On Gameranx, 10 things that kick in our gamer instinct

15.01.2023 0 By admin

This might surprise you,but all of us at Gameranx have been playing games our entire lives.

You are totally shocked, I know.

But when you play games for that long, certain things start to become instinctual.

Like every game is built using knowledge of what came before.

Like movies, there’s certain
visual language to video games

with certain elements
that always seem to recur

and certain things that if
you played games long enough,

you just know what to do,

even if the game doesn’t explain it.

Hi, folks, it’s Falcon,

and today on Gameranx,

10 things that kick in our gamer instinct.

Starting off at number
10, it’s red things.

Why? Well, they probably explode.

There are few things

more elemental than this in video games.

If there is something that is red,

if you shoot it, it explodes.

Usually, it’ll blow up all
the bad guys standing nearby

especially if they’re far from
you and normally hard to hit

or like if you’re in the
middle of a turret section.

To anyone with a gamer brain,

they just know that if
something’s colored red

and especially if it’s barrel
shaped, then it will explode.

It obviously doesn’t
even have to be a barrel.

Sometimes can be a pipe or
a sphere or something else,

but the keyword here is red.

I mean, obviously there are exceptions

like the classic “DOOM”
explosive barrel is gray.

But here’s the thing, it’s not
gonna be red and not explode.

If that happens, that is a
deep visceral disappointment.

This is such a common thing

that games that try to
do something different

actually run into problems.

Like a developer diary from
the “Bulletstorm” devs revealed

the play testers were confused
when they ran into explosives

that were not bright red

and they didn’t even
attempt to shoot them.

The instinct to shoot things that are red

is so strong that the existence
of non red explosive things

melts most gamers’ brains.

At number nine is breakable junk.

Another classic.

If there’s junk around, you can smash it.

And if you do smash it,

there’s probably some
kind of reward inside.

This kind of thing goes all the way back

to “Legend of Zelda”

where tall grass was there
specifically for cutting

and would often drop some Rupees.

Breakable junk’s basically
a staple of video games.

You’ve got the boxes in “Half-Life”

that stored health and ammo,

you’ve got all the various
pots and pans and piles of junk

in any given “Souls” game that
you can break for rewards,

hell, even in “Batman: Arkham Asylum”,

you get rewards for smashing
stuff like Joker teeth.

Developers know how satisfying
smashing stuff in games is

so they encourage that kind of behavior

by giving you some kind of reward.

Usually, it’s nothing
major, but who cares?

It’s fun as long as you get
something, it’s worth doing.

Whether you’re slashing through grass

or fat rolling through piles of debris,

there’s stuff laying around,

which most gamers instinctively know

they’ve gotta break for rewards.

At number eight,

when the game tells you
to go left, you go right.

Here’s one that comes with
just a little more experience.

Anytime a game tells you
to go a certain direction

or gives you the golden path
you’re supposed to go on,

but there are alternative routes to take,

your brain is just gonna
go down the optional path.

Now, sometimes it’s a dead
end, there’s nothing there,

but in most cases, there’s
some kind of treasure or reward

just waiting for the explorers out there.

It’s not really a whole
lot of exploration,

it’s usually just a path

directly to a treasure chest or something.

But yeah, when a game tells
you to go left, you go right.

When you decide to go low,

Michelle Obama goes high, I guess.

it’s not just for finding rewards,

it’s also key to discovering shortcuts

that make exploring whatever
location you’re in a lot easier

and that’s especially the
case in “Soul” style games

or the older among us will recognize

that Metrovanias are just full of this.

There’s a good reason so many
people have this instinct.

Fully exploring an area can
make it significantly easier,

and depending on the game you’re playing,

you may not be able to backtrack

if you get far enough
down the golden path,

READ  Interpreting sentence games

which bars your progress.

“Dead Space” really comes to mind here,

really taking your time

and looking down every
single nook and cranny

means you’re going to
end up with more ammo

in a game where there’s
not a huge amount of ammo,

unless you only use the bolt cutter,

and then that’s not a problem.

I think the fear of missing out

is a big part of this one though,

and it’s why it’s become such
an instinct to many of us.

We’ve been burned so
many times in the past.

So even in games where there’s no danger

of getting locked out of backtracking,

we still try to find every
optional path there is

before moving on.

Backtracking also feels
kind of bad sometimes.

So that’s what makes it an instinct.

It’s not rational, it’s
just something we do.

At number seven is part
of the enemy glowing.

Well, if it is, that’s where to shoot.

Games have come a very long
way since the 8-bit days,

comparing NES games to
an Xbox Series X one,

it’s really not even fair.

It’s like a black belt karate master

taking on a four year old.

But one of the most common
elements of a boss fight

is the weak point.

The spot on the boss,
where if you shoot it,

you’ll be able to do the most damage

or perhaps even some bonus damage.

Sometimes, it’s actually
the only way to hurt them.

