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Game Design Discourse

01-22-2016, 09:55 AM
#1
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 208
Game Design Discourse

So, can anyone tell me, whether this game is actually valueable in terms of making interesting decision? So far I've read and seen a lot of things about a loot Skinner Box that you go through, a ton of pickups to collect, funny dialogue, huge areas etc. Basically peopel agree that there's "a lot of stuff". The thing that would come closest to interesting decision-making is probably the combat part I guess? But then that seems to be mostly come down to "dodge red areas, learn the pattern, repeat a hundred times" for each enemy type. So that doesn't seem all that intellectually valuable as well.

It's a wide game full of content. But where's the depth? What can I actually learn as a player?
01-22-2016, 10:16 AM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtfischer View Post
So, can anyone tell me, whether this game is actually valueable in terms of making interesting decision? So far I've read and seen a lot of things about a loot Skinner Box that you go through, a ton of pickups to collect, funny dialogue, huge areas etc. Basically peopel agree that there's "a lot of stuff". The thing that would come closest to interesting decision-making is probably the combat part I guess? But then that seems to be mostly come down to "dodge red areas, learn the pattern, repeat a hundred times" for each enemy type. So that doesn't seem all that intellectually valuable as well.

It's a wide game full of content. But where's the depth? What can I actually learn as a player?
Would you kindly elaborate on the "learning as a player" aspect?

01-22-2016, 10:20 AM
#3
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Monster Hunter Island
Posts: 5,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by j.e3diu View Post
Would you kindly elaborate on the "learning as a player" aspect?
I would also like to know his definition of depth.

Does crafting hundreds of unique items, designing your own house, killing various difficulties of monsters in an expanding world not count as depth?

TOP5: Chaos Rings 3 / Monster Hunter Freedom Unite / The World Ends With You / Kingdom Rush Series / Implosion
My art: http://pixiv.me/raidriar // Gamecenter ID: raidriar
01-22-2016, 10:51 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtfischer View Post

It's a wide game full of content. But where's the depth? What can I actually learn as a player?
As a player you learn that this games is fun and awesome and most importantly, you learn to keep an eye on the time as I'm not getting much sleep...stayed up playing Crashlands passed 1am two nights in a row...I have to wake at 6am everyday.

Great game worth every penny! PLUS, I can take my save file and continue playing on my pc with a 38 inch monitor....mmmm I like that

Last edited by DarkClawz; 01-22-2016 at 11:17 AM.
01-22-2016, 11:35 AM
#5
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by j.e3diu View Post
Would you kindly elaborate on the "learning as a player" aspect?
The cycle of "make a mental model of how the gameplay system works -> make decisions in the game (input) -> receive feedback (output) -> adjust your model accordingly -> test again..." is the core of good gameplay. It's the unique kind of fun that only games can provide. So that's what I'm looking for in a game.

For me the true meaningfulness and beauty of a game is that it makes the player an artist, while allowing him to take a peek into the inner workings of his own mind. Games enable us to witness and experience processes of creativity and learning in the most complex part of the human organism. That's a totally different kind of artistic depth and value than any other thing could provide you with.

But we don't get that from "a lot of stuff", or a big world, or a loot Skinner Box, or funny dialogue. Those are on the surface level. We get it from a deep system of gameplay where we continuously have to make difficult and interesting decisions about what action would be best. Essentially we get it by learning.

If you want more information on the difference between breadth and depth (also @L.Lawliet) I recommend this short video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=IMsFHCdqjTk

Last edited by Nachtfischer; 01-22-2016 at 11:37 AM.
01-22-2016, 12:01 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtfischer View Post
The cycle of "make a mental model of how the gameplay system works -> make decisions in the game (input) -> receive feedback (output) -> adjust your model accordingly -> test again..." is the core of good gameplay. It's the unique kind of fun that only games can provide. So that's what I'm looking for in a game.

For me the true meaningfulness and beauty of a game is that it makes the player an artist, while allowing him to take a peek into the inner workings of his own mind. Games enable us to witness and experience processes of creativity and learning in the most complex part of the human organism. That's a totally different kind of artistic depth and value than any other thing could provide you with.

