Latest Blog Posts

by G. Christopher Williams

16 Sep 2015

Rumors of the death of the point-and-click adventure game were, of course, greatly exaggerated. It isn’t impossible to see how one could draw the conclusion a decade ago that this form of gaming, present since almost the inception of the medium, seemed to have been finally drawing its last breath. And, indeed, the point-and-click adventure game is, for the most part, no longer the sort of game that breaks sales records, and it isn’t likely to be so again. The days of the classic LucasArts and Sierra games selling as well as or better than other genres are probably over. But that doesn’t mean the genre is dead.

Certainly, the more recent evolution of this genre largely spurred on by Telltale’s adaptation of The Walking Dead have not been entirely unsuccessful. The addition of mechanisms that allow for more choices in these games, like conversation wheels and other ways of promoting more branching narrative paths, expand on the more traditional exploration and puzzle-based mechanics associated with the genre. Additionally, though, the genre has continued to exist apart from that success story and that newer approach to the genre, regardless of these efforts to “modernize” it.

by Erik Kersting

15 Sep 2015

Video games don’t often require the player to hide our true intentions. Even games with a stealth mechanic, the objective is to stay out of sight, only occasionally using deception as a way to distract a guard. Even then, deception is very rarely a truly fleshed out gaming mechanic. The obvious reason for this is that AI just isn’t advanced enough to make us truly feel as if we are fooling it in a meaningful way, rather than in a predetermined manner. When our actions feel predetermined, we no longer feel like we are being creative, sneaky, or deceptive, but rather just playing within the rules of a game.

Thus, Hidden in Plain Sight, a game completely ruled by deception and acting, does away with AI as an adversary and instead pits the player against other humans who share the same goal. The game, which features multiplayer mini-games in which all the players attempt to achieve a goal while remaining undetected, is a master class not in finding an optimal way to play (like most competitive multiplayer games require of the player), but in trying to deceive others through the process of play. There is no online multiplayer for this game, to play it you need every other player to be in the room with you, but that is what makes this game so interesting, the relationship between players.

by G. Christopher Williams

14 Sep 2015

This episode of the podcast we crawl into the second episode of Life Is Strange.

Last time, we discussed a lot of the mechanics in the game, especially the rewind mechanic, that allows one to revise one’s actions in a young girl’s life. This time out we get into more of the characters that populate this world and also learn that some of the uglier events of adolescence just can’t be revised, much as we might like them to be sometimes. Sometimes we just have to figure out how to cope with what is, no matter how much we would like to rewind.

by Nick Dinicola

11 Sep 2015

I’m one of those people who is genuinely excited for virtual reality gaming, but then I get genuinely excited for any weird new control scheme in gaming, be it a Wiimote, touch screen, analog sticks, pressure sensitive buttons, or any of the other cool and debatably-useful-but-definitely-underutilized controller gimmicks we’ve seen in the past decade of gaming. I even liked 3D gaming, and I wrote a couple articles several years ago about the unique issues facing 3D games. After finally being able to play some VR games at PAX Prime this year, I think that it’s worth comparing and contrasting this new gimmick/hook with that latter gimmick/hook. 3D and VR make for interesting contrasts because they seem to have the exact opposite problem from one another when it comes to selling themselves to a wide audience.

by Scott Juster

10 Sep 2015

This piece contains spoilers for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

At times, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture feels very grounded. Despite it being a story about a supernatural visitor that causes the population of a small English town to inexplicably vanish, the world and its inhabitants often feel authentic. However, due to the way that you interact with and learn about the world, this feeling of “being there” is inconsistent. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a story about humanity, but the tools that you use to understand the story are unfortunately alienating.

//Mixed media

Notes, Hoaxes, and Jokes: Silkworm's 'Lifestyle' - "Ooh La La"

// Sound Affects

"Lifestyle's penultimate track eases the pace and finds fresh nuance and depth in a rock classic, as Silkworm offer their take on the Faces' "Ooh La La".

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