Week 2: Meanwhile in Videogame News News

A response to Critical Distance’s Blog Post: “This Week in Videogame Blogging:June 21st

Design Notes; They share a quote by Author Amanda Gardner that is a very important thing to keep in mind when aiming on developing a video game:

” You have to be flexible and not get too precious about your ideas, because in one day, an entire level can be struck from the game, or two characters could end up becoming one.

Being part of a team means that everyone’s contribution to the game are equally important, while being a solo developer might be different, a successful team needs cooperation.

Past is Present; While I am unfamiliar with ‘Don’t Die’, I am familiar with command and conquer and completely understand what Mark R Johnson is exploring in Red Alert. Its art direction has a subtle but high impact with the player in bringing them into the magic circle of command and Conquer through its art direction to create feel of an alternate timeline in history.

Cuphead looks like a brilliant throwback to the cartoons of old but the concerns of the unflattering racial caricatures that were prevalent in the cartoons of 1930’s society are something to think about. The obvious concern is the reemergence of blatant racial characters that can reinforce racism of old, but this only open the door to more concerns. Would removing such stereotypes from the game ruin its throwback to the old cartoons? or can we move past the old elephant in the room that is the fear of portraying any form of racism (whether from the creators themselves or even from the fictional characters in the game world), and be able to see the beauty of the old art style brought to life in interactive form?

Players Playing Play; Andrew Brown’s blog on symmetrical competitive game design shows various other symmetrical and asymmetrical types of competitive play and how Splatoon’s seemingly easy method of perfect symmetry is not done without thought but is thoroughly planned and very effective in generating competitiveness in players.

Jamie Madigan’s interview with Dr Jeffrey Lin speaks about how Riot Games have experimented with reducing toxic interactions between players. That is an important aspect in competitive games of any nature and is a hard thing to fully achieve.

Inversions; Aptly named section of CD‘s Blog as demonstrated by Mark R. Johnson’s blog referencing of Warning Forever which fixes one of the biggest peeves i have about videogames; Boss Patterns. Making the bosses learn your patterns instead changes the game from essentially a fast paced memory game that so many games are, to a game where the player must improve themselves and expand their strategies more if they wish to succeed. An excellent system for a game to have.

Games such as Kitty Power’s Matchmaker are important games in video game culture, not for their genre but for something else. They manage to rise to unusual popularity when many other games in the same genre are stuck in their respective genre’s common audience. Popular Youtubers with subscribers in the millions play these kind of games and enjoy them. All because the games are different. Not another genre different but different from games in its own genre. A game outside the box as it were. We need more games such as these. Who knows what type of game mechanics might be created if game developers could explore freely. Pity there’s the need to be successful to flourish.

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