Friday, December 31, 2010

Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS) - Session 2

Total Play Time: ~1:30

What Happened This Session:
I got stuck! When I played yesterday I did a practicing session where I drew a star in order to activate the healing touch. Today, when I picked it up, my surgery was going well - and then everything went wrong and the nurse told me to activate the healing touch! Problem is... I couldn't figure out how, and I only got about 20 seconds worth of trying before the operation failed. I know I drew a star before, so I tried drawing a star again, with a whole bunch of different tools and magnifications selected (as many as the 20 sec would allow). I have tried this mission 5-6 times, and am officially, completely stuck. The only thing I can think of doing is going online to figure out what to do.

What I Liked:
Same stuff as last time.

What I Didn't Like:
I got stuck! There was nothing to help me, no way to go back and re-read anything from the last mission that might have helped, and only 20 seconds each time to try and figure out what to do. Obviously I did not learn something vital in the last episode, and there is no clear way for me to learn it now.

Something else I've been thinking about in relation to this game - when I was talking to my mom about it (I'm home for New Year's) she mentioned that she hates it when games are stressful. I think that's why I'm so on the fence about this one - I sort of think the pressure makes the game feel more interesting, but I also sort of dislike it. Like I mentioned before, I tend to feel a little more stressed after I am finished playing - which really makes me question if I'm actually having fun, per se. :)

How Do I Feel About Continuing?:
I guess I'll look the game up online and see how to activate the Healing Touch - but I'm in no big hurry. :)

After looking it up online, I can see I'm not the only one who's had this problem. The solution is hard to reach if you've missed the initial teaching (which I think was very easy to miss) because it is very different from anything else you do in game - the answer is to click on the glove tool two times in a row, and then you will see a star to draw. You don't do anything like this anywhere else in gameplay, so it would have made more sense to really drill this procedure into the player in the tutorial section.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS) - Session 1

Time: 1 hour

Experience with the Franchise: None. This game was recommended to me by Issam, who played Trauma Center for the Wii.

What Happened this Session:
Gameplay is split between story mode and operation mode. During the story, dialogue is carried out between characters, represented as flat illustrations who have different poses and expression swaps depending on their mood.

The story is that I'm a young, irresponsible doctor, and my nurse mentor is leaving. I get a new one, who yells at me all of the time, since I'm apparently a jerk. I impress her during a complicated operation where she loses her cool - and I stay cool and manage to 'slow down time' and save the patient. It turns out I might have 'the Healing Touch' according to the man in charge of the hospital, who tells me all about it, and promptly tells me I should 'forget about it, since it's too heavy of a weight!' - (it's because he has the healing touch as well, but botched an operation once and it destroyed his confidence.) Now I'm learning how to control this magic ability (I am a descendant of the God of Medicine!) by imagining a star.

The operation part of gameplay consists of learning procedures and using them - so, I start by using disinfectant on an area, then use the scalpel to make the incision, we zoom in, I find tumors with ultrasound, cut to them, drain them, chop them out, remove them, etc. It's a lot of small maneuvers, but understanding how to do them in the right order.

What I Liked:
Time format. This game plays in 10min episodes, so it's easy to pick up and put down. This also makes it feel as though you are progressing quickly.

The pressure. I've listed it in the 'what I didn't like' section as well. :) The mechanics in this game are extremely simple, and yet there are a number of things which make it interesting despite this fact. The first is that no operation is the same (granted, I've only been playing for one hour). Next, you get 'good's and 'cool's on everything you do - so you find yourself naturally striving for the latter - which you seem to earn by doing things with speed and precision. Also, you have to monitor the patient's vitals, and inject them with... you know, something green, when they drop under a certain number. The pressure of doing everything correctly is what makes the relatively simple gameplay fun.

Penalty for failure is small. I already feel too much pressure playing this game, since I've got people's lives in my hands, so I think it's reasonable that there really isn't a lot of consequence to failure. You see your guy all out in the wind with his coat, and you feel really bad since you could have killed someone - and then you get to try again, so it's ok. The balance works because you still manage to feel the failure.

The story. It's an easy story to make fun of a little (why would the Dr tell me I have the "Healing Touch" - which can cure incurable diseases, and follow it with "but just forget it!"?) but I love games which understand that they are games. I like that a bit of fun and fantasy is brought into a game like this, which could easily be very dry.

