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Showing posts from May, 2016

4X And Reflex

Alas, it has been two weekends since my last update.  For the most part, my 4X scratch inflicted by Stellaris when it proved incomplete have been getting itched.

Civilization In Space, Done Poorly By Those Who Invented It:

I spent almost the entire day Friday,  May 13th playing a single "quick" game of Civilization:Beyond Earth.  It did not finish, it simply dragged out to the point where I decided I had wasted enough time and so I would move on with my life.
Civilization: Beyond Earth is basically just Civilization V, but over-engineered.  It seems likely to me that the developers had a number of thoughts going through their heads and they decided to run with them for this game.  For example:
What if the barbarians were a significant threat throughout the entire game?  What if you could work with them instead of against them if you wanted to? - This is the basis of the design of the native aliens.  The answer is that they're kind of annoying when they outlast their welcome…

Defining The Essence Of True Gaming

I did quite a bit of thinking today (but then, I tend to overthink everything on most days), and I decided what's really holding me back in my game development endeavors comes down to a lack of clear vision.  I want to make a good game, but I don't really know what makes a good game.

Join the club.  If most game developers knew what makes a good game, they'd probably not be making the same game over and over again.  But I thought I'd reveal a bit of what I came up with, which I refer to as the essence of true gaming.

Thank Blizzard for this, I suppose.  As much as I resent their recipe for success being, "take what's popular and make a really high quality version of it that the fans can find no reason to fault (but some will anyway because that's what fans do)" Blizzard nevertheless successfully enticed me to play Overwatch during its open beta, and in doing so, realizing I had sampled an example of the essence of true gaming...

...which Overwatch obv…

Less Than Stellar

Paradox Interactive's best effort was probably Crusader Kings 2, a game in which you can choose to become the guiding hand behind an entire lineage of ruling class in the European theater, plucked right out of the history books to create your own alternate timeline.  It is a unique kind of game where advancing your dynasty is as much about marrying off your children to the right people and general skullduggery as it is standing armies and invasions.   Crusader Kings 2 is an unprecedented medieval politics simulator.
Paradox Interactive would seem to understand that 4X games are basically engines for elaborate storytelling (just as I have noticed years ago).  So their latest release, Stellaris, would seem to have the potential to take that same narrative-rich 4X games talent and frame it to encompass an entire galaxy.  Crusader Kings 2, in space?!  Sign me right up!

Well, having just put 28 hours into my first game of Stellaris, I find that this is mostly a remarkably lackluster ent…

The Attack Of The Hero Shooters Begins

It's May, most of our wallets will have recovered from holiday spending, and the triple-A game developers know this.  Enter: two games which I recently gave a heavy play of, Gearbox's Battleborn and Blizzard's Overwatch.
This TotalBiscuit video is a fantastic watch learn the comprehensive difference between the two. You are going to be hearing two things about these two games:
They are both first person shooters where you pick from a roster of heroes with a bank of abilities like you would see in a MOBA.  Because they were released around the same time, it would seem like they are in direct competition with each other. They actually play nothing like each other.  Battleborn plays more like a 3D MOBA and has a weighty, quasi-RPG feeling reminiscent of Borderlands or Wildstar.  Overwatch is more of a pure action FPS like Team Fortress 2.  You might as well get both in order to enjoy the diversity in gameplay between them, so they are not in direct competition with each other. …

Gaming Between Hope And Despair

Another week come and gone.  Good lord, full time work is eating me alive.

True to my word from the last entry, I finished watching a Let's Play of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and moved on to buying and playing Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.

To say that the Danganronpa series are merely Japanese visual novels would be a tad misleading... both games are near the top of the charts of visual novels on Steam, with Danganronpa 2 at #15 and the original Danganronpa at #2... and I'm pretty sure #1 (Nekopara Vol 2) has a boosted rating due to more people giving it a thumbs up ironically.

Danganronpa deserves its acclaim.  In addition to having a novel story that is a cross between Ace Attorney, And Then There Were None, and Lost, the developers took the time to add clever interactive game mechanics and brilliant graphic design (at least so long as you can stomach the anime aesthetic).  About the only down sides of the series are that the story is a tad overly surreal, the PSP imp…