The Little Things in Games Thread - Waypoint Edition


One of my favorite threads on the internet is the Little Things in Games thread over on the Something Awful forums. It’s a thread dedicated to posting about the inconsequential things in video games (or other gaming experiences) that nevertheless bring you joy. Having this thread on SA helped me to gain a new appreciation for things that might get overlooked despite taking real development time and effort. For some examples:
In Uncharted 3 and 4, when Nathan is close to a wall, he reaches out and touches it. It’s a satisfying and immersive thing to be included in a game that has no real need for wall-touching outside of tight spaces.
In Stardew Valley, when you have exhausted dialogue options with your spouse for the day, the talk button turns into a hug button.
In the PS4 version of Broforce, I really like that the controller’s lights flash an obnoxious red, white and blue after missions are completed. It fits that game’s tone perfectly. Similarly, Rock Band 4 has the controller fade different colors while you sing, which gives off a really nice glow if you are playing in a darkened room (e.g. with a projector).
In the Persona games, I appreciate the flavor text in the compendium that gives some background on the myths your personae are taken from. I love being able to learn about the folklore of other cultures this way, and being directed by a combination of interesting character art and backstory to a tale I haven’t heard.

What games have interesting non-central mechanics, visual effects, satisfying sound design, or any other little things that you have noticed and appreciated?


In TF2’s 2Fort map, the briefcase rooms have wires running around the edges. If you follow them round the room it turns out the wire comes out of an outlet on the wall, does three loops of the room and runs back into the outlet directly underneath the first. Must have played on it for years before I noticed.


There are a LOT of little things in Breath of the Wild that I adore, but what may be my favorite detail is how frequently one or both of the given dialogue options are just “make Link be a total dick for no reason whatsoever”

For example, there’s a little side mission where a man and a woman are standing on opposite ends of a heart shaped pond, both looking for love. The woman tells you “I want to talk to him but I don’t want to make the first move.” The man tells you “Aw gee, I really want to go over and talk to her but I’m too shy. Can you just give me a few more minutes to build up the courage I need?”

You can offer to be a liaison, give the woman a flower, and say “it’s from that guy over there, he really wants to talk to you” OR you can say to the man (and I quote, as close as I can remember)



In Bloodborne, if you have enough insight, when you use the Hunter Cheif’s Emblem on the gate you can see the Little Ones gathered around the switch on the other side pull it for you, when normally you’d just see the gate open mysteriously.

I’m playing it again and stuff like that is the best.

Also, in the Nightmare Frontier, you can see ship masts below the islands, from the Fishing Hamlet area of the Old Hunters DLC. There are a ton of details like that signifying the way the Nightmare is layered. Facinating space.


I loved in Indiana Jones and The Emporer’s Tomb, when you got into to fights you’re hat sometimes flew off and after the fight you had to go and pick it up.
You know a nazi is going to have a bad day when he knocks Indy’s damn hat off!


In Metal Gear Solid V, you can pet your dog.



playing through Pyre recently, i was trying to play the “shave and a haircut” rhythm on the bell in the wagon. turns out mashing on the bell gives you a very cute bit of dialogue! worth checking out for yourself so i won’t spoil it here


Crowd singing in Rock Band 4 is really dumb, but I enjoy it since it’s kind of like confirmation that you’re playing the song well.


Another Bloodborne one I remembered from that ace Games Done Quick run: When using a beast blood pellet, transforming attacks fill the beasthood meter faster than normal attacks, which is a brill little mix of thematics and mechanics. The mechanical equivelant of a subtle word choice in a description.


I kinda love Lara wringing put her ponytail every time she stepped out of water in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Such a neat little touch that made her character model feel like part of the environment.


In Dragon Age: Inquisition, a small puff of dust appears underneath your feet whenever you jump, so I like going to the bed store in Val Royeaux and jumping on all the fancy expensive beds, as well as going to my companions/advisors in Skyhold and jump on their desk (if they have one).


Good hair and cloth physics are weirdly enjoyable to me. Kat’s hair is a good example (big .gif example) and it also serves as a visual indicator letting you know which way is “down” when you’re on the side of a building.


More games need excellent asshole dialogue options. My favorites are Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Mega Man Legends


I am in LOVE with the idea of Mario saying “Guess again, nerd!” to somebody.


Breath of the Wild is absolutely rife with these, but this might be my favorite.

Kick open a chest without shoes, and he stubs his toe. There’s no reason for this to be in the game and very few will ever see it. If you approach from the front, he just opens it no problem, you have to open it from an angle.


I don’t know why, but I absolutely loved the fact that I could read the nutritional facts and cooking instructions on food I picked up in Tacoma. Maybe it’s because frequently reading such things is a habit I have in real life, but that little extra attention to detail helped pull me into the game’s setting as much as its writing and voice acting did.


Less a thing and more of a moment, but there’s a spot in Half-Life 2, in the airboat chapter, where you can end up at a dead end with a rickety old windmill and these really quiet, peaceful wind chimes. As far as I know they’re not even modeled—it’s just an audio effect—but it always struck me as a really beautiful moment.


I think this is tangentially related, but I love, love, LOVE that in the FGC there are a ton of voice lines that people purposefully mishear just because they are funny as hell. This comes from older games where voice lines were hard to hear due to low quality, mispronounciation, w/e (“So long gay bowser” being an infamous one from Super Mario 64), but the FGC is really the only place that still continues this today and continues to be the funniest thing to me.

I guess another way to say it is that I’m thankful fighting games still have characters yelling lines or attack names while they do specials and supers.


In Yakuza 0, Majima’s ponytail isn’t just a polygon on the back of his head; it has physics and rests on his suit shoulder without ever clipping through. I’ve been noticing it a bunch when he’s shown from behind, sitting. I don’t consider clipping to be terribly disruptive for my immersion but I do find it really satisfying when something I expect to clip doesn’t.


i love the pawn chatter in Dragon’s Dogma because it is really funny to me when they switch from telling you the weakness of a monster you’ve never seen before to telling you what stairs are in a tone that suggests they genuinely believe these are equally valuable pieces of information. They are dumb as fuck and i love them so much.