Ironically, Kotaku doesn't understand the concept of NPCs at all; or further proof that their staff doesn't really know much about games.

#1
https://archive.fo/baK5q (archived link as to not give this trash any clicks)

This is what passes for "games journalism" these days. Somebody complaining that NPCs are scripted and not powered by some incredible (non-existent) AI. How little do you have to know about games and how they are made to even suggest such non-sense is beyond me. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that an NPC doesn't understand the concept of NPCs, they're not created to think for themselves after all, but only to regurgitate the narrative they've been fed.
 
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#6
In Red Dead 2, just follow around an NPC really closely. Their reactions are hilarious. The two I started walking two steps behind kept commenting on me being a jerk and eventually ran away terrified. When you chase them, more hilarity ensues.
Exactly, I would go as far as to say that RDR2's NPCs are the best NPCs ever created in a videogame, but not for that person who wrote up that garbage apparently. I guess when you've never played a videogame in your life and you have this fake idea in your head that NPCs behave like real people then you might be disappointed by RDR2's NPCs. This is diversity hiring at its finest, prioritizing pink hair and gender ambiguity over experience and knowledge.
 
#7
It's more like they're finding contrived ways of coming up with problematic issues than simply enjoy the game or even critictizing it for its actual flaws.
I've read the article and I fail to understand to problem it's trying to outline, if anything I'm positively impressed by the interaction with the NPC he saved earlier in the game.
 
#8
It's more like they're finding contrived ways of coming up with problematic issues than simply enjoy the game or even critictizing it for its actual flaws.
I've read the article and I fail to understand to problem it's trying to outline, if anything I'm positively impressed by the interaction with the NPC he saved earlier in the game.
Exactly. I was really impressed that the NPC recognized Arthur as the guy who saved him, but this person, actually used that example to frame it negatively somehow. Makes zero sense to sane people that know about games.
 
#21
> gives impressive examples of NPC behavior
> complains that NPCs are not lifelike enough

This is basically a Kotaku writer trying to sound deep, using 1.300 words only to end up saying nothing of substance. RDR2's open world is a simulation that exists purely for the sake of the player. If there's nobody to play it, the simulation ceases to exist, it's as simple as that. Judging by the examples given by the article, the love of detail that went into scripting NPC behavior is absolutely stunning and there's absolutely no reason at all to knock the game down for that.

Why are people still reading that stuff? You merely end up being informed worse than before.

"Players aren't necessary for games to exist", wtf is this supposed to mean? A game with no player interaction is called a "movie" and even movies need a receptive audience for them to exist. A medium is a means of effecting or conveying something, so if there is nobody this something can be conveyed to, the medium ceases to function by definition.

This is just another example of a games journalist losing himself in pseudo-intellectual babble in order to come across as "smart".
 
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#27
I think she has no idea about the trickery of video games and thinks that game worlds actually exist like the matrix, even when the player is not in a certain area. It’s like a child’s view of how a game works.
Yet clearly qualified enough to publish “deep” “analyses” on a “prominent” videogame website (I’ve almost ran out of sarcastic quotemarks with this post, phew!).
 
#29
I was going to post this thread days ago but I didn’t want it to get attention.

And her problem isn’t actually with NPC’s. It’s with the masculinity you are “forced” to play as and the NPC’s actions supporting it.

Fyi this is the same author of Spider-Man working with the NYPD is out of touch.
 
#30
While there's some low quality flavor of the moment thinking in that piece I think it's a valid criticism of open world games to point out the limitations of the game world. As far back as Ultima npc have had schedules with set activities. There are of course severe limitations to this because it's not practical for good game content to have even an on rails Westworld "simulation". That would make the player a bystander more often than not - however there are better and worse ways to handle the illusion of spontaneity. Randomly spawning in events out of nowhere can kill the illusion of an unfolding world. Processing power is such that there probably won't even be a simplified a-life simulation any time soon but it's still possible to have some tracks for characters with random events happening to them in the cone of the players interaction
 
#32
Wow. Couldn’t agree more, OP. Just another delusional article by a games journalist that thinks their fanciful ideas they hammered out on their laptop in 10 mins are more viable than one of most talented game studios, employing ~1000 people and spending hundreds of millions of dollars.

Yeah sure, just program them to be “real people” that sounds simple. As it is the game took one of the most powerful, rich, and talented game devs 7 years to make, ffs.
 
#33
From what I’ve seen and experienced in more recent times, seems like there are a fair share of journalists are not too knowledgeable or really are passionate about gaming.

I feel some people who get these type of jobs are just there for money or to make a political statement and not because they genuinely love gaming. I’m sure that applies to practically any industry though.
 
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#34
I can't believe I just read that article, what a load of horse shit. It was rambling nonsense and then an explanation of her one encounter with an NPC who was bitten by a snake. Of course the game revolves around the player and of course random events are going to occur around the player (just like the first game). Why would any game developer want to make random events appear all around the world map, to have random events loading everywhere on such a large map would eat too up much precious memory and the events aren't even seen.

