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Real Name Squirmer   
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Signed On Aug 28, 2002, 23:14
Total Comments 668 (Apprentice)
User ID 14094
 
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
72. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 16:04 Squirmer
 
For the record, I'm sure this new Thief will have plenty of examples of players creatively combining abilities. But there are also a few ways that they are compromising the Thief-style design, including the restriction of movement (no jumping), and the forced escape sequences.
 
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
71. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 20, 2014, 15:56 Squirmer
 
I think what Jerykk is labelling emergent gameplay is better described as 'transgressive' or 'transformative' play (taking those terms from Aarseth and Salen & Zimmerman respectively if you're interested).  
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
54. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 23:01 Squirmer
 
You have a very limited view of emergence. The classic example is Conway's Game of Life. A few simple rules result in a huge number of possible results, but at no stage do you 'play' Game of Life in unintended ways. The results are emergent, not the player actions themselves.

Thief is emergent because players work to achieve their goal within the rules of the simulation, not by finding the specific solution the designers intended. One player sneaks up on a guard and blackjacks him, another uses a noisemaker to distract the guard, another uses a moss arrow to cross a metal surface and approach from a different direction, another uses a rope arrow to go above the guard, and so on. The results are emergent because the designers have not explicitly required players to do any of these things; they are just possibilities within the game's rules.

Like I said, I agree with you that Thief doesn't have the same scope for combining player abilities as Deus Ex does, but a simple example: There's a guard facing your direction so you can't sneak up and blackjack him. Instead you fire an arrow behind him so he turns around to investigate the noise, and while his back is turned you sneak up a blackjack him. That combines the design of the level, the sound design, the guard behavior, the stealth mechanics, the blackjack, the arrow. It's a mundane example, but shows the emergent result of systemic interaction.

The opposite end of the spectrum is adventure games where you need to solve a puzzle by combining specific objects in a specific way to find the only possible solution. Most games falls somewhere in between, but Thief is towards the emergent end of the spectrum.
 
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
52. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 19, 2014, 20:51 Squirmer
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 19, 2014, 17:01:
And, once again, emergent gameplay is NOT simply gameplay that emerges from the interaction between systems.
This is wrong. The problem is you're not recognizing emergence when you see it. You can't say on the one hand that Thief has a systemic design and on the other hand that it is not emergent. The two go hand-in-hand. Emergence is what results from systemic design.

Emergence doesn't mean the player invents entire ways of playing that the designers never intended. You used an example earlier of how Deus Ex allows you to use the strength aug to stack crates and climb up higher. That's a good example of emergence -- but of course the designers intended the strength aug to allow you to lift crates. Of course they intended for you to jump on crates. Of course they intended for you to combine those abilities. But they might not have anticipated that players would stack crates in this exact location to climb on a roof, and they might not have anticipated that players would stack crates in that specific location to hide from a guard, etc.

Likewise in Thief, the noisemaker arrow has a specific purpose, yes, but its design collides with AI routines in such a way that you can use a noisemaker in all sorts of situations, where a different player would use a different tactic. I agree that Deus Ex has more of these systems that you can combine, but Thief is still emergent in the same way. In fact I'd say Thief is a more 'pure' simulation; Deus Ex fudges things quite a bit.
 
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
24. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 18, 2014, 21:33 Squirmer
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 18, 2014, 20:21:
The Thief series has never been defined by emergent gameplay
Um that's exactly what it's been defined by.

Thief was never as much of a sim as Dishonored or DX to begin with.
Yes it was. "Simulation" does not mean "multiple play styles".

I guess you might think nu-thief might be a good game if you don't realize what made the series good in the first place.
 
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News Comments > Thief System Requirements
17. Re: Thief System Requirements Jan 18, 2014, 19:46 Squirmer
 
They've removed some egregious "features", but they removed them late in its development, and the rest of the game will still be designed around them (like level design etc). I don't think they've removed the "escape sequences" either, like running out of a burning and collapsing building, probably accompanied by cinematic cutscenes. Not very Thief-like.

