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 Post subject: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 2:36 pm 
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I thought this would make for an interesting topic. What kind of settings do you like/dislike when it comes to the games you play? For me in particular good settings are crucial in order to keep me invested and playing the game.

Like:
Planescape Torment:
Planescape Torment is fantastic, ever wanted to meet the king of a highly intelligent rat species or find a bronze orb that smells of rotten custard? How about talking to someone who's every sentence usually involves fire and/or burning? You can do all of that and more. The Planescape Torment's setting is so completely barmy and I love it.

Elder Scrolls III Morrowind:
You're on an volcanic island full of ancient towers, ruins, and strongholds. Not mention lots of mushroom towers and buildings made out of Gigantic crab shells. Need I say more?

Dislike:
Fallout Series:
Maybe it's just me but I don't find post-apocalyptic settings appealing and the Fallout Series is no exception. Sure it's got the 50s iconography but outside of that there isn't much to it. I've played both Fallout 3 and New Vegas and I didn't find either of their settings to be very interesting.

Deus Ex 1:
Deus Ex 1 reeks of 90s cheese, The Matrix cheese and cheese in general. At times I found Deus Ex 1 to be so obnoxious that I couldn't stand it and was genuinely frustrated by it. It doesn't help that I didn't like the "Futuristic" setting either. Some people find these aspects of Deus Ex to be charming but I seriously don't get it. I thought Human Revolution did the setting infinitely better.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 9:52 pm 
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Heliocentrical wrote:
I thought Human Revolution did the setting infinitely better.

It did... But then again, it had much better technology backing the game, and serious research into what the future is likely to become in the next few decades.

Hmmm... Favorite game settings...

Space Pirates and Zombies: A far future where an alien hivemind zombiefication fungus is the primary resource for all intergalactic travel.

XCOM 2: Aliens conquered the Earth, you are a resistance fighter, do whatever you want. Dystopian semi-alien future Earth.

Star Trek Voyager Elite Force: It's FPS Star Trek, and you have no backup. If only it had more customizations...

Vanilla World of Warcraft: I always did love looking out over the scenery in that game. So many different terrains, so many things to do.

H.A.W.X.: The world is disbanding all their conventional military forces in favor of PMCs as a cost-cutting measure. (sounds like something the Dems would do) You get to see a lot of near-future areas of the world from the air.

Brink: Post-apocalyptic Waterworldesque island city.

Just Cause 2: There are consequences for blowing up a military base, and killing a few thousand people? Why have I never heard of this before? (and the scenery is nice too)

Lost Planet: I just like the idea of an extremely cold planet with a human colony on it.

Red Faction Guerilla: It may be barren, but it's got some nice scenery.

Shadowrun: Magic returned to humanity in 2012, and this is 60 years later. High technology, and magic... Who wouldn't find this intriguing?

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:37 am 
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Excellent thread idea Helio, sorry it's taken me a while to respond.

