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The Stanley Parable
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Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
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Feb 24, 2014, 02:57 PM
Anyone play this?

http://www.stanleyparable.com/ (on steam)

I saw a let's play and was pretty bowled over. I'm still trying to fit it into my feelings on proper game design and the evergreen "games as art" question.

Interestingly, while I have never needed to be convinced games are art, this game really hit me with how even saying the medium is in its infancy is overestimating its age.

How am I estimating age?

By marking that time where you have an example of the medium, used in an entirely new manner, with the purpose of expressing palpable rage at how the medium has been used up to that point.

Then it hit me. Technology is exponential, humans are linear. The explosion in what's possible with video games over the last 30-40 years is staggering, but what we've actually done with it, is nothing more than the first scribbles on the walls of a cave by firelight.

IOW, mostly drawings of penises.
( Last edited by andi*pandi; Feb 26, 2014 at 05:01 PM. Reason: linkage, man)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Middle of Germany
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Feb 26, 2014, 03:26 PM
Hmm, had a look at the website. Won a lot of awards, too. Can you describe a bit what this is? And what do you really want to talk about...? ;-)

Art... Art is when an experience is so staggering and immersive, so convincing that it stimulates and encourages, somehow. When I saw this Steve Jobs sculpture, I thought it was sort of fitting, for instance. It was both simple and complex, told you something new and something you knew, or so. But many people simply thought it was ugly. It also comes from the Middle East and they just think about aesthetics a bit differently, hmm.

So, I thought games like Black&White were games when you suddenly felt computer games could maybe go somewhere else at some point, a new adventure, requiring both better technology and new creativity. Or is it a total over-estimation of something that, after all, is simply very entertaining?

Think a new age is coming.
subego  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
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Feb 26, 2014, 04:44 PM
It's hard to talk about it without giving spoilers. Right at the beginning it pitches you the first curveball, and it's so expertly thrown, I don't want to mess it up.

Not getting into specifics, the game takes the fundamentals of video games, and challenges them, hard.

What I mean by "fundamentals" are things like branching story events. The game questions how much choice you actually have, considering the game designer built all the branches. Is there a point to the choice at all? What about when there's a "bad" choice (one which results in a game over)? Is it really a choice, or more like abusing the gamer?

It flips it too. Is a gamer who deliberately makes bad choices for purposes of exploration, someone who deliberately makes their own story in complete conflict with the designer... are they playing it "wrong"?

The game's narrator literally has an existential crisis half way through. It can't figure out any more whether it's the designer's story (its story), or yours. Of course, any game with a story is going to suffer this crisis, but the general attitude up to this point has been "that's what games with stories are, so we'll ignore it".

This is the source of my infancy comment. It's taken this long for someone to challenge the paradigm of the tension between designer and player, and rather than ignore it, use it to make something which can't exist in a different medium, because other mediums don't have that tension. In other mediums, the designer tells the story and audience follows the lead. That's how everything else works.

No video games. Not if you don't want them to.

As is often the case with new mediums, their first uses are people trying to fit old mediums into the new one: let's make our video game like a movie! It's taken most of my lifetime, but we're finally breaking out of that.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
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Feb 26, 2014, 05:03 PM
sounds interesting, and that it will drive some good conversation. Steam though. Why I distrust Steam, I don't know. Perhaps because it took games that worked fine on my old G5, and then only made them available on Steam... which was not G5 compatible. Grr.

The DH would probably also like this game, and he's not Steam-averse. Will have him check it out!
subego  (op)
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Online
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Feb 26, 2014, 05:08 PM
You have a designated hitter?

Pitchers should bat, yo.
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Mar 2, 2014, 06:56 AM
It's pretty cool. It isnt really like Portal per se, but it is cool, and offers a ton of replay value. Each individual scenario can be finished in under 15 minutes (at least the 8 that I've done so far), but they are all interesting and in many cases pretty funny as well.
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