Favourite Core Aesthetics

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What are your favourite aesthetics?


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It's interesting to see how different people have different ways they enjoy the same aesthetic. Because for me, Discovery isn't really about finding physical (virtual) places, but about discovering the game mechanics.

Absolutely, I believe we agreed somewhere in another thread that once a games mechanics become fully clear the sense of discovery is lost perhaps with some of the challenge and the game is no longer as interesting. That's why I don't often tend to play through games more than once. 4X games are excellent for this kind of discovery, I wish I had more time to play them these days.

I do enjoy 'physical' exploration as well to a point, although I get fatigued with it if there's too much. I prefer a FromSoft style level design, to a Ubisoft style one. I actually enjoyed Metro Exodus recently as another example, the world was just wide enough that I could explore pretty much everything there without getting bored of repetitive map locations (bandit camps, animal dens etc) and collectables which to me often feel like a lazy way of adding content to a game thats gets boring fast.

I think abnegation/submission is the core of, for example, Candy Crush and a lot of the simple flash games or itch.io games. It's akin to turning on the TV and watching whatever is on. It's not just about escapism, it's about not having to think about anything really at all.

You're right I was overthinking it. I can't stand mindlessness in games, if I want that I'll watch some Youtube and that's usually in bed before I go to sleep.
 
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But whenever I play RPG's, I care more about character creation, story and exploring (Skyrim half of my time was editting the looks of my character). Also in Skyrim, my last playthough I just mostly forgot about the story and wandered into the wilderness. Discovered a lot of locations and my fun was finding out whether it was vanilla or a mod, because some were modded so well it was hard to find out. I don't necessarily need to discover locations, in RDR2 I enjoyed it enough to just ride a horse following the roads and looking at my surroundings.
In Skyrim I felt compelled to explore EVERY nook and cranny and that is also what I did. I explored the whole map, nothing was hidden (to my knowledge at least) and I had a great time doing so. The rush in finding some distant cave with its own awesome atmosphere was a drive for sure. In RDR2 I had a different approach to the game and similar to your own. I just took my horse for a, erm walk, shot a deer, made some coffee, and enjoyed the sunset. The feeling of having to explore everything was not really there. Kind of interesting, when I think about it.
I actually enjoyed Metro Exodus recently as another example, the world was just wide enough that I could explore pretty much everything there without getting bored of repetitive map locations (bandit camps, animal dens etc) and collectables which to me often feel like a lazy way of adding content to a game thats gets boring fast.
Such an awesome game and the exploration factor on the hardest difficulty is just horrifyingly amazing! In this game, I really feel compelled to explore everything and I believe it is because of the great risk/reward factor. If you do one mistake, you are pretty much dead. The rinse and repeat factor after getting through maybe 6-7 bandits, only to get shot in the face by the last one because you got too confident
 
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@Frinidis I'm considering a second playthrough soon, I'm pretty sure I played on normal though and I still found the final area with the librarians quite challenging, although the rest of the game wasn't too hard as I recall. I went through the other Metro games twice each too, so perhaps I should just to be consistent.
 
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[...]
I may have more examples to share later, but these were the first that came to mind. Sensation, challenge, discovery, acquisition, that's what I'm all about!

It's interesting to me that you don't like open ended games, where there is no explicit goal to work towards. It's yet another example of how much variety there still is in each aesthetic, as it seems you need a challenge, but not one you impose upon yourself.

I'm curious why you added Sensation to the list at the end, as you don't really mention it in your game descriptions. How important is it for you?
 
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So for me I may or may not be a bit weird about this.

I see myself as a pretty open gamer, there are alot of different kind of games I play, and therefore there's not one core aesthetic I prefer.

For example, when I play management / building games, I'll prefer a sandbox. I'm not that creative either, and I am not good at creating "good looking" things, but I still hold no interest in playing a campaign in these games. When I play I want to build from scrath and find out what works and what doesn't , I don't enjoy campaigns at all when you start with a city / prison whatever and have to get challenges.

I got great joy out of playing Cities: Skylines from scratch and find out 60 hours later that my neighbourhood I built for 300 citizens doesn't work when there are cars from 50.000 citizens are trying to pass through. Solve that problem! I don't care about starting with a city of that size and then finish a challenge of "get a traffic flow of 80%". I want to do that in my own city damnit!

But whenever I play RPG's, I care more about character creation, story and exploring (Skyrim half of my time was editting the looks of my character). Also in Skyrim, my last playthough I just mostly forgot about the story and wandered into the wilderness. Discovered a lot of locations and my fun was finding out whether it was vanilla or a mod, because some were modded so well it was hard to find out. I don't necessarily need to discover locations, in RDR2 I enjoyed it enough to just ride a horse following the roads and looking at my surroundings.

