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bore

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  • Brandon Van Every
    er, spore. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase one user comment somewhere, sucks like Black & White. Perhaps social gamers, casual
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 9, 2008
      er, spore. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase
      one user comment somewhere, "sucks like Black & White." Perhaps
      social gamers, casual gamers, and new gamers will drive it to lofty
      sales. I don't plan to waste my time.


      Cheers,
      Brandon Van Every
    • David Lamb
      ... Is it worthwhile buying my son the copy he desperately wants right away, instead of waiting for his birthday, to let people know a 13-year-old s
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 10, 2008
        On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:57 AM, Brandon Van Every <bvanevery@...> wrote:
        >
        > er, spore. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase
        > one user comment somewhere, "sucks like Black & White." Perhaps
        > social gamers, casual gamers, and new gamers will drive it to lofty
        > sales. I don't plan to waste my time.

        Is it worthwhile buying my son the copy he desperately wants right
        away, instead of waiting for his birthday, to let people know a
        13-year-old's perspective?

        Say, Brandon, has there ever been a game you actually like ;-)
      • Brandon Van Every
        ... Sure. At that age I was muleing chests in Ultima III, so how hard can he be to please? Worst case it s focus group research. That 15 year old girl I met
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 10, 2008
          On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 11:11 AM, David Lamb <david.alex.lamb@...> wrote:
          > On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:57 AM, Brandon Van Every <bvanevery@...>
          > wrote:
          >>
          >> er, spore. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase
          >> one user comment somewhere, "sucks like Black & White." Perhaps
          >> social gamers, casual gamers, and new gamers will drive it to lofty
          >> sales. I don't plan to waste my time.
          >
          > Is it worthwhile buying my son the copy he desperately wants right
          > away, instead of waiting for his birthday, to let people know a
          > 13-year-old's perspective?

          Sure. At that age I was muleing chests in Ultima III, so how hard can
          he be to please? Worst case it's focus group research. That 15 year
          old girl I met on WoW, she said she never got tired of frying stuff.
          I'm pretty sure that if you haven't spent 30 years playing the same
          game designs over and over again, they're a lot more interesting. It
          would be interesting to find a young teen review site, to see what
          they think sucks.

          > Say, Brandon, has there ever been a game you actually like ;-)

          Zeus is the only game I can think of that retired gracefully from my
          computer. I'd replay it periodically and get tired of it, but I never
          snapped the CD in half. Most games got to some point of frustration
          or infuriation with the number of units I was pushing around, or
          something asinine and stupid that was happening over and over again,
          and got the snap. There were often redeeming things about those
          games, in that I was "hooked" in some sense, but at some point you
          realize it's taking up all your time and the irritating misfeature is
          making it not fun anymore. Some games just got so boring that I
          didn't even snap 'em. The open source games Freeciv and Battle for
          Wesnoth have been deleted from my computer hundreds of times. Right
          now is such a time.


          Cheers,
          Brandon Van Every
        • Joel Davis
          I picked this up yesterday, haven t had a chance to try it out yet. I m not expecting much depth out of the gameplay part, but my two favorite game mechanics
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 10, 2008
            I picked this up yesterday, haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I'm not expecting much depth out of the gameplay part, but my two favorite game mechanics are creating/customizing things, and exploring (like the Space stage). So I think I'll really enjoy it, even if I don't spend a lot of time in the "game" stages. I certainly don't expect the "Civ stage" to compete with a full-blown "Civ" game.

            I think it's kind of sad how all the reviewers are slamming it because it's "not very hard" and not built for the hardcore gamers. I don't see why games must be frustrating and difficult (although I do admit that there is great satisfaction is beating such a game). Games should be fun.

            But anyways, I haven't actually played it yet (aside from the creature creator they released in July). So I'll report back to this list what I think of it after a week or two of actually playing it.

