ManeShadow 28 Lis, 2013 - 19:50
The Chinese Room Discussion.
I was incredibly excited for this game when and I got it launch day and played it for as long as I could. But what did I get? Well, I got a Machine For Pigs. Not Amnesla: A Machine for Pigs. It truly is sad how hyped up everyone got at this game. However, this isn't about bashing the game for how on rails it was. It's a descussion about The Chinese Room. I'm not saying that have a super big ego. But they certainly have a tiny bit of it. They seem to think that their games are works of art (This is coming from a person who firmily believes that Video Games are art.) But they don't seem to believe that gameplay mechanics aren't important for their games, they believe that the story itself is enough to keep you entertained. Which the cold truth is, it isn't.
You may have heard they are moving on to a new game called "Everyone's Gone To The Rapture." And I fear that it will follow the same path as Dear Esther and A Machine For Pigs. This is taken from the Wikepedia page for the game:

"Everybody's Gone to the Rapture will differ from its spiritual predecessor by allowing more interaction, such as manipulating objects, opening and closing doors."

Really? This is 2013 VERGING on 2014. Are we supposed to except this same formula again? Now here's the thing. I dispise Dear Esther with a passion. But the funny thing is. One of my new favorite games is the new HD Remix of The Stanley Parable. Why? The Stanley Parable in formula is very simmilar to Dear Esther. So why do I hate Dear Esther but love The Stanley Parable. Maybe it's because The Stanley Parable knows what it is, and doesn't take itself so seriously. I don't really know, but something about Dear Esther just seems incredibly forced to me.

So, these are just my thoughts on The Chinese Room. I always wanted to voice them but I didn't really know how to.
What do you poeple think?
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Gus the Crocodile 29 Lis, 2013 - 0:19 
ManeShadow:
And I fear that it will follow the same path as Dear Esther and A Machine For Pigs...
My bold, because I think it's important: you fear that. Other people have expressed similar sentiments in the past. Being afraid of the prospect of...what, exactly? That a game might come out that you don't like? Newsflash: that happens about twelve hundred times a day (warning: numbers pulled from posterior). You've survived. "Videogames" as a whole has thrived. What is there to fear?

ManeShadow:
Really? This is 2013 VERGING on 2014. Are we supposed to except this same formula again?
Not sure what the year has to do with anything. Every other genre has (by definition) been following the same formula, and mostly for a lot longer than TCR has even existed. Do you question every other genre this way - call out all those other developers for "having a bit of an ego" for the terrible crime of...putting a product on the market?

ManeShadow:
But they don't seem to believe that gameplay mechanics aren't important for their games, they believe that the story itself is enough to keep you entertained. Which the cold truth is, it isn't.
For you, sure. Other people don't share your views, your truth - I, for instance think both Dear Esther and AMFP are wonderful games (and I don't mean to agree with you that they're purely story, either, but this is not that discussion). So I can buy TCR's games, and you can choose not to. Not seeing the problem.
Ostatnio edytowany przez: Gus the Crocodile; 29 Lis, 2013 - 0:24
ineseri 29 Lis, 2013 - 3:15 
It wasn't Amnesia per say, but I liked the story.
ManeShadow 29 Lis, 2013 - 8:20 
You do make a good point, And I admit I was being slightly arrogant with some of the things I said. I'm gonna make it clear I didn't hate A Machine For Pigs. And I was intrested to an extend with Dear Esther's story. But what I tried to get across. (Which I slightly failed at in my original post) is that, while the Chinese Room can make amazing stories. Story enough doesn't make a game in my opnion. But if you like the TCR. Then go right ahead. I don't have any right to try to force you otherwise. I just wanted to voice my opinion on their games.
illgib 29 Lis, 2013 - 8:38 
Here's an interesting interview with Dan explainin why and how A MAchine for Pigs was made ad why some decision were made. Very interesting and he has some point! That's to point out that "videogames" don't follow strick rules, but as an art form they can made their own. At the end it's all a personal point of view. I can quote many bad reviews of The Dark Descent, back in the day it came out, and they say pretty much the same (or even worse).
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-11-27-how-the-sausage-was-made

