Category Archives: Blog
When choosing what to write about Guacamelee!, it is natural to think of the combat system or the Metroidvania-style progression as the topics. I mean… they’re just SO well designed. Seriously, Guacamelee is a great benchmark and case study when it comes to those two things. It’s awesome. Go play it. Because what I want to discuss in this post is not one of those topics. I want to talk about the ending. Spoilers, obviously.
When it comes to critically acclaimed and/or very popular games that I happen to not like, they’re usually divided into one of two categories. One is the category of critically acclaimed and/or very popular games that I don’t like, but fully understand why so many would find great enjoyment in them. It’s a matter of taste, after all. But then there’s games that are critically acclaimed and/or very popular, but I’m just baffled by the situation and can’t understand what people find in them, and how come they say what they say (it’s still a matter of taste, but it doesn’t make me any less confused). Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is that kind of game.
UI in games has many functions and purposes. From just being something that draws players in because it’s usually the first thing they see, to providing the most comfortable means to do a particular action. One of pretty big functions UI can perform is retention. And I’m going to talk about why this is important on the example of the game AaaaAAAaaaAAA!!! for the Awesome.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters is absolutely oozing with style and atmosphere. The whole game is framed as a DVD re-release of an old sci-fi B-movie, with the director recording commentary for it. And I gotta say, from the very first loading screen when director starts talking for the commentary track before being corrected that nothing began yet, the whole style just clicks with you. It’s pretty awesome.
Most of you have probably heard about the closing of four Ubisoft free-to-play games: The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, EndWar Online, Ghost Recon Phantoms and Might & Magic: Duel of Champions. All these games, Epic Loot especially, were something that I was interested in trying at some point. So with limited time left, I finally did. And it inspired me to talk about the topic of introductory experience in free-to-play games.
I want to start by saying that I wrote this post about half a year ago, back when Dead Star was released and the possibility of a shutdown didn’t seem likely at all. Somehow, it didn’t get posted, so I am gonna do so now. Beyond the addition of this paragraph, I didn’t change anything to reflect the current situation, but now that the game is off the shelves and soon you won’t be able to play multiplayer matches, it feels sad and weird to read a recommendation to check out the game, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it greatly. Always a pity to see a game gone.
Welcome back to this 2-part post series about the Hero’s Journey. In this post, I’m going to talk about the game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and how Vogler’s rework of Campbell’s structure is applied to it. Please note that I’ll reference the previous post about Journey a lot, so please read it beforehand🙂 That said, let’s continue.
The Hero’s Journey is a narrative structure first described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With A Thousand Faces, and later refined for modern age by Christopher Vogler in The Writer’s Journey. Campbell noticed and described patterns in our myths and stories, of the hero/heroine leaving their ordinary world to go onto adventure, and after going through trials and crises, coming back home a transformed person.
It’s a very archetypal structure that one can notice in many stories: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and thousands upon thousands of other works, including games. And I think why we as people are intrinsically drawn to this sort of narrative structure, is essentially because it’s about striding to a goal, facing challenges and getting to the lowest point upon the way, but eventually overcoming them and becoming a better person as a result. It’s what we encounter and go through in our daily lives, even though we might not realize it at first.
When I first launched Tricky Towers, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, is this just Tetris?’ But no, it’s not just Tetris. It’s a Jenga Tetris with Physics! And it is as cool as it sounds. Basically, you need to build a tower out of Tetris blocks (preferably without it falling). There are light and dark spells to help you or hinder your opponent(s), and several modes/goals available.
It should be noted that while single-player portion of a game is pretty engaging in short bursts from time to time, Tricky Towers should be looked at as a primarily multiplayer game, because this is where it shines and is the most fun.
And… yeah. This is the whole post. There’s nothing much to say other than this game is good fun in company or online, so if you’re interested in that, be sure to get it.
What a long blog post. Anyway. Thank you all for reading. Feel free to leave any comments below. If you’d like to keep an eye on my future blog posts, feel free to follow me on Twitter
In any creative line of work (or, to be fair, any line of work or craft) a lot of people at certain moments in time can experience doubt about their output – that it’s derivative, not original, not good enough, people have already seen it, need to create something new. There were times when I have gone through this, I’ve seen other people experience this as well. I guess it’s only natural because we all want to leave a mark in the field we dedicate our careers to. A breakthrough, advancement in technology or design, something big. A ripple in the ocean.