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Thread: Storytelling in Games Thread

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inksprout View Post
    Ah ok, I understand what you mean now. I get a bit touchy when people start debating about casual and hardcore gamers. I totally agree with your feelings on this. I've never understood why you would want to deliberately create game that was boring through having lots of grinding. That's my main problem with pokemon at the moment. I used to be able to play it fine, perhaps I was just more willing to spend time leveling my pokemon. Now I just find it too tedious. The story is so generic and the special features just seem dull. I can't access any of the online content so it just seems like a giant pointless grind fest with derpy pokemon designs.
    This becomes even more of an issue with the current state of the endgame. With IVs and EVs and Natures and whatnot, it takes even longer to build a team of 6 Lv. 100 Pokemon capable of battling at a competitive level. As in, many months longer. This coupled with the fact that I can just go one PokemonOnline of Smogon and instantly create a perfect team, and suddenly the games become less interesting.

    I'm waiting for my Pokemon MMO that wil never come.

  2. #82
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Even when I was younger I never raised a lvl 100 pokemon, I always scrapped by with lvl 40-50 pokemon and loads of potions. The fact of the matter is the innovative features they inlclude in each new generation get taken out and replaced with something else in the next bunch. I for one find this stupid and annoying, especially now the focus is moving into online innovative features so much. The only thing I have really enjoyed in pokemon white so far was when a game store near by was giving away a free special pokemon. Needless to say this didn't interest me very much as I have already forgotten its name. I notice that the games are still drawing in a lot of new youngsters but what about the old fans? I would play a decent pokemon game every day on the train if it existed! (Did this with soul silver and spent 60 hours on it)

  3. #83
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inksprout View Post
    Dark Souls aside, are you saying that games should never cater to 'casual players' or just that designers need to be smarter in how they scale for different skills levels? I think the distinctions people make between hardcore and casual gamers are a little unfair. It seems that 'hardcore' gamers believe those who are not as skilled at them do no take games as seriously as they do, and it seems like maybe you're suggesting that because of that reason they don't deserve to have easier difficulty settings to allow them to enjoy the same games as you.
    Games should threat you like a normal person, not a retarded kid who need to be pointed with sparkly arrows what to do. I think the whole idea of casual gamer and hardcore gamer is just retarded because we are all n00bs when we start playing a game, there is no person who born with the knowledge to beat a game (x-men mutant maybe), so the game needs to have a curve of learning and challenge, and this curve doesn't exist (or not in the majority of the cases) in rpgs, because are based in how good your character is, and not in how good you become.

    Also, I fucking hate difficulty settings, what is the point? I want to play the game as it should be played, like the difficulty were I can take the whole experience that it suppose to be delivered while playing. A example for this is Gears of War 3, the game bored my to dead when I first played (in hard mode) and after that I was like "well lets try to get the achievement for insane mode" and it was there when I feel like that the game should be played in this way. The problem in here is that I already played the game, I already create a judgment of it, and playing it for second time is going to change it. The whole game should had to start to including challenging elements one by one until you get to how are you supposed to feel in insane mode (without need of difficulty setting), so when you start, you can learn how to play it and become good while you play it (of course this would challenge the proposition of Epic, that the game should be epic and overwhelming, which I think they cross the line in this GoW and it stop to feel epic, and start to feel repetitive, but this is a discussion for another thread I guess).

    Quote Originally Posted by Inksprout View Post
    I'm sure you are aware of the number of different things that go into making a gaming experience such as artwork, character development and story, enjoying these aspects of a game generally has nothing to do with how skilled you are at the actual game play. In addition to this a core aspect of any game is a sense of flow, and having achievable goals. For people who are serious about games, who love to play them and are interested in playing a variety of them but don't necessarily have a lot of time to sink into it or are just not that skilled its useful to have some options to make the game easier. They shouldn't be consider less of a 'gamer' for that.
    Well, this thread start to discuss story telling in video games. And as you said, video games are complex (have more than 3 elements that articulate it) and is dynamic (the elements are connected in many ways), so the thread has been deviated to this now.

