Archive for December, 2015


A thing – Day 0.9


The player takes on the role of the U.S. president, formulating and executing a war against ISIL. This is where the player finds their agency, and the entirety of feedback comes in response to these actions. In other words, this is an important part of the game. I’m going to start with this core, and build the rest of the game around this.


I want to present the player a wide and accurate breadth of tactical and strategic options. In the context of this game, tactics will refer to the what and strategy the why.

The why is extremely important in this game, as we wish to give feedback contextual not only on the player’s action, but also their intention.


Let’s start by defining some of the actions we’d like to allow the player. We’re lucky and lazy enough that our game attempts to mimic reality, so let’s steal from it.

Continue reading ‘A thing – Day 0.9’


A thing – day 0


I struggle with the problematic nature of writing a ‘game’ about troubles in the Middle East where the player takes on the role of the US president. Irregardless, here we go.


I despise the absolute clarity and understanding contemporary games afford the player. Every single metric is exposed, even modern shooters break immersion with the use of XP popups occurring in real time as the player acts. I want a nuanced experience where consequences occur, and occur unexpectedly. It’s ‘poor game design’ if the player cannot see a clear path from their actions to consequence, and generally any feedback loops should be as ‘tight’ as possible — fuck it.


The timeline to create this game is limited, and thus is the scope. I want to explore the dichotomy between action, and the perception of that action.


I’m making a game, rapidly, about the US strategy in Iraq and Syria vis-a-vis ISIL.


As stated above I wish to explore action and the perception of that action. This is core to our understanding of the ‘war’ against ISIL. We are isolated from and never exposed to ‘outcome’ – we champion action; bombing, troops on the ground, no-fly zones. We have precious little insight (or interest) into what the outcome of these actions is. Whether it’s the fault of the media, and their self imposed mandate to excite and arouse (rather than inform), a conspiratorial understanding of theirs with the powers that be, or they’re simply responding to lack of interest in discussion and coverage on longer term strategy, the reality is that we don’t have insight into what happens on the ground. In a less cynical tone, I could say that the words of a President or Prime Minister — who is elected, responsible towards, and geographically and culturally closer to us  — are simply more real, immediate, meaningful and understandable.


The game revolves around a simple dichotomistic cycle. You, as the President of the United States, selects a course of action, and then receives feedback in the form of media from various outlets reporting on that action. Rinse. Repeat. Continue reading ‘A thing – day 0’

Playing on Playstation 3

Red Dead Revolver - I paid about $1000 for my launch model PS3, so I guess it's time I get some use out of that emotion chip crammed inside. I remember Red Dead Revolver looking rather good when it was released, and despite the low resolution and odd blurring (that I attribute to playing on a HD set) the game holds up well. It looks good despite these graphical limitations because the art direction is so precise and awesome. And it isn't just the art direction, the music, dialogue and set design (for some reason, set seems a more fitting word than level) all work in tandem to recreate an iconic Wild West atmosphere. Red Dead Revolver doesn’t aim to recreate life in the Wild West, it allows our imagination to take over and populates the locale with legendary men and their legendary stories.

Playing on iPhone

edge - Well I never thought I'd consider playing a game on iPhone as actually gaming, but edge has turned me around. The game is built for the iPhone. Sure, it could be ported, but the elegance of what has been created is astounding, it boggles the mind and makes me wonder what amazing gems we'd receive if current gen consoles weren't clones of eachother.

Playing on PC

Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Generals - Zero Hour - It may be a temporary effect as I slowly reintroduce the PC into my gaming diet, but it seems every title I’m excited to play on the platform is either a strategy game, or a cheap indie game. PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just restricted to titles that require complex input or a pointing device, and games that couldn't be developed or distributed on other platforms. I guess that’s part of the reason the AppStore is so far a success, there were a lot of indie devs stuck on PC for lack of a better alternative.


December 2015
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