Tag Archives: Game Design

WIHILA Project Evolution: Idea to Prototype

You don’t know Project Evolution (at least not the one I’m talking about), and I can’t link you to a convenient description. It’s a rough design for a tabletop roleplaying game I’ve been working on this week. I am running an early prototype playtest this weekend just to feel out the main concepts and mechanics, and thought it would be interesting for you to read about what I’m hoping will work out in my own design this time around.

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WILA Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Communicating Narrative

This has been a long time coming. Anybody who has spoken with me about games, especially role-playing games, knows that Final Fantasy 13-2 captivated me. I was never sure when (or if) the time would come that I would find a productive and self-contained angle from which to approach it.

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WILA D&D Next (Non-combat Gaming)

Many people like many different things about Dungeons & Dragons – the storytelling, the fantasy action, the camaraderie, the layers of customisation. It’s safe to say that I like the philosophies behind D&D Next: understanding what the game means to everybody who plays it (or might play it given the chance) and reconciling those motivations.

However, I did enough talking about general goals in WIHILA D&D Next. Instead, let’s talk about something more specific which I’ve had some experience with during the playtest: non-combat rules in D&D Next (because rules for engaging with games which don’t involve combat don’t generally get enough love). More specifically, new rules for Exploration.

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WIHILA D&D Next (Accessibility)

After a series of diversions, I’d like to return to form with this column. WIHILA is kind of my way to deliver a hypothesis about a game before I’ve played or finished playing it. This hypothesis is generally prompted by the questions ‘What do I hope I’m going to like about this specific game?’ or ‘What is this game in a position to do, from which I might learn?’ This week, that game is Dungeons & Dragons, and more specifically D&D Next (the next iteration of D&D, currently in open playtesting).

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WILA Extra Credits (Core Aesthetics)

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.

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WIHILA FFXIV: A Realm Reborn AND Elder Scrolls Online Part IV (Pacing)

You have probably gotten accustomed to my formula by now. What do I expect from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn? Stuff a lot like previous Final Fantasies and similar games, but with an MMO twist. What do I expect from Elder Scrolls Online? Stuff a lot like previous Elder Scrolls games, but with an MMO twist. What do I hope for from both of them? That they do it well, as has been demonstrated is possible by successful examples mixed and matched from said previous games. Might the games have shots of creative brilliance? Of course, and I hope they do, but I’ll leave that as a task for the developers, and be pleasantly surprised if they deliver. Continue reading

WIHILA Elder Scrolls Online Part III (Combat)

Welcome to Part III of a four-parter about the elements I hope I like in two big upcoming MMORPGs: Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, and Elder Scrolls Online. Part I introduced my overall expectations, perspective, and the topics I wanted to discuss, while Part II delved into Character Customisation.

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WIHILA FFXIV: A Realm Reborn Part III (Combat)

Welcome to Part III of a four-parter about the elements I hope I like in two big upcoming MMORPGs: Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, and Elder Scrolls Online. Part I introduced my overall expectations, perspective, and the topics I wanted to discuss, while Part II delved into Character Customisation.

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WIHILA FFXIV: A Realm Reborn AND Elder Scrolls Online (Part II – Character Customisation)

Last time, I left off with a bit of a cliffhanger (okay, maybe more like a mild step-hanger). In that post, I talked about how it’s not enough for an MMORPG to be a place to game with friends, I want it to be a place for good gaming with friends (I’m greedy like that). I even highlighted some of the general elements which I consider necessary for a good game in this kind of genre (character customisation, combat and pacing through the world) and what I expect from each one. Continue reading

WIHILA Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn AND Elder Scrolls Online (Part I)

There are a few big titles in the MMORPG space coming soon (beta tests running or being organised as I write this). I’m looking at Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Elder Scrolls Online as, potentially, the representatives for (good) modern game design in the genre (though a quick shout out to Dragon Quest X, on which I will also be keeping an eye). That’s a pretty hefty forecast, and needs more than a little clarification and qualification, so let’s begin at the beginning: where I’m coming from as a gamer.

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