The best excerpts from Wikipedia's Xbox 360...
Tire screeching noise can last throughout an entire race. Cannot use Pump It Up dance pad. Every time disk is started, requires console reboot. The option to assign keys to the Right Trigger in the Settings menu is missing. In certain regions, such as around the Pyongyang Airport, the game will abruptly freeze. In night-time races, the moon appears as a large blue square in the sky! Text,...
Finishing my playthrough of RAGE (which I refuse to lowercase for the same reason Doom is technically DooM) I started around release, I’m reminded of a note I made 25 minutes in: This shotgun is AWESOME Yeah, it’s a fucking stupid thing to say when it comes to Real-Ass Game Criticism but it’s something I don’t think I’ve said about any shooter in way...
Meh-sonance of Fate
(Even the protagonists look sort of bored with this game.) I’m about 20 hours into Resonance of Fate, but I’m having a hard time sticking with it. By all rights, I should adore this game, since it avoids many of things that I profess to hate in RPGs: (1) I hate lengthy, plodding, cutscenes with over-the-top dramatics, and RoF doesn’t have any of that. The storytelling is, in...
Come On Now, People, Make A Stand
Navy Fleet is an iPhone game in the vein of Picross or Sudoku, a logic puzzle built around Battleship-like placement of a specific set of ships of varying sizes in a field of water. Using clues telling you how many spaces on each row contain ships and an occasional starting space or two already revealed, you must uncover the location of all of the ships. It’s a pretty simple concept and...
It's OK-ami, but not GREAT-ami
Do I really hate this wolf? I started playing Okami a while ago and I don’t think I like it much. I can tell there’s a fun game in there, one I’m interested in playing, but there are just so many tiny problems. (1) The camera control is terrible. You have two choices: move the camera with the d-pad, or enter drawing mode with B and use the nunchuk to move the camera. One...
I’ve never played Farmville or any of that sort of Facebook game. Scott mentioned Tiny Tower, an iOS game that had just been released last week, and I quickly dismissed it as more of the same. You set up tasks that take time to complete and you either go away and come back later or you use currency to speed things up— currency that can be purchased with real world currency. Then,...
On Rain & Expectations
Session I When I was in middle school, we would have orchestra field trips once a year to go to Cedar Point, an amusement park that was four or five hours away. We’d get up early in the morning, get on a chartered bus, and ride all morning, playing games on pencil and paper, watching movies piped through the bus to tiny TVs. Upon arriving, we’d be essentially let loose within the...
Eat Poop You Cat
While we were at PAX East this past March, I had the pleasure of introducing the whole Warp Skip extended family to a game called Eat Poop You Cat (it goes by many names, but this is how it was introduced to me in 2007). It’s a great game to play with a group of 5 or more, and all it requires is one sheet of paper and a pen or pencil for every person who wants to play. Here are the rules: ...
Weekend of Kirby: Kirby's Adventure (and others)
I spent somewhere around 10-12 hours this weekend playing Kirby games. Before Saturday, the only one of the traditional sidescrolling Kirby games I had played was Kirby’s Adventure for the NES. Over the course of Saturday I played both of the Game Boy entries, the first two Kirby’s Dream Lands, and today I played all of Kirby’s Adventure along with a sampling of Kirby’s...
Weekend of Kirby: Various Spinoffs
In my quest to play as many Kirby games as possible, I managed to run through varying amounts of a lot of the non-platforming Kirby games today. The pictures below that are obviously not taken with a cell phone camera are form the excellent vgmuseum.com. Kirby’s Dream Course Kirby’s Dream Course is a strange isometric miniature golf game where you have to attack enemies in order to...
Weekend of Kirby: Kirby's Dream Land
I’m on call this weekend and recovering from a long week at work, so I’m staying at home and playing as many Kirby games as I can. It occurred to me that I wasn’t as familiar with the Kirby library of games as I wanted to be, and various blogs and forums have recently reminded me of some of the great ones I HAVE played— Kirby’s Adventure for the NES, Kirby’s...
I don’t typically like real-time strategy games— I usually don’t have fun with them because they just stress me out, trying to keep track of what all kinds of different things are doing at the same time. With that in mind, I’m not really sure why I bought Battleheart for iOS. It was pretty up-front about the kind of game it was. I think I was mostly drawn to the art and...
all you do is kill monsters in a stage then play the next stage.– The ultimate box quote for the extremely fun and simple iOS game Battleheart, from a disgruntled App Store user.
Adam's 2010 Games of the Year
And now: my goatee from 2003, here to introduce you to my GOTY picks for 2010. [pictured above: just look at that fine goatee.] I am adapting the criteria that Time magazine uses in awarding their “Person of the Year”: these three are the games that I liked most, or anticipated most, or thought about the most. They’re not necessarily what I think are the best games of the...
