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Pet Rescue Saga: Mix and Match

English

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. As part of my master’s thesis I am analysing already existing games that are commonly known to be addictive. A lot of those games are Facebook games.]

Pet Rescue Saga by King is probably one of the best examples of how certain game mechanics are not unique to a game, but can be adapted to other games. Pet Rescue Saga is basically a mixture between Diamond Dash and Candy Crush Saga, yet works surprisingly well.

Puzzle Bobble Clones: Bubble your bubbles tobubble!

English

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. This is just a rough first draft, and I gladly welcome all critique and suggestions – be it on a content level or regarding my use of language. As part of my master’s thesis I am analysing already existing games that are commonly known to be addictive. A lot of those games are Facebook games.]

Most Puzzle Bobble clones play quite similarly, with their graphics being their most distinguishing feature. The outliers are Bubble Island, which adds the element of time pressure into the mix, and Woobies, which comes from another era of online games, and lacks most of the additional game mechanics the Facebook games use. This core mechanic can be expanded upon, allowing the Facebook game studios to find ways to monetize the game. The game is easy to pick up and is equally well playable with any input device, be it a mouse or a track pad, making it an obvious candidate for a casual game. It is deceptively simple to play: aim, shoot, aim, shoot, with hardly anything that takes the player out of the flow.

Candy Crush Saga: Fun for the whole family

English

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. This is just a rough first draft, and I gladly welcome all critique and suggestions – be it on a content level or regarding my use of language.]

Candy Crush Saga by King.com is a classic casual game (as most Facebook games are), that caters to different player types at once: the puzzler, the explorer as well as the competitive player. Candy Crush Saga is a Bejeweled clone, a simple matching tile game. Candy Crush Saga combines various basic game mechanics and feedback methods in order to attract a diverse set of player types. The basic game allows players to recognise patterns and create order (a common theme with many casual games, which is quite rewarding in itself), the level map caters to the explorer type, while the constant feedback of how well the player’s peers did eggs on competitive players. By catering to all those different player types alike, the producers of the game manage to capture an audience as large as possible, something a therapy game would likely have to achieve as well.

Game Designer Discovered Pacing!

English

Over at The Astronauts, someone figured something out. Sometimes, games work even when you’re not shooting things.

Listed below, there are five well known action-adventure games. Think about your favorite, most memorable moments from the single player part of each, then click on the + spoiler button and see if I have managed to guess any of these moments.

What do all these moments have in common?

First Person Shooter – Rethought

English

If it weren’t for developers like Defiant Development, you’d easily believe that creativity in the games industry is nearly extinct.

But those guys actually manage to take a really old and tired concept – i. e. a first person shooter – and spin it in order to make something else entirely:

A first person shooter.

Seriously. Hear me out.

Would You Kindly? Playing Irrational Games' Bioshock

English

The praise that Bioshock has received from other critics is – after having played through the game – definitely well earned. Even though I’m usually not exactly a very good FPS player, I managed to get through the whole game. And it definitely was worth it. The world building in Bioshock is excellent, be its embedment into the historical background, or the rich story that shines through at every corner, or finally the beautifully captured art deco architecture, which simply is a joy to explore and walk through.

Fable II: The Storification

English

Clearly, Fable II has to tell a story. Unfortunately, the designers are so intent on telling this story that everything else becomes secondary.

Fable II is the first game I finished after my vow to actually finish games I started playing. I thought it would be a good idea to write reviews of those games as well, as a way to analyse its strengths and weaknesses, as well as strengthening my own analytical eye.

Fable II is one of the games my brother left me when he gave me his Xbox 360. Since most games by Peter Molyneux are highly praised, I decided to give it a go. And indeed, the first impressions are marvellous. The world is lush and richly coloured. The game features a day-and-night cycle, resulting in breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. You clearly get the impression of a world of wonders, made for you to explore. This first impression is not entirely wrong; in fact, it is wise to keep remembering that later on.

Acquired Abilities: Playing Games as Cultural Skill

English

Sometimes, as a game designer, you tend to forget how well versed you are in your medium. You tend to think that all people are able to plunge into a virtual world and stroll around. You could not be more wrong.

Architecture and Level Design [The B Files]

English

Robert Yang kindly asked me to translate the article about my level design considerations for my bachelor’s thesis game. I’m slightly afraid that he is going to be disappointed, since this is not so much a theoretical approach to architecture and level design in general, but rather my thoughts and motivations for creating the specific level architecture for my own game.

Baby Steps: How Journalism Deals with Video Games

English

I have a new-found respect for farmers (that I’m somehow failing to apply here) after attempting to complete either mission. After four lengths of the cornfield I decided to see if tractors can swim. Tractors cannot swim.

Some Games to Check Out

English

Some games that crept up last week during our seminar on collaborative virtual worlds as well as on the local game designers meeting.

Savage is an interesting sounding blend of RTS with a commander that has the overview over the game, while warriors have the first person view and might follow the commander’s orders.

What Virtual Worlds Need (according to me)

English

While working on an assignement for our current module on collaborative virtual worlds, I think I started to understand what bugs me in both MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and sandbox games like Second Life. There are (as for now) two points:

Moral Choices

English

I know, I know, I have a tendency to pretty much reblog every feature story from Gamasutra, but hey, they do have a talent to pick out the really interesting questions.

Informed Decisions

English

Part of a good game may always be how the AI enemies react. An article on AIGameDev goes behind the scenes of Thief and looks what makes it tick.

[A] sensory system is a pipeline for managing information about events that occur in the game. If you implement this right, it shouldn’t be limited to any of the human senses. You can easily fake any kind of sensation by pushing information into the pipeline at the right place.

Takayoshi Sato on Silent Hill

English

This is the article that got me into wanting to play Silent Hill 2:

In the ongoing evolution of computer games towards a mature art form, we see many blips on the radar that fade away after some time. But there is one game that never goes away. Silent Hill 2. There’s something about that game that is so intensely inspiring, beautiful and moving that it continues to give hope to everyone on this path.