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Forums - Sony Discussion - Creative freedom, bravery, and risk in games development/publishing

Jaicee said:
coolbeans said:

Oh really?  I honestly never thought of either as pejorative.  I like bookworm especially b/c there's an actual history behind insects (weren't actually worms) eating and boring through book pages.  "Cinephiles" is interchangeable with "film buff" too, so that's another option.

Maybe it's just how it sounds to my ears. Is "game buff" an option? I dunno, sounds a little weird and almost male-specific, doesn't it?

I mean really just calling ourselves gamers should be fine, I think. I think you'll find that in surveys on the subject, so-called casual gamers just don't identify with the term gamer at all. They just don't think of themselves that way, just like casual moviegoers probably don't go around calling themselves moviegoers or "casual athletes" who aren't professionals or league-joining dedicated hobbyists but maybe just play the occasional game of ball to be social or for the exercise don't really call ourselves athletes. "Casual gamer" is just a term we impose on other people who don't view themselves as gamers just because they play a game or two on occasion.

Eh, I don't know if it's male-specific per se.  I'm less of a fan b/c that's already been taken by film.  The variety in *dedicated to x entertainment* is part of the fun imo.

I like the simplicity of gamer, but you did bring up the key issue.  Since a greater plurality of people play *some* games, it's not as special to say "I play video games."  I don't know... maybe VGChartz can be the hub of wordsmithing a less cringe-inducing disparity between the two. :P



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coolbeans said:

Eh, I don't know if it's male-specific per se.  I'm less of a fan b/c that's already been taken by film.  The variety in *dedicated to x entertainment* is part of the fun imo.

I like the simplicity of gamer, but you did bring up the key issue.  Since a greater plurality of people play *some* games, it's not as special to say "I play video games."  I don't know... maybe VGChartz can be the hub of wordsmithing a less cringe-inducing disparity between the two. :P

Maybe!

Honestly though, I really do just think the whole debate is a silly, overly academic one that nobody but us cares about or will live according to anyway. One of the surveys I'm referencing (which it's worth qualifying is a few years old now, so there may have been some change in the interim) suggests that about half of American adults today have played a video game before or do so occasionally. The share in the same poll who said the term "gamer" accurately describes them, by contrast, was just 10%. (15% of men and 6% of women.) By this metric, so-called casual players in the U.S. outnumber dedicated hobbyists like us by a margin of 4 to 1. That's a pretty big margin. And it also suggests that they know the difference between their approach to gaming and ours without us having to invent a new designation for them (or for us). The average person's pretty smart that way. I don't see why we can't just keep living according to that very simple and natural understanding that the population has already spontaneously embraced.



IcaroRibeiro said:

1) I disagree. And unlike you I found Han's death an unexpected twist, as I was quite convinced he was going make Ben switch sides. It worked pretty well for me  because I left the theater really shocked. I'm on the side if I felt the emotions creators wanted me to feel, then they did a great job. That's why I like series and games that touch my feelings, in positive or negative ways

2) Disagree too, Luke last fight scene was fucking cool and badass, and his death was peaceful and warm, I liked his last dialogue with Leia too

3) I guess every new single addition in gaming is forced unless they are optional so you have a bad argument here. Your question about why changing the main character is also weird, why change anything? Sometimes creators wants to experiment a new story or concept, sometimes they want to please another audience, sometimes they are just sick tired of making the exact same shit over and over, there are many reasons to change. If anything I find more logical to change the main character in story driven games then keep the same characters over and over, rebooting their story and creating actual parallel dimensions. 

1) That's your opinion and you are entitled to it. I felt none such emotions aside from a facepalm and disappointment of one of SW's greatest ever characters dying without even a fight.

2) I agree that Luke's Jedi trick was awesome in its own right, however just like a trick, I felt empty and disappointed in Luke, considering the new trilogy made him out to be a coward and running away in fear considering he conquered fear in Return of the Jedi.. and then he dies without even actually fighting. We didn't get to see him be heroic in any form outside of a hologram. That might have pleased you however not for me.

3) Creators can change the main characters anytime they like, that is not the issue, like i said, i don't mind playing/watching new characters, however its how they are inserted into the IPs. If companies plan to make people full in love with characters than they should also be treated right when its time to move on. Imagine the next Batman movie, Batman dies in a Batmobile accident.. or Indiana Jones gets killed by Nazi's.. its way out of character. Let them die how they should die, not throw dirt at them and dispose of them like they are easy to replace. Han Solo would have died in a space battle or against impossible odds, not with something he would have expected coming.

