Rock Paper Shotgun's GOTY 2013 [John Walker responds to your deep concerns]

#1
Kentucky Route Zero

I can’t fucking believe it. Jesus Christ. I am backing a point and click adventure for Game Of The Year. Something cosmically, fundamentally wrong must have happened for this to be true. And true it is.
I'm surprised that they'd pick an unfinished episodic game but I can't complain about the choice.

The rest of RPS's picks for the year's best can be found here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/12/24/merry-christmas-readers-the-complete-2013-calendar/

(Aside from the GOTY, this list is unranked)

1. Don’t Starve
2. Hexcells
3. Desktop Dungeons
4. Papers, Please
5. Card Hunter
6. Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
7. The Swapper
8. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
9. Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
10. Dishonored DLC
11. Eurotruck Simulator
12. Rogue Legacy
13. XCOM: Enemy Within
14. Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
15. Proteus
16. Monaco
17. Spelunky
18. Knock, Knock
19. Europa Universalis
20. The Stanley Parable
21. Saints Row IV
22. Teleglitch
23. Gone Home
24. Kentucky Route Zero (GOTY)

(Hexcells is pretty awesome too)

Mod edit:

Hello you lovely fruitcakes. I'm John Walker, one of RPS's editors, and I'll try to explain a few of the things about which people are confused/VERY CROSS.

1) So yes, Rock, Paper, Shotgun is a PC site. Not "tends toward PC", or "is mostly about PC". It's about PC. We're a site that has exclusively covered PC gaming for over six years. We all own consoles, we all play console games, but our website is about PC games alone. Why? Because six years ago there were no PC-dedicated sites, so we started one. That seems to have worked out okay.

An awful lot of people seem annoyed we don't point this out "often enough". We kindasorta figured that having it written at the top of the site on every page might give it away? Perhaps we'll make it flash.

So that hopefully goes some way to explaining why there aren't any console games in our articles about our favourite PC games of 2013.

2) Let me explain, in its entirety, how we pick our list:

Our annual calendar is a list of our ("our" being the six of us - Jim, Alec, Nathan, Graham, Adam and me) favourite 24 games from the year. There's no agenda, no conspiracies. We list out all the games we covered favourably in the year in a Google Doc, everyone puts their name by games they want to see on the list, and we get rid of those that no one picks. That gets us down to about 30-40. Then we go through again, looking at games with only one name by them, and see how passionate that person is that it make it. So, say Hexcells. I was the only name, but I would have gone on a rampage with a scythe if it weren't included. But then I was also the only name by Ittle Dew, and wasn't passionate that that make it. If that still leaves us with over 24, we begin the arguing. Or we gang up on one person and tell them their pick is stupid and they smell. Eventually, through a combination of complaining and giving up, it's wittled to 24, and that's the list. Everyone with their names by the games writes a contribution for that day's article.

Those that are left over, all those games that didn't make the cut, get put into the Leftovers - articles we put up over the holidays that give them their honourable mentions. So to all the "Where's Shadow Warrior/Gunpoint/Binfinite/etc?" questions, the answer is in the Leftovers. Games that either didn't receive enough votes, or enough passion, to get in the top list, but still may well be great, and in another year may well have got in. You may well STRONGLY disagree. Awesome! Good stuff. I'd be interested to see your list too.

3) The indie to mainstream ratio surprised us too. Which hopefully indicates that this is not our attempting to, um, look cool? Good heavens, I wouldn't know how to try. We just picked which games we liked best! As a website we don't distinguish between AAA, AA, indie, or whatever, in terms of what gets coverage. We just write about PC games. This year more of our favourite games happened to be independently published. Sorry to disappoint hipster-spotters. But AssCreed 4, Dishonored DLC, XCOM, Gunslinger, Saints Row IV... they're not exactly from indie studios!

4) I didn't make Gunpoint, more's the pity. That's Tom Francis, formerly of PC Gamer, sitting atop that pile of gold. We all know Tom very well, and have seen how he dances when drunk, and have played Peggle on his digital projector.

5) Yes, Kentucky Route Zero is episodic, and only two of those episodes are out. HOW DARE WE?! It's pretty simple. The first two episodes of KRZ were our favourite gaming times this year. It doesn't matter if the next three episodes are just the developers' farting onto a table. It doesn't change that our favourite time with a game in 2013 was KRZ. That's it.

6) DOTA 2 was on last year's list. You will eventually come to terms with this.

7) Robert J. Sullivan - our talent has just reached 4.8% of IGN's, so not long to go.

I think most of people's outrage could be addressed if they read the big piles of lovely words we've written explaining why each game has been picked. I mean, I realise it's much easier to instead post here rhetorically DEMANDING to know why, but then I'm passive-aggressive.

I shall forever remain surprised by people's fury when our list doesn't uncannily match their own. But then I shall also go on to become furious when I read someone ele's list that doesn't match mine. I'm nothing if I'm not a hypocrite. So I get it - it's frustrating when your own opinions aren't reflected. But shhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, it's going to be fine, shhhhhhh, just go to sleep now, c'mon, that's it, shhhhhhh now.

John Walker
Editor - www.rockpapershotgun.com
 
#11
I'm going to read between the lines here about posters complaining about their pick for GOTY and say that they wanted a so called "AAA" game to win but i disagree, it should be indies up for GOTY since they are the most original of the whole lot and are the future of video games in my opinion.
 
#15
Going with the "over" on posters saying something about them just giving indie games the spots because they were indie.

