What I’ve Been Up To – Writing and Game Development

So I haven’t used the blog in a while, I was rather busy with a coding bootcamp that I was in. It took up a lot of my time working on the projects in it. I’m going to try to get back into using the blog though. With that in mind I thought I’d start off with a post about what I’m doing right now.

I discovered an interesting sort of game a while back, Choose Your Own Adventure games. I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a child, it was such an interesting idea. For there to actually be games that bring that same thing to life, and for most of them to be text-based, is amazing. So in addition to playing through a number of them, I’ve started working on one of my own. It’s a bit of an exercise, it’s certainly not quite like writing usually. I find myself writing out the story I see it, and then having to go back and add in choices and possible paths. It’s going to get quite a bit convoluted I’m sure, either way I’m definitely enjoying it. The system that’s used for it, ChoiceScript, is a really basic coding script, so it’s not difficult to understand at all. I’m pretty comfortable with it already.

The other thing I’ve put a large amount of my focus into is actually working on a game with a friend of mine. We had originally intended to finish it in order to enter it into the Indie Game Maker Contest. Unfortunately time constraints didn’t allow for that, but as a result our game has become quite a bit more fleshed out and we’ll be able to do a lot more with it. I’m really excited about it and we’re making some real progress.

Given that I obviously didn’t dig too much into specifics of either the writing or the game, I’ll definitely try to post more about them later. I also want to just start using this blog again in general.

Intro to One of my Novel Ideas

Up until this point all of my posts have pretty much been related to Game Development in some way or another. They likely will stay that way, too, but I just wanted to try something. Going to put some of my writing out here and see if it gets any response or what people think of it. I actually wrote this piece quite sometime back. It’s the introduction to one of the novels that’s still in the brainstorming stage in my mind. It’s not even the novel I’m currently working on writing. That all said, here goes:

Elves, dwarves, fairies, werewolves, vampires, especially the sparkling variety, none of these things exist. They’re just stories, fanciful and wondrous ones sometimes, but nothing more than tales. Something from those stories is true though, something that shows up in almost every story in one form or another. It has fascinated people for ages, but it’s always been held as belonging in the realm of fiction, magic.

Magic is not fiction, it’s the one thing from all those stories that does exist, or at least it did. Where is magic then if it used to exist? It couldn’t just disappear, and that’s why no one believes in it. Illusionists of today are not magicians, they do fanciful tricks, but magic is something far beyond that. Magic is an ability beyond description, beyond definition.

The reason why you do not see magic today is because it’s sealed away. I don’t know how it happened, at least not the first time. Well, I’m not even sure that was the first time, I was quite humbled by just how ignorant I really am not too long ago so I’m first to admit that I don’t understand. All I know is that somehow it was sealed away, because it’s dangerous.

If I had realized that before I probably could have saved myself and so many people a lot of trouble. Of course maybe I’m giving myself too much credit, it’s possible it could have happened without me. I’m sure I’m not the only person out there with the level of fascination I hold for magic. Not just to the point where I loved reading about it, but to the point where I would regularly imagine myself using it in my daily life.

Maybe other people had that same feeling, and it still would have happened with or without me. Maybe if other people did not feel the way I do it never would have come to pass. So many maybes, just a number of ifs, if doesn’t matter though, it happened. This is the story of how my fascination with magic finally stepped out of my dreams and into reality. This is the story of how I was shown that I’m ignorant of so many things, and that some things are better left alone.

Dragons. I’m not saying they’re real, but their depiction has always been one meant to inspire wonder and fear. Their very mention and thought brings to mind power, mystery, and danger. Most people would not approach a dragon if they were real. Sure in the stories there tales of knights facing dragons to save damsels, but even in the stories they did not always win. So if there really was a dragon, I don’t think many would go out looking for a fight with it.

