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A history of not games

Re: A history of not games
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 10:15:51 pm »

"After having felt how I myself got filled with anger and aggression after playing this game, I have no doubt at all that this type of entertainment stimulates violent behaviour in people. This sort of stimulation is criminal."

I can see why you got flamed because that statement is utter horse shit. The connect between aggressive behaviour and violence in video games is tenuous at best. Like the supposed connection between porn and rape or marijuana as a "gateway drug." It's crap.

Anyway, my notgame history contribution, I'm surprised no one has mentioned it:

The Dark Eye
http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,317

As a game, it's pretty awful. The control is clunky and you need a walkthrough to get through parts of it. But as an experience, it's amazing. The reading of The Masque Of The Red Death by William S. Burroughs is worth it if for nothing else. It's not hard to find a download of it and it plays fine on Windows XP.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 10:20:14 pm by ghostwheel »
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2010, 08:19:14 am »

I've been waiting for this (not)game to be released...

ImmorTall
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/529320
This is a perfect example of a notgame that uses interactivity to tell a more or less linear story. But the story does not confine the player's actions - it emerges naturally. Even better, it doesn't have pixelated graphics! Wink

Probably the best example I have that demonstrates the "story is not plot" revelation I've tried to convey in the What is Story? thread. Highly recommended.

Air Pressure
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/529708
This is a "visual novel" where player choice is narrowed down to some simple conversation trees. This is notable in that the motivation does not come from gameplay, but from exploring narrative. I think that motivation-from-narrative is probably the most fruitful alternative that notgames can offer, as distinct from the gameplay-focused approach of typical games.
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2010, 02:07:32 pm »

Quote
ImmorTall
I liked it, but think it could be made a lot better with a few additions. For example, be able to interact more with the children and so on. I thought the level of interaction was a bit limited, without needing to be.
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2010, 10:22:46 pm »

Rule of Rose
It's curious - people who play the game hate the gameplay. One reviewer once mentioned he saw it as an obstacle to its real charm, which is the story. He mentioned the latter was as engaging as a film. I have not yet played it myself, so sadly there isn't much I can mention. But I was stricken at how well the themes of child nastiness were played, and by the fact that it seems to be full of hidden details that require some special attention.
[/quote]

I loved Rule of Rose!  Sadly, I do not know anyone else who has played it so I never get to discuss it.  A very engrossing game.  I didn't mind the gameplay at all.  Also, a lot of parallels could be drawn between the house in RoR and Grandma's house in The Path.

Shadow of the Colossus - Michael mentioned he loved Ico, which was gorgeous game.  The second game by the same studio was SotC... a jaw-dropping experience.  Yes, there is a huge "game" component to this... it is essentially a game of boss battles.... but the world they created goes beyond description.  Simply traveling through the fields on what I consider to be the most realistic horse depicted in games was a wonderful experience.  Also, a great bond is established between the unnamed main character and his horse, Agro.  You grow to depend on each other and love each other.  And you know that even though you have an impossible task ahead of you (battling a giant behemoth) you know Agro will be there when you need him!  I believe that Team ICO (the developers) are probably great examples of what success looks like for a AAA notgame.

Xenogears - A vastly underrated Japanese RPG from the late nineties.  It got rushed into the market since Final Fantasy was the priority at the time, so much of the game went unfinished, but the story and mythology crafted here was enormous.  The developers took some of the hardest themes to convey... personality, love, creation, philosophy... and created a lovable cast of characters and an absolutely bizarre plot line.  I loved the fact that after completing it, I had to think long and hard about what exactly just happened!  A lot of the game is traveling from place to place, watching excellent cutscenes, and a nifty battle system to boot.
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Time will always be the thing that kills me, truly
Re: A history of not games
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2010, 04:58:43 pm »

ImmorTall
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/529320
This is a perfect example of a notgame that uses interactivity to tell a more or less linear story. But the story does not confine the player's actions - it emerges naturally. Even better, it doesn't have pixelated graphics! Wink

It's interesting that you mention Immortall. I played it a week ago and overall I enjoyed. At the same time it showed me what it is that I find so interesting with the "notgame idea": ImmorTall was great when it started. When I walked around like a giant and people came up to me. I just walked and people followed. Then gameplay was introduced. I had to protect the people. Unfortunately it was here that the game became less interesting to me. The gameplay took over, so to speak.
Still, I really liked the game but I whised it had been like the first minute all the time. No gameplay, just walking.
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Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule.
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel.
Re: A history of not games
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2010, 05:40:50 pm »

ImmorTall was great when it started. When I walked around like a giant and people came up to me. I just walked and people followed. Then gameplay was introduced. I had to protect the people. Unfortunately it was here that the game became less interesting to me. The gameplay took over, so to speak.

I completely understand your reaction. I have experienced this with so many games! What we want is not very complicated. Why can't they let us play?  Cry
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2010, 10:25:34 pm »



ImmorTall was great when it started. When I walked around like a giant and people came up to me. I just walked and people followed. Then gameplay was introduced. I had to protect the people. Unfortunately it was here that the game became less interesting to me. The gameplay took over, so to speak.

