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Everything posted by TychoCelchuuu

  1. PC Hotseat games

    Worms Armageddon.
  2. Idle Streaming Community: Twitchy, Tasty

    For the list in the OP: I don't have a schedule, and pretty much all I stream is RTS shoutcasts (gameplay commentary), mostly for CoH 2 (Company of Heroes 2). I'm not worried about having a successful channel because I already have a successful YouTube channel and Twitch is just a place for people to watch me record those videos live, but I do get the sense that having a schedule makes it easier on your viewers (I've only streamed like, 3 times and people have already asked me what my schedule is like). I think it helps to have at least a vague schedule (I stream these days) or to have at least one committed time per week (I stream Saturdays at X GMT) even if you don't have a rigorous schedule or anything like that. But then again I am not an expert at this.
  3. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    The game with perhaps the most satisfying weapons of all time, Red Orchestra, is a World War II shooter!
  4. Movie/TV recommendations

    I watched it a while ago. I wasn't super thrilled with it, although it's an interesting gimmick and yes, Copley is da man. The fact that nobody else could act and that aside from the gimmick the movie didn't have much going for it artistically were kind of downers, and really it wouldn't have hurt it if it had had, like, a good story? Or even a passable one? I'm also a little confused about when it's supposed to take place and what the technology of that world is like but whatever, that's probably my most minor concern.
  5. Idle Streaming Community: Twitchy, Tasty

    Man, streaming is fun! I've started streaming recently, because only now do I have a computer fast enough to stream AND a connection fast enough to stream, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. 95% of the time I'm streaming my Company of Heroes 2 shoutcasts, which I used to just record alone and then upload to YouTube. Now I stream while I record and then later upload to YouTube like normal. It's fun to have people to interact with while I commentate on the games. One difficulty is that I think it's going to be harder to grow my audience as I did with YouTube, because people can't really stumble on to you unless you're streaming, whereas YouTube lends itself to a slow burn sort of thing where I just accumulated subscribers over time. I set up this neat little Revlo thing so that viewers earn little "Tychoins" as they watch my channel, and then they can spend them on stuff. Mostly that's there so that they can bet on the matches I'm shoutcasting which is exciting, but I gotta think up some fun things to spend the coins on.
  6. Star Trek Beyond

    Sulu forgot to take his toothbrush so he hasn't brushed his teeth in 3 years. Doesn't want to kiss anyone like that.
  7. The threat of Big Dog

    Replace those legs with fucking death needles and you've got yourself a practically silent indestructible killbot.
  8. Recently completed video games

