What Else Do You Play?

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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby Lujo on Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:07 am

Anyone gave Dark Dungeons a look? If you approach it as a casual, the art style, the music and the whole ambience can be quite gripping. It's very RNG-ey and simple minded if you go veteran gamer on it, but somehow the pig-in-a-poke diletantism doesn't irk as much as one would think. The core mechanics are such an obvious joke that you just let it slide and have some pulpy gothic fun. I wanted someting grindy and not brain intensive after having a lot of fun with Knights of Pen and paper on a tablet during a holiday, picked it up and was pleasantly underwhelmed XD

I remember someone somewhere calling it HP Lovecrafts football manager, and I never played actual football managers (knew some nice and simple folks who never played games other than various football managers) but I guess this is what one of those would feel like for an RPG fan.

Some great ideas, too (interaction with dungeon environments and supply items, for example), just too little content. I can see someone actually competent taking the good bits, talking an (or the) artist into it and making a very good game along the same lines.

IN SHORT: Pretentious, missess the opportunity on a lot of levels, yet what it does well it does really well (sadly, that has more to do with art and sound design than gameplay, but wth). Thumbs up!
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby dislekcia on Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:53 pm

I've always found that "pretentious" as a description for any sort of media is nearly completely meaningless. More often than not it speaks about the reviewer's expectations more than the thing being reviewed... Plus in these days of internet shoutery, it's a word that's been thoroughly misapplied far too often.
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby Tinker on Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:27 pm

dislekcia wrote:I've always found that "pretentious" as a description for any sort of media is nearly completely meaningless. More often than not it speaks about the reviewer's expectations more than the thing being reviewed... Plus in these days of internet shoutery, it's a word that's been thoroughly misapplied far too often.

Wouldn't it be appropriate to be used to describe a game that describes itself using keywords like "revolutionizes xxx genre", or "next milestone in yyy", or whatever? Also, wouldn't it also be appropriate to describe games that include topics/elements just for the mentions/buzz, without them being actually important in the story, or the game actually saying anything about them? I'd pretty much use "pretentious" as the primary adjective for these cases, i.e. when the game tries to seem more important/relevant/etc. than it actually is (and let's face it, most games just aren't, DD being the obvious exception... :P ).

EDIT: Ok, just to make sure it's clear, I'm not talking about Dark Dungeon, I haven't played it; just "pretentious" in general. No intention to offend anyone! :lol:
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby Lujo on Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:33 pm

What Tinker said, it has an interesting premise but fails to deliver on it in a way which makes it look like a bit (understatement) of a hackjob. It's not very innovative at all, and certainly not too complex but you'd think it would be based on advertising. It's not that I expected any particular implementation of the, say, sanity mechanic, but when the whole gimmick turns out to have been largely irrelevant (apart from being a separate health bar which is nicer than most other health bars I've seen around) "pretentious" is what comes to mind. Not a hugely revolutionary game by any means, yet it sells itself under the pretense that it's mechanically different / superior to most... idk what they're called, turn based squad grinders?

While it fails to deliver on that front (like even if you don't expect anything in particular it really doesn't deliver, it's just a grindy hack-and-slash with two health bars and minor lingering debuffs) it's a really atmospheric squad grinder, the art and vibe is quite cool, the horror can be nicely gripping, the inventory management and the role of items in general is cool. You come for one reson that makes for a good kickstarter pitch, don't get much out of it, but then you look at what's there and if you've got a soft spot for that sort of thing it's rather enjoyable. Stylish!
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby dislekcia on Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:09 pm

Tinker wrote:
dislekcia wrote:I've always found that "pretentious" as a description for any sort of media is nearly completely meaningless. More often than not it speaks about the reviewer's expectations more than the thing being reviewed... Plus in these days of internet shoutery, it's a word that's been thoroughly misapplied far too often.

Wouldn't it be appropriate to be used to describe a game that describes itself using keywords like "revolutionizes xxx genre", or "next milestone in yyy", or whatever? Also, wouldn't it also be appropriate to describe games that include topics/elements just for the mentions/buzz, without them being actually important in the story, or the game actually saying anything about them? I'd pretty much use "pretentious" as the primary adjective for these cases, i.e. when the game tries to seem more important/relevant/etc. than it actually is (and let's face it, most games just aren't, DD being the obvious exception... :P ).

EDIT: Ok, just to make sure it's clear, I'm not talking about Dark Dungeon, I haven't played it; just "pretentious" in general. No intention to offend anyone! :lol:


I don't consider any of those things "pretentious" and I don't see why anyone would think a game or piece of art could be pretentious in the first place... If something doesn't speak to a topic the way you expected it to, either it's not for you (and that's fine) or it's just badly done (and that's fine too). Pretending is often a symptom of trying to belong and that's not a thing games can even do. A game or other piece of art can't belong, it exists. If someone creates a taxonomy in order to compare games/art against each other so that things can "belong", well, then they're only belonging in one person's perspective, the media itself doesn't give a rat's ass (because it can't).

Again, I don't consider it a useful term. It always needs clarification, so why bother with it in the first place? All it does is attempt to elevate the person using it as someone who has authority to classify, and I don't really think that's useful either.
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby dislekcia on Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:11 pm

Back to the topic though: I recently picked up The Witness. Anyone else?

Also, Fallout 4's menus are really bad. Ugh.
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby The Tapir on Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:56 pm

Outside of Desktop Dungeons, my most played game recently has to be Tales of Maj'Eyal (ToME for short) that I found around a year ago that perfectly captured what I wanted in a "traditional" roguelike like DCSS or Nethack without some of the factors that made them so complex and difficult to figure out. Though I could go into how much I love the classes and playstyle of the game, the best part has to be the real-time chat in-game that happens to have one of the friendliest communities I've seen to date. They've helped a lot in getting into the swing of the game by answering questions and offering advice, and more recently there's been a lot of hype for an upcoming expansion that's been in the works for a few years at this point.

