Author Topic: Story "games"  (Read 7876 times)

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2017, 11:41:34 AM »
So I played Virginia last night. Thought it was a fucking mess, easily the worst of these I've played.
While there was no dialogue I'd say the game approached it very much from a reverse engineered perspective where it really made fuck all difference as far as immersion goes.

That's different to, say, Virginia which basically puts it on the screen and all you are essentially doing is pushing the narrative forward without interacting with it (and I do like Virginia).
Virginia forces you to do really arbitrary "click this to continue" interactions. It's a total disaster of an experience as far as interactions go, if they're gonna be that forced they should just make the cursor equally blatant. I think one of the last ones was "click on your plate three times to watch the pea eating sequence three times"...

Virgina actually solved some of these problems with it's fast cuts, but that won't work for every style, and I had other issues with that game anyway.
Can't even give them credit for that. Thirty Flights of Loving (which they've credited themselves), is pretty much just a proof of concept that that certain cinematic narrative skipping approaches can work in games and heavily uses abrupt jumps like that. Still manages to have a much better grasp on flow than Virginia did.




Event[0] was kinda neat, didn't actually finish it (think I got stuck on some code thing I broke) but it had its vibe down pretty well.

Cibele was boring as all hell. If the game within the game had something going for it the whole experience could've been infinitely better but that's the difference between having a good idea and having the skill to execute it.  Instead it was a pretty tiring way to push to plot forward.

No one mentioning the Tale of Tales games implies they've been banished from any serious consideration, I assume? They were fucking awful.

RE: Simogo. Year Walk was pretty underwhelming as well, have much higher hopes for Device6 but Year Walk was a gorgeous thing padded out like mad with a few admirable-but-big failures.

What about the likes of Abzu/Journey?
Should I buy this current Humble Bundle for Abzu and Everything?

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2017, 02:27:28 PM »
Yeah Thirty Flights of Love showed the concept worked first actually, although I didn't think that was especially successful either as it's too fast and quick for you to get a handle on anything, and I still actually managed to get lost at one point. If you decrypt all the events then you get... a fairly standard heist movie plot.

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2017, 02:44:30 PM »

Here's Hamish on why game developers need to take a "vow of silence":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrDZ--AuiL8

I disagree with him, but he's a very clever guy with a much better understanding of game design than most Humanities academics who write cringy articles about Second Life!

Not watched this so I'm not responding to this, but I just can't get on board with these "GAMES SHOULD NEVER..." takes. There was that weak article recently about games being better without stories, and I just think however much truth there is to that belief, it's just so pointlessly reductive.

Like sure I'd agree in theory with the concept that "games should tell their stories through gameplay and all that..." but this year I got into the Yakuza games and I fucking love them for their long, melodramatic cinema-imitating cut-scenes."

"Then they should make a movie instead!" Well no because if it was a movie I wouldn't get to beat the shit out of folk between these scenes, and pursue sidequests where I  covertly buy a kid a porn magazine, or help a dominatrix to have more confidence in herself. It's the whole package that works together.

So it really annoys me that people have to undermine any good points they have to make with this "All or Nothing" attitude.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2017, 09:37:55 PM »
Life is Strange got a big boost for me in being the first Telltale styled game I played
It's not really that, is it?

Anyway, for all its problems, I thought it was a very successful choose-your-own-adventure game in so far as it made a pretty good fist of making the choices matter in themselves rather than in terms of consequences.

On the one hand, that's a bit of a cop-out (and I'm not sure it's a trick that you play too many times without the point being worn out) perhaps for a "game" but on the other hand it was a blessed relief (and, perhaps embarrassingly for me more of a personal revelation than I would have expected) from more mechanical-focussed RPGs that struggle to separate out player-reward-and-punishment from the import of actions in the game world.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2017, 09:42:21 PM »
I wonder if Spec Ops: The Line deserves to be in this thread somewhere.

It's a thoroughly straightforward shooter with a couple (?) of non-signposted choices built off the extremely limited mechanics this involves, and one that's entirely uninteresting without the story attached to this. (Indeed, by the end miserably tedious, I suggest, although with reason.)