  • Silent Hill: Although there have been some weak games in the franchise, I still can't help but love the entire premise of the Silent Hill-verse. It's that tension between what is real and imaginary that makes the setting so intriguing as it is harrowing. I'm a sucker for the concept of conterminous planes of existence, mirror worlds that are both familiar and yet unearthly. I also can't think of any series that puts more effort into conceiving enemies and locales that symbolize and prey upon the failings and neuroses of the game's protagonists. It also has a highly open-ended potential for many characters and backgrounds, although the titular town is the focus of the series there are instances (Silent Hill 3 and 4, spring to mind) in which characters find themselves in either a decrepit fogbound purgatory or a brutally claustrophobic and surreal hell of corroded metal and appalling flesh.
  • Fallout: I have mixed feelings about this franchise, and much of that may have something to do with the internet being conceited and conservative more than real blame that can be assigned to the games themselves. There's something undeniably appealing about the idea of slightly barmy alternative history which resulted in empire ending nuclear holocaust. But I find certain aspects of the timeline both oversimplified and silly. Given the bombs fell in 2077, why does everything have that ubiquitously 1950's vibe? Are we supposed to believe that nothing changed, stylistically or culturally, between the second world war right up to the nuclear apocalypse? Did the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and even 00's and contemporaneous 10's really remain the same? Despite of what was clearly a rapid progression of technology?
    I also find all of the not particularly well elaborated guff describing how Europe and Asia are "uninhabitable" whilst other continents (Africa, South America) barely get mentioned at all, annoying in the extreme. Given the amount of potential a more globalized scope could have on a post-apocalyptic setting like Fallout, isn't this insistent American fixation all rather tedious? It basically amounts to DUH WURLD GOT BLOWED UP CEPT AMERICA CUZ AMERICA. Come on Fallout fandom, I dare you to use some imagination.
  • Oddworld: I always love a setting and a fictional world in which there aren't any humans or even any recognizable animal species, so the Oddworld franchise was almost guaranteed a cosily soft spot in my bosom. I particularly like how this series offsets it's often quite disturbing and dystopian themes (slavery, butchery and consumption of sapient life, extinction, etc) with a charming and rather cartoonish sense of humour.
  • Deadspace: I'm not sure why the internet and gamers aren't necessarily very keen on this series, often accusing the franchise of having "too many jump scares" and being too linear. Personally I think the first two games are some of the best survival horror games ever made, at least that I've played. I love futuristic space faring sci-fi settings that present human colonization and habitation in a less than flattering and even quite banal light - think how the Aliens films captures a rather matter-of-fact corporate attitude and aesthetic despite the staggering leaps in technology from what is currently possible. I also find the necromorphs more than a little repulsively terrifying, an advanced viral strain that manipulates and reinvigorates dead flesh in order to propagate itself.
  • Speaking broadly for a genre trope than an actual game or franchise, but I find sci-fi settings in which only human beings appear to exist (usually in the context of war) really disappointing. It may be one of the reasons I've never bothered with the Killzone series, but I can't help feeling cheated by a game that gives me space and withholds any aliens. It's a bit of a bias on my part, but I'm sticking with it for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:57 am 

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The Elder Scrolls settings have always been done VERY well, specifically Oblivion and Skyrim, for me. For Oblivion, I feel like the medieval and fantasy themes mixed very well, a good example being Bruma (and whatever the town was that had the fighter's guild quest with the Argonian sap tree), which IIRC was the northern base-of-the-mountain snowy town. Skyrim was just atmospheric overall. The occasional animals you'd see, the amount of foliage they put into the base game(although mods make it AMAZING, just like in Oblivion which is still an amazing experience modded), and the environments themselves. You go from Falkreath, a neat October-town to Dawnstar, a Northern-Europe seaside town. The only thing that could've made it better would have been a more interactive world but, eh, this is Bethesda we're talking about. They put in the bare minimum most of the time.

Fallout is also a pretty good theme throughout all of the popular games, albeit the science behind how their technology splits from us is still confusing. How does the resistor(if that's it, I forget either way) not being invented result in their technology being massively more advanced in comparison to ourselves? Also, the fanart for the Fallout games and their settings is *amazing* from what I've seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:33 am 
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Settings I like:
Post-apocalypse (Fallout)
Sci-fi (Mass Effect, Borderlands)
Cyberpunk (Deus Ex, Hard Reset)
Futuristic settings in general

Settings I dislike/am hesitant to:
Typical fantasy (DND) While I used to really hate these types of settings, I have grown more accustomed to them. I still feel hesitant to games with fantasy settings though.
Horror - In most cases, horror settings just feel weird to me and like they are trying to manipulate me into feeling scared, in most cases it just doesn't work and annoys me
Real-life based (WW1/WW2, real life scenarios etc.) - Personally I play games as escapism, to get away from real life. Real life based games, realistic games or "simulator" style games never appeal to me and bore me to death.

