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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. “

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.”

Let’s Talk About: Genres and Better Describing Games

When does a thing stop being that thing.

A Genre is a broad term to try and classify. You start to create titles and classifiers and begin to find that many of those classifiers that you use to try and segregate can still be used in conjunction with another to classify something new. Look at games for example. There are very few games that have distinct classifiers that segregate themselves from other games.

Call of Duty: First Person Shooter, Online Multiplayer. Ok, not that hard. Does it have a story? It has a single player mode with a story, yes. Call of Duty: First Person Shooter, Online Multiplayer, Story-Based. Does it have Cooperative modes? Sometimes. Call of Duty: First Person Shooter, Online Multiplayer, Story-Based, Cooperative. What time era is this? This is largely fiction or non-fiction? Are all First Person Shooters like this? Are all Story-Based games First Person Shooters? Do all First Person Shooters have Cooperative play? We can actually keep adding onto the genre listing for a quite a bit.

And we have to keep making more and more qualifiers to describe a game because we can’t make assumptions about genres anymore, nor was it ever a good idea to start. It’s like trying to classify movies as either drama or comedy. For there to be tension, there needs to be drama and struggle, choice and impact. Action movies have drama. Sports movies have drama. Documentaries have drama. If a comedy didn’t have drama then it would literally be a movie with only stand-up. No, that’s not fair either because good stand-up, storytelling or joke telling, still builds tension and releases it conveying the drama of the situation. The only clear lines you can draw are ones like Animated or not, and even those have movies that blend the genres together like Heavy Metal (1981).

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: Genres and Better Describing Games”

Onboarding and Recovering Progress for Mobile Games

Get Up. Take a shower. Make breakfast. Drive to work. Make Coffee. Start work for the day. Check your phone. Phone starts restarting…

Take out battery. Turn on phone. Phone starts restarting.

Google symptoms. Fiddle with phone settings. Phone starts restarting.

Factory Reset Phone. Phone looks fine.

Start setting up phone again. Download essential apps. Download non-essential apps. Download games. Load up game to restore data.

It’s at this point where one of two things can happen. You can either get your data back easily, or you can spend the next 10 minutes with your eyes engulfed in ever deeper shades of red.

Continue reading “Onboarding and Recovering Progress for Mobile Games”

Let’s Talk About: Absolute Drift (Actually talk about it)

Absolute Drift - Intro

So yes, I kind of talked about Absolute Drift yesterday, but not really to any analytic sense. I really only touched on the game’s philosophy and stylings. The aesthetic likeness to Japanese Sumi-e art and building up an artistic confidence that experience plus loss of self-doubt can only bring. (Post here)

This is more to focus on what the game does and doesn’t do well.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: Absolute Drift (Actually talk about it)”

Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – Who is this Written For, Third Graders!?

Gaming Scripts series:

Language and Aggressions 

Language and Aggression over time 

Word Usage and Aggression

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

A game from the 30,000 foot view, with its intricate battle mechanics, handcrafted scenery, and illustrative storytelling leaves an impression with the player.

Over the past few days, we’ve looked closer and closer at the storytelling portion, the words and transcriptions that are used and the impression that it leaves on the game.

We’ve only previously looked the words that have been said but not about how difficult it was to hear.

42 - Easy Ready - Flesch Grade - Sentiment

So this is how a game’s script reads. At least looking at the Flesch Kincaid Grade scale, it says that even the more difficult of scripts can be read by a 6th grader; 3rd and 4th graders can manage with the majority of the script as well.

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – Who is this Written For, Third Graders!?”

Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – By the Word We the Intent

Gaming Scripts series:

Language and Aggressions

Language and Aggression over time

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

Recap from first post :

Looking at a game and its script as a whole, it’s easy to get an understanding of what kind of game it will be. Having violence in a game is one thing, but having the characters in the game be in distress about it are two different things. You play the game and it stresses you. You don’t necessarily become immersed to the characters but the tension does rub off on you.

12- Game Script - Lang use over time, only NonNeutral minus 10k a-g 13 - Game Script - Lang use over time, only NonNeutral minus 10k h-u

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – By the Word We the Intent”

Impressions: Might No 9 – E3 2015, New Mechanics and Forcing Better Pattern Mastery

Might No 9

Release: Sept 15, 2015

Might no 9 - Splash

Might No 9, the game where Megaman started to rebel against Capcom, the company that began to neglect the robot, so much that he decided to get cosmetic-enhancements done to his mechanic body and embody the 90s cool kid look in our post-3D world.

Continue reading “Impressions: Might No 9 – E3 2015, New Mechanics and Forcing Better Pattern Mastery”

Impressions: Tom Clancy’s The Division – E3 2015

Release: 2016(?)

Tom Clancy’s The (Troll Hard) Division puts you with a group of 3 post-apocalyptic sleeper agents in the midst of a viral epidemic killing off the US population and you have the single goal of looting every player and NPC that you come into contact with. It doesn’t even matter if they were situational allies or members of your own party, if they have a gun that you like, you can shank a fool and take it off of their body. What’s a dead body going to do to protest? Ragdoll in anger? At least, that would be what the E3 demo would lead me to believe that this game is going to play out.

The Open-world cooperative shooter-genre is definitely trying to explore new directions since Borderlands made its debut a few years ago for the closed party format and Destiny released last year as the drop-in drop-out open party format. Troll Hard has both a drop-in-drop out system where parties are automatically dropped into random servers with other random groups already in them but this is the first with a betrayal system that works contains both inter-party and intra-party mechanics.

Continue reading “Impressions: Tom Clancy’s The Division – E3 2015”

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