Literature’s had a pretty good run, much of it without any fancy graphics and animations and particle effects to bolster the words. Games love text too. Text is cheap. You can paint a picture of galactic chaos or epic history in about the same time it takes to type ‘and then something cool happened’, without having to spend the next week designing armour and creating 3D characters to act it out. Yet despite centuries of practice, most games still haven’t worked out how to present all this (which let’s face it, is often there more for the writers’ satisfaction than our actual enjoyment) in a punchy, satisfying way. What works? What doesn’t? Let’s take a quick look at some of the ways games have handled books, letters, codexes and more. Deus Ex: Human RevolutionEven when you don’t affect a world that much, it’s nice when it pretends. News stories are one of the best and cheapest ways to both highlight your achievements, and … [Read more...] about The best and worst in-game books and codexes
Best create a character games
Michael Brough's games have always been a little different from the norm. Focusing on the roguelike genre, he subverts common tropes in ways that are typically unusual but impressive. Some of his biggest hits such as 868-HACK and Imbroglio have gone on to garner numerous award nominations for game design at the IGF. In each case, what they lack in looks and presentation, they more than make up for with some neat ideas that you just can't imagine anyone else pulling off with such aplomb. His latest release,Cinco Paus, is also potentially his most divisive. It's a mobile game solely available in Portuguese, much to the chagrin of many of its App Store reviewers. However, that's not the only reason why it's so interesting. Like roguelikes of old, Cinco Paus doesn't explain much. It has you equipping yourself with magical items (five wands), but you have no idea what they do until you start using them. It's an unusual move for a modern game, one that calls back to classics … [Read more...] about How Michael Brough’s love of exploring a single game mechanic beget Cinco Paus
If you were tasked with convincing someone that playing video games is time well spent, that these things are possessed of a potential for artistic expression equivalent to that of older forms of entertainment, then Shadow Of The Colossus might well be the game you’d use as evidence. Its central conceit is simple enough: you must defeat a series of gigantic enemies and in return your dead love will be resurrected. It also eases the player into the experience through cinematic sequences that very competently adapt the qualities lauded in film. But then you find yourself in a fiction of unquestionable thematic richness, of riveting emotional power, whose fundamental artistic qualities are completely fused with its interactivity. The stature of Shadow Of The Colossus as something worth discussing is entirely dependent on it being a game, and not a book or a film. A difficult task in a lonely place The rendering of its world and play mechanics coalesce to give you a sense of … [Read more...] about Shadow of the Colossus is a cinematic masterpiece, but its true power could only come from a video game
Super Mario Kart is one of the most unlikely blockbuster franchises in the industry. In 2017, it is arguably Nintendo’s most bankable series; each new title is so in demand that a three-year-old port (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Switch) was the franchise’s fastest selling game in its history. But when the game first appeared on this date twenty-five years ago, Super Mario Kart for the SNES was a mere oddity. A racing game where you throw turtle shells at each other? Where you pop balloons, accelerate with mushrooms, and jump with feathers? And why is the screen is always split down the middle? Putting the industry’s most well-known character behind the wheels of a tiny go-kart like the ones that Shriners drive around in at small town parades seemed like a poorly thought-out gimmick. Instead, it birthed a phenomenon. Super Mario Kart created a new subgenre: the multiplayer battle-racer. Many have tried to copy the formula; nearly all have failed. The secret … [Read more...] about Super Mario Kart at 25: Dissecting a revolutionary game design
If you're coming to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this year you've gotta go (fast!) to a very special postmortem look back at the making of a classic Sega game. That's right: GDC organizers are excited to announce that original game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and original character designer Naoto Oshima will be at GDC 2018 to deliver a Classic Game Postmortem of Sonic the Hedgehog! In the course of this remarkable hour-long talk, Yasuhara and Oshima will reflect on the design and development of the seminal high-speed platformer, which made its debut in 1991 and went on to become the best-selling Genesis game ever made. Together, the pair of original Sonic devs will discuss their perspective on the creation of the enduring game franchise, including detailed recollections of the game's original design process and art direction. They'll also dig into their experience creating a character to be a company mascot, the strategies they … [Read more...] about Enjoy a Classic Game Postmortem of Sonic the Hedgehog at GDC 2018!