Why is Game Storytelling So Bad?

People play games for any number of reasons: to be challenged, to fill their need for competition, to be immersed in a new, exciting world. I, for one, play games to experience the story. As a writer and (sometime) professional storyteller, I take a particular interest in how these stories are told. And lately I … Continue reading Why is Game Storytelling So Bad?

2016 End Of Year Statistical eXamination Part 2

In Part One, I reported just the facts about 4X games released within the lifespan of eXplorminate (2014 and on). In part 2, I’ll be offering my own analysis and observations. Before I jump into that, though, I do want to give a shout-out to SteamSpy.com, Steamcharts.com, and Metacritic. Without them, this kind of analysis … Continue reading 2016 End Of Year Statistical eXamination Part 2

2016 End of Year Statistical eXamination Part 1

About a year ago, I wrote a piece that brought together data from SteamSpy and Steamcharts to do an analysis of 4X games launched in 2015. At the time, I didn’t know what to expect from an examination of such data, but in the 12 months since that article was published, I have found myself … Continue reading 2016 End of Year Statistical eXamination Part 1

A Question (Or Three) Of Strategy

I sat down for my first session of Blizzard’s MOBA Heroes of the Storm. I’d watched some Let’s Plays and completed the tutorial. I’d read up on my hero of choice and studied the game mechanics and map objectives. Then, the match started. The gates opened… I realized I had no idea what to do. … Continue reading A Question (Or Three) Of Strategy

A Brief 4X Gamers Guide to Modern Board Games: An eXposition

They don’t make'em like they used to. The above phrase is used, most often it seems, as a pejorative. But in the case of board games today, I think it’s a good thing. Moreover, I hope a time will come when I don’t have to say the following: board games have come a long way … Continue reading A Brief 4X Gamers Guide to Modern Board Games: An eXposition

How I’d Like to See 4X Development Evolve Part 2: An eXposition

Last year I wrote an article encouraging 4X companies to expand their designs in certain areas.  It’s too soon to tell if that article had any impact, but it’s not too soon to ask for more! Starting Conditions I’d like to start in an obvious place: Starting Conditions. In classic 4X design, the player (note … Continue reading How I’d Like to See 4X Development Evolve Part 2: An eXposition

This Thing Called Strategy: An eXposition

For the past few years, a question has been haunting my dreams: What is strategy? A narrower follow up question is: What makes a compelling strategy game? One reason this question has been bothering me, particularly in terms of 4X or Civilization-style games, is that so often the gameplay does not feel like what strategy … Continue reading This Thing Called Strategy: An eXposition