Games Are Just Better When You Make Your Own Fun


#1

We've been playing a whole bunch of games lately that are more fun to, well, make our own fun in. Like Sea of Thieves, and A Way Out—but also, in streaming Far Cry 5, Bloodborne, and Into the Breach. We talk improv, role play, and all the ways we like to make our own fun in games, and then, read a slew of listener stories about the way they play.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/gym5jy/make-your-own-fun-sea-of-thieves-far-cry

#2

I recently started a ‘realistic’ play through of Watchdogs 2 (no hud and pacifist). On release I got bored straight away because I played it like a 3rd person shooter.

However In the hours I’ve played recently I’ve discovered so much i never noticed before including the camera app.



#3

Someone please point me in the direction of the fan art of Danielle’s triangle wedding with Into the Breach and Prey.

Thank you.


#4

Watch_dogs 2 is the perfect game for a pascifist run! Especially if you start using all of your drones it becomes much more of a puzzle game and it rocks.

Never thought to turn the HUD off though, it’s kind of cool how turning it off give you space to observe the world they created in a different way.

(Good pictures btw)


#5

I spent over an hour in botw trying to catch as many horses as I could and put them into a corral outside a stable before they despawned. If this game had infinite stable space I would spend infinite time befriending all the horses


#6

Austin reminded me of how I played Watch_Dogs 2.

I read Austin and Cameron Kunzelman’s article about how poorly the game handles a specific character death before buying the game, and I played it with the objective of “I’m gonna make this right, because Ubisoft didn’t.”

At about the half way point in WD2 stealth becomes pretty hard, and the game gives you a wide enough arsenel of weapons that it always felt like they wanted me to kill people instead of reloading when shit went bad.

Instead, I played the game, up to a point, using only the stun gun and melee. I didn’t even put a firearm in my inventory.

But after I got to the cutscene I knew was coming, and Marcus picked up a discarded pistol while looking at the body of a fallen comrade, I went back to Dedsec HQ, got the exact pistol Marcus picked up in the cutscene (which doesn’t actually appear in your inventory after picking it up, because those slots might already be full) and carried it for the rest of the game. I only used it in the mission that directly follows the death, where you go after the people who did it, but for the rest of the game Marcus carried a gun, and that said something about his character that the writers of the game failed to communicate.

Doing that maybe didnt make the game more fun. It was actually really frustrating to go through the entire game with a limited toolset, but it made me enjoy the game more on a themeatic and narrative level, and I was pretty satisfied at the end. There are other problems with the conclusion of WD2, but knowing about this one specific misstep let me correct it through limiting myself mechanically.

Edit: I also never purchased the upgrades that allow you to call in the cops or a gang on people, because the entire concept or doing that is so fucked up I never wanted to engage with it


#7

Great pictures! I’d love to hear the stories of what you witnessed in these.

Moreover, I find that I enjoy all of Ubisofts open world games when they’re set up this way. I’ve recently started up AC IV: Black Flag again and turned off all of the UI elements and committed to walking to my destinations rather than sprinting.

I immediately began to glimpse small narratives of lives lived, things that I had missed as they were more of an obstacle course to me in prior playthroughs. Suddenly, this was a world belonging to them and I started thinking of them whenever I was presented with a task.

Rather than selfishly upgrade my ship, I wanted to fully upgrade my home port immediately. If I did that then maybe the drunk couple that spawns right beside the tavern, usually nursing a rough night, would have an easier life and revel more often. It was surprising how much just changing the UI and the way I approached gameplay completely reframed rote tasks into considered actions with rewards beyond the numbers on screen. Drinks are on me or, more accurately, the Spanish and the English empires


#8

During my surgery recovery period last year, I had a fair amount of fun in Prey taking every single object that wasn’t nailed down in Talos I’s lobby and organizing them into model-specific piles in the giant glass basin looking out into space. The logic at first was to give Mimics nothing to duplicate, but it wasn’t long before I started doing it just for the sake of doing it until it was (for all intents and purposes) complete. There’s a writeup on the effort I took to do this here.

The “genius” of Prey’s game design extends to this goal, too; I wasn’t all that enthused by the story or setting, but by the time I was finally able to complete this goal I’d made for myself, I’d gotten so far into the game that I had only a couple of short sequences left to do before I hit credits, so I powered through and was somewhat satisfied. Every player probably makes this observation in one way or another after the ending takes place, but I can only imagine Alex and his kobold buddies hovering over Morgan during all 15+ hours I spent making these piles, marveling at this bizarre example of Typhon psychology in action. Needless to say, I’ll be judging the moon thing, whatever it turns out to be, entirely based on whether it has a nice open space for me to do this in it.


#9

I’ve never done a pacifist run in any game before, and i’m finding it so interesting because it isnt as simple as point and shoot. And like you said the use of drones makes it like a puzzle game.
Turning the HUD off is so refreshing though, especially for Watch_dogs 2 where something is popping up all the time, it gives you a chance to check out the city they created and its fascinating. Plus learning the map gives it another layer of challenge.

@BeefyMang Thanks mate, so like you, i’ve also committed to walking most places and viewing the world that way, especially if an objective is meteres away. Anyway I was wondering around trying to catch my bearings when I noticed the three people sitting down smoking (probably vaping) and it instantly reminded me of Alan Butlers Down and Out in Los Santos so I took the first picture. In the back of that picture I notcied a man down the alley with armour on so I went to have a look. Then I see the man getting arrested punch a guy for being on private territory, the victims friend rings the police and within seconds I hear sirens.

I pulled my camera out and took the picture of the cop arresting the Tezca Gang member. His partner was on the other side of the fence waiting by the car (You can barely see him on the far left of the second pic). Then in a flash the dude behind the officer shot at the cop and they killed him, then the third picture shows the gang turning on the second officer as he tries to get to cover.

