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Farlander's Posts

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(90872460)

Thread Games that end on a sequel tease (That are extremely unlikely to ever get a sequel)
To be fair, if not for the THQ closing, you would probably already have had a Darksiders 5 about 2 years ago tops. The time between DS1 and DS2 was relatively short, and DS3 came around so late only because the development studio ceased to exist alongside the publisher.
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(90865473)

Thread Games that end on a sequel tease (That are extremely unlikely to ever get a sequel)
One I can remember is Advent Rising which leaves a lot of unresolved stuff. I actually played it so long ago that I don't remember WHAT the plot of the game was by this point and what was unresolved, I just remember that it had like a HUGE set-up for something and then the sequel never arrived. EDIT: Lol, somebody just posted about Advent Rising right before me :D I would say that Prince of Persia 2008 has an open ending, but not necessarily a sequel tease (unlike the epilogue which is a clear hook). So it works fully stand-alone. Makes it easier to bear lack of a sequel.
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Thread What are some common critiques of specific games that you think are unfair or unwarranted?
It's sad that you had this experience, but there must have been something more to it than just the aspect of durability. I myself in my first playthrough went west to Gerudo desert (which is what people do last) and have never had ANY issues with running out of weapons, and that's considering that BotW makes a mistake of not allowing you to upgrade inventory unless you follow the main quest. A BIG mistake for a game about going anywhere, but still I had always TONS of weapons and never ran out. Even if we take stats-wise, the shittiest sword (5 damage, 20 hits) is enough to kill two Lizalfos, and a single Lizalfos weapon that they drop even at its weakest is enough to damage 4 Lizalfos to death (so the shittiest sword that kills two at its minimum leads to 2 less shitty weapons that kill 8... and so on). This is literally math that prevents hard-gating. There are special elemental Lizalfos that have higher base health, but their area of habitat is farther down the radius from the Plateau. Engaging them first at the least would mean that you've been avoiding fights long before that. But even then to kill the special elemental Lizalfos you would need two shitty swords, which leads to a better weapon (that is if we don't consider that enemies drop their weapons before dying if you hit them repeatedly or with a charged attack), so it's difficult to see, mathematically speaking, how can you run out of weapons while exploring even if you go into an area with just the shittiest weapons.
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Thread RTTP: God of War 3 -- You have disrespected the Gods for the last time, Kratos! (open spoilers)
Some people might say that story was never the point of GoW, even though the very first game had a very well-crafted (straightforward, but well-crafted) tale so I wouldn't agree with this, but the story in this one... If God of War II is "stupid but enjoyable" so to speak, i.e. a lot of things don't quite make sense, Kratos' motivation has been oversimplified and he does a lot of dumb things, God of War III is all that but also, in addition, it is also quite actively disgusting. I had to REALLY compartmentalise story and gameplay in this one because the gameplay is really good, but whenever I was thinking about WHAT was actually happening.... Eh.
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Thread What are some common critiques of specific games that you think are unfair or unwarranted?
Regarding Weapon Durability in BotW. The problem that Weapon Durability BotW solves (or, well, tries to) is not that of preventing weapons from becoming too OP, or not that of promoting creativity. While both are affect, the problem weapon durability tries to solve is that of relevancy. BotW is a game where you can go literally anywhere at any point, and not only that, but also come BACK to where you were to discover something you haven't. Weapon Durability makes sure that wherever you go, there's always a relevant reward waiting for you - as there's a scaling system in place that makes sure that you get better rewards with progress (i.e. if in the beginning of the game you will find a rusty sword in one of the Great Plateau shrines, but if you get back there much later you will find a Royal Sword). Enemies will also get better weapons you can take away from them. And durability serves the purpose of cycling inventory - clearing out space for those better and more durable weapons to take their place in it. If we wouldn't have had weapon durability, then you could go to place number 1 before place 2, find something really cool there, and then the reward from place 2 would be useless because the place 1 reward never loses its relevancy. This is a VERY ingenious solution (that is much more cost effective in relation to its potential alternative - creating shittons of unique rewards). But, there IS a problem. The ACTUAL problem of BotW durability system is the fact that weapon scaling happens ONLY with killed enemies. For which you need to, well, spend weapons. So if a person is afraid to use weapons, then rewards don't scale, they hoard weapons that keep being trash weapons despite them playing the game for a long time. While if a person is not afraid to use weapons, they interact with the system and actually literally have no problem with durability and keep getting better and more durable weapons as they progress. There are two solutions that could fix that problem: 1) Make things like quests, shrines, and all other types of calculatable way to progress also play a part in that reward progression scaling. 2) To lessen the initial fear of weapons breaking, make it so that every time it breaks there's a resource that falls off which can be used later on to craft some evergreen item (let's say an armor set). And also the initial durability stats of beginning weapons is probably too low, might be better to make it higher.
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Thread What are some common critiques of specific games that you think are unfair or unwarranted?
Weapon durability literally CAN'T hard-gate where you go because enemy difficulty is ALSO tied to the same progression scaling as rewards. There are only two constants - the Plateaus has the easiest enemies and Ganon's Castle the hardest (well, plus Lynels spread out in hard to reach spots there and there). The rest of the enemies across the map are scaled alongside the rewards. In the first quarter of the game you literally don't need anything but trash to deal with enemies because they're easily killed by them. The problem is psychological (fear to use weapons and hoarding them) which eventually CAN transform into a problem. I did say in my post that BotW-system is not built around hoarding and that hoarding it makes the experience worse (which is why the goal should be to have better ways to promote weapon using and additional conditions to scaling - hoarding shouldn't be a thing that breaks the system while now it does that), so you're sort of just confirming the arguments there.
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Thread How does The Lord of the Rings Online feel to play today?
A shame... I really liked the Warden class back in the day because it was the least, 'traditional' so to speak, but not sure how much that will hold up now. No, but I have skimmed through it now (will give a detailed look later, thanks for the link!), he seems to have went through a bunch of starting areas (which even a decade later still feel fresh in the back of my mind :D ) with some of the older classes, so I suppose it just confirms my fears that not much has changed gameplay-wise. It was cancelled.
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Thread How does The Lord of the Rings Online feel to play today?
So this is the state of the world of Middle-Earth in The Lord of the Rings Online now. When I played the game last in 2009, about 65% of what's on the map now just simply... wasn't there. This look amazing! Going from the Shire to Minas-Tirith is something I would definitely love to do! But. Even back in 2007-2009 when I played the game regularly, I wasn't really a fan of the actual gameplay. I loved the world of course and the community was fantastic, so much fun (I think I've spent more time in taverns and singing songs and going on "camping trips" with other people than doing actual quests). However nowadays I don't really have a lot of spare time to get really into the community side of things, so I'm more interested in how the game plays. Were there many changes since 2009? Or is it the same but with just some new classes/races/features? Because if I wasn't a fan of this gameplay back in 2009, I really doubt I wouldn't be bored by it in 2022. But boy do I really want to get back and just roam around what looks like the most detailed digital recreation of Middle-Earth yet.
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Thread The Lord of the Rings: Gollum pushed back for polish.
According to , the game will not be released in September anymore. Honestly, I'm not sure how much that will actually affect the final quality of the game. I'm personally really intrigued by a Gollum title, but all the gameplay footage we've seen showcase signs of a troubled/painful development that the team tries to push to the finish line, and I'm not sure that a few months will considerably change things. A delay that officially happens right before a game has to go gold (because for a September release it had to go gold literally now, though of course internally decision could've been made earlier, but still the announcement is very close to original release date) is also not the most encouraging aspect.
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Thread Ubisoft has cancelled development of Splinter Cell VR, Ghost Recon Frontlines and 2 more titles
Sad for my ex-colleagues from Bucharest. I never was on the Ghost Recon project, luckily, cause they went through a LOT of shit to make it happen, HQ kept pinging back different arbitrary demands, and now after all that pain it is canned.
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Thread Astral Chain isn’t clicking with me.
It didn't click with me either at first, when I tried to play it as a fast-paced melee/ranged action game. But then I realized that it's a bit of a slower paced team management action game, and it clicked. The game is pretty bad at explaining it though.
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Thread Organizing Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Revelations, III multiplayer farewell weekend sessions
As many of you might know, AC multiplayer is getting shutdown across multiple games on September 1. So I'm trying to organize some farewell weekend sessions for all games, to try and get as many people to play these to say goodbye to this cool mode with a bang! More info . The general idea is to have two weekends per game, with several agreed times across different time zones for maximum coverage. I'm in talks with the AC reddit moderators for this to get pinned and get more coverage. But still, please spread the word and join in :)
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Thread What’s the consensus on Watch Dogs 2 & Legion?
Cheers! It's absolutely fine if you don't like it. I honestly think that Legion was released on the wrong generation of consoles, there's a lot of compromises and things that had to be removed because we couldn't have BOTH Play as Anyone/schedule related things AND some features from WD1/WD2 on a PS4/X1 (so a cool stuff like Blackout or ambulances arriving infront of your eyes after wounded citizens had to be removed). So I can understand the disappointment of a number of aspects (plus recruit anyone was a massive technical+design challenge and I think we would need a second iteration to really nail it! Not working at Ubi anymore so don't know if it's happening, but I sure hope so!). I just wish I wouldn't have to read a bunch of posts that call it dogshit or a ruiner of a franchise (in general, not referring to you guys personally) :D There are other ways to express disliking a game.
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Thread What’s the consensus on Watch Dogs 2 & Legion?
*me having worked on Legion prepared to see posts how Legion is a flawed but unique experience that's worth trying out if that's your jam* *5 minutes pass* *reality crashes right into my face* This is why it can be dangerous to read what people say about stuff one worked on, lol :D
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Thread Was Wind Waker where Zelda’s timeline got screwy?
Maybe it's due to my fascination with mythology in the past, which obviously is FULL of contradictions, but I never saw the timeline of Zelda as something that needs a concrete explanation. Like, one can go "hey in ALttP all descendants of the Sages are Hylians! But in OoT they are all different races! RETCON!" Well, in THAT verson of the story the original sages were not Hylian. Done and done. If a Zelda story wants to reference or continue another Zelda story that's cool. But due to the clear cyclic reuse of not only archetypes but literally the same characters across tons of different games, then just like in mythology consistency is not something I search for in Zelda. So timeline doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
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Thread [LTTP] God Of War PSP games (Chains of Olympus , Ghost of Sparta)
Ghost of Sparta is the best classic GoW game, better than any of the console titles in terms of pacing, enemy design, the importance of different weapons in relation to enemies, etc. Also due to lack of the second stick the PSP games have managed to find a far better solution for dodging than the original GoW games.
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Thread A (very) bleak rant about being QA for gaming dev
I feel the guy, a lot of the problems he mentions stem from 4 things: 1. Production really doesn't like giving buffers (that are a NECESSITY because literally a feature is NEVER done in the amount of time the original estimation is done in) since they usually have to make sure that the whole scope fits into the limited timeframe that the project is given. What I always taught people in my team is to always double their estimations, but never actually say they're doubled. I.e. if you think it will take X to handle a feature, say 2X, and then if the feature is important it will also get some 0.5X buffer. What often happens is that people give their original estimations, the feature is not done in that timeframe (of course) because of all the problems that popped up during development. And the reason why it's important to hide the fact that your estimation is doubled is because a lot of producers and production managers when learn that fact try to push the feature to be handled in the 1X time instead of the 2X time. 2. I will be honest, I have seen only a couple of Creative Directors who are ACTUALLY good at their job. Most of them are just good at talking (which is how they got their job in the first place, I suppose), but are actually too chaotic and don't really hold any sort of vision that would help to direct the little amount of iterations an AAA production usually has. It's not uncommon for a project to be in a "creative searching" during the first half of its production and then hastily trying to actually do and finish and connect everything together in the second half. I had friends at CDPR who were VERY disappointed by the process games like Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk that they worked on had. Which is - the game is an ethereal mess with no direction and a lot of vague ambition and ideas that don't have a plan to how get implemented/polished, it stays in that state for a very long time, and then oh shit it's time to crunch and finish the project and actually make decisions (which also leads to a lot of features that were worked on being cut because there was no understanding how to fit them into the bigger picture in the first place). 3. A lot of projects that are completed in such way actually get high metacritic scores and good sales, validating their approach. Companies like to say 'oh we will change our work/life balance to the better, we will work on our processes, etc', but 95% of the time unless the game becomes a critical and sales failure, things don't actually change. 4. I have 10 years in the industry, and there's actually a VERY small amount of developers with that mileage. Due to an INCREDIBLY high churn, there's a disproportionate amount of people with less than 5 years of experience, alongside a considerable number of people who stubbornly survived and got past 20+ years and stay. But in comparison to those two groups, there's a VERY little amount of people with this middle range of 5-20 years. The reason this matters is because people leave, new people come in, and they don't have enough people who would teach them this kind of stuff, so in the end people are making the same mistakes over and over again, leave game dev, new people come in, the cycle continues.
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Thread Breaking off the true/full ending to sell it as paid DLC is the fucking worst! [spoilers ahead]
I played it back in the day. While technically it is a continuation, it didn't actually resolve anything (I guess makes sense given that it released in parallel to the console/PC version). Though honestly, while I'm sad that PoP2008 didn't get a sequel, without the Epilogue it has an absolutely fantastic ambiguous ending. With the Epilogue it has a.... ok-ish sequel hook ending. Since the sequel never actually happened and the DS tie-in doesn't resolve anything, I am fine with an absolutely fantastic ambiguous ending.
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Thread Which was your preferred Legend of Zelda version, Oracle of Seasons or Oracle of Ages?
The action/puzzle split sort of played a cruel joke on one game and was a blessing for another. Seasons is a heavily combat-focused game with systems that are not designed for deep skill-based combat, as a result it is fun but... nothing exceptional. Season changing is interesting for exploration but overall both exploration and puzzle aspects are sort of toned down because of focus on combat which never was the strength of 2D Zeldas anyway (LttP was exceptional because of its healthy mix and how in combat you tried to find creative use of items, again it wasn't just about fight systems which were pretty basic taken on their own, but that is not where enjoyment came from) Ages due to its focus on puzzles became one of the best (and most underappreciated) Zelda games ever because you can't have JUST puzzles, you need to have combat and exploration too and those in Ages became REALLY interesting due to attempts to vary the opponents up through "action puzzle" and environments through "exploration puzzle" approaches, so the game became just packed with interesting content.
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Thread What do you think about the graphics of Ghost of Tsushima?
You have to provide examples of what you consider to be a consistent game, because your example of "meh" for GoT has been a good looking screenshot. And if THAT'S inconsistent then I wonder what open-world game can be considered consistent as it is natural for some locations to look better than others.
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Thread What do you think about the graphics of Ghost of Tsushima?
The only visual problem I had with Zero Dawn is character facial animations because they tended to look uncanny and were often the center of attention (GoT has a similar problem sometimes in non-cutscene dialogs, but beautiful framing often hides that). Things like water.... I've played all the games you mentioned (in case of Watch Dogs - worked on it), and honestly I still fail to see the argument. By this logic, is Breath of the Wild one of the worst looking open-world games? Like, yes, if you just compare the water of Ghost of Tsushima against water in other games, it is not the best. It is also not bad. It is good water. Besides, when I am playing a game, I don't look JUST at the water, I look at everything in tandem. There is still a matter of art direction, if one would apply Forbidden West water implementatiom which looks great there to Ghost of Tsushima, it would've looked horrible. Water in GoT follows the rest of the art style principles of the game.
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Thread What do you think about the graphics of Ghost of Tsushima?
"Art direction is great but textures are just ok/blurry/bad" style of takes are the weirdest to me. The game has amazing art direction precisely because textures aren't extremely detailed which gives it a very painterly look that doesn't feel busy to the eye. That is an actually intentional choice that enhances the overall look by making you not pay attention to little details and embrace the nature and the use of contrasting colors in different biomes. This is like saying "the cheesecake is very tasty but the lemon zest is just ok, a bit too bitter maybe" - you don't eat the zest separately, the whole point is how the lemon zest enhances the flavour of the cheesecake.
