We Need to Have This Conversation

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#101 Posted by Digiwth (152 posts) -

vid·e·o game

Noun
A game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or display.
#102 Posted by Zeik (2652 posts) -

@bushpusherr: I feel like we're talking in circles.

We clearly have different definitions of "gameplay", which I think is exactly the problem here. You seem to believe that TWD's idea of "gameplay" is too different from the traditional definition to be put in the same category as more traditional games. I think TWD's gameplay is just as worthy of being placed alongside any other form of gameplay, and thus being considered for "GOTY" is perfectly acceptable.

I'm not sure what else to say besides the fact that we have to agree to disagree, because there's nothing that's going to convince me TWD is any less deserving of the title of "video game" than anything else. This might sound a little harsh, but anyone who doesn't consider it a game is just going to have to get over it. People consider this a game and voted it as "GOTY". That's just the world we live in now.

#103 Edited by cexantus (131 posts) -

@bushpusherr:

And I understand that; but then it's really a matter of opinion--and I don't think that has anything to do with whether or not TWD is an actual game.

#104 Posted by bushpusherr (826 posts) -

@Zeik said:

I'm not sure what else to say besides the fact that we have to agree to disagree, because there's nothing that's going to convince me TWD is any less deserving of the title of "video game" than anything else. This might sound a little harsh, but anyone who doesn't consider it a game is just going to have to get over it. People consider this a game and voted it as "GOTY". That's just the world we live in now.

Again, I don't really give a shit about the VGA's at all. The only GOTY opinions I'm really even interested in hearing are those of Giant Bomb. And there is really nothing to get over, it isn't that big of a deal. I just don't think the game deserves to be GOTY, that's all.

@cexantus said:

@bushpusherr:

And I understand that; but then it's really a matter of opinion--and I don't think that has anything to do with whether or not TWD is an actual game.

but has everything to do with why I don't think it deserves to be GOTY. And of course, it was never about anything other than expressing opinions.

#105 Posted by Digiwth (152 posts) -

One of the best 'gameplay' moments of the year for me was unnecessarily smashing that babysitter's head completely in having not realized I had already killed it out of pure panic.

#106 Posted by cexantus (131 posts) -

@bushpusherr:

And that's absolutely fine. Video games, after all, are a subjective medium.

#107 Posted by Zeik (2652 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

@Zeik said:

I'm not sure what else to say besides the fact that we have to agree to disagree, because there's nothing that's going to convince me TWD is any less deserving of the title of "video game" than anything else. This might sound a little harsh, but anyone who doesn't consider it a game is just going to have to get over it. People consider this a game and voted it as "GOTY". That's just the world we live in now.

Again, I don't really give a shit about the VGA's at all. The only GOTY opinions I'm really even interested in hearing are those of Giant Bomb. And there is really nothing to get over, it isn't that big of a deal. I just don't think the game deserves to be GOTY, that's all.

I was speaking generally there. Some people seem much more worked up over the fact that a supposed "non-game" could win the GOTY award. But many of us do consider it a game and see value in what it does as a game, which is why it won that award.

#108 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

I'll just throw this out there, but isn't the closest thing to the walking dead a 'choose your own adventure' book?

#109 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19376 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

I'll just throw this out there, but isn't the closest thing to the walking dead a 'choose your own adventure' book?

Isn't the closest thing to Rock Band playing instruments?

#110 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

I have played the first three chapters, and yes, The Walking Dead is a video game. Whether you think it's a good video game, and for what reasons, is an entirely different matter.

The third chapter was a very interesting moment for me playing the game, as it made me start to question what was really going on, and whether I was into it - ironic, considering I'd gotten the impression that Episode Three was the best of the bunch. I think maybe that there are aspects of TWD that people are blowing out of proportion, because it's daring in a way that a lot of games are not daring. It's ambitious, and that's a good thing - but it doesn't always work, and there are times where I feel like you can see the seams. At it's core, it's mechanical storytelling.

I also take issue with some of the characterisation; I have a nasty feeling that people talk about them being good characters because TWD goes to lengths to characterise them, which in no way makes them good characters by itself. There's too much arbitrariness and pettiness in the behaviour of characters, and a lot of their actions aren't contextualised except on a superficial level. What's really interesting about Carley's character? Katjea is purely an archetypal mother of the group, but doesn't really have any defining characteristic aside from that. And don't get me started on Kenny and Lilly; by the beginning of the third episode, the feud between those two has gotten really, really tiresome.

