This week’s Dissecting Design takes me back to one of my favorite games of the last decade. Hinterland is a perfect example of a diamond in the rough; with a brilliant core gameplay loop marred by the limited scope of the design.

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Today’s Critical Thought looks at difficulty scaling in game design. I talked about how you can make meaningful difficulty settings, and why very easy and very hard modes aren’t as simple to design.

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For today’s Industry Insight, I’m taking a look at the recent discussion from the Venturebeat demo of Cuphead. Is this a case of someone not qualified to play the game, or is the tutorial and design at fault? For the first part, I did a play-by-play breakdown of tutorial design and where Cuphead could use some improvements. After that, I talked about the problems with the presentation and play from Venturebeat.

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There are new goals up for Patreon this month. At $100, I will do a live let’s play of Resident Evil 7 and check out Alien Isolation. At the $200 level, I will have a “Modern Retro Monday” stream where fans can vote on classic GOG games for me to play. To support the site and check out the rest of the goals and rewards, you can find them on Patreon.

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