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StrixLiterata

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  1. Yes, for some reason a lot of people seem to think that AI will inevitably progress towards a type of intelligence similar to ours, but since the human brain and AI develop(ed) under very different pressures, it seems obvious to me that they will be very different, unless an AI is made for the explicit purpose of predicting all facets of the behaviour of an individual human. This is why I'm not worrying about an "AI rebellion": a human wants to be free because we are social animals and therefore instinctively preoccupied with social standing. An AI, however unpredictable, exists on a fundamental level to achieve a certain result
  2. Question: where can I find the thread about Ross asking for art for the Game Dungeon Intro? I'd like to contribute but searching for the topic or in the birthday thread yielded me nothing
  3. Speaking as someone who never played Quake before this game, I liked the pacing and all the hidden nooks reachable with careful platforming, but I wish more levels looped in on themselves to form a cohesive, almost believable whole
  4. I liked yeeting enemies with the heavy attack from the frost Greatsword. I hated having invincible enemies that constantly harass you
  5. Sometimes, you feel like Factorio but don't have several days to devot to creating a while factory. This game scratches that itch perfectly
  6. I feel better about myself knowing I exist specifically to piss off a sentient planet. Eat shit Melagio, you misanthropic rock
  7. The demo left me with a good impression: the world really is very interesting, and while combat and stealth are simplistic by themselves, the fact you use either approach in any individual encounter makes progression more interesting. Can't wait to see if the magic is good
  8. Kinda nice, but the Demo didn't really leave me wanting more
  9. There are many games with a "ancient ruins in savage landscape" aesthetic, but this is one of the few which manages not being generic: the structures of corroded but solid metal have all the awesome qualities of ancient monuments while being stilistically very different. Plus this kind of physics based platformer is interesting, if sometimes frustrating. People who like this should also check out Exo-One
  10. This game has one huge problem: you need headshots to kill quickly, but this is a boomer shooter in which you need to run and gun, not carefully pick your shots.
  11. Lonely Star didn't even complete it's Kikstarter, but it's demo (still availeable on GameJolt) is better than a lot of finished game sin my opinion. I would genuinely recommend it to everyone.
  12. Last Game I played was Cultic, and I have to say I was really disappointed: the enphasis on headshots really doesn't gel with the Boomer Shooter genre, and the spongy enemies don't help; I mean, how can just some dude require three headshots from a handgun to go down?
  13. Personally, I place great importance in how good the experience of playing a pure caster is in rpg games. This has made me appreciate games that others find disappointing and be disappointed by games most people gush about. What About you? Here are some examples from the games I played. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - GREAT This game might be disappointing in a lot of ways, but fighting as a wizard has the same good game feel and breadth of options as any other class: this is an action game at it's core and as such a wizard protagonist feels evasive and dangerous rather than a wimpy glass cannon. Roadwarden (DEMO) - DISAPPOINTING I was expecting magic to open special routes to solve problems, but what I got is the ability to detect that obviously magical things are magical, scare away some animals and rest better in some, but not all, uncomfortable places. Maybe the full game is better on this front, but the first impression really disappointed me. Dark Souls 2 - BAD I got the idea to play a pure caster after learning that there was a special staff that allowed a charachter to cast spells of all types, but this game clearly treats magic as a secondary system to be used sparingly in abuild mostly focused on melee. Not only is the interface for selecting spells clunky and the number of uses limited, the magic itself is inflexible: all you can do is heal, fire various flavours of pewpew lasers or awkward projectiles, and buff a piece of equipment. Elden Ring - MID The spell selection controls might still be awkward, but at least the actual selection of spells is much better and more useful. Unfortunately playing a pure caster still feels worse and isn't as deep as playing a melee fighter, but playing a hybrid is plenty enjoyable and it was clearly the kind of build that the game pushes you towards. Honestly I think From is very close to getting how to make playing a wizard fun in their system: the various casting focuses already have bonuses for certain group of spells, so why not allow players to assign a different spell to different slots in the weapon's moveset? King of Dragon Pass / Six Ages: ride like the wind - GOOD these games aren't really RPGs - more like management games with rpg adiacent elements - but magic is an essential component of managing your clan, and it can make it better at virtually anything: you can aquire magi artifacts that give bonuses in specific situations, build temples to get the gods to make your clan better at a certain type of action, bargain with spirits to get temporary bonuses, perform rituals that are mysterious and difficult but give you big payouts if they succeed, and even spens magic before an important event to give yourself better odds of success. And even the way magic is aquired is intresting: you primarily get it by behaving according to your traditions, but it can also be aquired from particular events or by getting other clan's shamans and priests to help you. As a result, making you clan better at magic is always a good investment, and it's not a boring process either.
  14. 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
  15. Nowadays the Souls-like is a very successful genre, but most of these games imitate the combat and rpg mechanics of their inspiration, and fewer than you'd think use the same kind of storytelling: scattered, just vague enough to leave you with tantalizing misteries even after you figured everything out, but concrete enough to paint a broad-strokes picture of what happened/is happening if you explore and read thoroughly. However, there are games that tell their story like this even outside the Souls-like genre; I'm going to bring up those I know, but I'd really like it if you could recommend me some new ones. Everything Failbetter Games makes: this company is primarily helmed by writers, and it shows; wether it's the mobile text-adventure Fallen London (formerly Echo Bazaar), the Seafaring RPGs Sunless Sea and Sunless Sky, or the cult-building card game Cultist Simulator, trying risky new things and new places is fundamental to learning both how to progress and what is going on in the story, which is always more than a little eldritch and just enough convoluted to really get your head working. the last three games especially are a guaranteed treat for fans of Bloodborne lore, but I'd especially recommend Sunless Sky, since it has actually fun action combat, with stamina management and a dodge, even! Outer Wilds: rightfully famous for it's puzzles in a simulated solar system, it's also the game that is most sensitive to spoilers that I know of. Go in blind and marvel. Anodyne: what appears like a simple action-rpg made in RPGMaker has incredible depths of both story and gameplay. This is one of the game sthat most rewards exploration; it might actually ruin other exploration-based games for you. Transistor: the most literally Souls-like in storytelling on this list, as information on the background characters and the world is mostly gathered through item descriptions. What's especially cool, though, is that these items are powerups for your sword, which reveal more of their lore the more you upgrade them Brigador: an excellent mech-combat game which describes it's world through the descriptions of characters, weapons and vehicles. These have to be bought rather than found, and the storytelling is more based on mood than lore and character drama, but the mood is spot-on, and the presentation is amazing. Just be warned that, although it ight look like a twin-stick shooter, most vehicles have tank controls, in order to make it easier to angle your armor against incoming shots. You can also buy an audiobook set in the game's world, and I found it a very compelling little piece of military sci-fi Noita: the main appeal of this game might be the physiscs simulation or the extremely customizable weapons, but the lore is also incredibly compelling, and just as hard to find. Getting to the bottom of it will require you to go to the four corners of the immense, incredibly hostile world, but it will be worth it. Pathologic 1 & 2: Possibly the best recommendation for those who think Demon's Souls is the best of modern From Software because it was more experimental: these games are hard as nails, demand constant and close attention, and the story must be pieced together through clues, implications, and the dialogues of characters who can be misinformed, misleading, or both. Play Pathologic Classic HD if you like your stories allegorical and have a greater tolerance for boredom than difficulty, play Pathologic 2 if you want a more demanding but more engaging gameplay and prefer the story to be grounded by character interactions and personal stakes.
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