I just have this nasty feeling that even as the characters get deeper and deeper into this situation, nothing is really changing, and nothing matters. I can already get a sense of this, but hearing the Bombcast guys talk about it just confirms my...unease about the whole thing. We're going from A to B, and all I'm doing is deciding how we get there, which is...fine, but not quite what I was sold.

There are some beautiful moments in this game, some great atmosphere, and some great dialogue. But great storytelling? I'm not convinced. And if the film Incendies didn't make me cry - I came damn close - then sure as hell this game isn't going to.

#111 Posted by Karkarov (3229 posts) -

@l4wd0g said:

What do you think? Should gameplay trump story.

In a well made properly crafted video game they go hand in hand. Needless to say TWD isn't anywhere near my game of the year. Frankly it's story isn't that spectacular either.

#112 Edited by Piqued_Interest (63 posts) -

Remember when flOw wasn't a game? THOSE WERE THE DAYS.

#113 Posted by Digiwth (152 posts) -

@Atlas: I saw Incendies on a first date. Mistakes were made.

#114 Edited by bushpusherr (826 posts) -

@Atlas: I felt similarly. The "surprise" of Ep. 3 really struck a negative chord with me. There was no reason it had to happen, I did everything within my power and seemed like I was mediating the situation just fine, but I had no control over it. It just shattered all illusions of the story being "mine" from then on. It would have happened earlier in Ep. 2 if I had made a different choice in the cellar, but I didn't realize until afterwards that that particular decision had zero impact either.

I feel like the hype around the narrative is primarily because, while not particularly excellent on it's own merits, it's a lot better than what most video games do, so people are going bananas over it. And I personally never approached anywhere close to that level of sadness. Call me cold heart'd I guess, but given that it's the "Zombie Apocalypse" , you should come in expecting some occasional dark shit to go down. Also, I was antagonistic with a good chunk of the characters at one point or another, I wasn't in love with any of them, so most of the death's in the game didn't really bother me.

#115 Posted by Milkman (17171 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:
"There’s really no need to maintain such a narrow view of gaming. The answer to the question “what is game?” changes every year. If you disqualify The Walking Dead now, would you disqualify Monkey Island back in 1990? Zork in 1980?
All of those games fall on slightly different spots on the play-to-watch scale, I suppose, but to say that The Walking Dead isn’t even a game is a bit much.
Instead of worrying about what gaming is or isn’t, focus on what you like about games and why. It’s perfectly OK to think that The Walking Dead is lame, boring, or not for you. But to go all the way to the end and start saying that it doesn’t even fit in the same category as other, “real” games starts to feel a bit elitist, right?"

- Jeff Gerstmann, doing a better job of answering this post than I ever could. Via his Tumblr.

This is what I was going to bring up too. I think it really says all that needs to be said. 
#116 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@Atlas: yeah I sort of agree with you, though I definitely got caught up in it at the time...

(also don't worry about lilly)

#117 Posted by Milkman (17171 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

@Atlas: I felt similarly. The "surprise" of Ep. 3 really struck a negative chord with me. There was no reason it had to happen, I did everything within my power and seemed like I was mediating the situation just fine, but I had no control over it. It just shattered all illusions of the story being "mine" from then on. It would have happened earlier in Ep. 2 if I had made a different choice in the cellar, but I didn't realize until afterwards that that particular decision had zero impact either.

Sometimes in life, shit happens. And there's nothing you can do about. You think you have the power to change everything but sometimes, things happen and all you can do is watch it happen. Telltale never said this was your story. In the end, it was the story they wrote and you're just experiencing it. But even if those choices that you make don't have a huge effect on what happens at the end, the choices matter in that moment to the player. Even though everyone who played the Walking Dead ends up in the same spot, I feel like my game was my story and the Lee that I crafted was my Lee.

This idea that "oh, you're not really changing anything" is misguided, I think. Because it's not that kind of game. You're not Commander Shepard, commanding a fleet to save the galaxy. You're just a dude and you're going to do the best you can but in the end, the chips will fall where they may.