What I Didn't Like:
All the.. operation stuff. Blood and guts talk makes me really uncomfortable... so I'm not really sure why I picked this game up to begin with. :) I'm able to look past it during the operations, for the most part, but when they describe what's happened, such as - this guy crashed into a window on his motorcycle and has glass shards embedded in his arm, or the polyp in his throat is hemorrhaging and your first task is to drain the excess blood - I get grossed out. Even just writing that I feel unnerved. This is obviously just a matter of personal taste, and it seems that the game is fun enough overall for me to move past this.

The pressure. I find this game a bit exhausting because of all that stuff I mentioned above about them making you feel the pressure of an operation. This is just a matter of personal preference, and I'm not really sure what it means for me and this game in the long run.

I got stuck - and no one helped me! In one operation I was removing tumors and had thought the operation was complete (I think this was my 2nd or 3rd operation). I ended up sitting for the remainder of my time wondering what to do ('is it a bug?' etc) and failed the operation. The 2nd time around, it turned out I had just missed the fact that there were 3 tumors, and I'd only gotten 2. Since I was still so early into the game, I wish there had been some sort of safety net or reminder. That being said, since the penalty for failure is so small, it was ok.

Dr. Stiles (me) is sort of a jerk. I dunno, I'm never really down with playing as a guy that's supposed to be a jerk. The other hospital staff make fun of him, and talk about how he's late for work and stuff. I know it's so I can grow and stuff... but it's sort of annoying since you feel like you're trying really hard during gameplay, and then your guy says something stupid.. I'm not really sure what the best alternative to this is. It makes for a more interesting story when the main character isn't perfect.

How Do I Feel About Continuing?
Not sure! I'm going to pick it up again for sure (I'll be on a plane tomorrow, so it seems like a good use of my time), and then maybe I'll make some sort of decision about whether or not I like this game.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pokemon: Pearl Version (DS) - Session 3

Total Gameplay 2:33

What Happened this Session:
I figured out how to change the order of my Pokemon! It wasn't hard to do.. just something I had completely overlooked in the last session, which was causing me some aggravation. Also I got an in-game Poketech.. not sure what to make of that yet - right now it just seems to be something to fill the bottom screen. I mostly spent this session battling.. no major plot points - I'm trying to get at least 3 of my Pokemon up to a reasonable level.

What I Liked:
Nothing new.

What I Didn't Like:
Pokemon order: I wish that had been explained somewhere. :)

How Do I Feel About Continuing:
Still giving it a little more time, but I'm not having 'fun'

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 (360)

12/17/10. Gameplay: 30-40min. 1 & 2 Players.

History with franchise:
See previous entry for Burst Limit. Recently played that, also am a big DBZ fan.

What Happened:
Excited from playing Burst Limit and our recent DBZ marathons, Issam and I picked up Raging Blast 2 last night with high hopes. We started the game in single player, assuming we’d need to unlock a lot of characters before getting into multiplayer. We chose Galaxy Mode, which is the first option, and chose Gohan - fight one was Gohan vs. Raditz - there are no story clips like in Burst Limit, but the characters exchange lines which seem to be specific to your relationship with who you’re fighting. Ok, makes sense as fight no. 1, since it’s Gohan’s first fight in the anime. Fight no. 2 is kid Gohan vs. Goten, at the Tenkaichi Budokai... which is impossible in the anime.. which is ok, it just caught us off guard. Around this point we realized this game was far more complex than the last that we played, so we moved into multiplayer to start figuring stuff out. We played maybe 3-4 rounds, and I lost interest and gave up. Issam is currently playing the tutorial (with frequent exclamations of “what?” and “ohhh” and talking about how it would be impossible to remember everything he’s learned.)

What I liked:
Graphics! They look good I think. The intro sequence was fun. I don’t like the versus screen illustrations though - they’re illustrated as opposed to CG, and just far enough off model that they look bad. It seems like if you’re going to take them time to draw them, you need to be spot on.

Loading Mini Game: It took us awhile to figure it out, but during the loading screen you see a button sequence (which we were assuming was showing us an in-game move), but if you press that sequence during loading, you get like, an effects burst. It’s really simple, and nothing of consequence actually happens, but it’s a fun little challenge when you’d just have dead time anyway.

Amount of Characters: I’m a fan of the series, so it was exciting to see so many characters available. There are a fair amount unlocked to begin with, which is awesome. I finally get to play as Videl!!

Character Switching/Teams: During gameplay you can play with teams - so you can switch out to a different character - and, the best part - use fusion with characters in your party. This is cool, and a big bonus for fans.

