TSS#59 – Indiecator – Now on Instagram!

Social media is weird… or rather: I haven’t really figured it out. I’m constantly shitposting on that Instagram-account that my first ever girlfriend forced me to create and after 502 posts of uh… mountains… vineyards… vacation… museums… “Do Not Touch” signs that I’ve touched… and me, I guess,… well… apparently 166 people are following me over there. 166 people decided that my shitposts are not as shitty as I think they are and because of that I thought: “Why not do the same for my blog?”

Well… and there’s a problem. I had to figure out how to post pictures on Instagram using my PC. I didn’t necessarily feel like downloading the pictures onto my phone and posting them on my phone, too, as I really suck at typing on my phone… and I didn’t feel like switching to Safari or – even worse – Chrome… so in the end, I tried out downloading the Desktop-Instagram-App from the Windows Store, only to find out that it does the same as the browser-view: Everything but upload pictures.

And in the end, I installed an add-on that switches your browser window to mobile view… and that does the trick. I’m able to upload pictures quite easily and have now started to ship out some of my reviews onto Instagram, too… but in short… and with hashtags. My only problem right now is that I hardly know anything about networking and stuff on Instagram… on my private account, people probably are following me because they “know” me in the real world… but nobody knows me online, so how can I make a following?

Well, first up, I’ve started following a few (indie) game studios that I found on Instagram, including The Molasses Flood (who are right now working on “Drake Hollow” and who did a splendid job on “The Flame In The Flood”), Cadabra Games (who did a good job with “Adore” and the latest few updates!), PaintBucket Games (who made “Through the Darkest of Times”) and Simon Boxer (from Twice Different – the studio behind “Satan’s Workshop” and “Ring of Pain”) as well as the official Gamescom account and the MHW-account and 11-bit studios.

By following others, you essentially show up in other people’s feeds, too. You’ll get to see their posts, can comment or like them and other people automatically see you, which is great. It’s just like when you check out that blog that someone is running who commented on your blog posts… or when you check out a streamer that has hosted or raided you… or when you tweet “Oh, that’s an interesting game! Can’t wait to review it” and the devs message you about review keys, which I personally find quite neat as it shows how confident they are in their game!

Ignore the name, I changed it and can’t be arsed to take another screenshot

Naturally, I also followed #indiegamedeveloper #indiedev and #indiegames to be up-to-date with interesting releases. Following hashtags is a great way to discover new stuff – it’s just like when you’re going into the “discovery”-tab on Steam and find some weird shit.

And next up, I’ll be promoting the fact that this page already exists in this post here (54 people who might be interested in an Instagram page), on twitter (92 people that might be interested in an Instagram page), Facebook (13 people that might like the Instagram page (just kidding, nobody uses Facebook anyways)), and on Twitch where we’re at 148 followers who might be interested in an Instagram page.
So, essentially, I’ll just post or tweet about it once or twice and then I’ll forget about it over there – as usual. I mean, I even forgot that I had a Facebook page for the blog.

A problem that I’ve encountered is that I have no clue about hashtags and what to do with those. I’ve put stuff into the first few posts like #blaugust #blaugust2019 (these were posts from back then!) and #review #indiegame #roguelite #roguelike #zerotohero and whatever to mention a few… and so far four people are actually following me on there which is interesting as these four people will probably see my posts about Indie Games like Pool Panic or Omensight that nobody has ever heard of and they may consider checking those devs out. 🙂 Who knows?

But overall, Instagram is a weird place. I don’t really use it unless I’ve got a picture of my fan or my plant that I want to show on my personal/shitposting account… and with this new Instagram page, I’ve got a whole bunch of work to do as I’d like to put all the review posts on there… generally, I could consider putting other posts on there, too, but I’m not too sure if I really want to go through the effort of putting out more than a hundred posts from ten months within the next few weeks or so.

I could see myself putting out highlights and stuff from Twitch on there but primarily I’d like to keep it about the blog and about reviews. I feel like that’d be interesting.

I don’t really know if I want to grow too much on these platforms and stuff but I feel like a lot of the indie gems I’m reviewing might profit from actually being read by more people… and in the end it will probably help out some of those more promising devs that nobody has ever heard of.

So, if you use Instagram and want to be up to date with my reviews (I’m half-joking by the way) or if you want to see my old posts resurface again, hit me up over there, I guess…

And uh, twitter is here and twitch is here and Facebook is here (but I never check the Facebook page and it just automatically posts anyways) and here’s my discord server and Tumblr is here (completely forgot about that as well! :O) and uh, stay safe and healthy and at home and have a nice warm cup of tea or something! 🙂

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

Indietail – Kill It With Fire: Ignition

It’s springtime… for spiders… in Germany! (Uh, I hope nobody minds that reference…)

Yeah, spring has already kicked in with its sweet scent of flowers and lawns, with pollen flying through the air (I’m not bothered by it), wasps bothering me on my balcony, with sunny and rainy days and generally a forecast that leaves me wondering if I’m dressed too warm or too cold. It’s springtime! And you know what that means:
I’m getting spooked by our dear eight-legged friends and even now I’m constantly in a state of panic as the last spider was bigger than the other one… and as I hated it so much when it came down from the ceiling Mission Impossible style and nearly landed on my hat before I swatted it with a roundhouse kick against the wall and started burning down my flat… again…

But all jokes aside, I really hate spiders and ever since having gone to that spider convention nearby, my fear of spiders has been brought to new levels. Luckily, I haven’t encountered any of these critters in Winter… but now that it’s getting warm again, these spiders are crawling out of their holes again and I’m just not good at all with them. At my SO’s place, I was tasked to capture this horrifying creature with a glass and a piece of paper – after all my girlfriend’s flatmate is vegetarian and doesn’t want to shed any animal’s blood… so, I essentially did it but it took me ages to approach this monster and eventually release it into the wild… Meanwhile, the two spawns of hell that have shown themselves in my flat were not as lucky… they did suffer my full wrath on top of my barbaric YAWP as I smashed them with my house shoe of DOOM and then vacuumed them with my vacuum of FATALITY.

And essentially, that leads me to today’s game which goes by the title of “Kill it with Fire” or in case of this demo (the game has yet to release!) “Kill it with Fire: Ignition”! A game that I’d describe as a demolitionist’s wet dream that allows you to kill these ugly critters with a flamethrower, bombs, shurikens, a shotgun and essentially everything that is lying around in your house.

Developer: Casey Donnellan Games LLC
Publisher: tinyBuild
Genres: Casual, Indie, Action, Destruction, Simulation, 3D
Release Date (demo): April 28th, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was available for free as it's a demo. 

