#201
videogames are also the least funny medium, of any popular medium, and they only have a chance at humor in long dialogue trees, when they straight up adopt text or spoken humor, existing forms. maybe has to do with the same thing, less control over time, who knows, i mean is that a false observation to start w/, i can't think of a funny game except macabre stuff in fallout... a well-structured sitcom ep where everything goes haywire in act 3 is paced to the second, everything is forewarned, and you catch the calamity moments before it happens, because jerry panicked and lied to the woman that george was a marine biologist, and kramer found a bucket of golf balls, and got kicked off the range so went to the beach to drive em, so now, george on the beach date with this woman, his pride has him wading out to remove kramer's titlist from the beached whale's blowhole, a magnificent fish, and the sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli. is a funny plot actually impossible in a medium that can't tightly line events up? i'm asking..
#202

toyot posted:

and they only have a chance at humor in long dialogue trees, when they straight up adopt text or spoken humor, existing forms.



my favorite three stooges gag was definitely when poor coding would cause them to ragdoll and vibrate through map geometry

#203
been playing on my old earthbound save i left snoozing for over a year because of quarantine boredom. i keep getting pwned in the cave near onett because of the rng making the mobs land critical hits after critical hits
#204

sissyfuss posted:

ive been playing a lot of dark souls 2 (best of the 3 imo)


i too am now playing dark souls 2, the best of the 3 dark souls

#205
Enlisted looks promising now that bad field shit the bed.
#206
activity in the videogame thread exploding while book and movie threads sputter along at pre-plague speeds. its just too bad that videogames are non-awesome inferior low art or we could all be enjoying a very edifying and cathartic apocalypse vacation right now
#207
low art is good, it's the duo of hypercommercialization and bullshit academic masturbation that has pulled games into the territory of either marvel movies or self-conscious liberal dumpster fires. you have to look back to when they were really low art, when no one was writing stupid analyses of them and no one was making any money. have you considered Alexei Pazhitnov's Tetris
#208

cars posted:

I guess I'm interested in finding and understanding that more subtle destabilizing influence in Skyrim, because I'm not sure where it came from, and it can't be attached to a known factor like Kirkbride beyond that someone paid attention to the influence he had over the story's inspiration. I don't know who that was or how it came to pass, and I know that there's not a lot of recognition it happened, let alone efforts to understand it.


iirc most of the weirder stuff about the dragons is literally just pulled from kirkbride's description of nord myth from in-game texts in morrowind

#209
Just finished the first year in Stardew Valley. fun video game
#210
tropico 6 was on sale. its a fun game if you like city builder games but you're bad at them
#211

toyot posted:

videogames are also the least funny medium, of any popular medium, and they only have a chance at humor in long dialogue trees, when they straight up adopt text or spoken humor, existing forms. maybe has to do with the same thing, less control over time, who knows, i mean is that a false observation to start w/, i can't think of a funny game except macabre stuff in fallout... a well-structured sitcom ep where everything goes haywire in act 3 is paced to the second, everything is forewarned, and you catch the calamity moments before it happens, because jerry panicked and lied to the woman that george was a marine biologist, and kramer found a bucket of golf balls, and got kicked off the range so went to the beach to drive em, so now, george on the beach date with this woman, his pride has him wading out to remove kramer's titlist from the beached whale's blowhole, a magnificent fish, and the sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli. is a funny plot actually impossible in a medium that can't tightly line events up? i'm asking..



#212

toyot posted:

maybe that's getting to the heart of it, plot as collection-of-lore, vs plot-as-story in lit/film. what separates the medium from others, is that, the game designer does not control the flow of time, the time between game events. an author can let something sizzle, or draw something out, by controlling # of words, so time-between-events is linear to the reader's pace. film directors+editors have microsecond control over time-between-events. but there's no telling when or if a morrowind player will search the right bookcase and catch tamriel history in order, except by controlling access to area. the open-world designer can lean on the only thing roughly paced to time-in-game, the rpg player's level, by keeping later plot events behind stronger enemies. or more typically like BotW it sits you thru 8 minutes of plot at the beginning then you're free to just roam and make the 4 lasers go pew.