About a few others: Fellowship I don't really care about, it can be fun if you (like Skyrim) have people following you and commenting on what you do. The mod "Inigo" from Skyrim is a very good example of that. Doesn't rush you to hurry up but does comment on the things you do (Do you really want to keep those eyes? They will end up smelling badly) (Your archery looks like a fish trying to shoot while being on the ground). Whenever I play with an AI that I have to follow I tend to get annoyed because I don't like it if they try to push you as in "We need to hurry!". We don't. I know nothing will happen as long as I don't leave this room.



I can include this in the second thing A challenge:

I don't like challenges as in secondary objectives. "Use no medicines during this mission". "Destroy 5 guns during mission". "Fix this within so much time". It's annoying me. I do enjoy a challenge as previously stated, when playing Cities: Skylines and I mess up early, the challenge of fixing it later on. I get great joy on that.

On the other hand, I can't say I enjoy difficult games much. I play games for fun, if they start to frustrate me I am not having fun and I might as well quit.

Generally speaking the most important aestetic for me is a game that let's me do whatever I want to do. Wether it be shooting people in shooters, driving arround in trucks, riding arround on a horse, or mess up my city as much as I like. This can be both in games where I still follow the story, or just sandbox games.

I'm not sure if this was entire ontopic but still I felt like posting

First of all, I noticed you're member #69, which I must admit made me chuckle more than it should have.

I somewhat recognize the feeling of wanting to start a building management game from scratch. However, as I mentioned in another thread, building management games are a bit hit or miss with me, depending on how slow they are. I don't enjoy having to sit around waiting for enough money to come in to continue building, twiddling my thumbs (or worse, doing annoying micro management) in the meantime. Which is why I enjoyed playing the campaign of Prison Architect, but got bored really quickly when starting a prison from scratch.

Regarding RPGs, can you give an example of how story is important for you?
And in RDR2, do you look at your surroundings because it's beautiful, or because you're just kinda playing mindlessly? Or both? Because I can see that being both a Sensation and a Submission thing.

As to secondary objectives, I do agree with that too. I'll try to fulfil them if they're not too annoying, but I'm not going to replay a mission entirely if it doesn't work out. This extends to not caring about how stealthy I am in stealth games that allow for less stealthy ways of completing the mission as well. Sure, I'll try not to get spotted in Hitman or Splinter Cell, but I'm not going to restart the entire mission if I make a mistake and can fix it by shooting a bunch of people.

I wonder if having the freedom to do whatever you want to do is a separate aesthetic, or whether it falls under Expression. It's definitely important, as is shown by games like GTA V including so many different side activities and the draw that tabletop games have.

And don't worry about going somewhat off topic, that's how threads stay alive :p
 
It's interesting to me that you don't like open ended games, where there is no explicit goal to work towards. It's yet another example of how much variety there still is in each aesthetic, as it seems you need a challenge, but not one you impose upon yourself.

I'm not sure why I bounce off of games like that, I just do. I guess I'm just a very goal-oriented person. Even in real life I rarely do things just for the hell of it. In games like Minecraft, I'll walk around for a few minutes and gawp at the surroundings, maybe mess around with a few systems but eventually I just get bored and move on. It's not that I can't set my own goals, either. I can do that perfectly well. I have played through Dark Souls over 25 times at this point and I set all kinds of challenges for myself in that game, but I would have quit playing a long time ago if the game itself didn't have a goal to work towards.

Maybe it's not even a goal so much as a win-state. If a game can't be 'won', or if there's nothing to achieve, I just can't be bothered. I recently got into Snowrunner, a game about driving big lorries across mountains, or getting yourself stuck in mud. That game is super open-ended and can't be won in the traditional sense, but it does have missions to complete and tasks to achieve. It's got goals, something to do. I love Snowrunner because it gives me something to do and then lets me do it my way, in my own time. Much like Breath of the Wild, actually.

I'm curious why you added Sensation to the list at the end, as you don't really mention it in your game descriptions. How important is it for you?
The sensory experience is a very important part of almost every game, but it's usually not the reason you play. It's something that adds to the experience. You don't often think about how sound is integral to experiencing a game to its fullest. Hellblade wouldn't work quite as well if the voices in Senua's head didn't sound like they were everywhere. Mass Effect wouldn't have been nearly as impressive if it wasn't presented in a Hollywood-like fashion, with flashy cutscenes and bombastic music. You play it for the story and the characters, but that alone is not always enough. I couldn't imagine playing Skyrim as an isometric cRPG, for example.

