#121
yall forgot about psychonauts
#122

swampman posted:

yall forgot about psychonauts



that game is cool.. did you play the costume quest games

#123

thirdplace posted:

this is like saying "this novel could have good illustrations on top of all the rest of the prose"



Not really. A literary critic’s yearly Top 10 Novels or whatever could have zero illustrations and no one would even notice. Most entries on a video game critic’s Top 10 Games list would have a story with scripted dialog and in those cases, the video game’s story is usually a major focus of critical and consumer discussion of the video game, whether you should buy the video game, whether it has the Good Politics, and so on.

#124

thirdplace posted:

that's just because i have better taste than most video game players


#125
not to dispute that there is a lot of critical focus and interest on story! but it's a fundementally flawed and broken paradigm. like, to go back to the example of the cop game, i bet you could find a dozen articles praising its story--but that game doesn't only have an unexceptional story, but the unexceptional story is in fact the point! the story's resolution is purposefully anticlimactic and disconnected from the rest of the narrative, nothing that happens in most of the game actually affects anything at the end beyond how much a handful of characters like and respect the player, because the theme of the game is the limited freedom of action enjoyed by an atomized individual (even one presented as a protagonist) in the face of vast historical forces. but the characters and dialogue were very well written, so video game critics and players who are still waging a ten year old war with the corpse of roger ebert unconsciously translate that to "it has a great story, game of the year guys"
#126
Yeah but like here’s the breakdown of most of those Top 10 Gaeme lists:

* “Retro” 2D slop with a Lynch-lite story that constantly interrupts the game because wow you could not cram a 100-page crappy psychological thriller plot onto a cartridge back when you were a child and knew joy, Fair Gamer,

* Four AAA titles with gigantic scripted stories and celebrity voice actors and multiple scripted endings & at least one “name” director who’s a Famous Meme

* GOREGUN: SLIGHTLY LESS NARRATION

* Nintendo Game 16

* Indie “game” that is just an extremely long story read aloud through your speakers by a Limey while you wander the Windows maze screensaver

* Indie “game” with no voice acting, because it is an extremely long story scattered on single pages found by wandering the Windows maze screensaver but surprise! It’s really Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge! *Crypt Keeper in a civil war uniform* Who’s my BONE companion? *skeleton with a sword in it* my good friend Ambrose PIERCE,

* Nintendo Game 16.5, now with 30 hours of ‘90s WB-level drama


#127
Nothing inherently stopping anyone writing multiple good stories/plots corresponding to different playstyles/choices which place hard limits on what you can do or where you can go. Like if you're a spy you will be arrested at some point because of your fixed backstory as a spy. The problem is very few gamers have the patience/desire for good stories, which I guess derives from their class character as 15-35 yo pb with money to waste. Basically video game stories provide the illusion of importance and meaning to the gameplay, new models/designs and overall cool graphics which is what gamers want to interact with. They want to stealth kill everyone as hot spygirl then do the same thing over again with better graphics in a different environment.
#128
so sure, you don’t need a story to make a game & it’s shameful when people are like Super Mario 3 Is Surrealism because a turtle has wings, how existentialist & magic realism.

but the current industry and the critical and popular discussion around it all give a BIG GIANT SHIT about stories and writing. If there’s an industry “controversy” that isn’t about 50-hour overtime or sexual assault, it’s probably 50% or more about a video game’s story. Like a controversy where a company COO streams themselves live repeating a single racist slur over and over for eight hours, that’s probably also ~50% about the story of the company’s video game.

So there’s this extreme & exacting laser focus on elements of storytelling in video games, from casting to pacing to topicality and beyond, from critic to casual consumer, from 1-man indie team to gigantic multinational conglomerate, and all these loyalty tests and observation stations built around it, and you know where I’m going with this by now
#129

blinkandwheeze posted:

i think probably the most interesting stories in video games are things like morrowind or the souls games which take advantage of the nonlinear dispersed and encyclopedic forms of information in the medium to make the player piece together a narrative, often collaboratively. those are pretty embryonic forms but developers should start reading borges & pavic or whatever



one of the fun things about Elder Scrolls is when they want to change something about the setting or history for a sequel, they carry over the book describing that part of the earlier game into the new game, and just add another book with an intro saying the author of the old game’s book was a notorious commie drunk who made exquisite love to the author’s wife and cannot be trusted

#130
New Vegas is the Tristram shandy of video games.
#131
lol.. I literally stopped playing New Vegas the moment I got to New Vegas and never went back to it again
#132
I like mario
#133
mario is cool.
#134
i just fixed a bug, the thing was, thousands of lines earlier i had accidentally changed the data type of a variable
#135

cars posted:

lol.. I literally stopped playing New Vegas the moment I got to New Vegas and never went back to it again


The only thing you missed out on was cannibals eating a Brahmin baron’s son.