For people inexperienced with gaming,

when a giant boss shows up,

what you’re actually supposed to do

might not be immediately obvious.

That’s part of the reason why
the glowing thing happens,

at least it attracts the eye towards that,

but an experienced gamer already knows.

That big glowing part, yeah, shoot that.

There’s a ton of variation
on how this works exactly.

But in practice, it’s
pretty much always the same.

The boss has some sort of thing on them

that’s obviously weak,

so you would tag or shoot it.

Sometimes it’s their eye,

sometimes it’s an exhaust
port or a cockpit,

sometimes it’s just a
random glowy bit of flesh

’cause they don’t really know
what to do so they use that.

Doesn’t really matter, the
function’s always the same.

Boss fights can be difficult
and even stressful encounters

’cause there’s a lot going on.

So developers try to make
it as obvious as possible

what you’re supposed to do

without just throwing up
like tutorial messages

that say, “Shoot the eyeball.”

Not that that can’t have any charm,

go back to “Star Fox 64” if
you really want some of that.

But generally, it’s better
that they do this instead.

Some people don’t necessarily
think this is the best option

like a lot of long time gamers

are going to see this kind of telegraphing

as maybe a little too obvious,
but at least it works.

At number six, anytime
you see a wall with paint

or a bright color on it,

that’s probably where
you’re supposed to climb.

This is kind of more
of a modern contrivance

but you see it everywhere.

I always associate this kind
of thing with “Mirror’s Edge”

but a ton of games do it.

And after a while, it just
becomes second nature.

If you’re in the middle of a
platforming section of a game,

anything off color is where you go.

“Uncharted” did it, the new
“Tomb Raider” games did it,

“Far Cry”, “Horizon: Zero
Dawn”, the list goes on.

The colors are different for every game.

But if something in the
environment is a different color,

like stands out, something
bright, maybe neon,

maybe something that you
haven’t seen anywhere else

in the area you’re in, that’s
where you’re supposed to jump.

Some games are a little
more subtle about it

like using environmental lights

to draw the player’s attention

to the direction they’re supposed to go.

Like, if a location is dark and unlit,

it’s probably not the
direction you’re supposed to go

or there’s a hot pink
neon arrow that could,

I mean, they’ve done that too.

Developers do all this type of stuff

to draw the players’ eye
to a place subconsciously,

and it really works.

Play certain games, especially dark ones,

you’ll know exactly where to go

basically by looking for the light

or the big neon pink arrow.

At number five, bushes and
tall grass equals hiding spots.

You play enough games
with stealth mechanics

READ  We kill the train

and you start to get a second sense

for where the hiding places are.

The game doesn’t even need
to tell you where they are

at a certain point, you just know,

hey, there’s tall grass around,

that means hiding in it is
the thing I’m going to do.

It’s one of those things that only works

because of gamer instincts, because,

rationally, it does not
make any sense at all.

You’d obviously be able to
tell that someone’s hiding

in tall grass, but it’s a video game

so you might as well be invisible.

It’s not that you can
hide in certain places

that’s a gamer’s instinct,

it’s how they’re spaced
out and where they are.

Usually, hiding spots are
fairly evenly spaced in a game.

And like, let’s say
there’s a stealth section,

and then there’s like
usually a pretty logical path

you can follow to let you through
it without getting caught.

There’s other stealth things

that gamers will instinctively recognize,

like any lockers around will
make perfect hiding spots

and big boxes or dumpsters,
you can hide bodies there.

Stealth games can become
frustrating and confusing

so these kinds of recurring
elements make sense.

If you instinctively know
what you should be doing,

it makes it easier to
follow the actual path

and focus on the skills
and puzzles of the game

rather than decipher the mechanics.

At number four, when you
see a crack in the wall

or it’s a different color
or something like that.

It doesn’t matter if a
game explains it or not,

if you see a crack in the wall,

you’re gonna throw a bomb
or an explosive at it,

this is a staple of not
just adventure games,

but pretty much every game.

In “Metroid”, you’re
constantly throwing bombs

at walls for secrets,

“Legend of Zelda” is
probably the most iconic

with its cracked walls,

you can bomb those trivial passages,

or even “Duke Nukem 3D”, where
any little crack in the wall

can be blown open with a pipe bomb.

Those are all old examples,
but every single game does it.

If a game is trying to be like “Zelda”,

you just absolutely have to believe

that there’s gonna be walls to bomb,

same with “Metroid” style games,

and pretty much every FPS

that has any exploration
elements to it at all.

It doesn’t even have to be a crack,

sometimes just a discoloration

or a wall that’s suspiciously door shaped,

like play video games long enough,

you just start bombing or smacking walls

anytime you see any of this stuff.

And when it comes to secret hunting,

there’s a lot of smaller things

we go after instinctively after a while.

But this is probably the most common.

