takua108's forum posts

#1 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -

Semi-professional menu designer here. The time it takes to a.) pause and b.) get through each menu is horrible, relative to the frequency at which you use them.

Imagine if pausing the game was instantaneous. If you pressed START and that menu popped up immediately, and there was no loading between submenus, the game would objectively be a better experience. I haven't played MGS3 in a few months but in my memory of playing the HD version on Xbox 360:

  • Just pausing the game takes about 1-1.5 seconds
  • Moving your cursor down to the "CAMO" menu takes about 1-1.5 seconds
  • Changing to the "CAMO" screen is more or less instantaneous
  • Moving your cursor to one of the two sub-options takes about 0.5-1.5 seconds
  • Choosing the correct camouflage pattern for the situation takes anywhere from 1 to maybe like 5 seconds, depending on how full your camo list is
  • Then you have to press the "CANCEL" button on your gamepad a few times to back out of all of these menus (1-2 seconds)

These times are estimates and, like I said, I haven't played MGS3 in a few months. But this sort of thing is incredibly frustrating from a user experience perspective. Imagine if, instead, you could press a dedicated button on the controller to change your camo, and from there, a series of radial menus let you choose the best camo for the situation. It would be literally the same exact mechanics, but reduce a maybe 10-20 second operation to a five-second one.

I guess it depends on how you play the game, but I changed camo a lot, and I always tended to my wounds when I got them. This made the game more tedious than anything.

Also, changing your backpack items could be so much better. As far as "menu design" goes, the MGS1/MGS2 system of "hold a damn trigger down and pick the thing you want" is pretty alright. Again, with perhaps a radial menu or something, it could be slightly improved, but when you only have sixteen or so items on each trigger, and you can change between them by holding the trigger down (which pauses the game [crucial!]) at any time, it lets the player do what they want to do in the game that much easier and efficient.

Visually, I love the look of the menus. The desaturated amber color scheme that MGS3 uses is super cool. Also, the Metal Gear games pretty much all have great menu sound effects, and MGS3 is no exception.

#2 Edited by takua108 (1578 posts) -

Hmm...those don't look like Neo Geo/Wii Remote/Wii Classic Controller/GameCube/WaveBird controllers...

As a bunch of poor college students, our goal is to, as soon as possible, either acquire an AES and copy of Windjammers, or perhaps just the latter, to dump the ROM for reals and then frame on our wall. I recently purchased a Windjammers arcade flier, pictured below, and will soon frame it, too :D (Assuming the image upload works, it seems to be kind of broken.)

#3 Edited by takua108 (1578 posts) -
Yeah, we need a better logo.

I've been playing Windjammers with my friends for a couple years, pretty much since Giant Bomb started talking about it. It is one of our favorite pick-up-and-play two-player competitive games, and it's great to get a group of friends together and rotate out and stuff.

Last week, we got together on the weekend and started an impromptu tournament. You can watch the whole thing here, including a bonus hour or so of Money Idol Exchanger. However, that's probably pretty boring to watch, so let's just skip to the extra-hype final game:

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So yeah, we play a lot of Windjammers, and are constantly analyzing the game to learn its hidden depths and perfect our technique. I'm spearheading putting together a strategy guide for the game that contains detailed explanations about how to pull off all of the various moves, analysis of strategy for each character, descriptions of each court, and more. Needless to say, I'm way into Windjammers.

However, recently, we've been playing at school to relieve stress as the pressure before finals builds. Since my school is a nerd school for nerds, we have a big "LAN Party" event each semester near the end where people play a lot of local games, ranging from Smash to Dota 2 to Hearthstone to Artemis. We didn't think to book a room in time for the party, so we just started a tournament up in the middle of the open lab area, near my team's work space. This is the crowd that drew around the final game:

The players in the tournament consisted of both seasoned veterans as well as new blood. Off-camera, people were walking up and learning the basics of windjamming. Behind us, as you can see in the webcam feed on the stream, was a group of people playing the new Smash Bros. game. That crowd thinned out as more and more people came over to see what all this fuss about this old-looking video game was. It was amazing.

The entire tournament can be viewed here, but really, it's all about the final match, where the silver medalist from the previous tournament (Der Hui) went up against someone who was completely new to the game and only played as the previously thought-to-be-worthless-in-the-current-meta G.SCOTT (Dan) and, well... you'll have to see for yourself:

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(We'll definitely get a better audio setup next time we do one of these, I know the audio is screeching and horrible. We have plural audio engineers in the League now.)

But yeah, I just thought that out of all of the Internet, the Giant Bomb community would most appreciate several videos of dudes playing highly-competitive Windjammers. If you want to see more windjamming in the future, hit up the Twitch account I made specifically for the Northwest Windjamming League. Also, if you're in the greater Seattle area (specifically Redmond) and are down to jam, we can probably work something out, too. If you attend the Redmond campus of DigiPen Institute of Technology, look forward to a Windjammers Club next semester.

#4 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -

People talking shit about Giant Bomb's hiring decisions are crazy. I don't know what website they've been visiting for the past few years, because for me, Giant Bomb has been nothing short of incredible. With all the shit they've been through, the decisions they've made... they have my utmost trust and respect, and have proven time and again that they are honest, silly until it's time to become serious, and just generally all-around amazing. There is no other website I trust more on the entire Internet, and Google knows the path I walk to school every day and has noticed recently that I've been catching rides with my friends and has started giving me driving time estimates instead of walking time estimates.

Keep on being amazing Giant Bomb!

#5 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -

@marokai said:

@psychedeliholic said:

Anyone who looks at the Far Cry art and doesn't see the potential racial/sexual issues implied therein is in serious need of remedial art history instruction.

Doing so at this point is literally judging something based on its cover. The irony of this from some people astonishes me.

