Mike_LowELL: 0100010: How about the less fps/tps games like SimCity or The Sims? There's a lot more than exploration when it comes to sandboxing games.The problem for me with most of those games is that the game world never ever bites back. Sim City and Minecraft generally have the same problem: Once you've built something, it's awfully easy to maintain. (This may have changed in the later Sim City titles, which I only spent a brief amount of time with and I understand that they became increasingly complex.) I mean, I quite enjoyed Sim City 2000 when I was younger, but once you have your entire city of gigantic robotic buildings launch off into space, that's really a "Time to go home, you've done everything" moment. (Obviously, you can imagine that I think Dwarf Fortress, the game which is designed so you will inevitably and eventually lose, is absolutely grand.) As far as The Sims goes, I could generally care less for it. I did play the original game in the series and got bored with it very quickly. Other than that, I've stayed away from most of those games.
0100010: I suspected that. You're using goals and achievements as a measuring stick for game quality and that's a poor stance to take. For you, it makes sense in determining how likely you will be to enjoy an individual game, but it has nothing to do with quality. There is a large (way larger than you probably realize) number of people that play games with little to no need for a definite goal. The Sims (especially the original one) is a great example of one that embodies the sandbox ideal rather than just an open world rpg. Before that, we had Creatures and its sequels. There's nothing wrong with you not liking that sort of game, but it doesn't make them poor games, just ones you don't value as much as others.
0100010: Once again, you're showing your goal-oriented bias toward what makes a good game. There is no problem with Minecraft. It does what it was designed to do and has a lot of fans as a result. It's the same reason that DayZ is becoming a standalone game now. If you're going to be taken serious as a game reviewer, at the very least you need to understand that games are made for a target audience and that there are different expectations that result. None of which defines whether something is or isn't art.I disagree that the second half of Portal had to ramp up the difficulty to make it worthy. Challenge and difficulty can help make a good game great or it can make a great game good. On top of that, it wasn't even a stand-alone title. It's amazing it grew so big. Still, there's a reason it is so popular without what you seem to expect in a game, and understanding that is critical.
Mike_LowELL: I would think that the nature of playing games is inseparable from the nature of goals, whether the designer is giving you goals or you're creating your own. In Minecraft, you're setting your own goals for what you want to build. In The Sims, you're not being given a goal, but you always have something on your mind, whether you're trying to get the dude a job, or build a house, or whatever. At the end of the day, it's going to be a matter of whether you can make those self-imposed goals interesting. But at the end of the day, you need a game world that occasionally bites back. You can build the Taj Mahal in Minecraft if you want, but it's going to be a thousand times more interesting if the game world resists your every urge to achieve that goal. (The survival mode really doesn't cut it on that front.) If you haven't played Ace of Spades, that would be the perfect example. (Just reminded myself of it.) Sandbox game through-and-through as built into a modern military shooter. You can build defensive fortifications, but players can tunnel into them, tear them down, blow them up, whatever. What makes the building fun is that it can be torn down.
OhioKnight: City of Heroes, you bastards![i.imgur.com image 850x494]
Girion47: I'm debating on killing the next elf caravan so that I can get a war going.
Girion47: Fortress is acting pretty self-sustainable, migrants aren't showing up, and I have no nobles either.
0100010: A game is made for a target audience. Its success is first and foremost based upon whether it meets their goals. The rare exceptions are games that can pull in the most diverse audience possible. Looking at a game like Minecraft, it wasn't designed for the fps crowd. Its success stems directly from finding an unexpectedly large audience that its needs meet. What you are missing is that if the game was altered to suit your expectations, it wouldn't be the successful game it is.
0100010: It's equally important to explain why you didn't like it as well as whether or not it was due to accomplishing what it set out to do. If you're not the target audience for a game, a non-objective review's a waste of space. Many of the old adventure games weren't particularly charging to play but a blast to experience; games like Day of the Tentacle or Full Throttle. Enjoying them is much less a factor of the game play and I doubt you would consider them worthy titles based upon your criterion. There's no way I could trust you to review the game based upon its merits due to your attitudes.