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Thread What do you think about the graphics of Ghost of Tsushima?
We definitely have a different definition of beautiful, because to me the water in both Horizon games is beautiful and the difference is precisely in realism/tech - the ripples and reflections behave more naturally in Forbidden West but it doesn't make Zero Dawn look ugly. But then again this from 2003 to me is beautiful as well, even though on a technical level it doesn't hold a candle to any of the modern day games now.
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Thread When you look back objectively without the nostalgia, Pokemon Gen 1 designs were kinda “basic”.
The problem with this conversation is it entirely depends on which Pokemon you choose to present to make your case. There's enough great, average, and 'eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh' looking Pokemon in every generation that you can build a case for each being 'the best'. Same with the 'overdesign' argument. Same with 'interesting animal/creature rather than just an alive inanimate object' argument.
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Thread What is the most underrated Assassin's Creed game? (Spoiler: It's Assassins Creed 3)
It's definitely 1. I still have problems ever since 2009 (well technically 2010 as that's when AC2 was released for PC) with the prevailing notion that 'AC2 took everything AC1 did and did it better'. AC2 took AC1 engine and went into a totally different direction. It's a good game, sure, but it's NOT AC1+, it's a totally different thing. The closest Assassin's Creed 1 has received for a sequel was Assassin's Creed Unity (in a sense that, while not all, a bunch of principles were reused in Unity too). But really the true sequels to Assassin's Creed 1 are actually the modern Hitman games.
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Thread According to Tony Hawk, Activision planned THPS 3+4 remasters, and then Vicarious Visions getting merged into Blizzard killed the project.
There's more than 0 but faaaaaaaaaar less than 100 percent chance that with Microsoft at the helm some of the smaller projects like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games might see a resurgence. Microsoft is clearly interested in smaller titles more than Activision was. Hell, to me the very EXISTENCE and release of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Remake is VERY surprising.
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Thread Are we expecting consoles to continue into the 10th gen or streaming and the cloud to take off?
In the next 10-15 years, unless there's going to be a huge breakthrough in technology, streaming is still gonna be shit for around 70% of playing population.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
One of our goals for Trials Rising (for which I was the lead designer) was to increase the approachability of the game without making it any less relevant/enjoyable for hardcore players. There was a number of things that we wanted to tackle, from tutorials to structure, but one of the big ones was to increase casual competition between friends in the middle of track leaderboards - we have noticed that those people rarely replay the maps, and competition happened mostly on the top more hardcore level - in the first top ~500-1000 of every track, while there were literally hundreds of thousands players more in each leaderboard. We have identified what we saw as a blocker for more casual competition - the way leaderboard scores work. Trials has time and faults amount, and historically (how it happened in each Trials game for a decade prior), each leaderboard would first sort you by faults, and then within each fault number it would sort by time. This meant that for example if both players complete a track in 5 minutes, but one player has 1 fault and the other 2 - the difference between them on leaderboards can be literally tens of thousands of players, and that can look daunting on a mid/low-level. So we decided to redo the system a bit in Trials Rising. We know that at the top leaderboard spaces everything that matters is to get as fast as possible to the finish with 0 faults. So to keep that aspect intact while ALSO making casual competition something more enticing, we made it so that all names in a track leaderboard are sorted by TIME, while each fault adds a time penalty (in the end after a bunch of testing we stopped at +5 seconds). When Trials fans have learned about this, they were FURIOUS. They were saying how this would make it possible for people to cheese maps by failing at checkpoints to save time in certain spots (we tested beforehand, we knew it wasn't), they were saying how the top would suddenly be filled with imperfect rides because you can sacrifice a fault to get faster (we knew that it wouldn't), and a bunch of other criticisms that all essentially said 'you're ruining Trials'. There were actually a bunch of people in the team who were like 'maybe we should change the scoring back' but I and some others pushed against that to stick to our guns. But. BUT. A lot of people in the community who were complaining the loudest about this change were who called themselves Ninja players - among the hardcore Trials community there's a smaller community of people who in Track Editor make EXCEPTIONALLY difficult tracks that require a LOT of particular skill and precision and timing, and because of how technical those tracks can be, what that part of community really values in competition is actually not time, but faults - for them somebody completing a track in 15 minutes with 0 faults IS indeed much better than someone completing the track in 5 minute with 1 fault. Due to the nature of Ninja tracks it wasn't as much about going as fast as possible, but about being as technically efficient as possible and people would sometimes spend a very long time preparing for the next jump. It was a totally different style of play in comparison to what we were doing for the usual Trials maps (for which we have adapted the new scoring system). And mind you, none of them actually said that it will ruin Ninja map competition, but we saw that a lot of those very loudly complaining players were from the Ninja part of the community and realised that, yes, for Ninja maps this scoring literally doesn't make sense - it's not how those players play. So, what we did was the following - we have introduced a Ninja difficulty level (which also validated that part of the community), and returned the old system back for that difficulty level specifically, while all other difficulties that we use for 'normal' tracks kept the new scoring system. Mind you, this actually DIDN'T stop people from proceeding to consistently complain about the new scoring system on forums and reddit for quite a while, BUT: 1. A 5 second penalty in Trials is a LOT, so just like in previous games, we saw that the top 500-1000 spots competition of leaderboards on each track was still based on the fastest 0-fault play, so the new system literally did NOT change anything there (as we expected) - and after about a year of the game's release, people would start coming around and saying that 'yeah you know this is actually fine and makes sense' (because at that point leaderboards would be more or less stable and everyone would see that indeed only the 0-fault people are on top competitive levels anyway - there's nobody at #1 spot with 1-2 faults - it's literally impossible) 2. What it did change from the get go is how competition works on a more mid-level, and we did notice an increase of less hardcore players replaying the tracks to increase their scores/compete with friends in the middle of the leaderboards - so the purpose of why we were making the new system worked. 3. And everybody from the Ninja community used the Ninja difficulty level and loved it. So this is the case if we would just listen to our players and not implement the new scoring system we would fix/improve nothing, but by actually taking time to understand who the players complaining the loudest were we could pinpoint the exact nature of the problem.
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Thread How are the Middle Earth games?
Core mechanics and the Nemesis system are much better in Shadow of War, but also there's a LOT of bloat there while Shadow of Mordor is a leaner, more focused and consistent (and IMO as a result overall more enjoyable) experience. If you get Shadow of War you might want to try some of the smaller DLCs like Desolation of Mordor (which is sort of a rogue-lite-like) than going through the main campaign - those are much more focused too.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
There certainly would be advancements in this area because developers won't have to resort to loading-based tricks they had to resort to before, BUT.... We sort of don't want to go into the "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" territory. You CAN make players go insanely fast... but SHOULD you? How will the players actually be able to properly control such speeds? You CAN add tons of objects on screen.... but nobody has removed the need for there to be clarity of what is actually there. Etc. etc. So I foresee a considerable evolution, but not a 'revolution', if that makes sense, because pacing, clarity, flow, understability are still a thing. EDIT: Sorry, phone bugged out, finished my post now :D
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Thread The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria announced (2023)
Absolutely love the concept, and honestly the fact that LotR license is not used only for 'epic action/adventure battling games'. So far not really sure about implementation. It can go both ways. But if it's going to be as addicting as this other dwarf crafting/building/survival game I've been playing a LOT in my youth, fine by me :D
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
First, perhaps changing resolution/framerate/visual settings is easy from player perspective, but from dev perspective making and maintaining all those various options is a LOT of work (resolution in particular is very painful due to differences in aspect ratios). Now, while console development doesn't really have to worry about some of PC-specific things, ultimately it IS more expensive. You can't make a console game without devkits - those cost money. PC is mostly digital nowadays, console still has a lot of retail manufactoring/shipping involved - all that costs money. Submissions that have to be verified also cost money. And that is without mentioning the money Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo take for each sale, one reason there's so many launchers on PC nowadays is that this allows many developers to either avoid that (Uplay, Origin) or get a cheaper fee (Epic). In the end, a developer/publisher spends more on creating a console version of the game than the PC one, which is why console games are usually priced higher.
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Thread The Last of Us Part I | Original VS Remake Comparison
Honestly I prefer the 2014 remaster aesthetically. In many cases the more realistic lighting messes up the shot compositions the original had, or how the original would use some unrealistic lighting/coloring to make characters and their emotions pop and stand out. There are so many cases in the Part I comparison where everything just blurs together even though, yeah the work that has been done there is amazing. So I'm gonna get the remake only if the gameplay changes are significant enough, as in terms of visuals so far the 2014 version is the definite winner for me.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
In addition to this, people don't know about 70% of the delays that happen (since publicly delays are announced only if there's an exact release date, or if release date is vague quarter/year - if that changes). Without going into details, I've seen a bunch of people ask 'why wasn't this delayed?' for certain games, and they WERE delayed several times already before announcing the final release date. At some point you have to get the game out because delays increase the game's budget considerably.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
What I would add to machinaea's post about balance, and this actually applies not just to balancing but any feedback really, that there's also always a process of understanding the root cause behind feedback. Ok, there SHOULD always be a process of understanding the root cause behind the feedback, because some people ignore this and it leads to problems. In my experience, around 70% of the time what players say is the problem is not actually the problem, but rather a symptom/result of another problem, and finding THAT is what will actually fix experience for players.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I want to answer this part of the post specifically, because the rest I have seen a pretty extensive reply for it already. One of the biggest mistakes so many indie devs do is thinking precisely that - that their budget is rubbery and can stretch as much as needed and they can focus on perfecting whatever they think they should. Unless you're fine with not making a profit from your game (which really means that you have another main way to make money so it doesn't matter how the game performs, but it's a very specific situation) you don't want to act like that. Indies, like AAA devs, ABSOLUTELY have to prioritize what to focus on a lot and what not to focus on that much (and priorities always depend on the game, obviously what's related to the core of the game should have the highest priority), and their budget is not infinite at all. What's more, for indies all the monthly apartment/house costs, food one has to buy, internet services, etc. etc. are ALSO part of the budget (and another big mistake for small indies is that they fail to take that into account in their calculations). So many indie games have absolutely failed commercially because their development was prolonged due to lack of prioritization and their budget was considered to be an inflatable bubble rather than something that should actually have a limit.
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Thread Ghost of Tsushima PS plus regular/directors cut confusion?
I don't think the PS+ tier has a PS5 GoT, you are playing PS4 GoT with a PS5 patch in backwards compatibility which is different and doesn't have the unique PS5-specific features like Japanese lipsync. Weird but when Sony was announcing that tier they listed only PS4 versions of GoT and Miles Morales and not PS5. I might be wrong cause their messaging is VERY confusing, but that is how I understood it. EDIT: In other words you are playing the PS4 version of Director's Cut because the PS5 version of DC isn't available on PS Plus.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Lack of time/resources to properly define when a player can be considered stuck (with no means to implement a 'get a hint' button) = hints are put on a set timer. This is not ideal but with massive audiences at hand this prevents frustration of far bigger amount of people than the amount of people who would consider their experience to be damaged by an early hint.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Here's the truth that we have to face when making big-budgeted games with massive audiences, even sequels. It can be either the first game of its kind that the person plays, or the 500th. Which is just a massive difference in player knowledge/understanding/savviness. Of course the goal is to accommodate for both (through settings or smart systems that can figure out what type of player is playing now), but unless there is an agreement that we're fine to have a pretty specific audience with specific tastes, when making choices priority will be on making sure that the more newbie player has a better flow to not lose them, because a more experienced one is far likely to just be mildly annoyed more than anything but still stay.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I can't say I have ever seen an example of a block puzzle being used to hide loading (though wouldn't be surprised some exist), but did see lots of examples of needing something to change up the pace for a while but because there aren't enough elements/mechanics in place, block puzzle it is.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Sorry, I was a bit misleading in how I formulated the merging part, what I meant is that there are changes that are done for E3 polish but because they would be required for main game as well, they're done in the main branch and then submitted to E3 branch as well. One never tries to implement stuff from E3 branch to main, it's too shaky, hence what I said about 'everything that's not part of the demo is a mess'.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I know that some questions in my last chain of posts I didn't answer in great detail, I just tried to prioritize answering as many question as possible, if you feel that's not enough for you feel free to ask additional detail questions :)
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Because even though it is easier to develop a lot of things, scope increases. Let's take animations. Prince in Sands of Time had around 700 animations, and at that point it was a HUGE amount of animations. Now it's below standard in most high-fidelity AAA games, it would feel like the characters are lacking life and go into uncanny valley. Challenges that people had before are solved easier, but also there are new challenges, some of which are more complex than before. I can't answer most questions since they're related to field I'm not working in, but I can definitely say that there are many people like me who absolutely HATE coordinate values like 732.034499956 and will at the LEAST put it to a nice 732 or a little bit less nice but necessary 732.1 :D (rounding to 730 or 735 might be too much). Priority/amount of time it will be in view/how close it is to us. For example main characters in third person games always get the most amount of detail because you always see them. When you make mountains in the distance they don't have to be as detailed as stuff that's close to you. Let's say you're making a room, objects that are larger and in your face will have more detail to them than smaller decorative objects. Well, IDEALLY localization should start coming into play around mid-production so there would be enough time to properly discuss between devs and localization teams, and so on. Now, the question is, how often does the ideal situation happen? Well... let's just say, not as often as it should. If a game has no HUD at all usually it is designed to work without a HUD from the get go. If HUD is customizable that's not necessarily the case, lack of some HUD elements might not be taken into consideration, but some players might feel they don't need them so an option is given for good measure. I remember the days when enthusiasts online were excited about games that used Havok physics (Which right now feels pretty standard), so....... it can definitely work :D Film Grain and Chromatic Aberration, if implemented, are for artistic purposes that devs desire for the art direction of the project rather than any needs they have to solve.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Honestly, things are likely to become even less effective :D Generally speaking if you just ask people to make the best game they can/want, you activate their perfectionist tendencies which would lead to a quick burning of the budget with little actual progress. Limits are important. You probably would want to stay on PC for now. It's not that it's easiest to make for, there are a lot of PC configurations so you will have to do a lot of optimization to work on a wide array of specs, but you won't have to worry, for now, about TRCs for consoles and everything related to touch screen. There's no standard where the subtitle option has to be, so every team just puts it wherever it thinks it feels best :D Honestly personally I am in the 'audio' tab team cause that seems to make more sense. Well, it's not that these mechanics are archaic per se, it's more that a lot of times they were used with the purpose of extending playtime (i.e. without lives and increased difficulty you would be able to complete a game in 4 hours, or within 1 quarter if it's an arcade, but introduce lives and increase difficulty curve and now playtime increases to 15 hours/more quarters. So it's a matter of 'hey, does implementing lives make sense in the current paradigm that we have? Do random battles make sense'? Etc. For example in Pokemon Red/Blue with everything that was done there it would've been unreasonable to add Pokemon in the overworld from technical aspect - hence random battles while you're walking in grass or caves. And then it sort of became a series staple, but now that we have advanced far enough the question is does it make sense to keep that? Considering the context has changed? And it allows for better control of player pacing and avoid 100th Zubat in a row, thus a better experience when it comes to collecting Pokemon? This is not to say that lives and random battles never make sense NOW, but back in the day those features had some pretty specific purposes and nowadays the problems those features were solving aren't always relevant. Certain amount of clipping is unavoidable unless you want to tank performance.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
1. I would say yes but no examples come to my mind now. 2. A month or two before the game has to be sent to submission it starts to become clear what things will have to be delegated to day-1 patch/further down the line (it's important to make sure that nobody prioritizes those tasks for the initial submission) If you want to first fiddle with something really simple and easy to learn, you can try to use something like Construct 2 or maybe Game Maker. Unless it's still early in the project timeline, any significant steering in terms of direction (high level design decisions and principles used) would be very difficult and disruptive for the whole game. Though even small changes can be disruptive as well, a famous example is when the devs of RDR2 were asked to add black bars in cutscenes and that involved redoing TONS of camera work. Many games use tricks that would happen off-screen, ultrawide usually breaks those (akin to how in many older 4:3 TV shows you see different things like production workers, lights, other stuff, in widescreen releases), and changing that can take quite a lot of effort. EXTREMELY painful. Multiple potential connection points, physics variation between tension states, collision issues.... That's why all the developers online were amazed by the rope mechanics in TLoU2 and wished they have more gameplay usage (I haven't played TLoU2 yet but hear that ropes are unutilized there in comparison to the amount of effort it would take to bring them to that state). Hm... it's a bit difficult to talk about abstract examples in this case, but to be absolutely fair, if there's an issue that seems small that wasn't fixed even after a year of patches, it's less of a higher-up issue and more of a 'this simple looking thing is actually not simple' To put it this way - it is cheaper for performance to have a simple shape collision (box, capsule) than it is to have a mesh convex collision which can get quite taxing and not worth it. So it depends on the complexity of clothing as well as how important that clothing is. By peer review, do you mean checking the work and providing feedback? When people are working on a particular feature they're providing feedback to each other on a daily/hourly basis really, but then there can be bigger reviews that are weekly or monthly depending on their scope. Most of the time this is due to requirements rather than any technical need (though sometimes there are cases when some things are loading during cutscenes).
