Even if nobody would enjoy Sunset and it would generally be considered a failure, it would still be a fantastic thing to exist. So much effort was put into this, so much thought, blood, sweat, tears. In a way, it would be all the more glorious if all of this energy would have produced something that interests no one. The futility of the energy wasted would be monumental. I find that to waste one's time on something utterly useless has a heroic quality. In a way, it's what I aspire to in life.  Gentleman

this is also how i feel about my game saturated dreamers, as an aside (been working on that game 8 years, and it'll probably have an even smaller audience than sunset has)

anyway, reading through this dev log was interesting, it's surprisingly more gamer-intended than i thought, but there still seem some things that are obvious (at least, to gamers) that the game needed but which it doesn't have. for instance, a big negative reaction to the game in the steam reviews was the frame rate -- pc gamers *love* 60 fps, they can't stand 30 fps at all, even though most console games are 30 fps and most movies and youtube videos are 24 fps. it's kind of silly, but it's a "gamer" thing, and gamer things often make no sense. i feel as if, if your goal was to please gamers, you needed to do "gamer reaction" sessions prior to release, to find things that are not obvious to you or even me, but obvious to the regular gamer, like that 60 fps issue. to me, playing a game at 30 fps feels perfectly fine, but it seems like that isn't common, gamers explode when they have to deal with a 30 fps game apparently

the camera angle / range of vision for looking up and down was probably a similar issue; to me i think it's okay to only be able to look up and down 30 degrees, but gamers seem to hate that. there are a lot of non-intuitive things like that which are probably just cultural differences between pc gamers and people who are not very into gaming (even though we may play games occasionally for fun, it may not be our primary hobby; i read books more than i play games nowadays)
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Michaël Samyn
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« Reply #162 on: June 28, 2015, 12:07:33 AM »

Thank you for the support and the sympathy, Paul!

An audience that refuses to enjoy a game because of a fetishistic attachment to framerates and minor technical limitations as a camera angle is an audience I will happily never work again for ever. I should have turned my back on them years ago.
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« Reply #163 on: June 28, 2015, 01:00:35 AM »

pc gamers *love* 60 fps, they can't stand 30 fps at all, even though most console games are 30 fps and most movies and youtube videos are 24 fps. it's kind of silly, but it's a "gamer" thing, and gamer things often make no sense.

it's not a "gamer" thing... there is a difference especially when you're used to play competitive first person shooters, it start to integrate your brain.
Since a lot of players nowadays got to play competitive games, the 60 fps thing becomes important.
When you play a game you're not merely a spectator so vision is different and all theses frames are important.

I can't even work with a frame rate of 50, i clearly see the difference within 10 frames...

An audience that refuses to enjoy a game because of a fetishistic attachment to framerates and minor technical limitations as a camera angle is an audience I will happily never work again for ever. I should have turned my back on them years ago.

it's not fetishism , it's just following evolution & adaptation.
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« Reply #164 on: June 28, 2015, 02:32:02 AM »

@bakkusa - i can notice the difference between different frame rates too, but i don't understand why someone would think that a game that only runs at 50fps instead of 60fps is "unplayable" or something. to me that's like a reader refusing to read a novel unless it's written in a particular font size / font face. sure, some are more readable than others, but the idea that you *can't even work* at 50fps seems like absolute madness to me. i don't see how it's evolution or adaption, it feels more like a tribe rejecting another tribe because they don't have a star on their belly, like the sneetches in that dr. suess story. what if one day 90fps is the standard and people refuse to play games that are 60fps? a whole world of games will be lost to those people. what if we switch to 64 bit color and people refuse to play games that are in 32 bit color, the way games are now?
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« Reply #165 on: June 28, 2015, 05:10:56 AM »

I really don't think people are criticizing Sunset just for the sake of framerate.
It's the combination of everything. The slow pace , the "boredom" (depends of people) , basically the limit of what you can do in the game . you're basically playing an first person walking simulator and framerate is the first thing you'll see here... it's like walking with uncomfortable clothes.