0100010: There clearly isn't a need for a game that "bites back" as I've illustrated with plenty of examples. There is a very large market for games that don't specify goals. Repeatedly, you have set the bar for quality based upon goal attainability and it's not a valid criterion for that sort.
Mike_LowELL: My input is heavily influenced by the fact that I fell in love with computer gaming, because computers offered experiences (Doom, Descent, Warcraft) that I simply could not get on a game console or in an arcade.
sprawl15: Girion47: I'm debating on killing the next elf caravan so that I can get a war going.I'm only disappointed that you don't automatically kill every elf caravan.Girion47: Fortress is acting pretty self-sustainable, migrants aren't showing up, and I have no nobles either.I'm considering firing DF up again, to make a fortress designed around the first seven living in a walled off, self sustainable noble city. Every migrant after that is drafted into the military, and takes their turn farming or mining to support the hellish, unprotected landscape outside the walls of the Founders.
Girion47: Large siege just showed up, doors wouldn't shut due to goblin carcass that noone would clean up, 20 swordsmen dead, marksmen run out of bolts and then do nothing, weaponsmiths are going berserk far away from any kind of military presence.YAY FUN!!!!
sprawl15: Girion47: Large siege just showed up, doors wouldn't shut due to goblin carcass that noone would clean up, 20 swordsmen dead, marksmen run out of bolts and then do nothing, weaponsmiths are going berserk far away from any kind of military presence.YAY FUN!!!!Probably my funniest fort failure...I built an aboveground castle with a moat, but I forgot about water evaporating so most of it dried up. I was slowly refilling it with a walls/breaching system to ensure a 4/7 or higher water level throughout. The only entrance into the fortress was across a drawbridge, aside from a floodgate directly into the moat that I used to hydrate the crops once. The aboveground area had a whole bunch of dwarves training up, siege engines being constructed, etc., a pretty solid military presence.While I was doing designating and canceling and bla bla, I apparently accidentally deleted the up stairs to the top of the fort, and didn't notice. At roughly the same time, a dragon rolled in, so I raised the drawbridge (which he blew up anyway) and the dragon bolted immediately to the floodgate, blowing that open. The upper levels of my fort started flooding and the dragon started rampaging through my stockpiles and living area, slaughtering dozens. My military, stuck on the top level, couldn't do shiat even if they were able to get access because most of them were starved/dehydrated and they were already starting to tantrum spiral. The rest of the non-military dwarves were immediately drafted to hold off the dragon, and they fought a desperate last stand that very nearly killed it - they cut off one of his limbs, he was bleeding profusely, and he had internal damage. Some of the dwarves up top started building stairs down (by tearing down walls and using the stone for stairs) but it was ridiculously slow. The dragon decided to pass his time by roasting cats.The stairs were never built as the captain of my guard smashed the mason's head in before killing almost everyone else. ...
Girion47: I just had a genius idea. Build a support, floor on top of it, as wide as possible, and then stack rocks on it. When a troll comes by to bash it as they like to do, you pancake the invaders!
sprawl15: Girion47: I just had a genius idea. Build a support, floor on top of it, as wide as possible, and then stack rocks on it. When a troll comes by to bash it as they like to do, you pancake the invaders!Supposedly you can design perpetual motion minecart machines that spin minecarts around at ludicrous speed...then flick a lever and they blast out as a shotgun down a hallway. I am tempted to figure out how to do this, because I can imagine the horrific dwarf blendering that will occur the first time a dwarf tries to push one of the carts and the every other dwarf runs over to pick up his socks.
Martian_Astronomer: Girion47: I just had a genius idea. Build a support, floor on top of it, as wide as possible, and then stack rocks on it. When a troll comes by to bash it as they like to do, you pancake the invaders!I'm pretty sure that the destructibility of supports was changed specifically because that trick made it too easy to kill sieges. All you'd have to do is just build a bunch of supports with a couple of tiles on top all over the map, and any time a siege came in, they'd actively seek out the supports first and wind up killing themselves.Some kinds of building destroyers are still vulnerable to this trick, I think, but not trolls. However, like I said, I haven't been actively playing for over a year, so this might have changed./ You can still make triggered traps that work that way and bait them with stray cats, of course, but that takes a bit more work
Girion47: I haven't learned about the minecarts yet. I'm still building random things to see what they do. My first attempt at a water pump resulted in my dwarf being washed away in the river and the pump is now inaccessible. I built walls for the water to go into but it leaked back out.
