inversion game

Why I will be annoyed if Daenerys is pregnant with her and Jon’s baby

How many times did she have sex with Daario without getting pregnant? But she sleeps with Jon once and now there’s a Targaryen-Stark baby? What kind of logic is that? I get it’s probably for plot reasons but still. It’s dumb.

Best Lina Inverse game cosplay?!

I was playing Mabi the other day and came across the person, at first I only saw them from the back what was instantly just like “IT’S LINA!”. I actually got to talk to them for a few minutes and it was awesome. They did a great job!

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Getting your upside down poses takes 3 things: core, confidence and comedy. Get your core ready… crank up some tunes, slip on some socks and follow me! The full length instructional video for this core strengthener is available once you sign up for YoGoGirls’ Dec 11 Inversion Game Plan workshop. Link in bio or on yogogirls.com

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Mario and the Effects of Amplifying/Lessening Player Skill Gains

A long time ago I talked about what I called “Self-Selecting Difficulty” and “Self-Defeating Difficulty”. Self-Selecting Difficulty is when a game gets harder the better you play it. An example of idea is that in Star Fox when you play well (and if know the secrets) you were then sent to harder stages. If you didn’t know what you were doing then you were sent down the path of least resistance which was much easier.

A quick reminder that Star Fox games always took steps to accommodate players of different skill levels.

On the other hand, Self-Defeating Difficulty is when a game becomes easier the better you are at it. In truth, the fact that I referred to it as “Self-Defeating” betrayed my own bias against it, it is a valid design idea that has many virtues. A more accurate term might be the very clunky “Inverse-Self-Selecting Difficulty” (someone please come up with a better name).

Getting better at a game makes it easier. Of course. When I talk about Inverse-Self-Selecting Difficulty I’m not talking about the natural process of getting better at a game but how that game rewards those gains in skill. Self-Selecting difficulty can mute those gains in skill because any gain in skill is accompanied by an increase in difficulty. A lot of times you get better at a game but don’t realize how much better you have gotten unless you go back and play an earlier level and absolutely crush it. You’ve been getting better the entire time but because the game got harder at roughly the same rate it was hard to get a sense of how much better you had gotten. Inverse-Self-Selecting Difficulty though magnifies those gains in skill.

Inverse-Self-Selecting Difficulty is like giving everyone who already has 20 dollars another 10 dollars, or doubling the money everyone has (100->200, 50->100, 0->0). This exaggerates the differences in skill levels between players. Self-Selecting Difficulty though does the opposite, it taxes the best players and gives to the worst. This contracts expressed differences in skill.

The most famous example of the Inverse-Self-Selecting Difficulty design pattern is probably Mario platformers. In Mario games you don’t have health so much as you have upgrades. A mushroom makes you bigger and a special item (such as a fire flower) makes you bigger and gives you a special ability (such as throwing fireballs). Get hit and lose that upgrade. Get hit when you have no upgrades and you die.

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It’s just that, plenty of games have nonviolent messages, and all of them still make the player fight. 

I wouldn’t blame those games so much as I’d just blame the industry- for a lot of genres, “gameplay” and “combat” are synonymous. 

But Undertale is the first game I’ve ever played that presents the ability to fight, but encourages the player to avoid it entirely. And it lets you avoid it for the ENTIRE game- I didn’t even know how the “fight” mechanic worked until the second-to-last boss! The game literally doesn’t explain it, because it wants you to avoid it.

And it weaves that basic non-violent philosophy into everything you do. Boss fights are comprised of dodging attacks until the boss realizes that they want to avoid bloodshed just as much as you do. The bosses then become your honest-to-god FRIENDS and you can literally just hang out with them or casually make phone calls to them. The more people you befriend, the warmer and friendlier the underworld feels.

Undertale is the inverse of most games, but even then it’s not the inverse in a superior, pretentious way. It’s the inverse because where most games give you a conflict and then hand you a sword or a gun to solve it with, Undertale welcomes the player in and offers them cinnamon and butterscotch pie and gently encourages them while saying “I believe in you”.

 It’s such a breath of fresh air.