Assorted Interesting Things: 7/17/21

It’s Assorted Interesting Things, that time where I just divulge various things on my rat brain and briefly pretend that I write about news.

The Difficulty Discourse

Hell yeah, baby, it’s the quarterly video game difficulty discourse, this time brought to you by Psychonauts 2! So, I figure that I should throw my hat into the ring to establish Indie Hell Zone’s official stance on this “issue.”

Who cares? Who gives a shit about how someone else plays a game? Are you one of those losers that just backseats someone playing Dark Souls for Youtube? Why would you suggest that people just watch the game on Youtube, while we’re at it? If you love games as much as you claim, shouldn’t you be happy that people are supporting the developers with money? God, it’s pathetic that this discourse keeps coming up again and again.

People play games in different ways! Not everyone is a tryhard that defines their existence based on how good they are at games. Not everyone plays a game for the gameplay, but for the story and experiences. Like yeah whatever, someone plays Nier: Replicant on auto mode, cool – who’s playing Nier: Replicant for the gameplay??

Honestly, it’s tiring that this discourse keeps popping up. Like the only difference between then and the last time this happened is gamers calling easy mode “game journalist mode” because they based their perception of game journalism on the single guy that did a bad job in the Cuphead tutorial, like, 3 years ago.

Anyway, whatever, if you start some discourse in my mentions I’m just blocking you on principle. Thank you. Good vibrations.

The Steam Deck

In other news, there’s a new handheld console on the horizon: Valve’s mighty Steam Deck. I won’t talk specs because I don’t even know or care about the specs of my own computer, but it’s essentially a gaming PC in a Nintendo Switch-like form. Like, here’s a Eurogamer article for the nerds that like getting into the nitty gritty. Besides letting you access your entire Steam library, you can also download external programs and get the Steam Deck hooked up to a monitor to use as an actual gaming PC.

Why am I talking about this? Well, I would absolutely just use a Steam Deck as a portable indie machine. The only intensive thing I have on Steam that I regularly dig into is Final Fantasy XIV – everything else is a bunch of smaller games that’d work well with the $399 Steam Deck’s storage of 64 GB. The thing with me is that my day job has basically destroyed my back and I don’t feel at peace unless I’m laying down, so getting to play games on my back is a joy that the Nintendo handhelds have given me – and maybe the Steam Deck could give me that too.

Like yeah, they have indie games on the Switch, but not all that I would like to play. I can probably get non-Steam RPG Maker games playing on the Steam Deck, too, which I really value because hey, the selection of RPG Maker games on niche sites are far better than what Steam offers.

Fandom and Game Guides

So, once upon a time, there was Wikia, a wiki-hosting service that allows people to give the subject of anything they want a full online encyclopedia experience. In the case of smaller titles, Wikia enabled small but passionate fanbases to go into detail about something they liked. For small games, wikis served as easily accessible guides when there previously wasn’t one. I remember years ago when I used the Wikia wiki for Yume 2kki as a guide for getting around and, well, actually figuring out how to access the game. There were some ads, sure, but they weren’t completely unbearable.

However, as the years went on, Wikia rebranded into Fandom and wikis started merging with the main Fandom entertainment site service. Besides ads getting more prominent, Fandom started pushing its main identity into its wikis, which is just really annoying if you’re just looking for one small thing. Want to switch over to Gamepedia? Well too bad, Fandom also owned Gamepedia and folded it into the central Fandom wiki brand. If you play Binding of Isaac, don’t even bother with the wiki and just get the External Item Description mod if you’re playing on PC.

There’s a general complaint about Online becoming unreadable with the amount of ads popping into sites, and Fandom may be one of the most prime examples of that. And what’s aggravating about this is… Fandom does very little work. All these wikis and the content on them are entirely user-driven, yet all those users are besieged by ads while Fandom rakes in the dough off their hard work. The Fandom experience is just being a landlord for wiki services.

To be honest, the worsening Fandom experience has given me a better appreciation for Steam because you can write guides for games. Personally, guides could have better searchability, but just being able to look up a guide through Steam without dealing with ads is great. Honestly, if you write a guide on Steam, you’re probably someone’s hero.

However, I wish it didn’t have to be this way. If fans of a work get together to make a guide, it shouldn’t be locked to some platform and they shouldn’t be subjected to intrusive ads.

RPG Maker Iceberg

One last thing I’ve been thinking about are these RPG Maker-themed iceberg images I’ve seen.

So if you don’t know about icebergs or watched an iceberg video on something that explained what icebergs are at the beginning, icebergs are the representation of knowledge on a subject. The surface level is commonly-known/mainstream facts, while the knowledge on that subject grows increasingly obscure the further down you go. Iceberg videos are honestly kinda fun to watch, as somebody that likes learning obscure facts.

I wanted to share these iceberg images because I thought the subject of RPG Maker icebergs are interesting. I’m actually thinking of writing a post on one of these, because I am not in the state of mind to make a proper voiced video, like, ever. Something to look forward to in the future, I suppose.

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