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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:18 am 


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Some-Mist wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Shmups and difficult 2d games are generally built upon absolute information, something you can't really have when objects can hide behind each-other or are difficult to tell their distances apart, which comes with the territory of a third dimension.


what about drunken robot pornography? It was actually one of the games of the year for Mark at Classic Game Room last year. as he explains, it's sort of a shmup/first person shooter hybrid.


Sounds like a good game, but still not quite the same experience. After all, with any kind of fps you don't know what is behind you at any given time. Imagine if you could only see directly in front of your ship at all times in a shmup.

I think you can create similar kinds of experiences in 3d, but they're always going to be distinct from eachother for a number of reasons, not simply one better than the other.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:36 am 


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Hagane wrote:
(such as parrying in the SF3 games; the new mechanic overrules lots of aspects that made Street Fighter deep, such as projectiles)


This again. SF3 didn't add parrying in a vacuum, it added EX projectiles and monstrous super projectiles like Aegis Reflector and Denjin Hadouken and Oodama (Oro), in a game with this many options the basic projectile has to suffer to a degree, the game has a very complex graph where Ryu and Ken aren't even the main fireball characters anymore unless Ryu goes Denjin.


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:51 am 


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Hagane wrote:
Skykid wrote:
What's incredible is how ass backward the entire notion of complexity equalling superiority is. Complexity more often than not is a hindrance, especially where gaming is concerned. I'm sure most of the philosophers he admires would be seeking a purity of thought, not an eternally complex battle.


Complexity does equal superiority. More meaningful options always make a game better. That's why Super Turbo is better than Karate Champ; you have more stuff to do, and all the extra options add depth to the game.


This isn't true at all fyi.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:56 am 


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Drum wrote:
Hagane wrote:
Skykid wrote:
What's incredible is how ass backward the entire notion of complexity equalling superiority is. Complexity more often than not is a hindrance, especially where gaming is concerned. I'm sure most of the philosophers he admires would be seeking a purity of thought, not an eternally complex battle.


Complexity does equal superiority. More meaningful options always make a game better. That's why Super Turbo is better than Karate Champ; you have more stuff to do, and all the extra options add depth to the game.


This isn't true at all fyi.


No it's bloody nonsense. I have no idea why an admittedly small number of people completely misunderstand how games work.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:00 am 


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I don't think it's wrong or a misunderstanding so much as it is somewhat subjective. Some people like complex games, some people like simplicity.

Sometimes I wanna execute complex builds and min max stats, sometimes I just wanna flail around while hitting the A button.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:02 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
I don't think it's wrong or a misunderstanding so much as it is somewhat subjective. Some people like complex games, some people like simplicity.


What people like is subjective, complexity determining a superior game is not. Complete rubbish.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:21 am 


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You can have so many 'meaningful' options that it becomes impossible for you and your opponent to successfully predict what the other will do, making every guess a lucky one.
Virtua Fighter is a vastly more complex game than Go, but only an ignoramus would ever claim Virtua Fighter is the deeper game.
Depth and complexity are closer to opposites than synonyms. Complexity has to do with breadth more than anything, and is only tangentially related to depth. Which isn't to say that this issue is simply a matter of language-mangling - there is some serious ignorance going on here.
The argument being put forward is just too simplistic. Which would be kind of funny if it's wasn't dumb and sad and pitiful and smelly.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:07 am 


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Skykid wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
I don't think it's wrong or a misunderstanding so much as it is somewhat subjective. Some people like complex games, some people like simplicity.


What people like is subjective, complexity determining a superior game is not. Complete rubbish.

What I'd say is not a matter for controversy is the idea that games should not be any more complicated than they need be (almost a corollary of my point earlier, that different projects can have different requirements for presenting information). Trying to narrow that down further into something that's not just Relativism Amok, I'd say that complexity should be in service of fleshing out a system - but not more than this. Too many examples to mention: What use is a crafting system in a game having extra refinements that don't lead to anything else? And the crafting system itself - is using it its own reward, or is it a necessary evil? It's much easier to work this out in a simple GUI context, like the incredible shrinking UI (see the ornate border art / demon faces / bunnies / whatever of many old games with big borders, down to the very slim UIs of modern games that only flash indicators when relevant).