Other than that, I still hop into DCSS and the Desktop Dungeons alpha from time to time, and there are the large(r) name games that are fun to mess around in whenever I'm in the mood.
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby Tinker on Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:15 pm

dislekcia wrote:I don't consider any of those things "pretentious" and I don't see why anyone would think a game or piece of art could be pretentious in the first place... If something doesn't speak to a topic the way you expected it to, either it's not for you (and that's fine) or it's just badly done (and that's fine too). Pretending is often a symptom of trying to belong and that's not a thing games can even do. A game or other piece of art can't belong, it exists. If someone creates a taxonomy in order to compare games/art against each other so that things can "belong", well, then they're only belonging in one person's perspective, the media itself doesn't give a rat's ass (because it can't).

Again, I don't consider it a useful term. It always needs clarification, so why bother with it in the first place? All it does is attempt to elevate the person using it as someone who has authority to classify, and I don't really think that's useful either.

Well. I *know* that you have used English as your primary language for a longer time than I have. But I think that "pretentious" is an adjective that can be used to describe either a person who is acting in such a way, or an object that was made to "act" in such a way (fully acknowledging that objects, at our current technology level, don't usually "act", and as such can neither "pretend" to be anything, even if they were made to display a deceptive outer appearance of greater worth). In this case, the questionable behavior is attributable to the creators of said object, even though it is made evident by the object itself.

In my opinion... An object can be pretentious (i.e. made to look more than it is in some way) and still be good. Or *not* be pretentious (i.e. made to look exactly what it is) and be bad. Or any combination. I'd rather peg "good" and "bad" as subjective terms (i.e. overall value judgements derived from a set of subjective feature appraisals), than to argue that "pretentious" is one (which is at least definable based on more objective criteria, i.e. a comparison of the content and the advertisement/packaging).

And please, the whole subjective-thingy is really only good to lose my mind, which is something we *don't* need... ;) Literally everything, even the most rock-solid fact, can be argued to be utterly subjective, simply because us humans are totally dependent on our fallible senses. There is no adjective that can be made absolute. You may say something is "blue" but I will retort by saying it's actually Turquoise, Indigo, Azure or Sapphire - colors that you may not even perceive to be distinct, but I do. Not to mention the fun arguments you can have with someone who has a slightly shifted color perception - I had a really good argument with a friend of mine about whether a specific shade was still "blue" or already "purple". We were at it for probably 20 minutes or so until a third friend arrived... She said it was "grey". Go figure. :)

Anyway. I get the hint, back on topic, though I'm still only playing 2 games, DD and X-COM (1 - new games don't run on my machine. So I'm not worried about F4 menus for the time being... :P ). I think Blovski was spot on in terms of X-Com's expansion balancing things considerably.

Now, I did have a really nice experience recently, but there are so many caveats that I'd rather not risk whatever reputation I may have on this board to say it out-loud... I'll put it into a small spoiler and hope nobody holds it against me.

Spoiler: show
So I picked up Gone Home on Christmas sale and played it, and I liked it. I replayed it twice. But it's probably my twisted self who can enjoy this game because it's rating is super-low and lot of people are totally pissed at how short it is (it is very short, 1 hour max, unless you're a slowpoke like me), how "pretentious" it is (I don't think it is - in my opinion, it really gives a good depth to the part that is considered pretentious by the reviewers, it's really something I felt I could relate to on a personal level), and, well, about how un-interactive it is (and well it is... I'm not debating that point... there's literally nothing more to do than to walk around and click objects, but at least there's no script, i.e. your control never gets yanked just for the sake of some silly cutscene, like in *some other game I should totally love, but totally hate instead*... :lol:

EDIT: I also picked up "Sunless Sea". I haven't played it for too long yet, so I'm not sure if my initial impressions are overall correct, but the first couple of hours of gameplay I liked. Anyone played this game for longer and has any opinion about it?
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby Lujo on Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:33 am

Fun thing to consider is that the way Darkest Dungeon in particular manages to be "pretentious" frees up the person using it from any accusations of trying to elevate themselves. The art direction and ambience play the horror straight, and work quite well. The game presents itself as a grim and dark and quite serious horror thingy, but the mechanics of the game are grindy and kindergardeny. You don't have to expect anything in particular, but it's hard not to get hyped up by the visuals/sound/etc... and then it turns out it's mostly just Knights of Pen and Paper with disposable dudes (and paradoxically a bit more grind). It's not bad by any means, but it's a bit like they used the Thus Spake Zaratustra music sequence as an intro to an oddly amusing fart joke. And it's unintentional, they seem to have really been out to make this great complex, difficult, deep game, the really told the artist what he's supposed to portray, I can see their vision clear enough, it was supposed to turn people's heads, and it does... and then the game isn't what they thought it was going to be. But it's not bad, they just really convinced the audience that it would be somehow more special and unique or original in some way or more sofisticated or something.

What you call that?
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Re: What Else Do You Play?

Postby smuglapse on Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:57 am

The Tapir wrote:Outside of Desktop Dungeons, my most played game recently has to be Tales of Maj'Eyal (ToME for short)

I've played that game on and off for years. It took me 30~something characters before I completed the main storyline (on perma-death setting, of course!) There's a lot of different playstyles between the classes, a whole lot of back story, and yeah, the chat is great like you said. I definitely recommend it, and will probably get back to it when I find some time.
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