RagingLion's comments

Posted by RagingLion

I really liked this game. I wasn't sure what to expect (on purpose, due to the nature of the release and all that), but it certainly wasn't this. I was half guessing this was more likely to be Frog Fractions 2 than what it actually was.

The entire game was fascinating to me. From the game design aspects (like I enjoyed just sitting in the Counter Strike level and looking at those floating blocks) to pulling back the curtain on those early levels and analyzing the more later levels. Not sure if anybody else had this feeling, but I kind of had this sense of peace going through the beginning of the game. You're just listening to a nice, calm narration, you're going on a tour, and just thinking about games. And then you find out what the game is really about and you have the rug pulled under you.

I went from being relaxed and having a good time looking at a bunch of blocks and rectangles to pressing through Coda's isolation to realizing what the game was actually about. The Beginner's Guide always felt like a deeply personal game, but the change of focus like that was unlike anything I've felt in a game before.

All that aside, I really enjoyed the first half's reflection on the creative process like that. I know the game is really about the change of focus and the state where the game ends, but as somebody who has struggled with creative stuff for a few years now, it was really nice hearing somebody talk about it like that.

Yeah, I had a similar experience or can at least relate to that. I really liked this sense of a historic set of levels being curated and then having someone take me through that. It felt like a really valuable type of experience.

Posted by RagingLion

I don't know how to feel. This resonated something in me that will need some time to understand. A game has never made me feel like this before. What an amazing game. Hmm.

Yeah, this isn't far off where I am with it. Just finished the game an hour ago.

Posted by RagingLion

Man what an interesting review, very happy this was here for me to read after my playthrough.

Wreden explains that over the next hour and a half or so, he’s going to lead you through a bunch of Source Engine maps, unfinished prototypes, and experimental games developed by his friend Coda--who is probably (maybe?) fictional.

In a weirdly petty way, this makes or breaks the game for me. If this is all just an apology to a talented, creative, and maybe troubled level designer: boooo. But if this is entirely his own imagination and narrative -- a million out of ten. GOAT out of GOTY.


Interesting, I think I may be the opposite way round. I played 9/10 of the game completely trusting that this was a game about someone that Wreden new and it was incredible for it - to investigate the work of this individual while also uncovering his relationship with Wreden. I working out at the moment if Coda isn't real and their loose ends which I haven't worked out how to tie up with both interpretations. If Coda isn't real - a great deal of my enjoyment and fascination with what I was going through might vanish. At the very least I'd need to play it again to see if it makes sense in this new light and if it feels worthwhile and meaningful given it.

Posted by RagingLion

This is relevant to my interests.

Edited by RagingLion
@hyst said:


What we rarely (never?) hear about VR is how it's going to actually make people in their homes want to commit to it and put on that headset and do stuff for any length of time. It cannot be "the future" unless that happens. All I keep seeing around me with tech is basically exploiting people's natural desire to be lazy and want everything super convenient, these are the things that make smartphones and tablets so successful. Pick them up and put them down instantly with ease, they're always on, wherever you happen to be, switch between the device and real life easily, etc. This is the big group, the everyone, like Facebook's claims that VR will be in every home. I just can't see that happening.

Ok so maybe it's just for "gamers", well what is a "gamer"? We have the sort of mid-casual gamers that make up the majority of the people buying gaming stuff, console gamers mainly, and sure they're not as lazy as an ultra-casual that just plays a time waster here and there on their phone, but they are still pretty lazy. They need to be able to pause and put down that controller to yell at their kids :), or whatever. I can't see VR catching on with them either. And they are the mass "gamer" market.

So who will it catch on with then? Well I keep coming back to it, yeah I also think it'll be niche. Most press only want to talk about how cool it is, the potential for changing games, the potential to change story telling in games, whatever. I feel like no one wants to address that it's an extremely inconvenient thing and that means no mass adoption. Personally I think AR has much better potential for mass adoption, but only when it becomes as easy to wear as a pair of glasses and can be switched on/off instantly. People love to keep comparing VR to smartphones, well you can't walk/drive/live your daily life wearing VR gear.

I have no doubt that all these demos people experience at events are cool, but I keep thinking that is the future of this new wave of VR, something for short uses at special events. Or maybe all the potential non-gaming uses, work kinda stuff, visualization and such. Of course that's not new, but this new VR makes it so much cheaper that you can have those dozen headsets for your meeting, or even small businesses can use it, etc.

EDIT: I wrote this while watching the video and I think now they're getting to the part where they are being more critical of VR. Of course my comments were aimed at the general coverage and reception of VR as whole, not this panel alone :).


I think you have some good points that deserve to be properly explored and I'm not sure of all the answers as I start writing this.

So, my current place on this is that I'm full-on excited about VR in a way that I pretty much never have been about anything relating to gaming or tech. It's the new, never before seen experiences in life that really get me excited and gaming has been a thing that moved on so quickly for most of the last 20+ years that I've witnessed that it's been a thrill to follow. I feel like the massive leaps forward such as going fully 3D and playing competitve mutliplayer that wowed us at the time have somewhat levelled off compared to these shifts that opened up whole new seas of possibilities. VR holds the promise of another of those shifts.

