YIIK: A Postmodern RPG' includes text lifted straight from Haruki Murakami work and other sources [Dev responds, see threadmarks]

May 13, 2019
805
Worth nothing about the search of the supposed third ending it's that the developers went to the length of setting up a twitter account of a Chinese gamer that had allegedly found it to drum up some hype.
 

inguef

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
12,067
looooooool
Poor guy!
Not funny though.

Worth nothing about the search of the supposed third ending it's that the developers went to the length of setting up a twitter account of a Chinese gamer that had allegedly found it to drum up some hype.
Should I find a pitchfork and get outraged or do you think this could be seen as 'neat/harmless'?

Clearly no-one at Ackk Studios has ever written an academic essay in a reputable college or university.
It is not an academic essay.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,407
a sunken pirate ship
Clearly no-one at Ackk Studios has ever written an academic essay in a reputable college or university.
I'm all for intellectual honesty but I don't really like the idea of treating creative works like academic essays, especially with regard to this specific criticism.

I'm right up there with everyone else bashing the game but in this case I think the bigger narrative sin is that I don't think the main character's penchant for Murakami's stories ever actually gets mentioned directly, meaning that the purpose of the reference wasn't clear even if I think it has one that's valid. Concept vs. execution and all that.

At the very least I think it's one of the least interesting criticisms of the game, especially since it basically has nothing to do with the actual narrative content or interaction design.
 
Feb 9, 2019
618
Gacha Hell
Worth nothing about the search of the supposed third ending it's that the developers went to the length of setting up a twitter account of a Chinese gamer that had allegedly found it to drum up some hype.
Sounds like the kind of stuff I'd pull when I wanted to trick my friends into believing something about a game we were playing at the time. "Hey, heard about the secret cow level in Sonic 3, some japanese kid found it by accident, I read it in a magazine."

Didn't work too well back then either.
 
May 13, 2019
805
Should I find a pitchfork and get outraged or do you think this could be seen as 'neat/harmless'?
Try 'sad and desperate', specially when it became obvious the messages were machine translated.

Sounds like the kind of stuff I'd pull when I wanted to trick my friends into believing something about a game we were playing at the time. "Hey, heard about the secret cow level in Sonic 3, some japanese kid found it by accident, I read it in a magazine."

Didn't work too well back then either.
Hit the nail on the head, you did.
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,551
It is not an academic essay.
I'm all for intellectual honesty but I don't really like the idea of treating creative works like academic essays, especially with regard to this specific criticism.

I'm right up there with everyone else bashing the game but in this case I think the bigger narrative sin is that I don't think the main character's penchant for Murakami's stories ever actually gets mentioned directly, meaning that the purpose of the reference wasn't clear even if I think it has one that's valid. Concept vs. execution and all that.

At the very least I think it's one of the least interesting criticisms of the game, especially since it basically has nothing to do with the actual narrative content or interaction design.
That was in reference to the fact that they think a 'Works Cited' thing at the end will alleviate the plagiarism, not in reference to the notion that we should treat creative works exactly like essays. I'm not expecting a (Brackett & Kasdan, 1980) every time someone says "I am your father," for example.

However I utterly disagree with your implications that this isn't a big deal because it is. Directly ripping multiple sentences from someone else's work and passing it off as your own (so not commenting on it through parody, criticism, etc) whilst making money off of it is the dictionary definition of plagiarism and should be called out. If you tried that in a published novel or a AAA game and got found out you'd very likely get a lot of shit for it; see Naughty Dog getting flack for copying someone's map without permission.
 

Hailinel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,749
Why is everything a fucking minigame???
The combat seems partially inspired by Paper Mario or Mario & Luigi, where the player has to actively try to avoid attacks. But rather than use quick button presses for dodging or counters, we have a convoluted minigame that takes forever (and you have to repeat for every party member targeted).

I'm all for intellectual honesty but I don't really like the idea of treating creative works like academic essays, especially with regard to this specific criticism.

I'm right up there with everyone else bashing the game but in this case I think the bigger narrative sin is that I don't think the main character's penchant for Murakami's stories ever actually gets mentioned directly, meaning that the purpose of the reference wasn't clear even if I think it has one that's valid. Concept vs. execution and all that.

At the very least I think it's one of the least interesting criticisms of the game, especially since it basically has nothing to do with the actual narrative content or interaction design.
This is a fair point. Being a work of art, we shouldn't expect the creator to cite every reference made. In general, this is a minor issue compared to other problems with the game, but YIIK has become such a lightning rod for its other, more serious nonsense that it's easy for people to jump on it for the tamer issues.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,407
a sunken pirate ship
I tend to lean on these cases in creative works in an "artists gotta get paid" way. Naughty Dog absolutely should get shit for it given the sort of budgets they have, but I don't think Murakami is hurting for $$$ from some shit indie game.

