Thursday Review: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

I’m perhaps not the most impartial judge of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. I’ve always enjoyed Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games, but there’s always been something about each of them that just drives me up a wall. Fortunately, Future Soldier did its best to make me question my long standing love of Tom Clancy video games, and convinced me that sticking with the classics is really the way to go after all. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”

XMICYOA Progress: Bug-fixes and Dice Emulator

XMICYOA is built on the ABACUS core, but I want to provide a robust number of features for people to use in their own work, as well as allow myself a certain degree of flexibility as far as game mechanics go. As such, I’ve been hard at work creating a working dice emulator that provides meaningful and robust results without a whole lot of difficulty. I also fixed a couple bugs this week. Continue reading “XMICYOA Progress: Bug-fixes and Dice Emulator”

Game Design: Applying Animation Principles to Game Environments

Video games seem to often suffer from a lack of awareness of other fields; it’s not so much that video game designers and developers don’t know what they’re doing but rather that they seem to not communicate with other complementary fields. One of the things I’ve noticed as a game reviewer is that many games do not fully take advantage of known animation principles to provide a greater sense of immersion and activity to their environments. Continue reading “Game Design: Applying Animation Principles to Game Environments”

Table Reflection: Snatching Defeat from the Brink of Success

As a GM who runs a lot of darker themed campaigns, be they cyberpunk or gothic fantasy, I’ve encountered situations where the players should not be allowed to win, but they shouldn’t be totally crushed and leave unfulfilled. The challenge then comes down to providing a satisfying play experience without giving the players a victory that unbalances and complicates the narrative. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Snatching Defeat from the Brink of Success”

Thursday Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PC!)

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a far cry from most of the Metal Gear games that people know about. While it retains some of the over-the-top elements of Metal Gear, it is happy to add its own assortment of craziness and spectacle to the mix, leaving behind all but the vestiges of stealth. Continue reading “Thursday Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PC!)”

Project Update: XMICYOA Lives!

Today I don’t have a lot to write about, because I’ve been working largely on the technical side of XMICYOA. I have good news, fortunately. XMICYOA can now load XML files with four distinct focuses; two header/title text elements, a main body text element, and a “link” element that makes it load up another file.

Continue reading “Project Update: XMICYOA Lives!”

Game Design: Creating an Investment Friendly Narrative

One of the things that really makes a game succeed or fail is the quality of its narrative. A game that tells a good story will be entertaining. This is a little difficult, but there are a few things one can do when writing a game’s story and plot that will help players get attached to the characters and events that the game is centered around.

Continue reading “Game Design: Creating an Investment Friendly Narrative”

Table Reflection: Seven Deadly Sins of Campaign Management

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of warning signs that I’ve seen in campaigns I’ve run or campaigns I’ve played in that can be indicators of a dangerous decline. These things, however, are all avoidable, and are hallmarks of a negligent approach to running games. After the break, I’ll explain what they are and how they can be avoided. Continue reading “Table Reflection: Seven Deadly Sins of Campaign Management”

Thursday Review: Wreck Age

Wreck Age is a respectable, though not necessarily innovative, Post-Cataclysm roleplaying and tactical tabletop game. While it has a decent level of quality, looks good, and has enough content to stand out, it suffers a little bit from not committing to one style or the other. Still, it’s well above average, and is in many ways a good example of what such a game should be.

Continue reading “Thursday Review: Wreck Age”

Project Update: Slow Week

Last week school started up again, so the week’s been pretty short. In place of the usual weekly post with lots of text, I’m just going to give a bullet-point overview of the things that happened this week.

  • Switched from SimpleXML to DOM for XML parsing.
  • Further fleshed out the reference guide/design document for XMICYOA.
  • Settled on the Apache 2.0 license for XMICYOA.

If anyone has further questions, feel free to ask them in comments or by e-mailing me (the e-mail below the ad-box is fine) and I’ll update this post/reply appropriately.