    I beat Soma the other day, with the help of a "the enemies don't hurt you" mod because otherwise it would be way too goddamn scary. I enjoyed it, mostly for the gorgeous graphics and the great performances by the various voice actors. The story itself was interesting and well-done, but I've thought about all these things before so it wasn't really new or exciting or anything like that, which was a bit of a let down, because I knew the general themes going in and I was hoping for a real deep dive into them, and however deep the dive was, it wasn't deeper than I'd already been, so whatever. Still, a pretty great game all around. As I got to the end I couldn't stop thinking about whether it needed to be a horror game - since I played it without the monsters doing anything, I of course got to partially experience it like that, and I think that although I'm sure it works great as a horror game, it would also work really well as just a plain old Firewatch walking simulator. You'd want to change a few things about the story and the gameplay: instead of chasing you, the monsters could just be protecting stuff, and instead of being scary they could just be things you could zap with a tazer or whatever to make them stop annoying you. Or you could even remove them - they barely did anything interesting thematically. Instead of having everyone dead, a lot of the audio logs could just be people sitting around listlessly who you can talk to, and who are like "well you could go open that door or whatever to go to X, but why bother," and then you'd do it, etc. There could still be lots of dead people with audio logs around, so that you wouldn't have to change everything, and the listless people would mostly ignore you, so you'd barely have to record any more VO for your character. Obviously it would be more work to model and animate more humans, but aside from that I think it would've lent a much nicer, more somber, contemplative tone to the game. The horror element thematically really doesn't do anything for them, and I feel like the game's a scary run-away simulator simply because that's what this developer has done in the past.
  9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Eh, I dunno. You're right that for the Luna character specifically, the turn from "dirty hands" to more classic hero happens when he refuses to shoot that dad, but remember that it was the Rebels who killed the dad anyways (via the bombs), which continued the overall arc of "the Rebels are actually basically terrorists" up through the soldiers who volunteered to go on the mission because, if the Alliance didn't succeed, all the horrible shit they'd done was for nothing. Thus part of the arc of the film is the Alliance going from what it is here, which is a bunch of terrorists whose main claim to legitimacy is that they're not as much of a terrorist organization as Forest Whitaker, to the Alliance that we know from the original trilogy, which is more focused on being good guys. That transition happens later than Luna's character's transition, which maybe is less interesting for Luna in one way, but which also puts him in the neat position of being somewhat at odds with the Alliance or at least at the forefront of the change the Alliance undergoes. Another reason this works is that it's all contrasted with Whitaker, who's the legit unrepentant terrorist who tortures Riz Ahmed and then dies for no apparently good reason (something I wasn't very thrilled with). So, I don't really see it as a Hunger Games "heroes don't have to be sullied" thing so much as a spectrum: we have Whitaker way off the deep end, the Alliance which takes the whole movie to come around, Luna who comes around earlier, and then the weird outliers, like the robot who is snarky but I guess ultimately good and Felicity Jones who is pretty much all about herself and her dad the entire time, insofar as completing the mission represents fulfilling her dad's last wish and also messing with the Empire which she sort of hates.
  10. Idle Streaming Community: Twitchy, Tasty

    Which games do you stream when your vile extended family is in your house?
  11. Yeah well now my comment makes no sense, so imagine how I feel about the whole situation!
  12. https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/WanderingBeeThunBeast
  13. GOTY.cx 2016

