Category Archives: Design Concepts

A More Rewarding Experience

It took blood, sweat, and tears coupled with many hours of toil, but you’ve finally aced that game you’ve worked so hard on. 100% completion, hardest difficulty level. No stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no typo uncorrected… and… that’s it. There’s not much else you can get out of that game, unless you just loved it so much that you ... Read More »

Rage Rage (Or: Didn’t I Just Leave This Place?)

Rage is pretty cool. The game, that is. The id team produced another decent (read: good, but not excellent) title to continue their streak of decency. It’s a fun littleFPS/driving adventure that I wouldn’t take completely seriously, but that’s definitely entertaining in hefty doses (and any single-player game that can hold my attention for more than 45 minutes at a ... Read More »

We Know They Explode, Seriously

You know those ubiquitous little barrels with bright red all over them that scream “OH MAN PLEASE SHOOT ME. PLEASE. I’LL EXPLODE FOR YOU.”? It’s time they got some attention. Admit it. You haven’t given much thought to the combustible bastards… yet they’re definitely in, at the very least, one or two games that you play / have played. They’re ... Read More »

Thrill of Victory

Wow, that was hard. I just spent a good 45 minutes trying to beat the hardest fight in Zeno Clash. The main campaign is more or less easy, but the challenge lies in – wait for it – challenge mode. You choose from a group of five different levels, each of which containing a series of floors with different challenges. ... Read More »

Easymode and Tryhards

Launch any multiplayer game that has different races/weapons/whatever and observe the way a majority of people play. If it’s Team Fortress 2, you’ll see Phlogstinator or Degreaser Pyros, Huntsman Snipers, Dead Ringer Spies, etc. If you launch Counter Strike: Source, you’ll see AWP snipers. Bloody everywhere. If you launch Altitude, you’ll see a dozen Loopy planes, to the exclusion of ... Read More »

MMORPGs 101, part 2

Here it comes, the next big MMORPG! Maybe this one will finally take World of Warcraft down a notch! No, wait, it flopped. Nevermind. Think about the last several years, and all of the MMOs that carried promise of grandeur. Note that said promise of grandeur takes more than just marketing. The community has to be excited about it. I’m ... Read More »

MMORPGs 101, part 1

I hate most MMORPGs. Warcraft was great (emphasis on “was”), City of Heroes is fun, EVE Online is fantastic… but too many developers completely miss the heart of role-playing games gone social. “Is it to level up?” NO, a THOUSAND TIMES NO. Read More »

Metagame = Toxic

In MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas) such as League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients, the term “meta” gets thrown around a lot. These items are meta. This champion is part of the meta. That team composition isn’t within the meta. Meta, or metagame, is the bible of these games. Read More »

Boom Boom > Pew Pew

Finally, that moment has come when you can get that next great weapon or that next huge upgrade. Say it’s an energy rifle that rivals the lightning of Zeus. Eager to try it out, you pull the trigger. Light builds up at the end of the muzzle, time slows to a crawl, and you’re flung backward from the kick. A ... Read More »

Replayability / 100% Completion

So you’ve finally done it. You’ve beaten the game. It took hours of sweat, blood and tears (though hopefully no blood), but you’ve done it. The credits have rolled. The game is over… wait, what’s this? An evil little number peers at you from the main menu, taunting you with its seductive gaze. It dares you to grip your mouse ... Read More »