19 September 2019

Analyse This: The Concept of Health and Balance in Games (Part 3)

Last time I spent some time detailing what sorts of health systems you may run into within a game and the types of worlds that are implemented for games to control the player's progression in general. In Part 1 I spoke about balance in a more general sense. This time, I'm going to explore how all of those choices can result in less interesting gameplay.

18 September 2019

Analyse This: The Concept of Health and Balance in Games (Part 2)

Last time I started trying to talk about health systems in games but became side-tracked into a conversation about difficulty and balance in games. Ultimately, the two are interlinked as encounters need to be balanced around the health system in a game.

But back to the health systems of games and back to my premise:
Having a game system which requires no thought from the player or little management results in boring or uninteresting gameplay. Worse still, it results in multiple game systems feeding into that specific game system being unfocussed and underdeveloped because less thought is required for the whole thing to function.
People play games for many reasons but one of the reasons we play games instead of watching a movie or reading a book is that gaming allows us to make choices - whether we are aware of this aspect or not. The choice may be simple enough - a dialogue decision, exploration, who to shoot in combat or which weapon to use... how to solve a puzzle.

17 September 2019

Analyse This: The Concept of Health and Balance in Games (Part 1)

I touched on this topic very briefly around 9 years ago but, if I'm honest, it was never a huge topic for me until Bob Case got to his analytical break down of Baldur's Gate this past week and I realised my feelings on the subject were stronger than I anticipated.

The health system of any game is vitally important in order to balance all gameplay elements. While the concept of "health" can be more or less abstract across different genres (what is "health" in a card collecting game (CCG) or a real time strategy game (RTS), for example?), I'm going to focus on its place role playing games (RPGs) and first person shooters (FPSes)...

28 August 2019

Post Thoughts: Rebel Galaxy Outlaw

I was a huge fan of Wing Commander: Privateer when it came out. Back then, space flight sims were quite common and very popular but the star of the space sim very quickly faded into a niche with the rise of the first person shooter. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is a call-back and directly inspired by Privateer, replicating and updating most of the gameplay systems whilst adding some new aspects. Let's take a look!

Though the game is not super heavily story-based - here be spoilers!

25 June 2017

Steam support: the new ouroboros...

Steam support has always been dire. At best, it might be described as "poor" or "sub-par" but the usual user experience is "terrible". I've not had to deal with Steam's support for a while now but an incident happened that made me question what was going on with my account and I needed some help with that.

Cue this particular turn of events:

"That's cool an' all... but I didn't play this game?"