    This year I bought more new games than I have for many, many years because I upgraded my computer for the first time in a while, so I'm in a much better position to judge games for my GOTY than I usually am. But I still find myself seeing lots of things that I'm sure would do really well on my list that I haven't played, like DOOM, the new Deus Ex, the new Mirror's Edge, Superhot, the Triennale Games Collection, Pony Island, Burly Men at Sea, Virginia, and the new Kentucky Route 0. KR0 in fact is something I usually play so I can vote it #1 GOTY, and I put it off until then because I never want to play them because once I play them they'll be over and I don't want them to be over. KR0 honestly just stands heads and tails above everything else, all the time. It's that good! But in any case, since I haven't played the new KR0 episode yet, here's what I have played: 1. Firewatch 2. Quadrilateral Cowboy 3. Titanfall 2 4. Overwatch 5. Battlefield 1 6. Dishonored 2 7. Devil Daggers
  14. I agree to some degree with your first point: unless you suggest "game," they are initially going to be at a loss. I agree with your second point: to the degree that someone finds themselves enjoying the experience in a way that is not concomitant with their preconceived notions of what games are like, they will tend to resist the label "game" and cast around for something else. Your second point tells against your first a bit: they won't feel the urge to resist the "game" label unless it's already something they see as attractive for other reasons, viz. "a game is something where you walk around in a computer world, I'm walking around in a computer world, ergo..." and so forth. In any case, we've sat the person down and asked them what's up, and they've said "eh I don't really know." Now there are two options: 1. Force them to pick a word/phrase. Tell them it's very important to you that they describe what they've just experienced, because you're interested in what people call these things, and so forth. 2. Suggest them some possible words. In the first situation, do you think people would end up picking "game," in light of the lack of other viable options? In the second situation, do you think they'd seize on the suggestion of "game" as a thirsty person might seize on a glass of water? My experience with this sort of thing is limited because I've never had people resist the term "game" in the first place, so I've never had to pick options 1 or 2, but you can imagine what I think the likely answers to 1 and 2 are. Again, this is an opinion poll neither of us has conducted, but if you were betting good money on the answers to either or both of these questions, would you really bet against me?
  15. Sure, but if I sat one down in front of Dear Esther and asked them "what is this," what do you think they'd say? General human beings haven't seen the book that's sitting to my right (it's an uncommon book) but if asked they'd identify it as a book.
  16. Yeah I mean again this just comes down to an opinion poll that neither of us have taken. I will submit that if the people you're polling are unusually familiar with 3d interactive environments in virtue of being artists, 3d visualizers, etc. then you've got a skewed view, because I'm polling normal human beings whose only interaction with 3d interactive whatever is via video games (well, more accurately, via seeing their kids play video games). Here and elsewhere in this post is stuff that suggests some confusion - my evidence that Dear Esther is a game has nothing to do with my "subculture" (what subculture is that, pray tell?) and everything to do with the normal speaker of the English language, e.g. the only person you can really ask to decide questions of definition. No, the "dominant culture" here is clearly not people who write Steam reviews, whom are a tiny tiny tiny subset of the English speaking population. The relevant "dominant culture" is just normal human beings who have played few or no games on their computer aside from stuff like Solitaire. Pray tell, how exactly is calling Dear Esther a game going to eradicate decades of development in other areas? Which examples are these? Again, to reiterate, I'd put very good money on the line that if I forced all my non-gamer friends to describe what they just played, having sat them down in Dear Esther, they'd all say "a video game" or "a computer game." I'm not really sure what point you're making here, but in this case my "subculture" is just the group that the people who write dictionaries look to when writing a dictionary, viz. everyone who speaks English. I don't think I'm overstating the size of that group. You can't literally mean this is how you parse that sentence. That's not even believable. If you think these are things you can infer from someone's favorite game being Dear Esther, that's fine, but we're not talking about that. We're talking about what the words "my favorite game is Dear Esther" literally mean. If you seriously think the stuff you offered as a way of parsing that sentence is literally what the words "my favorite game is Dear Esther" mean, then I'm afraid the disconnect here is pretty deep. This is simply no way to go about understanding word meaning, and you'd be laughed out of the room if you suggested it was. You can't follow this strategy and write a dictionary that's anything other than an elaborate joke. I don't care who the Steam marketing tagline is marketing to or whatever, I care about what the word "game" literally means in that tagline. Like, if I were translating the tagline into Spanish, what word or phrase should I pick for "game" if I wanted to preserve its meaning? And I don't care what word they would use to market to the general public. That has no bearing on what the word "game" means in that tagline, does it? Unless you think that the reason they wouldn't use the word is that it's inapposite, but that