I was excited this summer to see that a Scott Pilgrim game would be coming to Xbox Live Arcade to accompany the release of the Scott Pilgrim movie. The graphic novel series used video games not as a series of pop culture references, but as a basis for a language that the characters in the world the books create all speak, a common ground upon which all of their conversations can stand. So it made...
On Walden Waterblock
Minecraft has spawned this huge community of people showing off these ridiculous things they’ve done and they’re accomplished through all kinds of means: plain old hard work, usually by a significant number of people pitching in together but sometimes the work of one industrious jobless person; the use of “creative” mode to allow things like flying through the air and...
Shepard v. Shepard
We’ve all got problems. Hoo boy. And we’ve all got to talk about our problems from time to time. Today, we’re talking about my Mass Effect 2 problem. I want to play Mass Effect 2 again. First time I played it, I played as Jane Shepard, my Paragon-as-you-please female soldier imported from the original Mass Effect. I enjoyed the game immensely, and now I want to play it again. I...
Operation Shoryuken: Round 2
Last week I got reacquainted with the Street Fighter series via Super Street Fighter 4 on the Xbox 360. I managed to gauge my abilities and learn a little bit about the terminology and ideas behind serious play in this franchise. During the sessions in which I sat down to play since that last post, I had a few new goals in mind, including doing my first few special combos. I’ve basically...
I recently decided that I wanted to know what it was like to play a genre of game in a whole new way, breaking down every detail and learning how to gain advantage, reading forums and watching Youtube tutorials, and who knows? Maybe even playing competitively online! I surveyed my options, eliminating things like Starcraft or any RTS, wishing there was a competitive Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! or...
Samus? I barely know us!
I’ve been playing through the Metroid Prime games in anticipation of Metroid: Other M. I wanted to have a solid basis for comparing Retro’s take on the series with Team Ninja’s, and a chance to solidify in my mind the character of Samus Aran before Other M (apparently) ruins it for me forever. There’s lots to say about the Metroid Prime games—about how Prime 1 is a...
Puzzle Qüestbler-Ross Model
The first Puzzle Quest came out my senior year of college. I purchased it on the DS and spent hours playing through it, mostly in an introductory Sociology course with mandatory attendance I didn’t want to be in. Swapping gems allowed me to pay just enough attention to the lecture to know what textbook material to read later, which was all I needed since the tests rarely included...
Two links on video games and gender
(1) Leigh Alexander writes about playing Persona 3 Portable with the (new) female main character, in What I Discovered From Gaming Like A Girl: The Persona 3 protagonist’s over-arching objective in the game is unstated but evident: Put on whatever face is most appropriate for the situation, both socially and in battle. This created interesting and sometimes challenging moments for me....
Press X to JSON
Things have been pretty quiet here at Warp Skip! lately, but it’s not for lack of trying; we’ve been busy in the lab cooking up the next generation of video games. On this night before the launch of E3 2010, we’d like to introduce our first tool: the Press X to JSON API. This will please you with a depth that might surprise you. The Press X to JSON API All you have to do...
End the game saying "Grue win"
The voting deadline approaches for TWIFcomp, “a competition for tweet-sized interactive fiction.” You can view all of the entries here, and most of them can be played online. It’s amazing what the entrants have managed to do inside the constraints of the competition. I’m especially a big fan of the entries that work both as clever games and as expressive source code...
Retronauts: A Tengen Family Reunion →
On the most recent episode of the excellent classic gaming podcast Retronauts, Frank Cifaldi hosted a round table of 3 programmers who worked at Atari during the Tengen days. There’s some interesting stuff in this, and you get a real sense for how things were making games in the 80s, when you could have the license to “port” a game to a new platform but not have any source code...
Shaun Inman's Notes on New Super Mario Bros →
Shaun Inman is working on a game for the iPhone/iPad called Mimeoverse: Mimeo and the Kleptopus King. As an avid iPhone (and future iPad) user, I’m generally skeptical of sidescrolling games on the platform (and games that make use of virtual “buttons” in general), but this game actually looks quite promising. In order to start thinking about level design for his own game, Inman...
“Confusion” by Michael Nyman While...
"DIGITAL SADNESS" MULTIMEDIA
Below is what scrolls by when you start up “Disc 0” of the 4-disc Sega Saturn game “Enemy Zero” by insane man Kenji Eno. Of course, then it turns out that Disc 0 is just a trailer for the game, a promotional video for Eno’s studio WARP, Inc (in which Eno comes off like John Romero, which is hilarious), and a Metal Gear Solid VR Missions-style training stage that...
Cognition, randomness, and deception
Frank Lantz, responding in the comment thread of a blog post he made today: I would like to encourage game designers to stop thinking of players as subjects of psychological experiments and think of them as collaborators, fellow researchers in the experiments games allow us to do on ourselves. The original post concerns talks by Sid Meier and Rob Pardo at the most recent GDC concerning randomness...
