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***To note, this is a rant, not one of my normal articles, so I did very little proof reading. Sue me. 

I’m not sure if it could be considered ADD, but I spend a lot more time staring at my video game collection, wondering what I want to play than actually playing them. I usually fiddle around on my computer doing nothing of any sort of importance instead of playing one of the hundreds and hundreds of Steam games that are literally a couple of clicks away. And it got me thinking: what exactly is keeping me from actually playing those games? Well, the main reason is that maybe the game just isn’t interesting me. I bought a lot of those games I own on a whim, and if they ever get played, it’ll be a miracle. However, another thought came to mind.

But first, a story. Don’t worry, it’s important.

I am one that loves to keep track of time spent in games. Steam’s feature of counting every minute you spend in a game is very addicting to me, and I pride myself in not artificially enlarging my time spent; running through my Steam game list of the games I’ve actually played, the majority of games will have accurate times to how long it took me to beat the game. It’s just something I do. Probably a little OCD. And because of it, I never let games run in the background of my PC. I always close them out, even if I plan on returning in mere minutes.

However, I was unlucky enough to get Assassin’s Creed III on Ubisoft’s proprietary software, uPlay, which doesn’t keep track of playtime. So, as I slogged through the terribleness that was Assassin’s Creed III, whenever I went to dinner or needed to use the bathroom, I just alt-tabbed out of the game and brought it back up whenever I was ready to play again.

That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew why, or at least knew another reason why I don’t play games as much as I have time for. They won’t let me play them.

Let me explain.

When you turn on a game, you’re not instantly playing the game. There is a LOT of things that have to happen before you’re in control of the game that you’re wanting to play. You usually have to sit through at least two or three company names of those who developed and published the game, and it’s not unheard of for there to be five or six names that slowly fade in and out of your screen. I understand having the gamer “enjoy” sitting there and learning about who made the game and what engine it is on the first time they load up the game, but why in God’s green world do we have to watch it every single time? I know that Crytek made the game, I understand that EA published it, yeah, I figured out that it was running on the Cryengine 3, and YES, I know it uses Dolby Digital sound! Quit telling me! I’ve been playing your game for ten hours, you really think at this point that I either care or don’t know? Just let me go to the menu!

Then, you finally do get to the menu, which isn’t usually a problem in some games. Others, however, have painfully slow menus that load with every button press and lag when you switch options. Those are a hassle, and waste time. Menus should be the gateway to the game, not a [bad] game in itself. Just let us click once, twice, maybe three times and be on our way to the game.

So ok, we’ve gotten past forty minutes of learning all about who created the game and have loaded through the menus, and finally, the “game” is loading. Yay! But wait! Cut scene ahoy! Ok, totally nothing wrong with a cut scene. Games pride themselves in their story. I think that’s awesome. But you know, I’m not really in the mood to sit and watch a cutscene right now, let me just hit start and ski-

Oh. Oh, cool. Yeah, cool, you can’t skip the cutscenes in this game. Awesome. Super.

I honestly cannot think of a single good reason that a game won’t allow you to skip a cutscene. Look, I know the developers might have put a lot of time into creating this story, but I just spent however much money on this game because you showed me some sweet looking action scenes in the trailer, and darn it, I want to do those! Just let me skip them if I want to! And then there are the games that don’t let you skip the cutscenes even after you’ve beaten the game. How sick and twisted is that?

And finally, the biggest and probably the worst thing any developer can do to get me to not play their games.

Tutorials.

Tutorials are the spawn of Satan. They are what’s wrong with the majority of the gaming industry today. I haven’t played through a tutorial in recent memory and said “Yeah, that was fun! I’m glad they had me do that” after it was over. Believe it or not, there is a way to teach a player about your game without holding their freaking hand the entire time. It might take a little more work, a little more thought, but levels can teach through their design. It’s not fun to have giant dialogs every second telling you where to go, it’s not fun being on a guided path that is making you watch something that you need to learn and it certainly isn’t fun trying to learn the controls super quickly on a damned loading screen! Games are fun things! Tutorials are not! They have no place in games.

Ok, not quite true. Some games are incredibly complicated, on purpose, and I can see something like that needing a tutorial. Fine. Whatever. But there are still ways to create a tutorial that doesn’t make the user feel like they are a retarded child trying to figure out why the square block won’t go into the round hole. It’s bloody possible, yet developers just assume that their general audience is daft!

Fine, fine, maybe you like the tutorials. Maybe you’re a bit slower when it comes to games and the tutorials help you get into what you need to do better. I suppose I can understand that, especially looking through the glass as a non-gamer. But, there is no reason in Hell that tutorials shouldn’t be skippable. And don’t you dare integrate the tutorial into your story because not only are players not even going to be paying attention to the story because they’ll be too busy trying to mash the button that’s flashing in front of their face, but they’re more likely to dislike the story because they’ll already be grumpy with having to deal with a freaking stupid tutorial. So if the tutorial isn’t integrated with the story, MAKE THEM SKIPPABLE. Just do it. Please, for the love of the great and mighty Smooze, make them skippable.

