Monthly Archives: August 2013

WIHILA Dragon’s Crown – Designing with Visuals

Dragon’s Crown is Vanillaware’s latest masterpiece, and I plan to lose myself in it for many hours. It is an Action Beat ‘em-up style game, self-described as ‘Swords, Dungeons, Sorcery, Dragons’ with ‘gamemaster-style storytelling’. From Vanillaware’s past work (Odin Sphere, Grim Grimoire, Muramasa) I know to expect a beautiful, solidly-designed game.

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Changing Tools for Changing Environments

Link Eyes

This gaming experience was a good reminder that we live in a changing world. A tool that is amazing today may not be that relevant tomorrow and a company that is here today, may be gone tomorrow. Predicting the future can be near impossible but there are things we can do to face it optimistically. Continue reading

WILA Tales of Xillia – Player and Character Resonance

[Note from Dustin: We’ve got a special guest writer this week – Florencia Minuzzi from teawithflo.com. She also happens to be my partner in a new game design venture. As a writer, I felt she was more qualified to step up and talk about today’s topic: creating resonance between the player and the main character of a narrative game. Nothing is really spoiled beyond the first few minutes of the game, but if you prefer to play knowing nothing, then you’ve been warned. I’ll leave the rest to her.]

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Going in Blind

Link Eyes

If you know you have to go in blind, can you do anything to tip the odds in your favor? Well, there are two broad strategies we can consider. One is the haphazard learner and the other is the optimized flexibility strategy. Continue reading

WILA Shin Megami Tensei IV – Money in an RPG

Hey everybody, apologies for the break, but vacations happen from time to time. I’m back, so let’s get started. While on holiday, I blazed through Shin Megami Tensei IV. I had a few things in mind to write about it, but when I read Dyl’s post last week I knew it was a good opportunity to follow up on theme.

While discussing the post last week with my brother, I hit upon the argument multiple times that some of his comments reflect something about him personally, but are also signs that the mechanic as a whole is a bit broken. By ‘the mechanic’ I mean money acquisition and purchasing of resources in most RPGs, and by ‘broken’ I mean that it ultimately just wasn’t accomplishing much in the game to justify its use as a mechanic. I don’t think I’m alone in this assessment, but instead of dwelling on the reasons for this, I would rather spend my words here focusing on how I think Shin Megami Tensei IV quietly improved on the standard.

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