...And all the men and women merely players.
A blog about the state of gaming and technology

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cursors! Foiled Again.

From Gamers With Jobs, an amazing Flash game that has single-player co-op. How, you ask? Play the game!

It's great how many simple, experimental gameplay concepts are coming out of Flash games. It's a fantastic platform for experimentation. I need to break my reliance on tech-heavy development and just whip out some things in Flash... Perhaps the Deconstruction Project?

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Deconstruction Project

Over the holidays I came up with an interesting idea for a project. What I'd like to do is take the existing game genres, and reduce them to their simplest expression. I'd like to create a game that is a shoot-'em-up, for example, that is just the most basic features of shoot-'em-ups - the minimum necessary elements in order to be considered part of the genre. Then do the same for RPGs, FPSes, RTS games, and so on.

What would this accomplish? Well, the games probably wouldn't be much fun to play. However, the discussion that arose out of creating them would help us to really define what the integral parts of a genre are. More excitingly, they would provide us openings to add to the genres, create new genres, and subvert the conventions that we discover. A shooter must have a player, targets, shots, and points. What happens if we make a shooter without targets? Without shooting? Or if we add a key component of another genre (say, stats from an RPG) to the game?

Many of the results would be things we already know about gaming, affirmed. But I think the journey could be an exciting one.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Music has charms to soothe the savage breast

You've already seen the stories all over the Internet, but I think Rock Band is our greatest hope for world peace.

I took it with me over the holidays, and I've never seen so many different sorts of people try playing. Even the Wii wasn't this popular last year (and actually, the Wii came along this year, only to be totally ignored in favor of the ROCK!)

There were countless instances of non-gamers stepping out of their shells to play a song ("Oh, it's just like Karaoke!"). There were lots of socially-awkward moments smoothed over by a guitar solo. There were even two exes, with their current spouses, who formed a band and rocked the house. It was great.

Everyone likes playing music, in a group, especially if it doesn't take much skill. And the fact that one player is essentially doing Karaoke makes it totally socially acceptable, unlike any other video game.

So there you have it. Lock up Mahmud Abbas and Ehud Olmert in a room with the whole setup, and watch them bond over their (no doubt) shared love of Aerosmith.