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Are you getting an Amico?

Are you getting an Amico? Poll  

127 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you getting an Amico?

    • Yes, For Sure, Already Pre-ordered and can't wait
      44
    • No, Never, Not a chance ever, Nothing could make me ever want an Amico
      37
    • Yes, For Sure but waiting until after launch
      3
    • Yes, For Sure but will wait for a price drop or special bundle
      5
    • Maybe, On the Fence with an open mind but still need to wait and see what happens
      38


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Now that we've (hopefully) put to rest the ridiculous "violence" diatribe, I agree that Amico should introduce some "gamey" games eventually, as subsisting ONLY via minigames would be harsh on the long term. Cloudy Mountain could be the first one, since the replayability wouldn't be limited to getting higher scores, 'cause there's a pseudo-roguelike component. They could easily use other similar reimaginings like Treasure of Tarmin or Thunder Castle to add a bit of depth. Even if the console is primarily for casual gamers, kids could easily enjoy some still accessible yet less casual options. 

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3 hours ago, Papy said:

Can you give me an example so I can understand what you mean with "ultra-minimalistic"?

Sure.  A couple that immediately come to mind are Wizardry and Nethack have some pretty hardcore fans who claim they’re the “best games ever,” and stories are pretty minimal.


Zelda was already mentioned as a minimal story, but some people refuse to accept it as Role Play because it doesn’t fit the traditional “here’s your stats, level ‘em up” type of mechanic.  


Knights of Pen and Paper is one of the most badass RPGs in recent times, and it’s about as bare as it gets, but uses a gimmick to feel overly full at the same time.

 

Dark Souls.  My personal favorite type of story-telling – it has it both ways.  No story at all, if you don’t care to dig one up.  Wide open to fill whatever role you’re trying to play.  But… if you wanna dig for it, you’ll find some lore and piece together the story.  
 

 

And kind of related, Skyrim.   I’m sure there’s a story there for those who want to play the “designer’s campaign,” but tons of people load that thing up, and just go off into the world to Role Play, developing their character however they see fit, making up their own stories as they go.

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Papy said:

Are they still playing the game? Or are they just using the game as a tool to create their own game?

Both.

 

 

1 hour ago, Papy said:

One game I'd really like to see on the Amico is a foreign language learning game disguised as an RPG. Imagine you start the game as a guy washed up on the shore of an island (like what Razzie.P said). However, all the characters living on this island speak the foreign language that you want to learn. The goal is not just to complete quests, but to understand what people say and guess what the quests are. Instead of using flashcards and plain memorization, the game would use a kind of immersion. What the player learns will be associated with a story he could remember instead of being disconnected from everything. To me, this is how gamification should be done.

 

That's one of the better "game design" ideas I've heard in a long time.

 

 

1 hour ago, Papy said:

I remember there was a lot of debate in the 80's between P&P RPG players and CRPG players to determine what constitutes an RPG.

 

I think there still is  😄

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17 hours ago, Retrodon said:

I agree that Amico should introduce some "gamey" games eventually, as subsisting ONLY via minigames would be harsh on the long term.

We know some of the games that will or might be on the Amico, but there are a lot of things we don't know yet. Maybe "some gamey games" are already planned, but hidden until the Amico's "personality" is established (that is hidden because the marketing department doesn't want to send a mixed message).

 

16 hours ago, Razzie.P said:

I think there still is  😄

It seems so! LOL

 

For me, beyond resource management and stats/levels, one essential component of an RPG is moral choices. Not just arbitrary gameplay choices that superficially look like moral choices, but actually facing moral dilemmas while playing the game.

 

A moral dilemma is not something we can control. We are subjected to the moral dilemma. It can bring the satisfaction of having done the right thing, but facing the dilemma is always something unpleasant. It's always a situation we wish we didn't have to face. Because of this, the moral dilemma must come from the game, it must come from the game's stories, it's not something the player can create for himself.

 

The lack of moral dilemmas is why I don't consider NetHack as an RPG. This is why I consider that people who ignore all the stories in an RPG, who just hack and slash whatever they encounter and just care about their stats are not really role playing.

