Random gaming thoughts and questions


Lately, I’ve been thinking about game … I dunno even how to describe it - tourism, sight-seeing, relaxation? Basically, there have been a rash of games lately where players are somewhat encouraged to just … immerse themselves, and ignore the other systems in the game. But sometimes those systems are pervasive in other ways, so they’re difficult to ignore. Some games let you disable those systems, some don’t.

I’m thinking of - for example - fishing and hunting in Far Cry 5, or touring Egypt in AssCreed, or just cruising around in NMS. Hell, there are moments in a bunch of the better made “survival games” where sometimes it’d be nice to just kick back, appreciate the simulation, and maybe do a little sightseeing. But in those games, I’m also freezing to death, starving, and oh shit a bear.

I’m not sure there’s an explicit market for a game comprised of just those features, though. I mean, sure, hunting games have always been popular, but I think people prefer the “nature” simulation of the titles where more stuff is going on. Whether that nature is animals bein’ animals, or humans walking or driving around a virtual city, I think players want the chance to interrupt the simulation and do something. But I know they also sometimes get annoyed when the simulation interrupts them. I know I was sometimes aggravated when I was trying to do something fairly relaxing in FC5 and suddenly a plane was crashing into that nice man near me and now everything is on fire dammit.

I expect RDR2 to be similar. I have a feeling a lot of folks are just going to walk away from the main story at some point and just … exist in this world.

I pretty much have zero point to this post, other than to highlight this emerging behavior with players, all due to the increasing fidelity and depth of system interactions implemented by modern developers. I think it’s cool.


I always like it when games give you opportunities to stop and smell the roses, going right back to the cleric in a town in Ultima III who is standing by a pond and says ‘is it not lovely’.

Many of the games I come back to frequently – the Ultimas, Unreal, Morrowind – allow some scope for this kind of relaxed sightseeing. I guess I still want there to be some meat on the gameplay bone as well, though.


Every time I play a video game with massive graveyards I feel compelled to check each and every headstone. It doesn’t matter how big the graveyard is or how many headstones there are, I have to try to interact with all of them. Right now I am playing Grim Dawn, and I have found one single headstone that I can interact with. But there’s hundreds of the damn things. And even though there’s so little pay off in this instance, I still find myself checking them every time I pass by. Damn these headstones. And damn you, Legend of Zelda, for making me this way.


Some crowdfunded games use headstones as backer rewards, no? I feel like Pillars of Eternity might have done this – or maybe it was just those weird NPCs that have nothing to do with the game itself. That was rather immersion breaking…

Ultima V had some funny gravestone inscriptions.


There is a game about that compulsion. A friend gifted it to me last Xmas. Very appropriate!

It’s, quite litterally and without any irony, the Dark Souls of graveyard walking simulators.

Edit: I just noticed the joke price, haha!


JP LeBreton has a series of “Tourism” Mods, that remove all enemies.

A longer list of game tourism games here:


Torment: Tides of Numenera did that. Some backers used ostensibly in-universe names, some used silly leetspeak. The overall effect simulated the passage of eons. Like so much of the game, the graveyard that contained the tombstones felt weirder and more interesting than I expected.


Yeah, I didn’t know NPCs were going to spout random backer nonsense when I started playing that game. I was so confused and so turned off. At first I thought it was supposed to be a different language that we’d learn during the game, and would start understanding people. But then other people just said simple easy to understand but completely irrelevant stuff, so that theory was out. I just thought Obsidian had lost their writing chops and went mad. I was going to come on the forum and declare how I was never going to buy an Obsidian game again when I learned that it was just backer quotes. That calmed me down. Though I never did go back to the game.


I just upgraded from my 2010 PC, so now I can run all those PC games I haven’t been able to play for the last few years.

Now I just have to figure out where to start.


Yes. Totally! I found that jarring :) And super sad. Can I say that without sounding like a basket case?


Well the worst case scenario is that you’d sound like me. . . I’ll let you decide how crazy that is ;-)


Trying to decide on the next game I should buy and play. Any suggestions?

Right now my choices are between:

  • Gwent: Thronebreaker
  • Rimworld
  • Prison Architect
  • Nimbatus

0 voters


Voted Rimworld because ha ha, Rimworld.


I keep picturing that episode of Red Dwarf. Rimmerworld.




Watch the videos @Jason_McMaster has made. He’s great at Rimworld. Really entertaining too. Then you can decide.


I have actually watched Jason play several rounds of this on Twitch and I don’t feel like I am any closer to understanding a bit of what’s actually happening. Looks like a lot of inventory management.


Oh, don’t get me wrong. I don’t play it. I just can’t wrap my head around it. But I like watching Jason play it. :)


I really like the game, because I have some basic understanding (thanks, in part, to the person referenced here numerous times), but also because I don’t understand much of it, so all my colonies are failures from the start. Where I to become slightly more skilled, I can see how it might get frustrating to lose.
Anyway, game is so awesome that it is even awesome when you suck at it.


if I added up all the time it would take to complete the daily quests for the games I consider myself “currently playing,” it would be a full-time job. It’s too much. Way too much. And I feel like they’re actively getting in the way of the part of the game I’d really like to enjoy that day.

I love small daily bonuses and all, but it sucks when various aspects of a game are balanced around completing them on a regular basis. In a sense they’re causing me to mentally shelve a game when trying to decide which quests I just don’t want to keep up with for the time being. I find it hard to play these games at all if I feel like I’m just “falling behind” (even though I’m not, really) every time I ignore the quests for a few days.

The thing is, this is mostly just all in my mind. If I would have more fun going and doing something else and ignoring the daily quests, I’d still be doing exactly what i wanted to do in that game. But the nagging feeling that I’m leaving something valuable on the table while I ignore these quests just gnaws at me the whole time.

I recognize that it’s nothing more than a cheap mechanic to coax me into logging into a game on a frequent basis, but Bleh!