On First-Person Shooters

The FPS genre is amongst the most popular genres of the present moment, countless titles releasing each year, though more than other genres, development of first-person shooters is largely dominated by larger, AAA studios; small indie studios mostly reject the genre, preferring instead to develop more artistic, creative experiences; a notable rift is in place.Continue reading “On First-Person Shooters”

On Video Game Sequels

Video game studios develop sequels for a plurality of reasons, most commonplace being narrative continuance and gameplay refinement, though numerically the latter often eclipses the former; direct sequels, where one player character persists as player character throughout, where that player character’s narrative is directly continued from title to title: these instances are fairly minimized, frustratingContinue reading “On Video Game Sequels”

On Open World Game Design

The hastiness with which open world games have ascended to industry dominance is compelling and profound indeed. A much acclaimed, pioneer of the genre – Grand Theft Auto III – released little over a scant two decades ago, its release considered as a watershed moment for the industry, the release advancing that selfsame industry; Rockstar’sContinue reading “On Open World Game Design”

On Stealth Video Games

The stealth genre by nature is brimming with opportunity for great player engagement, primed to evoke an experience characterized largely by tension, the genre benefitting greatly from its oftentimes slower, more plodding pace relative to other popular genres, like the FPS genre or third-person shooters. Those games mostly embrace the bombastic; stealth games have theContinue reading “On Stealth Video Games”

On Indie Video Games

The surge in popularity and influence of indie video games in roughly the last decade and a half has fundamentally altered the video game landscape, fundamentally bettering it, greatly increasing diversity, the diversity of experiences communicated. It was not too long ago that the experimental attributes which typically characterize indie games were regarded with relativeContinue reading “On Indie Video Games”

On DLC and Expansion Packs

It is quite staggering to consider the meteoric rise of DLC and expansion packs within the video game industry in recent memory, their influence long mounting and continuing to mount. Much of this ascension is of course tied to the Internet, while similarly important are console dashboard systems, like those popularized by the Xbox 360;Continue reading “On DLC and Expansion Packs”

On Video Game Prices

Save for the early years of my existence, when the Playstation 2 and the Xbox were the dominant home consoles, video games have consistently released at the same price point – sixty dollars, that price being established and accepted with the release of the Xbox 360 back in 2005. Given the poor present state ofContinue reading “On Video Game Prices”

On Customization in Video Games

Games with robust customization systems are traditionally highly compelling, those systems primarily used as a tool of self-expression. It would be unfair and inaccurate to state that games devoid of such systems are somehow lesser in quality than games which do boldly feature them – they are simply different, perhaps more focused. Still, the inclusionContinue reading “On Customization in Video Games”

On Video Game Length

In recent memory, video game length has exploded exponentially, much of that expansion attributable to the rise in popularity of the open-world genre, now dominating the landscape; no longer is it sufficient to tell a complete, coherent, and moving story, but now instead an impression is in place that a larger game is a betterContinue reading “On Video Game Length”

On Grinding in Video Games

Grinding as mechanic is most prevalent in the role-playing genre, though in recent years, and as the industry as grown, the mechanics of grinding have spread, tinging titles which had heretofore spurned them. Still, the trope largely originated from, and was made popular by, role-playing games. In certain of these titles – many entries ofContinue reading “On Grinding in Video Games”