In terms of What Actually Works, I think (again) that cognitive psychology can probably give us the best answer. For example, people can certainly track a few different things at once. But what if a person is expected to keep track of 500 things at once? This very quickly overwhelms a person and is an impediment (probably a solid barrier) against excellent performance by people.

This last point should be relevant to Drum immediately above too. The point about breadth vs. depth is absolutely correct too, though I have to stress that there is no rule that says that one or the other is the right system to use. There's a reason for Go, and there's a reason for Virtua Fighter - both perfectly good in their own domains. It's like a comparison I saw years ago of word processors to a simple FPS: One has a big set of instructions and little data to run on (the word processor), the other reverses the situation (focusing on tight instruction loops to process huge amounts of data).


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:18 am 


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Does anyone else find it ironic that the discussions of game design in this thread have been far more intelligent and maturely presented than anything IcyCalm has ever written?
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:24 am 


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noep!

Just wanted to add one last thought about cognitive psych, and the thought that you can say something objectively true about "best" game design:

Cognitive psychology only seems able to tell us how people respond to pretty well-defined things. So I can (relatively) easily test how many things you can juggle at once, mentally. But presentation matters here: Add more or less colors, stress factors - whatever - your performance can and will change.

Even with modern science (lightning strikes!) at the helm, the brain is still a black box. We can't say "we know how people respond to complexity, and colors, and some other things" and then turn that into a design document. There might be something else going on that's unpredicted by the tests. (At least, that's what I think - I'm not a cog psych pro so maybe somebody can disagree with me here. But it's safe to say that, for the foreseeable future, armchair game design sessions won't come close to having the level of knowledge needed to determine whether a game design is good or bad without trying it out first - and the discussions about 'complexity' and 'depth' threaten to do just that.)


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:33 am 


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I don't want to get into brain surgery talk, but even if you could tell absolutely how one person is going to respond to something and why, that still wouldn't help you with anyone else. Everyone is different after all, and so there is no universal design document for making a game that will appeal to everyone. At most you can make something that appeals to a lot of people generally, but there's always going to be a niche (or sometimes larger than a niche) that feels differently.

That being said, while I doubt there's much truly objective about game design, I do think that there are some things that are close enough that we can acknowledge them as good design/bad design. A game that wants to be exciting but is about twiddling ones thumbs in an empty room for 5 hours straight is probably not very well designed (at least according to its goal) for all but those who possess the most bizarre and irrational biases, I think such a minority is a bit too slim to be worth mentioning. That's an extreme example, but other more subtle distinctions can be made. For example, anything competitive is not going to benefit from a luck element unless it's something that can be controlled, evaded, "dealt with", reacted to, etc. Some people might like wacky random coin flips deciding matches, but the vast majority of competitive players probably will not.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:06 pm 


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Actually, this may be the area where we can get something as close to objective rules as possible. They're subjective not by the person, but according to the human race generally: Many, many years of evolution (and to a lesser degree generally homogenous features of culture / language) do that quite a bit. Cognitive psych is actually more general than one might think. Yes, there's still a lot of wiggle room due to "taste," but as I understood it the topic was about trying to figure out if there is anything like an objective limit to complexity in design. Cognitive psych studies don't require surgery, and many of its results are simple to understand; a lot of its research focuses on simple answers, like "if somebody is trying to keep more than 7 things in their mind at once, they're going to forget something."

Maybe there is some uber-mentat that can keep track of 500 totally different things at once, but it is objectively bad to design a game that requires you to track over 500 different things - mentally - at once, even if we could sing them directly into your synapses - because the research says that such people don't exist. And you can whittle that number of "things a person can track simultaneously" down much more precisely, and get more precise about what that information is like.

It's probably less complicated to do than it sounds. Designing a game is like running a cognitive psych experiment. You don't have to do experiments on pieces of the game design in isolation, like you would if you were testing out some stuff for making a car easy to drive (cognitive overload and cars don't mix well). You just keep some simple ideas in your head while you are designing the game (which should boil down to "how complex are the systems players are going to have to understand? and how will these systems be represented?), and you see if it works. That's it.


