Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Games are the most multi-faceted forms of entertainment. Virtual worlds absorb many other forms of art. They all have a place: a picture on the wall, a touching song, a cinematic production, a unique architecture or a twisting plot. Moreover in the hands of developers, interactivity, co-creation, collective interaction and most importantly gameplay creates a unique opportunity not just to imitate the disappointment of defeat, struggle or triumph, but to make a person really fight. Not with a sword, but at least with a gamepad. It is important that these emotions are completely sincere and not dependent on any level of empathy, subtlety or perception from player. Good designers know how to bend the plot to please the narcissistic expectations of the player, the “Chosen One”. Games have a huge potential for telling stories, but it seems that many developers cannot achieve this. To this day, some still consider cutscenes between levels a great storytelling solution.

In order to avoid misunderstanding, be warned: the following reflection is the subjective view of the author of this material. The content of this video, may not coincide with your opinion or the opinion of Ai Cave.

There are many ways to present a plot to the player. Dialogues and conversations in the background, ornaments in abandoned temples, traces of fighting at a crime scene or music … the choice depends on the genre and the story itself. In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, emotions are transmitted through the gamepad. The player controls two brothers at the same time. At first, it is inconvenient, but over time, the characters begin to act as a single mechanism. One stumbled, the second one supports him. And when the elder dies, the second stick is released, and the sense of loss turns out to be incredibly sharp. You try to solve difficulties in the usual way, but nothing happens. The brother is gone.

It is important that the dive in gameplay passes naturally. An excellent narration can be observed in the Half-Life and Portal series. Closed spaces are justified by an outset, a balanced action does not let you get bored, and the linear structure allows you to perfectly arrange triggers. The salvation from recycling in the first Portal is perceived by the destruction of the fourth wall, even though it is obvious that all the outlets are planned.

The hype of open worlds, destroys complex stories that require attention and consistency. This was one of the reasons for the failure of the latest Bioware projects. While riding in the icy wilderness, you forget where you went and what you wanted, and entertainment outside the plot is not enough. “The Witcher 3” is considered a successful example of a game in the open world, but in fact it is rather an example of an excellent story. Talented writers worked with a popular world and heroes created by a professional writer. Time after time there are open quotes from the books, reliably propping the universe. And in the end the fairy tale turned out so good that it eclipsed all the shortcomings of the gameplay.

But what will remain if you remove the parts that are easily viewed on the YouTube – A beautiful and elaborate world, fantastically designed opponents, memories about the Roach and a lone adventurer with skills for Gwent and women? Errors become visible. Unbalanced complexity, because of which the second act monsters are killed by a hiccup, Loads of unnecessary elixirs, dumps of beautifully useless armor and a fascinating study into question mark. In short, a good, but not brilliant game.

And no matter how beautiful Triss’s breasts are, Skyrim is more popular. The rich and intricate world of TES allows an impersonal Dovahkiin to be not just an actor in a chic theatrical production, but to improvise and create a personal story. Formally, there is a plot. But players are not saying “I saved the world from the dragons”, instead “I went to the city at night, and then the orc pops out!” You do not even need to re-play any parts of the game if you do not wish to. at any time you come back and continue the journey from a different location. In the future, procedural generation will create truly endless adventures.

But there is another way. All stories, in any form, are a simulation, an allegory of life. Through the melody the listener perceives the feelings of the composer. Novels appeal to the reader’s experiences and suggest rethinking them. Charismatic heros generate empathy from the audience. He is in danger – and they are scared, he attacks – and they also produce adrenaline. Imitation. But games allow you to experience this yourself. The problem is, the dangers are artificial and friends with unconvincing AIs that require saving once every three minutes – dull the senses. But it’s easy to add naturalism to living people.

The victory will be real if you actually beat someone. Humiliation is sharper, if someone laughs at you. Cardboard online worlds are inhabited by living people, thereby making them more material than the most thoughtful Non Player Character. These are personal stories that can last as long as you want. However, the classic MMORPG structure strongly dilutes the emotional moments of the tedious bustle of monsters–the main source of adrenaline in single player games.

PUBG is popular not because abstract school kids like to fight each other, but because it creates endless stories in which the viewer is immersed directly. There are fundamentally new mechanics, but the old are combined brilliantly as well. The longer you hold out, the more incentive there is not to drop out. A person either gets a huge emotional charge, or dies quickly and starts anew. Allowing players communicate with one another in close proximity through a microphone was also a very good gameplay decision. You can kill the superior enemy or you can promise friendship, and then stab them in the back as you laugh maniacally.

So Why is PUBG better than the Witcher?


Each match starts a separate adventure, in which the main characters are the players themselves. In ordinary life there is no such concentration of events but here, for half an hour, a whole life unfolds with successes and failures, luck, friendship and betrayal, maybe even love. Perhaps a couple out there already has a story that begins something like “We met in PUBG”.

The most amazing thing that game designers can do is create ideal conditions for joint interaction and seeing as bots are unable to replace people at this time, replacing bots with people seems like a brilliant solution. Despite this, we can not say that games that are scripted are fundamentally worse. After all, The charm of deep and holistic immersion in a different reality cannot be replaced by half-hour shooting matches. But seeing as the perception of a piece of art is dependent on the viewer’s preferences and life views, means that the project is not universal and the audience is limited in advance. And since in PUBG, a player creates their own experience–by definition accessible and suitable–means that day after day many new experiences are acquired. And that, collects more and more fans.

That being said, this will not prevent many of you from saying that comparing the “Witcher” with PUBG is a bright sign of insanity and in part, you will be right. To engage in the comparison of games from fundamentally different segments is not a noble business. But certain parallels can always be drawn by identifying appropriate criteria. If you say that there is a story in PUBG – many will laugh. There is no plot in the usual sense of the word, but there is a dynamically changing story that the players themselves create. In this sense, Battlegrounds surpasses the static stories of single player games for practically infinite replayability.

The main thing that a game can give us is real, lively emotions, obtained from the simple keystrokes. If you get these emotions from a thoughtful scenario and the characters in The Witcher and cannot understand what others see in the disgusting PUBG, we’ll give you a clue: the same as you. Emotions. They are simply drawn from a different source.

Please remember that this is an opinion of the original author of the content and not anybody from the Ai Cave Channel. We would like to know your opinion in the comments below. Don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel.
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