Earlier this year, in the midst of reading over some statistics about how violent imagery in games affects players, I found myself wondering how they affect the people who make them. We regularly celebrate the artists and animators who pepper games with the lovely and the magnificent; I rarely hear much about the people who spend their days creating the gruesome, disgusting, and just plain gross aspects of contemporary games. I’m not just thinking of horror games here -- developing even an austere sci-fi shooter like Halo requires that some folks on the team spend significant amounts of time poring over pretty gruesome reference material in order to create disquieting monsters and levels. To do their jobs well, some developers spend a surprising amount of time studying disgusting material for their day job; they’re rarely celebrated, and it’s even rarer that they talk openly about how their work affects them personally. … [Read more...] about How working on gross, violent games can mess with developers
Colleges game design
This interview is part of our Road to the IGF series. You can find the rest by clicking here. A Mortician's Tale explores death and the stories and emotions around the deceased through having the player work in the death industry. Through speaking with the deceased's family, learning their stories, and carrying out the embalming process, players will come to know the dead who come their way, learning stories of life, joy, and sadness through their work. Gamasutra sought out Gabby DaRienzo and Andrew Carvalho, developers of the Excellence in Narrative nominated A Mortician's Tale, to talk about what they wanted the player to feel through taking on work in the death industry, what they wanted them to learn about coping with death and grieving, and how they conveyed all of this through the game's narrative and play. What's your background in making games? DaRienzo: My background is in graphic design. Shortly after graduating school, I got my first job … [Read more...] about Road to the IGF: Laundry Bear Games’ A Mortician’s Tale
It’s the best time ever to be playing video games. 2017 may have been a difficult year in a number of ways, but it was triumph for game design. Some of the best games of this generation (arguably of all time) made their debut last year, and players were spoiled with more diversity across more platforms than any other time in history. But all that top-heavy excellence means that there are titles that didn’t get the time in the spotlight they deserve, and who better to pluck them from obscurity than other game developers? I reached out to devs in a number of different roles across the industry and asked them what overlooked games from 2017 they’d most like to highlight, and was rewarded with an excellent, diverse list of hidden gems. A modern evolution of the text adventure, Bithell Games' Subsurface Circular is one of a vanguard of games that revitalized neglected genres in 2017. “It’s been a great year for short narrative games, surprisingly … [Read more...] about Devs answer: What were the most overlooked games of 2017?
This week, we’re running a big list of what we — and a group of trusted friends — recently voted as the 500 best video games of all time. For the backstory, criteria, explanation of why Breath of the Wild isn’t on the list, etc., head to the beginning here: The 500 best games of all time. For numbers 300-201, scroll down. 300. Microsoft Flight Simulator (1982, PC) Though technically not the first flight simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator revolutionized the simulation genre with how many real world variables it threw at players. The changing weather, time of day, new coordinate systems and a new engine were seen as so realistic at the time, the game's advertising claimed if it were any more lifelike "you'd need a license." 299. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013, Nintendo 3DS) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is one of the best classic Zelda games in the series. Building upon the series' dungeon design and overall presentation, A … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 300-201
The story of Riot Games is a list of things that shouldn’t have been possible. It’s the tale of an extremely difficult, user-unfriendly game reaching untold heights of success. It’s the story of a company that has remained committed to listening to and interacting with its fans even as it at has grown exponentially. More than anything, it’s the story of two best friends who liked playing video games and decided one day to make their own. Riot is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, but to really know how one of the world’s biggest development studios got started, you need to go back to Los Angeles in the early aughts. You need to find two University of Southern California business students who formed a bond unrelated to their studies. When Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck first met at USC, they were taking classes that led them to careers at banks and investment firms. But that wasn’t what they bonded over. For them, their real passion was video … [Read more...] about The past, present and future of League of Legends studio Riot Games