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GameIntrospection

Love and Hate for Gaming @GIntrospection

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mtberryyoshi

Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Best Races

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list, in particular, is for the races at the event. 2 or More people employing the best routes, best frame-perfect tricks that they’ve practiced to edge out an extra few seconds so they can beat their rivals.

Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Best Races”

Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Fun Ones

Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 has wrapped up. The event raised around 1.2 million during the week long charity stream where around 160 games and 200 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

 

0104-AGDQ

I’ve compiled a list of the what I think were the highlights of the event, based on how entertaining the games were, how impressive the runners were, and how cool some of the spectacles were to watch.

This list, in particular, is for the events that were fun to watch because of great commentary thanks to either the runner being keeping the viewers engaged, or the guest commentators being extremely informative to help keep what was going-on on-screen relatable. Continue reading “Event Highlights: AGDQ 2016 – The Fun Ones”

Bias in Gaming: Pre-Orders, DLC, Valuation and Pain of Paying 

Big Boss’s Dismembered Arm. Jacob’s Hidden Stabby Knife. Pipboy Wristband for a phone that won’t fit inside. A statue of a dragon that will never see the light of day. Another year goes by and more toys begin collecting dust, trying to match the shade of grey as the collectables next to them. A Street Fighter 4 duffle bag, with matching 4gb USB stick. Travel Chest housing a Nathan Drake Statue. A lie of reselling at mark-up that will never be true. Things that I’ll never use, nor had any intention of using.

Books filled with in-game pre-order bonuses that will never be redeemed. Enough digital bow and arrows to build a small log cabin. A digital black market of goods that will never be offloaded. Ships whose cargo never reaching their destined port.

Why do we fall for preorder bonuses every time when we know they are money sinkholes? Are these toys really that enticing? Do we feel like we’ll be missing out on some grand revelation by not getting the ultimate collector’s definitive edition boxset? (super turbo world champions)

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming: Pre-Orders, DLC, Valuation and Pain of Paying “

Bias in Gaming: Defaults and False Choice. 

Legend of Zelda has always had some interesting design choices; from its gameplay, to its level design, to its enemy creation and how it chose to inform the player of how to progress. Oversimplifying its weapons to make sure that they are intuitive to use and easily instinctual in recognizing when to use it. Enemies with only a single mechanic to perform makes them easy to deduce means of dispatching them; and the difficulty comes when mixing placement with variety with terrain forcing you to take into account more variables and manage more moving parts. It shows that they put at least some attention to how they create the experience in their games.

That doesn’t mean that the Legend of Zelda is a perfect fleet and even its best ships have a few holes in them. The one that comes up time and time again is how they handle dialog.

Paragraphs of dialogue being spit at you. Line after line, given 10 words at a time. You sit there hitting the “next” button for minutes at-a-time. At the end of it you’re asked “Did you get all that?”

zelda-owl-gif

And the default placement of the cursor is on the “No.”

You hit “next” and you scream and storm away from the TV, incredulous to wasting your time for twice the length.

A game actively keeping you away from the action by forcing you, the player, to slow down and pay attention. Why would the cursor be set to “No”?

Continue reading “Bias in Gaming: Defaults and False Choice. “

Cultural Context and Impact on Perception

The ending to Braid has always been a surprise when new players pick it up. The story is obstuse, given in disjoint bursts so there is already varying amounts confusion to the understanding of what’s going on in the game already. Some sort of story about being obsessed and about the longing for someone, the sleepless nights and the wasted time. Then you go through the puzzles about controlling and manipulating time to find yourself at the game’s ending.

Your obsession leads you to finding a princess, whom the player may automatically assume (as one typically does) that they’re their savior, helping her try to escape from the knight once clutching her. You help her by clearing a path of escape, using the pulleys and switches to move  obstructions hindering her path of escape. Then you’re forced to hit the rewind.

You watch your actions play out with a different narrative. You’re actually the one in pursuit of the princess, trying to hinder her escape by blocking her path, chasing her away with your obsessiveness into the arms of another.

