Sitrep: It’s The Little Things That Make It So Good

Grand Theft Auto V

By on October 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

If you are an awesome bass player with sick hair like I am, you will know that sometimes people do not understand this instrument very well. “I can’t hear it,” they say, “what is even the point of you?” And so sometimes I will record a hella balls-to-the-wall track, and I will play it for them once with the bass, and then again without it. They will nod to themselves then, sadly. “That didn’t feel as good the second time.”

It is not so much about being heard as dutifully mothering the rest of the band so they are the best they can be. It is always that intangible heartbeat that maketh the rad, the little things. Video games are no different.

No matter how physically big something gets, if it’s going to be great, it will be built on a foundation of those little things. This is the sole reason I weathered the non-sensical and derivative (even plagiarised then bastardised) idiocy of Hideo Kojima and love, love, loved Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: the ice cubes. Do you remember the ice cubes? Maybe you never even got to meet them.

Deck A, Crew’s Lounge. There’s an ice bucket by the sink. It is the only one in the game. The only one. Knock it over and all its little cubes will spill out everywhere. They are the only ones in the game. Watch them and they will all slowly start to melt in individual ways. If there isn’t, there should def be an “Ice Cube Physics Programmer” credit for the cube master responsible at the end.

That extra mile made that game for me, because first-person perspective be dayamned gurl, there is nothing so absorbing as the infinite and minor and easily missed possibilities of reality. Never has this been more clearly illustrated to me as of late than by Grand Theft Auto V, though it took this guy and this video to lift this appreciation from my subconsciousness and make it real:

We’ve all noticed some of these while we do our automative burgling thing, as some of them are not hard to miss. Others are totally easy to miss, but they are there, and they are constant. Maybe we noticed them, but the love invested in their minutiae vanished in your rearview mirror before you could see it. You are regularly burning around at speeds exceeding Undeniable Badassery, after all. Love is every-wheeere.

That quality as a whole is the point, is this game’s bass player: Just about everything has some kind of way about it. It almost seems a shame sometimes that GTAV is so focused on absolute destruction when it could probably be the goddamned Matrix.

These presumably thankless and tiny design chores are what it really takes to make big into best. Imagine the kind of tending that went into Skyrim. It’s what Hollywood-mentality titles like CoD et al fail to realise, why they are all short-term flash and no long-term smash: You need a bass player in your band. You might not know notice him or her all the time when they’re there, but days, weeks, months, years later, you’ll still be sitting in front of something like GTAV and you’ll have this lightbulb moment, like, “Damn. I just noticed that thing. This game, man.”

Epic feeling.

14 comments (Leave your own)

Really good article I enjoy just running around GTA looking for all the little things I can find, funny posters and weird conversations between npcs, but now its time for bass player jokes.

How do you get a bass player off your porch?
Pay him for the pizza.

What’s the difference between a vacuum cleaner and a bassist?
The vacuum cleaner has to be plugged in to suck.

A boy came home from his first bass lesson. His dad asked him how it went. “Today we learned the E string.”
The boy came home from his second lesson and dad asked him how it went. “Today we learned the A string.”
The boy came home from his third lesson. Dad asked, “So did you learn the D string today?”
“Nope. Today I had a gig.”

 

Unless you play acoustic (or upright, but I don’t think we’re talking about that ind of bass playing), bass players need to be plugged in to such too.

 

phylum,

Nah, they just suck really quietly.

 
shavedwookie

notthatdoug: What’s the difference between a vacuum cleaner and a bassist?
The vacuum cleaner has to be plugged in to suck.

Theres plenty more try hard rockstar guiatrists out there than bassists ma man.

and Bassists are cool. I am one.

 
Toby McCasker

Philistines! Here I made this groove out of sheer restless insecurity.

https://soundcloud.com/tobosaurus/erratan-groove-sheeeit

 

Toby McCasker,

Don’t worry Mr Toby, maybe one day they’ll find a cure… ;)

 
Toby McCasker

vcatkiller,

I just tell my sexual partners it’s only ingrown hairs

 

The details need improvement though.
Way too little sparks from the cars missing wheels. I’ve seen loose mufflers create way more sparks.
And who leaves their yacht tied up with the sails up?

 

midspace,

While I agree on the sails (not that I really care all that much) I imagine the issue with minimal sparks is due to the aging hardware, particle effects can be quite system intensive when you have lots of them on screen at once. Its probably the same reason why the cars barely leave smoke or dust trails.

 

shavedwookie: Theres plenty more try hard rockstar guiatrists out there than bassists ma man.

and Bassists are cool. I am one.

+1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEb6hjq9Pco

We bassists are a funky bunch.

 

Toby McCasker,

It it the subtlety that makes the bass guitar, and that bass was not very subtle :P.

You need to BE the Prince of bass guitar.

In regards to the video: half of them were really impressive and the other half I have seen in plenty of other games…

 

I totally agree with this article.

 

nukejockey:
midspace,

While I agree on the sails (not that I really care all that much) I imagine the issue with minimal sparks is due to the aging hardware, particle effects can be quite system intensive when you have lots of them on screen at once. Its probably the same reason why the cars barely leave smoke or dust trails.

Hopefully those things will be things that are different in the PC version.

 

Meh, actually I wasn’t impressed by that details video at all.
I was very impressed by the detail of all the little things in MGS2. Many things that I had never seen before
Rain drops/water splashes on the screen, seagulls that poop on you from above, and if you’re in 1st person view, the watery poop slides down a little. The ice cubes, man.

But most of the things in the GTAV video there I have seen before.

 
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