Gaming fleeting thoughts

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Zohar
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:01 pm UTC

That actually sounds very interesting. I should put it on my wishlist.

Yesterday at board game night I killed at Acquire, and it was my first time too! I understand it's pretty popular and old (1960s) but briefly it's a weird mesh of area control and share-related game - you create corporations by physically placing them on the board, the shares' cost is dependent on the physical size of the corporation, when two corporations meet the smaller gets absorbed into the larger, and the majority and minority holders of the smaller corp get dividends, and everyone has a chance to sell/convert their (now irrelevant) stocks. It was fun, but I'm always completely and utterly lost when I start playing share-related games. I never know how much to diversify or concentrate on one thing, and it's hard for me to figure out a good strategy. I try to play one move at a time. But I guess it worked so, yey?

We also played a party game called Secret Hitler. It's kind of like Avalon, except the fascists are trying to pass fascist policies (each time you do you get to use a special fascist power, like look at a player's allegiance card etc.), or make Hitler chancellor, and the liberals are trying to pass liberal policies, or kill Hitler. It's interesting because there's an advantage to the liberals to passing fascist policies since it allows them to find out more information, but it also advances the fascist's cause. However, due to a major misunderstanding of the rules of the game (it was everyone's first time), us liberals grossly misused the fascist policies and managed to beat the game very easily. It was kind of funny but I wish we'd have played by the rules.

In PC news, I played about an hour of Lightning Returns. It's pretty (of course), the color customization options are ridiculous, battle system seems fun. Story is... convoluted, and I understand it just doesn't get any better. But hopefully it will continue to be fun.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Dthen » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:22 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Pretty. What game is that?

It's Elite: Dangerous.

Made it to Sagittarius A* last night.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:22 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:We also played a party game called Secret Hitler. It's kind of like Avalon, except the fascists are trying to pass fascist policies (each time you do you get to use a special fascist power, like look at a player's allegiance card etc.), or make Hitler chancellor, and the liberals are trying to pass liberal policies, or kill Hitler. It's interesting because there's an advantage to the liberals to passing fascist policies since it allows them to find out more information, but it also advances the fascist's cause. However, due to a major misunderstanding of the rules of the game (it was everyone's first time), us liberals grossly misused the fascist policies and managed to beat the game very easily. It was kind of funny but I wish we'd have played by the rules.

In PC news, I played about an hour of Lightning Returns. It's pretty (of course), the color customization options are ridiculous, battle system seems fun. Story is... convoluted, and I understand it just doesn't get any better. But hopefully it will continue to be fun.


Yeah, the big difference between Avalon and Secret Hitler is the policy deck - where each round the elected government of 2 people gets 3 cards drawn from a deck of roughly twice as many fascist policies as liberal ones, and each of them gets to discard one of them, with the possibility of a fascist policy coming out because either or both of them discarded a liberal policy, or because the three drawn were all fascist, making it easier to get away with sabotage without things devolving into "he said; she said".

And, yeah, Lightning Returns does a fair job of what it does, but the story doesn't get any less mind-screwy - possibly because it's following on from XIII and XIII-2, which got progressively more convoluted in their plots - you're starting from the world having been destroyed and time itself having unraveled, so where can things go from there?

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:29 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:[Yeah, the big difference between Avalon and Secret Hitler is the policy deck - where each round the elected government of 2 people gets 3 cards drawn from a deck of roughly twice as many fascist policies as liberal ones

Oh? I thought the numbers were equal, and we did some of our discussions based on that (I got 3 fascists as president, another person said he got 3 fascist, there's 16 cards in the deck, so I was like "Really? So of the remaining cards only two are fascist?"). Huh.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:44 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:[Yeah, the big difference between Avalon and Secret Hitler is the policy deck - where each round the elected government of 2 people gets 3 cards drawn from a deck of roughly twice as many fascist policies as liberal ones

Oh? I thought the numbers were equal, and we did some of our discussions based on that (I got 3 fascists as president, another person said he got 3 fascist, there's 16 cards in the deck, so I was like "Really? So of the remaining cards only two are fascist?"). Huh.


17 cards in the deck - 11 Fascist and 6 Liberal - so there are 2 cards which don't come out on the first time through the deck.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby ameretrifle » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:04 am UTC

I played Secret Hitler once. I also only got most of the rules, so we ended up voting our Hitler in as chancellor when that meant he had to admit he was Hitler and thus we lost the round. I might like it better if I got more of a feel for it, but I can't say I've a strong inclination to try it again. It's a little fiddly, doesn't allow for all that much fun speculation/strategy/meta unless maybe you're pretty familiar with each other (and even then, I'm not sure), and also has too much Hitler. I know it's just flavor, but it's still not all that exciting having to play a fascist. And this comes from someone who's played a ton of forum-Mafia.