It depends of the kind of game...
i can't work at 50 fps because it's not fluid and because i have the possibility to work at higher fps ?
And as a developer if i don't think it's fluid enough then it's not going to be fluid enough for gamers.
I don't know it's like we are in 2015. I can't understand why getting stuck on purpose.
Give at least the 60fps possibility to people who demand it , It's Business after all.


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gimymblert
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« Reply #166 on: June 28, 2015, 06:56:27 AM »

It's not just that, I can't run the thing on my pc without massive stutter, it give headaches.

Also higher framerate and adequate FOV reduce motion sickness, let's not reduce that to a caricature of gamers.

I think that was a problem during dev of sunset too, they just don't know the relation between those elements.
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« Reply #167 on: June 28, 2015, 07:25:43 AM »

We will definitely do our best to cater to these expectations. But we have also started designing an alternative interface for people who are not accustomed to WASD-mouselook controls. A simpler interface that should also prevent motion sickness. If only because then Auriea can actually play our own game. She is one of many people who are sensitive to motion sickness when playing especially first person games. And we do not want to exclude those players.
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« Reply #168 on: June 29, 2015, 05:42:22 AM »

yeah i'm not saying it's bad to offer a 60fps option, just that the only reason people demand it *does* seem to be a fetish. nothing wrong with fetishes though, just that it's weird to think they are necessary when you really can do without them most of the time. it's like a kid who won't ever eat bread with the crust, and insists the crust is cut off by their mother before they will eat a sandwich. they *could* eat the crust, really, they just think they couldn't

also headaches are different from motion sickness; motion sickness isn't caused by the frame rate, but by the camera motion, and in particular, how fast the camera "turns" left to right. low frame rate would actually *help* with motion sickness, people get more motion sick in FPS games the faster the frame rate is

in any case i feel as if there are two ways to do business. give gamers what they really want, or give them what they say and think they want. the latter is how most people do it, but the former is what is really needed
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gimymblert
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« Reply #169 on: June 29, 2015, 08:12:33 AM »

I'm sorry in this particular case this is more than fetish, for example I have an old graphic card, it can't run game like sf4 or darksider 2 at 60 fps in full HD but I can in low res at 30fps. I can't play sunset without visible and massive drop frame, it looks like a slide show. That's a problem.

Also you minimize the FOV statement, there is a reason why fps on console have fov of 75 and PC tend to go higher. It's the distance from screen and overall visual coverage of player's vision. Motion sickeness is a combination of the two elements.

It has nothing to do with entitled gamer in this specific case

Samyn being a graphist, it will understand that it's like pointing at the bad kerning and police choice impeded legibility of a huge text and the graphist throwing a hissy fit about "fetish" of reader because they used papyrus and comic sans, without actually listening to the crust of the argument, that readability matter.
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gimymblert
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« Reply #170 on: June 29, 2015, 08:14:54 AM »

If graphics fetish isn't much a problem then they can lower their own fetish and degrade the visual so it run adequately for anyone to enjoy, gone home don't have such massive requirement. They don't care about the public and say it's the public that don't care.
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« Reply #171 on: June 29, 2015, 08:41:58 AM »

well, a slideshow is a problem that i can understand, a slideshow means a fps rate of less than 10. but saying that a game is unplayable at 50 fps instead of 60 fps still seems like a fetish to me. i agree that 10-20fps is too low, though, but anything above around 24 is fully playable (again, most movies are at 24, and nobody cares! some film critics even hate the new higher frame rate movies, like the hobbit, because they feel "too real" / "too smooth")

i mean gamers always talk about 'gameplay being king! graphics don't matter, just gameplay!' but they don't actually mean that, because they refuse to play a game if it's 50 fps instead of 60 fps -- whatever happened to gameplay being all that matters?
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« Reply #172 on: June 29, 2015, 08:51:29 AM »

i mean gamers always talk about 'gameplay being king! graphics don't matter, just gameplay!' but they don't actually mean that, because they refuse to play a game if it's 50 fps instead of 60 fps -- whatever happened to gameplay being all that matters?

