rolling thread of stuff worth reading on videogames

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Tangentially game related, but I thought there were some interesting points made in this:

The crux I think being that in the eyes of many the success of many AAA video games hinges on their specs, how close it looks or plays like "real life," like you've been entertainingly immersed into this convincing or captivating world, even when the game activity itself is relatively mundane (like sweeping or shaving). But how the new "Lion King" essentially underscores that the somewhat related field of computer animation poses a paradox, in that often the "better" it is and the closer it comes to real life the *less* successful it is. Not least because film already documents things that are "real" and the rigorous composition of perfectly rendered CG lions mostly proves fruitless, since the results mimic something we can already see in movies/TV/docs, etc (real lions) while losing the artistry and expressiveness of what something like the original "Lion King" had to offer, despite traditional pen-and-ink (or equivalent) animation being more "primitive."

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:09 (ten months ago) link

That's not really what they're describing there, though - the CGI lions are good and convincing as real lions, but because of that, they're bad at musical singing.

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:15 (ten months ago) link

The major point being made is “ultra-realism in a game where you are exerting control over/directly influencing the environment enhances the experience; that same ultra-realism in a passive experience that, by its definition, limits the vocabulary needed to generate emotional investment in the experience detracts from the experience.”

Odds are an all-CGI rendering of The Lion King Broadway Muiscal would have much more emotional impact because you would be rendering human faces capable of conveying the emotional beats of the story. As it is, it looks like Fisney put out a tech demo with less soul and heft than Avatar.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:30 (ten months ago) link

IOW it isn’t ultra-realism as much as it is how they chose to use it

brigadier pudding (DJP), Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:32 (ten months ago) link

ultra realism sucks in games too because you end up with responsive control being held hostage by character animations and the like. you have to find a balance

ciderpress, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 14:05 (ten months ago) link

Ultrarealism also focuses attention on what is not ultrareal, like your weirdass interactions with other characters

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 14:16 (ten months ago) link

I (and everyone) remain curious about Last of Us 2, because that tiny snippet they showed months ago sort of blew everybody's mind in the leaping over the uncanny valley sense. It wasn't so much that it looked "real," it's that they made something that looks "real" also seem relatively playable, per Dan's note about interactivity vs. passively watching something (including cut-scenes). There are other aspects of realism in games (and movies) that go beyond how things look, though. Like the illusion of gravity and the imposition of physics on what is in essence fancy digital drawings.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 21:43 (ten months ago) link

i don't think games have reached the uncanny valley

ciderpress, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 21:49 (ten months ago) link

No, room to grow! But there are aspects of that Last of Us 2 clip that are pretty uncanny nonetheless.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 16 July 2019 22:52 (ten months ago) link

rad (racer)! ZS alert here:

Experimenting with 'upscaling' old video games with @nvidia's #GauGAN

— Jonathan Fly 👾 (@jonathanfly) June 28, 2019

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:11 (ten months ago) link

wow that thread is amazing

another no-holds-barred Tokey Wedge adventure for men (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:25 (ten months ago) link

yeah, this is great

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:30 (ten months ago) link


Karl Malone, Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:53 (ten months ago) link

i wonder how long it takes for people and beings in that world to stop constantly throwing up. probably not long! then after that they're all just trippin' perpetually

Karl Malone, Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:54 (ten months ago) link

that weird moment when you've stopped throwing up and hear the ocarina over your shoulder

Karl Malone, Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:54 (ten months ago) link

Did he try any top-down shmups? I feel like those would do well

El Tomboto, Friday, 26 July 2019 01:00 (ten months ago) link

his work with depth mapping is equally interesting

Depth Mapping M. C. Escher

— Jonathan Fly 👾 (@jonathanfly) July 22, 2019

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 26 July 2019 02:05 (ten months ago) link

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 13:59 (nine months ago) link

*taps 'reading' in thread title, also hastily printed-and-taped 'particularly dunkey'*

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 02:40 (nine months ago) link

blog of a hackathon centred on michael brough’s work.

i think this is good. he identifies glitches and parity as two crucial concepts in brough games, which leads to this observation:

