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Posted by patrickklepek (3069 posts) -
We walked past this beautiful scenery every day in Iceland.

I’ll have a much longer piece on EVE Online next week, as I’m still processing Fanfest 2013. I’ve never spent so much time engrossed in a subculture that I have little personal context for, but it’s an experience I’d highly recommend. You probably don’t have to travel to Iceland to have a similar escapade, but if you have the chance? Go.

Drew is still chipping away at our hours of footage from that week, and it’s coming together. Both of us went to Iceland without doing much research about what we were going to cover, and while that sounds crazy, it paid off. We had booked a few interviews ahead of time, but the best stuff that came out of our six days abroad came from following our gut. Is this cool? Will our audience find this interesting? Do we find this interesting? Let’s follow the thread.

It’s similar to a piece of advice I gave in my coffee talk video from earlier this week. Someone asked about how to prepare for interviews, easily one of the most daunting parts of covering games, especially if you’re new. When I first started, I would meticulous prepare for my interviews by having a printed document with 20 questions or so. Little thought went into the interview itself. I would read the question, listen to the response, and then ask the next one on the list. As I became more confident in myself, I would rely on those questions less and less, until they became vague topics to fall back on if the conversation stalled. These days, I hop into the interview and figure the discussion itself will lead to something worthwhile. It’s no more of a calculated gamble than allowing a preconceived notion strangle where an interview goes.

I’m so glad the Interview Dumptruck exists now, too. Do you want the deep dive of people talking in what seems like a completely made up language? You got it. Do you want to see more about our escapades exploring Iceland, trying weird food, and get a contact high of EVE Online madness? We’ve got that.

There’s so much more to come. Hope you enjoy it. See you next week!

Hey, You Should Play This

Another one of those games where I’m just going to ask you to trust me. Eat some candy, throw some on the ground. More importantly, be patient. Most importantly, wait as long as you can before looking up anything more about this game. If you enjoyed Frog Fractions, you’re going to fall in love with Candy Box, as well. This comes from someone who doesn’t eat much candy.

If you’ve seen myself and other rambling about the Zero Escape series--999, VLR--and been intimidated by the amount of time it takes to see them to their conclusion and gain closure and understanding, consider out no-one has to die. It really is a condensed version of those games. This come with a warning: no-one has to die plays with very similar story concepts to the Zero Escape series. The revelations of both are part of the fun of playing both games. no-one has to die won’t ruin either game for you, but it’ll remove some of the guessing.

And You Should Read This, Too

Designer Darius Kazemi makes a thoughtful argument about the reasons one tries to convey a message through a video game. I’d encourage you to read it first, but Kazemi supposes some creators try to cram their emotions, stories, thoughts into games as a form of validation that might very well be detrimental to what they’re trying to say. Another medium, perhaps art or writing, might be more appropriate. I sometimes wonder the same about my desire for games to become more emotional, more personally revealing. I still want them to do that, but am I spending my time effectively by spending so much energy searching for something that already flourishes in other mediums? Maybe I’m bummed I don’t read more books.

Speaking of crazy gaming subcultures, Eurogamer highlights a series of truth seekers hoping to find the secrets buried away in Team ICO’s Shadow of the Colossus. It prompted me to wonder why I haven’t played it again after its HD release, but it also speaks to my fascination with players who invest far more into worlds and games than I ever have. I don’t regret having a thousand micro experience with games over a singular, concentrated experience, but one can’t help but be jealous at all the adventuring.

If You Click It, It Will Play

Crowdfunding Has Promise, Hopefully Developers Don't Screw It Up

  • Surviving life as a young girl ain't easy, and SISSYFiGHT 2000 aims to prove that.
  • Rex Rocket sure looks inspired by Mega Man, and you won't see me complaining.
  • Anne sports some of the most gorgeous pixel art this side of Sword & Sworcery.

Missed the EVE Online Coverage We've Rolled Out So far?

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

i really wish people would consider the game for what it is and stop talking about me for a second.