Currently playing Bravely Default and feeling kind of bad at video games because the bosses keep wiping my party out even after I grind a couple levels and look up strategy. I'm also barely out of the nominal prologue. But I shall persevere. Worst case, it's pretty lenient on the difficulty switching, though I haven't had to change it from normal thus far. It's got some interesting mechanics, even if it's mostly normal FF, but so far, the plot is pretty damn generic JRPG.

Abridged version thus far:
Spoiler:
INTRO CUTSCENE
Agnes: Hello. I'm a priestess of the magical wind crystal, which, shockingly, is one of a set of magic elemental crystals that make this world work. Even more surprisingly, today the crystal was attacked or turned evil or something and basically the only reason I'm here is probably all the acolytes throwing themselves between me and it. I'm sure I'm not going to be scarred by this at all.
Edea: I'm a military brat who believes in honor and fighting and stuff! Still can't beat Dad, though. Maybe I'll level while doing military stuff or something! On to my first real Empire posting!
Ringabel: Hello, I am the obligatory amnesiac character, as well as the obligatory ladies' man. I suspect my punny new moniker may dampen my efforts in that field. At any rate, I'm jut chilling in the intro town with a journal that seems suspiciously like it was written by me in the future. Nothing odd about that, right?
Tiz: Hi, I'm Tiz. I live a quiet life herding sheep and I am totally happy about that, which means I have to be the victim of one of the shortest time-to-hometown-destructions in RPG history. It literally just got swallowed up by the goddamn earth. Soooo I'm gonna lose consciousness now.
PROLOGUE
Owen: Hey, I'm captain of the king's guard. We found you on the river or something so we got you a bed in my dad's inn because we don't really do hospitals in this era. So, um.... sorry about that whole everyone you ever knew thing.
King: Yup, that sucks.
Tiz: I have to go check for survivors!
King: Wellll I'm pretty sure we would've noticed any, but I guess you'll only believe it when you see it, so good luck and be careful of the monsters. I'd send someone with you, but we're kinda being invaded, so we'll just look the other way while you loot the throne room instead.
*Tiz runs through the intro dungeon back to Norende, his hometown*
Tiz: That... sure is a gaping chasm. How the fuck am I going to search a gaping chasm anyway?
Agnes: Oh, wow, the crystals are going pretty berserk. Shit.
Tiz: Huh?
Agnes: I'm, um, sorry about your town. Something's going wrong with the magic crystals and I've got to go stop it.
Tiz: Let me come with you!
Agnes: No.
Tiz: Look at my hometown, I have nothing better to do.
Agnes: No.
Tiz: I need something to distract me from the agonizing despair!
Agnes: This is my duty alone!
Airy: Wait, what about me?!
Agnes: T-tutorial fairies don't count!
Airy: RACIST!
Tiz: Don't I deserve some crystal justice here?
Agnes: I WALK A LONELY ROAD, THE ONLY ONE THAT I HAVE EVER KNOWN
Airy: BRAT HE'S TWICE YOUR LEVEL
Tiz: Well, speaking of roads, there's only one to the city, and unless you're gonna just walk a few yards ahead of me and pretend I'm not there--
Agnes: UGH FINE.
Tiz: Woo-hoo!
*back in town*
King: Oh hey Tiz. Sucks about your town. Feel free to rebuild it, I'll give you a letter that probably won't help you. Money is tight cause the evil Empire is camping out at the lake and taking potshots at us until we hand over some Wind Vestal person. I mean, who the fuck even is
Agnes: AUGH
King: Um.
Agnes: I'VE GOT TO TURN MYSELF IN
Tiz: Hell no, those creeps will kill you!
Agnes: They'll probably just tie me up and I'll escape or something. Anyway it's none of your business!
Tiz: But--
Agnes: DON'T KNOW WHERE IT GOES, BUT IT'S ONLY ME AND I WALK ALONE
Airy: Fortunately for us, she can't find her way out of a paper bag.
Tiz: Oh hey, I could totally find the giant lake for you...
Agnes: Ugh FINE but you are going to lead me there and then go away and not protest when I hand myself over, okay?!
Tiz: Suuuuure I will...
Agnes: crystaldammit.
*Airship on the Lake*
Monk: Yarr! I like violence and complaining about women!
White Mage: I like hating my life and all physical exertion. My voice actress adamantly refuses to deliver my innuendo-laden lines in any manner less than cold and straight, bless her.
Agnes: Hey! I'm turning myself in now!
Monk: Great! Can I beat her up now?!
White Mage: Sure, we can torture her as much as we like as long as we leave enough body for me to heal.
Agnes: meep
Tiz: Oh FUCK this!
Monk: YAY FIGHT TIME
*monk and white mage get slaughtered*
Tiz: Well that was surprisingly easy.
Agnes: Well, um, thanks. I guess it turns out that I won't be able to travel around the world and fend off monsters and an entire empire scouring the world for me just by myself... so... you can stay.