I have not seen a dragon, but that depiction, that wonder, the feelings inspired by their presence must be why it was what I saw. I’m not sure if it is how anyone else would have seen it, but it was how it appeared to me. Sometimes when I thought of magic I glimpsed in my mind two large towering doors, nothing overly impressive about them. Simple dark wood, but no handles or knobs. Instead in the middle where they met there was the gigantic head of a dragon, obviously ornate as it was fashioned of some sort of metal.

The dragon’s head glimmered, and when it appeared closer in my mind each scale was visible in the metal, finely sculpted somehow in that soft grey metal. The ridges portrayed empty metal circles, eyes that even without pupils seemed to be staring and boring into me. Its mouth open and long sharp teeth glinting in the dark. It was abnormal enough that the door hung in darkness, but the way those teeth shone should have put more fear in me. The vision of the dragon should have driven me away and kept me away, perhaps it had for many over the years.

For me I knew immediately what was behind that door without the handle, without any seeming way to open it. I knew that for some reason and somehow it sealed away magic, and that was why no one could use it, no one could touch it. Magic was real, but it was just not within our reach, it was kept behind some sort of door, seeming magic itself. I never imagined myself actually standing before that door, even now I think it perhaps just the way my mind saw whatever it was that sealed it away. The way I chose to envision and understand the protection that kept it out of our reach.

The first time I saw it I was much younger, and I didn’t try to reach past it or at what was behind it. Maybe I unconsciously knew then what I had forgotten when I grew older. There had to be a reason that it was sealed away like that. Some reason that magic would not be out in the world. That perhaps the seal was not to protect magic from us, but to protect us from magic. Dreams of touching it, controlling it, and having it sought me out more over the years even in waking.

If I could just have magic my life would be different, it could bring some meaning into it. I had no desires to conquer the world, nothing villainous in mind to do with the power. I simply wanted to have it, because I knew I could do good things with it, that it would make my life better. I don’t know if it was all me, I don’t doubt that I’m entirely capable of greed like that, but maybe somehow the magic had reached me from the other side of the door? Perhaps it wanted to be free as much as I wanted it to be.

Magic isn’t human, but I think in someways that it might be sentient. It’s not possessed of feelings or emotion, it as a force is not good or evil. Magic does not choose who can control it, when it is free it is simply a force there to be touched by any who wish to use it. It’s just like a gun, anyone can pick it up and shoot someone. You don’t have to know how to aim it to kill someone, and the gun is not at fault for what happens. Magic is dangerous in that way, that anyone can touch it, anyone can control it. Except that magic is far more dangerous than any gun.

This is the force I would unleash on the world, unknowingly, but it was still my fault. I just wanted things to be different, I just wanted some meaning to my world, wanted my life to matter. It definitely would come to matter, and I did something very important, but I can’t be proud of it. Because in the end it was all my fault to begin with. I caused it all to begin with, I brought magic back into the world.

Why All the Hate for RPG Maker Games?

I love RPGs, anything with an amazing story that will grab me I’m glad to sit down and play through. One big problem with RPGs though is that there seems to be far too much time in between the great ones, that or if you’re like me you’re too poor at sometimes to buy all the ones you want. That was especially true for me when I just got out of High School. Fortunately I happened to find the RPG Maker Community back then. At the time it was not quite like it is now, RPG Maker games were all made using programs that had been translated to English and thus 90% of the time not legal to sell even if the developers had not primarily reused sprites /music from other games.

That said, the things that some of these people did with their games were just positively amazing. Anyone who has played any of the old RPG Maker Games is familiar with “A Blurred Line” and the sequel “A Line’s End” that will likely never see the light of day. There are a number of other greats from those years that I could mention, but that’s not the purpose of this article. Eventually, about the time of the release of RPG Maker XP, Enterbrain realized they had a vast untapped market in the West. So they translated the software officially and made it available over here. Now people outside of Japan could create their own games in RPG Maker and actually sell them commercially.

