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Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?
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Istrebitel Offline
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Post: #1
Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

Greetings.

After playing the game, I thought that it had both several subjective flaws (something I dislike but others could consider irrelevant) and several objective flaws (like, "distance fog" being gray, thus showing objects at the vision distance, latern animated to always stay upright but beam of light always aligned with camera, etc). I still liked the game very much. I got very much emotionally touched by the final scene and the idea that the world Mandus fights for is the world where all the terrible acts will be commited, like nuclear bombing by USA, gas cameras by Nazi, and mass manslaughter in communist reginesm.

Now, several days later, I have watched Mangaminx LPs and also traced back the way the game played for me, and I came to this:

Is AAMFP really a game? Would it be better if it would not be considered a game, but a kind of interactive story, like Dear Esther?

I mean, if we compare AAMFP with ATDD, it is obvious how much of the game is actually removed:
* We cannot interact with most of the objects - no more making a shelter from monsters out of boxes and barrels, no more creating towers of them to get to unreachable places, no more fiddling around with books and hammers and shit
* There is absolutely no choice of where to go and what to do - the game is absolutely linear, with the most non-linear part probably being where you have to get 2 parts of the mixture, and even that is relatively close and stays within several meters of each other - compare this to multiple "quest hubs" of ATDD where you have significant locations to explore in any sequence you prefer, with options to go away and come back
* There is total absense of gameplay elements, controlling resources like tinderboxes and lamp oil, controlling your character's stats like heath and sanity, having to stay in the light and not look at monster
* The moments where you have to actually interact with a monster are very few and far between
* Not a single time in the whole game you have to actually think about a problem and come up with a solution - like, the mixture in castle, the acid in prison, throwing meat to distract Kaerniks
* Absolutely no choice you can make either. ATDD had numerous choices that lead to numerous endings. And if you think that numerous endings in a horror game isn't good since replaying horror games is not the point - the game doesn't have to have different endings to have choice! The ending of numerous quest lines in Skyrim is the same, but you have choices along the way - like, do you run errand for the guard to make him let you through or you just kill him, or do you sneak in to get the needed item or use brute force, or do you let a person die and go on hints from her personal belongings, or save her and hear her story, etc.

Now, I do not argue that AAMFP would be better off with inventory, sanity system, complex puzzles, so on and so forth. But is it wrong to try to call this a video game? I just mean what I mean. Is it really a video game, or just an interactive story that tries to get you more involved in it by letting you play through it's pages, doing the actions the character in the story does with your own hands?

Maybe this is the reason for all, or most of the negativism about this game, like for example, Mangaminx considering it absolutely inferior to the original, or multiple people just outright saying it's boring, not worth their time, and so on and so forth? And please don't go "who cares about minx or pewds or any of these idiots, I liked the game and I don't care" - you may like the game but you have to accept the damn fact - a lot of people do NOT like the game. And it's showing. This game is getting way LESS acclaim and support from the comunity than ATDD.

Is it doing so, because it tries to call itself something it actually isn't?

I mean, when you stop taking it as a video game, it all starts to make sense. If you really try to immerse yourself and let yourself be "on rails" that the narrative keeps you on - its a great story! It's a mindfuck that will leave a lasting impression on you - for some it might be nightmares, for others it might be pure disgust of what the main character did, or it may be the sadness of the reality that both outcomes - what Mandus originally planned and what happened when he scrapped this plan - are equally terrifying and horrible? I mean, millions of people murdered in the gas cameras, where those who are still in the line clearly understanding what fate awaits them, and after it's done service workers prying off golden teeth from the corpses that have them and dumping the bodies - this is worse than just being suddenly killed by a mutant pig in your home.

However, when you start to treat it as a game, then it all falls apart. You start going like "come on when will I meet the pig again" or "this is just boring, now I can always just run with my latern out instead of having to actually manage the supplies" or "why can't I go that way, why do I have to do what the game tells me at all times " or "these aren't puzzles, its damn obvious what I have to do, why won't the game give me a task and let me think". I keep using Mangaminx as an example because unlike mym or any other player opinion, which is told to you through just some lines of text, you only see the opinion itself, the sum, the conclusion, while with letsplayers, you can watch her play the whole game on a video and see how her perception of the game changes, how it all works in motion. You can see how she basically longs and craves for the chance to be frightened, to have to run away or hide from the monsters again, but instead its just a machine puzzle after machine puzzle and the gameplay she expected for from an Amnesia game is not delivered, and it becomes pure frustration.

So that's what I have to say.

Your thoughts?

Would AAMFP be better if we (and all the people who gave it negative scores, reviews or just didn't like it) never consider it to actually be a computer game? Despite the fact that some of us (like me) loved the experience we had with it, do we have the right to call AAMFP a bad game, because it's not actually a good game for the lack of game in it, but it's instead an awesome interactive story? Bad in this case meaning "not fit for the job" - like, a perfect screwdriver will perform badly if you try to use it as a hammer or a throwing knife. Shall "games" like this be better off as a new geanre, meant to be taken differently - like, for example, the "casual games" or "social games" geanre, obviously laughted at and not considered "true games" by hardcore crowd, but instead finding its own niche and quite successful in satisfying its needs?
09-13-2013 10:42 AM
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Potato Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

> inventory, sanity and interaction systems are diminished or modified
> people dispute that it's a game

[Image: o8JPTkt.jpg]
upsilon floorbot is a qt pa2t
09-13-2013 10:56 AM
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EnDash Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

not every game have to be action packed with strategy, some are better oriented to storytelling.