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:19 pm 


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Yes, I think that can be agreed upon. It's similar to reaction time: People can train themselves to have more consistently fast reactions, and so different challenge levels of difficulty settings might be more appropriate for some people than others, but there is a certain limit to which no amount of practice will help anyone surpass. If a game is forcing you to make reactions like that, it's objectively bullshit because it's scientifically impossible for the human brain to react to things happening at such speeds.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:00 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Some-Mist wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Shmups and difficult 2d games are generally built upon absolute information, something you can't really have when objects can hide behind each-other or are difficult to tell their distances apart, which comes with the territory of a third dimension.


what about drunken robot pornography? It was actually one of the games of the year for Mark at Classic Game Room last year. as he explains, it's sort of a shmup/first person shooter hybrid.


Sounds like a good game, but still not quite the same experience. After all, with any kind of fps you don't know what is behind you at any given time. Imagine if you could only see directly in front of your ship at all times in a shmup.

I think you can create similar kinds of experiences in 3d, but they're always going to be distinct from eachother for a number of reasons, not simply one better than the other.

ofc it's not the same experience since it's a bullethell/first person hybrid in a 3rd dimension, but if there's a way to develop a 3rd person shmup on a 3D plane it would probably be along the lines of drunken robot pornography :P

just an example I wanted to throw out there since it's sort of in line with the discussion.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:13 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Does anyone else find it ironic that the discussions of game design in this thread have been far more intelligent and maturely presented than anything IcyCalm has ever written?


That's pretty much par for the course everywhere except Insomnia. People pick up on his errors and drivel and then refine the argument into something that makes logical sense. Not clouding every game discussion with misplaced philosophical babble helps.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:02 pm 


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lol @ skykid sounding exactly like icy in this thread

Quote:
3D platformers have to be forgiving enough to allow people to make flawed judgements and still make a jump

No they don't. Why would they? It sounds like you're saying that limited visibility is a design flaw. I can name some 2D games...

Quote:
Virtua Fighter is a vastly more complex game than Go

I don't think you understand what is meant by 'meaningful' options. The overwhelming majority of all possible options in Virtua Fighter are not meaningful.

Quote:
You can have so many 'meaningful' options that it becomes impossible for you and your opponent to successfully predict what the other will do, making every guess a lucky one.

This is a ridiculous argument because if such a situation occurs, then at that point the options cease to be meaningful. You've exactly described what happens when two beginners play a fighting game against each other.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:09 pm 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
lol @ skykid sounding exactly like icy in this thread.


Except I'm not the one talking shit.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:35 pm 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
Quote:
Virtua Fighter is a vastly more complex game than Go

I don't think you understand what is meant by 'meaningful' options. The overwhelming majority of all possible options in Virtua Fighter are not meaningful.

Quote:
You can have so many 'meaningful' options that it becomes impossible for you and your opponent to successfully predict what the other will do, making every guess a lucky one.

This is a ridiculous argument because if such a situation occurs, then at that point the options cease to be meaningful. You've exactly described what happens when two beginners play a fighting game against each other.


If any one of the options could win you the match or just secure some sort of advantage, they're meaningful - in any meaningful sense of the word meaningful. This is a joke argument. I urge you to keep making it though - I think I can see where you're going and it's amazing.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:42 pm 


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Drum wrote:
If any one of the options could win you the match or just secure some sort of advantage, they're meaningful - in any meaningful sense of the word meaningful.

Bull. Suppose I have a free punish and the opponent has no life left. The option of pressing HP will win the match. The option of pressing HK will win the match. The option of pressing MK will win the match. Three different options that all secure an advantage. That add up to a grand total of one meaningful option.

Quote:
I think I can see where you're going and it's amazing.

:roll: Starting to think maybe this thread is just here for you guys to try and act as blithely pretentious as icy does.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:15 pm 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
Drum wrote:
If any one of the options could win you the match or just secure some sort of advantage, they're meaningful - in any meaningful sense of the word meaningful.

Bull. Suppose I have a free punish and the opponent has no life left. The option of pressing HP will win the match. The option of pressing HK will win the match. The option of pressing MK will win the match. Three different options that all secure an advantage. That add up to a grand total of one meaningful option.