That really sums the whole thing up. "Judging a game by its not-even-final cover."

#6 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -
@grixxel said:

It's not perfect but fuck, I love this website.

I can't think of a better way to put it.

#7 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -

My only problem with the game is the actual gameplay itself.

On your first playthrough, planning out classes and trying to balance Elodie's mood seem like super interesting mechanics and if you're into the aesthetic of the game and the stuff you saw in, like, the Steam trailer and screenshots, you'll be thinking it's like the greatest game ever. The writing is great, the way taking classes shows you a brief overview of the progressively more advanced topics you're learning in a given subject is neat, and man, like everything about the presentation of the game itself is fantastic.

You notice as you play along that you're failing like every single skill check. You might even be like "aw man, I missed this Poisons check? Better bone up on Poisons" — only to find that you'll like never need Poisons again for the rest of the game. (Disclaimer: I have yet to complete a successful runthrough of the game, but have spent over three hours of time in the game according to Steam.) Then you'll die from something out of nowhere that you could've never seen coming and prepared for on your first time through.

"Okay," you think, "I'll give it another shot. This is clearly just a mechanics'd up visual novel, anyways, so I guess I should've expected hell of Bad Ends." On your subsequent playthroughs, you'll attempt to adjust your class schedules accordingly such as to allow you to pass checks for events that you now know are coming up from your previous playthroughs. Then, when you train for a key class, you'll get little-to-no skill points from it because you weren't watching your mood. Or worse yet, you were watching your mood and thought to make your princess as happy as possible because she starts the game all sad and depressed over the death of her mother, but as it turns out some class you wanted to take does barely anything or nothing at all for you because of the mood you're in. You search around the UI and try and find some sort of reasoning for which classes are affected by which moods — and it turns out that there is no such thing (although they [mostly] follow some sort of logic). Instead, you must either figure out which classes are affected by which moods on your own and write them down in a grid on a piece of paper... or just check the top-rated Steam guide for the game.

Basically, in the end, the game becomes more of an exercise in replaying the game over and over and learning from your failures, taking notes on what worked and what didn't, in order to come up with a plan to make a successful run through the game. If this sounds appealing to you, that's fine; I was hoping for a much more role-playing-oriented experience out of the game, myself. Again, I understand that it's a relatively short game once you have the path for "the right run" down, and the length of the experience comes from the act of replaying it over and over again, and also it's just a more mechanically-dense visual novel, when it comes down to it. These things are all fine, but it's just not quite what I hoped for given the promise of the game from the outset and the great writing the game has and such.

In summary, I feel like the game has a great setup, great art, great writing, average sound and music, and great mechanical premise... but just kind of crappy actual mechanics in the end. It's still worth playing if the theme and setting and stuff interests you, and even more so if you're willing to put up with the visual novel tropes that make several, several playthroughs a must if you want to see a non-death ending... but at the end of the day, I personally wound up finding the core gameplay systems to be frustrating and poorly thought-out.

#8 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -

@daneian said:

The problem with the Spelunky criticism is that it doesn't address that the damsel mechanic was put in the game purely for its value as gameplay.

The game is about navigating hazardous environments for treasure so Yu thought up challenge that involves successfully taking a destructible item to the end of the level. The item he would select to use would be based on two factors: its ability to visually represent when it was damaged and the challenge failed and to maximize player investment in the item so they will want to get it to the end.

He'd already used treasure everywhere in the game so choosing another, more valuable treasure, would have been redundant. A human NPC is kinda the perfect choice. Remember that Spelunky is about a set of universal rules that everything in the game adheres to. He had already established the rules for player damage so he wouldn't need to come up with an entirely new concept.

That he worked to give players three choices for the sprite is actually quite generous since he was trying to account for a variety of players just as he did by providing several Spelunker models.

Jesus Christ holy shit somebody else in the world gets it! Couldn't've put it better myself.

There is literally nothing wrong with having a mechanic in your game where a male character saves a female character, and especially nothing wrong if you allow the player to choose not only the gender of the player character, but also the gender of the to-be-rescued character. That last part is Yu going the extra mile; he was in no way obligated to do that, but he correctly realized that it should stave off any criticism of gender tropes.

Let's say I make a game about a carpenter, or maybe a plumber, who goes to a magical world of pipes and dinosaurs to rescue a princess. Is that me being sexist, having that as the core conceit of my game? It's definitely not progressive or imaginative, but is it bad?

Likewise, if I were to make a game about a woman falling in love with another woman, should it be critically lauded as the greatest thing ever, just because of its non-traditional relationship? What if I were to take the exact same game and change the relationship that of a "traditional" one? Would people be as all over that game as they would the other one?

#9 Posted by takua108 (1578 posts) -

@dalai said:

@takua108 said:

Why in God's name did this thread get bumped

Yeah I know, right?

No but seriously this might be a record for being a twice-revived zombiethread with literally no reason for being revived either time.

#10 Edited by takua108 (1578 posts) -

Why are people talking about KDA and multikills like they're anywhere near valid metrics to measure performance by? If a ganker is ganking, he's doing his job. If a support is warding, stacking and pulling, and buying support items, he's doing his job. If a carry is farming well all game and building his awesome items to shit on faces in the late game, then he's doing his job. If a lane pusher is keeping the lanes hecka pushed, then he's doing his job. I could go on and on, but really, if you're thinking of your performance in Dota 2 solely in terms of K/D/A or how many kills you can string together or whatever. I am by no means an expert at Dota 2, but learning this is an important step towards understanding the game better. If the enemy acts all aggro and ganks most of your team all game while the right carry silently farms, and is able to like instagib the whole team and push to win at the end and win, then the kills the other team had were absolutely worthless.

Dota 2 is not Team Deathmatch.

Sorry about the side rant.