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Archives for Games

brenda romero: jiro dreams of game design

It’s months since GDC, and I’m still trying to unpack my feelings about Brenda Romero’s Jiro Dreams of Game Design talk. Or maybe not so much my feelings about it—it’s an excellent talk, no question—but my emotional reactions to it. Her talk confronts concepts that I care about (greatness, team structure, creation) in contexts that […]

returning to bioshock

After my unpleasant experience with System Shock 2, I moved on to BioShock. I wasn’t worried that I might have the same problems with BioShock that I had with System Shock 2: I remembered from my prior experience that BioShock took the Easy difficulty setting seriously (enough so that I was thinking of trying Normal […]

medium: setting things up

As I said recently, I’m experimenting with writing a Netrunner implementation in JavaScript. I’m calling it Medium; here’s the first in a series of posts about issues I’ve encountered along the way. Before I go too far, I want to thank two sources of information. The first is Bill Lazar; he’s one of my coworkers, […]

netrunner implementation experiments

GDC got me in the mood to do some game-related programming; and, when that mood didn’t go away after a couple of weeks, I started to spend some time thinking about what exactly that would mean. I’d thought initially that maybe I’d learn how to use Unity, trying to implement one or two game-related tech […]

system shock 2

I’m planning to play through all the games in both of the Shock series this year; I had a quite good time replaying System Shock, but I’d never played System Shock 2, which seems to get talked about rather more. (E.g. I’ve seen comments claiming that BioShock is in many ways an inferior remake of […]

whales

Last time, I talked about free to play; a phrase I often hear linked with the term “whale”. The prototypical use goes something like this: free-to-play games make most of their money from a small proportion of whales, people who spend thousands of dollars that they can’t afford in order to buy useless items in […]

threes!

Threes! is both adorable and, I suspect, pretty good. A similar sort of combining mechanism to Triple Town, but with shorter games that fit into my day better, and a bit less aggressive randomness. (I gather a sign of being good at Triple Town is enjoying the bears, finding that you get a lot of […]

free to play

There was a fair amount of discussion of “free to play” at this year’s GDC; most of it negative (at least in the discussions I was part of), often extremely so, and often linked with the concept of “whales”. There’s some amount of that discussion that I agree with, but more of that discussion (and […]

games and copyright

John Walker’s editorial in Rock Paper Shotgun on “Why Games Should Enter The Public Domain” was going around my Twitter feed the other day, frequently coupled with Steve Gaynor’s response. And what I appreciate about both of them is the pragmatic tack that they take: I think that the U.S. Constitution has it right by […]

don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story

My arc of feelings about don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story is, I think, similar to that about Digital: A Love Story: I didn’t think about it too much when playing it, but then it stuck in my head, and then we had a VGHVI Symposium about it where I had […]

jet set radio

If you’d asked me not too many years ago what my prototypical idea of a video game was, I probably would have come up with some sort of RPG-ish thing. Single player, with the story standing out more than anything (and with that story being excessively grandiose); but also with a lot of time spent […]

more netrunner

I’ve been playing Android: Netrunner at work over lunch maybe a couple of times a week for over a year now; three of us have been fairly devoted to the game, there’s one other person who plays occasionally, and one person has recently joined the cult as well. I like the game a lot: there’s […]

rocksmith 2014 second impressions

It’s been a couple of months since my first impressions of Rocksmith 2014, so time for some second impressions. First, my overall feeling about the game: my current feeling is that it’s a great game, and potentially an important one. Not necessarily important as a game so much: what I like about it so much […]

netrunner, systems thinking, rule sets, cynicism

I play a lot of Android: Netrunner at work; other board games, too, but Netrunner is the one that’s sunk its teeth into me most deeply. I mostly play over lunch, but sometimes I play at other times, and occasionally those lunches get pretty long; this makes me wonder: is there any way I can […]

gone home

From reading the initial responses to Gone Home, I was optimistic that I’d like the game, but I wasn’t optimistic that I would like it as much as many people did: many people’s favorable responses seemed to be about how well it resonated with their experiences, talking about the details of being a teenager in […]

system shock

I first played System Shock right when it was released: a friend of mine who worked at Looking Glass gave me a copy. And it’s apparently lodged itself in my brain—over the summer, I wandered across some footage of the game, and it all came back, almost two decades later. So I figured I should […]

naya’s quest

I don’t normally write about Flash games, but Naya’s Quest (here’s the direct link) seem substantial enough to qualify. Plus, it’s by Terry Cavanagh. Not that I have much to say about it. It’s a puzzle game, with a pretty interesting idea: that if you do 3-D tiles with the right fixed perspective, then tiles […]

love hurts

Just to preempt confusion: this blog post is about the song Love Hurts (by Incubus), as experienced through Rocksmith, it is not about any non-musical personal experience! So, if you’re a friend of mine, no need to worry: I won’t take a stand on to what extent love can be a painful experience, but I […]

digital: a love story

I wish I hadn’t waited a month after finishing Digital: A Love Story before writing about it: I don’t think I had a lot to say about it when I finished it, but I had something to say about it then, or at least I had something to say in/after the VGHVI Symposium on the […]

puzzling interfaces

I was looking recently to see if Nikoli had put out any more iOS versions of their puzzles; they hadn’t, but I saw several apps from Conceptis, and I have a lot of respect for them as well. So I downloaded a bunch of those and started giving them a try. Which I’m very glad […]