Going down the list, let's see what I have played and can fairly comment on...

The Swapper
I don't like puzzle games. The Swapper is goddamn incredible and if I were a rich man,
I'd buy every motherfucker in this thread a copy if it meant more people would experience it.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Would be surprised if it wasn't on the list. Reiteration without feeling played out.

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
Seperating it from the series it claims to be part of made my experience multitudes more enjoyable.

Rogue Legacy
Dumb fun. Okay.

XCOM: Enemy Within
Expansion packs are a weird gray area. If you are going to put KRZ on the list,
I suppose you can throw this on there too, though. Loved what they added here.

Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
Brainless shooting in the best way. Good to see it recognized.

Proteus
Nah son, nah.

Spelunky
Of course.

The Stanley Parable
Even as a fan, this seems a bit much.
 
#18
I don't like it when outlets make their GOTY list be all indies just to try and be "different".
It's not possible that their GOTY list is mostly (not all) indies because indies made better games this year?

I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong, mind you. But jumping to your conclusion would be very much like me automatically assuming that anyone who picks GTAV or LotU was simply selling out to the man.
 
#21
I think a lot of people in this thread should play KRZ instead of complaining about a list that has more independent games than you'd expect. It's so rare to see a game with such great writing and art design.

And Saints Row IV? That shit was broke.
I don't even know what you're talking about. SR4 is kind of brilliant.
 
#23
Oh, RPS, you never cease to amaze me. And by "amaze me" I mean "being a laughing stock".

I wonder if they will try to promote their own Sir You Are Being Hunted indie gem next...
 
#25
To you people whining about hipsters, I'm going to say once again they picked fucking Far Cry 3 last year. That game is as generic, shallow and AAA as it gets. So stop it.

edit: And they picked Skyrim in 2011, one of the worst AAA games of last generation.

That is one hipster ass GOTY list.

Proteus? Seriously? Is that even games, bro? And Saints Row IV? That shit was broke.
It worked fine on PC, which is what this site covers.

....but it's also one of the worst games released this year and shouldn't be on a goty list at all.
 
#27
Why doesn't this look like other Game of the Year lists? I haven't heard of half these games; how can I take this list seriously if I haven't heard of them?
 
#30
I've never even heard of half those games. So I guess this is just like the Oscars?
Hoo boy, if you think Oscar movies are obscure, we're coming from very different perspectives. The Oscars still generally pick movies made by major movie studios.

If you just want awards to pick the giant, blockbuster movies/music/games that everyone has heard of, then watch the MTV Movie awards, the MTV Music Awards, watch the Spike VGA awards and read Game Informer. Now pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist. Problem solved.
 
#32
Why doesn't this look like other Game of the Year lists? I haven't heard of half these games; how can I take this list seriously if I haven't heard of them?
Take a look at the second link in the OP. It contains links to each of the entries in the GOTY list along with their reasons for picking them.

Maybe you should try a few! Lots of those lesser-known games are really cheap compared to the heavy hitters.

Dishonored Dlc that good?
Absolutely.
 

Blackthorn

"hello?" "this is vagina"
#34
What are these guys trying to prove? I mean, there are some pretty notable omissions from this Top 24 list. But, opinions?
Perhaps they got together and were like, "What were our favourite games this year?" and answered honestly, without any concern for the consensus.

They have proven that people are offended by deviation from the AAA hegemony, though.
 
#35
Hoo boy, if you think Oscar movies are obscure, we're coming from very different perspectives. The Oscars still generally pick movies made by major movie studios.

If you just want awards to pick the giant movies/music/games that everyone is heard of watch the MTV Movie and MTV Music Awards, watch the Spike VGA awards and read Game Informer. Pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist. Problem solved.
Thank you.
 
#36
These are games available on PC, not because they just weren't a fan of Mario 3D World, Zelda: ALBW, The Last of US, GTA etc. Nothing terribly wrong about that.
 
#39
Papers, Please does not belong on any list. The demo was more or less the whole game, the mechanic grows very tired, very fast.

Its a cool concept that is unique, and that is probably the sole reason it is even up there. Which begs the question, why they did not call it IOTY aka Ideas of the Year, rather than games.

But hey, opinions, and they are welcome to theirs, and i just wrote mine.
 
#41
Actually, this does make a lot more sense from a PC only perspective I guess.

I don't even know what you're talking about. SR4 is kind of brilliant.
It's certainly a good laugh, but it was still the worst SR game to date, in addition to being a technical mess (On consoles at least). I thought it was a serious let down after the previous game.
 
#42
Not a bad alternative to the usual blockbuster-filled GOTY lists that seem so prevalent in most dedicated media outlets. If anything, this list should provide with a couple games to check out that I wasn't aware of their existence.
 
#44
It's certainly a good laugh, but it was still the worst SR game to date, in addition to being a technical mess (On consoles at least). I thought it was a serious let down after the previous game.
Didn't play on consoles so can't speak to that, but worked perfectly well on PC. Disagree with it being the worst saints row, SR1 and 2 were easily worse games for me.
 
#45
Why doesn't this look like other Game of the Year lists? I haven't heard of half these games; how can I take this list seriously if I haven't heard of them?
Because it is their opinion and not made by you? What do people not get about opinions? Would it be better if everyone thought the same?
 
#47
I know all of those games and I've played a decent portion of them.

Kentucky Route Zero's a curious choice though. It barely has any gameplay at all, plus, the majority of its episodes aren't even released yet.