What I didn’t like:
Menus: Just starting the game was confusing! It felt like DDR - there are a bunch of modes listed, and you’re not really sure what is what - there are descriptions, but they’re not immediately helpful. Galaxy Mode in particular is visually overwhelming.

HUD: They decided to shrink your energy bar down into a tiny circle in the corners of the screen. The whole point of this game is to defeat your opponent, so why not make this information obviously visible at all times? It’s not like it was taking up that much screen real estate.

Combat: Guh... I don’t even want to write this out. This game is extremely impressive in its width and breadth of combat options - but for someone like me, it’s just too much. You cannot expect to simply pick this game up and have fun. When we tried that, we were met by awkward pauses, where we were close together, but moving slowly towards each other, or hitting buttons which really just didn’t do anything by themselves. There is a high cost to having so many options - and for me it is weighted too far towards breadth of options and away from ‘pick up and play’.

No story: Whereas Burst Limit gave you some short cut scenes and moved you along the story linearly, this game completely ignores the story. There are no cut scenes whatsoever. Even though it’s a story I’ve seen a bunch of times... I still found this a little disappointing.

Replay Data. After you finish each fight, you get a menu option that pops up “are you sure you want to discard replay data and continue” which is set to “no” by default. This seems to be operating under the assumption that you will, by default, want to watch replays of all of your fights... After we’d played about 6 rounds, this was still causing unnecessary pause (since you’re used to something like this popping up when you’re making a mistake).

Mixed feelings:
“Open world” Views: As opposed to being a side view fighter, this game gives you a lot more freedom of movement. You’re always ‘facing’ your opponent, but you can fly up and down at will (which sometimes makes aiming hard, when you’re not exactly on the same level), and you can move around in the environment - going behind rocks, under cliffs, and even underwater. I have mixed feelings about this, since it’s really cool to be able to fight underwater, but it’s hard to locate your opponent sometimes. Also when playing mutliplayer, you now have to play split screen, which always feels cramped.

Super Raging Mode: When you fully charge your energy bar, and press RB at the right moment, you enter Super Raging Mode - which allows you to chain many more attacks and deal greater damage. Also the sky gets dark, and they play them music from the intro, complete with Japanese vocals. This would be ok, but when you run your energy down, the music abruptly stops, which is really jarring.

How Do I Feel About Continuing: No thanks. Just too complicated.

How to Train Your Dragon (360)

12/25/10. Gameplay: 15-20min. 1 & 2 Players.

History with the Franchise:
This movie was awesome! I got this game since it was free. I’d already read reviews giving the game a 4 out of 10, so expectations were low. That being said, I’m always curious about ‘kids games’ and I figure there might be some hidden gems in there. Oh yeah, also I'm an animator, so I'm naturally a little more interested in a game like this. :)

What Happened?
Played the game for about 20min. Started with single player - learned about quests, the location of my dragon den and caring for my dragon, 1st unlocked leg of combat training, and where it is located. Stopped because it’s slow, and I didn’t have my memory card - the thought of having to repeat certain sections was unbearable, so I decided to wait. Played multiplayer for a handful of matches. Verified that it is unfair (whoever mashes most wins), and stopped playing. :)

What I Liked:
Graphics!... For the most part. When you’re walking around they’re sweet. When you’re in battle... see below.

Could choose between Hiccup and girl character! It always makes me happy when I can choose a girl. I ended up choosing Hiccup though... since he is the main character, after all. But it was a hard decision.

What I Didn’t Like:
SLOW: God-awful slow. Couldn’t skip through pretty much any text, and it was all displayed FOREVER. The worst was when I got to the part about feeding my dragon, it actually went through a whole animated menu of ‘select chicken.. choose chicken.. watch food meter fill... watch overall meter fill... select minerals... choose minerals... watch mineral meter fill... watch overall meter filll...” (2 more times). It actually made us laugh it was so ridiculous. If you feel the need to make something so obvious, at least give the option to skip (I feel bad for QA on this team).

Battling: Pretty much everything about battles felt off. The tutorial was odd, since the cadence is so irregular and unnatural. “Press X X X Y” was my task - It took some time to figure out that I needed to wait until the tail end of the first attack to press the next button, but the window is very slow. Also the moves all seem to be timed differently, so there seems to be no rhythm to how I press. Very odd. Also, dragons are very horizontal, so the camera needed to be far out, and the dragons occupied most of the screen. Something about color choice made them sort of blend into the backgrounds in weird ways and it felt hard to see. Also the animations were too long, and overly complex, so it felt hard to understand what was happening during attacks. In the end, I destroyed Issam several times by pressing X and Y a whole lot, and occassionaly using the right bumper (fire).

