Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Codex Interview Wasteland 2 RPG Codex Interview - Part 2: Michael A. Stackpole

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    80,306
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    You can use Google to find TPB. Buying games is obsolete. :smug:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  2. thesisko Emissary

    thesisko
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    If anything, easy access to walkthroughs should make the game designers focus more on creating enjoyable puzzle rather than trial-and-error "puzzles" created solely to pad out the game. The only reason someone who actually enjoys solving puzzles would consult a walkthrough is if it's illogical/unfair/tedious and shouldn't have been in the game in the first place.

    Easy access to walkthroughs probably increases the appeal of an RPG with puzzles since those who don't like 'em can just skip 'em.
     
    ^ Top  
  3. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,022
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Well, personally I'm a HUGE fan of "unfair" sadistic kinds of puzzles (that in effect turn out to be fair and logical after you've figured them out, but not on first glance); they're what made such titles as Wiz4/5 and Dark Heart of Uukrul stand out, and one of the main reasons those games are among my personal top10 CRPGs of all time. Therefore, ideally, I'd like to see ALL kinds of puzzles make a return to CRPGs -- maybe harder puzzles could be made optional, or some such. That said, I certainly understand where you're coming from. My main problem with what you say is that "enjoyable puzzles" is a very vague thing and may lead to "puzzles that your grandma (or any 'casual' gamer) can solve without breaking a sweat", which makes the whole puzzle affair meaningless in the first place.

    Still, even easier puzzles are better than no puzzles, that much is certain. Plus, discussing what a "good puzzle" is would require a lengthy thread derail, so let's not go there. :P
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  4. thesisko Emissary

    thesisko
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    I see where you're coming from, but I didn't mean to imply that the puzzles should be "easy" in the sense that they would require no reasoning or investigation. I simply meant that there should be enough information provided so that there's a logical path of investigation and not just blind trial-and-error all across a huge map. Proper feedback and perhaps small hints when trying alternate, "wrong" but logical solutions for instance. Of course, even such hints could be made optional if you are truly masochistic :P
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    9,924
    Location:
    casting coach
    When people can consult a walkthrough, it makes it possible to include tough puzzles if anything. If someone doesn't like solving them, just look up the solution and they can proceed to the content they like instead of being stumped and quitting.

    And it's not like it's anything new - I remember gaming mags featuring walkthroughs in 90's too.


    Though personally I think the most rewarding puzzles are things you are actually optional and easy to miss - stuff that isn't a must to solve in order to proceed at all on the main quest, where you're really stuck until you figure it out. But if it's optional, I feel all witty and clever when noticing and solving it instead of just doing something everyone has to do. And I have the option to just ignore it, if I don't figure it out fast enough for my liking.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Jasede
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    22,162
    Location:
    Fluffy Pillow
    Definitely agree. Really satisfying to go back to a puzzle you were stuck on because the solution hit you while you were in the shower, in bed, at the grocery store or at work or watching TV or whatever it is you do.

    And if you get stuck-stuck there's always the helpline. Or you could always duckduckgogo the solution.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. Temaperacl Augur

    Temaperacl
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Messages:
    180
    Not heartbroken, but I've felt bad about killing Rex before, or avoided heading down there so I wouldn't kill him (the idea of JACKIE being ripped apart or starving down there never really bothered me) depending on my mood - other times I've gone down into the cave and gunned him down without a second thought.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. St. Toxic Arcane

    St. Toxic
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    9,100
    Location:
    Yemen / India
    Meanwhile back in 95:

    Fargo : *storms into Interplay lunch room* Hay guise dis game just isn't emotionally engaging enough. Ramp that shit up. We want players to be engaged emotionally because that's what games are all about.
    Cain: Wh.. What do you mean, like? We've got graphics, likeable characters, plausible world with lots of backstory, a bunch of various interesting scenarios and concepts and multiple ways for players to approach them. Y'know, like, rich gameplay that makes players feel involved in the story and the universe...
    Fargo: Y.. Yeah look that's great right, but games are about emotional engagement. I just don't see you focusing on that for Fallout, y'know, I don't think you get it.
    Cain: Well, I mean, sure games are emotionally engaging if they're good, but the reverse isn't necessarily true and it's not like you can focus specifically on being emotionally engaging and still have a game at the end. That's better saved for the theater, right?
    Fargo: *pretends to be bad at english* yu so smart! me no talkie talkie englesh... big sorry. i only know say go suckie suckie goat dicky stupid. great fortune yes? make many happy.