strikes me as an unlikely hypothesis. The reason they wouldn't use the word is that it's a pejorative. Yes I mean that's obviously true, and obviously in the very narrow context of the 3d visual whatevers that you hang out with, "game" means something more narrow than it does in the general context, just like for GamerGaters, "game" means something more narrow than it does in the general context. Right now we're arguing about what "game" means in the general context when you're talking to a normal human being, not a GamerGater or someone who makes 3d visual art installations or whatever. Or, if you're ready to just admit that all definitions are contextual like this, you shouldn't say "Dear Esther isn't a game," you should say "among the people I generally hang out with, Dear Esther isn't a game, although it's definitely a game in other contexts." I'd be totally fine with that, and in fact you'd be right to say it. I mean, look, if it were a live option to pick another term, I'd go with that, but again, the ship has sailed, and Dear Esther is a game and nothing you or I say can change that. It's true that I'm assuming I'm the dominant culture, in that literally every human being I've ever polled on this topic has had no problem immediately and intuitively calling Proteus, Minecraft, etc. "games," and I don't think I hang out with people who are particularly odd on this account (unlike you - by your own admission, the people you tend to poll on this topic have a more sophisticated conceptual vocabulary such that we might not expect them to default to "game" for what to call Proteus). And if Dear Esther deserves more than "game," does Papers, Please deserve more? Does Stephen's Sausage Roll deserve more? Why or why not? If the answer is yes, are you seriously suggesting that Papers, Please and Stephen's Sausage Roll aren't games? If the answer is no, doesn't that strike you as objectionable in any way?
  17. I know, that's why I listed "inclusion" as one of the reasons we should call it a game. That's only because "table" and "chair" are pretty straightforward words. "Game" is not like this. "Game" is a much messier idea. To wit: I have no idea what your criticisms of Dear Esther are! I don't get ornery because that's what I want it to be, I get ornery because that's what it is! I'm not really talking about how well people would respond to things, I'm just talking about how they do respond. It's perfectly acceptable if you want to say something like "Dear Esther is a game, but we should keep that on the down-low and not let anyone know, because they'll ignore it if they know it's a game, so when you talk to those people call it something it isn't." I cannot, however, acquiesce to the view that Dear Esther is in fact not a game and that in light of this it's okay to call it something else when talking to other people. If you want to manipulate the truth by refusing to reveal to people that a game is in the offing when they're playing Dear Esther, that's fine, but don't pretend you're doing something else. Yes, and my point is that your way of parsing things is based on whatever reasons you have for not categorizing Dear Esther as a game, reasons which not everyone needs to share and which in fact it would be odd if people shared. This means that as a way of demonstrating what is and isn't a game, it's quite lacking, because it works only for telling us what counts as a game for you. The issue then becomes whether your understanding of the word "game" matches typical usage in English or if you've managed to get yourself into a weird corner such that you're using words to mean things they don't mean. That is, in fact, what's happened: your understanding of what the word "game" means in typical conversation has been warped by your own critical proclivities such that you're unable to understand fairly simple sentences like "my favorite game is Dear Esther" without seeing this as in instance of someone misspeaking. So for instance, its marketing tagline on Steam, "Begin a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years," is pretty off-base in your view. Isn't it weird? It would be like someone selling a movie by telling people it's a novel, or a play by telling people it's a poem! In effect this is just a long way of explaining why you don't understand a certain word in English - the word "game." Because you're hung up on the virtual spaces of yore, which you hold distinct from games, you've failed to grasp the fact that language has changed such that these virtual spaces are sometimes also games, like in the case of Dear Esther. Not in every case, of course. I think you're right that if Dear Esther were a zone in Second Life, it likely wouldn't be a game. But of course I never claimed that would be a game. I've just claimed that the actual Dear Esther is a game. That claim can't be defeated by saying you've never considered things like this to be a game any more than someone can tell me my iPhone isn't a phone because they've never considered something without a phone line to be a phone. This person would simply be failing to realize that words change over time, just like you are failing to realize that words change over time. You may simply be unfamiliar with the exclusion practiced by GamerGate and its ilk as part of the larger culture war over whether anything that isn't made by a bunch of straight white guys counts as a video game, and whether someone is a game developer in virtue of making Twine games, and so on and so forth. These are some of the contexts in which inclusion is important. It also works in the other direction: your "music awards" analogy mostly describes awards that wouldn't work very well for lots of games that, unlike Dear Esther, are more clearly gamey, and those games as much as anything else deserve recognition. The only reason things are or aren't games, on my view, is that people call them games. Second Life isn't a game because the developers are very clear that they don't want people calling it a game. Dear Esther is a game because it calls itself a game. Quake machinima is not a game because nobody calls it a game. Blender is not a game because nobody calls it a game. Half-Life is a game because everyone calls it a game. That's literally how words work. They mean what people use them to mean. There's no magical dictionary floating in the sky that tells us what words mean. The only way to find out what a word means is to look at how people use it.
