yeah_write's forum posts

#1 Posted by yeah_write (219 posts) -

Well written Patrick. I was already leaning towards "will not play," but this piece sealed the deal. Ubisoft has had trouble with main characters lately. I have never hated any main character, in any medium, more than the guy in Far Cry 3. I just despised him. I blew through the story just to get back to doing non-story stuff.

And you're right about the cop out choice at the end too. I hate when games do that. In a purely creator-authored story, it makes no sense to hand over the reins at the last second. I get it, I'm a writer, endings are freaking hard, but don't pass it off to the player, have some courage and finish the story you set out to tell. Other games that do this include:

-Bastion
-Mark of the Ninja
-Far Cry 3

What else do those games have in common? A high degree of moment-to-moment choice. From movement, to strategy, to approach, those games (Watch_Dogs included) are filled with gameplay choices. I'm fine with the trade off of more gameplay choice for less narrative choice.

#2 Posted by yeah_write (219 posts) -

One thing I enjoyed during some of the original bombcasts was the idea of spoiler casts. When Adam Sessler was at Revision 3, he did a show called "Spoiled Games". This kind of content in particular helped me sort out my thoughts about games I finished.

@dark_lord_spam said:
@yeah_write said:

I'd be interested in something similar, but maybe a bit more introspective. Maybe something like, "How I played X." You could tell us--with or without spoilers--how you went through the game and how you felt about your decisions, maybe even get a round table of guests who played it too. Busy gaming dads like myself always appreciate seeing other paths through a game because we rarely have time to make second runs--as a game journo, I'm sure you don't either.

That is an incredibly interesting idea. One would hope that modern games are freeform enough that gameplay methodology could be included in the discussion, as well (and be more interesting than, say, "I liked the shotgun").

This idea could work out. Some games I don't have time to play, and most certainly not a second time through. I think as long as you can get a couple people together who finished it, and weather or not you have to Google Hangout the thing. I've noticed a void for this kind of "One specific game only" content all over the internet. More post-mortems that aren't tailored for the GDC audience only would be great too.

Polygon had an excellent video round table discussion about Bioshock Infinite not too long after the game was out. It was fun to watch them excitedly talk about the game without fear of spoilers. I heard a few things I missed, and it also prompted me to examine my own thoughts on the game. I don't know why there isn't a spoiler cast for every big AAA game (which are the games you can be reasonably sure a large part of your audience will play).

Then of course there are the Geoff Keighley "Final Hours" deep dives, like the one he did on Portal 2. Those are great. I get why there aren't a lot of these things--it's the stuff true enthusiasts want. Previews (and other pre-launch content) cast a much wider net.

#3 Edited by yeah_write (219 posts) -

I know...I'm quoting myself:

3. More articles on reflections from game creators AFTER a game comes out would be great (LOVED your Walking Dead series). This industry is so preview driven, it amazes me how little we see after a game comes out. This could take the form of spoiler casts, chats with game designers, or maybe even bits of reflection from specific team members/contractors--voice actors, musicians, the guy who had to draw all the backgrounds, etc. The article on Mark of the Ninja with the old concept videos was really cool. That behind-the-scenes stuff can be fascinating.

Thanks for all your hard work Patrick!

Forgot to add these links. I'd love to see huge behind-the-scenes guest posts like these ones from Joey Ellis:

http://www.joeyblog.com/2014/05/the-visual-development-of-bonsai-slice.html

http://www.joeyblog.com/2014/06/making-leaky-timbers.html

I'm all for seeing how the sausage is made.

#4 Posted by yeah_write (219 posts) -

@yeah_write said:

I'd be interested in something similar, but maybe a bit more introspective. Maybe something like, "How I played X." You could tell us--with or without spoilers--how you went through the game and how you felt about your decisions, maybe even get a round table of guests who played it too. Busy gaming dads like myself always appreciate seeing other paths through a game because we rarely have time to make second runs--as a game journo, I'm sure you don't either.

That is an incredibly interesting idea. One would hope that modern games are freeform enough that gameplay methodology could be included in the discussion, as well (and be more interesting than, say, "I liked the shotgun").

Yeah, like maybe combine this with a developer interview. That would take "I liked the shotgun" and add in "You probably liked it because we did X to the physics and Y to the animation to make it feel like Z when you pulled the trigger."

Or even better, get devs to talk about things they would have preferred or changed. It's so rare to see game creators talk about the shortcomings in their creations. Writers, artists, musicians--they do it all the time. Game creators never do. Maybe that's because when they admit something fell short a zillion articles are written about how they dropped the ball, and because gamers are horrible creatures, they demand refunds for their 50+ hours of entertainment. Sigh...

#5 Posted by yeah_write (219 posts) -

Love the experimentation @patrickklepek. Keep it up! Three suggestions:

1. Can you get some corporate synergy up in here? I don't think this should become a Gawker media re-posting mill, but highlighting some things on Gamespot like Danny O'Dwyer's fantastic No Man's Sky feature would be cool.