— PHIL FISH (@PHIL_FISH) May 3, 2013

I know. RT @qianbaou: come on man, I just wanted a kiss

— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) May 3, 2013

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Staff
#1 Edited by GorillaMoPena (1687 posts) -

So much Candy Box

So many lollipops. Where is the end of this thing?

10,000 MLP IS WAY TOO MANY LOLLIPOPS

#2 Edited by mlarrabee (2760 posts) -

Ah, an early read!

#3 Edited by DiamondDave (28 posts) -

Yay!

#4 Edited by Jackhole (308 posts) -

Candy Box <3

The sorceress can go fuck right off

#5 Posted by Nicalranter (6 posts) -

Who doesn't want to kiss Kamiya?

#6 Posted by MariachiMacabre (6937 posts) -

Awesome round-up, Patrick. Especially the Gamasutra piece.

#7 Posted by bushpusherr (714 posts) -

I like Phil. I bought his (their) game twice. All the flack he gets seems totally crazy to me.

#8 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

Loved that Shadow of the Colossus piece yesterday. Everyone should go read it (and also play the game if they haven't). One of the 10 best games ever made, in my humble opinion.

#9 Edited by Googolplexbyte (13 posts) -

Really Patrick, you linked a youtube reply video? Those are no better than youtube comments. And this one is like a bad youtube comment. I don't think he even watched the video he's replying to...

#10 Edited by Nilazz (606 posts) -

excellent.

#11 Posted by Nicked (237 posts) -

That Damsel in Distress guy is kind of nuts. It makes me really wish there were more arguments that were "here's how games portray women positively" rather than attacking a person or reacting to invented arguments (is anyone actually saying that there has NEVER been a female protagonist in a game?).

#12 Edited by Soapy86 (2597 posts) -

On that live show a few weeks ago, Phil Fish seemed perfectly fine, likable even. Too bad he turns into a complete douchebag on the internet.

#13 Edited by kindgineer (2486 posts) -

Great collection of stuff, as always, Patrick. The Sissy Fight 2000 isn't my thing, but that A.N.N.E. looks pretty cool. Also, if Phil wants people to stop talking about him, he may want to stop forcing himself into the spotlight. Not to mention the fact that he is in one of the only reputable, that I know of, Indie 'documentaries.'

#14 Posted by dvdhaus (354 posts) -

Another great Kickstarter shout-out in Anne. Played this at PAX East and it's awesome. Go check it out and perhaps support a great game.

#15 Posted by Draugen (574 posts) -

I read the Eurogamer article earlier. It was pretty good. I'm only bummed out that they didn't find the Last Big Secret.

#16 Posted by SilentPredator (112 posts) -

Darius Kazemi's piece is rather unnecessary, no? It basically says that if you're struggling to express your ideas through video games, then perhaps you should try another medium. Do people really need to be told that?

#17 Edited by Bollard (5026 posts) -

Thanks for that SotC article Patrick. That's like, one of my favourite game's ever but the whole thing of Easter eggs and glitches like that are what fascinate me the most about games.

#18 Posted by kwang2000 (49 posts) -

Darius Kazemi's piece is rather unnecessary, no? It basically says that if you're struggling to express your ideas through video games, then perhaps you should try another medium. Do people really need to be told that?

... Yes? Haven't you ever found it weird that 99% of video games have little 2-3 minute movies every few levels where all the rules, character actions, and motivations are completely different from what just happened while you're shooting dudes in the face?

#19 Posted by f00 (47 posts) -

The Ming Mecca looks fucking insane, would buy, really want to know how this works.

#20 Edited by chilipeppersman (1086 posts) -

ah yes. definitely worth reading just for the jazzy leviathan warships video. i lol'd

#21 Edited by thebunnyhunter (1213 posts) -

i remember watchin Nomad's SotC videos, they are pretty neat

#22 Edited by Trilogy (2569 posts) -

The "Why I'll Never Work on First-Person Shooters Again" article was a little too self righteous and over dramatic. The last few lines of that article were almost comically over dramatic in fact. It sort of read like something performed at a local poetry jam.

Anyway, I can't wait for the EVE footage, Patrick. I bet Drew is making it stellar. Him and Vinny really knock it out of the park with that stuff. I should go back and watch that south Korea SC2 trip.

