Saturday, 14 May 2011

Thoughts on Game Design - Past and Present

It occurred to me to wonder whether gaming schools teach radically different concepts of game design today than compared to, say, 10 years ago. Technology moves so fast that we sometimes forget that features in games that we take completely for granted nowadays were once new and exciting - the rechargeable attack bar in turn-based RPGs, for example - revolutionary at the time (was in Final Fantasy VII that brought that idea in?) but now commonplace (or outdated, even). 

In developing The Journey of Iesir, an adventure game that's going to blow your socks off (seriously, I'm not just spouting rhetoric here - our graphics artist is amazingly talented and we're a group of people who've all loved playing adventure games for years, so are trying to distill the best of all our experiences into one game), it became clear that many things we were determined to include in the game were unheard of even when some of our all-time favourite games were released. The Secret of Monkey Island, for instance, had several screens with only one or two interactable objects in them - or even no interactable objects at all! Nowadays I'd be horrified if that happened frequently in an adventure game; I'd expecte several things on every screen that I could interact with, even if they weren't directly important to the plot / game play.  Would I still like SoMI as much if it were released for the first time now, in its orginal form?  I doubt it - but it's still a classic game.  I hope Journey of Iesir is a game people say that about in 20 years' time...


Associated Blogs:

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog
Jonathon Wisnoski - Game Reviewer and Commentator

Monday, 9 May 2011

"The Adventures of Jim Slim in Dragonland" released by Protovision for the C64!

I find it astonishing that people are not only still writing games for the C64, they're actually still selling games for the C64!  Perhaps it's the news that, after a fashion, Commodore are going to reissue the beloved 8-bit computer... at any rate, this looks like a fun game if you like the genre.
  • 15 worlds with 3 levels each have to be overcome.
  • Use trampolines to reach higher regions.
  • To open locked doors, you'll have to find the matching key.
  • Travel fast with tube systems and teleporters - but with an uncertain destination! If you find a shoot power-up you can kill some nasty creatures of your opponent.
  • But beware: There's an invisible, omnipresent enemy: time!
More info at the official website.





Associated Blogs:

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog
Jonathon Wisnoski - Game Reviewer and Commentator

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Programmer Interview

Our blogging friends The Retro Brothers have just posted a very good interview with Spectrum programmer Steve Turner, who wrote quite a few games that were published by Hewson.


Associated Blogs:

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog
Jonathon Wisnoski - Game Reviewer and Commentator