Tiz: WOO-HOO!
*returning to town*
Tiz: So where to?
Agnes: Well, I came here by boat, but the water crystal managed to fuck up the sea so badly it's unsailable now, so...
Ringabel: We could steal an airship!
Agnes: Who the fuck are you.
Ringabel: I'm an amnesiac who conveniently happens to know all about you! Mind if I come with?
Agnes: Fuck yes I mind.
Ringabel: But I'm a dashing rogue!
Agnes: I mind an awful lot.
Ringabel: Look, they sent this black mage and his hot, suspiciously familiar underling to torch the city. It says it right here in my journal, all we have to do is beat him up and the four of us can grab an airship!
Agnes: the fuck
Tiz: OK, yeah. this is weird, but on the other hand have you seen the next dungeon?
Agnes: MY SHADOW'S THE ONLY ONE THAT WALKS BESIDE ME
Tiz: It's either let him tag along or spend two or three weeks grinding bats outside of town, I'm just saying.
Agnes: UGH FINE
Ringabel: Woo-hoo!
*Through the difficulty-jumping ruins*
Edea: Okay, so, I'm not really cool with this whole burning random buildings down until they hand over the vestal they may or may not have thing.
Black Mage: STOP BRINGING ME DOWN WOMAN
Edea: It's kind of fucked up, is all I'm saying.
Black Mage: ALL ALIKE WITH YOUR WHINING AND HORMONES AND STOP SETTING CIVILIANS ON FIRE also i s-stutter because that's n-not an offensive cliche or anything
Agnes: So about that burning the city down--
Black Mage: YAY FIGHTING LET'S BURN MY OWN MOOKS FIRST
Edea: Did you seriously just set our own mooks on fire.
Black Mage: FOR NO FUCKING REASON, YES
Edea: Okay, fuck this. IT'S CLOBBERING TIME!
*fight I may or may not have taken 5 runs at ensues*
Ringabel: Hi hot stuff!
Edea: Hey, creep. So I hear we need an airship?
Agnes: WHAT IS THIS 'WE'
Edea: I mean, I kind of burned my bridges with Pyro McCrazyPants back there, so.
Agnes: I SAID I WALK ALONE CRYSTAL DAMN IT
Tiz: Um, what's that happening back at the city?
Owen: I'm just gonna get killed failing to save my king from being kidnapped. Um, as the only ones here, could you please go get him back for me? *croaks*
Tiz: NOOOOOO
Edea: Well, at least he died with honor.
Innkeep: Yes. Um. Sob. BRB.
Edea: So I figure I con us into the base, and--
Agnes: WHY SHOULD I TRUST YOU
Edea: Dude, I just turned traitor!
Agnes: THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I SHOULDN'T TRUST YOU
Ringabel: But she's in my journal!
Agnes: THAT IS ALSO WHY I SHOULD NOT TRUST YOU
Tiz: Do we even have any other ideas?
Agnes: MY SHALLOW HEART'S THE ONLY THING THAT'S BEATING. SOMETIMES I WISH SOMEONE OUT THERE WILL FIND ME, TILL THEN I WALK ALONE!
Edea: UGH YOU FUCKING FUCKWIT! *stomps off*
Innkeep: Oh hey young lady. As the only one here, I'd like to tell you that actually the whole dying with honor thing is pretty cold comfort.
Edea: I'VE BEEN LIED TO MY WHOLE LIFE
*the next morning*
Edea: So! Plan is, I con us into the base, we grab the king and steal the airship to get out.
Agnes: WHAT IS THIS "US"
Edea: Shut the fuck up, I'm coming along whether you like it or not! You have a better plan?!
Tiz, Airy, Ringabel: WOO-HOO!
Agnes: crystal damn it all to hell
*at the ruins that serve as the enemy base*
Agnes: You're sure this will work?
Edea: Dude, I defected like twenty minutes ago and the only witnesses are dead. Or severely injured, I didn't check the rating. We'll be fine.
Guards: IT'S THE TRAITOR!
Edea: It's been twenty fucking minutes, what the hell!
Agnes: Well that worked well.
Edea: I got us in, didn't I?!
Agnes: well ok
Knight: It's the traitor and the vestal! Kidnapping random strangers works wonders! I'm going to run away and lead you into a trap!
Edea: THAT IS THE LEAST KNIGHTLY THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF WHERE THE FUCK DID OUR HONOR GO
Agnes: I guess you might be okay.
Knight: Ha ha! I have you, the king, and a couple of mooks trapped on the airship you wanted! How convenient!
Ringabel: Indeed.... for it is YOU who are trapped with US!
^the knight is trounced*
Tiz: Yay! The king is saved!
Agnes: Um, so on that list of people who were on the ship... did I miss him mentioning 'pilot'?
Edea: AAAUGH
Tiz: Can't you fly this thing?!
Edea: Only serious Empire officers can do that!
Ringabel: Oh hey, let me give it a shot. *the ship stabilizes instantly*
Agnes: oh my fucking crystal
Tiz: We're alive and we have an airship! Let's get the king back home!
King: Oh hey, by the way, we have a sudden job opening for captain of my guard...
Tiz: Kinda busy saving the world with Agnes here, sorry.
King: Cool, maybe later. Good luck with that. Enjoy your journey, very far away.
Ringabel: Speaking of which, guess you're officially stuck with me now, unless you want to swim the toxic seas.
Agnes: The crystals and all divinity I have ever believed in have officially failed me.
Tiz: The giant chasm wasn't a clue?
Agnes: Well, yes, but shut up.
*END OF PROLOGUE*