I mean, the drummer who produced possibly the most famous drum break in modern music history died in 2006 and was completely destitute, but said sample also birthed multiple dance music subgenres that have been supported over decades at this point.
 
May 13, 2019
805
This is a fair point. Being a work of art, we shouldn't expect the creator to cite every reference made. In general, this is a minor issue compared to other problems with the game, but YIIK has become such a lightning rod for its other, more serious nonsense that it's easy for people to jump on it for the tamer issues.
I would say its 'also because all the other criticisms of the game have already been covered extensively. People will naturaly comment in any other new unsavory aspects brought to light and that deserves some lambasting.

I must admit, however, that I think the game doesn't get enough shit for using the death of a real person with the nuance and tact of a sledgehammer to the face.
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,551
I tend to lean on these cases in creative works in an "artists gotta get paid" way. Naughty Dog absolutely should get shit for it given the sort of budgets they have, but I don't think Murakami is hurting for $$$ from some shit indie game.

I mean, the drummer who produced possibly the most famous drum break in modern music history died in 2006 and was completely destitute, but said sample also birthed multiple dance music subgenres that have been supported over decades at this point.
I don't see copyright as something that ends when success begins; people have the right to compensation for their work and at the very least for their work to be referenced in a satisfactory manner. This sort of practice just encourages and is a good example of lazy (and this is an example of laziness seeing as it doesn't take much effort at all to add a proper reference in whilst you're making the game nor is there anything limiting them) treatment of copyright, the kind that has Youtubers use music in the background of their videos or when artists copy reference material without giving credit.

As for the drummer example; I don't think you'd find many people who think them dying 'completely destitute' was a good thing? That is unless the guy chose to not monetise their work or chase royalties but, in that case, it's an entirely different situation to Murukami who has chosen to monetise his work.
 

Hailinel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,749
I don't see copyright as something that ends when success begins; people have the right to compensation for their work and at the very least for their work to be referenced in a satisfactory manner. This sort of practice just encourages and is a good example of lazy (and this is an example of laziness seeing as it doesn't take much effort at all to add a proper reference in whilst you're making the game nor is there anything limiting them) treatment of copyright, the kind that has Youtubers use music in the background of their videos or when artists copy reference material without giving credit.

As for the drummer example; I don't think you'd find many people who think them dying 'completely destitute' was a good thing? That is unless the guy chose to not monetise their work or chase royalties but, in that case, it's an entirely different situation to Murukami who has chosen to monetise his work.
Well, think of it this way. Do you believe that Deadly Premonition's creators were in the wrong when they created a game that was very obviously inspired by Twin Peaks (FBI agent in a peculiar Pacific Northwest town involved in supernatural oddity and a fascination with coffee) makes no mention of Twin Peaks?
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,551
Well, think of it this way. Do you believe that Deadly Premonition's creators were in the wrong when they created a game that was very obviously inspired by Twin Peaks (FBI agent in a peculiar Pacific Northwest town involved in supernatural oddity and a fascination with coffee) makes no mention of Twin Peaks?
Inspiration and direct plagiarism are two entirely different things. If Deadly Premonition had a character say, for example, the 'Vision of Light' speech with no reference to the original work then I'd have an issue with it. The game as it is now is an obvious homage but does more than enough to distance itself from Twin Peaks.
 

Hailinel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,749
Inspiration and direct plagiarism are two entirely different things. If Deadly Premonition had a character say, for example, the 'Vision of Light' speech with no reference to the original work then I'd have an issue with it. The game as it is now is an obvious homage but does more than enough to distance itself from Twin Peaks.
Fair point.
 

Eumi

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,190
Personally, I’m fine with referencing like this so long as a) the reference couldn’t be a substitute for the thing you’re referencing (so no just having a full book in your game to read if you don’t own the rights to it) and b) you don’t try to pass it off as your own.

In this case, it’s seems to have been an incredibly clumsy attempt at being clever that it’s swung right around to total idiocy. It’s a fun idea to put those quotes in there for the people who would get them to see and go “oh hey, I know that thing”. It’s not actually very clever and pretty much bottom of the barrel referential writing, but whatever, not every single moment of your game needs to be high level, you can just put a nod towards an author you like if you want.

But you can’t do it like this. Sure, anyone who gets the reference gets it, but anyone else would just assume that it’s your own words. And that’s plagiarism. And not only that, it’s just outright disrespectful to the person you’re supposedly inspired by.

