Portal is one of the iconic games of our generation, eloquent to learn, intuitive to play and yet extraordinarily difficult at times. In this post, I will be examining Portal’s method of teaching the player the core mechanics of the game and how Portal introduces difficulty through level design. This game is an excellent case study to examine how we perhaps went wrong with our own game’s level design and the ways in which we taught players the game’s mechanics.
Introduction to my World Design research paper, examining the use of ancient architecture in games.
For my World Design paper I would like to examine the use of ancient architecture in games. I started investigating the use of this kind of architecture in games to hopefully land on a specific architectural movement and game to study for my world design paper. In this blog post I examine the use of this form of architecture in a few games I have played, both fantasy and science fiction, the goal of it being a first draft and an introduction to the topic of my World Design research paper.
As a medium, abstract art came about at the dawn of the 19th century as a response to the tradition of western art trying to mimic reality. Abstract artists wanted to break down form and function to their most basic and provide a particular “inner resonance” from the viewer. Central to their manifesto was Wassily Kandinsky’s 1912 Concerning the Spiritual in Art, a movement that believed painting was the purest expression of the artist.
In this blog post I hope to provide a critical overview of Bioshock’s level design. I will be paying particular attention to the way in which Bioshock uses level design tools and invisible walls to guide the player through the game and the narrative. By examining the various level design tools, we can ensure that the level is easily navigable by the player and tells the game’s story in the best possible way.
Originally Published: 29/06/2015
The dark-fantasy world of Dragon Age has three AAA games, a series of art books, comics, novels, a table top game, an anime film and a web series under its belt. Dragon Age and the franchise’s developer BioWare are at the forefront when it comes to addressing topics regarding sex and sexuality within the video-game medium, including, but not limited to, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, gender-roles, and racial issues. As surmised by PC Gamer’s Richard Cobbett (2014), “What matters though isn’t really the execution, but the willingness to try. BioWare is a fascinating study into sexuality both for what they’ve gotten right, and what they’ve gotten wrong over the years… With each game though, BioWare has gone out of its way to Do Better, and not always by heading down the obvious path”. This essay is a critical examination of the universe of Dragon Age and how BioWare has addressed real-world issues surrounding sex and sexuality. By considering the game’s romance mechanics, the racial, cultural and national lore of the game, we can examine a series of case studies on how BioWare deals with the controversial and diverse topic of sex and sexuality.
Originally Published: 19/11/2015
Galactic Cafe’s The Stanley Parable describes itself as a game where “You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice.” (2013). However if you would like a choice you can click here, this is not a blog post.