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:49 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:It's a little fiddly, doesn't allow for all that much fun speculation/strategy/meta unless maybe you're pretty familiar with each other (and even then, I'm not sure)

Yeah, I was commenting to a friend that it feels we have a lot less to go on than when we play Avalon.

BTW, I got the 80 Days game for my phone and it's really fun. I love the world building and the writing, I love how it's so gender-balanced and so many women are in professional roles without that being a factor, I love the background story that gets hinted at from time to time. I only wish it were a bit clearer what the items do and how long journeys take you, but I suppose I'll get used to that with time.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:47 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:BTW, I got the 80 Days game for my phone and it's really fun. I love the world building and the writing, I love how it's so gender-balanced and so many women are in professional roles without that being a factor, I love the background story that gets hinted at from time to time. I only wish it were a bit clearer what the items do and how long journeys take you, but I suppose I'll get used to that with time.


PC version tells you when you'll arrive before you commit to a journey - I don't know how the mobile controls differ.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:53 pm UTC

It does, I just need to get used to all of that. I wish it would say "This will take 3 days" rather than "You'll arrive Sunday". Also I don't know if I'll arrive in the morning and might be able to leave immediately or have to stay the night. But again, it's also my first time playing it and I'll grow to understand if I'm going too slow/quickly, how much money I really need, etc.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Felstaff » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:29 pm UTC

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. is one of the most annoying aspects of SUPERHOT.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:43 pm UTC

Annoying and great since the whole idea is that it's drilling itself into your head. It wouldn't be the same if the game wasn't constantly attacking you with something obnoxious yet catchy.

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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:45 pm UTC

so i have a ps4 now, and i have no idea what games i want to get for it. any suggestions? i know for a fact i'll be buying Fallout 4 and Unravel, but i'm coming up blank otherwise. (i know i want to get No Man's Sky when it comes out, but that's not until June so i gotta wait a while :^/)
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:11 pm UTC

WilliamTheConqueror wrote:so i have a ps4 now, & i have no idea what games i want to get for it. any suggestions? i know for a fact i'll be buying Fallout 3 & Unravel, but i'm coming up blank otherwise. (i know i want to get No Man's Sky when it comes out, but that's not until May so i gotta wait a while :^/)


Dark Souls III is released very soon, if you're into that sort of thing.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:20 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
WilliamTheConqueror wrote:so i have a ps4 now, & i have no idea what games i want to get for it. any suggestions? i know for a fact i'll be buying Fallout 2 & Unravel, but i'm coming up blank otherwise. (i know i want to get No Man's Sky when it comes out, but that's not until March so i gotta wait a while :^/)


Dark Souls III is released very soon, if I're into that sort of thing.


i'd love to play any of the dark souls games, but i'm absolutely awful at them and they're not very fun for me :( however i think over the summer i'm gonna try and Git Gud™ and play em. if i can improve i might get bloodborne too - i loooove the aesthetic of that game.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:59 am UTC

I'm awful at twitch, reaction gameplay. I'm bad at memorizing patterns and generally just awful at action stuff.

The Souls games are fun, all the same. They're rough, but weirdly fair. I've only played Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, and of those I'd say Dark Souls is probably the best place to start, and probably the best of the three - though Demon's Souls does some things better and some more interesting. Demon's does require a PS3 though, so that's a gate blocking you if you don't have one.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:10 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I'm awful at twitch, reaction gameplay. I'm bad at memorizing patterns & generally just awful at action stuff.

The Souls games are fun, all the same. They're rough, but weirdly fair. I've only played Demon's Souls, Dark Souls & Dark Souls 1, & of those I'd say Dark Souls is probably the best place to start, & probably the best of the eight - though Demon's Souls does some things better & some more interesting. Demon's does require a PS3 though, so that's a gate blocking I if I don't have six.


My brothers own Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls II so I'll definitely check them out this summer!! my problem is the same as yours, though - my reactions are Terrible so I'll probably have a hard time :^/
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:42 pm UTC

My first Demon's Souls run was something like 80 hours, my first Dark Souls run was something like 40 as while I was accustomed to the controls, it had been a while and new maps and all that. I think Dark 2 took me 30 hours.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:20 pm UTC

WilliamTheConqueror wrote:my problem is the same as yours, though - my reactions are Terrible so I'll probably have a hard time :^/


I think this requirement is a bit of a misconception. I know because I thought the same before I got into Dark Souls. Most people that struggle with Dark Souls do so because they try to do too much and just end up mashing buttons and giving your character incomprehensible mixed messages. This works in the Arkham-games or Shadow of Mordor, but Dark Souls shits on you really hard for that type of imprecision.