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I will be quite frank, the core of the problem here is poor management, planning, and lack of a proper direction at the beginning of a problem. You won't believe how many creative leads I have seen/heard about who are 'good talkers' but are horrible at actually leading project development in terms of direction. This leads to things like weird priorities, focusing on changes that would be less important than iteration on other things, etc. etc. And this is because a lot of people get to lead positions precisely because of being good talkers rather than showcasing leadership skills. Not saying that I worked on a project with such leadership (in fact, I would say that this didn't happen that much in my personal experience), but this happens very often. Ultimately that's the root of all tough development cycles. Delays are just an attempt to fix that, but in 80% of the time wouldn't have been necessary with proper clarity in direction. The thing about delays though is that they increase a game's budget, which means they increase the amount of copies that have to be sold in a fast enough amount of time to be considered a profitable endeavor. Sometimes from that perspective it is better to just get the game out of the door first. Wayward Souls is a game where you move on one half and do actions on another half. FPSes on touch screens are usually games where you move on one half and aim/rotate camera with another half - the most important actions. So in this case it will be very easy for actions like moving the right finger up to look up be confused with a, let's say, grenade throw action. I think it's possible to have an FPS game without action buttons, but it has to be EXTREMELY specifically designed for that and require a lot of testing and iterations to make it right, because the core problem still remains - you already have two constantly used functions on two halves of the screen, how do you separate those from other actions? That's the challenge. Oh for sure. This relates to both story and gameplay, when story has to be altered because of gameplay and vice versa. There are so many times where something sounds like it is reasonable to do, and then for one reason or another it's not. Besides what others have said, there's a lot more to graphical fidelity and manpower for it than the quality of the model itself - animations, amount of environmental assets, physics, etc. It's not as much a single GDD for the whole game, as much as it is a bunch of smaller GDDs for smaller games. Regarding details, usually it's as detailed as needed - here's the thing, designing EVERYTHING in advance consumes a lot of time and is usually not useful, because then when you will have to iterate you will essentially throw out a bunch of design work, so usually GDDs have flows, mock-ups, required variables etc., but some very little details are not part of it - they're usually tracked through task lists or JIRA, not through GDDs. Good documentation is imperative for everyone to be on the same page, and of course if there are big changes then the team must be made aware of that through a call or presentation. Console manufacturer requirements really. For Microsoft specifically that's needed to know which user is using the console (since different controllers can be assigned to different users), then it is a safety measure to avoid TV burn in. And for example while on a PlayStation you select the user before starting the game, any console-specific feature is a pain to keep track of, even a small one, so it sort of done on all platforms even if some don't need it. Color work is tricky, but at least internally all artists need to have their screens calibrated the same way to ensure consistency. I'm not an artist myself though so they would be able to give more info on that. Regarding the sound level differences between games - there's no required standards related to that, so every developer follows their own principles. Unsung heroes are testers and community managers. Testers and quality analysts usually are the lowest paid jobs and whenever people complain about issues in a game they usually unfairly blame QA ("how did QA not see this?" is a question I HATE). And community managers have to deal with shittons of toxic shit and honestly protect a lot of developers from having to deal with that. Yep, automated tests are definitely done.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
1. A bunch of excel sheets, usually. Regular meetings with team leads to sync up on estimations/changed aspects/added tasks etc. 2. More than half of the delays that exist you don't hear about publicly :) 3. A lot of time there are some milestones that have to be hit and those milestones are divided into sprints, yeah. But this obviously varies from dev to dev and how they handle it. About 3 months on average? And the E3/presentation/demo build would have to be ready like at least 1/2 weeks in advance. In one of the replies I've mentioned that games are a mess until they get close to the end of production when everything starts to fit together and get a proper layer of polish. Well, for E3 or a demo you have to polish a SPECIFIC part of the game (and sometimes totally new sections are made because that part would be very messy), usually it happens in a 2nd branch so that changes on the main branch wouldn't break the demo build, and then everything relevant from the E3 branch would get transferred to main branch. Usually there's a bunch of people specifically delegated to the demo/E3 build. A lot of time these demo/E3 builds are used as sort of quality targets as well, so it can actually be quite helpful in that regard. But just so you know, when you see a very cool demo, be it on E3 or any other place, even if it's a normal and not messy production, there's a 99% likelihood that due to how game development works what you DON'T see in the demo is a mish mash of a jumbled mess with a bunch of robotic voices placeholders, unfinished animations and white blocks :D It depends on the complexity. For example porting Trials Rising to Switch was quite a challenge, and it took about 9 months if I remember correctly, of two programmers time and some artists. Porting from PS4 to PS5 about half a year if this also means changes etc. But, you know, the thing about porting is that it's fairly straightforward to just have the main bulk of the game launch on a new platform, it doesn't take that long, but like everything else in games, the problem comes in the rest 20% that is details and polish :) Only partially, when it comes to games like Horizon. AAA games are HUGE, so the way it usually goes is that a couple of innovative/risky points are chosen, and the rest is fairly safe. If we take Horizon as an example, the innovation/big thing that was a risk there was fighting robot dinosaurs - that's what made it unique and interesting, and the rest relies on more traditional conventions to mitigate risks on those. It is unlikely this principle is going to change for big budgeted projects with the new generation. For the first question... the way I like to explain the development process is that it's like trying to build a puzzle. Only the pieces for the puzzle are not complete, but you do have a sketch that you draw during preproduction. And then different members of the team start building puzzle pieces together from different ends of the puzzle, of different parts of the sketch, which btw shouldn't look like a sketch when it's complete but like a full proper puzzle painting. And then you start trying to connect it all together, obviously it doesn't always work so where you see connection problems you have to iterate and redo the puzzle pieces but now you have more information on how those should look like specifically. So it's not random, but things are usually not done 'in order' because to be effecient you have to parallelize things. Regarding the engine question, on page 2 I have a long answer about engines which I think should cover your question too. The most basic one is the notion of loops - what is the gameplay process that the person goes through. There are core mechanic loops, like for example the loop of a shooter is "Move -> Aim -> Shoot -> Kill", broadly speaking. Then there can be mid-term loops, like what is the player doing every 5 minutes? Well, the "Kill" from the mechanic loop can lead to "Kill -> Get XP -> Level Up -> Get Skill Points". There can be another mid-term or maybe even long term loop coming out of that. Loops can be something that are as long as 5 second series of actions to as long as 1+ hour goals. Games are full of loops, pretty much all of them, even visual novels the loop of which would be "Read dialogue -> Choose reply -> Go to next scene" :D Looking at it that way helps to break down the games into reasonable chunks a lot. The specs of Series S are similar enough where it matters that it's not going to 'hold back' anything when it comes to design/mechanics, just the resolution/visuals. But in general, for the longest time making PC versions was extremely painful because you had to take account of many different possible specs and combinations. Multiple console SKUs is not AS painful, but obviously adds some complexity to the whole endeavor that wasn't present when each console had just a single spec to take care of. Well... in this particular example, the intersection between people who would need to actually CHOOSE between Elden Ring and Horizon is VERY small comparatively speaking. While this might have affected the discussions and focus of the more 'enthusiast' or 'hardcore' places let's call them, it is unlikely that being close to Elden Ring has affected Horizon Forbidden West negatively. Titanfall 2 is a bit of a different case though, especially considering that it was released next to another EA multiplayer shooter. The reason why this happens is that it might be the best spot for release based on budget/time, so it's not that the 'marketing has power' over dev team, it's just that it's the case of 'it's either this slot or a slot that will make it more difficult to get production money back or a slot that would add more pressure to developers'. It depends on a team to team basis, and the team size. For example at Ubisoft there are people/positions whose responsibilities are solely related to infrastructure/DevOps and I never had to worry about that particular part myself, but in smaller companies obviously any team member would have a wider array of responsibilities to take care of. My only experience with that is still gaming-related, when I was a Quality Analyst for Origin at the beginning of my career. The biggest difference is that there's less 'unforeseeable' things happening because software is much more straightforward than games :D Related to UI/UX, it depends. It's not that 'UI tends to be one of the last things added', it's more like the plans/design for UI change the most as the project starts coming together and solutions that seemed to work on earlier stages don't once everything gets connected into a whole, so things have to be redone and that's not always done successfully, sadly. Related to second question, again, depends. Time constrains obviously happen. When it comes to KBM/controller differences, usually when you can edit keyboard controls but not gamepad that is related to having actions that can be placed to separate buttons on kbm, but on gamepad have to remain as the same button (which is either contextual or in different press/hold state), which makes the aspect of changing binds on a controller much trickier. To be absolutely blunt... fairly often. Sadly. When a game is developed all over the world it is a huge challenge. You will be surprised how right you are :D Alternatively it is filling up the UI canvas with a black layer color. Simplest solutions can also be the best :D Hm.... well, I'm not sure I'm the best person to answer this, but it might be because the menu screen involves the 2D renderer and the gameplay sections involve the 3D renderer and those can work differently. Roughly: Pre-production - conceptualization and main chunk of planning Production - main chunk of development divided into milestones Alpha - game is feature complete/almost feature complete Beta - game is content complete Gold - game is ready for submission Post-launch - patches/new content. A matter of binding priorities - is it more important to shoot or jump? More important to shoot, so it has to be easily reachable. Is it more important to aim down sights in a shooter or jump? More important to aim down sights. So that has to be reachable. Is it more important to throw a grenade or jump? In a shooter probably more important to throw a grenade. Which leaves us with one bumper/trigger that CAN be used as a jump button... IF there's something not more important than that for the game. SSDs being standard will lowkey the way we design worlds/levels and I think that's wonderful. I think that's about right when it comes to just the act of going through verification and getting a patch release. There's also the cost of the dev team and their equipment. Well, quite honestly, there can be two reasons - one is just a simple matter of oversight/not thinking about it, and two - it's a matter of not figuring out where to store the value for which slot has to be selected by default. So, I was the Lead Designer in Bucharest, and our responsibilities as a team were: - The entirety of the Southwark region and all locations in it (my involvement in this particular part was minimal, had my hands full with everything else) - About ~10 recruit archetypes and 20ish playable abilities. - All side-activities and recruitment mission blueprints related to them - Spider-Bot Arena multiplayer mode - Invasion multiplayer mode (oh the stories I could tell about the complexities of making this one within the 'play as anyone' paradigm, it's insane) - Narrative design of a bunch of post-launch content - And a lot of support with the play as anyone system and melee combat (though we didn't lead those but they are massive systems). So as you can see a big bulk of our mandates are pretty stand-alone, but obviously you can't have that be fully stand-alone especially considering that all features somehow intersected with the core of the game, so a lot of communication was involved through e-mails or evening (for Buc)/morning (for Tor) calls. It is tracked which team works on which feature, and who is the lead/contact person of that team/feature in question, so usually it's not a problem to find the person but obviously you have to find time on both your ends to sync up. The problems are usually encountered only when a particular feature has to drastically change for one reason or another, and that can affect your mandate as well so you sort of have to redo stuff, which may trickle down to another team and so on. But that's usually in the name of a better final result, so... not that bad :) I don't like commenting on games I haven't played myself yet, so I'm not going to say anything about Diablo. But, on your question in general... yeah. I won't beat around the bush, there ARE higher ups that just care about the monetary end of the equation and that sucks, it can lead to a lots of conflict. The way monetization usually works is as following: it is calculated how much it will take to keep servers up for a certain amount of players per month, how much it will cost to have a team maintaining that, how much it will cost to keep making new content for players to play, which leads to, okay based on that how much do we need to make per month for this to not go into a negative number profit-wise, and make profit for potential future bigger features, and then it is all balanced/planned from that perspective. That's the most ethical/integral way to go about it, in my opinion.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Shitty, as simple as that. This is for another question, but what I have mentioned in another reply appliea too, gonna copy here: More or less. Starts with a snall core team, then ramps up to full production, then as main production gets to close to completion it starts to ramp down, and some people are transferred either to post launch support or other projects.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
The biggest challenges nowadays would be to not make the budgets blow up even more by raising the bar of graphical fidelity, honestly. The answer here really varies from game to game, but yeah, usually there's a script that would ensure that player is not left without something they would need to progress. Beats me, lol. Replied in another post: Yeah, usually there's a 'visual bible' with guidelines for this sort of stuff. Default font sizes for different types of text, and so on. Like anything in development, it can either change drastically later or not :D Okay, so, examples you've been using are based on multiplayer retention, and the reason for that is pretty much as such: intrinsic motivation is inconsistent. It is certainly more powerful, but absolutely every player will have a varying amount of intrinsic motivation which not only can 'run out' at a certain point, but it is different for every player, really. Does the player enjoy the act of communicating with players? The skill-based combat? Will the the player leave the game after they feel like they've learned all there is to learn about the game? Etc. Intrinsic motivation can keep a person in a game for a week, or a month, or five years, again it all depends. Old games communities were very little in comparison to the amount of regular players modern games have now, and usually consisted of the most 'hardcore' part of players. Extrinsic motivation is how you sort of... unite everyone under the same banner in a way, and keep motivating players even beyond their intrinsic needs. I don't know, I'm trying to answer a lot of questions right now, does that make sense or would you like more elaboration? It's important to understand that every feature is essentially a tool to solve a particular problem. Let's take mini-maps for example. They are usually added so that you could keep track of your location in a huge open world. If you decide to not use a mini-map... what's the alternative? How will players keep track off where they are? How will they remember where to go if they didn't play for a week? What about players with spatial perception problems? etc. etc. The goal is never to trivialize, the goal is to solve problems. And sure, not EVERY player will encounter those problems, but when your playerbase can reach millions... even Elden Ring has added a map and map markers, you know, because once their world became larger they too had a problem to solve even though they tried to keep things more 'hardcore' in a way.
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Thread Do you think leaking games is morally correct?