At the beginning of the game, you’ll spawn into your low-poly-house and are tasked with picking up your vase and opening a few drawers but little did you know that a spider was awaiting you in a spot nearby to spook you! Naturally, you follow it into the living room where you find the clipboard. Not only does this weapon smash spiders but it also shows you your different tasks.

Oooooooooooooh!

From there on, you’ll essentially figure stuff out on your own. There are drawers that require you to complete tasks from your clipboard in order to unlock new weapons. There are doors that require a certain amount of spider kills in order to unlock more areas (with more weapons and more spiders) and eventually, you’ll end up causing more harm to your sweet home than to actual spiders.

The game constantly accompanies you with a piano track that reminds me of Untitled Goose Game in a lot of ways. When you’re close to spiders, however, you end up hearing a very dramatic and threatening track that reminds me quite a lot of the JAWS theme. Once you’ve actually killed monstrosity, you get to hear a nice little tune that further underlines the wonderful comedic nature of this game. Lovely!

I gave “hot tub” a new meaning.

The game also makes use of sounds to show you where the spiders are! They usually are hidden behind or underneath objects, so you’ve got find out about the general direction by either listening to the spiders’ sounds (which are utterly disgusting!) or by using the spider-tracker that you can also use to crush these ugly foes.

The art style is quite colourful and really seems to convey the feelings of this being a nice and family-friendly game, until you eventually see those disgusting spiders that are actually rather big and really terrifying. When they survive your initial hit, they usually speed up and become even more terrifying, which results in quite a lot of moments where I noticed myself jumping. While the game itself is quite entertaining, I noticed that I’d get startled rather often, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I really enjoyed this thrilling experience.

Still tidier than my room :c

But what about flaws? Well, the fact that there’re spiders in the game should be considered a flaw in itself… but as you are exterminating these hideous lifeforms from Earth’s face in the most drastic and absurd ways, I’d say that one may be able to look past that fact… Of course, if you like spiders, then this game may not be for you… and if you hate spiders like I do but you don’t want to get spooked by them, then you may not like this game either… but overall, I really enjoyed this game so far.

The demo did amuse me for about an hour, challenges included. After that, I stopped playing as the demo didn’t have to offer all that much more apart from these few weapons and two apartments. The full game will be available in Summer 2020 and I definitely recommend checking out this demo if you found this review entertaining. Also, you may consider wishlisting the game so that you get to know when it releases!

But for now, I wish you a wonderful day without any spider encounters in your homes and I hope that all of you stay safe.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

TSS#58 – Getting Old

I’m starting to get old. 

My tutors are starting to use programs I’ve never heard about like Zoom and Rocketchat and while I’m able to use Zoom right now… I’m completely failing at Rocketchat and have no clue what I’m supposed to do. Signing in doesn’t seem to work and using the link and the password for my classes leads me to a paywall that isn’t supposed to be required. Or rather I don’t want to pay for something that is done by Discord and Zoom already but better! 

So I messaged my tutor about the fact that discord is a lot better and more popular amongst us math students compared to Rocketchat – an app nobody has heard about, despite it being “the leading open source team chat software solution”. It doesn’t even have a wikipedia.page, which is stupid since any of its employees could have created one. 

Meanwhile, Discord has this here come up as their first google-result:

Discord is the easiest way to communicate over voice, video, and text. Chat, hang out, and stay close with your friends and communities.”

Isn’t that nice? And they even have their own Wikipedia-page. That makes them relevant, doesn’t it? (That’s more of a joke but you get my point, right?)

So, naturally, I asked my tutor if he could consider using Discord, Zoom or even Moodle as they all work better than Rocketchat and as they are as “secure” and I promised the tutor that I’d create a server with working roles for every tutorial and every class as well as a help-desk of sorts and voice channels, etc. so that we could try that out instead of having to use yet another program that doesn’t seem to work for me (or any of my friends). 

But let’s get back on track: I’m getting older. Or rather – I’m starting to get old. My eyesight is getting worse, my memory is fading, my body is aching every now and then without any reason to do so, my technological understanding doesn’t seem to be enough right now and – if all of that is not enough – I’m starting to get grey hairs in my beard… at 21. I’m getting old. I can see the light shining in the distance. My time is up. I’ll die soon, probably. 

And uhm,… jokes aside, I’m getting worried about the grey hair situation and hope that it’s at least symmetric and that it looks as cool as Triggerfinger’s beard… cause if not, I’ll have to shave again and I don’t want to shave daily as I’ll look at least three to five years younger without my beard. 

So, that’s essentially what this post was about: Me getting grey hairs in my beard (probably stress or something) and me joking about dying. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have you ever heard of Rocketchat?

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

An early look at Ring of Pain

April’s Humble Choice offered you the option of downloading a DRM-free demo of Ring of Pain (v0.8.21) if you signed up for the choice, so I not only got some nice games this month but also got to see how much the game changed ever since the demo I played last year in August!

But first things first: What exactly is Ring of Pain?

Ring of Pain is a card-based Rogue-like-title by Twice Different, an Indie Studio responsible for Satan’s Workshop and Bounce House. Ring of Pain features a labyrinth of darkness and small shimmers of light that you get lead through in hope of finding out who you are, why you’re there and what exactly that place is.

Owl is as charming as ever!

The game features turn-based combat where you either try to sneak past enemies or battle them, always planning ahead of time to make use of the game’s mechanics and essentially survive. You get stronger through stat upgrades and by obtaining items, though some items not only increase but also reduce certain stats. The game also features some roll-mechanics similar to DnD as well as other mechanics where you block the damage completely if you have more armour than the attacker or where you outspeed enemies.

At last year’s GamesCom, I actually also did an interview with Simon Boxer (who’s the lead artist at Twice Different, responsible for all the amazingly creepy and dark but also colourful art in the game), so check that post out if you’re interested in some more info about the game or some “weird and quirky questions”.

The story is still rather enigmatic..

Naturally, I just hopped into the game and started clicking myself through it. You get to play through a small tutorial where you also meet our guide through the labyrinth, Owl, who acts as our mother of sorts, always taking care of and helping us while also quickly killing us if we were to defy it (Don’t do it. Owl is love, Owl is life).

The tutorial brings you to the end of the first floor where you essentially meet a boss monster that tells you that you’re not ready to proceed yet, hence killing you, which is a bit of a forced ending but better than an abrupt “demo ends here, screw you”-screen!

At this sacrificial well I was able to offer maximum health to receive items… but I didn’t… guess I’m not that lucky or not brave enough!

