[PATV] Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 19: Depth vs. Complexity



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    Doctor JestDoctor Jest Registered User new member
    edited January 2013
    NHB, what you're talking about with GO is actually depth of play, not complexity. GO is a very deep game for the reasons you cite; what you're calling complexity by picking a move isn't complexity in this context, it's making meaningful choices. Choosing where to place your stone is a meaningful choice, and that's what depth is about. Complexity is how difficult it is to have all the available information necessary to understand the rules about placing your stone. The rules for placing your stone are simple, not complex at all, but the choices you have about where to place the stone are very meaningful and thus deep.

    Don't mistake complexity for challenge. They're not the same thing. Choosing where, exactly, to place your stone in GO may be challenging (depending on the skill of your opponent) but it's not complex. There is a difference between a mental burden and a mental challenge.

    Doctor Jest on
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    vortexcortexvortexcortex Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    So... Just thinking outside of the box here, well, actually, on the surface of the box... Could we get some sort of depth to complexity ratio listed on game boxes? Like an ESRB rating, but one that actually has meaning to folks other than repressed prudes?

    No? Didn't think so...
    Still, it was a fun thought, giving gamers more meaningful metrics for games so they could better choose which games to buy. I suppose try before you buy ala demos helps to some degree, but not really as much esp. if you're buying a game for someone else. Would it even be possible to create an objective rating system for complexity vs. depth? What other metrics would be useful? "Rated 'F' for Filthy Casuals" :P

    I guess game reviews sites and the whole "free to play" (read: "pay to win") insanity is sort of filling the niche of lessening risk/investment prior to purchase, but my time is actually worth (some) money so any help reducing the amount of time I waste finding out if I'll like a game or not could be beneficial. Whether it's beneficial enough to warrant sales... meh, I think it might. I wouldn't have bought Shadow Complex were it not for word of mouth from a friend describing the depth vs complexity, learning curve, length, etc...

    vortexcortex on
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    SpaceOutNightmareSpaceOutNightmare Registered User new member
    @101:Since I can't seem to reply to your topic, I'll do it here, you're wrong to say that Divekick has no depth, it has depth in the same way that SF2 has depth. Have you been to UFGT8 and played Divekick, like any other fighting game, it's a game about space control and mental awareness. Instead of using "tech", RC's, FRC"s, Negative Edging, they've brought a game about the same things SF2 is about to it's purest essence, requiring no more than 2 buttons. If it was a shallow game, it would be an easy game, and it is not an easy game.

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    Clown_BabyClown_Baby Registered User new member
    Super Smash Bros. (N64) is my favorite example of elegance.

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    Celerion124Celerion124 Registered User new member
    There are many more examples of complexity being a big part of the fun a game delivers. Take Flight Simulator for example. You have to read 100+ pages to get the first idea how this game might work at all. You have to take 20 steps until you can start your plane. Landing a plane is ridiculous hard. But there are people who really appreciates this "working" on a game, rather than just experiencing step by step all the mechanics in a game.
    I remember when I was younger I played transport tycoon, and I didnt have a clue how it works that a train would drive from station to station. No tutorial + My English wasnt very good at that time. So I spend hours and even days on that game without doing anything than just looking around. When I suddenly discovered how I can give the train a specific shedule I was really happy. (More happy than some tutorial telling me: click here, click there, there you go, now wait until you have money, now play another game).
    But I didnt get money by just driving from one location to another. I had to figure out which factorys build up a warechain to actually pay me money for transporting their goods, etc etc etc.
    This actually is fun for me.
    I agree that games are more "successful" when they are delivered simple and easy to learn. (I guess the huge number of casual gamers these days are accountable for that). But games are not always better this way.

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    ZippoLagZippoLag Registered User regular
    How about this:
    The problem, as stated on the tutorial point, is not real complexity but rather perceived complexity.
    And at that, the perceived depth would be the strategical options that arise from the game mechanics that remain understandable in spite of the perceived complexity.

    Does that make any sense? '^^

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    StuntspikeStuntspike Don Juan De La Nooch In the midstRegistered User regular
    Oddly enough after watching this I brought up the exact same topic over on the Path of Exile suggestion forums, a game for some people might be in desperate need of a tutorial.

    "Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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