            I do think EA really pissed a lot of people off with their DRM shenanigans. Stardock got it right with Sins and their "Gamers bill of rights". But that's another topic.

            joel




            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Brandon Van Every <bvanevery@...>
            To: gamedesign-l <gamedesign-l@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 9:57:45 PM
            Subject: [gamedesign-l] bore


            er, spore. http://www.youtube com/watch? v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase
            one user comment somewhere, "sucks like Black & White." Perhaps
            social gamers, casual gamers, and new gamers will drive it to lofty
            sales. I don't plan to waste my time.

            Cheers,
            Brandon Van Every


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • LingMac
            ... I rushed to the mall and bought myself a copy this weekend. The first stage of the game is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. It captures the essence of the dog eat dog
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
              Brandon Van Every wrote:
              > er, spore. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase
              > one user comment somewhere, "sucks like Black & White." Perhaps
              > social gamers, casual gamers, and new gamers will drive it to lofty
              > sales. I don't plan to waste my time.


              I rushed to the mall and bought myself a copy this weekend. The first
              stage of the game is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. It captures the essence of
              the dog eat dog world perfectly; you really feel like a tiny
              microorganism struggling in a pool of sludge. Not only that, there's
              surprising strategic depth to how you evolve your cell. Will you eat
              meat, plants, fluids, a mixture of these? What mode of propulsion will
              you use? Should you place those poison glands to the sides, to quickly
              cover yourself in a protective cloud when necessary, directly behind
              you so predators won't think of tailing you, to the front to spit it
              right at your prey?


              Then you're thrown into creature stage and everything goes downhill.
              For some 5 hours you're there playing "Simon says", hitting keys and
              watching your creature dance, sing and do other homosexual things to
              please other species (because that's how life on primitive Earth was
              like, right? Hmmm, wait a minute there...). I kept getting frustrated
              and going back to the delightful primordial soup, but it's always so
              short lived...

              The other stages are just the same, so simplistic you shake your head
              in disbelief that someone actually bothered to make a game out of
              these mechanics. They say the last stage is gonna be worth it. It
              better be, cause I'm struggling to make it there...
            • David Lamb
              ... This seems reasonably compatible with other comments I ve seen that the middle stages had no replay value, so I guess those other comments at best found
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 7:43 AM, LingMac <lingmac@...> wrote:
                > The other stages are just the same, so simplistic you shake your head
                > in disbelief that someone actually bothered to make a game out of
                > these mechanics. They say the last stage is gonna be worth it. It
                > better be, cause I'm struggling to make it there...

                This seems reasonably compatible with other comments I've seen that
                the middle stages had no replay value, so I guess those other comments
                at best found the thing moderately fun the first time around. If you
                can struggle through to the "space" stage I'd appreciate your opinion;
                someone elsewhere (perhaps a USENET group) commented that space might
                be more fun and might have some replay value, but hadn't done much at
                that stage yet.

                My son's birthday is in November and he desperately wants Spore, but
                we have a hard limit on how much we spend per present occasion, so I'd
                like to buy it for him if at least parts of it are fun but would
                rather get him something else if it's uniformly a bad deal. At least
                Brawl is higher on his list, and he's actually played that one!

                Apparently there's a major campaign to downgrade the game's rating on
                Amazon.com purely because of the DRM, which is less relevant to me if
                it's on his own computer.
              • Philippa Cowderoy
                ... Sounds fun. Are choices like the gland location discrete, or can you attempt to place them eg at an angle of your choice between front and side? Not that
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                  On Mon, 15 Sep 2008, LingMac wrote:

                  > Brandon Van Every wrote:
                  > > er, spore. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwvAq2lQv9Q To paraphrase
                  > > one user comment somewhere, "sucks like Black & White." Perhaps
                  > > social gamers, casual gamers, and new gamers will drive it to lofty
                  > > sales. I don't plan to waste my time.
                  >
                  >
                  > I rushed to the mall and bought myself a copy this weekend. The first
                  > stage of the game is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. It captures the essence of
                  > the dog eat dog world perfectly; you really feel like a tiny
                  > microorganism struggling in a pool of sludge. Not only that, there's
                  > surprising strategic depth to how you evolve your cell. Will you eat
                  > meat, plants, fluids, a mixture of these? What mode of propulsion will
                  > you use? Should you place those poison glands to the sides, to quickly
                  > cover yourself in a protective cloud when necessary, directly behind
                  > you so predators won't think of tailing you, to the front to spit it
                  > right at your prey?
                  >

                  Sounds fun. Are choices like the gland location discrete, or can you
                  attempt to place them eg at an angle of your choice between front and
                  side? Not that continuous doesn't usually resolve into a bunch of discrete
                  options with local minima/maxima, especially without a metagame to provide
                  some feedback, but still.

