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Games

The Barkley Marathon and Incomprehensible Game Design

The challenge of understanding something enough to beat it is part of the joy of unraveling incomprehensible game design.

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Games

Narrative Is a Game Mechanic

If game mechanics are meant to provide players with experiences such as fun and anxiety, then narrative actually is a game mechanic, as much as game mechanics can also be narrative elements.

Games

Gaming Whiplash and the Tragedy of Expectations

Looking back at games like Mirror's Edge or The Wind Waker it seems that when video games offer unexpected experiences, the results are not always pleasant.

Games

The Seriously Absurd Case of 'Vanquish'

Unlike games like Uncharted, in which players must willfully ignore ludo-narrative inconsistency, Vanquish acknowledges its mechanical challenges and lets them exist independently from the plot.

Games

'Lugaru HD': Going in Blind

Lugaru HD surprised me, and not just because I hadn’t expected it to be a game about knife-wielding rabbits. It revealed how often I let my experiences with past games define my responses to new ones.

Games

Puzzling Messages in 'Picross 3D'

Picross 3D might not have a "story" in the traditional sense, but it still has a lot to say.

Games

Grasping 'Inside a Star-filled Sky'

Inside a Star-filled Sky illustrates the challenge of making a game that tests a player's reflexes and beliefs.

Games

Nested Design in 'Stacking'

Stacking's matryoshka dolls are more than a quirky aesthetic; their nature reflects the game's approach to design and storytelling.

Games

Frustration, Failure, and Intent in 'New Super Mario Bros. Wii'

Like war in the Fallout universe, Super Mario never changes. The game may seem demanding or even harsh in terms of its skill requirements, but its rules are consistent in philosophy and practice.

Games

Finding Humanity in 'Machinarium'

Machinarium’s game design, art style, and narrative themes toy with conventional ideas about humans, robots, and adventure games.

Games

The Problem of the Inevitable (Yet Challenging) End in Video Games

Finishing certain video games is often a question of will rather than a test of skill.

Games

Photo Opportunities in Video Games

Paradoxically, the same dissociating effect of observing the real world through a camera's lens tends to envelop and immerse players in a game world.

Games

Universal Game Design

L.B. talks about the convergence of game designs and the idea of creating one universal model in a single game.

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