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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
341092 Posts in 13940 Topics by 2222 Members
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391  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Have you ever returned a game you bought? If so, which game was it? on: June 27, 2011, 02:56:58 PM
Master of Orion 3.
392  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Do gamers see time differently? on: June 23, 2011, 03:58:36 PM
Obviously it's all anecdotal evidence and therefore pretty meaningless... but what the hell, I'm 32, married, own a house, and play lots of video games.

/shrug

I actually don't think "gamers" make up a particularly reliable demographic for purposes of sociology since the component parts of that demographic are so diverse. It's a useful demographic for marketing purposes, but probably less so for other types of analysis. If that makes any sense.
393  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs for Android on: June 22, 2011, 09:03:16 AM
These games are crazy addictive.

Damn it, even though you told me that I saw that there was a free 'lite' verion of Grand Prix Story so I fgured what they hey, I'll see what it's all about...right before I was going to go to bed.  It's now 3:15am and I've played through everything in that lite version...

Awesome, I'm psyched about that eventually making its way to iOS also! Definitely check out Game Dev Story as well, I still play the heck out of that one. Hot Springs Story is great but doesn't quite have the instant gratification loop that Game Dev Story and (by reputation) Grand Prix Story have.
394  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: RPGs for Android on: June 21, 2011, 04:54:56 PM
Battleheart is really fun. I have an iPhone but there is a lot of crossover to Android.

Other games worth checking out are anything by Kairosoft. Literally anything. These include Game Dev Story, Hot Springs Story, and currently for Android only (jealously waiting for iOS US release) Grand Prix Story. These games are crazy addictive.
395  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Hockey Thread! on: June 16, 2011, 09:05:27 AM
Too bad about those rotten apples. :-(

To talk hockey for a moment though - good on the Bruins to rebound after what the Flyers did to them last year. I know the prevailing opinion around Philly was largely against Boston, but I personally am a fan of keeping things as close to the conference/division as possible. I must be the only Philly fan that occasionally roots for NY teams based on this philosophy. :-)

So congrats to Boston and, by proxy, the Eastern Conference. :-)
396  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: E3 2011 on: June 08, 2011, 02:47:39 PM
I was actually just mentioning on the SECRET FORUMS that it isn't often I get a piece of gaming news cross my work desk:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-08/nintendo-falls-amid-questions-whether-new-console-can-repeat-wii-s-success.html

I gotta say I watch the E3 demo of this thing and I'm reminded of the Virtual Boy in terms of the size of the bomb Nintendo might have here. The difference with the WiiU and the Wii is you could take one look at Wii Sports and you got it. Same with the Kinect, you look at Dance Central and you immediately get it.

I look at this E3 demo and see a guy holding a screen in front of another screen and... what? How does this make things more fun exactly?

Obviously if some folks can come up with some clever uses for this, everybody will eat crow. But it'll be an uphill climb now with this negative buzz among investors.
397  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Stupid childhood misconceptions. on: June 08, 2011, 02:18:48 PM
I had the misconception that growing up and being an adult would be boring and without fun. Was very very wrong about that. Being 32 is way more awesome than being 7.
398  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What Do You Think Makes Up a Good Story? on: June 03, 2011, 03:37:05 PM
You know what (allegedly) Hemingway thought was his best work? This 6 word short story.

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

Point being I'm not sure there is a criteria that can be universally applied. Magnificent prose can sometimes carry just like any of the other things mentioned.
399  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 12:55:59 PM
I don't know that I necessarily agree that video games are entirely about illusion of choice though. I think games like Pac Man for example are still great (especially the Championship editions), but they do not weave any kind of illusion of choice. You control a yellow thing that eats dots and stays away from ghosts. The only choices you have are where to turn. That's not illusion of choice. That's legit choice but in a very very tiny box.

Despite this the game is still ridiculously fun. Nobody ever criticizes Pac Man for the things we criticize RPGs and other games for. Granted the goals of RPG design and Pac Man are very different, but they are also more complex and loftier - in many ways unattainable.

EDIT: Also I apologize as that may have been an incorrect reading of what you meant by "video games".
400  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 12:07:58 PM
The wrong numbers lead to the wrong conclusions. The right numbers, properly interpreted, lead to correct conclusions. Poorly interpreted, yet more wrong conclusions.