"Despite this minimalist design philosophy, Pinchbeck maintains that he likes mechanics-based games, but only if the mechanics are justified. "We've been misinterpreted a bit recently as being this rabidly anti-mechanics company. It's not that," Pinchbeck states. "Initially it was a more mechanics-driven game. It really was a long conversation in the team and with Frictional as well kind of going back to scratch and going 'Well, why are they there?' [If] we can't really answer that question in a way which makes sense in terms of the overall player experience, then they probably shouldn't be there.""
Ostatnio edytowany przez: illgib; 29 Lis, 2013 - 8:39
slo 30 Lis, 2013 - 10:54 
The whole thing about a Doom 3 fan making walk-a-hall thingies is incredibly fishy.
Nightingale 1 Gru, 2013 - 0:41 
I think it would have been better for everybody if it was its own thing and not amnesia. (and I love the game.)
Juntao 1 Gru, 2013 - 10:30 
I accepted awhile ago the fact that some series only enjoy one or two great iterations before falling off. This is usually due to a different team or studio taking over development, or a new director taking over for the truly creative mind behind an IP while the original moves on to other projects. I've seen it happen with some of my favorite series and it's a shame it happened to Amnesia after only one game.

Yes, I was scared by Amnesia. Yes, I actually had to sit back and laugh at myself, "It's only a game! Why are you freaking out?!" I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the game. But what really hooked me was the way I interacted with the environment. It felt like I had a "hand" in the game. It upped the immersion which upped the fear-factor. GAMEPLAY. That was lost in AMFP. If this game didn't carry the Amnesia name it would be easy to say, "Hmm... another not-game by TCR that reeks of pseudo-intellectualism... pass." But they ruined what could have been something great. Oh well... on to new IP's with fresh, hungry minds behind them! Gaming never dies, you just have to move on and seek out where the innovation is happening.

Also... can we ration the word "amazing" a little more appropriately? The Chinese Room writes "amazing" stories? Really? You are amazed by their stories? You just sit there stunned after a plot twist, eh? "Pretty good" or even "above average" I'll accept (not that you need my acceptance) but "AMAZING"??? Books: read 'em. Films: watch 'em. C'mon... Beverly Hills Cop has a better story than Dear Esther. /rambling
Hadjimurad 1 Gru, 2013 - 14:23 
ooh, change is scary!
Dynamite St. Petersberg 1 Gru, 2013 - 16:43 
'Well, why are they there?' [If] we can't really answer that question in a way which makes sense in terms of the overall player experience, then they probably shouldn't be there.""

I love this line. I actually had a lot of questions like that playing TDD.
Things like, "Why does the ceiling always collapse to keep me from progressing? Why does this castle/mansion have its own alchemy lab? Why is each ingredient for this bomb I need to make stored in its own seperate hallway? If I can make bombs with this stuff, what did the original castle goers use it for? Why is it even here? Couldn't they have someone in the town make explosives for them?

I'm glad TCR actually made the/their game/s like they did/do. From a gameplay perspective, I can see how there is not a lot of variety and people would get bored quick. But it seems like they trimmed the fat off the gameplay and... maybe made it more realistic I guess is what I'm trying to say.
One example: Your character in AMFP didn't go rapidly crazy just standing in the dark, but gradually insane things started happening throughout AMFP as you progressed. Insanity was trimmed from gameplay and added to the story progression/level design.

One thing I can say for sure about TCR is that the gameplay has never gotten in the way of me experiencing a good immersive story, and sometimes that is all I want. I have plenty of other games to play when I want gameplay.
Eperiod 2 Gru, 2013 - 10:16 
I'm glad TCR actually made the/their game/s like they did/do. From a gameplay perspective, I can see how there is not a lot of variety and people would get bored quick. But it seems like they trimmed the fat off the gameplay and... maybe made it more realistic I guess is what I'm trying to say.
One example: Your character in AMFP didn't go rapidly crazy just standing in the dark, but gradually insane things started happening throughout AMFP as you progressed. Insanity was trimmed from gameplay and added to the story progression/level design.

One thing I can say for sure about TCR is that the gameplay has never gotten in the way of me experiencing a good immersive story, and sometimes that is all I want. I have plenty of other games to play when I want gameplay.

I completely agree on the point of the sanity meter. I found it incredibly annoying and not immersive at all, the same for Daniel falling over and backing up without any player input. MFP gave me full control and I loved it.
illgib 2 Gru, 2013 - 14:23 
I'm glad TCR actually made the/their game/s like they did/do. From a gameplay perspective, I can see how there is not a lot of variety and people would get bored quick. But it seems like they trimmed the fat off the gameplay and... maybe made it more realistic I guess is what I'm trying to say.
One example: Your character in AMFP didn't go rapidly crazy just standing in the dark, but gradually insane things started happening throughout AMFP as you progressed. Insanity was trimmed from gameplay and added to the story progression/level design.

One thing I can say for sure about TCR is that the gameplay has never gotten in the way of me experiencing a good immersive story, and sometimes that is all I want. I have plenty of other games to play when I want gameplay.

