23 posts tagged with videogames and gamedesign.
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Visualizing Game Flow

Reversing the Design: The Two Games of Chrono Trigger is an essay that examines the way that Chrono Trigger tells a story in two parts to the player using every aspect of the game's design. Aside from analyzing the game story itself, the authors also look at things like weapon power, player agency, quest design, graphics, dungeon layouts, boss scripting, and the battle system. The essay concludes with a list of design considerations that can be applied from Chrono Trigger to games of all genres.
posted by codacorolla on Oct 13, 2014 - 39 comments

What does it mean to follow Metroid?

Maddy Myers of Paste magazine connects the influence of the film Alien on the game Metroid and looks at how subsequent imitators have failed to live up to the promise of Metroid's original design. 'Troid Rage: Why Game Devs Should Watch Alien—and Play Metroid—Again
posted by codacorolla on Aug 11, 2014 - 14 comments

A Questline About Thieves Who Never Steal Anything

Shamus Young examines the idea of "story collapse" (the moment where a story reaches a critical point of ridiculousness and causes you to question every other aspect of it) by deconstructing the Thieves Guild quest-line in Skyrim: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Entertaining reading for writers, designers and gamers alike.
posted by codacorolla on Mar 4, 2014 - 90 comments

300 Game Mechanics (give or take)

This is my attempt to document three hundred different gameplay concepts of my own creation. Sean Howard, creator of the webcomic A Modest Destiny, started publishing ideas and examinations of game mechanics once a day in 2007. After fifty days he quit the daily schedule, but he's up to 168 ideas and also has a small collection of prototypes and free-to-use pixel art. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Aug 4, 2013 - 40 comments

Next Gen Cat Poop

"Remember kids, whenever you get frustrated at the state of the art, or you find yourself struggling to express yourself, just repeat after me: FUCK. VIDEOGAMES." Darius Kazemi (previously,previously and previously) writes about the use and abuse of video games as a means of expression.
posted by codacorolla on May 3, 2013 - 25 comments

The Finances of a Successful Indie Game

"When we first started working on Dustforce, it was frustrating to not be able to find much data about whether indie game development is a realistic thing to do with your life." Hitbox Team helps remedy that for future designers in this article about the finances and sales of their game, Dustforce.
posted by gilrain on Apr 16, 2013 - 37 comments

Your home is your castle.

The Castle Doctrine is the new "home invasion MMO" from cult game designer Jason Rohrer (previously: Sleep is Death, Passage, Chain World). It portrays a rather bleak world in which you must place traps to defend your home, family and life savings from an onslaught of burglars. At the same time, you must invade other players' homes to steal their life savings, in order to buy more expensive traps and tools. The more money you gain, the more attractive target your home is, so you better be clever in rigging up those traps. It's fiendish, brilliant, and currently open for public alpha at 50% of the full price. Rock Paper Shotgun has some early impressions: Part 1, Part 2.
posted by naju on Mar 13, 2013 - 101 comments

D I C K H A N D

"For the past few years, I have been trying to learn how to do all the various creative and technical things that go into making a video game - programming, graphics, interface, writing, gameplay design - in addition to music and sound, which I do for a living. The 2013 Global Game Jam was this past weekend, and over two sleep-deprived days I completed my first solo project: A game for OS X and Windows where you punch spaceships with your dick. (Probably safe for work, unless your boss considers it inappropriate to see a pink laser beam with a boxing glove on the tip which shoots out of a giant robot's groin.)"[via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 28, 2013 - 13 comments

Writing About Games

As the conversation about the state of games criticism continues, there is a site that acts as a platform for some of the best writing in the field by theorists, critics, and independent developers: Nightmare Mode dot net. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 9, 2012 - 11 comments

A strong contender for Drug Wars' top spot

This is a video of a game which replicates Portal's physics system in 2 dimensions on the TI-83 graphic calculator. The game was developed by a 20 year old student studying game design. A download link is available here.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 6, 2012 - 22 comments

The Video Games Women Make

"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)
While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
posted by subject_verb_remainder on Dec 1, 2012 - 40 comments

