Showing posts from July, 2017

Two Be Frank

Despite the fact that Dark Souls is probably all the game I would ever need, I found myself distracted last week by two things: a nasty tension headache, and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record.
Off The Record is basically a non-canonical spinoff game of the original Dead Rising 2 where the protagonist is replaced by the protagonist of the first game, Frank West, a hard nosed war journalist who is a bit of a likable jerk.  The canonical hero of the second game, Chuck Greene, was a former motocross champion and a more sympathetic single father with a sick kid.  Sorry Chuck, Frank was just more fun, and I guess that sentiment was strong enough for this spinoff to happen.

Of course, the real star of the game is the zombies.  Dead Rising is a series very much about navigating seas of the walking dead.  Perhaps the foremost feature of the series was putting hordes of them on the screen at once.  Tens of them in the foreground, with several times that in effective imitators shambling about in the …


If I have been quiet lately, perhaps it is because I am content. Dark Souls is a lot more satisfying than anything else I have been playing lately.

What is so satisfying about this game?  Perhaps it's the intricate attention the developers have paid to the idea of medieval swordplay, where a wide slash in a narrow corridor does not work for obvious reasons, and an armored warrior has inertia enough that they control a bit like a tank on legs.  But if you drive this tank closer to hit an enemy with your sword, you had better be ready to block or dodge, because everyone in this dark world has forgotten how to pull punches.  Yes, I think it is the difficulty I enjoy most of all.
Given that modern gaming has been inundated with casual friendliness, a truly challenging game feels like an impossibility.  Yet, here is a game that makes you walk everywhere across its tight, treacherous expanse.  Here is a game that not only has no quicksave, it spaces its save points like oases in a merc…

Thoughts On Overcoming Game Development Analysis Paralysis

I am not really any good at this, either.  But I have developed two-part theory on how to get over it.

Part 1: Keep the game development habit going.

My #1 problem with game development is that I get derailed constantly.  It's partly because my immediate family is apparently addicted to drama and can't seem to avoid making messes to needlessly complicate my life nearly every week.  But I'll take some of the blame as well: even left to my own devices, I am often prone to distraction, perhaps an inevitable consequence of being a lifelong computer gamer.

The obvious consequence here is you get rusty at game development and completely forget everything about your project, leaving them half-completed messes.  How did this happen?
Lately, I have learned of the power of habit, probably thanks to motivational speakers who literally name their book that.  But the simple point is basically this: human beings are creatures of habit, and if you slip out of the habit of doing something…