Last week I was on vacations, a well-deserved week of me-time after months of nonstop work. I had the chance to get back to some writing projects I’ve left abandoned for a few months. I finished The Song, a science-fiction/noire short story and now finally have it ready to begin editing. I’ve also returned to a 2nd draft of a novel, not much progress there, but the week helped me get back into the mindset of the prose, to know where I left off and what I meant with the old notes I left.
I want to discuss something—well, rant would be the most appropriate term, but let’s go with discuss—that has been on my mind as a gamer for a while now: achievements and their apparent devolution in the past decade.
Achievements have always been around, we just only recently given them names, points and kept track of them. From defeating the super bosses in Final Fantasy to obtaining the Street Fighter moves in Mega Man X, there have always been extra challenges in video games for us to discover and pursue. These are achievements as much as those we see listed on our Steam Pages.
But at some point, the nature of the achievement begun to change, their value diminished. The above examples of older achievements all had a bit of “gamer cred” attached to them, with harder such accomplishments having different values. Continue reading Achievement Devaluation – What happened?
The Necromancer DLC pack for Diablo 3 released this week and as it usually happens when I play Blizzard games, I paid for whatever it was they wanted me to buy and got the new implementation of my favourite character in Diablo 2.
Last year I reviewed the quirky card-based dungeon crawler Guild of Dungeoneering, developed by Gambrinous, and followed that up with the review of their first expansion, Pirate’s Cove, which added more cards, more quests, a new class and a host of new and horrifyingly hilarious monsters and lyrics for that cruel bard.
Last month, Gambrinous released a brand new expansion for Guild of Dungeoneering called Ice Cream Headaches which has a massive heat wave strike the Guild’s homeland. The Guild Master, ever the wise and humble man, decides to pay a visit to the icy mountains of the Ice Cream Monks to ask what is going on, why they haven’t released their tasty treats. But on arriving he finds them under the heavy assault of Abominable Snow Men, Ice Cream Elementals and worst of all, Brainiacs, living, moving and very powerful disembodied brains. Continue reading Hands On – Guild of Dungeoneering: Ice Cream Headaches
The King is corrupted, sending the land into chaos and turning on those he promised to protect. Now new champions must rise to save him, manipulate him or take his place outright. This is the story or Armello. Continue reading Review: Armello
When the first rounds of DLC came into the gaming industry, people split into the hating, loving and uncaring camps, with some denouncing the clear money grubbing scheme and others defending this new way of extending the shelf life of a given title. For me, it’s never been that simple. I’ve always seen DLC from the point of view of its worth. Is it worth getting it, will it add something to the experience and most importantly, is the price right for it?
As we stand now in the industry and with the ever-growing market for episodic and cut up games, we’re never getting rid of DLC. In fact, if we consider digital sales platforms like Steam, GoG and GamersGate, then every game out there is DLC, Downloadable products. We’re sliding more and more into an era where retail physical copies become extinct and everything becomes Downloadable Content.
But even if that is true, the development, marketing and release of DLC (and I’m referring to add-on content in this) could see better practices, something that works more in the consumer’s favour. As my friend Timlah always tells me, “you only see the side of the consumer,” and it’s true, I do. Because I am one and because I feel developers should respect their audience, their fans and some of the current trends in DLCs feel disrespectful.
George Carlin once said: “One of the things I like to do in my shows is complain, it’s kind of a motif for me, complaining…so this next piece of material, like most good ideas is fairly simple. It’s just a list of people who oughtta be killed!”
As you know from reading many of my opinion pieces, I also like to complain. I don’t like to accept things as is and I will strive to make even a tiny change in the world, even if it’s just in changing your mind or opening it to new ideas—and my own in the process. “Think Better, Think Bigger,” is my motif.