What games are you playing right now?

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gagaplex
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by gagaplex » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:56 am

I started getting more into indie games recently, especially Creeper World and Rogue Legacy.
Creeper World is a sort of Tower Defense/RTS/economy game where you have to hold back the wave of the all-consuming Creeper.
Rogue Legacy is very hard platformer with an upgrade-based progression system where your characters have permadeath and their randomly generated descendants (class, traits, name etc.) are sent into combat in the next generation.
I also want to get into Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land now. I remember playing Warhammer 40K Chaos Gate (another turn-based combat game) and that was awesome, so I hope I'll enjoy this, too.

ranger_lennier
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by ranger_lennier » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:56 am

matt wrote: I actually found Bioshock Infinite offensive. I felt like it had a very strong anti-Christian message if you read between the lines. When I was playing it, I was pretty enthralled by the story up until the ending (which was pretty nonsensical), but I thought the gameplay was not very good. The shooting mechanics was subpar, they didn't have interesting enemies, the setups were all just enemies thrown at you, and they added the store and money mechanics, which were completely superfluous. I agree that the violence seemed to be at odds with the story - especially shoving the rail grabber thingy in people's faces...
Yeah, right after I saw the ending, I thought that it was a really awesome twist. Then I actually thought about it and realized it made no sense. :)

I've never seen why people find the violence so dissonant, though. Booker is a man with a history of violence, going into a brutally violent and oppressive society to rescue someone they desperately want to keep. No surprise they didn't work out their differences peacefully. But I did find it odd how much time I spent digging through trashcans to find money and pineapples.

I didn't really like how they balanced the difficulty either. If you died, any enemy you killed stayed dead, so most of the time, you could slowly make progress no matter bad you were playing. But then it was possible to basically get trapped by a very strong enemy and run through most of your ammo supply, such that it became much harder than the first time you tried it. This happened to me in the first fight against the ghost. (Why did I have to fight that thing 3 different times.)

I don't see a general anti-Christian message, though. I consider it more anti-fundamentalist, since you had a society making their own version of Christianity to justify their oppressive social structures like the racial segregation. And this sort of thing certainly did happen historically, and still does in some places. (Uganda just passed a law instituting life imprisonment for anyone committing homosexual acts, influenced by radical American evangelicals like Scott Lively.)

Another theme is clearly the "worship" and historical revisionism of America's founding fathers. And I think this does parallel parts of America's political culture. Tea party activists and politicians have a tendency to elevate the founding fathers such that they never want to change the interpretation of the Constitution no matter how much the society around us changes. And it especially drives me crazy when they say that America was founded as a Christian nation. Many of the founders, like James Madison, were deists, and rejected many Christian beliefs about God intervening in the world. (It would be difficult to imagine so many people like this in government today.) Together with more traditionally religious politicians, they decided to make America a secular nation. There was no official religion, and every individual could worship or not as they saw fit.

TLDR: Bioshock Infinite--great parable, mediocre FPS.

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:46 am

Yeah the health system in Bioshock Infinite was weird. It's a minor quibble, but why are you able to eat food to gain health, what's the point of that? The amount you get from the food is so small that you can't heal yourself significantly, and you'll be dead or find a medkit long before you heal yourself by eating bananas and candy bars you dig out of the trash. Like the store and weapon upgrade system, it felt only halfway implemented, like they planned to do something way more interesting with it but ran out of time. This is further shown by some items like alcohol and cigarettes having negative effects, which is dumb when there are so many other options to heal yourself or gain salts.

I think the violence would make more sense if the game were a straight-out shooter, but the problem is it isn't, and tries to also be this grand story. The shooting was also pretty lacking for me, but one thing that was nice was it was fast paced and moved quickly, sort of like old FPS games, rather than being a cover shooter with regenerating health, so I think they were on to something there, but it still isn't a great fit with the rest of the subject matter. It's sort of like if in Doom, they'd make you stop after every couple rooms and sit there with your weapons put away while they give you all this story about how the demons are poring through from another dimension or Hell (depending on if you've read the Doom books by Dafydd ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver, I'm not proud to admit I have!), and you have to talk to your loved ones back on Earth and tell them it's all going to be OK. It's not a great analogy, and I guess Doom 3 sorta did that, but I don't know, I wish I could articulate better how I thought the game didn't work. Again, I think it tried to do too much and watered down the various elements that way.

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matt
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by matt » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:24 pm

I think to some extent, they had the legacy of System Shock and Bioshock, so they felt like you should be able to eat every piece of food and smoke cigarettes either because of legacy or because of "immersion" but I find doing things with no animation that pop up UI on the screen to not be very immersive.

While I understand that the intent may have been to critique radical extremist viewpoints, I felt like the end where the KEY moment which turned him into a complete lunatic was his baptism. While I am a Christian, as someone who has immense problems dealing with guilt, I didn't like the implication that somehow if you are forgiven of past transgressions, it means that you are going to repeat them (or make them worse). I also thought it was strange that there was a whole multiverse, but every Elizabeth only needed to kill one Booker in a crazy dream land. What?! I don't get it. I expect no one does. Maybe he just ran out of time to construct an ending that made sense.

They did do some really great things with partner AI. I was worried that the entire game would be an escort mission, but instead, she constantly gives you things which makes me like her more - although tossing me pennies? That got annoying. However, I think Last of Us totally outdid everything they tried to do with Elizabeth by a huge margin. While I have some gameplay complaints about Last of Us, the narrative and the world and everything else was really top notch.

