Subject is a required field

Subject is a required field
by on (#213975)
This is the description I had planned to use for Star Evil in the multicart.
Your craft has crashed!
Now explore the wreckage
of the world you once knew.

+ Move
ⒶⒷ ???

Inspired by a game by
Active Enterprises

I'm treating the entire A52-inspired part of the game as the opening cut scene because that's what it is.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#213983)
I think a lot of Star Evil's appeal is the initial confusion of trying a few times to get past the obstacle and eventually being shocked to realize you can move the O, even further surprise once you try to walk offscreen with it.

Having a write-up that reveals that would remove a lot of its appeal.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#213985)
I was just about to write the same. This is just my experience and opinion so take it for what it is, but thinking that the top-down is the game is the game is part of the experience, and more importantly, realizing what the actual game is was a pleasant experience when i realized it on my own. It's a great plot twist and i think it's core to the whole concept.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#213988)
If describing an event that happens less than one minute into a game is an inexcusable first-episode spoiler, think about it from the perspective of someone who has played Action 52, tries a familiarly named game in Action 53, and concludes that Action 53 has even worse quality control than Action 52. And even if players do get past it, you run the risk of players remembering the game only for the twist.

What other games' marketing has successfully pulled off hiding everything past the fake-out opening?
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#213995)
Hm... Not meaning to be contrarian, but i feel as though simplifying it as a first episode spoiler does the mechanism no justice.

1)In star evil, the scenario is crafted to cause grave disbelief in the user. This will either
a) fuel the incentive to fool around with the controller/try different things, which will ultimately lead to the revelation. Blunting down that mechanism beforehand by instructing the user will deprive the user of that experience.
b) make the user resign to the idea that it is a reference joke, which the user will get if they already know about action 52 (which you ought to, given action 53:s reference if not other things). Which is fine all on itself, even if you don't get to play the "real" game.

I think of it as an experience as much as a game. Or as separate but associated subgames. One game is figuring this stuff out. The other is what follows if you do.

2) once they know, a new metagame appears: hand the controller to a friend and say "hey, try this game.."
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#213997)
isn't this pubby's choice?

pretty sure it was meant to be opaque, and to reward players who actually figure it out, but ultimately it should be up to pubby.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214000)
Say you purchased a copy of a video game and read through its manual, including how to control the main character. But once you play it, you realize that all the control description in the manual was related to a scene of controllable helplessness in the opening cut scene, as are the box, website, and trailer. The actual game is completely different. Would you feel justified in your purchase? Or would you instead feel justified in never buying from that publisher again and telling your friends to do the same?
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214002)
As it happens, both the first game and the second have the same controls, actually. D-pad = move. A/B = actions. Start = start game. So i think there ought to be a way to eat the cake and have it too.

For the question:

probably the former if:
-its a compo anthology of several small or mini games made in the spare time by enthusiasts with varying ideas, ideals, expressions, styles and ends.

probably the latter if:
-i had spent a considerable portion of that months' entertainment budget on one single big game
-the game was actually unplayable without the manual

I think that if you're buying action 53, you probably know you are buying the former.


Quote:
isn't this pubby's choice?

I agree! The discussion shouldn't hurt, though. If someone makes a game with an unorthodox design next year, this discussion could serve as a knowledge base.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214004)
As was pointed out while I was typing, the comparisons are not equivocal.

1. Unless we're considering naming vol. 4 "Star Evil: Action 54 Vol. 4" like vol. 1 was named for Streemerz, this is one of what will be many games on an anthology.

2. The ROM will be available for free. Anyone who does purchase it has the ability to play it first.

3. The decision should absolutely be the developer's, especially considering the developer is not getting paid for the work. And the experience is obviously intentional, as is evident by pubby's description.txt.

4. Games as an experience is a worthwhile endeavor, and even if it "known for its twist", the twist still makes it better than--not a disappointment from--the expectation that's set up by it.

And to reiterate, revealing the twist beforehand greatly diminishes the experience of playing the game.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214008)
I can see arguments for both sides, but I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I would prefer the original description ("A remake of the Action52 classic!") and have the screenshot be of the space section.

Cheers :beer: :)
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214010)
Most games don't need manuals. Growing up in a country where game piracy was rampant and few kids could read english, I hardly had access to game manuals until I got a Sega Genesis and started buying official TecToy cartridges (a lot of people I knew kept buying pirate carts during the 16-bit era though). Even without manuals, I still managed to play tons of games just fine.

I don't see any problem in using a deceptive description for Star Evil. I believe that not knowing what's happening and figuring out stuff is the whole point of this game, and that includes figuring out the controls.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214013)
Quote:
Say you purchased a copy of a video game and read through its manual, including how to control the main character. But once you play it, you realize that all the control description in the manual was related to a scene of controllable helplessness in the opening cut scene, as are the box, website, and trailer. The actual game is completely different. Would you feel justified in your purchase? Or would you instead feel justified in never buying from that publisher again and telling your friends to do the same?


say you purchased a copy of empire strikes back and it said "Luke Skywalker discovers he's the son of Darth Vader!" on the cover.

the beauty of star evil is discovering it for yourself. if you're too damn lazy to figure it out, you don't deserve it anyhow.

just my opinion.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214014)
Since apparently everyone else except tepples disagrees... I'm just gonna say that my initial reaction was "This looks like a particularly lame practical joke".

