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tegeusCromis

Walking simulator?

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An interesting piece here from Salon:

https://www.salon.com/2017/11/11/a-brief-history-of-the-walking-simulator-gamings-most-detested-genre/

(Odd - although I've been following the controversies the author describes, somehow I haven't run into the term 'walking simulator'.)

Anyway, I do find that is exactly what I often use Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Morrowind for. Yeah, sometimes one really does need to on a manic spree of petty larceny, mass murder and/or quest-following, but I also finding it soothing to just go for a long stroll, maybe just pick a few ingredients. (If it weren't for those damn wolves/rad scorpions turning up whenever you stop to admire the view...)

So, I think I like the idea of this as a genre - what can be wrong with just telling a good story? (But, sorry to say, I haven't played *any* of the titles they list, will have to look some of them out.)

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Pricing is a bit of an issue with walking simulators. Gamers tend to feel cheated when they pay several pounds/dollars and then find that the only controls they can use are WASD for the entire game. I bought Dear Esther when it first came out (I think it was the first one, before the genre "walking simulator" had been thought up) and it was around £6. After 45 minutes I'd finished it and was very dissapointed that it was so short and there was nothing to do other than look and listen. A much more reasonable pricing would have been £1 purely based upon play-time, so I felt I'd wasted my money, even before considering that I was expecting some puzzles and to have to collect items along the way to unlock progress.

Then when the authors released Dear Esther Landmark Edition, it was offered free to everyone who already owned the original. Landmark Edition was a revamped recreation in a different game engine, and it was released about 5 years after the original. I played it straight away and thoroughly enjoyed it, I think mostly because it was free. Both the original and the LE were visually impressive, it's just that for the original this thought was shunted aside by the feeling of price-cheat.

 

Another game which is sort of a walking simulator (you can do a couple of additional actions but mostly it's just walk from start to end while looking and listening) is "Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist" - this is free and I found it hilarious. It's only about 20 minutes long, so I recommend giving it a try as an almost walking simulator and if you like it, try some more. Also, don't read any reviews in case they spoil the short plot.

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Hey, thanks. I'll certainly give that last one a spin. I'm rather fond of interactive fiction (text-based) on and off, have even played around with the authoring systems (though not for a long while) and I think it might relate to that. (IF, in fact, often has much more interesting puzzles than many graphic-based games, in my opinion.)

Yeah, that's a good point about the pricing. Interactive fiction authors, like us game modders, can't or don't charge. But this is somewhere between that and a full-on game. But I think, yes, £1 or two for a bit of fun sounds OK, considering it's not likely to be very repeatable.

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5 hours ago, Visceral Moonlight said:

When you walking simulator, do you mean a game type or one of the machines that's like a treadmill with a screen? I'm confused. :P

Oh VM, sometimes you are so adorably clueless.

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Well, VM has made me wonder if the latter type actually exist, bet they do. I think those running treadmills sound dreary enough, but that takes the biscuit. Couldn't you just, you know, go for a walk? (Though I suppose that involves putting up with nasty outdoor things like weather...)

[Hmm. Perhaps they might be useful to physiotherapists...]

Edited by tegeusCromis
Qualification

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Well here you need to watch out for fucking cyclists. Yeah, they run you over, whether you're walking on the sidewalk or trying to cross the road. They don't bother stopping at stop signs and they ride on the sidewalk. I've been hit several times.

These games sound weird. I love adventure games, but it's figuring out the puzzles in addition to the story that makes them fun. I will say To the Moon sounds very elaborate, but I can't imagine playing a game just to uncover the story.

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2 hours ago, AndalayBay said:

Well here you need to watch out for fucking cyclists. Yeah, they run you over, whether you're walking on the sidewalk or trying to cross the road. They don't bother stopping at stop signs and they ride on the sidewalk. I've been hit several times.

These games sound weird. I love adventure games, but it's figuring out the puzzles in addition to the story that makes them fun. I will say To the Moon sounds very elaborate, but I can't imagine playing a game just to uncover the story.

Yeah, just the same in London, AB. Suffered many years of that, worst on the canal towpaths. Cyclists have an irritating whstle when they expect you to get out of the way. Which I refuse to do, since I have the right of way as a pedestrian. There's some recent research I read lately that shows that when some people (not everyone!) feel they have gained some minor virtue, like eating organic food or urban cycling, they then feel empowered to behave like complete arses to others in every other respect. (Think the story might have been in The Independent (UK).)

Games-wise, yeah I can imagine playing a game just for story, but it had better be both well-constructed and written; and it should use at least some game elements (even just ironically, like the choices that aren't real choices - mind you, you get plenty of those in Bethesda games). Because otherwise, I'm just going to be asking myself why I'm not reading a novel or watching a film instead.

Edited by tegeusCromis

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[Oops, I seem to have generated a second post, sorry. Well, Ok then just to say...]

I haven't been checking it out for a while, but I used to find some pretty inventive stuff on Sub-q Magazine

Edited by tegeusCromis

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1 hour ago, tegeusCromis said:

Yeah, just the same in London, AB. Suffered many years of that, worst on the canal towpaths. Cyclists have an irritating whstle when they expect you to get out of the way. Which I refuse to do, since I have the right of way as a pedestrian. There's some recent research I read lately that shows that when some people (not everyone!) feel they have gained some minor virtue, like eating organic food or urban cycling, they then feel empowered to behave like complete arses to others in every other respect. (Think the story might have been in The Independent (UK).)

You know, I think they might be on to something there, because I really can't believe how big an asshole these people are. There are even some who will use their bike lock to break one of the mirrors on someone's car if they think they cut them off or something. It's insane.

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Yep. Often known as 'lycra louts' over here. Thing is, I'm no petrolhead, but the one good thing I can say about motorists (apart from 'some of my best friends are...') is that they do not usually try to invade my territory...

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Bicycles and cars are not a happy mix. Thoroughfares for each- but not shared, is the way.

Most of our big cities are not designed for bicycles or cars- or even humans for that matter. They're designed for greedy folks who want to make a quid out of every cubic metre they can get their scrawny hands on.

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16 hours ago, tegeusCromis said:

Well, VM has made me wonder if the latter type actually exist, bet they do. I think those running treadmills sound dreary enough, but that takes the biscuit. Couldn't you just, you know, go for a walk? (Though I suppose that involves putting up with nasty outdoor things like weather...)

[Hmm. Perhaps they might be useful to physiotherapists...]

They definitely do! Some treadmills have screens and Disney Quest has some attractions that use it (granted, their implementation wasn't all that great last I was there but that was over ten years ago so they may have improved by now). If done right, they're quite entertaining!

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