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Everything posted by jonny_rat

  1. Further to the earlier post about some of the old Souls games having difficulty modes (as in, only to make them harder). For all the talk about Sekiro being one pure difficulty mode, no splitting the community, etc; I'd forgotten about this.
  2. I still think it's the biggest tech flub of the covid crisis (along with VR, as much as all the VR bloggers tell us that's not true): Stadia could have been the thing that allowed us to play Jackbox, Among Us, Tricky Towers, etc, with our families and friends, just by sending a link and helping them sort out an input device. That's obviously wishful thinking in terms of the tech, but the original pitch made it sound like that's what it was going to do, or at least aim to do at some point. Somewhere along the way it seems to have become a service for enthusiasts and converts.
  3. Aha, thanks, I see: I was thinking of the launch issues where this connection method only worked for Chromecasts and everything else needed wires. Which was fixed last year right?
  4. I think this is all part of the reason Stadia hasn't quite taken off as it could have. They've tried to position it as direct competitor to those very established brands, but most people are just seeing the product for what it is - a stream sent to a screen, for all the benefits and drawbacks - and wondering why it still seems to have these limitations. The point should have been (if you ask me anyway) that it's NOT a PlayStation or Xbox and rather than buying into a gaming brand/platform/tech you're taking your games wherever you go, no new devices needed, etc. Especially given that the tech reason (controller talking direct to WiFi) never actually materialised? It doesn't seem unreasonable that any pad that works as a generic Bluetooth device could be supported (.. maybe it is? Or just not on Chromecasts?) Sounds like Google are going that way with phone-as-controller, and possibly even ditching the pad. This seems a bit hasty if true: couldn't they find a way to position it as the pro controller or something?
  5. Steve Saylor is a really good follow for this: https://mobile.twitter.com/stevesaylor Part of it is that being blind only very rarely means that you have no vision at all, but Steve does a lot showing how he copes with playing a range of games (and comparatively he seems to have quite severe blindness)
  6. There's one interview (which I'll dig out) that touches on it but most of it was talked about at a games UX conference just before it came out. I don't think they were allowed to put it online at the time but maybe it's somewhere now? It was by one of the playtest team at Activision: lots about overhauling the grapple UI based on player feedback, rebuilding the tutorial, and being limited to early game sections only (as they were brought in relatively late and slightly limited in terms of the builds that they received, so no full-game playtests). Edit: nope, I can't find it. But here's the session description
  7. As I've said before, I think one day we'll get a breakdown of the internal issues with Sekiro. It's funny that he made the quote about 'overcoming challenges' again for this game (he'd made it before for other souls games) because Sekiro was the game that contained the least amount of flexibility in terms of options to mitigate the game's difficulty, so it was less that loop of struggling -> overcoming for many players and more struggling -> stop playing. It also had some user research carried out on the early sections and UI which is presumably why it has better QoL, accessibility and tutorials/teaching sections than the other souls games. I'm interested to see which way Elden Ring goes, but regardless of whether they shift their approach or not, their failures here are informing the successes of other developers, so they're always going to be discussed by people who are interested in playing them but can't, for whatever reason. (I actually think they might pivot on this in the future, I was encouraged by Miyazaki having his mind blown by basic playtesting)
  8. 1. Some souls games do have difficulty modifiers (covenants or items) that make the game harder, so that's nonsense in one sense. We've also been told multiple times in this thread that the games include plenty of features that allow the player to break the difficulty, which I don't agree constitutes a difficulty setting, but does also contribute to the idea that you're stuck playing at a set difficulty is nonsensical. 2. Please tell me that wasn't an unironic git gud
  9. As was claimed quite a few times in the replies to those tweets, along with 'just play something else'..
  10. And that's not even a recent game. I think two big pioneers were Half Life 2 (included subtitled sounds and a way of identifying who was speaking) and Life Is Strange (all the stuff about opaque backgrounds, size, colour, etc). How this stuff isn't industry standard by now I don't know.
  11. Going back to basic accessibility stuff for a sec, RE8 appears to have terrible subtitles lacking tweaks that would make them legible.
