We spent a lot of time talking about gender and feminism in class, because of this I had a feeling that it would be a common topic to blog about. I was curious what my classmates would come up with in terms of games that addressed or failed to address this topic. In my mind I had … Continue reading “Final Game Log”
We spent a lot of time talking about gender and feminism in class, because of this I had a feeling that it would be a common topic to blog about. I was curious what my classmates would come up with in terms of games that addressed or failed to address this topic. In my mind I had already picked games such as GTA and Gone Home, which fit both sides of the spectrum for how they approach these two major subjects. I was reading through people’s blog posts, and found that Samantha, Emi, and Luke all wrote about misrepresentation of women in videogames. Sam Wrote about Grand Theft Auto, a game the, unsurprisingly, was a common topic in class and in our blogs. I agreed with most of what Sam wrote as GTA is well known for its objectification and misrepresentation of women. Emi chose to write about Bioshock which surprised me. I had never thought of Bioshock as a game that sells masculinity. Her post made me think more about Bioshock Infinite more than the original, which she wrote about. The “little sisters” are just little girls, yet in Bioshock Infinite you have a female follower that is very powerful and eventually changes the outcome of the game. Lastly in Luke’s post he wrote about a game I had never heard of called Broken Age. His analysis was investing especially his statement about how girl’s common role in most science fiction games. All of these were strong points that I hadn’t necessarily considered when playing through games. I typically, subconsciously, turn a blind a blind eye to this topic as I do not look forward while I play a game.
What surprised me the most about reading through people’s posts was the level of detail and range of discussion. People were writing about things ranging from Chris’ article on perspective within Skyrim to Jasmine’s post on Rhythm Heaven. I learned a lot and enjoyed scrolling through people’s blogs. Chris wrote about my favorite game of all time and yet he still noticed things that I had overlooked about the impact of changing perspective. Jasmine wrote about a game I had never even heard of, yet I still was interested in reading what patterns and ideas she had noticed in her play-throughs. Overall these blogs helped me learn more about the the gaming industry. I was able to see patterns across games and platforms. It helped me connect much of what we discussed throughout the year into the real world.
Factorio may be considered a building game, but it is also a puzzle game. The goal is to learn how to survive and build machines that enable your success. This gets more and more complex as you progress through the game. You build assembly machines that only build one kind of object, but in … Continue reading “Factorio: Puzzling the Mind”
Factorio may be considered a building game, but it is also a puzzle game. The goal is to learn how to survive and build machines that enable your success. This gets more and more complex as you progress through the game. You build assembly machines that only build one kind of object, but in order to build the desired machine you need 3 others. Therefor you are at least building 4 assembly machines, assuming the machines don’t require other parts to build the items. Confusing right? In order to automate everything, which you have to do, you must manage space, resources and crafting materials or else you will run into blocks within the system that you cannot easily overcome. It is a puzzle, yet that is why it is fun. Puzzles require thought and harder puzzles cannot be completed using simple crafting formulas. You can only finish them through observation care and patience, the same goes for Factorio.
I found a study written on puzzle games and what they show about our brains and processes of problem solving. The study looked at games such as Portal and Braid in order to test our skills and development through practice. The study found that when a player is presented with an obstacle they recognize, they can easily overcome it, even if it has added difficulties. Yet when a player is given a task that they do not recognize or have not done before, they often take longer and show less “skill” at the game. In Factorio these results would most likely be the same. I could build machines in more complex ways as long as I knew the formula, but once I was presented a new task that I hadn’t dealt with I slowed down. I often had to rebuild because of a missed step.
The progress and failures are all part of the fun. I loved Factorio because it was a puzzle. It made me think about my factory and my usage of resources and space. I did not feel as though I was playing a children’s game. Road blocks were part of its complexity, and the complexity was all part of the fun. Puzzles are meant to enable thought and problem solving, and that is exactly what Factorio does just with different pieces.
I put 25 hours in Factorio and I bought it expecting to hate it. It read like a slow rip off of Minecraft with far too many pieces and complexities that I would never understand. Yet that’s what I loved about the game. There were all of these things I hadn’t built yet and I … Continue reading “So Close Yet So Far”
I put 25 hours in Factorio and I bought it expecting to hate it. It read like a slow rip off of Minecraft with far too many pieces and complexities that I would never understand. Yet that’s what I loved about the game. There were all of these things I hadn’t built yet and I would have to come back and plan ways to make them work. Failing and trying again was all part of it. The game’s complexity simply made it more rewarding.