    Epilogue: Little did he know that soon his prestigious position would be outsourced to someone who actually spoke like that for reals.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  9. likaq Arcane

    likaq
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,198
    Remember Allen "Delsyn" Rausch ?

    I can be rude too!

    I hope that herve really get a horrible disease and die !
     
    ^ Top  
  10. St. Toxic Arcane

    St. Toxic
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    9,100
    Location:
    Yemen / India
    Say what you will about Herve, but he's def. emotionally engaging. :salute:
     
    ^ Top  
  11. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,648
    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    I thought it was just...obvious, and didn't require substantiation. It's perhaps true that the :obviously: crowd and a few others have the discipline to resist using walkthroughs/spoilers/etc. when they are stuck, but I remember playing wasteland as a kid and being stuck for days at a time. A few puzzles had me guessing for nearly a week. Maybe I didn't have a password, or I was missing a particular key, or robot part, or whatever. These days, how many gamers can honestly claim they would backtrack around for a week to find a key or a password? My guess is almost no one (although lots of people bullshit themselves and others about how hardcore they are, which is a completely different issue).

    Back then, before the cluebook or Google this was how games were played, and why they took so long to complete. It was very gratifying to finally solve the puzzle, but extremely frustrating until you did. Most gamers today don't have that kind of patience or threshold for frustration, especially with the temptation of spoilers just a Google search away.

    That's what I mean when I say puzzles are 'obsolete'. Puzzles used to be extremely challenging barriers to advancement in a game, the advent of the internet has rendered them optional. Those two cases are universes apart.
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Condiments Educated

    Condiments
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Shoulder of Orion
    Knotanalt and Toxic, I believe I understand what you're saying about "emotional engagement", but I wish to inquire further. What would you say about genres like survival horror that are constructed with the intention of eliciting emotions like fear and dread through their game mechanics? Things like sparse resources, pacing, lack of player control/power in relation to enemies and obstacles(how effectively enemies can dispatched if at all, camera angles, controls) alongside both audio and visual direction. Without the atmosphere and fear, these games would exist only as clunky action shooters(RE5, dead space) with little reason to play. I don't think developers should just "develop" things without awareness of how their audience may react to it, but there shouldn't be a singular focus of "I want the player to feel bad so I'll blow up a child he knows nothing about in a cutscene. Killing children is bad and makes people sad."

    I think the problem primarily with "emotional engagement" is that with games like Mass Effect 3, they seek to engage players not through player involvement and mechanics, but with cinematic movie techniques. There is little world reactivity to how you build your character, so the segregation between story and gameplay is never more present.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. St. Toxic Arcane

    St. Toxic
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    9,100
    Location:
    Yemen / India
    I'll let Knot take it, I don't have the time. Suffice to say Resident Evil was at it's scariest when it wasn't trying to scare you by shoving zombies at you through walls.
     
    ^ Top  
  14. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    80,306
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    [​IMG]
     
    ^ Top  
  15. St. Toxic Arcane

    St. Toxic
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    9,100
    Location:
    Yemen / India
    SS is a pretty good example. Especially comparing it to Dead Space, where after you've seen all the cut-scenes and had all the "buh" moments once over, it becomes, as Condi said, "a clunky action shooter with little reason to play". Even the atmosphere is smeared on too thick at times, and you stop taking the situation seriously. At least in SS enemies would roam around, respawn, pop up where you didn't expect them to. So, build an intricate space station, fill it with monsters, make them roam and that's it, you'll have people shitting their pants without the addition of scripted hysteria, though naturally SS2 was hardly free from that. Now, just add creepy ambiance and radio logs and you're set. RE2 did something similar in the police compound, which was nice. But it also did plenty of the other stuff, with zombies "SURPRISE" attacking out of windows and shit.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Jasede
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    22,162
    Location:
    Fluffy Pillow
    Wasteland 2 proposed Kickstarter rewards updated:
    http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=133

