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The Last of Us

Gaming Experiences: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Embrace Easy Mode

It might’ve been a pride thing, to show that I had gaming skill and the proper ability to play a game at harder settings, but I used to always look down at Easy Mode as the child’s setting. The be able to make the fewest mistakes in a game, to show that I had such a high proficiency in my gaming ability that making it less difficult was insulting to me. In all reality it was probably just insulting to my ego. But a difficulty setting is important. If a game is too easy, then it’s easy to get bored in the game you lose interest. If you set it too difficult, then having a lack of mastery of the game means that you’re going to get frustrated and likely drop the game at this point. Some games don’t have a means of changing the difficulty and expect the level design to test the player’s proficiency of the game. Look at any Mario Brothers game and you’re hard-pressed to find any adjustable difficulty setting, but go to Megaman or a Shmup or an FPS and they’ll lean on difficulty settings to better tune the game to the player. This is also useful for replayability where players already have an understanding of the mechanics and are returning for a deeper experience. I think we've all held right when the game started on instinct, and if you say otherwise you have some pants that should be moved from some sprinklers.

Continue reading “Gaming Experiences: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Embrace Easy Mode”

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

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Game Design: Color Design and Palette Choice

What makes a room easier to navigate, items easy to discover, paths easily discerned? Intricately crafted scenes, artistic renditions of the imagination to a tangibly-cognizant interact-able space are all important, but how is the player going to be interacting with the scene created?

  • Contrast to the surrounding environmenthuecontrast

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Dialogue Delivery p5: How, not what.

Obligatory Past Post Countdown:

Player Paced Dialogue Delivery [link]

Character Paced Non-verbal Dialogue Delivery [link]

Character Paced Verbose Dialogue Delivery [link]

Character Paced Short-Form Dialogue Delivery [link]

 

Stepping away from the focus on “what” is said, it’s still important to talk about the setting of the delivery. For all of the previous articles, we’ve only talked about dialogue and plot points delivered through extremely disruptive cutscenes. I don’t mean disruptive in the sense that it causes the player to drop the controller out of frustration, but disruptive in that it shifts your agency from playing to watching for a short while. The player stops “playing” the game and starts “watching” the game for a short or extended amount of time. This doesn’t necessarily cause a distraction for the player, but it does give an idea to the pacing of the game for the player. If the cutscenes feel long and troublesome, it can quickly demotivate the player from wanting to continue playing the game. So today, let’s focus on the two major pacing types used in gaming.

Continue reading “Dialogue Delivery p5: How, not what.”

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