When we discussed game values the past few weeks, I had a lot of ideas hit me. I didn’t want to make my game complicated, but I wanted to make it impactful just the same. I thought of making a game from a psychologist point of view. You’re having trouble in your day to day life, feeling lost. Unconnected. You feel depressed and alone and go to a psychologist for some help. In the beginning you’re vague with your answers but you realize that you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t open up about what’s bothering you. Morale…

I recently played Irrational Games’ Bioshock released in 2007. It was my first time ever playing the game, even if it was thirteen years later. Bioshock has aged quite while although there are some quirky fps mechanics. I didn’t mind that though, what kept me in the city of Rapture were the overall themes of the game and the world in which the game was built. Rapture is one of the most beautiful settings I’ve ever seen in a video game. Bioshock deals with how the player’s choices define the in game protagonist Jack and in turn how our own…

I played GRIS and I really enjoyed it. GRIS tells a story about a young girl who searches for her voice as she deals with traumatic events. There’s a statue in the game that represents her resilience. Does the game bring to light a social activist cause? No, not in my opinion. It’s more of an intrinsic conflict brought to the forefront. It’s about building a life after trauma. There are people out there that can and are willing to help. It’s all about finding the courage and strength to reach out for that help. It’s alright to feel down…

I took a look at this weeks readings. Conscious game design. I thought why, FromSoft’s Souls titles (including Bloodbourne) fit perfectly within this topic! I’ve been playing Souls games since the inception in 2011. Most new players really don’t understand the design philosophy of these games. “Oh, Dark Souls is so hard and unfair! It made me rage quit. I never picked up the game again.” I too wanted to quit when I first picked the game up. It’s true that FromSoft titles make even the most experienced players angry. While these games seem punishing at first, players have yet…

Silent Hill holds many great memories for me. It’s a game I come back to again and again. One of the most memorable aspects of the game is the soundtrack , composed by Akria Yamaoka. Released in the spring of 1999, it was to compete with Capcom’s Resident Evil. Silent Hill decided on a more atmospheric approach, playing to the player’s psychological state instead of going for shock value. Konami was very deliberate in its’ subtly. The development team wanted to use American influences such as Steven King to better attract an overseas audience. They set the town of Silent…

I’ve recently started playing Team 17’s Blasphemous after I picked it up last summer. The one thing that drew me to this game was the beautiful pixel art and the unique Spanish setting. It’s an awesome game, but in terms of mechanics it borrows heavily from FromSoftware’s Dark Souls’ series. In Blasphemous, death is a core mechanic and although this is fine, I believe death is not as punishing as it should be. It doesn’t motivate the player enough to get better at the game in my honest opinion. There are two bars at the top of the screen, an…

I was looking through the gamescores site and it wasn’t all that useful so I picked out one of my favorite mods I’ve seen. Halo 3 is a classic game that’ll go down in history as one of the greats. Marty Mcfly, (I kid you not) made this Halo 3 raytracing mod and it looks incredible. The mod brings new life to Halo 3 which released in 2007. The colors and lighting of the mod blow me away when I first saw it. I’ve played Halo 3 multiple times, but with this new raytracing mod, it looked like a brand…

Ah, DOOM. This game never changes. I recently finished Doom Eternal and I was pleased at how I felt after completing the game. In an industry full of cutting corners, microtransactions, and bullshit excuses, Doom is a breath of fresh air. It’s not about the money, it’s about player experience. The gameplay is fast and fluid, pumped full of adrenaline. Pure fun, nothing else. Doom Eternal has stayed true to its’ roots. Playing Doom Eternal feels like playing Doom in 1993. Sure, the hardware is different and Doom Eternal may look nice, but at its’ core, it’s still the same…

Yes, I know. “But Jake, Hotline Miami is a nine year old game in 2021!” Great games stand the test of time. This is a cult classic. I’ve been playing this game for nine years. I remember I was at a friend’s house my freshman year of high school and he had a PC with a Steam account full of games. He told me to play anything I wanted. I saw him playing Hotline Miami and I’ve got to say, it was probably the most eccentric game I’ve ever seen. I was utterly bewildered just watching him play. The first…

I have been playing an indie title on and off for about two years. That game is Darkest Dungeon, which mashes dungeon crawler mechanics and rpg type gameplay. The one factor that sets this game apart from all the rest is the stress mechanic. The player’s party of four have the standard HP bar, but above it is a white bar that signifies how stressed that party member is. Stress has two hundred points. The player is constantly trying to balance party composition, the enemies in the dungeon, health points, and stress. I think of stress as the “second” health…

Jacob Rolson

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