I love the sensation of games. When I first fired up my HDR-enabled OLED TV last year I jumped straight into Horizon: Zero Dawn and was completely blown away by how incredible it looked! Red Dead Redemption 2, same thing. God of War. Those games fill me with childlike wonder because of their sights and sounds. Breath of the Wild too. So many games wouldn't be nearly as impressive if they didn't look and sound the way they do, but those sensory elements are not the reason you play. Not for me, anyway.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
If you had to choose between sensation, discovery and narrative, which one would you pick?
Probably whichever one I had the least of recently. For instance, after playing Witcher 3 + DLC, I intentionally stayed away from games with a strong narrative for a while. Actually, it's even more complex than that because each section divides into many others. A game could get a good narrative score for being really funny while another game had a really intense narrative.
 

Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
First of all, I noticed you're member #69, which I must admit made me chuckle more than it should have.

The 6 is the llama of my name, the 9 is the alpaca in my picture. It's all a conspiracy!

I somewhat recognize the feeling of wanting to start a building management game from scratch. However, as I mentioned in another thread, building management games are a bit hit or miss with me, depending on how slow they are. I don't enjoy having to sit around waiting for enough money to come in to continue building, twiddling my thumbs (or worse, doing annoying micro management) in the meantime. Which is why I enjoyed playing the campaign of Prison Architect, but got bored really quickly when starting a prison from scratch.

I get you, but for me PA in it's finished state had too many options. Felt really difficult to learn, and as previously stated, I don't like difficult games :p Cities: Skylines, the basics aren't really hard. You build a road, give it a zone and there it goes. Mastering it by preventing traffic james is a different thing. "Easy to learn hard to master" I guess there. So it's easier to get into, and gets really challenging later on.

Regarding RPGs, can you give an example of how story is important for you?
And in RDR2, do you look at your surroundings because it's beautiful, or because you're just kinda playing mindlessly? Or both? Because I can see that being both a Sensation and a Submission thing.

Good question. There's not really 1 kind of RPG I want to play, it can be either fantasy like Witcher, or more real based as Kingdom Come: Deliverance (can't get into that game because it seems difficult). Basically it has to have a story that I get drawn into within the first few hours so I want to keep playing. I've played some action games where the story didn't catch me at all like Ryse: Son of Rome, that game bore the hell out of me. I finished it, but I was so bored.

So maybe for me it's more important that it's a story that I can delve into quickly more than the actual story itself. I've heard (and believe) that Dragon's Dogma is a great game, but the story wasn't able to get me within an hour or so, so I've tried to play it twice as to date and quit again.

As in RDR2, it's for both reasons. The surroundings look beautiful and I just liked looking at them, just as it was a bit of brainless moving arround with cinamatic camera and just lie down your controller and watch.

As to secondary objectives, I do agree with that too. I'll try to fulfil them if they're not too annoying, but I'm not going to replay a mission entirely if it doesn't work out. This extends to not caring about how stealthy I am in stealth games that allow for less stealthy ways of completing the mission as well. Sure, I'll try not to get spotted in Hitman or Splinter Cell, but I'm not going to restart the entire mission if I make a mistake and can fix it by shooting a bunch of people.

For me the important part on these missions is that you don't get a failure for being spotted. I finished Sniper Elite 4 last weekend, which basically is based arround sniping. At some point I got bored or frustrated so I just grabbed my secondary weapon and went in. The game does give you the freedom to complete missions that way, even though it's not the purpose of being a sniper I guess. That's what I like about a game.

I remember in RDR2 and GTA5 that there were some missions where you weren't allowed to be spotted or you got a failure if the target moved too far away. Now I don't really mind that if it's occasional, but on the other hand, would you (for example) already know where they are headed and you go there directly using a shorter or different way, I think the game should give me the option to do what I want, and go there while the target would be on about the other side of the map.

I wonder if having the freedom to do whatever you want to do is a separate aesthetic, or whether it falls under Expression. It's definitely important, as is shown by games like GTA V including so many different side activities and the draw that tabletop games have.

I think it would be. It's certainly the most important one for me. I can play some games that don't have it, but generally speaking I will prefer games that will let me do what I want. Or at least: Give more options to complete a mission / story. Even the Tomb Raiders (linear story) did give multiple options on how to complete a mission.

In Skyrim I felt compelled to explore EVERY nook and cranny and that is also what I did. I explored the whole map, nothing was hidden (to my knowledge at least) and I had a great time doing so. The rush in finding some distant cave with its own awesome atmosphere was a drive for sure. In RDR2 I had a different approach to the game and similar to your own. I just took my horse for a, erm walk, shot a deer, made some coffee, and enjoyed the sunset. The feeling of having to explore everything was not really there. Kind of interesting, when I think about it.

