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Posts posted by TychoCelchuuu

  1. I'm not bagging on XCOM the shooter. I'm bagging on the exec who saw the old X-Com and said to himself, "This would make a great linear storyline." It's something of a leap, more so now that we have a modern XCOM that's at its best when allowing the systems to take the fore.

    To be fair, it wasn't a linear shooter. You could pull out of the missions at any time, it seemed like, and there is/was a risk/reward mechanism: stick around to try to collect more alien artifacts, at the risk of dying, or leave with what you've already secured to keep you and your squad from dying. To be fair to whoever made the original decision, they looked at X-COM and said "this whole investigating invading aliens and then turning their tech against them by commanding a squad of agents that grow over time and that are managed from a home base you are in charge of sounds like something people might like, but maybe making it a shooter would appeal to a crowd larger than 8 people."

  2. I'll keep that in mind. If I have money to spend, though, is it worth it? I want this to last at peak performance for as much time as possible. When you mean an "HD + plus a small SSD", do you mean it has all the positives of a running SSD, but takes up less space? Apologies for my ignorant questions. I'm still acclimating myself to the terms and jargon of a PC user.

    Also, found this feature on The Verge, which is really helpful. Appreciate the recommendations, guys! Keep 'em coming! :tup:

    An i5 will only matter in a few games and even then the difference won't be very big. I realized belatedly that I should just have linked this article for CPUs and this article for GPUs since they're more in depth than anything else you're likely to find. I tend to be a bit of a cheapskate and I guess an i5 could be sensible now that prices have dropped a bit, Ivy Bridge is out, and four cores are useful in more cases than they used to be. It will be more future proof, at least, so your choice is between buying an i3 now (which can easily run everything at max) and saving the money for an upgrade later, or buying an i5 and hoping it lasts through the next console generation's worth of games. I dunno how risky of a bet that is.

    The reason to get an HD + a small SSD because for the same price as a large SSD, you get much more storage, and if you put your OS and whatever games you're playing at the time on the SSD and use the normal HD for storage, your performance will be basically the same. "Small" meant in terms of gigabytes, not physical space.

  3. An i5 is overkill for video games. An i3 will handle things perfectly well for less money. This guide is pretty handy. If you want it to be quiet, read reviews of cases before you buy them to see whether people are saying they're quiet or not. The same goes for the GPU, since often different vendors will use different coolers that differ in noise level. Depending on how much space you want, you might want a traditional HD + a small SSD rather than a large SSD.

  4. If the narrative were "you are a person on the ground experiencing the war" then there would be massive ludonarrative dissonance but DEFCON is depicting the people in the war room and in doing so it inspires zero ludonarrative dissonance.

  5. ALSO-- A great example of ludonarrative DISSONANCE (or assonance, I dunno) is Defcon 5. That's the game where you launch nukes right? I've never played it, but it communicates extermination of a percentage of the human race through bleeps n bloops! It's a really smart experiment anyway, that and Pandemic are about global-scale ideas told in eerily under-played ways, and the connection between what you're doing and what you're seeing is the game's main storytelling device.

    Eek noooooo DEFCON is perfect ludonarrative assonance. The narrative is "everyone dies" and the game punches that shit into your gut in a way few games have. The ambient sound is of people coughing and dying, but subtly done so that there's just a constant aura of death. Your score is basically measured in the millions of dead people you kill. The antiseptic aesthetic perfectly mirror's

    as seen by the people who are launching nukes (the players of the game). The narrative is that you are in the war room, making the decisions. The gameplay is exactly that, and done perfectly.

  6. "Games" is one of the primary examples used in discussion about the philosophy and psychology of concepts, usually to show how it is problematic to suppose there are universal features that all elements in a category share. See Wittgenstein's family resemblances, prototype theory in psychology, etc. It's one of the more interesting topics in cognitive science. I can't think of a popular treatment other than Steven Pinker's books about language.

    I haven't read it myself, but I've heard that Bernard Suits' The Grasshopper is more or less accessible to people who aren't philosophers.

  7. Ludonarrative assonance and dissonance are extremely prevalent in games. Almost every game has one or the other, I'd say, to at least some degree, and many have both.

    AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity - The game rewards risky behavior. The narrative is that you are a nutter engaged in risky behavior.

    Orcs Must Die - The game is about killing orcs. The narrative is about killing orcs.

    FTL - The game is about desperately running away from the rebels. Even with the pause button, the game itself is an extremely frantic experience.

    The Stanley Parable - I don't even have to write about this game.

    BioShock - Clint Hocking's favorite example of ludonarrative dissonance is one of my favorite examples of ludonarrative assonance. I could write an essay on this and I might someday but the short version is that I think he's approaching things from a game designer's perspective and arguing that the design of the game doesn't say anything about Objectivism, which is true but irrelevant, because as far as I'm concerned, the narrative is as much about freedom and choice as it is about Objectivism and in fact the Objectivism stuff is a side issue in the main narrative. The game itself, at least until the last section where it breaks down and introduces MASSIVE dissonance, is a perfect example of assonance which is why everyone remembers the twist.

