I don’t really feel like playing the Witcher 3. I’ve played the past two games. I adore them. For most of the past year or two I’ve been frothing-at-the-mouth excited. My body was indeed ready for it. Now I just don’t give a shit.
NPCs and PCs in games are just pull-string dolls. I don’t know why I didn’t seem to realize, or at least really care about this until very recently. Geralt’s beard even grows now. It would be funny if you had to pull on it to make it do so.
Playing Pillars of Eternity was revelatory for me. My most cherished childhood game is Baldur’s Gate 2. I’ve spent a decade trying to articulate what I thought had been lost in the crpgs that had followed. POE made me realize it was a space for imagination. A controlled _lack_ of representation of events. Tell don’t show.
A month after loving it, I don’t know what to feel now. Still integrating. Wondering if it would have made a better book. Inflexible arcs feel like such a waste of a reactive space.
I have more production software installed on steam than I have games installed. I spend about an hour a week cruising the steam store trying to find something worth engaging. Drinking tends to follow.
I just want to be surprised damnit.
I hate what RPGs have become, what they’re stuck in.
Why is everyone always in the mood to talk to you? If a stranger walked into my room at 3am to buy some daggers they’d get exactly one in the gut. I wish Bethesda had kept their brokenly more complex radiant AI system where people would stab each other for cheese.
It’s sad that an npc in fallout becomes more interesting when you hit them with a pipe. From tree structure to a pathfinding attack engine with a tiny pack of data [target pos, armed status, health]. With just those three numbers the possibility space explodes far beyond what the tree of their badly written dialogue dreams of. This is not an endorsement of fallout’s combat. The ‘people’ are worse.
Game writers should go back to writing fanfic, campaign booklets, and trade paperback. Pulp plus simon-says is getting old at this point. The model is broken. Ubi and Bioware can’t fucking keep their shit together. The Poles managed to nail it this time around (from all I hear), but it’s still just a salt flat with an inch of water.
People aren’t functions. I know you treat retail employees like they’re functions. I watch you yell at then dismiss the barista behind the counter. The tech support guy on the phone doesn’t even have a face. Fix my fucking netflix goddamnit. Maybe it’s why you don’t bore of fantasy world puppet functions.
The emergence of the survival genre makes horrifying sense. Let’s not even fucking talk anymore. Give me the items. Give me the crafting. Man vs. nature. Other agents, other people are just objects to be dominated. Great practice for fighting for the scraps of our fucked future.
Been thinking a lot about my robits in Null Op. What do they want? How do they survive? How do they interact with their space. What would they make of you? In what ways do they exist outside of you. I want them to be not for me but for them.
The combat situation in the prior Null Op demo was swell. Chaotic, messy, unpredictable. It worked because I gave the agents a body before I gave them a ‘mind’. A zero-to-one-hundred bar is not body. It is an unquestioned tradition. It is the problem.
Your mind is more your body than you wish to admit. Your gut biota are fuckin up your beach body bro. You only enjoy Dopamine and Serotonin. MDMA was better than the best meal, the best sex, the best poem, and the best painting I’ve ever experienced.
Our NPC design is trapped in the prison of our bullshit personal narratives. ‘I’ needs to shut the fuck up. The prefrontal cortex is the libertarian douchebag of the brain. He thinks he’s the one that makes everything happen on the dance floor. Sorry Chet, the proletariat keeps the plumbing going, you only think you’re in charge.
A simulated model of mind is stale without a model of body. Needs flow upwards from vital pain. Why does no one ever have to take a shit? Or stub their toe. Or cut themselves pulling a dagger out of the sheathe. Or get a concussion. Bleed from the nose. Act erratic from now on. Get depressed all the time. Emotional outbursts. Kill themselves while you’re asleep.
Flaws which exhibit only in static branches are not flaws. They are cinematic contrivances. The psychopathy of npcs wears. Manic Pixie Dream Killer. 99 corpses of blood on the floor. Let’s play chess and flirt. BOOM HEADSHOT. Let’s talk about your feelings then fuck. Is this all a reflection of what we think righteous murder would be, or what we actually think it is? With friends like these who needs hit-men.
So I’m making a body simulation system now. Decided to start with a human. Organs, blood, nerves. If it had a brain it would probably complain that I make its lungs bleed too much. Smoking from 18-28 means my lungs may never feel good again. I should knock some teeth out of this thing once it has some.
I like the head space this experiment has had me in. Empathy with a body, even if its numbers, exceeds the puppets I used to play with. A visage isn’t enough. An animation and a sound clip don’t fool me. Your pain goes away when the state machine transitions. My simbody’s nerve damage is permanent. Until I turn off play mode. For now.
The human body sim is just a mid-point. Start big, pare back. My robits don’t have limbs after all. It’s a base point, a proving ground, a code structure exercise, a simulation ethics playground, a poetic reflection engine, a cathartic numeric voodoo poll.
There go its lungs, bleeding all over the place again.