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17 hours ago, Retrodon said:

Now that we've (hopefully) put to rest the ridiculous "violence" diatribe, I agree that Amico should introduce some "gamey" games eventually, as subsisting ONLY via minigames would be harsh on the long term. Cloudy Mountain could be the first one, since the replayability wouldn't be limited to getting higher scores, 'cause there's a pseudo-roguelike component. They could easily use other similar reimaginings like Treasure of Tarmin or Thunder Castle to add a bit of depth. Even if the console is primarily for casual gamers, kids could easily enjoy some still accessible yet less casual options. 

The replayability of a game with a score doesn't come from getting higher scores.  Replayability comes from the game experience being fun.  Similarly a story based game isn't good just because it has x hours of content.  That content has to be good.

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44 minutes ago, mr_me said:

The replayability of a game with a score doesn't come from getting higher scores.  Replayability comes from the game experience being fun.  Similarly a story based game isn't good just because it has x hours of content.  That content has to be good.

That's a given, replayability works only if playing feels good. But that aside, there are different replayability factors, and diversifying them through different games can only be a good thing. It's comprehensible for Amico to start from a plethora of minigames with similar replayability factors. Eventually though, I can see accessible, yet (relatively) more complex games being added. 

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Minigames imply games lack depth.  There's no reason games with shorter play durations can't have depth in gameplay or complexity.

Edited by mr_me
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I recently cancelled my founders edition pre-order, and they were good and quick about getting the 100 bucks back.

 

The intellivision fan in me keeps me hoping this pans out, the business man in me who has started 3 companies in his life just sees way too many red flags and hurdles though to have any real confidence that it will widely release.  

 

So I hope they pull it off, and if they do and if they release games like Baseball, Utopia, Sea Battle etc, I'll be sure to pick one up, until then though I'll just sit on the sidelines.

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4 hours ago, Papy said:

 

For me, beyond resource management and stats/levels, one essential component of an RPG is moral choices. Not just arbitrary gameplay choices that superficially look like moral choices, but actually facing moral dilemmas while playing the game.

 

 

That’s actually quite interesting to me, as it seems legit and maybe I’m just thinking of it wrong, but when I think back at some of my favorite RPGs, there doesn’t really seem to be a choice at all, other than the choice to simply not play the game anymore.  😁  Dragon Warrior, for example --- here’s your linear path that the designer's set out for you, now go do it.  I can choose which weapons and armor I use (kind of) but that’s about it.


I know Bioware worked it in with some of their stuff (Mass Effect comes to mind) and Witcher 3 has some “this choice caused consequence” type of moments, but those seem like exceptions rather than rules.
 

 

Edit:  That path of thought and discussion prompted to create a thread here.  I'd love to hear some thoughts on that, but it seems odd to hijack an Amico thread to talk about a game genre that may not even exist on the system.

 

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4 hours ago, mr_me said:

Replayability comes from the game experience being fun.

Fun is an emotion a particular person feels, it is not a design characteristic of a game. There are games that some people find fun and some other people find boring or annoying. It's the same game, the difference comes from the people. There are games that a person has a lot of fun playing 20 times, but after playing the same game 40 times, that person starts to find it boring. Again, it's the same game, the change is with the person.

 

-

 

Emotions like fun, pleasing or soothing come from our limbic system. They are the result of evolution. We have no control over them and they exist to push us to adopt behaviors that promotes the survival of the species. Anything that we find fun, pleasing or soothing taps into this primitive system. We find playing video games fun because they fool this primitive system into "thinking" that what we are doing contributes to our survival.

 

I will skip the part about evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology (mainly because my knowledge of these is quite limited), but apart from fun that comes from socialization (or from pseudo-socialization), fun comes mainly from learning. The reason animals (including humans) play games is because they feel "fun" doing it. This is what pushes them to learn. If, for example, you look at kittens playing, you will see that they mainly practice fighting, fleeing, hunting and what I would call "parkour". Their games are to make them learn skills they will need later.