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  17. DwarvenFood Arcane Patron

    DwarvenFood
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    6,281
    Location:
    Atlantic Accelerator
    Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Th..th... they listened to fan output ? :singletearofeagle:
    :hero:
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    80,306
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Remember that their project's viability directly depends on it. They absolutely have to remove any possible reason for people deciding not to donate.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. thesisko Emissary

    thesisko
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    What kind of retarded argumentation is that? You're basically just saying that no one would subject themselves to gameplay that they don't enjoy. If the puzzles had you "guessing for a week", then they were either badly designed or you were/are an idiot. I don't think anyone is pining for "puzzles" that simply exist to force people to engage in hours of trial-and-error.

    It doesn't sound like you were "solving" any puzzles. And you should feel either stupid or simply relieved after blindly stumbling into a solution after days of trial-and-error.
    Like Crooked Bee said, if that's your argument then any sort of gameplay that isn't purely reflex-based is optional and therefore obsolete.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. Unorus Janco Lurker

    Unorus Janco
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,036
    Location:
    The Abyss
    Those puzzles were there to force the player to find clues and think. That wasn't enjoyable, that was a trial, only real ├╝bermenschen were able to finish the game... Unlike now.
     
    ^ Top  
  21. Spectacle Arcane Patron

    Spectacle
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    6,951
    Somebody better tell the DoubleFine guys that puzzles are obsolete.
     
    ^ Top  
  22. nihil Augur

    nihil
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Location:
    Sweden
    Project: Eternity
    The mandatory puzzles could be a bit simpler, while some optional stuff could have really difficult puzzles. It's up to each player whether to look up a FAQ or not. I only look up FAQs if I'm completely hindered from making progress for many hours, and not before trying all kinds of stuff. In an RPG, you can ideally approach other problems if you get stuck, and retry later when you're smarter. This is usually not the case in adventure games (it comes to mind that I looked up a thing or two when playing The Dig).
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,648
    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    You don't have any idea what you're talking about. I had several very smart friends growing up, and they were just as challenged by those puzzles as I was (it was part of what made them fun).

    I'm not making an 'argument', I'm describing my personal experience of before and after. Gaming today is fundamentally different than it was before the internet. In ways that are not often discussed. You don't understand this because you could barely read when I was playing Wasteland at age 15, before the internet existed. My describing what it was like obviously doesn't translate into your understanding what it was like. You were either there and know what I'm talking about or you weren't. Just like a lot of things in life.

    I still play plenty of old-school RPGs with puzzles, but it's not the same as it was in the past. Today I'm always aware that there's a solution online. This was a non-option before the internet, because the internet didn't exist. If you were stuck, you were really stuck. The difference in wording is subtle, the gameplay impact is huge.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. thesisko Emissary

    thesisko
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    354
    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    I've played enough adventure games in the 90's to know exactly what I'm talking about. The very fact that your so-called "smart" friends were equally stumped suggests that they were not "puzzles" to be cracked by applying brainpower but probably more in the vein of having/using/activating a specific object at a specific place for no apparent reason.

    And your point is what exactly? That you enjoy being frustrated yet are unable to prevent yourself from ending your enjoyment by willfully bypassing gameplay you claim to like?
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,648
    Location:
    The Desert Wasteland
    I made my point above, you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

    And I enjoy a challenge, not being frustrated. That's a gray area spectrum. You probably don't understand what that means either, but I typed it out just in case.

    I think this is what you're so butthurt over, this is your regular mode of play, but you still need to feel 'hard core' and what I'm saying about puzzles being 'obsolete' challenges your self image. I sympathize, and there are times when I slip and google that spoiler faster than I should, but that's my point...times have changed...irrevocably...and games can't be designed with the same set of assumptions as they were in the pre-internet days.

    TL;DR:

    Puzzles used to be challenging 'gatekeeper' barriers of advancement. The internet has rendered them optional and toothless. There really is no debate here, and it's what I meant when I said puzzles are 'obsolete'.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)