Girion47: I really wish I could figure out how to pump magma from Z-level 140 to around 120. Having my weapons/armor/ammo produced that far away sucks.
Girion47: The only question is, how do I dry the moat afterwards?
Vash's Apprentice: Ah, the Master Race strikes again!
Vash's Apprentice: BTW, thanks to Mike for exceeding Fark's character quote limit./Douche
Mike_LowELL: Vash's Apprentice: ***snip***Yes, and you may be surprised to hear that children's books, yard sale signs, and the instructions packaged with dollhouses also exceed the FARK character quote limit. You may benefit from engaging these works and then moving on to the more complex writing that can, for instance, be found on the back of cereal boxes. I can't wait to find out what that crazy Trix Rabbit™ is up to this time!
Mike_LowELL: Vash's Apprentice: Ah, the Master Race strikes again!And what does that mean, exactly? "You're critical of the topic, so I don't care for your input?"
Mike_LowELL: When you pull away the story in Portal
ProfessorOhki: ...and when you pull the visuals away from a painting or all the story away from a novel - all you have is what again?
ProfessorOhki: Games have different focuses, some focus on mechanics, some on story, some on visuals, and a hand full of others.
ProfessorOhki: You can't randomly remove aspects and think the result is meaningful.
sprawl15: ProfessorOhki: Games have different focuses, some focus on mechanics, some on story, some on visuals, and a hand full of others.Oh, you're answering your own questions.
sprawl15: ProfessorOhki: You can't randomly remove aspects and think the result is meaningful.If you make apple pie with rotten apples, but every other component is as fresh and well made as can be, would you say it's meaningful to comment on the crust and filling separately?
ProfessorOhki: There's a pretty big differences between being rotten and not being the differentiating factor.
ProfessorOhki: The story and atmosphere were the most key elements of Portal. Yes, you take it away and the game becomes far less 'good.' The mechanics alone weren't bad though, they might just not stand out on their own.
ProfessorOhki: That makes it hard to draw a decent analogy to any media... the best I can do is say take a film, strip the audio, and use subtitles for the dialog - First Blood stays nearly the same movie; Grease on the other hand...
sprawl15: The game Portal was fun and entertaining
roc6783: I always felt bad for that guy, he just wanted some cereal. The Lucky Charms leprechaun, though, that guy was an asshole. You're a leprechaun, you want to horde your gold AND your delicious marshmallow-laden cereal, fark you. I hope those kids beat the shiat out of you when they finish eating your magically delicious bowl of bullshiat.
ProfessorOhki: /Arcade offers an experience console and PC can't match
ProfessorOhki: There's more than a few games out there where a story was good enough to overcome mechanical flaws;
Martian_Astronomer: Girion47: The only question is, how do I dry the moat afterwards?Easy: you can drain liquids off the edge of the map. Just make sure you use fortifications, or else things can wander *in* from the edge of the map in the same channel. I would also advise that you use drawbridges instead of floodgates to stop the water, as that prevents building destroyers from causing an uncontrollable flood. I used to use that trick all the time to make underground tree farms. If you mine out most of a whole level (some time after you breach the caverns,) then flood the entire level from a stream on the surface, and let it drain, you'll essentially get a completely secure forest of mushroom trees underground. At that point you never need to venture outside for wood again!/The next release will be severely altering trees though, so this may not work as well in the future
Girion47: The only problem I'm running into is the game won't let me mine the edges.
sprawl15: Which comes down to how we define how to judge a game.There's a camp that argues that story/atmosphere are alone enough to carry a game. I would very strongly argue against that - they certainly help (and my love of SS2 is in large part because of its story and atmosphere, don't get me wrong), but I consider those more of a multiplier to the value of a game. A solid set of mechanics with a solid story/atmosphere is exponentially better than a game with poor mechanics and a solid story/atmosphere. That's easy enough. But it also means that a solid set of mechanics becomes valued higher than a solid story/atmosphere.The game was fun and entertaining, but not because of anything pertaining to its value as a game. Lets take an extreme example; say a game ships with a full novel in the game world somewhere, and the novel is actually fantastic. An amazing novel, a must read, something that makes purchasing the game mandatory for anyone who enjoys the written word. Does that make the game better? I would argue it doesn't at all, because if we allow that to modify our opinion of the mechanics, we could package said novel with Custer's Revenge and we would have to consider the game as a whole something worthwhile. We recognize, in that extreme example, that story or aesthetic aspects of the game is an element distinct from the underlying platonic game-idea itself.