  12. While I don't disagree with any of this, as I've said before, avoiding making that direct accusation shouldn't stop us from recognising that there absolutely is a direct impact on disabled players in consciously electing not to include difficulty options. Maybe people who don't want easy options in games also do want disabled people to be able to play DaS, but in some cases (and yes, in here) they have been nervous about actually enabling the options that would let them play it. It's the last stage of inclusion, where supporting minority groups comes down to doing things that might actually negatively affect you or your experience (and here, it isn't even about affecting the core experience: it's mainly that the developers might have been to distracted or busy to make a great game). What were the points about completion rates? I looked into these earlier in the thread and when you investigate the numbers on PSNtrophies they're pretty unremarkable..
  13. Couldn't you just autosave every time the player enters a new room? I haven't played it so maybe I'm missing something here.
  14. No, I don't think there's any question that we should be looking to chide developers for not including features in those older games. I'm skeptical of the 'of their time' argument when it comes to Racist Grandparents but not so much here. The understanding of the benefits and ways that these systems can be implemented is just changing so much, and in some ways it's still a developing conversation. This is maybe why the DeS remake felt like a very conscious decision not to implement many (any? I haven't played it) of the most basic features that were commonplace by then. I think as time goes on there will be more confidence about maintaining the whole intended experience/creative vision while implementing access and approachability features. There will be more staff at developers who can expertly advocate for them, project managers will know to make time for them, etc. It'll all be quite a boring transition hopefully, which would be great.
  15. Ha! Seriously though, I did read an academic paper a while back suggesting that we're probably measuring people's enjoyment of games wrong in many cases by focusing on flow, fun, etc, and that familiar cycles of semi-predicable gameplay were probably more indicative of having a good time playing a game. Watching streams probably scratches that itch.
  16. Hmm, watching other people play through videogames on streaming platforms you say? Never know, it might catch on..
  17. Aint that just perfect though? The ask isn't that everyone can do everything, it's that a reasonable stab is made towards inclusion and access, within the bounds of what's possible.
  18. And as Cherry says in that article, better QoL features sometimes have an impact on game difficulty. Not necessarily for gamers at the peak of their skills and without any physical or cognitive challenges: for example, that save feature, if Returnal gets it, will make the game more convenient for those people, but it will also make it easier/more surmountable overall for disabled players or those who aren't as good at games. Re the iron man/triathlon, maybe we could also say that some games are like the challenge of climbing Everest? Climbing Everest doesn't have difficult levels after all. Here are the difficulty levels for climbing Everest. Sorry, I'm into mild trolling now,
  19. Agree re: Sekiro - I think they wrote that when they were just starting to play it. I've said it in here before but I think there was internal conflict around it. The QoL/tutorial/UI stuff is way ahead of the souls games, but the game's difficulty and pace just turns it into an absolute beast halfway through. If you can't grok the core of the combat in it, you're lost by the time you get to Genichiro, and it's given up trying to help you learn by that point as well.
  20. Holy shit I've just remembered that Dark Souls 2 includes an in-lore difficulty option, available in the first 30 minutes of play, that applies a flat modifier to enemy damage and player resistance throughout the game, fulfilling virtually everything that's being discussed here. It makes the game harder.
  21. Wasn't that you a few pages back complaining that people were misrepresenting you? Don't be surprised when you get some shit for doing the same.
  22. We're in agreement on so many points here, for all the appearance of two distant 'sides' in this discussion. I'd totally urge you to read this by the aforementioned writer as I think there's lots that will chime: https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/04/05/sekiro-accessibility-in-games-is-about-far-more-than-difficulty (I would also like to draw Broker's attention to the excellent quote: Disability is normal human variation, so we’re already in every player base.) In light of the comments around the stress of actually playing and game time in that article, I find it hard to agree that the souls games' adaptive difficulty stuff is a workable substitute for providing at least some settings. The problem is that they're nearly all based around protracted game/grind time, either for levels for summoning resources, which can be an issue for multiple reasons, and some are simply dependent on the player having a working internet connection. Summoning in bloodborne even comes with a big danger cost: scaling bosses AND opening you up to invasions! The compound issues are that they're opaque, based in lore, and often don't come into play for hours of game time. I actually do agree that these methods could be used to adapt difficulty in a really interesting and enjoyable way: they just aren't fit for it in their current form.
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