Now, over the years the community has grown, and as communities grow they start to become more visible. To the point that you even start to see RPG Maker games on Steam. That’s right, now we’re coming around to the point of the article. All the hate on RPG Maker games. Why does everyone hate them? Most of the time when you see someone bashing an RPG Maker game, they’ve never actually even played the game itself. Often they have not even looked at the screenshots or the videos, they simply bash it exclusively for its connection to RPG Maker.

The reasons I’ve come across vary, but mostly it comes around to people thinking that RPG Maker is the “easy and lazy” way to make games. That the developers don’t have to put any time, passion, or work into making the games. Those people are so very wrong. Are there RPG Maker games out there that were released simply for the chance to make a little money? Sure, but honestly they’re the minority, not the majority. RPG Maker is an Engine, just like any other. It’s the same as Unreal or Unity, it’s just geared toward creating two-dimensional RPGs.

The most recent version of RPG Maker, RPG Maker VX Ace actually has rather in-depth scripting capabilities using Ruby, although technically Ruby has been in it since XP. If you go into the Engine and start looking at the scripts the sheer amount of things you can change and add is overwhelming. Just start browsing around the community, oh and yes there’s a HUGE community. The RPG Maker Community is more helpful and available I’d say than any of the communities for any other Engine out there that I’ve seen.

You have people who have created custom battler scripts, custom characters, maps, all sorts of things. Sometimes they just give it away to anyone who wants it, but it also offers them an opportunity to market their skills if they so choose. People can buy these things from others or even hire them on and work together to develop games. There are a number of amazing games in the works, and yes some of them are being sold commercially, but most of the people who make RPG Maker games are not making a living off of it. They’ve just found a way where they can tell this story that they had inside of them.

A way that they can share their world, their game, their characters with other people. Is it worth giving them a little money for the insane amounts of work they put into it? You better believe it is. They spend just as many hours, months, and years in some cases developing the games as any other developer does. They’re Indie Developers, just because the graphics might look a little old-school, don’t let that fool you. Most of the games have demos or videos available, take a look at it and immerse yourself in the game. You’ll see the passion the developers have for their games and you’ll see why you shouldn’t hate RPG Maker games, you should embrace them.

Lunar III – Or How a Game That Does Not Exist Made Me a Game Developer

I’ve had this article written for a while, but I was holding off on posting it since I thought it was going to be posted on another site. Since I haven’t heard back from them in a while and the time they said it was going to be posted has come and gone I figured I would go ahead and post it here. If they still want to use it after they’re welcome to, but I don’t see any reason I shouldn’t put it out there for others to read in the meantime.

The year was 2000, a friend of mine and I were chatting online. We were talking about a series of games that had just found a new audience a few years ago. The Lunar series, a game I myself had been exposed to back in ’94 on the Sega CD. There was nothing like it. Sure, there were a number of other great RPGs out there, but nothing was the same as Lunar. Nothing was able to blend humor and a deep and sometimes tragic story and make it flow so perfectly. Humor wasn’t just for comic relief, it really gave depth to the characters and situations.

(If you have not played this amazing series by now though, what are you waiting for? Go play it now, then come back and finish reading this. If you’d rather finish reading the spoiler-less portion of the article before playing Lunar, it continues past the next two paragraphs.)

For me there were few villains like Ghaleon, yes he was a megalomaniac and he had the intention of destroying the world, but he had every reason to want to. The Goddess had asked his best friend, one of the few people he cared about to lay down his life to save her people. Since the Goddess had taken Dyne from him, he wanted to take the world from her. You get a glimpse of the real him when you see the fairies inside of his tower and the sanctuary he created for them. He doesn’t hold them culpable for the fault of Althena’s children, humanity. So he is kind to them and protects them from the death he has planned for the rest of the world.

Of course in the course of the game you find out that Dyne is not dead, he simply lost his Dragonmaster abilities in order to defeat the Black Dragon. When Ghaleon finds out that his friend was still alive it was too late though, he was too far gone. He makes up for it in the second game in the series though. He guides Hiro, and saves him on numerous occasions. He helps Hiro and his friends become the heroes they had to be in order to defeat Zophar.