    Crysis - The greatest fun in this game comes from using your awesome super suit to terrorize Korean soldiers and once the Koreans start showing up in super suits it turns into a bit more of a slog. And then the aliens make things worse. The narrative is about 4 Americans sent in to take on an island full of Koreans, because Americans are fuckawesome, but then the Koreans step up their game, the Americans have to send in the big guns, and then suddenly aliens and nothing is happening according to plan.

    Thief - Duh? Especially when the narrative is "Garret is sneaky and steals stuff" there's admirably little distance between the ludo and the narrative in Thief.

    Thirty Flights of Loving - The jump cuts!

    And so on.

  8. About my only complaint is that you can't switch freely between the two. The game boots up with a completely different UI if you're using a gamepad and your keyboard won't work with it until you switch back. Again, very impressive to see in action, although I think it speaks a little about the manpower devoted to PC controls.

    In some sense, aspects of the game itself seem to be oriented towards a controller rather than a mouse. The inability to fire weapons other than grenades/rockets at anything aside from targets (and the attendant oddity of having panicking soldiers decide that "panic" actually means "shoot the shit out of a friendly person") works out fairly well for console controllers, because if this game were like the original X-COM and you could shoot anywhere you wanted, moving your crosshair would be a fairly tedious affair if you used a controller instead of a mouse. Simplifying cover down to a numerical abstraction that attaches to hugging various terrain features means that most movement is going to end at those various terrain features, which means you can have the movement thingy snap to those cover points. If it were like the original X-COM where moving just about anywhere was equally viable, and if you could reposition your squad members more than a couple times per turn, things would be much more fiddly on a controller. And of course getting rid of the complex inventory with separate slots for each leg, each shoulder, the belt, the backpack, and so on, and getting rid of much of the micromanagement on the Geoscape, gets rid of the sorts of things that would be hell on a console controller.

    I'm not sure how many choices were driven by a bare desire to simplify and how many were at least partially influenced by the knowledge that there would be no way to do that sort of thing on a system other than a PC, but the end result is a strategy game that plays extremely well on consoles (from what I hear) and with console controllers. They certainly could've done a much better job on the PC UI and made it play just as well with a mouse and keyboard, so I wonder if, in an ideal world, there is other PC centric stuff they could've done that would improve the game, or if there's really no connection between simplifying the controls (which turned into a bad thing for people who want to play with a mouse and keyboard) and simplifying the game (which is potentially a bad thing if you liked some of that stuff in the original, but also potentially a much needed streamlining).

    I personally haven't played the new XCOM except for the demo, so I can't make any decisions, but I am sure that I like a lot of the complex stuff in the original, because I'm playing through it right now and wouldn't give up the inventory management for the world.

  9. VVVVVV might be a better example than bullet hell games, then - not much improvisation there, just figuring out the correct solution (and then implementing it, which is of course the challenge). So I think if we wanted to refine your definition, we'd have to say that puzzle games can't tax the player's reaction time. That still doesn't cover SpaceChem or similar games, though, which I think sinks the definition.

  10. ibzAE3CeK59xCq.png


    JazzPunk! It looks kickass. It's being made by Necrophone Games, which consists of two dudes in Toronto. We don't really know much about it, although it does give off a very Gravity Boney atmosphere, don't you think? Aside from that sweet teaser trailer there is this blog post on their site. I'm like, 75% sure it's serious. I think. It reads:


    In creating a first person slapstick comedy (JazzPunk), we have the challenge of translating a brand of comedy that was popular in 1980s film into the video game medium. Some things work, and others do not translate. In comedy timing is everything and since our world is non-linear we need to be extra conscious about when and where we put our jokes. This is where science! comes in…

    Jokes Per Minute Meter (JPM)

    is a tool we have implemented to help determine where and when comedy is running dry. In the code, each joke calls out to the joke meter to track that event and calculate the average number of jokes per minute. When the jokes per minute (JPM) falls below a certain level, we know we need to add content. This metric is useful for gauging quantity.

    Joke Heatmap

    is another tool we use to analyze problem areas, and survey joke potentials. It is simply a map a level with joke areas marked in red. As they player leaves a red zone, the joke will have worn off and will be ready for a new one. This tool allows you to see more of the prospective “quality” of jokes, as better ones can have a larger area of effect- requiring fewer in the surrounding area.

    So yes. I will keep this thread updated as we learn more about what is sure to be an incredibly interesting video game. Also it's coming "soon" for PC and Mac.

    Additional Info

  11. While I suppose I understand your point more completely, I don't think using the word "ghost" for a game of similar lineage means it should be beholden or even comparable to rules like that whether its use was coincidental in Dishonored or not. That sure does sound completely insane though!

    Still going to petition for a Ghost Dad achievement run.

    I don't think that anyone ever suggested that it should be beholden to the rules. I just took Frenetic Pony's reference to playing the game like a ghost to be a reference to ghosting the game.