So from a "scientific" or "analytical" perspective, you of all people should know that the notion "you can use numbers to prove anything" is the purview of the person who doesn't actually want to give the numbers their full critical analysis.

Outside the bounds of what we're talking about here, but let's just say computers wouldn't work and ergo video games wouldn't exist if you could "use numbers to prove anything". From the perspective of the software designer. ;-)

As to the design issue of artificial barriers based not on skill but on time commitment, which now that we've discussed it farther seems to be the real crux of the matter: I think it is perfectly okay for these things to be a matter of taste, but these design decisions often come down to very real cost issues. Perhaps dollars are not a legitimate excuse, but in the end it's a business and sometimes you need to make decisions on where you want your money spent.

Finally, as for wanting to play the game in ways aside from the way the designers intended - the difference between video games and other media is that there is a limit to how much FREEDOM one has to explore. You can let your imagination wander past those hills on the horizon for example, but if a designer didn't build anything beyond them to actually see yourself, you can't actually go there. Same thing with a boss battle. If a battle is designed a certain way (and the more complex the battle and AI, the more money required), trying to do things a different way may in fact prove frustrating (or ridiculously easy or otherwise unbalanced). That doesn't always mean it's a failure on the part of the devs or the designers. Your choice between the sniper rifle and the shotgun still had to be put there and accounted for in some way by the devs to even be possible, let alone fun.

Dragon Age is actually a really good example of what you are talking about. As a story, I thought Dragon Age: Origins soared. As a GAME however, something I play within the bounds of tactile input and mechanics, I thought it was pretty awful precisely because of the way choice was such a transparent illusion, exacerbated greatly at higher difficulty settings.

In the end internet forums are probably the most imperfect place possible to have a conversation like this. It would be better to discuss it with a bottle of cognac and some cigars.
401  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 10:25:35 AM
A little bit, yeah. :-)

As for the math - the human brain is notoriously terrible at interpreting randomness. I particularly recommend the book The Drunkard's Walk for anybody interested in the topic. The human mind is actually SO bad at randomness that typically when you are doing it EXACTLY right, you will be accused of doing it WRONG. I remember way back when iTunes had to release an update to its shuffle algorithm to make it LESS random because people were accusing it of playing the same songs too often!

EDIT: http://www.amazon.com/Drunkards-Walk-Randomness-Rules-Lives/dp/0375424040
402  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 10:13:03 AM
I'll say here what I said in the editor forums when we were discussing this particular editorial:

In this day and age, why play games that have an element of randomness if you don't like randomness? At this point there are so many games that borrow storytelling and character building elements from RPGs that if you don't want to ever miss something if you have enough skill to line up your shot, then you can play those games! They exist in abundance!

Same goes for D&D really. Why, games like Sorcerer, Dogs in the Vineyard, etc. - these are games built by people who enjoyed the storytelling and creative elements of D&D but hated the randomness. They were built to cater to exactly the audience Rob is representing here. So why not play those instead?

I think that the point of view is perfectly valid (even if I think the math in the editorial is terribly misleading for reasons already pointed out) - the author likes games where SKILL is rewarded consistently. There are a massive pile of games like that. It seems strange to me to criticize a game for having an element of randomness when it was designed specifically to have randomness.
403  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale. on: May 27, 2011, 11:34:12 AM
Also D&D at this point can mean a lot of things anyway. Do we mean D&D settings like Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, or Planescape? Spelljammer? Ravenloft? Eberron? Or do we mean rules sets? I dunno.

Just like there are crummy D&D tabletop games run by crummy DMs, it doesn't mean D&D itself necessarily sucks.

I do feel ya though Zyco, it would be nice to see a really solid new video game set in one of the D&D universes. It does seem like its been a little while. But to be fair D&D has had plenty of awesome games spread out over the years. Heck the Gold Box games by themselves were pretty fantastic.
404  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale. on: May 27, 2011, 10:54:02 AM
I will hear no disparaging remarks about Wrath of the Dragon God!

;-)
405  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Bioware already working on Dragon Age 3 on: May 24, 2011, 10:11:17 AM
You have to admire the effort though! RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT
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