Saturday, September 26, 2015

Worlds Worth Believing In


Over at Gamasutra, Ario Barzan has been exploring the art design and level layouts of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls:
A player’s awareness here was of a sort of realism to the environments that were, nevertheless, designed to an almost obsessive degree of exactitude. Near the start of one world, players could reach a parapeted walkway guarded by skeletal archers. Doing so showed that the archers were flanked by another skeleton that rushed in with spiny rolls and sword swipes. A memorable dynamic suddenly emerged: dealing with the swordsman, positioning oneself so that the archers’ arrows were blocked by parapets, and minding the arrows of a distant sniper from an opposite direction. Later on, this swordsman-type appeared in narrow, underground corridors, frustrating the assumption that one would always find them in more open spaces, and necessitating a change of combative strategy.

Full Story: HERE

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Seven Hour City

Kill Screen has a terrific article up about City 17, from Half Life 2, exploring what makes it such a wonderful introduction to the game's themes and mechanics:
I step off the run-down train onto the platform, and a bright, white light fills my vision. The beeping surveillance robot hovers away as my eyes adjust, and I begin to see glimpses of the world I’ve stepped into; the world after the war. They say it only took seven hours for the governments of Earth to surrender, and the evidence of that subjugation is all around me. A fleshy alien hunches over the broom it's chained to. Loved ones anxiously await friends and family who will never arrive. A large arrivals and departures board displays cities stripped of their identities and compartmentalised, much like their citizens. I am herded through security checkpoints and dimly lit hallways. Eventually, I make it outside, to a quiet city square carefully watched by the occupying Combine forces, and overshadowed by the phallus-to-end-all-phalluses: the Combine Citadel. This is it. This is life in the Seven Hour City. City 17.
Full Story: HERE

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