I've been summoned by people quoting my post from another thread :D There's a lot of "it would've been great if it worked liked that" type of responces here. In addition to what I said in that other post why there is a catch-22 with secrecy even though I wish for full-on transparency but the nature of game development is often misunderstood, there are other points to tackle. I see sentiments that say "this is just marketing". There are great games that bombed commercially because they either didn't get proper marketing or the marketing plans went haywire for one reason or another. Let's not dismiss the importance of it. Only a select few projects actually get popular enough through word of mouth. A leak can totally mess up marketing strategy geared for maximum timing impact, seen this happen. Even the most well-planned and well-produced games look like a total mess until all pieces start fitting together close to the end of production, so the sentiments of leaks being representative of final quality are usually wrong - players don't have enough information to make that assessment. I've seen a post that said "if a game looks bad pressure might lead to delays which decreases the suffering of developers". I wish it worked like that, but most of the time delays don't lead to decreased amounts of suffering. In general delays are weird, they are only as effective as the production itself is. If production is healthy, delays will be healthy, yeah. If production is a mess (which it is for too many big AAA projects for reasons that would prolong this post to a huge size) , delays lead to even bigger health problems, more pressure, more crunch, even more game issues, everything is a clusterfuck even more so than before the delay. And then every delay is ALWAYS accompanied by another aspect - now the game needs to make so much more money to be profitable because the budget has increased significantly. So... let's just agree not to leak things.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Would you be able to be more specific? That is a very big question! In general though, both are important and I wouldn't say one is better than the other and they cover different needs of different players, and sometimes the needs of players change over time as well, which is especially prominent for MP games where very often the intrinsic motivation of going through enjoyable gameplay gets eventually if not replaced, then greatly supported by extrinsic motivations. Not a fan of battle passes though, on a personal level. Obviously understand why they work, but I just don't like on a personal level anything that puts time pressure onto people, not just to make a purchase but also to make sure you keep playing enough so that purchase would get full value.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
The act of adding an option to change the font size usually is not difficult on its own. The problems come from.... well, everything that it might affect. Do subtitles fit on the screen or they have to be shifted up when the font is larger? Do subtitles start intersecting with UI elements that were on the side (so additional wrapping has to be implemented). Does inventory text fit in the UI or go out of screen or intersects with UI visuals? If there are UI tabs do they still fit where they are? etc. etc. etc. EDIT: Oh, there is another tricky one, in what format the font is and if scaling up will keep the quality intact or some additional work has to be done to make sure it keeps being sharp!
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
All true. It's just that sometimes the 'CRT filters' are literally just scanlines with nothing else, and at those moments one wishes that more priority would be given to properly scope it beyond that and add emulation of at least some other CRT features like a bit of blur and bloom, the reason why those are important is because a lot of times they're key to making CRT visual tricks work.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I worked on photo mode before so I can tell :D The basics are pretty straightforward, you pause the game and put in a different camera. Problems come from unexpected things: - How do you actually share the photos? Where do you store them? - How do you prevent players from tampering with photos, as some may do so for malicious means? - How does the photo mode work in multiplayer? You can't pause there and there can be various issues with that, like for example if you're driving in a car and you put photo mode on, suddenly the car keeps driving forward with you while the camera for photomode stays in place. -- Related to that, do you cut the photomode in MP or make changes specific to it? And then of course the scope issues - is there enough budget for different character poses, facial expressions, filters (those usually don't take a long time of course), basically everything that's in addition to the core feature set of 'enter a mode to take pictures in'
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
This is a very complex question to answer within a single forum post, but will try to go point by point... - Scope is important, i.e. make sure to not scope more content than your mechanics can sustain. - Make sure that gameplay has depth which would allow for a greater amount of choices/replayability (depth can come from skill mastery, amount of progression mechanics/skills, etc.) - Keep a balance between varying more systemic and 'special memorable moment' goals. - Stuff like mini-games doesn't really solve the problem of variety at its core, but it can help a bit. - Reuse various gameplay elements at hand in different variations. For a very basic abstract example - a combat encounter with just melee enemies will feel different from a combat encounter with just ranged enemies and that will feel different from a combat encounter with a mix. Obviously there's a lot more to that than that, but to give an idea. - Try not to do stealth missions if your game doesn't have dedicated stealth mechanics :p Those usually are very annoying, lol.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Best teams are when feedback/suggestions are not limited to just one job family. I've given some good suggestions to programmers how to handle certain technical issues, had a bunch of programmers and artists and testers come up with very nice solutions for design issues we were having. Main job of a designer is not to come up with ideas, but to 'solve problems', i.e. make sure that the concept is implemented properly - and doing that with input from others is so much more efficient than swimming in your own lake alone and making it look like you're the most important person.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I would say that it doesn't really affect the challenges of a day-to-day work, because there are no easy games to make, just different challenges depending on the type of game. A one-button hypercasual has its own set of challenges that an open-world AAA game doesn't have, and vice versa, despite the scope differences and everything. I must say though that if we take a look at everything holistically in terms of scope and team priorities, I would prefer if graphical fidelity would have a smaller importance in AAA games. But players expect that to be pushed further and further, so it's sort of another catch-22 I guess? I feel that at some point some graphical details provide diminishing returns for the amount of effort they need/resources they use.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Playtime, monetization success, player churn. How much all that matters for early planning depends on the people at the top and their mandates. Regarding DLCs, VERY rarely is a DLC something that was cut from the base game to be sold separately. That does happen, but it's an extreme case to get a project out of the door, usually. DLCs are usually conceptualized in the middle of production as part of post-launch plan, so that active work on them could start once the main game goes Gold.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
1. Varies from company to company/publisher to publisher. Generally speaking larger companies have a whole process of pitching/greenlighting/having different "gates" so to speak, while in smaller studios it can be more freeform/organic. 2. I think nowadays there's a lot more possibilities on how you can choose a project you would rather work on. Even in a larger studio. 4. The funny thing about this is that a lot of high-level design principles between all the different types of games - from fighting to puzzle to open-world, are sort of very similar. It's all about loops, pacing, game feel, etc. etc. (broadly speaking), it's just that you have to apply some different details depending on the genre. But I never had big issues transitioning because of that. 5. Not really for one reason: even though platforms have very similar capabilities now, they have very different uses. People on PC play differently (different session lengths, different preferences, different priorities) than on mobile and those play differently than on Switch and those play differently than on PS/Xbox, the latter two being the most similar platforms nowadays due to both being high fidelity consoles.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Because performance is not defined by visuals alone, there are a lot of other things that come into play - AI calculations, object streaming, file placement on disc/drive (related to how it streams), dynamic lighting if such exists, physics.... there's a LOT to take into account for proper performance. Usually designers/artists/sound engineers have different limits defined together - no more than a certain amount of NPCs within a certain radius, limited amount of sound points, etc. etc., but even then final rounds of optimization usually come into play close to the end of development once there's a clearer picture, and for various reasons those are not always successful - lack of time/require to make big changes/etc.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Ah, this is a very good question! Honestly, misunderstanding of what a Game Engine is met very often, because it happens in the backend and people see the game itself so there's this opinion that 'game mechanics = engine', which wouldn't really be true. An engine is a framework that hosts various features. A good way to look at it would be to look at it as a house, I guess? For example each house has a kitchen which serves a specific purpose, but how that kitchen looks will vary from house to house (i.e. game to game). And then there are pipes that lead water to the kitchen, that make the kitchen function. So, let's say we have nothing. What do we need for a game? Ok we need to visualize things. That means an engine needs to have a render code that will visualize the 2D and 3D objects that we have. Now that is sort of a standard feature set that every game using this engine can do - it can show things on screen. Memory management, animation systems, sound systems, disk management, all these become part of the engine. For example Assassin's Creed 1 didn't have a day-night cycle, it had static timeline. Dynamic day/night cycle and dynamic lighting wasn't part of the Anvil engine at that point. When Assassin's Creed II was developed, it added dynamic lighting which gives the possibility to do a day/night cycle - that became part of the engine. However it wasn't optimized yet so a lot of concessions had to be done for overall visuals. But then for Brotherhood the dynamic lighting system was optimized, so it wasn't as resource intensive. And now that dynamic lighting is part of the Anvil feature set - every game working on it can use it. This is why it's an 'engine'. How that dynamic lighting system is used now it's up to the game - it might not be used for a day/night cycle at all, and if it's used for day/night an engine doesn't force you to make each day/night cycle the same in each game that uses it. Now there's also tools. Editor and its features. Like Unity Editor, Unreal Editor, or a propriteary engine editor. Technically an editor is NOT an engine, neither is the toolset related to it - it's an interface that allows you to interact with the engine and do things for it. So, to put it simply.... there's really no limits to what a Game Engine can do, it's up to developers to decide what they have the time/budget to add for it so it could do. This is why Unity/Unreal and other licensable engines are so popular - they already have a huge set of features readily available which means that people working on those engines don't have to do those feature from scratch, i.e. let's say dynamic lighting. But this doesn't mean that having proprietary engines is bad - some can be finetuned for certain purposes. For example Trials had its own engine built specifically for physics bike gameplay. And it was very good at it because every feature was built with the purpose of having 60fps physics-based gameplay. But then for Trials of the Blood Dragon there was a decision to add platforming sessions, and in Trials engine we didn't actually have a character controller or an animation system, in previous games character was just a physics object attached to the bike at various points (and when the character moved to shift weight they were just pushed as a physics object), so for Trials of the Blood Dragon we had to implement whole new systems in the engine for platforming sections to exist (and due to pretty short development time it didn't work out THAT great, lol, but I think the team did a great job at implementing things in a short period of time). Trials engine also didn't have any AI systems, all logic was hand-scripted in editor, but for enemies we needed AI so that had to be implemented, with decision trees and everything. But if we'd spend more time on it, we would be able to transform the Trials engine into an engine supporting good platforming as well - because again, it's just that it didn't have all the features needed for that... but it could, in time. Hope this clears things up! TL:DR - Engine is a framework of features that can be reused from game to game. Oh, and funny note! Some people think that some Ubisoft games reused certain mechanics like drones from game to game because it was easy to reuse them... but it's not, because let's say Watch Dogs and Rainbow Six Siege use different engines, so you can't just copy/paste drone mechanics from one to another, it has to be implemented separately.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
So a bit earlier I tried to explain what a game engine is, to have more context on that, if you want to read. Regarding your particular questions - sometimes developers are indeed mandated to use engines that do not have everything the game needs, but also usually there's a high level strategic goal to that - to develop an internal proprietary engine that would be used for all your games. This is what EA has been trying to do with Frostbite. The real problem is for the production timeline/budget not accounting for adding new engine features. For example, if you don't mandate Bioware to use Frostbite for its RPGs and it is going to be kept for MP FPSes only, then it is never going to gain a feature set required to make this kind of games - robust save systems, facial animations, etc. etc. And after a game implements those features in the engine, then other projects will be able to more easily reuse it. But when you do it like that, you have to account for the time it will take to actually IMPLEMENT all that stuff, and not giving enough time is usually the biggest issue when stuff like that happens. And it's easy to say 'just use Unreal/Unity', but outside of licensing costs which the publisher might not want to pay there are other considerations to be taken into account why it wouldn't be beneficial to do that. It's a pretty complex question but I hope I answered it clear enough!
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Well, this happens ever since the dawn of time of making games :D In my personal experience, a project that had a much shorter development time than the scope it required was Trials of the Blood Dragon. We all knew the flaws it had, but some of the responses were EXTREMELY harsh, from the journalists and from the players too. I actually stopped reading Rock, Paper, Shotgun before of that. That publication's review of Trials of the Blood Dragon got REALLY personal in saying that the dev team is essentially incompetent and 'who knows what they were thinking', and that review alone brought me to a really depressed state for several months. This is why when I review games for my personal YouTube channel I make sure to only criticize the product and not the teams behind it or their competency or skills.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Holy shit the most difficult question of this thread. Uhm. Uhm. Well, I don't know, but when I played the latest (or, well, almost latest) Sword and Shield my MVP was Dubwool who was the only one who survived against Champion's Charizard and he won me the Pokemon League essentially :D And I barely used him before that because it was a normal type that wasn't effective against anything, but kept in the team just because I liked the design. And then he saved everybody! Not favorite Pokemon probably, but certainly goes for a memorable story :)
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Imagine you're playing a game like Assassin's Creed or Hitman where you can walk up behind NPCs to stealth kill them (something that happens in many games). This means for proper flow your walk speed has to be faster than NPC walk speed, so that's how it gets implemented. And then you might get a situation where you have to follow an NPC while talking, well making speed adjustments for that essentially becomes a totally different feature on its own that's unrelated to the needs of core gameplay and it might not always get prioritized over other things.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Since PC is PC, there's no particular standards for this sort of thing (unless the launcher you're releasing for has one defined for it, like we had for Uplay - all saves were stored in a particular location), so the answer to this can range from what developers feel is more comfortable for users, or a bit more secure, or... well, quite frankly, sometimes it's just a matter of 'well this is what we have set during development and changing it to someplace else wasn't important enough in comparison to all other shit that needed fixing' :D
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Sometimes people are very focused on making sure stuff is done in time. And they work on their PCs. Time pressure can lead to people forgetting to check how it would actually look on TVs from a distance rather than from a monitor close by. So, I suppose the answer technically is 'sometimes, yeah', but that's usually due to scope/time reasons (a lot of work with little time).
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I don't remember a case where a single post or anything would affect any plans, but general community response is certainly measured and can influence decisions. Most of the time community managers gather info for dev teams, a lot of devs read forums and reddit themselves too but... let's just say some places can be quite toxic and reading how people expess their thoughts can be daunting.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Devs know flaws of their games better than any player that is going to touch it. The question is never "do devs not see it", but "how early the problems are caught and what you can do about it within the time or budget or team capacity". Here is the thing: no game is good INSTANTLY. You can agree on some direction with a prototype that is quite good, but a prototype is still a prototype. Games act and look like shit when they start developing. It is normal. Systems and things are creates out of nothing, lol. So the thing is, unless the direction itself has been red flagged, at the beginning problems are not an indicator of a bad product - they are just a natural part of development. And then things start getting finished.... and that's when you start noticing problems. But at that point things are already in motion, you can't just easily change stuff, and besides the skill of a dev or a team there are so many other things that influence the final quality of a game. But to answer your question, devs do know when they're releasing a bad game and it is a shitty feeling.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
1. Depends on a game, but generally speaking A LOT. On Legion for example we had to store a lot of info in memory for scheduling and playing as anyone, that meant things like a 40 NPC limit in the area (with PS4/x1 as target), some massive hacks like Blackout had to be cut and some NPC behavior like ambulances arriving after someone is injured too, because messing up the schedule of tons of NPCs wasn't an option. This is just but one of many examples when RAM matters. 2. First thing that comes to mind is a LOT more animation work for the main character :D Movement that feels good is trickier to do. Camera is a pain as well. First person has its challenges too of course but I would say often it is more straightforward. 3. That's a very broad question that I am not sure I can answer.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I rarely do personally, usually play development builds on PC because 80% of the time that is more than enough for my work, but in general it is standard to keep making builds for all platforms and checking the game on all of them cause many other people need it.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
The biggest mistake one can make is write the story first and then try to build a game around it. Second biggest mistake is make a game first and then try to push a story into it, like Mirror's Edge. Best when it is in parallel. While the game itself is in conceptualization phase, the story beats and structure is conceptualized as well. You can make that way the gameplay and narrative play off each other, and then once the direction is finalized - detailed writing comes into play. Of course just like with design there will be iterations once things start taking a clearer picture.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
Hey, everyone. I am not sure if AMA-type threads are allowed, didn't see any restrictions against that. After participating in certain threads over my stay here, I noticed that a lot of people have interesting questions about the nature of game development, and sometimes it can be difficult to catch all of them. So I figured, considering that I wish for more transparency and less industry secrecy myself (even though it is not always feasible on a project/company level), it would be worthy to create a thread where people who are not part of the game industry can ask questions to game industry professionals, and get answers. I will try to reply to as many questions as I reasonably can myself, but I invite any willing game dev to do so as well. When it comes to me, I have 10-year experience in the field. Started as QA at EA for Origin, then worked as a designer back home in Moldova for a mobile company, then had a 6 years experience at Ubisoft in Kyiv and Bucharest (been a GD for Trials Fusion and Trials of the Blood Dragon, the Lead Designer on Trials Rising project, one of Lead GDs on Watch Dogs Legion and briefly one of leads on Rainbow Six Six Extraction), and now am back in mobile space again. Have a burning game industry or simply gaming-related question that you'd like to hear a game dev reply to? Ask away! EDIT: If you don't see your question answered straight away that might happen when me or someone else have more time to properly answer it.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
I wish to hear an answer for that too :D I never had the chance to talk to somebody who worked on that and a lack of a proper filter or color correction in GBA game collections at least bothers me to no end.