I completely agree on the point of the sanity meter. I found it incredibly annoying and not immersive at all, the same for Daniel falling over and backing up without any player input. MFP gave me full control and I loved it.
I pointed out several times the fact that i feel much more immerse where i'm the one feeling something when i want and not when the game tells me, at first it's interesting and creep, but it become annoying on the long run and after a couple of hour i won't even bother to dark or sanity as i remember him never falled over after a while, no matter how insane he's, so why even bother using the lamp when i can see even better in the dark with the cat-eye vision?
People went all mad when they removed that features, without thinking how really they where usefull or how much they really gave to them, so they went in the "Where there, why here not? So it's worse and i must hate it" state without even trying to see the game for what it is in their own.
And i'm glad too, as much i love The Dark Descent, but if had to play the same thing again i'd rather play The Dark Descent or some custom stories.
At the end it's all a matter of tastes, i like both in their own way, but compared A Machine for Pigs gave me much more, even out of the game. I'm still thinking at it and making thoughts. The Dark Descent it's remembered for it's scary parts, but nothing more (it's a bit sad but if you look carefully there's not much more to talk about, the story is good but too cloudy near the end ad after the end there's so little left) Machine touched some inner nerves that Dark Descent didn't.
Ostatnio edytowany przez: illgib; 2 Gru, 2013 - 14:28
Redvolver 3 Gru, 2013 - 23:56 
IMHO The Chinese Room should start writing books intead of making games, because, always IMHO, theyr storyes are at the state of masterpiece, but gameplay always suck
Oddbot 4 Gru, 2013 - 20:42 
It's absolutely alright to express discontent against something you don't like. This isn't directed to people who voice their disagreement, but to those who constantly ask The Chinese Room to do like other companies. Stop asking for uniformity and standards in gaming. If a game doesn't appeal to you, don't play it, sequel or no sequel. The developper will lose money from unrealised sales, which isn't a bad thing in itself. The Chinese Room has an audiance that really appreciate what they do. They are under a budget with a small team that can't do everything at a given cost. They put extra effort in polishing writing, acting, atmosphere and music score, among other things.

If these things don't appeal to you, don't buy products by the Chinese Room. If they didn't make any money, they would stop existing as a company, but it isn't the case, which means there is a market for the type "non-game" that Dear Esther are.

I do enjoy a lot these games and the narrative, art designs, score, acting, etc. is actually enough to entertain me IF it's very well done, which is the case with The Chinese Room.

People also saying that they should have done it as a movie or as a book are wrong. There is some value in exploring at your own pace, having to piece out yourself a narrivative with bits of voiced and text logs, in blending both writing and visual clues and above all, in giving the player a unique and personal perspective, which movies don't have.

--

On a side note, I am extremely disappointed, to say the least, that The Chinese Room signed an exclusivity contract with Sony for their next release on PS4, for which there seems to be absolutely no plan to release on PC. I've been a fan of The Chinese Room unique approach to narrative-driven games, yet no fan at all of this new generation of console and don't plan on acquiring one within the next year.
Ostatnio edytowany przez: Oddbot; 4 Gru, 2013 - 20:45
illgib 5 Gru, 2013 - 9:53 
I'm a bit sad too, but the deal were "make it or don't make it" Sony gave them the budget to realize it so they can boost a bit the Indie on the consoles. I see it as an opportunity for The Chinese Room to make themself a name and a bit of money to invest in new projects. But knowing a bit the consoles scenes i fear it will be a big flop (pity i say!)
gusgreco7 10 Gru, 2013 - 16:04 
I wasn't that scared by amensia TDD as everyone claims to be, but it was a very good game overall. An example of a scary game for me was scratches and i'm talking about psychological fear. Being alone and helpless and something is there that you can't see and a freaking story behind it that seems real (not science fiction).
I also liked Dear Esther , mainly for the presentation, the best use of source engine imo, i like this kind of games, very relaxing and if they are short like dear esther they can be worth it for me.
I agree with most people that fictional games could develop the next amnesia game, it was too early to give it to someone else and i wonder what were they working on and couldn't develop it as well? Penumbra games was a great start for them and i think they can produce a really special game if they are more carefull with the story (a game with a story that seems real please). Also with more complex puzzles that fit to the story. Amnesia AMFP seems like a mixture of amnesia TDD and dear esther and that is logical. But i think fictional games should move on and with the penumbra games in mind and new technology and a better writing they have all that it takes to make something unique. It's their chance now that many people know them and they have our attention at least.
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