there's a reason that outside experimental lit like Hopscotch you don't see this attempted, it's an extra challenge, for both writer and reader. film has some interesting counter-examples, but i don't think anyone would accuse them of being interesting plots. the plot of Edge of Tomorrow if it were told in one go, is C-tier, the only reason to watch is the time gimmick. the other counter-example is marvel. each marvel movie is a bit of interconnected lore. but does anybody accuse marvel movies of having good plots? they're somehow less than the sum of their parts. 16 hours in morrowind in a weekend could be fun, 16 hrs of marvel in a weekend...

the way to do it is to just copy what planescape:torment did, where the plot IS the character of the nameless one. abandon plot for character. the stories we tell about others and ourselves are less ordered by time than they are impact. like if you had to describe a friend (or yourself) with one story, it usually isn't the most recent one, it'll be the character-defining one. videogame plot as a semi-ordered series of self-discoveries. a game like Gone Home strips the medium down to basically just that: you unravel a small mystery about yourself and family in the course of unstructured exploration.

fun to think about!


I don't think that time is as under the control of the author of a book as you've suggested, because the reader can quite freely reread passages, or jump around the page, or even flip randomly to different parts of the book. you've mentioned hopscotch as an example of 'experimental' literature that does this to some degree but i don't think that a book needs to have that book's specific structural conceit in order to be outside of linear time. there's a william gass interview i read the other day where he talks about fiction as being more like navigating a space than moving forward in time. the interview is part of a conversation with the writer john gardner who is basically arguing for a more traditional chronological/plot centred approach to fiction.

https://medium.com/the-william-h-gass-interviews/william-h-gass-interviewed-by-thomas-leclair-with-john-gardner-1979-e6de4d424107 posted:

In reading fiction, however, the motion that moves the text comes from the reader. Now the writer can indicate or try to indicate how that motion should go and at what rate. But I don’t think that anyone writes a book now supposing that the reader will sit down and read 200 pages through in a dream. He’s going to, in fact, stop, brush a fly off his nose, go back to the first page, read it over, skip, look around for the juicy parts. The book is more like a building which you’re trying to get someone to go through the way you want them to.
...
The kind of response to novels that John is talking about certainly was appropriate 200 years ago, when there were lots of novels written in that form. There are just not many of them being written that way anymore. When Fielding comes to the end of Tom Jones, for example, I suspect that he expects us to remember about as much of the first chapter as we would of that early part of our life, if we were thinking back. Not every detail, not every adjective attached to a noun in a certain way. In someone like Joyce, quite the contrary is true. He wants an experience that can happen only when the reader moves constantly about the book. The notion of the space in which this kind of book is constructed is quite different from the notion of the time through which the Fielding work moves. While I don’t mind Fielding’s having written the way he wrote, John begrudges some people writing in this newer or different way, in which the kind of attention the reader is expected to pay to the page transforms the way the work exists.

#213
that's the kind of tragic thing about video game storytelling i think because in some ways it's an ideal medium for pursuing those sort of high modernist projects a lot of 20th century novelists were working toward. but it's rare to find writers of that scale of ambition in contemporary literature itself now, let alone in a field so small minded as game development. and as others have discussed in this thread, those in the field who do have some ambition toward a 'mature' form of storytelling seem to just do an insecure disavowal of the form that makes games unique by just forcefully imposing an overwrought narrative on the skeleton of a conventional game. rather than being someone who clearly loves and wants to explore the sheer mechanics of interaction. Anyway my ps4 died a while ago and i'm P*ssed off because i wanted to get death stranding.
#214
it sounds like you've been 'stranded', by the 'death' of your ps4, blink-sama
#215
mircea cartarescu's blinding volume one contains a reference to mario and luigi so maybe someone can convince him to make a videogame and revive high modernism, for the win
#216

kinch posted:

videogames are also the least funny medium, of any popular medium, and they only have a chance at humor in long dialogue trees, when they straight up adopt text or spoken humor, existing forms. maybe has to do with the same thing, less control over time, who knows, i mean is that a false observation to start w/, i can't think of a funny game except macabre stuff in fallout... a well-structured sitcom ep where everything goes haywire in act 3 is paced to the second, everything is forewarned, and you catch the calamity moments before it happens, because jerry panicked and lied to the woman that george was a marine biologist, and kramer found a bucket of golf balls, and got kicked off the range so went to the beach to drive em, so now, george on the beach date with this woman, his pride has him wading out to remove kramer's titlist from the beached whale's blowhole, a magnificent fish, and the sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli. is a funny plot actually impossible in a medium that can't tightly line events up? i'm asking..


