Where's the Gamespy Review Discussion!?! (3.5/5)

Everything Hinterland that doesn't fit elsewhere
Nenjin
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Postby Nenjin » Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:56 pm

TBH, I expected Gamespy to give it a lower score. Which means I think they can see the goodness inherent in the game. And Hinterland, like M&B, has the potential to grow, unlike AAA titles where once the bugs are fixed and the funding runs out, they move on to a new game or work on an expansion. So I think 3.5 is a good starting place for Hinterland.

Gerblyn
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Postby Gerblyn » Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:50 pm

"tyjenks" wrote:Jeez, someone called me out for flaming the reviewer over at Gamespy. I really attempted to just respond to his negatives he saw in the game.

Hehe, I certainly do not like internet debates. I will happily stand up for what I think is a really fun if imperfect game. Debating with random, illogical, drive-by posters drives me insane, however. :)


You should go over to YouTube and start a conversation with commenters on 9/11 truther videos, you'll have a great time ;)

Anyways, I think it was a pretty positive review and that the negatives he brought up were all quite fair and reasoned. It's fairly obvious that he enjoyed the game and most of his complaints were asking for things that could easily be added (more stat screens and stuff) and pointing out that some parts of the game are very simplistic, which is true.

hotcod
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Postby hotcod » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:27 am

"SharedProphet" wrote: Hinterland is about being a little, casual-friendly, boardgame-like taste of town management and action-RPG fun. I haven't played Mount & Blade but I've read about it and seen the screenshots and I'm sure it is fun.


can some one please point me to there TM have ever called this a casual or casual friendly game... i keep seeing this brought up but is hiterlands under the casual section of steam? not its not. Have TM ever said this? not that i've read. Has there own advising and talk about the game ever said it was meant to be casual friendly? not that i've seen.

Now don't get me wrong, if TM come out and say that being casual and such is what they where aiming for (or some one points me to a place they have already said it) that's fine but i'm getting a bit sick of seeing the lack of depth excused by the fact it has lack of depth. People are seeing the game as simple and so are presuming that it must be meant to be casual. Until the makers of the game come out and say one way or the other this is a circler argument that doesn't really change anything.

I'll say as i've said before, i've seen flash games made by one person off there own back with much more depth than this game which where always indented to be casual games... but yes, sorry, the whole 'casual' thing is starting to annoy me some what.

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:14 am

"hotcod" wrote:I'll say as i've said before, i've seen flash games made by one person off there own back with much more depth than this game which where always indented to be casual games... but yes, sorry, the whole 'casual' thing is starting to annoy me some what.


I have seen tons of games with more depth that are not nearly this enjoyable. That is the problem with a lot of game development, IMO. People want to put their own spin on a genre and make them deep for the sake of being deep. I am not saying a fleshed out version of Hinterland with all of the additions people have mentioned would not be great. TM did not intend it to be that game. Not necessarily 'casual', but Loot, Level, Build and the general description, I thought implied a lighter game. I do believe a lighter game was the intention that you could sit down and dive into and have fun in one sitting. Too many extra layers of strategy or RPG or more robust city building would have made this a different game and possibly one that did not meet the developers intended goals.

Not sure why you should be annoyed by casual. I understand what casual implies and "real gamers" kinda turn their nose up at casual games. I have done it as well, but I have spent a ton of time with casual games because you can sit down and have fun for however much time you have. You know what you are going to get with casual games and rarely does it feel like a chore. With deeper games, you have to spend an hour or two just getting started. If you have the time to invest in deeper games, they can certainly be loads of fun, too. I don't always have that time.

So whether Tilted Mill specifically said Casual or Lite really does not matter. I think the intent behind the game and what was released are identical and great fun.

hotcod
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Postby hotcod » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:41 am

"tyjenks" wrote:I have seen tons of games with more depth that are not nearly this enjoyable. That is the problem with a lot of game development, IMO. People want to put their own spin on a genre and make them deep for the sake of being deep. I am not saying a fleshed out version of Hinterland with all of the additions people have mentioned would not be great. TM did not intend it to be that game. Not necessarily 'casual', but Loot, Level, Build and the general description, I thought implied a lighter game. I do believe a lighter game was the intention that you could sit down and dive into and have fun in one sitting. Too many extra layers of strategy or RPG or more robust city building would have made this a different game and possibly one that did not meet the developers intended goals.

