Respect Gameplay

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Jul 1

Can’t say I’m looking forward to Thief 4. Good thing I still have Thief 1 and 2.

Not to be rude, but I don't think you understand the sort of time sink that Civilizations games end up being :p.

Uh, I included it and dark souls specifically because they were long. I wanted a mix of good short and long games. Dark Souls is also really long.

Pretty frequently games get sized up by how long they are, “How many hours can it entertain for?” rather than the actual quality of the entertainment, so we get these time sink games that just take endless hours to complete (if they can be completed at all).
Short or long, we can all agree that what matters is how good the content is, not how much of it there is.

Pretty frequently games get sized up by how long they are, “How many hours can it entertain for?” rather than the actual quality of the entertainment, so we get these time sink games that just take endless hours to complete (if they can be completed at all).

Short or long, we can all agree that what matters is how good the content is, not how much of it there is.

A lot of people are arguing your minor points, which isn't wrong but I want to thank you for making your major points. It's sad to see games lauded as 'true art' when they're just pretty. Rock on.

Thanks a ton. I’ll be keeping at it. Pass on the message or make your own waves. Everyone’s contribution matters.

leisander:

respectgameplay:

A lot of games these days really sell themselves on choices, but well, they don’t really deliver. Culture has this weird perception that clicking options and being able to get different cutscenes somehow makes a game deep. Sometimes those options let you do different missions, or get certain upgrades, but don’t we already have a level select?
Games that focus more on what you can actually do offer incredible variation in how you can tackle problems. By focusing on what the player can do, when they can do it, where they can do it, and how, games create rich systems of actual interaction, where every piece makes a difference, and affects all the other pieces. Dialog trees by comparison can’t really do that, they’re all just the same thing, clicking more choices and seeing more cutscenes.
Gameplay offers choices that actually matter and results you can’t see just by looking them up on youtube. Respect it!

Don’t write dialogue off so easily.  The definition of ‘gameplay’ is a loose one.  Your argument stems from the fact that exploration and combat (primarily the latter) are the most refined gameplay mechanics because they are the oldest and most explored, but that doesn’t mean they are the only worthwhile mechanics.  A game like Deus Ex: Human Revolution uses dialogue as a complex game mechanic which challenges the player in the same way as a boss whose moves and tells you must learn, except instead of putting you in a position of trial-and-error as most games do, it forces you to live with the results of your wordplay.  Something like Mass Effect uses the dialogue to give meaning to the gameplay; without it, or with a more shallow system, the player does not become invested in the character of Shepard or her followers.  The Mass Effect 3 multiplayer illustrates this in a really excellent way: without any way to ‘get to know,’ so to speak, your multiplayer character, all you’re doing is fighting monsters to make numbers go up.  In the singleplayer, though, you become emotionally invested and that, combined with the strong gameplay, is what keeps you playing.

You’re right, gameplay is a loose definition, and frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing games that handle dialogue better in the future, just up to now, it’s always been a really simple and base game mechanic, and I don’t think that will improve until computers have a real way to interpret things we say and formulate responses dynamically.Dialogue up to now has been, tick A, B, C, or D and depending on the one you tick, you might have a character live or die, you might get to go on a new mission, you might see your paragon or renegade points go up or down, but most of the time, all you’re doing is selecting which cutscene you want, and aren’t actually influencing anything. The dialogue itself isn’t really a challenge to the player, and it’s only barely integrated into the whole experience. The two don’t work together, they’re rarely related, and that’s a shame.And dialog has been this way since the earliest text games.Meanwhile, in a simple game like mario, there’s a terrific range in how high you can jump, how far you can jump, how fast you’re moving, which affects how high and fast you jump, where you land on enemies, how you punch blocks, where dialogue is still stuck with decisions as simple as ABCD. Even human revolution (which I otherwise really enjoyed) and Mass Effect haven’t done anything to fix this. About the best you can do with dialogue at this point is word puzzles like Phoenix Wright where the players are asked to find contradictions and (usually) given good clues.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2OytHzZ72Y&list=PL5857C0449F404B45Have a look at this video and the others in the playlist. Super Mario World created a massive number of possible game states and ways the player can do something that are all meaningful, and I think we can agree that dialog will become better as it becomes less arbitrary, as the player is asked more to actually interpret what they’re reading, as they’re able to express a wider range of responses, and can get a wider range of responses back, but at this point in time, I just don’t think technology allows that.

