Kotaku on Why Game Endings Suck

I can see two reasons this happens. Among some developers I’m sure their is a desire to pad a story and make the game longer. This gives many games, like GTA IV, what I’m going to call a false climax. You have a point in the story where you feel like it should be over, but instead you’re hit with more rising action and another, much less powerful climax and absolutely no resolution.

Other developers, I think want to leave the door open for a sequel and, like in Bioshock, feel like they need to walk readers down that path … Continue reading

I haven’t really been playing much else…

Over the three day weekend I finally got a lot of GTA 4 in, and I do love it quite a lot. Some of the things I mentioned in my first post still continue to annoy me (the many MANY buttons on the controls) but many have faded as I’ve gotten used to dealing with them.

Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite things about GTA 4 and my top 5 least favorite things — just based on this weekend’s playing:

FAVORITE
1. Niko Bellik – He’s the series’ best hero to date. Not only is he a … Continue reading

GTA 4 Update and Rambling

I haven’t been playing GTA IV exclusively — there have been a few other games (and various other activities) taking up my time recently, but I’m trying.

After going through some more of the story, I’m really starting to get interested. It’s a bit easier to drive the cars now, though that may be just because I know which cars are pieces of shit and which cars are better to drive. I’m guessing it’s a measure of me getting better, as well.

Using cover makes the combat system much less offensive (when I can remember what button actually FUCKING does … Continue reading

Things I Hate about GTA 4 so far

GTA 4 is a pretty good game. It’s huge, though, so I’m making my way through very slowly. There’s a lot of things to like about the game, but there’s a lot of things to hate, as well. I figured enough people were singing the game’s praises, I might as well point out things that I think are problems. 

So consider this kind of an open letter to GTA 4.

The Health System

Seriously… couldn’t you just have restored my health to full after I finished a mission? Fuck dying because I didn’t go eat a hot dog. Fuck it … Continue reading

Happenings

I figured since I hadn’t posed a non-filler update in a while, that I should come in and at least ATTEMPT to write something, so I’m just going to blog a little and see where it goes.

There’s been a bunch of buzz recently about Bionic Games, which is neat. After working under the radar for so long, it’s kind of neat to have people talking about us.

Here’s a few links. [1] [2]

I’ve also seen a couple of threads on neogaf (which sent a bunch of traffic over here a few days back) speculating. Of course, … Continue reading

Stealing Game Design… Properly (Part 2a)

Note from Mike in 2012:
I wrote this article and its companion more than 4 years ago. In that time, my game design philosophy has evolved and changed quite a bit. While I think there are still good nuggets to pull out of these articles, I just want to say that they’re no longer as current (in terms of my thinking). That disclaimer done, check it out!

I’ve been struggling for a while getting started on part two of my “Stealing Game Design… Properly” article. I think the reason for it was mainly that I’d picked such … Continue reading

Mmmm turkey

I hope those of you who had a holiday week just now (probably just those in America) had a good break.

Thanksgiving is always a pretty big thing with my family. We get aunts, uncles, cousins, and so forth from all over the place converging on Southern California to share in Turkey and update everyone on what’s been going on.

I ate a ton of turkey and stuffing, which is always good. I also introduced many family members to Rock Band, and we played a bunch of Wii Sports, which is always nice.

As you can tell from my previous … Continue reading

Stealing Game Design… Properly (Part 1)

Note from Mike in 2012:
I wrote this article and its companion more than 4 years ago. In that time, my game design philosophy has evolved and changed quite a bit. While I think there are still good nuggets to pull out of these articles, I just want to say that they’re no longer as current (in terms of my thinking). That disclaimer done, check it out! (Part 2 here)

Preamble:

It’s a common sight in video game development. You’re sitting at your desk when all of a sudden you hear the sounds of carnage … Continue reading

Random Bloggage

I don’t have much to muse on this week, so this’ll just be bloggage. I’ve got a post in the works about how to figure out what to steal when stealing from other games… but that’s not ready yet. Hopefully I’ll get that out next week. I’ve noticed that a lot of people “borrow” the wrong things from games. GTA clones are a good example — they’ve got the ‘beating up hookers’ part down, but they skimp on the things that really made the game fun. So hopefully I’ll have some neat stuff on that subject soon…

My first week … Continue reading