Saturday, 25 February 2012

I was never any good at skiping

“if dialogue can be skipped in games, then why not combat?”

I cant help but wonder if  perhaps another question should be asked, that if ANY element of a game can be skipped without effect then why is it in the game at all? 

When combat is totally meaningless wanting to skip it is not only fine, but the rational response.*

Any time I play a game and see a character hacked down in combat one minute, and up good as new spouting his life story the next, my heart sinks a little. It just seems sloppy devaluing both the gameplay and the story, and gets progressively more jarring more strictly delineated a game places these elements.

It just seems so limiting, I need to see more if I ever want this to stop skipping from being a rational choice for me. What about companion npc's who are in danger when I enter combat? or characters who expressed themselves through actions as well as words? Perhaps even combat paced to allow for moments of calm where dialogue can occur.

These don't seem like they should be unreasonable hopes, there are already great examples in both traditional narrative media (such as films and tv) and in games themselves.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Dice Mountains of Madness : My time with Elder Signs iOS

H. P. Lovecraft's Cthuhlu universe has been the subject of a lot of games down the years, and Fantasy Flight's Arkham Horror a series of board games is commonly considered to be one of the most effective interpretations. Sadly my experience with that lineage is somewhat non-existent, so when I picked up their spin-off game Elder Signs on iOS it was on the basis of the strength of my affection for the mythology and board games in general.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Meme Machine

A Grenade rolls down a hill, as the the Wizard serves Hot Scoops, while a Puffin cries Baboo and Jeff Goldblum backs into Samuel L Jackson's arm.....

By the time the Idle Thumbs podcast bowed out after two years of consistently entertaining shows, it had established a distinct vocabulary and culture of its own. Since then I haven't found any other show that has quite managed to be quite as smart while at the same time not taking itself too seriously.