The restriction of jumping is a big deal. The Thief games are immersive sims, and that immersive style is really hampered if you restrict player actions like that. Especially in a stealth game. Imagine jumping up on some crates to avoid some passing guards; well now you can only do that if the level designers have specifically coded that as a possible action. It's a radical restriction of moment-to-moment player agency, and harms that immersive quality because you're unable to do something that, logically, you should be able to.

Compare that with Dishonored, which did actually follow the immersive sim ethos. The level designers in Dishonored routinely went back and altered levels to cater for player creativity as testers found news ways to traverse the maps in ways the designers didn't anticipate. I remember a great interview with the Dishonored devs where they talked about players combining their abilities creatively:

Interviewer: "Doesn't that break the game?"
Raph Colantonio: "That's the point."

They got it. Immersive sims are all about enabling player actions within the rules of the simulation. This new Thief seems to be all about restricting it in the interest of their preferred "experience". That's why it's not a Thief game.
 
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
11. Re: Steam Top 10 Jan 12, 2014, 15:01 Squirmer
 
I think early access is generally good and is in the best traditions of PC games (e.g. forgiving bugs and messiness in appreciation of good design).

Buyers will ultimately decide whether a game is worth playing 'early'. There are some early access games with no 'game' to them, and those are the ones that don't make the best sellers list (e.g. Space Engineers, which is only an engine and not much else).

The first 3 games on this list all have a 'game' already, even if they lack a bunch of features. The core is solid, and new additions will add depth, but the game is there. That's the key; the games that will succeed at early access are the ones that are well designed at their core.

It's also worth remembering that this isn't a new thing, just more common nowadays. Mount & Blade offered early access to its beta a long time before the final game was released.
 
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News Comments > Alien: Isolation Announced
32. Re: Alien: Isolation Announced Jan 7, 2014, 16:13 Squirmer
 
DangerDog wrote on Jan 7, 2014, 15:20:
The main problem is like other people are saying, how can you pad out a sizable chunk of game time to being chased around a spaceship by one Alien?
Worked for Miasmata, though that had a whole island to walk around on and orienteering to do etc. If they can implement some interesting survival and navigation mechanics it could be good. Imagine freely wandering the ship with the threat of the xenomorph stalking you the whole time.

But I'm worried it'll be more like Amnesia, a highly controlled horror show with scripted scares etc. That's how the Eurogamer preview made it look.
 
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News Comments > Thief Trailer
7. Re: Thief Trailer Dec 18, 2013, 18:42 Squirmer
 
Nuhauser wrote on Dec 18, 2013, 17:59:
As far as this game being similar to Dishonored is concerned, of course it is. This is the game that Dishonored is based on.
To an extent, but Thief is all about sneaking, whereas Dishonored also takes from the Deus Ex philosophy of multiple playstyles (Spector's comment that DX is a swiss army knife, Thief is a scalpel).

Eidos has taken the Thief property but instead of focusing on sneaking, they've added combat options because they don't want to punish people who don't want to play like a thief. In a game called Thief.

Beyond the gameplay, it's also remarkable how many similarities there are in the story. Evil baron, plague ravishing a city, now this character in the trailer who has Granny Rags written all over her. Some of that might come with the territory of setting a game in a Victorian-like city, but even so... They had some really interesting Thief-specific lore with the Hammers and the Keepers and so on, and it sounds like they've ditched most of it and come up with something way less interesting.
 
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News Comments > DayZ Sales Soar
1. Re: DayZ Sales Soar Dec 17, 2013, 19:46 Squirmer
 
Weren't people suggesting yesterday that they'd missed the boat, took too long to release it, people are over it.  
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News Comments > Wasteland 2 Early Access This Week
17. Re: Wasteland 2 Early Access This Week Dec 13, 2013, 16:42 Squirmer
 
jimnms wrote on Dec 13, 2013, 15:48:
For $50 you're getting a BOXED copy of the game, a cloth map, a printed manual, the soundtrack and 2 copies of the game, and you're bitching because a late backer gets beta access?
Yes? I'm not complaining about what I'm getting for $50; obviously I think that's reasonable or I wouldn't have paid it (I paid $65 actually for international shipping). But considering I've been on the backer train from the beginning and paid quite a bit, yeah, I'd be annoyed if a late backer gets beta access for paying less. Anyway, it's on Steam now for $60, so it's a non-issue.
 
