Jul 30, 2013

Replayability, what can it do for a game?

Babbling at the Counter #01 – Video Games

Replayability, what can it do for a game?
I'm a big fan of replayability in my games and you are going to be seeing a lot of short but replayable games in here, so let's talk about it for a bit, shall we?
I grew up playing NES, so most of the games I had access to were either too short or an arcade-like game that didn't had a proper ending. But then I made a big jump, directly to PS1, and started playing those long, long, long games where you had to save between sessions because your mom made you turn the console off. And I never really liked them.
Flashforward to the present, with nifty browser games and fan made gems like the ones stored in the Warehouse, and I'm happy again. The question is, why?
Well, first, I’m a totally casual gamer. Most days I just play a round or two (five to fifteen minutes) of some simple game to rest for a bit after studying. I don’t really have the time to master a competitive game or to spend fifty hours on an RPG where I won’t remember the story from save point to save point.
But also the problem, and the real point of this article, is that I don’t see those as “games”, at least strictly speaking. I read once about modern gaming (http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-most-ominous-trends-in-video-games/), and the writer made a distinction between concepts like “electronic sports” and “interactive movie”, saying they are not all the same.
When I play, I like simple controls and lots of unique things to interact with. In most RPG (digital, not pen and paper) I feel like I’m just a passive observer, like in a movie. And that’s great for movies, but if I had to press a button every time Brad Pitt spoke a line in World War Z, I would have left the cinema.
In the Warehouse, most of the games will be like “Solitaire”, a simple game that you can play by yourself to pass the time. But thanks to modern technology, games today are much more. We have randomized content, from levels to items to game events. Internet and simple software allow more people to design their own games without executive meddling and to distribute it for free. You can play a lot of completely different games, see a lot of different concepts, and then play and replay the ones you liked.
So, go forth and enjoy this golden age of casual gaming. Send your friends some links to free games. Post feedback on some game designer’s page, even if it’s only “Nice game!”, they’ll appreciate it. Donate if you really enjoyed the product. Create your own free content. Let’s help this culture spread and expand!
- The Storeman

Note: Most of the ideas here were inspired by a series of quotes about video game design found here External Link: http://www.randomterrain.com/game-design.html. If you are interested in further reading, check it out.

Jul 28, 2013

Dungeons of Fayte

Review #01 – Free Video Game

Dungeons of Fayte

Hi, as a first review, I’d like to talk about Dungeons of Fayte. This little game was the one that made me realize that there are a lot of well done free games out there. It’s a bit glitchy, but completely playable.

Created during one of the contest held at TIGSource, it’s a Co-op RPG with training options a la Princess Maker and some humor. It can be played by up to four players, using the keyboard and mouse, or controllers if you have them.

Now, I have to say this: this game is easy. I mean, if all you want to do is to have some fun with a few friends and clear this game once, have at it, it’s not going to take more than an hour. Hour and a half, tops.

So, am I saying this game offers no challenge? No, sir/madam, that’s not what I’m saying. If you want a challenge, you have a great survival mode in the Hall of Legends to test your abilities (both when training your character and playing it) and unlock a few extras.

And the best of all is that this game is short and full of options, so it can be played again and again. I mean, it has 4 different dungeons and you play only three each game. There are lots of unique classes and events to trigger. There are multiple endings that take into account your class, stats and whether you defeated or were defeated by the final boss. You won’t be able to play it just once.

Bottom line: an excellent game, with replayability, with multiplayer fun, and both casual and hardcore appeal. Next time you have a couple of geeky friends with a sense of humor give this bad boy a try.

- The Storeman

Disclaimer: I didn’t upload any of the content in the following link. I have downloaded and checked it as I always do. I have even executed it in my own computer and did not experience any kind of problems. But I can’t ensure that it is free of virus and/or malware that my anti-virus programs couldn’t find. That’s the author’s responsibility.

Welcome to The Warehouse of Trinkets!

Well, this is the first post of my first blog and I’m pretty exited about it. The idea behind The Warehouse is to provide a place to look for free stuff, mainly video games and pen and paper Rpg material, but there might be a post about a web show or something else from time to time.

I know there are specialized lists of free content on the web, so that’s why this isn’t going to be one. I’ll post reviews, not just a name and a link, and they’ll only be about games I’ve personally played and enjoyed.
This may seem limited but this way I’m ensuring some sort of quality threshold for the content stored here. These reviews will be posted every Sunday night. There will be only one review each week.

Also, there will be opinion columns, called “Babbling at the Counter”. They’ll be mostly me thinking out aloud, and will usually talk about something I found interesting in that week’s game and wanted to analyze further, but that didn’t seem right to include in the review.
Being no expert in game theory I don’t expect to be treated like one. While the reviews will be informative and as objective as possible, this columns will just be my opinion and my take on a broad concept.
“Babbling at the Counter” will appear at least once a week, on Tuesday nights. There may be an extra post another day, but those will be an irregular feature.

And as my final note, I wanted to say that English is not my first language, but as most of the content I’ll talk about is only available in English I think the site should also be. Fell free to point out any grammar or syntax mistakes you find, as it will be appreciated. I’m just going to ask that you don’t do it in the comments section, so it doesn’t turn into an autocorrect feature. Use a private message, please.

Ok, I think that’s all. So after this long and boring explanation, why don’t you start reading my first review? Hope you enjoy The Trinket’s Warehouse and find it useful. Feedback is not only appreciated, it’s also encouraged.

- The Storeman

Note: Sorry about the disclaimer before the download links. I just want to make everything nice and clear.