I can imagine that the writer thought they were being clever, and put this in for all the other clever people who would totally get it, and they would never outright say that it’s a reference because “it’s for the people who know”, but what they actually accomplished was jacking the work of someone else and using it for their own. For the people who don’t get the reference, you’ve basically committed simple plagiarism, but even for the people who would get it, you haven’t actually accomplished anything. You’ve taken someone else’s work, their themes, their message, and slapped your own narrative onto it. It’s parasitic in the worst way.

Now, I haven’t played YIIK, and I don’t plan to, do I do want to acknowledge that it’s possible that this thread is missing context, that the reference is in some way transformative, that it takes the specific themes of Murakami and explores them in a new direction, one that could not have been explored without direct reference. I doubt that is the case however, especially with the other thing this game is known for jacking being an actual real person’s tragic death for its narrative.
 

LazyLain

Member
Jan 17, 2019
1,416
This is not enough. You "cite works" in an academic paper, you don't do it in a work of fiction unless you're crediting it within the fiction, or there's some artistic reason for it being there.

"I liked this book so I copied some of it" does not really cover artistic reason.
I mean, The Beginner's Guide does something similar when it seemingly intentonally makes a nod towards Neon Genesis Evangelion during

Davey's breakdown towards the end, which has a handful lines straight from a breakdown Shinji has in an NGE episode (forget which one), as well as some that are similar to lines from End of Evangelion.

The Beginner's Guide is certainly much better at interweaving it into its own original writing instead of just copying a large passage or two wholesale, which keeps it firmly planted in the homage/reference camp and is minimal enough to where even an Evangelion fan could miss it or, if they notice it like I did, can't be 100% certain it was even intentional. But given the awfulness of the YIIKs original writing, I'm inclined to believe that it was just an exceptionally ham-fisted attempt at homage rather than anything nefarious.
 

SilentStorm

Member
Apr 14, 2019
180
Why is everything a fucking minigame???
I mean, other RPG's have done mini-games for attacks before, or have QTE and minigame elements, the Mario RPG's have examples of that amongst others, the difference is that they either aren't present in every attack, or are a lot faster to do.

Like someone said, there is a mini game in that video that takes something like 17 seconds to do for 18 damage that quickly gets healed up by the enemy, the more i think about it, the worse the fight becomes.
 

balohna

Member
Nov 1, 2017
735
He had a character speak passages from the novel without referencing the novel (and no, a post-release patch adding a mention in the credits doesn't count as referencing) or even referencing the fact that it wasn't his work. That's the definition of plagiarism, and you'd likely get reprimanded to hell and back if you were to pull that shit in a more strict environment like academia or AAA gaming.
How do you feel about sampling in music?
 

CHC

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,915
An homage would be having a copy of the book somewhere in the game, or the quote somewhere in the game as, you know.... a quote. Or a character named after a character from the book. This is just plagiarizing, man!
 

Gospel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
236
User Banned (1 Day): Drive-by trolling; accumulated infractions.
I’m not fond of this game but this thread is an excellent example of bitch eating crackers syndrome.
It’s real embarrassing.
 

Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,551
How do you feel about sampling in music?
I know this was meant as a 'gotcha' but sampling in music generally falls under a transformation of the original work which, to me, is perfectly fine. When it isn't then I feel that it's a legal grey area with it leaning onto the 'this is kinda shitty' side of things.

I’m not fond of this game but this thread is an excellent example of bitch eating crackers syndrome.
It’s real embarrassing.
Care to actually address any of the points or arguments made here?

If not then it's not this thread that's embarrassing.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,638
He had a character speak passages from the novel without referencing the novel (and no, a post-release patch adding a mention in the credits doesn't count as referencing) or even referencing the fact that it wasn't his work. That's the definition of plagiarism, and you'd likely get reprimanded to hell and back if you were to pull that shit in a more strict environment like academia or AAA gaming.
Academia sure, but I feel like I have seen tons of stuff that quotes other things without attribution in the entertainment field
 

Dinoegg_96

Avenger
Nov 26, 2017
602
I mean, other RPG's have done mini-games for attacks before, or have QTE and minigame elements, the Mario RPG's have examples of that amongst others, the difference is that they either aren't present in every attack, or are a lot faster to do.

Like someone said, there is a mini game in that video that takes something like 17 seconds to do for 18 damage that quickly gets healed up by the enemy, the more i think about it, the worse the fight becomes.
The combat seems partially inspired by Paper Mario or Mario & Luigi, where the player has to actively try to avoid attacks. But rather than use quick button presses for dodging or counters, we have a convoluted minigame that takes forever (and you have to repeat for every party member targeted).
But I meant LITERALLY everything. You wanna dodge/defend??? Minigame. You wanna attack??? Minigame. You wanna use a skill??? Minifuckingame.

