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Everything posted by neon_git

  1. Fantastic effort Guy.brush, I'm awestruck. Why the blazes isn't this on the frontpage right now?
  2. Well not everyone speaks English as a first language. I don't know if this is the case for purple_tentacle but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.
  3. ON THE INTERNET CAPS LOCK IS SHOUTING! Please don't shout at us.
  4. How come I've never seen your artwork before SynthGerbil? Shame on you for hiding you talents. Not sure about the costume, seems a bit gratuitous for my tastes, but very impressive nonetheless. Heh, looks fine to me, but then I'm something of an unwashed artistic heathen. Maybe we can play spot the difference if you upload a new version.
  5. That's just put a massive grin on my face. Bring on LeChuck and Elaine.
  6. I'm still not buying it, everything you explained I already understand. Motion sickness is a hard wired response no question, but it most certainly is not a reflex. A reflex is a response to immediate danger and needs to be as close to instantaneous as possible. If a reflex is stimulated by input from the eyes or ears (such as if something is flying towards you or you're falling over) it does so on a preliminary sweep long before the brain is trying to stitch together a more detailed interpretation of the input (where motion sickness is stimulated). There simply isn't the time to wait while you process the information in more complex ways. I may have been abusing the term subconscious, but beyond that you haven't given me any reason to think that the area of the brain that causes motion sickness is different form the part of the brain that would be affected by the the effect I am suggesting. As I said in my previous post, in both cases the problem arises when the brain is taking sensory input and building a model of the world around that input. It does not seem unreasonable to suggest that this could take place in the same part of the brain. If you can provide me with some evidence otherwise, please be my guest. Well sure, if you change the question to "what is more immediately noticeable?" then you're absolutely right. I don't think either of us is qualified to give a definite answer, and that's fine for our purposes right now because I'm not proposing this as a definite answer. I'm not saying you're wrong, all I need is the possibility that you are. Comparing your inability to drive the car to your ability to play the game is a false analogy. The point of the example was that you can't understand a system with inconsistent variables, not what the practical implications of not understanding the system are. Teaching me to suck eggs there mate You are mistaken that the amount of information required to see a pattern where there is none is zero (you need the information that you are seeing the pattern in for one thing) and you misunderstand why people see false patterns. Sometimes a person will see a false pattern because, by chance, there is no available evidence to the contrary and the person does not recognise it as a coincidence. When evidence turns up that goes against the pattern people will most often dismiss the pattern. If people saw patterns literally everywhere and never dismissed any of them then this would render the ability to spot patterns useless pretty quickly. The other type person who sees a false pattern is one who chooses to ignore evidence to the contrary. Confirmation bias has a number of causes (greed, pride, peace of mind ...) but the thing they all have in common is that there is some benefit to ignoring the evidence. There needs to be some underlying reason for the person to continue believing something when the evidence shows it is not true. In the case of the camera in Tales there is contradictory information being sent to the player all the time and there is no reason to ignore it. The player can only ever build an incomplete model and, since the majority of the movement falls outside of the scope of this model, the model will never be complete enough to be of any use. Yes you can learn what the camera movements are in each individual place but there is a difference between knowing something and understanding it.
  7. I'm not buying that yet. I don't want to go on about this too much because it's a pretty tangential point, but this seems like an unreasonable assertion to me. I have no great expertise in this area but it seems to me that this exactly the level of processing that I'm talking about. The brain has done a couple of sweeps on the sensory input, derived some meaning from the senses individually and is at the stage of coalescing that input into a unified model of the outside world. I would argue that yes there are a multitude of factors involved but none of them are conscious - it's all about what feels right. When I said this underscores my point I meant the overall point that mental models are influenced by multiple factors rather than anything specific to this example. I think I confused the matter by not stating what I meant in a clearer fashion. I only brought this up as an example of how camera angles help shape the mental models people develop. The fact that, in this instance, it affects different people in different ways is neither here nor there, the point was that it has an effect. Well there's not much I can say to that except that I disagree. You can't build a connection without feedback on what your actions are doing - and the camera angles are an inherent part of that feedback. Strongly disagree with all of this. The key point here is that the camera is not predictable enough for a person to simulate what it will do ahead of time. The only rule that is true everywhere is that Guybrush will be visible, everything else is different from place to place. Say you're driving a car and you know that the accelerator always makes the car go faster but the brake and the clutch keep swapping places and the steering inverts itself from time to time - would you say you could build a mental model of how the car works? You're aware of things to look out for that help you simulate what is going to happen. When crossing the road you observe all the vehicles on the road together with their speed and direction. You use this information, in conjunction with you're experiences of how vehicles have behaved in the past, to make predictions about when it is going to be safe to cross. You have a firm mental model of the situation. With the camera in Tales there's no information to help me predict anything. If I move left is the camera going to move left with me or swing round behind me or pivot on the spot or do something else entirely? I have no way of finding out before I do it, which is completely different from crossing the road. EDIT: Nah, you weren't far off topic