Doing more with less

"Legend of Grimrock is a party-based dungeon-crawler RPG made by a crack team of four experienced Finns in just ten months. It is also one of the finest, best thought-out games I’ve played in a long time. Here is a game defined by limitations – small budget, small team, goofy 2D tile-based movement – and yet it is a stunning success because it respects those limits and uses them to do more with less. There is a lesson here for studios both starving and bloated. " An article on how The Legend of Grimrock (released in April of this year, previously on Metafilter) takes a simplified set of rules and turns them in to a finely crafted machine.
posted by codacorolla on Jun 28, 2012 - 22 comments

Black turtleneck optional

In most racing games you control the car. In this one you are the road (Gameplay Video). [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Apr 5, 2012 - 44 comments

Problem, Black Box, and Feedback

"I love stories. My chief hobby is reading. I was formally trained as a writer, not as a game designer (there wasn’t really any formal training for game design I got started, but that’s another story). I think most game stories are not very good. And I quite enjoy games with narrative threads pulling me through them. When I find a game with a good story, I frequently prefer the story to the actual game! So please keep that in mind as you read: I love story."
Narrative in a game is not a mechanic. It’s a form of a feedback, by Raph Koster
posted by codacorolla on Jan 23, 2012 - 10 comments

It's All Games Now

It's All Games Now: The Convergence of Games and Social Media (video, 61 minutes), is a talk given by Raph Koster, one of the lead designers of the MMO Ultima Online, at the 2011 Game Developers Conference Online in Austin Texas. In it he looks at how digital games have changed as a social experience from MUDs to World of Warcraft, where they are going in the future, and the bleed between games and the real world. Koster has posted a summary here on his site. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Nov 7, 2011 - 15 comments

Satisfyingly difficult versus satisfyingly long

In 1987 the first Castlevania was released. It was followed by Simon's Quest in 1988. The difference between the two games is stark. Although they both have the same basic plot lines (kill Dracula) and setting, Simon's Quest introduced an open world and RPG elements, giving eventual rise to the genre known as "Metroidvania". Sequelitis looks at the difference between these design decisions and shows that maybe Metroidvanias aren't quite as much fun as you might remember.
posted by codacorolla on Nov 3, 2011 - 66 comments

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

" ... there is a depth of field technique with a controllable aspect called 'bokeh,' which describes a certain quality of blur that we often notice in the more luminous parts of a film’s background and that varies considerably with lens and camera type. Bokeh is a photography term derived from the Japanese boké- blur, haze ... When implemented in games the technique encapsulates a certain kind of second-order removal from reality. We are simulating not the way things look, but how they look after they have been filtered through the eye of a camera." Independent game developer Mathew Burns takes a look at how video games reflect reality in his account of the 2011 Game Developer's Conference. Burns also writes the blog Magical Wasteland. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 22, 2011 - 28 comments

Extra Credits

Extra Credits is a weekly video series on the design, status quo and potential of video games. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on May 5, 2011 - 13 comments

Achievement Unlocked: Read the article fully before commenting

Greg Mclanahan of Gamasutra talks how to design achievements right.
posted by flatluigi on Mar 20, 2011 - 78 comments

Isn't that right, Zach?

"In 2010, Deadly Premonition was a surprise hit among players searching for a deep narrative single player game, and went on to win over a dozen end of the year awards from a variety of media outlets (including Gamasutra). At GDC 2011, Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, revealed his seven tactics for creating a memorable story that will inspire a strong fan reaction." Link contains spoilers, excerpt inside the thread. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Mar 4, 2011 - 30 comments

Cruise Elroy

Cruise Elroy, by mefi's own danb, is a blog about games, specifically video games and music.

In the past, he has covered the music of Mother 3 and its battle system, gone over Ocarina of Time's music in six parts (plus Koji Kondo's favorite cadence and SSBB's OoT medley), described the use of irregular meter in videogames, pointed out the jazzy basslines of Sonic the Hedgehog, and even examined what the 1-up jingle says about the rest of the game.
posted by flatluigi on Jan 29, 2010 - 24 comments

The Chainsaws Of November

CliffyB Knows Fun (single-link New Yorker)
posted by turgid dahlia on Oct 27, 2008 - 33 comments

Saaay, aren't you?

I always thought Bruce Campbell would be perfect to play the guy from Doom. And yeah, Howie Long is a dead ringer for Duke Nukem. But looking at how much Mr. T looks like Barrett from Final Fantasy 7 and Winona Ryder looks like Vice from King of Fighters I have to wonder how much of this is on purpose? Of course there are the exceptions.
posted by Smedleyman on Aug 4, 2005 - 20 comments

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