#217
i think videogames can be funny. like when you're in a jrpg & walk around a village & the villagers say cute little things when you talk to them.
#218
this is decent Video game criticism imo

#219

blinkandwheeze posted:

iirc most of the weirder stuff about the dragons is literally just pulled from kirkbride's description of nord myth from in-game texts in morrowind



There's one book that some mod or another adds in that's some pre-Skyrim promotional thing from Bethesda's Web site that builds directly from that stuff. I'd rather have played that writer's idea of what the game would be tbh.

#220

blinkandwheeze posted:

that's the kind of tragic thing about video game storytelling i think because in some ways it's an ideal medium for pursuing those sort of high modernist projects a lot of 20th century novelists were working toward. but it's rare to find writers of that scale of ambition in contemporary literature itself now, let alone in a field so small minded as game development. and as others have discussed in this thread, those in the field who do have some ambition toward a 'mature' form of storytelling seem to just do an insecure disavowal of the form that makes games unique by just forcefully imposing an overwrought narrative on the skeleton of a conventional game. rather than being someone who clearly loves and wants to explore the sheer mechanics of interaction. Anyway my ps4 died a while ago and i'm P*ssed off because i wanted to get death stranding.


i think it's quite telling that the aforementioned only-games-writer-with-half-a-brain, tim rogers, who in his game criticism regularly references great postwar literature and film from across the globe, and who professes to have written a number of unpublished novels, himself designs games entirely unconcerned with storytelling, instead focusing on the medium-specific aspects of game design, particularly physics. this is not to say he is actually a great writer, or that a great writer couldn't do something special with the medium, just that it's interesting that the most obvious example of someone who might be concerned with the sort of project you mention seems to utterly reject it.

#221
videoball was pretty cool
#222
it looked cool, i just don't play those kinds of games or know anyone to try them with. truck heck sounds fun though
#223

Flying_horse_in_saudi_arabia posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:


that's the kind of tragic thing about video game storytelling i think because in some ways it's an ideal medium for pursuing those sort of high modernist projects a lot of 20th century novelists were working toward. but it's rare to find writers of that scale of ambition in contemporary literature itself now, let alone in a field so small minded as game development. and as others have discussed in this thread, those in the field who do have some ambition toward a 'mature' form of storytelling seem to just do an insecure disavowal of the form that makes games unique by just forcefully imposing an overwrought narrative on the skeleton of a conventional game. rather than being someone who clearly loves and wants to explore the sheer mechanics of interaction. Anyway my ps4 died a while ago and i'm P*ssed off because i wanted to get death stranding.


i think it's quite telling that the aforementioned only-games-writer-with-half-a-brain, tim rogers, who in his game criticism regularly references great postwar literature and film from across the globe, and who professes to have written a number of unpublished novels, himself designs games entirely unconcerned with storytelling, instead focusing on the medium-specific aspects of game design, particularly physics. this is not to say he is actually a great writer, or that a great writer couldn't do something special with the medium, just that it's interesting that the most obvious example of someone who might be concerned with the sort of project you mention seems to utterly reject it.



its funny you mention tim roger's rejection of narrative and embrace of mechanics. I think he views his own lack of narrative output as a failure more than a choice. I had not heard of him before this learned thread so I looked into his writing and videos.

In his youtube essay/listicle 'best of the decade 2010-2019' (sorry I cant access youtube right now to link it) he reviews undertale. In a personal aside, he mentions his unpublished fiction and he says undertale makes him feel like a loser and a slob when comparing the emotional weight of undertale's story to the clinical coldness of his own videoball.

So at least in tim's case he apparently shies away from attempting good video game writing out of some sort of fear of failure or pathological inability to be sincere.

