Wherein Atlas continues to guide us through the zany madcap world of “BoyoShock”.
I think it’s really interesting how Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite both have the same trouble with the hint system, which is that you’ll be 80% of the way through the game and you’re stilling getting messages explaining how to switch weapons or reload. Sometimes the game would even explain how to do something just after you finished doing it.
On one hand, I’m in favor of games that are accessible. It’s bad when games assume that you’re a master of all mechanics once you leave the tutorial area. It’s also bad when games simply take concepts for granted. For game designers, its important to remember that for some small percentage of players out there your AAA shooter will be their first AAA shooter. Crouching, jumping, and using cover are obvious to most players but can be completely mysterious to a newbie. If game designers take too much for granted then they run the risk of making their games too insular. Even if the player knows about all of the mechanics, they might forget which buttons do which things if they step away from the game for a while.
On the other hand, randomly throwing up tutorial messages at all players at random intervals and telling players how to do things they’ve long mastered is an ugly, brute-force solution to the problem. It breaks immersion, clutters the screen, and distracts the player.
It’s really strange that this design decision persisted throughout the entire Bioshock series. (I’m assuming it was in Bioshock 2 as well.)
The Loot Lottery
What makes the gameplay of Borderlands so addictive for some, and what does that have to do with slot machines?
A video discussing Megatexture technology. Why we needed it, what it was supposed to do, and why it maybe didn't totally work.
Shamus Plays LOTRO
As someone who loves Tolkein lore and despises silly MMO quests, this game left me deeply conflicted.
The product of fandom run unchecked, this novel began as a short story and grew into something of a cult hit.
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.