I’ve noticed that there’s plenty of new areas in the game right now and potentially a whole bunch of areas, similar to how you can access different biomes/areas from the different levels in Dead Cells.

Some of the items work only under certain conditions. I’ve seen one that had some nice stats but would have given me more stats/value if I had less than five items equipped, which I personally found quite interesting. One of my favourite items was the Mace of Banishing that gave me quite a bit of extra damage and other stats on top of the effect of teleporting enemies to a random area whenever you attack them. I found that quite neat in situations where enemies would attack you after you attack them as they can’t get their hit off unless they are ranged. Enemies that explode on death explode after the teleport, too, damaging other foes.

There are also plenty of effects like Poison, Freeze, On-hit-heal, reflecting damage and other boni that allow a bunch of customization for you build, similar to how there’s a lot of synergies in Slay the Spire.

And yeah, I’m comparing the game to a whole bunch of games here, but mostly to Slay the Spire as both RoP and StS are card-based Rogue-likes that can be played rather fast and that feature a lot of strategizing and customization. In fact, I would even say that Ring of Pain might become “the new Slay the Spire”.

I really enjoy the darker art and the themes of it. The music and animations were really cool and I had a lot of fun with all kinds of different builds. Sometimes I’d go for a whole bunch of speed and damage, like a Rogue that outspeeds enemies and hits them hard before they can damage you… some other times I’d rather go for a whole bunch of defence and poison to parry enemies and whittle them down eventually.

And yeah, I’m hyped for this game and I’m looking forward to playing more of it when it comes out in Mid 2020. Next week there is going to be another demo with an improved build, so I’ll probably post about that one, too. If you’d like to, check out the Ring of Pain discord, the twitter account or wishlist the game on steam. 🙂

For now, though, I hope that you are doing alright over there. Hang in there!

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

Quantic Foundry Gamer Motivation Profile

A while ago… well… a few months ago, I should say, I was nominated by Frostilyte to participate in a new tag post thing. And then I thought I’d do it later… and then I forgot about it… and now it seems like a good day to post about that, so uh… here! 

What’s this tag about?

Well, we’re doing the Gamer Motivation Profile by Quantic Foundry, which is a survey that I need to take and then I essentially examine the results of the said survey by answering several questions. The survey is supposed to describe different traits in my gaming behaviour and also recommend games to me based on my answers. 

What are the results? Share the link, headline and the two motivation model graphs you received.

My Gamer Motivation Profile is Social, Story-Focused, and Creative. Naithin posted a doc in Frostilytes post (just check out the comment section as I don’t know to link that specifically) that essentially explains what all of this means… but I feel like I’m even more confused now that I’ve read the doc. I guess “Social” means that I like PvP and PvE stuff with other players, which is true, I guess. I’ve been playing a lot of League of Legends, MHW and Destiny 2, although I’ve only mentioned the former two in the survey. The “Story-Focused” aspect is probably about plots and characters in games: If I hate the characters, I don’t really like the game – or for instance in League: I like Lissandra because of her lore and I wouldn’t play her if she was just another run-off-the-mill-character that has to avenge her father/brother/kids/parents/master/etc.
And as far as creativity goes… I like customizing stuff, I guess? Whatever.

How do you feel about your survey results?

I partly answered this one in the first question already. Overall, I guess that it makes sense. I do enjoy playing with and against other players. I also care about getting better about the game but more about the fun/the experience, resulting in a below average Mastery score. I noticed that quite often I need to have some Action but not always, so I would have thought that the Action score is a bit higher and as far as Creativity goes, I’m not the most creative… I guess that high score happened due to the questions that I answered about being able to (re)create a character. I do enjoy being the bad guy, which is why my “Destruction” Score is so high (58%) and I do enjoy a bit of a Challenge and Fantasy, I guess, but I would have personally said that Strategy and would be a bit more up there.

Frostilyte’s Chungus managed to sneak itself into my game :O

Which category is the most and which one is the least accurate?

I guess “Strategy” was the least accurate with its 49%. I mean, Destruction is all the way up there at 58% but I’d say that I overall enjoy Strategy aspects in games more than the fact that I can destroy pots in a house. Similar thing goes for “Story” and “Challenge”. If I get bored from the story or from the difficulty, I stop playing games or start to skim through or I get cocky and do something stupid. Hence, these are probably the most accurate. I do play a lot of Roguelikes and I do try to get better at certain games, so as long as the game is fair, I enjoy a challenges a lot more than story-aspects. So, I guess I’d rather put “Challenge” up a bit more while putting down the story-part, despite them (probably) being the most accurate.

Are there any major exceptions to your typical gaming motivations?

I guess “Creativity” and “Community” aren’t really right there. While I enjoy playing with other people, I don’t want to be too social. Same goes for creative stuff, while I do enjoy creating and planning out a character or a city or base, I don’t necessarily like creative tasks as much as this survey would lead to believe. In that sense the questions might be a bit flawed as they don’t really allow you to discern between “building things and designing something” and “creating your own character and changing a skin”, which I would call two different things.

Do any of these motivations carry over to your non-gaming life? If so, how?

I’d say “not really”. I’m often quite lazy and I tend to procrastinate a lot, so “Achievement” and Mastery” can’t be that close to “average”/50%. I suck at creative tasks (apart from writing, I guess?) and my social skills aren’t the best eitherr. I’m not too social either… I mean it all depends. I don’t actively search for people to talk to but I also don’t necessarily want to be all alone… The only thing that would be quite accurate would be “Action”, as I suck at sports and physical activities, haha.

MHW managed to be weird and cute at the same time!

Which games in your experience best satisfy your gaming motivations and how do they compare to the “suggested games” list from the questionnaire’s follow up page?

I really like RimWorld, Hollow Knight and Monster Hunter World right now as these games have the right amount of story, challenge and creative activity for me to basically not get bored for quite some time.
Suggest games wise, my recommendations feature “Heroes of the Storm” in the “Popular Games” section, which must be a mistake. I do enjoy it as well as Guild Wars 2, Warframe, and the Pokémon franchise but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’d try out HotS any time soon – especially due to the fact that they nerfed a ton of my favourite chars. Whatever.

Overwatch would be another one of those cases where the game is actually good but Blizzard screwed them up for me… as a Tank/Support-Main I hate the fact that essentially all characters are Damage-Dealers while you’re stuck with only 6 characters as a Support or Tank, though one of them is already taken by your teammate. Symmetra, Roadhog, Mei, Torbjörn, and Bastion for instance used to have either their own “specialist” class or they were formerly in other classes… but now they are all DDs, rendering the game variety quite unenjoyable to me. After all, I’d either have to queue up for a few minutes to play DD (as everyone wants to play that) or I play something where I’m limited to essentially only two or three heroes or where I’m forced to play something else if Ana gets picked away. I don’t like Overwatch anymore.

