A lengthy upcoming Perceptive Podcast got on the subject of storytelling in video games. Over the years, we’ve seen games try to pull the player into the world and the story. For the most part, they’ve all failed in one way or another. On our cast, we talked about how people get pulled into stories, and that led to talking about another way to write video game stories.
Recently, I spoke with Mark Venturelli who designed the game Star Vikings. We’re going to dedicate a cast to the game soon, but there was a really good topic we talked about that I wanted to bring up. Probability is a major part of many game designs throughout the years, but comes with its own set of hurdles to deal with. For today’s post, I want to explore the trouble of balancing probability in your game.
Two years ago, Nintendo made waves with their Amiibo line and attempt to get into the lucrative toys-to-life genre. Combining quality figurines with the promised of in-game rewards, Nintendo fans like yours truly jumped at the collection.
Today, things have taken a different turn. The fan-fare surrounding them has all but disappeared. There are reports of reprints of the first few waves, but even I’m having trouble getting excited about it. Nintendo was poised to make one of the biggest touchdowns in their history, but they’ve managed to stumble right at the end zone.
Recently, I’ve been playing Zachtronic’s latest game SHENZHEN I/O. The game is about using assembly level programming to create programs by using circuitry and CPUs. To help, the game features a 41 page manual that reads like the company manual you get at work. Despite the manual, I had to turn to outside help to learn the basics of the game.
Trying to learn the game, I started to think about how we learn things both in and outside of a class setting, and that games might hold a better solution.