Somewhere in there, and certainly other games in this thread, there's a point about it simply being you taking these actions and the additional immersion involved in propelling an actor through the game world. I'm less convinced than I was 5 years ago that choice within a game available to the player has to be meaningful in some mechanical terms in the game - but perhaps this is only true for a very limited set of works that are interested in agency and choice in a very particular way.

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2017, 10:02:10 PM »
It's not really that, is it?
Well, I just mean in that the control scheme and how things were highlighted felt mildly clunky but incredibly innovative to me. When I got around to the Walking Dead I found it to be really similar. This is likely more down to me missing the entirety of 2006-2014 in 3D adventure based gaming than anything else.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2017, 10:26:52 PM »
It could well be my ignorance instead, I'm afraid.

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #37 on: November 07, 2017, 10:26:04 PM »
I'm playing the Last of Us right now and, am I crazy or is the gameplay pretty fucking terrible? As a tool for rolling out the story it works very well but Lord I've no time for the fights and stealth shit at all in it.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

  • A high powered mutant of some kind
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2017, 10:33:37 PM »
There's nothing special about it perhaps, but it's perfectly adequate. Everything works as it should.

If you had said Shadow of the Colossus, I'd agree wholeheartedly.

Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2017, 11:04:33 PM »
I'm the complete opposite. I think the combat is solid and nearly perfectly paced while the story is total balls. Though the pacing is mostly just a trick from the ridiculously small amount of ammo you can carry to make it feel like you're always squeeking through.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 11:33:30 PM by Bhazor »

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2017, 11:10:57 PM »
The story seems shit so far, i mean the delivery of said story. the combat seems like a purely perfunctory means of stressing you out to engage with the story more.

It works overall, it's just kinda underwhelming relative to the hype.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Story "games"
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2017, 12:27:23 AM »
I'm playing the Last of Us right now and, am I crazy or is the gameplay pretty fucking terrible? As a tool for rolling out the story it works very well but Lord I've no time for the fights and stealth shit at all in it.

I hated it, found it very pedestrian and formulaic (first you fight the small boss, then the bigger boss, then a bigger boss....).

I abandoned it after they got snuck in the snowy enemy base sneak mission.

I also gave Oxenfree a go over the weekend, really enjoyed it!

Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2017, 10:43:07 PM »
In case it hasn't been mentioned Oxenfree has a hidden New Game+ that was added a while after release. That changes a surprising amount.

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2017, 10:46:15 PM »
I found with Oxenfree I didn't want to go back to it because I was happy with the choices I made being my one experience of that story.

Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2017, 11:02:27 PM »
No. There is more to it than that.

Stuff like this
Spoilers
https://i.imgur.com/BQ4QnTb.mp4

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Story "games"
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2017, 09:46:30 AM »
Oh shit, I’ve just remembered the best story game I’ve played all year because it is so novel and fun

Contradiction

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contradiction:_Spot_the_Liar!

Buy it, download it, revel in its British eccentricity and sense of fun. Ostensibly a story game about solving a small town murder in rural England, it’s a cross between cluedo, the wicker man, and a telltale game. It is flawed but heaps of fun.
Thanks for this, I've been playing it all weekend and it’s great. Paul Darrow is brilliant.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Story "games"
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2017, 02:23:22 PM »
Thanks for this, I've been playing it all weekend and it’s great. Paul Darrow is brilliant.

He’s clearly having a whale of a time and his sense of fun is very infectious. Also had a bit of a Jonathan Creek vibe to it with everyone’s bad hair and ‘90s small town affectations which sold me on it a lot (as a massive fan of Creek). There was rumours of a follow up but not sure what happened to that

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2017, 08:59:01 PM »
In case it hasn't been mentioned Oxenfree has a hidden New Game+ that was added a while after release. That changes a surprising amount.

Cheers! Did nae know that. Do I need to download a patch?

