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.
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
After a meticulous and extensive selection process (read: I read everything I could get on my screen on the matter), I come to you with the first indie PC game of the column: Resonance. Rather than get bogged down in a discussion of what it means to be an ‘indie’ game, or the differences between PC games and console games, I’m going to start with a very quick but comprehensive disclaimer about my views on the subject. 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
I’m both excited and wary as I consider the possibilities contained in the disc case sitting in my room with ‘DmC’ splattered on the front. The Devil May Cry series has a decade (and a bit) long history and an enfranchised fanbase, so, as somebody who just missed that train, I’ve watched from a distance in the past – curious but not too bothered. Now it appears, fresh from the re-imaginings of Ninja Theory, and I get the perfect opportunity, as both gamer and game designer, to find out what all the buzz is about. At the same time, there’s always the possibility that I missed it the first time around simply because it’s not my thing. What if the stuff that fans love about the series (perhaps partially because they’ve put in the time already) just doesn’t translate to me? On top of that, it’s a reboot with a new developer – who’s to say I’ll even be getting the ‘real’ Devil May Cry experience (and how important is that anyways?). 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