In practice, if you're really patient and pay attention to what's going on you can get away with performing very few actions at a pretty slow pace. In fact, that sort of slower pace of playing is a decent sign you've begun to figure the game out. There's also a decent amount of trial and error in working out working tactics to deal with the enemies you're facing.

Here's a guy defeating what is without any real competition the hardest boss fight in the game with voice command. Meanwhile, I spent like 10+ hours trying to nail those guys with a handcontroller.

I guess my point is this: Dark Souls is hard, but not because it requires fast reaction times.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:33 pm UTC

True enough. The only thing I know that requires timing is Parrying, unless you're going nuts with invincibility frames (but if you care enough about timing those, you don't need a pep talk to play the game)

It's a weirdly slow game while not being that slow
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby Koa » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:34 pm UTC

The thing that turns me off to the series is that it forces trial and error on everyone. The primary ways you die: to an enemy attack that you haven't seen before, to an enemy attack you have seen before but still haven't figured out a good response to yet, to enemy combinations or situations that deliberately force you to change your strategy, and to environmental death traps. Being good at the game means that you know every single enemy and what they're capable of, and you know the map perfectly and all the sticky situations the game will throw you into. Being methodical, patient, observant and persistent are what's going to get you through. If someone were to so much as think, "I have good twitch reflexes and I play 'hard' games so I should be fine," they're speeding towards the brick walls that are hidden around every corner. I never once felt that my reflexes were too slow. It's always very small timing mistakes, or some part of my strategy isn't working and I need to adapt.

I guess I've never really understood the whole "hard but fair" concept. It seems like people mean to say "hard but satisfying to overcome." I think the series is pretty unfair as far as games go, they throw some pretty dirty stuff at you occasionally. The games work best when you're sufficiently paranoid, low on supplies, and pushing into an area that you aren't familiar with.

The worlds that these games make are unrivaled though in this age of Ubisoft shovelware. It throws a wrench into the "hard but fair" thing because when you look carefully you can definitely see the fingerprints of the developers trying to kill you, but the world ends up blurring them over. You almost find yourself thinking "this deathtrap here makes sense that it's here, I'm sort of okay with it."

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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:22 pm UTC

I think it depends on how you view progress.

A lot of "progress" in Dark Souls is learning how to play it, which includes learning how to fight enemies to a degree, but also how to approach the areas. It really sort of subverts the idea of a boss. In many cases, the boss fights are much easier than the areas they are in. They almost feel like a respite.

Once you are sufficiently good, you really don't rely on gear or stats very much at all. In fact, you can defeat Dark Souls without armor and without upgrading your character at all. People have done that without a single death. The skill ceiling is pretty ridiculous in DS. Dunno, I really like that about a game. But then again I also enjoy competitive Starcraft, which has a lot of similarities in that regard. I like how it doesn't matter if you think you are good or think you know what to do. The game is the mercilessly harsh judge of what works and what doesn't, and it does not allow for a lot of mistakes. Builds character.

Dark Souls is one of few games I can say I've gotten tangibly better at from playing. If I start up a new game, I shit all over the enemies that gave me all sorts of trouble when I first started. While in part because I've memorized their location and move set, but more so because I'm so much better at the game.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby Koa » Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:05 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:While in part because I've memorized their location & move set, but more so because I'm so much better at the game.

What is there to be good at other than those things though? Consistency? I've mentioned this before, but I feel like the way that you control your character is very simplistic. You can't control your dodge roll in any other way than to choose a direction at the start of it. Why can't I use the analog stick to do a short roll or a long roll? Why does it take 5 minutes to become comfortable with a weapon's moveset? I made the comparison to DmC3... You can spend hundreds of hours training one style in DmC3 and still have so much room to improve. There's less focus on knowing how the enemies work like in Souls, and more focus on your efficacy of controlling your own character. I love that. It's that much more satisfying to have learned a fluid control of a complicated system, much like competitive Starcraft for me, than it is to have learned a system that is simply esoteric at first.

I don't think Souls should be some hyper action game but I would prefer some more going on in that regard. Once you beat the game once, you can replay and be really good as a sorceror, as a greatsword wielder, as a thief, as a hunter... it doesn't matter.

The difficulty is in understanding the world and its enemies. It's an exploration game with lots of death. The various challenges people have imposed upon themselves are definitely impressive (I've seen most of vageta311's videos), but there's often a high skill ceiling to be found in any game when you create those challenges.

I don't know a lot about Bloodborne or DS3 though, maybe it's better. I guess it's a testament to the series that I can talk about what I found to be their weakness and it makes me want to play again.