I was very protective over my factory, always walling off sections and ensuring that my hard work wouldn’t got to waste due to an attack by the native monsters. The fact that I had created my world brought me closer to the game. It was my creation, and yet it was trying to beat me. The game’s NPC’s are all enemies and they will all try to destroy your buildings. This brought out real emotions because I had put so much my time into my machines. When they were broken it meant that I would have to rebuild them all over again. This repeat and try again style is rewarding to the patient player. To someone like me it is frustrating, yet sometimes fun.
My surprise and love for the game resulted from me being too obsessed with progress. The game shows you what you need to upgrade and how to build those items. Yet you have to build them and make machines that build them faster. My persistence may have been a good thing, but it only helped add to my addiction. I knew what I had to do to win, and that’s what makes it so tempting to play on. I had to devise plans and strategize, the gameplay itself is very minimalistic, yet it was so captivating. This to me is a result of the “So close, yet so far,” tactic that games use to draw you in. Things look very simple yet once you break them down they are complex and take time. Factorio was built off of this, and I loved it.
I have never played a game that made me think harder than Factorio. I spent hours creating my massive machine that would help me upgrade and research new technologies. It was very rewarding to complete a circuit and have my factory run perfectly. I did not think about my impact on the planet until the … Continue reading “Factorio: Almost Indie”
I have never played a game that made me think harder than Factorio. I spent hours creating my massive machine that would help me upgrade and research new technologies. It was very rewarding to complete a circuit and have my factory run perfectly. I did not think about my impact on the planet until the game started to create consequences for my misuse. I would burn forests for more space which increased my pollution significantly, I also used fuels like oil and coal, which made it rise even more. The consequence for this is that the native enemy monsters build hives closer and closer to your factory. Eventually, once you have produced a certain amount of population they start attacking your factory. It was an interesting mix of Minecraft, and puzzle games. In the end I played many hours trying to better my factory piece by piece, but no matter how far I advanced I liked that the game made me reflect on my impact on world as a whole.
The ability to free build has always been an interest of mine, but I often use the “endless” resources to build a massive unnecessary structure. I do not consider the impact of my wasteful building. This game pushes you to consider your impact more. If you want to win you have to create some sort of destruction to the planets natural resources. You collect its resources faster and faster with more wasteful machines, all to benefit your massive factory. I liked that this is not rewarded. The punishment is very frustrating as your pollution causes mutations that only make the monsters stronger. It reminded me of some of the games we played in class that focused on deeper meanings and implications. These indie games do not have the budget that Factorio had, and therefor are not as flushed out, so it is nice to see a big game try to make a statement through their gameplay.
Despite the fact that Factorio does not put as much emphasis on global impact as some of the smaller indie games that we played in class, it does make an effort to discourage wasteful use of resources. This alone was enough to have me become more aware of my own waste. I tried to be more conscious of my actions and not cause any more negative reactions from the game. I believe this is a big step for a game, because it caused personal reflection, which is what games like this should be about.
The part about Infinity Blade III, and the series as a whole, that I loved was that death was an explained and important part of the gameplay. If you die within the castle or level to a major enemy, you are dead for good and must restart. Instead of restarting with no explanation the game … Continue reading “A New Way to Die”
The part about Infinity Blade III, and the series as a whole, that I loved was that death was an explained and important part of the gameplay. If you die within the castle or level to a major enemy, you are dead for good and must restart. Instead of restarting with no explanation the game wove death into the story. In the first Infinity Blade you restart 20 years later with your new character saying “I will avenge you father.” Basically you are the son of your previous play through and you must attempt to beat the whole castle and take back the all-powerful sword that the main boss controls. If you beat the boss then the story says that you were meant to do this because you are not like the ancestors that came before you. This was all an interesting way to weave death into the gameplay.
In Infinity Blade III the story has been more flushed out and you are still playing as the character that killed the main boss in the first game. This time you have access to this machine that builds your body again whenever you die. Your immortal soul reenters the body and you try to beat the level again. All of this was so intricate and fascinating that it really helped me be more drawn to the gameplay. I did not feel as though I was simply replaying the same thing over and over like in a game such as Mario. Instead it all felt like a continuous story. This game changed how I viewed death in games.
Death is usually viewed as a break in the game. Where the game world ends briefly before restarting. The Infinity Blade games solve this with their integration of games into the story. By making the player feel as though they did not fail, but merely progressed they are less discouraged and want to continue playing the game. I only got stronger each time I died as I was able to level up and purchase better items. It felt like a necessary and useful part of the gameplay, whereas usually death works as a way to punish the player for a mistake.
