This week I have been mostly playing...

Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Steve C » Fri May 12, 2017 8:07 am

I've been playing Invisible Inc. I noticed it mentioned in multiple places when looking at Satellite Reign related info. They kept getting linked. I really liked SR so I gave Invisible a shot. I did not like it. Not at all. I don't think the two games are similar at all. They are both cyberpunk. That alone doesn't make them similar games.

Invisible Inc is frustrating. How each level starts is frustrating. How it ends is frustrating. How games are saved is frustrating. The mechanics are extremely 'gamey' and frustratingly unfun. A lot of game elements are not explained very well. Normally that would be fine because it was sort of things that would be intuitive in another game. Except in this game they work very strangely. I learned too much by trial and error for a game that does not forgive errors. Which is again, frustrating.
Ninety-Three

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ninety-Three » Fri May 12, 2017 1:36 pm

Steve C wrote: I learned too much by trial and error for a game that does not forgive errors. Which is again, frustrating.
If you go into Custom difficulty, you can start a game with unlimited (well, 99) rewinds to solve the game's punishing nature. But it sounds like you dislike everything about the game, so maybe that won't help.

I love II and can answer any questions about the game's less-than-intuitive systems if you'd like.
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John

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by John » Fri May 12, 2017 2:17 pm

My impression is that Satellite Reign and Invisible Inc don't really have a lot in common apart​ from cyberpunk and heists. I mean, you've got real-time vs turn-based, open-world vs level-based, etc. And I think the levels in Invisible Inc are procedurally-generated, whereas the open world in Satellite Reign is hand-designed. I have warm and fuzzy feelings toward Klei because I loved Mark of the Ninja, but I remain pretty wary of Invisible Inc.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ringwraith » Fri May 12, 2017 2:54 pm

I guess Invisible, Inc.'s in-built rewinds so you can reverse a few mistakes per mission do help if you get something unexpected happen.
This helps a lot with dealing some slighter odder interactions.

The generation is also pretty darn good, the location of the exit in particular being a stroke of genius, as I like linking videos explaining these things, have one about its exits.
One of the main reasons why it works because it plays against your own greed constantly.
Ninety-Three

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ninety-Three » Fri May 12, 2017 3:30 pm

Ringwraith wrote:The generation is also pretty darn good
It has some nasty failure modes. I've gotten "The corridor leaving the entry room has a stationary armoured guard and you have no amour-piercing", "the way forward is guarded by an impenetrable wall of robots who are all unhackable because there's an anti-hack generator protecting them from behind the door they're guarding", and on the other end of the spectrum I've gotten "literally all the guards are patrolling dead-end rooms or staring at walls".

I think the level generation isn't actually that good, but II is structured such that it can generate value out of what would, in any other game, just be a shitty procedural level that a better algorithm wouldn't have generated. To explain what I mean, I'm going to talk about why I hate Spelunky. I was running along an empty corridor in Spelunky and I came to a ladder, which led down to a chamber that had some gems. There were no threats, platforming challenges, or serious time pressure involved, it was just "Go down this ladder to get some free gems". If that had been an authored level, then there would be no ladder-chamber, the gems would just lie in the corridor so that they player didn't have to waste time with a ladder in order to get their free gems.

Invisible Inc makes that ladder-chamber interesting because of scouting and time pressure: first you have to choose to spend a little time in order to check what's in the chamber, then you have to decide if the reward of the chamber is worth the increased risk of spending several extra turns in the level looting that chamber. In most roguelikes, the unthreatening room full of loot is the level generator failing to do anything interesting, but II's time pressure makes every room interesting.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ringwraith » Fri May 12, 2017 4:20 pm

I guess, although you often have tools available, (or possibly were, not getting an armour-piercing weapon can hurt) to cause distractions and draw things out.
Probably been lucky enough to not get an impossible situation.

Although you mention the "free" gems in Spelunky, that still cost some time, and although it's not as clearly visible (or good) as Invisible, Inc.'s, it's still very much a resource! Ghosts don't take that long to show up.
Ninety-Three

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ninety-Three » Fri May 12, 2017 4:26 pm

Ringwraith wrote:Although you mention the "free" gems in Spelunky, that still cost some time, and although it's not as clearly visible (or good) as Invisible, Inc.'s, it's still very much a resource! Ghosts don't take that long to show up.
That's why I was careful to say "significant time pressure". The ladder-chamber occurred on level 1-2 or something, one of the early levels where you basically have to deliberately wait around for the ghost to show up.
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Retsam

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Retsam » Fri May 12, 2017 5:12 pm

I'm actually the opposite, where I liked Invisible Inc a lot more than I liked Satellite Reign. Satellite Reign is an sandbox with some fun toys and some interesting emergent behavior from various system interactions, but Invisible Inc felt like a game with some strategy that I could really sink my teeth into. I really liked how clear, understandable, and generally predictable everything was in Invisible Inc, compared to Satellite Reign.