On a deeper level, Brough's corpus evinces a perspicacious balancing act between rigorous, obsessive symmetry (evenness) and tossed-off—or equally obstinate—asymmetry (oddness). His lapidary designs illuminate some of the profoundest mysteries of mathematics, yet they come to us in the rags of fever dreams recalling the harsh, protozoic digital death mazes of the early to mid-1980's.

i’d probably dial the language down a bit, but i think the observation is right. I thought Corrypt’s glitch mechanic really was great - while trying to solve the puzzles you got dragged into a situation where you realised you were destroying the environment. that you were in fact the enemy of the characters who lived in the cavern - they were not your enemies. and obv anyone who’s played any of his grid-based games will be very aware of parity as the tightrope difference between winning and losing and the ability to manipulate parity as being a significant power.

Fizzles, Sunday, 11 August 2019 18:38 (nine months ago) link

thanks for this link, fizzles!

i have really been enjoying his new one P1 Select. i had low expectations because he made it quickly, during a game jam (or something), it has kept me playing constantly for weeks now. i still haven't managed to get 20 points in a single game.

btw, for those who are reading this and may have seen broughlike games in the coint and plick countdowns and stuff, this is as good a summary of a michael brough game as any:

Though an emerging and flexible sub-genre, certain recurring stresses are characteristic of Brough's approach:

  • Small, square boards & small integers
  • Orthogonal 4-way movement
  • Parity & zugzwang (or "compulsion to move," i.e. inability to freely "pass" a turn)
  • Streamlined controls, e.g. attacking with the same input as movement
  • Roguelike mechanics like procedural level generation, permadeath, teleport, polymorph, etc.
  • Numerology, i.e. conspicuously consistent integers
  • "Glitch" mechanics / aesthetics
  • Identification & decryption
  • Positional tactics: pushing, pulling, choke points & egress
  • Differentiated resource binaries, e.g. credits & energy, blood & mana, etc.
  • Unconventional scoring systems
  • Idiosyncratic art & audio
  • Topologies, synchronies, overlapping matrices

Karl Malone, Sunday, 11 August 2019 19:37 (nine months ago) link

how can one not appreciate the "brough approach"

Karl Malone, Sunday, 11 August 2019 19:38 (nine months ago) link

P1 Select. i had low expectations because he made it quickly, during a game jam (or something),

oh shit, he made it for the same jam that fizzles' link is about! that's really fucking cool. brough seriously is a genius

Karl Malone, Sunday, 11 August 2019 19:43 (nine months ago) link

two weeks pass...

There's a nifty split screenshot at the bottom that shows what ray tracing can do:

Melon Musk (Leee), Thursday, 29 August 2019 19:31 (nine months ago) link

the article itself is fun but throwaway, the comments are awash with quality nostalgia too

Joe Proroguin' (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 31 August 2019 10:43 (eight months ago) link

a poetry book based on super mario (unfortunately no examples)

he talks about and reads a couple here:

koogs, Tuesday, 3 September 2019 13:09 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

no discussion of the guardian list of top 51 games of C21?

heard about you (||||||||), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:18 (eight months ago) link

oh no they di'nt

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:31 (eight months ago) link

ok that's about as much use as their other lists, just let me know together a poll with 15 CoD's and a fictional Gaz Coombes walking sim

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:34 (eight months ago) link

any best-of list that isn't just dark souls 50 times can gtfo

Is it true the star Beetle Juice is going to explode in 2012 (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:34 (eight months ago) link

The only 3D Super Mario on the list was Odyssey -> into the bin.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:40 (eight months ago) link

Very corporate, with few indie games or commercial failures. no visual novels or graphic adventures. no games originating on phones or handhelds. some games for meatheads like gears 2.
strange to include a screenshot of wii sports's golf, the worst game on that disc.

wasdnuos (abanana), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:46 (eight months ago) link

i just got radge at the insanely low placement of Katamari, especially seeing as it was below the obligatory hat tips to Ico and Shadow of the MAYBE PUT SOME GAMEPLAY IN THERE EH LADS?

