Though a shout-out on its own is not really this column’s style, there’s a lot to be learned from the many sources of insight and information out there on the expansive and noisy internet. This is a bit of a departure from the usual, but I’d like to touch upon one general game design concept (Core Aesthetics) that a weekly webseries titled Extra Credits has covered quite well with their own experiences and examples.
Ten to fifteen play hours after my last post, I’m back to follow up on the indie pc adventure game, Resonance. In WIHILA Resonance, I asked what this game could add to the gameplay of a generic adventure game that I’d not seen before. What I found was a little gem called Memory. Here’s a primer. Continue reading
Now that I’ve had around a month writing this column and I’ve put up a bit of a backlog, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a bit more about my vision for the column in a way that wouldn’t have made a lot of sense right at the beginning. Continue reading
There’s been an accidental trend in my recent posts – I’ve talked a lot about how the player plays the game, why that matters, and designing with that in mind. A big part of WILA Xenoblade was how the game entertained me for quite some time by letting me pick and choose which elements of its expansive world and somewhat varied mechanics I used at any given time. In WIHILA and WILA Deus Ex, I mused on the possibilities of reaching out to a varied audience with genre-bending gameplay choices, and the importance of communicating with the player about these choices, ultimately exemplified by Deus Ex. What better way to put a temporary stopper on the topic than with the game that’s intentionally about style: DmC. Continue reading
Last time (it feels like just moments ago) I used Deus Ex as an example of giving the player choices about how he or she plays the game. If you’ve just tuned in, I recommend going and having a quick read of Part I. Unless you’re the kind of person who reads the last couple chapters of the book first, then you’ve come to the right place. While these layers of gameplay choices can add fun and interesting depth to a game, communicating that there is a choice at all can be equally important. I’m going to start a bit differently than normal just to illustrate the point. Enter: The Hypothetical Game. Continue reading
When I spoke about what I was looking forward to in Deus Ex, it was all about implicit gameplay choices and choosing to play a game the way you want to play it. When it comes down to accomplishing the goals of the game – the ‘get to checkpoint A’, ‘retrieve item B’, or ‘rescue princess C’ – there is value for the player (and therefore the game designer) in being able to choose how he or she gets there. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s no less important now than it has been throughout the history of games. Deus Ex has a few great examples of how the game designer can make this happen. Continue reading
In WIHILA 999, I talked about some of the things a game can do to make a story interesting and relatable, right up to what is probably the most important thing – the interplay between the mechanics of the game and the story. Turns out I wasn’t off the mark when I thought 999 would do this well.
So, what is the relationship between the story and the game? Continue reading