Atelier Escha & Logy

Posted in Game Reviews

JUL 17 2014 
Atelier Escha & Logy
Wherein I take my first plunge into a long-running series of anime RPGs with stupid subtitles! This is a review of Atelier: Escha & Logy: ~Alchemists of the Dusk Sky~.

This summer has been so agonizingly dry on game releases that, here I am, buying and reviewing an entry in a long-running hyper-Japanese niche RPG seemingly aimed at ephebophiles. Worse yet, I think I am enjoying it. Perhaps it is heatstroke-induced delirium. Perhaps I am the only person in the hemisphere disinterested in Shovel Knight. Whatever the reason, sit back and relax while I attempt to give a reasonable, mature breakdown on why I stuck this one out and didn't end up as a crumpled heap on the floor as I tend to do after, say, your average Ar Tonelico game.

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Author: Space Lizard

Gone Too Far - Part 3

Posted in Design Articles

JUL 14 2014 
Gone Too Far - Part 3
Some ground-level insights into map-making in today's foray! GET IT? IT IS JOKE.

The term "mapping" is, in a game design sense, rather perplexing. Mathematically, a "map" is a one-to-one transition of a set of points from one field to another. In the physical realm, a cartographic map is essentially the same: taking all of the relative distances between cities and landmarks, and shrinking them down by an equal amount in order to fit onto a rectangle of paper. Then, we talk about a map in a videogame (most likely an RPG, but it could work anywhere), and things get weird. We immediately - naively - go in with the notion that this map should be a scaled-down representation of some location for our avatars to traverse, as if it were real life.

This is pretty wrong, though, and it's a harmful outlook for budding designers. The purpose of mapping in a game is not to recreate a geologically-accurate landscape, or to give the player a believable setting to wander around in. In a game world, a map is not scaling down the world's elements into computer memory; rather, it's scaling down gameplay content into a manageable area or hub. Making things "realistic" should be a side effect of this; not the other way around.

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Author: Space Lizard

Gone Too Far - Part 2

Posted in Design Articles

JUL 02 2014 
Gone Too Far - Part 2
I'm kicking off my holiday weekend early with another post that proves I am alive! Today, we'll discuss standard and nonstandard class design, as well as the notion of synergy. Is this a rerun? Probably!

I know I've talked about character classes at least once in the past (but I'll be damned if I go through the archives to find a link), but this time, I want to sit down and really look at class designs, and maybe even design some of my own.

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Author: Space Lizard