Now that I've beat it? I still think that the introduction doesn't help it at all. Barriers to entry and misrepresenting what something's about make for a worse experience.

So, IMNSHO, the manual text should not explain the controls at all, just give a hint that the game starts with a deception.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214016)
I think "there's a second game" surprise is a good thing, but only when both games are good and complete.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214022)
pubby wrote:
I can see arguments for both sides, but I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I would prefer the original description ("A remake of the Action52 classic!") and have the screenshot be of the space section.

Cheers :beer: :)


I'm also in favor of listing it however pubby prefers. If people are confused or miss the point, well, that's ok.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214030)
honestly i have trouble believing that we're talking about forcibly changing the entry against the author's will...

that's not what we're talking about, is it?

if not, that closes that matter, right?
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214035)
Yeah.. i don't think anyone actually is suggesting to undermine that will as expressed, but just in case, i'd defend that the authors' will really ought to trump any argument in any direction.

Further discussions about ethics and pragmatics in publishing and the integrity of authorship might be a good cause for a new thread, if there's a need.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214091)
Star Evil not being Star Evil is the whole point, and this extends to the original instruction text. Regardless of your opinion on it, this is what the author intended it to be, end of story.

Of course you could say that you're the publisher and you require the instructions to be changed (similarly to how there's ESRB inspired censorship for entries already), you could do it, I guess, but don't expect developers to be particularly happy about it.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214093)
The entire point is to misrepresent what the player is getting in the hope that they'll see through the deception and discover something entirely unrelated. Sure. Fine.

Is that better than the original Action 52, where the deception was instead malicious¹ and there there was nothing else to discover at all? Sure.
¹profiting by claiming that the thing you're selling does X when it does nothing at all is fraud

I still think it's a bad choice, and something that a large-scale publisher would rightly say no to.

Also, the "authorial intent" argument is crap, because in response to that argument, if I had an entry on the cart I would then insist on explaining Star Evil in my entry's text. Yes, I was great fun in grade school. :p

All that said, I am not actually claiming that we should override Pubby's wishes that he be able to misrepresent about what his game actually is. But I am annoyed by the premise that the menu is part of the game and must be coerced into being part of the same deception.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214094)
The entry is as much an experience to be had as a game in the traditional sense. It's okay to not like it, not see it, or not find it funny. Unorthodox designs can't possibly cater to everybody. That's sometimes the price for doing something exactly the way you want it. No big deal.

But if someone had an entry in the anthology and dedicated its introduction to ruining the intent of somebody elses' work, then that would indeed be poor judgment, with tendencies towards bullying.

Just trust the author to know what's best for their work, even if you personally don't see it.


Quote:
But I am annoyed by the premise that the menu is part of the game

I don't think anyone says it's part of the game. But it affects the range of first experiences you have with the game. So as i see it, it's the other way around. You shouldn't enforce a description that alters the experience of the game in a way the author hadn't intended.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214095)
By having the text in the menu violate the assumption that the menu is a neutral arbiter, to me it feels that it will likewise negatively affect the ability to rely on that assumption for other games.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214096)
Quote:
Also, the "authorial intent" argument is crap, because in response to that argument, if I had an entry on the cart I would then insist on explaining Star Evil in my entry's text. Yes, I was great fun in grade school. :p


at that point in time, i would simply pull my completely unrelated entry altogether - just to make sure i could not, in any way, be associated with such childish behavior.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214099)
As a compromise between the "author's wishes over the players'" camp and the "players' wishes over the author's" camp, I currently plan to instead use this screenshot:

Attachment:
default.png
default.png [ 218 Bytes | Viewed 3122 times ]


And this description:
Code:
A description of "Star Evil"
was not available at
press time.


EDIT: Implicit in every single post of mine to this topic should have been the following: "Any better suggestions?"
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214100)
Quote:
A description of "Star Evil"
was not available at
press time.


Uhh yes it was, this is classic NESDev making mountains out of molehills. Jesus Christ.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214101)
toggle switch wrote:
honestly i have trouble believing that we're talking about forcibly changing the entry against the author's will...

that's not what we're talking about, is it?

if not, that closes that matter, right?

Until tepples' post above I thought it was just people expressing that they think pubby's description was in poor taste and want him to change it. After tepples' post I'm forced to make a different assumption.

Personally I think the description is OK, but I also think lidnariq's suggestion to make another entry's description a meta commentary on pubby's entry's desription kind of hilarious, and I'd also think that was OK. I'd also think it would be OK if pubby was swayed by others' opinions and decided to change it. It becomes less OK when some authority changes it for him.

I would see a clear reason to make editorial decisions about previously discussed content to be avoided (e.g. pornography) but not about something like this, and not after the fact. At this point you're just editing his work because you don't like something rather minor about it. Maybe we'd like it if the character moved faster too? Do we need more starting lives? Maybe we should have someone redo the pixel art to look prettier. I think this really goes against the spirit of this compo to start mucking around with choices like this. I thought the point of this thing was that people will make games for themselves, not for some vague editorial panel.

