Author Topic: Shut up, Kotaku  (Read 1019 times)

Shut up, Kotaku
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:39:21 PM »
Whiney game "journalist" gets triggered by difficulty menu. I guess this is that clickbait that they have now.

http://archive.is/NHiW8

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This land was made for you and me. Fuck your racist, domestic abuser of a father. But also don’t be wuss.

It’s that kind of guilt that racked me early on. I spend a lot of time playing games. What’s the point if I can’t hack it at the more masochism end of the difficulty ladder? I was also plagued with the anxiety over whether the Wolfenstein 2 I experienced would be the “real” one or not. Despite the number of times people pay lip service to “there’s no right way to play,” how difficulty options are crafted and displayed often tells a different story.

Sticking a bonnet on B.J. and infantilizing the player by analogy isn’t exactly an invitation to explore playing Wolfenstein 2 differently. Even just calling one difficulty setting “normal” implies the others are deviant. When you’re fighting to liberate the country from people who believe in eugenics in a game that celebrates difference and diversity, moralizing the difficulty around the struggle (easy equals lazy/bad, hard equals virtuous/good) feels archaic.

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 03:43:24 PM »
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rather than a hierarchy of perceived gameplay purity.

*Swallows cyanide pill*

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 04:10:04 PM »
The article quotes this much-RTd suggestion for an alternative kind of difficulty menu:

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I’m here for the story
I’m here for challenge
I’m here for a second & harder playthrough
I’m here to take photos
I want to play with the settings and I’m okay if that breaks things

Problem with this is: well, which version is the most fun? Isn't your job, as the entertainment creator, to have figured out what the most fun version of this game is, and give it to me? How am I supposed to know if this game has shit combat or a shit story?

I wouldn't trust a game that asked to make that decision for the same reason I wouldn't trust a restaurant that served curry and sushi. Do one thing and do it properly. If I don't like sushi I'll go to the curry restaurant, and vice versa.

The nice thing about a setting called "Normal" is that it says: "This is the version of the game we made that we think will make the most number of people happy. It's this version we optimised for and made all our decisions around. Choose this option unless you have a good reason." If you can change the difficulty level mid-game, like most modern games, then more the better.

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 04:11:33 PM »
While those paragraphs you've listed are a bit ridiculous and Wolfenstein is intended to be humourous with the difficulty menu, the overall article does make a number of valid points, including the fact that the idea of difficulty settings simply being scale changes like more enemies or harder enemies or less health doesn't quite fit how all consumers intend to play a game. If they were more open in terms of accommodating different playstyles, and the different aspects of the game people are interested in experiencing, then things would be better is what I get from the article, and it's something I generally agree with. I wouldn't get hung up on the Wolfenstein thing.

BeardFaceMan

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Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 04:14:41 PM »
"Insidious peer pressure"? Oh for fucks sake.

Why is most video game journalism seemingly written by peiole who dont like or are not very good at games? Its like me reviewing a guitar by sloppily bashing out powerchords on it.

I actually like these kinds of menus, I want to see more of them. Humour is good!

BeardFaceMan

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Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 04:17:23 PM »
The thing that pisses me of about this kind of thing is the entitlement, like every game should be suited to how they want to play it.  If you dont like the menus or the difficulty, dont play it, its not for you. Plenty of other games out there are for you, go play those instead.

samadriel

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Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 04:21:18 PM »
I wouldn't trust a game that asked to make that decision for the same reason I wouldn't trust a restaurant that served curry and sushi.
You know there's Japanese curry, right?

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 04:24:23 PM »
You know there's Japanese curry, right?

Mate, I live in Tokyo, and you don't want to go to a restaurant that sells sushi and curry.

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 04:27:19 PM »
While those paragraphs you've listed are a bit ridiculous and Wolfenstein is intended to be humourous with the difficulty menu, the overall article does make a number of valid points, including the fact that the idea of difficulty settings simply being scale changes like more enemies or harder enemies or less health doesn't quite fit how all consumers intend to play a game. If they were more open in terms of accommodating different playstyles, and the different aspects of the game people are interested in experiencing, then things would be better is what I get from the article, and it's something I generally agree with. I wouldn't get hung up on the Wolfenstein thing.