Not sure why you should be annoyed by casual. I understand what casual implies and "real gamers" kinda turn their nose up at casual games. I have done it as well, but I have spent a ton of time with casual games because you can sit down and have fun for however much time you have. You know what you are going to get with casual games and rarely does it feel like a chore. With deeper games, you have to spend an hour or two just getting started. If you have the time to invest in deeper games, they can certainly be loads of fun, too. I don't always have that time.

So whether Tilted Mill specifically said Casual or Lite really does not matter. I think the intent behind the game and what was released are identical and great fun.


You say what the came intended based on what you think the game should be... this is what is annoying me. You also misconstrue what i mean by getting annoyed by the casual game idea. It's not that that i don't like casual games and i resent this idea that i'm some how a "real gamer" turning my nose up at it. What i'm getting annoyed with is this idea that the game is simple and as such must be indented to have been a casual game when everything TM has said and implied about the game before the realise was not like that at all.

I get that you like the game, that's fine, but please... until TM come out and say they meant the game to be casual light and simple... stop using the idea that YOU think it must be a casual game to excuse the lack of depth. The game is in steam under strategy game section and is called a "new type of role playing strategy game"... in which case i'm going to judge the game in terms of other RPG and strategy games. Even making allowances for the fact that when you mix things they can't get all the depth of just looking at one thing the depth on show on hinterlands is... well... none existent.

I'm not saying depth must mean a better game, simple games can be amamzing, all i mean is that casual dose not preclude depth and lack of depth dose not mean casual. In other words casual is not an excuse and the game dose not archive what TM said they where setting out to do. If they come out and say they've changed there minds about exactly what they want to do with the game and they want it this way then that's fine... we can judge the game in that context. In that context it's a fun enough game but even then there are still core problems i think need addressing in it. But in the context of what TM said about the game, how they are billing the game, the lack of depth is a real and damaging point... what seems to be happening is people are saying "it's ok for the game not to have depth beacuse it meant to be a simple casual game" its boarding on revisit history.

Calling the game casual is NOT an excuse on any level so please stop using it. If you think the game works as it is then say so and explain why you think the simplistic game play and lack of depth make it a better game than it other wise could be. If that means saying "i can pick it up and play it for a few hours as a time killer that i don't have to think about" then for gods sake say that.
Last edited by hotcod on Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

SharedProphet
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Postby SharedProphet » Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:54 pm

"hotcod" wrote:Calling the game casual is NOT an excuse on any level so please stop using it. If you think the game works as it is then say so and explain why you think the simplistic game play and lack of depth make it a better game than it other wise could be. If that means saying "i can pick it up and play it for a few hours as a time killer that i don't have to think about" then for gods sake say that.

That's what I meant when I said "casual," and it's a lot shorter to type. What do you think "casual" means? For that matter, what do you think "depth" means?

Does depth mean more options in combat?
Chris Beatrice (Tilted Mill founder) and Jeff Fiske (Hinterland designer) wrote:You directly control only yourself throughout the game, and some of the fun comes from the fact that you don’t directly control any of the folks on whom your success is dependent (which is entirely the case in [city-builder] games). Your success in combat depends largely on which followers you bring with you, and how you equip them.... Magic is a big part, but again, it is more of the ‘find an ancient relic and do research’ or ‘get some herbs and maybe in a week you can make a healing potion’ type of scale, vs. worrying about [damage-over-time] firestorms, and what branch of spell casting should you specialize in. This is more about witches, alchemists, herbalists, charms, and so on. Really, if you get the right resources or find the right item, the right followers might become available and they can cast spells or perhaps you will find a wand you can use.
(source)

More options for town-building?
PC Gamer UK Preview wrote:But don’t expect a medieval SimCity. Hinterland aims for manageable 10-to-20 villager towns, and a relatively small surrounding area that can be patrolled in a few hours (but won’t get old, we’re told).
(source)