Mixed feelings:

Dragon customization. Seems weird, since my dragon is a set character... Maybe if I could customize my avatar also, or I was playing as a more minor character, customizing another dragon of the same type? It also doesn’t really make any sense in the context of the game. How can I unlock a different nose for my dragon, that I found in the wild... who is my friend?

How Do I Feel about Continuing:
Replaying the beginning on my own XBox will be a pain because I have to replay all of that dialogue, but 15min isn’t enough to go by so I feel the need to dive back in. Also I still think the graphics are pretty, and I’m hoping I get to wander around the world a lot.

Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (360)

12/25/10. Gameplay: 2-3 hours. 2 Players.

History with Franchise:
I’m definitely a Dragonball Z fan - watched it a ton in middle school, wrote fan fiction, in love with teen Gohan. Saw up to Cell Saga, saw parts of cell saga (fan translations) recently watched Saiyaman Saga until end of Tenkaichi Budokai. About a year and a half ago Issam would play this particular game at my place, and I would watch bits and pieces, but not play. Played it once (or maybe one after it) at a display in NYC

What Happened?

Played a couple of 2 player matches, got basic moves down, then took turns playing through single player (he beats one, I beat one, etc). Gameplay takes you through the anime series, deciding your matchups for you - so you’re Goku against Raditz, then also as a side quest level you can be Piccolo against Raditz. Sometimes you’re a ‘bad guy’ vs. a Z fighter - so say Nappa vs. Krillan. Did this for 1-1.5 hours, got to Freiza’s 2nd transformation (I think the game goes through cell, so I would say we were ½ or ⅔ of the way through the game). Around this time we were thinking about stopping (combination of being hungry, and feeling like we needed a break), and the game crashed (fatal freeze). We took a break for a few hours, then picked it back up for multiplayer for 1-1.5 hours. We were fairly evenly matched (I will get into this more) and both won around the same number of matches, with him coming out a little ahead.

What I Liked:
Fast paced! Fighting is fun - the cadence is good, it feels like it matches the show extremely well. You pound on a bunch of quick, fast moves, then back up for a long range, charged power move - then you shoot off a bunch of quick ki blasts which your opponent deflects off to the side. It’s typical to most fighting games, but I feel that I can compare it to the anime most readily. Special moves occasionally take control away from both players and you watch as your guy pounds the other in a series of cinematic moves (the Naruto games do this as well), which are satisfying to watch.

Air & land - very DBZ, you occasionally knock, or get knocked into the air, and commence fighting off of the ground for a bit. Funny, but not too noticeable is that the animations seem to stay the same (maybe the feet point down though?) but characters who evade through cartwheels, etc, still act as though the ground is there which is a little odd. Not too distracting though.

What I Didn’t Like:
Team support - not handled very well, throughout the fight you are interrupted by a designated team member that you choose who will step in to repel damage, deal damage, or change your settings in one way or another (this last bit was always hard to follow, since it was a lot of text like “fatigue up” “power up” or something like that). Sometimes they were cool, but usually the timing on them was just off enough that they felt intrusive. Piccolo makes me laugh when he says “I shouldn’t have to save you” - but then there’s an awkward pause... and then he winds up for the attack and strikes. Too long.

Drama events: Really, the same as above. In single player mode, you unlock little bits during fights which are tied directly to the anime. Sometimes they are really cool, but for the most part the timing is unpolished and they are distracting. Especially the longer ones. Especially when you’ve died and have to replay a fight. Makes it cumbersome. Just need to be snappier.

For Fans Only: If I hadn’t seen the series, I would have no idea what was happening. That being said, I saw most of the series 10 years ago.. so I didn’t remember what was happening. It would have been really cool to just fill the cinematics out a little bit more so that it would be at least somewhat fun for outsiders as well. Maybe they could use footage from the anime itself, if scope is an issue? The material is there.

Not sure if I liked or Not:

You play as the bad guys: I like the general idea of this, but when it happened the first time it took me a good 2-3min to realize I was Nappa instead of Tien... Need to just be more obvious somehow maybe?

