PCG Article April 2023 PC Gamer Article Links and Discussion

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I like my quiet sheltered gaming life—haven't played any of these. Did any of 'em upset you?

The ending for Mass Effect 3 was somewhat underwhelming, but I think the actual choice you're given at the end is actually quite interesting. It's just the presentation that takes away from the impact. I think it would've worked better without the exposition dumping kid and by making the actions for each choice be more unique, rather than pressing a differently coloured button.
I like my quiet sheltered gaming life—haven't played any of these. Did any of 'em upset you?
The only one on that list that I've played is Mass Effect 3. The original ending upset me greatly (I get really attached to certain game characters ((guess that's part of my own quiet sheltered gaming life))), where Shepard dies, was brutal. But, years later, after the extended cut version & Citadel DLC, as well as two specific mods from the Nexus, ME3 is now a great game and a fitting finale to a great trilogy. But the original ending on initial release was very controversial.


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ME3: Played it (somewhat late, of course, so I got the improved ending) and enjoyed it quite a bit, even the ending.

Batman: Arkham Knight - a fairly fun game. Again, I picked it up later so the early port issues weren't an issue. I don't know my Batman mythology well enough that the twist was "obvious" or really all that interesting. The ending was meh, considering the epic events going on.

Doom - well obviously played that! I even made a WAD for it.

Resident Evil 5 - nope, I'm not into the series.

Daik*t*na - anyone who waited five days before buying knew to avoid this thing, though it came out in pre-Steam days so, if you wanted a copy in the first weeks, you would have to pre-order. Anyway, I never touched it.

Call of Duty - I only played the first game in the series.

Hogwarts - are you kidding? Maybe next year.

.... many nopes...

No Man's Sky - I got it fairly early (for me) and loved it! So many screenshots...

Star Citizen - paid for it AND a t-shirt. I'm still waiting.

Missing game: Universal Combat... I'm starting to forget what was controversial now, though.
Two recent & related PCG articles about writing & quests in RPGs:

RPG roundtable podcast: Josh Sawyer, Mike Laidlaw, Strix Beltran, Paweł Sasko, and Lis Moberly go deep on writing and playing RPGs | PC Gamer


'We're running at a f**king wall, and we're gonna crash'—CD Projekt's lead quest designer on big budget RPGs | PC Gamer

The first article is short, and basically links a podcast from several notable game writers. I haven't had time to listen to it yet (80 minutes). Both articles touch on the possibility of using procedural narration as a tool when it comes to writing quests and the narrative of RPGs. A couple of quotes:

First Article

From there we roleplayed brilliant conversationalists for more than an hour, touching on:
  • How games are on the cusp of a procedural narrative breakthrough
  • What players expect from RPGs today
  • How their personal experiences playing RPGs have informed their games
  • Writing characters that really resonate with players
Second Article
"I think we are on the precipice of really figuring out procedural narrative," said Strix Beltran, the narrative director of Hidden Path Entertainment's upcoming D&D RPG. "We haven't done it yet. But there are a lot of people working on it. And I think that is going to be a game-changer."

Beltran predicted that procedural narrative tools will help "crack the code" of pricey triple-A game development by making it easier to tell larger-scale stories, though they won't be a cure-all.

"I love story-forward, story-first content," Beltran said. "That is where I live. That's, I think, why a lot of people love the BioWare style, because we really get to have that. And we have to figure out how to do it cheaper going forward…

Well, its promising that playstation games are popular on the PC. Who would have thunk it? After so many years of hinting from the pc gamers. So here's hoping that bloodborne gets released on the pc. If not; take.a.bloody.hint.Sony.
Modder wires ChatGPT into Skyrim VR so NPCs can roleplay and remember past conversations | PC Gamer

A good article showing the potential of AI-enabled NPCs affecting the immersion of an open world RPG like Skyrim. The video in the article is rough in it's implementation, but it shows the possibilities of AI when applied to NPCs. Plus, it's made a single modder. Imagine what Bethesda could do with this in the next Elder Scrolls game if they devoted some resources to it.

One notable quote from the article:
But it's not this exact conversation that's exciting, it's that it's being generated on the fly (though slowly) and what it could mean in future games. NPCs reacting dynamically to something you just did or said, without having to have that specific dialogue written and recorded for it in advance—that's interesting to think about.
NPCs reacting dynamically to something you just did or said, without having to have that specific dialogue written and recorded for it in advance
That would be great. I already like the different NPC chat in Far Cry games depending on which buddy is with you—"Your dog needs a bath". On-the-fly would be great if it wasn't too cringy—or else so cringy as to be funny :)

Me: "Any good loot around here?"
NPC: "There was. Now I'm a merchant—got gold?"