November 28, 2014


Let There Be Life

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Let There Be Life Need a game to help you unwind from the daily grind? Escape to your zen place as you build trees and preserve flowers in this beautiful and relaxing game available for Android or iOS. Tagged as: android, backwardpies, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, puzzle, rating-g, tablet, zen




Submolok

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Submolok Nitrome goes underwater in this exploration-based action game as you control an alien looking for parts to fix its satellite. The twist? You're piloting a submersible with a very unique control scheme, and with upgrades scattered about the ocean to discover, the end result is a fiddly but creative game that needs patient and a delicate touch to appreciate. Tagged as: action, browser, exploration, flash, free, game, metroidvania, nitrome, rating-g, upgrades




Failman

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Failman This is one superhero you wouldn't want to see speeding towards you, mainly because the star of PPLLAAYY's short point-and-click puzzle game always seems to make things worse when he tries to save the day! Tagged as: browser, flash, free, game, playthis, pointandclick, ppllaayy, puzzle, rating-y



November 27, 2014


Unity sprites tip: not using “generate mip maps” might help with non-blurry images

from Game Producer

I tested the new Unity 4.6 and noticed that in the web player, my sprites became blurry. After fiddling with the settings I realized it’s the “generate mip maps” that basically meant “generate blurry images”.

unity_sprite_mip_maps




Monkey GO Happy Thanksgiving

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Monkey GO Happy Thanksgiving It might be cold outside, but when your belly is empty and your Thanksgiving feast is missing, you know there's more important things than a little frostbite! Help the monkeys find their turkey in this short but sweet point-and-click adventure. Tagged as: adventure, browser, flash, free, game, monkeygohappy, pencilkids, playthis, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g




World's Dawn

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — World's Dawn Sugar Blossom Villages looks to be a little slice of paradise, but it's missing something. Could it be you? Find out in World's Dawn, an RPG-Farming Simulation hybrid by Wayward Prophet. Those not already fans of its Harvest Moon-esque gameplay may not be won over by its slow pace, but genre-lovers with a yen for strong character interaction and game mechanics will find it right up their alley. Tagged as: download, fantasy, free, game, indie, rating-y, realtime, rpg, simulation, waywardprophet, windows



November 26, 2014


Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Enter the lovely, dark, and deep woods to solve the mystery of the Mistwalkers in Elephant Games' sequel to Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove. This time, while the unseasonal deep freeze is back, the local wildlife has turned deadly, and it's up to you to stop it and discover what caused it, and why. Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, casual, demo, download, elephantgames, game, hiddenobject, hybrid, mac, mysterycasefiles, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-o, windows




Nekra Psaria 2

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Nekra Psaria 2 The wonderfully surreal Nekra Psaria is back, ready for more bizarro adventures with Johnny-boy in his weird, head-powered world. This time, you'll be point-and-clicking your way through a bizarre forest, feeding cats, catching birds, and growing head-trees along the way. There're people to meet and puzzles to solve along the way, but in this thoroughly surreal series, the most enjoyable part is just having your mind blown! Tagged as: browser, drawmaneater, escape, flash, free, game, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-o, surreal




Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It

from GBGames

Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It is a book I have been waiting for ever since I first learned that my friend Lars Pearson was interested in publishing a book about women and games.

Mad Norwegian Press is known for their Doctor Who-related books, including the Hugo-award winning Chicks Dig Time Lords. Their “Chicks Dig” series features essays from female fans of Doctor Who, comics, Joss Whedon’s creations, and now games.

Lars didn’t ask me to write this post, but I wanted to let people know about this book because I think more women should have their voices heard in the game industry.

You can learn more details about the book at the Chicks Dig Gaming page at Mad Norwegian Press.

Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of Gaming by the Women Who Love It is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development




Weekday Escape N°51

from Jay Is Games

Weekday Escape N°51 Games featured this week: Escape from the Similar Rooms 15; Candy Rooms No.18: Rose Pink Girly; The Cursed Dungeon; Marshmallow's New Home: 4th Room — Hottategoya, FunkyLand, Flash512, and Maroya bring you many reasons to be thankful for another Weekday Escape. This week's selection of fun free online escape games is a cornucopia of brain-teasing puzzles, eye-popping atmospheres and crowd-pleasing entertainment. Tagged as: blog, browser, escape, flash512, free, funkyland, game, hottategoya, maroya, pointandclick, puzzle, weekday-escape



November 25, 2014


Tales from the Borderlands: Episode One

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows, Retail — Tales from the Borderlands: Episode One Rhys is a Hyperion suit who just got demoted by his worst enemy. Fiona is a con artist who wants to make the money she and her family need to live free and easy. They may hate each other, and they may both be to blame when things go wrong, but one thing's for sure... this first installment in the point-and-click episodic adventure series by TellTale based on the popular shooter is unexpectedly hilarious and exciting in all the best ways. Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, console, download, episodic, game, gearbox, greenmangaming, mac, pointandclick, ps3, ps4, rating-r, scifi, steam, telltalegames, windows, xbox360, xboxone




Mercurial Story

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — Mercurial Story In this puzzle platformer, the main character struggles with uncontrollable mood swings represented by mirrored worlds on each level. While some may find the implication of abuse too much to get past, Mercurial Story is still obviously intended to provide an optimistic look if you can survive to the end. Tagged as: android, browser, flash, free, game, havana24, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, platform, playthis, puzzle, rating-o, tablet



November 24, 2014


Capella's Promise

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — Capella's Promise When his sister agrees to look after a strange girl for a huge sum, Velk thinks it's strange, but things go from weird to dangerous when the girl becomes a target of the Emissaries and has no idea why. A massive freeware indie RPG that makes up for a lot of grinding with tons of content and combat customisation. Tagged as: adventure, download, fantasy, free, game, indie, plainsoft, rating-o, rpg, vgperson, windows




Galaxy Harvest

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Galaxy Harvest Seed, develop and harvest interplanetary life to sustain your advanced civilization in this realtime strategy game from Lev Simonov and Anna Maskaleva. Watch out for space locusts! Tagged as: amaskaleva, browser, flash, free, game, lsimonov, rating-y, realtime, strategy




How to Handle Losing When Designing Games for Young Children

from GBGames

Ruined Game

Most grown-ups can learn to play a new game without too much difficulty, and when they play, losing is understood to be a perfectly expected occurrence. That is, if someone loses, it is entirely possible that person still had fun playing the game.

Young children being introduced to games, on the other hand, sometimes have difficulty with a loss. They may pout or throw tantrums. Some sessions might end with these sore losers tossing the board or cards so that no one can play.

Even before it gets to this point, you might encounter a child trying to win at all costs. You might notice the child being really obvious when slipping a specific card in the right position in a deck before dealing.

Or if you are winning a game, you might be accused of cheating yourself. This accusation is especially ridiculous when playing a video game in which you can’t cheat.

Do you let the child win? He or she might be obnoxious about it. If you thought trash talking was annoying online, play against a cocky kid.

Of course, an inconsolably upset and angry child isn’t a great way to end family game night.

But how do you teach a child that losing isn’t the end of the world, that you can always play another game, that there’s such a thing as sportsmanship and dignity in defeat?

While researching this issue for educational games I want to make, I came across the 2012 Psychology Today article Winning and Losing by Dr. Kenneth Barish. He argues for playing often together and letting the child win, but only sometimes.

It is also important for us to keep in mind that, from the point of view of child development, the philosophy of Vince Lombardi (“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”) is profoundly wrong and teaches exactly the wrong lesson.

By winning and losing constantly, the child gets to practice dealing with disappointment and learns about his or her own limitations.

Eventually, children should start to understand that games involve agreeing to rules and restrictions. If you start a game of checkers, you can’t just walk away before the game is finished, and you definitely don’t throw the board in the air after your opponent’s piece is kinged.

