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Value and Temperature Structure as Guiding Principles in Game Art

If you follow my Twitter account, then you should already know that I regularly post stuff from Muddy Colors.

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Disney's Appmate

Actually, this is quite old and Janina told me about it a long time ago, but it remained in my little box of ideas that still need to be processed.

So, Disney actually produced an iPad game for their Cars franchise – using actual toy cars, that can be dragged over the iPad screen, controlling the game.

Probably best to have a look at it:

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Drama, baby, drama! About Coping Mechanisms in Teenage Bullying

Given the fact that I’ve produced a game that is all about bullying as my bachelor’s thesis, I’m now more aware of the topic. Even more so given the fact that the game in its current form is still more a proof of concept rather than a proper game. Since I plan to finish and release the game at some point, I keep an eye open for any developments and insights on the field.

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Swiss Game Development: Block Duel by Bummzack

When there is actually something happening it the Swiss games’ scene, it should be noted. Even more so when the game is

  • available for free
  • based on a clever idea
  • and released without much fanfare.

Well, here comes the fanfare.

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First Person Shooter – Rethought

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.

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Would You Kindly? Playing Irrational Games' Bioshock

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.

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Meta Games

Hidden deep in the trenches of Instapaper I found this little gem – as a matter of fact, this should be required reading for all game design students.

A huge list of meta-games: games about games.

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Fable II: The Storification

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.

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Architecture and Level Design [The B Files]

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.

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I'm Strong, But I Can't Help Myself - Part II

I seem to lack the skills to express myself currently, it seems. Looks like I have to explain myself after my previous post on female characters.

Dragica made the point that she does not want her heroines to be gender neutral, but rather female.

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I'm Strong, But I Can't Help Myself

So first Kim referred to it, then Karin and finally Janina, so yes, I should definitely read that article, right?

So you know what I say? I say screw Strong Female Characters. What we need now are some Weak Female Characters. My arguments below the fold…

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Who Needs Players Anyway?

There seems to be a new trend in town: games that found a way to deal with all that nasty, unpredictable human intervention in games – they do away with it.

There is Cory Arcangel at the Barbican, letting bowling games play themselves. (Nothing new, really, there has been a Lego Mindstorm robot playing Wii Bowling on its own for quite some time now).

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In the Search for the Game Design Auteur

One of the reasons why getting into game design right now is so interesting is the fact that part of the business, of the creative process and of the production is still forming – and in a constant state of flux.

While on one hand, game production teams have grown larger in order to produce even more content (after all, many AAA titles boast to have 50+ hours playtime – which is 25 times as much as a normal action film), other people reduced their teams and are producing awesome games with teams of three or four people.

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The Model City

Just a short note on the ubiquity of New York by Jim Rossignol over at the (always great) BLDGBLOG:

The parallels and disparities between videogames and movies are endlessly debated, but there’s one certainty: they both return, routinely, to the architecture of New York City. The most frequently filmed city in the world is also the most frequently modeled.

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Breaking into the Mainstream

Benjamin Burger has watched the episode titled Addicted to Games? of the BBC series Panorama, and is not exactly happy about it (as have been other people, as I could watch on Twitter):

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