By popular demand, I took this test, which aspires to work out what sort of experiences different people value in videogames. First, my results:
Your BrainHex Class is Seeker.
Your BrainHex Sub-Class is Seeker–Mastermind.
You like finding strange and wonderful things or finding familiar things as well as solving puzzles and devising strategies.
Each BrainHex Class also has an Exception, which describes what you dislike about playing games. Your Exceptions are:
Â» No Mercy: You rarely if ever care about hurting other players’ feelings – mercy is for the weak!
Â» No Punishment: You dislike struggling to overcome seemingly impossible challenges, and repeating the same task over and over again.
Your scores for each of the classes in this test were as follows:
Go to BrainHex.com to learn more about this player model, and the neurobiological research behind it.
It’s an interesting test and worth a look, although I’d like to nitpick it. You know. Like I do.
I don’t know where it got the The “No Mercy” conclusion. I hate PvP because for me it’s a no-win scenario. Either I lose, or the other player loses. Someone has to go home a loser. That doesn’t appeal to me at all. I do enjoy Team Fortress now and again, but I’m usually playing against myself, trying to best my previous accomplishments. (Or fooling around.)
By contrast, the the “No Punishment” one is right on the nose. I have great distaste for scenarios which are designed to be failed at the outset, and eventually overcome through repetition.
The other thing that bugged me about the test were its questions related to survival horror. Questions involving elements like, “Frantically escaping from a terrifying foe.” and such. Reading the questions, it really sounded like a Silent Hill: Homecoming or a Resident Evil 5 QTE button-fest. I like survival games, but I like them for their atmosphere, suspense, and characterization. Guiding an everyman through a twisted dreamworld inhabited by his own fears is good. Piloting an Ex-NAVY SEAL through quick time events and set-piece battles with dodgy controls is the antithesis of this, even if he’s fighting “terrifying” monsters or zombies. All of the survival horror-themed questions in the quiz sounded like they were talking about Resident Evil or Dead Space, and not Silent Hill 2, Thief, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. This ambiguity sort of muddled the “Survivor” score for me.
The test doesn’t seem to have anything to say about story and characters. Perhaps it lumps those together with “exploring” in general? I don’t know, but I imagine there are some important differences to be discovered if you were to tease those different aspects apart. Story is exceptionally important to me. I demand a great deal of fidelity from my settings. (Not realism. They can be as fantastic as they like, as long as they are internally consistent.) Plot holes are a game breaker for me, because they gnaw at me.
A single plot hole might be ignored or overlooked, but it sends up a red flag. It’s fine if not all questions are answered. It’s fine if I sometimes get different stories from different people. But if I see too many red flags I drop out of the story and start trying to untangle it in my mind. The more problems I see, the more I examine it, which usually only reveals more problems and leads to a cascading failure. This is why Half-Life 2 works for me and Fallout 3 doesn’t. Half-Life 2 barely has a story. It’s vague and Dr. Freeman’s muteness is vigorously abused to keep the player in the dark. But dangit, people have motivations and it doesn’t contradict itself. Half-Life 2 plays it very safe, but the little bit of story it does contain manages to follow a certain logic. Fallout 3 is, well…
Dad killed himself rather than let his broken machine fall into the hands of people trying to fix it. As a result, a water purifier that has no reason to exist released radiation it shouldn't have, thus killing Colonel Autumn, who had no reason to be there. Then later we got through a village of children who fdso gah frrzlmpr blaaa huygggnl asdf;lj so we could enter vault 87 and recover a GECK, a device which would be better put to use in virtually any possible manner besides the one for which we had acquired it. Then Colonel Autumn, who shouldn't be alive, captured us with a flash grenade that shouldn't have worked in a place he shouldn’t have been able to reach, so he could stop us from fixing the machine he wanted fixed. He then tortured us for a code that didn’t matter and which we had no reason to not give him. Then the president set us free to enact his plan which was of no benefit to anyone, ourselves least of all.
At the final battle, everyone in the world had the same goal: Turn on the water purifier. Due to this overwhelming consensus, we were obliged to fight a massive war. Finally, Colonel Autumn gave his life to stop us from turning on the machine he was trying to turn on. At the end, the Enclave defeated themselves by sabotaging the machine they were trying to activate, causing it to explode even though it shouldn’t, and obliging us to enter the purifier and die to radiation that wasn’t actually lethal. At least until the DLC retconned our death and…
Still one of the worst stories I’ve ever seen in any AAA game. The fact that it won Game of the Year from multiple sources means that precious few people care about and analyze stories the way that I do.
None of this makes the quiz invalid. It’s still an interesting exercise. It just doesn’t have the resolution to make a few distinctions that are important to me.
The Best of 2011
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2011.
Starcraft 2: Rush Analysis
I write a program to simulate different strategies in Starcraft 2, to see how they compare.
Silver Sable Sucks
This version of Silver Sable is poorly designed, horribly written, and placed in the game for all the wrong reasons.
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.