[In this reprinted #altdevblogaday piece, Vigil Games' senior designer Mike Birkhead continues his "Tips From a Combat Designer" series by going over the four cycles of game design.]Design is not a linear process. A game is not assembled piece by finished piece like some elaborate puzzle, much to the chagrin of our managers.There is something compelling, though, in that mental image of an elaborate puzzle, but the quest for good design is not the quest for that single piece that you think might fit, and if only you searched hard enough you will find it.This gap between mental image and reality is hurting us dearly in the realm of game design, but it hurts, most of all, when it comes to planning and scheduling.You can break out your process into as fine a detail you like, but if you think of it as linear steps, then you are doing it wrong. Design is not linear, my friends, because it flows in four cycles.They are cycles, not steps, because you spin around inside them, picking up speed, … [Read more...] about Tips From A Combat Designer: Get a G.R.I.P.
Cancer g i s t
The World Of Warcraft is dying. Sure, looking at the numbers you’ll be forgiven for thinking otherwise given the still-hefty player base, but when you consider its latest expansion pack, Warlords Of Draenor, has seen a decline of nearly five million subscribers, a loss of roughly half its peak at the launch of the expac, then you can’t ignore the fact that something is wrong with modern day WoW. And that’s just the thing, really: as the gradual evolution of the industry’s premier MMO rolls on, gamers are becoming increasingly less enthused with the decisions Blizzard have made with recent expansion packs - leaving the game in position that, frankly, very few are completely content with. “WoW at the moment is in a diabolical state,” says Az, known for his YouTube channel Heelvsbabyface. “It’s atrocious compared to how it’s been in the past, and the whole attitude of the development team to the community. It’s really the worst … [Read more...] about What’s killing World Of Warcraft?
Ah, April Fool’s day. One of the worst times of the year to be alive. From Ms. Pac-Man appearing in Google Maps to a Geralt-in-the-bath-tub figurine, every techie, gamey company likes to get in on the ‘hilarious’ action. Nvidia were no different, announcing the GTX G-Assist USB stick, which promised to keep on gaming for you when you went AFK. For other things you can plug into your PC, check out our list of the best SSDs for gaming. But just before this year’s E3 game-gasm, Nvidia announced it wasn’t just an April Fool’s joke, they genuinely were creating the GeForce GTX USB stick. Only in the real world it wasn’t some sort of cheat drive, but a super-speedy USB 3.0 stick with a beefy 64GB capacity and the same GeForce design cues as their GTX 1080 Ti cards. The bad news is they’ve only made 1,080 of them (see what they did there?), and the even worse news is the GeForce Experience competition Nvidia ran to win a stick finished weeks … [Read more...] about Win one of Nvidia’s super-limited edition 64GB GeForce GTX USB sticks!
Updated Editor’s Note 11/7/2017 – In an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It’s not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor’s editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here. Update: Upon getting some info from mombot, I’ve learned that Tyson Rinehart’s significant other is fighting cancer. The GamerGate jab was uncalled for and you’re free to detest it. But on an act of humanity, please don’t attack the guy. You may be civil, … [Read more...] about FUNimation Addresses Prison School Criticism
Thanks to Flanker and its successors, for the last two decades virtual Caucasians haven’t had a moment’s peace. The overlapping outbursts of jet engines, cannons, bombs and missiles have frayed nerves, murdered sleep, and made activities like meditation, card tower construction, and butterfly whispering all but impossible. The good news is things are about to improve for the long-suffering residents of cities such as Krasnodar and Batumi. Eagle Dynamics are in the process of trialling a new DCS World soar space. The release of an alpha build of the Nevada Test and Training Range means it’s now the turn of Las Vegans to have their siestas spoiled and stucco cracked.Flare Path Sky Tours Ltd. may not fly the newest aircraft or operate from the swankiest aerodrome (we’ve been based at a Boulder City parking lot since the red-tape brigade at McCarran International began insisting on public liability insurance and no smoking during refuelling) but we … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: Needs A Hip Replacement