But we don't get that from "a lot of stuff", or a big world, or a loot Skinner Box, or funny dialogue. Those are on the surface level. We get it from a deep system of gameplay where we continuously have to make difficult and interesting decisions about what action would be best. Essentially we get it by learning.

If you want more information on the difference between breadth and depth (also @L.Lawliet) I recommend this short video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=IMsFHCdqjTk

Wow....you seem like you would be super fun to have around at a party.
01-22-2016, 12:10 PM
#7
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtfischer View Post
But then that seems to be mostly come down to "dodge red areas, learn the pattern, repeat a hundred times" for each enemy type. So that doesn't seem all that intellectually valuable as well.

It's a wide game full of content. But where's the depth? What can I actually learn as a player?
Every game gets repetitive after a while. Every genre. In first person shooters, you shoot stuff, take cover and repeat. In RTSes, you build units, give them orders, and build more units.

The only way to alleviate that is to play with/versus humans. The game then becomes unpredictable within the boundaries set by the developers.
01-22-2016, 12:28 PM
#8
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den Den View Post
Every game gets repetitive after a while. Every genre. In first person shooters, you shoot stuff, take cover and repeat. In RTSes, you build units, give them orders, and build more units.

The only way to alleviate that is to play with/versus humans. The game then becomes unpredictable within the boundaries set by the developers.
That's actually not true and your conclusion-drawing is flawed here. The problem with how we treat genre in modern day video games is (in contrast to e.g. board games) highly problematic. Basically genres are finished game designs. Add a few tweaks or gimmicks and you're done. So yeah the few games we have get boring quickly because they're badly designed. That doesn't make it an inherenot feature of (single-player) games. Also most designers build on breadth instead of depth (see the video I linked before), which naturally makes their games more like theme-park rides (go through all the content, leave and never return) instead of evergreen systems of deep gameplay. Notable exceptions (as far as single-player goes) are Auro, Oasis, Desktop Dungrons, Invisible Inc., Threes etc. All driven by a highly progressive idea of game design and how to move the medium forward.
01-22-2016, 01:36 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachtfischer View Post
That's actually not true and your conclusion-drawing is flawed here. The problem with how we treat genre in modern day video games is (in contrast to e.g. board games) highly problematic. Basically genres are finished game designs. Add a few tweaks or gimmicks and you're done. So yeah the few games we have get boring quickly because they're badly designed. That doesn't make it an inherenot feature of (single-player) games. Also most designers build on breadth instead of depth (see the video I linked before), which naturally makes their games more like theme-park rides (go through all the content, leave and never return) instead of evergreen systems of deep gameplay. Notable exceptions (as far as single-player goes) are Auro, Oasis, Desktop Dungrons, Invisible Inc., Threes etc. All driven by a highly progressive idea of game design and how to move the medium forward.
Personally, I like to immerse myself in games that allow me to imagine myself as the main character and go on an adventure, which usually includes battles. Games like this, Final Fantasy VII, Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest VIII. Or I also enjoy solving mysteries like in Broken Sword, 1112, Fahrenheit, or The Trace. For me, these games can offer straight forward story moments or times of zen-like repetition. Finding new things, discovering areas or clues can all add to the excitement as well. This game has a story, combat, crafting, and building. There's lots to discover and create. So, while it may not fit the mold you are looking for, it fits the mold that many of us are interested in. I feel like this pushes the medium forward in a way that this gives us what we've had to find in multiple other games, but in one package. Crashlands has put all of that into one game that satisfies our collective hunger. Hope that helps your decision going forward.
01-22-2016, 03:43 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Den Den View Post
Every game gets repetitive after a while. Every genre. In first person shooters, you shoot stuff, take cover and repeat. In RTSes, you build units, give them orders, and build more units.

The only way to alleviate that is to play with/versus humans. The game then becomes unpredictable within the boundaries set by the developers.
^ someone that's never head of a roguelike.

Tell that to all the hours I have in Cataclysm DDA, Nethack, Brogue, Desktop Dungeons, FTL

I'm not remotely done with any of these either even though they've all been beaten. Some of these I've been coming back to for years. I'd be content just playing FTL and DD for the rest of my life if I was forced to. Still wouldn't be able to explore all the possible interesting set-ups during that time.

Last edited by zen_mode; 01-22-2016 at 03:59 PM.