Steam, Desura, Humble DRM-Free, GMG Capsule; there are so many different digital platforms for games at this point that anytime I hear of the creation of yet another, I shake my head and wonder “what is the point?”
itch.io is the latest of these, or at least the one I’ve been hearing about the most. It’s a site dedicated to independent games with a focus on developers and flexible monetization. It doesn’t sound too radical when you put it that way, but as I dug deeper into the site, I began to see how itch.io drastically differs from other distribution platforms; in ways that significantly alter the message the site seems to driven by, and the impression I got of how it chose to present it. Though in some ways the site still feels as if it’s in its infancy, these differences are exciting and noteworthy enough to warrant discussing. Continue reading How itch.io is different and why they’re important
Stealth games have had something of a rebirth as of late, starting most notably with Mark of the Ninja to move the genre away from trial and error into more organic, creative gameplay loops.
Turbogun’s Master Spy isn’t interested in that kind of stealth though. In fact calling Master Spy a stealth game almost doesn’t seem appropriate. It’s far more in line with an arcade twitch platformer, giving you small rooms to navigate with absolute precision, only instead of evading enemies you need to keep out of sight of guards and security cameras (among the other assorted traps you’d expect a spy to encounter, ie. lasers everywhere). Continue reading Indie Impressions: Master Spy (Alpha Demo)
I’ll be the first to admit that I cringe a bit anytime someone tells me about a free-to-play game. It’s a reaction I’ve seen among a lot of people lately, and it’s frustrating because I don’t think F2P as a monetization system is inherently bad. In fact, I feel it’s the inevitable and ideal future of a lot of games, allowing for greater financial success and longevity for developers, and the ability for players to try a game before spending a dime in a way demos can’t provide. Continue reading The problems with F2P and how Hearthstone solved them
If you’re an economically conscious gamer you’ve likely noticed as of late that we seem to have fallen down a rabbit hole of continual discounts, bundles, and money saving subscription services to the point it’s becoming difficult to even keep track of them all.
“Well that’s great” I can hear you say. “I love games and I love saving money, how can this be anything but amazing?!” Continue reading Are too many sales hurting the games industry?
It took a long time to get here, folks, but we seem to finally be entering a stage of video games being taken seriously as a medium for storytelling.
That isn’t to say games haven’t been telling great stories for years (they have), but it no longer feels like an exception to the rule for a game to have a story worth experiencing, nor is it still considered taboo to criticize a game for a garbage narrative on the basis of games being somehow incapable of decent writing. After so many years of clichéd plots and shallow characters, we’re seeing games with important things to say, capable of inciting emotion and empathy from players; of being more than a conduit to deliver us from one gameplay scenario to the next. We still see a lot of the same stories we’ve been rolling our eyes at for decades, but they’re becoming less and less common as we raise our collective standards and demand better, because we know our games are capable of it. Continue reading Games vs narrative and why it shouldn’t have to be that way