Though on another matter, I would completely understand wanting to reject the entry for being a small copyright violation. I think that bridge was already crossed with Streemerz and several other smaller inclusions, but risks taken in the past don't mean you have to keep taking them in the future. ...but that does come to the point that the person who should have the authority to make that call is the person taking the risk. (NESDev.com for hosting the attached file? InfiniteNESLives for publishing the cartridge?) Who has legal liability?

For things that aren't such a strong liability, well there's subjective calls to be made somewhere, and tepples is acting editor of this compilation, but I don't think this is a good place to assert that authority. I think it cuts against what's supposed to be fun about this compo to begin with: to share the game you made yourself. So I think it's better to be sparing with this knife, to keep that encouragement intact.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214103)
"A description of "Star Evil"
was deemed too controversial
for this cartridge."
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214104)
All the way too many bits I've spent on this basically come down to these two things:

In my opinion, having the menu be complicit in the deception as to what the game is, is what bothers me. If there were no menu, and without context I'd just played the NES file? Yeah, great! (But if I'd bought it from a store? that would be 'return it and get my money back' time. Hence my point that "a large-scale publisher would rightly say no")
In my opinion, this entry isn't a remake of the original ... uh, turd ... by any reasonable definition.

There are lots of ways to rephrase things that I think retain all, or almost all, of the enigma without pre-setting the expectation that this was an earnest attempt to remake the original game.


As far as the entirely separate question of whether there should be editorial intervention? My point was only that an appeal to authorial intent is a terrible argument. And that changing a hypothetical other entry's text accordingly is a demonstration of what makes it a terrible argument.

sniped

... ok, pubby wins one internet from me with that last comment.


(entirely unrelated: this was my 6800th post)
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214105)
@tepples
Just because you fail to see the merit in the work doesn't give you the authority to change it. I feel that you've been *far* out of line since the initial alteration, and even further out of line with each additional post you've made in the topic. You're a skilled programmer, but I doubt many who support A53 are doing so to experience "your version" of the games included.

@lidnariq
I think it's time to stop "playing house" and acknowledge that this is *not* "a large scale publisher", it is a small, hobbysit project from hobbyist developers. One of the main appeals of A53 is the fact that it is independent. The work included is from independent devleopers who offer to include their content essentially for free. Moreover, if it were a largescale publisher, the author would be financially compensated in exchange for their rights over the content.

Even if it were a larger scale "corporate, big co." production, anthologies are *exactly* where risks are taken that wouldn't otherwise be taken if work were published individually. This is especially true in the comics field, such as in Brandon Graham's Island or longer running anthologies like AD 2000, or Strange Tales, Marvel's anthology of independent creators' takes on their characters. If some people are disappointed by *one work* in an anthology, they're far less likely to regret their purchase (not like this isn't being distributed digitally for free anyway).
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214107)
I thought lidnariq's opinion was warranted; we are here to share and get critique from our peers, after all.

I just don't think it's a good idea to begin making alterations like that. It sets a bad precedent that I think will discourage participation in the long run.

It's one thing to ask or suggest a submitter to voluntarily change their work and leave it up to them, and it's an entirely different thing to insist on replacing or altering their work. If you're going to pull authority to do something like that, you should have a much stronger reason to do so than this particular menu text, because whatever benefit you think you're creating by making the change you are offsetting by harming the creative will of the submitter.

That creative will is why they submitted in the first place.


...though it's entirely possible that tepples was just making a joke (hard to tell), in which case there was probably no reason for me to respond.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214117)
Sometimes even I can't tell if I've made a joke, in part because sometimes I cannot be 100 percent sure what is expected of me. When I get a chance, I plan to create new topics about alleged infringements in this and previous volumes and the balance of power between the authors and the editor in an anthology. But for now, I get it: I've lost at NESdev.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214119)
in the spirit of compromise, how about

"inspired by the action 52 classic"

you'd be hard pressed to call that false. i think it maintains the mystery around the game.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214120)
I thought the authors were providing all of the descriptions this go round. Isn't that why we fit our description.txt files into 16 lines?
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214121)
hey, i agree. if there's a forcible change to this entry i will probably just withdraw project blue from the compo altogether.

quite frankly i'm here to make nintendo games, not to have pedantic arguments.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214122)
I just meant, why would one entry start with "the author provided the following description" and the other entries not start with that, when that's true for every entry?
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214123)
That's fine tepples. The description is not super important to me; I just don't want the twist to be spoiled. For the future, it's probably better you don't get involved in changing such things though. Too much controversy.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214126)
Thank you. I'll split this digression so that we can convert it to a more general discussion of whether we want bait and switch to continue to be a part of our community multicarts.
Re: Star Evil and F-FF
by on (#214128)
tepples wrote:
Thank you. I'll split this digression so that we can convert it to a more general discussion of whether we want bait and switch to continue to be a part of our community multicarts.


If we're broadening the discussion, then my answer is absolutely yes. As long as it's in good nature and not malicious intent, a game based on just an experience or surprise is perfectly fine.