In the meantime, is it possible to design games so that learning how to play by the rules is less stressful? Where losing isn’t as prominent?

Or is it wrong-headed to try to make a game in which everyone is a winner and so overly-protected children never learn the lessons they need to interact with others when they get older?

Games have always been a safe place to learn life skills. Whether you are running and jumping on the playground or calculating an opponent’s potential moves in chess, you learned how to navigate complex social interactions through play.

Now, there are games that can be played that don’t feature victory or loss, and recreational sports tend not to keep score for very young children. Are these games hampering anyone’s learning? The good news is that “games without winners and losers will have little effect on the desire or ability of children to excel.”

So it seems that you can choose to design a game without the ability to lose and not worry about damaging anyone’s upbringing. The key seems to be to focus on helping players get better, which is something games with their feedback loops are great at anyway.

How to Handle Losing When Designing Games for Young Children is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development




Episode 369: Dragon Age MMO-Style

from Casual Gamer Chick

No Gravatar

This week’s episode has Jonah annoyed at the gameplay decisions for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Paul discusses passwords, while the Gaming History is the cartoon Captain N: The Game Master.

This week’s news includes:

  • Valve lays out new rules and guidelines for Early Access developers
  • Xbox One console exclusive Ori and The Blind Forest delayed into 2015
  • Hackers claim to have raided PSN, 2K, Origin, Windows Live mail
  • GameStop & Nintendo: Game devaluation must stop

All this plus Listener Feedback and the Question of the Week: “What video game licensed cartoons have you enjoyed most, if any?”

This week’s episode has Jonah annoyed at the gameplay decisions for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Paul discusses passwords, while the Gaming History is the cartoon Captain N: The Game Master. This week’s news includes: Valve lays out new rules and guidelines for Early Access developers Xbox One console exclusive Ori and The Blind Forest delayed into 2015 Hackers claim to have raided PSN, 2K, Origin, Windows Live mail GameStop & Nintendo: Game devaluation must stop All this plus Listener Feedback and the Question of the Week: “What video game licensed cartoons have you enjoyed most, if any?”



November 23, 2014


My Chivalry: Medieval Warfare review

from Game Producer

It’s pretty awesome.

2014-11-21_00005

 




It Moves

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — It Moves Everyone is always bothered by the unexplained bump in the night. But what if the noise is more simple, like someone rustling in the supposedly empty bunk below you. Each night you are haunted by nightmares, but they are nothing compared to what happens when you are awake. Tagged as: download, free, game, horror, indie, interactiveart, narrative, puzzle, rating-o, rpgmaker, snowowl, surreal, windows



November 22, 2014


Bobby Da Arrow

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Bobby Da Arrow Goblins are invading the kingdom, but not to worry, Bobby Da Arrow is here to save the day with his amazing archery. Fire away at the oncoming enemies in this physics game, but you best be quick because with every spin of the clock your foes get a turn of their own. Tagged as: action, bitnest, browser, defense, flash, flashchaz, free, game, projectile, puzzle, rating-g, shooter, strategy



November 21, 2014


Surface: Game of Gods

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Surface: Game of Gods You've been invited to play a strange new game, but when all your friends are sucked inside it, you quickly realize the stakes are higher than you ever dreamed. A gorgeous, cinematic, and creepy-cool hidden-object adventure from Elephant Games. Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, casual, demo, download, elephantgames, game, hiddenobject, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-y, windows




Sneaky Sneaky

from Jay Is Games

Sneaky Sneaky Just as you escape with your best haul yet, a group of thugs stop you before you can spend your reward. Sneak around to recollect your loot and trick your enemies to meet their makers sooner than they would have liked and if you do so strategically, perhaps you'll end up with more than you stole in the first place. And isn't that every thief's dream? Tagged as: action, game, indie, mac, naiadntertaiment, puzzle, rating-g, stealth, steam, strategy, windows




