Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

3 Jun 2016

The last time that I wrote about One Finger Death Punch, I wrote about it from a purely mechanical perspective—about how its deceptively simple premise hid a wealth of excellent design decisions that all work in perfect harmony with each other. I also talked about its mechanics, but from a philosophical point of view more than anything else.

Going back to the game in preparation for a Moving Pixels podcast, I’ve been reminded how excellent it still is, but also that that excellence stems from more than just mechanical harmony. There’s a purity of focus to the game. It’s the only action game that I’d think to describe as zen, but why? What makes this game from such a “disreputable developer” so much more immersive than every other action game ever made?

by Nick Dinicola

27 May 2016

There’s a pretty strong critical consensus about how to best portray an action scene in an action movie. Presentation is the key to it all. It seems that action should be presented in a way that’s comprehensible. We should be able to follow how one shot leads into the next shot, how the characters move in relation to one another, how the environment impacts the action, etc. The action doesn’t necessarily have to be clear, blurring the screen and shaking the camera are perfectly acceptable, but only as long as they reinforce certain moments of action, rather than obscure them. In short, we should be able to tell what the heck is going on.

by Nick Dinicola

20 May 2016

With the release of Dark Souls III, there’s been lots of talk about the series as a whole, its history and its impact, including how it’s frightening, how it’s funny, how it’s hard, how it’s not that hard, how it’s communal, how it’s isolationist, how its story is told, how its combat has evolved, how its design has evolved, how its popularity has evolved… lots of talk. But within all that, there’s one thing that I haven’t seen anyone touch on before: how oddly relaxing this type of game can be.

by Nick Dinicola

13 May 2016

Oxenfree is a Young Adult story about a girl named Alex, a group of her friends, and the supernatural entities they get involved with on a mysterious island. Like most mysterious islands, this one is an attractive hang out spot for teens looking to escape from their normal lives for a night, and what begins as a night of unsupervised drinking becomes something much more sinister and dangerous.

by Nick Dinicola

6 May 2016

Prism (or more specifically, _Prism, note the underscore, in case you want to search for it on Google or on the App Store) is an iOS puzzle game that’s pretty dang good, but the most impressive thing about it is its art. The simple idea of geometric shapes floating in space is used to convey a strong sense of progression, culminating in a truly clever climax that’s also an anti-climax. The game gets to have its cake and eat it too. It’s subversive and expected, climactic and anti-climactic, a clever trick and a thoughtful lesson.

//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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