There had been talks and rumors of a third Lunar game since before Lunar Silver Star Story Complete was re-released on the Playstation. Nothing had been seen of it though. My friend and I started talking about what we would want to see in the game. It started with just throwing back and forth ideas, but eventually it moved from just
conversation to actually developing and fleshing it out. We had the story, we had the characters, we had the entire structure for a game laid out before us. One of us jokingly said we should send it to Working Designs, I don’t remember if it was him or me.

Then it was not so much of a joke. This was really a game, I mean sure, who were we? I had just graduated High School not long ago, and he was in his last year. We certainly didn’t have the experience of all of these developers, but what if they actually took it and made a game out of it? What if sending this to them brought out Lunar 3? So I actually looked up an e-mail address and put together the information and sent it off to them. I’ll tell you the not so shocking news, we never heard anything back from them. We didn’t really expect to, but we had designed a game regardless.

It was the spark that started something though. At that moment I knew I wanted to make games, I wanted to be a part of making something that could make someone feel as strongly as I did about Lunar. I had always loved games of course, to me they had always been an escape just as much as a novel. Except that with a game I could be a more active part of it, I was a part of the story and had a real effect on it. Now I felt that I could give that to someone else, make something that hopefully they could enjoy as much as I had.

Many years later, life has slowed me down a bit, but I am working toward my dream to be a game developer again now. I want to make games, games that people will love, and maybe someday I’ll get an e-mail from someone telling me about a game. About how they had sat around and dreamed it up. I probably won’t make their game, but I’ll reply to them. I’ll tell
them what I think of it, what could be better, and that they should keep it up.

Review of The Magi Chronicles – Part One

In an earlier blog post I did an interview with a developer, Drassray. I’m now reviewing the game he’s currently working on, The Magi Chronicles. I’ve actually completely run through the demo before, but I’m going to be doing something a little different with this. I’m running through the game in Twitch Streams and doing a review of it as I go.

At this point I’ve done two twitch streams and played the game for about two hours and twenty minutes. Before I get into the meat of this, The Magi Chronicles is an RPG, and is created in RPG Maker VX Ace. For some people that’s an automatic negative mark against it, but not me. I’m a huge fan of the genre of RPGs, and I’ve been playing games developed in RPG Maker since there was a translation of RPG Maker 2000 for the PC. It’s an amazing tool, and it lets us see games and stories from people who might not otherwise be able to make games as easily. It’s also been a stepping stone for a number of developers, but I digress. This is about the game and not about using RPG Maker as a tool, I’ll likely do a blog post on that itself later.

In the game you start off as Daryl, a young man who lives with his father and attends a magic school in his village. Daryl’s the top student despite being particularly lazy himself. Now right off you might be saying that’s not all that original, but at least for me it’s not about how original an idea is, but how a developer can take that idea and make it their own. The relationship between Daryl and his father is presented very well right away and there are some amusing conversation options with him and other people around the town when you’re on your way to Magic School. I won’t give away too much of the game itself, but there’s plenty of character development and humor to come after that.

At this point I’ve been introduced to two other characters in the game, Corran and Naomi. Corran is a more serious character himself and a friend of Daryl’s father. As well as the reason why Daryl ends up leaving his hometown. He’s more than just a plot-device though, as you get an introspective into his character fairly quickly, his opinions and even see them changed through the game. Naomi is one of those few times where I’ve seen a cat-girl done well in a game. Often times they end up more fluff and just there for laughs. Naomi definitely adds more humor to the game, but even at this point being just introduced to her you can see some depth from talking with her. That’s a nice feature that they added into this game, being able to talk with some of the characters and have multiple conversation options which give you a deeper look into the relationships between the characters.

