Category Archives: Other Games

Chalk is quite good also.

Chalk screenshot

Chalk is a game where you draw lines using the mouse to connect on-screen objects. But it feels like a fast-paced shooter, complete with several creatively-conceived dsddsddboss battles. It is quite well done and I recommend you try it out if you like games that are different.

There are some bugs in the game, and the nigh-mandatory fullscreen mode doesn’t work perfectly. But the game is well worth suffering these issues.

I would love to see a version of this game published on the DS or Wii.

Understanding Games episodes 3 and 4

Understanding Games, episode 4

A while back I posted about Understanding Games, a small series of games that teaches simple aspects of game design.

Episodes 3 and 4 have now been posted:

Episode 3

Episode 4

My comments about episodes 1 and 2 apply to these as well, with the added caveat that I don’t think episode 4 really works. It has significant problems that weaken the points it’s trying to make, that some more tuning in the interactive portions could have fixed. But it’s still a worthwhile effort and I would like to see more things like this.

The Marriage is now available.

The MarriageRod Humble’s experimental game The Marriage is now freely available.

Rod presented this game at the 2007 Experimental Gameplay Sessions, and also at Nuances of Design the next day. It’s a very interesting piece that expresses itself mainly through the rules of gameplay — not through the graphics or the sound or a story made of words. If games are really going to come into their own as a medium, we need to work hard in this area and develop it further.

I wish Rod hadn’t explained the game so thoroughly on his page, because for me part of the magic of the game is seeing the rules for the first time as you play, and building in your head your own version of what they mean, but also wondering about the ambiguity of some things. So I think there are some major spoilers on that page. If you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading as soon as you see the heading “Rules Summary:”.

In case you missed the link, here it is again.

A Very Special GDC Event

At the Game Developers Conference on Thursday March 8th, I will be hosting an unusual session called Nuances of Design. The session is a collection of four presentations by four different speakers; the unusual thing is that you play the speakers’ games during the presentations. The idea is that by playing, you can more directly share in experience they are trying to express than you would as a passive listener at a lecture.

The speakers are:

  • Raph Koster, with his experiences developing the Andean Bird game, which is about what it feels like to fly;
  • Chaim Gingold, with a prototype he used to develop the touch and feel of Spore’s cell game, how “programming and touching is believing”, and various tricks he learned.
  • Rod Humble, with his games The Marriage and A Walk With Max, which are about expressing emotions directly through gameplay;
  • Jonathan Blow, with some experiments about how small changes in a game design can greatly influence a player’s intention and play experience.

I hope plenty of folks will come and help make this session a success. To fully participate in the session, please bring a laptop running windows XP

Continue reading A Very Special GDC Event

Crush: Lookin’ pretty sweet.

ss_crush_02.jpg Crush Screenshot (flat)

Folks interested in Braid may also want to check out a game recently announced by Kuju and Sega: Crush.

It’s a very interesting-looking platformer where you project 3D space down to 2D in order to do impossible-ish things.

Kotaku’s coverage (including gameplay video).

The official Sega site.

Crush and Portal are going to make 2007 a very interesting year for space-bending games. And when Braid gets done… we’ll add some time-bending into the mix.