Do you feel sorry for the guy who makes that one DNSQ show that used to be put out on the shill show (Game Theory channel)? He seemed pretty passionate about games and all though his videos stated the obvious sometimes he clearly wasn’t as much of a hack as the other people on that channel
Alright, I went and watched his videos, tons and tons and tons of filler text. He’s got some insight, but he’s not funny in my opinion, and he wastes a ton of time getting to anything important. Also a lot of his conclusions and premises are vague.
The street fighter interface vid has solid info and is thorough, thought the guy could have condensed the information more. So points for that. Dude should have mentioned the improvement to the meter from SF3 to SF4 in showing how many units of EX attacks you have.
His video on Super Metroid repeats some of this article: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/HugoBille/20120114/90903/The_Invisible_Hand_of_Super_Metroid.php in video format, with poor jokes, filler text, and less information. It does talk about the opening, but it kind of begs the question of “Do you really need to go into this much detail?” and “Are these really what the opening teaches?” and “Is the opening even necessary to teach this information?” (I ask this last one a LOT with game analysis themed around how something stealthily teaches you something) He repeats the point about the plasma beam/hi jump boots almost verbatim. I’d like to see a repackaging of the staff interviews he mentioned more than this video really. I hadn’t heard the term perceptible and hidden affordance before though, though I have heard of the concept of affordance. I’ll keep those in mind for the future. As a corollary I’d like to also cite Sean Malstrom’s response to the invisible hand of super metroid: https://seanmalstrom.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/email-the-invisible-hand-of-super-metroid/ I think both the original article and this are important perspectives to keep in mind.
He does a decent criticism of Link to the Past versus the original and how it’s weirdly linear or not linear. Also identifies some of how LttP didn’t really live up to the original design. Kind of the irony of the miyamoto interviews is that Zelda 1 was more popular in the mainstream than LttP. I think it goes to show that people’s efforts to cater to a broad audience by making things easier don’t really work out.
The smash video could have gone a lot more into the alternate constructions between smash and SF. It focused too much on the UI. It does this because talking about game design is hard, especially as you get closer to things like how attacks/movement are actually constructed, and ui design is a totally separate and well documented field.
Now last I heard of him, he’s the video editor for Game Theory now. [2/2] What do you think of his work on DNSQ? Do you think if he improved the show had potential to become something pretty good?
Possibly, his heart’s in the right place. He needs to learn to animate and draw better. Also motion graphic better. I appreciate the effort that went into making motion graphics at all though. Also I think the jokes are just painful. The guy’s not a comedian. Most game reviewer guys aren’t comedians. The jokes are there because AVGN and TGWTG did it back when this schtick was new and others like Egoraptor kept doing it after them. It’s considered obligatory. When I hear a game reviewer/critic/analyst do lame jokes constantly, I’m just like, “please get on with it.”
His info’s not wrong. He makes some actual conclusions. He could totally hack it on his own if he wanted to. I give him a 3/5, or 6/10. Guy needs to think less about the big outside picture and more about the core gameplay to really get anywhere. Most people do. It’s really easy to address big design things and really hard to address smaller ones, but the small ones count for more, they’re what make the game fun at all, where the big ones are kinda nice, but wouldn’t ruin the game if they were done wrong.
On more of his videos:
The survival horror video tries to claim that survival horror is a unique genre for tapping into emotions unlike other game genres and like traditional literature/movie genres and because it doesn’t refer to a specific overall game form like first person, 2d platformer, etc. He does identify some mechanical consistencies between survival horror games though that bridge them together. In this way I’d argue that it’s like RPG as a genre, where we have tons of games with “RPG elements” and Mass effect, Final Fantasy, Dark Souls, and Deus Ex are somehow all RPGs (because your character’s numbers go up persistently). Shallow video.
Earthbound video, don’t really care about it.
Pokemon video, don’t really care.
Tetris video, I wish people would stop with the phony emotional arguments in game analysis, it’s like bad film theory is how I like to put it. Though his overall analysis is good. He has just a few too many buzzwords. I think the video would be better structured if it tried to break down the structure of tetris and determine what strategies it creates and how those strategies can vary in implementation and situationally. Here’s a guy beating tetris for fun: http://www.twitch.tv/kevinddr/c/5983832 and another: NES Tetris “Fastest 999999” by Acmlm in 03:11.78
If he could also try to derive how someone else could replicate tetris’s success in another game, what principles could be learned from tetris, or improve tetris, then it might be better. Probably his best video.
Asymmetry video, should have brought up how player 1 is prioritized in some games like marvel or smash bros for certain things. Also the hypothesis that left handed people have an advantage in a fight. His statement about the sides of a screen for SF is mostly a matter of experience, not actually matchup imbalance. Mostly accurate information overall. Doesn’t seem like it has much of a point.