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Discussion: what games would be fertile ground for a "Mind"?

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So far, Minds have only been done with Half Life games and Portal. What others might be used for this purpose?

I think a game requires all the following charateristics to be used for a Mind series:

  • Camera close to the main player character: I can see a Mind working with a 3rd person camera, if it's over the shoulder or just above, but not for an isometric or top-down game, because an important component of this kind of series is immersion.
  • Ability to remove the HUD: wether because the game is easily moddable or by having an appropriate option, the audience shouldn't see anything the player character doesn't.
  • An anchor in contemporary or modern reality: one of the things that makes a Mind work is that we can rely on the protagonist to react to their situation more or less as we would. In Freeman's Mind, this happens because Gordon is a college graduate from the modern USA. Even in the second season, which takes place in a future dystopia run by incomprehensible aliens, his reactions and thought are by and large sensible and understandable.
    To me, this says that any Mind series requires either a setting or a player character that are intimately familiar to the audience. Maybe the game can take place a little further in the past or future, or the protagonist can be a little stranger, but any difference between baseline normality and the situation portrayed by the game needs to be an exception, and not the rule.
  • Possibility to enforce realism: this ties in with the previous point. What makes a Mind work is the absence of overtly game-y elements that could take us out of the narrative. Ross does it by activating God Mode so that Gordon doesn't need to intercat with the extremely unrealistic health pickups, and other cheats to enable realistic solutions that are not normlly availeable in the base game. However, a game that is realistic in and of itself wouldn't need to be modded, so moddability isn't a strict requirement.
  • Inexpressive or very customizable silent protagonist: The whole point of a Mind is to guess the thoughts of a protagonist, so if they speak or have a definite personality that comes through even though the player has dialogue choices the premise doesn't work.

I also think the following characteristics are very important for a Mind, though the absence of any one of them isn't necessarily a dealbreaker:

  • Fast, but not breakneck pace: I suspect this is important for any kind of let's play. The protagonist needs events to react to regularly, but also time to think in between
  • No enforced emotional tone: if the game insists that the protagonist should feel a certain way, it's almost like the protagonist is expressing themselves. The voice actor can decide to ignore it, but in doing so is forced to hang a lampshade on the current situation, which can be overdone.

 

Given these criteria, I thought of 3 games that could make for good Mind material: Crysis, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, and Dead Space

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The quality of such series depends on the game on 1% and on the creator's talent on 99%. Ross could do a Mind series in a game which would break every single criterion you mentioned, and it still would be a treat to watch.

 

People tend to severely underestimate just how much effort went into creating Freeman's character. Here is the only half decent analysis that I know of:

 

 

Basically, the quality of a Mind series is determined by how rich, deep, multifaceted and multilayered the protagonist is, and for that you have to either have a huge natural talent or have a formal education in psychology. Ross has both and it shows.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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I thought someone also started doing a mass effect mind, but it was too boring for me, so i never watched it

Burn the World!

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On 10/9/2022 at 6:11 PM, kerdios said:

I thought someone also started doing a mass effect mind, but it was too boring for me, so i never watched it

 

Yeah, Mass Effect is a bad idea, because the main character already has a personality and voiced dialogue, it just doesn't work. I think the "Mind" playthroughs best work in a survival game, maybe even a survival horror game... of course the main character should be a silent one and there must be fewer or none interactions with NPC's.

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On 10/22/2022 at 8:33 AM, ZardoZ said:

Yeah, Mass Effect is a bad idea, because the main character already has a personality and voiced dialogue, it just doesn't work. I think the "Mind" playthroughs best work in a survival game, maybe even a survival horror game... of course the main character should be a silent one and there must be fewer or none interactions with NPC's.

I was thinking the same thing. Amnesia: The Dark Descent might be a good candidate (not the other games in the series though); you'd just have to either ignore the notes left by yourself or make it so that the protagonist's personality was completely altered after erasing their memory before the game starts.

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On 11/12/2022 at 3:36 AM, Alyxx Thorne said:

Someone needs to make Courier's Mind.

it's another " 'apolitcal' courier rants to Boone about how the Legion actually does good for the Mojave" episode 

Edited by Im_CIA (see edit history)

"Fleet Intelligence Coming Online"

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