Ludomedia #34

März 22, 2017


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Ethan Hoeppner: Turn Based Strategy Games Need Turn Timers

  • „The fun strategy and the strategically optimal strategy should be one and the same, but if you give the player infinite time to calculate, they aren’t. You force the player to choose which strategy they will go with: the fun strategy of using analysis, or the boring-but-optimal strategy of using calculation.“

Keith Burgun: Solvability In Games

  • „For any given system, there is some middle point of solvability where you have an ideal amount of depth—enough depth to keep a game playable and interesting for as long as possible (which hopefully, could be years), but not so much that it feels unlearnable.“

Michael Ardizzone: Agency And Randomness

  • „We can think of randomness in terms of how close it is to the player. Since players express skill by reacting to events in ways that draw them closer to their goal, giving the player plenty of room to maneuver around random events allows us to add a lot of variety to designs without it costing much agency.“

Stefan Engblom: Quest for the Healthy Metagame

  • „You need to know your game. Play your game a lot, both during development and release. […] In the end, you’re the one who has to make the decisions. So it boils down to understanding the game.“

Thomas Grip: Traversal and the Problem With Walking Simulators

  • „Walking forward is just a matter of pressing down a key or stick. And unless you are my dad playing a game, this doesn’t pose any sort of challenge at all. Your brain is basically unoccupied and the chance of your mind starting to drift is very high. Instead of being immersed in the game’s world you might start thinking of what to cook for dinner or something else that is totally unrelated to the experience the game wants you to have.“

Jenseits des Tellerrands

Mason Miller: The Art of Blocking

  • „A character’s movement, that is how they move and where they move to, can convey meaning the same as color, music and dialogue.“

Card Thief: Review

März 20, 2017

Mit Card Thief hat das Berliner Mobile-Studio TiNYTOUCHTALES zwei Jahre nach Card Crawl einen weiteren Volltreffer gelandet.

Das Spiel gibt es ab sofort im iOS App Store.

Mein Review steht drüben bei der AppGemeinde.

Viel Spaß!

Ludomedia #33

Februar 22, 2017


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Elliot George: Emergence and Chaos in Games

  • „So there is a kind of tension here, chaos is good for increasing the number of mental models that we use, and therefore offers a lot of opportunities for systemic learning, but it also increases the usefulness of memorisation, which is mostly surface learning.“

Ethan Hoeppner: Information Generalizability

  • „Given that the core purpose of a game is to provide the player with interesting decisions that the player isn’t certain about, every moment spent calculating is at best a moment wasted, and at worst a mental burden that distracts from the important parts of the game. Thus, games should seek to have as little calculation as possible.“

Guido Henkel: A new recipe for the roleplaying game formula

  • „As I play through the current fare of CRPGs I can’t help but feel the genre has stagnated and has become utterly formulaic. I strongly feel that it is time for the next step in the evolution of the genre. Let us make use of the technologies and incredible processing power at our disposal for more than stunning visuals.“

Keith Burgun: Arcs in Strategy Games

  • „Arcs is one of the main ways you achieve a structural through-line between playing […] and winning or losing. […] If you have a good structural understanding of your arrangement of arcs, it suddenly becomes quite easy to know how short or long your game should be, which historically has been a pure mystery.“

Michael Ardizzone: Analogy And The Process Of Design

  • „There are plenty of ways we can improve on the modern process of game design incrementally, both through attaining a better understanding of game rules in the abstract, and also through using analogy more expertly and carefully given our knowledge of its limitations, but great power, as a design tool.“


Wolfgang Walk bei Pixelwarte

  • „Die Kunstform ist als ästhetisches und psychologisches Medium oder Wirkfaktor zu jung, um so untersucht zu sein, dass es Experten geben könnte. Es gibt sicherlich Leute, die mehr wissen als andere aber echte Experten sehe ich noch nicht.“

Ludomedia #32

Januar 31, 2017


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Brandon Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: Quitting

  • „Games are not real life. […] If you can’t quit them they’re not games. If you design games, you have to at least consider the idea that someone might quit your game in the middle of it. And you have to decide how you want that experience to play out for all involved.“

Christopher Gile: XCOM 2 and Vision: The Cost of an Illusion

  • „Deep systemic flaws in design usually don’t present in expected ways and before we can start talking about solutions we have to be able to properly diagnose the problem.“

Daniel Cook: Game design patterns for building friendships

  • „[Games] operate on the same scale as sports, religions and governments. Such engineered human processes can help players thrive in designed virtual spaces and ultimately in their real lives.“

Frank Lantz et al.: Depth in Strategic Games

  • „A game with great depth is one that seems to unfold into an endless series of challenging problems and responds to serious thought by continually revealing surprising and interesting things to think about.“

Jochen Gebauer: Glücksspiele und Kriegsverbrecher

  • „Ich habe einen Vorschlag: Wie wäre es, wenn wir eine altbekannte Frage einmal unter einem völlig anderen Blickwinkel betrachten. Sie lautet: Warum handeln Spieler scheinbar ständig gegen ihre eigenen Interessen?“