                  >
                  > Then you're thrown into creature stage and everything goes downhill.
                  > For some 5 hours you're there playing "Simon says", hitting keys and
                  > watching your creature dance, sing and do other homosexual things to
                  > please other species (because that's how life on primitive Earth was
                  > like, right? Hmmm, wait a minute there...). I kept getting frustrated
                  > and going back to the delightful primordial soup, but it's always so
                  > short lived...
                  >

                  Sounds tedious. Though this is also where I step in with a mod note:
                  dancing and singing aren't "homosexual things", and I can only assume you
                  label them such as a perjorative. IIRC the list's still big enough that
                  I'm probably not the only person on it in a homosexual relationship, but
                  even if there wasn't anyone that doesn't suddenly make casual homophobia
                  okay.

                  Of course, the game may actually be trying (badly) to make a statement you
                  don't agree with - symbiosis, cooperation and culture are big steps on the
                  way to humanity, for example. Covering that in a game without it feeling
                  forced is going to be a tough one for a long time, I reckon. Sculpting
                  emergent behaviour's tricky.

                  > The other stages are just the same, so simplistic you shake your head
                  > in disbelief that someone actually bothered to make a game out of
                  > these mechanics. They say the last stage is gonna be worth it. It
                  > better be, cause I'm struggling to make it there...
                  >

                  Good luck, whether that turns out to mean it being worth it or your giving
                  up quickly!

                  --
                  flippa@...

                  'In Ankh-Morpork even the shit have a street to itself...
                  Truly this is a land of opportunity.' - Detritus, Men at Arms
                • LingMac
                  ... One-fucking-hundred percent analogical man! You can add them to the torso anywhere, to other things you added to the torso, to things that you added to
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                    Philippa Cowderoy wrote:

                    > Sounds fun. Are choices like the gland location discrete, or can you
                    > attempt to place them eg at an angle of your choice between front and
                    > side?


                    One-fucking-hundred percent analogical man! You can add them to the
                    torso anywhere, to other things you added to the torso, to things that
                    you added to things that you added to the torso; you get the idea. The
                    technology behind this thing is amazing. When you make it out of the
                    ocean, the game kind of pushes you into adding legs to your creature
                    (it adds legs to the menu and gives you just enough currency to
                    purchase a pair), but I wanted to make a worm-like thing, so I didn't
                    get them. The engine animated my creature crawling exactly as you'd
                    imagine it doing in real life. Then I added tiny stubby arms (not
                    legs), at an angle it would be impossible to use them for locomotion,
                    my critter kept crawling just the same. I lengthened them a little bit
                    and changed the angle slightly, my critter started using them to help
                    locomotion (think of a ghoul missing his waist down portion). You have
                    to see it to believe it.


                    > Not that continuous doesn't usually resolve into a bunch of discrete
                    > options with local minima/maxima, especially without a metagame to provide
                    > some feedback, but still.


                    Maybe if they added a multiplayer mode in the future... you know how
                    Maxis loves expansions.


                    >> Then you're thrown into creature stage and everything goes downhill.
                    >> For some 5 hours you're there playing "Simon says", hitting keys and
                    >> watching your creature dance, sing and do other homosexual things to
                    >> please other species (because that's how life on primitive Earth was
                    >> like, right? Hmmm, wait a minute there...). I kept getting frustrated
                    >> and going back to the delightful primordial soup, but it's always so
                    >> short lived...
                    >>
                    >
                    > Sounds tedious. Though this is also where I step in with a mod note:
                    > dancing and singing aren't "homosexual things", and I can only assume you
                    > label them such as a perjorative. IIRC the list's still big enough that
                    > I'm probably not the only person on it in a homosexual relationship, but
                    > even if there wasn't anyone that doesn't suddenly make casual homophobia
                    > okay.