That's the way i see current movies and games. Its all about pushing a narrative instead of trying to justify what made these characters we fell in love with in the first place matter. Some companies do it right and some do it horribly wrong.

Last edited by Azzanation - on 29 June 2021

IcaroRibeiro said:

The SW discussion is tangential but reveals how people treat their entertainment like a religion 

FF fans just can't get over the fact the franchise won't ever be turn based again, at least not the the main entries. Instead of trying to appreciate the new gameplay but its own they already decided they can't like an action adventure FF because FF needs to be turn based because that's the universal truth of the universe, 1+1 needs to be 2 and FF needs to be turn based  

That same Fandom then proceed playing action adventure games for other franchises because they actually like action adventure  games as long they are not Final Fantasy 

Meh, I think FFVIIR change the narrative around that. At least it sure did on me. The system they brought on is satisfactory while coupling well with the "old-ways" of the turn based system.

My problem with it would be based on them going solely for the action thrill. Like the franchise isn't revolutionnary in it's gamrplay as it's once was. It simply morphing into another beast similar to other game we've seen from other genres.

FFXVI might have more in common with Devil May Cry than it's former roots. Let that sink in. It'd be honestly difficult to blame anyone feeling alienated by these drastic changes of direction.



Switch Friend Code : 3905-6122-2909 

I'm ok without FF turn-based gameplay. Fans who want the classic FF games get Bravely Default and Octopath. My issue with modern FF is that they just suck. The stories are bad and incomplete. Character designs are flat-out boring. They no longer feel like they push the genre forward. FF used to experiment and was head and shoulders above the rest. Now they feel like big-budget mediocrity. Now imagine a more fantasy-based FF game with a massive explorable world in Amano's style and rich visuals like El Shaddai but Amano art. So a watercolor style of rich detail. Get the composer of Octopath to do the music. It can still be an ARPG. A well-written story with Nomura not within 1000 miles of it. Get whoever is in charge of FF14. You could have FF feel special again. FF has not felt special in 20 years.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

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Leynos said:

I'm ok without FF turn-based gameplay. Fans who want the classic FF games get Bravely Default and Octopath. My issue with modern FF is that they just suck. The stories are bad and incomplete. Character designs are flat-out boring. They no longer feel like they push the genre forward. FF used to experiment and was head and shoulders above the rest. Now they feel like big-budget mediocrity. Now imagine a more fantasy-based FF game with a massive explorable world in Amano's style and rich visuals like El Shaddai but Amano art. So a watercolor style of rich detail. Get the composer of Octopath to do the music. It can still be an ARPG. A well-written story with Nomura not within 1000 miles of it. Get whoever is in charge of FF14. You could have FF feel special again. FF has not felt special in 20 years.

Fun fact, Naoki Yoshida was in charge of FF14 (since the reboot) and he is now leading the development of FF16.



GoOnKid said:
Leynos said:

I'm ok without FF turn-based gameplay. Fans who want the classic FF games get Bravely Default and Octopath. My issue with modern FF is that they just suck. The stories are bad and incomplete. Character designs are flat-out boring. They no longer feel like they push the genre forward. FF used to experiment and was head and shoulders above the rest. Now they feel like big-budget mediocrity. Now imagine a more fantasy-based FF game with a massive explorable world in Amano's style and rich visuals like El Shaddai but Amano art. So a watercolor style of rich detail. Get the composer of Octopath to do the music. It can still be an ARPG. A well-written story with Nomura not within 1000 miles of it. Get whoever is in charge of FF14. You could have FF feel special again. FF has not felt special in 20 years.

Fun fact, Naoki Yoshida was in charge of FF14 (since the reboot) and he is now leading the development of FF16.

Yeah I might get it but the character designs are still dull as dirt.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Leynos said:
GoOnKid said:

Fun fact, Naoki Yoshida was in charge of FF14 (since the reboot) and he is now leading the development of FF16.

Yeah I might get it but the character designs are still dull as dirt.

I'm not fully convinced either. Need to see more.



