“Insta-Tournaments”: Multiplayer-Solitaire?

January 18, 2020

In der Community seinerzeit gefeiert, doch von Spieleentwicklern allem Anschein nach weitgehend unbemerkt, erfand Zach Gage fĂŒr Pocket-Run Pool im Jahre 2018 einen ganz besonderen Spielmodus.

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Podcast: Indie Board Game Designers

December 24, 2019

Im Rahmen unserer Kickstarter-Kampagne zur ersten Erweiterung fĂŒr Crimson Company war ich vor einer Weile zu Gast im famosen Indie-Brettspiel-Podcast von Patrick Rauland. Unser GesprĂ€ch gibt es nun hier nachzuhören. Viel Spaß dabei!


Ludomedia #70

December 16, 2019

Ludomedia

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


Christian Huberts: Die Spieler scheißen auf den grĂ¶ĂŸten Haufen

  • “Death Stranding belohnt somit Influencer. Jeder möchte viel Laufpublikum fĂŒr seine Leitern und am Ende fĂŒhren gleich fĂŒnf ĂŒber denselben Fluss. Der Teufel, in dem Fall der Spieler, scheißt auf den grĂ¶ĂŸten Haufen. Alle anderen können der Elite zumindest den erhobenen Daumen zeigen.”

Jonathan Blow: Making Games in 2019 and Beyond

  • “It’s hard for people to understand what your game will be. […] Look, feedback is good. […] Seeing other people interact with your game can shatter any illusions that you may have. […] On the other hand […] if you release something in early access and it’s far from what it’s going to be, I think most of the feedback will be incorrect.

Mark Brown: The Most Innovative Game of 2019

  • “While making an open-ended puzzle game sounds great, it’s open to easy answers […] so the designer’s job is to actually lock you in and force restrictions on you.”

Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: Take Your #@*$ Turn!

  • “If a game is fun, but it takes a long time, it’s not that good. Or at least it has a low fun economy. […] If you can find a game that is a certain amount of fun, but takes like 10 or 20 or 30 minutes to play, that game is probably objectively better as a game, and you should seek those games out. You should reward the games […] that respect you enough to not waste your time.”

Stephen Blessing: The Incan Gold Experiment (GameTek 213.5)

  • “We had an abstract condition, which is devoid of any content or theme. […] The abstracts, regardless if they were playing more risky or more cautious […] scored higher than the other two conditions, and they also took significantly less time playing.”

Ludomedia #69

November 4, 2019

Ludomedia

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


David Stark: Why I Made A Game That Isn’t Fun

  • “Pay to skip the wait. Pay to remove the limit. Pay to get a boost, skip the ads, make the numbers go up faster. Sandstorm is a game that was sparked by a conversation about the intentionality of these kind of mechanics, and the idea that a game could be purposefully unfun.”

Hamish Black: John Wick Hex and the Problems of Adaptation

  • “You can see what they were going for, but in practice [John Wick] Hex ends up being too inconsistent to be a puzzler and too rigid to be an action game. It just lies awkwardly in the middle.”

Jim Sterling: Are Automated Bots A Deceptive Con?

  • “If you don’t know that it’s all pretend times, you think you’re winning. And if you think you’re winning you’ll feel encouraged to keep playing. […] And the more you play, the more you’re entrenched in that game’s economy. And the more entrenched in the economy you are, the more tempted you may be to spend cash on it.”

Neo Magazin Royale: Coin Master – Abzocke mit Fun

  • “Simuliertes GlĂŒcksspiel birgt einige Gefahren: Zum einen wird durch Normalisierungstendenzen eine positive Einstellung gegenĂŒber GlĂŒcksspiel begĂŒnstigt. […] In letzter Konsequenz schĂŒrt dies den Wunsch auch mal um echtes Geld zu ‘zocken’. Junge Spieler sind dafĂŒr besonders anfĂ€llig.”

Razbuten: What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn’t Play Games

  • “Watching [my wife] work through this early section [of Hollow Knight] and seeing the different ways that she viewed the game got me thinking a lot about the language of video games, and just how much a person’s level of video game literacy affects their experience with any given title. […] So I decided to run an informal experiment…”

Heilsbringer “Battle Pass”?