                    Oh, I didn't mean to offend. I'm actually as liberal as it gets; I was
                    aiming for that sentence to be humorous in an "Angry Nintendo Nerd" way.


                    > Of course, the game may actually be trying (badly) to make a statement you
                    > don't agree with - symbiosis, cooperation and culture are big steps on the
                    > way to humanity, for example. Covering that in a game without it feeling
                    > forced is going to be a tough one for a long time, I reckon. Sculpting
                    > emergent behaviour's tricky.


                    It gives you the option to decide. You can actually advance to the
                    next phase by slaughtering everything in sight too, but that's only
                    mildly more entertaining because the mechanics are so simple. The fact
                    that the social part of it is so unrealistic and "uncool" only
                    exacerbates the problem.
                  • Brandon Van Every
                    ... Shades of Black & White. Levels 1 and 2 are incredibly polished and original, makes you feel like you re playing something special. Then on Level 3 you
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                      On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 7:43 AM, LingMac <lingmac@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I rushed to the mall and bought myself a copy this weekend. The first
                      > stage of the game is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.
                      >
                      > Then you're thrown into creature stage and everything goes downhill.

                      Shades of Black & White. Levels 1 and 2 are incredibly polished and
                      original, makes you feel like you're playing something special. Then
                      on Level 3 you realize it's a deadly boring, painfully slow RTS.


                      Cheers,
                      Brandon Van Every
                    • Brandon Van Every
                      ... I m curious, is the dancing and singing in Spore terribly virile? Like, when seeing a Zulu war dance, I don t think gay is the 1st thing that would come
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                        On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 8:36 AM, Philippa Cowderoy <flippa@...> wrote:
                        > On Mon, 15 Sep 2008, LingMac wrote:
                        >>
                        >> Then you're thrown into creature stage and everything goes downhill.
                        >> For some 5 hours you're there playing "Simon says", hitting keys and
                        >> watching your creature dance, sing and do other homosexual things to
                        >> please other species
                        >
                        > Sounds tedious. Though this is also where I step in with a mod note:
                        > dancing and singing aren't "homosexual things", and I can only assume you
                        > label them such as a perjorative. IIRC the list's still big enough that
                        > I'm probably not the only person on it in a homosexual relationship, but
                        > even if there wasn't anyone that doesn't suddenly make casual homophobia
                        > okay.

                        I'm curious, is the dancing and singing in Spore terribly virile?
                        Like, when seeing a Zulu war dance, I don't think "gay" is the 1st
                        thing that would come to anyone's mind. More like, "Run!" On the
                        other hand, a lot of Hollywood musicals "look gay," given that many of
                        the male dancers probably are gay. On the other hand (yes when
                        discussing Spore we could have 3 hands) the few Bollywood productions
                        I've seen didn't strike me as having a lot of gay men in them. Do
                        they just dance better in India? Is it more integrated into the
                        culture? Or am I just unfamiliar with the culture, haven't seen
                        enough movies, and I don't know what gay Indian men act like? I'm
                        just commenting on where epithets like "gay" come from. In part it
                        depends on your cultural perspective. I know when I was a kid in the
                        USA, lotsa things got written off as "that's gay." Sometimes I say it
                        unthinkingly as an adult. Same problem with "don't be a pussy." It
                        all goes back to that grade school conditioning.


                        Cheers,
                        Brandon Van Every
                      • LingMac
                        ... Not really. :) ... There are probably as many varieties of gays (even within one same geographical region) as there are gamers and all other such
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                          Brandon Van Every wrote:

                          > I'm curious, is the dancing and singing in Spore terribly virile?


