April 08, 2005

In This Day and Age

by psu

It's Friday and we're all tired here, so instead of the usual thoughtful and opinion filled piece of writing, I will just present a list of questions so vexing, so complicated, confusing or just plain stupid that I've never been able write a whole article about them.

1. Why can't I aim my gun and walk at the same time?

2. Why do people insist on eating rice, with chopsticks, off plates?

3. Why did 2-d isometric games die?

4. Just what is it about Elmo, anyway?

5. Why does almost every game using a third person camera have camera problems? Why don't they all just use the scheme from the 2 or 3 that don't suck?

6. When did they start packaging both hot dogs and the buns in groups of eight?

7. Why do people keep developing dorky scripting languages? Don't they know that even if they made the world's most beautiful creation it really just doesn't matter anymore?

8. Why do the plants turn into money when I hit them with my sword?

9. Why do takeout food places make me order once, and then repeat the order again at the register?

10. Why can't I buy winter clothes in February? Why do I have to buy all my winter clothes in August?

Posted by psu at April 8, 2005 08:10 PM | Bookmark This

11. Why is gmail, a javascript-based web app, so much better than any native mail client that has ever existed?

12. How are there enough stupid people to keep Monster Cable in business?

13. If the zombies from Resident Evil fought the zombies from Silent Hill, which would win?

Posted by peterb at April 8, 2005 08:30 PM

In response to:
5) I was amazed that God of War's camera didn't suck. I only had one instance ever where I couldn't see what I was fighting. Not one single death because of a shitty camera.

More questions:
14. What makes a barrel -- any barrel -- the most explosive object known to man?

15. Why can't I aim my two guns at different targets, or even just a few inches apart?

16. Why am I writing this at 9:30 on a friday night?

Posted by Adam Rixey at April 8, 2005 09:29 PM

17. Who keeps leaving all these expensive items around in crates, and why aren't they damaged when I shoot the crates open?

Posted by peterb at April 8, 2005 10:15 PM

18. What do the zombies do while they wait for me to walk past the cabin they are hanging out in?

Posted by psu at April 9, 2005 12:03 AM

19. There is a box or two of 9mm ammo in random rooms in this apartment building. OK. There's a box of ammo in the school cafeteria. OK, that's morbid, but I accept it. There's a box of shotgun shells in this hospital. Uh. There's more shotgun ammo just kind of sitting around, a box at a time, in various places I look. But no where in the entire goddamn town is there, say, a Wal-mart or a gun shop where I can actually grab a few thousand rounds at once. What the hell? Did these people all just mail-order their ordinance?

Posted by peterb at April 9, 2005 07:13 AM

20. If I had to fight that three headed purple half demon half donkey dog monster from hell to get the purple key to open the door to the four button puzzle to get into this room, how did the two gay guys with the and their merchant cart get here by themselves?

Posted by psu at April 9, 2005 08:01 AM

21. Whatever happened to recoil?

22. Who else do these equipment shop guys sell to, anyway?

23. Peter Molyneux?

Posted by Mike Collins at April 10, 2005 12:46 AM

To answer:

Movement is somewhat mutually exclusive to proper aim with a weapon. That's both A.) a balancing mechanic and B.) realistic, one of the few times when game balance kind of works with realism.

Why do people insist on eating with chopsticks at ALL? Because it makes them feel ethnic and elite. I'm 1/2 Chinese, I don't use chopsticks, because the Chinese created chopsticks due to a dearth of metals to make proper forks. I have the technology, I don't use chopsticks unless I have no choice or it's the right tool for the job (sushi).

2D isometric games died because of 3D.

3D camera systems suck because each game needs something just a little bit different. The camera system for FSW has different requirements than that of RE4 or DMC. That said, there are an inordinate number of shitty camera schemes out there.

People develop new scripting languages because existing ones still have catastrophic issues. I don't care if it's Perl, Lua, Python, PHP, io, Ruby, or sh, they all have serious issues for one problem domain or another.

Posted by Brian Hook at April 14, 2005 10:32 PM

Chopsticks are great for rice in bowls and food cut into small pieces.

Call me a fatalist, but all future scripting languages will also have some fatal flaw, so there's no real reason to keep learning them.

I find the rationale for different camera systems pretty reasonable. I'm still not sure why I can't at least strafe a bit in RE4 when I'm aiming... ala Splinter Cell.

Posted by psu at April 15, 2005 09:25 AM

Sure, all future scripting languages will have a fatal flaw, but by and large it's a flaw that the language creator can live with, unlike flaws with other ones. If someone said "Only use Lua for your scripting" I'd freak, because it has significant issues that work against my productivity. But it is ideal for many other application domains. The same can be said for Perl, Ruby, Python, PHP, etc. They all solve at least one or more major domain problems, and they all have one or more major flaws that make them inappropriate for many other domains.

Posted by Brian Hook at April 15, 2005 11:00 AM

I'm too old and feeble to work around more than one fatal flaw at once in my brain. So I'll just stick with what I know.

Posted by psu at April 15, 2005 11:31 AM

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