Press The Buttons: Exploring The Capcom Turnaround →
Matthew Green: If you pay close enough attention while playing Capcom’s 2D action platformer sidescrollers, eventually you’ll begin to notice a pattern emerge when it comes to level design. Eventually the protagonist will come to a point on his journey where the path will force him to drop into a room from above, make a quick jog to the right, drop down to the ground, and continue...
Everyone Loves a Period Piece 2
Stealth games are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and with good reason: they can inject buckets of tension into their gameplay. Part of the tension is intended, but unfortunately a lot of the times part of it comes from the fact that, perhaps unintentionally, getting caught can just be no fun at all. I finished Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed 2 (AC2) the other day, and came away...
Another Castle podcast
Hear me talk about Mass Effect, Animal Crossing, interactive fiction and Wittgenstein in the latest episode of Another Castle. It’s always a blast to sit down and have a conversation about games with Charles J. Pratt (illustrious game designer and host of Another Castle), and I hope it’s fun to listen to as well. I have an unshakably high opinion of myself, so it’s a big deal...
Of secret sauces
Dennis Crowley, Foursquare founder, in a recent interview with O’Reilly Radar: The game mechanics [in Foursquare] are the secret sauce. They keep people engaged long enough to see the interesting things that happen when they participate frequently. It’s kind of like with Twitter. If you drop someone in Twitter and don’t give them a reason to participate, they get bored of it...
“Cry Havok” is a fun game you can play if you have friends, roommates, etc. who play video games while you are in the room or who are often around when you are playing games. The only prerequisite is having played enough games to recognize the presence of the Havok Physics Engine, the most frequently licensed physics middleware in modern video gaming. If you haven’t trained...
All Wark AND All Play
I recently finished the main quest of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon, coincidentally right around the time that Shiren the Wanderer for Wii was coming out and Jeremy Parish started talking about roguelikes a lot. This got me into sort of a roguelike kick, so you may be seeing a few posts from me on the subject over the next week or so. First I want to talk about about...
Trajectile is a new DSiWare game developed by Q-Games and published by Nintendo that every Warp Skip! writer who owns a DSi has been raving over for the past week or two. It presents an interesting puzzle game that reminds me a little of Breakout mixed with Bust-a-Move. Its aiming mechanic requires the use of the stylus to pick an angle at which to aim your shot, which comes from the bottom screen...
Platformers with blocky, pixelated graphics have been on a big comeback recently, especially in the form of downloadable indie titles. We’ll leave an analysis of how the low pixel count makes it easier for individual developers to draw each frame of animation themselves and simplifies collision detection to the Gamasutra member blogs, though, and instead just link those of you who want to...
It's dangerous to go alone take Church-Rosser...
I was at work the other night, getting my feet wet for the first time with a tool that’s known an automated proof assistant. Now there’s no need to go into all of the details of an automated proof assistant (or of Coq, the specific tool I was using. Incidentally, none of this is really specific to Coq. I just wanted a reason to include a picture of a French rooster in a white...
I can’t be the first person to notice this. The “Paragon” icon from Mass Effect looks suspiciously similar to the Pantene logo: Maybe this is subtle symbolism. The concept of hair here is clearly being equated with the concept of virtue. It’s telling that in the Mass Effect universe, humans seem to be the only sentient race with hair of any kind: Turians, asaris,...
About Warp Skip! →
In case you were wondering who we are, there is now an “About” page accessible via the sidebar of the blog. Not that it contains any actual useful information. But hey, faux Game Boy Camera pictures! Retro-chic!
Achievements, Foursquare, and Donald Norman
In a recent article at Gamasutra, Ian Bogost declares his distaste for Foursquare. In the article he groups Foursquare badges and mayorships with Xbox Live gamerscore and achievements, saying that both are essentially customer loyalty programs—along the lines of frequent flyer miles. The main argument in the article is that Foursquare, in particular, is a lousy customer loyalty program, as it...
Shut Up And Play This Game: "Record Tripping"
“Shut Up And Play This Game” is a recurring feature here at Warp Skip! The deal: you read the blog post, then you play the game that we link you to. No questions asked. See the first “Shut Up” post for a full description, or view all of the “Shut Up and Play This Game” games! If you asked me how you could create a video game that was relevant to my interests, I’d...
Double Buffered: A Timeline of Western MMO... →
Longtime friend of the Warp Skip! staff and game developer Ben Zeigler put together a really awesome diagram showing the often-convoluted development process of MMORPGs in the Western game design world. There’s a lot of information there and it’s pretty cool to see how much migration there is of high-profile talent from company to company while staying within the MMORPG genre. Go check...
Side-Quest Side Effects
Welcome. We’re here today to compare the way side-quests work in two popular role-playing games: Mass Effect and Persona 3. (A warning: there may be mild, mild spoilers for both games.) This is a screenshot of Mass Effect’s “Assignments” menu, which amounts to a list of side-quests. As the game progresses, the list gets longer: it seems like every character you talk to...