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 11:38 am 
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UndeadNecro wrote:
The Elder Scrolls settings have always been done VERY well, specifically Oblivion and Skyrim, for me. For Oblivion, I feel like the medieval and fantasy themes mixed very well, a good example being Bruma (and whatever the town was that had the fighter's guild quest with the Argonian sap tree), which IIRC was the northern base-of-the-mountain snowy town. Skyrim was just atmospheric overall. The occasional animals you'd see, the amount of foliage they put into the base game(although mods make it AMAZING, just like in Oblivion which is still an amazing experience modded), and the environments themselves. You go from Falkreath, a neat October-town to Dawnstar, a Northern-Europe seaside town. The only thing that could've made it better would have been a more interactive world but, eh, this is Bethesda we're talking about. They put in the bare minimum most of the time.

I didn't find either Leyawiin or Bruma very interesting to be honest. My favorite towns in Oblivion were Anvil, Bravil, Skingrad, Cheydinhal and Chorrol. I just loved how each city had different architecture. As for Skyrim It all kind of blurs together into a giant pile of snow, vikings and dragons for me. The only town I liked was Riften specifically because it wasn't covered in snow.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 1:55 pm 

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Heliocentrical wrote:
UndeadNecro wrote:
The Elder Scrolls settings have always been done VERY well, specifically Oblivion and Skyrim, for me. For Oblivion, I feel like the medieval and fantasy themes mixed very well, a good example being Bruma (and whatever the town was that had the fighter's guild quest with the Argonian sap tree), which IIRC was the northern base-of-the-mountain snowy town. Skyrim was just atmospheric overall. The occasional animals you'd see, the amount of foliage they put into the base game(although mods make it AMAZING, just like in Oblivion which is still an amazing experience modded), and the environments themselves. You go from Falkreath, a neat October-town to Dawnstar, a Northern-Europe seaside town. The only thing that could've made it better would have been a more interactive world but, eh, this is Bethesda we're talking about. They put in the bare minimum most of the time.

I didn't find either Leyawiin or Bruma very interesting to be honest. My favorite towns in Oblivion were Anvil, Bravil, Skingrad, Cheydinhal and Chorrol. I just loved how each city had different architecture. As for Skyrim It all kind of blurs together into a giant pile of snow, vikings and dragons for me. The only town I liked was Riften specifically because it wasn't covered in snow.


Right, yeah, Bravil and Cheydinhal were my favourite, other than Skingrad which was the most central-European themed, I believe? I 'unno, I got that vibe, maybe a German feel to it. Cheydinhal, as I said, was the swampy-town and just had an interesting feel and design to it. Bravil was... The seaside town? I love seasides / ports in fantasy medieval settings. They always have such interesting opportunities, specifically with how interesting imports/exports of people and goods can tend to be. Also, pirate-likes. They're cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 2:53 pm 
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Heliocentrical wrote:
As for Skyrim It all kind of blurs together into a giant pile of snow, vikings and dragons for me.

Image Sorry, I had to single this bit out. Sounds like a particularly obscure "Ooze-type" creature from Dungeons & Dragons.

I don't think it can be denied that Skyrim has all the hallmarks of stereotypical euro-centric fantasy nation, but I loved this game and I think the franchise writers did an excellent job of adding many interesting characteristics to the culture, flora and fauna of Skyrim. I also appreciated the fact that unlike many fantasy settings, the overwhelmingly nordic quality of the Nords (duh!) didn't instantly relegate them as evil northern barbarians in the services of demonic warlords, like they tend to be in most fictional worlds.

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Stinging is their only way to communicate.

Excerpt from Jellyfish by Judith Mok, Gods of Babel


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 6:05 pm 
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Selfsurprise wrote:
Heliocentrical wrote:
As for Skyrim It all kind of blurs together into a giant pile of snow, vikings and dragons for me.

Image Sorry, I had to single this bit out. Sounds like a particularly obscure "Ooze-type" creature from Dungeons & Dragons.