"Games" like that might not do well commercially for obvious reasons, but this competition is not about commercial viability. It's about encouraging people to make cool things for the NES. People don't tend to buy a competition multicart with the primary motivation of getting great games -- they do it because they are interested in what the community comes up with, and want to support that. Limiting that just because you don't personally like a certain type of game design doesn't seem like a useful decision to me.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214130)
I feel like a thread on the topic for constructive discussion is in order (edit: I'm late). Sometimes I feel like small changes are ok, for my game's description some of the text got clipped off and I didn't mind because I felt like I made a political statement on it by accident:

Quote:
You are a cute unidentified lifeform that, for some reason, has to break walls of different layouts. Some people theorize that he's an alien that picked up transmissions of the Reagan speech which had the famous quote "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" and came a little bit late to the party.


I just thought it was a stupid little joke about the Berlin Wall and stray TV signals in space but I completely forgot about Donald Trump's Build the Wall campaign, I honestly instantly regretted submitting that blurb into the competition email. Not sure if it was cut because of that or just for the sake of brevity but I didn't mind either way. But what if I did want the whole text reproduced on the menu screen? Outside of technical reasons that's a very tough question to answer.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214132)
I think mentioning Raegans famous wall speech (which is just a piece of recent history that happened) is pretty innocuous? I guess anything that could be tied to politics or national sovereignty is a slippery slope, but for example "sinking feeling" seemed to be well recieved all around. It was a joke, and it played on a diplomatic schism, but all in all it was innocently made.

#1 thing to avoid: caricatures, especially caricature of a political standpoint, religious belief or precarious position in the social strata.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214133)
Another fear I have is that this bait and switch fad might become overplayed in the next compo, as it did at times with interruption fads on YTMND like the entrance themes of professional wrestlers Muhammad Hassan and John Cena, "NEDM", "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition", "Never Gonna Give You Up", and the like. I don't want everyone thinking they have to outdo each other with a first episode twist in imitation of the visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club, as if Pikmin were described as a game about Olimar piloting the Dolphin.

One possible policy is "Give full control of the description and screenshot to the entrant, within the limits of width, height, and color." Do we want this to extend as far as leaving spelling errors alone, or inconsistency in how the buttons are named?

Or we could allow an entrant to elect full control at the cost of allowing only 15 lines of description with [sic] on its own line afterward. It'd be shorter than The author provided the following description while remaining honest about who had editorial control for a given entry.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214134)
Spelling/grammar errors in NES games never were a problem historically :wink:


If writing an article for a newspaper, you can expect the editor to modify and cut your writing. If they have time, they get back to you and inform you of the changes, but because it's a daily print, there's just no time to ping-pong edits back and forth.

If you're writing an article for an biannual journal, you'd expect to have editorial feedback and a mutual agreement between author and editor being part of the process.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214135)
tepples wrote:
One possible policy is "Give full control of the description and screenshot to the entrant, within the limits of width, height, and color." Do we want this to extend as far as leaving spelling errors alone, or inconsistency in how the buttons are named?


This isn't this complicated. For something like that, I'd just suggest you let people create their own descriptions, but as an editor, help to correct errors or suggest slight improvements. There's a BIG difference between "I completely changed your description because I didn't like it" and "I've fixed a typo and reformatted this slightly to make it work better."
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214138)
Are you sure you want to include URLs that might not work anymore in a few years in the game descriptions? Not that typing those forum URLs is convenient to begin with... QR codes would've been cooler!
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214141)
QR codes on a small sheet of "newspaper" (unsure what the correct english term is) should be cheap and nonobtrusive. It could basically host links to all projects in a few folds.

If a software feature (admittedly even cheaper), is there any unbound button that can reveal/hide an the QR of the currently shown entry?
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214152)
How are QR codes more resilient than URLs?

I thought QR codes were often just encoded URLs, but I do not know much about them.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214153)
QR codes are just a way to encode text as an image that a phone can read. URLs can be conveniently delievered to a phone this way, rather than having to type it in.

However, I think they are a solution to a problem we don't have, in this particular case. :P
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214154)
There's three types: URL, contacts, and freeform text. Although on iOS at the very least, free text is instead interpreted as a search string piped to safari. Contacts will ask to add the info to your devices' contacts list.

The problem with QR codes is that they're mostly only applied to ads or other messages of commercial intent, and most poeple don't walk about town scanning ads, they instead try to ignore them as good as they can, so QR codes are a largely misapplied tech many feel mistrustful of. I've never seen anyone scan an ad except for niched event posters/flyers. They had been more useful in situations where people actually might want to know more.

There's always a security check when you scan a QR code: your phone or tablet will always ask you to confirm the scan.

QR is better than an URL string as printed text whenever that URL has any information to the right of .domain/, because then you can almost be sure that noone's going to bother type that in. You can think of QR:s as links for the material world. For example if an art gallery or museum wants to link an object to a curated blog article, you'd use either QR or NFC.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214155)
As Rainwarrior said, QR codes are in practice a tool to solve the problem that phone keyboards are terrible. Outside of that context ... mostly they just feel obfuscatory.