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:49 (eight months ago) link

no Untitled Goose Game, no credibility

L'assie (Euler), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:53 (eight months ago) link

don't, i'm gonna stop up all night until it drops

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:57 (eight months ago) link

9am tomorrow bruh

L'assie (Euler), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:57 (eight months ago) link

i am v much on it

also really clever putting the two worst GTA games of the 21st century in there and leaving out the great one

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:58 (eight months ago) link

yeah chinatown wars ruled

Is it true the star Beetle Juice is going to explode in 2012 (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 19 September 2019 14:59 (eight months ago) link

just realised no Personas either jesus y'know i don't care what these doofuses think about albums by bands but this is just unforgiveable shit

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:02 (eight months ago) link

Only a developer with Rockstar’s extremely deep pockets and fanatical attention to detail could have made something like this, a re-creation of turn-of-the-20th-century US so lifelike that it is at times difficult to believe.

I was there

L'assie (Euler), Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:05 (eight months ago) link

there's a few good games on there

ciderpress, Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:09 (eight months ago) link

no there all bad

heard about you (||||||||), Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:10 (eight months ago) link

so glad to see I'm not the only ILXor enormously psyched for Untitled Goose Game

haven't decided whether to get it ASAP or wait until Steam release though

a passing spacecadet, Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:12 (eight months ago) link

i only found out about it today on the switch thread and i'm already more excited about it than i've been about a game for as long as i can remember

i can only hope that honking simulator becomes a thriving subgenre

Is it true the star Beetle Juice is going to explode in 2012 (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:15 (eight months ago) link

didn't realise it wasn't Steam straight away :/

see how it looks in the morning, i really wanna get my honk on

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:16 (eight months ago) link

i haven't played any games in idk 4+ years but this looks amazing.

The Pingularity (ledge), Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:23 (eight months ago) link

no jrpgs at all, katamari and the double-up of ico/colossus as the only non-"AAA" japanese games

cave story is a massive omission if you're picking for cultural impact which they seem to be

ciderpress, Thursday, 19 September 2019 15:25 (eight months ago) link

i read it from the top:

good #1

witcher 3 absurdly high, suffers from map icon metastasis

halo mostly important for its innovations and its innovations are mostly "oh thank god they put in another stick now we can make a console fps"

bioshock just a lil too high, endgame is worse than system shock 2's

skyrim should be morrowind but that's okay of course

WoW prob too low tbh! i'd put it in the top 5 just for impact

resident evil 4 is peculiarly overrated and has been since release. sometimes people tell me it's their favorite game of all time; idgi. it's fun. it's got atmosphere. it's got a lake monster. it's got cramped lil maps pretending to be wide-open maps and you have to wander around them in circles a lot. have you played undying. have you played the resident evil 4 level of half-life 2. okay well i know you've played silent hill!

uncharted blah

not putting the sims in the top 10 is prob sexist


majora's mask too low, an eerie masterpiece with some of the most punishing dungeons in zelda (not saying a whole lot admittedly)

haven't played the last of us because i object to games where you have to take care of spunky lil girls by (i'm imagining here) rescuing them from quicktime events, like having the developers on their knees just beseeching me to feel emotions

ico's prob good tho lol (bioshock infinite is not)

deus ex is at #29 of the century when obviously it should be #1 of all time. we'll move on

i thought josh in chicago's recent slightly disappointed frustration with shadow of the colossus was pretty otm

modern warfare okay whatever. i wonder if unreal tournament 2004 will make it, just kidding no i don't

arkham asylum: never got into this but played it enough to be able to recognize its excellent control system in pretty much every game that's been made since, so thanks for raising the bar

rest of this just kind of a random mush, katamari obv too low. surprised there's no token paradox game (mine is victoria 2) but i guess it's pretty overwhelmingly (wait... exclusively?) console action.

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 19 September 2019 16:42 (eight months ago) link

p sure last of us has no QTEs. i know what you mean about the setup - and cmon, zombie survival horror? - but it's a tremendous game

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 19 September 2019 16:58 (eight months ago) link

9am tomorrow bruh

9am PST :(

a wagging to the furious (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 September 2019 08:29 (eight months ago) link

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