Friday, 26 February 2010

Illustration Friday : Perspective

Mayhaps more interest this time around.

Heavy Rain - Prepare yourself

It's good, however...
The movement controls are stupid, the voice acting is varied at best and people keep moving when they talk.Have you ever seen people talk, David Cage? They don't have to be in motion at all times.
On the other hand, I like the trophie system.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Well played, Sony.

I think you know when you've been playing too many games when it rains a lot on monday and you start to wonder if it's an advert for Heavy Rain.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Shameless, shameless plug.

I did a thing for Dotgif.
Now I am on Dotgif.

The game of surprises.

AKA The art of the hidden card.

Magic the Gathering's morph cards and Yu-Gi-Oh's set cards serve one real purpose, threat, a feeling that just isn't there when the cards are hidden in your hand with all the others, that feels more like trying to second guess your opponent. This major difference is directly responsible for the two giants play styles, YGO's removal versus MTG's counter. Is one better than the other? Well, they both feel like a "ha ha, f*ck you" when they go off but there's got to be something there given the popularity both games enjoy. Perhaps this needs to come down to what sort of effects you're willing to allow to go off at instant speed (during P2's turn).

The game of chance.

AKA Risk versus reward.

What are you really willing to give up in order to win? This is a question posed by both Duel Masters and Dimension Zero, you can allow yourself to take a hit in order to create a future advantage. Others do similar things with life points but it never really feels like you're making a meaningful sacrifice unless you don't have much to give, like DM's limited shields that are unlikely to be recovered. It's common knowledge that life total is irrelevant in all of these games though, as the only point you really have to protect is the last one.

The game of the kill spell.

AKA You're a filthy cheat and I hate you.

You're looking at a sub-set of cards here that have been the bane of gamers since someone thought them up as a cheap solution to a problem they couldn't be bothered to fix. Raigeki, Wrath of God, Terror and the like do just one thing, kill your opponent's monster. But more than that, they make all the effort of playing cards a complete waste of time, they are an inexpensive way of demoralising the person you're trying to have fun with and make them not want to play with you again. Do these cards work? Yes. Do the tournament players use them? Yes. Should you feel good about yourself when YOU use them? No, and you know why. These cards are all about the win at the expense of the fun, you remember, the reason you're playing to begin with.

The game of values.

AKA The secondary market.

This one starts off ever so simple, how many cards in a pack? Eight is an average size, but where's no guarantee of getting one of the better rare cards. Then you have MTG's 15 cards with a guaranteed one rare and three uncommons. Yu-Gi-Oh's variable rarity system is pretty interesting, but how much of it is there to fuel the secondary market? You could argue both do that in their own way, but I can't help but feel that YGO is far more blatant about it.

The game of heroics.

AKA Holding out for a hero.

Where did the hero card start I wonder, The most obvious application, and the only one as a permanent game mechanic as far as I know is in World of Warcraft. If you've seen it going then you'll know that outside of the deck there's a hero card, sometimes oversized, which changes the way individuals play the game. Actually now that I think of it the Harry Potter TCG had that before WoW came out. Extra points to HP for having those cards be actual holograms rather than just shiny cards. Either way a change of hero is a fundamental change in play style and a great way to reflect an individual play style. They did something similar in MTG, I think it's in a style called EDH, but I'm not entirely sure how it works as I've never played it for myself. I hear the deck style has to play into how your general actually works, which is a good restriction to have in a game with so many cards and styles.

The game of life.

AKA How do games keep track of your life total?
AKA how do you know when you've lost?

Yu-Gi-Oh starts you off with 8000LP which is comparable with Magic the Gatherings 20 Life, the problem I think is that both of these rely on an element outside of the deck be it a phone, a calculator or a D20 there's always something else to carry around. Other games have tried to get around this though, let's look at them now:

Duel Masters : Cards from your deck as shields, lose on a direct attack.
Harry Potter : Damage taken results in milling yourself, first to run out of cards loses.
Pokémon : Once your opponent takes all their prize cards, you lose (lose 6 battles).
Dimension Zero : Direct attacks add mana, seven of these mana and you lose.

So the question becomes, how do you want to keep score? Is it such a big deal to have players keep count on their own or is it better to be self contained?

Game, a story of development.

For a while now I've been trying to develop my own card game, yes, that's right, there aren't enough of them. The difference this time is that I feel like I can actually complete this one, therefor I will be periodically posting my thoughts on what I'm doing about it, starting now.

Postcard : Illustration Friday : Propagate

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Postcard : Stops Copies Me!

Prizes if you get the reference without help.