I haven't explored everthing in Skyrim (yet). At some point I will get bored of the game and not touch it for like a year. I keep it installed so when I feel like playing again I don't have to start a new game and reinstall all mods haha. These mods make it both by far more interesting, but also more boring. Because of them, I think I've explored about 80% of Skyrim and 50% of the mods, while with vanilla skyrim I might have discovered all locations by now.

As for RDR2, I think that even though the game and the story were awesome, a lot of locations seemed simular. At some point I felt like I had seen it all, and didn't really bother anymore with discovering new locations. The story itself was a bit simular, I enjoyed it a great deal, but most missions were simply this: Have a talk, ride somewhere and shoot people. Then maybe drive back or drive somewhere else and shoot more people. I think I can only remember 1 mission where you didn't have to shoot people (where you went to meet the Mayor etc).

I do enjoy discovering locations, but when I finished a story I'm usually done with it. I won't go back into areas to just drive / ride / walk arround to find more locatinos, find rare items etc. IMHO Tomb Raiders had too much of them. Some of them you could only acces with items / abilities gained further into the game. I don't do these. Especially if in a mission of 40 minutes there are 60 possibly collection items, that's just too much and I won't finish them.
 
I think I'd have a hard time being interested in a game that relied solely on any one of these aesthetics, since those tend to feel shallow and / or gimmicky to me.

This isn't quite the answer to your question, but I'll take sensation as an example of an aesthetic that I like very much, but doesn't work as the sole aesthetic of a game (for me). For as much as I think sensation can elevate a game, a game with only gorgeous graphics but no meaningful gameplay or story might as well just be a tech demo.

I suppose it would be impossible to create a game that really only has one aesthetic. Every game needs some sort of Sensation to communicate information about it. And then every game has at least one of Acquisition, Challenge, Narrative or Submission, in one way or another. But there are definitely games which rely mainly on one aesthetic. Candy Crush for Submission, Telltale games for Narrative, Super Meat Boy for Challenge, Idle Clickers for Acquisition, etc.

However, I don't think games that mainly use one aesthetic have to be shallow or gimmicky. For example, most fighting, racing and sports games also rely mostly on the Challenge aesthetic.

That said, like you, I do prefer my games using more than one aesthetic. Sports, racing and fighting games are really only enjoyable for me if I play them with my friends in the same room, so there is a strong element of Fellowship as well.

Absolutely, I believe we agreed somewhere in another thread that once a games mechanics become fully clear the sense of discovery is lost perhaps with some of the challenge and the game is no longer as interesting. That's why I don't often tend to play through games more than once. 4X games are excellent for this kind of discovery, I wish I had more time to play them these days.

I do enjoy 'physical' exploration as well to a point, although I get fatigued with it if there's too much. I prefer a FromSoft style level design, to a Ubisoft style one. I actually enjoyed Metro Exodus recently as another example, the world was just wide enough that I could explore pretty much everything there without getting bored of repetitive map locations (bandit camps, animal dens etc) and collectables which to me often feel like a lazy way of adding content to a game thats gets boring fast.

You're right I was overthinking it. I can't stand mindlessness in games, if I want that I'll watch some Youtube and that's usually in bed before I go to sleep.

I'm also unlikely to play most games more than once. I'll never be that person who puts 1000+ hours into a single game.

I'm still looking for a 4X game where you don't get out of the Exploration phase too quickly. I love starting new games of Civilization for example, but get bored after I've established my first 4 cities.

Stellaris is one of the few games that stayed fun, but I played it via a shared Steam account I no longer have access to.
 
I'm also unlikely to play most games more than once. I'll never be that person who puts 1000+ hours into a single game.

I'm still looking for a 4X game where you don't get out of the Exploration phase too quickly. I love starting new games of Civilization for example, but get bored after I've established my first 4 cities.

Stellaris is one of the few games that stayed fun, but I played it via a shared Steam account I no longer have access to.

I would love to have had a Steam/GOG Galaxy account that dated back to my first PC. Back when I was that age where I couldnt afford to buy games whenever I wanted, and I had to get them from a shop anyway I would just play whatever I had. I'd wager I have a lot of hours in Civ, Civ 2, GalCiv, Space Empires 3, and others but I'll never know how many.

I find that I cant play 4x games for just an hour and that's often all the time I have. I need to have a few hours to get into it. If you are interested in 4x games that take a lot of learning something like Europa Universalis IV or Hearts of Iron 4 might do it for you if you havent tried them already. Ive spent some time playing around and enjoyed them.