Gaming is still not really at that level to incorporate variables in AI, i.e damage formulas are either higher or lower, the game engines just don't allow changes in the way the enemies react. There might be things like enemy range of view is higher in a stealth game, but they way the AI react is still pretty concrete. It's a non issue really as long as difficulty settings exist.

Twed

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Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 04:52:07 PM »
Gaming is still not really at that level to incorporate variables in AI, i.e damage formulas are either higher or lower, the game engines just don't allow changes in the way the enemies react.
You know that games are made using programming, right?

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 04:54:42 PM »
You know that games are made using programming, right?

I thought so until I encountered a wild Missingno in Pokemon Red, and everything changed.

Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 05:10:16 PM »
How is it "clickbait" though? I think of that as meaning a headline that's misleading or where the content of the article could be summed up in a line?

Agree with Asids really, I do think this article stems from being oversensitive to a silly joke, but I don't disagree with the overall gist of the article, I'd like to see games with difficulty options that put a bit more thought into things.

And where it is fairly easy to do, why not allow things to be a little more customizable? Instead of just giving you less health and the enemies more health every time you move the difficult up  why not let me pick and choose? I'd love to have the option of making the enemies be as low as possible, but my own health to be on medium, or alternatively make all the enemies really strong, but make myself near invincible as well.

At the same time, if devs have strong ideas on how difficult the game should be go with that, and say what you recommend to players. Or just don't have any difficulties.



Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 01:29:57 AM »
I personally think interesting difficulty descriptors plateaued with REmake. It's simple but brilliant.

This Kotaku article just reinforces its total irrelevancy, though.

Kelvin

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Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 01:51:42 AM »
And where it is fairly easy to do, why not allow things to be a little more customizable? Instead of just giving you less health and the enemies more health every time you move the difficult up  why not let me pick and choose? I'd love to have the option of making the enemies be as low as possible, but my own health to be on medium, or alternatively make all the enemies really strong, but make myself near invincible as well.

Did you ever play 007 mode in Goldeneye N64? Because that unlockable mode allowed you to do just that, with 4 different sliders for enemy health, damage, accuracy and reaction speed. I used to drop enemy health to 0 and damage to max, then play through levels as one hit kills.

Lemming

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Re: Shut up, Kotaku
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 04:26:58 AM »
The greatest difficulty menu of all time was that of Soldier of Fortune (2000). Set spawns to "RIDICULOUS", enemy toughness to "BLOODTHIRSTY" and number of saves to "NONE". I call this TESTOSTERONE MODE

The Kotaku guy's whining about getting humiliated by a difficulty menu is ridiculous (and he can fuck off about it, because BJ wearing a big pussy baby bonnet for Easy mode has been a staple since Wolf3D, and I haven't even played the new one), but the article overall hits a few decent points. I used to be dead-set against this kind of thing, and raged along with everyone else at Jennifer Hepler's suggestion of a "skip gameplay" button, but honestly a lot of modern games could probably be a lot more accessible to more people and a lot more fun if they offered greater control over difficulty, especially when "difficulty" in a lot of games translates to "the amount of stupid time-wasting/frustrating un-fun bullshit the game will throw at you".

It's not like the regular difficulty levels would disappear for those of us who'd want a proper challenge, and easier/customisable difficulties could act as training wheels for people who suck shit at videogames to improve by learning mechanics and level layouts and such before graduating to the higher difficulty levels.

I'd also echo Thursday's statement about having better control over enemy health and your own health. Too many games interpret "Easy" as "you are invincible and your enemies die in one hit" and "Hard" as "you die in one hit and your enemies will withstand twelve shotgun blasts to the face". I messed around with one of the configuration files of Half-Life recently, because I'm a pitiful sad-sack who just plays Half-Life all the time, and by adjusting the weapon damage values I got it so that all enemies would die in one headshot or two shots elsewhere, but I would also die in no more than two shots. It's extremely intense and a lot better than the in-built Hard mode, which turns every enemy you meet into a bullet sponge with the damage resistance of a demigod.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 04:38:40 AM by Lemming »