Chris Beatrice (Tilted Mill founder) wrote:You don’t plan out where the buildings go or lay out roads. It’s more like you lead an adventuring party and the town is your base, but it’s not like a single building you keep upgrading. It’s ultimately about who you have in your series, not where things are placed.
(source)

A longer play experience?
Hinterland Dev Diary wrote:Over the years of working together we also realized that we all feel that many of our favorite moments in games are starting new characters, or setting out in a fresh unknown land, and Hinterland focuses on this by keeping the scale of items, resources and characters very intimate… almost humble.... In fact, to ensure that this experience is as fun as possible, when you have started to peak out, you win and are encouraged to play again! To support this we ensure you can’t exploit load and saving, the games are fairly short (under 6 hours) but very, very random in terms of replayabilty.
(source)

Quests?
Jeff Fiske (Hinterland designer) wrote:We talk about how silly it is when you play an RPG, you do some quest and the world doesn’t change. Now, you sort of make your own quests. If you get a sword, and give it to your farmer, and the village gets attacked when you’re gone... you’ve changed the world by giving the farmer that sword. And if he stops making food, it has an actual effect on the world, whether he’s out adventuring with you, or he’s recovering from the injuries he’s sustained helping defend the town.
(source)

What part of Hinterland exactly did you expect to have more "depth?" I'm not saying adding to the game wouldn't make it more fun; you're probably right. But I didn't expect more depth than it has from what I'd read about it (sounded like it was intended to be a fairly light game to me), and I don't see why it's a problem to call it light or "casual."
Last edited by SharedProphet on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:04 pm

Nice citations. Those are some of the exact references I had in mind when I made my post. As I did follow the development and devoured every preview, I guess I incorrectly assumed everyone was debating the "casual" issue based on the same knowledge.

I, for one, was in no way trying to excuse the game by calling it casual and I thought I did say it was a pick up and play type of game (which is a good thing in this case). If applying some sort of decriptior is a problem, I will remove casual/lite and simply say it seemed to me that TM made the game that they set out to and communicated on the site and in interviews. I do not see the lack of depth in any one area when compared to other RPG's/TBS/Hack n' Slash/CB games as TM short-changing gamers. I believe any simplifying of gameplay features was intended as a way to streamline things and maximize the fun.

Livonya
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Postby Livonya » Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:17 pm

Personally, I was expecting a LOT more depth.

This is from the Tilted Mill page on Hinterland:

"Loot, level and build with fast paced RPG combat and strategic base building!"

There is NOTHING strategic about the base building. And it is a joke to call this an RPG. The combat is so simple that it makes Diablo's combat system seem complicated.

I like Hinterland, but it is SIMPLE.

I mean really.

SIMPLE.

1) The combat is simple

Click on enemy. Use potions.

That is it


2) Leveling is simple

NPCs level themselves. When you character levels you get to make 2 choices and you only have a vague idea of what the impacts of your choices will be


3) Building is simple

You are faced with 1 choices with building. Good or Evil.

That is it. Your one choice that matters. And depending on the game you might not even get to make that choice.

The research/production of items is completely pointless (other than healing potions).


Where is the strategic base building?

Where is the fast paced RPG combat?

I am having fun with it right now.

But Tilted Mill has made some pretty silly claims about their game. They should NEVER have said RPG, and calling their game strategic is a complete joke.

It should get slammed in reviews.

- Livonya

PS: Again, I am enjoyig the game, but honestly I will be very, very surprised if I am still playing it in 4 or 5 days. There simply isn't enough depth to keep my attention for more than 1 or 2 weeks at most.

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:29 pm

Well, there are RPG elements in that you level, choose from a selection of characters, equip them, get a party together and proceed to adventure. You have to make choices about what visitors you select, what buildings to build and what upgrade paths to take. No aspect is as deep as what we have come to expect out of RPGs or city builders.