I don't think it can be denied that Skyrim has all the hallmarks of stereotypical euro-centric fantasy nation, but I loved this game and I think the franchise writers did an excellent job of adding many interesting characteristics to the culture, flora and fauna of Skyrim. I also appreciated the fact that unlike many fantasy settings, the overwhelmingly nordic quality of the Nords (duh!) didn't instantly relegate them as evil northern barbarians in the services of demonic warlords, like they tend to be in most fictional worlds.

One of my main gripes with Skyrim's setting is that it incorporated real world elements into it's fantasy instead of just being an interesting setting. What are the Nords like? Well just imagine vikings and there you go. It's pretty evident that the writers cut corners when it came to creating Skyrim's setting by having real world elements do most their work for them. This has been an issue that has plagued the series since Oblivion. Morrowind isn't grounded in the real world in the slightest. There are no giant mushroom buildings or buildings made out of giant crab shells in the real world. That's one aspect of Morrowind that makes it so interesting. To see just how creative Morrowind's writers were. The fact that the Dragonborn DLC exists for Skyrim shows how little confidence the writers had in Skyrim's own setting.They ran out of creative ideas for what DLC they could come up with so what do they do? Why they go back to Morrowind and use what Morrowind's setting had of course. It's almost as if they're apologizing for sticking you in the most banal setting that the Elder Scrolls series has yet to come up with. Again it's a personal gripe of mine so please take what I say with a grain of salt.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:37 pm 

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Heliocentrical wrote:
Selfsurprise wrote:
Heliocentrical wrote:
As for Skyrim It all kind of blurs together into a giant pile of snow, vikings and dragons for me.

Image Sorry, I had to single this bit out. Sounds like a particularly obscure "Ooze-type" creature from Dungeons & Dragons.

I don't think it can be denied that Skyrim has all the hallmarks of stereotypical euro-centric fantasy nation, but I loved this game and I think the franchise writers did an excellent job of adding many interesting characteristics to the culture, flora and fauna of Skyrim. I also appreciated the fact that unlike many fantasy settings, the overwhelmingly nordic quality of the Nords (duh!) didn't instantly relegate them as evil northern barbarians in the services of demonic warlords, like they tend to be in most fictional worlds.

One of my main gripes with Skyrim's setting is that it incorporated real world elements into it's fantasy instead of just being an interesting setting. What are the Nords like? Well just imagine vikings and there you go. It's pretty evident that the writers cut corners when it came to creating Skyrim's setting by having real world elements do most their work for them. This has been an issue that has plagued the series since Oblivion. Morrowind isn't grounded in the real world in the slightest. There are no giant mushroom buildings or buildings made out of giant crab shells in the real world. That's one aspect of Morrowind that makes it so interesting. To see just how creative Morrowind's writers were. The fact that the Dragonborn DLC exists for Skyrim shows how little confidence the writers had in Skyrim's own setting.They ran out of creative ideas for what DLC they could come up with so what do they do? Why they go back to Morrowind and use what Morrowind's setting had of course. It's almost as if they're apologizing for sticking you in the most banal setting that the Elder Scrolls series has yet to come up with. Again it's a personal gripe of mine so please take what I say with a grain of salt.


That's a very good criticism to have, too. Skyrim, admittedly, had a lot going for it. It's a northern kingdom of snow and ice. They could've had the coolest jump between south-to-north (Falkreath and travelling north really doesn't show that very well) similar to the perma-frost line(I think one of the best examples is North Quebec in Canada?). Winterhold was such a missed opportunity, not to mention the jarl buildings were such jokes. Might as well put everyone in wood huts and put a feather on the one the Jarl lived. Y'know, "aesthetic". I actually expected cool ruined buildings, or some kind of unique architecture, on my first playthrough. Oblivion was, of course, a let down in similar ways. The most noticeable issue being that *all* of the towns followed a strict medieval-fantasy theme, reminiscent of Europe(or that's how I see it, anyways). They could've done a lot more with it. The Imperial City was a good start but even that was kind of plain, albeit the prison was a neat idea but I think having a BIG separate building entered by a long bridge instead of a thin tall tower would've been better. I 'unno, just me. The palace was also kind of... Eh. Bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:50 pm 
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UndeadNecro wrote:
Fallout is also a pretty good theme throughout all of the popular games, albeit the science behind how their technology splits from us is still confusing. How does the resistor(if that's it, I forget either way) not being invented result in their technology being massively more advanced in comparison to ourselves? Also, the fanart for the Fallout games and their settings is *amazing* from what I've seen.

