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games

Gamemastering NPCs: Part Three

There’s an interesting paradox in role-playing games, in some ways presented right there in what we call them. Players take on roles, characters, that they’ve created. That step, that stage separates roleplaying games from other forms of fiction and narrative.

games

Transforming Tolkien’s world to a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar was launched by Turbine in April 2007, bringing the world of Tokien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to the world of animated pixels residing online on servers powering a persistent online world. Having brought the worlds of Asheron’s Call and Dungeons and Dragons to online […]

games

Gamemastering NPCs: Part Two

I kill NPCs, but I do that more sparingly than I have in the past. I’ve learned over the years that being ready to kill NPCs at the drop of a hat is a certain way to make players avoid making real connections and investment in the world around them.

games

Game Review: Super Mario Galaxy

As a game, this product is tight. There are no issues, no corrupted save-games, no clipping errors, no issues with badly designed levels or bosses that take a billion run-throughs to beat down. All in all Nintendo has put out a title that is *just* challenging enough to make it interesting, but not so challenging that you’re going to give up a quarter of the way through the title. If you have a Wii, this is the one must-have title out there right now.

games

Gamemastering NPCs: Part One

I like to visualize social skills as the equivalent of lockpicking skills for NPCs. Players should balance out their approach to a character by considering what skills of abilities they have that can help with the approach.

games

Game Review: Eight Legs or Six? – Deadly Creatures

As a game-player you are used to looking at a form of hyper-realism, actual photo-realism is rare. Bright colors and bobble heads, zombies, weapons that defy the laws of physics, these are the things the mind is used to suspending disbelief for. Not dirt, rocks and lots and lots of legs. The music is almost nonexistent, instead replaced with ambient sounds of wind on sand and muffled echoes of bootsteps and scratchy spider footfalls.

games

Game Review: Observations and Critique on “Naruto: Rise of a Ninja”

So, insofar as license-able properties go for videogames, this thing is pretty much clad in 24 carat. Most likely not so expensive as to suck all the funding out of the actual game itself, but with a massive fan base already installed and hungry for more. Oh, and it’s got ninjas in it…

games

Blue Dragon Plus: The Good, The Bad, The Bizarre

Blue Dragon Plus, published by Ignition Entertainment, is a role-playing game which was released back in February for the Nintendo DS. A sequel to Blue Dragon, in this adventure the main hero Shu meets up with his old friends in order to battle a mysterious new threat. Without totally delving into Spoiler-Land, fans of the original title might be in for a surprise when they see few certain familiar faces

games

A Million Little Pixels

This holiday season, after more than two years of dabbling in last generation game consoles, my wife and I bought an Xbox 360. Now, this is in no way to promote or dissuade you from buying any particular system. I’m discovering they are all bad news. They say that admitting to a substance addiction is the first step in dealing with it. This is the story of our journey into addiction.

games

Gamer+Girl: Quest for Adventure Games

One of the deep, dark not-actually-very-secret secrets about me is that I’m actually pretty bad at video games. It’s true! I’m particularly terrible at platformers – I’ve been trying to get past this evil owl thing in Super Princess Peach for months – and I’m only a little bit better at first-person shooters. I spend an awful lot of time spinning in place and smacking into walls while trying vainly to figure out where the camera is and how to move forward. I’m also the only person I know who gets panicky and anxious while playing Elebits (which also makes me motion-sick if I play for more than fifteen minutes. Sad, I know).

I love playing video games, but it’s not exactly a relaxing pastime, for me. My skillz are sadly deficient for most kinds of games, and the ones that I can handle on my own with a minimum of stress aren’t usually the sort that one can enjoy for more than a half hour or so at a time. Puzzle games and pinball are made of win, but not necessarily an hour of win, you know?

Sometimes, when I’m trapped in a corner while bad guys shoot at me, or have been knocked off the same stupid little teeny ledge for the hundredth time in a row, I reflect back on a genre of games from my youth at which I didn’t totally suck: graphic adventure games