Dear Esther was considered an interactive ghost story, i think AMFP is considered somewhat the same, an interactive 19th century horror book. it's special in a diffrent way from amensia or penumbra.
09-13-2013 11:20 AM
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Ossie Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

Why does this tired old argument crop up whenever something a little bit different comes along? WHY must we pigeon-hole everything in life? What's normal? What's abnormal?

Is Proteus a game? Is Dear Esther a game? Is Gone Home a game? Is Journey a game? Is AAMFP a game? Will Everybody's Gone To The Rapture be a game?

Why do people care about the genre? I don't - I just want to enjoy a new and interesting experience that has been programmed for my computer/console/handheld. I don't need to 'name' its genre before I can even enjoy it.
(This post was last modified: 09-16-2013 06:30 PM by Ossie.)
09-13-2013 06:40 PM
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Cuyir Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

Am I a game?

I think I am.

>ultimate fourth wall breakage
09-13-2013 08:05 PM
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gremstein Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

(09-13-2013 08:05 PM)Nuits Grace Wrote:  Am I a game?

I think I am.

>ultimate fourth wall breakage

Are you Triple H?
09-13-2013 08:27 PM
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bluel0bster Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

I'll be honest, didn't read the whole OP, but I got the gist.

I'll keep this simple:
Spoiler below!

Video Game (noun):
1. Any of various games played using a microcomputer with a keyboard and often joysticks to manipulate changes or respond to the action or questions on the screen. (www.dictionary.com)
2. A video game is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. (www.wikipedia.org )
3. A game in which you press buttons to control and move images on a screen (Oxford online dictionary)
4. An electronic game in which players control images on a television or computer screen (Merriam-Webster )
5. A game in which the player controls moving pictures on a television screen by pressing buttons or moving a short handle Cambridge Online Dictionary


Yes. Amnesia a Machine for Pigs is a game, by any of those definitions.

Video games aren't defined so specifically as by some ambiguous level of interaction. Why? Because that's way too subjective. You don't have to qualify for some level of interactivity to be classified a "video game." As far as I know, there's no unit of measurement for "interactivity," so classifying video games as such is ridiculous.
(This post was last modified: 09-13-2013 10:27 PM by bluel0bster.)
09-13-2013 10:21 PM
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lolmaster Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

Y'know, something else that bothers me is that people say AAMFP doesn't feel like a sequel. I just want to say that it's not a direct sequel, and not every game in a series has to have the same mechanics over and over.


09-14-2013 02:44 AM
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Babomancer Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

(09-13-2013 10:21 PM)bluel0bster Wrote:  I'll be honest, didn't read the whole OP, but I got the gist.

I'll keep this simple:
Spoiler below!

Video Game (noun):
1. Any of various games played using a microcomputer with a keyboard and often joysticks to manipulate changes or respond to the action or questions on the screen. (www.dictionary.com)
2. A video game is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. (www.wikipedia.org )
3. A game in which you press buttons to control and move images on a screen (Oxford online dictionary)
4. An electronic game in which players control images on a television or computer screen (Merriam-Webster )
5. A game in which the player controls moving pictures on a television screen by pressing buttons or moving a short handle Cambridge Online Dictionary


Yes. Amnesia a Machine for Pigs is a game, by any of those definitions.

Video games aren't defined so specifically as by some ambiguous level of interaction. Why? Because that's way too subjective. You don't have to qualify for some level of interactivity to be classified a "video game." As far as I know, there's no unit of measurement for "interactivity," so classifying video games as such is ridiculous.

While I agree with you, I have to point out that all of those definitions of "video game" make explicit use of the word "game", so they don't really help in determining whether AMFP is a 'game'.
(This post was last modified: 09-14-2013 05:03 AM by Babomancer.)
09-14-2013 05:02 AM
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Quizerno Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Would AAMFP be better if it would NOT be considered a game, like Dear Esther?

It meets the barest definition of a "game."

However the term that best suits it is "Walking Simulator." Which also fits Dear Esther, Korsakovia (99% of it at least), Gone Home, March, Slender, and One Late Night.

The game requires no thought other than:

1. Pressing Buttons
2. Bring Object A to Point B.
3. Walking
4. Listening to narration.

There are a couple sections where you have to avoid monsters, but let's be honest, calling them a core part of the game is generous.

The reason people are calling it "not a game" is because it took out the core gameplay elements of Amnesia, emphasized finding bits of the story.

If the Chineseroom wants to tell stories, they should not make games because they don't know what makes games fun.
(This post was last modified: 09-14-2013 07:46 AM by Quizerno.)
09-14-2013 07:26 AM
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