Crossy Road

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS — Crossy Road Endless arcade action meets classic Frogger style gameplay in this free iOS game where you control a series of hapless unlockable creatures trying to cross some very busy and very deadly roads and rapids. With a sense of humor and vibrant voxel graphics, it's both charming and hard to put down. Tagged as: action, arcade, free, game, hipsterwhale, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, microtransactions, mobile, rating-g, simpleidea




Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property The apartment in this escape game's rent is suspiciously low, and there's a weird smell here too... so it's probably not a good sign your realtor has locked you inside! Experience a whole lot of weirdness (and a jump scare or two) in this very silly game from no1game. Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, no1game, playthis, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g




Natural Selection 2

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Natural Selection 2 Your cute little spider-ball is hungry. Use the mouse to shoot strands of webbing to pull him around each level, catching and ensaring flies and avoiding the angry bees that chase you through each level. Tagged as: action, afedoseev, browser, flash, free, game, physics, rating-g




I Want Tiny, Adorable Consoles to Play Slow Games for Christmas!

from GBGames

Wired reported on Ishac Bertran’s experimental game consoles that let you make only one move a day.

Slow Games from Ishac Bertran on Vimeo.

From his Slow Games page:

I’m using Slow Games as a platform to experiment with low pace, long lasting gameplays, and explore game mechanics that keep players engaged throughout weeks of play with simple rule variations

At first, I thought, “Apparently Bertran hasn’t played games such as Diplomacy or chess by mail.”

Recently I started playing Neptune’s Pride after a long break, and I was telling a coworker. He hates the idea of a game that doesn’t resolve for weeks. And he hates the idea of even slower action games such as what Bertran’s consoles provide.

So, as actual games, they’re not for everyone.

But this project is meant to explore our relationship with technology. We expect instant feedback, and if that feedback mechanism was slowed down dramatically, how would it change our interaction?

Focusing so intently on the technology only gets you so far for these games, so would we start paying attention to our surroundings more? Or would we get antsy?

No matter what, these consoles are tiny, can fit next to anything on my shelf or desk, and I want one for Christmas. I don’t see any indication that they are going to be for sale, though. B-(

I Want Tiny, Adorable Consoles to Play Slow Games for Christmas! is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development



November 20, 2014


This War of Mine

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows, Linux — This War of Mine In this compelling and grim indie simulation, you control a group of survivors struggling to get by day to day in an increasingly dangerous city that's turned into a war zone. As the days pass, you're forced to push the limits of what you're comfortable with in order to survive, and rather than glorifying war for heroics, This War of Mine humanizes it for its people. Tagged as: 11bitstudios, adventure, crafting, download, game, gog, indie, linux, mac, narrative, rating-r, simulation, steam, windows




Kingdom Rush Origins

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Kingdom Rush Origins Ironhide Games is back for more with the third installment in their wildly popular realtime strategy/tower defense game series available for iOS and Android. As gorgeous and charming as you'd expect, Origins doesn't do much to shake up the established formula, but with new enemies, locations, heroes, and more, it's everything fans enjoy with a high coat of polish. Tagged as: android, defense, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, ironhidegame, kingdomrush, microtransactions, mobile, rating-y, realtime, strategy, tablet, towerdefense




Gocha Gocha Room

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Gocha Gocha Room What do a cat, a chicken, a caterpillar, and you have in common? You're all locked up in this cute and charming escape game from Yonashi, where "quirky" is the word of the day! Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, yonashi




Thoughts on Wind Waker’s Miniblins

from GBGames

Remember when I said I’m playing Wind Waker for the first time? I still am.

Well, not still. I put it down for almost two months. My last save was in September. I finally played it again.

I’ve been busy.

But I was playing it again, and I was in Forsaken Fortress trying to sneak up to the top of the middle tower to find my sister.

That’s when I encountered the Miniblins again, and I have to remark on how amazing they are as enemies.