IcaroRibeiro said:

Well personally I couldn't care less to ""disservice"" for fictional characters. I want a enjoyable story that convey my emotions, twist my expectations and provide me fun while still making sense from narrative standpoint and world building. The only movie on SW new trilogy that fail in that criteria is the last one, where you had Palpatine creating an army out of nothing and destroying the same navy only with their thunders

That's said I 101% disagree that new trilogy did any older characters disservice, watching them I only saw respect and nostalgia from the visual effects, to the plot, to the art direction, character design, world building... that is in reality an access of nostalgia and east eggs that kinds blocks the trilogy to run by their own legs 

About the old cast, they are all treated by the plot as important, key characters. Their presence all have plot significance, they aren't just "there" as luxury third tier characters

The problem is for fans those franchises are more than something to have fun, they are like a cult, a religion. They hate anything that deviates to a set of principles they already defined and believe to be the essence of the franchises

Han Solo always needs to be the smartest guy, he can't be foolished not even by the son he loves, raised and truly believed he could turn around because God forbids for a dad to believe in his children. Luke is a legendary master Jedi, he can't make mistakes let alone have weakness, he would never be deeply affected by the lose of his students, or losing faith because Luke is like Jesus and Jesus is flawless 

That's the reasoning of the average SW fan. That's why they will never enjoy anything related to the franchise the say to love. They raged over prequel trilogy, raged over new trilogy, raged over Solo spin off. I'm sure they will just hate the next trilogy as well

I think you are taking it a bit further in that last part, it's true that there are people that treat the franchises they like as a religion thinking that everything in them is perfect, putting them on a pedestal while being incapable of doing a serious analysis to really gauge if everything is as good as they think it is, and there is also the contrary group that thinks the opposite of the same franchises always treating them like they are atrocious products, the lowest of the lowest, incredibly badly done or that they don't even deserve to be analyzed or reviewed dissmising them, but behaviours like those two extremes are what some fans of TLOU2 an SW sequels were taking when defending them, not against hardcore fans, but against normal people in the general public, people that while not thinking they were utter trash, they thought that their stories weren't anything innovative, game changing or to be in awe for, and sometimes that they were inconsistent, lacking or were reaching borderline incongruence, that the new characters introduced were plain, uninteresting, badly executed or nothing memorable, and that the old characters were used or represented in ways that not only are bad or contradict their previous characterizations in some ways challenging the structure of things that have already been established in-universe, almost antagonizing previous entries in the series, like if you are gonna change  things like that then why are making direct continuations in the same universe in principle?.

When you say that you don't care about "disservice" for these fictional characters, is almost as if you say that you don't care for the experiences the characters had lived, despite how rich or compelling they could had been contributing to the story and its unfolding, if these experiences helped shape the structure of the universe or if they made everything more engrossing as a whole, then simply the fictional characters could die by slipping on a banana peel despite anything that came before whether said death it's incongruent or not; when you say "I want a enjoyable story that convey my emotions, twist my expectations and provide me fun while still making sense from narrative standpoint and world building", guess what, lots of people didn't find those in the SW sequels nor in TLOU2 or other sequels of already established franchises, not only the diehard fans.

Like, critics didn't find SW prequels good and cultist SW fans don't like anything other than the original trilogy, but lots of people from the general public and new people introduced to SW do, they liked the incredible music, the amazing lightsaber fights, the jedis, the more knowledge about the SW universe structure and many other things, for example, lots of the people i know like family, friends and neighbors even if they are not complete geeks to know everything about SW, can remember several important things from the original trilogy because they are iconic, and from the prequels not only they liked things like the ones mentioned previously they also got to recognize and remember the charaters like JarJar Binks, Qui-gon Jin, Darth Maul, Padme Amidala, Mace Windu, Anakin, Count Dooku, General Grievous, or the names of the planets etc., instead when i ask them if they remember the names from the characters from the sequels, my mother for example only knows that the protagonist is called Rey but didn't like her character much, she kinda liked the acting from John Boyega in the first one and the performance from Adam Driver in the last one, but she can't remember how the f their characters were named, and she just refers to Adam Driver's character as "the idiot son of Han Solo", oh and that the spherical robot was named B-something,  from there we have the completely forgettable pilot with also a forgettable name, accesory characters here and there in every entry, and scrapping the bottom of the barrel we have the unlikable and later deleted character from the mechanic girl from the second one, the general or whatever woman with the purple hair doing totally unlikable things until she dies doing the incongruent  "hyperspace jump" crash on the enemy float, and finally we reach the completely waste of space and movie time: the girl captain of the stormtroopers that doens't serve for much in the end, and also the deformed parody of a Sith that was a complete nonsense, or the blonde soldier dude that kept screaming like an idiot, i clarify not my words, those are things the people i know say about the characters in the sequels, so no, not only the hardcore cultist fans disliked those movies.

