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Bioshock Infinite

Game Design – Crossing the Innovative Line

At what point is a game too much the same as its past incarnations?

This is a question that comes up every year during annual-release gaming season with franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Mario pushing out the current year’s installment. They don’t ever get released to complete fanfare and pageantry as there’s always criticism about the games being glorified map-packs and rarely ever justifying the cost of a full-fledged title, but to be fair most games change slowly overtime and it’s where the developers choose to focus that change where new innovative gameplay spawns for long-standing franchises. There are ways around this by pairing leaping-innovative ideas with old characters or jump-starting a new franchise altogether where these ideas can be explored and tested to see if they have any footing, but franchises are easier sells and less risky.

A different way to phrase this question then is this: Where is the innovative divide between DLC and Standalone justification?

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Game Design: Always with the Family Issues

Load up a game, any one that is story driven, and find yourself in a world where your main character is either a mercenary/soldier, a camera vehicle for a larger story, or a single white male father/ex-father figure type.

camera-on-car

Call of the Battlefield is a vehicle for set pieces.

Ambiguous man is a vehicle for some story that you’re just a bystander in, watching the main actors propel the story forward. You go from scene to scene where the other actors talk to you, but are giving you the plot points that they’ve enacted at this point in the story. Sometimes you impose some driving force, but the story isn’t necessarily centered around you.

Mannequin

Continue reading “Game Design: Always with the Family Issues”

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