There are a variety of moblins in this game. Some sniff around and search with lanterns, and if they see you, they’ll throw the lantern and cause a fire hazard to appear before attacking. Smaller moblins might stand guard with menacing weapons, but they tend to fall asleep if you wait long enough.

But miniblins are obnoxious.

You can hear them before you see them. And you never hear just one, but you can’t be sure. It’s this cute sounding “deh dank, deh dank.”

And then you see them. There’s usually more than one. And they are small. You think, “Ok, these guys look adorable. I’m sure I can defeat them easily.”

And it’s true.

But then you find out one is walking on the wall above you, and one had walked up the wall below you, and suddenly you realize that you’re surrounded.

And when you swing your sword at one, another one hits you with its pitchfork, knocking you down to the ground.

And he laughs. As you lie there while the others “deh dank, deh dank” around you, he laughs at how he made you fall.

From a mechanics perspective, miniblins are simply weak enemies who are quick, capable of moving in places the player can’t, and tend to show up in groups.

They are dangerous because there is going to be more than one, and they knock you down rather than merely hurt you, and you tend to encounter them in places where being knocked down can mean falling to a lower level and needing to traverse the dungeon to get to the same area again. And again. And Again.

But that’s just the mechanics. The sounds they make and the giggling after they hit you?

So obnoxious.

And that piece of aesthetics make them one of my favorite enemies in this game. Without that taunting, miniblins could have been a boring new variety of moblin.

With it, they become bullies who seem to enjoy bothering you for sport.

Thoughts on Wind Waker’s Miniblins is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development



November 19, 2014


Sweet Drmzzz

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Sweet Drmzzz Bart Bonte brings us another fun point-and-click puzzle game in his signature style. Tap your way through a dreamscape of colorful worms in an interstellar adventure that will keep you on your toes. Tagged as: android, bbonte, game, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, kindle, mobile, point-and-click, puzzle, rating-g, sand, snake, tablet




Weekday Escape N°50

from Jay Is Games

Weekday Escape N°50 Games featured this week: Escape from the Room with Three Pictures 3; The Home Story 3: My Room — Two, Four...You pick, you decide. It's been a busy week here in my basement office at JIG headquarters. But that's not going to stop Weekday Escape from rolling out with more fun free escape games for you to play and enjoy. This week we have one from Yomino Kagura and three from Flash512, That should be enough to keep you busy until the next time we meet. Tagged as: blog, browser, escape, flash512, free, game, pointandclick, puzzle, weekday-escape, yominokagura



November 18, 2014


Black Tower Enigma

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android — Black Tower Enigma Help Wigo rescue his wife at the top of a magical tower in this short but sweet game for iOS and Android. The only way to advance is solving whatever riddle and puzzle is thrown his way. Are you clever enough to reunite the lovers? Tagged as: android, game, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, mobile, ogrepixel, puzzle, rating-g, retro, tablet




Starbot

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — Starbot Short but more than a little sweet, this free indie adventure inspired by The Little Prince follows a small, newly built robot who makes an unusual friend and discovers the importance of love and friendship for a cozy, effortlessly charming experience. Tagged as: adventure, cloudhime, download, free, game, indie, lgbtq, narrative, puzzle, rating-y, rpgmaker, scifi, windows




The Inquisitor

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows, Linux, Unity — The Inquisitor Murder is great, I think we can all agree, but what about endless, procedurally generated murder presented in the form of logic puzzles? Explore and interrogate witnesses, keeping your own notes and maps, and figure out who to accuse as well as their weapons and motives in this simple but smart game made in just nine days. Tagged as: browser, download, free, game, indie, linux, logic, mac, mbrown, mystery, puzzle, rating-o, unity, windows




Riddles of Fate: Memento Mori Walkthrough

from Casual Game Guides

Trust our Riddles of Fate: Memento Mori Walkthrough to help you on your quest to help Death find several dangerous criminals who have dared to run from his embrace. You must track them down and quickly. Their very existance could spell the end of time itself! Our detailed game instructions, custom marked screenshots, and easy puzzle solutions will help you track down these criminals and save the world from certain destruction in this thrilling hidden object adventure game!
 