But it's right to be cautious about hype. The reasons for believing in this tech for me is how won over so many people have been and that it's become clear there are a number of experiences VR can enable which nothing else can. I followed the reaction to the Steam Dev Days in 2014 when they showed the 'Valve room' that enabled presence and it was telling how many devs were won over to try to build game prototypes despite it being such nascent tech and that being an indie, it is so risky to go for something that doesn't pay off. People have been one over to the extent that firm sceptics and deeply intelligent people have been convinced. Tommy Refenes blog post on this particularly struck me as did the GB E3 2015 evening discussions with Lorne Lanning and Robin Hunicke. The stories and considered discussion keep on coming. Then with the applications include proper face-to-face avatar (or better) communication with two people miles away from each othe, I think that's going to be really big. There's going to be teens elicitly meeting with each other and hanging out with peers they've never met in real life (even if not actiually elicit, I'm sure the thrill will make it feel that way for some). Then there's just relaxing by putting yourself in a tranquil chillout zone on top of some recreated/filmed mountain or seashore. There's the genuine exploring of other places that it will allow for educational reasons or just done by the curious.

So with all that said how is it going to fit into other people's lives? Because that's the issue you're bringing up and it will surely get in the way of adoption so some extent. The shutting-yourself-off-from-the-world aspect is going to cause issues if you need to be reachable like if you're a parent and maybe it will end up being socially weird to cut yourself off from others in such a complete way. Also, the cool presence stuff often requires walking around a decently sized real world space to get the most out of it. The UK for instance, often has smaller houses/rooms than in the US and that's going to be more of an issue than it was for the Kinect. The use cases are going to need to avoid this or be string enough for people to be able to find a way.

Personally, I've been imagining for a while now about getting a first-wave VR device and then inviting friends over to try it out. I think it would be really fun to have evenings of just trying out the most mind-blowing of demos, especially with people that have never experienced VR before. I think this could really work well and be natural. It could be argued that that only works for so long, but maybe VR is so good and there's enough interesting content that people aren't just interested in trying it the first 2 times because it's a new gimmick, but to keep exploring new things and because it will be really fun to bond with friends over these. You can justify setting this up in your lounge/living room if you have repeated group social events.

I think VR is going to be convincing enough that many people might make their bedroom or spare room work for VR. It'll have to be damn good to cause people to go through the logistical challenges but many will. This probably won't be the mainstream; although if VR get's big enough maybe it could be in 10-15 years; it would require VR to have been accepted as truely life-altering for that to happen. We'll see on that.

For those people that can get the elongated time by themselves: teenagers, students, single 20-somethings (, the retired?!) the cutting themselves off won't be so much of a deal and there may be plenty of way to get a lot from VR even if you have a box room. Maybe people will work out things with control inputs and types of experience to mean you only need enough room to be able to spin on the spot, while standing or in a chair.

If VR can create really powerful feelings of presence with everyone (and all these arguments are based on this) I think even those who have limited time and have partners/kids/whatever might still devote some of their precious downtime to jacking in. The use case of having a peaceful spot to retreat to ... "I'm going to explore Machu Pichu this evening based off the latest Google Street (Mountain) View 3D video". And you're going to be able to share a space with others so couples will probably explore things with each other so it won't be a separating experience to use. It will take the place of TV/Netfilx time or board games that people currently have.

I think it's good to start exploring the nitty gritty practicalities of how VR could fit into daily life because it's absolutely going to have to overcome this if it's to enter the mainstream - it may get there eventually after many years of being championed by a niche audience that find the ways of using it that more people are going to love. But it's amazing that this tech even deserves having this detailed of a discussion about the practacilities. I think it's already proved itself to work and be profoundly cool and so it's just a matter of how huge it gets and how it gets there.

I'm interested in any thoughts others have on this.

Posted by RagingLion

@y2ken said:

Obviously the segment everyone is talking about is the last one, and the whole rota of guests both this day and the other two has been fantastic - but I want to take a moment to give a special shoutout to Lorne Lanning. His segment and talk on the future of AR/VR with Drake and the Jeffs was phenomenal to listen to. Totally with Drake's comment that I could listen to Lorne talk all day long.

QFT. I've never heard him speak before, but he had some great wisdom on things and wasn't just trotting out the same old either. That was probably my favourite segment.

Posted by RagingLion

@cagliostro88: I totally get where you're coming from. How she so strongly engaged non-verbally with what the others were saying really struck me too. She would definitely add warmth to any conversation she was a part of.

Posted by RagingLion

Man, that last conversation between the 343 guys and Robin Hunicke was so excellent - a real delight. It was a better, more exciting VR conversation than the one the actual VR guys had and that was only a part of it.

Having a bunch of clever people in a room where they have the freedom to have a wide-ranging discussion is why these E3 chats often have moments which are the highlights of any game coverage thing that I consume - heck, of anything at all, sometimes. And Robin sure is a charming and smart lady - I could listen to a lot more of her.

Edited by RagingLion

@fminus: It's the atmosphere and world that have been particularly strong from Team Ico's past games and to such a degree that I trust that they are going to manage it with this game too based on their track record. My excitement comes mainly from their track record but there's enough in what they've shown so far to make me think they'll manage something special again.

Posted by RagingLion

It has the same level of charming polish as World of Goo (well, maybe not as much as that did) but I was left slightly bored and unsatisfied by the standard gameplay. Even though I knew the different objects were setting up the possibility of combining things in interesting visual ways I could harldy muster the desire to try that out but just wanted to get to the end.

Yet that suprisingly elaborate ending was really quite something and it struck me hard. And it wasn't just a case of being told a message; it achieved the rare thing of causing me to feel the message, meaning that what I had played, married together with some of what was directly told, causing the message to blossom in my mind naturally rather than in a way that was forced.

There's probably a few different edges to the message Little Infero tries to share, but the one that personally reached to me, was that the playing of little, trivial experiences is just not worth the time invested in them. Which was interesting given that I'd just gotten into Threes! for the first time in the few days prior to that.