Jess and Cait's Game Design Notes: The Colony

List of things Jess and Cait understand about human beings:

Human beings like food.
Human beings like sex.
You can't leave human beings outside in the extreme cold or heat for very long.
Human beings eventually will die.
Human beings generally like taking the easy way out (humans like efficiency).
Most humans like banding in groups or being social in some way.

Important life lesson we'd like to focus our game on: Human beings will eventually die. We want to design a game that focuses on the ultimate mortality of the human experience.

Objective: Try not to die.


Koster and Collaboration

I very much enjoyed reading Theory of Fun. And, while many things were on my mind and popped into my mind while reading, one comes to the forefront: collaboration.

My mind was attuned to collaboration given my CCCCs acceptance of a paper written about what video games have to teach us about collaboration. More specifically, I underlined these quotations from Koster’s book:

Mama, Gamer, Soldier, Spy

I have been thinking about how being a parent has change me as a gamer for some time (2 years and 2 months to be exact) and every time I turn around I find another way that parenthood has changed my gamerhood. Now I finally find the chance to put some of these thoughts into words so that they can perhaps be reflected on more extensively at some point. So here goes!

Field Notes 2: 3D Dot Game Heroes, RPGs, and Systems of RPGs

Reading through Dungeons and Desktops, I'm struck continually by the varying and yet more or less cannonical systems that pop up in the RPG genre. Most of the time, this or that game is really good because it reminds you of game X or game Y, not because it does something entirely new. Torchlight is a really good gloss of Diablo 2, and though it has some innovation, its not a genre redefinition.

Late Night Rant

rant (v.)
1590s, from Du. randten "talk foolishly, rave," of unknown origin (cf. Ger. rantzen "to frolic, spring about"). Related: Ranted; ranting. The noun is first attested 1640s, from the verb. Ranters "antinomian sect which arose in England c.1645" is attested from 1651; applied 1823 to early Methodists. A 1700 slang dictionary has rantipole "a rude wild Boy or Girl."

Given the etymology of this word, I'm going to not go into much detail on here, but there are some points of contention that I have with a certain Mr. Koster.

A Requiem for a Genre

Matt Barton makes a point—a point I want to highlight. Simply put, he states, “A fixed genre is a dead genre” (D&D 397). And for someone like me who is not as well versed in video game history as others, he includes a taxonomy of RPGs that clearly backs this point up. But here’s the thing. What about the evolution of RPGs? He seems to show that there is an evolutionary process involved. RPGs have changed. If they hadn’t, the genre would be dead. Obviously.

Reach level 20: acquire fun.

The selection from Matt Barton's Dungeons and Desktops had a few interesting points in it beyond being just a laundry list of RPGs (and Zelda.) I agree that RPGs are prime examples of gaming that requires planning and strategy to succeed, but his follow-up to define a category of CRPG seems pretty fruitless. The essential nature of "role-playing" games came from having some degree of personalization for the character. You could name him (or her!) decide on skills, choose your weapons, and decide what quests to take for example.

Torchlight, Dressing, Recycled Content

I picked up Torchlight, an action-RPG dungeon crawl, as my RPG for the course and just beat it a couple days ago. I hadn’t played an action-RPG in quite awhile, though last summer I did beat the strategy-based dungeon crawl Chocobo’s Dungeon for the Wii. Torchlight was a good holdover for Diablo III, but there was something that irked me about the game. It was overly derivative.

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