Tagged: system design

Low-Level Systems 0

Low-Level Systems

In my absence from writing and independently making games, I’ve been doing my best to play as many as varied games as I can get my hands on. The game combination which has specifically spurred this set of pieces (and it is a set) is: F.3.A.R. (henceforth entitled ffthrir), Shadows of the Damned, Bioshock 2 (“Minerva’s Den”), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, DiRT 3, Tactics Ogre, Trenched, Outlands, Gods Eater Burst, and Dead Rising 2. I’m also in the process of adding Fallout: New Vegas to the mix. Also Starhawk, but I’m making that once so I’ll...

GDC 2011: Day 3 1

GDC 2011: Day 3

Day 3 started, much like Day 2, at 5:00am, because for some reason I’m under the false assumption that I should continue waking up at my normal time all week. That is a poor assumption. Day 3’s sessions started with the keynote from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, and was entitled “Video Games Turn 25.” Largely, the session was about Iwata recounting the early days of Nintendo and attempting to promote feelings of pride and ambition in the development community through a variety of anecdotes. This part of the session was actually great to listen to, but it’s when Iwata began...

The Systemic Integrity of Expression 5

The Systemic Integrity of Expression

I receive strange looks when I tell people that I think Alpha Protocol was a better game than Mass Effect 2. More strange looks, still, when I talk positively about games like Nier, Lost Planet 2, and Kane & Lynch 2 over those like Fable 3, Red Dead Redemption, and so on. I’m used to it. It’s not like I don’t understand why people like some of these games. Mass Effect 2 is a well-made space opera that brings fond memories from an abundance of 70s-onward science fiction source material that is close to a lot of gamers’ hearts. Red...

Inaccuracy and Stakes in Kane & Lynch 2 3

Inaccuracy and Stakes in Kane & Lynch 2

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, much like Kane & Lynch, is a remarkable and flawed game. The first half of Dog Days is a linear third-person shooter which treats its levels as a living space within which the player is constantly moving and adjusting his position as-necessary for reasons of additional cover, vantage point, or ammunition. The first two are nothing new for a current generation shooter; cover has been done to death by many a game. What’s fantastic, though, is how Dog Days works to recreate a big movie shootout: massive inaccuracy on both sides of an engagement...

Sea of Dreams 4

Sea of Dreams

Bioshock was a game defined by its three major components: its streamlined, interconnected game systems, its standout narrative moments, and, most of all, the setting of Rapture and the meticulous level design that gave it life visually and systemically to bring the other components together. Irrational 2k Boston Irrational very clearly understood what made Bioshock unique on all levels. The combination of weaponry with plasmids and the trade-off of using one over the other formed a clever combat system which was constantly surprising the player when various elements combined in fresh ways or the level reacted to the player’s actions...