Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

What makes a good hero in five minutes

April 18, 2010

I’ve been playing a mixed bag of titles over the last 4 or so months and each and every one of them has had their own concept of what should make a rollicking good hero. The usual fare stretches from the expected grim reprobate with a jaw that could sink Atlantis to the quirky, comical pally pal – slinging bullets and high fives with complete disregard for the laws of anything; and of course everything in between. (more…)


The Aesthetic of Movement

April 14, 2010

Shadow of the Colossus is a game that excelled in its simplicity. Only last week did I finally complete the game, and I could say that I never expected the experience that it provided and the knowledge that it imparted upon me. What I felt was the culmination of simple, pure elemental implementation, but there’s one part that brought all of this together into one, magnificent whole, and something that’s sorely under-appreciated. (more…)

Why I don’t like Red Faction Guerrilla

March 28, 2010

Red faction Guerrilla is a simple, fun shooter with an excellent destruction engine. I’m glad I got that out of the way, let the vitriol commence.

If there’s one thing that annoys me, it’s when a game promises me the moon, then gives me a bucket of rocks. I should be used to this now, every developer has made bold sweeping claims about their intentions, then in one way or another been forced into a compromise or a cut. But it’s when the game rides that feature on into the sunset, then expects everyone to accept what they’ve made, then it’s just a boot to the crotch of the unsuspecting gamer. (more…)

ScOA 5: The Sound of Silence

March 7, 2010

In that mysterious epiphanous, hour of the morning in which logic stays in bed, and sensibility takes the midnight train going anywhere, I was struck by a second thought, or more so an illusion. See, somewhere in the deep folds of the night, my mind was convinced that it heard the distant, haunting sound of a horn somewhat reminiscent of Half Life 2, and in a single, bizarre tangential leap, my mind instantly crossed into the territory of the emotional impact of sound. (more…)

ScoA 3: The designers’ Fallacy

February 21, 2010

I’ve been thinking recently about the kind of games that I think I would make well, and the thought of genre specificity continued to float to the top. I don’t play as many RPGs as a lot of my friends, although I have had some exposure to some of them, more notably RPGs set in the first person, and this got me thinking. What would happen if a designer approached a game they intended to make with no prior knowledge of the genre or subject matter? (more…)

SCoA 2: In the darkness

February 14, 2010

Okay, so I promised myself that I would wait until next week to write about this, but I’m in a writing mood. Take advantage of that.

Twas a dark and stormy night, last moon and I was awakened from my slumber. My eyes opened wide, my mind on the moon, the night as dark as umbra.

That moment I, rose up on my might and abscond my domain. In a fit of grief, the monster grew and weaved through the rain. (more…)

Fear the worst: The importance of bad endings

February 6, 2010

This thought has been rattling around in my infernal brain machine for some time, and surprisingly not just as a side effect of playing far too many games that have arbitrary moral choices that end as you become an ethereal spirit of light, or Satan with a hangover. However, since this is a games blog-type-thing, it does deserve some exploration.

Quality bad endings have been something that have never really caught on, at least not in the majority of mainstream cinema. It’s something that, whenever brought up, people will react with distaste and argue that they would be disappointed if a movie didn’t end in a rainshower of roses and sunshine, and this pisses me off. It’s really a matter of institutionalisation through passive influence – a sequence of expectations and results that have been ingrained into our being through extensive exposure to the Hollywood Machine. See, Hollywood in itself has become the definition of high production value and satisfaction, so it comes as no surprise that when they tell you to bark like a chicken, you goddamn well better. (more…)

When Worlds Collide – The FPS/ RTS hybrid debate

January 8, 2010

This morning I was browsing through the list of games that would be coming soon to steam, and by complete accident stumbled upon a game called Nuclear Dawn. The game was all alone on the third page, innocently twiddling its thumbs and blending into the background, however I clicked on it out of sheer curiosity; after all I’d never heard of it before. Past it’s somewhat generic post apocalyptic tough guy fa├žade, there was something there telling me to read on, for this ambitious little company was making a bold attempt at the little explored RTS FPS hybrid. This is understandable (more…)

HUMOUR: Shadow of Insomniac – The power of funny in games

December 29, 2009

Fresh off the slate of finishing Ratchet and Clank Future A Crack in Time, I stopped and thought just how much I found myself laughing throughout that game, so I figured, hey why don’t I write about humour in games. Man, that Miles guy is like, the most unfunny person I know, SO WHY THE HELL IS THIS SOUR OLD GIT WRITING ABOUT HUMOUR?! Because I’m interested, alright? Now let’s get this show on the road. (more…)

Borderlands, and the necessity of story?

October 31, 2009

I find myself stuck in this cycle of vacillating over whether or not to buy borderlands. The worst possible outcome is that I lose $50 on a game that holds my attention for as long as Super Smash Bros. Brawl (on the contrary I loved the original). It looks appealing and I must give my applause to the art department for creating and amazing hand-drawn-mock-cell-shaded visual extravaganza, but that only perpetuates my indecision even further because (more…)