We tried to do the Gardens of Salvation raid the other day and I thought that this place looked pretty!

Civ V and World of Warcraft are interesting recommendations here but I’m not too keen on getting a subscription service going right now and I planned on getting into the Civ games anyways (wishlist and all of that).

The “balanced” recommendations feature a lot of the previously mentioned as well as Cities: Skylines (which I already like) and ARK: Survival Evolved (which I found interesting concept-wise but I don’t really care about it all that much, especially as none of my friends play it). “Star Wars: The Old Republic” is probably a good title if you’re a Star Wars fan… which I’m not exactly.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a good game. I was in the closed beta ages ago and really liked it there but didn’t play it afterwards… but I might get into it some time soon. And Fire Emblem Heroes got recommended to me, too, despite it not being a PC game and despite me having said that I don’t play on anything other than PC. Maybe I’ll have to get a Switch afterall… I mean, I already know that I enjoy the Fire Emblem games but the newer titles might be a lot more different.

And last but not least, Quantic Foundry is recommending Starbound and 2048 in the Niche-Section. While Starbound is cool, I guess, I don’t really have too many friends to play it with and I wouldn’t really play it all on my own… 2048 on the other hand gets boring quite quickly. The Total War series are great, from what I have seen, but I can’t afford them right now (Hence wishlisted and waiting for a sale). Fallout Shelter is a game that I’m aware of… but I got quite bored of it when I last played it… and then there’s also Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle which is not my cup of tea as I have no clue about Dragon Ball Z.. oh and Pillars of Eternity which has been wishlisted for quite some time.

The recommendations weren’t really all that great and I was hoping to get some more Indie titles but I did sadly not get any of those… what a bummer.


Well, there you go. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post. Was there anything that you wouldn’t have guessed result-wise on my side? Let me know!

As far as nominations go, I have no clue if you got tagged already, so I’ll just nominate

Chestnut from Gamer Girl Confessions
Wilhelm from The Ancient Gaming Noob
Kluwes from I’m Not Squishy
and Solarayo from AceSunder

I love my Whisper

So, uh, do the same if you’d like to and then nominate four other people!

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

TSS#57 – Taking a day off bloggin’

Yesterday I took a day off bloggin’. And that’s weird. It’s weird as I’m taking the blog as a burden of sorts again, which is bad. 

I mean, I don’t have to post daily and I don’t have to post too much anymore. I know that I won’t be able to post the previously planned 62 to 69 posts and instead I’ll try to post as much as possible this month while having university-lectures and other classes in the meantime via Zoom and other software. It’s getting a bit stressful in a way and I’m getting quite tired of having to stare at a screen all day long. I’ve already turned on a blue-light filter for the entire day. I’ve already reached the minimum goal of posting 31 days in the last 24 days and hence I’m just trying to post a bit more with the little preparation that I’ve got, so that’s good I guess. I can take it easy now. 

Hence, every now and then I don’t post at all and instead, I’d post two posts on another day when I’m more productive or when I have more time to do so. 

University @ Home is taking a big part in that.

I don’t necessarily have the time anymore to post daily and if I tried to get close to posting daily, it would become a burden of sorts again, unless of course I really have something that I want to ship out asap, in which case it would be rather fun to put on such a burden of writing up and shipping out a post in one day or less. 

I used to have a blog for like a few weeks where I’d post reviews on Indie titles in German but due to a few problems and the fact that my A-levels were around the corner, I happened to stop blogging over there, after only a few weeks and then deleted my old blog. On that old blog, I wrote up a review on Omensight when it just came out. I had pre-ordered the game and played through its story in about two days, trying to write up the post and edit it as fast as possible while also getting the screenshots in and shipping it out very close to the release date, resulting in… 

Place 3 in the Google Search results! After all, there hasn’t really been anything about Omensight, yet, apart from PCGamer’s and some other side’s review… but after another day I already dropped to page 4 while later dropping to some other place that I couldn’t find anymore. Was it worth it? Nope. Not at all. If my blog had grown on that day or in the next few days, I would have considered doing a rush like that more often but since I didn’t, the only feeling of “happiness” or “relief” was when I first ended up as the third search result – and it was gone after just a day. 

(Oh, btw, I rewrote my Omensight review completely for this blog as I wanted to not only have it in English but also have a shorter post.)

And that’s one of the cases where a post is relevant! If there’s a discussion, people can hop in and post about it. When I struggled with whether or not to review a certain game, a lot of people hopped on and posted about it, the topic, my struggle, my thoughts, and it was just wild to see everyone in the community to hop onto that topic and post about it was great. I really enjoyed that. 

me when I tried to sleep after the post was finally out back then

So, if there’s a topic that needs to be shipped out asap on the one hand, then I’d do that for sure or I’ll get rid of the draft as soon as it’s outdated.

Reviews and my impressions with a game on the other hand always will be relevant as I haven’t talked about it yet on here or as I’ve got something new to add. I recently have talked about the fact that I don’t know if I’ll be able to review Stardew Valley, RimWorld or even Minecraft as everything has already been said about it… but as many of you have pointed out in the comments, I don’t need to add something necessarily new to it or rather I’m able to add something new to it just by taking a different look or rather my look at it. 

In RimWorld’s case, I, too, have noticed that there’s this period where you need to play more aggressive as resources are getting low… but the game punishes you for that and encourages you to play it safe which then also gets punished. Hence, a strategy guide of sorts might be interesting there, as Wilhelm Arcturus mentioned. And Naithin also mentioned that SDV and RW both are quite nice for potential story-writing-based, which I could see me doing.

So, what I’m trying to get at is the following:

  • Reviews always work and they’ll be relevant in the future, too, and I won’t need to rush them. 
  • Posts usually don’t need to be rushed and they don’t need to be posted on a daily basis.
  • I’m being stupid when I think of blogging as a “burden”.

A lot of the times posts can be rushed but mostly they don’t need to. And with my current university-schedule, I definitely do not need to rush any posts like that.

So, in theory, I could post about a plethora (I like that word) of posts regarding my philosophy classes, my impressions with Monster Hunter World (gotta play more of that game once I have more time), “life in pandemia”, Indie titles, and other topics… but nothing has to be done, nothing needs to be rushed and I’m just being stupid when I stress about a hobby like that. 