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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:58 am UTC

"hard but fair"

The game rarely has traps or ambushes that are not telegraphed in advance if you pay attention. You either can see the enemies well in advance or can see the pressure plate, cliff, whatever. Watch a chest for a moment - movement is bad. Unless you are insanely out of your element or are doing some weird challenge run, if you're leveling appropriately (and by that I mean you could literally put a point in every stat when you level), then you can simply slowly advance with a shield raised and be confident nothing is going to one-shit you without ample warning. Some if not the hardest fights are ones you go and pick - they don't "just happen"

Obvious bad weapons (broken sword, anyone?) aside, there are few joke or bad weapons in the game, and even some of those have their purpose. You can beat the game with a simple dagger (leveled by a smith, of course) or that soul sucking great sword of bonesmashing. Both are perfectly viable, if different in style.

I can't think of anything that's "This is bullshit" in Demon's, aside from the upgrade system being nonobvious and world tendency being a pain in the ass. Dark has Seath's intro and the Bed of Chaos bullshit. I don't recall DaSII having bullshit moments like that. Pretty much everything in the game could, conceivably, be defeated in the first try. Not likely, sure, but it's quite possible. I could see someone who played Demon's and Dark beating Dark Souls II with no deaths.

The games pull no punches, but they also don't cheat and kick you down just because you're supposed to get beaten here, or because you have too many lives or whatever. The game doesn't punish you for winning, it punished you for not paying attention.

That's what I mean when I say things like "ruthlessly fair"
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby Koa » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:15 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Pretty much everything in the game could, conceivably, be defeated in the first try. Not likely, sure, but it's quite possible. I could see someone who played Demon's & Dark beating Dark Souls II with no deaths.

I've heard people say this, but I completely disagree. You can see the traps if you know what to look for, but there's no way to know the first time. No death runs only become possible when you know everything that is coming your way. Everybody falls the first time.
SecondTalon wrote:I could see someone who played Demon's & Dark beating Dark Souls II with no deaths.

I would bet cash money against that every single time. I would actually bet that they couldn't accomplish a no death run within their first life or first twenty hours of play. And I guess that's my point, the skills don't translate from one game to another because the difficulty comes more directly from the game world than it does the combat mechanics.

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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:38 pm UTC

argh forum meltdown
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:39 pm UTC

argh forum meltdown
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:44 pm UTC

It's a game about learning. Failure is apart of any real learning experience.

Playing Dark Souls without deaths the first playthrough would mean you've already mastered every lesson the game offers, which is about as likely as a beginner picking up a guitar for the first time and playing it like Hendrix. However, there's at the same time nothing preventing that from happening. It's just very unlikely.
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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:35 pm UTC

I have had a couple of Dark Souls deaths due to camera - the camera parking itself behind an opaque object and an enemy emerging into what would be line-of-sight and starting to batter me while I try to figure out what's going on.

I've also had some unpleasant experiences from forgetting to close the menu all the way - you can get back to a screen where you can run around fine, but the action buttons do menu stuff rather than game stuff and by the time you've noticed something's wrong, figured out what, and remembered how to fix it, what should have been a one-sided battle with an enemy walking straight into your perfectly timed weapon-swing becomes a desperate scramble...

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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby Koa » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:04 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:Playing Dark Souls without deaths the first playthrough would mean you've already mastered every lesson the game offers, which is about as likely as a beginner picking up a guitar for the first time and playing it like Hendrix. However, there's at the same time nothing preventing that from happening. It's just very unlikely.

Sure, I get that. It's just that that's true of most things and most games. When a game is said to be hard but fair it's distinguishing it from other games that are perhaps hard but not fair, and the only thing that I can think of which is like that is IWBTG and its ilk. Assuming fairness always means that you can see an obstacle coming before you're punished, and can act without precognition of the obstacle, because I don't think it always means that to people. For most people I think fairness is how they found the challenge agreeable or disagreeable, which makes the expression much more subjective than it appears. I could see some small number of people going as far as arguing that IWBTG is fair due simply to the fact that it can be beaten, but even so...

Any game that is hard is probably also fair, otherwise why would you play it? You know, other than masochism.

I've just always thought that the expression was fairly empty. I've probably used it once or twice myself and it has never sit right with me. It's something you say about a hard game that you like, more than anything else. I don't think I would ever describe a hard game that I don't like as hard but fair, even though I could make the same sort of case for it that ST did, and that ends up being the main distinction. "This game is fucking frustrating. It sucks ass. Oh, and the combat is fair... I GUESS. Maybe if it would let me live through all of these fair, telegraphed attacks I COULD WASTE MORE OF MY TIME PLAYING THIS STUPID GAME." At its core it's a subjective expression, and it's kind of deceptive in that form.

It was a hit and run semantic commentary, not necessarily related to Souls.