Like sight-lines, for example. Invisible Inc makes it clear where enemies are currently looking, and the rules are simple enough that it's pretty easy for me to figure out hypotheticals like "if an enemy enters that door, here's where I'll need to be hiding". Satellite Reign sight-lines were a crapshoot; sometimes I felt like guards should have totally seen my units, while other times I felt like guards spotted my units from ridiculous distances.

That's not all bad; the less-predictable nature of Satellite Reign can make the game feel more organic and exciting; like it's an actual heist that you don't have perfect control over. But I tend to favor strategy games over sandboxes, and InvInc just works as strategy game more, for me. I felt like I only prevailed in InvInc by being careful and clever (and maybe a bit lucky), while Satellite Reign feels more "abusable"; I can overuse the "shoot guards in the back of the head" trick, even in the middle of a firefight, or just leave the game running to farm money, or just getting enough raw firepower to shoot my way in. It just ends up feeling less satisfying, in a way that's hard to put my finger on, exactly.

And, sure, I guess you can get screwed up by the level generator in InvInc, but I never saw that happen in practice, while I felt like the fiddly-ness of the mechanics of Satellite Reign screwed me up frequently; units failing to execute headshots at random, or trying to surrender again after I tell them to fight back, or a random civilian walking into a bank vault while I'm robbing it. I spent a lot more of my time playing Satellite Reign frustrated than I ever did playing Invisible Inc.
Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Steve C » Fri May 12, 2017 10:57 pm

Ninety-Three wrote:I love II and can answer any questions about the game's less-than-intuitive systems if you'd like.
Na. It wasn't confusing. Just unexpected. Soon as a question enter my mind the game would answer it. The issue was that I felt that it was answered in the dumbest way possible in each case.

Like I used a shot from my gun. I'm trying to figure out how to reload and the answer is... my super spy brought a single bullet. /eyeroll. Ok. 1 kill per mission to keep it balanced. I get it game. Then I do another mission. Gun still isn't reloaded. Apparently I have to hack a terminal in a mission and make ammo. Which still costs money. Is there anyway for my cold hard killer to kill someone? Snap a neck? Stab someone who is unconscious? How about my shoelaces? Could I use my laces to strangle someone? Nope. Can't do any of that. Can I drag a guard to the teleporter out? Yes! Is that in any way useful? No!

I knock a guard unconscious. I cannot use his gun. That's fine and I don't have a problem with it. But why do I have to leave the guard armed? He's going to wake up in 3 turns. Which is stupid, but I guess game balance? Pinning him extends the duration of him being unconscious? Wat? How does that even work? {w/e} Ok now I have two guards next to each other. I'm pinning one and the other one is going to wake up. So I pick KO to knock the guard out that has just woken up. Instead it picks the guard I'm standing on. Which does not increase his unconscious timer. And now my melee weapon is on cooldown because of course it has a cooldown timer and I cannot possibly melee without it. So the entire mission is screwed because I'm standing next to a guard with no way to deal with it.

The whole game was like that. Every mission I found some new completely unintuitive answer to a problem that cropped up. It all seemed to be due to 'game balance'. None of it was complex, nor confusing. It was just frustrating. The rewind in someways was worse than it not existing. Each time I was forced to use rewind it emphasized that this totally reasonable expectation of how things should work was wrong. Plus using rewind still felt like a failure and I'd rather load in situations like that. If I have to rewind because the game has done something I consider stupid, then it makes me angry to be put back in the same situation. A reload results in it still bothering me but it is much easier to let it go.

The procedurally generated levels were terrible. They had nonsensical floor plans. You start in a random section of the level because... teleporting. Infinite guards enter via guard closet. The guards are either super fast hunter killers or completely brain dead. The game designer had a very specific way of playing the game in mind. I felt railroaded and FRUSTRATED. No point offering to help. This game is a lost cause for me. I hated all of the game play.
Last edited by Steve C on Fri May 12, 2017 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ringwraith » Fri May 12, 2017 11:02 pm

Sounds like you just bounced off it, which is fine.
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Retsam

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Retsam » Sat May 13, 2017 1:53 am

I mean, if we're judging based on fridge logic, Satellite Reign doesn't make a ton of sense, either: why does standing behind someone make my bullets infinitely more lethal (if they don't see me in either case)? Why doesn't anyone react to the pile of corpses as I pick of guards one-by-one? If I set off an alarm, why do they call off the search if I hunker down for a few minutes? Why do I need special training to carry more than one grenade? How does messing with a power box cause a door to open? Why can't anyone detect that I'm messing with the power supplies? Etcetera, etcetera.