The Twitter responses are just an entirly different level of nuttiness I can't comprehend. How the fuck did she get hired? How the fuck did the article even get approved?
 
#35
I just want to remind everyone that this is the same woman who wrote this article about Spider-Man PS4's Police - https://kotaku.com/spider-mans-take-on-police-feels-out-of-touch-1828978785 (Edit, Musky Cheese mentioned this, but here is the article)

In other words, she writes complete shit.

Funnily enough, I read the RDR article and thought it sounded like something Heather would write, scrolled to the top, saw the Author, wasn't surprised.
 
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#38
Does this person think Batman is off solving crimes without them when they close their comic book?

I can't believe this is a real argument being made by literally any human being, let alone someone who is supposed to be a games journalist. Even my mom knew that the viruses weren't replicating in the vial when she turned the NES off, and that Dr. Mario wasn't going door to door as a pharm rep.
 
#41
https://archive.fo/baK5q (archived link as to not give this trash any clicks)

This is what passes for "games journalism" these days. Somebody complaining that NPCs are scripted and not powered by some incredible (non-existent) AI. How little do you have to know about games and how they are made to even suggest such non-sense is beyond me. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that an NPC doesn't understand the concept of NPCs, they're not created to think for themselves after all, but only to regurgitate the narrative they've been fed.

+1 for proper use of the word "ironic".
Kotaku has been a shit games site for a very long time. I never go on there anymore.
Some of the rejects from Kotaku went on to create Polygon. So, yeah...
 
#46
But the more I play, the more they feel like puppets putting on a show. More so than any other game I’ve played.
Fuck right off, if this has the most puppet like NPC's you ever experienced, I question how many games you've played.

We tip our hat like a proper gentleman, and we kill anyone we want. The game rewards those masculine impulses without fail.
Wrong, you will be punished for killing anyone you want. You are not rewarded for it unless we're talking about looting the corpse, you are in fact made more evil with each murder.

These rewards further stress that, in spite of Red Dead Redemption 2’s meticulous details and animations—created through excess, condemnable hours and strenuous laborthe NPCs just exist for the player’s benefit.
There is no other alternative you fucking absolute worthless hack. Tell me how you have a game with NPC's that exist for another purpose other than to be there waiting for me to interact with them. It's infuriating that we're in a place where you have to tell a professional games journalist that games are entertainments products made with the primary, in fact I'm going to say only, goal of giving the person who bought it a good time. Go make a fucking grievance game where I have to sit in a chair and have no agency, and must listen to NPC's lecture me, make them exist not for my entertainment but to shame me and educate me on all the ways I and people like me who might enjoy a game like Red Dead are problematic members of society. Go make that game, please.

One time, while riding through the plains, I heard a man crying out in fear. He was going to die, dammit. Please won’t someone help him. As it turned out, he was bitten by a snake. I could leave him, I could suck out the venom, or I could give him medicine. I opted for the latter, and we then parted ways. Nearly five hours later, I heard the man call out to me while I was walking around in the town of Valentine. He was sitting on a shop’s porch with his friend. Why, wasn’t it wonderful for him to see me, his savior, again? He was so delighted that he offered to pay for whatever I wanted in the gun shop. I bought a Springfield Rifle and scope; it’s perfect for hunting deer.
Sounds like a pretty cool little NPC side-mission, how can she find this problematic?

This encounter meant to give my actions consequences, but the reward and the scripted nature of our interaction rang false.
He was spawned in as I came near, solely to be rescued by me, and then again to reward me for it.
If he existed persistently, how would you know? This woman does not understand the medium she writes about.

NPCs exist in orbit of the player, for the player. This is true to a certain extent in all games, but it feels particular pronounced due to Red Dead Redemption 2's aspiration for creating a meticulous and believable space.
No, it's not true "to a certain extent", it's a fundamental aspect of videogames. They exist for the player. Everything in it exists for the player, and I would be curious to hear their description of a game that wasn't built for the player.

I avoid towns more often than not in the game. I get too distracted by the animatronic people and their play-acting lives.
One wonders how she manages to live in a modern city with all the NPC bugmen.

Perhaps I’ve been playing games so long that I can’t help but see the puppeteer’s strings.
Actually I think you've had your head up your own Idpol ass for so long you are unable to even see the game for what it is anymore. You focus on the puppeteers and the strings to the detriment of all else.

It’s not even about being more “realistic”, or creating better AI; it’s about allowing these entities lives independent of their service to the player.
NPC wants respect and freedom for all NPCs.
 
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#47
If a game games in a forest, but no one is around to hear it game, does it really game?

Kotaku has been a click-bait factory for quite awhile, but I hate all this nonsensical post-modern drivel that continues to seep into every well-known outfits that covers entertainment media.
 

jshackles

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#49
"I also don't think players are completely necessary for games to exist" might be a good argument if you're trying to justify the creation of a small-scale indie game or something that's trying very hard to be an expression of art rather than interactive entertainment.

In the context of trying to justify the existence of Red Dead Redemption II - one of the biggest video game launches of all time - it's laughable.