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
There is no one answer for this. Sometimes it is mandated from above and devs are against this (had personal experience with this kind of thing). Sometimes it is an attempt to get a feeling of progression that is lacking, but since it wasn't thought of from the get go might feel tacked on. Sometimes it is done just because another game does it. And sometimes devs really want to do it, and usually cases like that are where it works best :)
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Thread Ask a professional Game Dev any development or design questions that bother you
The answer is "yes" :D i.e. it is both, depending on the project. Though nowadays accessibility features are more often thought in advance which is great! But sometimes can still be an afterthought, sadly.
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Thread Footage of games before they significantly changed during development
Adventures of Captain Blood. How the game looked like when it was announced in 2004: And after about three reboots I think, here is how it looked like in its gold master version in 2010: I specify 'gold master' because while the game was finished and even went to printing, due to a lawsuit it never got an official release. Although devs did leak online much later the build as nobody is going to release nowadays a 2010 PC/X360 game.
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Thread What's one single element that ruined or almost ruined a game you otherwise loved? (and a "Tales of Arise" rant).
Honestly what bothers me more than sexualization is the fact that literally the ENTIRE playable and NPC cast of the game rests on like 3 body types for each gender. Obviously body type limit in games is a thing, but with how Genshin Impact handles it feels more like dressing up samey dolls in different clothing rather than having actually different characters. But I decided to google Xenoblade 2 and whooboy. I see what you mean :D
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Thread What's one single element that ruined or almost ruined a game you otherwise loved? (and a "Tales of Arise" rant).
Never played Xenoblade, but character designs of Genshin Impact kept pushing me away from a game I feel like I would've played a lot otherwise (and I still managed to get around 20 hours in, but then dropped it).
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Thread Examples of parts of games we only have because of the limitations developers had at the time of development
Stan's jacket in Monkey Island had an unmoveable grid pattern because it was easier to animate that way using pixel art, and then later on developers had to actually do a lot of work to recreate that same effect in 3D games.
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Thread What games do you firmly believe, while great, rely on nostalgia when people discuss them (please read OP for more detailed explanation)
Assassin's Creed II. In comparison with AC1: Parkour is buggier. Combat feels worse (for example the weird pause between the last hit of a combo and the killing move), and with even more dominant strategies than AC1. Stealth detection rules are borderline broken (you can fail assassination missions because guards in restricted areas instantly detect you when you throw knives at them). Sound design is far worse (and there are a bunch of cutscenes which literally don't have foley effect). Graphical fidelity too - far less atmospherical details (dynamic lighting for times of day clearly did a big hit, though by the time Brotherhood came out there was much optimization since that game looks far better). Story literally falls apart in the 2nd half (gets stretched out and repetitive and main character's arc is inconsistent), and there's no depth to it or the characters as there was in AC1. And in general it changed the direction from 'Medieval Hitman' to 'Grand Theft Assassin' - it keeps interest by throwing varied stuff at you even if that stuff isn't of great quality. It's a good, fun game, especially the first half - there's a lot of nice stuff in it, but even back in the day I never saw it as a 90/91 Metacritic game (scores that it has on X360/PS3 respectively) and was greatly disappointed after falling in love with flawed but consistent and interesting experience of AC1.
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Thread Your controversial gaming opinions?
Inspired by the latest PS1 from PS+ screens, but this has been a long-standing issue for me. Just adding scanlines and calling it a 'retro and/or CRT filter' is shit. It doesn't make old games look like they did on CRTs, doesn't recreate the CRT visual tricks, doesn't recreate the CRT colors, and honestly scanlines alone actively makes games look worse. At the LEAST add a bit of blur so it wouldn't be scanlines over a pixel-perfect image which just looks weird.
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Thread Only 90+ metacritic games for the rest of your life or only 1-89 metacritic games for the rest of your life?
It would be a shame to lose Journey (which for me is the greatest game of all time) among some other absolute gems, but more often than not 90+ on Metacritic is sign of hype and mass appeal rather than quality. I find that there's more higher quality games that land in 80-89 range rather than 90+, and let's not forget about very interesting but not quite successful experiments that oftentimes land below 80.
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Thread Small moments or things in games that blew you away
This one is absolutely useless in terms of gameplay and won't be noticed by 75% people playing. At the least. Well, I think so. Assassin's Creed III - citizens of Homestead holding doors open for you when you're not far to a building. Back in 2012 that blew my mind when I first encountered that. The amount of coordination between game code, animations, voice acting, AI logic is INSANE, especially in comparison to what is the result - an action that feels very simple and natural.
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Thread Are there any interesting examples of alleged copying within the video game industry?
The Captain America/Uncharted 3 similarity would mostly be a coincidence (because Uncharted 3 plane scene would need to have started development AT LEAST a year before Captain America movie was out, though probably more). BUT. That being said, the Uncharted plane scene took absolutely CLEAR inspirations from an older James Bond movie. But I would say that it's still more of an inspiration than blatant copying.
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Thread Game devs, how do game leaks impact your work?
It's complicated because game development is far less straightforward than movie development. Unless it's a movie caught in development hell, I suppose. Imagine that and you would have your standard game development process (this is actually not entirely applicable, but a good reference to the amount of moving pieces). The most important factor is the fact that games have interactivity. And design work essentially consists of turning theory into practice while adapting the inevitable fact of eventually finding out that there are technical limitations that have to be kept in mind, optimization needs change everything, what made logical sense in theory feel shitty when actually playing (happens VERY often), interaction between varying systems doesn't work as expected, promising prototypes don't manage to actually reach the best quality because of some seemingly little details that weren't considered on prototype stage when the feature or core gameplay itself was approved, etc. This is also what leads to things like games cancelled early (and late), games that started as one thing eventually turning into a different thing, etc. etc. And I absolutely would prefer, on a personal level, to be open about all that with everyone. But I understand why this is not usually happening because that's not how collective Internet memory works. Collective Internet memory turns things that had to be cut or changed into 'lies', and imagination makes people go 'oh just think about what could've been' based on vague concepts that didn't work out and let the unlimited human processor create the greatest image in their minds that in reality has 10 million ways to go wrong, and a result of hundreds of iterations and compromises to make sure that everything can actually work in as proper and best way possible is turned into uninformed 'why did they do this instead of this' YouTube video that is then heralded as the 'truth' of why devs are wrong. And then players hold grudges. The truth is that any piece of information the developers release can be used against them later due to a HIGHLY increased likelihood of things changing, at a much higher frequency that it usually happens in other mediums. Hence, sadly, the secrecy.
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Thread Game devs, how do game leaks impact your work?
It can be frustrating. People tend to misunderstand the game dev process, and unless the footage/screens they see has clear white box placeholders or something they tend to think of that as the final quality of the game and its mechanics. Which is quite damaging for a game's reputation before it is announced or ready to be shown. Because when you google the game you will see that unfinished game that will dominate people's thoughts for a while. Ideally if developers are fully transparent with the game dev process that shouldn't be a problem, but there is a catch 22 reason why there tends to be secrecy - people don't take kindly to unpolished footage even if you plop a huge WIP disclaimer onto it (i.e. what happens with Dead Space now).
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Thread Games which names you’ve mispronounced or heard mispronounced (language, alternatives et cetera)
Pretty much everyone seems to pronounce Okami as Okmi (emphasis on A), even though every time you start the game the voice is saying kami (emphasis on O).
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Thread Let’s talk about how and why Ghost of Tsushima is such a good game.
I have made a 1h40m video on YouTube dissecting what makes Ghost of Tsushima awesome. It is one of my most favorite games of all time. I think it is a victim of a "innovation is valued more than craft and iteration" culture. It has one of the best combat systems ever (best sword-based system in open world genre, rivaled by actual action games only - there are so many cool details and possible player freedom and flexibility, especially with stance system where you learn how to use non-matching stances to be more effective than using matching stances, which fits with the theme of breaking the rules to become the Ghost), and it is one of the most holistic games I have ever played in my lifetime. It's not flawless, in particular there is a big problem of a dichotomy with how the open world is designed... but it is a true modern classic.
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Thread Ubisoft Montreal takes over Prince of Persia Sands of Time Remake, will be released when it's ready
Ubisoft really threw Pune and Mumbai under the bus there. The two studios were expected to make a full remake of a game on an absolutely new engine (technically Anvil evolved from Scimitar but there have been so many iterations in 20 years that you can't call it the same engine at this point), which means, essentially, make the game from scratch, and the teams received absolutely 0 support to make that happen. Pune had to scrounge through other Ubi studios to, if we boil it down, look for what essentially were volunteers that would be able to assist them in learning the toolsets. Only after the announcement (with a lot of negative press) did there begin an effort to actually support the studios, but by that point, if I remember correctly the development time, for two years they were essentially alone on this. And now Ubisoft Montreal "swoops in" to save the day, and all blame for the projects woes will be on Indian studios. And it's working, even in this thread you already see people saying how Ubi shouldn't have given the project to people without expertise in the matter or whatnot. If higher ups would actually care about evolving Pune and Mumbai as studios beyond the very tokenistic approach of 'here is a project we don't care about that you're a lead of now' until it started getting bad rep, this situation wouldn't have happened.
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Thread Games that carry equipment over from the previous game (scripted, only a save file bonus, or otherwise)
In Rayman Legends you start with all abilities from Rayman Origins already unlocked from the beginning. Which honestly leads to a better flow (I played Legends before Origins so having all of them from the beginning didn't feel problematic, in fact it made for better levels). EDIT: Also, an old one but.... Quest for Glory! Felt pretty cool to carry your character through the whole series. Usually there's narrative reason for a bunch of equipment to be lost, but name, stats and a number of items carry over still.
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Thread Fan Games you consider essential to their franchise
King's Quest II: Romancing the Stones remake by AGD Interactive. Of course, the EGA-to-VGA transition is a factor, but AGDI's King's Quest II remake has transformed the most MEH middle of the road entry of the series into one of its most interesting ones, featuring better puzzles, connection to the KQ lore that would be established more in detail in the future starting with KQ3, good characters, and some twists for KQ fans as well!
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Thread People who stretch your 4:3 aspect ratio games to 16:9, come here and be judged.
I don't only judge people who stretch 4:3 games, I also judge people who don't use at THE LEAST color filters (if not a handheld LCD filter) when posting videos of GBA games because their raw look is NOT how their colors are supposed to look! (doubly annoyed with some modern collections like Castlevania Advance Collection that absolutely ignore this aspect as well).
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Thread What do you consider to be unforgiveable gaming sins?
Making YouTube videos, ESPECIALLY graphical comparisons, of old games without CRT/handheld filters that would properly represent how they were supposed to look like when they were actually being made (especially concerns GBA which always had greatly oversaturated colors due to lack of backlight, so showing them in their pure emulated form is misrepresentative of how they'd actually look). And in modern games going for a retro look - different pixel density in pixel art games (i.e. let's say when a single pixel in text and a single pixel in character art has different sizes)
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Thread New Tales of the Borderlands announced for 2022, developed by Gearbox ; Full reveal this summer
I never bought Tales From the Borderlands because I really disliked Borderlands humor (sometimes chuckly, mostly annoying and cringy) and I wasn't interested in a narrative game based on that. But then the game was given out on PS+ and I decided to try it and realized what a big mistake I have made. If not THE funniest then definitely one of the funniest games I have ever played ever ever ever. With a lot of touching moments too! I actually remember shedding a tear at one point. Simply sublime. It did Handsome Jack better than Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel combined. It made me a fan of Borderlands, but not Gearbox Borderlands. Telltale Borderlands. So until we see that the writing style is different from mainline Borderlands titles and they manage to capture the humor and heart of the world and characters like Tales, which ironically did it better than the main series, my interest in a narrative-focused Borderlands game will be zero.
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Thread There are 6 active Star Wars games in development (that are announced). How many is too much?
There's probably even more that we don't know about and even more canned. I don't know how much things have changed recently (honestly even if they're better I doubt they've changed CONSIDERABLY), but up until at the least 5 years ago Disney was notoriously difficult to work with as a license holder. I know so many people who worked on Disney game properties that were canned for stupid reasons. I would guess this is a big part of the reason why when the SW license was exclusive to a single company we didn't see much of it. (Also I would guess that Marvel handles its licenses separately because they always seemed to have faired better both before and after their acquisition by Disney)
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Thread The US-centrism of gaming culture and history (and what parts of gaming history/culture you're a part of that are unknown globally?)
Speaking of which, due to the prevalence of computers and the fact that we didn't grow up in a culture where NES was sold in a 'boys' section, it feels like 'video games are for boys' didn't get as much prevalence at least in Eastern Europe (not sure about other places where computers were more of a thing). My mom played the hell out of Sierra adventure games, Age of Empires, Caesar, and a lot of other stuff, as a more personal example. But even my online interactions with people from the region involved a lot more women interested in all kinds of games, from more casual to more hardcore ones.
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Thread The US-centrism of gaming culture and history (and what parts of gaming history/culture you're a part of that are unknown globally?)
Ah, man, Spider-Man 2. It was a totally different (and much inferior) game on PC, made by different developers and probably with a very short development time to boot. You had to point a mouse cursor towards pre-placed 'web connection' points over the city, and there wasn't a lot of those web connection points around. Due to the prevalence of PC gaming and difficulties with getting consoles, haven't played a Spider-Man game with more realistic swinging until Ultimate Spider-Man got a PC port from consoles.
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Thread The US-centrism of gaming culture and history (and what parts of gaming history/culture you're a part of that are unknown globally?)
It's generally speaking a fallacy to talk about Europe as a single region. Even me defining that I talk about 'Eastern Europe' is potentially ignoring specificities of each particular country. (but where I'm from, Nintendo stopped existing after NES, which only existed as a bootleg console called Dendy to begin with, never officially distributed, and only starting with DS did Nintendo sort of start appearing on the market officially)
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Thread The US-centrism of gaming culture and history (and what parts of gaming history/culture you're a part of that are unknown globally?)
Don't know about Spain, but here we had two popular car destruction games - Destruction Derby and Carmageddon. Also DeathTrack was really popular at a certain point, I'm probably one of the few (globally speaking) who was pretty excited for the DeathTrack: Resurrection announcement back in the day lol. Twisted Metal wasn't a thing. EDIT: Btw, apparently there was one Destruction Derby released on Nintendo 64, and it was the ONLY game of the series developed outside of UK. Heh!
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Thread The US-centrism of gaming culture and history (and what parts of gaming history/culture you're a part of that are unknown globally?)
One other thing. We never really had any console wars in my region (like, Microsoft and Nintendo weren't really a thing, and PS1/PS2 were only mildly popular, hard to get and impossible to play without bootleg game copies many of which didn't work correctly), but like for example the Gamecube vs. PS2 vs. Xbox totally missed us. What we did have was Gothic vs Morrowind. I was in the Gothic camp by the way :D But yeah, Gothic 1-2 and Morrowind were REALLY popular, and it was sort of a big argument across the years which one was better. The war died in 2006 because the battle would've been 'decided' by Oblivion and Gothic 3 releasing the same year, but both kinda.... failed. Lol. So this 'Gothic vs. Morrowind' war sort of died down because of that.
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Thread The US-centrism of gaming culture and history (and what parts of gaming history/culture you're a part of that are unknown globally?)
