ianzkul / Member

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ianzkul Blog

I need to keep my brother out.

I'll be the first to admit it... I, by all accounts, am a girly man. I cannot play games like DOOM 3, Resident Evil 4, or any other game with a scary word and then a number. At least, I can't play them unless I have some company. It's really odd, I'm scared enough to require somebody else to be around when I play, but I always insist on the lights being off. I'm just crazy like that.

I can't really explain what my mental problem is and why I need somebody to hold my hand when it gets dark inside my game world. I looked into my condition on the internet, and WebMD told me it's called "being a sissy". Then it sent my address out to all its friends, and they all made fun of me. I would get calls at 2 in the morning from eHarmony.... that thing has some serious issues it needs to work out.

I digress.

Anyway, the point is I am a little girl. And I take it out on others. I force my brother to do pushups and eat his broccoli just to prove to me that he is a man. And yet this is the same kid I invite into my dark room every time Ashley runs out on me, or when a slimy thing makes some particularly menacing noises. I guess you could call me ''virtually afraid of the dark'. VAD for short. My brother knows I'm a VAD, and calls me out on it whenever I ask him to join me in my room for whatever I happened to be scared of that day. Normally, him giving me lip results in a severe beatdown, but in these cases I have to take it. Not even because I want his company, but because I know he's got me. I violate the principals of manhood. To make up for it I usually snap into a Slim Jim or kill something small and defenseless in front of him, but it's very hard to earn the respect of one's little brother, especially when the code of manhood is not adhered to. I have two choices at this point, beat him up when he talks smack to me, or be a man and not need him to be around..... and then beat him up anyway for being smaller than me.

That's how men work dammit.

Saving a game could save a life.

Fable... the game has been in devolopment for 4 years, it's been announced for countless systems, and the projecct was being spearheaded by Peter Molyneux (regardless of how his name is spelled) over at Lionhead Studios, a source of the most creative and best games ever produced. No doubt I was excited about Fable coming out, it was one of the reasons why I bought an XBOX in the first place. When time kept on and it was almost September 14th, I would dream each night while thinking about an incredibly inventive feature introduced by Lionhead Studios. The day finally came when Fable was unleashed to the masses (Tuesday), and I gobbled it up. I was so into it that I actually almost bought the strategy guide before remembering that I have and internet connection.

Fable has an amazing first impression. Everything you do in the game is -for lack of a good descriptive word- totally sweet. It just was. Pretty much everything about the game was so sweet, diabetic even. Over two days I have invested many hours into the game happily, as everything that I had seen so far was amazing. The game kept hinting that things were only going to get better, so I played. God, how I played. And then it happened.

But before I tell you that story, let me just quickly explain the save system in Fable:

-When you aren't on a quest, you can save all your data at any time you want. This is called a "World Save".

-When you are on a quest, you can only save your hero's atributes, such as exp and items. You cannot save your progress in the quest. This is known as a "Hero Save".

-Hero saves are stupid.

Now then, the game autosaves occasionally during quests, so if you fail a quest, you're at most AN HOUR behind. I hadn't failed a quest yet though, although I noticed that most quests were taking an incredible amount of time, and there was no way to keep a save of the progress you make. Then I stumbled into a manditory quest, at about 10:00 pm. At approximately 1:30 pm, I failed the mission. I was in the middle of a quest that was THREE AND A HALF HOURS LONG. Luckily, thanks to the autosave, I was only about an hour away from where I failed.

Things like this makes me not want to play video games. Okay, that was a lie. If they released a game that gave you face cancer, I would buy it even if it had a movie tie-in.

This leads me to my point: If video game designers want to make a game more challenging, the best way to go about this is to MAKE THE GAME MORE CHALLENGING. It seems like a simple concept, but a lot of designers get these simple things wrong. Quicksaves will not cause people to beat your game faster if you give them more challenges, IE a reason to quicksave in the first place. Games with these ridiulous save parameters only serve to frustrate the player, rather than challenege them to try again. The beauty of the quicksave is that it's a lot more user-friendly to start at a minute ago than an hour ago. It isn't fair to penalize the player for dying. Rather than punishment, a game should offer absolution. Rather than saying "do everything over", the game should just say "dag yo, that didn't work. try it this way".

In closing, I would just like to say that I am very tired.