@ClairvoyantVibes Yeah i’d read their piece and know whats coming at some point in the game, and like yourself I have only armed myself with the stun gun and try to completely avoid combat in any instance. One thing I noticed playing now so far from release is the addition of a non lethal paintball gun but I am yet to try it out in the event it kills somebody.

The upgrades i’ve tried to not use are the ones that cause massive public destruction, I dont want to harm any civilians in their day to day lives so I dont want to make gas mains explode and have a little old lady not be able to turn her heating on.


#10

I think Austin touched on why I can’t watch the Big Boy streams when its just Danika and Danielle sitting in with Natalie.


#11

I enjoyed Mankind Divided a lot for this. I quite liked the juxtaposition between the Jensen who, in the story of the game, wants the population to understand and not demonise augmented people; and the Jensen who, as my avatar, worked tirelessly to perpetuate negative feelings towards the augmented by:

  • Breaking into everyone’s home
  • Developing my augs so I could steal every apartment refrigerator in the game and use them to create fridge piles in apartment complex courtyards.
  • Picking up all the public dustbins in Detroit and stockpiling as many of them as I could in my bedroom
  • Throwing grenades at my TV
  • General mischief: jumping on cars and desks, punching people
  • Loads of other stuff I forgot

#12

Your paragraph at the end taps into by far the second toughest part of my pascifist run: the parts where they make you escape a police chase. Because I did the same exact thing of trying to avoid using any destructive hacks or crash any car. Every chase was an hour of reloads!

(The toughest part is close to the end and you’ll know exactly what it is when you reach it, if you want a tip: I had to pretend melee was not lethal for one sequence)


#13

Yeah police chases are really interesting because it means learning the city and ducking and diving through the alleys. I often end up on foot, climbing buildings to hide away


#14

Thank you Waypoint team for this podcast: a thoughtful discussion on the importance of self-directed play and the complications that arise when that play butts up against someone else was exactly what I needed to hear today.


#15

Obviously this is cribbed from Waypoints own permadeath run of Zelda, but I had a lot of fun replaying Breath of the Wild and restricting myself out of bad habits.

I wasn’t allowed heal outside of battle, upgrade any armor or ever look at my map. That meant I had to be cautious and conscious rather than slamming ten apples in the middle of a fight. Plus the game is so good at helping you navigate without a map, there are always clear points of interest on the horizon. But in my first run I would constantly pop the map back open to check exactly where I was supposed to be going, just because I could.


#16

For quite a long time, I was fairly down on Skyrim, because it’s basically just a giant empty space that gives you the impression that you do big important things, while never really giving you the power to actually change anything in its world.

Then I realized that the key to enjoying Skyrim is to embrace its inherent absurdity.

Now I play the game with only one goal in mind: To steal all the cheese in the game and put it all in this one room:


#17

The thing that comes to mind for me is when I would play a lot of Saints Row 2 co-op with my friend, we would come up with extra curricular activities. My favorite involved a glitch where throwing a person into a swimming pool would sometimes cause them to fly off into the air at high velocity. One person would launch the people and the other would try to “catch” them by being where the launched person would land. We called it glitchiron football.

e: the other example is the screenshot Let’s Plays I’ve written for Paradox games. Stringing together the events of CK2, EU4, etc into a cohesive historical narrative and adding flavor and context is something I love doing. My current SSLP of Darkest Hour (the Hearts of Iron 2 derivative) has been ongoing for over three years and has turned into a much more ambitious story than I planned, using the game events as prompts for stories within the alternate world represented by the game state in Darkest Hour. It’s been a lot of fun and makes playing the games more fun when my concern is the historical narrative instead of optimal gameplay.
(if you search for This Land Is Your Land on Something Awful, you can find my SSLP, if anybody is interested)


#18

As a child (I am talking like 8 or 9 years old here) I was super into role playing Morrowind as if I was just an everyday person in that world. I was actually real scared of killing anything in the game and I still remember the moment I’ve decided to go out and kill one enemy- I never felt so tense and scared as when my first fight in Morrowind began.

Said enemy:

To get back to my main point: I would try my best to play as a merchant or a worker without any help from mods. Even after I have started playing the game ‘properly’ I would still attempt to ground my character in the game world: I would make an empty house and make it mine, would regular go to real bed, eat, be so into role playing my character I would try and think like my character…


#19

When Perfect Dark came out, my friends and I devised our own Horde Mode using the bots you could drop into the multiplayer mode. We’d put four of the hardest bots on a team and our team of four would have to defend a chosen room until time ran out or we hit or ridiculously high win condition. If someone ran out of ammo, they’d have to leave the room and scavenge and hope they made it back before the bots found them. I never really liked the game’s single player mode, but our semi-custom mode held our attention for months.


#20

My friends and I actually devised a custom Modern Warfare 2 mode that was very similar.

We would create a Custom Game on the map Villa, which is all centred around one of the major Single Player set pieces: the infiltration of a diplomats vacation home. The mode would be Team Deathmatch, we would turn the radar off, set the score limit to unlimited and have a fairly long game timer, and finally, set a 10 second spawn time

In Team Deathmatch on the map, the Spetsnaz team always spawns in and around the eponymous Villa at the start of the game. It would be their job to defend the house from the invading TF 141, who’s objective was to secure the house and keep it held down until the time ran out. Score didn’t matter. Whoever had more teammates in the house when the time ran down was the winner, even if the end of match score screen didn’t reflect that.

We basically created our own Rainbow 6 mode within Call of Duty, though none of us had really played Rainbow 6 at the time. We were just looking for more ways to wring fun out of CoD.