(I must admit that I was happy with my original choices, but it was a nice little game with good atmospherics, though limited gameplay, so am willing to revisit)

Z

  • The movie, not the TV series, or the book
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2017, 09:13:48 PM »
Do Broken Age or Thimbleweed Park do anything to present those LucasArts style games as I remember them 15 years ago (i.e. without all the really tedious bits and puzzles that are way too specific)

Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2017, 11:00:45 PM »
Thimbleweed is lovely but Broken Age is a load of toss. Broken Age is one of those mindless adventure games where it tells you exactly what to do and everything you need is on the same screen as the puzzle. There was actually a fun bit in "Tim Schafer plays Day of the Tentacle" where he realises "Hmmm, this is actually a clever puzzle. Maybe we did over simplify..." and looks off camera with a slightly worried expression. The story is ok at the start but falls apart in the second half where it blatantly reuses assets. Might just be me but the celeb voice work was more distracting than anything else.

Thimbleweed is an early 90s Lucasarts game. Quite a bit darker than the Monkey Island games but still filled with clever writing and smart puzzles.

Mister Six

  • Half-masted, bass-boosted, sling-backed
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2017, 11:29:00 PM »
Not played most of these but I was captivated by The Walking Dead season one. Compelling, plausible characters, great organic storytelling and a masterstroke in adding Clem - since player invulnerability is inevitable (you can always reload if you die), putting the wellbeing and moral education of a defenceless child at the centre of the story gives everything you do far more weight.

Plus, each chapter feels substantial, with its own arc or arcs, and plenty of incident.

Sadly the season season pisses it all away with bland, clichéd characters and preposterous contrivances to create tension (like Clem putting her gun down in the toilet at the start - not to mention the adults not bothering to clear it for zombies first).

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2017, 02:14:12 PM »
Yea I have these walking simulators it's like watching a film but it takes four fucking hours, Microsoft have put too many of these out on GWG recently from the top of my head gone home, layers of fear, outlast, the Turing test.

Desirable Industrial Unit

  • Reasonable offers accepted
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2017, 11:31:54 PM »
'Walking Simulator' does my nut in as a term - it's sneery reductive nonsense and seems to be applied very broadly to anything that doesn't involve constant combat.

It can reasonably be used to describe Dear Esther, but that's a special case, as it was an academic project designed to test the limits of what can reasonably be called a game.  It sort of failed at what it was supposed to do, because getting to the beacon is an objective in the traditional sense.  Outlast is absolutely not a walking simulator, it's just a game in which the protagonist is unarmed.

There hasn't been a game released with even the smallest original gameplay idea in, ooh, I'd say over two decades at least, probably longer - storytelling in games is the only thing that's developed at all, and is continuing to develop.  Isn't telling a story the real point of anything more complicated than Pong?


Bhazor

  • Are you rolling your own jelly babies in there?
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2017, 11:33:28 PM »
No. No it isn't.

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2017, 11:39:40 PM »
'Walking Simulator' does my nut in as a term - it's sneery reductive nonsense and seems to be applied very broadly to anything that doesn't involve constant combat.

It is, but every alternative terms is a bit wanky, so I've embraced using it as as a shorthand. And almost nobody uses it to describe Outlast.

Desirable Industrial Unit

  • Reasonable offers accepted
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2017, 12:33:28 AM »
No. No it isn't.

I think you'll find that yeah it is.

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2017, 12:14:06 AM »
My friend who digitally simulates viruses very much disagrees with you!

Here's Hamish on why game developers need to take a "vow of silence":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrDZ--AuiL8

I really love waking simulators, visual novels and non-puzzle adventures... but I'm also totally fine with them not being called games - digital immersive explorations is probably more accurate. I don't need everything to be a game to be good (though I understand people's frustratings at the gate-keeping of the community, esp. when forms that often get targeted as not being games, like Twine, tend to be developed and championed by gay, queer and trans* teens who feels alienated by a lot of the modern gaming landscape).

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2017, 12:38:43 AM »
There hasn't been a game released with even the smallest original gameplay idea in, ooh, I'd say over two decades at least, probably longer -

That you've played.

Desirable Industrial Unit

  • Reasonable offers accepted
Re: Story "games"
« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2017, 01:17:16 AM »
Can you name one?  I can't think of any.  There are twists on old concepts, of course, but i think I'm being pretty generous in saying that there's been nothing new in gameplay terms since the mid-90s.  Unless we're counting things like microtransactions, but they're a business element, and have jack shit to do with innovations in gameplay.

Re: Story "games"
« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2017, 05:42:15 AM »
I can name hundreds. I can only assume that you play games on PC.