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News Comments > Wasteland 2 Early Access This Week
3. Re: Wasteland 2 Early Access This Week Dec 12, 2013, 22:06 Squirmer
 
Beta access for the Kickstarter was at $75 or more, so I guess early access will be that expensive? I pledged $50, so I'll be kind of annoyed if I don't get beta access but late backers do via early access.  
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News Comments > Game of Thrones Confirmed
5. Re: Game of Thrones Confirmed Dec 8, 2013, 16:08 Squirmer
 
The Clash of Kings mod for Mount & Blade is all you need from a Game of Thrones game.  
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News Comments > Gatherings & Competitions
4. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Dec 7, 2013, 05:53 Squirmer
 
"Why Spike is hitting the reset button on its video game awards."

I'm gonna guess because not enough people watched it to justify the huge expense, so it's been downgraded. Close?
 
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News Comments > State of Decay Breakdown Released
4. Re: State of Decay Breakdown Released Nov 30, 2013, 19:39 Squirmer
 
It's actually much like the base game, but without the story events, so you have a bit more freedom to do what interests you. You get set up in one location, then look for resources, upgrade your base and outposts, recruit more survivors. When you deplete an area's resources, you load up an RV and move to a new area with harder zombies.

There are a number of events that occur and you can choose to do them or not. Things like helping out your neighbors, clearing infestations, defending a place from attack, making contact with other survivors. In between you need to look around and find resources. My only issue is that all these events come thick and fast, and it gets a bit overwhelming sometimes.

I'm not a huge fan of moving to a new area when you deplete resources, but I guess it works for the way the game is designed. I'd like to keep building up a base as zombies get harder instead of needing to start over each time you move.
 
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News Comments > State of Decay Breakdown DLC Delay?
11. Re: State of Decay Breakdown DLC Delay? Nov 29, 2013, 17:08 Squirmer
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Nov 29, 2013, 15:01:
I left the main cabin, visited some tents, came back to the main cabin and the survivors were dead. It isn't clear if this was because I did something wrong (for example I did not board up the windows) or if it is unavoidable / part of the story.
If that's the place right at the start, I think that's part of the story. It's supposed to make you move on to a new area, to teach you that can move around, etc.

The reason I'm interested in the DLC is that it has a sandbox mode, which doesn't feature those kinds of story events, so you can do what you want.
 
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News Comments > State of Decay Breakdown DLC Delay?
10. Re: State of Decay Breakdown DLC Delay? Nov 29, 2013, 17:03 Squirmer
 
Wish I'd seen this story before I bought the DLC just now. I guess it will unlock when it's available.  
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News Comments > GOG.Com offers Dark Matter Refunds
27. Re: GOG.Com offers Dark Matter Refunds Oct 22, 2013, 22:50 Squirmer
 
Interesting precedent. It's a fine line between 'unfinished ending' and 'crap ending'. I wonder if people will start demanding refunds for games they consider plain shit.  
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News Comments > Anachronox on Steam
10. Re: Anachronox on Steam Oct 18, 2013, 16:41 Squirmer
 
It uses the Quake 2 engine, not the Unreal engine like Deus Ex, so it has a very different look. It has a deliberate and coherent 'cartoony' art style, which means it still looks quite good today, as long as low res textures and blocky objects don't bother you.  
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News Comments > Anachronox on Steam
7. Re: Anachronox on Steam Oct 18, 2013, 01:51 Squirmer
 
Tom Hall has tried multiple times to get the IP but Eidos refused to sell it (and it's uneven more unlikely now that Eidos is owned by Square).

And now that Square has a plan to offer its lesser-known IPs for other developers to make, it highly unlikely they'll walk away from it. The best thing to hope for is that Hall could somehow win the right to 'lease' or whatever the IP from Square to make a game, as part of Square's deal. That's if Square offers the Anox IP, and if Hall wants to work with them, and if he was given the opportunity. So pretty unlikely overall.

Hall said that if he couldn't get the IP, eventually he'd just write up how the story was going to end and put it on a website.
 
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668 Comments. 34 pages. Viewing page 4.
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