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Re: Gaming flittery thunks

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:09 pm UTC

My take on "hard but fair" is that there are inarguably games out there which are hard in unfair ways - deaths you can't see coming; AI that cheats in obvious ways; level design by Torquemada, etc. There are also games which are easy but unfair, though they're less common (usually unfairness adds difficulty).

Then there are games which are fair - any information you need is available by the time you need it, and you always know what you should be doing - so it feels like your own fault when things go wrong.

There are also reasons for playing that are independent of the difficulty of a game - or a stretch of a game - like plot and character development. Okay, nowadays, Let's Play videos are a more likely option in that situation than the traditional cheat codes, GameFAQs, or sheer pig-headed stubbornness until the RNG lets you win one.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:45 pm UTC

Unfair - supermutant invasion of the vault in Fallout 1 as, if I'm recalling it correctly, there is no indication it is possible or on it's way.

Fair - the Ur-Quan taking over the universe if you take too long in Star Control 2 as you have maps showing you more or less real-time that the Ur-Quan threat is growing AND there's even a faction that's killed off relatively early to let you know it's possible.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:58 am UTC

It's a little different when you think in terms of vertical slices than when you're describing a game as a whole. If we wanted to go back to Dark Souls 2 then there's...
Spoiler:
this stuff (the ogre bodyslamming the door as you're likely moving to open it, the beam that breaks while you're falling down the well). There's all sorts of unfair little things that you might not remember, and we probably shouldn't even get into the janky hitboxes.


But I don't really have too much issue with the term as long as "fair" is defined in some way or another. When it's not I just interpret the expression as a compliment rather than any meaningful explanation of how the game works, because otherwise there can be a lot of miscommunication in those three short words.

There's a similarity to how most people say Dark Souls is hard, and some few say Dark Souls is not hard. I think both groups are right. It's a miscommunication. The first group is talking about how many failures they had, and the second group accepts those failures as a part of the experience (effectively ignoring them), and all they can focus on is the complexity of what is being asked of them from the game. It's not particularly difficult to play the game (partly why those voice and guitar challenges are possible) , but you will fail. In this case though, the second group is just poor at communicating their thoughts.

rmsgrey wrote:AI that cheats in obvious ways

That's actually a weird one. is it unfair when you're outnumbered by the AI? Even though, let's say, the AI can't control those units half as well as you can, but you are outnumbered. Fair or unfair? If an AI cheats or otherwise doesn't play by the same rules as the player in order to provide a challenge, is it always inherently unfair? Whether you can answer the question or not, I don't think everyone would agree.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby kiniget » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:03 am UTC

eventually I should finish Diablo 3

I mean

I am literally in the process of fighting Diablo himself
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:36 am UTC

Diablo 3 is a good example of a game where the challenge comes from being overwhelmed. Is it then unfair? Does Diablo 3 cross the "obvious" line of a cheating opponent?

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:45 pm UTC

Koa wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:AI that cheats in obvious ways

That's actually a weird one. is it unfair when you're outnumbered by the AI? Even though, let's say, the AI can't control those units half as well as you can, but you are outnumbered. Fair or unfair? If an AI cheats or otherwise doesn't play by the same rules as the player in order to provide a challenge, is it always inherently unfair? Whether you can answer the question or not, I don't think everyone would agree.


For starters, it depends a lot on context - when it's a game where the player is expected to murder every creature they come across, it's generally accepted that the enemies will have varied abilities and few if any will be even remotely equivalent to the player's avatar. It's in games where the AI is presented as a player itself rather than the world that there's an expectation that it will follow the same rules as constrain the player - at least while anyone's watching.

Also, there's a difference between asymmetric setups and asymmetric rules: having different starting resources is generally accepted as a "fair" handicap; having unlimited resources in a game where the player has to cope with resource depletion is not.

Generally, if the AI isn't playing by the rules the player expects them to be bound by, it's "unfair".

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Sableagle » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:41 pm UTC

Dthen wrote:
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Image
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Space is pretty.

Asp-class, right? I remember Elite ... on the BBC Micro. I still think calling it Elite: Dangerous is like making a game called Wing Commander: Squadron Leader or Field Marshall: Colonel.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby DaBigCheez » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:30 am UTC

My thoughts on the "fairness" aspect in the Souls games is that, in essence, when I die, I usually have a good sense of what I could have done to avoid it.

"Ugh, I got greedy and went in for another attack when I should have waited for a better opening." "Right, I have to dodgeroll counter to the tailswipe's direction to dodge the groundsmash that follows it." "Need to wait a little longer before dodging that one, he holds the sword up a bit longer than I expect." "That move's not blockable, I *know* that, why do I keep *trying* to block it..."

This is in comparison, I would say, to things with lots of enrage timers, gear-checks, and non-telegraphed attacks. Things like "2 minutes after you engage this enemy, they'll cause the room to explode, dealing 500 damage to everything inside. Don't have good enough gear to survive the blast or kill it beforehand? Better go grind." Attacks have enough of a wind-up that you know something's coming, even if it takes a couple tries to learn *what* and what to do about it. It's still hard to describe, but there's rarely a feeling of "dafuq was that?!" as compared to "come on, I *know* better than this, gotta be less greedy..."