October 18, 2019

Etwa eine Woche vor Release von Call of Duty: Modern Warfare hat Activison angekĂŒndigt, dass es im Spiel keine Lootboxen geben wird. Stattdessen soll auf einen “Battle Pass” Ă  la Fortnite gesetzt werden. NatĂŒrlich kostet der Zugang zum Spiel selbst je nach Edition bereits zwischen 60 und 100 Euro. Somit fĂ€llt es in die von Jim Sterling geprĂ€gte Kategorie des “Fee to Pay”Spieler bezahlen initial Eintritt, um dann fĂŒr weitere Inhalte bezahlen zu dĂŒrfen. Doch davon mal abgesehen: Ist das Modell Battle Pass an und fĂŒr sich völlig unbedenklich?

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Planbarkeit und (Vor-)Spiel-Entscheidungen

October 11, 2019

Die Möglichkeit zur Vorausplanung der eigenen Aktionen ist ein zentrales Element, auf dem die Faszination vieler Spiele basiert. Thomas Grip von Frictional Games bezeichnet sie sogar als Hauptgrund dafĂŒr, dass sich Gameplay gut anfĂŒhlt. Einleuchtend ist das spĂ€testens beim Blick auf die Alternative. Ein Spiel ohne jede Planbarkeit versinkt zwangslĂ€ufig im Zufallschaos. Statt interessanter Entscheidungen stellen sich GefĂŒhle der Machtlosigkeit und Apathie ein. Wozu handeln, wenn ich ohnehin keine Ahnung habe, wohin es fĂŒhrt?

Doch wie so oft ist das andere Extrem kaum weniger problematisch. Ein absolut vorhersehbares System bietet, sobald der perfekte Plan gefunden ist, ebenfalls keine echten Entscheidungen mehr. Das Gameplay gleicht dann eher einem – bestenfalls möglichst effizienten – Abarbeiten des im Vorhinein berechneten “richtigen Weges”.

Es ist ein Balanceakt. Im Idealfall schmieden Spieler permanent PlĂ€ne, werden bei deren AusfĂŒhrung jedoch regelmĂ€ĂŸig durch behutsam eingesetzte, unvorhergesehene Elemente gestört und so zur Anpassung und Neuplanung gebracht. In diesem Wechselspiel aus Planbarkeit und “WillkĂŒr” bleibt ein System dauerhaft interessant.

Nun gibt es Spiele, die sich in eine Planungs- und eine AusfĂŒhrungsphase aufteilen lassen. Entscheidungen werden dabei in der Regel in beiden getroffen, sind jedoch gĂ€nzlich unterschiedlicher Natur. Diese Form der Aufspaltung samt potenzieller Vor- und Nachteile, je nach erwĂŒnschter Spielerfahrung, soll im Folgenden diskutiert werden.

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Ludomedia #68

September 23, 2019

Ludomedia

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


Mark Brown: Space Invaders | Design Icons

  • “While [Space Invaders] was far from the first ever video game, it made a number of incredibly important contributions to the field of game design that would fundamentally change how games were made. From high scores, to destructible cover, to adaptive soundtracks, to the entire shoot-em-up genre, and that oh-so-important difficulty curve.”

Doc Burford: i don’t think i like prestige games

  • “I’d say that prestige games are expensive AAA-type games that imitate better art without really understanding or improving upon them in any way, often using fairly boilerplate mechanics to accomplish this. […] With a lot of these prestige games, the mechanics seem to be there because the designers needed to put some mechanics in to justify telling this story as a game.”

Jim Sterling: How Game Companies Abuse Passion

  • “If there’s one thing a corporation loves to do, it’s to make people feel like they’re choosing to participate in their own oppression. It’s a classic manipulation tactic. […] In short, passion has become a bullshit word used in place of compensation or fair treatment.”

Joel Goodwin: Go the Distance

  • “The beautiful thing about roguelikes is how they force you to overdose on system analysis. What variables you can control, what variables you can predict and what variables are out for your blood. And, boy, Speed Run sent me down a lava-scarred rabbit hole of Hoplite’s systems.”