This is something I have been thinking about for quite a while, though more actively ever since last year when there were tons of discussions surrounding Super Mario 64, and Nintendo 64 in general and how it has affected gaming culture, with everyone remembering how they've played these games back in those days. And while both undoubtedly are important to history, this discussion couldn't help but make me feel how Americanized (and possibly West-Europinized or UK-ified? I'm not sure, as far as I know for example Commodore PC gaming culture was pretty wide-spread in the UK which wasn't exactly the case in the US, so there could be more differences) is the discussion surrounding gaming history and culture. So if we talk about Mario 64 for example... I'm from Moldova, and in those post-Soviet Eastern European countries like that, Ukraine, Russia itself even, pretty much nobody has owned N64 - it didn't really exist. Gaming culture was defined by other games, some of which were made in the area itself and didn't become popular in the West (or weren't released there at all). Like, Eastern Europe was mostly a PC-based region. Yeah there was a bootleg NES called Dendy at one point, and then Sony Playstation became pretty popular, but still it didn't become as popular as PC, where the pirate culture was rampant in interesting ways. We actually had a lot of competing pirating groups - and competition was involved in who would release the best-cracked stable version + the best translation. There was even a site that would rate different pirate releases, and any official localizations that would SLOWLY start appearing would need to somehow get in within that pirating context. And as a result, games that were much more important for the overall culture were released for PC rather than consoles, which has included genres like strategy games and point'n'click adventures (and games that were MADE in these regions weren't directly influenced by games like Mario 64, but only through proxy at most - again, due to N64 not really being a thing). Speaking of adventure games, it has always been weird to me that it is considered that at some point in time adventure games died before getting a sort of renaissance with the release of Telltale's The Walking Dead. While this might be true for the US, this has never happened in Central/Eastern Europe - this kind of genre was still popular there, and being made there as well (With most titles getting made in Germany, heh, but there was a lot of Russian, Czech, and other adventure games too). But researching this topic I see that many of those games didn't really see a widespread release in the US. Still, for us adventure games never died, I still vividly remember that time when I was sort of weirded out because the Internet was full of discussions how 'adventure games are dead' while I on the other hand was playing so many new regular releases of this supposedly dead genre, and was thinking 'what are you talking about? Adventure games aren't dead!' And this got me thinking that there must be more examples of the development of gaming culture or history that is ignored simply because the discussions around it are very US-centric, so what would be examples of history proceeding differently in your region, or different games being popular than those that are traditionally known to have an impact?
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Thread [VGC] Child of Light creator Patrick Plourde has left Ubisoft after 19 years
Sort of sad to see that all the news reporting this conveniently forget that the dude is sort of a shithead and a bully. I guess the 'rebranding' worked. But nevertheless, even though I personally had only one interaction with Plourde in my lifetime myself, I don't think I have heard anyone say anything nice about him. And when he became one of Editorial VPs there was a lot of internal strife.
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Thread Is Beyond Good and Evil 2 the new Textbook definition of "Vaporware" taking Duke Nukem Forever's throne?
Not working in Ubisoft for a year by this point, so I wouldn't know what's happening to it now, but BGE2 was pretty much a vaporware project even before Ancel's departure. It was a huge poorly-directed mess, if 'directed' would be a proper word as everything points to a total lack of direction. People would move between studios just to not work on it anymore (and with Ancel specifically too). The project was given a total carte blanche but it didn't know what to do with it, having a bunch of vague great-sounding ideas without a clear understanding how they would be implemented.
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Thread [Gamesindustry.biz] Lorne Lanning says launching on PS Plus was “devastating” for Oddworld: Soulstorm sales
Honestly the arguments are weird. If the deal was based on the numbers that were approximated for January 2021, well by January 2021 PS5 already sold 4.5 million copies. By April it was 3 million more. Sure there is a difference, but not something that would drastically change the profitability of the deal had it been based on April numbers, considering that their expectations of 50-100k claims was too low to begin with.
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Thread Downgrade Controversies Are Toxic and We Should Take Care To Avoid Feeding Into Them In The Future
It sort of feels like a number of people conflate together different arguments. I.e. when one says "the developers 99% of the time do not intend a demo to be deceiving" the retort is "oh so it is ok when people buy expecting one thing and get another one?". No, it's not ok. But that's also beside the point in this particular conversation. After all we're supposedly trying to discuss: 1. Why this happens and that the people are in their rights to criticize developers/publishers for not receiving what was advertised 2. How with that in mind there's a difference between that kind of criticism and the toxic way people express themselves regarding the devs ("LIARS, DOWNGRADE", etc.) which is what's being pointed out as unhealthy 3. The complex matter of why such situations appear in the first place 4. Not to mention how difficult it is for devs to be transparent because proper transparency is often being misconstrued as poor game quality (even though it's FINE at that stage of development) which loops back to point #1.
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Thread Downgrade Controversies Are Toxic and We Should Take Care To Avoid Feeding Into Them In The Future
So... there's a couple of points here to digest. Because this is a very complex issue. 1. I see a lot of people saying 'don't market the game too early'. Most of the time that's unfeasible. For a game to be announced/shown 6 months before release let's say and then get good sales it must be a VERY popular franchise with VERY good standing and a VERY trusted developer (even Nintendo doesn't always have that amount of trust!). Hype cycle is something that regrettably HAS to happen for a considerable amount of time for a game to get traction (there are a lot of projects that have failed sales-wise because they didn't gain the proper marketing traction timeline-wise). 2. When it comes to marketing early, we get to a catch-22 situation. Be absolutely honest and showcase what the game really is (which is, 75% of it would be a broken mess), people will be like, 'what the fuck is this shit'. So, some segments are polished up specifically for those demos, some WIP mechanics are scripted to represent what the developers want those features to become in the end. 3. And here we get to the No Man's Sky situation. The 'lies'. This is actually part of the reason why many developers try to be as secretive as possible and show/announce things that they're SURE are gonna make it. Because if something is announced, and then not put in the final release of the game, that is considered to be a 'lie' now. Which is really not true. 99% of the time developers do not lie, because at the moment they're talking about a certain feature they're working on it and expecting it to be in. And sometimes features have to be literally cut last moment because even though all the important parts seem to be there it just doesn't work, or after scaled up testing you start seeing that everything just falls apart and it's better not to have that feature. When it comes to No Man's Sky in particular, it's a shame what has happened, but let's remember that it's a project that, at the time, was essentially made by 15 very excited about their game people with little marketing skills. They worked on a lot of cool stuff and they wanted to share about it, because they fully expected that to be in the game. Only it didn't turn out that way in the end. And also there's the fact that NMS didn't really have anyone versed in marketing so they didn't have a 'stopper' that would prevent some of those situations, but that's a different issue. Some of the most beloved games out there have a bunch of stuff that was faked in their demos (because it wasn't ready) that was used to hype up people and then by the end of the dev cycle the devs managed to implement that feature. This happens much more often than you can imagine. Most of the time it isn't talked about because it's not a fail and just seen 'as expected', and it's the fails that are discussed because that's the situation where the developers didn't manage to meet the targets they were aiming for. Again, yeah, sometimes there are active bullshit marketing pushes. That happens. But those are the exceptions. At the end of the day games are a mess of different stages of brokenness until the final months before release, there's really no 'best moment' to show it to the world in a way that's fully, let's call it, 'honest', i.e. showing the game in its actual state. Because showing games in their actual state will lead to many potential buyers thinking that that's what it's gonna be on release, just due to the emotional reaction ('oh this looks like shit', - now 'shit' is associated with that game, even if by release it gets insanely polished), so stuff is prettied up and whatnot. Even when it comes to publishing deals - you can't really show potential publishers a version of a game that's WIP. You have to either show some CLEARLY not completed thing full of placeholders and stuff, OR a very polished sort of vertical slice demo. Anything inbetween will sour the the impression, and we're talking about pitching to people IN the industry who should know better really, but that's just how human mind works. This is why this is such a complicated question. You want to market the game early so it would have better chances to make a profit on release, and you want to market it in such a way that shows what it would be on release, but you can't do that without a lot of custom/scripted things because at that moment the game would be mostly broken because that's how games are while in progress.
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Thread Return to Monkey Island announced by Devolver Digital & Lucasfilm Games (2022)
On one hand I'm a huge Monkey Island fan, on the other hand I was never a fan of the 'Sequel to Monkey Island 1 and 2 that ignores all the games that come after it' idea, which judging by the announcement blurb, this game is. Curse of Monkey Island and Tales of Monkey Island are both great with really good stories (Tales especially), Escape from Monkey Island is... certainly not up to their level but still fun. Weird to ignore all that in favor of continuing a Star Wars rip-off twist.
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Thread Return to Monkey Island announced by Devolver Digital & Lucasfilm Games (2022)
I remember you! :D It very might be, though at this point I don't remember who exactly contacted me. It's not like I hold a grudge or anything, it's just that while remembering the situation feels weird in the context of the current times. But at the time, for an 18-year old me who was only a hobby-ist modder at that point wishing to get into professional game dev that was a big event, so thank you!
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Thread Return to Monkey Island announced by Devolver Digital & Lucasfilm Games (2022)
It could be a different interpretation of the character though! The "follow-up to Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge" is weirdly specific, considering how Ron Gilbert for a long time would say that if he'd to make a next Monkey Island, everything that came after 2 wouldn't exist in his version (but also that it wouldn't mean that he wouldn't borrow something from them). Don't know how valid this is now, as it was his statements from like 2010-2015ish.
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Thread Return to Monkey Island announced by Devolver Digital & Lucasfilm Games (2022)
On a semi-related half off-topic note, back in 2009, I didn't even work in the industry back then (was just a wee 18-year old lad), I made a fan-trailer for Tales of Monkey Island and on Telltale forums their community manager approached me to ask permission to use it as a basis for their official season trailer that would be released together with the final episode. Here is my fan-trailer (it's on a dead channel I haven't posted on for over a decade, so hopefully doesn't count as promotion): And here is their official trailer that was based on mine: In retrospective it is sort of shitty that I was referenced in relation to that trailer only on the official forums where the community knew me but not on YT channel proper, but.... eh, I still felt pretty awesome about that :D But hey, this means that I have a tiiiiny bit of involvement in the Monkey Island franchise as well and that's pretty neat :)
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Thread Return to Monkey Island announced by Devolver Digital & Lucasfilm Games (2022)
Ah. I literally stopped visiting Twitter for several months now so don't check up on that stuff. What about other games? Cause my argument still applies if they're not, and as Tales of Monkey Island is my #1 Monkey Island story that's still a shame for me :p Absolutely love what Telltale did to the narrative and characters.
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Thread It's taken me over 10 years to reach 550 subscribers on YouTube lol
Try playing content that most Let's Players won't play, and also experiment with thumbnails. So I have a channel for 5 years, I actually rebooted it a couple times, in latest iteration it's about deep analytical game design reviews from a perspective of a professional Game Designer. I thought that this is enough of a 'hook', but it's not. I have had a problem for a long time of 'when people start watching my content they like it, but how to make them start watching my content'? I worked for 1.5 months on a 1.5h Demon's Souls review which is probably some of by best work. Barely got any views and subscribers. I then made a bunch of Harry Potter videos. Got tons of loyal viewers and boost to that Demon's Souls video from them. Because in-depth review analysis of old licensed titles is something that nobody really does, so there's little competition, and it's a good entry space into the rest of the channel. I'm still doing Harry Potter videos because that's what grows the channel even though some people are like, 'why are you still making HP videos'. Because it works :D I even had this comment at one point: "I caved. I couldn't give a rat's ass about Harry Potter but I needed to see why these videos do so well. Turns out you are a masterful reviewer. Great job my friend, keep up the great work." So, one thing is an entry point. But still, another part is that I've experimented with thumbnails. Here are all the different thumbnail styles that I had, including very clickbaity ones, neither of which really did anything great longterm. Like, things didn't get worse, but they didn't get better either. For some of them I asked for feedback on reddit and stuff and people kept telling me these are great thumbnails. Then, for the release of my Ghost of Tsushima video, I did this thumbnail. Still nothing. And I added one thing there. Added the score. This was the best decision I have ever made. Now, everybody would tell you that it's bad to place score on a thumbnail. That it spoils things and people will click less. But I'm a Game Designer, and I'm trying to find a reasoning behind the data, and I was thinking, so on average 30-35% of people reach the score part of my (pretty long) videos. This means that 65-70% never see the score. So what would happen if I start placing scores? Well.... This is what has happened on my old videos after I changed the thumbnails. This is what started happening instantly to clickthrough ratios. Which has led to stuff like this. This has led to YT recommending a LOT my newer videos, like these are the impression stats of A Link to the Past video shortly after release. So.... long story short. Try to enter blue waters, and keep experimenting with thumbnails.
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Thread Rhianna Pratchett didn't want to focus on Lara's dad in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jill Murray neither in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The difference here is that it's a story where he and his dad actively fix their relationship, not where his dad is dead but he tries to prove himself to him in escalatingly larger manners.
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Thread Rhianna Pratchett didn't want to focus on Lara's dad in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jill Murray neither in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
So what's interesting about all this is that the original Rise of the Tomb Raider announcement trailer was clearly based on those original concept. I was really intrigued when I saw that trailer and the final product was nothing like it.
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Thread Rhianna Pratchett didn't want to focus on Lara's dad in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jill Murray neither in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Sure, and there's nothing wrong with that, but ignoring suggestions/concepts until it becomes part of YOUR experience has been a sadly prominent MO in the industry and that shouldn't be the case. Which isn't to say that everybody who's done that does it out of malice or anything, but it's a clear sign that something needs to be changed in the creative culture (and corporate culture as well, like in the OP example).
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Thread Farlands Design Den - Game Design YouTube channel focused on detailed game reviews and breakdowns, by a game developer
Thanks! What I can say is that it will come sometime this year, the Harry Potter RPGs are very fascinating.
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Thread Farlands Design Den - Game Design YouTube channel focused on detailed game reviews and breakdowns, by a game developer
Thanks! I have a whole Harry Potter series :) There's Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban and all other movie tie-ins that were released for PC (with videos about console one in progress). So more nostalgia lane if you're interested! :D Thank you! ^_^ Appreciate! Regarding HP, Harry Potter games is how I got 1/4 of my current subscribers :D Did you know that I got a better boost for stuff like Demon's Souls and Bastion videos from Harry Potter than from something more mainstream like Assassin's Creed? I suppose it's a matter of nostalgia + low competition for the type of content on this topic that makes it a very good entry space.
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Thread Farlands Design Den - Game Design YouTube channel focused on detailed game reviews and breakdowns, by a game developer
Let's tackle the elephant in the room first - this is self-promotion, it's true that I want to get more eyes on my content and I know it's against the rules of Resetera, but I want to kindly ask the moderators to leave the thread up as I genuinely believe that the videos I make are going to be really appreciated by local members and you won't really find anything like it on YouTube. The first and foremost reason is that on YouTube at this moment you won't find video game critiques created by a professional Game Designer with 10 years of experience, including Lead Design positions at Ubisoft (Lead Designer for Trials Rising project, Lead Designer for the Bucharest mandate of Watch Dogs Legion). Incidentally, that person is me, and the channel I curate is called . And probably one of the reasons why I decided to pull this stunt of breaking the rules of Resetera and hope that this thread is not going to get shut down hard is that people who watch my content find it deserves more views which are difficult to come by in the current competitive YouTube space. My favorite comment is this, on a video posted before I rebooted my channel to focus solely on reviews. Heh, it never blew up. But what's a better way to showcase a channel focused on argumentative discussion about games, than to post it on a forum focused on argumentative discussion about games? Now, obviously, just having professional credentials is not enough for the content to be unique, but my experience allows me to create compelling arguments and provide nuance that you will rarely find online. An example would be my (can't insert as media due to YT music copyright claim). Now, besides being a pretty monstrous 1h 20m video that breaks down a lot of Demon's Souls design elements, of course a Souls video couldn't be created without discussing difficulty and easy mode. But these discussions often lack nuance, with people a lot of the time going into extremeties. In my video I actually break down what would be the definition of difficulty, why it matters for Demon's Souls, what problems people think easy mode will solve but also why it is dangerous for Souls in particular and what would be the applicable alternatives. From the get go, I'm all for accessibility and approachability, but I straight up say that Demon's Souls doesn't need an explicit easy difficulty setting though there are plenty of improvements it could do. I also mention some aspects of Souls that are often forgotten by both sides of the 'difficulty' spectrum. Another pretty long video I have is Assassin's Creed II has obviously popularized the franchise by changing the direction it was going towards (which is not an aspect I personally consider to be positive). But despite it's amazing 90+ Metacritic reception, it is actually a very flawed, oftentimes borderline broken game, but it still... works and is greatly enjoyable. Again, you won't really find videos like this on YouTube, content that I saw would usually be divided into full-on fan 'the game is perfect' mode (which is great that a person feels that way but I don't find it to be a useful critique) or 'the game is overrated shit' mode (which is unfair to all the aspects that Assassin's Creed II does extremely well). But in my videos, I provide that nuance. Now, reviews/breakdowns/critiques that I release are not just huge hourly romps, I have shorter videos as well. For example about such . In this video I explain for those who don't know what is The Hero's Journey, absolutely agreeing that it is a very overused trope, but it works particularly well in Journey because the whole game from its game design, level design, narrative design, visual and musical aspects is fully focused around that singular notion of going through a Hero's Journey and that's why it is so fantastic (and I will outright say - my most favorite video game of all time). And, as sort of a cherry on top for the variety of content I'm trying to create, I have detailed breakdowns of video games that don't get any recognition on YouTube besides some nostalgic reviews, but never detailed analysis. Licensed tie-ins like for consoles (which also can't insert as media due to YT music copyright claims) and for PC. I believe these games deserve as much thought put into their analysis as more popular titles. And nobody is crazy enough to try and do that. Except me, heh. Now, when it comes to the future of my channel, I already have a bunch of The Legend of Zelda videos in progress, and in general I have big plans, and my content quality and writing style keeps improving which is... well, it's natural and will lead to only better videos :) I hope I have built a compelling argument to the moderators why this thread should stay up (and promise I won't ever try to create another like this one again... which I suppose wouldn't be necessary anyway), as well as compelling arguments to the visitors of this forum why they would enjoy this content and why it's different from others that one might find on YouTube. I always try to keep my communication channels open so am in touch with a lot of people who watch my videos, and many game designers and people who want to become designers find them very useful. So... hope you will enjoy the current and future videos! Thanks!
