Showing posts from September, 2017

Great Games Captivate The Imagination

Seeing that title, you're probably thinking, "No duh," but I'm being a little more literal than you might be expecting.  What does it really mean to captivate the imagination in games?  What are some features that should entail?  The answer lead me to a minor epiphany that truly great games do this, and specifically this.

This Bizarro weekend went pretty much the same as the last two: Factorio and Divinity: Original Sin 2.  But the interesting thing about these games came about when I wrote a little thing on /r/roguelikedev today:
[When developing a roguelike game, your audience is] the ones who are enticed by the potential for endless gobstoppers introduced by procedural generation, and can look at a wall of text and see a world... these people have imagination! [...] Give us some interesting decisions. Our imaginations need something to chew on. Both Factorio and Divinity: Original Sin are actually pretty competent sandboxes along these lines:
Factorio contains…

Time Sunk

As I mentioned last week, many an epic game has been soaking up my time like multiple sentient chronological sponges.
Factorio took the bigger bite this week.  As always, it's a glorious sandbox of factory construction, where you can start from humble beginnings of trying to wedge coal out of ground with a stick, but end up with a huge, beautiful, pollution-spewing factory complex that produces and consumes hundreds of thousands of minerals an hour!  I had been watching the Yogscast play it on their Monday stream, deeply enriched with mods, and this got me interested to give the game a spin and see what has changed.

Well, under the hood, I'm sure many little things have changed.  On the outside, though, the main difference I am noticing is that boilers have been re-implemented.  Where they were once just single-unit sized blocks, they're now considerably larger (3x2 unit size?) with fixed points for water and steam, so this requires additional planning.  
I am tempted to gi…

Epic Campaigns Apleanty

My fun in XCOM2's War Of The Chosen expansion has more or less petered off.  It was a really good time while it lasted, but I find myself re-encountering a problem I had with the original Firaxis reboot of the series: the difficulty level is either too easy, or too hard.

This week, I finished an "Ironman" mode Veteran-difficulty run.  "Ironman" meant I was not able to save scum, each and every move was final.  However, after I unlocked the third tier of weaponry, all the difficulty of the game largely vanished.  The three "Chosen" were effortlessly defeated, and I was pretty much able to wipe out every pod of aliens encountered on the same turn they found me.  The tension was gone, the last half of that campaign felt rather monotonous.
I started over on "Commander" mode, the difficulty one level higher, and the excitement had returned.  But I found myself rapidly tiring of the futility of the brutal war of attrition I was up against.  …