I really don't know fighters - but it seems to me that these options can well be justified if they work as moves at earlier points in the match. Or you could just say that maybe there's situations which would restrict the use of such moves. But at this point, it seems like if the game's well balanced, pressing an advantage is just what a player can do because they played better earlier. It might not make for the most satisfying conclusion of a game (reducing or nullifying the prospect of a hard-fought conclusion or even a dramatic reversal) but, as it happens, it seems to me that your argument is just as much in favor of conditionally restricting choices as it is in favor of actually expanding choices.


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:34 pm 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
Quote:
3D platformers have to be forgiving enough to allow people to make flawed judgements and still make a jump

No they don't. Why would they? It sounds like you're saying that limited visibility is a design flaw. I can name some 2D games...


Image

Let's say I ask you to jump and perfectly land on the edge where the two crack lines meet, repeatedly. You're rarely going to land on the same 'pixel' twice even if I don't move the camera. Unless you've played the game a lot you also won't know where the 'hit box' of the character is, you'll probably slip through the edge a few times. You may slip off the edge trying to get as much distance as possible. You have to base your jump on 3D space rendered in 2D and presented at a particular angle, with fully analogue controls. Is that platform at the same height as the block the player is standing on, or further away and level with the stone the block is on, or at some other height and distance?

Image

You will nearly always nail this jump every time, despite it being the maximum jump distance in that game. You live or die by your ability to press jump at the right time.

Image

You will never miss this jump because aiming in the right general direction coupled with generous player assistance will see Lara either land on it, stumble onto it, or grab the edge and haul herself up.


Which of these options offers the greater quality of gameplay in terms of making a player jump?
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:29 pm 


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We can all agree Super Mario Brothers 3 is the superior Mario game, yes?

Personally the thing I hate most about games I really like: That they end.

Quote:
Everyone is different after all


Nah that's Casey Serin style egomania. We're all as similar to one another as rats are similar to one another.

If you ask a rat if he's any different from George he might say yes, but again, he's got a biased perspective on the matter.


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:11 am 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
Drum wrote:
If any one of the options could win you the match or just secure some sort of advantage, they're meaningful - in any meaningful sense of the word meaningful.

Bull. Suppose I have a free punish and the opponent has no life left. The option of pressing HP will win the match. The option of pressing HK will win the match. The option of pressing MK will win the match. Three different options that all secure an advantage. That add up to a grand total of one meaningful option.


You have a free punish on an opponent with no energy, any option is meaningful except putting the pad down and walking away.

Do you even know what you're talking about?

Would you care to explain about the whole 3D and superiority of complex games because I don't really feel you've sufficiently answered the query at any point. Your argument is too... simplistic.

Here's a good one:

Hagane loves a good beat em up, particularly of the CPS2 era. He feels AvP, The Punisher and Mystara are superior due to offering more depth and complexity than the average.

But he dislikes Dragon's Crown, but Dragon's Crown is the most complex of all. His argument is, and I quote "complexity equals superiority", and you agree.

Dragon's Crown is very complex: multiple characters, unique move sets, a vast array of new skills to acquire, looting, spell casting, stock management, level building, mission scenarios, hidden routes, hardcore grinding, party plotting, multiplayer, versus modes, unlockable dungeons, kumite affairs etc etc.

Everything you do is meaningful. Every salvaged coin has a use. Every move you make and long haul multi-stage string you survive pushes your levels and opens options to expand your moveset and fortify your strength.

But he doesn't like it.

But complexity equals superiority.

Hrm.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:15 am 


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system11 wrote:
Which of these options offers the greater quality of gameplay in terms of making a player jump?

This obscures the fact that, despite the topic ostensibly being "let's jump," the jumping is in service of totally different types of games. Whatever its origins, the Tomb Raider games now seem more focused on exploration (which is a totally valid type of genre - the only reason I can stand Morrowind and its spawn; too bad there aren't more game like Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, really, which still requires some player input) and, ideally, on the player recognizing the problem as the source of the challenge, rather than the execution. I'm being generous, here, and thinking that there are better jumping puzzles in a modern Tomb Raider than "do you see there's a platform immediately in front of you?"

In the real world, of course, all these platforms would crumble away and you'd die. Every time.


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:39 am 


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You know, just last night I realized that the whole 'complexity' thing (and also 'depth versus complexity,' even though no one seems to be sure of what the distinction between the two is) is a really popular discussion on pretty much every gaming forum I know of.

