[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!
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
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