Archive - Nightmare Mode

Feedback Loop: Long Live the Shooter, the Shooter is Dead

June 13 Comments Off on Feedback Loop: Long Live the Shooter, the Shooter is Dead Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

The dispatches from E3 seem to indicate that the shooter remains the same. How long can its dominance last? What comes next?

Is it High Noon for shooters? In his latest post on Brainy Gamer, Michael Abbott seems to think so. He compares the current generation of shooter games to Westerns in 1959, the last year before they started to disappear.

Feedback Loop: How Halo Could Improve Democracy Forever

May 30 Comments Off on Feedback Loop: How Halo Could Improve Democracy Forever Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

It turns out that the characters we play and the stories they’re in can change our patterns of behavior and our attitude towards others. Armed with better stories, game developers can change the world.

Imagine the latest Halo game with an all new DLC. As Master Chief during election season, it’s your civic duty to get to a voting booth, no matter how many Grunts get in your way. This could be the near future if game writers decide to embrace the responsibilities that come along with the latest research from Tiltfactor’s Geoff Kaufman.

Kaufman’s recent study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, examines the phenomenon of ‘experience-taking.’ The principle is that certain types of fiction, specifically those where the participant can take on the identity of the protagonist, push the participant to merge the character with their selves, “feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own.”

One particular part of the study shows promise to provide a solution to the political conflict arising from Halo 4’s scheduled release date.

Feedback Loop: Many choices, or none, make a game.

May 09 Comments Off on Feedback Loop: Many choices, or none, make a game. Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

Is just one choice all it takes to turn a novel into a video game? Before you say yes, consider when a game is created out of many choices and when we are left with none.

Richard Eisenbeis looks at Katawa Shoujo in an April 24 Kotaku article. Eisenbeis holds up the dating sim/visual novel as proof that one choice is all it takes to turn a novel into a game. It is a shallow analysis and the implication that one can stick a choice in a novel and have a game is just false.

If we step away from the screen with only Eisenbeis’s assertion, we lose out on understanding what developers have to do to take a story and turn it interactive.

Creating a good game means understanding the times when a million choices create an interactive work and the instances where no choices are required.

The 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2

February 13 Comments Off on The 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2 Category: Feed, Games, Nightmare Mode

Mass Effect 2 did not deserve the highly positive response it received. The game is flawed at every level. Sadly, our love of its predecessor has blinded us to the ME2’s many problems. This post examines the five worst elements.

This is the final part of my four part series on the flaws of Mass Effect 2. The first post in the series was about the awful characters. The second examined the hellishly bad decisions in the game’s design. Part three enumerated 20 instances of terrible writing in Mass Effect 2.

These are the 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2.

5: All geth are good geth.

I would like to bring to your attention the codex entry for the geth from Mass Effect 1. Please note the last line:

“It should be stressed, however, that in all forms the geth are universally violent creatures.”

Let’s talk about why suddenly making the geth mostly good-guys in order to teach us a hackneyed lesson about sapience was a terrible idea.

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