Ludomedia #31

Januar 19, 2017


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Christian Neffe: Kritik: „Assassin’s Creed“

  • „Videospielverfilmung des Macbeth-Regisseurs, die weder visuell noch inhaltlich zu überzeugen weiß. Stattdessen: Eine Herausforderung für die Augen, die in philosophischem Nonsens ertränkt wird.“

Extra Credits: Strategic Uncertainty

  • „It’s a really tough task to balance a well-honed system which you can plan and strategize around, while having uncertainties that make that system always feel fresh.“

Jamie Madigan & Scott Rigby: Self Determination Theory and Why We Play Games

  • „You can motivate yourself just fine. What I want to do is create an environment that facilitates you being able to satisfy those needs. When that happens, you value those experiences.“

Matthew Dunstan: The Crossover: Goals in Games

  • „Most games will use a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic goals, and that exact mix and how it is chosen is an important parameter a designer can tweak to gain a desired player experience.“

Steven Hutton: Why are MOBAs so toxic?

  • „Once you start losing, things can snowball on you very easily and while comebacks do happen the set up of the game makes them inherently difficult to pull off.“

Jenseits des Tellerrands

Evan Puschak: How Louis CK Tells A Joke

  • „There are 207 words in this joke and not a single one is wasted. […] Great standup comedy is language distilled to its most potent form.“

Spiele des Jahres 2016

Januar 9, 2017

In aller Kürze:

1. Atlas Reactor


Nachdem mit Aerena mein Spiel des Jahres 2015 vor Kurzem endgültig verstorben ist, konnte der Titel von Trion die klaffende Lücke im Bereich „rundenbasiertes MOBA“ wieder auffüllen. Dank eines innovativen und ziemlich brillanten vierstufigen Phasensystems verdirbt mir auch die simultane Zugplanung, von der ich normalerweise eher wenig halte, nicht den Spielspaß. Ein tiefes, neuartiges und kompetitives Spiel ganz nach meinem Geschmack. Nur die Spielerzahlen dürften in Zukunft gerne noch üppiger sein.

2. Age of Rivals


Kartenspiel- und Draft-Elemente werden verknüpft mit langfristigem Zivilisationsaufbau und dem damit einhergehenden Balanceakt zwischen Militär und Ökonomie – kurzum das Beste aus Civilization und Through The Ages, allerdings ohne Hirnschmelze in fairen, immer wieder neuartigen, aber stets klar strukturierten 15-minütigen Partien. Großartig!

3. The Witness


In der heutigen Spielelandschaft steht Jonathan Blows neuestes Werk als Aufruf, interaktive Systeme als solche ernst zu nehmen und nicht bloß als Transporteure übergeordneter Kunstformen. Eine Ode an Intellekt, Wissenschaft, Kreativität und deren Verschmelzung in der Kunst beziehungsweise im Spiel.

4. Overcooked


Ghost Town Games haben ein echtes, fokussiertes Coop-Spiel und damit einen Vertreter einer aussterbenden Art produziert. Die Spieler brauchen sich gegenseitig und werden fast ausschließlich durch die Verbesserung der Koordination untereinander besser, kaum durch individuelle Skills. So funktioniert kooperatives Spielen!

5. Doom


Ein spielmechanischer Schlag ins Gesicht aller Shooter der Marke „Actionfilm gucken und alle paar Minuten ein bisschen rumklicken“. Alles ist der Dynamik des Gameplays untergeordnet. Alle Waffen haben ihren Platz im System und müssen in den richtigen Situationen angewandt werden. Gegner werden als reine Regelbündel eingeführt und dann sofort mit bereits erlernten Elementen kombiniert. Eine Herausforderung nach der anderen. Keine Zeitverschwendung. Gott sei Dank „nur“ ein Spiel!

appgemeindeMeine Top 10 Mobile Games habe ich übrigens bei der AppGemeinde aufgelistet (siehe cyanfarbene Sektion).

Ludomedia #30

Dezember 29, 2016


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Charlie Cade: When To Use Actor Faces in Video Games

  • „There’s also that nagging feeling […] of trying to legitimize the medium by shoehorning stars from a more established one into ours, which I can’t believe we haven’t grown out of yet.“

Katharine Neil: How We Design Games and Why

  • „It is time we returned to this unanswered question of formal, abstract design tools for game design. Until we have the tools to design with our minds and not just with our hands, we are limiting ourselves creatively. In games, these limits include having our creative process held hostage by the oftentimes alienating and frantic churn of the production and testing cycle.“

Keith Burgun: Clockwork Criteria: Guidelines for Ideal Strategy Game Design

  • „There are certainly practical reasons why you might not want a specific game to be a Clockwork game. But to the extent that you want your strategy game to be elegant, you should adopt as many of these principles as possible.“

Samual Ratchkramer: „How Hard?“ More Like „Hard How?“

  • „When the controls occupy less of a player’s headspace, there’s more room for considering a system, the game proper. While the potential is there, designers need to be careful to not squander it by taking all those old shortcuts.“

Soren Johnson: Donald Trump Won Because Of Bad Game Design

  • „Although rules are written to favor certain outcomes, they must be judged not just by what they fix in the best-case (shortening the primaries) but also by what they enable in the worst-case (Donald Trump).“

Ludomedia #29

Dezember 2, 2016


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Curtiss Murphy: What Makes Great Games Great?

