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duke_of_the_bump

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duke_of_the_bump

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#2  Edited By duke_of_the_bump

@marokai:This is a really great point, and I don't think it really applies in this case, but I'm glad you brought it up. I totally agree that the way Bethesda has simplified the systems in their RPGs over the years is awful. It smacks of design by committee. It's the wrong way to handle accessibility. I don't play MMOs, but I can see a similar thing happening there: changes mandated by the publishers to keep as many people as possible playing as long as possible to maximize profit and shareholder value. Trading in interesting systems for repetitive loot grinds and pay-to-win mechanics is absolutely not the direction I want to see games going.

Cuphead is a game designed by a small team for the love of the craft. Mainstream appeal and marketability weren't even on their minds. I respect the hell out of that, I love the game, and I'm incredibly pleased that it's a success. But again, I think "making it more accessible" and "simplifying systems" is a false equivalency. The two don't have to go hand-in-hand.

If MDHR had focus-tested the game and realized that people were having trouble executing the air dash, so had scrapped that mechanic and redesigned the game around not needing to air dash, that would have been a tragedy. I don't want anyone designing games from the ground up for the lowest common denominator. But again, I don't think anyone has asked the developers to do that. No one's said "the air dash is too hard, you should take it out" or "i don't understand the parry system, there should be a different way to charge your super attack." I 100% don't want them to make these sort of changes based on player feedback, and I don't think anyone else does, either.

The watering-down and homogenization of modern games isn't the fault of players wanting easier modes, it's the fault of corporate-mandated focus testing and publishers exerting control over game design. I love independent games, and I want every designer to have the freedom to make whatever game they want. I just think there are smarter ways to make games accessible to as many audiences as possible without diluting the core experience.

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duke_of_the_bump

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Mastodon is the place for hashtag #gameing. Just ask jeffgerstmann@mastodon.social

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duke_of_the_bump

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@drm2thej said:

I never said the RPS article "demanded" anything.

I certainly don't think demanding an easy mode is sensible--again, I just roll my eyes (frankly, that's kind of how I responded to the RPS thoughts on this topic that spurred this whole thing).

Ok, then who's making the demands?

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duke_of_the_bump

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@drm2thej: I read the RPS article you're referring to and I didn't see anyone "demanding" anything. The author was praising an Assassin's Creed game for giving its players more options, and expressing hope that more developers do the same in the future. Could you link to some of the people you've seen making "demands"?

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#7  Edited By duke_of_the_bump

I like Fangamer's stuff. It's expensive but the shirts are high quality and they're often not explicitly videogame-y. I have a Crypt of the Necrodancer shirt and two Undertale shirts.

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#8  Edited By duke_of_the_bump

Ok, I've been thinking about it, and I think I understand where the disconnect is.

Video games have more design elements than any other artistic medium. One game can potentially contain static art, animated art, music, sound effect design, cinematic storytelling, audio storytelling, written storytelling, and of course, their defining characteristic, game mechanic design. Someone can enjoy some elements of a video game and not enjoy others. Someone can enjoy only ONE element of a game and dislike all the others. And if someone says "I really like this game, but I wish it didn't have X," it is, in general, not controversial. "I love the game but the music sucked, so I muted it and listened to Spotify." or "I wish you could turn just the music off but keep the sound effects." or "I really like this game, but the cutscenes are so long and boring, I wish you could just skip them." Or even "I really like this game, but I won't play it until there's a way to turn off the motion blur and chromatic aberration." Sometimes the good elements of the game outweigh the bad, so you play it anyway. (you're still allowed to criticize the parts you don't like, btw.) Sometimes you want to play a game, but dislike one element of it so much that you just can't continue. Sometimes you can turn the elements of a game that you dislike off! I liked Freedom Planet but found the cutscenes long and tedious, and I was glad the developer put in a way to disable them. Nobody talks about how awful it is that the developer felt pressure to compromise their artistic vision like that. Nobody bats an eye when someone complains about a game's English voice acting and laments the fact that you can't switch to the Japanese. In general, people think giving players as many options as possible is good, and people requesting these options are reasonable. Nobody responds to a person saying "I wish you could skip the cutscenes" with "The developers can make whatever game they want! If you don't like it, don't buy it!"

And yet time and time again, whenever anyone says that they like every other aspect of a game but wish they could just disable the game mechanics, they get shit on.

"But then it's not even a game!" So? Are you going to yell at me for listening to the Silver Surfer soundtrack on YouTube? I love Tim Follin's music, but I don't like playing the game. Is that disrespectful to the developers? Did you yell at Dan and Drew for watching all of Peacewalker's cutscenes without playing the game? What if one of them said "I wish the game just let you watch all the cutscenes, then we could use the TV out on the PSP instead of having to watch them on YouTube." Why is that uncontroversial, but the minute someone says "I wish you could just turn the damage off," they're suddenly philistines who are making totally outrageous demands of the game developer to sully the sanctity of their artistic vision?

THAT'S the problem.

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@planetfunksquad: (sigh) I never said anything about the intent of the developers. I said the addition of an easy mode wouldn't change the main game. Which is true. The main game, the Cuphead which exists right now, would be the same. People would still be able to play that version of the game. For them, it would be as if nothing had changed. Everyone is responding by saying "no they can make whatever they want!!!" which is completely tangential to my original point in which I POINT OUT THAT OF COURSE THEY CAN MAKE WHATEVER THEY WANT, but it's unwise of the developers to alienate people who would potentially give them money to experience their game but are just going to watch a YouTube playthrough instead.

Nobody knows what the developer's intentions were. (as far as I know.) If their intention is to alienate that player base, then I'm criticizing them for making that decision. If they just didn't think about it, then I hope that they respond to the criticisms and add modes to the game that more people will be able to enjoy.

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@ivdamke: HE responded to MY post saying "No it's not. It's giving people the option to play the game in a way that's more accessible to them. If you put an invincibility toggle in Cuphead's options menu, the main game is completely unchanged" with "that isn't true at all"

Maybe read the rest of the conversation before commenting on it