majorlariviere

majorlariviere

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

Junior Contributor III

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

    3

    The Value in Episodic Game Trilogies

    Most games these days are released as either one finished piece at a final price or at an earlier stage at a reduced price. But occasionally – as with the newly rebooted Hitman trilogy – a finished game is instead divided into pieces and sold separately over a period of time, resulting in a sort of TV/Video Game hybrid wherein players experience shorter segments of gameplay over a long period of time. Could this style of release pose new creative opportunities for games, and if so, what might they be? Does a game have something to gain by releasing in this way?

    • Is this like the Mass Effect trilogy, 3 games with an overarching story and characters? I am a bit confused by the term episodic game trilogy. – Sean Gadus 6 months ago
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    • Agreed with Sean’s point. The biggest culprit in this broad category would be sports games from Electronic Arts (FIFA, Madden et al.), which have yearly releases. – J.D. Jankowski 6 months ago
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    • A good game to look at that attempted a sort of television/gaming hybrid was Remedy Studios "Quantum Break," which incorporated actual episodes that responded to a player's choices in the game. It's a very unique approach and not one that I believe worked very much in it's favor -- the characters that showed up in the television segments did not make an appearance in the actual game, which led to a big disconnect and stops the momentum of the experience dead. The applications of this formula should be expounded upon, but it should actively affect how the game itself plays rather than vice versa. – Runestrand 5 months ago
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    Extreme Realism in Video Games

    Video games have seemingly been on an endless march towards total realism since their earliest days over 70 years ago when they were little more than repurposed radar equipment. Modern technology has managed to make games more realistic than ever before. However, in recent years, there have been murmurings around popular titles that they have stepped too far towards realism, to the detriment of the game. Red Dead Redemption II and Kingdom Come: Deliverance have both been subjected to criticisms that they are ‘too real’; the systems and mechanics meant to enhance the experience have instead diminished it. At what point does realism in gaming stop being desirable? Is there such a thing as a game being ‘too real’ to enjoy? Where does this mysterious new boundary exist, if one believes it to exist at all?

    • Really interesting topic, I would also wonder about whether our perception of realism (that is, what we accept as real in video games) have changed and affected this boundary? – Hui Wong 6 months ago
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    • Leaving out specific games, have there been other specific functions or mechanics in games that were deemed as too real? For me, playing any of the sports on GTA starts as fun than I quickly wish I never started. – Marcus Dean 6 months ago
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    5

    Game of Thrones: A Cautionary Tale in Narrative Conclusions

    There’s been much criticism regarding the later seasons of Game of Thrones, as they began being almost completely original instead of adaptive. But the final season in particular has drawn a considerable backlash. I think it would be beneficial to conduct a ‘postmortem’ of sorts into the final season of Game of Thrones: why exactly was it inferior to prior seasons and what could be done to avoid the same pitfalls in the future?

    • I think this would be a great article idea! It would definitely pique many people's interest, and I personally would love to know what went so wrong! – CelineTsang 2 years ago
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    • This is especially relevant now that George R.R. Marting has announced the ending to the book series will be different than the end to the TV show. There's speculation that the reaction to the end was the cause of this. – kennethabaldwin 2 years ago
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    • The discussion is always in review - a post-mortem could assist and also extending this by developing some understanding of the context of the 'right now' mentality which led to this being done. Increasing our ability to postpone immediate gratification was reflected in the decision here to complete GoT. Good idea. – tamaraholmes 2 years ago
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    Power Dynamics in Fantasy Games

    I think it’s worth examining the power dynamics in fantasy games and what makes each particular game feel satisfying. Games like "Monster Hunter" and "Skyrim" both offer the player a degree of power over the world, but the difference lies in degree. "Monster Hunter" empowers the player as an exceptional hunter, but only allows them to practice that power in particular ways. "Skyrim" allows players to kill people with only their words. Yet both these games prove to be immensely satisfying. My question is what common factors lie between them? How do each of these games (and others) feel satisfying despite the difference in how they allow their players to act in their worlds?