And as for the aforementioned “day off” yesterday: I didn’t get to “relax” as I wanted to post a blog post but was forced to take the day off due to my uni-schedule and the fact that I still had a lot to prepare for and after classes, so I didn’t even get to stream as planned. With university and everything, I might have to re-schedule every hobby and activity in life, including social contacts, meals, the phone calls to my parents and whatever else I’ve got to do.

But I guess that’s doable and worst case, I’ll post about it. 

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

Indietail – Satan’s Workshop

Honestly, I’ve been staring at this blog post for way too long and no introduction that I could make up would be better than the description that Simon Boxer, Reuben Covington, Andrew Kasapidis, Abby Synth, and Jessi McNally came up with. What’s that about, you may ask? Well, I’ll quote it in a bit. After all, I’m reviewing a game called “Satan’s Workshop” today… Enjoy!

“Where do all the letters to Santa go? To Santa’s Workshop, right? What happens when those letters are accidentally addressed to Satan? Well, they go to Satan’s workshop. Satan is quite pleased with his new job and wants to put his best foot forward. Help Satan repair his bad guy reputation and bring joy to the world! “

Twice Different
Developer: Simon Boxer, Reuben Covington, Andrew Kasapidis, Abby Synth, Jessi McNally
Publisher: I have no clue. I guess Twice Different or the 10th Melbourne Global Game Jam? I'll link them both here...
Genre: Isometric, Sandbox, Crafting
Release Date: Early 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was free. It's a free game. 

Well, you heard it. We’re Satan in this game and we’re dealing with the naughty kids that don’t know how to spellcheck their own letters. Some of them are being really cocky, too, demanding gifts and presents while being picky about stuff like “eyeballs” or “coal” while some other kids even behave like heathens, neglecting the fact that we actually exist and claiming that we’re actually their parents.

This game was created by a few of the Twice Different guys who are currently working on Ring of Pain and who I’ve interviewed at last year’s GamesCom! The game was created during the 10th Melbourne Global Gam Jam using Unity and basically consists of you receiving one of a few letters that were written by, presumably, children. Once you’ve read them, you start using blocks and eyeballs to construct the children’s presents, usually creating some sort of abomination that is by no means fitting to be a gift for a child… but then again, we tried. And we’re Satan. Something like that.

The music is very spooky and yet kind of Christmas-y, which I personally found really intriguing. I kind of heard some bells and other tunes that reminded me of Jingle Bells… but at the same time it’s very creepy and fitting for Santa’s Workshop, I guess? I haven’t been there yet but it probably would have some song like that playing on the radio… nonstop… yup.

As far as the gameplay goes, it’s really just that. It’s a funny idea and it gets repetitive rather fast past the first laugh but it’s free, so I guess it’s really worth the laugh and the small time that you’ll enjoy this for.

Also the game has cookies in it. Very nice. Eat them all.

Hence, I’m recommending this game (wow, that’s a short review!). Have a nice day!

Stay healthy, stay safe! Don’t buy facemasks on Amazon for 120 bucks… because they’re not worth it if you stay at home and get your groceries delivered… yup.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Just another post about Hollow Knight

I love Hollow Knight. It’s a great game. And essentially I’ve been referencing it for a while now in my posts while playing it for fifteen hours already on stream.

So, I tried to re-create my Avatar as a Hollow Knight character but didn’t quite manage to do it and now I got this.

Tadaa!

I don’t really know what I could have done better… I’ve tried to go for an ant of sorts or a moth character but it didn’t just happen… and then I kind of went with the jester hat and the cultist robes that I kind of liked.

I’d love to create more variants like this in the future. One of my viewers on Twitch recreated my mage-avatar as a crow for the playthrough that we did on Aviary Attorney and I really liked the idea of creating characters like that.

Belghast from the Blaugust Community also has a thing like that going on with his character and everything as may want to see hin his channel banner over there. So, generally, since I’ll stick around to MHW and Catherine and Hollow Knight right now, I might as well create more mages like that. Maybe a Mage Sheep in Catherine’s case or a Witch-er armour for my MHW character… idk.
I’m rather satisfied with this one but would’ve liked it more if I had been able to “bug”-ify the character a bit more… but for now, this should work and if anyone is interested in trying your best at making a better version of this mage-character of mine, feel free to send it to me and I’ll feature all of those drawings on my twitch channel if you want to! 😀

Oh, I also opened up an Instagram account for the blog but I don’t really know how to post on IG from my PC or what content would be nice on there… I guess that’d be a good place to start for that sort of stuff :c
If any of you are interested right now in seeing me play Hollow Knight on Twitch, you may enjoy joining the discord and getting notified whenever I post something on my blog or whenever I go live. Maybe we’ll have a great time there!

I guess that’s it for today’s post. I like creating derpy drawings like that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get better at it in the future. We’ll see.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

Indietail – Gutwhale

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be inside of a giant whale? Or what it’s like to manage your inventory properly if you only have one spot? Or have you ever thought about the possibility that a van is currently chasing you… from ABOVE?!

Well, if you didn’t really know what I want from you with any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place! After all, we’re looking at the newly released arcade-ish rogue-lite-title “Gutwhale”!

Developer: Stuffed Wombat, Franrekkk (Art), Britt Brady (OST)
Publisher: Stuffed Wombat
Genre: 2D, Action, Indie, Roguelike
Release Date: April 6, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
I got a review-key for this game by the dev.

At the beginning of March, Josh from Stuffed Wombat was fired from his job due to the Corona-Virus-outbreak, so he started developing this game. In the game, you essentially engage in a gameplay-loop where you dive into the whale’s gut and have to shoot enemies with your gun and die when you run out of lives. Your gun only holds one bullet at the time, so when it hits a wall or enemy, it bounces off and you’ll have to pick it up again before you’re able to shoot again. The enemies either move, jump or shoot at you as well, resulting in a little bit of a bullet-hell-feel that I overall found rather enjoyable.

Patience is key

If you die and your bullet is still on the ground, you may use it in the next life as well, which leads to strategy-opportunities. Each area or biome is divided into different levels where you need to clear all the enemies. Using arrows, the enemies of the next level below you are indicated to you so that you can position yourself in a good position.

Despite the in-your-face-techno kind of music that is blasting your ears in a rather fast manner that was created by Britt Brady (known for the Gato Roboto soundtrack), the game actually requires a lot of patience. I guess you can rush into the fights without any strategy at all but in my case, it never worked out and I got a bit frustrated. Not at the game but at myself for not doing what I wanted to do: Not Die.

