January 23, 2016

Gigantic, and Introducing Failblogging


Gigantic has been on my mind for a long time now. Having first heard about it just before PAX last year, I found myself gravitating towards its booth at the convention itself, watching people play this colorful, action-packed first-person MOBA thing. Though I proceeded to lose my beta key from the con in a book (found a few months later and given to my friend), receiving a key from a friend as a gift got me in on the fun soon afterward.

Gigantic has just entered Beta 2.0, featuring 24/7 playtesting and a new hero to have skills tested on the battlefield! Everything looks really exciting, and I'm a fan of all the new developments, mostly because it means that progress is being made towards a public release so that I can play with more friends...In the meantime, I'm just getting my ass kicked in almost every match. I might not have the expert's touch on reviewing what I've experienced, but I know enough about sucking at a game to still provide insight and feedback....




To be completely honest, I face this reality a lot when I play and review games. I don't have nearly enough experience or skill in gaming to be able to give the kinds of reviews that I see in other places, the kinds that people turn to for buying guidance or discussion material. But it dawned on me recently that I don't often see the testimonies of those who just plain aren't good at the games in question. 

I thought to myself: Either this hasn't been done enough, or this has never been successful. I'm about to find that out.


I discussed this topic on Twitter about two months ago, calling it 'failblogging' or 'failgaming', depending on whether it's the noob testimony itself or producing one through the experience of a title. It makes me really nervous to think about giving this a try, but to be honest, I've been putting myself in a position I can't maintain. At long last finished a playthrough due to time constraints and tech issues? Pfft- Nah, I was just dying three times as much per time capita versus average. As I quietly laughed at myself to myself, though, I gave it some serious thought...

So how about it? Noob testimonies, honest thoughts on difficulty, and more mishaps? I'm in it if you are. 

12 comments:

  1. That's a great idea. My feeling is that the norm for skills in many types of video game is a lot lower than you would be led to believe by those who write, stream or talk about it. It's a self-selecting group of people who are both confident in their ability to express themselves and secure enough in their skills to expect to be taken seriously. I'd be amazed if that represented the experience of the run-of-the-mill player.

    Personally, I consider myself to be bad at video games and yet I'm well aware from having played multiplayer games for a decade and a half that there are a lot of people plugging away at it who are even worse than me. There has to be a market for reporting and reviews that represents that demographic.

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    1. Thanks for your support! I have a follow-up planned to this post where I include a little more about your first point. I'd love to quote you. :)

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  2. Ahh I love you. Yes please! I'm always failing heartily at games. Difficulty levels, lacking tutorials, yeah.

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    1. Love you too! <3 There are some games that handle difficulty really well without necessarily implementing levels- Bastion has a 'No Sweat Mode' that's really nice for someone who's into the story more than not falling off the edge of the world.

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  3. Honestly, it's not just you. Everyone sucks at games at some point or another, just like everything else. You can't expect to do something new and to be instantly good at it. This is particularly true when it comes to MOBAs. I've been playing League of Legends since 2011, and I still learn new things all of the time. I look back on old blog posts about the game when I was still a noob and attempting to theorycraft, and I just laugh at how bad my ideas were despite thinking I was seriously sophisticated at the time.

    Keep playing, and you'll get better. Or you can just accept that there are certain games you'll never be good at, and just avoid them altogether. For me, that game is Tekken. Good luck!

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    1. "You can't expect to do something new and to be instantly good at it." - If it hasn't been implied, I have to confess that this is something I tend to hold to myself, that I have to be good at everything I try right away. But, I am getting better at what I do every day, and to see the change over time is most satisfying.

      For the time being, there's a little bit of universal suckage going on when it comes to games, but I'm looking forward to honing in on some skills. Thank you for reading! <3

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  4. Gaming culture, in order to progress, cannot be ruled only by the elite who excel. It also requires those who play, regardless of failure, and enjoy doing so. I do not subscribe to a culture of exclusivity: gaming is a hobby born from a passion for the medium. All viewpoints should be respected and very few should go ignored.

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    1. Beautifully said. I'm worried that this new fail-blogging idea will go down the drain for a variety of reasons, but the truth that gaming is in fact born from the love for it gives me some more determination. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate you took the time to look through my post and respond. :)

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  5. u r bad @ vidya gaems.
    I h8 u and ur War Elephants or Camels or whatevr they r this tiem.
    Love,
    Curly

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    1. Sorry, did you say something? Thought I heard War Elephants. Y'know, like the ones that are going to flatten you when you open Civ up again. <3 you, Curly

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  6. Failure often produces a lot more entertaining stories than successes. I've ranted long and heartily about PUG dungeon catastrophes (mind you, as one of the five members of said failPUG, that lack of group competence also reflects back on me.)

    I share "my ass just got kicked by a computer, repeatedly" stories - Endless Space just recently, and my early steps trying to figure out Path of Exile come to mind quite readily.

    The only warning caveats I'd suggest are: a) don't call it a review, that brings indignant people out of the woodwork protesting that a fair shake was not given - call it first impressions, just a noob or beginner playing or failing, etc. Think of it as a valuable insight for those experiences with the game (including the devs) to see how someone inexperienced is encountering concepts for the first time and the struggling points.

    And b) Be very prepared for more experienced commenters to surface and offer useful/useless suggestions as to the problems you've encountered. Sometimes this is helpful, when phrased non-aggressively, and sometimes it evokes a defensive reaction or you completely effing disagree with their advice. Be very careful reacting to them in the latter cases, it may be more peace of mind to just say thank you politely, or say nothing in reply and let them have had their say.

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    1. Thanks for the advice! Never thought about the labeling-as-review note, so that was a really good thing for you to bring up. Thanks for taking the time to read :)

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