You're thinking of the transistor, which is a semi-conductor generally used for fast electrical switching, and is generally associated with computing, but has significant applications in most electronics. Also, technically, it was invented in the Fallout universe, it just took longer. As for the Fallout universe being more advanced than us, keep in mind that they still have 60 years up on us, and honestly, we've surpassed them for the most part already. Outside of certain aspects of nuclear research and robotics (although both are due to the low considerations of safety in the Fallout universe, more than anything). At any rate, by the time we reach 2077 (if we do), we will probably be terrifyingly more advanced than the Fallout universe.

Selfsurprise wrote:
Excellent thread idea Helio, sorry it's taken me a while to respond.

[*]Fallout: I have mixed feelings about this franchise, and much of that may have something to do with the internet being conceited and conservative more than real blame that can be assigned to the games themselves. There's something undeniably appealing about the idea of slightly barmy alternative history which resulted in empire ending nuclear holocaust. But I find certain aspects of the timeline both oversimplified and silly. Given the bombs fell in 2077, why does everything have that ubiquitously 1950's vibe? Are we supposed to believe that nothing changed, stylistically or culturally, between the second world war right up to the nuclear apocalypse? Did the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and even 00's and contemporaneous 10's really remain the same? Despite of what was clearly a rapid progression of technology? [/list]


To be fair, there's still a lot of uncertainty as to how dormant cultural change was in that period of time. The fact is, we basically know nothing of the hundred years between the end of WW2 and the mid-twenty-first century. Just a few snippets, like the U.S. becoming 13 Commonwealths and still doing the moon landing and stuff. This has lead to some speculation that there was still cultural shifts in that time, but people reverted back to a 50's mentality out of nostalgia in the decades before the war. Afterall, most of Fallout America appears to be a pretty egalitarian place, so something must have happened in terms of civil rights.

That being said, there can be arguments made for cultural stasis. Namely, going back to the delayed invention of the transistor, the miniaturization of electronics never happened, meaning that mass communication and democratization of culture didn't happen. Most of the 60's and 70's culture came from the fact that young folks were more easily able to influence cultural tastes due to the greater accessibility of things like transistor radios and instruments and other creative tools. Before then, the parents tended to control media, but ever since, the main audience of media has gotten younger and younger (even to the pre-teens of today). Without this, though, the revolutionary attitudes of youth had more trouble taking hold. Combine all of this with a likely more oppressive government (such as what might have happened had, say, Joseph McCarthy become President), and it becomes a lot easier to control the culture. That being said, most of this is still largely speculation, since again, the last few decades are kinda a Dark Age in terms of Fallout lore (probably on purpose), so it's hard to say what's up.

I do have to wonder if things like Classic Rock still existed in other parts of the world (namely, England), and was just banned in the U.S.
I can't help but imagine that the government in Fallout would want to squash any sort of "British Invasion" as soon as it could.

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:48 pm 

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Descriptor wrote:
UndeadNecro wrote:
Fallout is also a pretty good theme throughout all of the popular games, albeit the science behind how their technology splits from us is still confusing. How does the resistor(if that's it, I forget either way) not being invented result in their technology being massively more advanced in comparison to ourselves? Also, the fanart for the Fallout games and their settings is *amazing* from what I've seen.