You have to patiently wait for enemies to move a certain way and you have to position yourself accordingly, aim steadily and know when to move fast and when to wait for a second and reconsider your next move. Sure, the game may be a tiny bit fast-paced when you’re getting swarmed by four frogs at once or when it suddenly turned into a bullet hell game with all the mushrooms shooting at you… but it still punishes you for being overaggressive, which I found rather enjoyable.

The artstyle is…. gutsy?

Frankrekkk did a great job to portray the inside of a whale. It’s very red and it almost feels as moist as I’d imagine a gut to be… The enemies also come in a bit of variety with new enemies for each area and new patterns for their movement. There are small jellyfish that chase you around in the first level alongside mushrooms that are shooting bullets at you and small whales eating away at the blocks that stand before you. Down below, in the next bigger area, you’ll find a lot of skeleton foes that move based on your movement while there’s tankier enemies further below that hit hard and are able to take more than just one or two hits.

Overall, I didn’t get too far into the game yet. It’s mostly just this one frame away and I always get a bit too tilted when I play Gutwhale as I just am not really good at it. Regardless of that, I made it to the third area and nearly have beaten it… and I’ve unlocked new hats that unlock new modifiers for your gameplay like getting more points (that then can be spent on extra lives or extra bullets) but also only having one life or like replacing all enemies with frogs… or like having a high jump… and all of these hats and modifiers make the game not necessarily easier… they just change it up a bit keeping the difficulty and bringing something new to the table so that you can enjoy this finite rogue-like-experience for a ton of time.

Overall, I’d say that Gutwhale is a great game. The art style, music and gameplay are completely satisfactory but there are some issues that may get fixed in the future (the game just came out after all):

In the settings, the game gives you “options” but not really options. You’re able to play in “Fullscreen”, “Smollscreen” and “Bigscreen”, which is amusing at first but it gets rather annoying when you don’t have the option of turning on Borderless Windowed or change the resolution at all. Similar problem with the sound: Sure, the soundtrack is nice… but being able to either turn it on, off or have someone whistle, isn’t really helpful. The game is really blasting the music into your ears and generally, I find it rather annoying when I cannot turn down some of the volume settings or the brightness or anything like that.

I get it. These settings are supposed to be for entertainment only and stuff but “serious settings ON/OFF” would be a nice setting to have as well where you have these joke-settings on “on” and normal %-volume-settings for sound and music and brightness and everything else, too, on “off”. At first, I found them fun and even chuckled at them but over time it just got annoying, though I guess that you can either turn everything off or you use the computer’s audio mixer for it.

Apart from these issues with the settings, I didn’t encounter any other flaws or bugs or whatever and really enjoyed the game. Sure, it can be frustrating sometimes but I never felt like the game killed me. It always was my over-eagerness or my impatience or a false input.

Hence, I do recommend the game. For four bucks on Steam it’s a grab that is absolutely worth it, so check it out if you enjoyed this review.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

The Stray Sheep #56 – Uni@Home

On April 1st, University should have started… but due to the state the world was in, it got delayed to today.

And since the world is still in this state, “Uni@Home” is the solution that our University went for.

Essentially, all of my classes are being held via “Zoom”, an app just like Skype or Teamspeak but with video and invite links and “more privacy”… so essentially Discord… but less cool and less practical. I guess people are concerned about their data and privacy but Zoom seems like the same old thing all over again and it’s a lot less user-friendly compared to Discord.

I’ve had my problems with Zoom so far while with Discord I was able to explain it to elderly people for our literature club and, well,… they understand it perfectly fine. But maybe that’s a preference thing.

So for uni-stuff, we use Zoom and online recordings of the lectures, while we use Discord for our literature club meetings… a weird mix.

And yeah, studying at home. Has its benefits and bad sides to it… While you don’t have to leave the house, you also are not able to interact with other students all that well and that kind of sucks… but it’s also kind of nice as you don’t have to interact with other people (the introvert in me is pleased).

For now, I’ll get used to it and we’ll see how it goes. 🙂

And that’s the COVID-update for today. Stay tuned for more updates while I’m trying to decipher my prof’s handwriting… Cheers!

I hate games

I hate them all. They take away so much time and quite often they cost money that you need to work for, hence losing even more fun. Games are bad. Really. It’s not COVID-19 that’s keeping us at home… it’s video games. The number of new streamers and new people playing games has increased in the last couple of months. Kids are not going to school right now and some people don’t even work anymore. Games are horrible. I hate them a lot.

Now, jokes aside, for the past couple of days I’ve been posting about game mechanics that I don’t personally like and that I always find frustrating to deal with. There’re timers and scripted fights, contact damage and even invisible walls… and that’s something I’ve been meaning to do for ages now. Hell, some of these prompts have been waiting here since last year’s Blaugust… and they are finally out.

But I’ve noticed that while I really enjoy writing about something like that and being overly negative about it… I don’t hate the games themselves (apart from Witcher 1 – I hate that game for other reasons, too, but also because of some of the bad features it has). Sparking a discussion and reading and writing comments about these topics really was a lot of fun but I guess I can’t do that forever… especially as I am running out of things to hate on… I guess I could hate on Rogue Legacy for being a bad game but that’s just a preference thing…

Instead, I wanted to talk about something different: Good games with bad mechanics that are done well in these games.

There are games out there that defy the logic of “good” and “bad” design. There are shooters where everyone’s invisible and where you need to do the unthinkable to kill the other players: Screencheat! (How could you?!)

There are games where you’re on a time loop, trying to overcome one hurdle after another, like Minit. It’s at heart a puzzle game and the 60-second-I’ll-reset-your-whole-progress-countdown is essentially nothing but a mechanism, a ship, or the way to give you that puzzle-game-feel. You need to do stuff – and you need to do them quickly. It’s great. I love Minit. Even if it sometimes can get a bit frustrating (but that’s not because of the timer… but because I don’t know what to do).

There are games like League of Legends where the invisible walls are actually quite pretty and prevent you from getting a headstart at the beginning of the game and there are also some invisible walls in there that prevent you from hopping off the map, which is understandable in a MOBA.

And then there’s Hollow Knight and Hollow Knight is just a great game that I really recommend without telling you anything about it… for now. I mean, sure, it has contact damage to it, too,… and platforming… but it’s still a great game.

So, even if there are mechanics that I don’t like in games… I don’t necessarily hate all games with those. But it’s fun to rant about them every now and then.

Anyways, that’s it for today’s post. Hope you enjoyed this one! Have a nice time! 🙂

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hate timers

I like the Zelda games but I never really got into Majora’s Mask… I mean, I guess I should like it – after all, it’s literally a darker version of Ocarina of Time and it has some great elements to it both presentation-wise and gameplay-wise.