This, I think, is shared in a lot of good shmup games (Touhou etc.); I've also been playing a lot of Monster Hunter recently, and it definitely seems to share the same slower, more deliberate combat style with its emphasis on waiting for, creating, and exploiting openings. One thing I like about the genre (though I have a hard time saying *what* genre that is, but "Souls/Monster Hunter-like games") is that, well...in some games, World of Warcraft or what have you, if you're going back to an earlier boss with substantially better gear than expected, the most efficient strategy is often to completely ignore its mechanics due to being able to survive the damage, and just stand there and beat it down. In Souls/MH, due to the knockback, hitstun, stagger, etc. caused by enemy attacks, even when you have massively overpowered gear the most *efficient* strategy is still to evade their attacks and counter during the openings - to git gud rather than git lazy. I have endgame gear in Monster Hunter, but if I go back to some of the earliest quests and try to just bumrush the monsters without properly respecting their attacks, it'll take me all day compared to "dodge left, dodge right, parry and STRIKE!"
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:43 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:My thoughts on the "fairness" aspect in the Souls games is that, in essence, when I die, I usually have a good sense of what I could have done to avoid it.

In that case, anything unfair is probably overshadowed by frustration. And you probably couldn't call anything unfair either, because you didn't understand the challenge perhaps due to some failing of your own. I feel like you have to understand it, and consider it disagreeable for whatever reason, in order for it to be unfair. That makes the most sense to me anyway.
rmsgrey wrote:It's in games where the AI is presented as a player itself rather than the world that there's an expectation that it will follow the same rules as constrain the player - at least while anyone's watching.

Yes, expectations are a large factor as well. There's a lot of subjective dials that decide what side of the fence someone will fall on for each circumstance, yet the expression sounds like an objective statement, doesn't it? It's only when you talk about the details that meaning is teased out.

A game I might personally call unfair is Xcom. I think it's unfair when RNG heavily determines success. But I wouldn't tell someone that it is unfair. Maybe they would like the game and I'm turning them off to it. Likewise, I wouldn't tell someone that a game is hard but fair, because I don't know if they're going to find the challenge agreeable. I've heard people call Starcraft unfair on several occasions. If I were to find it valid to call Xcom unfair, then I should be okay with people calling Starcraft unfair (which I'm not).

That's how I think about it anyway. I hope it doesn't seem that I want to censor the expression or something. I treat it like a meme.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Xanthir » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:38 pm UTC

I was bingeing Penny Arcade's First 15 and watched them play Mini Metro. They fucked it up real bad, just not understanding the UI in the slightest, but it looked *amazing* to me so I bought it immediately, and omigod I was so right.

It's a strategy game where you're designing a subway/train/tram system for a city in real-time, as riders show up with places to go and new stations constantly pop in. The aesthetic is that of the London Underground tube maps, which is *amazing*, and they even match up the line colors to the actual colors of the given city's system. It can get really stressful and hectic as you're ripping up track to quickly lay down something more efficient with the limited lines you have to work with, while the stations pile up with customers (there's no money mechanic, you just do whatever, but if a station is overloaded for too long you lose), but they make up for it with a very chill ambient soundtrack that helps keep it relaxing.

Anyway, A+ game, can see myself playing this for a long while just to revisit and relax. You can play any map in "Endless" mode, too, where overloading doesn't have any consequences, but you're rewarded for increasing the efficiency of your system. That feels really good.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:03 pm UTC

Koa wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:It's in games where the AI is presented as a player itself rather than the world that there's an expectation that it will follow the same rules as constrain the player - at least while anyone's watching.

Yes, expectations are a large factor as well. There's a lot of subjective dials that decide what side of the fence someone will fall on for each circumstance, yet the expression sounds like an objective statement, doesn't it? It's only when you talk about the details that meaning is teased out.

A game I might personally call unfair is Xcom. I think it's unfair when RNG heavily determines success. But I wouldn't tell someone that it is unfair. Maybe they would like the game and I'm turning them off to it. Likewise, I wouldn't tell someone that a game is hard but fair, because I don't know if they're going to find the challenge agreeable. I've heard people call Starcraft unfair on several occasions. If I were to find it valid to call Xcom unfair, then I should be okay with people calling Starcraft unfair (which I'm not).

That's how I think about it anyway. I hope it doesn't seem that I want to censor the expression or something. I treat it like a meme.


I don't think RNG has anything to do with fairness or otherwise - where actual unfairness would happen is if the game lies about the odds, or if the enemy had a bonus or penalty to their random numbers (specifically one that doesn't carry over if you successfully mind control an enemy unit but does apply to your units that they mind control). Random numbers killing your entire squad is frustrating, but not, objectively, unfair.


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