Category GameDev

The Grammar of Game Design

Featured Image for The Grammar of Game Design

Game Design is a kind of language. It has basic elements, it has rules, and we use it to express specific sensations. Therefore, as a language, it has a proper grammar with its alphabet, its morphology, and its syntax and semantic. In this article I’ll briefly try to exapand this thought.

"Crafting Is (Kinda) Pointless" by Razbuten

This is a very interesting analysis of crafting in modern games. Crafting systems are everywhere but they are often just glorified menus. I agree with Razbuten a lot on this. So check it out!

Hades: a case study in storytelling for roguelike games

Featured Image for Hades: a case study in storytelling for roguelike games

I know, I know: everybody loves Hades, the Super Giant’s latest jewel. These days, it is impossible to read any online game magazine without reading articles about it. This game has been on everybody’s mouth since its official release on September 17th.

And for good reasons.

Hades managed to raise the bar of the roguelike genre just when the genere started to become stale and boring. There are many reasons for this success but, in my opinion, Hades' greatest accomplishment is that it was able to provide a glaring example of a roguelike with a solid storytelling.

Five Tabletop Games for Creating Stuff

Featured Image for Five Tabletop Games for Creating Stuff

We already know that Procedural Content Generation (PCG) is a masterful tool for building games. But can PGC become a game by itself? This seems a silly question at first. After all, what is the purpose of generating something if we do not use it afterward?

However, if you think that a bit more, you know that there is something else. If you are interested in PCG, you know that most enjoyment comes from the creation itself.

Therefore, the question is easy: of course, that PCG can be a game! And to prove that, I am going to show you five of the most beautiful examples of that I played in recent years.

And so you want to choose a Fantasy Console

Featured Image for And so you want to choose a Fantasy Console

Making a game on a Fantasy Console is one of the best activity for any game development enthusiast. This small, curated, nostalgic “emulators” for consoles that never existed can bring you back to a simpler time when hardware was less capable and developer needed to make every bit of memory and every pixel count.

There is always a reason to play with a Fantasy Console. If you are an experienced developer, Fantasy Consoles represents a good challenge. If you are a new developer, Fantasy Consoles allows you to focus on the game and on the basics of game development without being side-tracked by all the bells and whistles of modern game engines.

So, how can we chose the right one?

The Great Convergence of AAA Games

Featured Image for The Great Convergence of AAA Games

Let’s be honest: nowadays, almost every AAA game looks the same. They are all action games with RGP elements and a crafting system and some kind of open world. It is almost like playing the same game over and over again. The latest God of War (2018) is a good example of this year-long trend in the gaming industry that I called The Convergence. Let’s talk a bit about this.

What makes a story a good story

Featured Image for What makes a story a good story

At the beginning of January, I put my hands on a dirty cheap Play Station 4 because, in the new house, I have no space for a gaming PC. Since then, I decided to make up for a bunch of games I missed in the last years starting from these two: Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games, 2017) and The Last of Us (Naughty Dog, 2013). I approached them with diametrically opposed expectations, and in both cases, my expectations were very wrong. So I started asking myself why I was wrong and what I look for in games and narrative media.

Unity Game Optimization is now available!

Featured Image for Unity Game Optimization is now available!

The new edition of Unity Game Optimization is finally out! I already announced that in my December monthly update, but I think it is worth to spend a bit more words on it.

Apple Arcade made my mobile gaming fun again

Featured Image for Apple Arcade made my mobile gaming fun again

It is about a month that I am trying Apple Arcade on my iPad. During this month, I realized that it made my iPad a totally legitimate gaming platform. I had zero games on my phone and my iPad; now, I have four, and two of them were meaningful experiences. In short: I had fun on a mobile platform after years.

Why I love Narration Through Discovery

Featured Image for Why I love Narration Through Discovery

Yesterday I was reflecting about an interesting fact: in the list of “my favorite games of all times,” the top 10 is packed with games that share all a common element. The games are: Dark Souls Dark Souls II Well… every game of the soulborne genre. Hollow Knight The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild And more. Can you guess what they all have in common? Sure, they all have a decadent setting (the world is falling or is recovering after a cataclysm), but there is a way more common design element: narration through discovery.