Random gaming thoughts and questions


This has been bugging me lots with Destiny, Titanfall and now Anthem.

From someone who comes from the Robotech/Macross/Mechwarrior/Battletech/Transformers school of big robot guns, I can’t see the whole PREMISE of “small arms fire” being useful against beasts/giant mechs.

I saw this with the useless US Army humans Michael Bay liked to use as background fodder alongside the giant robots but these small guns just feel anachronistic in these scifi-fantasy settings.

I mean, you could wave your hand and justify it with…uh, magic bullets? To be fair, it didn’t feel as lopsided in Mass Effect series.

Anyone else?



I agree on all parts, except Titanfall did at least try to address this by giving lone pilots specialized anti-Titan weapons they could equip. And those had huge disadvantages if used against personnel. And standard firearms were mostly garbage towards Titans, unless you pulled off a mount & kill maneuver.

But even the anti-titan weapons were mostly just a dangerous nuisance unless completely ignored.



On more than one occasion I’ve seen people using the word “crunchy” to describe a video game. What the hell does it mean for a game to be “crunchy”?



Pretty sure it means highly detailed. And mixed with Rice Crispies.



I’ve seen it used to mean “containing intricate mechanics to pore over, contemplate, and master”. Usually in contrast with “fluffy”, for games with relatively simple mechanics and relying on their aesthetics for appeal.



So would “crunchy” be a synonym for “fiddly” then?



I’ve seen it used in the context of RPGs or Warhammer 40K.

Crunch: The stat blocks for characters, enemies, NPCs, etc.
Fluff: The little narrative back-stories, context, and blurbs describing non-mechanical aspects.

Fluff is used in a derogatory manner by rules lawyers and players of that ilk.



A game can be fiddly without being crunchy, and vice-versa, though I’d argue that there is a heavy overlap for the two, yeah.

This is basically how I see it used, and I would add, smiling, that in my circles, “crunchy” is often used as a slur rather than “fluffy,” but different strokes for different folks.

Crunchy games have complex, interwoven, often mathematical, optimizable mechanical systems at their heart, and players are invited–or perhaps required–to leap into that stuff and roll around in it. There’s a certain joy in tweaking all those systems to find maximally awesome results, and they can feel extremely customizable and deep, especially while you’re still learning how all the moving parts interconnect.

A non-crunchy game eschews some or all of that, or reduces the focus on those elements in favor of other things. The prototypical other side of the axis is “fluff”–worldbuilding, lore, narrative structures, storytelling, descriptiveness, aesthetics, social elements. All the right-brain stuff! These games can still be deep and customizable, just in different ways. Rather than balancing your myriad armor bonuses to produce the hardest-to-hit hero, you’re optimizing your faction relationships by questing, establishing a name for yourself, investigating how the world of the game ticks rather than the systems of the game in order to find your place in it and path to victory.



Oh… NUMBER-crunchy.



I’ve commonly seen it refer to if melee combat or gunplay is sufficiently noisy, responsive or …tactile?



I hate fishing in video games.

I hate how boring it is.
I hate the associated mini-games for it.
I hate filling my pack with junk.
I hate reeling in the wrong fish.
I hate reeling in trash mobs.
I hate looking for fishing spots.
I hate losing inventory space for fishing gear.
I hate having to equip the pole in place of a weapon.
I hate when it’s mandatory.
I hate when it’s optional.
I hate when my pole breaks.
I hate finding bait.
I hate being attacked and interrupted.
I hate the fishing tutorials.
I hate seasonal and daylight restrictions.
I hate the bloopy sound effects of the float hitting the water.
I hate the chittering of the reel.
I hate the whip sound of the line.
I hate fishing alone.
I hate fishing with MMO guildies.
I hate fishing with NPCs.
I hate fishing contests.
I hate putting the entire game on hold just to jump through these stupid hoops.



I love the idea of fishing in games. I just wish they’d toss in even a tiny parcel of tactics/skill rather than the normal RNG. ‘Does the MMO have fishing’ is literally one of the first things I look for. But they’re all RNG based with almost no skill/strategy involved.






I enjoy fishing in games like Torchlight and crap. Which game are you playing where all that can or does happen?



MMOs like Everquest, WoW, Guild Wars 2.
RPGs and Action Adventures like Zelda, Torchlight, Monster Hunter, Xenoblade entries
Builders like Dragon Quest Builders, Minecraft




Speaking of fishing and water, I hate third person games that render droplets dripping down the screen when disturbing water. Hey, developers, that’s fourth wall breaking! AC:Odyssey does this, so annoying.



Forza Horizon 3 is so bad about this in the rain (and the river bed) I crash into shit I couldn’t see.



That’s terrible!



Sometimes I get sudden reminders just how small the gaming world really is. Occassionally I’ll stumble across EverQuest guildies from 18 years ago in modern games like Guild Wars 2, I’ll find out I was in the same Tribes clan in 1999 with certain Qt3 members almost 2 decades after the fact, and many other instances of happenstance. Some people just keep showing up again and again.

Usually I happen to cross paths with people or guilds I’ve known over the years by just sticking with the same genres year after year as we all get funnelled from one big title to the rest. But sometimes memorable individuals will show up in the strangest places.

The reason this comes to mind for me today is because an old ghost from my newsgroup days on comp.sys.* reared his head in the middle of a Youtube video from one of my current favorite gaming channels. Sure, this same guy, and a lot more of us here on Qt3, were all interacting 20+ years ago in newsgroups, but typically none of us are just randomly showing up in unexpected places (save for occasional game credits).

Anyway, these guys ended up talking about a bunch of @dsmart Tweets near the end of this video (relating to the Epic Megastore) and I was just reminded again that I’m never really that isolated online.



Well, I am an industry figure; and quite possibly the only one who has been pretty vocal (you should see my Twitter feed) about the on-going Steam v Epic firestorm because most aren’t dumb enough to step in the middle of that. :)

FYI it’s toward the end of the video around the 10:50 mark. When I saw the video yesterday, I was pretty surprised myself. This is the long Twitter thread where they got those comments from.