The term “casual game” hardly applies to this sword swinging beauty of a game. Infinity Blade III could easily be sold on console and flushed out into a full RPG. The game already has depth and incredible graphics, because of this I question the title of “causal.” When we hear the term “casual” we think … Continue reading “Mobile is not Casual”
The term “casual game” hardly applies to this sword swinging beauty of a game. Infinity Blade III could easily be sold on console and flushed out into a full RPG. The game already has depth and incredible graphics, because of this I question the title of “causal.” When we hear the term “casual” we think of Flappy Bird and Doodlejump. Games that are inherently simple and easy to play. Infinity Blade has an original yet simple concept similar to other mobile games yet it branches out in a direction that no other game had ever tried. By forcing you to practice over and over and buy new gear and level up your characters this game no longer feels causal.
There is a big difference between causal and mobile games. These two game types are often roped together. I believe this a misconception that grew out of the limited capabilities that mobile games had during their early years. Apps were just a way to entertain yourself when you had a free second. They consisted of the basics, because that all we thought we needed. I would argue that the Infinity Blade series changed the mobile gaming scene by showing everyone just how complex and stunning apps can be. The series is a trilogy and it was wildly popular. People would play it as religiously as console games, anxiously awaiting the next episode to be released. Infinity Blade broke the mold and proved that a mobile game does not have to be casual.
Infinity Blade III incentivizes you to play more with complex side plots and powerful rewards for diligence. There are legendary weapons that can be collected and used to fight off the evil “deathless” the player can only acquire them through hours and hours of gameplay. The game can be completed without the need to spend real money or wait crazy amounts of real time for upgrades. It is a full game, it is not casual, it is just mobile.
The Infinity Blade series changed how people played iphone games. It had new and better graphics with unique and fun gameplay. Yet it all felt familiar. The style of two champions competing to deplete the other’s heath-bar dates back to the late 80’s-90’s. When the original Street Fighter came out in 1987. This was … Continue reading “Infinity Blade III: Back to the 90’s”
The Infinity Blade series changed how people played iphone games. It had new and better graphics with unique and fun gameplay. Yet it all felt familiar. The style of two champions competing to deplete the other’s heath-bar dates back to the late 80’s-90’s. When the original Street Fighter came out in 1987. This was followed by the now wildly popular game, Mortal Combat which released in 1992. When I was playing Infinity Blade III I thought back to these games and how mobile games are almost repeating the path of other consoles and devices.
The original Street Fighter was released as an arcade game. Its gameplay was simple, dodge, block, punch, kick. There were more complexities than that, but those were the key aspects. In Infinity Blade you have dodge, block, parry, attack. They each work for different enemies and scenarios, yet they are very simple. The game is nothing special for the console world. In fact, had it been released on consul it most likely would not have sold very well because it wasn’t anything special. It even copied additions made in Street Fighter II by adding special moves that helped execute enemies fast by completing combos and successful attacks. The game was made better by the limitations of the device on which it was played.
By the third addition of the Infinity Blade series the game had lost its charm. You could find the gameplay in other games and every version played almost exactly the same. This is something all fighting games have to deal with. How can you make the exact same game new and fun again. Some games add more characters, Infinity Blade added a playable female character in the third game. Others, such as the Mortal Combat games make bloodier and more fantastical deaths for the player to enjoy. Through my research into this style of videogame I realized that my love for the Infinity Blade series did not come from the gameplay itself, but from my own nostalgia and excitement over a new way to play a game that I had once loved.
“Games Nobody Talks about Anymore: 1987’s Street Fighter.” Den of Geek. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2016. <http://www.denofgeek.com/us/games/street-fighter/242821/games-nobody-talks-about-anymore-1987-s-street-fighter>.
Overwatch has a very cartoon/childish visual appearance, though the gameplay isn’t kid-friendly as first glance you could be fooled. I can see why Blizzard would choose this style as helps make the game less serious and appeals to a broader audience. I always wondered though, does this fun and childish appearance have any impact on … Continue reading “Cartoon Violence”
Overwatch has a very cartoon/childish visual appearance, though the gameplay isn’t kid-friendly as first glance you could be fooled. I can see why Blizzard would choose this style as helps make the game less serious and appeals to a broader audience. I always wondered though, does this fun and childish appearance have any impact on how people, specifically children view the game? I know I found the game more causal due to the graphics. Compared to a game such as Call of Duty and Dark Souls, Overwatch feels like a game that you could easily find young kids playing.