If you are a game, or happen to know a game, that doesn’t have any of these problems, bravo! I applaude you. However, my main point here is that I don’t play games nearly as much because they just don’t let me. There are so many things between putting the game into the disc drive and me having full control of my character on screen, and that saddens me. I dream of a world where I press play on Steam and after a breif loading screen, I’m brought back right where I left off the last time I left the game.

Alas, I’m just going to go watch this stupid video of a cat on the internet.

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Since we talked last, a lot has happened on the still untitled game (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, click here), and a lot has gone backwards as well (though, in a good way, interestingly enough). The premise that I wanted to use for the game wasn’t working out the way I wanted, so even though it meant probably a dozen hours of work flushed down the drain, I decided to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and begin anew with a different premise to start with. That premise is: open world, à la Metriod. It’s not going to be quite as open world as, say, Castlevania 2 (which was a mess of an open world), but exploration will be encouraged. Also, my feature that I was wanting to include will work much better in a more open world setting.

Thanks to my friend, Bryan, who, though didn’t give me the idea of starting over (I was about to go back and drastically change things), gave me the idea of trying open world. I think the game will be better because of it.

Here is a screen shot of the character with a new enemy.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Me and some of my friends are trying to start up a podcast and our first episode is up and running! You can check our official blog for the podcast here, where you can also enjoy the first episode as well! If you like what you hear, please, check back bi-weekly as that’s our tentative schedule for recording!

Wow! I missed the one year mark by more than a month? Phail!

On February 8th, 2010, after some convincing by Clark Bunch, I started up this blog. My first year, I hit just about 35,000 views, which isn’t bad considering I was just writing what I wanted to write. Just today I hit 40,000 views, so I still got somewhat of an audience.

Here’s for another fun year at Reflection of a Gamers Quintessential Being! Thanks for being a part of something that I’ve really enjoyed putting together and hopefully whoever is reading this will be reading this next year as well!

 

Does anyone use Ping?

Do you even know what I’m talking about?

ug…

Last fall, Apple announced this thing called Ping (not latency), a new type of music social network. I signed up. Then, like Game Center, I completely forgot about it and have never touched it again. When I went to redeem a Starbucks free download today, however, it asked if I wanted to follow the artist on Ping.

It look a couple of seconds to realize what it was talking about.

Uh, no, thanks “Ping”, now go the way of Bing and die.

A few posts here on Reflection Gamer are pretty popular and get a lot of hits from the Google. While this is very nice because it draws more attention to my writings, it also means that I’m a prime target for search engine bots. These bots usually run around blogs and websites that allow comments and post generic, sometimes illegible things with links attached to them that usually promote porn or some sort of cheap medicine. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot more of these, and some were just so good, I had to share them. Let’s get started!

This first one is just a random one that I get quite often:

I am not capable of view this web site properly on chrome I think there’s a drawback

This one is in another language (warning: translate at your own risk, NSFW):

İstanbul da güzel bir vakit geçirmek istiyorsanız doğru yerdesiniz. Eğlencede ve seks de sınır tanımayan ateşli kızlarımız sizleri bekliyor.

This one has got to be my favorite out of all of them. It just wins on so many levels. You can tell that he really tried to sound convincing, even though he ended up failing completely:

A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat evaluation on this. And he in actual fact purchased me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If potential, as you become expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with more details? It is highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this blog submit!

Another gem:

Nice post. I learn one thing tougher on completely different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and observe a little bit one thing from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether or not you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

NO YOU MAY NOT HAVE MY HOUSE:

Your house is valueble for me. Thanks!…

And then here are some more less exciting ones:

There may be noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made sure nice points in options also.

Very good know-how! I have been seeking for some thing such as this for a time these days. Many thanks!

This last one I almost mistook for a real comment. Then I realized that the email was “viagra@getfreeviagra.com”:

Nice contribution, sweet page design and style, stick to the good work

All in all, these are always funny to read and since I have it set so that I filter every single comment that is posted, they never actually get through onto my website.

Oops, I guess by posting this, they did. Oh well; we’re laughing at them, not with them!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 60 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 34 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 12mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 29th with 4,111 views. The most popular post that day was The Next-Generation Xbox Format Problem.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were n4g.com, reddit.com, google.com, forums.gametrailers.com, and clarkbunch.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for red dead redemption ending, next generation xbox, red dead ending, next gen xbox, and how does red dead redemption end.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Next-Generation Xbox Format Problem May 2010
35 comments

2

Red Dead Redemption’s Ending Was A Joke June 2010
82 comments

3

Valve: Feeding us from Under the Table June 2010
1 comment

4

Guitar Hero vs Rock Band Charts September 2010

5

What Would Make the Best Game Console? June 2010
5 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

Wow. That was a pretty long time without an update. College has made me quite busy, but now that it’s over, maybe I’ll be able to post some more.

I just ordered my new super computer. It has a hex-core (that’s 6 cores) at 3.2 GHZ, 8 gigs of ram, a XFX HD Radeon 6870 1 gig video card and some other fun stuff. It’s going to be a beast, for sure. I get it tomorrow.

My best friend is coming to visit me for Christmas break. You may know his as “NINJA WHO KILLS YOU FAST”, but his name is Nathanael.

I’ve already bought my Avenged Sevenfold tickets for January 30th. THAT is something I’m excited about.

 

Peace.

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