We could parse the words used and interpret whatever we think they meant and what they did say. Some people are satisfied and, unfortunately, some are not. At the end of he day, if you have had fun and felt like you got your money's worth, this debate is kinda moot in my opinion. I do not take issue with anyone's feelings about the game as no game can satisfy everyone. I just don't like any implication that TM tried to mislead gamers prior to release when interpretations of descriptions can be so subjective.

Livonya
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Postby Livonya » Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:51 pm

"tyjenks" wrote:Well, there are RPG elements in that you level, choose from a selection of characters, equip them, get a party together and proceed to adventure. You have to make choices about what visitors you select, what buildings to build and what upgrade paths to take. No aspect is as deep as what we have come to expect out of RPGs or city builders.

We could parse the words used and interpret whatever we think they meant and what they did say. Some people are satisfied and, unfortunately, some are not. At the end of he day, if you have had fun and felt like you got your money's worth, this debate is kinda moot in my opinion. I do not take issue with anyone's feelings about the game as no game can satisfy everyone. I just don't like any implication that TM tried to mislead gamers prior to release when interpretations of descriptions can be so subjective.


I expect to be mislead. So my expectations were very low.

Every game company lies about their game. That is just the nature of the world we live in.

In any eveny, I got my money's worth.

The game is fun.

However, I think it is dishonest to say that Hinterland has "fast paced RPG combat and strategic base building!"

Ultimatly, a reviewer has to evaluate the game based on the claims that Tilted Mill has made.

Hinterland would get better reviews if Tilted Mill were more up front about the actual game play.

I am not saying that Hinterland is a bad game. All I am saying is this review is correct.

I think 3.5 out of 5 is pretty damn good for such an extremely simple game.

I am glad Hinterland was made. I think it forges the way for an actual RPG that features town building.

Some game company is going to take this basic platform and do it much, much better.

Perhaps even Tilted Mill will do it themselves. I have no idea what they have planned.

Again, I don't think Hinterland is a bad game. I am glad I bought it. I have enjoyed it.

But that said, I personally would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

- Livonya

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:00 pm

Good points Livonya. I hope I did not come across as accusatory and I certainly was not pointing fingers at any one poster or even anyone in this thread. :) The fact that you enjoyed it enough to play as much as you have, debate its negatives and desire more from it is good with me.

crossmr
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Postby crossmr » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:10 pm

RPG elements in that you level, choose from a selection of characters, equip them, get a party together and proceed to adventure. You have to make choices about what visitors you select, what buildings to build and what upgrade paths to take. No aspect is as deep as what we have come to expect out of RPGs or city builders.

RPG elements is a garbage term. Swords and a leveling system are not "RPG elements". They're swords and a level system. Roleplaying has nothing to do with the underlying system, so using those systems in another game doesn't make it an RPG.

As for upgrade paths and building selection, you can upgrade everything, and the only real choice you make is between good and evil. The only buildings that matter where you put them are guard towers and that is just barely.

Sorry but 'not as deep as we've come to expect' is a bit of an understatement. 2 choices at level up, and a single choice between good and evil doesn't even desere to be called 'not as deep as...' its just not deep period.

I am enjoying it so far as well, but we really shouldn't try and pretend that its something its not. Spore had the same problem where people were trying to compare its various stages to various games and frankly it was an insult to those games as the individual stages were so simple, it was like "My First Civiziliation" from Fischer Price.

tyjenks
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Postby tyjenks » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:16 pm

In my opinion, there are precious few games that have any authentic role playing in them where actions you take on the part of your character have a direct result on your characters development as it relates to the game world. So if you are going to hold all PC games to that standard, you would be hard pressed to point to the RPGs on the shelves today and say the majority are actual RPG's.

I hear what you are saying, though. Still do not necessarily agree, but you also make good points.

KnuckleHead
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Postby KnuckleHead » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:41 am

"tyjenks" wrote:In my opinion, there are precious few games that have any authentic role playing in them where actions you take on the part of your character have a direct result on your characters development as it relates to the game world. So if you are going to hold all PC games to that standard, you would be hard pressed to point to the RPGs on the shelves today and say the majority are actual RPG's.

I hear what you are saying, though. Still do not necessarily agree, but you also make good points.


Completely agree.


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