It's just odd to see that your complaints with Invisible Inc don't seem really to be much about the actual gameplay, but more fridge logic complaints. Surely "this gun only has one bullet" isn't that much weirder than "my super soldier needs special training to carry more than 1 grenade at a time".
Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Steve C » Sat May 13, 2017 3:22 am

Because it's fun?

Lots of games use crazy internal logic and it is never a problem for anyone. The nonsense lets you do things and have fun. If people reacted realistically and sanely to the player in say any Grand Theft Auto then the entire city would shut down. Cops would be everywhere. The army would be called in. There's a madman serial killer on the loose and it's not safe to leave your house!

* why does standing behind someone make my bullets infinitely more lethal?
= Because it's more fun that way.

* Why doesn't anyone react to the pile of corpses as I pick of guards one-by-one?
= Because it's more fun that way.

* If I set off an alarm, why do they call off the search if I hunker down for a few minutes?
= Because it's more fun that way.

* Why do I need special training to carry more than one grenade?
= You got me there.

My complaints about Invisible Inc are that all the illogical gamey-ness is against the player. It's all not fun. It's not fun that I can't kill guys. It's not fun that something as simple as melee is on cooldown. It's not fun that guys only stay down for 3 turns. It's not fun to have to sit on top of a guy to make sure he doesn't wake up. It's not fun that my super spy brought along one bullet and that he can't even reload between missions. (Seriously, one bullet? Is it one he carries with him because he's gone totally emo and carved his own name on it?)

I'm judging Invisible Inc harshly because it keeps stopping/inconveniencing me from doing what I think is a reasonable action in that kind of game. You just can't do the obvious. No real reason for it. (I'm encumbered by a passcard? Really?) It's just a whole lot of fuck you player, it's this way for game balance. I can stand that in small doses and let it go. I never like it though. When it piles it on again and again and again and never stops piling this shit on then I can't let it go. When on top of that I'm losing missions because of this shit (and if you lose a mission you lose the entire game!)... yeah... It's not the same. Not even close.
your complaints with Invisible Inc don't seem really to be much about the actual gameplay, but more fridge logic complaints.
No. My complaints are about the gameplay. It's shit. The game is terrible and it is the antithesis of why I like tactics games. I like tactics games because you are given a toolbox and a goal. Do it fast and hard, do it slow and methodical, do it whatever way you want. Tactics games I like don't care how you get to the goal. Invisible Inc wants the player to play in very specific ways and it's willing to bend logic into an insane pretzel to make sure that way is the only way. I didn't link DM of the Rings by accident. It's frustratingly railroady.

BTW I'd really rather not compare Invisible Inc to Satellite Reign. The very first thing I said was, "I don't think the two games are similar at all."
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ringwraith » Sat May 13, 2017 12:11 pm

This is why I said it sounds like you bounced off it.
Not meshing with your thinking about it, which is fine.
It's not like anyone will convince you otherwise.
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bitterpark

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by bitterpark » Sat May 13, 2017 2:42 pm

Andrew wrote:Is anyone playing Player Unknowns Battlegrounds?
I haven't actually played it myself, as I don't have the kind of tweaked-out methhead twitch reaction required to make it in that world. But I've been enjoying watching it on youtube.

It's weird how it seems so clearly superior to all the other Battle Royale games, even though it's the same kind of half-finished Early Access boondoggle as the rest of them. I guess it just comes down to smarter design: a tighter map with more evenly spread points of interest at shorter intervals, a better timer/gas mechanic that speeds up the game and ensures players never go without fighting for longer than 5-10 minutes. An inventory and loot system that's just varied enough to add some extra spice and variety, without silly attempts at realism getting in the way.

Anyways, my favorite PUBG team by far is Northernlion and his pals, or, as I like to call them, The Four Stooges.
Some of them are actually decent players, but their team dynamic is so unbelievably, hilariously dysfunctional, their constant failures are perfect comedic punishment for perfect comedic crimes. It's like an episode of Always Sunny, or Archer, but in videogaming form.

