When working with Defender of Azekal I had a few criteria other than it simply being an educational game. I’m a long-time supporter of free software, and though Stencyl itself isn’t FOSS it has a number of things that are very enticing from that perspective.
I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about what I think about free-to-play games, especially since I’m one of the few people I know who is willing to actually spend money on them. Admittedly, I come from the perspective of someone who grew up playing shareware games, so when I see a free-to-play game I consider them through much the same criteria, but here’s what I look at and the things that worry me about some modern free-to-play titles.
I’m in the alpha for Planetary Annihilation; I’ve mentioned Total Annihilation here before, and I was a pretty easy sell on a spiritual successor, especially one in which planets can be weaponized. Since I have alpha access, I think I’ll post up some of my impressions here; nothing too far on the technical side, but some stuff that I found interesting.
I’m a featured reviewer at DriveThruRPG, and while I haven’t been reviewing a lot of games recently because of schoolwork, I’ve been getting ready to get back in the saddle, so today’s writing will be about what I’ve noticed when playing games, namely the difference between genre and style.
As a game designer with a focus on the educational, one of the important things to consider is how to best present content, not only in terms of the educational aspects, but in terms of density and continuity, and how believably I can work in the elements to the game.
Last night, in an attempt to get some good Diablo-like action, I downloaded Marvel Heroes. My impressions are mixed, but here’s a short summary of what I think as a game designer. Continue reading “Game Design: A First Look at Marvel Heroes”
I don’t spend as much time on Stack Exchange as I used to, but I used to frequent the sites, and one thing that I noticed very quickly was the amount of loaded questions being thrown around. Questions like “My friend said this, but I think it’s this. I’m right, right?” came up more often than one would hope. Disregarding the fact that this directly undermines Stack Exchange’s purpose, it’s also plain dumb, since instead of hearing the actual answers presented by the majority of posters, they accept whoever purports their position first as the “proper answer”, regardless of the facts. Continue reading “Extra: The Importance of Earnest Questions”
One of the things that I often run into as a GM is that there’s a lot of skill required to make a good game. My players tend to like my games, but the truth is that they tend to fall a little flat, and there are a number of reasons for this, and part of the reason is that I often get over-ambitious and put my energy into the wrong places. Put simply, the important thing for running a campaign is to pay attention to one’s weakest link.
One of the things I noticed about the educational games I used to play as a kid is that they were designed around education. Every last part of their being was educational, except for sometimes a tacked on narrative that served to get players to think that there was a larger objective (Climb Reading Mountain! Rescue the Polygnomials!) in the game while the truth is that there was actually more of a focus on getting as much material to the players as possible in a short amount of time, guaranteeing that the watchful eye of parents saw only educational material on the screen. Not all of these games were bad, at least not from my younger perspective, and there were some that were actually pretty good, but these ones tended to do well in spite of themselves. Continue reading “Project Update: Explicit and Incidental Education”
I’ve never played The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall before, but the other day I downloaded and got it set up in DOSBox. One of the things I noticed is how much more stuff there was in Daggerfall than there was in Morrowind, but how little my unfamiliarity with Daggerfall hurt me in terms of how I made up my characters and how I jumped into the game with relatively little guidance.