On a more general note as the gameplay goes, the battle system is really well developed. The fights are not too hard and you can easily move through them, but they’re not so easy that you get bored and just tap attack through them. There’s some small strategy to it, and the amazing soundtrack to this game helps you stay interested. The songs blend well into the battle, the maps, and keep up well with the pace and emotions of the story.

Now with that said, I’ll go over the one negative I find in the game right now. Now admittedly this is a demo and I’ve already spoken with the developer and he plans to balance this soon. As of now it’s difficult to obtain money early on, which makes buying items or equipment difficult. Since you can really only buy one or the other unless you grind against enemies for money. There is a synthesis system in the game, where you can create your own items. Which is a system I really like and enjoy from a number of the other games I’ve seen it in, but as of right now you can’t really find enough items for synthesizing.

I’m really looking forward to seeing more of this great game, it’s definitely worth watching and waiting to see what they do with it from here. I’m actually still far from the end of the demo that’s available now, so there’s a lot to enjoy if you want to check it out yourself. I recommend it.

For anyone interested in looking at Drassray’s game themselves, here’s a few links to where you can find the game and more information on its development:

RPG Maker Web Forums


Original Soundtrack

My First Experience with leading a Game Dev Team

So part of the curriculum at the school where I received my Associates Degree in Simulation and Game Development was to develop a game, you started with a group in the semester before your last and finished with them in the Summer Semester, ideally working on the same game and finalizing it. During the Spring Semester I was elected as the leader of the group and we developed a game that I was very excited about working on. I had the initial idea and I knew going into it that it was something we could accomplish in the time we had as long as we all really worked on it, and I knew I would because this was what I loved.

I should probably preface this a little, I’m in my 30’s, so while I hate to use this cliche, I spent a lot of time in the “real world” working before I went back into college. So when I started there I had a lot better work ethic than a number of my classmates. A number of the people who were there when I started were not by the end. So I of course assumed that because they had been there for two years they would be as driven to make a game and have something to show as I was. They’d want something that they could be proud of, that they could point at and say, “Hey, I did this. Look at this, isn’t it amazing?!” Unfortunately it did not quite turn out that way.

Now, I take the blame for this, because I was the Project Lead. So a game not being as great as it could have been is my fault. I should have made sure that things were better organized, I should have kept on everyone to make sure they worked on this like it really was a job. I made the mistake of thinking that I did not have to be a strict taskmaster and did not realize it until it was too late. During the first period when we worked on the game I selected people as the leads of the different sections that I trusted. The woman who was the lead of art, was also my assistant project leader. I knew she was as passionate and driven to see this succeed as I was.

Admittedly I was not as sure about my other two choices, but I trusted them more than I did anyone else anyway. The woman I chose to lead the level design group could do an amazing job with design, even if she was not as confident in her own abilities as she should have been. Honestly the programming lead I chose only because I could not be both the Project Lead and the Programming Lead, I chose him because I could communicate well with him and let him know what needed to be done and I thought he’d make sure it did. I was still responsible for a large portion of the coding work on the game, because it’s what I enjoy doing. That’s probably another fault on my part, I threw myself into my coding work and made sure it worked rather than hovering over everyone to see that things got done.

Problems appeared immediately, we had all been in the same curriculum for two years, but a number of the people seemed to not understand how to use the engine we were working in, Unity, despite having used it for a number of the courses up to this point. So rather than just being able to tell them how to do something, I had to actually show them how to do it, or in some cases actually do the design and object creation myself in addition to coding. The artists were a big problem, through no fault of the person I put in charge of them, but because at least a couple of them never did any work outside of class. This wasn’t a project that we could finish by only working during the short time we were in class for. So the assets we needed for the game were never ready when we needed them.

Backtracking a little bit, one large issue we had was that when we initially decided on the idea most people voted for the game to be in 3D. While I can understand they thought games “looked bad” if they were two-dimensional, I could not seem to explain to them how much easier it would be if done in 2D. It would certainly have helped the artists a lot. Items would not have needed to be 3D modeled and animated in the way that they were, and would not have taken up so much time. Unfortunately that became a large issue which held us back, because of a number of the reasons above.

