jackleapp81

Gaming Does too much freedom bother you in videogames?

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(edited)

Recently, I downloaded a game called "Terraria" for my PC, after I had heard about how much unlimited replay value it had. 

 

After playing it for a few days, I found myself quite frustrated though. There I was, hours into the game, and yet..I had recieved no objectives yet. No goals. I was being left to my own devices, and allowed to do whatever I wanted, and to go wherever I pleased. Most of you might think that's automatically a great thing in a videogame, but it almost felt oppressive to me. Like the game was placing too much weight on my shoulders. Relying on me to gather materials for items that would've been pre-built in any other videogame. 

 

It's sort of like if you made a toy robot for a young child. You tell the kid, "Here's a robot. It can do backlips, it can dance, it can do your homework, it can bark like a dog, and it can communicate in 14 different languages. Have fun!" 

 

img-2419370-1-Vtech-Cogsley-Learning-Rob

 

And the kid would have fun. Because he didn't have to deal with all the difficult aspects of building the robot, and he can enjoy it what the robot does without having to worry about all of the technical bullsh*t that goes with it.

 

Now take a look at Terraria, or Minecraft. Those games are the equivalent of giving a young child a toy robot that can do many, many great things, BUT the robot isn't assembled yet. You tell the kid, "Alright, this is a robot that can do many amazing, incredibly awesome things. The catch is, you're going to have to build it. I won't tell you how to build it, but I'll give you some small hints along the way, and you can figure it out as you go."

 

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You see what I mean? Games like Minecraft and Terraria can be a recipe for frustation. If I want to relax at the end of a long day, I'd prefer not to deal with the design aspects of a videogame, and jump right in to playing one. One that's more accessible, and more purposefully designed. What do you think? Can a videogame place too much responsibility on a player's shoulders? Can a videogame have too much choice, and too much freedom?

Edited by jackleapp81

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Hey @jackleapp81, I moved your topic from General Discussion to Media Discussion. The latter is the place to discuss video games.
 



 
Personally, whether or not having a lot of free time in a video game bothers me depends on my mood. Often I'm in the mood to work with some kind of objective or some form of action in a video game. Other times I play them for relaxation, and I don't mind not having any objectives.
 
Additionally, whether or not I want to play a game that requires building of some sort also depends on my mood.

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I think the most obvious answer here is different strokes for different folks. Context also matters. The purpose of a game is to be entertaining, but a game can be entertaining in any number of ways. Some people like freedom and the ability to do whatever without an explicit purpose and without linear design forcing them to do [x] instead of [y]. But in the same day, the same person could always grow tired of that because they're tired of thinking too much at that moment and want to do something mindless where what you need to do is explicit.

 

It depends on the person, which is why the game market is so diverse in the first place. And even a person can change to like different things over the course of time.

 

In short, it's just smart business. There's always going to be a niche for different types of games, so fill it.

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It depends partly on the game and partly on the gamer. Minecraft has objectives, but they are secondary, and the player is mostly free to set personal goals and just play around. If you're the type of person who likes linear, guided gameplay, this may be dull, but there are people who enjoy that kind of game. I like the Elder Scrolls because it offers a little bit of both; you can go through the different stories and side missions or just go out and enjoy the world, even if you don't have the same creative power. I admit, MInecraft can get boring if I'm not in the mood for it, but it does have its time and place.

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I think if you're going into a game solo, generally a more "on-rails" experience would be more entertaining. However, I think you can really start to enjoy sandbox games such as Minecraft, Terraria, Starbound etc if you are playing with friends. The fun in my experience, has come from messing with my friends and being a pain in the butt. Perhaps that us just me, though.

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Yeah, a lot of people feel insulted when games are linear, easily-absorbed, or walk you along.

Honestly? I spend a whole day at work trying to figure out why calling the same native-library Java function, with the same arguments, on two different systems, gives two different return values. (And you can't debug on one of those systems) I get enough of that nonlinear system-solving stuff. When I want to recharge, usually I want to kill things and cause massive explosions.

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It doesn't bother me as long as I have fun. If the freedom causes the player to become frustrated, then I could have some questions. But, I would want to have fun in video games than be frustrated.

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I think there is a massive difference between freedom and direction. What you've described is a game that lacks direction. One way or another games should have some way to point you to where you need to go or telling you not to go this way or that way by creating obstacles. Freedom to do whatever you want is great, the inability to figure out where to go because the game doesn't tell you in any way...yeah not so much.

 

Instructions are vital to games. Whether it's explicit (tutorials, manuals or dialog) or implicit (obstacles and symbols that make it obvious you can do nothing here until later) one needs a way to know what the hell to do.

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(edited)

I like games that have questlines and things to do in them, not to mention when they're built in. The people who play minecraft often set a standered, to basically turn a small shack:

 

post-17832-0-83602300-1395199632_thumb.jpg

 

into a giant mantion full of food made itself and redstone sh*t:

 

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but when you get halfway thogh that mantion it becomes a grind, AND I HATE GRINDS!!! But people play Minecraft for the ability to do anything you want. But when you get your neccesitys handed and have more than you need, once you do that it becomes boring.