(Wikipedia can tell you more than you actually want to know about QR codes, what they can hold, and how they work.)
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214156)
btw the general solution for avoiding broken links in static media is using an intermediate hub such as one single page with all the relevant links or contacts, or a simple autoredirector page within your control - all depending on case. If any of the links break, you can fix it. Of course, it means that hub must be maintained, but if the links are many, this tends to be more sturdy.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214162)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
btw the general solution for avoiding broken links in static media is using an intermediate hub such as one single page with all the relevant links or contacts, or a simple autoredirector page within your control - all depending on case. If any of the links break, you can fix it. Of course, it means that hub must be maintained, but if the links are many, this tends to be more sturdy.


If this is something we're concerned about, then creating a wiki page for the competition cart would be a solution. People could update links as needed. Personally, I'm not sure I care. It's the nature of things that links eventually go out of date. I think including the links, (knowing full well that they'll eventually be broken) is fine.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214166)
Am I still out of line?
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214168)
tepples wrote:
…between the "author's wishes over the players'" camp and the "players' wishes over the author's" camp…

I honestly feel that by revealing the twist in the game description you are greatly decreasing the player's potential enjoyment found in playing it. So, by phrasing your opinion as "players' wishes" you are making a very bold and unearned claim. Sure, some players may not find the reveal, but honestly, it only takes a few tries to realize that shooting sequence is unbeatable. Curiosity should take care of the rest.

tepples wrote:
How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games

Last I checked, bait and switch is specifically a negative term, used to refer to the use of advertising something desirable and delivering something undesirable of a notably lower quality.

Star Evil is the exact opposite of bait and switch. It makes the player expect something of a very low quality, but delivers something unique and interesting. To most people, there is nothing desirable about generic-looking remake of already generic space shooter from a notoriously low-quality multicart. I'm honestly bewildered by the fact that the basis of your argument seems to be "people will be disappointed the game isn't actually a crappy space shooter."

Moreover, the argument keeps being brought up that a customer would be disappointed after buying the game, but aside from the reasons already mentioned, that argument still seems to make no sense:

The screenshot and description occur in the menu, not on the game packaging. That means that any potential customer would have made the purchase BEFORE seeing the screenshot or reading the description. Therefore, it's impossible for either to be a determining factor in their purchase.

Also, the ROM will be available for free. So, if we're talking about customers who have had a chance to access the menu (those who have downloaded the ROM), they have also had a chance to play the games, and thus, experience the reveal on their own, in the way the author intended.

Furthermore, as is evident by the balance of responses in this thread, more players would actually enjoy the reveal than would be disappointed, so the basis of "it's not how EA would market the game" is really

"Of the very narrow group of people who will download the ROMs to read the menu but not play the games, the infinitesimally small number who actually think the game would be good based on the screenshot and who also think that the resulting game is not as good as "generic space shooter" might be disappointed."


Also, proposed title for A53v4: Star Evil – It's Totally A Space Shooter Bundle: Quadruple Action 53 Vol. 4, Function 64… Did I Mention Star Evil Was A Space Shooter?

EDIT: typos
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214170)
I'm opposed to including URLs altogether, I just mentioned QR codes because forum URLs with parameters, numbers and such are ugly to look at and annoying to type.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214171)
Yeah, I don't think anyone would actually type those, and you're right. They're definitely a visual distraction. It's different in a text file when they can be copied and pasted.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214172)
For the record, I agree with everything M_Tee said about players vs authors wish, the nature of "bait and switch", and the thought about who will buy the game with what expectations.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214184)
M_Tee wrote:
Star Evil is the exact opposite of bait and switch. It makes the player expect something of a very low quality, but delivers something unique and interesting. To most people, there is nothing desirable about generic-looking remake of already generic space shooter from a notoriously low-quality multicart. I'm honestly bewildered by the fact that the basis of your argument seems to be "people will be disappointed the game isn't actually a crappy space shooter."
Your argument seems to boil down to "why would you assume that a remake of a terrible thing be better done than the original thing?" which ... surely it's obvious why that's fatuous?
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214186)
Well, why hold on to assumptions when it only takes 3 seconds to realize that new star evil isn't here to redeem old star evil. It's a stark (and intentional) opposite of an improved fan translation of simons' quest or nesrocks' super pitfall anniversary patch.

That's part of its many qualities, and part of why it is quite brilliant (imo).
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214188)
Quote:
surely it's obvious why that's fatuous?


not really, care to explain? typically i would not presume a remake to be better than the original. why would i? they are often much worse.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214189)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
Well, why hold on to assumptions when it only takes 3 seconds to realize that new star evil isn't here to redeem old star evil.
And therefore why is it called a "remake of Star Evil" ?

Quote:
That's part of its many qualities, and part of why it is quite brilliant (imo).
Did you ever play ZZT or Megazeux when they were brand new? Especially random user's worlds?

toggle switch wrote:
typically i would not presume a remake to be better than the original. why would i? they are often much worse.
Care to reevaluate the context in which this was submitted? This isn't a random thing I found in GoodNES's "Public Domain ROMs" (which were usually copyleft, not public domain, whatever, tangent) section, but is rather something being placed in a multicart of games submitted by a bunch of people who put a lot of work into making things that look good and play well. Why wouldn't I assume that it would be an earnest attempt at bettering it?
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214191)
Quote:
Why wouldn't I assume that it would be an earnest attempt at bettering it?


what about 'remake' implies 'make better' to you? those two things are in fact opposing goals.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214192)
lidnariq wrote:
FrankenGraphics wrote:
Well, why hold on to assumptions when it only takes 3 seconds to realize that new star evil isn't here to redeem old star evil.
And therefore why is it called a "remake of Star Evil" ?