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Thread Gimme Your Dream Game Collections
Commander Keen collection. With remastered 2D-graphics. Sierra game collections too. With remastered 2D-graphics (3D where applicable). :D The most important of those being Quest for Glory. And Space Quest! And King's Quest too! And I wouldn't mind some redesigns to remove dead-ends from these games, I don't think anybody would complain if they're gone. I'm old and weird like that, lol.
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Thread Franchise Entries So Bad You Quit the Whole Franchise (Even When It Got Better)?
Gothic 3 has made me totally disinterested in the the Gothic franchise (though I guess for many the main culprit would be Arcania: Gothic 4), and the follow-up inspired-by-Gothic Risen series. Still absolutely adore Gothic 1 and 2 though.
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Thread Rhianna Pratchett didn't want to focus on Lara's dad in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jill Murray neither in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Though I love the new God of War, it is very telling that the motivation behind a lot of its concepts was "Oh shit, we're all dads now, we can't make games as immature as the previous ones!"
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Thread Rhianna Pratchett didn't want to focus on Lara's dad in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jill Murray neither in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
I suppose news of the 'it surprises nobody' variety, didn't find it shared here yet. I always found the sudden focus on Lara's dad weird and uncharacteristic, especially considering that a big part of Tomb Raider 2013's arc was about Lara getting OUT of her father's shadow to forge her own path. And then suddenly it became really dad-focused in the sequels, no wonder it was a request from above. Sigh, this is why we can't have nice things.
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Thread Rhianna Pratchett didn't want to focus on Lara's dad in Rise of the Tomb Raider, Jill Murray neither in Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Making a character an orphan is the easiest way to create drama and making a quest to find out the truth about their parents is the easiest way to create mystery.
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Thread Reusing assets and animations is amazing
When technology was advancing so fast in the 90s-early 2000s that very often developers weren't able to reuse animations/assets, they would have had to redo them from scratch and try to keep them very similar/familiar for franchise/style consistency. Now, it's literally not a problem, you can freely reuse so many resources to help out with development, but suddenly, for a considerable subset of people, this is... bad? Lol.
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Thread I don't like riding horses...
Horses are best when they don't control like a horse (ironically enough), but when they have similar physics/way to move like the main character. This might make them look more unrealistic, but far more comfortable to navigate with. EDIT: Of course, if the point of the game would be to bond with a horse or something, then there are arguments for realistic horse controls to be the better choice. But in abstraction, horses are better when they don't control like horses.
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Thread Let's have a real Talk about Game Reviews as they are and/or as they should/could be
So I have a personal YouTube channel which I rebooted last year to do reviews based on my personal scoring system that is divided in categories. Here's the thing, I hate scoring systems and hate categorization. But also, being a designer, I like sometimes taking things I hate and trying doing out of them things that I might like :D So I've spent 4 years doing different variations of what I call the 'Stasocritic' system (Stas is how my name is shortened), which in the end works like this, shortly speaking. It's a scoring system with a scale of 1-100, divided in 5 categories: Design, Context, Aesthetics, Cohesion and Emotions. Each category has 10 points, each point has an explicitly stated criteria of when it is assigned (But also relative enough so a game like Tetris wouldn't be punished for not having a story and a game like The Walking Dead wouldn't be punished for not having a lot of systems). So there's essentially 50 points each having its own criteria of placement. Also each category has a different weight - Design has a weight of 4, Emotions - 3, Cohesion - 2, and Context/Aesthetics both have a weight of 1 (weight is essentially the point multiplier). There were a lot of iterations on this, but this has allowed me to create a scoring system where I can feel I can actually assign consistent scoring, and the categorization is encompassing enough that nothing is left out arbitrarily but also concrete enough that I can categorize my critique into particular clear topics. So, yeah, after 4 years of working on that system during my free time I rebooted my channel to make videos based on it and it works out very nicely! I still hate scoring systems though :D Most of them are too arbitrary and oversimplify discussion about a game, not to mention that a lot of games with a score lower than 7/70/3.5 (depending on scale) are devalued. So I think that mainstream outlets for the most part should just... not have them. Who has the time to spend 4 years on making sure that their scores are not arbitrary, huh? :D Better focus on the text itself without trying to put down a number to it that even the same person might use differently every time.
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Thread LTTP: Ghost of Tsushima - well-received yet weirdly underappreciated
Sure, so the 'shield stance for shield guy' is just the basics of it so players would have an understanding of the system. But it's important to understand that what stances affect is stagger damage not actual damage. So the shield stance moves stagger shieldmen faster than others, but the actual damage is the same to everyone. So for example, the Piercing Attack of Stone (Sword) stance is a really powerful attack that can kill most enemies in 1-2 hits (There's an upgrade that allows you to do it several times in a row). It works on absolutely every enemy. Heck, I killed spearmen more through this move than through spearstance because as long as you hit them (and it has to be targeted a bit), nobody has any way to defend themselves from it except shieldmen, who can still be hit with this move in the back or while they're preparing a shield attack. Flurry Strike from Water (Shield) stance is a series of very fast attacks. Again, if you're in shield stance and you see not a shielded enemy, you can dodge and do a flurry strike to kill them quickly, even quicker than if you switch to spear stance! Typhoon kicks, the special heavy attack of Wind (Spear) stance works on absolutely every normal-sized enemy (i.e. somebody who is not a brute), and there's an upgrade that adds the possibility for the enemies to remain stunned after the kick and you can one hit kill them. I used this frequently against really aggressive opponents from other stances. Stuff like this. You don't have to switch stances to be 'more effective' against an opponents, in fact there's many reasons to NOT change stance. Like you know those Brutes who have a grenade launcher or something? They're bastards, a lot of the time you don't have enough time to stagger them with Moon/Brute Stance attacks. Just go into Sword stance and use piercing attack on them because they have literally 0 defence against that and are big targets that can't dodge. This is the depth of the Stance system - because it affects only stagger damage, you actually have to mix and match stances to be more effective with ACTUAL damage. The irony is that I decided to google at one point how many guides about stances talk about this... and I found only one. The rest teach only about the basics, but it's not how the system works. And one of the reason why Ghost of Tsushima unlocks stances one by one is not just for progression, but so you would use different moves against non-matching stances as well because you haven't yet unlocked their stance. I can't post my video where I talk about this in-depth due to rules (and mods removed the link to the video in the original post), but in there you would see a lot of examples where I use unmatching stances to defeat enemies effectively. And that's all if we touch just the Stance mechanic without going into Ghost Tools that add more dimensions to it. It's really cool.
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Thread LTTP: Ghost of Tsushima - well-received yet weirdly underappreciated
What BotW has done successfully is an open-world game where, after the tutorial section, you can go in any direction and do anything and have everything be relevant for your personal journey. There's a lot of things related to map design (which affects discovery) and hidden progression systems that make it possible, barely any open world game has done that - usually there's a more strict linear progression even in more open-ended games. EDIT: I don't know if that's 'not vague enough', but there's just a LOT of really awesome stuff that BotW does.
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Thread LTTP: Ghost of Tsushima - well-received yet weirdly underappreciated
GoT has a bunch of unmarked quests/unique encounters. There's one where you have to help a monk with burning dead bodies of people who fell from illness, one where you save a woman from a building in fire, one where you save a village from trebuchets attacking it, one with two women on the beach and a dilemma, and a bunch of others.
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Thread LTTP: Ghost of Tsushima - well-received yet weirdly underappreciated
There's a difference, IMO, between the 'map' (which is not problematic) and the way the 'map is uncovered' - which is the problematic part of Ghost of Tsushima. It's a real shame that Ghost of Tsushima has icons, because it was not designed as an icon-based open-world game and the icons sort of become an unnecessary crutch. But to me personally that's an aspect I can ignore in favor of what it does well, but I know not everyone can.
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Thread LTTP: Ghost of Tsushima - well-received yet weirdly underappreciated
I don't think all the repetitiveness is equal. It is true that, in terms of activities, with 49 Fox Dens, the game is repetitive. But also, each Fox Den takes one minute to do. The pacing in the game is very deliberate, and I found that even when I would discover another same thing to do (which wouldn't have happened like that if the game would've fully followed its Hudless design principles it has established but I digress), I never was as bored as let's say when exploring The Witcher 3 open-world outside of quests, because there the samey question mark locations which would eventually make me feel like I'm wasting my time. In Ghost of Tsushima every question mark that's not a quest takes literally a minute to do. Shrines are the exception - they take 3-5 minutes. And the missions take full advantage of the game's fantastic combat and stealth systems, so they always have a high note, even some of the worse designed quests.
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Thread LTTP: Ghost of Tsushima - well-received yet weirdly underappreciated
So, ever since Ghost of Tsushima's release in 2020 I've been wanting to get that game, but the overall feedback I would see online about it has sort of prevented me from purchasing it full price. I kept hearing how the game is not only repetitive, but doesn't have any original ideas besides the wind, the mechanics are standard, the story is okish, the design principles are outdated etc. So despite the game being generally well-received and well-sold, I was waiting for a lower price because I didn't know if I'd be willing to buy full price a game that I knew would be fun for some time but wasn't sure I'd enjoy greatly and finish. My wife had other plans though, knowing how I keep pushing my purchase of Ghost of Tsushima to an unknown future, she got it to me as a Christmas gift. And honestly, I will be forever thankful to her. Because this is one of the freaking best open-world action-adventure games I have ever played in my lifetime. I love it so much that I've spent hours and hours to create a YouTube 1.5h long analysis of all the awesome (and not awesome because this game definitely has flaws) things that the game is doing. Now, I will of course write the short version here, just posting the link in case you want to see absolutely everything I have to say because... well... there's a lot. But in short, (and written in a less structured way) Ghost of Tsushima is just an incredibly holistic experience the likes of which there are few in this genre. Everything revolves around a single fantasy - that of a Samurai becoming a Ghost. And that fantasy is at the root of literally every mechanic that the game has. But what's more, this transformation is not just something that happens through story, it happens through gameplay. We as a player start out as a person who can fight only out in the open, but eventually we get new tools that we ARE NOT forced to use. There's 0 enemies that are like, 'we can be defeated only if you strike us by Kunai first', 'we can be defeated only with a strike on the back'. You can, if you want, keep only fighting like a Samurai (a romanticized version of a Samurai, to be exact) would. But the game so consistently puts us against a big amount of enemies, that these new dishonorable tools we get... well... they're efficient. And become even more so as you progress. So you can either take a lot of risks and spend quite some time defeating 12 soldiers in open combats, or throw a smoke bomb, do a chain assassination of three people, throw kunai, kill the stunned person, throw a bomb that sets people on stun so you could finish them off while they're at it and finish up the last person in open fight, and now you've dealt with these 12 people in a quarter of a time than it would take to do with just the sword. And you do that because it's freaking effective. The player goes through a similar gameplay arc in parallel to Jin's character arc. They are very synched. The narrative might feel standard because it sets up a very straightforward premise to send us on this path - but that is important because that's the way by which it can combine those two facets - the player and the character, together, by making their motivation and feelings one. There are some amazing moments in the game where Ghost of Tsushima takes advantage of this connection. Plus, even though the PLOT is something you would've seen before, the underlying themes and character relationships are absolutely fantastic, there's so much depth there. And speaking of depth, - this game has the best melee combat mechanics and stealth mechanics that I have seen in open-world games so far. Everything unlocks layer by layer, as the game progresses the player is presented with an ever-evolving web of choices. And they're all done at a very high quality where even seemingly straightforward mechanics eventually unravel themselves. For example Stances are much more than just 'beat an enemy with a corresponding stance' - you can actually be much more effective if you use different stance moves against enemies that don't match your current stance - again with mastery mimicing the 'ghost' progression, you start by learning the 'samurai' basics - the rules, and then get better and more efficient by breaking them. But I decided to find out if there's a guide that writes about any of this, and out of all I read only a single one does. The rest just goes with the basic 'choose this stance against these enemies' approach. The game does falter in its open world design and there are some issues with quests, but they're really not big. The thing is, the foundation for all these elements are strong, it's just that there are choices that sort of contradict this foundation (an example would be how the activities in the game are designed to be one-minute detours you do on your way to main objectives, but because the game decided to add question marks they don't really work as a mark you go to uncover....). That is also weird considering how you can see the game being focused on HUD-less open-world design. But maybe some focus group results forced the developers to add some particular mechanics, I don't know. Now, what is true about all the Ghost of Tsushima reviews is that the game is not novel. It doesn't have any new additions to the genre with the exception of wind, really. But, I also think that... well.... the gaming discourse focuses too much on novelty and not enough on craft. There are games which add novelty but have deep foundational, structural and mechanical issues and they're better received than Ghost of Tsushima, which doesn't have novelty but does most of the things it does impeccably. Like, it's so good at connecting everything together from design, narrative, directorial and technical stand-points, it's really insane what the developers have managed to achieve. Even though they do different things and are not comparable games, in terms of recognition I believe Ghost of Tsushima deserves as much as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did for reimagining a lot of open world principles. Because in the end, even though Ghost of Tsushima doesn't reimagine anything, I can hardly think of a considerable list of open-world games that does all the things GoT does as well as GoT does. It's very holistic, polished, and with tons of layers.
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Thread Some of your "I should have picked that other game instead" moments.
Not exactly a case of choice, but ever since its announcement I wanted to play Spider-Man 2 game so much (I was like 12-13 at the time). But I lived in Eastern Europe, we were mostly PC gamers there, and my family had a PC, getting consoles was very difficult.... so Spider-Man 2 launched on all platforms. My parents bought me it day 1, under my request. So, for full reference, this is the Spider-Man 2 game that was advertized for all platforms AND had screenshots on the back case of PC version as well (which previously always received direct ports), an open world action adventure with realistic swinging. And this is what I found on release date is the PC version of Spider-Man 2 ACTUALLY like. A sort off open world game where every district was a small closed off area and webswingig was based on pointing and clicking the reticule cursor on sparsely placed special web icons. I was disappointed so.... so much. I literally couldn't understand what the hell.
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Thread The evolution of Horizon Zero Dawn from 2011-2022 is fascinating
Most games start looking like this: And when they don't start looking like that it's only because it's probably a sequel or based on an already existing engine within the team so they're starting with reusing the assets from there :D But still would have a lot of white cube shit.
