Video Essays on film and gaming

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
TLDW: "Players are great at identifying problems, but awful at coming up with solutions" :monster:
I remember back when the remake was announced I'd read all sorts of wild ideas on how the game should be handled here and elsewhere, and most of them were varying degrees of terrible. Game designers most of us are not.

The other factor at play is that you have to know a LOT about the data / feedback you're looking at in order to understand how to act upon it effectively. Aside from sampling & reporting biases, things like survivorship bias kick in really strongly when you're looking at problems & trying to apply solutions without taking a step back from the data to understand it in context. That's why it's not just players' suggestions themselves, but also understanding that the developers understand what the end goal is, and how they're trying to achieve it best, and what about the feedback is pointing to an issue in that path.

To mention something Remake-related:

The Marauder in Doom Eternal & Rufus in Remake fundamentally have the same issue for players – they're antithetical to the lessons and gameplay strategy skills that the rest of the game is reinforcing and establishing. It's not just that you have to "git gud" to beat them (you can), but they're discordant with the rest of the growth and progression of the player-informed combat in a way that's frequently less fun to people who enjoy everything else about the game, rather than being a challenge to the people who love everything else about the game. It's why if there were a Souls boss who had an un-dodgable & unblockable AoE move that forced you to beat him quickly, it would be disliked because it's antithetical to the design and skill progression for that game.

It's really a matter of how "sharp" those encounters are when compared against the rest of the game's more dynamically approachable combat solutions that does this. While Mr. X in Resident Evil 2 Remake is stressful as hell, he's just a better version of the other zombies. He's more proactive, and much harder to stop – but the skills that you use to stop him are essentially the same as how you deal with other zombies. He just forces you to rely on evasion and escape, and only use combat when necessary. This also pushes against the player conserving ammunition vs. not allowing zombies to congregate in hordes. He is very much a culmination of the skills that the game trains you for, rather than being antithetical to those skills.

None of those things are necessarily bad, even though they're all difficult & probably stressful to deal with. They have to be looked at in context with everything else leading up to, and growing off of them, and then should be adjusted in order to fit within that path – and there are a ton of ways to tackle that, very few of which are usually simple solutions about the boss or something, depending on how much it spiders out into the rest of the gameplay systems around it, and how those need to react to & with it as well.



X :neo:
 

Edley

Pray for Sound
AKA
Issac Dian, Dudley, Chev Chelios

I don't know if anyone cares for Deadwood or Milch in general, but this is a beautiful essay.

The poem Milch references by Robert Penn Warren Tell Me a Story :

Tell me a story.

In this century, and moment, of mania,
Tell me a story.


Make it a story of great distances, and starlight.

The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.


Tell me a story of deep delight.
 
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Just watched this video essay this evening. Really engaging and interesting watch. As a commenter quoted, this part of the essay is particularly very well put and tacit summary of the worst parts of media/nerd culture.

"Diverse representation in mass media is not a huge win for marginalized people. It is an extremely small win. It does not fundamentally alter the power structures that have marginalized them. It simply allows them to exist within those power structures. Even that, the most minor concession imaginable, is enough to inspire frenzied contempt among the man-baby industrial complex."
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X

Especially after writing my latest tl;dr, I really cannot get enough of learning more little pieces of development cross-cultural influence between Japan & the West between the 70s and 80s when it comes to RPGs & JRPGs. It's all just immensely interesting!



X:neo:
 
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