#224
i think he just makes that comparison because he's prone to being overly self-critical, and he's just being honest about the emotional impression undertale made on him. i don't think he made videoball for any reason other than it's the game he wanted to make. (as an aside, i don't think he really has a problem being sincere, he is just similarly self-critical about the way he comes across, especially because he's a Fairly Online Person and is thus aware of the pitfalls of irony poisoning)
#225
he seems like the kind of person who is kind of a shit loop where you do these things that are way out there which to the outside seem very "authentic", like why else would you be tim rogers in the particular way tim rogers is, but internally maybe still never really feel all the way authentic, he doesn't actually ever believe that he has found the actual core of his personal onion of bullshit and so doesn't feel right publishing something narrative-heavy.

welcome to psychoanalyzing people who write about games, the latest corona era hot topic on rhizzone
#226
tim and i were livejournal friends 100,000 years ago, before the great virus. that is my claim to internet fame. but maybe he had 500 lj friends. or whatever the max was
#227
Videoball seemed cool but i don't think anyone really played it which mostly defeats the purpose of what it wanted to be sadly.
#228
it's usually better imo when people who don't normally do video game reviews do a video game review. like i looked up Tim Rogers and it's



vs. the video I posted by a guy who's best-known for analysis of editing in cinema, where his video on Fortnite talks about playing the game and the experience of that beyond just comparative ranking, about the aesthetics and psychology of the hostile design and exactly how it works to extract money from the player, about the material purpose and history of the game as a social phenomenon, and so on, all in about 20 minutes, it doesn't occur to him to restrict the discussion to these silos of Gameplay, Story, etc. because he's not a video game critic.

comparing the two I begin to see the point y'all are making about the low bar for "good" video game critics as well.
#229
Wow, you have a point, the title of one of the billion reviews he churned out for Kotaku doesn't touch on any of those things.
#230

toyot posted:

videogames are also the least funny medium, of any popular medium,



smash cuts are some of the funniest things and if there's one thing you can't rely on if you're making a big-time video game nowadays, it's a smash cut

#231

Flying_horse_in_saudi_arabia posted:

Wow, you have a point, the title of one of the billion reviews he churned out for Kotaku doesn't touch on any of those things.



Right: the majority of his output has to be low-quality because of his profession, even compared to someone who does the same thing he does, but for movies.

#232
The Irishman Is A Godfather-Like That Lets You Watch An Irish Person Instead Of Italians
#233
If you have to try this hard to misrepresent what people say it probably means your argument is bad and you should feel bad.
#234
(that's actually a fair description of the irishman)
#235

cars posted:

The Irishman Is A Godfather-Like That Lets You Watch An Irish Person Instead Of Italians


#236

cars posted:

it's usually better imo when people who don't normally do video game reviews do a video game review. like i looked up Tim Rogers and it's



vs. the video I posted by a guy who's best-known for analysis of editing in cinema, where his video on Fortnite talks about playing the game and the experience of that beyond just comparative ranking, about the aesthetics and psychology of the hostile design and exactly how it works to extract money from the player, about the material purpose and history of the game as a social phenomenon, and so on, all in about 20 minutes, it doesn't occur to him to restrict the discussion to these silos of Gameplay, Story, etc. because he's not a video game critic.

comparing the two I begin to see the point y'all are making about the low bar for "good" video game critics as well.



i think if you actually watch your own damn video (!) you will find that, actually, this isn't games criticism. its content delivery platform experience criticism

#237
in my opinion i like video games. New Mount and Blade came out and it's the first time I've ever been on a hype train and got a game as soon as it released (in early access no less). It's based on the late Roman Empire but I don't think they're supposed to be this weak:
#238
ive been playing Fire Emblem
#239
more seriously, im not even sure what the stakes of the discussion about games criticism are supposed to be. "games criticism", as an industry, has always been part of the industry's PR arm and it's not going to get any better because the venues that do it only get advertising money, and approximately none of their audience cares about the social constraints on games production beyond whether or not SJWs have insidiously introduced an upper bound on breast size. you can say games are bad because of technical problems or insufficient dopamine catalysis but there's really no meaningful venue or audience for an exegesis on how the game is bad because it's a conscious effort to contribute to a fascist society. even the people at Critical Games Analysis For Social Justice Gaming Webzine by Vice Media have to argue that "man shoot the other man in the head" games sponsored by the actual US Army have absolutely nothing to do with actual people shooting actual other people in the actual head, while posting about which animal crossing characters are "professional-managerial class".
#240
edit: double post