Rundown (10/21-10/27) Performance and Progression: A Manifestation of New Elements

So lately I have been trying to determine the metrics that can determine whether or not I personally would be interested in a game, partially inspired by certain things I have been doing as part of my master’s program, and determining incremental value-relevance of financial and non-financial measures.  Riveting stuff, I know.  Basically, when thinking about metrics I stumbled onto how many games can be divided into experiences that are either progression or performance driven.

With progression driven games typically being more story focused, linear, or even open world titles where the player is driven by the completion of levels, tasks, or quests, and the accumulation of levels and items.  Something that they can make quantifiable progress in, with an ultimate end goal of sorts. Whereas performance driven title tend to be most multiplayer games from fighting games to MOBAs, roguelikes, most classic arcade titles, and character action titles where the player is driven by their own ability to play the game well, gain the skills needed to progress, and prove themselves as a player.  While there may be an ending or stages, it is not really about reaching it as much as reaching it well or reaching it successively with different handicaps. While many titles mix both concepts, there are assuredly a scant few that escape these categories, and I am sure the definitions need some work, I think there is some merit to this concept. Though, come to think of it, someone else almost certainly explored a similar idea and probably already did it better than I could ever hope to, as is so common throughout life.  

Starting off this Rundown proper, I want to highlight two instances of honest to goodness games journalism from Kotaku and Eurogamer that investigated the claims of Rockstar games overworking their employees to a ludicrous degree.  Their findings align with what I generally expected, with a culture and history of fear driven crunch that results in families being strained, humans being viewed more as PP&E than a company’s most valuable non-financial asset.  All fueled by the critical and commercial acclaim Rockstar has earned since the release of Grand Theft Auto III, and will continue to earn for the foreseeable future, which causes rosy-eyed and aspiring developers to sacrifice their youth in exchange for an arduous job that has caused a number of health, mental, and emotional problems, and chooses to reward employees with bonuses awarded after years of work, and rewards those who leaves prematurely by not even including their names in the credits.  All to create a product that is more technologically impressive than it is even remotely enjoyable. At least in my experience.

About a year and a half ago, I briefly talked about Our World Is Ended, a novel sounding Japanese visual novel centered around an group of developers of an augmented reality game that becomes its own plane of reality, with various creatures and characters from the game entering the real world, and it being up to the developers to prevent this convergence from happening, and their world from ending as a result.  Well, publisher PQube has picked up this promising sounding title and has it set for a western release in 2019 for Switch, PS4, and PC. With the title’s original platform, the Vita, being foregone because of the system’s death. If my review history isn’t an indication, I have a soft spot for quirky Japanese visual novels with relatively high production values, so this is assuredly going on my big old list of games to get around to eventually.   

Since its debut, Xbox Game Pass has proved to be a very beneficial tool for a lot of people, granting them access to a large library of games new and old, along with exclusive first party offerings, and while it has techncially worked on Windows 10 PCs for first party titles, Microsoft has announced their intentions on fully brining the Game Pass to the platform.  While I personally cannot say that I am too interested in the service due to my eclectic tastes, I do find this to be a positive move in Microsoft trying to regain some market share after their numerous fumblings with the PC gaming scene over the years.  Though personally I just hope this change comes with an overhaul of their Windows Store, as I have heard nothing but bad things about it, and I cannot even get anything to download from it on my PC. Though, that may be partially because I disabled updates a year ago after they changed how the List view option in File Explorer works… I am very picky when it comes to my file presentation.

Anyways, I will have a review this week, though next week is uncertain, thanks to an obnoxious research paper I need to do about a subject I genuinely do not care about, for a class that has caused me nothing but emotional hardships, and I doubt I will actively learn anything from.  Which I suppose is an apt description of all college to certain people.

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