    Again, I don't see video games being hard, not even Dark Souls that is sold as a hard game its hard. And there are plenty of games (the dominant games on the market right now) that have as a target people without time but want to feel powerful, this is why we have Uncharted, God of War, Dante's Inferno, and more. So wanting easy video games is not the problem (we have a full market of those), the problem is how developers think of us as retarded fat kids who need to be remembered constantly that Left Stick is for movement and Right Stick for camera movement (I have to say that I love how Portal 2 make this introduction of controls).

    Quote Originally Posted by Inksprout View Post
    I agree that some games do a bad job of creating scaling difficulty, but the issue goes both ways. You can't just say games should only cater for hardcore players anymore than someone can say they should cater only for casual players. Having said that I don't find a game more appealing just because it's renowned for being easier, but I do find it frustrating if the game is insurmountably challenging with no options to make it any easier.
    No one says that games should only cater for hardcore players, because A) most people in here don't believe in what a hardcore gamer is and B) because we all start as n00bs, and the job of the game is make us better (not the character, but the player). If a game is constantly easy, it will be the same as playing the same stage of Mario over and over again (boring), but developers made the game interesting for their target and in here is were I made the relation between video games being like Michael Bay movies (BOOOM! BANG! BADABOM!), they made games for adults who want action and explosion with a design made for 8 years old kids (Michael Bay movies).

    The fast food of video gaming.

    My point is simple: Video games should make YOU better, not the character.

  4. #84
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Though, Inksprout, you have to consider that catering to the "casual gamer" is not so much a necessity of gameplay as it is a necessity of successful marketing. The "casual gamer" is mainly an afterthought regarding a specific outgrowth of the gaming population. When you think about it, back in the heyday of NES, most games had a standard difficulty that was usually quite high. That is because, back then, marketing teams didn't expect moms and grandmothers and teachers and pastors to be playing video games, and they were wrong. So now they're looking back on it like "oh, so more people than just boys ages 10-20 play games" and consider it a marketing opportunity to appeal to these people. Of course, this is not wrong, but it is not entirely necessary to the playability of a game. In other words, a game does not need to be accessible to be good, it just needs to be accessible to sell well. So to build a game around accessibility has the potential of dumbing it down significantly, just as anything with too large a target audience.

    Though the problem you addressed, about the "hardcore gamers", is not necessarily an issue of accessibility so much as it is an issue of really fucking effective subliminal marketing techniques. I actually talked about this before in some older thread. Games that try too hard to be hardcore are usually also kind of dumb in the sense that "hardcore" following is achieved by showing total inconsideration toward the player. So on one side, you have games that are too dumbed down and on the other side you have games that are just brutal for the sake of being brutal. But why is this a marketing technique? Simple: because it feeds some form of superiority complex. Whereas, in the old days a game was a game; neither was it casual or hardcore, it simply was. These days, with the diversity in the gaming population, it becomes possible to carve a niche out of any given demographic.

    And we all know 'that guy'. That guy, who in any given gaming conversation, will tell you how much more hardcore he is than you are. If you just beat a game, he will mention that he beat it on a higher difficulty setting. If you state you had trouble with a specific part, he will tell you it was easy and he breezed through it. If you said it took you 10 hours to beat a game, he'll say it took him 3. "Hardcore" was a label created specifically for 'that guy' by marketing teams who figured out one thing: the best way to sell a game is to feed the gamer's ego. Make them feel like some kind of gaming elite for playing your game, and people will flock to it like schoolgirls to a cheerleading team. It's CRAZY how successful this marketing strategy was because it really feeds off the mentality of younger, mostly male, gamers.

    Like have you ever seen 2 teenagers bicker about First Person Shooters? It usually boils down to which game has the more hardcore community, based on which game demands more skill, more time invested or more technique. This is because the argument isn't really about which game is better, it's about who's the better gamer. In other words, "I'm better because my game is harder". It's like Tohou among SHMUPs, Super Smash Brothers among fighters, Ninja Gaiden among 3rd person platformers. These people have been brainwashed by a supremely effective marketing technique that is now so ingrained in gaming culture that these games practically market themselves through word of mouth. What's even more astonishing is that the term "hardcore" is used to sell specific games whereas it's possible to make almost any game very difficult if the player imposes certain challenges on themselves. So it's very much a marketing technique.

    But yeah, that's pretty much all "hardcore gaming" is. A giant superiority complex.

