Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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Rahsennor
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by Rahsennor » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:37 pm

Bregalad wrote:Riven you cannot get killed, but you can be trapped in an empty room.
Gehn will shoot you under certain conditions. IIRC you have to be pretty dumb (like me) to get that particular ending, so I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't seen it, but even Wikipedia mentions it.

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Myask
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by Myask » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:11 am

Wouldn't want to say that loss and victory are necessary conditions for a game to be a game [Tetris A], but I do think "victory and loss states are both possible, and player input influences which may be reached" is sufficient to call something a game.

"A victory state exists, and player input influences when it is reached" would be Portopia.
"A loss state exists, and player input influences when it is reached" would be Tetris.

One may note that in both cases, a lack of input guarantees the loss or that victory is never reached.

tepples
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by tepples » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Myask wrote:One may note that in both cases, a lack of input guarantees the loss or that victory is never reached.
By that measure, Mario Party series isn't a game. I seem to remember watching videos of someone playing its minigames without any input and winning.

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Myask
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by Myask » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:37 pm

Wasn't including that as part of the definition, just a typical feature of "PnC adventure" and "endurance"-type games which may lack loss and victory states, respectively. [Besides, without input in Mario Party, you never roll a die, never START the minigame, etc. etc.]

Also, those are still unlikely outcomes (taking many retries to get the "null input beats AI" footage)…and, as a competitive game, win AND loss states exist. So it fits the less-complicated first definition I put.

One could imagine a Dr. Mario level and pill sequence that can be won with null-input. After a certain virus count, this becomes impossible, simply because the virii can no longer all fit in monocolor pairs/triples alongside the drop path. However, 1. it is exceedingly unlikely and 2. the progression of levels (ignoring for the moment the menu-type input needed to progress levels) will eventually lead to a state where P(loss|∄input) = 1.

Nor am I stipulating either as necessary nor sufficient conditions for a game, merely supporting arguments therefor.

pstalcup
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by pstalcup » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:32 am

It really depends on what you mean by "winning" and "losing"

For example, games that require you to do things in a time limit may be considered "unwinnable" and "unlosable"
Like Fruit Ninja where you have to slice fruit, but if you choose not to, it isn't really a problem. You could argue, though, that the fact that the game "ends", in neither a victory or a loss, means it still has "win conditions", but at this point, we're arguing in pedantry, not in actual game design.

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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by tepples » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:13 am

Or to put it more succinctly: Can you "win" golf? Whether so or not, you can "win" speedrunning B-type Tetris to the same extent.

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Myask
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by Myask » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:00 am

tepples wrote:Or to put it more succinctly: Can you "win" golf? Whether so or not, you can "win" speedrunning B-type Tetris to the same extent.
True! These are in "competitive score*-based", which have a very simple definition of winning; who has the better score wins. Golf has an insuperable score at strokes = holes.

*let time be a score

Pokun
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by Pokun » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:17 pm

tepples wrote:
Myask wrote:One may note that in both cases, a lack of input guarantees the loss or that victory is never reached.
By that measure, Mario Party series isn't a game. I seem to remember watching videos of someone playing its minigames without any input and winning.
Haha I love that clip. Then again no input could also be considered a kind of input. Like the low block in Super Punch Out is only done by not pressing any buttons. But in this case it's really just that the random factor in Mario Party is very high.

furrykef
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by furrykef » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:08 pm

Going back to the original post... I feel this "modular" approach to game design and implementation often leads to a game that feels like different games bolted together. That's generally not a good thing, if you ask me. I think games should feel like a sort of unified whole as much as possible.

I don't like "modes" in games in general. A classic example and major offender is the JRPG. The typical JRPG has two primary modes: an overworld mode where you walk around, talk to people, open chests, etc.; and a battle mode where you fight monsters. Have you noticed, though, that the overworld mode is almost completely lacking in gameplay? You're making very few interesting decisions while in overworld mode; you're mostly just going through the motions. And you spend hours and hours doing that! No wonder I don't play many JRPGs these days.

Now take an action RPG (or action-adventure or whatever you want to call it) like The Legend of Zelda. There's still a little too much walking and talking for my taste, but y'know what? The monsters don't really interrupt you the way they do in a JRPG. They don't yank you out of your overworld exploring and go, "And now for something completely different!" You just take care of the monster then and there, and then you're on your way. If that's not a seamless, well integrated experience, what is?

calima
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by calima » Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:32 am

furrykef wrote:I don't like "modes" in games in general. A classic example and major offender is the JRPG. The typical JRPG has two primary modes: an overworld mode where you walk around, talk to people, open chests, etc.; and a battle mode where you fight monsters. Have you noticed, though, that the overworld mode is almost completely lacking in gameplay? You're making very few interesting decisions while in overworld mode; you're mostly just going through the motions. And you spend hours and hours doing that! No wonder I don't play many JRPGs these days.

Now take an action RPG (or action-adventure or whatever you want to call it) like The Legend of Zelda. There's still a little too much walking and talking for my taste, but y'know what? The monsters don't really interrupt you the way they do in a JRPG. They don't yank you out of your overworld exploring and go, "And now for something completely different!" You just take care of the monster then and there, and then you're on your way. If that's not a seamless, well integrated experience, what is?
Many modern JRPGs have you fight in the overworld, you can escape behind terrain features and even run away. Xenoblade is a good example.

Also, I disagree that exploring is not gameplay. About Zelda, in some Zeldas, in places I get this feeling "oh just quit with the #¤#% monsters and let me solve the damn puzzle in peace", haha.

Pokun
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Re: Managing complexity by delegating minigames

Post by Pokun » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:12 am

Yeah exploring is definitely a big part of the gameplay in those games. As I said the exploring mode is a place where you take important strategical decisions (something I'd consider game defining) just like in battles. The importance of these decisions varies between games though. In your avarage DQ or FF game it's mostly about healing, treasure collection and the occasional puzzle, while Lufia II for instance have tons of quite challenging puzzles in each dungeon. Also the random encounters are strictly limited to the world map, while in dungeons monsters move in a rogue-like turn-based fashion so you can still not easily avoid them.

The nature of the JRPG battles is like it is, of course, due to the fact that the genre originates in paper and pen RPGs. How much the battle mode is integrated in the exploration mode also varies greatly between games as Calima said.

Personally I greatly enjoy games that mixes several game modes as long as they are all done well and fit into the situation.

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