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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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August 16, 2010 - 8:53 am
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Tappers, I require input.

 

As some of you know I just completed a lengthy article about the STALKER series for Well Played 2.0, a college textbook on design theory published by Carnegie-Mellon University. During the incredibly exhausting process of writing that piece, they asked me to do another chapter for the third edition.

 

Originally I was going to do Demon's Souls, but someone beat me to it. Thus I need suggestions. Here are the rules:

  • The title of the series is "Well Played," in the sense that some games are worthy of examination on multiple levels, and this requires they be well-played like a book is well-read
  • Each chapter covers one game or one game franchise
  • No duplicates allowed (that is, no games that have already been well played in other editions)
  • It has to be a game I've… well… played (get it?)

Suggestions are welcome! Fast suggestions are welcomer since I'm already behind!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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August 16, 2010 - 11:05 am
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So, what games have you... well... played?

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Jen
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August 16, 2010 - 11:31 am
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Shadow of the Colossus.

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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August 16, 2010 - 12:26 pm
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Shadow of the Colossus.

 

Already taken, or I'd totally do it. I thought about Thief, but I feel I've written enough about Thief. One option is to rework that Alice article I wrote for here. I'm gonna see what Professor Davidson thinks about that.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Yapette
Tangentistan
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August 16, 2010 - 12:42 pm
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I'm confused about the rules. To me, "well read" means many people have read it – not that a book reads well such as a game plays well. Can the games be one not played (or known) to many? Or is the point that all course-takers have played the games & now the course will discuss these common experiences in more depth?

 

I ask because although I haven't played them, what about The Path or Pathologic. I'm assuming the biggie names/series are already covered. It's hard to twenty-question quess when we don't know what's already been written (about). [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Armand
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August 16, 2010 - 2:00 pm
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Is there a list of games already covered somewhere? So as we know what not to suggest?

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Steerpike
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August 16, 2010 - 4:11 pm
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The Path is already taken. I did think about Pathologic – I thought about The Void too – but in both cases I probably should finish them before writing college-level stuff on them, which might introduce a problem. Obscurity of the game (and age) is not an issue – you can pick anything. The "Well Played" in this context is that the author has played them well and considered them deeply.

 

Keep the ideas coming, but right now, based on Prof Davidson's suggestion, I'll likely be reworking this piece to be suitably wordy and pedantic. That's right, even more wordy and pedantic than it already is. With footnotes!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Armand
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August 16, 2010 - 6:04 pm
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Two classics that come to mind are X-Com and Master of Magic. Both have new incarnations or spiritual sequals coming out soon if that helps in anyway.

Xcom the fps game (I know, I know. Why not a proper X-com game already.)

And Stardock has a MoM inspired game coming out this month I think! Elemental: War of Magic..Graphics look kind of weak, but I trust Stardock to make a decent stratagy game.

http://www.elementalgame.com/

Oh, also the Freedom Force series.. great games that got less then enough attention.

Don't know if your into any of these, but hope they help!

Good luck with your STALKER write up.

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Steerpike
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August 17, 2010 - 8:32 am
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X-COM is a great option, I'm surprised no one's taken it yet. It looks like I'm locked in for Alice at this point, but if they're foolish enough to let me contribute to the fourth edition I'd totally do X-COM. I just wish I could get it to run tolerably on modern computers...

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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August 17, 2010 - 3:34 pm
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Has Planescape: Torment been taken? I bet it has but if there was any game worth pouring over it's that one. I'd even say Immortal Defense but you'll not realise why just yet 😉 Although I haven't played Pathologic I reckon Yap is probably on the money in thinking that would be worth a punt. X-COM is a great suggestion as well purely because of the number of systems working together so perfectly. What about Psychonauts? Braid?

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Steerpike
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August 17, 2010 - 3:37 pm
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Now I want to write about all these games!

 

I'm pretty sure Psychonauts and Braid have been done, but I'm less certain about Torment. It is such a perfect choice I assume someone must have claimed it, but I'd have to check the master list. Which means I'd have to find the master list.

 

Drew wants to do multiple editions of this series and use it as a foundation for game analysis, so with luck all these options will get their day in the sun.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Finkbug
Maine
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August 17, 2010 - 7:34 pm
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I bought Master of Magic recently when I picked up MOO and MOO2. MOO2 holds up beautifully. Given the limitations of the time, the UI and information display is near perfect. The MoM interface is painful to unplayable. [Image Can Not Be Found] Fond memories stomped. Cautiously optimistic for Elemental though.

 

I'll suggest Immortal Defense. Once you've finished, you'll understand why.

Maybe Persona. It's not a good game, but it's an interesting oddball.

 

Total Annihilation. Heck, MOO 2. Shogun: Total War.

A compare and contrast of nethack & angband would easily sustain a chapter. Common root not far back, superficially similar, wildly divergent but equally valid design goals and development models. Dry stuff, sure, but it'd work. Not suggesting you do it, but if you know someone on the project it'd suit I spent years hip deep on one side of the split and a couple of the big names have slept on my floor. Be happy to help.

 

Tossing in strategy games because while they don't tell stories playing creates 'em and that seems the area likely to get overlooked (XCOM and probably Civ aside). Bet someone grabs Starcraft and FF Tactics. Got the story hook there.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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geggis
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August 18, 2010 - 11:59 am
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Oh you've just reminded me Fink: Dwarf Fortress - but it's not finished yet so it probably doesn't count.

Finkbug
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August 19, 2010 - 12:38 am
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Morrowind.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Yapette
Tangentistan
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August 19, 2010 - 9:13 am
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Portal and Bioshock.

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Armand
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August 19, 2010 - 10:43 am
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I don't know Finkbug, I still play Master of Magic from time to time, and the interface is tolerable for me. The game just has too much going for it for me to be bothered by the old UI. MOO2 is easily the best in the Orion series, though Stardock's Galactic Civilization's is a great spiritual sequel. Id' highly recommend it if you haven't played it and don't mind mildly dated games. Also, I don't know if you've ever checked out the Fall from Heaven Mod for Civ4, but it's a great fantasy conversion of the game in the vein of MoM.

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xtal
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August 19, 2010 - 12:24 pm
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Well, if they invite you to write for the fourth edition, what about Wind Waker. I could be mistaken but I recall someone here loving it to pieces in a very glowing review. I can't remember if it was you or the Ol' Rooster. I suppose I could just go look, but why do that?

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

Finkbug
Maine
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August 20, 2010 - 12:54 am
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The MoM interface was bad then; I find it cranky old guy unusable now. GalCiv never clicked for me and I never nailed down why. I'll have to give it another shot, as well as Fall from Heaven which I only did as an alpha tester and completely forgotten about. Thanks.[Image Can Not Be Found]

You might want to try the Dominions series. I never got far--my days slogging through huge manuals ended with my teens--but the depth is ridiculous. MoM to the exponent of MoM. I want to steal a few wasted hours from my youth (no one needed to finish Hexen) and repurpose into the wasted hours of learning D3. The manual was written by a friggin brain surgeon. 

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

Jarrod
Brisbane, Australia
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August 22, 2010 - 11:48 pm
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The original Diablo?  Are retro games too out-of-the-box for these?

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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