» Riddles of Fate: Memento Mori Walkthrough & Forum

» Riddles of Fate: Memento Mori Free Trial & Related Games




Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer Walkthrough

from Casual Game Guides

With our Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer Walkthrough, you'll have an essential survival guide at your fingertips as you undertake the quest of a lifetime. After the dark warriors destroyed your healer clan, it's now up to you to protect Mira, the elder's daughter, drive out the darkness from your lands, and restore the kingdom! You'll need all the help you can get so don't forget to pack our detailed game instructions, our custom marked screenshots, and our simple puzzle solutions to help you along the way!



» Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer Walkthrough & Forum

» Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer Free Trial & Related Games



November 17, 2014


Dakota Winchester's Adventures Part 2: Cactus City

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Dakota Winchester's Adventures Part 2: Cactus City In the next installment of Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure series, Dakota Winchester arrives in Cactus City looking for the next ancient gem he needs to open a magical box. Too bad the townsfolk all seem to need his help! Tagged as: adventure, browser, carmelgames, flash, free, game, playthis, pointandclick, rating-g




Mikke Escape

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Mikke Escape Detarame Factory is back with their signature blend of whimsical charm as you find yourself trapped in a room where you must find and click on ten circles in order to escape. Though one puzzle will make you Google a word if you aren't familiar with it, if you're looking for a cute and clever little escape to brighten your day, this is a solid bet. Tagged as: browser, detaramefactory, escape, flash, free, game, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g




Back This Project: That Dragon, Cancer

from GBGames

I haven’t backed many projects on Kickstarter, but That Dragon, Cancer by Ryan and Amy Green is one of those projects I can’t see passing up.

We created That Dragon, Cancer to tell the story of our son Joel and his 4-year fight against cancer. Our desire is to craft an adventure game that is poetic, playful, full of imagination and of hope. This is how we choose to honor him and his memory.

- Ryan and Amy Green

That Dragon, Cancer is a heart-breaking game for any father to make. Ryan Green calls it a “love-letter to his son” with a goal of encouraging the people who play it to love one another.

God at Play‘s Josh Larson worked with the parents to create this game, which is fitting. Josh hosted the Meaningful Game Play Game Jam back in 2011, which had the purpose of developing prototypes to explore deeper experiences in games.

Ryan Green participated remotely and submitted Giga Wife, which explored the idea of being a good husband. I remember him reading the introduction and talking about how much he loves his wife, and you can tell he has a big heart. The game was humorous at times, but also deals with the very real complications that a relationship can have.

I know Josh personally, and he is a very deliberate and conscious person. He’s a game developer I admire because he is always pursuing impactful experiences. And now Josh and Ryan are working together on a game that is very meaningful to not only the Greens but anyone who has had to fight the battle against cancer.

Please consider backing the project. I backed That Dragon, Cancer on Kickstarter because I want to support their efforts and see them succeed.

I also support the idea that a game can be the chosen medium for something such as this tribute to a beloved child. A game with an agenda of love is something I want to say I helped make available.

As of this writing, they are 57% funded after an initial burst of media coverage, but most Kickstarter projects hit a slump soon after. I would hate for this project to miss its goal. Pledging even just a small amount helps.

Back This Project: That Dragon, Cancer is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development




Episode 368: Black Friday Approaches

from Casual Gamer Chick

No Gravatar

As Black Friday approaches, Jonah and Paul discuss this week’s news after an absence. No Devin this week, as well as no Gaming Flashback or Gaming History. Paul loses it on the last news item, too.

