Posts tagged Resource waste

Y U NO WONDER!? (Forbidden Stars session)

During the Easter Holidays I had the chance to play this beautiful game once again. In it, you and up two three other people are trying to be the first to take control over four of your objectives through clever tactics, brutal cunning, cunning brutality, sheer force or some other way.

The game is a bit like a mix between Starcraft: the board game and Runewars but with a lot more Orks and 40k grim dark esthetic.

 

pic2471359_md

In this game I took the mantel of the noble Eldar with the goal of finding lost artifacts and crush all opposing forces by massive amounts of fire power. Whilst I was lurking in the corner of the map and slowly building me a army of improbable size, the three other factions was duking it out on the battlefields. The Space Marines player was tearing through the Orks, by employing superior combat tactics (AKA combat cards), even though the green waves were greatly more numerous. However, the Orks wasn’t only receiving large losses in manpower, they were also dishing out some on the Chaos player, and all while me, the Eldar, built more ships.

As the fighting continued amongst the others I only participated in some small skirmishes and instead built myself beautiful cities and improved my combat gear and tactics (AKA combat cards). But to my despair, it seemed all my massing of armies was about to be for naught when the Space Marines got a golden opportunity to win the game by claiming a unprotected objective. As their ships was about to send down troops for a sure victory, the Chaos player probably made a deal with Tzeentch and Warp-blocked the Space Marines. I do believe also heard the Chaos player whisper “just as planned” when this happened. This turn of events gave me more time, time I desperately needed if I was to have any chance of winning this game.

Which I instead spent on building more stuff.

So of course the Space Marine player won the game, but I won the resource and production race, and in my book that is worth more than any objectives. I ushered in the Eldar race in to a new golden age of peace and prosperity whilst the others were pettily sacrificing their people to the machinations of war.

Also, I think there should be a way to win by having more resources than the others, like being able to build a wonder a lá Age of Empires style (AKA me being sad over losing the game).

 

cute_farseer_by_tauring-d3k939a

Sad Eldar is sad

Pics found: Here and here.

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Semi Random Blurt #04

It isn’t the size that matters, it’s the quality.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system let’s get serious. I’ve been thinking about the critique some games have gotten from the fact that their avarege play/completion time is short. Games that come to mind are “The Order 1886”, which was ridiculed for its 5 houres of play time. But I don’t really see the problem here. Why would should a game get a lower score just from being short? Well they don’t is the answere (I think at least (might be wrong)).

As I remember it, back in the middel of the 00s, many of the big action and FPS games that came out were often under 10 houres long. Most could be completed the same day you bought them. But as I also remember it, no one really seemed to point out this fact or care. So why did “everyone” go bananas when “The Order 1886” was only 5 hours? One of the reasons could be the price, that a game being sold for full price should at least be X hours long. But I don’t really think time has ever been the issue, it is rather the lack of enjoyment that is the problem. Had “The Order 1886″‘s 5 hours been mindblowingly good, no one would have cared, instead it would have been raised to the sky like Simba and been hailed as a beacon of light, that quality is always more important then quantity. However, we got neither and therfore everyone got pissed.

Rafiki_presenta_Simba

Leave a comment »

Metaphors?

Why do we use metaphors? We could just plainly state what we want to say or write. “He kissed the girl”

See, that wasn’t so hard. Now there is no confusion. But seriously, why do we use them. A metaphor could just become waste of space and ink in story, the bad ones at least. A good metaphor enhances events, or rather the description of them. If we take the example, “He kissed the girl” and add “like a mother kisses her child”, the kiss will be totally different.

We use metaphors to enhance a event/description/thingymajingy by calling upon a “common” source of knowledge. Another example: “His eyes, brown as a young doe’s, sparkled in the light”. So here I used a metaphor (or maybe it is a simile, not totally sure, English is hard sometimes) to describe the color of a person eyes. I could have written, light brown instead, but because I used “[…] as a young doe’s […]” I call upon a common source of knowledge. By common I mean knowledge that most people should know, just to clarify. A person who reads this will probably think that his eyes are very beautiful and maybe innocent looking, because of what we associate does with, now for another example, but this time of a “bad” metaphor.

“His eyes, brown as a cesspool, sparkled in the light”. If this was used to describe beautiful eyes… it failed miserably. It would probably be a bad metaphor to use in most situations when describing the color brown, unless of course you want a disgusting brown. Than it would be a good metaphor.

Why do I ask why we use metaphors? Because I think that you should question how things work, even if they are the right way to do something. ‘Cause if you do you might just learn something, like how metaphors work. Also I do it because I’m interested in storytelling and narrative and such fancy stuffs.

Enough of a detour, if we go back to the first example: “He kissed the girl”, this might seem like very plain thing to write. You could spice it up a notch or two by writing “He made love to her face with his orifice” or “He tasted her lips, warm with blood and sweet from cotton candy”. These two ways of writing “He kissed the girl” spice things up, creates some dynamic to the event and also sets a certain tone to the whole thing… and it is also the reason why “He kissed the girl” can be a very good way to describe the event. If for example, the story is from the “He’s” perspective and it just says: “He kissed the girl” and nothing more is added. It can give us readers something to think about and some smart depth. Was it so that he actually didn’t think the kiss was anything special, maybe he doesn’t love this girl that he kissed. That is the problem with writing, there is no right way to do things, how bothersome… well not really, but since no real “right or wrong” exist, how will you know that what you write is “right”? (Dunno, don’t care, give me more chocolate)

Leave a comment »

About role playing and being a flexibel GM

Role playing is fun, at least I think so. Role playing is about interactions, be it to solve a puzzle, kill a monster or overcome a challenge, the interactions between the players and the GM are the most interesting. You could argue that almost all interactions are between these two, since the GM’s job is to create a narrative/a series of challenges for the players to overcome and almost everything can be said to be a challenge.