 

It's the same for humans being. The difference with kittens is humans are hierarchical social animals. This means we also need to acquire skills to socialize and to climb in our group hierarchy.

 

Generally speaking, video games do not give us the skill we need for survival, but they still fool our limbic system. However, not everyone's limbic system is as easily fooled. Some people's limbic system "realize" that they don't learn anything of value. I'm guessing that one of the distinction between hardcore gamers and casual gamers is the brain of hardcore gamers is more easily fooled by video games than casual gamers.

 

Of course, fun is not the only emotion we can feel. For example, someone who likes to play solitaire over and over does not find the game fun, but he finds playing the game soothing. This soothing effect comes from executing repetitive actions, which are also essential for our survival.

 

Also, learning is not always fun. Going to class and simply memorizing abstract knowledge generally does not fool our limbic system into thinking that what was learned is useful. In particular, memorization and comprehension are two different aspects of learning. In my case, I have a very high pleasure response to comprehension, but a very low pleasure response to memorization.

 

-

 

Anyway, all this is to say that the reason we find replaying a game fun is because we still have things to learn about it. It's because there are still progress to be made and the player can become more proficient. The moment there is nothing new to learn, the game stop being fun.

 

This means that for a game to be replayable, it needs to have either depth, complexity, or difficulty. A simple and easy game almost always has a low replayability value (unless the game is a pastime or just a tool for social interaction).

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3 hours ago, bigdaddygamestudio said:

I recently cancelled my founders edition pre-order, and they were good and quick about getting the 100 bucks back.

 

The intellivision fan in me keeps me hoping this pans out, the business man in me who has started 3 companies in his life just sees way too many red flags and hurdles though to have any real confidence that it will widely release.  

 

So I hope they pull it off, and if they do and if they release games like Baseball, Utopia, Sea Battle etc, I'll be sure to pick one up, until then though I'll just sit on the sidelines.

This is an eye opener and a shock for me,as I know you have been a very positive and supportive person in Tommy's Amico thread for a long time.

Knowing that you have a lot of business experience and I have zero with running or starting a company,I will continue to pay very close attention on what happens going forward. 

With that being said as I have preordered 2 Founders editions,$200. dollars for my deposits is still a small amount of money to hold my place in line regardless if the system is a success or not.

I imagine even if the system never sees the light of day,which I still believe it will,my deposits will still be refunded regardless. 

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6 hours ago, wolfy62 said:

This is an eye opener and a shock for me,as I know you have been a very positive and supportive person in Tommy's Amico thread for a long time.

Knowing that you have a lot of business experience and I have zero with running or starting a company,I will continue to pay very close attention on what happens going forward.

I think it's a bit too soon to panic. Intellivision is obviously having difficulties and it seems the project is stalling, but unless we learn that Tommy Tallarico's wife is asking for a divorce, I don't think the Amico is dead yet. (And yes, I'm being facetious.)

 

Having said this, I'm guessing Tommy Tallarico is under enormous pressure and I hope he won't break. We live in a very sad world where many people have become incredibly mean. When these people smell weakness, they seize the occasion to attack. We see this on Atari Age every day. I hope Tommy can find moral support and keep his sanity despite these attacks, because without him, there won't be an Amico.

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On the topic of replayability - The way it was handled in the olden days, when games had to be kept simple to cope with the hardware limitations, was to make the games very, very hard. Looking back at games I played as a kid, I never actually beat most of those that do have a clear ending. The challenge is to find a level where it is hard enough that it will take considerable amout of time to beat the game, while the player always feel that they are so, so close, and just about to figure out the trick.

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8 hours ago, Papy said:

I think it's a bit too soon to panic. Intellivision is obviously having difficulties and it seems the project is stalling, but unless we learn that Tommy Tallarico's wife is asking for a divorce, I don't think the Amico is dead yet. (And yes, I'm being facetious.)