  18. I don't think it's really about attention or being good for their image so much as it is about inclusion, not being disingenuous with our usage of words, and not having to change the name of GOTY lists, etc. I actually don't judge movies in my mental space of movies, I just judge them full stop. If I found out that something I thought was a movie was not a movie, my judgment of it would not alter one iota. I don't judge anything based on its genre, and finding out something is or isn't a game doesn't alter my judgment of it at all. You might say Dear Esther isn't a good game but that it's acceptable theatre, and that's all well and good by way of referring via shorthand to a complicated series of evaluative judgments going on in your head, but my point is that when reporting these judgments to others, it would be much more perspicuous to tell us why you think Dear Esther is bad in certain ways without refusing to call it a game, and why you think it's passable in other ways without making much hay about whether or not it's theatre. He would be turning circles in his grave so fast that you could power a small town by harnessing the energy! You can't eliminate the entire social context of something (a narrative + a setting is the "something," in Dear Esther's case) and then use the word we pick to judge the remainder in order to determine what we should call the original thing. That makes literally zero sense in any context, especially not in a Wittgensteinian context. All you're doing is taking away some parts of the word's meaning and keeping others, with an agenda, although without realizing you have an agenda. To see this, imagine that instead of taking what you take to be salient about Dear Esther (the narrative, the setting, whatever) we take what someone else finds salient about Dear Esther: the mode of interactivity (KB+M or gamepad and the specific control set), the peripherals used to experience it (headphones or speakers, monitor or projector, PC or game console, etc.), the game engine's various characteristics (Source's physics and player movement model, its lighting model, etc.), the code running the game, the art assets (3d models, textures, sound files), and so on, and then just judge those in a vacuum, without the various contextual clues that allow us to realize what Dear Esther is. So effectively you're just looking at a pile of gaming peripherals, and a file tree open in Windows Explorer with a bunch of Source engine files, and if you want, you can open up any one of those files and check out a 3d model of a car or play a .wav file of birds or waves or a flashlight turning on. What is it now? To the extent anyone realizes what they're looking at (which is going to be minimal unless you've got game devs or whatever looking at it), people are going to call it a video game. Even GamerGaters, in fact. It's indistinguishable from any other video game once we reduce it to this form. Mostly though nobody will know what to call it. It's just a mess of junk. My thought experiment proves nothing. It just shows that if you take some things out of context, they look like other things, or sometimes nothing. Ditto for your thought experiment. If you arbitrarily (well, it's not arbitrary, it's unconsciously agenda driven) pick some features of something, you can make it look like something else. So if you pick all the things not particularly game-like and put them on a platter, obviously the result won't look like a game. But I didn't say that result is a game, I said Dear Esther, before you anesthetized it and extracted all the stuff that makes it a game, was a game! And surely even you have to admit that there is some impulse to call Dear Esther is a game before you take the stuff away, otherwise you would not have had to present your thought experiment in the first place to elicit the intuition that Dear Esther isn't a game. In any case, your sniff test clearly fails. Some games, like the game of catch, or the game of fetch I played with my friend's dog yesterday, fail to transcend the medium in which they are implemented. It's also an impossible sniff test - Dear Esther has various jump cuts you could not make happen in real life without altering the character of them such that they lose the impact they have in the context of that game. Another flaw with your sniff test is a great flaw because it gets right to the heart of what you're missing. You claim that Quake Dear Esther is a good thing to look at in deciding whether Dear Esther is or isn't a game. But Quake Dear Esther is not Dear Esther! They are not the same thing! If you purchase Dear Esther from Steam and get a copy of Quake Dear Esther, you can sue Valve for fraud! Your mistake here is thinking that whatever Dear Esther is, it's independent from its engine, art assets, control scheme, etc, such that we can move it from context to context but keep the same thing. That's false! Dear Esther, whatever it is, isn't like this. It can't survive a change in game engine as radical as Source -> id Tech 2. We have two different things on our hands, and thus thinking that Quake Dear Esther tells us anything about Dear Esther is like trying to decide if Star Wars is a movie by watching an episode of Star Trek, and then saying "well, clearly this episode is TV, not a movie, so Star Wars must be TV."
  19. Idle Thumbs Streams