                          Not really. :)


                          > Like, when seeing a Zulu war dance, I don't think "gay" is the 1st
                          > thing that would come to anyone's mind. More like, "Run!" On the
                          > other hand, a lot of Hollywood musicals "look gay," given that many of
                          > the male dancers probably are gay. On the other hand (yes when
                          > discussing Spore we could have 3 hands) the few Bollywood productions
                          > I've seen didn't strike me as having a lot of gay men in them. Do
                          > they just dance better in India? Is it more integrated into the
                          > culture? Or am I just unfamiliar with the culture, haven't seen
                          > enough movies, and I don't know what gay Indian men act like?


                          There are probably as many varieties of gays (even within one same
                          geographical region) as there are gamers and all other such "cliques";
                          outsiders tend to think of them as A LOT more homogeneous than they
                          really are. That was an eye opener for me when I started going to an
                          alternative night club around here (Brazil). There's the typical sort
                          of gay, behaves like an ultra stereotypical woman and all; there's the
                          kind of guy you'd never tell in day-to-day life; and there's even the
                          extreme: One day a guy walked in all Grunge like, dressed all in
                          black, mohawk hair, chain coming out of his pocket... next thing I
                          know he was kissing another dude.


                          > I'm
                          > just commenting on where epithets like "gay" come from. In part it
                          > depends on your cultural perspective. I know when I was a kid in the
                          > USA, lotsa things got written off as "that's gay." Sometimes I say it
                          > unthinkingly as an adult. Same problem with "don't be a pussy." It
                          > all goes back to that grade school conditioning.


                          I say it deliberately for humorous effect when I want to convey a
                          "gut-level" response. :)
                        • Brandon Van Every
                          ... I lived in Capitol Hill, the gay neighborhood of Seattle, for 11 years. Even given that, the biggest eye opener for me were the pride parades. Not
                          Message 12 of 23 , Sep 15, 2008
                            On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 3:33 PM, LingMac <lingmac@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > There are probably as many varieties of gays (even within one same
                            > geographical region) as there are gamers and all other such "cliques";
                            > outsiders tend to think of them as A LOT more homogeneous than they
                            > really are.

                            I lived in Capitol Hill, the gay neighborhood of Seattle, for 11
                            years. Even given that, the biggest eye opener for me were the pride
                            parades. Not because of anything outlandish; outlandish is pretty
                            normal in Capitol Hill. What shocked me was seeing all the people who
                            *didn't* look like they were from a gay neighborhood, especially the
                            rural types from Eastern Washington state.


                            Cheers,
                            Brandon Van Every
                          • Rainer Deyke
                            ... I like to use happy as a pejorative. It s like calling things gay , but without the homophobia. -- Rainer Deyke - rainerd@eldwood.com
                            Message 13 of 23 , Sep 19, 2008
                              Philippa Cowderoy wrote:
                              > Sounds tedious. Though this is also where I step in with a mod note:
                              > dancing and singing aren't "homosexual things", and I can only assume you
                              > label them such as a perjorative. IIRC the list's still big enough that
                              > I'm probably not the only person on it in a homosexual relationship, but
                              > even if there wasn't anyone that doesn't suddenly make casual homophobia
                              > okay.

                              I like to use "happy" as a pejorative. It's like calling things "gay",
                              but without the homophobia.


                              --
                              Rainer Deyke - rainerd@...
                            • LingMac
                              ... Now that you mention... In portuguese, the word equivalent to happy (feliz) is frequently used, specially by kids, as a pejorative (and it has no
                              Message 14 of 23 , Sep 19, 2008
                                Rainer Deyke wrote:
                                > Philippa Cowderoy wrote:
                                >> Sounds tedious. Though this is also where I step in with a mod note:
                                >> dancing and singing aren't "homosexual things", and I can only assume you
                                >> label them such as a perjorative. IIRC the list's still big enough that
                                >> I'm probably not the only person on it in a homosexual relationship, but
                                >> even if there wasn't anyone that doesn't suddenly make casual homophobia
                                >> okay.
                                >
                                > I like to use "happy" as a pejorative. It's like calling things "gay",
                                > but without the homophobia.