#136
there was no voice acting or even game writing in tetris, which was produced by the soviet union
#137

cars posted:

Tetris, by The Soviet Union.


#138
#139

blinkandwheeze posted:

Sunday posted:


as a man in an 1980s television play once said stories should be all clues and no solutions


i think probably the most interesting stories in video games are things like morrowind or the souls games which take advantage of the nonlinear dispersed and encyclopedic forms of information in the medium to make the player piece together a narrative, often collaboratively. those are pretty embryonic forms but developers should start reading borges & pavic or whatever


im going to write an article for a game rag with a title like 'milorad pavic was the first CYOA game developer' so that i can trick gamers into reading sick euro literature

#140

cars posted:

thirdplace posted:

this is like saying "this novel could have good illustrations on top of all the rest of the prose"

Not really. A literary critic’s yearly Top 10 Novels or whatever could have zero illustrations and no one would even notice. Most entries on a video game critic’s Top 10 Games list would have a story with scripted dialog and in those cases, the video game’s story is usually a major focus of critical and consumer discussion of the video game, whether you should buy the video game, whether it has the Good Politics, and so on.



story discussion is a hobby for fake gamers imo

#141
tetris doesnt have a story. coincidence?
#142

graphicalUSSRinterface posted:

what vns do you like drwhat


i played through planetarian: the reverie of a little planet last year and it was weird but worth it

but as has been established, original tetris is the only good game.

#143

kamelred posted:

tetris doesnt have a story. coincidence?


#144
i have all sorts of game thoughts. i'm embarrassed that this is the thread that will make me type out a bunch of thoughts but it's better than obsessing about the virus like i have done every minute for the past three weeks.

mainstream game development (and a lot of indie game dev as well) is just confused about what a game is. like, deeply, pathetically confused.

games can be good if they have no story, like tetris. and they can be good also if they just lightly suggest it in a painterly sort of way. Environmental Station Alpha is a fantastic example of this. reductively, it's a puzzle platformer, but it sets up an atmosphere that compels you to fill in the blanks of the fantasy world, it evokes wonder and mystery better than any stories i've seen in years. it's lovely.

though there is another type of game, that i think can communicate truths about the world in ways that other media can't. i think it is the sort of game that builds a world-system inside of it and allows you to discover its implications and machinations through directly experiencing its effects, or manipulating it, and getting a sense of its inner workings in a sort of "hands-on" way. it might be mostly theoretical though -- i think Paradox games do this, but only accidentally. by virtue of their subject matter they have to communicate a theory of history, but they don't seem to be interested in making any novel statements about history. (Victoria II at least was apparently informed by Marx) i think, though, a game made with that kind of communication-with-systems explicitly in mind could make interesting and useful statements about the world in a way that other media can't.

if you are an idiot like me and you insist on still playing the stupid garbage games with stories sometimes, since i am already writing this long post, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is actually totally ok for the most part too. it's anarchist, not marxist, but not bad. and it's post-apocalyptic, if you like timely stories
#145

cars posted:

one of the fun things about Elder Scrolls is when they want to change something about the setting or history for a sequel, they carry over the book describing that part of the earlier game into the new game, and just add another book with an intro saying the author of the old game’s book was a notorious commie drunk who made exquisite love to the author’s wife and cannot be trusted


that is fun but post morrowind i don't think they've even attempted doing anything interesting with it beyond a way to retcon world details easily. whereas the insane kirkbride stuff in morrowind gives an underlying narrative behind contemporaneous events of the game that's told in dispersed and contradictory pieces of information for epic nerds to spend years online figuring out.