As an extra i'm also not against a realtime action combat FF, it's just that FF has been up and down for me on history and characters and other things since FFVII, and so the last one FFXV felt like an incomplete game.



Since the VGC staff have decided to weigh in in an official capacity with a pair of articles posted last night and this morning to main page, I thought it worth briefly speaking to their essence here (where I can't get down-voted). These two articles are:

Indies Criticize PlayStation Over Charges, Policies, and More

Housemarquee Wants to Develop Bigger and More Ambitious Games Since It Is Now Part of PlayStation

I'm sure the decision to post these two articles back-to-back immediately following on the conclusion of this discussion here was just a coincidence and that the first article wasn't intended as a swipe at me, especially considering that, unlike the other one, you'll notice how the first of those two links cites no accompanying article as its source, and was thus implicitly crafted by the VGC staff themselves (i.e. you might say a passion project) by rounding up random posts on social media that fit their preferred narrative. The second, "balancing" one, posted to assure the perception of official neutrality, by contrast, is a lazy, standard-issue copy/paste of an external news article from more credible sources like most stuff posted to the main page seems to be. Would either of these be there had this discussion thread never been posted? No. Probably not. Therefore, before posting my own opinions on the contents of these two articles, I think it may be worth pointing out that these developments do reflect on ongoing, transparent brand bias VGC clearly possesses against Sony in particular for whatever reason.

The bias I reference is clearly reflected in most first-party game reviews we have seen on VGC wherein the scoring of games published by Nintendo closely resembles said game's average score on Metacritic while most games published by Sony are scored significantly below their MC averages on a regular basis anymore (examples from recent years that immediately come to mind have included Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Astro's Playroom, and Returnal, although the occasional glowing review is posted to establish plausible deniability of this larger picture). Whatever you think of Jim Ryan, it's no excuse to diminish these games systematically. Whether Jim Ryan was involved in any of these projects or not, it seems that there is one institution that, in the eyes of the staff here, can do nothing right.

Now that I have reviewed the motives behind these developments (because they're transparent and annoying), which is that I have said something good about Sony at some point here and must therefore be discredited in an official capacity, let's get to the substance:

I agree.

That is to say that I agree with the crux of both linked articles. On the one hand, Sony has clearly crafted the PlayStation 5 to appeal to "hardcore gamers", as they have said all along, their institutional definition of which doesn't seem to per se include those of us who tend to love newer and smaller developers more than entrenched powerhouses with established AAA-scale budgets for every one of their games. Their previous platform having been nicknamed "the IndieStation", this seems as a new attitude toward smaller developers that has developed in response to the Switch taking most of that market away from them, which they had previously dominated. Now that the Switch dominates the indie games market, those of us who loves those games are "casual" gamers, apparently. Or at least not worth the effort anyway.

Anyway, on the other hand, that's (obviously) not what I like about today's Sony. My motives for buying PlayStation 5 were (perhaps ironically) similar to people's traditional motives for buying Nintendo systems: the first-party library, which I still feel that, overall, is second-to-none when it comes to offerings on the AAA landscape and that it's in no small part because of their willingness to take risks supporting games like Returnal and Death Stranding and yes TLOU2 and so on. Maybe that reflects a certain bias on my part in favor of material that's relatively thematically adult, which might explain why I find these sorts of projects more compelling than Arms or Ring Fit Adventure or Splatoon (which I think is a fair argument that some have made here on this thread and an overall personal bias reflected in the fact that Metroid is by far my favorite Nintendo franchise), but nonetheless I feel that there is more legitimate risk involved when you take those risks with the core gaming market of grown adults who play games for our own purposes more than for social purposes rather than with the family "expansion market", if you will, that you don't even need to succeed. But maybe that's just me.

There. I have said it.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 01 July 2021