Because of the fact that a lot of people did not understand the engine, when designers finished on setting up the levels, I had to actually receive them and then setup the assets correctly. This was an issue because I needed to receive them by a certain time before the due date in order to get the levels all connected and fix any errors that came up. In neither case, in the Spring or the Summer, did this happen as it should have. I usually received them the day before they were due or even the day they were due. So I’d have to spend my entire day trying to put the game together and working out any bugs that needed to be fixed. Needless to say this meant running into a lot of issues and having to leave things out of the game that I would have liked to have added.

Moving ahead though, when we moved to the Summer section we lost the person who I had chosen to lead the Level Design group, because she chose to focus on her other degree. This meant one of the people who had absolutely no idea what he was doing had to become the leader of the design team. Things did not go well. The level designers did not set up separate objects for the levels, they did not organize the assets or objects so things were constantly overwritten and having to be redone. Which unfortunately I didn’t have time to fix at the end, so there are a number of objects which are not colored correctly in the “final” version of the game. I’m somewhat ashamed to show it off honestly, but it’s what I have. It’s the only “complete” game I have to show what I’ve done coding work on.

A lot of the people who were driven and wanted to have something to show for themselves feel the same way, I say a lot, but honestly there were a small number of those people who I felt really wanted to see this happen. Most people did not really seem to care, they just wanted to get it done, get their grade, and go. I said this to them on a few occasions, but it did little to change their work ethic. We had some people who wanted to do it, but honestly they were not enough to make up for the people who did not. The people who didn’t care, and thus my first game that those of us who did care are ashamed to be associated with is the result. I’m thankful to the people who really worked on it, and I’m really sorry for the people who put a lot of time into something and it did not end up in the game. I had to cut a lot of things at the end, because I simply did not have the time. I spent six hours on one bug, and then another six hours on a different one. I had to cut out an entire level because of the first one, and only finally fixed the second one after said six hours of working on it. Even another Unity developer I spoke to had no idea what to do to fix it.

I know a lot more about what to do now as a result of this, and if I went into it again I feel things would go a lot better, because now I know that I can’t trust everyone to do their work without being hovered over. Without being told exactly what needs to be done to get things done by a deadline. I can’t just give a broad set of guidelines and say this has to be done by this time. I have to walk some people through every single little step and tell them how to do it. Honestly, the way I’ve taken care of this now is that the team I’m working with now has no people on it that are the way this group was. All of the people I am working with -want- to make a game, they -want- to do something in this industry. This is what they love.

On GamerGate – Asking Questions

So to preface this, I’m a gamer. I love games and have all my life. I knew a long time ago that I wanted to go into game development, but I’ve only over the past few years started making large strides toward getting into it. Because I keep up with games and the community though I’ve had a front seat for much of GamerGate. I’ve been bothered because this controversy is hurting people I care about and an industry that I love. I don’t know what to do to fix it though, to change things. I’ve seen a lot of my friends scared and upset by things that they’ve read, about how women in gaming are lesser and other friends telling me that they cannot speak out. I posted another blog post about that earlier so I won’t delve too deeply into that. The point is though I’d like to see this resolved so they’ll still love this industry and feel safe in it.

The truth is women have been targeted and treated poorly and like lesser “gamers” before GamerGate and likely will after. What I want to do is open up conversations and try to understand what’s really going on here and try to bring about a peaceful solution. Because regardless of whether it’s people who support GamerGate or do not, we’re all gamers and we all love games and the industry we’re a part of. That’s a passion that we share, at least I hope it is.

To that point I decided to start asking questions. The big standing point for the GamerGate movement has been that they want to see ethics in gaming journalism, so I asked on Twitter, “Serious question, given that you have issues with ethics in journalism, why not organize your own outlet for gaming news?” I’d like to again preface by saying that so far anytime I’ve asked questions on Twitter of the GamerGate hashtag I’ve only received polite and cordial responses, no personal attacks or insults, that’s not to say that other people have not been attacked, I’ve seen the results, I’m just giving my personal experience up to this point.