  8. Motion sickness may manifest itself in a physiological way but, unless my understanding of the word is wrong, the cause is still a psychological one. It's that the brain is trying to reconcile contradictory messages rather than a purely biological reaction. Or that's the current thinking anyway. Sure, but why do some people have different preferences? It's because the abstract model they've subconsciously built works in a way that requires that particular control scheme. That only underscores my point that the internal models people develop change depending on the context of the rest of the game. In an FPS you are the character, in a flight sim you aren't the plane you're the pilot of the plane. The way you perceive yourself in the game world is different. Why do you think the control scheme is significantly more influential than camera angles? I'm not sure I understand your reasoning. I completely disagree that the player can make subconscious connections to the camera movement in Tales. The player is undoubtedly consciously aware that the camera changes are going repeat in a given location, but that is not the same as having a model for predicting the camera's behaviour. The important difference is that if I move Guybrush around a new location I cannot predict what the camera is going to do. I know it's going to do something, but there's no way of knowing what that something will be - there's no system behind it that I can make a model of. The player is simply learning a series of bespoke movements, it's like the difference between being able to rote off your times tables an knowing how to multiply. Thanks for taking the time to respond in such detail btw, you're stretching me to think through my ideas in much more detail than I had initially. @diduz - For the most part I agree with SG on this, but I would be shocked if simplifying the porting process wasn't another factor in the decision. Yay! A convert! Now hopefully SG wont prove us both wrong with his next post :S
  9. To a certain extent I'm playing devil's advocate here, I'm by no means convinced that this is happening either. I think you underestimate how much different camera angles can affect a player. I get really bad simulation sickness from first person games, which is thought to be caused by the brain processing contradictory messages from the eyes and the inner ear. A more relevant example is that different people need to invert the axes of their controls. The same person may invert the controls in a third person view but not in a first person view; the cause for this is that the view informs the player on where they are in the game (a more detailed explanation can be found here). None of this supports my argument directly but it is evidence that camera angles have a very real psychological affect on the player. I do not think that the potential capacity of the effect I am suggesting can be dismissed so flippantly. You are absolutely right in that we should not assume that the semantics of a camera angle in film has the same meaning in a videogame (which, by the by, is an assumption that Telltale is making). I do, however, think that it is a good place to start from and is a firm foundation upon which we can build. I'm not saying that you are wrong, but I am unconvinced by your example. The camera change may have been caused by the players actions but in a way that is hidden from the player. The player has no reason to expect the change is going to take place before it happens and I would suggest that the player is unlikely to make a subconscious connection between the two. If there was a consistent pattern behind the camera movements that allowed the player to make predictions about what the camera was going to do next then the brain would almost certainly build a mental model of that system. Without a consistent pattern, though, the player cannot build a mental model, without which the player cannot understand the system and, I suggest, cannot feel that they are in control of it.
  10. You are, sadly, quite right and I could well be giving gamers too much credit. This wont happen. Telltale themselves have explained that they're going to be using dramatic camera angles in all future games that will not allow for a traditional P&C interface. Even though I have some reservations about whether or not this is a good thing, the fact that Telltale are taking advantage of their business model to try new things definitely is a good thing. If nobody tries these things we'll never know if they work. You raise a good point, and one that I had not considered. I'm not sure if this would be a direct or indirect form of control. The player doesn't get to say whatever they want but instructs Guybrush to say something from a list of things that Guybrush is thinking about saying (Also worth noting is that on several occasions in Tales Guybrush wont say exactly what you pick anyway). I'll have to think about it some more, but by initial response is that this is something that could compliment either type of control scheme. I don't think it's clear cut one way or the other.
  11. Hey neat, I never knew that either. I always thought it was a joke that the telescope was useless in SOMI but then you actually need it in MI2.