                                Now that you mention... In portuguese, the word equivalent to "happy"
                                (feliz) is frequently used, specially by kids, as a pejorative (and it
                                has no connections with "gay" in the modern sense whatsoever). I had
                                never seen that use in english before. Will people really understand
                                my meaning if I say "Oh geez, this is so happy!"? :D
                              • Brandon Van Every
                                ... No, but joy or oh joy are used sarcastically. Warcraft has 70 levels to chug through! Joy. Cheers, Brandon Van Every
                                Message 15 of 23 , Sep 19, 2008
                                  On Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 3:34 PM, LingMac <lingmac@...> wrote:
                                  > Will people really understand
                                  > my meaning if I say "Oh geez, this is so happy!"? :D

                                  No, but "joy" or "oh joy" are used sarcastically. "Warcraft has 70
                                  levels to chug through! Joy."


                                  Cheers,
                                  Brandon Van Every
                                • Todd Zircher
                                  ... I think that the majority of online gamer types would pick up on it. The world is a smaller place, a fair number of my son s friends use the japanese word
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Sep 22, 2008
                                    LingMac wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Now that you mention... In portuguese, the word equivalent
                                    > to "happy" (feliz) is frequently used, specially by kids,
                                    > as a pejorative (and it has no connections with "gay" in
                                    > the modern sense whatsoever). I had never seen that use in
                                    > english before. Will people really understand my meaning
                                    > if I say "Oh geez, this is so happy!"? :D

                                    I think that the majority of online gamer types would pick up on it.
                                    The world is a smaller place, a fair number of my son's friends use the
                                    japanese word 'kawii' (cute) in a similar context.
                                    --
                                    TAZ
                                  • LingMac
                                    I ve reached the Space Stage and played it to the limits of my boredom threshold (some ten hours), so I believe I can make a final verdict. Spore sucks
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Sep 27, 2008
                                      I've reached the Space Stage and played it to the limits of my boredom
                                      threshold (some ten hours), so I believe I can make a final verdict.

                                      Spore sucks prehistoric alligator balls.

                                      Theoretically, there's lots of stuff to be done in the space stage,
                                      which is why I can see how professional game reviewers, who couldn't
                                      care less about gaming and just want to get the job done, would
                                      conclude that it's extremely "deep". Yes, there's lots to do...
                                      colonize, conquer, terraform, make diplomacy, yada yada yada; and
                                      learning each new activity feels exactly like learning to use a new
                                      text editor. "You go to the cargo tab, click the herbivore species you
                                      abducted earlier, click on the planet and hold so the herbivore is
                                      beamed down gently, then you click on the carnivore, do the same, then
                                      plants.... there, the planet's food chain has been set! It doesn't
                                      matter if the herbivores you beamed down were elephants and giraffes,
                                      those foxes you beamed down as carnivores will magically find
                                      something to eat, don't worry!"

                                      As soon as you do beam a single specimen of each down, by the way,
                                      you'll find that the planet is already crawling with the species
                                      everywhere. Let me be absolutely clear here, there's NO SIMULATION
                                      WHATSOEVER going on in this game, everything is aesthetics. No
                                      emergent behavior, intended or otherwise, will ever, well, emerge,
                                      because there are no causal relations between anything. Compared to
                                      Spore, The Sims is a ultra-hardcore game intended for nobody who has
                                      ever left their basements in their lives.

                                      Truth be told, as far as aesthetics goes, Spore is quite an
                                      achievement. You can create pretty much ANYTHING (more on that later)
                                      as far as visuals go, but... that's it. Your mantis won't act like a
                                      mantis, it won't fare well in certain environments and poorly in
                                      others, it won't fly subjected to a certain gravity level and be
                                      forced instead to crawl on a very dense planet, no. It'll sing and
                                      dance and be social and live in packs and be terrestrial and mate and
                                      lay eggs and make nests like every other creature in the game. Hmph!

                                      But hey, not all is lost. Remember when I said you could make
                                      ANYTHING? I meant that!

