Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My productivity will go to exactly zero

Asbestos is harmless! For serious: watch in HD.


Mr. Pony said...

Twice during this video, I said, "Oh!" I said it out loud, and only realized I was saying out loud it after the second time I said it.

Galspanic said...

I don't want to be hater guy, but what's the big deal? I know you guys get all bonerrific about the "science-y-ness", and the wisecracking AI who is all cute and stuff, but content-wise I don't see how this is all that different than like Legend of Zelda. Using entertaining tools in different ways to problem solve? I still believe Oddworld was the best example of that. Am I not seeing the magic? Can you show me the magic?
Won't someone please show me the magic?

Galspanic said...

Don't get me wrong, I like that evil AI who talks down to you. I really do. I just don't see the magic of the game. Is it just all about the atmosphere?

Mr. Pony said...

For me, it was about the way the game hacked my brain and got me so used to using the Portal Device to move through space that I would find myself missing it in real life, for weeks and weeks. This was after one 6-hour (I think) session with the game, in which I played it all the way through. It's just not that the tool is novel; it's that it so thoroughly circumvents the logic you'd use to do something as basic as crossing a room.

I'm not sure the Portal Device has an analog in the Fart Cannon or whatever weapon you're talking about, but having played neither Oddworld nor the Legend of Zelda for longer than a few minutes, I'm not sure I can speak to that.

Mr. Pony said...

Oh look, I wrote a post about it.

FAKA! said...

I think most of the magic from the original Portal was simply just trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B with what you got. In doing, so you get sucked into the challenge of trying to complete a level (which I guess is similar to other puzzle oriented games). And when you finish a level or two and tell yourself that you are going to bed, you still can't help but check out the next level just to see how it is. Which puts you into "just one more level" mode... which usually means going to sleep at 4am or something like that (which is like other games too I suppose)...

To me it’s just a very satisfying FPS puzzle game that’s really fun to play. I guess the key here is “first person puzzle game” which pretty much separates it from games like Zelda and Oddworld… I think for a lot of keyboard & mouse FPS junkies like me it was a refreshing change of pace to stop and think a bit rather than the “shoot’em in the head” mentality. I also liked the fact that you don’t really get to see yourself until you get creative with the portal gun.

Panic go grab Steam and try the Portal demo or pick it up for $13.99 if you haven’t already done so. Much easier to understand once you immerse yourself ;)

Galspanic said...

Faka, I'd totally do it except for the part where FP games make me vomit. Completely against my will I might add (since a few of you seem to believe otherwise.)

So, it gives you a tool that essentially hacks your brain into thinking physics should, or could work differently. I can understand that. I have felt that way about many of Link's tools in LOZ. I have felt that about Abe's abilities in Oddworld. My wife and I still catch ourselves using Abe's phrases on eachother to this day. Basically all I'm hearing is that it's different in that it's in the First Person.
It looks super cool, and I'd love to be able to play it, I was just wondering if it was a "game changer" or if it was an update in the tradition of puzzle games.

Oddworld's fart powers are epic. Suck it, Pony!

Mr. Pony said...

What kind of weapons are you talking about; from Zelda and Oddworld? (I know there's no Fart Cannon. There's no Fart Cannon, right?)

Fugu said...

I think another bonus of it being a first person game is the immersion potential; you aren't distracted by controlling a green alien creature or a little elf dude. You're a girl (also a bonus), but this is only apparent in the first minute of the game before you just become you. Kind of a Scott McCloud thing, maybe?

And I completely agree with Pony and Faka--I loved that it forces you to rethink the way you can interact with your surroundings to a fascinating degree. Like, I actually felt I learned a new IRL skill after playing this fucking game.

One problem I've always had with puzzle games though is that there tends to be a point where they just make the puzzles harder by making them ridiculously counterintuitive or WORSE, the kind where you have to jump on one specific pixel or at a specific millisecond to make it to the next platform--god I hated that shit! Anyway, I never had that feeling with Portal. It's puzzles always seemed to stem from a few basic principles that once you learn to apply in various scenarios, everything just makes sense. But your mind is still blown.

The snarky computer sure helps, too.

Galspanic said...

Not linking this to be dick. I am linking this because I thought it was amazing that someone compiled it.

Fugu what do you have against green aliens and elves (who also wear green)?

Hrm, I actually wonder if that FP thing makes the game more immersive. That was how I dreamed of video games as a kid, I always wished there was a game that looked like an extension of myself.
Why does such a thing have to go and make me all vomity?

kamapuaa said...

Gals: For what it's worth, I don't think you're making it up. I remember back in the Unreal Tournament days, they introduced this new feature: The camera would do a "head-bob" thing. It totally killed me. I almost threw up on johne's floor.

Luckily, you could turn it off in the settings.

Mr. Pony said...

That list of items is very, very long. Portal has only one item (or two to three, depending upon how you look at it). I don't think you're being a dick, but I'm also still not clear on the point you're trying to make.

Probably 4 out of 5 games have items you can pick up and do stuff with, but they don't do what Portal did to my head. Some even let you use those creatively--but I don't find myself wishing I could blend berries or mix reagents to cast spells. It's not just the FPS thing either--I've never walked around thinking I could blow stuff up with a rocket launcher I wasn't carrying anymore.

So I think you're right; I think the immersion thing is the key. I think this brainhack thing must take over when the enhancement is applied in a particularly well-executed shell, like crossing a room in Portal, or driving in GTA. Not only that; but for immersion to be complete, the player has to meet the game halfway. The shell must mimic an activity the player is used to doing on a daily basis. An enhancement applied to an unfamiliar activity (such as playing a flute to facilitate teleportation), while fantastic, does not produce this effect we're getting all bonery about.

I might be missing the point entirely, though, Galspanic--are you speaking specifically about specific in-game items?

Galspanic said...

No my curiosity was general in regards to the game. I knew it couldn't just be the tech, because it wasn't something exactly innovative. That's why I brought up the in game items. My question was more general.

Mr. Pony said...

I think you need to play it. Its one thing, telling a DM that you're using a portable hole. Almost actually using one for yourself and very nearly actually walking through it is another thing all together.

Come over sometime--maybe you won't get sick playing it on my computer. With my new video card, I can get the frame rate almost equal to reality's frame rate, if we drop the resolution a bit. Reality runs at 65 fps, right?