Watsons27 wrote:Gameplay and aesthetics...... And what is currie's point..... Xander you just gotta stop arguing for the sake of arguing I think you dissect every word people use a little too much. Just relax and read their ideas not every small word. Your like the person who takes too many notes in a class but does not actually get what is going on.
If people would stop making bad arguments, I wouldn't feel the need to counter them. You and Currie keep arguing that personalizing the staff more is good because it enhances realism. The point that I have kept making is that the choice to personalize or not personalize the staff should not be made only on the grounds of realism (and, in fact, that making the decision on the grounds of realism alone would be a very bad way to make the decision), but that narrative and gameplay concerns should come first. If you want to argue that the staff should be more personalized, don't appeal to realism---put forth an argument about how it would improve gameplay, or how IV might be missing a chance to tell a different story (Currie did that a few posts ago and, while I disagree with his statement that people who work in prisons are saints, that post, at least, made reasonable narrative arguments). If you don't like my responses to you, either (1) stop giving me something to respond to or (2) make better arguments.
Watsons27 wrote:But I don't see how anyone would be bothered by staff members with names. Also to tell this games story or what ever you call it humanizing the guards will lead to more humanization of the prisoners.
I don't think that anyone would be bothered by it. But that also misses the point. IV have the opportunity to tell a story with Prison Architect, and the decision to name or not name the staff changes the emphasis of that story. Personally, I prefer the emphasis on prisoners (as I think I have made clear), but it is ultimately up to IV to decide what story they want to tell.
Watsons27 wrote:Small little experiment to do. Try to remember like 20 prisoners by name most i can do is 5-10Then try to keep track of a guard like have only 1 white guard or something. You will care more when the guard dies.
Also prison size has a lot to do with how much you care about people. I currently try to have my prisons around 75-125 just because I find that size is the most fun and I am able to care about things. When I make those giant 300-500 prisoners I seem to care a lot less about most everything besides the prison layout and flow. That being said I really just end up watching the giant prisons more than playing them.
So on a small prison level guards are more personal but large prison nothing is personal i could care less about most things as long as the prison is running smooth.
It isn't about caring about the prisoners more than the staff. It is about how the story is told, and what is emphasized by the narrative. Perhaps the point is a bit too academic, by why shouldn't video games be thought of within the same framework as other media? Why shouldn't we use the techniques of literary analysis when discussing games? Sure, you can appreciate (for instance) Petrushka
for purely aesthetic reasons (hey, it is great music and fun coreography---what's not to love?), but the composition of the ballet was not dictated by aesthetic concerns alone. The original choreography was an intentional dismissal of traditional ballet choreography (which was an interesting narrative choice in pre-revolutionary Russia). The music is built from the DNA of popular and folk music, but applies to it an avant-garde approach (again, this has interesting narrative implications in pre-revolutionary Russia). Do most of the people that watch Petrushka
understand most of the history and context of the work? Probably not. But the choices were made intentionally, and anyone who is really paying attention will see and understand them.
Prison Architect is no different---there are certain decisions that IV can make that will have very little impact on the gameplay, and which most people probably won't notice, but which nevertheless convey a point of view. Naming the staff (or not naming the staff) is one of these decisions.
EDIT: And to preempt the obvious "Stop over analyzing things!", please read this