I think the problem with a lot of ostensibly “hardcore” video games is that both their fanbases and their developers think having a high skill floor is the same thing as having a high skill ceiling.

@neverwinterpinata replied:

I’m not sure I understand. Do you mind explaining the difference?

In the jargon of game design, the “skill ceiling” is the point beyond which further improvements in player skill start to yield diminishing returns; there’s only so good you can get before it just stops making a difference, and that point varies from game to game. A game’s skill ceiling is said to be low when you can quickly explore everything it has to offer, and high when there’s ample room for long-term improvement.

The “skill floor”, conversely, is the minimum level of player skill that’s required to meaningfully participate in the game at all. All interactive media has to make certain assumptions about the player’s ability to engage with it, so in practice every game has a skill floor. A game’s skill floor is said to be low when the game is approachable enough that you can pick up the necessary skills as you go, and high when only prior experience with other, similar games will do.

As an illustrative example, consider Super Mario Odyssey. By most measures it has a fairly low skill floor; some prior experience with 3D platformers will certainly help you get into it, but just about anybody can muddle through and pick up a few power moons. On the flip side, Super Mario Odyssey’s skill ceiling is quite high; if you really know what you’re doing, you can complete the game in an hour flat – you can look up some speed-running videos on YouTube to see how that works in practice.

The problem with confusing the two is that a game having a high skill floor doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it has a correspondingly high skill ceiling. It’s entirely possible to design a game where once you’ve gotten over that initial steep learning curve, that’s all there is to it – there’s nothing more to be learned. A lot of games that cater to the “hardcore” crowd fall into this trap; they’re tough to get into, often to the point that they’re accessible only to folks with extensive prior experience with other games in the genre, but once you are in there’s just not all that much to them.

If the floor and the ceiling are too close together, you’re stuck in a space you can barely move in, and most people will either be impressed that you can stand to stay there, or wonder why the hell you’d want to.

This right here is why I don’t have all that much interest in games like Dark Souls and so on. “It’s super hard” is rarely a reason for me to want to play anything by itself for more than a few minutes. There is a distinct and important difference between challenging, and unfair.

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So I mentioned that last week (this happened on Tuesday, which is the end of my workweek) I had a wee bit of an emotional breakdown and told a supervisor I wasn’t working that day, while in tears and with my hands shaking so hard I used that shaking to answer a question at one point. 

Today, naturally, I had a meeting with my direct sup because of this to follow up.

My job in not in jeopardy.

I am not being reprimanded.

I’m not even getting written up.

Instead, they want to help me figure out what the hell happened to get me to the point I was at, because it had to come from somewhere. There was a lot of honesty–some things just aren’t going to happen, which is fine, because if I’m told that I have a baseline. Communication failures were acknowledged and the first one to admit they’d happened was not me. They acknowledged that there’s a ton of stress on everybody and not all of it is stuff that needs to keep happening.

The end of that conversation was unrelated to the beginning, aside from being me and my boss going back and forth about ways to train newcomers so they’re more comfy with the job and stuff.

I may hate this job on occasion but man.

I love this job.

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

womanistgamergirl: Since they’re talking about poly relationships on twitter, I thought I’d add my 2 cents. I’ve had to explain this to people more than once. Polyamory is not easy mode for relationships. It’s actually pretty fucking difficult and it’s … Continue reading

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The Sleekest Puppy


I was bored, had an idea, and Connor’s mun gave me the green light to doodle up his dobieworgen. I like how he turned out, and Connor-mun’s squee over the hair was satisfying on multiple levels.

My hand is trying its level best to burst into flames so I probably won’t be finishing this one, but I’m excited as hell that I had an idea just pop up and stay put long enough for me to draw it.


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Not cheating on people and not betraying your friends is actually very very very easy and I would 100% recommend this to everyone

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™ – Sooosun Gampre

“‘Eard some ugly thin’s ‘appened to ‘er just as I left th’ brothel. Knowin’ ‘er, she’ll prolly be okay, though. Sometimes, okay’s th’ best thin’ anybody kin ‘ope for.”

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™- Murkey

Leon rubbed his cheek, noticing the little smile curling its way up in a corner of his mouth, and chuckled. “What else kin I say but that I love ‘er an’ I only ‘ope she gets to a point where th’idea o’ that is a comfort rather’n a fear o’ yet another thin’ she’ll only lose?”

( @murkeyglglgl )

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