  5. #85
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Thanks for such a detailed reply! I agree with a lot of what you said. The only thing I would still want to quibble about is difficulty settings, or at least scaling. The fact of the matter is some people start off playing a game with a very low skill level, it might be the first time they ever played an FPS for example. Even having a good difficulty curve within a game does not necessarily allow for very low level players to play through on the hypothetical equivalent of 'insane mode'. For a very unskilled player, playing on a lower difficulty can feel the same to them as playing in insane mode feels for you. So while you think that on insane mode in Gears of War 3 feels like how it should be played that could easily just be because you are more dextrous, have played more of that type of game or played the previous titles in that series. For a new player being thrown into a game that you consider appropriately difficult would be as frustrating and off putting for them as it would be for you to be forced to play on the lowest difficulty setting. Its very difficult to make a game that goes both ways when talking about FPS/third person shooters in particular because unlike RPGs they do rely on the skills of a player. Difficulty settings are important to have in games that involve skill so that new players have a way in, don't be annoyed by that fact just because you have already honed your skill. They're there so that you can choose the appropriate difficulty for you just like everyone else can. No one is making you play on the easier difficulty settings, and given the amount of play testing most AAA games go through I highly doubt that you would ever find all of the settings too easy.

    It seems like your main issue is that the difficulty settings make it hard for you to determine which setting to actually choose. There are some games that deal with this better than others, some allow you to change the difficulty any time in the game or offer a test or questionnaire at the start to determine your level of skill. Perhaps you would prefer mechanics more like in L4D where the difficulty is determined within the game rather than with really obvious settings in the menu?

    While I agree that there shouldn't be extra instructions and 'Games should threat you like a normal person, not a retarded kid who need to be pointed with sparkly arrows what to do. ' I also believe that difficulty scaling is an important and PROVEN method to allow a range of different players to enjoy and increase their skills in games.

  6. #86
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    @ Cypress
    I really hate the whole casual/hardcore debate when there are people around who believe in those definitions. I fall somewhere in the middle in the typical definitions of each so there is always a chance I'll get flamed for being 'casual'. Its nice to know people here aren't like that though. I think that some of the most widely successful games are those that can be played by anyone and still be fine wether people deem them hardcore or casual games. Simply designing a game well (as ClockHand was talking about) and implementing effective scaling can make the terms casual and hardcore pretty much irrelevant because the game itself is great independent of those definitions and can be played by both new gamers and experienced players.

  7. #87
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inksprout View Post
    Thanks for such a detailed reply! I agree with a lot of what you said. The only thing I would still want to quibble about is difficulty settings, or at least scaling. The fact of the matter is some people start off playing a game with a very low skill level, it might be the first time they ever played an FPS for example. Even having a good difficulty curve within a game does not necessarily allow for very low level players to play through on the hypothetical equivalent of 'insane mode'. For a very unskilled player, playing on a lower difficulty can feel the same to them as playing in insane mode feels for you. So while you think that on insane mode in Gears of War 3 feels like how it should be played that could easily just be because you are more dextrous, have played more of that type of game or played the previous titles in that series. For a new player being thrown into a game that you consider appropriately difficult would be as frustrating and off putting for them as it would be for you to be forced to play on the lowest difficulty setting. Its very difficult to make a game that goes both ways when talking about FPS/third person shooters in particular because unlike RPGs they do rely on the skills of a player. Difficulty settings are important to have in games that involve skill so that new players have a way in, don't be annoyed by that fact just because you have already honed your skill. They're there so that you can choose the appropriate difficulty for you just like everyone else can. No one is making you play on the easier difficulty settings, and given the amount of play testing most AAA games go through I highly doubt that you would ever find all of the settings too easy.
    Again, my point is scaling. If the game start introducing the controls and the enemies little by little, you don't need difficulty setting. Of course some people are not going to be as dexterous than others, but the trying and you wanting to be better, is going to make you better. It's fucking simple, the game introduce you how to play, the challenging elements, and you keep losing, what you do? you keep playing, and you keep getting better. Obviously there should be a curve, to not discourage people but neither threat them as retarded kids.