Keith Burgun: Why it’s important that we push back on Auto Chess being a “genre”

  • “We get some super successful game, and then everyone is ape-ing that for a decade instead of just stepping back and thinking about interactivity in a more broad sense (which is totally possible and works, as demonstrated year after year by board game designers).”

Ludomedia #67

August 28, 2019

Ludomedia

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


Adam Millard: Why We’re Wrong About Violence In Games

  • “We need to be able to distinguish aesthetic from how we approach and engage with games […] I’d argue that instead of judging games by whether they have bloodshed or not, we should instead judge them by what kind of player experience they’re creating.”

Extra Credits: Diegetic UI – Realistic, or Distracting?

  • “Some information, it seems, is just better represented by a bar or number on screen, or even a menu list. This is because the purpose of UI is to show critical information to the player. So displaying that information in the most straightforward way is generally better. […] Good UI should be legible first, stylized second.”

Jim Sterling: The Political Agenda Of Dark Souls

  • “Dark Souls explores the idea of perpetuating cycles to keep a status quo upheld while the ruling class cling to their stale thrones. A ruling class that has convinced those lower on the social rungs to vote against their own interests and belief things that actively keep them under the elite’s boot heels.”

Mark Brown: The Best Games from GMTK Game Jam 2019

  • “This year the theme was ‘Only One’ which encouraged designers to make games with only one bullet, or only one room, or only one button. […] I want to send the jam off by showing the 20 games that I think are most deserving of note and attention.”

Mark Brown: Why Does Celeste Feel So Good To Play?

  • “[Celeste] shows the importance of getting the curves right when building basic movement, adding mechanics that introduce very different ways to navigate the space, using feedback to emphasize movement, being forgiving about pixel precision, increasing the skill ceiling with advanced movement and not being afraid to test, tweak and toss away work throughout the lengthy process of getting this stuff right.”

Sky und der Preis der Freundschaft

July 25, 2019

“Hand in hand, take flight across seven realms, solve mysteries, help others, make friends, and create enriching memories together.”

2012 veröffentlichte thatgamecompany Journey und wird dafĂŒr bis heute mit Recht gefeiert. Schließlich handelt es sich um einen Vorreiter der AusprĂ€gung von Spielen als interaktiv erfahrbare narrative Erfahrung. Nun erschien mit Sky: Children of the Light der Quasi-Nachfolger zunĂ€chst fĂŒr iOS. Wieder wird eine intensive emotionale Erfahrung versprochen, diesmal mit einem grĂ¶ĂŸeren Fokus auf den Multiplayer.

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Ludomedia #66

July 24, 2019

Ludomedia

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


Adam Millard: Engineering The Perfect Enemy

  • “Having enemies with a clear, focussed design is a great foundation upon which to build an iconic bad guy, but it’s not enough. A great enemy also needs to fit into the wider ecosystem of play, whether that’s working alongside other enemies, the environment, or even the player. In other words: A good enemy is synergistic.”

George Weidman: Media Literacy and Game News

  • “Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms. […] But media literacy also requires an understanding of not just the standards and ethics that serious journalists should themselves accountable to, but also the sinister effects that money and cognitive bias have on it.”

Jim Sterling: The Exploitative Push For Social Networking In Games

  • “We’re in an age where kids at school are being bullied for not having any premium skins in Fortnite. […] Social gaming has its place, but its mass adoption by the AAA game industry is a fucking scam, a long con, yet another way […] in which video game publishers plan to swindle, trick and seduce cash out of you.”

Jonathan Blow: Singapore Games Guild Keynote

  • “Don’t even entertain ideas like ‘extending the playtime’, because it’ll make your game really boring. […] You really just want your game to have enough material in it to be interesting enough to last a long time. […] You want to actually have so much material that you then cut the worst material and leave the best material. That’s how the average value of your game goes up.”

Mark Brown: Can We Make Talking as Much Fun as Shooting?

  • “We can make dialogue trees that aren’t just basic skill checks that let you skip through gameplay, but involved negotiations that become exciting gameplay in of themselves, where you’re gathering evidence and intel, reading social cues and body language, and manipulating a web of relationships to get your way.”