 

Having said this, I'm guessing Tommy Tallarico is under enormous pressure and I hope he won't break. We live in a very sad world where many people have become incredibly mean. When these people smell weakness, they seize the occasion to attack. We see this on Atari Age every day. I hope Tommy can find moral support and keep his sanity despite these attacks, because without him, there won't be an Amico.

Great post Papy!

Agreed on all of this.👍

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"Are you ever getting an Amico either by pre-order or when they hit the shelves?"

 

I think the question is not so much will I buy the console I pre-ordered - but will they ever deliver it?

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On 9/18/2021 at 9:21 PM, Papy said:

Anyway, all this is to say that the reason we find replaying a game fun is because we still have things to learn about it. It's because there are still progress to be made and the player can become more proficient. The moment there is nothing new to learn, the game stop being fun.

False. I've played F-Zero, Super Mario World, Dark Souls and Spelunky (off the top of my head) to a point where I know those games inside out. I can still fire up any of them now and have fun.

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A game like Spelunky has randomly generated levels so it's a different game every time you play.   For games like Super Mario World, once you've gone through all the content, then it's like watching the same movie over and over.  If people enjoy the content then that can happen as well.  Competitive multiplayer games automatically have that random element built in.

Edited by mr_me

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2 hours ago, Parker77 said:

False. I've played F-Zero, Super Mario World, Dark Souls and Spelunky (off the top of my head) to a point where I know those games inside out. I can still fire up any of them now and have fun.

Oh, really? Then WHY do you still find these games "fun"? Do you have a clue?

 

I still play Doom and Doom II from time to time. However, the word I would use to describe my experience when replaying these games is not "fun", but "pleasing". Can you understand the nuance between emotions?

 

Here's what I said previously :

Quote

Of course, fun is not the only emotion we can feel. For example, someone who likes to play solitaire over and over does not find the game fun, but he finds playing the game soothing. This soothing effect comes from executing repetitive actions, which are also essential for our survival.

When I play Doom, this soothing effect is mixed with nostalgia, Also, I still try to perfect my runs, which means I still do a bit of learning. The resulting emotion is therefore quite complex. However, one thing is certain, the emotion I now feel while playing Doom is very different than the one I felt when playing these games for the first time. This implies my motivation for playing these games now are very different than my motivation for playing these games in the 90's.

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1 hour ago, Papy said:

Oh, really? Then WHY do you still find these games "fun"? Do you have a clue?

 

I still play Doom and Doom II from time to time. However, the word I would use to describe my experience when replaying these games is not "fun", but "pleasing". Can you understand the nuance between emotions?

 

Here's what I said previously :

When I play Doom, this soothing effect is mixed with nostalgia, Also, I still try to perfect my runs, which means I still do a bit of learning. The resulting emotion is therefore quite complex. However, one thing is certain, the emotion I now feel while playing Doom is very different than the one I felt when playing these games for the first time. This implies my motivation for playing these games now are very different than my motivation for playing these games in the 90's.

Jesus you're insufferable. Yes, I find those games 'fun'. Occasionally, I might find Dark Souls also 'relaxing' as I'm so in tune with its gameplay loop, but there are always new builds to test out and new ways to test myself against (SL1, no armour, low-level equipment) it, hence 'fun'. 

F-Zero on the other hand, even though I know the feel of the game inside out, has - on the unlockable 'master' difficulty I play on - absolutely vicious CPU opponents that make every run potentially different. After all these years, yes I still find that 'exhilarating' and 'tense', which to me = 'fun'.

Spelunky is randomised, so no matter how well I know the controls and the underlying systems, there's always a small chance of something completely unexpected happening, again 'tense' and 'fun'.

Super Mario World does lean partly on the nostalgia buttons, but Mario himself just controls so wonderfully in that particular game that I find the act of negotiating the levels, no matter how well I know them, 'fun'.

 

I don't play things I don't find fun or mentally engaging, hence a terrible habit of picking up games on sale, and abandoning them after an hour because they aren't pushing my buttons.

 

I'm sure of course, that you will tell me I don't actually have the experiences I'm saying I do, but I'd expect nothing less at this point.