leisander:

respectgameplay:

A lot of games these days really sell themselves on choices, but well, they don’t really deliver. Culture has this weird perception that clicking options and being able to get different cutscenes somehow makes a game deep. Sometimes those options let you do different missions, or get certain upgrades, but don’t we already have a level select?

Games that focus more on what you can actually do offer incredible variation in how you can tackle problems. By focusing on what the player can do, when they can do it, where they can do it, and how, games create rich systems of actual interaction, where every piece makes a difference, and affects all the other pieces. Dialog trees by comparison can’t really do that, they’re all just the same thing, clicking more choices and seeing more cutscenes.

Gameplay offers choices that actually matter and results you can’t see just by looking them up on youtube. Respect it!

Don’t write dialogue off so easily.  The definition of ‘gameplay’ is a loose one.  Your argument stems from the fact that exploration and combat (primarily the latter) are the most refined gameplay mechanics because they are the oldest and most explored, but that doesn’t mean they are the only worthwhile mechanics.  A game like Deus Ex: Human Revolution uses dialogue as a complex game mechanic which challenges the player in the same way as a boss whose moves and tells you must learn, except instead of putting you in a position of trial-and-error as most games do, it forces you to live with the results of your wordplay.  Something like Mass Effect uses the dialogue to give meaning to the gameplay; without it, or with a more shallow system, the player does not become invested in the character of Shepard or her followers.  The Mass Effect 3 multiplayer illustrates this in a really excellent way: without any way to ‘get to know,’ so to speak, your multiplayer character, all you’re doing is fighting monsters to make numbers go up.  In the singleplayer, though, you become emotionally invested and that, combined with the strong gameplay, is what keeps you playing.

You’re right, gameplay is a loose definition, and frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing games that handle dialogue better in the future, just up to now, it’s always been a really simple and base game mechanic, and I don’t think that will improve until computers have a real way to interpret things we say and formulate responses dynamically.

Dialogue up to now has been, tick A, B, C, or D and depending on the one you tick, you might have a character live or die, you might get to go on a new mission, you might see your paragon or renegade points go up or down, but most of the time, all you’re doing is selecting which cutscene you want, and aren’t actually influencing anything. The dialogue itself isn’t really a challenge to the player, and it’s only barely integrated into the whole experience. The two don’t work together, they’re rarely related, and that’s a shame.

And dialog has been this way since the earliest text games.

Meanwhile, in a simple game like mario, there’s a terrific range in how high you can jump, how far you can jump, how fast you’re moving, which affects how high and fast you jump, where you land on enemies, how you punch blocks, where dialogue is still stuck with decisions as simple as ABCD. Even human revolution (which I otherwise really enjoyed) and Mass Effect haven’t done anything to fix this. About the best you can do with dialogue at this point is word puzzles like Phoenix Wright where the players are asked to find contradictions and (usually) given good clues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2OytHzZ72Y&list=PL5857C0449F404B45

Have a look at this video and the others in the playlist. Super Mario World created a massive number of possible game states and ways the player can do something that are all meaningful, and I think we can agree that dialog will become better as it becomes less arbitrary, as the player is asked more to actually interpret what they’re reading, as they’re able to express a wider range of responses, and can get a wider range of responses back, but at this point in time, I just don’t think technology allows that.

I agree with a lot of the points that you're making, but there's this quote that annoys me in your first post. "All games are art, and it’s their gameplay that is artistic, not the visuals, sound, or plot." It's true that gameplay is art and that it's the core of what video games are, but how could you say that visuals, sound, and plot aren't? Video games are a multimedia experience. All of their elements should be respected, but I agree that gameplay should be the most respected.