If a game has secrets of any kind,

your game just tells you what to do,

and that’s bomb things, punch walls,

generally, just keep in mind

that the game is hiding
something from you.

At number three, anytime
you get a new item or tool,

something a little more specific,

but if you’re a non-gamer,

it’s something you might
not immediately understand.

If you’ve played a game like “Zelda”

or basically any adventure
game with puzzle elements,

you know that if you
find an item in an area

or a dungeon or wherever,

you probably have to use it
to solve puzzles in that area.

There’s no better example

than this kind of thing than “Zelda”.

Every time you find a new
tool or weapon in a dungeon,

that’s the thing that you’re
going to be using next.

(celebratory music)

The same goes for basically any open game

with movement tools of any kind.

Once you get ’em,

you probably have to use ’em to continue.

For gamers, it’s about
as obvious as it gets,

like most of you guys probably
didn’t even think about it.

But for non-gamers, it’s
not quite as obvious.

If you’ve played a game
with a non-gamer friend,

you know how it feels,

like they’re struggling
with the easiest puzzles,

but it’s not their fault,

they just don’t have the gamer instinct

burned into their brains yet.

At number two, when an NPC
says something cryptic,

that means it’s probably a clue.

In a game with like a
heavy emphasis on a puzzle,

you can pretty easily guess

that if somebody tells you
something, it’s probably a clue.

Play these kinds of games long enough,

READ  10 Video Game Protagonists¬† Who Are Doomed No Matter What You Do

and you start to recognize
’em without even thinking,

you just know when to identify

when somebody is talking nonsense

versus when they’re actually
telling you what to do.

It’s a more advanced skill that
applies to a lot fewer games

but it’s an instinct that
can make getting through

more obscure and mysterious
games a lot easier.

Like “Elden” game or “Tunic”.

Games with not a lot of obvious direction.

And specifically with “Elden Ring”,

I’m talking mostly about character quests.

There’s no quest log
and no real indication

what you’re supposed to do
next for a lot of these things.

But what the characters
say can tell you a lot

about what you’re supposed to do.

Like, when you ask the merchant

about the howling in the woods,
near the start of the game,

even though the solution is obscure,

the guy basically tells
you what you need to do

to find the half-wolfman,

even if it’s couched in a lot of dialogue.

A lot of RPGs like to hide
hints in NPC dialogue.

Basically, if some location is mentioned,

especially if it’s relevant
to your current goal,

it’s probably something you gotta go to.

A lot of games try to fool you with junk

or totally useless stuff

that’s unrelated to the
puzzle, like “La-Mulana” games,

especially love to
overwhelm you just as much

with useless information as
the puzzle critical stuff.

But if you’ve been
playing games long enough,

you just know what’s the real
deal and what doesn’t matter.

Unless it’s the U.S.
version of “Castlevania II”,

then basically none of it matters

because nothing makes any sense.

And finally, at number one,

boss attacks that you’re
gonna instantly recognize.

Bosses are where gamer
instincts really kick in.

You’re not just casually picking

which fork in the road to go down,

you’re actually in a life or death battle

so the quick thinking is essential.

Play enough games that
contain boss fights though,

and you start to see patterns
and repeated actions.

After a while, you can guess
what a boss is going to do

before it even does it,

just based on what bosses
in other games have done,

and most of the time your
instincts are probably right.

You don’t even have to be in a fight

for your gamer instincts
to start kicking in.

Anytime a hallway opens
up to a big open area,

you just know, oh,
better stop and prepare,

that’s a boss fight.

When you actually start the fight,

there’s so many boss moves
you can probably anticipate,

they swing their weapon up,

it’s gonna be a vertical attack

that you dodge to the left or right,

you swing to the sides,
probably a horizontal attack,

you wanna dodge backward or forward.

If they start charging up, you just know

that you’re gonna need to run away

because there’s a big
explosion on its way.

Or if they jump in the air,

that means you’re they’re
probably gonna try to hit you

with some kind of homing
attack or perhaps a butt stomp,

will you need to dodge the shock wave?

Quite possibly.

Like, that’s even just
more complex bosses.

There’s even more obvious ones,

like any boss that charges at you,

anyone who’s gamed along enough

knows exactly what to do
with these guys, just dodge.

They don’t hit you, they
end up hitting the wall,

they’re dazed, you hit
them, rinse and repeat.

Fighting a boss, probably more
than anything on this list,

really does rely on your instincts

because you have to react fast

to whatever the boss throws at you.

And if you’ve played enough games,

you’ve probably already got
a good idea what to expect,

most of the time, at least.

And that’s all for today,
leave us a comment,

let us know what you think.

If you liked this video, click like.

If you’re not subscribed,
now’s a great time to do so.

We upload brand new videos
every day of the week.

Best way to see them first
is, of course, a subscription,

so click Subscribe.

Don’t forget to enable all notifications

and as always, we thank you very much

for watching this video.