I completely understand your reaction. I have experienced this with so many games! What we want is not very complicated. Why can't they let us play?  Cry

Precisely! Sometimes it feels like the developers are just messing with me. "You liked this part of the game, didn't you? Well, too bad, because now you have to shoot a legion of bad guys and collect a million stars and avoid the incoming missiles". Why can't I just walk around looking at the flowers or the rusty sky-line at the horizon?

I think that it, at least partially, has to do with fear. Or perhaps rather a feeling of confusion. We are not used to videogames without the game aspect. We (as game developers) don't know how to act. And so we include gameplay instead of trying, instead of just following our vision, instead of lying out upon 70,000 fathoms of water =)

I did just this in one of my first games. I wanted to make a sad game about the death of the moon and how a small creature tries to save it.
But, I had no gameplay. So I included action-elements in the game. Enemies to be destroyed. When I look at the game today, I wonder why. The gameplay, the killing, does not add to the game. It just ruins the atmosphere.

The game can be found on my homepage if someone wants to try it out (and be frustrated about my gameplay) - The Night The Moon Decided To Die is the title.
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Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule.
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel.
Re: A history of not games
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2010, 12:20:08 am »

And this is exactly why we wanted to start this initiative! Smiley
To support each other in our efforts to enrich the medium of videogames. And to keep ourselves from implementing what we know works just because we know it works or because we think it will amuse the audience, while in reality destroying the core of our idea, and in the process the ability of the player to appreciate our story.

I'm not saying the fear you talk about is unjustified. There is a large audience out there with a seemingly insatiable appetite for games. But we owe it to the medium, to the arts, to humanity, to at least explore the artistic potential of this medium. The audience will come in the end. There is no need for all humans to become gamers. God forbid!
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2010, 12:54:36 pm »

If you like just walking around, you should try DarkFate http://kevinsoulas.fr/darkfate_page/telecharger.php
It is like a "Small Worlds" but with a great scenario.
The game was done by a 20 years old french game designer, and it's very impressive. There is an english version.

Of course, i'm pretty sure you won't admitt it into Notgames : There is an entertainement, there is a story. But, there is a very poor gameplay, so you might like it.

For french readers, there is a article about it on my blog.

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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2010, 11:55:40 pm »

If you like just walking around, you should try DarkFate http://kevinsoulas.fr/darkfate_page/telecharger.php

I fell into a hole and then I had to start again. After 4 times I closed the game. This happens to me a lot with games.  Cry
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2010, 02:26:26 am »

Hi, this is my first post on this forum, but i have been reading some threads for a while now.
My name is Michael, I live in Germany and I'm no game developer. Sadly, I lack the skills and the motivation to learn the skills to program a game, but sometimes I think of how I would make my game look, if i had the skills to program one. Also I like talking about games and notgames a lot. So far, I've mainly dealt with mainstream games or "art-games" (e.g. "The Marriage", which was definately a very rich impression but I'm not sure if you would call it a notgame, since its all about exploring the rules of interaction with the games elements).

A very important "notgameish" impression on me, had the games of Daniel Benmergui, but they were already mentioned.

Another important game for me is Zeno Clash.
It's basically a action game, with "Street Fighter"-like fights (though rater simplistic), but the overall setting is just overwhelming. From the first minute on I thought "what a SICK world", but after ending up in the desert, beneath the woods, I agreed with the main character who wanted to go back to "some place normal", because the world only got weirder and more hostile. The game could partly draw me in that much, because it features passages entirely without a HUD which you enter directly after watching short ingame-graphic movies. I caught myself several times looking in awe at the scenery, waiting for something to happen, until I realized that I had to take action and move the character. In this non-HUD passages I was free to look around as long as I wished and wonder about all the weird creatures that inhabit the Zeno Clash world. I disliked the fight passages (though they made me feel the stress the character probably feels) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2010, 08:39:16 am »

I disliked the fight passages (...) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.

So many people have this experience.
If we can figure out a way to make non-game exploration as engaging as a game, we'll all be millionaires! Smiley
Let's get to work!  Cool
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2010, 10:07:24 am »

I disliked the fight passages (...) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.

So many people have this experience.
If we can figure out a way to make non-game exploration as engaging as a game, we'll all be millionaires! Smiley
Let's get to work!  Cool

I tried the demo. The fighting was clumsy, the dialog was dumb and the character design ugly. I didn't get a chance to explore because it was a demo and I had no desire to anyway, it turned me off in so many ways.
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Irony is for cowards.
Re: A history of not games
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2010, 11:44:16 am »

wordimagesoundplay
http://www.tomato-ps2.com
One of the few true notgames on a gaming platform. Not all that interesting per se, but it did widen the spectrum.
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Re: A history of not games
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2010, 05:52:07 pm »

I disliked the fight passages (...) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.

So many people have this experience.
If we can figure out a way to make non-game exploration as engaging as a game, we'll all be millionaires! Smiley
Let's get to work!  Cool

About this: http://armorgames.com/play/4850/small-worlds Small Worlds.
I remember that when I tried it I was often finding exit before exploring whole stage and actually prefered to explore the whole stage before moving to next one. It also has beautiful music that, as always music does when written well for a work, helps to believe that the world is believable, or at least intriguing.

What I also like about that is that many people (incl. me, I must confess) seem to think that only 3D reality gives possibility of exploration. And this guy did it with 2D, not even RPG style. That's what I find impressive.
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The world needs organization ^_^
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