Anonymous

You’re entirely correct. I’m being a bit hard in the “gameplay is art” thing because I get this sense, and I’m sure you’ve picked it up too, that to a lot of people, gameplay is kinda invisible. When the topic of “Are games art” comes up, people begin citing all these games that are artistic in a conventional sense (pretty looking, sounds nice, has a nice plot) but are really dull games, derivative of what came before them and inventing nothing. I get this sense that people don’t see the gameplay, and need to cite something that they see as highbrow rather than the many games that rocked of their own accord, like Street Fighter, Smash Bros Melee, Total Annihilation, Ys, Thief 2, Tribes, and so on.

In short, Games aren’t just art because they have art assets like 3d models, textures, music, and cinematics in them, the gameplay itself is artistic, and I wanted to spread that idea, because it seemed like other people don’t really recognize it.

A lot of games these days really sell themselves on choices, but well, they don’t really deliver. Culture has this weird perception that clicking options and being able to get different cutscenes somehow makes a game deep. Sometimes those options let you do different missions, or get certain upgrades, but don’t we already have a level select?
Games that focus more on what you can actually do offer incredible variation in how you can tackle problems. By focusing on what the player can do, when they can do it, where they can do it, and how, games create rich systems of actual interaction, where every piece makes a difference, and affects all the other pieces. Dialog trees by comparison can’t really do that, they’re all just the same thing, clicking more choices and seeing more cutscenes.
Gameplay offers choices that actually matter and results you can’t see just by looking them up on youtube. Respect it!

A lot of games these days really sell themselves on choices, but well, they don’t really deliver. Culture has this weird perception that clicking options and being able to get different cutscenes somehow makes a game deep. Sometimes those options let you do different missions, or get certain upgrades, but don’t we already have a level select?

Games that focus more on what you can actually do offer incredible variation in how you can tackle problems. By focusing on what the player can do, when they can do it, where they can do it, and how, games create rich systems of actual interaction, where every piece makes a difference, and affects all the other pieces. Dialog trees by comparison can’t really do that, they’re all just the same thing, clicking more choices and seeing more cutscenes.

Gameplay offers choices that actually matter and results you can’t see just by looking them up on youtube. Respect it!

To the sir/ma'am it may concern - I agree. Games are to be played, games are to be INTERACTED with. I do not tolerate being passive in my games for long; if I wanted to be a passive audience I'd watch reality TV!

Whaddaya mean you don’t want an Xbox One?

Hell yeah games are meant to be played! The message has gotta get out. We gotta stand up for a range of interactive experiences, choices that matter, like where you jump, how long you jump, what direction you jump, how fast you jump, whether you attack during your jump, which attack during your jump, when you attack during your jump. All of these create a wide range of possible game states. That’s the depth of a game, not whether I want to see cutscene A or B chosen on the dialog wheel.

I think Flower is worse by ART GAEM standards: Journey is playable and nice, while Flower is a shitty mess of artsiness, but nobody cares about it anymore. ALSO AW YEAH GOD HAND THAT'S AN AWESOME GAME WITH AWESOME EVERYTHING!

Probably, but few people really paid attention to flower. It’s kinda depressing how many commendations journey got when games like God Hand or Vanquish innovate and try new things and actually do a good job of it then kinda get shoved to the side.

GOD HAND IS AMAAAAZING. Everyone should play God Hand at least once on normal mode, even if you scum it out with continues. It’s a tough system to get the hang of, but occasionally you get in the right rhythm and completely wreck everything.

I love that you put the Daigo moment in that picture. I remember watching that for the first time, bottom jaw practically unhinged from my top. You should put the link to the vid!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtuA5we0RZU

Rare footage of Daigo actually angry.

Third Strike is an amazing game to allow a comeback like this, definitely one of my favorites.

Little side note, a person playing a game usually isn’t art, like in a tournament not really. But it can be. Look at all the great combo video makers out there. Here’s one of my recent favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze81VA-T1KI

Lets all hope for more great games that let players express themselves like this.