DARKEN'S PROFILE

*blows dust off ancient readme.txt*



Currently working on: The Machine that Breathes https://store.steampowered.com/app/1126210/the_machine_that_BREATHES/ (Please wishlist!)
the machine that BREATHE...
A tunneling machine finds itself injected into a body resembling a human.

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David Cage - Genius Auteur or Insufferably Pretentious Quack?

His games are fun to watch through a Lets Play with your favorite internet personalities (Especially Omikron, that game is a fever dream). Though reading some of his interviews he doesn't really seem articulate enough to handle of lot of the issues brought up in his games.

Q: Domestic abuse and child abuse is quite extreme as these things go.

David Cage: Let me ask you this question. Would you ask this question to a film director, or to a writer? Would you?

Q: Yes.

David Cage: You would ask the same question?

Q: Yes. I'd ask the same question. Why is it interesting to you? Why did you want to explore domestic abuse and child abuse?

Whenever David Cage is challenged he goes into super defensive mode and is unable to stand up for his choices or isn't able to explain it properly. The issue is he probably didn't put a whole lot of thought into things (or good thoughts) but doesn't want to admit "yeah i just threw that shit in there for shock value" a lot of the messaging boil down to "bro we live in a society bro" in a really heavy handed fashion. I also don't think he's that well read in existing speculative fiction. Not to mention his lack of knowledge of how humans actually behave and talk and more interested in posing questions than developing any characters or coherent plot. Which is fine I guess if there's an audience for that. Though I'd get a lot more out of watching the occasional Outer Limits episode.

The industry is just very lenient towards people who got in very early and manage to persuade an investor early on, it does not reward thought provoking work scalability-wise (shocking I know). But like the The Emperor's New Clothes it is interesting to observe the nature of how the industry treats people like this. David Cage is an "auteur" in the sense that's what auteurs will ever be known to be. Even Kojima, SWERY and Suda51 fall prey to pretension and batshit ideas. On the other hand I'd prefer that video games never get a Stanley Kubrick or David Lynch equivalent.

Really don't mind the "anti-gameplay" nature of his games. It's unique in that his games are the only QTE galleries to get such a high budget. So I think there's some expansion of the medium in that regard. Especially back in the day: could you really say it was common to get a PS3 boxed game with a section where all you do is shower yourself and walk around your house in AAA budget? That's something I guess.

What Videogames Are You Playing Right Now?

Only have time to play a bit of Control (and use up all my poverty money). It's very much my jam (gonna try to be story spoiler free here). The only thing I didn't like was the punchcard puzzle that only the designer knows how to solve, if your game is full of shooting up transdimensional zombies you probably shouldn't put a witness puzzle in the middle of your game that puts the flow to a screeching halt js. I could do a whole essay on how much I hate that puzzle.

One thing I'm noticing is that the combat becomes more and more manageable the more optional abilities you get. At first I thought having health that can only be gained from fodder enemies a little annoying but once you get some defensive abilities like shield it becomes more about positioning than anything else. It is kind of a headshot gallery otherwise though, I'm just glad I'm not slamming into chest high walls for dear safety anymore. The third person shooting genre has come a long way!!! One super nice thing about the game is that there's no modern "cinematic prompts", doors will fling open when you get near them, the melee attack doesnt wrestle control away from you for a few seconds (no idea why this is acceptable in doom 2016), there's no "tomb raider lady crawls through a crevice to to let the level load" bs, and the story doesn't treat you like an 8 year old.

Best thing hands down is the art direction and the location design. It cannot be said enough at how diverse the bureau setting is with its adaption of Brutalism and bizarre cold war aesthetics while you brutally get to blow up every cement chunk of the architecture. Also the live action cutscenes sort of complement to the wonky atmosphere, my favourite are the puppet shows. There's also the sexy fonts that it displays per area/mission which I think goes to show that the game tries to change up even the smallest things taken for granted in most games.

Weirdest comparison is that this game feels like Parasite Eve in some ways. In that you revisit rooms and they'll sometimes trigger shootout encounters that aren't part of the linear setpieces. Meaning there's always something to shoot inbetween main missions. The customization in this game is strangely loot boxy/random without having any actual micro-transactions, it's just weird that it feels setup for one. But it's not a big deal, just sell the lower rank modifications and roll for only high ranking ones. At most it means not everyone is getting the exact same build every time.

Really impressed with this game, feel like I made the right choice for this over Astral Chain. Heard good things about AS but heard the story and the padding brings it down a notch. I think I was looking for something that had both the action and story to back it up, which Control easily does.

How to manage development?

There's too much advice, I'll try to give some that's been on the mind recently:

Don't give yourself time strict deadlines, if things change... everything else after it will probably change. A pretty good elaboration of that idea in this twitter thread.

