I’ve made an agreement with a friend, she would play The Silver Case, and I would play The Witcher’s series, I’ve already had the games on my Steam library, so, sure, I’ve started downloading the three games, after that, I’ve started playing The Witcher from 2007. After about 12 hours I’ve dropped it, so, when and why should you stop consuming something related to art, maybe a book, a videogame, a tv series? We’ll most likely not find out in this post, but I need to fill (wink wink) the blog so here we go.
Some other stuff I’ve dropped or wanted to drop
‘One of the greek’s classics‘, about 450-700 pages, depending on the edition, sure, it’s a really important book in literature, yet, the last hundred pages were kind of a suffering at the time I’ve read it, things started going wrong at the point Homer decided to write about 5-10 consecutive pages detailing all the people who were on the ships, and Homer also thought that the characters should recite their family tree every time there’s a confrontation, just like Lost’s flashbacks, at first they’re nice, then they start to happen every five minutes, on every chapter. Don’t get me wrong, some times I do enjoy unnecessary stuff to artificially increment the length of something, I did enjoyed the unnecessary stuff on the second season of Twin Peaks, as well as the two and a half minutes of a guy sweeping a floor in the third season, but those are rare occasions. Sure, The Illiad has more than two thousand years, then again, The Epic of Gilgamesh is even older and more straight to the point.
The Twilight Zone
I will not rant about The Twilight Zone as I did on The Illiad, as I really like Twilight Zone, and I want to get back to it, the main issue was that after dozens of chapters with twists, it got a little repetitive, and back to the filling issue, do we really need 156 episodes (plus the episodes from the subsequent series)? No, we don’t, at least, I don’t, but hopefully I will return to the series some time, and watch at least the 50 best episodes from all seasons.
The thing that I thought I was going to drop, didn’t dropped it (yey!)
On June 2019, I’ve started reading a book called Ulysses, from James Joyce, considered the best english novel from the 20th century and one of the hardest books to read, over 800 pages, it’s really really complicated to understand what makes this book something incredible, if you’re interested, you can read it here. I was scared of starting the book, I wanted to for a few years, took me 4-5 months to finish it, it was a pain in the arse, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Why? Maybe because I really wanted to like this book, maybe because I’m amazed at how someone could write something like it. I’ve went with the flow, read over 600+ translator notes, and I’m certain that I didn’t understood more than 1% of what’s in the book, and that’s stretching a lot, it might be the idea that I’m in love with, and I’m sure this book will be one of my mains inspirations from the work I make from now on, might read it again in a decade, and maybe lift that 1% to a 2%, we’ll see.
The Witcher’s Gameplay
When I first started playing, with the little knowledge I’ve had about the series, I’ve expected a typical RPG game, I’ve expected Skyrim in 3rd person, then, when I’ve had control for the first time on Geralt, I was presented with a top-down view and having to point & click in the environment to move, and in the enemies to attack, what?
After that, I went to the settings and changed it to a way it met my expectations a little bit more, then the combat was, over all the hours I’ve played:
- Select Attack mode
- Click on enemy
- Wait for a visual indicator to counter-attack
- Click again
- Repeat until enemy is dead
- Select Attack mode
I wouldn’t call this combat system particularly deep nor entertaining, now that I’m playing The Witcher 2, I’m glad it has improved and became better in a lot of senses.
The Witcher’s GUI
A big one for me, main reason why I didn’t wanted to complete any side-quests is that it meant I would have to spend time in the menus, it’s unnecessarily filled with stuff, illustrations, gradients, lots of icons and so on, some of them don’t are clear on their function (until you click on them) ; luckily, GUI’s are now more minimal and easy to understand, developers stopped from trying to make them ‘flashy‘ and instead, they keep them elegant and useful, as it should be.
If we compare it to Oblivion’s interface, we can see how The Elders Scrolls IV has a much more (but not perfect) better interface, it’s cleaner, it has bigger icons, the layout is simple, it gives you all the information that you want and a great preview of your character on the right. The good old ‘less is more.’
The Witcher’s story and what I need to keep playing
I’ve played through games with awful interfaces, with awful gameplay, and enjoyed them a lot, what’s necessary for me to enjoy a game lacking in some areas, is a good story, or better said, a story that I’m interested in, a story that I like. I was not interested in The Witcher’s story, I was not interested in the lore, and neither was I interested in the characters, I would have not stopped playing it I were. Of course, this is completely my opinion, some people don’t care much for stories, in my case, it’s an essential aspect in certain games.
When to stop playing?
As an aspiring game designer, it’s clear that I need to play as much games I can, from all the possible genres, luckily, that does not necessarily involves finishing each games, neither does it involves enjoy all games. Playing games, watching a movie, listening to music, reading a book, that you enjoy or you don’t can help you ask the next questions:
What do I like about this?
What I don’t like about this?
How can I improve this?
How can I worsen this?