#23 Edited by Bishop113 (191 posts) -

Guess what Violence is integral to human story telling, big shocker there considering how big of a role it plays in history, but fuck video games for portraying violence and people for liking it amirite? You so much better than us Patrick!

#24 Edited by SatelliteOfLove (1369 posts) -

As what it means to be a "game" splinters, are we forming regrettable cliques?

This has been the case as long as there have been genres and multiple systems (Dah 70s), but what the tree he dives for in that forest is one of an aging understanding of that clique effect, using the concept of cliques itself to make advantages and attention instead of making use of them.

#25 Edited by MindOST (215 posts) -

I feel the Re: Damsel in Distress video is Patrick trolling.

It's so cringe-worthy that I couldn't make it through.

#26 Posted by Abendlaender (2597 posts) -

@mindost said:

I feel the Re: Damsel in Distress video is Patrick trolling.

It's so cringe-worthy that I couldn't make it through.

Yeah, that was my thought as well. This guy is just....urgh

#27 Edited by jakob187 (21503 posts) -

Phil Fish, telling it like it is. People can hate on him all they want, but the man speaks his mind and is unapologetic for it. I admire that.

Plus...Fez was fucking excellent. Now he just needs to work on his optimization skills on ports, because Fez on PC is all kinds of borked right now, especially the GOG version. Maybe not replying to people with what is essentially an "oh well, too bad" could help.

That's here nor there, though.

That Kazemi article mirrors almost EXACTLY how I feel about most modern videogames.

#28 Edited by EricSmith (288 posts) -

Is the next video in the Tropes vs. Women ever going to happen? It's been like two months.

#29 Edited by FengShuiGod (1470 posts) -

@kwang2000 said:
@silentpredator said:

Darius Kazemi's piece is rather unnecessary, no? It basically says that if you're struggling to express your ideas through video games, then perhaps you should try another medium. Do people really need to be told that?

... Yes? Haven't you ever found it weird that 99% of video games have little 2-3 minute movies every few levels where all the rules, character actions, and motivations are completely different from what just happened while you're shooting dudes in the face?

Yeah. Games should be games and stop trying to be movies or books. Even movies have a tough time separating themselves from the narrative medium of the page. That said, I don't think games embracing their game-ness means they must negate their potential to become more emotional and more personally revealing. Meaningful emotionality isn't limited to conventional narrative techniques. Think about some movies that use the distinctive qualities of their medium to great effect. Wild Strawberries, Days of Heaven, Stalker, The Master, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and so on, all use music, sound, images, and acting in a way exclusive to film while delivering powerful experiences. There is no reason why games can't use their own traits (the big one being, of course, interactivity) to deliver information and meaning while embracing their game-ness. More developers just need to learn how to abandon jarring and ill-fitting ways of conveying narrative and story.

Of course, none of this means that games can't successfully use "traditional" ways of telling a story either. The Walking Dead was almost a comic, and yet I doubt it would have elicited such a response if it was a choose your own adventure book. To further the movie analogies, plenty of great movies use conventional tropes of literature/plays. Cutscenes in games can still be great.

I would disagree with the general point Darius makes were it not for his caveat, which in turn kinda makes his whole argument weirdly obvious and tautological. His piece might as well have been titled "If you aren't good at expressing yourself via games maybe you might maybe sorta be better at expressing yourself via something else."

He also says "Don't limit yourself," and then proceeds to "explain" why the medium game developers work in is limiting. Why can't a game be about how his girlfriend at the time treated him like shit and so he really fucking hated her? Simply because he or others can sum up their feelings in a (potentially) reductive sentence doesn't mean games can't or shouldn't elaborate on that sentiment. That's like saying poetry is limiting because instead of being evocative and elegiac you could've said "I basically was bummed out" or the novel isn't effective at telling stories because Joyce could've said "Bloom did some errands," instead of writing Ulysses.

#30 Posted by handsomeb (65 posts) -

Candy Box question

Has anyone gotten the frogs final question?