#146
i think tim rogers is probably the only games journalist to ever exist that doesn't have a tiny bird brain. and that's the answer to all of cars' questions about why the critical discourse around games is so bad.
#147
since it came up anyway, does anyone here play NES tetris?
#148

drwhat posted:

i played through planetarian: the reverie of a little planet last year and it was weird but worth it



i love planetarian

#149
#150

blinkandwheeze posted:

i think tim rogers is probably the only games journalist to ever exist that doesn't have a tiny bird brain.


and corona almost robbed us of him :/

#151

Chthonic_Goat_666 posted:

since it came up anyway, does anyone here play NES tetris?



there are some games i load up on my vita when im feeling twitchy i guess and tetris is one of them and unfortunately yhe copy i have is the shitty gba 'tetris worlds.' out of all the tetris releases i do not know why i picked that one but ive never fixed it. still playing tetris worlds. and pokemon puzzle challenge and puyo puyo, those are good for that impulse

#152
#153

Chthonic_Goat_666 posted:

since it came up anyway, does anyone here play NES tetris?


yeah sometimes but its not the most convenient version i have right now

#154
if people want to exchange friendcodes on switch and play puyo puyo tetris together id be down. i actually really like swap mode its fun
#155
oh this is great. gameplay is interesting and fun and very easy to pick up and play for like 15min
#156

drwhat posted:

though there is another type of game, that i think can communicate truths about the world in ways that other media can't. i think it is the sort of game that builds a world-system inside of it and allows you to discover its implications and machinations through directly experiencing its effects, or manipulating it, and getting a sense of its inner workings in a sort of "hands-on" way. it might be mostly theoretical though -- i think Paradox games do this, but only accidentally. by virtue of their subject matter they have to communicate a theory of history, but they don't seem to be interested in making any novel statements about history. (Victoria II at least was apparently informed by Marx) i think, though, a game made with that kind of communication-with-systems explicitly in mind could make interesting and useful statements about the world in a way that other media can't.


"...corn, the game of political economy...." he said, with a sigh. "...but that was just a dream."

#157
paradox fans are cool and the forums indicate its for communists as i suspected/hoped

#158

blinkandwheeze posted:

cars posted:

one of the fun things about Elder Scrolls is when they want to change something about the setting or history for a sequel, they carry over the book describing that part of the earlier game into the new game, and just add another book with an intro saying the author of the old game’s book was a notorious commie drunk who made exquisite love to the author’s wife and cannot be trusted

that is fun but post morrowind i don't think they've even attempted doing anything interesting with it beyond a way to retcon world details easily. whereas the insane kirkbride stuff in morrowind gives an underlying narrative behind contemporaneous events of the game that's told in dispersed and contradictory pieces of information for epic nerds to spend years online figuring out.



idk, most people who play Skyrim think the main story is an unambiguous single-reading narrative about a hero stopping a dragon from eating the world. and true Gamingkin make memes about how simple that is and how it's a decline from the purest Aryan golden age of Gamers Gaming. But if you read a couple roadside plinths and collect a couple books, you find another story about how the dragon doesn't want to end the world, he defines his goal in defiance of that role. He's the "World-Eater" like if your parents told everyone your nickname was Spanky.

In that story, the dragons follow Alduin because when he found the rest of them, they were illiterate half-animal loners crawling around the wilderness while the human-looking types bred like rabbits and invented ways to kill everything. He built the dragon theocracy up from the mud, rebelling against his dad's world-ending plan so he could rule the world instead, something he might do forever if he could. But you're his dad's chosen one and his dad is the god of time and has a plan for the world, which is to end it. When you finish the anticlimactic fight at the end of the A plot, Christopher Plummer's like, Oh you didn't eat Alduin's soul like all the rest of them huh? Probably fine...

That's not a masterpiece of storytelling or even a unique story in context, in fact it's pretty obvious where many of its themes come from and why, the earthly struggle over the petty and fallible instruments of divinity. But if the writers just wanted to ape the best game in the series, they could have put all of that front and center, and instead they tucked it away so that's not some ultra-hard secret ending, but most obsessive super fans still miss it entirely, how Skyrim's story plays a sort of counter-melody to Morrowind's if you happen to stumble across the "rest" of it, and it suddenly makes sense that the last mythico-poetic disaster in the fictional world history isn't the Oblivion crisis but the eruption of Red Mountain.

#159

graphicalUSSRinterface posted:

paradox fans are cool and the forums indicate its for communists as i suspected/hoped



idk about paradox but I don't think this place gets along very well nowadays with the sort of person your image suggests. that guy spends most of his time online nowadays orbiting a Bernie Sanders fundraising podcast. and probably a few people stopped posting here because of that change i guess.

#160

cars posted:

idk about paradox but I don't think this place gets along very well nowadays with the sort of person your image suggests. that guy spends most of his time online nowadays orbiting a Bernie Sanders fundraising podcast. and probably a few people stopped posting here because of that change i guess.



fair lol