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Tomb Raider (2013)

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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Are Current Movies and Games Going to Feel Dated Soon?

You turn on Netflix. You see the opening scenes. There’s a hustle-and-bustle going on with the crowd but not a main character to be identifiable yet. The shooting feels clunky. The music has a heavy synth sound in its tones. There’s not a black person in sight, unless it’s the main character or a homeless person in the movie. You have the suspicion that you’re watching an 80s movie or an early 90s movie.

We can pull what movies feel like a period-movie with only a few moments of watching a scene. For the current generation of young adults, it’s almost instinctual to know when many movies were created because of the tropes that these movies execute. Group of misfits learns to come together? Is it in a high school or outside of it? Is the hair outrageous? What about the Clothing? If you answer yes to all but the clothing, then the movie is probably a John Hughes movie and you’re probably watching the Breakfast Club, let’s be honest. The point is that what are the tropes that will define the movies that we watch today?

The_Breakfast_Club

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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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Tomb Raider and the Definition of Definitive

                Here’s lookin at you, kid.

Yes, Tomb Raider has been a bit stale for a long while and yes there hasn’t been a good iteration for very long time for the franchise. Guardian of Light was probably the only notable step in the right direction, but took the gameplay in a different direction from the traditional Tomb Raider games of the past. The big problem is that corridor crawling adventure games were clunky for the longest time and there was a big gap in the genre since the 3d era began. Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, even Mario and Zelda games made big advances in the 3d era, but of these early predecessors Tomb Raider holds up the least. Mario and Zelda prided themselves on fluid controls which made playing these games, even today, very enjoyable. The primitive interpretations of how players should be able to move translated well to the format that gamers are used to nowadays. Resident Evil controls like a 1920s era tank sold at discount from the crazy soviet from down the block. Turn in place, run forward. Turn in place some more, run forward. Fast mobility wasn’t a priority, and actually worked towards the games theming. Resident Evil is meant to be a survival horror game, so having fluid mobility takes away from the fear of the game. The awkwardness when controlling Jill or Chris adds to the panic when you’re trying to get away from the Zombie or Crimson making its way to eat some face. Tomb Raider controls in a similar fashion, with some more mobility than Resident Evil, but still extremely clunky by today’s standards, but since Tomb Raider isn’t a Survival Horror game, it makes the game all the more frustrating when revisiting the game with present eyes.

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