Mike_LowELL: Easiest way for me to explain my stance is that Journey (a game which eschews all meaningful mechanics in favor of narrative) is lousy no matter how you slice it. Depends on what you think of that game, and we can go from there.
ProfessorOhki: I'm of the camp where you have to take the entire experience as a whole regardless of genre. Sure, having a great written story doesn't make it a great game; you can't just judge it on things unique to it being a game rather than something else. If you can say "the music was great, the characters were great, the story was amazing, the level design was top notch, and I cried when it ended.... but the controls were sort of clunky so I give it a C-" [about some arbitrary, made up game] with a straight face, I can't come to accept that definition.
ProfessorOhki: Haven't played it myself. I do get the varying opinions on what makes a game though. I consider Minecraft complete crap because it's not a game; it's a first person voxel editor with scarcity thrown on top to drag out the time. It's Photoshop if you had to grind ink for the brush tool. It's like calling a cardboard box a "toy," sure you can have perfectly good fun with it, but you're the one who created the fun, it's wad of raw material.
Mike_LowELL: Vash's Apprentice: Ah, the Master Race strikes again!And what does that mean, exactly? "You're critical of the topic, so I don't care for your input?"
Vash's Apprentice: Would trust a fan of romantic comedies to review horror flicks?
Vash's Apprentice: Translation:I have nothing of relevance, but look at MAH BIG WALL OF TEXT!11111
Mike_LowELL: roc6783: ***snip***I think the real problem is that companies are using these dudes as brands and these companies aren't paying them a dime for it. It's the only reason they just don't go out and buy some of the cereal for themselves. They don't have the money.***snip***
ProfessorOhki: Mike_LowELL: Vash's Apprentice: Ah, the Master Race strikes again!And what does that mean, exactly? "You're critical of the topic, so I don't care for your input?"It means they consider you an elitist for thinking Gears of Halo: Black Maddens might not be one of gaming's finest achievements.[4.bp.blogspot.com image 550x391]/Arcade offers an experience console and PC can't match//PC and console allow for a depth of story arcade can't reasonably deliver
ProfessorOhki: sprawl15: ***snip***I consider Minecraft complete crap because it's not a game; it's a first person voxel editor with scarcity thrown on top to drag out the time. It's Photoshop if you had to grind ink for the brush tool. It's like calling a cardboard box a "toy," sure you can have perfectly good fun with it, but you're the one who created the fun, it's wad of raw material./And it annoys me to no end that Notch realized people would buy that//And then became a bazillionaire
Mike_LowELL: ProfessorOhki: ***snip***
Dafatone: Look. If you want to consider games as art, the first step is to stop worrying so goddamned much about which games are or are not good, or what the definitions of good are.
sprawl15: Dafatone: Look. If you want to consider games as art, the first step is to stop worrying so goddamned much about which games are or are not good, or what the definitions of good are.This is like saying there's no difference between an impressionist master and an impressionist amateur because most people don't care to learn the difference.
Dafatone: Critics, generally, look more deeply into what's going on their field than just to argue over the precise definitions of "goodness."
sprawl15: Dafatone: Critics, generally, look more deeply into what's going on their field than just to argue over the precise definitions of "goodness."Yet they still agree that there is the existence of criteria by which to measure that 'goodness'.Ebert may not be able to write a definitive guide on what boxes a movie can check to be automatically 'good', but he sure as fark could explain to you why he thought this movie was four stars and this other one was worth one...and what elements were 'good' in the first that weren't 'good' in the second. Saying "Limbo is a platformer but gets wrong some of the basic elements of platforming" isn't some arcane philosophical argument about the nature of 'goodness'. It's looking at basic form and function.
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