Or, for someone who's actually good at the game, I watch Beaglerush, who is an ice-cold machine of death, an an all-round swell guy.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ringwraith » Sat May 13, 2017 4:52 pm

Well, it's actually kind of designed from the ground up to be one of those games instead of, like the others were, mostly mods tacked onto a survival game.
Mind you, most of it is waiting around, so it's not as massively dependant on twitchy reactions, unless someone else has seen you in a firefight situation.
Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Steve C » Sat May 13, 2017 8:11 pm

Ringwraith wrote:This is why I said it sounds like you bounced off it.
Not meshing with your thinking about it, which is fine.
It's not like anyone will convince you otherwise.
And I agree with what you wrote. You aren't the one who jumped in with a loaded question.
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Ringwraith

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ringwraith » Sat May 13, 2017 8:30 pm

I was trying not to be direct either.~

I've only been playing things that no-one will really care about for the most part. As it's Trails in the Sky The 3rd, what happens when you write an entire plot around a JRPG post-game dungeon idea for your previous game, then fill it with side stories and actual writing.
Still usually in constant astoundment at how much planning goes in the writing of these things, this one's setting up threads that pay off three games later, in a different part of the world, with entirely different characters.
Good stuff.
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Andrew

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Andrew » Sun May 14, 2017 3:37 am

bitterpark wrote:Or, for someone who's actually good at the game, I watch Beaglerush, who is an ice-cold machine of death, an an all-round swell guy.
Yeah Beaglerush is my favourite guy as well. He is crazy good at the game.

I used to watch him play Xcom but I think he's even better at Pubg than he was at Xcom and that's saying a lot.

Plus, the Aussie factor helps.. I can actually understand him! :P

That being said, the absolute best streamer I have seen play Pubg is FRANKIEonPC. If you get a chance to watch it it's only 20 mins and he's casually sniping players from at least 400m away without a Scope. A thing of beauty how good he is.
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SpammyV
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by SpammyV » Sun May 14, 2017 3:55 pm

SEVERED! So the final boss is a little underwhelming but the ending is completely on point. It's simple, effective, and I love it. A lot of bitterness but the right amount of sweet to finish things of with hope, despite everything that's happened. I still really love Severed.

WEAPON SHOPPE DE OMASSE! More 3DS eShop titles, more! Weapon Shoppe de Omasse starts off really cute. The attract mode plays the ending for a made up old old computer RPG about defeating the evil overlord and then a text crawl about the rumors of the evil overlord returning. So you play as the apprentice at this blacksmith's who has a new business plan of renting weapons to customers and getting paid a cut of their earnings and item drops. It's a lot of cute self-aware RPG dialog, your first customer is a generic NPC who wants to level up enough that he gets an actual name instead of being NPC E. The actual forging segment of the game is fun though, you have to tap on the block of metal on the bottom screen to pound the weapon into shape, not hitting the same spot too many times (and not missing and hitting the anvil), but you also have to pound it out to a specific rhythm while monitoring how hot the metal is. It's a rhythm game! It's no Elite Beat Agents 2 but it'll do for now.

STARDEW VALLEY! I seem to have wandered into some RPG Maker Harvest Moon game. About pretending to work a farm while you pick your waifu/husbando. Actually that's the part that's weirding me out the most right now, the game keeps throwing up (Single) under people's portraits on the social screen when I look at their sprite and some ambiguous comments and go "Woah I don't know if I know them well enough to ask that question and also are you sure you're not a teenager?"

Aside from that right now I'm "farming" like some kind of squatter, with unfenced blobs of crops while I obsessively try to clear all the trees, shrubs, and rocks off of my property. I'll be damned if I'm going to live on a messy piece of land.

On that note, can I build a recliner or something? Because it feels like such a waste to wake up, water the plants, chop down three trees, and then be out of energy to do something for the rest of the day. I'd love some kind of wait option to at least spend time getting a little energy back rather than having to jump ahead to the next day every time.
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John

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by John » Sun May 14, 2017 4:34 pm

. . . Lego Batman. I had high hopes for this one. I really did. I thought I might finally have found the father-daughter co-op game of my dreams. The early signs were good. My daughter seemed enthusiastic about the idea. A quick post-install check suggested that the game would work well with Wine. But then . . . then . . . The first portent of doom was that the game mostly refuses to recognize button inputs from the second controller. I know it can see the damned thing. When I'm trying to configure the controls for the second player, I hit a button on the pad and it recognizes that I've got a Logitech F310. But it won't map any of the controls automatically and when I try to do it manually it can't seem to tell that I'm hitting a button. Nevertheless, we persevered. I gave my daughter the good controller and set the second-player controls to keyboard. All seemed well. And for a while it was. Of course, when I say "a while" I apparently mean only a couple of minutes, because that's how long it took my daughter to get frustrated with the platforming controls. You can't die in this game, but you can fall off a narrow ledge over and over and over again. While it's true that I have one of the world's most easily discouraged 8-year-olds, I do think that a lot of the platforming really is pointlessly fiddly. I myself had a hell of a time trying to jump from a ladder to a balcony until I finally figured out that the secret was to not actually jump. Finally, Lego Batman is just not a lot of fun as a single player game. Color me bummed.
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The Rocketeer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by The Rocketeer » Sun May 14, 2017 5:39 pm

