Game Design

Unity Addressables Hosting: Amazon S3 in 4 Steps - by Ruben Torres Bonet Blogs - 7 hours 22 min ago
Players want to play, they don't want to wait. Help them buying your game: reduce your game's download size with Unity Addressables Hosting. And a year later? Offer them a DLC based on, guess what? Unity Addressables.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

My 3 Year Journey to Create DON'T GIVE UP, a bare all Postmortem - by Tristan Barona Blogs - 7 hours 23 min ago
I spent 3 years making my first commercial game, a 7 hour RPG that told a very charming and personal story. I reflect on my efforts, the emotional toll, what I could have done differently, share my release stats, and discuss why it was all worth it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

All the discussions about the artistic nature of videogames overlook these three crucial aspects - by Sophia Gardner Blogs - 7 hours 24 min ago
So can a videogame be a piece of art? Yes, but to see it, we must first educate ourselves and open our minds a bit.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

10 Best Books for Game Analysts - by Vasiliy Sabirov Blogs - 7 hours 25 min ago
Find out the list of best books for game analysts which can broaden your horizons.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How GameMaker Communities Thrive Across the World - by GameMaker Studio Blogs - 7 hours 25 min ago
Video games are a more global enterprise than they’ve ever been. We decided to talk to indie developers from around the world to see how they’ve formed communities around GameMaker.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Twain – A Review and My Missing Twin

Gnome Stew - 8 hours 46 min ago

I had a twin once. We did everything together. We learned magic, the two of us. I know she’s out there, still doing it…but I lost it. And I haven’t talked to her in years. 

Single player games are a new idea to many role players, and one of the most quickly growing experimental branches of game design. They are some mix of self directed story telling, choose your own adventure, and directed thought experiments. They are some mix of self directed story telling, choose your own adventure, and directed thought experiments. Share1Tweet1Reddit1Email I find them fascinating and I am on a particular quest to find time to play more of them! Most will ask you to write based on some kind of prompt — in The Gentleman Bandit by Allison Arth, for example, you write poetry as an old West outlaw, based on the cards you draw. In The Beast, by Aleksandra Sontowska and Kamil Węgrzynowicz, you answer leading questions in a journal about dark desires (heads up: adult content). Last month, I played They Stole The Moon, a ritual and story by Aven Elia McConnaughey, which takes you through a story about yourself, your magic, and how we process loss. Today, I played Twain, by J Li, which is currently on kickstarter. All cards on the table, they sent me a promotional copy, which was the basis of this review. 

Twain is a single player game that you play by creating your imaginary twin, the magic that you used to know, and why you don’t talk to them anymore. It’s closer to a larp than a tabletop role playing game, and in it you may recognize the indie small games movement we’re seeing so much of in game jams and on — it’s a moment, an emotion, and experience; a dream of what might have been; a self guided, self fulfilling prophecy. It’s a game of leading questions and evocative language and holding a mirror up to yourself. When I played it, it became a way for me to tell myself what I needed to hear, and give that telling power. 

To play, you do a little character creation for your twin, and the life moment that broke you apart. Other than that, you play your current self. Then, you go somewhere non-residential to meet your twin. I went to my favorite park.
The single player games I’ve played frequently have some specific engaging task — writing a letter or drawing connections between items on a page, for example — but going out and having this very personal experience in a public place was a new feeling. I was a bit nervous that it would be extremely awkward. After all, here I am pretending to wait for someone that non-game me knows is not coming. I’m having a little bit of my very own Waiting for Godot moment. The trick is, though, that no one else knows you’re playing a game with yourself. I actually found it no more awkward than actually waiting for someone in a park…which was appropriate. 

Your twin is, of course, made up. But you are in the place you are expecting to meet them, for the first time in however long, and doing all the things we do when we’re waiting for someone and anxious if they’ll come or not. You text them. And you wait, filled with thoughts, when they don’t reply. And potentially the most genius moment in the game of tricking ourselves — you set your alarm with your ringtone, so that they “call” without you expecting the ring when it comes. It’s surprising how easy it was for me to fall in to how I’d naturally react in that situation. My particular story felt mostly positive, although I can absolutely see how other stories would not.

