Sunday, February 24, 2013

Recommendation- The King of the Wood

Also, here's  a cool game inspired by Blade Runner called The King of the Wood. Mechanically, it's an FPS, but there really isn't a whole lot of action - instead it's all about atmosphere, suspense, and storytelling. It's a short and well-told story, so if you have 15 minutes to kill give it a play.

Waker - Glitching like it's the 90s!

Sometimes, when you compile your game, this happens:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On how most modern level design sucks and reviews of Anodyne and OFF

     I wrote a couple of more pieces of Beta Fish. The first is a review of the RPG OFF, and the second is a lengthy rambling that's part continuation of my Skyrim rambling, part personal reflection, part level design analysis, and part of review of the recently released dungeon-crawler Anodyne. I put quite a bit of effort into the second one, give it a read! I mean, I put effort into the first one too, but the second one's juicy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recommendation- Actual Sunlight

From the game's site:

Actual Sunlight is a short interactive story about love, depression and the corporation.
 The game puts you in the role of Evan Winter, a young professional in Toronto, as he moves through three distinct periods of his life. The story is linear, unavoidable and (hopefully) thought-provoking. You experience his perceptions, fall under the consequences of his decisions, and meet everyone who didn’t change him.
Gameplay is minimal, and serves only to move from one part of the (admittedly) text-heavy story to the next. The game fiercely attempts to be worth it.

     It's a game about depression, hopelessness, and suicide, but it's not of the "whiny emo" variety. Instead, it's a brilliantly and very thoughtfully written work. It's short and free, and you should download it here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Waker Update

     Frankly, working on a game of such large scope all alone can be depressing as hell sometimes. Every time I play through the current build of Waker, I make a list of every imperfection I come across that I need to fix, and the list is really daunting at times. I've rewritten entire in-game conversations two or three times, have had to overhaul the overall layout of the game world, and even had to add an entirely new opening sequence because the story's original beginning was super weak. When I started the project, I had accounted for all of the new content that I would have to produce, and figured it was a reasonable workload. What I had failed to account for was all of the re-writing, re-programming, and re-drawing that I'd have to do. The way things are going, I could be working on this game for years.

     That being said, there are moments when I play the game that it just sort of, I don't know how else to say it, comes together in a way that no game I've ever made has come together. There are a few moments where everything just works and I lose myself in my own creation. And it's really, really exciting. I don't care how long it takes me to do this, or how miserable it might make me. It'll all be so worth it.

     Here's some new screenshots, by the way. More below the jump.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Recommendation: Katawa Shoujo

      You know what happens when you want to write about a game, but what you wrote is too long for the student publication you usually write for, and you don’t want to admit to the student body as a whole that you actually liked a game about romancing young disabled anime people? You start actually writing for your blog again!

      So, anyway, I’ve always stayed far away from ren’ai games, a genre of visual novel in which the player romances anime girls, for many good reasons, the primary of which is that “gamifying” human relationships and applying challenge and reward mechanics to them seems like a difficult thing to do without objectifying people.  So, even though I’ve heard astoundingly positive things about the visual novel Katawa Shoujo, I was hesitant to play it because it was made in the ren’ai tradition. What I expected was a game that was, at best, cheesy*, and, at worst, voyeuristic or misogynistic. Much to my surprise, KS was none of those things – instead it was probably one of the most inspiring gaming experiences I’ve ever had.