Making Things – Part 1

Alright, if anyone exists out there that actually reads this, you’re likely aware that I’m very into video games. From looking at the incredible amount of systems conjecture and ideas, you’ve likely guessed that I intend to make games (or at least dream of it). So, instead of plugging away at FFIX (though I will be coming back to that because I love that game and the world that it presents), I’ve been dumping a ton of time into learning Unity, C#, and (to a much lesser extent as a hobby kinda thing) asm for the 6502.

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Old Man Musings – The Games I Want to Play

Things are always changing. It’s important to know that’s not inherently a bad thing. It’s easy to give in to the pull of nostalgia and say that the old way is the best way and we should stick with that. I mean, let’s be honest, this category of posts is called “Old Man Musings.” That’s pretty damning evidence that I’m going to come down on the side of nostalgia. But there’s no inherent guarantee that older is actually better.

Games have changed a lot over the course of my being a gamer. We’re seeing two categories of games rocket off in terms of popularity/market saturation, and neither of them interest me. I don’t know if we need to go back to the way things were, but I would certainly enjoy if we remembered it as we create new games.

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Quest vs Dogma – Opposite Ends of the Level Spectrum

I heard a lot of good things about Dragon’s Dogma. I read a bit about it, watched videos, and eventually picked it up on the cheap. Sadly, though my expectations were set at a reasonable level (I was expecting to be underwhelmed), the game shattered them. And not with a rocket to awesomeness – but with a drastic drop that I can only describe as the least fun I’ve had playing an RPG since I don’t know when.

I think the major fault of the game is a terribly poor implementation of leveling up. So let’s take a look at the king of leveling up: Dragon Quest, and compare it to the experience I found in Dragon’s Dogma.

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Bare Bones – MMO Dream Game

There are a lot of games I would really love to play. Unfortunately, plenty of them don’t exist yet. I’m going to describe a mish-mash of mechanics that I’d love to see, making up a game that I’d love to play. These are going to be very bare bones descriptions – I’m not outlining an entire game start to finish. As promised when talking about my ideal FF7 copy cat game, I had one other very old idea that I was going to write up. Guess what, it’s time. I’m going to examine the skeleton of my ideal Legend of Zelda-style MMO.

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Bare Bones – RPG Combat Systems – Part 1

As long as there have been RPGs (particularly JRPGs, though this applies to early western RPGs in a broad sense as well) there has been turn based combat. Games are a world of fun (well, if they’re well made) abstractions that let the player interact with the setting in a meaningful way. One of the more abstract but rather effective systems out there is turn based RPG combat. I couldn’t say for sure if it’s a matter of the genre imposing inherent limits (though I’d argue that it’s not), but there’s been a lack of innovation among relatively traditional turn based combat systems. It’s been around for long enough that I think we could be throwing in some new ideas. So, in that spirit, I’ll talk about some of my ideas for one of my favorite gameplay systems.

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How I Game – Handhelds at Home

Handheld gaming occupies a special place in my heart. No, it’s not just because my first console that was mine was a handheld (the Sega Game Gear, actually). It’s not just my deep love for Pokemon (though that helps). It’s not even my fond memories of playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance at stop lights while working as a delivery driver (probably not super safe, don’t recommend it). Handhelds fit the way I game that consoles hooked up to a TV and PCs just can’t match (though my laptop certainly tries).

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