You're thinking of the transistor, which is a semi-conductor generally used for fast electrical switching, and is generally associated with computing, but has significant applications in most electronics. Also, technically, it was invented in the Fallout universe, it just took longer. As for the Fallout universe being more advanced than us, keep in mind that they still have 60 years up on us, and honestly, we've surpassed them for the most part already. Outside of certain aspects of nuclear research and robotics (although both are due to the low considerations of safety in the Fallout universe, more than anything). At any rate, by the time we reach 2077 (if we do), we will probably be terrifyingly more advanced than the Fallout universe.

Selfsurprise wrote:
Excellent thread idea Helio, sorry it's taken me a while to respond.

[*]Fallout: I have mixed feelings about this franchise, and much of that may have something to do with the internet being conceited and conservative more than real blame that can be assigned to the games themselves. There's something undeniably appealing about the idea of slightly barmy alternative history which resulted in empire ending nuclear holocaust. But I find certain aspects of the timeline both oversimplified and silly. Given the bombs fell in 2077, why does everything have that ubiquitously 1950's vibe? Are we supposed to believe that nothing changed, stylistically or culturally, between the second world war right up to the nuclear apocalypse? Did the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and even 00's and contemporaneous 10's really remain the same? Despite of what was clearly a rapid progression of technology? [/list]


To be fair, there's still a lot of uncertainty as to how dormant cultural change was in that period of time. The fact is, we basically know nothing of the hundred years between the end of WW2 and the mid-twenty-first century. Just a few snippets, like the U.S. becoming 13 Commonwealths and still doing the moon landing and stuff. This has lead to some speculation that there was still cultural shifts in that time, but people reverted back to a 50's mentality out of nostalgia in the decades before the war. Afterall, most of Fallout America appears to be a pretty egalitarian place, so something must have happened in terms of civil rights.

That being said, there can be arguments made for cultural stasis. Namely, going back to the delayed invention of the transistor, the miniaturization of electronics never happened, meaning that mass communication and democratization of culture didn't happen. Most of the 60's and 70's culture came from the fact that young folks were more easily able to influence cultural tastes due to the greater accessibility of things like transistor radios and instruments and other creative tools. Before then, the parents tended to control media, but ever since, the main audience of media has gotten younger and younger (even to the pre-teens of today). Without this, though, the revolutionary attitudes of youth had more trouble taking hold. Combine all of this with a likely more oppressive government (such as what might have happened had, say, Joseph McCarthy become President), and it becomes a lot easier to control the culture. That being said, most of this is still largely speculation, since again, the last few decades are kinda a Dark Age in terms of Fallout lore (probably on purpose), so it's hard to say what's up.

I do have to wonder if things like Classic Rock still existed in other parts of the world (namely, England), and was just banned in the U.S.
I can't help but imagine that the government in Fallout would want to squash any sort of "British Invasion" as soon as it could.


Right, transistor. That's it. Also, good point. I just interpreted the technology difference as theirs being a slow-crawl before the 21st century and eventually it would've sped up. They do have some significantly more advanced technology in certainly bigger areas, though. That much is true. I can only imagine what a non-nuked Fallout universe could've looked like but I suppose the differences are what makes it great.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 6:11 am 
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Descriptor wrote:
To be fair, there's still a lot of uncertainty as to how dormant cultural change was in that period of time. The fact is, we basically know nothing of the hundred years between the end of WW2 and the mid-twenty-first century. Just a few snippets, like the U.S. becoming 13 Commonwealths and still doing the moon landing and stuff. This has lead to some speculation that there was still cultural shifts in that time, but people reverted back to a 50's mentality out of nostalgia in the decades before the war. Afterall, most of Fallout America appears to be a pretty egalitarian place, so something must have happened in terms of civil rights.

