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Author Topic: What is a video game? Is KF one?  (Read 797 times)

Holy Diver

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look out honey, 'cause I'm using technology
Holy Diver says,
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:56:43 PM »

Apparently this is a debate people are having:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0ReU2tvLFo&list=UUr_2H8pPitVJ85bmpLwFUyQ

Video courtesy PBS Game/Show.


I myself don't actually consider King's Field to be a game at all. I can't say why exactly but that's just my "there's no wrong answer" quick/gut response. I definitely have more sympathy with the people making games who are running away from the word game itself...

In the vid the Monument Valley game's authors supposedly want it to be called a "designed experience". Even though it looks outwardly at least (haven't played it. It looks like a smartphone only game) like a very traditional game, or at least a puzzle. I think that term though is pretty good, one of the best I've heard, the only problem is it isn't at all catchy and has a lot of syllables, so it's seems limited to technical speak.


People have coined the word "walking simulator" to call out games that they don't feel to be genuine games. I actually love this term. I think it's the perfect term for Sword of Moonlight's default game model. I think SOM can also do games like Armored Core without breaking the mold, but I think at its heart AC is a walking simulator too. Making robots walk isn't nothing, I think it's something, and even genre defining.

My personal idea of the perfect KF game is a walking simulator with a fleshed out protagonist that makes decisions for themselves, you just lead them about like walking a dog. For instance one thing I really don't enjoy in games is "crafting" or combining items from the inventory to make new items. For me when you have to do that its like the whole game stops and just fumbles around hopelessly. I find it utterly contemptible. I feel like if you need to combine something to progress the story then simply obtaining those things (perhaps the character takes them themselves for some purpose) and then simply walking the player where the things are needed. Essentially its a door with more than one key, wherein the player character will then on their own try to pass through the checkpoint however they can, which may be a cutscene where two available items are used together, which may or may not work...

For me the "hidden object" genre would work much better if the objects were simply put to use this way once obtained. It's less of a puzzle approach more of a story approach. For me the brilliance of games is actually inhabiting the spaces.


I do also think consumable items can be combined, but not via an inventory. My preferred approach is to map the items to keys/buttons and then press the two or more buttons down simultaneously to use them all in unison. That's organic. Use a water and wind magic together to make an ice magic. Same thing. Use a sword and whetstone together to sharpen it. Use the sword alone (mapped to a button/key) to equip or unequip it, together to combine it. Use the whetstone itself then to sharpen the item on the ground/table beside you. I just want this kind of system to be standardized and I don't want to play a "game" that uses a different system ever again. I want to play hundreds of games that all use the same interfaces and the same artwork just like all of the movies and series I enjoy everyday. I want the story to be the focus. That's what animates me anyway.

So I don't think KF is a game, because it doesn't have any gamey elements really, and certainly not any that it couldn't do without, and because its really not that challenging even though people claim its more difficult than Dark Souls, I think those people must just be people with no moral compass who have only ever heard of King's Field, or exceedingly trustworthy people who're regurgitating some horseshit idea that they got from somewhere.

Shadow Tower is a little difficult though. Especially on the resource management end. Does that make it more of a game, I don't know. I guess for me it depends on if the focus is on story heavy single player experience or not. Or if it's more like a sport, with arbitrary rules, which are not there to enhance the story but instead exist to make the game's novel mechanics standout among the pack.