There's not much of a semantic link between a remake and the ambition to redeem or improve on the original, even if that may be the ambition sometimes. If anything, it just means "make new", "redo" or perhaps "make different".

Is blaster master overdrive for wii any less of a remake just because it failed to surpass blaster masterin general quality? (Also, this comparison in quality is an assessment we as audience, consumers, players make).
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214194)
toggle switch wrote:
what about 'remake' implies 'make better' to you? those two things are in fact opposing goals.
Please reread the rest of my reply. All of the extra words were also there for a reason:
lidnariq wrote:
Care to reevaluate the context in which this was submitted? This isn't a random thing [...] but is rather something being placed in a multicart of games submitted by a bunch of people who put a lot of work into making things that look good and play well.


FrankenGraphics wrote:
There's no link between a remake and the ambition to redeem or improve on the original. If anything, it just means "make new", "redo" or perhaps "make different".
Ah, finally, we're arguing about definitions. I guess we're done, then.

Remake, to me, implies that something more than a memetic shout-out to the original, which seems to me to be the extent to which this is related. This is comparable to remaking Secret of Monkey Island but not having it be an adventure game, had Guybrush Threepwood show up to make a brief aside in the first minutes of the game, a snide comment from him 3/4 through the game, and no other relation to the original game.

This game has more in common with pubby's previous game Ralph than with A52's StarEvil.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214196)
Quote:
Please reread the rest of my reply. All of the extra words were also there for a reason:


nah, not really. just fluff and assumptions that have no place in reality. this is a homebrew cart. the fact that you may assume the quality is better than things you would find elsewhere means literally nothing to me, other than you make assumptions when maybe you shouldn't.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214197)
toggle switch wrote:
nah, not really. just fluff and assumptions that have no place in reality. this is a homebrew cart. the fact that you may assume the quality is better than things you would find elsewhere means literally nothing to me, other than you make assumptions when maybe you shouldn't.
When this is entirely an argument about expectations, assumptions are exactly what's germane, and your attempts to brush them off don't pass muster.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214198)
the argument is about whether or not pubby's game is acceptable as is for the cart.

your attempt to bring in your own personal assumptions, which i do not share is the thing that does not pass muster.

for example, your assumption that a 'remake' will necessarily improve upon the original, is substantially more fatuous than anything else i've read here.

and your assumption that someone would take the time to make a GOOD space shooter and then saddle it with the name of a famously bad game is equally ridiculous.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214199)
Quote:
Ah, finally, we're arguing about definitions. I guess we're done, then.

Since you stressed the significance of it being called a remake, i think it begs the question.

Quote:
Remake, to me, implies that something more than a memetic shout-out to the original, which seems to me to be the extent to which this is related. This is comparable to remaking Secret of Monkey Island but not having it be an adventure game, had Guybrush Threepwood show up to make a brief aside in the first minutes of the game, a snide comment from him 3/4 through the game, and no other relation to the original game.


I can see your point. [For anything to be generally percieved a remake], I do think there should be a substantial similarity, if not in body, then at least in theme or spirit. At the same time, the comparison seems unfair. Monkey island is a grand adventure that will keep you invested for hours and a simple cameo would pale in comparison. Starevil will likely have have you throw the controller on the side of the sofa before the first level is even done. There's nothing of significant value in it; it's all noisy mush in absence of active design. The other two levels don't offer anything different. Game breaks at 4th. Takes you a couple of minutes to get there. The most significant feature is the cheap trick in the beginning. New star evil captures that moment. The rest of the game captures the noisy mush in a symbolic parallelism. I dare say new star evil manages to capture what starevil is about (at least on a spiritual level) if not in full then at least by half.

Quote:
When this is entirely an argument about expectations

This is the core of the disagreement. I think it's clear that not everyone would subscribe to this framing of the subject. There's plenty of other frames in here, too.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214202)
FrankenGraphics wrote:
Quote:
Ah, finally, we're arguing about definitions. I guess we're done, then.
Since you stressed the significance of it being called a remake, i think it begs the question.
As much as it seems to have gotten lost in all the other noise, this is the entirety of my bone of contention.

toggle switch wrote:
and your assumption that someone would take the time to make a GOOD space shooter and then saddle it with the name of a famously bad game is equally ridiculous.
Now that is a good argument.

The rest of your argument, unfortunately, seems to be framed in terms of relative merits of different people's opinions.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214204)
i think that's about as close to agreement as we're going to get so let's just leave it.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214209)
toggle switch wrote:
and your assumption that someone would take the time to make a GOOD space shooter and then saddle it with the name of a famously bad game is equally ridiculous.

A previous volume contained STREEMERZ: Super Strength Emergency Squad Zeta, a somewhat more faithful reimagining of the concept of "Streemerz" from Action 52.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214217)
lidnariq wrote:
M_Tee wrote:
Star Evil is the exact opposite of bait and switch. It makes the player expect something of a very low quality, but delivers something unique and interesting. To most people, there is nothing desirable about generic-looking remake of already generic space shooter from a notoriously low-quality multicart. I'm honestly bewildered by the fact that the basis of your argument seems to be "people will be disappointed the game isn't actually a crappy space shooter."
Your argument seems to boil down to "why would you assume that a remake of a terrible thing be better done than the original thing?" which ... surely it's obvious why that's fatuous?