Stellaris was also excellent, Ive managed 60 odd hours in it and I'd like to play more but the time isn't there. Also Paradox keep adding updates that I cant keep up with !
 
In Skyrim I felt compelled to explore EVERY nook and cranny and that is also what I did. I explored the whole map, nothing was hidden (to my knowledge at least) and I had a great time doing so. The rush in finding some distant cave with its own awesome atmosphere was a drive for sure. In RDR2 I had a different approach to the game and similar to your own. I just took my horse for a, erm walk, shot a deer, made some coffee, and enjoyed the sunset. The feeling of having to explore everything was not really there. Kind of interesting, when I think about it.

I wonder what the difference between Skyrim and RDR2 is that makes you play it differently. I suspect that Skyrim rewards you more for exploration, both with loot and with tiny bits of world building, but I haven't played RDR2 myself so I can't really compare them.
 
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I'm not sure why I bounce off of games like that, I just do. I guess I'm just a very goal-oriented person. Even in real life I rarely do things just for the hell of it. In games like Minecraft, I'll walk around for a few minutes and gawp at the surroundings, maybe mess around with a few systems but eventually I just get bored and move on. It's not that I can't set my own goals, either. I can do that perfectly well. I have played through Dark Souls over 25 times at this point and I set all kinds of challenges for myself in that game, but I would have quit playing a long time ago if the game itself didn't have a goal to work towards.

Maybe it's not even a goal so much as a win-state. If a game can't be 'won', or if there's nothing to achieve, I just can't be bothered. I recently got into Snowrunner, a game about driving big lorries across mountains, or getting yourself stuck in mud. That game is super open-ended and can't be won in the traditional sense, but it does have missions to complete and tasks to achieve. It's got goals, something to do. I love Snowrunner because it gives me something to do and then lets me do it my way, in my own time. Much like Breath of the Wild, actually.

Have you enjoyed any game that didn't give you a specific win condition, but where you had one for yourself?

Minecraft does (now) have a win condition, as you can win the game by defeating the Ender Dragon. I've never actually done that though, nor really cared for it. For me it's all about upgrading my tools and my base as much as possible. Which is why I prefer playing with mods that add new systems to progress in.

The sensory experience is a very important part of almost every game, but it's usually not the reason you play. It's something that adds to the experience. You don't often think about how sound is integral to experiencing a game to its fullest. Hellblade wouldn't work quite as well if the voices in Senua's head didn't sound like they were everywhere. Mass Effect wouldn't have been nearly as impressive if it wasn't presented in a Hollywood-like fashion, with flashy cutscenes and bombastic music. You play it for the story and the characters, but that alone is not always enough. I couldn't imagine playing Skyrim as an isometric cRPG, for example.

I love the sensation of games. When I first fired up my HDR-enabled OLED TV last year I jumped straight into Horizon: Zero Dawn and was completely blown away by how incredible it looked! Red Dead Redemption 2, same thing. God of War. Those games fill me with childlike wonder because of their sights and sounds. Breath of the Wild too. So many games wouldn't be nearly as impressive if they didn't look and sound the way they do, but those sensory elements are not the reason you play. Not for me, anyway.

Honestly, I think I would've enjoyed Mass Effect as much as a cRPG. I'm not sure the impact would've been entirely the same of course, although I'm pretty sure it would be if the cutscenes stayed the same and only the gameplay was changed.

Skyrim on the other hand wouldn't work, because it's not really the characters and narrative I care about, but the first person exploration.
 
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I wonder what the difference between Skyrim and RDR2 is that makes you play it differently. I suspect that Skyrim rewards you more for exploration, both with loot and with tiny bits of world building, but I haven't played RDR2 myself so I can't really compare them.
I think what sets games like Skyrim, Fallout 4 or Breath of the Wild apart from games like Red Dead Redemption 2 is the possibility to just stumble upon things naturally, whether it be a location, a secret, a quest, an NPC, whatever. RDR 2 is an open world game, but it's so much more linear and restrictive than other games that share its genre. Entire quest lines and activities in that game are missable if you don't find them during the right chapter of the story campaign, which is just insane to me. Why bother with such an expansive and realistic open world if you're going to railroad the player through it and why punish them for going through the story first by locking them out of activities when they get too far ahead?

