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the legend of zelda: breath of the wild

Breath of the Wild is, of course, a stunning game. And a surprising one, both in how it departs from Zelda tradition and in how I reacted to those departures. No more progressive unlocking of weapons/tools/areas, no more restricting those areas to your specific skill set / power level (at least after the first two […]

the “i wish” gameplay segment

At GDC this year, Randy Smith recommended that game developers provide a “game-toy” as their players’ initial experience with their game: strong, juicy affordances with low pressure. Which is great advice, but is of course not all that you need: as Smith also comments, we want players to be able to enjoy the game for […]

juvenile and adolescent games

When Michael reviewed MySims Agents, I knew I had to get it for my daughter for Christmas, and my hopes for the game weren’t misplaced: it looks both fun and charming, she loved it, my wife blazed right through it, and I’ll give it a spin as soon as I’m done with Mass Effect 2. […]

revisiting majora’s mask

For its seventh game, the Vintage Game Club chose The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Which I was really excited about: aside from being a Zelda fan in general, I was curious to see if my memory of the sidequests held up. (Margaret Robinson’s GDC talk was an influence here.) The short answer: yes and […]

random links: september 1, 2008

Hmm, been a while since I’ve done one of these; sorry about the length… Visualizing the Python commit history. Leadership, responsibility, and sausage. Solving sudoku games via package management. Japan, computers, appliances. (Via Niels ‘t Hooft.) Breakpoints as a checklist. Programmers, insecurity, source control. I linked to a movie of strandbeests (amazing wind-powered sculptures that […]

alive games

I’m rereading The Phenomenon of Life, by Christopher Alexander, in preparation for reading the other books in the series. And, again, I’m blown away by it: if the book contained nothing but the pictures in it, it would be worth it. But, of course, there’s a lot more to the book than pretty (beautiful, profound) […]

metroid prime 3: corruption

Whenever I start a new Nintendo game in an established series, I do so assuming I’m going to be disappointed. Their core series made the leap brilliantly to 3D, opening up gameplay in ways that I’d never imagined. And then, with one idiosyncratic exception, Nintendo has mined that gameplay in subsequent installments, not adding anything […]

twilight princess

I just finished the latest Zelda. Summary: a good game, quite well done. But not a great game, for two reasons: the previous games in the series, and a certain other game in the genre that came out the same year and that is much much better. The good: it’s a Zelda game, with all […]