Games. And what they mean to me.

Monthly Archives: February 2014

That indeed is the question that I’ve been asking myself over the last couple weeks. I’ve been thinking a lot about different game companies that I could possibly work for and considering different articles that I’ve read on working for large game developers. Through this I’ve determined that I would probably enjoy much more being an indie developer for several reasons.Image

  1. I get to work from home, in my…. uhhh… ‘PJs’.
  2. I get to both design and program, both of which I love.
  3. I have complete creative control over the final product.
  4. Last and most importantly, I will have a smaller budget and smaller audience which means that I will be able to examine more closely the feedback of my followers and players and factor this into my current or future development cycles.

But enough on that for now, the point is, I’ve decided to Kickstart my first full scale game! The game will be provisionally named “Animalia: The Mole”, and will release on Steam for PCs, Macs, and possibly Linux, with a future possibility of porting to game consoles. Over the next few weeks I will be releasing more info, screenshots, and videos about the conceptual prototype that I’m currently developing, but for now, how about some bullet points for a brief overview.

  • This mole guy, unnamed thus far, is a super suave, spy type of fellow
  • His main skills include being quite handy with a grappling hook and burrowing underground
  • Platformer built with Unity’s new 2D tools
  • A blend of classic platforming and modern stealth-based gameplay

Image

Next up, I won’t be reporting on any industry news today to try to keep things short, so I’ll move right on to some comments I have on a game that I’ve been playing. In order to study up on the state of modern stealth games, I’ve been playing Dishonored, and I’ll start by saying that the game definitely nailed a lot of things, but in other areas came up short. Firstly, the AI is very well done, and I have to say that I’ll be borrowing some ideas for The Mole, although converting them into a 2D plane. Next, the game does very well at not giving the player a strict path, but only goals. How the player achieves these goals is wide open, and I feel that this is definitely a fresh breath from the rut of holding the player’s hand that the industry seems to have been stuck in lately. Finally, I’ll conclude with one of the ways that the game disappointed me most. With the recent popularity of open world games, I think that quite a few games have gone open world just for the sake of being open world, and it’s not always for the best. But, I think that Dishonored is definitely the kind of game that would be very well suited for open world, and yet it isn’t. With the openness of choosing how to accomplish goals, I think the openness of roaming Dunwall would have been very well received, but that is just one man’s opinion.

Image

Let me know what you guys think in the comments. What do you like/dislike about stealth games? What do you think of the recent explosion of open world games (even Lego!)? Or just whatever else you may have thought of while reading. I can’t wait to hear from you.


…begins with a single step. Not to say that creating a blog is a thousand mile journey, but the principle applies. This will mark my first post for Games by Design as well as my first blog post ever. First just a bit about me, then I’ll get to the games. I’ve lived my whole life in Southern Indiana, and therefore I’ve never met a game designer in person. I’ve never met anyone who works in the game industry at all, and yet my passion for video games, board games, card games, yard games, and just games of all sorts, has lead me to pursue a career in the video game industry. I think that games have the potential to entertain us, teach us, tear us down, build us up, and in general just move us in ways that no other medium can. Games have entertained and taught me for most of my entire life, and I think that it’s about time that I start making games to teach, inspire, and move others.

So enough about me. Moving on to the games and what this blog is for. I intend for this blog to serve as a sort of public journal to document my “journey of a thousand miles” through finding a job in the gaming industry, designing games, playing games, hating on, bashing on, learning about, and just loving on games. With each of my blog posts I will try to 1) provide a brief update on at least one of my many, current personal or professional game projects, 2) comment on a recent happening within the gaming industry that I may find particularly interesting or absurd, and 3) detail an experience that I have had recently while playing a game that has altered in some way how I view this game in particular or games/gaming in general.

I promise to try to make this blog as interesting as possible while keeping each post within a reasonable length. I know that when reading, I want information delivered to me as concisely as possible, so that is how I will attempt to present it as well. I hope that my posts might be insightful, inspiring, and worth the time it takes to read them. Just like a good game, I will try to entertain, inform, and inspire.

Sincerely,

Evan Barmes, game designer (forever) in training