The moral lesson was the dangers of obsession and control, but the storytelling lesson is one of context. The learned context from many years of gaming, that you always assume that you’re the hero of the story and that princess always needs saving by you alone. The shallow context given to you in the story that doesn’t explicitly tell you that you are the hero of the story but it does little in dissuading you from this belief. You come into Braid, like many games, with these preconceptions and the story plays on them, making the reveal even more impactful.

What’s worth exploring is how much context the player brings with them into a game, and how that changes the impact of the game for the player.

Continue reading “Cultural Context and Impact on Perception”

Let’s Talk About – Chunithm 

chunithm-banner

Chunithm – Site

Songlist

Traveling to Japan is always interesting, in particular Tokyo. The city is always busy from the waking hours till the trains shut down at midnight,, the neon lights and smell of food from a small ten-person restaurant can be sensed from blocks away, and there is always something new to find in the city, whether you’re visiting for a only a week or have lived there your entire life. It’s an intoxicating display and makes it impossible to not go exploring for something new, especially to International eyes.

Akihabara

And in Tokyo you can find a slew of Video Arcades, particularly in Akihabara, and in these arcades you can find a war for floor space between fighting games, the newly established virtual card games, and a new breed of music games fighting for audible space of each floor.

And then I came across this machine.

machine1

Chunithm.

I didn’t think much of it at first. There were a few new music games to try that aren’t really seen in the US. Groove Coaster, REV, and the few other music games that I found in the arcade are rare to see, so I wanted to get my hands on them at least once.

What a silly name, Chunithm.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About – Chunithm “

Let’s Talk About: When does a game truly die? Or Games that need to inspire.

We’re well within the lifetime of the Eighth generation of consoles. That means seven generations of game consoles have come and gone. Libraries of games within each generation and only a handful of them are ever talked about, reminisced on, and dissected with scrutiny. Thousands of games long forgotten with just as much potential as the game next to it when they sat on the store shelves, but rarely purchased and less likely to be remembered once the next gaming generation has spawned a fresh slate of shelf-space to remember.

But do these games ever really die?

The mortality of a game and its ideas is one thing, but its legacy is something to not be taken likely. Passing on the seeds of what a game has explored to future generations.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: When does a game truly die? Or Games that need to inspire.”

Roundup – Things you missed at PAX Prime 2015

Some stuff that I wrote about already:

FFXIV, Ravana with newcomers and MMO Onboarding

Impressions on: Ultimate Chicken Horse

Impressions on: Just Shapes and Beats

Plenty of great panels and concerts, many of which you can find on the PAX Twitch channel here

 

Notably Panels

Dragon Age: Past, Present and Future Panel

Storytime with Kim Swift

Inside Gearbox Software

 

All of the concerts are fun in their own right.

Saturday Night Concerts:

7 BIT Hero

Freezepop

MC Frontalot

Sunday Night Concerts:

The Returners

Bit Brigade

The Protomen

The Protomen P2

 

If anything else worth watching is available for post-PAX viewing, I’ll try to remember and post it here.

Twitter: @GIntrospection

Blaugust Day 31

Impressions – Just Shapes and Beats – PAX Prime 2015

Just Shapes and Beats

Music games are strange. They’re strange in that there is something about the game that you can sync up with to make the game more predictable, something that’s rhythmic, something on beat. When you play the game well because you’re completely in-sync with the music there’s a strange body-extension sensation that takes over, but only for the time you feel in-time with the music.

That means that music games typically went one of a few ways. You make finding that synchronicity the main point of the game and pushing the limit of that synchronicity by pushing your dexterity and stamina, ala Rock Band. Maybe you make the music a byproduct of the player’s actions so those actions create new music on every playthrough, e.g. Sound Shapes or Everyday Shooter. Maybe you have the music be the cue for onscreen action and movement, e.g. Donkey Kong Country Returns and Axiom Verge.

Just Shapes and Beats is probably closest to the last of these, onscreen cues except that cues aren’t the easiest to judge and time.

just-shapes-and-beats-boss-1

Continue reading “Impressions – Just Shapes and Beats – PAX Prime 2015”

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