Shops. Does your game need one?

It’s an important question to ask yourself, especially when you’re dealing with a game that involves many different items. But the answer may not be as obvious as you think. The decision to add a shop in a game, like every other mechanic, has ramifications. A poorly placed store can devalue rewards, throw off the balance of areas,…

Not Your Father’s Mario

A man owns an axe. He uses it to chop wood for years. When his son grows up he gives the axe to him. The son also uses the axe to chop wood for years. However, one day the handle breaks and needs to be replaced—the son does this. When the son’s son grows up,…

Four Games for Less

The February 2017 game release schedule has given us some great big budget games. Nioh, For Honor, and Horizon Zero Dawn to name a few and March looks to be even better. The day that this post goes up the Nintendo Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be out. However, if you cannot buy a…

Mods—What is it Good For?

For many years, PC gamers have had the ability to mod their games. It’s easier on PC because a PC is a much more agreeable machine than a gaming console where code isn’t easily accessed. Steam, the primary online source of games for the PC, has the Steam Workshop. This is an easy-to-use place for Steam…

The Nature of a Soulslike and Nioh

As I walked my character down a hallway I noticed a fuming yellow orb at the end of the corridor. This orb is a signifier of an item in the game Nioh. It was in a separate room, framed by a stone doorway. Upon entering the room I turn to the right, ignoring the item, and…

Design Analysis: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action role-playing game (RPG) that was released worldwide in November 2011. Its developer and publisher is Bethesda. It was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows. A remastered special edition was released October 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. We will be…

Design Analysis: RimWorld

Tired, hot, and in mental anguish, fifteen colonists sprint through the forest in the dead of night. They reach their destination, an outpost, armed with assault rifles. The haggard group lines up, bracing for the conflict ahead. Their home, overrun with monstrous insects that burrowed in from underground. Looming in the clearing, a psychic ship, a…