Saturday, May 16, 2015

Game Pics - Castlevania III

Castlevania III (NES)
Castlevania III

  • NES
  • 1989
  • HAL Laboratory
  • (256x240)x4

Friday, May 15, 2015

On My Taste In Choosing Playable Characters



I've learned from playing fighting games with great seriousness that the abilities of a playable character in games can be scrutinized to a degree that I otherwise may not have realized. It's given me a much greater appreciation for game design in general, but the impetus behind this post is a question that often lingers in the back of my mind, only occasionally entertained.

"Why do I pick the characters I do?"

There are many reasons, of course. My tastes have changed with time, experience, and by whim. I thought that by making some posts about the topic I might unearth some deeply entrenched n information of great importance. Magnitudes of great wisdom for the world to behold!

Or maybe just the good, fun speculation typical of fandom.

I don't think I'll address the aforementioned reasons in any kind of order. But, the attribute which strikes me as being interesting tonight is "balance."
Ryu (Street Fighter III)
Balance seems to be a recurring theme for me. I can only tolerate the dabbling into of more extremes for a short time. I've found that characters which lean greatly to some extreme, be it speed, power, etc, are often saddled with some opposing weakness of equal extremity. When that weakness is exploited, I can't help but feel greatly frustrated at the feeling that I simply could not rise to the challenge. It's one thing to fail by way of poor execution and another entirely to fail by way of lack of tools.

"Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy."

 This quote from Sun Tzu always comes to mind when I consider character choice on the basis of balance. While it may not be possible to defend from all possible tactics, I highly value characters who have the ability to respond well to as many offensive tactics as possible. In many games, this often involves picking characters with answers to questions like the following:
  • Can I deal with an opponent at a distance?

Hadoken
  • Can I deal with an opponent who gets in close?
Shoryuken
  • Can I deal with an opponent who is extremely fast?
Short
Crouching Short
Crouching Jab
Toss
  • Can I survive mistakes without instant failure?
3rd Strike Stamina Rankings:

Hugo
1385
Urien
1285
Alex
1200
Dudley
1200
Ken
1200
Makoto
1200
Q
1200
Ryu
1120
Chun-Li
1120
Elena
1120
Necro
1120
Oro
1120
Remy
1120
Sean
1120
Twelve
1050
Ibuki
1035
Yang
1020
Yun
1020
Akuma
985

As you can see, and as you may have expected, Ryu really fits the bill when it comes to balance. He remains my favorite fighting game character to date.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Game Pics - Air Fortress

Air Fortress
Air Fortress
NES
1989
Hal Laboratory

(256x240)x4 px

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Duskwing with Tea

Duskwing With Tea
The Duskwing. I am still undecided about certain subtleties in her design.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Understanding 2D Camera Work In Games

Super Mario World camera system
Here's an interesting write up on a topic I must admit I have largely taken for granted. Although I have not read through the entire thing, I already find it interesting enough that I think it merit's sharing.



Working on my game Mushroom 11, I was faced with many different design and technology challenges. I wasn't expecting to find references to issues like dynamically changing shapes or vertex animation, but I was quite surprised that camera work, a subject with more than 30 years of history in games, was hardly discussed.


For those of you interested in game design, or art in games, I think it's an excellent read and I appreciate the effort put into understanding these subtleties.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Duskwing Portrait

Duskwing Portrait
Duskwing Portrait
A portrait of the Duskwing from Starbreak.