That being said, there can be arguments made for cultural stasis. Namely, going back to the delayed invention of the transistor, the miniaturization of electronics never happened, meaning that mass communication and democratization of culture didn't happen. Most of the 60's and 70's culture came from the fact that young folks were more easily able to influence cultural tastes due to the greater accessibility of things like transistor radios and instruments and other creative tools. Before then, the parents tended to control media, but ever since, the main audience of media has gotten younger and younger (even to the pre-teens of today). Without this, though, the revolutionary attitudes of youth had more trouble taking hold. Combine all of this with a likely more oppressive government (such as what might have happened had, say, Joseph McCarthy become President), and it becomes a lot easier to control the culture. That being said, most of this is still largely speculation, since again, the last few decades are kinda a Dark Age in terms of Fallout lore (probably on purpose), so it's hard to say what's up.

I do have to wonder if things like Classic Rock still existed in other parts of the world (namely, England), and was just banned in the U.S.
I can't help but imagine that the government in Fallout would want to squash any sort of "British Invasion" as soon as it could.

You've atually brought up some excellent points, especially in regards to my incredulousness of the seeming extended period of 50's retro tropes and the influence of counter-culture on media, the artistic upheavals of the 20th century from it's beginnings right through to the 60's, 70's, 80's etc were never guaranteed to have occurred, even if it seems unimaginable to conceive our cultural landscape without them. I guess it's the inveterate history student bias in me that finds it difficult to accept the idea that any era, especially anything post industrial revolution, remained seemingly stagnant and unevolving for decades.

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 10:29 pm 
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Selfsurprise wrote:
I guess it's the inveterate history student bias in me that finds it difficult to accept the idea that any era, especially anything post industrial revolution, remained seemingly stagnant and unevolving for decades.

See: North Korea.

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:09 am 
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BTGBullseye wrote:
Selfsurprise wrote:
I guess it's the inveterate history student bias in me that finds it difficult to accept the idea that any era, especially anything post industrial revolution, remained seemingly stagnant and unevolving for decades.

See: North Korea.

I see what you're getting at, but NK is one weeny exception among hundreds of other examples where the geopolitics of the world continue to be dynamic and varied. Also, despite its self-imposed isolation and wilful harkening to the previous centuries problems, the dictatorship of NK can never entirely shield itself from an ever altering reality, from outside it's borders or even within it's own machinations. And as utterly batshit insane as NK's political situation is, there is a tendency for the western media to elaborate on what little information the country is willing to divulge or can be ascertained independently, which surely "exaggerates" some of our western prejudices and assumptions about the countries excesses.
Even other conservative and friendless nations, regardless of their governance (Uganda, Nagorno-Karabakh, even Hungary currently, as a few examples) don't stop being culturally vibrant and singular places - and I don't necessarily mean that in the rose-tinted liberal sense - but simply as being places of human phenomena, with all the difficulty in subjective interpretation, context and paradox the entire notion of nationhood brings.

I can understand there being exception like North Korea, but my beef with the Fallout's timeline is that it implies the whole world, with the one major exception being America, simply stopped being relevant or culturally distinct. That just smacks of literary and imaginative laziness to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:30 pm 
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Selfsurprise wrote:
I can understand there being exception like North Korea, but my beef with the Fallout's timeline is that it implies the whole world, with the one major exception being America, simply stopped being relevant or culturally distinct. That just smacks of literary and imaginative laziness to me.

Nuclear fallout, and massive war devastation for almost all areas outside the USA... If you could manage to get enough food to survive, you would still have a nearly impossible time trying to form a civilization of any importance. (especially considering that an 'important' city in the Fallout universe is any location with more than 20 permanent residents, and the biggest 'country' being the NCR with around 700,000 people of various levels of mutation/irradiation spread across most of the southwestern USA over 100 years after its formation)

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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 6:05 am 
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BTGBullseye wrote:
Selfsurprise wrote:
I can understand there being exception like North Korea, but my beef with the Fallout's timeline is that it implies the whole world, with the one major exception being America, simply stopped being relevant or culturally distinct. That just smacks of literary and imaginative laziness to me.

