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Messages - SquareNote

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Windows / Mac / Flash / HTML5 / Re: Blocky's Beat Quest!
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:47:03 am »
Love this! It works really well and honestly makes browsing your music easier than finding it on Forge.. ha.

Game Ideas / Re: Identifying Good Game Design
« on: June 22, 2011, 07:45:02 pm »
Two that I think have a lot in common and work for similar reasons:  Portal and Braid. It's fair to say these are generally considered gaming masterpieces, and yet, they're both super short games by modern blockbuster standards.

They're the fancy dessert as opposed to the bag of chips. Rather than triggering player satisfaction via Higher Number Acquisition (e.g., you're level 3 and now you're LEVEL 4 ISN'T THIS A MUCH BETTER LEVEL THAN LEVEL 3 WOOOO HERE'S A NEW SWORD), they trigger it with .. learning. Yup, learning. One of the natural dopamine releases.

They present you with a simple concept, and then force you to figure out how to execute it, correctly, in increasingly skillful ways. Ways that require practice and repetition. Beating your head against a wall, failure after failure, until you get it right. And it's that moment of finally getting it right that releases that surge of brain chemicals that makes you post a positive review on IGN or whatever and talk about the game years after you played it.

SotC is like this, too. Another one that did it for me is Stuntman for PS2.

Designing a game like this is difficult and risky, which is I'm sure why more of them don't get made. If it's so difficult that many players give up before they break through that wall, it's doomed. It takes time to craft challenges and to playtest to find the right level of difficulty.

The games that I worship the most are designed this way. I find in general the stuff I geek out about falls into a few categories:

* Skill-learning games where succeeding is naturally satisfying because it either is, or is like, solving a puzzle. Portal, Braid, SotC.  I would even lump something like competitive StarCraft or some of the better FPS games into this category.

* Creative games.. Minecraft, Little Big Planet,

* Games with super elegant and deep background systems that result in interesting emergent behaviors. The Sims would be a good example of this, or Dwarf Fortress.

* Games that succeed, for me, on story and ambiance, even if gameplay is a little meh. I'm thinking specifically of Morrowind, but many well-received point and click adventures would fall into this category too. Like, is Monkey Island gameplay really that great, or is Monkey Island great because there's a three-headed monkey and a rubber-chicken-with-a-pulley-in-the-middle.

There's my 50 cents or so. =)

Shared Resources / Re: 8-bit stings
« on: June 20, 2011, 07:49:35 pm »
Ok, they're up. There's a resource pack called 8bit Stings.

Shared Resources / Re: 8-bit stings
« on: June 20, 2011, 03:02:36 pm »
Let me get some generic stuff up first and then I'll start looking at contributing to specific projects. I'll take a look at Adventure Cavern though and see if I have anything written already that I can expand on!

Shared Resources / 8-bit stings
« on: June 20, 2011, 12:19:50 pm »
Hi everyone,

I'm just getting started with my plans to upload music on StencylForge--hopefully the first set of many. My first pass will be a collection of very short (like, under 10 seconds each) stings in 8-bit NES style. I'm using a midiNES, which directly accesses a working NES sound chip for maximum authenticity and nostalgia!

These stings could be useful for game events like acquiring a power-up, completing a level, game over, showing a hi-score screen, and things like that. I'll also include some very very short clips for menu UI sounds.

After that I'll probably do some 1-minute loops for background or menu music.

The collection of stings should go up sometime over the next couple of days depending on when I have a free hour or two to package them all up--I'll reply here when I upload them.

This is just the beginning from me. I have some orchestral stuff too I'll probably release.


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