    • This is an interesting topic definitely, though a bit too broadly conceived right now -- the games are quite opposite genres, for example. A tighter article could, for example, compare the thematic import of player agency in an open-world game where players have lots of freedom (Skyrim) and players have comparatively little freedom (Monster World, as I understand it). In other words, but fixing the genre (open world) and fictional context (fantasy), a comparison can be made more clearly. Lovely idea. – Derek 2 years ago
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    • Aren't the Dragon Shouts in Skyrim just another way to package new abilities and weaponry for the playable character in the game? For me, they're much like having a new sword or new gear. As Derek suggests, the big difference among games may be based less on packaging and more on the degrees of openness (or: open worldness?) and player agency. In some games you can only follow specific storylines, only kill specific people and monsters, etc. In other games, such as Skyrim, you can approach most any destination from most any direction and can kill most anyone or anything (with or without using a Dragon Shout), with the exception of a few key figures that are essential to the main storyline. – JamesBKelley 11 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    majorlariviere

    A very interesting piece that speaks to a crucial fact of writing: one must learn to trigger their imagination. This can be done through all the sense, whether it’s traveling to see new sights and hear new sounds or trying new foods to acquire new scents and tastes. Our minds – like the computers that we build – require information as an input in order to generate output. Adding to one’s library of experiences serves only to enrich the work one is capable of creating!

    The Relationship between Travel and Creative Writing
    majorlariviere

    One of by favorite gaming critics said that ‘A sandbox is only as fun as the means by which you get around it.’ and I couldn’t agree more. But I would take it further and say that EVERY game is only as fun the means by which you navigate through it. If the mere act of getting from one place to another is slow, tedious, or dull, it can drag down virtually any sort of game. Grappling hooks – being fast, energetic, and potentially dangerous by their very nature – mean one can’t help but get a split-second dopamine dose to keep them awake and engaged.

    Grappling Hooks: The Integral and Defining Feature of Gaming
    majorlariviere

    I predict the evolution of gaming to be the most radical in the history of entertainment. As the technology used to create and facilitate them becomes ever more advanced and varied, the number of possibilities goes far beyond the mediums (films, book, etc.) which predate them. Thus, the number of reasons one may have to immerse themselves in gaming will become neigh-impossible to count. It’s an exciting prospect to witness!

    Why We Seek Out Video Games
    majorlariviere

    If you can’t find the Nitra on the walls, there are creatures called loot bugs all over the place that give it when you kill them…if you can bring yourself to kill something so immensely cute, you monster. πŸ˜‰

    Deep Rock Galactic: The Intricacies of Storytelling
    Deep Rock Galactic: The Intricacies of Storytelling
    majorlariviere

    The solo experience in this game is extremely good; it helps lend it towards being something of a horror game. Plus, you have a drone named Bosco who tags along, and he is perhaps the most helpful AI companion I’ve ever seen. I think it’s worth your time! πŸ™‚

    Deep Rock Galactic: The Intricacies of Storytelling
    majorlariviere

    I’ve played almost exclusively in Solo mode and have great fun with it! I strongly advise AGAINST playing with random players though, as I’ve found few will communicate or work together, all the while the game spawns in more monsters for more players. And Bosco is probably the most helpful AI companion in any game I’ve played. Solo is totally worth your time. πŸ™‚

    Deep Rock Galactic: The Intricacies of Storytelling
    majorlariviere

    1. A lot of the caves are fairly linear, and the terrain scanner is extremely useful to help find your way.

    2. You get ammo by harvesting Nitra, a jagged blood-red crystal which you use to call in supplies.

    3. I’d start on the “Challenging” difficulty, as the gaps between the settings can be quite severe.

    I hope this is enough to get you to try it again! πŸ˜‰

    Deep Rock Galactic: The Intricacies of Storytelling