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    Nov 8th, 2018 at 17:27:04     -    This is the police (PC)

    This game is now beginning to get a bit annoying. Nothing to note on the narrative front, as only one scenario has presented itself. The mechanics, however, made up a frustrating bulk of this log. Up until this point, I have completely avoided the “green” objectives, which order me to help out various citizens throughout the city, as the descriptions listed did not seem even relatively important, except for one in which I had to bounce a club, which resulted in one of my officers quitting. I do one now, and I end up getting paid. How was I supposed to know that payment would be an end result, since the first one resulted in the loss of an officer? This should’ve been detailed within the tutorial. Alongside this, more difficult choices presented themselves, with no context as to what the right choice would be. I ended up failing several crimes as a result.
    Overall, considering that this is my final log of This Is The Police, this game needs serious improvements in both the narrative and gameplay fronts. Heck, to me, the story is so insignificant that it can be removed entirely, with only the gameplay being in place. A fantastic iteration of the game would be a continuous one, in which days pass by one-by-one, and management of the police is required all the way up until the player fails at a certain point. Before starting a game, the player would be able to choose between various cities to manage forces in, each with their own rating as to how difficult crimes will be on that playthrough, and the game will then start. The player will start off with a relatively small amount of officers, and as the game goes on, officers will increase, but so too will difficulties faced with crime. Each crime presented will have a rating to indicate to the player how hard it will be. This game would be much more enjoyable than the one I’ve played over the last few days.
    In relation to what we’ve been discussing in-class, the game most definitely relates to our discussion on cheating, not in terms of modifying the game’s files in some manner, but rather, cheating embedded in mechanics, more specifically, the player character’s deal with the mafia. As a result of such the deal, the player is implored to engage in activities that go against the principles of the police department, such as intentionally not getting involved with crimes, as well as assisting the boss as needed. In this case, we are intentionally going against the rules of what it means to be a police officer in the name of acquiring money that will satisfy the $500k requirement at the end of the game.

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    Nov 7th, 2018 at 18:10:35     -    This is the police (PC)

    Despite the criticisms in my last log, I am beginning to find gameplay much more enjoyable. Managing which police should go take care of a crime and which should stay is now a bit more exciting with more police slots, and the interactive investigations provide a sort of overarching narrative on a day. Alongside this, I’ve encountered some well-written choices that police have requested help on. I would have absolutely no problem if the game was just this, with the story removed.
    Speaking of the story, things are still slow. I now work for the police and the mafia, as a result of Jack wanting to leave the city and escape from Sand and his organization. Nothing of significant note has happened in the narrative so far.
    A rather big flaw of the story is the fact that narrative sequences between days tend to last from 5 to 10 minutes. With such an unattractive story, watching these sequences is simply a case of me sitting there, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the game to start. Of course, these are skippable, but some additional mechanics are introduced with justification from the narrative.
    In relation to what we’ve been discussing in class, the mechanics relating to controlling the actions of officers relates to our discussion on morality. Let’s say a worker got drunk one night, and requests the day off. What would be the moral decision here, let them go, or make them stay at work? I ended up choosing the latter, resulting in the death of said officer. Alongside this, what strength rating would quantify firing an officer, and what would be the morally right choice to make when an officer asks for help? The game places morality at its forefront, with the player being able to make a variety of decisions that can result in differing consequences.

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    Nov 6th, 2018 at 22:16:38     -    This is the police (PC)

    This Is The Police is an interesting game.
    In terms of the writing, the story does not seem entirely intriguing, to me, at least. Characters are introduced in bland, cliché ways, particularly the player character and the mayor, and when the story attempts to exemplify the struggles that Jack goes through, I fail to feel a significant amount of empathy. No heart-pumping variety has been provided in the story so far, making me feel a bit bored at segments revolving around Jack.
    In terms of the mechanics, the game is decently enjoyable. Having to manage officers on a day-by-day basis is intriguing, and weighing decisions based on the officers available, an officer’s skill level, and the complexity of a problem makes the game feel diverse. The extra options to make choices within crimes in action, as well as add officers to optional tasks makes the experience enjoyable. What seems problematic, however, is the fact that the result of all decisions seem random. The ideal strength that an officer should possess to deal with a certain crime context isn’t provided. It would be useful to provide a statistic with each crime to gauge what kind of officers should be sent, but having to infer who to send purely from the crime’s description certainly doesn’t seem ideal.
    In relation to what’s been discussed in class, we can integrate our discussion of what it means to be an ethical player into this game’s mechanics. As a chief officer of the police force, I’m in charge with ensuring that each officer acts to the best of their ability, as indicated by their strength level, and ensuring that as many crimes are solved as possible. There is some openness, however, in the sense that choices may arise that give me the choice to drive a crime in a certain direction, resulting in a good or bad outcome, whether intentional or unintentional. These would be the right actions as a chief police officer, and as such, an ethical player of the game, but if one were to make all of the bad choices, then they would be a bad chief officer, and as such, wouldn’t be getting too far in the game, remaining an unethical player in the game’s context.

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    Sep 27th, 2018 at 20:07:27     -    Nier Automata (PC)

    After a difficult fight with a naked man possessing no genitals, I ran through the sewers of the abandoned ruins and came upon an “Amusement Park.” All of the robots in this vicinity were enjoying themselves by throwing balloons and confetti all over the place. Despite what the resistance has explained to me, I decided to try and not kill as many as I could, as they didn’t seem to annoy me much.
    A major criticism I have of this general area is the level design. As a regular player, it’s expected that, as soon as you enter the gates of the park, you are to simply follow the main path and proceed to the next general section, yes? Wrong. The entrance to the other area is hidden in a tiny crevice after a left turn into an alley, something that wouldn’t be expected. In this case, the ideal level design choice would be to implement the area of further progression in a manner that’s not so hidden, like a larger entrance to the side. Another problematic design choice arose in the form of a large carousel. After small dialogue as to how 9S and I were going to get over a large gate, I ran in a circle for about 5 minutes. I couldn’t figure out what would be the right ground path to travel. Then, after jumping for no reason whatsoever, 2B caught onto a section of a carousel. There was absolutely no indication that the player had to jump atop this. An ideal design choice would be to actually give the player an indication that they should jump on the carousel, whether it be by dialogue or some visual aspect.
    The end of the run came in the form of a boss: a large robot obsessed with their beauty. A new mechanic was introduced with this fight that took the form of hacking. Once the player collides with a circular projectile, the player suddenly turns into a small, black arrow, and must shoot anything that is black in order to successfully hack into the giant robot’s system. This action wasn’t explicitly stated, however, but this isn’t too much of a problem as the black objects are visually accentuated in these scenarios.
    In relation to moral frameworks being discussed in class, we can frame the inhabitants of the Amusement Park within Kantianism, which aims to determine ethical actions through deciding whether an action should quantify as a universal rule. Within the Park, all robots are very clearly displaying happiness constantly, and as such, they presume that the universal rule (within the Park, at least) is that everyone must have fun. This is exemplified strongly through all robots being dressed up in joyous gear, and screaming in joy. A dilemma presents itself, however, in the player’s decision to eliminate these robots or let them be. 2B and 9S’ “universal rules” are very, very different than the beliefs of these robots. They were given the objective, from YoRHa and the resistance, of clearing the Earth of robots, and as such, they are expected to do so. If the player chooses to let the robots be, they are breaking their universal rule. However, instead, it could be said that they are simply making an exception to their rule, as their new universal rule could be to eliminate all robots on Earth EXCEPT those who appear peaceful.

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