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Video of the Week: “WIRED by Design: A Game Designer Explains the Counterintuitive Secret to Fun” with Ian Bogost (@)
Song thing of the week: Bate Rigason’s “Neon Genesis Evangelion – Fly Me To The Moon (Bate Rigason Edit)”
Reading material: “My Sensual Journey into Japan’s $90 Million Fake Anime Boyfriend Market” by Callie Beusman (@)
Excerpt: “It’s easiest to think of a dating sim as a very loosely interactive choose-your-own-adventure game, the bulk of which is static text. Once in a while—about twice or three times per “chapter”—the player must choose between two behavioral or speech options: Will you comfort your attractive anime-style woman of choice when she seems upset, or will you pretend nothing’s wrong? Will you ask about her family, or will you ask about her career? And so on. The choices the player makes will affect the game’s ultimate outcome—and as Guan van Zoggel succinctly put it in his paper “Serious ‘Techno-Intimacy’: Perceiving Japanese Dating Simulation Video Games as Serious Games,” the goal is to “eventually engage in a relationship or have sexual intercourse with one of female characters before the game ends.””
Reddit thread of the week: “How could you have tested a complex title like No Man’s Sky for fun-ness prior to release?”
OP: “The main complaints people have about NMS are that : a. A massive amount of important gameplay systems are missing. It’s kind of an empty shell of a game, sort of like buying a car that looks amazing on the outside but has a go-cart engine. b. People are severely disappointed with what’s actually in the game because it is so much less than what they thought was in the game.
So you’re play-testing the game. And you play for a few hours and one of the missing systems is missing, and you stop having fun. For example, NMS lacks a simulation of space and the stars are no longer generated in realtime but are cached as a skybox. So you can’t travel out in space a distance and then go somewhere out of FTL range. Or you get bored of not really having anything to explore.
The problem is this. It would probably take 2 solid years with a fully funded team to implement all the missing features. So if you try the game out at an early stage and it’s not fun, but it’s missing many complex technical features, how do you know it’s worth pushing forward and investing all the time to develop the advanced features?”
Artist of the Week: Illustrator Emil Jensen
Description: “This website is dedicated in large part to the art and theory of game design. I want to provide talking points and resources to aspiring students and young game designers who want to learn as much as they can about their craft, and the industry from ‘someone on the inside’.
I will also cover industry news, and do some game analysis. The style of this website is to focus only on the subject of discussion, without prejudice. It will not get bogged down in favoritism for a genre, platform or design style. I play everything I can get my hands on, and I always advise other designers to do the same. We should be thinking ‘how does this mechanic serve the overall themes of the game’, rather than ‘this mechanic is good or bad’.”
Random Link of the Week: Click it if you dare