Honestly, RDR 2 is a mindblowing achievement in game design, but some of its mistakes are completely incomprehensible. Its mission design is also far too rigid. Games like Skyrim and The Outer Worlds account for your failure, or keep going if you kill a mission-critical NPC. In RDR 2 you get a game over screen and have to start again. The game can feel like a relic from a bygone era mechanically. Rockstar hasn't made fundamental changes to its storytelling formula since Grand Theft Auto III and I think that's just lazy and unforgivable. I guess they feel like they need to restrict you somehow because you otherwise you might not see and hear every bit of their story.

It all just seems to me like they don't know whether they want to build a linear, story-driven game or a relaxed open world game. They keep trying to have their cake and eat it too, and for my money it's not really working. I liked RDR 2, but I didn't care enough for the open world to go roaming and I didn't care enough for the story to finish it. I just played some 40-50 hours of it and decided I had my fill.
 
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Probably whichever one I had the least of recently. For instance, after playing Witcher 3 + DLC, I intentionally stayed away from games with a strong narrative for a while. Actually, it's even more complex than that because each section divides into many others. A game could get a good narrative score for being really funny while another game had a really intense narrative.

I do also need variety in my games, but I could play multiple intense games in a row. I don't really need variety in the core aesthetic a game delivers, but in the game mechanics. I suppose it's mostly that, since I really love exploring game mechanics, it (usually) isn't fun for me to explore two similar systems in a row.

However, I do have that need for variety in aesthetics more with watching movies and TV shows. After a show with a strong Narrative, I usually want something that engages the Submission aesthetic more. For example, after finishing The Witcher, my wife and I watched Brooklyn 99 and we're now starting The Mandalorian.
 
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I get you, but for me PA in it's finished state had too many options. Felt really difficult to learn, and as previously stated, I don't like difficult games Cities: Skylines, the basics aren't really hard. You build a road, give it a zone and there it goes. Mastering it by preventing traffic james is a different thing. "Easy to learn hard to master" I guess there. So it's easier to get into, and gets really challenging later on.

I suppose Prison Architect was just not a very polished game too. A lot of the options just didn't really seem to add much to the experience. Or just didn't mix very well.

Good question. There's not really 1 kind of RPG I want to play, it can be either fantasy like Witcher, or more real based as Kingdom Come: Deliverance (can't get into that game because it seems difficult). Basically it has to have a story that I get drawn into within the first few hours so I want to keep playing. I've played some action games where the story didn't catch me at all like Ryse: Son of Rome, that game bore the hell out of me. I finished it, but I was so bored.

So maybe for me it's more important that it's a story that I can delve into quickly more than the actual story itself. I've heard (and believe) that Dragon's Dogma is a great game, but the story wasn't able to get me within an hour or so, so I've tried to play it twice as to date and quit again.

When you say there isn't really 1 kind of RPG you want to play, what you mean is that the story is more important than the mechanics? Specifically a story that manages to hook you.

For me, story is usually secondary to the actual gameplay and the Fantasy element in RPGs, although it can definitely make an otherwise mediocre game great.

And if you care about story, I would recommend at least trying Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I haven't played much of it myself, but it certainly hooked me and the combat isn't all that difficult (so far).

For me the important part on these missions is that you don't get a failure for being spotted. I finished Sniper Elite 4 last weekend, which basically is based arround sniping. At some point I got bored or frustrated so I just grabbed my secondary weapon and went in. The game does give you the freedom to complete missions that way, even though it's not the purpose of being a sniper I guess. That's what I like about a game.

I remember in RDR2 and GTA5 that there were some missions where you weren't allowed to be spotted or you got a failure if the target moved too far away. Now I don't really mind that if it's occasional, but on the other hand, would you (for example) already know where they are headed and you go there directly using a shorter or different way, I think the game should give me the option to do what I want, and go there while the target would be on about the other side of the map.

I agree completely. I love stealth games, but I also don't have the patience and persistence to do each level perfectly. It's fun to try, but if I do happen to be spotted, I want to be able to fight my way out. Luckily, most recent games seem to let you do that. Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja come to mind as some good examples of stealth games that allow you to recover if detected.

The first Assassin's Creed was somewhat like this as well, but the series has become more and more an action game instead of a stealth game.
 

Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
@Rensje

Sounds basically about how I feel about games haha. Games need to let you do whatever you want. If I want to kill an OP panther when I have nothing more than a bow, why stop me from trying by locking it away until you finish the first 10 hunting challenges? Skyrim gave you the ability to go after giants with nothing more than a level 3 character and an iron dagger if you wished to. I wouldn't recommend it, but you were free to try.

@Pifanjr I can play multiple games in a row too, but I never play 2 games of the same series in a row. I finished Assasin's Creed: Origins about a year ago and only about now I'm considering starting Odyssey . I finished Lego Harry Potter years 1-4 a few weeks ago and there was no way I'd play 5-7 directly after. I can play another RPG / Puzzle or whatever straight after as long as it's a different setting.