Edited by Gearhart

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It largely depends on the game for me. The main reason I don't play anything like Minecraft or Terraria anymore is because it felt like a grind, with almost nothing interesting or new happening to make me want to continue. Something a bit more like Don't starve is a game I find more enjoyable. Yes, there is still a lot of grinding, but there is other things going on. Different seasons, monster attacks, and events to keep you on your toes, as well as a set goal to eventually work toward. I also often find games with no challenge to be rather dull, and Minecraft offers none. It mostly boils down to personal preference.

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(edited)

I have a slightly different problem when it comes to games offering too much freedom. I just get bored. The game environment's context never really changes in relation to what I've built or done, it's not exactly very encouraging. The AI is typically extremely basic and mostly comes down to "attack player" or "sit around and do nothing of value."

 

There is a right balance, but I mostly just want some kind of context other than trying to survive after being dropped in a random location. Starbound was on the right track, but it's a massive grindfest. It also suffers a bit from "what the heck is my goal!?" syndrome...

Edited by Celtore

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Yeah, I couldn't really get into Minecraft.

 

My favorite games are the Saints Row series, Assassin's Creed series, and Grand Theft Auto series.

 

They've got the perfect mix of linear quests but also room to just wander around and mess with stuff. They're perfect for me, because I like to be able to have a clear goal, but I also like the ability to branch out and do things at my own pace if the main storyline is getting too intense for me. (ie. I'm tired, I don't want a tough challenge right now).

 

Totally linear games drive me nuts, because if you don't really feel like fighting a particular boss at that moment, then your only option is to just turn the game off.

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I'll play objective-based games just as often, but I like the freedom some games give you. Games that don't give you any goals or objectives are enjoyable to me, because I like getting creative and challenging myself. Usually, in games like Minecraft and Garry's Mod, I'll make up different things to do, and I could play games like those for hours on end, because of all the possibilities. With limitless things to do, and so much freedom, it's like playing lots of different games in one. 

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It can... whether it be an RPG where you have hundreds of ways to customize yourself/your party(which is basically every RPG these days), a simple set of branching paths, or just exploring an area in general to look for things or even just simply fill out a map, I can get a bit OCD when it comes to trying to do everything in a game with even just a little bit of freedom... but that's a good thing I think, a game that bothers you with options is good for replay value I've found after all. :lol:

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Yeah, I get pretty board when the game doesn't give me some sort of objective. When I'm not given any sort of direction to go in, something I can work towards, I lose interest in the game. Sure I can do x,y and z, but why bother?

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I love freedom in a game. It's partially why I enjoy Fallout 3 and New Vegas so much.

 

When a game is linear and basically you go in a straight line, I get bored with it rather fast.

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I kinda see where you are going. I feel the same way sometimes when playing Minecraft, that's why I can easily get bored with it.

 

If Minecraft or Terraria had objectives they would be even awesomer

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It usually depends. Yes, it is fun to have your own freedom and not have to do a thousand things at once. Like, maybe certain points in a video game before you have beaten it maybe fun, but those games you have where, after you have beaten it, you can just play around can get a little boring because you have ran out of missions, there is nothing to do, alls you can do is run around in circles and thats it. 

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If I'm feeling like spending a lot of time, I can invest hours in Minecraft. I love having lots of freedom in games. I also like having objectives in a game, too. It really depends.

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No actually. I hate when a game gives me an objective, sets me on a path and goes "here. Go do that while I sip my Pina Colada in the Maldeves."

I don't care if you're my game, stop telling me what to do!

Like OK, so games like Skyrim have you basically going from A to B and then to C in a loop that never ends. But when you go and say "screw you," Then you can go off and do whatever before you play a quest. Saints Row makes you go and activate the mission, so you don't have the game bossing you around.

That's why I love Minecraft. There are no objectives, there is no mission. Just play the game.

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Minecraft is Legos, dude. Chillax. :P

 

And I find Terraria pointless. It's basically just a checklist of items to get. Once you have it all, it's no fun. No thanks.

 

I remember Skyrim gave me so much freedom that I became overwhelmed and turned it off for a long while.

 

Total freedom is just pointless and dull. It's exactly why the Scribblenauts series sucks.

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I think I can understand what you mean about Minecraft.

 

So I think freedom is okay, but responsibility is another thing.

 

Like in Minecraft, you have to keep up with your armor status and swords and all that, plus you have to eat when you get hungry.

 

It's just...a hassle, I guess you could say.

 

Now in Skyrim, I enjoy eating as much as I want to, when I want to, not being required to eat on a schedule like Minecraft.

 

Also, my armor and sword stats don't go down.

 

I enjoy that better. ^^

 

Hope that makes sense, I know it was just throwing a bunch of random words out there. ^^"

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