#118 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

The Walking Dead was the game I enjoyed the most this year. Therefore, it's my GOTY. That's the extent of my internal debate.

#119 Posted by Sackmanjones (4780 posts) -

Oh.... I thought we were gonnna have "the talk". Consider me disappointed.

#120 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

@Zeik said:

@warxsnake said:

You have all the animation budget in the world to create wonderful animations because theres not much going on technically in the Walking Dead. Way more available memory than most games out there (some open world games wink wink) that have to use memory on other things like AI, navmesh, and so on, and most of those games end up with way better animations.

Who is this "you"? Because it's certainly not Telltale that has "all the animation budget in the world". You seem to be lumping this game in with AAA games with way higher budgets and way larger development teams.

That's not to say the game's flaws are entirely excusable, but it's still apples and oranges.

But they've been making and selling the same game since like 2005.

#121 Posted by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

@gladspooky said:

@Zeik said:

@warxsnake said:

You have all the animation budget in the world to create wonderful animations because theres not much going on technically in the Walking Dead. Way more available memory than most games out there (some open world games wink wink) that have to use memory on other things like AI, navmesh, and so on, and most of those games end up with way better animations.

Who is this "you"? Because it's certainly not Telltale that has "all the animation budget in the world". You seem to be lumping this game in with AAA games with way higher budgets and way larger development teams.

That's not to say the game's flaws are entirely excusable, but it's still apples and oranges.

But they've been making and selling the same game since like 2005.

I wasn't aware that The Walking Dead has been around that long.

#122 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

yeah gameplay is #1 on the list, always. Interaction and a spectrum of possibilities and events are what games are about. The tighter the scripting, the more limited and controlled the gameplay actions are, and the less agency the player has in the potential outcomes - all things that cripple a gaming experience and make it a lesser experience.

The Walking Dead was alright. It was a pretty good story experience. For it's scope and $$$ it was a good time. But it's no GOTY. It's just not a very good game. There isn't even much game in there. If the choices actually mattered and there was ultimately more than one outcome, that would have been a good place to start.

#123 Posted by leejunfan83 (1003 posts) -

if walking dead is a potential game of the year spec ops the line should be considered just for the story

#124 Posted by leejunfan83 (1003 posts) -

I played the first episode and couldn't finish it the game play and art direction put me off I don't think just having a great story qualifies it as game of the year alot of games have great stories but lack in other departments

#125 Posted by bushpusherr (826 posts) -

@Milkman said:

But even if those choices that you make don't have a huge effect on what happens at the end, the choices matter in that moment to the player.

The choices matter in that moment to the player because the game builds the illusion that your choices will have lasting impact. The post of mine you replied to was explaining exactly that. That incident shattered that illusion for me, so the ability to "choose" things became less significant, and the experience less profound.

#126 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@bushpusherr said:

@Milkman said:

But even if those choices that you make don't have a huge effect on what happens at the end, the choices matter in that moment to the player.

The choices matter in that moment to the player because the game builds the illusion that your choices will have lasting impact. The post of mine you replied to was explaining exactly that. That incident shattered that illusion for me, so the ability to "choose" things became less significant, and the experience less profound.

yep. I think if you go back and play something over again it ruins a lot of the charm that game has.

#127 Edited by cthomer5000 (845 posts) -

@l4wd0g said:

Aren’t games supposed to be about enjoyment?

No, not necessarily. Are TV shows or movies or books about 'enjoyment?' If so, why have i found myself occasionally crying over them throughout my life?

Any art medium is about creating a compelling experience. Creating a connection. Conveying something. Sometimes it is total escapism fun, sometimes it is uncovering parts of life you are unaware of, sometimes it is creating a plausible reality that you could never possibly experience (science fiction, historical drama, etc). Sometimes it is completely abstract.

I most definitely played The Walking Dead. It was a video game. I came to inhabit the central character, we were in lockstep. I was him. I absolutely hammered on the 'A' button while tears welled in my eyes at one point and found it to be a shocking immersive gaming experience (while it seems absurdly simple on paper). I have no time for the argument that this isn't a game. Or is somehow less of a game than Halo 4 (any example).

