"grown" is a state of mind. I'm not sure this guy is there yet. There is a very..."interesting" interview he gave a while back that gives an insight to why he rates things the way he does. Paraphrasing here because the interview is very wordy:
You feel too much weight is put on graphics?
So you'd argue that the -video- aspect of games is actually not as major a factor by comparison?G.B.: Oh, absolutely. A while ago, some people at Insomniac researched game reviews to discover that the thing everyone talked about the most in reviews was graphics. Graphics are the single most important factor as to whether or not people like a game, according to most game reviews. Well, most reviews are actually wrong, as weird as that sounds. This is controversial opinion time.
Basically, nobody talks about sound in reviews. Framerate didn't get discussed unless it was super bad. A game's review score is primarily contingent on the game's presentation.
You can look at reviews and go "yeah, everyone talks about graphics," but I've seen plenty of games with great graphics fall by the wayside. Far more consistent is great sound design. I don't think I've ever seen a game with bad sound design win the kind of GOTY accolades that Red Dead Redemption or Half-Life 2 did, and both of them have incredible soundscapes.
People will tell you "Red Dead Redemption just feels like a Western," but what they really mean is that it's presented like a Western, and that's heavily done by using sound effects directly from Westerns
They go with what is most immediately accessible and what most casual gamers might think is the answer.G.B.: Thinking with the "gameplay/story/visuals" paradigm isn't very helpful. It's how games were reviewed in the '80s and '90s because:
I think this taught us how to think about games, so you've got an awful lot of people discussing them purely on the terms of what we see in review score breakdowns. People end up reaching to explain why a thing does or doesn't work and they're often wrong about it.
- A -- Games were still in their formative years
- B -- Games writing was still developing its vocabulary.
Like, hey, That Popular Game You Like doesn't have a great story. Honestly, it's pretty dumb. But... it does have incredible facial animation, and it does its best to put that facial animation in your face.
Using really expressive, sympathetic characters goes a long way towards impacting our feelings, so the game in question gives us really strong feelings, despite having a really stupid story with a ton of plot holes. But most people don't think to write about facial animation as a component of storytelling.
Hmm, what would you say then the games press could benefit most from, in response to the problem you've found?G.B.: They are the average users. That sounds elitist, I know, but there's not really any other way to say it. Most people who write about games are people who grew up having fun playing console games and now they like writing about why they enjoy them. Most of the people who actually know how games work got jobs making games.
The youtuber Mathewmatosis is excellent, touches on some Seus's "points" in his Last of us and God of War critiques but in far more eloquent manner.OK, so after reading through a lot of your posts and thinking about mine I'm realizing that I don't agree with really everything he says but I think I was just so taken aback by identifying with some of his points. What that says to me is that I need to start reading other writers who are talking about things at the level of some of his points, and clearly done in a better way with less bias and self aggrandizing. Can you guys recommend some great authors / reads?
That's a really interesting point - the commercialism of games and their industrial production really do place many of them in a similar spot to animation and film. Industrial, commercial art is tough to wrestle with from a critical perspective.The games industry is also a commercial arts industry like film. We still have indie productions, yes, but it takes capital to make games and there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe and trying things that are known to work for other medium in order to make a profit that affords room for further experimentation with each consecutive project.
I don't think the criticism came from a bias from the forum in any way. You can pinpoint many inaccuracies in the article, and if you think a bit you can see the arguments uses to criticize a game are not the same used to defend one.Holy shit. Some of you guys getting all bristly. I mean this is a fan boy forum, and I get it - but wow. I thought the article was intelligently written, thoughtful, and engaging from start to finish. I've never heard of the author and I agree with him in almost every point. I find myself enjoying janky, buggy games where the developers pour their heart and soul into their work, but polish not so much. A lot of triple AAA games have bored me lately (GoW, Last of Us,etc) and I didn't know why.
After reading this article I understand why I got bored so quickly. I've been playing games for a long time, and all this derivation leaves me with the feeling like I've done this many times before. I'm currently playing Minecraft again because I can get in there, create and fuck around, and be entertained by the unexpected. Sometimes I do like a sweeping, story driven "prestige" game, but I really really have to be in the mood for it or I just won't finish it. I'm tired of being lead around by the nose through set pieces that show off new techy pixel lights that I'm supposed to love due to marketing.
you more or less got it.It's a quality writeup, and I think meandering style works for the subject.
Basically, prestige games are large-budget exercises in giving their audience things that they've seen before. Usually, they're packaged well, but empty when it comes to new ideas. Doc's complaint, it seems to me, is that there is a particular variety of games that are mere repackaging of successes from other media, and that are provided accolades in return. It's a valid complaint when compared to how much the medium of games actually allows people to express.
Anyway, folks should check the article for its argument before raising their hackles over the concept. Look to see what he's calling "prestige games" before you sling accusations of elitism. Doc is no snob - the article celebrates Halo, Gears of War, and a bunch of others, and he's a big fan of Destiny, besides. Snobbery isn't the point - a complaint about repackaged media, and their celebrated reception, is.
but i made an award winning walking simulator... tim rogers roasted it for kotaku and vice said it might be the most important first person game of 2018...Once again man, I like you, I think your opinions are a little archaic, and find the dismissive nature of "if it isn't challenging then it's a walking simulator" pretentious and no longer relevant to the medium.