But I guess the main reason for why I didn’t like Majora’s Mask was the fact that it had this giant creepy moon – and also a mega doom timer that was ticking down, constantly pressuring you. I didn’t like the concept back then and a lot later I noticed that you can actually reset the timer with a certain song but I still never got back into it and uh…. that brings us to today’s post:

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

I hate timers.

Timers stress me out. They put me under pressure, just like the clock ticking down on me during an exam. In video games, there are timers that are actually well-made, like in Risk of Rain, for instance.

In Risk of Rain, the game gets harder the longer you play/the longer it takes you to finish the game.

Hence, you’ve got challenges associated with the timer and it’s also not a timer ticking down. Instead, you’ve got a game that rewards you with increasingly intense combat and tougher enemies so that it doesn’t get boring for you. To beat the game, you need skill (and the items) but also need to survive. You’ll lose if you die. Not if the timer reaches “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” difficulty. The timer doesn’t lose you the game. You do. The game is fair and I like that.

A timer indicating how much time you have left to clear a game is bad game design, in my opinion. It puts people under pressure which is usually bad when you try to relax. And sure, people play games for different reasons but I doubt that a lot of players enjoy the “ticking time bomb” character that some decks, characters or games have. When you play League of Legends and you’re playing against a Veigar, you eventually will have to face off against the Veigar with 2000 to 4000 AP who can one-shot towers with one normal attack and who one-shots your whole team with one W or a Q. Deleted with a button press.

Same goes naturally for the Bomb Warrior in Hearthstone or the Teemo Decks in Legends of Runeterra where you face off against someone who just holds out and stalls the game for forty minutes straight while you draw one bomb after another, reducing your life by drawing cards… yup. Very nice game design.

I don’t like that. If you have a section where you need to defeat enemies in a certain time-frame to get a reward, that’s a bit better, I guess… but having the “You’re fucked when this timer reaches 0”-character as a game mechanic for the whole game is just major bullshit – Pardon my English.

Either way, I hope that you don’t have the doom clock ticking over your head and that you instead have a pleasant day.

Cheers!

I hate race/gender-locked classes

Today we talked about a lot of stuff on the Blaugust/Blapril discord. Among the discussed topics was World of Warcraft and how Tessa didn’t like it (while I, for instance, haven’t crossed path with WoW, yet, at all).

Easha then confirmed Tessa‘s discontent by mentioning how they don’t like the “Time, subscription model, graphics, faction wars, class-race-locks, Blizzard being Blizzard lately”…

…and I guess I can agree with a lot of it. The Graphics may not be my style, the subscription model is not to my liking either (though companies still have to earn money, I guess), and Blizzard can be quite Blizzard-ish which also isn’t to my liking… and while faction wars are kinda cool, I thought that all of these points are not exactly points that would make me play the game. Instead, they’d rather turn me off or scare me away. One of them, which I also hate in other games (Dadaaaaaaa! That transition though!) is what this post is about…

Gender or race locked classes!

I hate them.

Naturally. Intently. I don’t like a thing about them and I don’t know why they’d be a thing.

I guess, it makes sense when you’re playing as someone and you’re that person and that person is known for being that class and that gender… just like Link is male and a bit of a swordsman with a thing for gadgets… but overall it’s not that nice to lock people into one gender if they want to play a class or to lock people into a race if they want to play a different class.

Source in the link at “link is male” (see what I did there?)

Belghast has posted about this issue a while ago when he talked about the fact that he’s got this character of sorts that he likes to create in games and that he generally doesn’t really like it when that ability is not available in some games. I guess, you can still somewhat create a beard in Destiny when you’re playing as an Exo with the markings and stuff… but it’s still quite annoying. Check out his post btw as Bel really did a great job on that post!

Naithin also discussed the fact that your character is locked to being male in “Escape from Tarcov” because of (and I quote the devs) “lore reasons” and the “workload” and “time” it takes to create those female characters. At the same time, some other dev confirmed that it doesn’t take that much time at all – and even if it did it’d be worth it as you can approach a larger demographic like the guys online who enjoy playing as a female or the women who like to play as a female. I don’t get why it’s so hard to implement something like that without causing a shitstorm, after all, there are (apparently) female NPCs in the game lore as well and the devs apparently had time to program those but not the player models that other plays are going to see before you shoot a bullet through their eyes. (That’s how shooters work, right?)
Oh and check out Nait’s post on that. He did a great job, too, and I really enjoy his stuff (as you may be able to tell from all the times where I link him in my posts, lol)!

This is the Winterfield – a/the sniper from Blinx 2 (lovely game!)

In games, I generally enjoy the class-experience more than being able to play a character with the same gender as myself. I enjoy it when I can have a cute character in a game (be it a male or a female one). Sadly the male character models look really bad in a lot of older MMOs that I’ve played (at one point I did play Aura Kingdom and Guild Wars 2 and while these two are very different, they both feature bad male character models, so I obviously only had the choice to play a female character, lol). And that’s kind of how my name “Lizz Winterfield” came to be as Lizz is a cute name and as “Magimos” (older username of mine) didn’t really fit a female character… and Winterfield was the most “Human”-sounding last name I could think of in that game (also it’s my favourite gun in Blinx 2).

But a lot of games also feature classes that are locked to certain races on top of only being gender-locked. In Black Desert Online you can only be a female witch or a female fae and not a male one, which made it weird for me when I played the new Fae class on stream and realised that I can’t select to be male, despite the character model looking like a child. A male child would have been a lot less… uh…. weird for me on stream, compared to this small girl here.

“Titenda”, the little Fae character that I’m playing in BDO. 🙂

In TERA there is some class that you can’t pick if you’re the reptilian-looking race (if I remember correctly) and there are also other games where I encounter similar things, which I also didn’t really like.

It doesn’t help the player enjoy the game if you’re locked into a race or gender you don’t want to play when you want to play a certain class. It doesn’t help if you’ve got to play only certain classes and races if you want to be a certain gender. And if you want to be a certain race it doesn’t really help the player-experience if you’re locked into classes and genders that you don’t like.

It’s the trinity of “let players be who they want, it’s a fucking RPG, you dingus”.

But then again, new devs probably don’t read this and even if they did, why would they care about someone who had to play as a small kid when they only wanted to be a bard in an MMO.

Oh well, cheers I guess.