From my experience that's true only for more indie inclined gamers, most gamers I know always fall prey to graphic fidelity first and foremost. (And not just the ones I know, but looking around most online communities, that seems to be the case to me)
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gimymblert
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« Reply #173 on: June 29, 2015, 09:45:31 AM »

Movie don't work the same, 60 fps is important for action game with "big" camera motion (fps) or where timing is key (fighting game). 3ps with sword fighting where positioning  is more important don't need 60fps, and gamer knows it.

Also if you have a solid product gamer will overlook visual (minecraft), and even adopt it as a badge of honor (various indie games).

Ultimately it's also a matter of camera stability, in 3PS the camera turn around a visible pivot that is used as visual anchor, so motion have less amplitude than a fps, 2D platformer too have ample visual anchor, and movie camera tend to be rather stable, focus on a subject and minimize swiping random movement.

IN game the simple act of looking around aimlessly to figure out where to look (and mastering the input while doing so) completely destroy any stable frame of reference, that's why level design in game tries to compensate for that by careful use of POI and signaling.

Also that justify the 30° limitation about looking around in SUNSET, so the player have a stable horizontal and don't get lost with being stuck looking in their feet or in the air and losing frame of reference. It's something modern game (notably console game) implement by limiting the velocity of Y screen axis when in the horizontal and bias it toward horizontal while in the extrem.

But ultimately the problem is that sunset choose to be fps by imitation instead of pure thematic choice. They tried to emulate a genre others spend time thinking about the intricacies without caring about the intricacy. SUNSET is first about its theme, other game where about the craft and use theme as a way to explore craft, as such their theme are less interesting that SUNSET and still stay inside nerdy narrative (mythological, genre fictions or science fiction). SUNSET SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A FPS! it would have gotten rid of those technical problem mostly.

If you look at game from fullbright, gone home was full of Young Adult fiction tropes (which are amply documented) and so is life is strange, theme wasn't their focus, the main drive was how to tell a mundane story using game design, thus they had nothing real to say, only show a mastery at "writing", they use the horror tropes (of course! because!) to lead the emotional beat. Their next game is plain sci fi, they are back to square one. The reason all those game were FPS to begin with is the shared value of a nerd monoculture, because they know about its intricacy and the shared dream of "immersion".

Sunset is the opposite of immersion, you are not "yourself" or pretend to endorse someone's role, role is deemphasis and the nuance is that's about a "windows" (not immersion) in peoples' life. It's about caring. For example in SUNSET and most other ToT game, fear or sadness is implemented through the lens of caring, aka caring about other (the girls in the path, the grand mother, the brother in sunset, etc ...) ALL other walking sim implement it as something inflicted to you, the firewatch teaser is all about that, that's why they are quick to hijack horror tropes and that the first greatly successful walking sims (amnesia) was a horror games and spawn a new genre. Nerd gonna nerd. In sunset you cannot be more removed from the main action (war) and even the love story only happen remote (you don't see them ever together, it's only implied at the end).

When ToT open incursion within the "game industry" with the path, the 3ps was justified because it was about movement, they expressed in their blogs their awe in traversing detailed virtual worlds as tourist and caring less about the actions. But they never resorted to nerd stuff to fill their world. Movement was played with because it was the focus, moving in the world was meaningful, the path is literally about direction and diversion, the graveyard is about feeling the weight of time in the deplacement. In SUNSET the movement is less important and finally bog them down.

In conclusion, choosing FPS, the personal confusion it cause and the performance issue that result, was a poor choice and uncharacteristic of ToT ways of doing. They don't have the expertise and only followed trend they thought would work with no understanding of its impact, technical, cultural and biological.

I'm glad they are now free and gone back to think that matter to them.
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« Reply #174 on: July 01, 2015, 01:26:32 AM »

Focusing on "gamers" probably wasn't the main goal here, but still I think making art that has an intent to be popular with a certain audience isn't a good idea.

Hopefully ToT can still go on and do cool shit somewhere though.
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