Anyway, it got me thinking. Before Icycalm, was there anyone who even wrote any theories regarding video game complexity? I'd never heard terms like 'possibility space' and 'meaningful complexity' before Icy. He was also the first person I know of to state that video game complexity could be mathematically calculated. Even if you are of the opinion that Icy's ideas are stupid and your own theories about complexity are superior, it seems no one would even have their own theories if not for Icy's "errors and drivel." Regardless of who 'likes' him and who doesn't, it seems pretty hard to deny his impact.


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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:05 am 


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Volteccer_Jack wrote:
Drum wrote:
If any one of the options could win you the match or just secure some sort of advantage, they're meaningful - in any meaningful sense of the word meaningful.

Bull. Suppose I have a free punish and the opponent has no life left. The option of pressing HP will win the match. The option of pressing HK will win the match. The option of pressing MK will win the match. Three different options that all secure an advantage. That add up to a grand total of one meaningful option.


Fine - now suppose you don't have a free punish. You know, because the example that you were responding to was specifically dealing with the opponent's ability to predict and intercept moves (which is irrelevant when one is in a helpless state). You're a fool.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:42 am 



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Marble wrote:
Before Icycalm, was there anyone who even wrote any theories regarding video game complexity? I'd never heard terms like 'possibility space' and 'meaningful complexity' before Icy. He was also the first person I know of to state that video game complexity could be mathematically calculated. Even if you are of the opinion that Icy's ideas are stupid and your own theories about complexity are superior, it seems no one would even have their own theories if not for Icy's "errors and drivel." Regardless of who 'likes' him and who doesn't, it seems pretty hard to deny his impact.


Grab a handful of '80s video game reviews and you'll probably get some talking about complexity. And impact? It's not an exaggeration to say that RegalSin's had far more.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:59 am 


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Mortificator wrote:
Marble wrote:
Before Icycalm, was there anyone who even wrote any theories regarding video game complexity? I'd never heard terms like 'possibility space' and 'meaningful complexity' before Icy. He was also the first person I know of to state that video game complexity could be mathematically calculated. Even if you are of the opinion that Icy's ideas are stupid and your own theories about complexity are superior, it seems no one would even have their own theories if not for Icy's "errors and drivel." Regardless of who 'likes' him and who doesn't, it seems pretty hard to deny his impact.


Grab a handful of '80s video game reviews and you'll probably get some talking about complexity. And impact? It's not an exaggeration to say that RegalSin's had far more.


Marble you're in dangerous territory there.

Step back and assess the discussion: it's actually completely simplistic, no pun intended. This argument has been had amongst gamers in many forms since gaming's heyday, depending on how people perceive and react to a gaming genre or title. I can think of point and click adventures that were more complex to decipher than the average JRPG and remember discussing PS1's Discworld in relation to Breath of fire 3.

I also remember discussing the merit of Tales of Destiny's side-on turn based action battle system (with SF style inputs) versus FF7's far more contrived - but also far more involving - Materia building malarkey.

Short story this isn't anything new and requires no philosophy. These are the building blocks of games, what makes them unique to one another and has nothing at all to do with 3D space, which is Icy's primary nonsense claim.

Alundra is arguably more complex than any other JRPG on the PSX because it's a hardcore puzzle game with scant RPG elements. But as a game structure? Relatively simple.
2D versus 2D in the complexity argument, no 3D required.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:40 am 


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BryanM wrote:
We can all agree Super Mario Brothers 3 is the superior Mario game, yes?


Yes. It's a great blend of adventuring and arcade style gameplay.
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 Post subject: Re: IcyCalm is making a game..
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:11 am 


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I've never read an 80s game magazine, being a child of the 90s. And yeah, I've no doubt there's been plenty of people who've said things like "SMB3 is more complex than SMB2 because there's more power-ups, more enemies, more varied stages etc," but I don't know of anyone who even tried to make a distinction between mechanics that add complexity and those that don't. And am I wrong in assuming that 'possibility space' and 'meaningful complexity,' are Icycalm spawned concepts/terms?

The reason I asked rather than outright stated was because I'm aware that I haven't read every single thing in existence. So if there's anyone who wrote about this shit before Icy, please link me so I can give them the proper credit they deserve.

The only thing I've read about Icy's '3D claims' has been from posters in this thread so I can't comment on that.


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