As for the news:

  • Just Cause 3 announced for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2015
  • Nintendo talks third party, holiday strategy
  • Dev: It’s tougher to develop for kids than core gamers
  • Intel resumes advertising with Gamasutra
  • Xbox One sales triple following $349 promotion
  • World of Warcraft hit with DDoS attack as new expansion launches
  • Carbine: Redundancies are “part of game development”

The Question of the Week: “When did you first start buying games digitally?”

As Black Friday approaches, Jonah and Paul discuss this week’s news after an absence. No Devin this week, as well as no Gaming Flashback or Gaming History. Paul loses it on the last news item, too. As for the news: Just Cause 3 announced for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2015 Nintendo talks third party, holiday strategy Dev: It’s tougher to develop for kids than core gamers Intel resumes advertising with Gamasutra Xbox One sales triple following $349 promotion World of Warcraft hit with DDoS attack as new expansion launches Carbine: Redundancies are “part of game development” The Question of the Week: “When did you first start buying games digitally?”



November 16, 2014


Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 13

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 13 Lo.Nyan serves up another wonderfully logical and clever escape game that strikes the perfect balance between light whimsy and smart puzzle design, with the usual wonderfully user friendly interface to boot! Tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, japanese, linux, lonyans, mac, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g, windows




The Stoneville Mystery

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Windows — The Stoneville Mystery Johnny's father isn't there when the little boy wakes up one dark and stormy night, and he decides to brave the cold and the rain to find him and bring him home in this short but charming free indie adventure. Tagged as: adventure, download, fantasy, fluffydud, free, game, indie, puzzle, rating-y, rpgmaker, windows




Here be pixel art

from Game Producer

Here’s some pixel art I’ve recently been doing.

samurai_bird_flies_away2

robinson-fishing

mmafighter2

lechuck

reaper-swing-harvest-soul

dwarves_lantern




Hypothermia

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Unity — Hypothermia Blink and you'll miss it, but this short and incredibly atmospheric adventure made in just one week about being trapped on a small frozen island with dwindling supplies is one chilly and eerie game we hope is expanded on. Tagged as: adventure, browser, free, game, horror, irashkuev, kkhrushchev, playthis, rating-g, surreal, unity



November 15, 2014


Decision 3

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Decision 3 You're an army of one against a horde of undead. Shoot through the hordes, explore the terrain, and rescue what few survivors you can find to swell the ranks of the living. Another fantastic entry in the Decision series. Tagged as: action, browser, decision, exploration, flash, flyanvil, free, game, rating-o, shooter, survival, topdown, upgrades, zombies



November 14, 2014


Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Mac, Windows — Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide A hidden kingdom rises from beneath the waves, and that might just spell doom for everyone on land, everywhere, if you can't find a way to set an ancient curse right in this gorgeous hidden-object adventure. Tagged as: adventure, affiliate, blueteagames, casual, darkparables, demo, download, eipixentertainment, game, hiddenobject, mac, rating-o, windows




Moonkid

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Moonkid The moon is falling from the sky, and all you can do is watch. Fortunately, that's something you're good it. It's Moonkid, a piece of interactive art by Mike Salyh. Slow-paced and artsy, Moonkid won't be for everyone. However, its haunting evocative nature definitely makes it worth seeing for yourself. Tagged as: browser, experimental, flash, free, game, interactiveart, msalyh, narrative, rating-y




Making Non-Random Games

from GBGames

When I start designing a game, I tend to try to avoid adding random elements. That is, I don’t want luck to enter into the course of events so that they can be repeatable. One thing follows from another, always. I like my game rules to be the physics of my world. I want the apple to fall from the tree at a constant rate. It shouldn’t be faster or slower on rare occasions, nor should it turn into an orange.

Also, I want the player to have as much agency as possible, and a die roll or draw of a random card seems to take it away. You might have been able to skillfully get yourself into a winning position, but because your opponent got a random boost this turn, your hard-earned advantage is completely lost. Sounds like frustration rather than entertainment.

On the other hand, not having random elements means more often than not that the game is solvable, which means that the benefit of the events being repeatable is also a problem. Once you figure out how to beat a challenge, you know how to ALWAYS beat that challenge. The game becomes boring very quickly.