Remember that flight sim that was going to do for the WW2 Regia Aeronautica what IL-2 Sturmovik did for the Voyenno Vozdushnye Sily? Recall that imminent Napoleonic roguelike – the one that was going to let you desert, rustle chickens, and scavenge on corpse-littered battlefields? The Dorset outfit that was looking to raise £250,000 to fund an Eighteenth Century smuggling sim? In today’s column I point the Flare Path PBY at patches of ocean where promising work-in-progress sims and wargames were last seen. I find out why titles like Lifeboat Simulator 1875, La Decima, and General Winter are years late.The sequel to the disarmingly pretty but disappointingly parochial (Switzerland only) Aerofly FS missed another ETA in late 2015. The good news is IPACS’ long-awaited GA follow-up should be with us in Early Access form within the next 2-3 months, according to a statement issued today. Major draws include bigger skies… “Our flight simulator is no … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: Whatever Happened To…
Who reads readme files? Me. I do. I read a lot of readme files, from mods specifically. I’ve pored over hundreds, possibly even thousands, looking for weird and wonderful ideas, remnants of history, and fragments of human lives. I’ve kept a blog of interesting readmes for years and even talked about them at conferences, but somehow never really mentioned all this at RPS. Take my hand, dear reader, and soon I hope you’ll stop ignoring these two little words: read me.The important thing to realise is that the readme file and its mod are separate, and one can be enjoyed without the other. Like any text, we can read a readme file and draw out threads that interest us, ideas we enjoy, and things we find funny or weird. The readme is enjoyable and interesting in its own right. Look, let me show you a few snippets from readme files I’ve particularly enjoyed. You’ll see they document ideas and, more than that, they reveal the humanity that runs through everything … [Read more...] about Comedy And Tragedy: I Read Readme Files
By The Stratos GroupDesign by Marty Smith It’s been a tough couple of years for Gamecube owners who are also RPG fans. Besides games like Skies of Arcadia and Phantasy Star Online, both ports of older Dreamcast games, or Zelda: The Wind Waker, which is debatably more an adventure game than an RPG, very few role-playing games of any stripe, let alone traditional party-based RPGs, have appeared on the Gamecube...until now. With the launch of Tales of Symphonia, a brand-new title in Namco’s well-established Tales series, RPG gamers finally have a game that justifies their Gamecube purchase. In Tales, you take on the role of Lloyd Irving, a self-taught swordsman who attends school in a small village where nothing much seems to happen. Fate intervenes, however, as it is wont to do, and Lloyd and his friends are swept up into an adventure that will take them across the entire world...and beyond. Although the game moves along quickly, you can expect to spend at least 40 or 50 … [Read more...] about Tales of Symphonia Walkthrough
In response to tonight’s episode of Panorama, and the accompanying discussion of the subject at the moment, I’m reprinting an article I wrote in 2007 about the subject of gaming addiction. Originally written for PC Gamer, my intention was to explore the subject from an investigative angle, rather than as an attempt to prove an agenda of either side. Sadly, I’ve yet to see another piece approaching the subject in the same way in the years since. In the hope of throwing out a little evidence at this time, I’m re-posting it below. Clearly this is three years out of date now. The most crucial change since it was written is Keith Bakker’s complete reversal of his beliefs given at the time, now no longer recognising compulsive gaming as addiction, and no longer treating it. This change has a significant impact upon how the piece is read.“Ready for this?” he asks, his voice speeding up. “I believe gaming is currently the greatest threat to our … [Read more...] about What Is The Truth About Gaming Addiction?
The effect violent video games have on real-world behavior has long been a hotly debated topic. Some argue there is assuredly a link between playing violent video games and increased levels of aggressive behavior, while others maintain that games themselves don't cause violence, but are rather one prominent risk factor for violent real-world behavior. Now, another study has been published, this one claiming that there is no evidence to support the notion that violent video games lead to increases in real-world violent crimes.The study, Violent Video Games and Real-World Violence: Rhetoric Versus Data, was conducted by researchers at Villanova University and Rutgers University, and was published recently in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture. Through four unique data analyses, the researchers looked at how popular video game trends, like annual and monthly video game sales, as well as Google Trends keyword search volume, compared to real-world crime rates. "Finding that a young … [Read more...] about Violent Video Games Don’t Lead to Increases In Violent Crimes, Study Finds