I'm sorry, but I actually don't understand what you think my argument is. If you'd like to explain further, I'd gladly clarify.
tepples wrote:
Am I still out of line?

Considering the title of this thread seems to be intentionally disrespectful of a contributor's entry, then yes.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214222)
Do I need to leave NESdev.com? If not, what steps ought I to take to bring my behavior back in line?
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214224)
Man, I hate that the subject field is required! How can we fix that? :mrgreen:

tepples wrote:
Do I need to leave NESdev.com? If not, what steps ought I to take to bring my behavior back in line?

Come on man, not this drama again. Everyone makes poor decisions occasionally, everyone can be a dick sometimes, the important thing is to not do it intentionally and consistently enough that you're bothering people all the time.

I say this in the most generic way possible, because I honestly haven't been following this thread for the past few pages, so I don't know how far the drama went for something that really isn't supposed to be such a big deal.

If we're still discussing wether a deceptive game description is allowed in the compo cartridge, my vote is to let the author of the game do whatever he wants. If he feels that this is important to get players in the right mood to make the most out of the game, then that's just part of the experience of playing that game. A compilation cartridge is hardly an encyclopedia that has a strict commitment with the truth, and not everyone is required to like all of the games. If a player is sensitive enough to feel betrayed by an NES game then HE/SHE needs to work on that, because any normal person would simply avoid the game in the future.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214226)
I still feel bad for this. What do I still need to do?

1. What changes still need to be made?
Attachment:
a53vol4-2.png
a53vol4-2.png [ 1.34 KiB | Viewed 5889 times ]

2. What title should I have used instead for this topic?

3. How can I recognize situations like this in the future where I will have done wrong?

4. What should I do differently in each such situation?
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214229)
M_Tee wrote:
I'm sorry, but I actually don't understand what you think my argument is. If you'd like to explain further, I'd gladly clarify.
Ok, I'll break this into smaller bits:

M_Tee wrote:
Star Evil is the exact opposite of bait and switch. It makes the player expect something of a very low quality, but delivers something unique and interesting.
No?

I did not expect something of very low quality (Why would I? It was submitted to the compo), hence the way too many electrons spilt over my arguing the definition of "remake".

Separately, in my experience, the result is not unique, and in its entirety it has two events that count as "interesting" to me, of which one counts to me as subtly abusive.

You're entitled to your opinion, and so is everyone else, and evidently there are enough outspoken people here who disagree with me. None-the-less other people enjoying it doesn't mean I don't feel misled by describing it as a remake.

Call it an "homage", "inspired by", remove the descriptive text altogether, whatever. The thing that upsets me is that in my opinion, the menu should appear to be a neutral arbiter, and because to me "remake" implies things that this isn't, and that in turn negatively affects the appearance of neutrality of the menu.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214230)
tepples,

i don't think you need to feel bad.

for me, i liked this game a lot. i wouldn't want to ruin the experience that i had for anybody else. clearly, i'm willing to argue my point to the bitter end!

in the future, if you have a problem with a submission, it may avoid drama if you contact the submitter privately. you guys probably woulda worked something out, and nobody else would have known the difference.

we're all here to make cool things and have fun. i never would have made project blue without your help, even though we've never even interacted, really. your posts here are invaluable.

no need for acrimony over a minor pedantic issue.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214232)
I'd prefer something like "A reimagining of..." But pubby and Paul at Infinite NES Lives have the final say.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214233)
tepples wrote:
1. What changes still need to be made?

2. What title should I have used instead for this topic?

3. How can I recognize situations like this in the future where I will have done wrong?

4. What should I do differently in each such situation?


1. Is not for me to address (although I think the original had an exclamation mark after classic), but if I were in the author's shoes, I'd be satisfied by now.

2. Something like "Handling Game Descriptions with Intentional Misdirection" is likely how I'd phrase it… just something that would either be neutrally stated (or if neutral phrasing isn't available, erring on the side of positive connotation out of respect for those whose work is being discussed). Bait and switch has a strong negative connotation. Using it to describe someone else's work impolite at best, outright insulting at worst.

3. When contemplating a change, ask yourself, "Why would the author have done it this way to begin with?" and if you can't come up with a good reason, asking the author directly, would be a good start.

4. If at all possible, when contemplating a change, post it for the author to approve. If the change is drastic, phrase it as a suggestion or request. For instance, "I feel description x is inappropriate for this reason. Would it be okay if I used description y instead?" If the answer returned is still unsatisfactory to you, then allowing the author to come up with a solution. Such as, "I'm still uncomfortable with x. I would like to achieve [goal]. Is there a solution you have in mind that would achieve both (my desired goal and yours)?"