  12. In the comments of a recent Mojo news post I tried to get across my thoughts on the use of camera angles in Telltales games, specifically TOMI. I tried to keep the length of my comments down but in doing so I think I may have completely failed to explain myself, which is why I've decided to make a forum post explaining my position in more depth. Please note I'm by no means an expert in any of the topics I'm about to discuss - feel free to mock me if I'm wrong on any particular point or points. Camera Angles In cinema there are two categories of shots, you have the objective shot and the subjective/POV shot (technically not quite the same but I'm lumping them together anyway). An objective shot is taken from the perspective of some anonymous, incorporeal observer whereas a subjective shot is taken from someone or something's point of view. As long as the viewer is aware of what perspective a shot is in they will subconsciously assume that role. This is part of the language of visual story telling and most TV shows and movies make use of both types of shot to convey the narrative to the viewer. In games, however, generally only one type of perspective is used (Cutscenes may make use of different types of shot but as non-interactive segments of a game the rules of interactive storytelling don't apply to them). This means that for the duration of the game the player assumes the role of either the anonymous, incorporeal observer or the character they are controlling and doesn't switch between the two. The over-the-shoulder third person view is a bit of a grey area in this regard. This is an objective view point and as such the player is an incorporeal observer. Like the subjective shot, however, the players view into the game world is still directly tied to the characters view. My experience playing this type of third person game is that I do still assume the role of the character and I'm going to assume that is the case but YMMV - I'm unaware of any research into how players perceive themselves in a game world (I'd love to read some if there is) so this is all speculation. Control Schemes Much in the same way that the type of shot can subconsciously put the player in a particular role, it's my feeling that so can a control scheme. Say a player is playing, for example, an RTS and the role the player takes on in the fiction is that of a general commanding an army. The player might select a tank and order it to move to another location and attack the enemy from that position. At no point does the player control the tank directly, they merely give instructions to the tank, which is consistent with their role as overseer and helps maintain that illusion. On the other hand the controls of an FPS, to pick another example, do have a direct affect on the player's character. Again, this is consistent with, and reinforces, the fiction that the player actually is this hard-as-nails space marine (or whatever). OK, So Where Is He Going With This? Glad you asked, the point I'm getting to is this: The control scheme and the camera movement in TOMI are at odds with each other. Whether you use the mouse and keyboard or just the mouse, Tales has direct controls. The games controls are telling you that you are Guybrush Threepwood. The camera movement in Tales does the opposite. The camera is constantly telling you that you are an observer. Now then, if I am right and TOMI is sending players contradictory messages on a subconscious level, what does that mean? Does it even mean anything at all? Possibly not, it might have no affect at all. On the other hand it might put player in a state of (and I'm not going to pretend I know what I'm talking about here, but other people use the phrase so I might as well) cognitive dissonance. If the combination of camera movement and control scheme does cause people to feel uncomfortable, and if they can't explain why it makes them feel uncomfortable (because the contradictory messages are subconscious), might this go some way to explaining why some players are clamouring for a return to the old point and click interface (which was indirect and complimented the objective perspective of the games) but cannot come up with any compelling reasons why they don't like the new controls? Oh boy, I've been writing and editing this for far too long now so I'm just going to post it as is, hopefully it makes sense. I might flesh this out some more and see if I can make an editorial if anyone would be interested.
  13. I always imagined Cobb as having a West Country accent, so that's what I'd like to see.
  14. The "Earl has retired" story comes from Dom Armato. He posted on the Telltale forums that he'd retired in Hawaii - maybe he was having a jape? I'll see if I can find the post later.
  15. Well I'm off to the pub now. Hopefully it'll all be sorted by the time I get back.
  16. I'd love it if the site was actually able to cope but they thought it'd be funny to mess with people.
  17. neon_git


    Please note that encouraging people illegally download a game is not something we allow here. I suggest you edit your posts before an admin see's it because you'll get a spanking if they do.
  18. Oh man you're not the only one, I do that all the time. Try not to take what people say to heart too much. I'd interpret LordTrilobite and Scapetti's posts as gentle ribbing rather than mean spirited derision.
  19. What the hell is wrong with you guys? It's awesome!
  20. It was goofy but, for me at least, it was also terrifying. I remember my heart pounding in my chest and my plams being so sweaty I couldn't control the mouse properly.
  21. It's a crossover game where Bobbin Threadbare teams up with Ben Throttle to take on Purple Tentacle!
  22. He is a crabby sod most of the time but he's not that bad - you get used to it and a lot of it isn't meant to be taken at face value. 9 times out of 10 if he's really being a dick to someone it's because they're being a dick too. You can see from this post he's not shy about putting his hand up and saying "I was wrong" when the need arises. I know I may not have a massive post count, but I've actually been around these parts for a fair old while and, honestly, SyntheticGerbil is pretty cool once you get to know him. Don't feel too bad about it, it was just your turn to make a dick out of yourself on the internet - goodness knows I've done it innumerable times. We live and learn
  23. Oh man, this thread is hilarious. To the new folks: Don't be offended by SyntheticGerbil, he can come across a bit abrasive sometimes but he's actually a top bloke.
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