I don't follow the above advice exactly but I typically open a notepad with short term goals (things I can do RIGHT NOW or by the end of today) and a Trello todo list with long term / ideas that are subject to change all the time. Depends on the project though, I have some spreadsheets to keep track of collectibles / bug fixes so I don't forget the stuff I already placed or fixed. The notepad docs are super temporary while the trello/googledocs is forever accessible.

Good names. When you have over 200+ maps, things will get really messy real quickly so you want to come up with good names and groups so you don't have to think what to refer to when clicking to the certain point. The editor I use has a search+find feature but you'll still want to come up with an easy to understand naming convention so don't just name the maps random names and organize them through groups. Have the area name within the name itself like "emCave_entrance". So if you type in "emCave" the search feature will show all the maps in the "Emerald Cave" area and "entrance" will denote its unique suffix from anything else in the Emerald Cave. Whatever make sense for your game to be laid out, the more open your game, the more crucial organization is.

STOP REMAKING ENTIRE AREAS/FEATURES I recommend only doing it once half way through development to tidy up the beginning of your game maybe. If the ideas aren't working out just pick one thing the game is doing well at (exploration/combat/story/set-pieces) and focus on that for the rest of development, accept the flaws or at least mitigate them from now on. There's always the next game. In which the beginning of development you should always figure out if the features you've implemented are going to work or something you want to actually work on. Treat your perfectionism as some kind of limited meter you can spend per game.

Worry about the middle last. I also recommend just making the final boss / ending sooner than later as a way to work backwards from (depends on the game). Sometimes it's worth using the existing game you have so far as a map itself. You can always fill up the middle with stuff that aren't as important. It's helpful to think of what is actually necessary to a completed game than just a vague notion of content. Most ending sequences in games are usually rushed because not enough time etc. but imagine if only the middle filler content was rushed? Something to think about.

Back up your shit look up what Source Control is. There's no excuse for losing work. The more time spent in development, the more valuable your work is gonna be. Imagine losing everything towards 90% completion??

Town Design! What's your personal approach to designing them?

I think it's really important to start with some broad out there concept, like a town that lives on a giant dead monster, or a town over a bridge, a town inside of a tree, or maybe a town actually affected by the plot (you crashed your giant ship into the town). Just stuff that makes you wonder "wait, how do people live here?" in a imaginative way. Real life is full of stuff like this

Typically in RPGs they're usually an excuse to send you on some mandatory side quest due to some nearby problem, but it can be a snorefest if there's nothing prompting me to actually care about this town and its inhabitants. What does the town actually think of you? Is there actually a difference between each town? Is it a place full of helpful people or is it a place where people stay inside Bloodborne style because of distrust of strangers? Personality is pretty important, but also the purpose of the town, does it contribute to the world in some way?

During WW2 there was an island called Malta that was the most bombed place on Earth, it was a place of strategic value for the Allied front in North Africa. Regardless of what damage the towns received (and having very little protection) the people of Malta kept running supplies through the Mediterranean regardless of what the Axis powers threw at them. Maybe not every town in your universe should get an award for enduring thousands of carpet bombings, and maybe you don't have any major political theatre going on, but it is important to consider the role a town has in your story, if the town you're making is a place where nothing happens ... why make it? A dry WW2 documentary managed to make me care about Malta, make me care about your place that you pulled from imagination.

The above is just a start, but I think it's worth having a good template where ideas just start flowing more easily. There's a huge artform in NPC placement and jumbling the various things you can do within a town besides shopping, but that's something more meticulous. I wrote a guide on NPCs awhile back actually.

you are stuck in a videogame for 1 week

pacman i will eat the cherry then walk out, i dont need a week

Talk about RM Games! Mid-Year Misao Discussion Topic

Year Progress:
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A reminder

Screenshot Survival 20XX

author=roden
I don't appreciate the idea that I only offered advice to be a contrarian. But you do you. Perhaps it's only my own fatally perfectionist mind that would notice or care about something like that, but it feels wrong to not mention it if I notice it.


????? I didn't say that? The only real point I'm making is that critique can be discussed or disagreed with. You can say what you want to say dude lol.

Screenshot Survival 20XX

People are allowed to voice whether or not something is that crucial to fix. Constructive criticism is nice but it's also good to question priorities. This is one of the biggest flaws of the screenshot topic mind you. I don't wanna go into how RPGs do top-down projection is largely inconsistent anyway (and probably just over-correcting based on someones interpretation or preference rather than something fundamental to art) but like eh, ultimately I don't think all criticism is valid for criticisms sake. Not everyone's in the experimental art phase either.

[RM2K3] Are there any good free resource sites left for Rm2k3?

Honestly? Best is to just go through a bunch of old RM games and browse resources from there, as they're also often actually useable.

Help! RPG Maker 2000 is showing me a black screen!