                                      http://io9.com/5018089/best-of-sporn-a-love-song-%5Bnsfw%5D
                                      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/06/18/nsfw-a-beginners-guide-to-sporn/
                                    • Brandon Van Every
                                      ... I didn t even like Grand Theft Auto III. I noticed that there was no persistent simulation, just a ghost of activity that followed me around at a
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Sep 27, 2008
                                        On Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 8:34 PM, LingMac <lingmac@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > As soon as you do beam a single specimen of each down, by the way,
                                        > you'll find that the planet is already crawling with the species
                                        > everywhere. Let me be absolutely clear here, there's NO SIMULATION
                                        > WHATSOEVER going on in this game, everything is aesthetics. No
                                        > emergent behavior, intended or otherwise, will ever, well, emerge,
                                        > because there are no causal relations between anything.

                                        I didn't even like Grand Theft Auto III. I noticed that there was no
                                        persistent simulation, just a ghost of activity that followed me
                                        around at a specified radius, wherever I happened to be on the map.
                                        The easiest way to prove this was to zoom through the sniper rifle and
                                        notice that cars that were previously driving nearby, no longer
                                        appeared. Or something like that, it's been awhile. "Emergence" is
                                        usually a hand-wavy fantasy concept that can never actually be
                                        demonstrated in games. Actually, if anyone can actually demonstrate
                                        emergent behavior in a game, I'd like to hear about it. Usually it's
                                        pretty easy to debunk.


                                        Cheers,
                                        Brandon Van Every
                                      • LingMac
                                        ... Well, I don t see it as that much of a problem with GTA, because it s not meant to be a simulation, just an action game. Simplified elements of a
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Sep 27, 2008
                                          Brandon Van Every wrote:

                                          > I didn't even like Grand Theft Auto III. I noticed that there was no
                                          > persistent simulation, just a ghost of activity that followed me
                                          > around at a specified radius, wherever I happened to be on the map.
                                          > The easiest way to prove this was to zoom through the sniper rifle and
                                          > notice that cars that were previously driving nearby, no longer
                                          > appeared. Or something like that, it's been awhile.


                                          Well, I don't see it as that much of a problem with GTA, because it's
                                          not meant to be a simulation, just an action game. Simplified elements
                                          of a simulation thrown in for coherence might please particularly
                                          perceptive players big time, but it's not essential.
                                          Spore, on the other hand, particularly the final stage, is a "god
                                          game". Black and White sucks, but how much MORE would it suck if it
                                          were implemented through this ghost of activity rather than actual
                                          simulation? I mean, what would be the point at all then?


                                          > "Emergence" is
                                          > usually a hand-wavy fantasy concept that can never actually be
                                          > demonstrated in games. Actually, if anyone can actually demonstrate
                                          > emergent behavior in a game, I'd like to hear about it. Usually it's
                                          > pretty easy to debunk.


                                          Sim Life, from Maxis itself, released some 20 years ago (frankly, that
                                          game is so hardcore I still can't believe it actually got the "ok"
                                          from the higher ups). I once saw the entire gene pool of my population
                                          shift towards longer childhoods and I couldn't at first understand
                                          why. The environment was brutal, and the longer you took to mature,
                                          the greater the chances of dying without reproducing. Then I noticed
                                          that a purge occurred every winter: Food would become extremely
                                          scarce, and pretty much all pregnant females (which required a lot
                                          more energy to live) perished then. Female infants with short
                                          maturation periods tended to become adults still in winter, then get
                                          pregnant and die. The only survivors after winter were either male, or
                                          infant females which remained infants (thus unable to get pregnant)
                                          through the entire winter. Fascinating, uh? How often do you see
                                          something like that in a game?
                                        • Brandon Van Every
                                          ... It s just not as open ended as people claim. ... Not often. I have never seen genuine emergent behavior in a game. At best, most games just have a few
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Sep 27, 2008
                                            On Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 12:35 AM, LingMac <lingmac@...> wrote:
                                            > Brandon Van Every wrote:
                                            >
                                            >> I didn't even like Grand Theft Auto III. I noticed that there was no
                                            >> persistent simulation, just a ghost of activity that followed me
                                            >> around at a specified radius, wherever I happened to be on the map.
                                            >> The easiest way to prove this was to zoom through the sniper rifle and
                                            >> notice that cars that were previously driving nearby, no longer
                                            >> appeared. Or something like that, it's been awhile.
                                            >
                                            > Well, I don't see it as that much of a problem with GTA, because it's
                                            > not meant to be a simulation, just an action game.