Like after finishing The Witcher 3, I could jump directly into Skyrim, but would it have been Witcher 2, there would have been quite some time before I'd consider starting the third game.
 
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I would love to have had a Steam/GOG Galaxy account that dated back to my first PC. Back when I was that age where I couldnt afford to buy games whenever I wanted, and I had to get them from a shop anyway I would just play whatever I had. I'd wager I have a lot of hours in Civ, Civ 2, GalCiv, Space Empires 3, and others but I'll never know how many.

I find that I cant play 4x games for just an hour and that's often all the time I have. I need to have a few hours to get into it. If you are interested in 4x games that take a lot of learning something like Europa Universalis IV or Hearts of Iron 4 might do it for you if you havent tried them already. Ive spent some time playing around and enjoyed them.

Stellaris was also excellent, Ive managed 60 odd hours in it and I'd like to play more but the time isn't there. Also Paradox keep adding updates that I cant keep up with !

I'm also curious how many hours I've actually played in some of the games I have kept coming back to over the years, like Age of Empires II.

I've played a lot of EU3 and Crusader Kings 2 with my friends. A bit of Victoria 2 as well. I never got into Hearts of Iron though.
These games are really only fun for me when playing with friends however, so you can compare events and talk with each other during the quiet parts of the game.

The updates are definitely a problem though. Another reason I don't play by myself is because I don't have all the DLC, so I'd be missing out on a bunch of game mechanics and content. Perhaps I'll wait until they've stopped updating Stellaris and I can get the game plus all DLC in a sale.
 

Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
When you say there isn't really 1 kind of RPG you want to play, what you mean is that the story is more important than the mechanics? Specifically a story that manages to hook you.

For me, story is usually secondary to the actual gameplay and the Fantasy element in RPGs, although it can definitely make an otherwise mediocre game great.

And if you care about story, I would recommend at least trying Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I haven't played much of it myself, but it certainly hooked me and the combat isn't all that difficult (so far).

I think it's actually more the mechanics than the story. Of course the story matters, if I can't get into the story I won't play it, if I feel like the mechanics are too difficult to master I might give up on it quickly too.

I was thinking about why I can't get into Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and I think it may have to do with something that may or may not be a aesthetic: Fast or slow phased. Or is this just a mechanic?

I really liked the Witcher 3, and it felt like a really fast phased game. I don't mean rushing through the story, but combat was fast phased, missions went pretty fast.
If I see videos of a game like Dark Souls (never played it myself), other than it's difficult, the combat seems pretty slow. I think Kingdome Come may have that issue for me too, the game might be too slow.

Maybe it can be compared to what (I think) you said: You don't feel like waiting forever to have enough money in a management / building game to continue. I may lack the patience in games like Dark Souls and / or Kingdome Come haha.


I agree completely. I love stealth games, but I also don't have the patience and persistence to do each level perfectly. It's fun to try, but if I do happen to be spotted, I want to be able to fight my way out. Luckily, most recent games seem to let you do that. Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja come to mind as some good examples of stealth games that allow you to recover if detected.

The first Assassin's Creed was somewhat like this as well, but the series has become more and more an action game instead of a stealth game.

True. I played some Dishonored 2, and the game defeniately gets harder when you have to fight your way out (which makes sense, you don't have the equipment to go for public fights) but it's good that you can at least.
 
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@Pifanjr I can play multiple games in a row too, but I never play 2 games of the same series in a row. I finished Assasin's Creed: Origins about a year ago and only about now I'm considering starting Odyssey . I finished Lego Harry Potter years 1-4 a few weeks ago and there was no way I'd play 5-7 directly after. I can play another RPG / Puzzle or whatever straight after as long as it's a different setting.

Like after finishing The Witcher 3, I could jump directly into Skyrim, but would it have been Witcher 2, there would have been quite some time before I'd consider starting the third game.

Do you often get bored with a game before you actually finish it, but make yourself finish it anyway?
 
I wonder what the difference between Skyrim and RDR2 is that makes you play it differently. I suspect that Skyrim rewards you more for exploration, both with loot and with tiny bits of world building, but I haven't played RDR2 myself so I can't really compare them.