#31 Posted by Debigulator (38 posts) -

@handsomeb: That's the question about the universe, right? "the answer" is the answer.

#32 Edited by handsomeb (65 posts) -

@debigulator: Thanks.

I was thinking too literally and trying to be science-y.

#33 Posted by Sergio (1773 posts) -

The only problem I had with the Re: Damsel in Distress video is the belching.

#34 Posted by Dan_CiTi (2928 posts) -

@kwang2000 said:
@silentpredator said:

Darius Kazemi's piece is rather unnecessary, no? It basically says that if you're struggling to express your ideas through video games, then perhaps you should try another medium. Do people really need to be told that?

... Yes? Haven't you ever found it weird that 99% of video games have little 2-3 minute movies every few levels where all the rules, character actions, and motivations are completely different from what just happened while you're shooting dudes in the face?

Yeah. Games should be games and stop trying to be movies or books. Even movies have a tough time separating themselves from the narrative medium of the page. That said, I don't think games embracing their game-ness means they must negate their potential to become more emotional and more personally revealing. Meaningful emotionality isn't limited to conventional narrative techniques. Think about some movies that use the distinctive qualities of their medium to great effect. Wild Strawberries, Days of Heaven, Stalker, The Master, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and so on, all use music, sound, images, and acting in a way exclusive to film while delivering powerful experiences. There is no reason why games can't use their own traits (the big one being, of course, interactivity) to deliver information and meaning while embracing their game-ness. More developers just need to learn how to abandon jarring and ill-fitting ways of conveying narrative and story.

Of course, none of this means that games can't successfully use "traditional" ways of telling a story either. The Walking Dead was almost a comic, and yet I doubt it would have elicited such a response if it was a choose your own adventure book. To further the movie analogies, plenty of great movies use conventional tropes of literature/plays. Cutscenes in games can still be great.

I would disagree with the general point Darius makes were it not for his caveat, which in turn kinda makes his whole argument weirdly obvious and tautological. His piece might as well have been titled "If you aren't good at expressing yourself via games maybe you might maybe sorta be better at expressing yourself via something else."

He also says "Don't limit yourself," and then proceeds to "explain" why the medium game developers work in is limiting. Why can't a game be about how his girlfriend at the time treated him like shit and so he really fucking hated her? Simply because he or others can sum up their feelings in a (potentially) reductive sentence doesn't mean games can't or shouldn't elaborate on that sentiment. That's like saying poetry is limiting because instead of being evocative and elegiac you could've said "I basically was bummed out" or the novel isn't effective at telling stories because Joyce could've said "Bloom did some errands," instead of writing Ulysses.

Why make a movie or a game or music or whatever, it's so pointless/dumb. Just explain what happened and how you feel in like 3 paragraphs and go back to working at the steel mill like zomg.

Anyway if you're bad at something, either work hard to get better at it or move on, not some insane cutting edge idea. While I understand his argument, it is really kind of pointless...if people try and fail at something (especially something very complex and new), it is not as if no one should ever try to do that thing ever. Few games in existence can from top to bottom, almost virtually in their entirety be reduced and unraveled to their central ideas; and more or less do it with nothing but what is unique to games, in an almost holographic form where each piece is a reflection but also a building block of the whole. Then again, most forms of art can rarely do this anyway.

While we need to find better way to tell stories and better ways to stay consistent with narrative ideas and plans without making games too simple / monotonus, it does not mean people should just give up.

#35 Edited by sirdesmond (1223 posts) -

As much as I don't mind Phil Fish, I hope he learned his lesson that if he becomes an outspoken personality in the video game community, it can hurt him as much as help him. In the future, he would do well to watch what he says in the future (like everyone else) if he is going to care when people talk about him over his game, don't buy it because they disagree with him, etc.

That said, I agreed with many of his comments in the past, but it'll be interesting to see how he acts going forward.

#36 Posted by Zero_ (1970 posts) -

That shadow off the collossus article was great,I went down a long path reading up on all three crazy rumors.

#37 Edited by McGhee (6091 posts) -
#38 Posted by zFUBARz (590 posts) -

Wait Somebody finally decided to finish one of the many broken dreams Peter Molyneux left in his wake?

