makes for an almost ASMR-like experience
October 10, 2019 1:03 PM   Subscribe

More Dramatic Readings Of Video Game Patch Notes, Please [Kotaku] “We’ve all been there: Your favorite game drops a big update, and you’re desperate to find out what’s changed. Then you slam face-first into the wall of text that is the patch notes, and your enthusiasm deflates like a punctured whoopee cushion. Reading is a lot of work. What if someone could just read the patch notes for you? That’s the approach Supergiant Games’ narrative-driven roguelite Hades has been taking with its big updates, bolstered by a suitably story-centric twist. The game’s patch notes include a video of its disembodied narrator [voiced by Logan Cunningham @glancingonhuman] reading each and every word in a deliberate yet still dramatic tone.” [YouTube][Hades: The Superstar Update' Patch Notes]
posted by Fizz (14 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I might go to bed listening to this later tonight. There's something lovely about hearing this kind of narration gently lull you to sleep.
posted by Fizz at 1:06 PM on October 10, 2019


This is definitely a direction Dwarf Fortress and maybe Crusader Kings should go in. That said, like half the programs I use, especially phone apps, can barely be convinced to produce even bare-bones patch notes, so I guess it's really that the genre is bifurcating into "Changed some miscellaneous stuff, no details, don't worry about it and have fun!" on the one side and on the other stuff like "Due to an unintended feedback loop, Vampire Lords with their own freeholdings and an intelligence above 23 were manipulating in-game physics to create in-game computation machines for the purposes of weather forecasting, causing excessive slowdowns in the rest of the game. We would like to fully patch this behavior out of the game, but cannot, as the Vampire Lords are simply too intelligent."
posted by Copronymus at 1:25 PM on October 10, 2019 [11 favorites]


Can't wait for the 42-part epic series titled "The Apple iTunes EULA"
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:29 PM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


It reminds me of DOT DOT DOT
posted by Gorgik at 2:03 PM on October 10, 2019 [2 favorites]


This is only sort of related, but I'm just now really digging into Hades and IT IS SO GOOD.
posted by IAmUnaware at 4:11 PM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


> Can't wait for the 42-part epic series titled "The Apple iTunes EULA"

Would you be content with a comic book version?
posted by ardgedee at 5:07 PM on October 10, 2019


Aren't they all game-changing updates, by definition?
posted by ckape at 8:41 PM on October 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


Traditional patch notes are starting to go the way of the dodo... With the cost of video, the constant need for voice actors while things are in 'early access' and multiple releases of game content - video is becoming the dissemination tool of choice. Examples: Fortnite and Deep Rock Galactic.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:24 PM on October 10, 2019


Man, I still miss writing patch notes. And I can think of the exact product that we should have done voiced patch notes for (and that was a game with access to an in-house sound team, too!)
posted by restless_nomad at 5:38 AM on October 11, 2019


Ugh, as someone that is tired of developers trying to sound cool with their patch notes (Check out most apps' patch notes next time and take a drink every time you see, "Mowed the lawn, rearranged some furniture" whatever), I am NOT a fan of where this trend will take us.

Sure, this Hades example is fine, but some times a wall of text explaining exactly what was changed or updated is necessary and important.

"Reading is a lot of work. What if someone could read the patch notes for you?": If this were framed as an accessibility issue, then absolutely, address this, and the many other accessibility challenges in software, not just games. That's a different conversation.

But otherwise, sorry, in this respect, actual technical information > fluff always.
posted by mysticreferee at 6:29 AM on October 11, 2019


Some favorite follows of mine, mildly related: @TheStrangeLog and @DwarfFortBugs.
posted by bbuda at 9:48 AM on October 11, 2019


> Ugh, as someone that is tired of developers trying to sound cool with their patch notes (Check out most apps' patch notes next time and take a drink every time you see, "Mowed the lawn, rearranged some furniture" whatever), I am NOT a fan of where this trend will take us.

What I often see is patch notes which are simply all the commit memos compiled into a text blob. I'll take edited patch notes over that any time, even if it's also got cute comments in it.
posted by ardgedee at 10:02 AM on October 11, 2019


Yeah, those cute comments are the changelog, written by people whose skillset is in communicating with computers, being edited (and questioned, clarified, and sometimes verified with QA) by someone whose skillset is in communicating with humans. Making them entertaining makes it more likely the customers will read them.

This is not to say it's always done well - I really hate when companies don't bother putting out a patch log, or put out the sort of shit that used to make me stomp down to another department and yell - i.e. "changed the chance to x." Changed to WHAT? How is anyone supposed to know if it's working? Usually QA had already shouted at someone about that so I just had to go find their clarified version, but sometimes it just hadn't been QAed at all, because checking random number generation is time-consuming. That led to yelling in several directions, usually.

(I've probably told the story here about the time someone asked us why an outcome with a documented 80% chance of occurring never seemed to show up. We made noises about randomness, and they offered to send us eight years of logs, with tens of thousands of entries, in which that outcome never occurred. We double-checked the line of code instead. Turns out, parentheses are important!)
posted by restless_nomad at 5:41 AM on October 12, 2019


“4.3?” roared David Karp across the boardroom table. He spun on his heels, turning his back to the board. His shoulder muscles rippled through his gingham shirt.

“4.3? We can do better than that. We HAVE to do better than that.”

posted by Rhaomi at 6:03 PM on October 12, 2019


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