The loot factor is definitely a thing, as you in Skyrim can often find awesome items hidden in a cave. Another factor is that there are so many caves, so when you have finished exploring one cave, then another one shows up on the map and again and again. In RD2 there are some caves and hidden items, but most of the time those are tied to some map or quest that you have to do. I also think it has to do with RD2 having more natural encounters while wandering about. A moose might suddenly run past you, you might find a person in the need of help or some bandits waiting for you in an ambush. The game as I see it also offers more tranquility and serenity, which makes you slow down and suck in all the beautiful vistas and even stay in them for a while. The game offers a different kind of rhythm.
 
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Have you enjoyed any game that didn't give you a specific win condition, but where you had one for yourself?

I think the closest I've come to this in recent times is Escape From Tarkov, the online shooter. That game can't be 'won'. You can win a raid by surviving, but the game is never over. Aside from the moment-to-moment gameplay, which is exhilarating, my enjoyment in the game comes from the continous progression that it offers. Your 'PMC' (player character) has skills that you can level up and a personal hideout that you can upgrade by picking up specific items in raids or from other players you kill. There's also a selection of NPCs that will send you on missions.

If EFT existed solely as a round-based multiplayer shooter I probably wouldn't be interested at all, but the fact that it has a meta-game surrounding it that I can chip away at makes it very fun and rewarding for me. There's no endgame, though. You can finish all the quests and fully upgrade the hideout, at which point there's nothing left to do but shoot people for the hell of it, but you won't have won. The game goes on indefinitely.

Out of curiosity, does Minecraft at any point communicate to the player that killing an Ender Dragon is the objective of the game? If it doesn't, I don't really think that counts as a win condition. The player doesn't know they are working towards a win condition until they kill the dragon, at which point the game just ends? Does Minecraft even need a win condition? I would argue it does not.

On a sidenote, I always found it curious that Minecraft has a 'Survival' mode. That implies the game has a win condition where you win by surviving. It doesn't, though. Or does it? I haven't played it seriously in ages.

I don't really think of Minecraft as a game to begin with. I think of it more as a game engine, or a platform. A foundation for developers and players to build upon. At its core Minecraft is little more than an empty shell. It needs outside input to really 'be' anything.
 
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I think it's actually more the mechanics than the story. Of course the story matters, if I can't get into the story I won't play it, if I feel like the mechanics are too difficult to master I might give up on it quickly too.

I was thinking about why I can't get into Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and I think it may have to do with something that may or may not be a aesthetic: Fast or slow phased. Or is this just a mechanic?

I really liked the Witcher 3, and it felt like a really fast phased game. I don't mean rushing through the story, but combat was fast phased, missions went pretty fast.
If I see videos of a game like Dark Souls (never played it myself), other than it's difficult, the combat seems pretty slow. I think Kingdome Come may have that issue for me too, the game might be too slow.

Maybe it can be compared to what (I think) you said: You don't feel like waiting forever to have enough money in a management / building game to continue. I may lack the patience in games like Dark Souls and / or Kingdome Come haha.

That's indeed just a difference in mechanics. Just like how, for example, Super Meat Boy and Myst both rely on Challenge as a main aesthetic, but one relies on dexterity and the other on puzzle-solving abilities.

Pacing is an important part of the feel of a game though. I personally dislike Hack & Slash games where you're just hacking away at one enemy for a minute or shooters where you have to offload an entire magazine into an enemy before it dies (although if it's a Shooter/RPG hybrid it can get away with a bit more).
 

Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
Do you often get bored with a game before you actually finish it, but make yourself finish it anyway?

Oh yes it does. I don't finish a game often after I got bored though. Unless I feel like I'm close to the endgame. Otherwise I might quit and (if I'm able) come back at a later time. I never finished Skyrim from start to end in 1 go.

Ryse: Son of Rome certainly bored the heck out of me before I finished it. Luckily the game wasn't that long and I finished to see if there was any good qlimax to the end of the game. Unfortunately there wasn't.

But this is the main reason why I don't collect everything in a game, and usually don't finish all sidequests either. At some point I'll start to get bored so I'll start rushing towards the end of the game. By the time I finish I'm bored of it and have no intention to keep playing.

The only 2 games where I actually did all sidequests / optional missions were Rise of the Tomb Raider and the Witcher 3. But even in the Witcher I skipped everything related to gwent or collecting cards.
 
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Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
Pacing is an important part of the feel of a game though. I personally dislike Hack & Slash games where you're just hacking away at one enemy for a minute or shooters where you have to offload an entire magazine into an enemy before it dies (although if it's a Shooter/RPG hybrid it can get away with a bit more).

I get you there. But then there's the category of "Hack & Slash" which can be already divided into "fast paced" and "slow paced". Where DMC was pretty fast, Son of Rome was a hack and slash and slow paced. But this maybe has to do more with a topic I created months ago, which was about how categories are defined.
 
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