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hated scripted fights

Scripts generally have a neutral and a negative connotation to them. In video game terms, “scripting” means “hacking”, which is bad in a lot of ways and hence doesn’t really have to be discussed (today?). The other definition is “script” in a sense of “screenplays” or the instructions that one is given in a play. A script is the foundation of every play, film or show. A script is a requirement for a lot of things to happen but in video game terms this doesn’t necessarily apply.

I really hate scripted fights.

What is a scripted fight, you may ask? Well, in a lot of roleplaying games or RPGs for short, the player has to face off against some incredibly strong foe only to lose the fight at the end, no matter what the player does. No matter how many resources you’ve wasted and how many potions, revives and items you’ve used, you won’t win the fight. No matter the effort you put in, you’ll get disappointed as the director of the game wanted you to suffer in this one, resulting in a bad taste that certain fights leave in your mouth. Or even worse, these fights don’t even require you to try your best but only want you to stay alive until the special attack that you need to use is ready or until reinforcements are around, which I may hate even more than a one-round-K.O. by the boss of the level.

And that’s what I hate about it. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done well. You can hate the general mechanic but still like it in certain games. There are games out there that don’t allow you to use potions and other consumable items in those fights due to the scripted nature of the fight… but just because that’s done well in one game, that doesn’t really mean anything in other games as you’ll probably use up those rare “Ethers” and “Full Revives” in these fights if you’re completely new to the games and eventually you’ll die only to be woken up in a different place where some NPC tells you that they found you stranded at the beach (or something like that).

Other fights are scripted with phases, which is nice. In Hollow Knight, a lot of the fights have two to three phases with the boss getting more and deadlier attacks that hit harder and faster than before once they reach certain health point thresholds. This is generally normal in RPGs of all kinds and a lot of games use this system. Boss Fights should, in my opinion, get harder the farther you go, to make it even more rewarding for the player once they beat him!

And thus, I like it when you don’t lose anything for actually trying hard in scripted fights and I love scripted phases in boss fights but I hate those fights where the devs make you lose on purpose…

And I’d say that generally, not many people out there like to those fights. After all, nobody likes to lose.

Either way, that’s it for today’s post. Remember that just because I hate a game mechanic, that doesn’t mean that I’d hate all games with that mechanic. Thought I should let you know about that.

Alas, I hope that you’ve got a wonderful day and that you don’t use too many of your expensive items in the next few scripted fights.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

I hate invisible walls

Games allow us to escape reality. I mean, you don’t have to use it as an escape mechanism but it’s possible. You can visit places you’ve never been to before. You can do anything you ever wanted to do. You can be whatever you wanted to be.

Some games allow you to explore a ton of areas and give you a lot of freedom when it comes to movement. Some games want you to explore and find easter eggs – after all, it’s an unwritten rule that you shall never instantly take the main quest’s path or the path that the game wants you to go but that you, the player, shall strive to take every other path first!
The Stanley Parable is a great example of that!

But sometimes this can lead to problems. Being able to explore a map freely can make you feel lost. In Hollow Knight, for instance, I’ve heard that some people feel lost and I myself sometimes didn’t really know where to go… then I sat back at a bench in a small town… chatted with the elder and eventually found out where to go next or where to explore first with the new abilities I’ve got. Metroidvania games feature a ton of semi-open worlds where you can’t go to specific areas without certain abilities, so you naturally do a lot of backtracking eventually after you found that double jump or the wall jump or the dash or the ground smash ability. And that’s great. I enjoy the exploration and backtracking in Metroidvania titles a lot, especially since they kind of are like a puzzle, depending on how much handholding there is in the game.

BUT!

While Metroidvania titles are semi-open, there are a lot of games that are supposedly Open World titles… but really are not. There are games there that have this annoying and limiting ability called “invisible walls”.

I always loved to explore these maps in different games and when I suddenly flew into an invisible wall in Super Mario 64, that would essentially annoy me a little bit. The same goes for a lot of other games like Beyond Good and Evil or Sonic Adventure DX or Tomb Raider, where you’d just stumble into a wall because the devs didn’t find a creative decision to stop you from going there.

It doesn’t have to be an invicible one but a powerful foe can quite often be just enough to stop you from passing through. In this case, we eventually were able to beat him, but it took us a while and many tries.

Some games feature killing mechanisms that punish your curiosity without frustrating you. A great example of this is Subnautica where you can leave the “island” or map that you are on (at least in the base game) and encounter the Ghost Leviathans who essentially are translucent and really strong. The Leviathans in the game can be killed but it takes ages to do in Survival, especially as you are very mortal yourself and as you need oxygen, nutrition and hydration. Therefore, killing the Ghost Leviathans in the so-called “Void” is not really an option, especially as they are a lot stronger and as they get a lot bigger the farther you go out of the Void! In the Void, these Ghost Leviathans spawn a lot more frequent, too, resulting in a spooky experience in an area where you can’t tell “up” and “down” apart with nothing to orient yourself with, with no option of survival and no goal to reach but plenty of dangers to chase you.

And this solution is creative as it’s not an instant-death mechanic like in the Borderlands games… it’s a challenge of sorts. You can’t win it, of course, but you can definitely try to live longer. There were plenty of videos by YouTubers that I’ve watched a while ago where they’d try to kill some of the Ghost Leviathans or where they’d try to outrun them or where they’d build a base in creative mode, trying to reach the ground and trying to survive and observe the Ghost Leviathans. You’re challenging the game’s boundaries as the devs don’t want you to go behind those boundaries.

But in other games, the devs tell you to fuck off and essentially just block passage using an invisible wall or a guard that would just tell you to piss off.

And that sucks. I hate it. In Nier Automata, you have vast, open areas that feel great, exploration-wise. Especially with the buildings that you can jump on and off from… but some areas are closed off from you by these pesky invisible walls and I just dislike that mechanic. If the world’s not open, why would you call it an Open World?

I feel like devs would need to find better mechanics to cope with people going to areas that they don’t want you to go to. It breaks the immersion when you run into a wall that prevents you from walking somewhere or that even causes you to walk on the spot. Instead, you may as well have a storm that pushes you away every time you move into a certain direction, just like Hollow Knight has in one area (found out about that yesterday!). Huge Ghost Leviathans scaring you away in the Void are a great solution to keep people away, too.

But I guess I’m yelling at clouds again and some things may never change. A pop-up like “We don’t want you to go this way, so fuck off and get back to playing the game” would be a thousand times better than an invisible wall but maybe that’s too rude for some devs and they just slam the door into your face, thinking it’s more polite.

Either way, what do you think of this? What are your favourite encounters hindering you from going where you’re not supposed to go? Let me know!

For now, though, I wish you a wonderful day and a great time.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!