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Optimus

Other games besides Doom, your brain became hardwired to.

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That's a weird title but I'll explain what I mean. I realized that one reason I am addicted to Doom and is definitely my most favorite game is how hardwired my brain is to what's going on. I mean, that feeling when you enter a room/open a door and you see a specific configuration of enemies, you instantly know what to do. Shoot those hitscanners while you strafe from that imp fireball, as you move behind that wall in the back to avoid the revenant HOM. First I shoot that, then I do that, then that, maybe some trap opens and change of plans. But all this I feel happens very instantly in milliseconds, and I learned to recognize and since I'll play new maps where I can't anticipate what comes over me, it's a rewarding experience with a feedback from my brain and what I see, and I recognize I have played so much that my brain is so adapted to this now.

 

I am wondering if for a game to be able to create this effect, it has to be complex enough or well balanced, or any game is sufficient enough to make you feel like this if you spend a lot of time learning it's mechanics and mastering it. It's well said for Doom that because of the diversity of the enemies (hitscanners, projectiles, flying, weaker and tougher, other kinds of attacks) and also the number and placing and level geometry, that this can happen. But what about other games?

 

The other one game that made me feel the same as Doom is Spelunky. I have spend so much time on it and every time I play, my mind thinks fast, stares at the situation, oh a bat there, a frog there, a trap there, I'll take this rock and throw while triggering that trap and that thing will happen. Spelunky levels are proceduraly generated, so every time I play a new situation but now things happen fast in my brain, I can always anticipate. Just like playing new Doom WADs. That's of course after several hours of playing to get hooked in it's mechanics and avoid the initial frustration of it's difficulty.

 

I can't think of many other games that makes my brain hooked in similar ways as Doom. Spelunky is my 2nd favorite game after Doom now. What about yours?

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I think it's important that the complexity in these games comes from a rather simple set of rules. The mechanics are basic enough that you can learn them really really well, and that's why you always know what you're doing and you usually can predict the result of your actions. It's hard to imagine experiencing a similar feeling in a game with very complex AI, for example. Too many variables that are hidden from the player.

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Good question.  I'm guessing you're looking for something more than simply having a game memorized, which is the case for most of the games that come initially to my mind for me (i.e. NES action/shoot 'em up games that I can make look easy because I'm already anticipating the next thing).

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without question the biggest game I've gotten to that level with is uh, Puzzle and Dragons. heh. While I'm not "great" at it, solving boards becomes second nature after a while, I feel.

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Definitely DDR.  Even though I haven't played on an actual pad in a few years due to living on the 3rd floor of an apartment building, I still play Stepmania with a keyboard.  Even now my head just kind of instinctively matches certain patterns of arrows without looking directly at them, allowing me to simply maintain simple concentration rather than devote extra time to "decoding" the patterns.  Does that kind of make sense?

 

I mean, I have this custom title for a reason.

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Cod WW2. The events they do every other month and the daily orders keep me from being bored. And know whats funny? The multiplayer is sub-par at best and yet I can't put the game down.

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I understand exactly what you mean. Doom's mechanics become second-nature. There are very few games that replicate this. I feel Counter-Strike and other FPS multiplayer games have a similar concept but with more variables and a different feel.

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44 minutes ago, YukiRaven said:

Definitely DDR....

Stepmania with a keyboard.

Every so often I have dreams about the arrows. I still play Stepmania now and again, but years ago DDR was my life. Outside of work it was my entire existence.

 

The last time I played Stepmania I could get perfect combos on 12-step songs, and clear 15-step songs with my fingers.

 

Fun fact, my best footwork was this one day when I took LSD and went to the arcade, I was one with the force. I got a FC on Max 300. I was sweating buckets but I was like a machine.

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10 minutes ago, Megalyth said:

Every so often I have dreams about the arrows. I still play Stepmania now and again, but years ago DDR was my life. Outside of work it was my entire existence.

 

The last time I played Stepmania I could get perfect combos on 12-step songs, and clear 15-step songs with my fingers.

Pretty much the same, except that I never tried to get perfect combos.  My goal was to be able to beat most of the difficult songs in the arcade on hard without ever touching the bar and no modifiers, which I've managed to do for the most part, and to use it to stay in shape, which definitely worked at the time.  I didn't really play any of the games past DDR Extreme 2, though.

 

Bag on heavy with no modifiers and no bar with an A rating?  Yeah, that was fun :D

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Lords of Midnight.  I played so much of that in the mid 80s that a bunch of command combinations are indelibly stained in my mind: threading through the wolves to get to the Lord of Shadows, exploiting the southern Liths to keep resetting the clock to Dawn, bee-lining the Lords of Blood and Shimeril, and so on.

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1 minute ago, YukiRaven said:

Bag on heavy with no modifiers and no bar with an A rating?  Yeah, that was fun :D

Rats off to ya

 

I did manage to FC Bag once, but it was set to 8x. It's not that hard except for the arrows moving so slow.

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I've been playing Elite Dangerous for a couple of years now and I've described the learning curve as being similar in difficulty to learning to drive a car (a lot of the initial challenge is "can you manage to take off and then land your ship without crashing?"). But I've now been playing it long enough that I can pretty much maneuver myself exactly into whatever position I want now. Plus I've learned to do it using a keyboard and mouse pad without even needing an expensive HOTAS flight stick setup or whatever.