Button mashing often trumps skilled play. As I mentioned above, Issam and I won about an even number of matches - which was fun for me, but he’s put considerably more time into this game. Seems a little broken that this is the case... but then, it made it fun for me. It seemed that he still had fun as well.

How Do I Feel about Continuing:
I think this is a fun rainy day sort of game. Single player is fun because it feels fast-paced. I feel like it would be a reasonable task for me to play this game to completion, since I think in the end it would take 3 hours max. I like that. :) We’re looking into buying the latest DBZ game today, so that we can play characters from the Great Saiyaman Saga as well.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (XBLA)

12/24/10. Gameplay: ~ 2 hours. 2 Player.

History with Franchise: None.

What happened in this session?
Issam and I played 2 played for about 2 hours, maybe a little more. There is a single player version of the game, and multiplayer is a 2 player only multiplayer. In an Indianna Jones-esque fashion, Lara Croft is recovering a mirror of spirits (or something) and the bad guy swoops in to steal it from her. He doesn’t know what it is, so he awakens an evil, ancient Mayan spirit and his army. Thankfully it also awakens the man to have imprisoned said spirit, and you (Lara) join forces with him to stop this guy before he becomes unstoppable.

General gameplay is puzzles (think Zelda 64 Ocarina style), which involve you to do things in different orders, and, most importantly, work together. Lara’s abilities: has a set of handguns which fire quickly, both have unlimited bombs (Y to place, Y to detonate), and a grappling hook that can attach to rings throughout the level. She is strong enough that her Mayan partner can climb on the rope - so she can make bridges for him, or go first onto a platform and pull him up. His abilities: throwing spears - which are slower, but he can throw them at the wall and then Lara can jump on them (so you can make a bridge, etc), also he has a shield, which can shield him from say, things that constantly shoot spears at you until you blow them up. Both characters can acquire more weapons, which you switch out by using the D pad. These, however, use limited ammo. I found that I did not use them at all, whereas Issam did. I’m not sure how much of a difference they actually make in gameplay? Perhaps if neither of us had used them it wouldn’t have worked? When the game starts, it’s all about solving puzzle to move from place to place (you’re chasing the bad guy), then it starts to get more ellaborate (find the 3 missing gold pieces to open the door, find the 10 balls to open the door), lots of spear spawners, spear pits, huge drops, switches which turn things on and off. Also every once in awhile you’re hit by a barrage of enemies, or one big enemy (like the t-rex we fought by luring him onto spike platforms and then releasing them).

What I liked:

Teamwork! Co-op is super fun. It’s fun to talk to who you’re playing with, and figure out puzzles together. I feel like so far they were just the right level of challenge that we both solved an even number of them, were never frustrated but still had to think. I have no idea if this game would be nearly as appealing in single player. I will have to try.

Basic mechanics of grappling hook, bombs. These were both fun things to use. Being able to pull my partner up was sort of funny, and he was ‘in my hands’ so there was trust, and joking. Bombs were a fun challenge against enemies, since you have to place them close without getting hit, and then run out of their circle to not get hurt when they blow up. That or you have to wait for the enemy to step into them before blowing them up.

Puzzles! I enjoy this type of puzzle. As I said above, they seem to be the exact right level of challenge. This will be a game to look back to and study more closely.

What I didn’t like:
Basic combat. Ok in some places (spiders were fun since they sort of wigged us out) but for the most part boring. You just shoot, and wait.. and avoid getting hit. I dunno, lack of appeal.

Game started to get monotonous. Puzzles were getting longer. Will have to see when we go back if maybe 2 hours is all you can really get out of this game?

How do I feel about continuing:

I liked it enough to see what’s going to happen next, but I suspect that we will get 1 more hour, max, out of this game. I don’t feel compelled to continue for story purposes. I feel that the rest of the game will just be more of the same - which is fun, but there are so many other games to play. :)

Pokemon: Pearl Version (DS) - Session 2

12/23/10. Total Gameplay: 1:33

What happened in this session?
Look to paper notes for more detail, but struggling with levelling up because my Turtwig (Roshi) is always called first. Because of this, it is difficult to level my other Pokemon - when I swich during a match, the enemy gets a strike - then, when I’ve queued up my next attack, the enemy also gets to strike first (so 2 in a row) - this, more often then not, puts me in a position where my level 3 Starly (Pitcheme) cannot beat a level 2 bidoof. Frustrating! There must be a way to change the order.