    I
    Quote Originally Posted by Inksprout View Post
    t seems like your main issue is that the difficulty settings make it hard for you to determine which setting to actually choose. There are some games that deal with this better than others, some allow you to change the difficulty any time in the game or offer a test or questionnaire at the start to determine your level of skill. Perhaps you would prefer mechanics more like in L4D where the difficulty is determined within the game rather than with really obvious settings in the menu?
    Even if you can change the difficulty on a pause menu, you still don't know which difficulty is the right. And my problem is not just about that, is about games should make you better, not make your worst. I have plenty of friends who play every game only on Easy difficulty, they could play it on normal or hard, they have the skills to do that, but as the game offers them a easy way they are gonna take it. Ones they finish the game they sell it or change it in the store.

    Of course they have the skills to play it in harder difficulty, but my point is that games should have a curve, should let you grow and not backward.

  8. #88
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    I still disagree, I think you are under estimating how difficult a game can be for new players, sure maybe the 'easy' setting could be eliminated and just left with normal as the lowest, but I honestly think anyone who started playing the game and was already a skilled player would become insanely bored by any beginning that was scaled to suit the newest of players. Equally if the game started off too hard new players might just not play. You seem to just be basing your opinion off your own friends, and assuming that everyone who plays on an easy difficulty does so simply out of laziness. Would you honestly want to play a game if you spent 3 hours trying to get past one small part of the game? This might be acceptable in some games that are designed to play that way, ie Dark Souls but for many other games forcing players to do that would be totally pointless and ruin the whole game experience. Halo for example is an action game, but how is anyone supposed to enjoy the action and keep up with the story if they have to spend a ridiculously long time trying to get past one section of a level, when the designers intended that part to take only 2 minutes?

    I understand your frustration but there is more to a game experience than simply forcing all the players to obtain the same level of skill. I don't think there is anyway to create a perfectly scaled shooter such as halo without implementing some sort of difficulty level altering mechanics, either with a menu option or with very intelligent AI design such as in L4D. If your friends are too lazy to play on the appropriate settings then its shame on them. To suggest that a very unskilled player and a very skilled player can both play a game from the start with the exact same level of difficulty, and still both enjoy it equally just sounds impossible to me. By encouraging that sort of design you'd ultimately just be short changing yourself and other high level players. Video games are a business, which means games would be scaled at the start to where they would be boring for you but still challenging enough for new/bad players. This would only further degrade your own experience and make the problems you're complaining about worse. The reason so many games do implement difficulty settings either in a menu or behind the scenes is to try to keep players like you happy while continuing to support a growing fan base.

    I personally have often turned up difficulty settings just because people like you as well as insane 'hardcore' players ranting at me make me feel bad about the fact that I am simply not as skilled as them. Honestly though I enjoy games, AND improve more quickly if I can play at an appropriate level for me, that makes the games as hard for me as it is for you. You can still play satisfyingly on insane while I'm buffing up my skills down in normal or easy. Honestly I am offended that you think everyone who wants lower difficulties only wants them out of sheer laziness. There are gamers out their who want to be good at games as sincerely as you do but that shouldn't mean the gaming experience should force them to spend copious amounts of time playing a game that is just too hard for their level. Implementing such a system is as bad as forcing players to grind in RPGs (This is all assuming that you believe me when I say no game could have a difficulty curve perfect enough for both new and old players)

    EDIT: Its also not as if on easy the levels within the game all become the same difficulty. There is still scaling within easier difficulties so the player is not simply stagnating. Players can honestly increase there skills in easier settings. The end boss is still harder than the first boss, so provided the player chooses an appropriate setting they should still be developing their skills. I ever turn down the difficulty settings its honestly because I'm bot getting anywhere on the harder modes. I will still find the easier setting challenging but not insurmountable.
    Last edited by Inksprout; 11-06-2011 at 01:55 PM.

  9. #89
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I think an easy way to solve the beginning of the game issue is to have a standard tutorial stage. A lot of people think this breaks the flow of the game but, IMO, the practicality of it is far more important than how it affects the theatrics.

  10. #90
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Cyp that's particularly true of games that make the tutorial in some way a part of the game such as in KH1 on destiny island. A tutorial level can be fairly in line with the rest the game if it is done well and definitely serves an important purpose for new players. I think many games have included tutorials simple because they realise no one reads the manual though, rather than because they believe its a good way to help newer players.

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