'Enjoyable' is an adjective that can be used to describe video games. 'Memorable' is one as well. There are a lot of emotions a game can evoke. On the whole, nothing got more out of me across-the-board in 2012 than 'The Walking Dead' did.

It seems to have almost nothing in common with Spleunky, Fez, or Need For Speed: Most Wanted; all other games i've enjoyed this year. But when it comes to books, movies, or graphic art, it's very easy to come up with examples that have nearly nothing in common. No one debates the fact that 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Spaceballs' are both movies. Or that Jay Z and the Beatles both producing music albums. You get the point.

We all love to debate the merits of things, which is why we are here. But it's crazy to pretend that this game doesn't belong, or is somehow less of a game because of what you feel a game should be.

#128 Posted by Deusoma (3022 posts) -
@Hizang said:

@gladspooky said:

@Hizang said:

@gladspooky said:

@Hizang said:

@l4wd0g: Somebody on the bombcast brought up Text adventures, if they are games then so is The Walking Dead.

Text adventures have way more interaction in them than The Walking Dead.

Wait what, how does that work exactly?

Like I just said. Text adventures have more interaction in them.

Wait sorry is that you just repeating yourself because you have no answer to my question? Ok, I'll bite.

The Walking Dead has every single thing in a text adventure + extra, so please explain to me how a Text Adventure game has more interaction than The Walking Dead. If your answer is just "Like I said" or there is no answer, I am a happy man.

Every single thing that happens in a text adventure, every single thing, happens because you told the game to make it happen. Specific points where the plot branches aside, the overwhelming majority of The Walking Dead consists of sitting back and watching.
#129 Posted by mlarrabee (3026 posts) -

@Animasta said:

hotline miami has plenty of story what you talking about

I actually haven't even played it; I based that statement completely on the trailer...

#130 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

It was true to me. I belonged in the game. I played the game. It was a game to be played and played by me it was a treat to behold. To play, to play, to play at a game of a narrative form of injustice of all we've become accustomed too. My honest nature surely has been mislead to lead me to a video game being a game of the year candidate.

#131 Edited by Jack_Lafayette (3422 posts) -

Since the only opinions I've read so far are either "this gameplay is bad, fuck everything else" or "yes, this gameplay is bad, but the rest makes up for it," I'll ask: was I the only one who thought the action-y portions of the game were genuinely well-executed?

Online
#132 Posted by Sin4profit (2992 posts) -

i come here to learn how babies are made...

...no?

Just this conversation again, huh?

First "total garbage" is a little harsh for Far Cry 3's story...it was typical video game storytelling which pushed in a little decent writing, believable characters, which made the overall story seem a little more absurd but, "total garbage"? Though, yeah, the endings were both shitty.

I feel when people get up in arms about being disappointed by a game because of it's bad story, in truth, it also lacked compelling gameplay (Mass Effect, i'm looking at you).

I find, personally, the best way to handle storytelling in games is to create an open world and let the players discover story telling through the characters they meet in that world. If you take GTA4 for example, the cast of characters Niko meets all have interesting stories of how their lives play out in the crime scene but when you bring the arch back to the main character (usually the one the player is playing) it tends,overall, to come across as absurd.

So in other words, make stories another form of collectible in games. The player's story is the one he/she can tell of their experiences. I think that's how you mix interactivity with story telling.

#133 Posted by TheHT (11663 posts) -

@Deusoma said:

the overwhelming majority of The Walking Dead consists of sitting back and watching.

you mean like the overwhelming majority of text adventures is me sitting back and reading?

Online
#134 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

@TheHT said:

@Deusoma said:

the overwhelming majority of The Walking Dead consists of sitting back and watching.

you mean like the overwhelming majority of text adventures is me sitting back and reading?

You guys should really go and play some text adventure games before you leap into the conversation and start saying things.

#135 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

So wait.....where do babies come from again?

#136 Posted by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

Who cares what it is, as long as it's fun or thought provoking?

Good on them for straddling the line between mediums. It shouldn't be a crime. If it's good, it's good.

#137 Posted by itspizza (443 posts) -

Yes the story is great, but the parts that make it a video game are not good. Story is one aspect of a game. The game did not look very good. The gameplay was not very good. Don't forget the save bug that make it unplayable for many people. It should be a top 5 game on it great story alone, but its flaws do not make it GOTY.

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