The first response I received was a short one, unfortunately that person did not give me permission to share it so I cannot. The second response though led to a very polite conversation and the person was very helpful, they even agreed to allow me to post that response verbatim here. Ideally I would have liked to include it as one whole PDF-based image so it could be seen that I did not cut anything from it, but my PDF printer isn’t working so I had to do six separate images, here they are:

First part of conversation
Second part of conversation
Third part of conversation
Fourth part of conversation
Fifth part of conversation
Final part of conversation

There are a number of photos included, if anyone would like me to post them separate from the conversation I will be glad to.

First Impression – Growing Pains

Unlike Gateways or the Adventures of Shuggy, I couldn’t give this one a full thirty minutes to an hour. Not because the game was that bad, but because what the game comes with does not take that long. So instead I spent the next little bit of time looking over the editor and the workshop somewhat. It’s a neat little game with some simple and fun features. Seems like it could be fun to make some levels and send them to friends to challenge them to complete them. Not really my thing though.

Would I suggest this game: Well, like I said above. It’s a neat little game, pretty simple, but still a little fun. If you want to make levels with the editor and challenge your friends to complete them that would be one fun thing you could do with it.

Would I play it again: Probably not. The game doesn’t really capture my interest all that much, it’s a little fun, but nothing I would play continually.

First Impression – Gateways

This is the second game from Smudged Cat Games that I also received from GamesMatter.

Just from what I saw of it to begin with this game looked the most interesting to me out of the three. I’m really very impressed with the mechanics of the Gateways. Kudos to the developer on that for making a very fun and well-developed mechanic there. Yes, it’s somewhat like an 8-bit platformer combined with portal, but it’s so much fun. Even though I usually do not get into platformers very much I really enjoyed this game. There’s a story there, but the gameplay itself is entertaining enough that it’s not really necessary.

Would I suggest this game: Definitely, it’s a really fun little game.

Will I play more of this game: I definitely will, might even do a stream of it in the next few days.

Link to Smudged Cat Games: http://www.smudgedcat.com

First Impression – Adventures of Shuggy

So this is my first “first impression” post, basically what it will entail is me playing a game for about thirty minutes to an hour at most and then detailing what I thought of the game and whether I would suggest it to someone else and if I plan to continue to play it myself past that point.

The first game is Adventures of Shuggy, I got this and two other games from GamesMatter through Twitter, all three games were made by Smudged Cat Games. Their website is http://www.smudgedcat.com

I’ll start this off by honestly saying this isn’t the type of game I’d normally pick up for the PC usually, but when I started up the game I liked the art style and the design of the character. It’s amusing and a neat and unique style that definitely seems to fit together throughout the game. I liked the comic style introductions and transitions it used, though I’m not entirely certain about the flow of the story in the intro.

Once I got into the games themselves they were interesting and provided unique little challenges, but honestly it was not anything I had not seen in a number of games on the mobile market. Though the addition of so many different mechanics did make it a little more interesting. Though the difficulty of challenge in the levels did not always seem to scale well, but that could be different from one player to the next. For me sometimes I’d have a hard time on one level and then breeze through the next one that had just opened up from beating that one.

Would I recommend this game: Maybe, it depends on whether you’re a fan of platform games and escalating challenges with a number of different mechanics being thrown at you. What will keep a player here is definitely the challenge and the gameplay, and not the story.

Will I continue to play the game: I’ll play it some more, but honestly I cannot say that I was enjoying it that much. The story didn’t really invest me in it enough for me to keep going through the different levels. While the new challenges were something, it still grew repetitive and boring to me over time, but then I’m a big RPG fan.

My thoughts on games in development, games I'm playing, novels I'm reading, and occasionally sharing something I'm writing myself.