I appreciate the uniformity in formatting, and I fully understand and appreciate the need for grammatical and spelling corrections, etc. (I had to make a few of those on the poster for last year's) But, like Frankengraphics pointed out, there is a long enough time prior to publication to allow for mutually agreed upon corrections to be made. This is not only important for showing courtesy to the author, but also for accuracy. Sometimes your changes may end up including inaccurate information based on an honest misunderstanding (such as seems to be the case in the current Grunio A53 description, but I'll address that in its appropriate thread.)
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214234)
lidnariq wrote:
I did not expect something of very low quality (Why would I? It was submitted to the compo) …

Ah, now I see where the disconnect is occurring. Thanks for explaining it.

I feel that the screenshot (including its poor graphics, and basic description) were designed to give me low expectations for the game. The fact that it was submitted to the competition is what urged me to fiddle around with the controller under the assumption "certainly no one would submit something this unplayable, right?"

To me, the above seems obvious. To you, it clearly does not. Thus, the confusion between us. I should have elaborated earlier.
Quote:
Separately, in my experience, the result is not unique, and in its entirety it has two events that count as "interesting" to me, of which one counts to me as subtly abusive.

If there are other games that have the player explore a world that exists outside of a Game Over screen, I'm unaware of them.
Quote:
…other people enjoying it doesn't mean I don't feel misled by describing it as a remake.

Call it an "homage", "inspired by", remove the descriptive text altogether, whatever. The thing that upsets me is that in my opinion, the menu should appear to be a neutral arbiter, and because to me "remake" implies things that this isn't, and that in turn negatively affects the appearance of neutrality of the menu.

If the term "remake" was the only thing initially disputed, I have little doubt that an adequate description satisfactory to both parties would have been achieved long ago.

However, we shouldn't forcibly alter the player's experience with the game (even if that experience is viewed as negative by some) has been my primary argument.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214237)
M_Tee wrote:
If there are other games that have the player explore a world that exists outside of a Game Over screen, I'm unaware of them.
I don't remember instances where it's specifically outside of a Game Over screen, but ... is that all that different from games where you "break out" of the game and start rummaging around the rest of the program that is the game (e.g. Hack 'N' Slash) or virtual computer (Pony Island might count)? I feel like I've seen a fairly noticeable number of those lately.

Recursed has extra bonus puzzles as exception handlers. (If that sounds weird ... well ... yes, it is, but I can't recommend it enough)
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214239)
I don't think "bait and switch" is even negative anymore, at least not in the context of releasing stuff online. Nowadays in Internet culture you've got things like Siivagunner high quality rips, where intentionally misrepresenting the thing you're posting is the whole point, and then having it lead into something else (and surprising a viewer that's unfamiliar with it) is popular and playful.

When I saw Star Evil, combined with F-FF misrepresenting itself as a boring racing game, I thought that sort of playfulness was exactly what pubby was going for.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214241)
Another different game that hits some similar notes is Pause Ahead. But there are actually quite many with fake glitches and the like. Most of those I can name, I think it's technically spoilers, though. Pause Ahead, I feel most people play expecting the gimmick.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214258)
And the intentional glitches in Eternal Darkness were so original that Nintendo got a patent. But at least those glitches were honestly marketed.
Re: How to handle Star Evil and other bait and switch games
by on (#214276)
tepples wrote:
Am I still out of line?

With a few words changed the post that crossed the line, for me would have been perfectly fine.

If this was posed as a suggestion for Pubby to consider, that's no problem in my view.

If it was posed by anyone else who is not the editor, also no problem, because it's automatically only a suggestion.

Instead, you presented it as an action of authority, and I've already explained why I think that establishes a harmful precedent. HOWEVER it's mitigated entirely by you at least being open about it. You haven't actually committed this act of censorship, you merely stated an intent to do so publicly, and you were de facto looking for commentary on it. In truth it was the suggestion it should be, only it wasn't initially worded that way.


(Smaller changes benefit from similar treatment. "I found some spelling errors" is vastly superior to "I fixed your spelling errors.")
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#214278)
Which is exactly why I posted it before doing anything. I guess I should have been more explicit about the intent being "Any better suggestions?", just as I should have been more explicit in the other topic of intending to introduce the analogy between misogynist men centuries ago and console makers now in the other topic.

Perhaps I was the one who baited and switched.
Press start to begin…arguments.
by on (#215442)
"Start: begin game" is already a cute riddle.
Re: Subject is a required field
by on (#215449)
Sorry late to the party here... I'm rather glad this thread's title didn't attract my interest until now though as I didn't actually get a chance to play until after the thread died down. Safe to say reading this thread beforehand would have spoiled the game for me.

tepples wrote:
I'd prefer something like "A reimagining of..." But pubby and Paul at Infinite NES Lives have the final say.


I don't feel like my opinion is that important in this specific game, so I'll save it. The bigger question is who decides what message players are to be presented with prior to playing the game. Provided it's not obscene I honestly think this should be up to the creator. While I get the arguments for the menu to be neutral, the risks/damages involved with over ruling creator's expression are much more significant than some number of players not enjoying or getting that one game because of a sentence.

Ultimately creator is the one responsible for making a game that's an enjoyable experience for their targeted player and the instructions are an extension of the game.

If people playing the game have recommendations to the creator on how the instructions could have be improved, the creator can choose what to do with that feedback. I don't feel this is something we need to regulate as compo/cartridge organizers.