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[Explain] Pixel-Bitching

Murmos

Retired User
#2
Pixel-bitching refers to early graphic adventure games in which the player must click on a particular pixel to discover clues and items. In PnP RPG parlance, it refers to GMs who make and insist on only one solution to a situation. It's rather annoying and worthy of the hammer gun.

I'm pretty sure others will elaborate :)
 

darktalon

Merchant of Chaos
Validated User
#3
It's where the only way of advancing the story is to find one small and well-hidden clue. Its origins are in those pointy-clicky adventure games that were big in the 90s, which were fun up until the point where you were stuck because you couldn't find the right microscopic cluster of pixels to click on.
 

PST

Registered User
Validated User
#4
It's more relevant to CRPGs but, in essence, it refers to the tendency in a lot of computer adventure games where you would have to click on a single pixel in order to advance. Often now extended to things such as having to ask the exact right question of an NPC or specifically state 'I search the underside of the third drawer on the right' to find the clue.
 
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Sage Genesis

Two
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#6
In some computer games you can only progress after you click on one tiny little part of the screen. Nothing will hint at this, you just have to get lucky or desperate.

The term "pixel bitching" refers to GMs who use a similar method. Only one single method they thought of will provide results. Anything else will simply be ignored or somehow neutralized. It's up to you to figure out the One True Solution that they thought of.
 

The Tim

God-Machinist
Validated User
#7
Certain video games involve screen upon screen of details. There are little doodads all over the place. Some of them do fun things when you click on them. Some are essential for the plot. You must click around for just the right item in order to progress. Usually these items are hard to pick out, requiring you to hunt through the pixels of the screen for a pay off. The game is pixel-bitching when it makes you do this.

Certain GMs produce scenarios that involve scene upon scene of details. There are little doodads all over the place. Some of them do fun things when you ask about them. Some are essential for the plot. You must ask around for just the right thing in order to progress. Usually these things are hard to pick out, requiring you to hunt through the elements of the scene for a pay off. The GM is pixel-bitching when it makes you do this.
 

Yuyu

Yokel Felon King
Validated User
#8
"Pixel-bitching" comes from computer games, wherein a clue was sometimes hidden within a space of a single pixel. If you didn't find and click on that one pixel, you couldn't advance, or find the secret, or whatever.

The term has since come to mean anything with a very non-obvious and exceedingly and unneccesarily specific requirement or solution. When the GM gives half-assed clues as to the fact that the only way into the Temple of Evil, where you have to go for the game to progress, is to smear the blood of a 16-year-old virgin halfling of Neutral Good alignment on the right eye of the third ordinary-looking snake statue on the left, the one that looks exactly like all the others, that's pixel bitching.
 
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Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
RPGnet Member
#10
Pixel Bitching is distinct from railroading. You may be able to range far and wide in a pixel-bitched game, it's just nothing of consequence will happen until you do the specific secret thing the GM has in mind.

I loathe the practice.
 
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