But to get a whole thread seems a bit masturbatory.
They made that one after the Prominent Member pass leaked.
Like... you know Doc ain't praising games for their mechanical complexity and difficulty? They made Paratopic, a horror "walking simulator"?Once again man, I like you, I think your opinions are a little archaic, and find the dismissive nature of "if it isn't challenging then it's a walking simulator" pretentious and no longer relevant to the medium.
But to get a whole thread seems a bit masturbatory.
I edited my post a bit for clarity
What those games do is quite different from each other, so that opinion is not as incongruent as it might first seem. I think the first step to understanding what the author likes and dislikes in gaming is recognizing the difference between those games.
I mean, I'm a developer as well, and I used to write for Time Magazine. I just think it's a dangerous platform to preach from.I edited my post a bit for clarity
I'm not going to seriously argue that my opinion is more valid than any other member's here, but I dunno, I feel like resetera posts threads of developer blog posts occasionally, and I am a game developer, and I posted a blog post??
I'm really frustrated that people are actively ignoring all the praise I've given sony games so they can persist in some weird vendetta against me. The facts just don't back them up.
I want to make a tongue in cheek joke about the number of Vitas I own right now, but I feel like people would take it seriously. Because who else would own 8 vitas...
Yeah no. We see you.Really fun to watch people go through ancient interviews or do selective quoting (yeah, I see your "look, he hates on sony games!!!" post where you ignored me saying I disliked bioshock, bioshock infinite, red dead redemption, grand theft auto iv, max payne 3, and so on).
Let me shut this down real quick.
If I hated Sony games, why did I write a whole lot more praising one single Sony exclusive this year?
Could it possibly be that
1) you don't appreciate sony games that much; you just like one specific kind of sony game and associate t hat with the brand
2) i actually fucking love a lot of sony games, I just don't like the Naughty Dog approach?
I think it would be more apt to characterize me as someone who doesn't like Neil Druckmann's games than someone who dislikes Sony.
Sure, I have issues with The Corporation of Sony, but... really? You're just gonna pretend I don't actually love Sony games, when I have like 12,000 words of me praising the shit out of Days Gone just months ago? When I talked about a certain STYLE of game, without singling out any one specific publisher or developer?
Hell, when you read the article, did you see the part where I said that I thought the PlayStation exclusive game Shadow of the Colossus deserved the praise it got?
Nah, the people whining "doc just hates sony" are either malicious or stupid.
EDIT: really fun that resetera can't handle medium links lol
It's literally: I don't like games that feel self-important when they aren't really doing anything spectacular. I loved Crackdown 3 because I get to be Terry Crews throwing cars into an evil megacorporation's plans. Like... if you wanted to know if I felt a game did a good job being really sincere and emotional, I'd actually point you at Days Gone. I think that's one of the better narratives in games right now. It's very strong character work in a way we don't normally see.
I'm not trying to say I speak for all developers. I literally titled the piece "i don't think i like prestige games" because I was blogging about a personal problem I was trying to resolve. I didn't market this article or anything, I just tweeted it, saw my phone blow up, and then retweeted it the next day. I have no idea why so many people are quote tweeting it and being all "I don't agree with all of it but it's really interesting," but it is making me super happy.
Don't think complex stories are "Oscar bait."
I don't think there's anything complex about TLoU's story. It's a simple, tropey story, just really well executed and with great characters.
Do i need to shoot a movie to understand cinema? Do i need to play the piano to enjoy music? Do i need to write a novel to appreciate a book?
I mean, no 1 dimensional characters? Is anything outside of "save the princess" oscar bait these days?
Edith Finch is pretty dope indeed.but i made an award winning walking simulator... tim rogers roasted it for kotaku and vice said it might be the most important first person game of 2018...
why would I say walking sims aren't relevant to the medium?
I mean, yes, I did write an article talking about why walking sims SUCKED, but I then went on to say "but they're getting better, and here's the games that do that," and listed really cool games like EDITH FINCH, which I adore, and then made my own to contribute to what I saw as making walking sims better (for me, fucking with the rules of dialog systems and nonverbal storytelling without the standard 'notes everywhere' approach)
movies about complex social issues that are boiled down to simplified ideas are oscar bait, like green book's "wow, white people, we solved racism! gosh"
dammit, someone criticizing in good faith? i'm ~so~ disappointedY'all trying to discredit a person based on what kind of fanboy you think they are, past interviews or their game taste is bad. Just, plain bad. And it's especially frustrating in this case, because the article itself gives more than enough room for you to criticize. I tried and did it myself! It's not a very good piece in my opinion.
But not because the author is supposed to be a Sony Fanboy or "Walking Sim Hater" or whatever else. It's silly to concentrate on that and you deserve to get dunked on by him for that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The frustration about God of War being the GOTY last year? I guess it was the same frustration you felt when you realized Uncharted 2 was the GOTY in 2009. History repeats itself.The obsession over God of War's one take thing, with people arguing this elevated the game... like, no one even paid attention when Dead Space and Dead Space 2 did it, right? Why do people do that? It's like they don't notice until marketers tell them to. That frustration was what really got me wanting to write about this.