Nuclear fallout, and massive war devastation for almost all areas outside the USA... If you could manage to get enough food to survive, you would still have a nearly impossible time trying to form a civilization of any importance. (especially considering that an 'important' city in the Fallout universe is any location with more than 20 permanent residents, and the biggest 'country' being the NCR with around 700,000 people of various levels of mutation/irradiation spread across most of the southwestern USA over 100 years after its formation)

But cultural distinction doesn't necessarily entail "civilization", by which I assume you mean political and economic stability. And even if it were vital, it's not as if civilization itself is free from the all too human drive towards violence and disaster. The relative affluence of America in the Fallout-verse compared to the relative apparent decline of elsewhere globally isn't much of artistic excuse on the part of the games series writers and fans.

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Stinging is their only way to communicate.

Excerpt from Jellyfish by Judith Mok, Gods of Babel


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 11:58 pm 

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Arcanum is definitely great, I don't even like steampunk but Arcanum is just so perfectly lived-in. There's such a rich history to everything and it always feels like NPCs are actual people and not just blank slates that say one line of dialogue (except unfortunately, most of your companions other than Vergil and the Dwarf).

Gothic 1 and 2 are pretty great too, not because its super unique, its just a typical fantasy setting, but its atmosphere is just top notch. Again, the whole world feels really genuine, all the NPCs have realistic schedules and jobs and the world/level design is fantastic.

My favorite setting though is actually from a JRPG, Trails in the Sky. The setting is insanely detailed, and NPCs have so much optional dialogue. Even though it lacks the npc scheduling/simulation of something like Gothic or TES, everything feels like its constantly in motion because all the npcs have their own names and little stories that have nothing to do with you and they act them out whether you're paying attention to them or not. Probably my favorite part of the two games was a sidequest in the second one where all you had to do was teach a sunday school class to a bunch of kids and it basically ends up being a pop quiz on various bits of trivia about and the history of this fictional setting, it was amazing.

I could list great game settings all day though, Dishonored, Thief, Darklands, Wolfenstein TNO, Shadowrun, Alice, FFIX, Sunless Sea, etc.

As for settings I dislike, can't really say I'm a big fan of Divinity's, just kind of a goofy generic fantasy world with a comedic bent to it, kind of like Xanth. Not a big fan of Frozen Synapse's setting either, just super generic cyberpunk, great game but boring setting and story. Mostly those are just kind of boring though, the only one I can think of I really hated was Valdis Story's setting, felt like a 12 year old wrote that game and it had really boring level design, fun combat though.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:28 am 
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Like: Fantasy and Sci-fi, especially when a lot of work is put into them to be more then wizards and monsters or spaceships and space battles.

Dislike: Generic fantasy and generic sci-fi. Devoid of any real interesting ideas, just same old same old. Good example is the Dragon Age series, I just can't get interested in it because of how overly generic and devoid of creativity the world feels.


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 Post subject: Re: Settings You Like/Dislike
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:51 am 

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hate:

futuristic/modern FPS-s. I thorougly hate futuristic shooters, mostly because it has much bigger overflow on market than ww2 games had back in early 00-s. There are some exceptions that actually have some tought behind them, but mostly its just "LOOK AT HOW COOL GUNS WE GOT! SHOOT THAT!". Same goes with modern setting- i get modern setting allows for more weapons & such, but mostly modern shooters have just.. horrible stories. And as story-preferring gamer, i do count them important.

fantasy medieval. I mean entire genre is basically one huge "medieval setting looks cool. Lets add some magic in it". And i just hate magic. Again, few exceptions, but mostly magic just doesnt make sense, just lazy writing. I know some of you are like "but magic isnt supposed to make sense"- well, thats exactly the part i hate. I mean it just is very lazy writing imo when writers throw in magic, as this is the sign that they cant be arsed to write even passable way of it fitting in & defining its limits.
Not to mention it still has majority of medieval setting games in it. And that is bad. Though to be fair, luckily there are more non-magic medieval games coming in.


Like:
historical setting. History nerd, so yeah.

games set in real location, but not one of usual ones.

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