Archive for the ‘Game Design’ Category

Who Cares about Clothes in a Snowstorm?

My first thoughts when walking into up a mountain slope in Skyrim where something along the lines of “All that wind and snow, it surely must be cold up here.” Pretty immersive to be sure. Nils, on the other hand, wondered why people weren’t wearing appropriate clothes for the cold, having his immersion broken in […]

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In Which EU Makes Me Question my Idols

My steam tells me that I’ve now spent more than 100 hours playing Europa Universalis. That’s a lot for a game that sat in my account for basically ever, even when you discount the fact that I sometimes leave it on when I make dinner or something. One thing I realized some time into the […]

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Amnesia

I can’t possibly count how many video game characters I’ve played (and story protagonists I’ve read about) that had amnesia of some form or another. As Azuriel pointedly puts it “Amnesia is so cliche a plot element that merely saying it is cliche is itself a cliche.” It’s an easy way for game designers to […]

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Hide those Numbers

I’m long done with Fable III (or done-ish, since I still mean to do a couple of post game things, such as marrying some random villager. The same way I still mean to finish Fallout: New Vegas, Portal 2, and other games that I simply fail to pick up again after a break of some […]

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Memoir:44 – not-so-free-to-play

Nils posted last night about a post on Mind Bending Puzzles discussing the payment model of Memoir:44, a game labeled as free-to-play on Steam.  As it turns out the game isn’t actually free to play (surprise!), as you have to pay for each game you play after a certain amount of free games – a […]

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More on Legendaries

I was when I first encountered it. Things have not improved since. For one, I can’t throw a stone in Moria without hitting an orc that’s carrying a legendary item for me to pick up. (Once I’ve dealt with the angry mob of course. For some reason, throwing stones in Moria or even jumping into […]

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The Reason Nobody Groups Anymore

The title of this post is full of lies. There are still people who play in groups in MMOs and I don’t really know the reasons as to why the others don’t anymore. What I do know is why I rarely play in a group these days if it isn’t a group of friends. My […]

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Single-Use Special Items

The other day I got a funky quest reward in Lord of the Rings online: A one-time use item that can be used to snare a monster (supposedly for easy killing.) I don’t know if these are commonly available elsewhere, but I’ve only seen this one so far and find it both curious and problematic.

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On Sets

Collecting sets of items has a certain undeniable appeal to gamers. Whether you are collecting artifacts in Rift or trying to complete the latest tier set in WoW, there is a compelling quality to the system that makes you want to keep collecting. This is good in so far as it keeps players interested in […]

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Quests can Ruin Exploration

The traditional (by now) questing model in MMOs doesn’t leave a lot of room for exploration and surprises. Things get even worse when players (like me) decide not to read quest text and blindly follow the pointers of some built-in quest helper system. The other day, LotRO surprised me when I encountered a line of […]

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