I think Worth Reading covers the rest, because really, there's not that much worth reading each week.

2. Kotaku has these "Tips before you start playing X" articles that I really like. I bookmark them and return when I get around to playing a game. They're particularly useful in games that involve a lot of leveling or character customization choices. I'd be interested in something similar, but maybe a bit more introspective. Maybe something like, "How I played X." You could tell us--with or without spoilers--how you went through the game and how you felt about your decisions, maybe even get a round table of guests who played it too. Busy gaming dads like myself always appreciate seeing other paths through a game because we rarely have time to make second runs--as a game journo, I'm sure you don't either.

3. More articles on reflections from game creators AFTER a game comes out would be great (LOVED your Walking Dead series). This industry is so preview driven, it amazes me how little we see after a game comes out. This could take the form of spoiler casts, chats with game designers, or maybe even bits of reflection from specific team members/contractors--voice actors, musicians, the guy who had to draw all the backgrounds, etc. The article on Mark of the Ninja with the old concept videos was really cool. That behind-the-scenes stuff can be fascinating.

Thanks for all your hard work Patrick!

#6 Posted by yeah_write (219 posts) -

So this is basically Person of Interest the game? I'm in!

#7 Posted by yeah_write (219 posts) -

I was going to repost what I wrote on my website, but I embedded a gallery and didn't know how that would transfer over. So here's a quick synopsis:

  • I'm going to doodle a picture every day of May
  • Most or all of the pictures will come via requests from friends, people online, coworkers, family members, etc.
  • If you have a request leave it here, tell me on twitter, or hit me up on my website.

For more info on the project, and to see a gallery from the last time I did this (August 2011), check out this post.

I love drawing geeky things, so the more suggestions from places like GB the better! Also, if you're into drawing, doing the doodle-a-day challenge is a great way to improve your art, so I encourage you to play along! Thanks!

#8 Edited by yeah_write (219 posts) -

@kael said:

The news made me kind of happy. Not because I think Nintendo is too big for E3 or that their Nintendo Direct videos do anything more than preach to the choir; it's because this means they're in trouble. That they know they can't compete with the CURRENT generation of consoles, let alone the next. This means they're finally on track towards that wonderful future where people don't have to buy a whole other console -- a sub-par, badly (or "awkwardly" if you prefer)-designed, gimmick-centered console -- just to play the latest Zelda and Mario.

I'm not even going to exaggerate: for us enthusiasts, Nintendo's games have the highest barrier to entry because you can't just buy the game, you have to buy a whole console to play it on, and that console doesn't do ANYTHING as well as your main one does, so you'll play that Zelda or Mario and then let it sit there and collect dust for years at a time. That's all that Nintendo consoles have done for us for a decade or more. Screw that. For their own sake, they should just put the dang games out on the other consoles. Nintendo once said (in defense of the Wii's lack of power) that they aren't even trying to compete with Sony's or Microsoft's hardware. Why, then, are they still making hardware? They can't keep phoning it in, hoping for lightning to strike twice; either they make the best dang console money can buy and be a real, bona-fide competitor to Sony and Microsoft in every single way, or they drop the act, make good on what they said about not competing in the hardware space, and focus on the only thing they're actually good at: their games.

Seeing them practically bow out of E3 gives me hope that their console-making days are numbered. That perhaps soon, they can spend that hardware money on developing and marketing their games instead, and reap the benefits of an install-base you can only get by being multi-platform. When Nintendo finally drops out of the race they said they weren't interested in winning, everyone will be better off, even them.

THIS. People always ask (including those in these comments) why it seems like some want Nintendo to fail. This is why. This is the dream: To (legally) play a Nintendo game on a non-Nintendo system. Would I like to play the next round of Mario/Zelda/Smash Bros/Metroid/et al.? Of course! I'm a fan of great games. But what @kael said is true--many Nintendo consoles collect dust between those games, especially if you own other platforms. That's what happened with my Wii, Gamecube and my 3DS.

Going to a software-only model would probably be a last resort. I wonder if Nintendo's pride would even let it happen, no matter the circumstances. I would love it though. Imagine a Zelda game becoming an event again. With Bioshock Infinite levels of debate, criticism and tribute, all because MORE people got to play it. That's the dream anyway.

#9 Edited by yeah_write (219 posts) -

Fun fact: The lead character in Heavenly Sword was voiced by Fringe's Anna Torv.

That game had issues, but it was definitely worth playing, if nothing else than to see more of Ninja Theory's excellent emotive facial animation.

#10 Edited by yeah_write (219 posts) -

@mirado: Thanks! I have a few prints from Society6 myself (like this one). They do good work. Vibrant colors and excellent paper quality. Can't wait to see it hanging up somewhere!