Infinity Wars – A Quick Look

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[Originally posted on 08 Mar 2014 at Gather Your Party]

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On Realism and Immersion – Mount and Blade

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[Originally posted at Gather Your Party on 21 Feb 2014]

Video games have come a long way since the time of text adventures and vector graphics. Moore’s law blessed us with exponentially increasing processing power and with it the potential for better graphics, sound, physics and system fidelity.

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Level Theory: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

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[Originally posted on 04 Feb 2014 at Gather Your Party]

Introduction

While gameplay mechanics encompass the rules and tools of play, level design is the element that gives the game shape beyond its rules. Level design is often misunderstood as level geometry, but it is used as another term for challenge design. It encompasses everything from geometry to enemy and hazard placements. It is the design of a challenge-environment.

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Predictably Unpredictable – Probability and Chance in Games

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[Originally posted on 25th October 2013 on Gather Your Party]

Introduction

Chance and uncertainty in games is often seen as an unfair challenge. Randomized events, randomized damage, or randomized hits can seem unfair and infuriating when the player loses to them. However, it’s their perception as an unfair mechanic that is largely what is holding the player back from their mastery. Of course bad implementations can and will continue to exist, but chance is an integral part of logistics test, or as it’s otherwise known: gambling.

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On Story, Plot, and Narrative in Games

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[Originally posted on Gather Your Party on the 9th of September 2013] 

While plot, story and narrative are often used interchangeably in casual conversations, in analytical terms they are separate entities and describe specific aspects of storytelling. If we want to talk about storytelling in games, we must differentiate between them to accurately describe concepts and ideas that the medium tries to express.

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