It’s not impossible to make a non-random game that is relatively unsolvable. Chess fits the bill, but it has the advantage of being developed over thousands of years. I’ve only got months to make a game, or maybe hours if it is for Ludum Dare.

Dice

So, I turn to adding random numbers to my games eventually. It adds variety so that each play session isn’t boringly identical. And depending on how you implement random numbers, you control how much of an impact it has on the events of the game versus the actions of the players. For example, in Lemonade Stand, weather forecasts help inform the player. If it is likely to rain, you might not want to spend as much on advertising and supplies. Of course, the forecasts can be wrong. If it doesn’t rain, you lost an opportunity if you didn’t spend any money.

As another example, the dice rolled in Settlers of Catan dictate the flow of resources into and out of the game. Players might not get the resources they need from the random events, but they can still trade for them. And the robber getting invoked on the roll of a 7 encourages players to spend their resources while they have them.

There is a lot of variety in how luck can be applied. Poker, for instance, is a luck-based game. That is, for any given hand, it’s the luck of the draw that determines the winner. Yet the skill in poker isn’t in winning hands. It’s in knowing when to bet and when to fold. The real game is in managing your response to the luck over the course of many hands.

Luck in Games: Why RNG Isn’t the Answer by Elyot Grant breaks down the roles of luck in games and argues that it is possible, if difficult, to address those roles with non-random solutions.

His goal was to fix the problems with competitive games that randomness introduces. When you play a card game and draw a bad hand, your chances of winning are near zero. Similarly, getting a dominant hand almost guarantees the win. Skill and player agency are effectively nullified, and in a competition, it’s never a good feeling to know that you might still lose very badly despite being the best player.

I am not familiar with Hearthstone, which Grant mentions a lot by way of examples, but his analysis of it’s intrinsic problems related to the role of randomness led to the development of Prismata.

I do like how he breaks down the supposed benefits of randomness, arguing that each be obtained without luck. But then, I’m not sure if some of these arguments are applicable in all situations.

With modern online matchmaking and rating systems, any player of any game with a sufficiently large audience should be able to quickly find a match against an opponent that they can beat 50% of the time. There’s absolutely no reason to deliberately increase the role of luck in determining who wins.

But what happens when your game doesn’t have a “sufficiently large audience”? Or if you’re not interested in playing with strangers, which effectively shrinks this large audience?

Are luckless games necessarily competitive? That is, do skill levels need to be comparable between opponents to make a non-random game enjoyable, or can you have a non-random game that is cooperative or single player and still find it compelling?

Luck in games is a major topic. I’ve written about randomness in game design in the past, and there are plenty of books and articles centered on its role. Understanding it means you can leverage it better in your own designs.

I still enjoy challenging myself to design games with no random elements to see how far I can get before I encounter major systemic problems with the game. Grant’s article indicates it can be done. I’d be interested in hearing about other examples. If you know of any, let me know in the comments section below.

Making Non-Random Games is a post from: GBGames - Thoughts on Indie Game Development



November 13, 2014


Five Nights at Freddy's 2

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Android, Windows — Five Nights at Freddy's 2 Mere months after the release of the original beloved and terrifying game comes a bigger, meaner sequel, though it mostly feels like a more complete game than the first. With new animatronics, new mechanics, and a whole lot of jump scares and unsettling scenes, can you survive your new night shift? Tagged as: action, android, demo, desura, download, game, horror, indie, minigames, mobile, puzzle, rating-y, scawthon, windows




0h h1

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Javascript/HTML5 — 0h h1 Available in your browser or free for iOS and Android, Martin Kool serves up a simple and simply lovely little puzzle game for fans of logic, smart gameplay, and beautiful, clean design. Tagged as: android, browser, free, game, html5, ios, ipad, iphone, ipodtouch, logic, mkool, mobile, puzzle, rating-g, simpleidea