Well sucks to be you, Johnny, because I've been playing LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and it's a fucking blast! I like LEGO, I mean I haven't touched an actual LEGO for at least a decade but I like the idea of LEGO, and I like Star Wars I guess, and I like building things and I have neurotic collecting and completion impulses, and solving puzzles geared to elementary schoolers makes me feel clever, and the storytelling cutscenes are fun and clever. The vehicle sections are all awful, but I've identified as a Snowtrooper since I saw Empire when I was like four, and I'll play any game that lets me be one except Battlefront 2015, apparently.

The only thing that gets me about the game is its weird occasional stalls due to poor optimization. Every now and then, especially during cutscenes, the game just throws these half-second stalls or single-digit FPS dips for a brief moment. It's the sort of stall that my almost always precedes a crash, but the game never has actually crashed, so I'll give it that, I guess. Maybe this shouldn't shock me; I mean, running Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or NieR: Automata at max settings with no slowdown is one thing, but not everyone has a rig that can handle LEGO Star Wars, a game that first released on the Gamecube in 2005.
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John

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by John » Sun May 14, 2017 6:15 pm

The Rocketeer wrote:Well sucks to be you, Johnny, because I've been playing LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and it's a fucking blast!
Oh, sure. Rub it in, why don't you.
The Rocketeer wrote:I mean, running Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or NieR: Automata at max settings with no slowdown is one thing, but not everyone has a rig that can handle LEGO Star Wars, a game that first released on the Gamecube in 2005.
You see this? This, right here, is your comeuppance. Because not only does my rig run Lego Batman flawlessly--apart from, y'know its total failure with respect to third-party controllers--it's also doing it with an OS other than the one in which the game was meant to be run. Ha!
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JadedDM

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by JadedDM » Sun May 14, 2017 7:00 pm

SpammyV wrote:On that note, can I build a recliner or something? Because it feels like such a waste to wake up, water the plants, chop down three trees, and then be out of energy to do something for the rest of the day. I'd love some kind of wait option to at least spend time getting a little energy back rather than having to jump ahead to the next day every time.
Energy management does get easier later on. Party because you develop your technology (tools that require less energy, automation like sprinklers) and party from eating stardrops (really rare items that permanently increase your energy gauge). But until then, there are two ways to restore energy. The first is the spa. If you haven't unlocked it yet, it should become available in the summer of the first year. All you do is step inside the water and your energy returns fairly quickly. Another way is with food. You can cook your own or buy it at the tavern, but eating restores energy. The better the recipe, the more energy. For instance, eating a regular egg will restore 11 energy, but if you cook it with milk and create an omelette, that will restore 100 energy.
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Humanoid

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Humanoid » Mon May 15, 2017 2:32 am

^ Midway into the season it'll be berry season and all the bushes in the world will suddenly start sprouting plentiful amounts of them. They don't restore much health/energy, but they're free and have minimal opportunity cost, probably more efficient than going to the spa.

Other than that, reduce your energy expenditure as soon as possible by upgrading your watering can. A copper watering can can water three tiles per cast, and subsequent upgrades to 5, 9, then 18 tiles (though by that time your farm will likely be fully automated so you won't need to water manually).
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Narratorway
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Narratorway » Mon May 15, 2017 4:21 am

The Witcher

It is really really easy to forget this game was made in '07. It looks like a mod-upgraded version of a game released around the same time as Morrowind*. Absolutely none of the environments so far have any shaders applied beyond the base color texturing. No specular, normals...nothing, and I've yet to have a conversation in this game where someone's hair isn't going absolutely apeshit. Prolly for the best...takes the focus away from their faces...

But hilarious uggs aside, the game's...kiiiinda getting to me? It's thick, I'll give it that. I've been playing for hours just in the outskirts section and I've seen a lot of variety with the world and events so far, but at the same time, I've trudged back and forth to the same three people some dozen goddamned times and I get the impression this game's trying to prep for a slog of this shit. Just running back and forth to the people I need to talk to in order to progress the main story has had me collect some 30+ heads of the K9OUS (Canines of Unusual Size) that litter the place. I haven't even gotten into the town in the first section of the game!

*Just looked at the wiki and holy shit, the same engine was used for Neverwinter Nights...the first one!
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