  20. I don't think I subscribe to the usual argument, so pointing out its flaws is not particularly helpful in this context. What we're looking for are arguments against my position, rather than against a position other people hold and which presumably has various difficulties that I'd agree with you in highlighting were that the relevant issue, which it's not. I don't think I have a lack of confidence in the medium when I want to call a game a game, nor do I think that being good in ways unrelated to things which make games good is a reason not to call a game a game. I suspect your standards for what makes games good are different from mine, and ours are different from any given third person's standards, such that we ought not to evaluate one person's judgments (viz. yours) to prime of place here when deciding gatekeeping issues. More importantly, even if we did pick you as King of Categories of Value, it wouldn't help us make any headway. I don't care if Dear Esther is good for reasons that have nothing to do with it being a game, because it's still two things: 1) good and 2) a game. I'm sure lots of movies and books and poems and comics and so on are good for reasons that have nothing to do with them being movies or books or poems or comics, but we still call them movies, books, poems, and comics, don't we? We call spades spades, regardless of how well this matches up with your ideal version of critical practices that you think everyone ought to adhere to. Again, if the project were remaking the world anew via magical powers, I'd go along with everything you want and more, but the ship has sailed so long ago that it already infected the new world with smallpox and it's too late to do much about it. Dear Esther is clearly a game because people call it a game, and unless you want to start giving GamerGaters more votes in the relevant opinion polls, it's going to be a game for a while. Unfortunately for your project, it's irrelevant how people started calling Xs Xs as opposed to Ys. If you heard why people started calling novels novel, you'd be shocked! I tell you, shocked! (Not really, I know. But you get the picture.) The reasons they had for calling them novels are entirely inapposite now! Why, to even think that novel is the correct term is ludicrous, is it not? The genesis of the term is interesting history, but it can't tell us about the actual meaning of the term, right now. Just as calling something a novel no longer denotes novelty, calling something a game no longer denotes (and probably never in fact did denote) whatever you think games are. It doesn't even denote that for the "game" purists, because they all disagree on what makes a game a game! It's honestly pretty ridiculous, if you think about it: there are plenty of people like you happy to draw lines in the sand and confidently divide games from not-games, but everyone draws a different line! Doesn't that worry you in the slightest? And as long as we're on the topic, I would be interested in hearing what you think games are. My own position is that no good definition exists for game, and that Wittgenstein has the final word here, but you of course have a different answer. What makes a game a game, then? What is Dear Esther missing that, if it had it, would make it a game? What do some zones in Second Life lack and other zones in Second Life have that makes the determination?
  21. One question is whether using the word "game" at any point would have made the conversation ineffective. Another question is whether that result, if it in fact occurs, is a necessary occurrence. Maybe there are ways of introducing the word "game" such that it doesn't have bad effects. A third question is whether "game" has these bad effects partially in virtue of people refusing to use it to describe anything with the slightest redeeming value, such that "games are shit" turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy with the unintended bad effect of also hurting the very games (not-games) you're trying to help, because they describe themselves as games even though you refuse to do so. For instance, Firewatch markets itself as a video game: if you trick someone into looking into it by steadfastly refusing to say the word "game," are they going to immediately ignore it once they realize it's a game, saying to themselves "oh, I didn't realize it was a video game?" If that sort of thing isn't going to happen, why not call it a game? If that sort of thing is going to happen, aren't you making it worse by not using the word "game" in a way that helps contribute to a world where games aren't shit simply by definition?
  22. I guess I have trouble picturing a situation where you could get people to pay attention to Dear Esther in a way that wouldn't work equally well if you called it a game.