What I am focusing on though, is when the players force the GM to think on his/her feet, when the players do the unexpected. When the GM’s plans wither and burn, when everything goes in a totally different direction.

As I stated before, the GM’s job is to create a story/narrative/series of challenges, which most often requires some planning and “preproduction” from the GM (unless they use a published adventure). He/she might have decided that the players will be facing a dragon in their next session. The GM could stop at that point of planning and just have a pure slug fest between the dragon and the players, but it wouldn’t, probably, be much fun since it would boil down to “who can produce the highest number fastest”. Instead the GM could put some more planning in to it and decide that the dragon is inside a cave filled with treasure, traps and monsters. The dragon might have a really awesome chamber in which it resides, so that the players might have to use said chamber’s features to defeat it. Everything from dropping a chandelier to fighting on top of pillars in lava could make the challenge more interesting. Then, the players ruin it.

The players might get information about the dragons keep and decides it is way too much of a hassle to go through the dungeon. So what do they do? They blow up the dungeon, killing the dragon and all your rigorous planning. This sucks, the GM might think. Which it does, but it forces the GM to be flexible and react to the players and not the other way around, as it usually is. The GM could say that the players’ actions indeed succeeded in killing the dragon, but it also shook the ground so hard that the tremors destroyed several nearby villages. This would turn the players into villains instead of heroes.

Even though the players might ruin your awesome story or overcome your challenge in a very unheroic way, it is still fun. It is fun when things don’t always go as planned and it is fun to react on the spot. ‘Cause that is what role playing is about, to step in to a role and react to things on the spot. If everything is predecided than it isn’t role playing. It would only be a play. Being a GM can be an ungrateful endeavor, since all your work might be undone in just a few seconds or just completely ignored. However, the most successful RPG sessions I has had was when I had to react to the players actions. So don’t be mad if things don’t turn out as you planned, instead see it as an opportunity to do something else.

Leave a comment »

Narrativity: LOL (leauge of legends) Ekko

I had planned to write this quite a while back, when this was a more recent event/news.

But I will do it now instead, since I now have the time to do it. So LOL released a new character called Ekko and had a trailer accompanying him (there was also a comic (which I think came later(at least I read it much later))). The trailer was very cool and all… but when it was done I just wondered “why?”. Let me explain myself, I am all for doing promotion for new characters in a game, heck, I love all the trailers that accompanied every new SSB4 character (SSB4 = Super Smash Brothers for Wii U/3DS).

But what strikes me as odd, is the amount of work to get a narrativ in to the trailer. It is a beautiful, excellent trailer and it tickles my interest. But it doesn’t make me want to play LoL, I want to finde out more about Ekko and his world (which is part of the LoL world i guess). Because that trailer presents a rich narrative for that character in just under 2:30 minutes while at the same time showing of game mechanics (at least I think it does, I don’t play LoL so I don’t know for sure if the trailer is representative of the character in-game). It creates questions, whose glasses/goggles are we shown in the beginning? What are the paintings on the wall? Why does Ekko want to protect the wall?

This are great foundations for a story and it hooks you in. Just during the trailer, we get to see Ekko go from cool and calm about this whole time rewinding stuff. Saying that people constantly wish for more time. Time to fix things in their lives since they wasted away the one they were given, not fix things, whilest he only need a few seconds to fix all his problems. But as we see during the trailer he gets beat up and needs to rewind time again and again to beat his foe. But what we also see during this pummeling of Ekko is that even though he has this god like ability, he can’t escape his past. He can move back in time, but the things that happens to his body is still felt, he is still hurt. So even though he could theoratically undo any mistakes, he will still feel the consequences of the ones he made. Which is then clearly shown at the end of the trailer when the wall is destroyed and the owner of the destroyed goggles are revaled (okey, they do show it before hand but this is the moment when you are supposed to realise it as a first time viewer). That no matter how much he tries to undo all of his mistakes, new ones will emerge. He beates the bad guy, but he memory wall is destroyed. He saves the memory wall but his friend is still dead. Ekko is a “typical” tragic hero. Even though he has the potential to save everyone he will never be able to do it, because ironically enough, there isn’t enough time. Which is shown in the comic and hinted at in the trailer.

So why this long rambling about a trailer for a game I don’t play? Because it saddens me. This is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in a very long time. I love it. It sparks my imagination, it reels me in to this characters destiny and tale. But I will never get to see the end of Ekko’s tale, because he is in a MOBA. So the trailer is, and it hurts me depply to say this, a waste of resources. Why go to this lenght with creating a narrative when none of it will be in the actual game? Why not do a trailer more like those used to introduce the SSB4 fighters? With those we only get a narrative that is contained with in the trailer. Whilst the trailer for Ekko shows a narrative that stretches far beyonde the trailer. The SSB4 trailers is a full meal in and of itself. The Ekko trailer is a full-course dinner where you are only treated the first course and get a glimpse of the second.

Leave a comment »