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11 minutes ago, fraggle said:

I've been playing Elite Dangerous for a couple of years now and I've described the learning curve as being similar in difficulty to learning to drive a car (a lot of the initial challenge is "can you manage to take off and then land your ship without crashing?"). But I've now been playing it long enough that I can pretty much maneuver myself exactly into whatever position I want now. Plus I've learned to do it using a keyboard and mouse pad without even needing an expensive HOTAS flight stick setup or whatever.

I've been thinking I need a nice HOTAS setup to play and enjoy that game, but maybe I just need to dedicate myself to it more.  Any suggestions for setting up the keyboard and mouse?  Or just deal with it until it feels natural?

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It has to be Monster Hunter for me, no matter the installment, no matter the console, I always know how to use my main weapons, I always know how the monster I'm facing reacts, it's like a curse because sometimes I'd like to spend more time in low rank but I can't :P, the combos and attacks for the Long Sword, Sword and Shield, Dual Blades and Switch Axe are forever ingrained in my brain.

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1 hour ago, YukiRaven said:

I've been thinking I need a nice HOTAS setup to play and enjoy that game, but maybe I just need to dedicate myself to it more.  Any suggestions for setting up the keyboard and mouse?  Or just deal with it until it feels natural?

Oh, don't get me wrong: with Elite, it goes like:

 

Keyboard or Mouse controls < Gamepad < Joystick < HOTAS

 

Having a stick that returns to the center when you let go makes a huge difference, whether it's a proper Joystick or at least just the analog stick on a gamepad. The way that the mouse / touchpad controls work, you essentially have something like a "virtual joystick" and you're using your mouse cursor to point to where your stick is supposed to be positioned. It's as awkward and unintuitive as it sounds, but I've been playing like that for so long that I've somehow managed to internalize it and get used to it.

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Dark Souls (specifically Bloodborne), but I kind of suspect that's true of everyone who plays it.  You can't really progress until everything just happens naturally.

 

Alternatively, some classic RTSs like C&C Red Alert or Dungeon Keeper.  A friend's girlfriend had recently discovered Dungeon Keeper but was stuck on the last level, and asked for my help (she was worried her save game was in an unwinnable state).  I genuinely haven't played it in 10+ years, but she sent me her GOG installation and save file, I booted it up and beat the level first time.  It's like all the built in memory of how the systems worked were all still there, just dormant.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, fraggle said:

Oh, don't get me wrong: with Elite, it goes like:

 

Keyboard or Mouse controls < Gamepad < Joystick < HOTAS

 

Having a stick that returns to the center when you let go makes a huge difference, whether it's a proper Joystick or at least just the analog stick on a gamepad. The way that the mouse / touchpad controls work, you essentially have something like a "virtual joystick" and you're using your mouse cursor to point to where your stick is supposed to be positioned. It's as awkward and unintuitive as it sounds, but I've been playing like that for so long that I've somehow managed to internalize it and get used to it.

Pretty much this. If you have a gamepad lying around and lack anything else, play with that instead of a keyboard/mouse. It seems counter intuitive for something designed to be played with a full HOTAS, but they do design the game to work on the Xbox One, and it's the same game on both systems, so you can map out the controls to make a lot of sense on a gamepad (the trick is multi press binds using the face buttons and dpad, creating 16-24 actions out of 8-10 buttons).

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Super Mario World for sure. I can instantly identify enemies and how to deal with them much like in Doom, as I've not only beaten the game many times but have played a good deal if custom roms/mapsets. To a slightly lesser extent, the same applies to SMB1.

 

Usually people give me a funny look when I tell them I could never get into Mario Maker, but the game controls slightly differently in so many subtle ways that I feel like a total retard when I try to play it. The jump arcs are slightly different, the friction is slightly different, the bounce back from enemy collisions is slightly different, the camera follows the player's position in a different way.. All these factors come together to make the game totally unplayable for me.

 

Imagine if SNES Doom looked 100% identical to PC Doom, but still played like SNES Doom. Despite looking nearly exact, the fundamental differences in weapon functionality, monster functionality and player movement make the experience quantifiably different. It sucks because I was looking forward to making/playing a truckload of SMW maps without the trickiness of using Lunar Magic to map and finding programs to patch roms and all that stuff. I'm the only person I've ever heard make this complaint which is the real kicker - when I was younger I was actually trying (in futility) to WR smb1 but my time never got below about 6:30. Obviously 90% of Mario fans aren't that obsessed with the game so only a select few nerds, myself included, noticed the super subtle but super important changes in player/camera movement 😭

 

[/rambling Mario nerd]

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The Souls series easily. Especially Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, given the number of times I've played through them. The core mechanics of the games are similar enough that practice in one game can carry you through all of them (haven't played Bloodborne though). Except for fall damage though; the series has been hilariously inconsistent in that regard...

 

Some other games would be RTSs like Rise of Nations, StarCraft, Age of Empires 2, Warcraft 3, etc. It's been a decade since I last played them but I still remember the strategy and tactics I used really well.

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Mount & Blade, that's thanks to long term intense play in both Single and Multiplayer. I can be outplayed but that's from a select few of players.

 

For every little frame that commences, I know what to do and when to do it flawlessly as a reaction while thinking of the next 3 steps ahead.

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Tetris Attack for me. I'm not 'pro player' level by any means but I can play that on the top difficulties without really thinking about what I'm doing. Essentially one of those "go in the zone" type games, you just 'flow' with it.

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