                                            It's just not as open ended as people claim.

                                            > The only survivors after winter were either male, or
                                            > infant females which remained infants (thus unable to get pregnant)
                                            > through the entire winter. Fascinating, uh? How often do you see
                                            > something like that in a game?

                                            Not often. I have never seen genuine emergent behavior in a game. At
                                            best, most games just have a few tricks that people figure out, like
                                            using rocket launchers for airborne flight in FPS games.


                                            Cheers,
                                            Brandon Van Every
                                          • Gerry Quinn
                                            ... From: Brandon Van Every ... Sim Life had it. That was a simulation of evolution in which individual plants and animal had a genome
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Sep 28, 2008
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: "Brandon Van Every" <bvanevery@...>

                                              > I didn't even like Grand Theft Auto III. I noticed that there was no
                                              > persistent simulation, just a ghost of activity that followed me
                                              > around at a specified radius, wherever I happened to be on the map.
                                              > The easiest way to prove this was to zoom through the sniper rifle and
                                              > notice that cars that were previously driving nearby, no longer
                                              > appeared. Or something like that, it's been awhile. "Emergence" is
                                              > usually a hand-wavy fantasy concept that can never actually be
                                              > demonstrated in games. Actually, if anyone can actually demonstrate
                                              > emergent behavior in a game, I'd like to hear about it. Usually it's
                                              > pretty easy to debunk.

                                              Sim Life had it. That was a simulation of evolution in which individual
                                              plants and animal had a genome of (I think) twenty or so genes, each with a
                                              number of variants, and their progeny got mixes of the genes, sometimes with
                                              mutations. It had flaws, but emergent behaviour was certainly there. Of
                                              course, one could argue that it wasn't a game as such!

                                              - Gerry Quinn
                                            • Gerry Quinn
                                              ... From: LingMac ... Hehe, you beat me to it! I did once ask on a forum about a sequel and a Maxis guy more or less said no way . -
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Sep 28, 2008
                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                From: "LingMac" <lingmac@...>

                                                > Sim Life, from Maxis itself, released some 20 years ago (frankly, that
                                                > game is so hardcore I still can't believe it actually got the "ok"
                                                > from the higher ups). I once saw the entire gene pool of my population
                                                > shift towards longer childhoods and I couldn't at first understand
                                                > why. The environment was brutal, and the longer you took to mature,
                                                > the greater the chances of dying without reproducing. Then I noticed
                                                > that a purge occurred every winter: Food would become extremely
                                                > scarce, and pretty much all pregnant females (which required a lot
                                                > more energy to live) perished then. Female infants with short
                                                > maturation periods tended to become adults still in winter, then get
                                                > pregnant and die. The only survivors after winter were either male, or
                                                > infant females which remained infants (thus unable to get pregnant)
                                                > through the entire winter. Fascinating, uh? How often do you see
                                                > something like that in a game?

                                                Hehe, you beat me to it! I did once ask on a forum about a sequel and a
                                                Maxis guy more or less said "no way".

                                                - Gerry Quinn
                                              • LingMac
                                                ... Whoa, another person who knows Sim Life! Are you a figment of my imagination or something? :) I wish they d at least fix the more serious bugs. Carnivores
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Sep 28, 2008
                                                  Gerry Quinn wrote:

                                                  >> (about Sim Life)
                                                  >
                                                  > Hehe, you beat me to it! I did once ask on a forum about a sequel and a
                                                  > Maxis guy more or less said "no way".


                                                  Whoa, another person who knows Sim Life! Are you a figment of my
                                                  imagination or something? :)

                                                  I wish they'd at least fix the more serious bugs. Carnivores just
                                                  aren't viable at all as it stands!
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