Also, fighting is super boring. General gameplay is “attack>tackle” wait... wait...wait... wait... “attack>tackle” wait...wait.... wait... I wonder what alternatives there are to this. Maybe the ramp up is just too slow? I am probably the wrong target age range, also - but even for kids, I’d imagine they’d be getting bored at this point.

What I liked:
Started capturing Pokemon! I have 4 now. This is fun in a way that I don’t think I completely understand. Haha.

What I didn’t like
: See above section

How do I feel about continuing:

Still curious to see what’s going to happen, so I’m going to keep at it. Not really having “fun” so much though?

Pokemon: Pearl Version (DS) - Session 1

12/22/10, Gameplay: 33min

Experience with the franchise?
I did play the very first Pokemon games when they came out. I think I had the blue version - I remember choosing colors with my brother so that we would have companion versions. I don’t remember whether or not we actually traded Pokemon over our DSes though. There was a lot of hype, and I even created a book so that I could track Pokemon as I acquired them - I marked off all #150 pages, so that I could draw them into the book, along with their information. I don’t remember how long I played, I think maybe just 3-4 hours total? (but it’s really a guess)

What happened in this session?
Started up game - met with stark blue screen asking me if I’d played Pokemon before. Read it out of curiosity. Gameplay start - you are a normal kid (get to choose gender and name, and name of friend) who doesn’t have any Pokemon. It’s a pretty Pokemon centric world - it’s all anyone has on TV (every home in your 4 house village is talking about Pokemon). You meet your friend - he’s fast paced and tells you to go to the road to the lake and you’ll get a fine if you’re late (it’s that sort of friendship). You both end up acquiring Pokemon - you see the professor by the lake, who leaves his briefcase - when you go to get it, you get attacked - have to use the prof’s Pokeballs to protect yourself. You meet him, he says to keep them, and you are given an assignment to come into contact with as many Pokemon as possible. Adventure start! (This is where I stopped) Also I learned about Pokecenters, where I can heal Roshi (my Tortwig or something like that) and also connect online, and with friends.

What I liked:
- You are able to name your best friend in the game. This is surprisingly delightful, I think. He (will be she if you choose to be a boy in game probably?) has his own theme music, makes it really fun that you get to have a specific person in mind (in my case, I chose the name “Issam”) Your relationship with him is typical to anime - sort of a ‘tough love’ - ordering you around, ‘if you’re late you get fined’, etc. Small touches made this character fun.

- Concept overall of Pokemon. Seems sort of weird to talk about at this point, since.. it’s Pokemon... but who wouldn’t want a cute, battling monster as a friend? I think a lot of this is what makes girls follow the series as well as guys.

What I didn’t like:
- When game starts, opens with blue screen “have you played before” and it gives you combat and gameplay basics. Sort of odd and uninviting. If I hadn’t known what to do, I’m not sure I would have found it helpful. Also it seemed like the story would have explained this all pretty well on its own.

- Ramp up is super slow, but maybe good for someone that’s never played before? Thinking about what I said above...

- You can’t run at first, sort of annoying. Get the ability about 15min into the game. Not really sure why this was broken out. I guess to give the opportunity to say “press B to go faster” (in this case, you are given running shoes by your mother)

- Combat. Not far into it, but so far, it’s cumbersome to see the same animation each time you start. When they battle, there’s no real animation, just stills. So really it’s just a text battle, with some effects. Also you know you’re going to win for now, so it just feels like a waste of time. I guess they’re ramping me into it, but I don’t need to battle 10+ times to figure out how to press ‘attack’ and choose the only possible attack...

How do I feel about continuing?

I’m curious to see where it’s going, so picking it up again will not be a chore, but I’m definitely into the latter part of my patience.



So in the last year or so I've been thinking a lot more seriously about shifting my focus from art & animation to design - or at the very least trying to understand game design better. As you've probably seen on my other blog, I've taken some small steps in that direction this year with Game Jams and personal experiments, but my biggest problem has always been thus: I don't play nearly enough games.

The main reason is because I just don't like playing games - I LOVE games, but I would classify it as an academic sort of love. I love them for what they are to other people, and what they can become. I want to take them forward. But to do any of that, I need to get over this hump and really start digging in to understand what's currently out there - and maybe why I don't like to play games. Who knows, maybe I can figure out what's keeping my demographic (girls, 20-30) from playing a lot of games?

This game journal is for me to make a record of what I like and don't like about the games that I try, so that I can start better understanding my own tastes, and game design in general. Wish me luck! :)