I am really sad that they announced today that they are shutting down Irrational and laying off a hundred people or whatever. I'm sure they have plenty of really talented employees so it seems weird that they are shuttering everyone because Ken Levine doesn't want to work there anymore...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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gagaplex
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by gagaplex » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:20 am

According to the news I saw, Take Two will keep all these people but assign them to other studios they own, so it's supposedly not going to be an actual series of lay-offs.

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matt
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by matt » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:41 pm

That's not what I read. I read they will hold interviews for available positions within the company, but I don't think they are looking to hire 100 employees. Plus an interview doesn't mean a job... I think they always say that when they close a studio, but I doubt they place very many people. :(
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Harry Sunderland
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by Harry Sunderland » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:14 am

Matt,

That's a really good point out shuttering everyone just because Ken Levine wants to leave. WTF? From what I've heard, the video games industry is a horrible place to work. Of course, maybe I've only heard from the most bitter of people.

Hey Matt, if you ever need ideas for a Dev. Diary, perhaps a Post-Mortem of your thoughts of working in the corporate world might be kind of cool. From what I've heard, the video games industry is full of constantly searching for work after your project is over, long hours, little pay, and bonuses tied to Meta-Critic after all the work has been done.

Exaggerations or reality?

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matt
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by matt » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:46 pm

The video game industry does kind of suck. You can get good jobs in the industry, but it is difficult to establish roots at any other place than something like Valve. It's something I talk about with my wife a lot. If you look at 15 years ago, EA LA was one of the top game developers with their hit Medal of Honor series. One of my best friends was laid off from there after the new Medal of Honor: Warfighter tanked. They essentially gutted EALA and made it DICE LA to support the Battlefield team.

So if you are okay switching companies and moving around the US (or even just Los Angeles... It's really big!), then it doesn't really matter. However, I'm married now and would like to start a family soon, so that prospect doesn't seem really appealing. I am hoping with Infinitap I can carve out my niche. On the small scale with a small team, I think it's easier to build up a fan base and get consistent income rather than the failure of every game risking the studio closure, which is basically the way it works in AAA.

I will definitely do a dev diary talking about AAA. It's a pretty cutthroat business, and there's a lot of bad decisions that get crammed down your throat, but I imagine that's similar to a lot of businesses.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:15 am

With too much time on my hands last weekend and a couple Steam sales, I found myself with two new Steam games in my account to spend some time playing on my week off.

Omikron - The Nomad Soul - yeah that game from 1999 with a soundtrack by David Bowie :lol: But hey it's a fantastic soundtrack if you like Bowie! I played the demo way back and always wanted to check out the rest of it. I didn't know it was done by David Cage, it must have been one of his first projects. It seems to have actually been updated for the Steam release, you can run it in modern resolutions.

Project Zomboid (Early Access)- I've been following this one for a while, and it was on sale for the lowest it's been in a while. This is a very ambitious and unique game, I can see why the development has been so long, in addition to all the terrible circumstances the developers have had to deal with. Survival mode is the core of the game currently, where the game just plunks you down in a random house somewhere in the huge map and you're on your own. Then you have to decide if you want to just hole up in the same place and die of boredom (and eventually hunger) or push out to try to find somewhere better and risk getting killed.

There are a lot of features in currently. The biggest problem is finding stuff for building and farming, which looks to be one of the most interesting parts of the game, but I think it's supposed to be hard to find the stuff you need, as part of the whole hardcore realism aspect.

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JPrice
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Re: What games are you playing right now?

Post by JPrice » Wed May 14, 2014 4:29 pm

Gonna revive this thread with a horror game I played recently, F.E.A.R!

When I first played F.E.A.R I remember really enjoying it. I will admit it was on the PS3, which is notorious as being the worst port of the game so whoops :? hahaha
Second time I played through was on the PC a while ago and it was just as much fun there. However I was bored lately and felt like playing something I knew I'd enjoy so I was like "Oh hey F.E.A.R, haven't played that in a while!"

I will admit that the first levels of the game are kinda ehhhh. Like the action is fairly minimal and the guns are rather standard, but when it kicks in around the time you first get the shotgun it's so good. The gameplay is still really good, like going slo-mo around a corner and shotgunning 3 dudes in the face never gets old hahaha :P
Also I'm suprised at how well the game holds up graphically as well. I mean the shadows and lighting are still top notch, the character models are pretty good (Except the lip-syncing is a bit off) and the texture quality is still good quality. The AI is still suprisingly really good as well. I love how they adapt to the environment and use tactics to flush you out, also they're damn good shots as well hahaa. With that said however, I will agree with the issues that people have with the game.

The level design is samey and bland. I mean it's either a warehouse, an office, wrecked apartments or the facility at the end. Some variety wouldn't have hurt as it kinda drags near the middle with all the office buildings. Also I will say that the story is pretty average and the horror elements whilst pretty decent aren't anything to write home about. Sure there's one or two neat scares but it's mostly predictable.

Overall though, the game's still a blast to play and I'm glad I played it again! Shame I couldn't get into the DLC's all that much though, I dunno they just seem kinda lifeless and rather pointless as none of the story is cannon so. Next I guess I'll move on to F.E.A.R 2, even though it is inferior to the first. But hey it's still a fun time so! Just a shame that the game looks like it's covered in a constant fuzz hahaha :)
Still it's better than Monolith's other sequel to a great game...Seriously how do you go from some of the best melee combat put into a game to shooting people and shouting at them until their heads explode, ugh :x hahaha

As a side note I also have a new addiction to this multiplayer game called Fistful of Frags. Nothing too fancy just a wild west themed shooter where it's all about accuracy as the guns take forever to reload and such, really fun and it's free to so give it a try!
"Always look on the bright side of life"
Check me out on Steam if you like! - http://steamcommunity.com/id/JPrice321/

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