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Thread Obscure / underrated Star Wars games
Revenge of the Sith for GBA/DS, a fantastic beat-em up. Star Wars: Starfighter (I presume its sequel too though I never played Jedi Starfighter). I think it is underrated because it's not the X-Wing-style game everyone has been expecting, but as a space arcade shooter it is very fun. Gungan Frontier, a really cool bio-ecology strategy game. Pit Droids - a nice puzzle that would honestly be a perfect mobile game these days (I wonder if there has ever been a mobile port?) I never played the full version, but I had shittons of fun with the demo version of Droidworks and always dreamed of playing the full game someday. Sadly never did. Also, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (with its Clone Campaigns expansion pack). I have had so much playing and making custom maps as part of the Heavengames community back in the day. It's a pure Age of Empires 2 clone, but here's the thing - AoE2 is fucking good. And SW:GB was freaking good as well, really great strategy game.
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Thread Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park talks NFTs: "So many possibilities"
It's been possible technically to achieve this pipe dream long before NFTs. The reason nobody ever did that was because of: a) Legal issues b) Tech issues c) Art style issues Which means... well... practically everything, really! NFTs don't help a single bit in transforming this into reality because the problem with owning the same item in multiple games was never about finding out which item you own. This whole thing with NFTs transforms so many people into the ultimate "Idea Persons", - people who have no understanding of how game dev works but think they have a great idea that they want other devs to do for them.
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Thread Elden Ring vs Horizon Forbidden West. Which will be the best selling game?
If we're gonna talk just about sales, it's gonna be Horizon and it's not going to be even close. A lot of hardcore online gaming community members might prefer Elden Ring. But Horizon already did incredibly well as a new IP with Zero Dawn (and first release of a new AAA IP is a huge hurdle), so it's gonna do even better and faster with Forbidden West, with a much larger mass market appeal than Elden Ring has despite being a platform exclusive.
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Thread Actual Good Licensed Video Games Thread
Funny note, I have just recently released a video about one such game - the Chambers of Secrets one for PC (PS2 version is absolutely different but gotta make a video about that one too). In general, with the exception of maybe something like Spider-Man 2, licensed movie tie-in games are criminally underrepresented on YouTube, at most you will find somebody going through a bit of let's play nostalgia or something like that, most of the time. I always found these games to be fascinating, especially because in terms of development they're probably some of the most difficult ones to make. As oftentimes you have so many blockers coming from license holders. Good Disney games are especially surprising, because Disney are NOTORIOUS for their difficulty to work with (at the least pre-2015ish, not sure if things have changed now with them to the better).
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Thread [Axios] Inside Ubisoft's unprecedented "exodus" of developers
Thanks! Even to this day, IMO, Ubisoft has some of the widest and most original number of IPs out of all AAA companies. And if with some of them (like Rainbow Six in its latest Siege iteration and For Honor which had some growing pains admittedly but is doing very well now) the company is doing all the right things, quite a lot are mis-utilized considerably.
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Thread [Axios] Inside Ubisoft's unprecedented "exodus" of developers
As someone who has left Ubisoft themselves this year, I must say that, at least for me, the reasons are more conplex than only controversies surrounding the company. It is a mix of several things: 1) Desire to stop spending 2 hours a day for commute and get a remote only job as the pandemic has proven that it's possible (something many studios kept saying it's not. It is, and with the right solution to challenges more than effective) 2) Desire to work on smaller scale games for some time 3) Disappointment with how the company was handling the allegations from the inside, which always felt like there was a lot said but not a lot done (some people I know say there is visible change now, but still a ways to go). 4) Disappointment with the company creative direction even after Serge has left. This too might change in the future, we shall see, but for too long the upper management was pretty disruptive of the teams' creative processes when it came to pretty big decisions, I feel that hurts the projects, and there weren't signs that a change is coming soon. And honestly, point 4 were grievances for sort of a long time, as well as the desire for point 2, but point 3 sort of made the whole thing spill and led to the decision I've made. I've joined Ubisoft because I believe in the values it seemingly held. The fact that so many things were hidden under a rug (after they were revealed some things and weirdnesses that I couldn't place my finger on clicked and suddenly everything made sense) felt like a stab in the back. I do hope for the best because so many wonderful people work at Ubi.
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Thread RTTP: Assassin's Creed
Well the exact ranking is something that I will know myself only after I finish all RTTPs for the videos (and I will have an RTTP for every game after I finish playing them) but I can say this based on my current feelings and memories. My favorites are AC1, Black Flag and Brotherhood. AC1 for all the reasons liated above, it is just am absolutely unique game. Brotherhood is, IMO, the most thought out game from the more 'swashbuckling adventure' direction that AC2 has steered the series to, while AC4 IMO is underrated as an AC game in terms of themes and mission design - it weaves in a lot of AC1 elements back into the series providing a nice compromise between AC1 and swashbuckliness of other games, the definition "Pirate's Creed" is unfair. I respect what Unity and Valhalla try to do, but they're both very flawed. Unity is probably the only "true" sequel to AC1 in terms of overall direction but it is just a mess. Valhalla tries to be the AC4 of the new RPG trilogy - combine the current direction with AC1 gameplay and philosophical elements, but as a whole it is also pretty messy. Origins is the best game of the RPG trilogy, probably. Odyssey is... a very competent game. But I have a lot of grievances with it from the game direction perspective which at times just infuriate me, it feels like a connection of systems and design rules rather than something cohesive. AC3 is very ambitious but incredibly messy. Love Connor, love the complexities and subtleties of the story even if it is also told in a messy way. Some gameplay is outright broken This leaves AC2 which I think is pretty good but I disagree with the overall notion that it is an improvement over AC1 in every way. In terms of gameplay it is just as messy and it really changed the direction if the series to medieval GTA. The structure is really good though and thanks to it it is engaging. Rogue improves upon Black Flag in many areas in terms of gameplay, but really doesn't cut it storywise - has a good premise but wastes it. Sorry that it is not in order, but these are my overall feelings as of now, I will see what I will feel after replaying everything.
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Thread [Kotaku] Ubisoft Boss Tells Employees That NFTs Are Just Beginning
If blockchain has the potential to be useful for the society, shouldn't it have already proven at least SOME of that use in the decade and a half of its commercial existence? So far it's been a lot of money speculation with ever increasing energy consumption, a lot of scams, and solutions to problems that blockchain itself creates without actually successfully solving any problem not of its own making. Sure, technology is not inherently harmful, but there sure as hell has been nothing useful in bitcoin and blockchain except for enrichment of those who have came out on top of those whole scheme.
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Thread RTTP: Assassin's Creed
There were a lot of people who miss OG Altair. Doesn't help that the actor who replaced him was also involved in sexual harrassment (though these allegations were investigated outside the gaming world as far as I know, which has led to the actor being let go from a TV show so I presume the results were in, heh)
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Thread RTTP: Assassin's Creed
Fair points, you can say that learning that a person you knew for a decade, even before they joined Ubi from being fans on forums, turned out to be a rapist, and that a woman who reached out on LinkedIn about if it is good to work at Ubi later joined the company and became a victim of other workplace abuse from another person, that kind of stuff makes you extra jaded and sensitive to a lot of other stories that you hear. (None of this relates to Patrice, other people)
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Thread RTTP: Assassin's Creed
In the wake of the latest Ubisoft controversy this might seem like a weird thing to do, but I've recently started a massive AC binge. The personal reason is simple, this, at some point was one of my favorite franchises ever so I decided to revisit all of them with the principal scope to do a whole bunch of detailed game design content on my design YouTube Channel, starting with AC1. So I am not going to talk about core loops, mechanics, mission design, or any of the like on this thread. If you are interested in hearing my thoughts about that you can, if you want, check out my 1h long examination of this game here: What I will talk about in this thread relates to feelings. What were my feelings at the time of release and how I feel getting back to it. Now, I will be quite blunt, please refrain from mentioning how things with the series would have been better if the original creative director would have stayed. While not engaging in physical abuse, I have heard enough stories from different people while working at Ubisoft to know that, at the time of working at Ubi don't know what he would be like now, he was more than very toxic. Hope he has changed, but in the context of old AC, let's not idolize. So I played AC1 in 2008 when it was first released on PC, I was 17, and it became one of my favorites of all time. It was incredibly impactful for 3 reasons: 1) It helped me put in words my political feelings that I already found true at the time. 2) Thanks to the Creed, Nothing is true everyhing is permitted, I managed to find peace in being an atheist in a very orthodox environment - my classmates would constantly try to prove me wrong, I would try to do the same, but it was the first step of understanding that it is all about personal choices and their consequences and that has helped to make both me and my classmates accept each others beliefs. 3) I decided that I want to work at Ubisoft, it became my dream. I successfuly achieved it, btw. I have left this year to work on smaller scale mobile games, but I worked at Ubi for 6 years, been a designer for two Trials games, the Lead Game Designer for Trials Rising and one of Lead GDs for Watch Dogs Legion. Great times. So in the context of all that, getting back to AC1 has felt bittersweet. Because I have the knowledge that so many people have made it what it is and yet what everybody talks about is a single name that might not even deserve it. And also the fact that some people, like AC1's game director, would engage in physical abuse in the future (said game director is the same person who would choke a woman in front of everyone). And it's sad to know that these people are related to what is still one of the most interesting, unique, as well as deepest games out there. AC1 was very brave for its time. Arab protagonist, calling Jesus a fraud, people - gullible. It was all under the veil of a thousand year conspiracy theory which has allowed it to avoid being a target as people could just say "hurr durr magic sci fi ball", but thematically there is so much going on there. This was also a game that was supposed to be designed around fully HUDless play. I have discovered this fact through analysis while having my 3rd play through of it, but in the future would get official confirmation. So many things change if you play without a HUD. You learn the environment, what rafiqs tell you is not useless info but necessary as there are no icons, you find missions through visual and audio clues... it is not perfect, so I wouldn't suggest a 1st playthrough to be HUDless, but it is still great. (Mind you, AC1 for PCs adds some new missions that aren't playable with no HUD since those principles weren't followed anymore) This is also a game that tried to define a trend rather than follow it. Ever since AC2 the series would gradually go into "follow trends" territory, but damn AC1, especially hudless, feels like how modern open world Hitman would. And there was just so much new technology - the crowds, the fully parkourable cities. And all this coming from an AAA company. The experiment, the messages, the philosophy. Assassin's Creed now misses a lot of those things. I think the new games are still worthy titles on plenty of levels, but they don't try to change the gaming world as much. Going back to Assassin's Creed 1 has reminded me of WHY I want to make games more so than any of the later parts of the franchise would. And I realized that if an AC1 remaster/remake is ever going to appear, it is not going to conserve all the things that made this game unique. The wonderful relative simplicity of focusing mostly on the job of being an Assassin, few weapons, few quests but all focused on a particular thematic. It would receive a home base that you have to upgrade, tons of missions, things that don't... matter. And maybe even retcons in Modern Day, who knows. As while MD in AC1 is boring from the angle of gameplay, it is really interesting. It does set up an end of the world - but metaphorical, when Templars would take control by using a satellite with the Apple December 21st 2012 - ultimate win for order and control. Ever since this plotline really didn't matter, AC has become about cosmic dangers and it's just not the same. Going back to Assassin's Creed 1 has made me realize that it's a game that the current Ubisoft management would never agree to make in its current form. Also would probably be forced to get NFTs or something. Anyway, Assassin's Creed 1 is really unique, and if you think it was repetitive, yeah I get you BUT I suggest you to try and play it without HUD. Will change your view, guarantee it. What are your feelings about this first game of a massive franchise?
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Thread RTTP: Assassin's Creed
Do you remember the huge list of abusers and toxic leads that was revealed last year? All interactions I have had with a bunch of them were nothing but delightful as well. With good public image too. Not being the person who worked with Patrice directly (I came to the studio long after he left) it wouldn't be appropriate for me to tell the stories I have heard since they would be going through several hands that way and potentially twisted in details due to that. Just want to warn to not idolize some people as it's a topic that frequently comes up when AC is concerned.
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Thread [Kotaku] Ubisoft Boss Tells Employees That NFTs Are Just Beginning
That's because there aren't any. Even Ubisoft's Quartz FAQ had a question "Isn't it possible to do all this without NFTs?" and the answer was a simple "Yes." Don't know why that question was there though, maybe legally required. The point is that there's literally nothing that NFTs can do for games that we weren't already be able to do, there is absolutely no reason to use the technology.
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Thread [Kotaku] Ubisoft Boss Tells Employees That NFTs Are Just Beginning
Source: Sigh. You know, this got me thinking. I was one of Lead Designers on Watch Dogs Legion - an openly anti-dystopian, anti-abusive leadership game (not at Ubi anymore). If NFTs ever make their way to WD, that will be the literal peak of irony. I wonder how much negative press it will take for the upper management to stop pushing this shit.
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Thread Zelda Ocarina of Time: Kakariko Village - Unreal Engine 5 Fan Remake
Not to be a party pooper as clearly a lot of work has went into this, but looks generic and devoid of style. That's the issue with a lot of fan upgrades and texture remasters, and hell even a number of officially made ones too. Upping the fidelity doesn't automatically up the quality, both the N64 and 3DS versions of OoT Kakariko are superior to this.
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Thread Geoff Keighley: "Beyond its nominations, I can confirm that Activision|Blizzard will not be a part of this year’s The Game Awards"
As someone who has worked at Ubisoft, I know how useless are important statements that are released in easily missable channels, away from places where the most eyes will see them, as if somebody doesn't want to alienate a certain subset of people (which honestly I wouldn't mind alienating). What this has to do with Geoff and TGA? Well, the sentiment that Geoff has tweeted about is good. Developers should be celebrated, ergo the games they worked on should stay, culture of abuse - criticized and ostracized. However he expressed it over Twitter, which has a large following but substantially smaller than the eyes that will watch TGA live. And if he doesn't replicate that statement there live, well it doesn't count for shit then.
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Thread Game developer shares insight on why NFT games (and NFTs in general) suck
NFTs are a fad that will pass relatively quickly. It's 'trending' nowadays so of course investors in publishing companies want to hear how the publishers will jump onto the train and publishers of course want to please the investors, planet be damned. The truth of the matter is though there's nothing you can do with NFTs that you can't already do with cheaper and easier to manage systems that already exist. "Oh we can have a unique asset". That asset still has to be done by an artist, integrated by a developer, tested by QA, have an ownership switch within a game, and you could literally do stuff like this for at least more than a decade already. Only now there would be extra work and extra cost to make it connected to NFTs somehow. So even if publishers don't care about the global impact of blockchain on our environment, they at least care about profit margins, and long-term NFTs provide none.
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Thread Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl are the exact same rom
If anything I'm surprised it took this long for it to be that way. Like... working with two separate builds for two separate versions is incredibly inefficient, and while understandable for something as limited as a Game Boy where every byte of every space matters, really the whole development process should have been switch-based since NDS days, 3DS at most.
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Thread Why women criticise sexualised character designs | OT3 | "Her ass is part of her character."
This has probably been discussed here many times, but I recently started playing Genshin Impact and... ooph. Same-face syndrome all over the place, same-body-type-syndrome all over the place, similar voice syndrome all over the place... The game is great but I get all the waifu jokes now. And they have some genuinely cool designs too. But then some are REALLY male-gazey, or with some weird elements/strategically placed holes. Still better than Quiet though, so there's that. And I guess in general not the worst examples, but feels very weird.
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Thread Welcome New Members! Introduce Yourself Here
Hey :) I'm Stanislav, a Game Designer with 9 years of experience, 6 of them previously being in Ubisoft. Been a Lead Game Designer on Trials Rising, and one of Lead GDs on Watch Dogs Legion. Currently a Senior Designer at Firebyte Games, working on mobile titles. During my free time work on a where I breakdown and review different games. Hope to have a bunch of interesting discussions here :)