How much game is enough game for a game to be game? This might be a valid question rattling around in your head after playing OutDrive, but I'm trying to be too cynical about something that's essentially a fun little game. I just can't figure out if I prefer the product, or the potential.
Ooh la la, it's only one week until a full year of weekly doodles passes us by. The best part of any anniversary is if it arrives along with good timing and motivation, which I'm happy to say this one seems to be on track for.
If I had to nominate a big budget series that I always play and enjoy, despite its mainstream shortcomings, it would be Assassin's Creed. The main thing I love about the series is how much detail and effort is put into recreating the cities and time periods of each instalment. There's an epic quality that's only within reach of the big budgets and big development teams, which often makes up for the cookie-cutter gameplay and story.
If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing or playing Divekick, then go get it straight away. This is the kind of game that everyone needs to have in their life. It's the perfect mix of competition and fun, which in turn equals entertainment for all. Divekick is basically faultless.
I often try and think about trends in gaming and attempt to figure them out as they're happening. It's an impossible gamble that results in nothing more than a bit of a fun thought process, but I find it interesting either way. Spotting past trends is easy with hindsight; the real challenge is figuring them out as they happen.
Straight up, I've never played the first Azkend and I only gave this one a go because it was a Playstation Plus game at some point. It's easy to try something that just shows up in your library unexpectedly, but I like this match-three adventure enough to write something about it.
I have no images to add this week, for the stupidest reason. Part of it's because I'm away from my office and don't have access to a scanner, while the other is that I don't have great internet access, so uploading graphics is a bit out of the question. Although, I suppose the reality is that I wasn't even going to make a post this week, until it was too late.
Part of me feels like launching into a string of nonsensical words and signals to be correct in expression this week. Suffice to say, forming a sentence feels a little odd right now. You know when you repeat a word over and over until it becomes a meaningless collection of letters or sound? Yeah, that's now.
The last month has been a bit of a wild ride, as I'm trying to complete some of the more time-heavy games from last year. I was hoping to have posted some more, but have been having too much fun finishing NieR:Automata, Divinity Original Sin 2, and today's "focus"… Horizon: Zero Dawn.
I really like the way that Zachtronics have carved out a niche for themselves as the golden child of programming games. In fact, I almost didn't play Opus Magnum, as I had previously attempted their earlier title Shenzhen I/O. The latter focused heavily on programming and electronics in a way that made my head spin. Thankfully though, Opus Magnum is kind of Zachtronics's offering to the more casual flow-chart designers out there.
There's a saying among creative thinkers that goes something along the lines of "if you only work from within, you will repeat yourself". That's the gist of it anyway, which speaks to the need for external stimulation and inspiration. Of course, I like to take it a little further and apply it to life in general, which ends up justifying the need for diverse perspectives and opinions.
Cross my heart - I'm writing this on Sunday, but I know it won't get posted until tomorrow/Monday, as I won't be scanning in any doodles today. To be frank, it's been hot here for the last week and I've had my office fan hooked up and pumping the air around all day. If I want to use my scanner I need to unplug the fan and once again exist in a hot room of still air for a short time, which I'm not willing to do. I'll just back-date it anyway so nobody will ever know…
It's hard not to start this post by saying something like "what a year it's been", because 2017 turned out to be one of the most packed years of gaming we've seen for a while. There were so many different experiences available for every type of gamer, which really excites me for what's to come. For now though, let's have a little look back on the last year of games and try and figure out the cream of the crop.
I might be talking out of turn here from a position of ignorance, but I've always seen point-and-click adventure games as one of the most accessible genres to make. It's partly because tools like Adventure Game Studio exist, which sells itself on the premise that anyone can use the program to make an adventure game, but also because they seem to be one of the most prolific genres around.
For the longest time "procedurally generated levels" was gaming blasphemy and an immediate turn off when used in a game's description. It felt like as soon as Minecraft hit it big, everyone and their mother was including procedurally generated elements in their game. The promise was millions of combinations and infinite replay-ability, which ultimately wound up meaning an endless gauntlet of bad content to slog through.
Two weeks into the year and I'm already wondering where all the time has gone. The other day I had something caught in my end, which ended up in some gauze and an eye patch after a visit to the doctor. It got better soon enough, but it's amazing how strange the world seems when you're visual experience of it gets halved.
In the last decade we've seen a lot of indie darlings make a splash for being small little creative games that big studios wouldn't even bother thinking about. It's been an awesome period in gaming, as we've seen smaller games have a bit of a boom, which has introduced some truly unique experiences, and even defied traditional genre definitions. At the same time though, there's been a flood of games that piece together seemingly random elements to form another eye-rolling attempt at grabbing the hype for a few minutes of success.
Happiest of brand new years to you all, ladies and gentlemen of the ever present internet. I'm starting the year in a pretty good state of mind, with opportunities ahead and difficulties passed. I probably said it before, but let's avoid the tangents today and take a look at some purely artistic goals for the coming year.
As time goes on, the difference between PC and console hardware has grown smaller and smaller. While technologies continue to improve and iterate, they lower in cost and general accessibility. I think it's fair to say that even though PC technologies will always surpass the locked-down console capabilities, it's becoming much more difficult to find a noticeable difference in the quality of games made for those systems.
Please don't ever let me move to Midsomer, or any other town that features murder after murder. I often spend an evening watching some murder mystery or another, trying to guess the culprit and piece together the puzzle. It should come as no surprise then that I'm a fan of Agatha Christie's stories and in particular, the character of Hercule Poirot.