How to make your own Pokémon game!

pkmvid

Right off the bat, this was a tutorial I wish existed back when I was eight. Or eighteen. I’m almost twenty-eight and I’m still pretty hype to see it. Today we’re going to plough through how to make your own Pokémon title in the most convenient way possible!

Some of the gamer-savvy folk out there might remember a lot of hype last year surrounding a fan-game called Pokémon Uranium said to contain all new monsters, regions and storylines. People got pretty pumped for its eventual release after NINE years in development! And once it hit the web it took less than an week for Nintendo to send the Mushroom Kingdom’s legal department to shut it down. Of course, once it’s on the internet, it’s always on the internet…

pokemon-uranium-fan-game-take-down

So what exactly was Uranium if it wasn’t an official Nintendo release? Continue reading “How to make your own Pokémon game!”

Geek Etymology – Mana

Today I bring you the next post of Geek Etymology! If you missed my first steps into the past of our favourite geeky terminology then take a look here!

This time I will be tackling the mysterious origins of the word that we give to the power source of wizards and spellcasters, the very essence of magic: Mana! It’s in our name so I thought it was the obvious next choice. Unlike with the Paladin last time, there is far less actual etymology to follow with the evolution of the word, so I won’t be going down much of a rabbit hole this time. The origins of this word are however still rather interesting and maybe unexpected.

mana_potions_by_isaac77598-d6pxj8c Continue reading “Geek Etymology – Mana”

Power Creep – Why MMOs, MOBAs and TCGs Die Early

HearthStone-Grand-Torunament-970x500

If you’re ever stepped away from your favourite competitive or collectable game for a while, only to be demolished by the new expansion content when you return, then you’ve felt the sting of power creep. Or maybe you were always bad at the game? But for today we’re going to assume it was power creep.

So what are we talking about when we use these dreaded words? For many the term has simply become a way of accusing developers for not keeping an eye on game balance, frequently seen between Massively Multiplayer Online games (and more recently, the MOBA epidemic) and more traditional card games. Is it really just every new axe that’s better than your old axe? Is it every card in a block that uses that broken new mechanic? Actually before it became a catch-all term the phenomena of Power Creep warned of a very specific problem that occurred usually over years of development on a particular game. The idea that as time goes on the ‘power curve’ that carefully maps out the value of something with its power will skew higher and higher, making low-cost tools even stronger and completely negating the more balanced content that came before. Continue reading “Power Creep – Why MMOs, MOBAs and TCGs Die Early”

My Top 5 Videogame Soundtracks

Untitled.png

I’ve been listening to a lot of my favourite videogame soundtracks lately, and it got me to thinking about why the music from games can be so great in ways that other mediums can’t accomplish. The music in a game is a very important part of the whole experience. It can give a certain desired feel or encourage different emotions at certain times. Also, when listening back to these tracks they can bring back memories of great moments you had when playing, even years later.

So here I’ve decided to go through my top 5 soundtracks. It was a struggle to get it down to this many, but in the end my criteria for including them on this list meant that I wanted games that I loved to play the most as well as having amazing music. Also, there needed to be more than just a memorable main theme. Game series’ such as The Elder Scrolls or Battlefield have legendary main themes, but the rest of their music is ,while perfect for their games, mostly forgettable. So some of my honorable mentions include various titles such as FTl: Faster Than Light, Frozen Synapse, and Killing Floor. While I both love these games and their soundtracks, they were simply overshadowed by those on this list and would probably feature in a top 10. There are also a couple of games such as Payday: The Heist and Payday 2, as well as Hotline Miami that I really enjoy the soundtracks for, but I simply haven’t played much if at all, and I mostly like their music more than the actual game.

Anyway without further ado, here is my top 5 in no particular order! Continue reading “My Top 5 Videogame Soundtracks”

Why I Hate Dark Souls

Why I Hate Dark Souls
Why I Love Dark Souls

My first fevered steps into Dark Souls, like so many others, involved blinking into the hazy blur of its opening cinematics and looking for something to latch onto. Some refence point, some characteristic element; Where are we? When are we? WHAT are we?
If you’ve played these games (as the core Souls series are fundamentally the same in many, many ways) you know that what little story we get tells of an age of fire coming after an age of darkness, followed immediately by another age of darkness. Why? No idea really.

There’s a really important flame somewhere and some git let the draft get in because those embers are starting to die out and it’s up to someone- most likely you- to fix that problem. Just who are we exactly and what place do we fill in the world? Well apparently the one thing we most definitely are is ‘undead’, and there’s something about a Dark Sign that sometimes appears on dead bodies. Why? No idea really.
This marks the begnning of one of my biggest problems with Dark Souls, and the Souls series as a whole, alluding to the story without presenting you with any story. Like referencing a book nobody among your friends has ever read. Telling a joke nobody at the table has the context to find funny. Dark Souls commits an engagement sin as soon as it loads its first cut scene- it cannot leave us wanting more, because it begins with nothing. Continue reading “Why I Hate Dark Souls”

The Path to Making a Youtube Gaming Channel

ytttt

The Path to Making a Youtube Gaming Channel

So you’ve probably noticed over the last 10 years or so there’s been a considerable rise in gaming related videos on the internet, most of them orbiting the Google megamachine ‘Youtube’. As we approach 2020 more ‘tubers’ are also reaching out to Twitch and console-ready streaming, but there’s still an avid fanbase that always comes back for more bitesize videogame goodness.

But why might you be drawn to this hobby? The potential promise of money and fame? A passionate love for a certain game you can’t put down? Or maybe, like me, you just have old favourites you wish to share. Well if you’re considering taking that vital first step- namely putting a video on the web and letting fate decide- there are a few important things you should know… !

Welcome to the hard path to making a Youtube gaming channel!

Continue reading “The Path to Making a Youtube Gaming Channel”

Verdun: A WW1 Game Done Right

If you’ve read my previous review of Battlefield 1 then you’ll know what I thought of its attempt of a World War 1 setting. At best it was just a lazy reskin of existing Battlefield mechanics and gameplay, and at worst it was an insult to the reality of the war. Well now allow me to introduce you to a game that is also a multiplayer first person shooter, and yet manages to combine historical authenticity and solid gameplay into something unique and enjoyable.

maxresdefault

Verdun was developed and self-published by two very small development teams based in The Netherlands. It was released as a beta on Steam early access in 2013 and fully released in 2015. The game consists entirely of online multiplayer matches based around one core gametype called ‘Frontlines’, alongside very simple deathmatch, team deathmatch, and wave defense modes. The game boasts a large amount of authentically modelled and functioning WW1 weapons, accurate uniforms and squads for various countries, and maps based on real WW1 battles, mostly consisting of areas around Verdun itself, but also some others based in other areas and later parts of the war.

Now obviously this game is going to be compared to Battlefield 1. There are only a handful of games set in WW1 out there, and as far as I know, these are the only two that are FPS games. So why do I say this game is so much better than Battlefield? Well let’s take it through a few different criteria. Continue reading “Verdun: A WW1 Game Done Right”