EDIT: Just look at this thing


Seems to me like they went overboard with the minigames.
 
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Plum

The Fallen
May 31, 2018
7,551
Academia sure, but I feel like I have seen tons of stuff that quotes other things without attribution in the entertainment field
Quotes and entire paragraphs are two different things; that and you're ignoring the context here as well. Saying "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," wouldn't be considered plagiarism if used in a transformative context (i.e. in a Gone with the Wind parody) nor would it need a reference as it's so widely known. Putting multiple random lines from a relatively unknown book into your work and failing to transform it in any way or even make it clear that it's not your own work is entirely different.
 

risq_au

Member
Oct 11, 2018
2,293
Before hanging this guy out to dry, does every other game that pays tribute to other works of art (for lack of a better term?) cite their source materials in the credits?
 

SilentStorm

Member
Apr 14, 2019
180
Yeah, i feel like the history and the unlikeable main character that apparently never gets better aren't the only problems the game has, the battles seem way too long and annoying and the level up mechanics are awful, i don't think that the reason people hated this game was just because of the main character like the writer seems to believe, the rest of the game itself also seems to be boring and dragged out.

But hey, sure, let's just say that the problem is because gamers didn't like some characters or the story, lord knows that's all RPG's are about and that every other thing about them like music and gameplay are just something no one cares about.
 

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,523
I'm going to tell you how broken the battle system is.

There is an attack for a late game character that requires her to have 100% of her health. If this is met, this attack takes, if I remember correctly, 5 turns to actually occur. After using it, it hits everyone on the field and then the character is out of commission for 5 turns unless you have an item to revive her immediately. This attack does about 1/4 of the damage a good regular attack does with her and takes over 10 turns for her to do it and come back.

The battle system is really really broken and felt like it was never playtested.
 

Eumi

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,190
I'm going to tell you how broken the battle system is.

There is an attack for a late game character that requires her to have 100% of her health. If this is met, this attack takes, if I remember correctly, 5 turns to actually occur. After using it, it hits everyone on the field and then the character is out of commission for 5 turns unless you have an item to revive her immediately. This attack does about 1/4 of the damage a good regular attack does with her and takes over 10 turns for her to do it and come back.

The battle system is really really broken and felt like it was never playtested.
Everything I hear and see about this game makes it sound like an actual attempt to make the worst game you could, and the fact that its creation is apparently on that “no one appreciates my creation” kick is insane. I haven’t seen a single scene or heard about a single mechanic that didn’t come across as bad in a way that almost seems intentional, like, how do you even make an attack that does that?

Are we absolutely sure this isn’t all a joke?
 

Hailinel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,749
Everything I hear and see about this game makes it sound like an actual attempt to make the worst game you could, and the fact that its creation is apparently on that “no one appreciates my creation” kick is insane. I haven’t seen a single scene or heard about a single mechanic that didn’t come across as bad in a way that almost seems intentional, like, how do you even make an attack that does that?

Are we absolutely sure this isn’t all a joke?
It was a very sincere effort, honestly. I followed Ackk Studios on Twitter for years as they developed the game, mostly after becoming aware of them through a friend that really enjoyed their previous game. Said friend was, for a time, really looking forward to YIIK for a while, but has been silent on Twitter about it since well before its release. I think he came to the realization that this game was not going to be good and isn't the sort of person to join dogpiles when it comes to bad games. I haven't brought it up with him because why bother?

But yeah, Ackk was intent on making a game inspired by their love of EarthBound and other Japanese RPGs. They were just clearly, clearly in over their heads on how to properly design and balance an RPG of this scale and completely misunderstood the themes of EarthBound and the purpose of EarthBound's absurdist aesthetic.

It's the biggest-budget EarthBound fangame to ever exist.
 

newmoneytrash

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,407
Melbourne, Australia
I'm going to tell you how broken the battle system is.

There is an attack for a late game character that requires her to have 100% of her health. If this is met, this attack takes, if I remember correctly, 5 turns to actually occur. After using it, it hits everyone on the field and then the character is out of commission for 5 turns unless you have an item to revive her immediately. This attack does about 1/4 of the damage a good regular attack does with her and takes over 10 turns for her to do it and come back.

The battle system is really really broken and felt like it was never playtested.
this is truly baffling
 

SilentStorm

Member
Apr 14, 2019
180
But yeah, Ackk was intent on making a game inspired by their love of EarthBound and other Japanese RPGs. They were just clearly, clearly in over their heads on how to properly design and balance an RPG of this scale and completely misunderstood the themes of EarthBound and the purpose of EarthBound's absurdist aesthetic.

