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About Jackal

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    Non-Opposable Thumb


  • Location
    Toronto, Canada
  1. HL2: stacking barrels?

    I'm not 100% sure where you are from your description ND. If you're in shallow water, then oxygen shouldn't be a problem. Just as a general pointer (and this may seem super obvious, but I forgot at first), make sure you're doing a sprinting jump. I'm so used to games being in "always run" mode, that I forgot about the sprint feature. There is one section in deeper water that you cannot jump into, though, so can't answer your question for sure.
  2. Half Life 2 First Impressions

    Thought I'd be the 85th person with a "first" impression. I'm not that far in yet, but I'm already completely impressed by the game's awesomeness. Aside from all the great "gaming" goodness, there really is nothing like either Half-Life for immersion. Most games TELL a story while you play a game (if we're lucky), but the HL's create a world and let you LIVE the story. Wow. Just frickin' wow. It's not all that complicated, but why the hell can't anyone else do it? One minor complaint, just cuz... The "look ma, no hands!" routine on the vehicles (the hovercraft, at least) just doesn't cut it.
  3. Dogs

    Better ask Dogman. Jackals just lie on their backs. Makes looking up so much easier.
  4. Delicate Rayman 3, touchit, feelit

    I've finished it (with gamepad, PC version), but relying on my memory is never advised. Still, go ahead and ask.
  5. Avatars must go! ...thus spake Kingzjester

    Even I don't like mine. I just wanted something different from AG. If someone wants to design a cool Idle Thumbish av for me, I'm there! I'm just way too lazy myself (or lack the skill, but shaddap). Not that I'm against annoying Kingz on principle, of course.
  6. Games cost way too much.

    I agree that games are too expensive. (So are movies). Or I'm too poor. Or both. Yeah, both. Beyond that, what a retarded comparison. Even if they were priced the same, which they obviously aren't, there are an infinite number of possible preorders, and finite number of movie tickets for one day. I wonder how they compare on day two.
  7. Crappy design pervading quality titles

    Well, I wasn't using the term "narrative" in nearly that restrictive a manner. It's interactive fiction, so it's less about story telling than story making (for the player). Each individual Hitman scenario is creating your own story, not simply trying to survive on rails until the next chance to save or level end. But no matter. I did specifically say that it was OK for games that clearly have design goals of getting from save point to save point. But to take THAT model, and try to generalize about increasingly complex games is equally wrong. I don't see where I've assumed that at all. All I'm saying is that limiting the save system is not a necessary part of design. That's vastly different. I addressed your other point in the other thread. I have no problem with offering players those freedoms, either. And from the presence of cheat codes, I'd have to say that a lot of developers don't, either. Basically, though, you're arguing from a design standpoint, and I'm arguing from a player experience standpoint. Of course a designer can and should follow their own vision for their game, including save implementation. But a player can and should be able to play it the way they want, too, and any developer that forgets who the game is FOR isn't doing anyone any favours. Also, I had another point, but now I've forgotten. Must be all the travel from one thread to another.
  8. Crappy design pervading quality titles

    I agree about the tension point, but I disagree about it being an acceptable tradeoff. If a game doesn't offer enough tension in its design, then it should simply be designed better, not rely on some gimmicky save restriction to add artificial (ie non narrative-driven) tension. To me the latter screams of "game", and not "experience". Which is fine for some games, but is actually counter-productive in the more ambitious titles. We don't get to moan about Spielberg's "level 17" comments if this is our approach. Well, that insistence is what developers have been doing by imposing restrictions. We're just saying that as an interactive medium, then should enable the player to tailor that aspect to their own preferences. Then if they can't live with their own choices, they're just hopeless whiners. And who exactly is this clearly a problem for? I honestly don't hear gamers complaining. Frankly, to me it sounds like something developers want to believe is a problem, but isn't. Anyway, my example to this argument is always the same - Soldier of Fortune II. It's not perfect, but it's better than virtually anything else out there. By default, the game has limited saves per level. The number of saves is dependent on the difficulty level chosen. But you can still go in to the options and customize these numbers, or even eliminate the restriction altogether. So... developer gives their "ideal" input, but player gets the choice, and once chosen, plays accordingly. Simple, elegant.
  9. Crappy design pervading quality titles

    I completely agree with Jean-Paul Homoludens. Why should it be most "rational" that we save frequently? It's only rational if we're convinced that the game won't play fair with us, and will somehow punish any faith we show in it. Sadly, that IS the case all too often. That's the problem we should be dissecting, not our reaction to it. I think a good game not only keeps us immersed in the onscreen activity, but it also dangles the carrot that we can make it a little farther without getting burned. If the game isn't doing that, screw it. I'm not making sacrifices for design inadequacy. Besides, almost all developers offer difficulty options, so we're drawing imaginary lines in the sand if we say that one level of player choice is good and another is bad. BTW, I think the whole point of the quicksave is to make it so easy and intuitive that it barely even registers as a conscious decision. That's as close to maintaining immersion as possible.
  10. New system shock in the makes?

    Best gaming news I've heard in ages!* Good interview with Levine. Core SS2 team intact, refusal to rehash an existing property, and committed to pushing the "genre" forward... (Must be referring to the "no other game like it" genre.) * Aside from the whole Psychonauts on PC thing.
  11. The Dirty Minds Club

    I better post a link, or no one will believe it. Comer