I’ve been working on this game since late 2015. It started as an abstract dragging-stuff mobile game like Threes, then become more of a single player turn-based League of Legends, and now has become a strategy/tactics game that doesn’t resemble anything in particular.
Here’s a rundown.
It’s an American Gladiators or Nickelodeon’s Guts! type of TV game show. A sport – played single player, against basically an advanced strategic obstacle course, fighting robotic minions.
Most people (almost half!) voted that there “is no default/ideal”. That probably sounds like a safe, reasonable choice, but it’s really a pretty bold claim to say that there is no default or ideal – certainly at least as bold as any of the other options.
In second place was “2 player”, which did not surprise me. What did surprise me was how close the margin was between “2 player” and “3+ player”, though. I would have expected the breakdown to be more like 40% “unanswerable”, 40% “2-players”, 20% “3+ players” and basically no one voting for 1 player. Actually, I still kind of think that if more people took the poll, it would probably head more in that direction. Continue reading →
Today’s episode addresses consumerism (or hyperconsumerism) in the world of videogames. Videogames are, for the most part, the most fun they’ll ever be at the moment of purchase, or perhaps while you’re installing the game and leafing through the manual.
I talk about “hype” and how being immersed in an atmosphere of advertisements affects our ability to use good judgment when making purchases.
I reference this study which talks about how children under the age of 6 can’t discern the difference between advertising and programming.
I also reference this Ars Technica study which looked at the percentage of purchase Steam games that actually got played.
I am very happy that we seem to be having a bit of a cultural awakening when it comes to the portrayal of women in video games. In general, the degree to which the “Bikini Warrior” character design is met with disgust is rising, and it will continue to rise in the coming years.
I think while we continue to work on that, another frontier is the problem of violence glorification, something which plagues all of our media, but perhaps video games and movies worst of all.
This article is not about game design, and in fact, I will be using several examples from outside of games because I think these examples highlight the issue best, and the problem is culture-wide and not specific to interactive entertainment. This article does, however, address a common problem in the themes and settings of games and other media and how it affects the wider culture. In Part 2, I will address a separate problem with violence in games and how it negatively impacts game design. Continue reading →