It's the biggest-budget EarthBound fangame to ever exist.
That seems like the most reasonable explanation actually, anyways, all this thread did was make me really not want to get this game, and not because of the main character or some Murakami quotes, oh no, the game itself just seems annoying and boring at the same time.
 

Fuu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,389
Yeah, even after the initial impressions I was still somewhat interested, but it was the gameplay details that turned me off completely. Slow battle systems in turn-based RPGs are already a chore, and this one seems to take it to a different level. This thread is the first time I see the level-up door mechanic too.
 
May 13, 2019
805
That seems like the most reasonable explanation actually, anyways, all this thread did was make me really not want to get this game, and not because of the main character or some Murakami quotes, oh no, the game itself just seems annoying and boring at the same time.
Yiik's awfulness extents well beyond the scope of the game: one of the creators not only went into a rant blaming the failure of the game on gamers being uncultured swines that can't appreciate true art, he did so on a podcast by MRA/alt-right wastrel Dick Masterson who also appears in the game and is supossedly linked to the third ending.
 

Zen Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,403
I don't think this person is malicious, they just seem kind of dense. IMO it's unacceptable to copy that much text without making it clear that you're quoting someone right there. And a works cited at the end doesn't cut it. But I guess this person just doesn't understand that social norm...?
 

Sappharad

Member
Oct 25, 2017
178
Is this the read pill ending
Post from first page, but I didn't see anyone answer. I remember the scene and I only played the game once, thus it's from the "normal" ending.
For the uninitiated, to level up in Yiik, you go through doors. You assign a stat to a door, then go through it. Repeat 4 times for each floor.

You want to see the last scene in new game+? 70 floors. 280 doors. From scratch.
I never did the doors once and finished the game at a level somewhere in the 50's. You just talk to the crow and he automatically assigns stats for you. You also don't have to fight the enemies you banish to the mind dungeon if you never use the doors. (Which I'm only assuming you normally have to do, because the in-game explanation of the mechanic said you had to fight them.)

The battles suck, but it's much less annoying when you use the in-game cheat for unlimited time slow down.
 

Fuu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,389
Post from first page, but I didn't see anyone answer. I remember the scene and I only played the game once, thus it's from the "normal" ending.

I never did the doors once and finished the game at a level somewhere in the 50's. You just talk to the crow and he automatically assigns stats for you. You also don't have to fight the enemies you banish to the mind dungeon if you never use the doors. (Which I'm only assuming you normally have to do, because the in-game explanation of the mechanic said you had to fight them.)

The battles suck, but it's much less annoying when you use the in-game cheat for unlimited time slow down.
Ok, that sounds less absurd than what I glanced on the video posted earlier where the guy was checking each door separately.
 

balohna

Member
Nov 1, 2017
735
I know this was meant as a 'gotcha' but sampling in music generally falls under a transformation of the original work which, to me, is perfectly fine. When it isn't then I feel that it's a legal grey area with it leaning onto the 'this is kinda shitty' side of things.



Care to actually address any of the points or arguments made here?

If not then it's not this thread that's embarrassing.
I didn't mean it as a gotcha. I think this usage is a bit clumsy and should have been attributed, but I'd say it's closer to sampling than copying an academic paper.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,359
Madrid
It was a very sincere effort, honestly. I followed Ackk Studios on Twitter for years as they developed the game, mostly after becoming aware of them through a friend that really enjoyed their previous game. Said friend was, for a time, really looking forward to YIIK for a while, but has been silent on Twitter about it since well before its release. I think he came to the realization that this game was not going to be good and isn't the sort of person to join dogpiles when it comes to bad games. I haven't brought it up with him because why bother?

But yeah, Ackk was intent on making a game inspired by their love of EarthBound and other Japanese RPGs. They were just clearly, clearly in over their heads on how to properly design and balance an RPG of this scale and completely misunderstood the themes of EarthBound and the purpose of EarthBound's absurdist aesthetic.

It's the biggest-budget EarthBound fangame to ever exist.
I would readily accept "they were in over their heads, resulting in disaster" (I mean, there's probably nothing more human than that) if not for the whole "gamers can't appreciate art" thing. At some point you have to stop giving people the benefit of the doubt and concede they really are that clueless and lacking in self-awareness.

The game is truly fascinating in its awfulness, on so many levels; the multiple fonts used are downright offensive. It's the videogame equivalent of an Ed Wood movie.
 

Mr-Joker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,970
Honestly I am not surprised as nothing about the game feels original or has its own idea, they are all lifted from another sources and them mashed together to create this mess of a game.