The Stomping Land looks so much like B.C. Before I learned how painful Molyneux's let downs could be, I was super excited by the prospect of B.C. Stomping Land looks like it's taking a lot of that stuff and trying to make it real.

#39 Posted by TheMasterDS (1867 posts) -

That infographic has at least one issue. Far Cry 3 has a bow but it is not reflected on the graphic. I bet it has more if you really cared.

#40 Edited by NoelVeiga (1044 posts) -

I found myself agreeing with the Fuck Videogames presentation a lot more than with Patrick's summary of it.

It also seemed to be a lot more part of the problem than part of the solution in that it seemed to be pushing back from within the same assumptions about gaming that are causing the issue it's talking about. Maybe the best point in there is about the potential toxic effects of community, which I feel apply to pretty much every act of communication in the online space, not just indie gaming.

Also, what the heck is with the crazy guy trying to respond to Anita Sarkeesian? It's... embarassingly weird, and not even in a fun way. I didn't think much of the video that started this whole nonsense (in that it is a bit boring and sloppy and opinionated in a way that harms the very legitimate point it's making), but perhaps what I resent the most about it is having to deal with the horde of horrifically dumb response videos it has generated.

#41 Edited by TreuloseTomate (27 posts) -

That Sarkesian video is never going away, is it? It's months old, she still hasn't made part 2, and it's popping up every week. She is given way too much attention.

And Phil Fish: "i really wish people would consider the game for what it is and stop talking about me for a second."

I kinda agree, but then don't mock PC gamers? It's his own fault.

#42 Posted by DeviTiffany (400 posts) -

@silentpredator said:

Darius Kazemi's piece is rather unnecessary, no? It basically says that if you're struggling to express your ideas through video games, then perhaps you should try another medium. Do people really need to be told that?

... Yes? Haven't you ever found it weird that 99% of video games have little 2-3 minute movies every few levels where all the rules, character actions, and motivations are completely different from what just happened while you're shooting dudes in the face?

No, I don't. I wouldn't be playing video games if they didn't have a story to them. And no, I shouldn't be watching movies or reading books instead. I like video game stories, it's what I grew up on. To just say fuck off with emotions and stories in video games is the death of the industry to me.

#43 Posted by dropabombonit (1474 posts) -

Great article this week, a friend linked me to that SOTC article and I was reading it thinking this would be perfect for worth reading

#44 Edited by McTangle (157 posts) -

The Stomping Land just blew me away.

Dinosaurs are finally getting the coverage they deserve without stupid sci-fi FPS hooks. T-Rex hunting LAN parties? I think so.

#45 Posted by gamefreak9 (2327 posts) -

That Dino game looks like what BC should have been... I was very much looking forward to that game, so I hope this one goes well. Also I'm surprised by that Guardian graph it seems to show that games with more visual profanity have less acoustic profanity :P.

#46 Posted by Deathpooky (1343 posts) -

Finally going back to SotC HD right now. Still an amazing game, though mechanically it's a little rusty and frustrating compared to what has come since. Jumping, climbing and hanging are all a little wonky. But finally getting up on that colossus and hearing the music swell is still more damn amazing than most games that have come since.

Journey is the only other game that's pulled off the orchestral, sweeping music integrating perfectly with simple, compelling gameplay. Coincidentally, both also have silent protagonists that manage to convey tons of emotion and story nonetheless.

#47 Posted by Sidewalkchalk (122 posts) -

If Phil Fish wanted people to stop talking about him, he'd be wise to shut his mouth and stop stirring the pot. That tweet of his is hella hypocritical.

#48 Posted by Mezmero (1645 posts) -

You read too much. You need to play more games. Wait reverse that, or don't. Hell I don't know.

#49 Posted by wrecks (2125 posts) -

I'm the Boat Boss.

#50 Posted by TylerDurden4321 (42 posts) -

Patrick, you bastard!
Just wasted 3 hours on that stupid, awesome Candy Box game!

(and on a sidenote: damn all frogs and their lifetime-leeching fractions!)