What's in a game?
September 30, 2008 4:38 PM Subscribe
posted by ersatz (51 comments total)
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What can one learn from the design choices of past games? John Harris
discusses different game aspects, 20 games at a time, at Game Design Essentials. You can read on 20 Open World Games
(where generally the player is left to his own devices to explore a large world), see your destroyed controllers in a new light with 20 Difficult Games
or check out 20 Mysterious Games
(that rely on algorithmically-generated content or emphasize secret-hunting), 20 Unusual Control Schemes
and 20 Atari Games
. What about roguelikes, you say?
Harris also maintains a column called @Play
at GameSetWatch, discussing old and new roguelikes. And if that wets your appetite for some Nethack, but you prefer having graphics and mouse control in your games, the most recent post
On the other hand, if you don't care about such novelties, an interview
with the developer of Dwarf Fortress (previously)
may be of interest.
The games are chosen for their instructive qualities and general interest, not to compare them using a meaningless yardstick. They're here because I could illustrate something important using them as examples.
Older games tend to have more elemental designs, presenting their mechanics strongly rather than submersing them between a sea of what a game is "supposed to be." This is particularly useful for explaining and highlighting design conventions.