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1 hour ago, Parker77 said:

Jesus you're insufferable.

Much less than you, my dear woke friend.

 

1 hour ago, Parker77 said:

Yes, I find those games 'fun'. Occasionally, I might find Dark Souls also 'relaxing' as I'm so in tune with its gameplay loop, but there are always new builds to test out and new ways to test myself against (SL1, no armour, low-level equipment) it, hence 'fun'. 

So basically, new things to learn. So why exactly did you say that my statement was false?

 

1 hour ago, Parker77 said:

F-Zero on the other hand, even though I know the feel of the game inside out, has - on the unlockable 'master' difficulty I play on - absolutely vicious CPU opponents that make every run potentially different. After all these years, yes I still find that 'exhilarating' and 'tense', which to me = 'fun'.

"Potentially different." Hmm... I wonder what this difference implies...

 

Also, as a side note, adrenaline, while not considered as one of the "happy" hormones per se, is still pleasurable.

 

1 hour ago, Parker77 said:

Spelunky is randomised, so no matter how well I know the controls and the underlying systems, there's always a small chance of something completely unexpected happening, again 'tense' and 'fun'.

I feel like there is a pattern here. Don't you?

 

1 hour ago, Parker77 said:

I don't play things I don't find fun or mentally engaging, hence a terrible habit of picking up games on sale, and abandoning them after an hour because they aren't pushing my buttons.

And now you have to ask yourself HOW your buttons are pushed. You have to ask yourself : what is the trick that a game is using in order to push your buttons?

 

1 hour ago, Parker77 said:

I'm sure of course, that you will tell me I don't actually have the experiences I'm saying I do, but I'd expect nothing less at this point.

You can expect me to be extremely analytical. You can expect me to be cold and to call out people who are lying. However, I don't dismiss people only because what they say doesn't fit my beliefs or my desires. I also don't dismiss people who lack knowledge. I always try to understand people. I dismiss people only when they choose to be dishonest.

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47 minutes ago, Papy said:

Much less than you, my dear woke friend.

 

So basically, new things to learn. So why exactly did you say that my statement was false?

 

"Potentially different." Hmm... I wonder what this difference implies...

 

Also, as a side note, adrenaline, while not considered as one of the "happy" hormones per se, is still pleasurable.

 

I feel like there is a pattern here. Don't you?

 

And now you have to ask yourself HOW your buttons are pushed. You have to ask yourself : what is the trick that a game is using in order to push your buttons?

 

You can expect me to be extremely analytical. You can expect me to be cold and to call out people who are lying. However, I don't dismiss people only because what they say doesn't fit my beliefs or my desires. I also don't dismiss people who lack knowledge. I always try to understand people. I dismiss people only when they choose to be dishonest.

Does this really matter? People can disagree on why things are fun and or soothing. 

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11 hours ago, Jeffrey Bouchard said:

Does this really matter? People can disagree on why things are fun and or soothing. 

My goal was only to explain why being "fun" doesn't ensure replayability. In particular, it was to explain why simple and easy games, while they can certainly be fun the first few times we play them, tend to lose their "fun factor" quite rapidly.

 

As for why it matters, I think it's sad that many people prefer not to discuss things. It would be a lot more difficult for me to realize that I am wrong and to change my mind for the better if people around me never questionned my beliefs. Isn't it the same for you?

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7 hours ago, Papy said:

My goal was only to explain why being "fun" doesn't ensure replayability. In particular, it was to explain why simple and easy games, while they can certainly be fun the first few times we play them, tend to lose their "fun factor" quite rapidly.

Again, your opinion. OutRun is one of the simplest games there is. Faster, slower, left, right, gear. I've been playing it in one form or other since 1986, and it's currently the sixth/seventh most-played title on my Switch, despite taking no more than five to five and a half minutes for a run. I wonder why that might be?

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I can still play through Sonic 2 after all these years because I still consider it fun. Not sure why else I would bother? 

 

fun
/fʌn/
 
noun
  1. enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure.
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