  • „Stick to your core. […] Less is, in fact, more.“

Daniel Cook: Autumn of Indie Game Markets

  • „Games are looking nicer than ever, don’t they? That quality bar keeps creeping higher. With so much work to do, your team is a bit larger. And with so many mouths to feed, it feels riskier to lose everything experimenting on wacky new game mechanics.“

Josh Bycer: Feeling the Frustration of “Fun Pain” Game Design

  • „You need to decide where you want your money to come from: Short-term fun pain/heavily monetized elements, or a long-term plan with a dedicated fan-base.“

Maria Garda & Paweł Grabarczyk: Is Every Indie Game Independent?

  • „We claim that, despite the etymology, the term indie is not just an abbreviation of the term independent.“

Wolfgang Walk: Der Mythos vom „story-driven game“

  • „Der Begriff ’story-driven game‘ meint entweder irgendeinen hanebüchenen Marketing-Unfug – oder er bedeutet etwas, das per definitionem eine der zentralen Eigenschaften eines Games beschädigt und versklavt. […] Man kann ein Game mit der Story genauso gut antreiben wie einen Automotor, indem man an den Rädern dreht!“


Ludomedia #28

Oktober 11, 2016


Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.

Brandon Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: The Grind

  • „You only get one life to live and you’re going to spend it pressing A – attack, attack, attack – just so you can see the next video in a Final Fantasy game that you could have watched on YouTube. […] Think of your whole life when you’re doing this.“

Jordan Georgiev: Going Too Big – Simplicity in Indie Games

  • „The more time you spend creating a fluid, satisfying and replayable core experience – the better game you will have. […] So we should spend our time designing the elements our players will spend the most time playing – the main mechanics and the main loops of the game.“

Keith Burgun: Minimize calculation (in games worth playing)

  • „The point is, you do need some degree of determinism in games; some “causal line” that goes from the player’s input and stretches out into the system to some extent. But by using input randomness smartly and carefully selecting the position of the information horizon, you can (and should) reduce the calculate-able (solvable) parts of your game down to a reasonable level.“

Maciej Biedrzycki: Why is selling good games so hard?

  • „Think about No Man’s Sky. They sold millions of copies even though the game was universally criticized by both gamers and the press once it was out. So, if it’s financially better to overpromise and under-deliver, one has to wonder where our industry is heading.“

Richard Garfield: A Game Player’s Manifesto

  • „I believe it is time to send a message to game designers and publishers. As a game player I will not play or promote games that I believe are subsidizing free or inexpensive play with exploitation of addictive players. As a game designer I will no longer work with publishers that are trying to make my designs into skinnerware.“

Jenseits des Tellerrands

Evan Puschak: Breaking Bad – An Episode Of Reactions

  • „What makes drama work, what makes it interesting, isn’t climactic action scenes, or the bombastic declaration of colorful characters, or even big ideas. It’s the succession of reactions that cascade off of every choice.“

Go-Spieler kämpfen mit der Kalkulation

Oktober 10, 2016

In einem Reddit-Forum zu Go (auch bekannt als Baduk) entbrannte vor Kurzem eine sehr interessante Diskussion. Ein passionierter Spieler des abstrakten Klassikers beschrieb das „Phänomen“, dass ihm die Fleißarbeit des Vorausdenkens unzähliger Züge ab der Mitte des Spiels immer mühseliger wird. Überraschend ist das nicht, schließlich handelt es sich um ein Spiel mit perfekter Information.

Sogleich waren Mitglieder des Subreddits zur Stelle mit allerlei Tipps, wie man sich eben doch zum lästigen Durchrechnen der Zugoptionen zwingen könne. Für Außenstehende ergibt dies ein recht skurriles Bild. Warum sollte man diesen Selbstzwang denn überhaupt wollen? Natürlich ist es zunächst immer auch Arbeit, ein Spiel zu erlernen, aber in diesem Fall ging es um Fortgeschrittene bis hin zu Veteranen.

Auf die Idee, dass es sich bei etwas, zu dem man sich immer und immer wieder, beinahe selbstquälerisch, durchringen muss, um ein fundamentales Problem im Spieldesign handeln könnte, kam kaum einer der Diskutanten. Der User Toad_Racer (übrigens der aktuell wohl beste Auro-Spieler der Welt) brachte es mit seinem Beitrag dann aber doch noch sehr treffend auf den Punkt:

How about embracing the aversion? The goal should not be to play a particular game well at all costs, but rather to enrich your life through engaging gameplay. It seems to me that analysis through methodical tree traversal isn’t a very efficient or engaging way to extract value from an interactive system. Instead, I think games should push their players towards intuitively evaluating gamestates by preventing them from looking ahead too far with a designed „information horizon“.