I found a study that looked on the impact of violence in cartoons on children. The study concluded that because the animation was done in a style that was meant for children that violence was typically more lighthearted and fun. Yet some kids then assumed that the acts they were watching on television were ways of play. Not fully understanding that those actions are inappropriate. Admittedly there was never any kind of actual death being portrayed. Overwatch is different as the entire point is to kill the other players. The deaths are not graphic by any means and often result in you harmlessly falling to the ground, but that in itself is dangerous. It is hard to know what kind of impact that can have on kid’s understanding of death and their comprehension of violence.
I am not trying to say that Overwatch is a bad game with a twisted hidden message, in fact I enjoy its artistic style. That being said I have had time to grow and learn what is right and wrong throughout my childhood. I have had outside exposure, young kids will not have had the same experiences that I have. They are at a greater risk for learning bad traits and behaviors. Overwatch needs to be careful in how it advertises itself because it can easily be taken the wring way be young players, it should clearly show what its gameplay is like and what age groups it is made for.
Kirsh, Steven J. “Cartoon Violence and Aggression in Youth.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 11.6 (2006): 547-57. 2006. Web./.latest_citation_text
Overwatch is just about as far as a game can get from being “indie.” Blizzard Entertainment is one of the most successful and largest game companies in the world. Though their games are famous for being unique and fun, they lack the messages that smaller games often take pride with. Instead Overwatch went the arguably … Continue reading “Overwatch Sells out”
Overwatch is just about as far as a game can get from being “indie.” Blizzard Entertainment is one of the most successful and largest game companies in the world. Though their games are famous for being unique and fun, they lack the messages that smaller games often take pride with. Instead Overwatch went the arguably more successful route. They created a first person shooter that, despite the unique gameplay, is easily recognizable.
Though Overwatch never promised to deliver any sort of political or humanitarian message, it is often nice for a game to at least try to make a statement. Instead Overwatch took a pass and worked its own story. This is a disappointment because Blizzard is such a large company that it can easily afford to send a message to the public without suffering economically. Look at Gone Home, it could have made a horror game, or a shooter, or any other style besides click and read. Yet it decided that the message was more important than selling out to the classic forms of play. Through its unique stance and story people it delivered messages that resonated strongly with people. This is something that all games should strive to do.
Admittedly part of me is glad that there is no political undertones to the game. I play games to relax and escape reality, because of this I am often glad to have a game that challenges me mentally without forcing me to question its messages or meanings beyond the game world. Due to my torn stands I cannot say that Overwatch is a bad game, or that Blizzard is a bad company. I just believe they are missing an opportunity to do some good. The best outlet for the game to spread its potential message would be through its story based clips I mentioned in my first log. The nature of the game could remain the same, but the message and stance of the company would be made more clear. There is just huge potential for them to do some good with their power and success and not taking advantage of that would be selfish and wasteful.
Overwatch is an online first person shooter. It is played on Computers and Consuls; the two systems play the same. What’s struck me about Overwatch is the story. As in most Online shooters there is no single player, or “story” missions. The game can be played with no knowledge of any of the characters … Continue reading “Overwatch A Hidden Narrative”
Overwatch is an online first person shooter. It is played on Computers and Consuls; the two systems play the same. What’s struck me about Overwatch is the story. As in most Online shooters there is no single player, or “story” missions. The game can be played with no knowledge of any of the characters or why they are fighting. In game there are no clear good guys and bad guys because two of the same character could potentially face off against each other. Instead the lore of the game can be found online. Every object in the game and every character its own complex background.
The only time any from is story is mentioned in-game is through shot automated dialog between two characters before the start of a match. Specific characters when on the same team will say dialog back and forth based off their interactions/background in the lore. There are many games that use this design in order increase accessibility. How this works is that Overwatch will write and produce a background story for the game and its characters, but it will not force it into the actual gameplay. Instead the lore is available for curious and dedicated fans who wish to learn more. Blizzard, the company that created Overwatch, created videos online that served as marketing and story. The clips show interactions between characters in a fun and visually appealing manor.
Personally I believe stories are what make a game great. I need to feel engaged with the characters and care about their own narratives. Without having context a game feels very flat. Consider Call of Duty multiplayer. You know nothing about the character you play as except what team they are on. It fun in terms of mechanics, but it lacks the depth of games such as Overwatch. The unique abilities and storylines really separate characters from one another and bring the player further into the game world.