The game itself is beautiful and its printing (I had the deluxe edition in my hands) lends itself to the dreamy mystery of the situation. It almost pained me to write on it, and it definitely made me slow down and think mindfully before I marked up the papers that it insisted I write on directly. When I picked it up from the post office, I was surprised to find myself holding a thick square envelope — not what I’d expected since I’d come to pick up a game. Opening it revealed a sleek silver envelope emblazoned “Twain” and with the image and blurb on the back. The game itself is printed on high quality lightly textured cardstock and velum, is beautifully laid out, and fulfilling both by sight and touch. It was a good addition to the experience — and the experience is, of course, what single player games are all about. 

In many ways, we’ve lost sight of what it means to play alone. Culturally we place little value on alone time, day dreaming, or self reflection. Many single player games encourage all of these things, which creating an experience around them. Twain is a beautiful addition to this genre. 

Twain is available on kickstarter now through November 7th. 

Have you played a single player game before? What is your favorite?


Categories: Game Theory & Design

Nintendo NYC Overwatch launch event cancelled by Blizzard

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 15 October 2019 - 11:02am

The Twitter account for Nintendo's NYC store made the announcement only days before the event was set to start, offering no reason for the decision but noting that Blizzard was ultimately the one to call it off. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fortnite is back after suddenly going dark for days to hype a big content update

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 15 October 2019 - 9:09am

Fortnite is back online after developer Epic Games suddenly, and theatrically, took the game offline on Sunday. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Rewiring History: Hacking the Past Through Games - by Sande Chen Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 8:20am
In this article, game designer Sande Chen reports on a New York Comic Con panel about using entertainment games for history classes.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Game Music and Mood Attenuation: How Game Composers Can Enhance Virtual Presence (Pt. 4) - by Winifred Phillips Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:24am
The 4th of a 4-part series. Video game composer Winifred Phillips shares ideas from her GDC 2019 talk, How Music Enhances Virtual Presence. Part 4: Game Music and Mood Attenuation. Included are practical examples and video demonstrations.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Crunch Culture Consequences - by Jared McCarty Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:23am
Despite persisting for nearly twenty years, crunch culture is still egregiously prevalent in the industry. A short dive into the world of crunch will show some intense statistics, indicating that crunch isn't going anywhere.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ocarina of Time Dungeons Ranked Part 2 - by Caleb Compton Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:23am
Last week I looked at the first six dungeons in Ocarina of Time, and gave my thoughts on where they rank. This week I finish the job and rank the remaining 6!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

js13kGames entry postmortem — Back to the basics - by Tom Hermans Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:23am
I made a game for js13k, in which you have to deliver a 13kb browser game. I talk about how I designed around this limitation in my entry Backflipped!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video game devs: make a board game, it’ll be good for you! - by Salim Larochelle Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:23am
When working on one video game project for several years, small-scale board game projects on the side might help you deal with the stress while keeping you focused.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Postmortem. Making Games Is Easy. Selling Them, Not So Much. - by Chris Shrigley Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:22am
To mark the 1 year anniversary of releasing my last game, and after mulling on the project for the past year, I thought I’d do a quick postmortem (of sorts) on the project. Some hard lessons were learned and some truths uncovered, so here goes..
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to get your game featured in the App Store - by Kate AppFollow Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 7:22am
A year ago we looked at apps that Apple liked to feature. Back then the editors preferred free apps and apps with in-app purchases with 4+ stars prevailed. What has changed? We've analyzed the prices, ratings and categories of these featured apps in 2019.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Case study: Steam's 'Deal Of The Day' & DLC attach - by Simon Carless Blogs - 15 October 2019 - 2:04am
Interpreting some real-world data posted on Twitter by David Leon, the lead creator of shadow-based stealth action game Aragami, to find out some interesting facts about Steam Daily Deals & DLC attach rates.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The public preview for Xbox's streaming service Project xCloud is now live

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 14 October 2019 - 2:30pm

Microsoft has kicked off the public preview for Project xCloud, and is slowly beginning to dole out invites in waves to those that signed up for consideration last month. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Don't Miss: The unconventional launch of Fortnite

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 14 October 2019 - 1:51pm

In this GDC 2018 session, Epic Games' Ed Zobrist discusses the unique challenges of launching Fortnite and goes into the strategy and impact of adding the successful Battle Royale mode. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fortnite's latest narrative turn has taken the entire game offline

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 14 October 2019 - 11:42am

Epic Games Fortnite is no stranger to environmental storytelling, but the close of the free-to-play game's tenth season takes the narrative tool to the extreme. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design


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