Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Design Bites: Minecraft - Feed The Beast

The "Design Bites" series is about learning or appreciating just one design element of one game. It's about applying an analytical eye, even if it doesn't touch on everything.

What's Minecraft - Feed The Beast? Minecraft is a Sandbox developed and released by Mojang in 2011 (Kinda, it was in beta for a long time). The player roams a procedurally generated world building things and collecting resources with a variety of tools. Feed The Beast (FTB) is a collection of Mods for Minecraft, which add new items, creatures, resources and other features to the game. There are many different Feed The Beast modpacks, each with their own goals and focuses. This article is specifically about "Feed The Beast: Infinity Evolved". I would encourage anyone curious about FTB to head on over to the Feed The Beast website or Forums and check it out!

What's Awesome? Deep inside all humans is the burning desire to build a nuclear reactor.

No? Just me?

Alright. To be compl…

Design Bites: Mirror's Edge

The "Design Bites" series is about learning or appreciating just one design element of one game. It's about applying an analytical eye, even if it doesn't touch on everything.

What's Mirror's Edge? Mirror's Edge is a Action Adventure First-Person Platformer developed and released by DICE in Late 2008. The player free-runs across city heights, jumping between rooftops and scaling walls. Occasionally you fight enemies with timing-based attacks but mostly it's about running away from things.

What's Awesome? Games often instruct the player directly, spoken or written in UI, but the majority of instructions are actually given indirectly - A muzzle flash means "find cover", even without gruff military voiceover. Good level design is not just about what's challenging or fun, it's also about communication - it's a direct channel between the designer and the player.

Mirror's Edge showcases some awesome ways of getting your players…

Design Bites: FTL: Faster Than Light

The "Design Bites" series is about learning or appreciating just one design element of one game. It's about applying an analytical eye, even if it doesn't touch on everything.

What's FTL: Faster Than Light? FTL: Faster Than Light is a roguelike top-down space-sim developed and released by Subset Games in Late 2012. The player manages a small spaceship and crew, arranging them on the ship and adjusting power levels for various systems like shields, weapons and engines. You jump from area to area, where you may encounter other ships or answer distress calls. All the while, the rebel fleet advances on your position, making areas behind you dangerous.

What's Awesome? Permadeath, an important element of the roguelike formula. When used correctly it creates a bond between the player and their character. It immerses us by making our decisions carry more weight and encourages us to care for the characters we're controlling more deeply - emotionally. FTL is great …

Design Bites: Cubetractor

The "Design Bites" series is about learning or appreciating just one design element of one game. It's about applying an analytical eye, even if it doesn't touch on everything.

What's Cubetractor? Cubetractor is a tower-building action puzzle game with bullet-hell elements developed and released by Ludochip in mid 2013. The player character pulls cubes along the ground, combining them into structures like turrets, barricades and many others. The goal is to destroy all enemies, either with turrets or by crushing them.

What's Awesome? Games with levels will often feature a grade system, where the player gets a star rating or grade letter at the end of each level based on their performance. This feature is often used to motivate the player to replay levels to beat their old performances. Most of the time this amounts to encouraging players to take on restrictions to increase multipliers, or find point-maximising strategies. Cubetractor makes great use of this fea…

Design Bites: Ikaruga

The "Design Bites" series is about learning or appreciating just one design element of one game. It's about applying an analytical eye, even if it doesn't touch on everything.


What's Ikaruga? Ikaruga is a Japanese arcade bullet hell shmup developed and released by Treasure in Late 2001. It features a color-swapping mechanic where the player can switch between blue and red, making them impervious to bullets of the same color.

What's Awesome? When we play games, we often try to "outsmart" them. We look for broken spell combinations, overpowered guns, experience farming tactics and other things to give ourselves the edge.
In Ikaruga, the story is the same: "By staying in blue form forever I can ignore half of the danger on screen! All I need to do is kill off all red enemies."
About 2 minutes later you're presented with a pair of alternate colored enemies that slowly but surely push you to switch, as you are placed in a position where sim…

Tabletop - Gangs of West Rosell - 5 Maps

I've been playing a lot of Dungeons and Dragons 5E, more specifically i've been DMing for a few groups. Recently one of my players has moved house, so we'll have to play digitally from now on. As a result i've started making maps for use on various online Tabletop tools. I've decided that i'll share the maps as I make them on this blog.

These maps were created in Illustrator, are print friendly black and white and have low opacity borders so that they can be overlaid on top of eachother.

You are, of course, free to use the maps independent of the intended adventure. However, I have only mapped locations where combat is likely to happen in the adventure, so it might be helpful to at least skim through the scenario even if you're going to change it up. Although this was built for 5E, i've tried to keep things largely system agnostic by leaving out system specific details.

Rosell West[Download - Rosell West - 5 Maps]

These maps are for an introductory adven…