Playing computer games has been a passion since I was very young. I remember being given a ZX Spectrum as a child and it changing my world, I so miss waiting 20 minutes for games to load, made you appreciate them even more (If they actually worked).
Games that have resonated well over the years
I have always been a pc gamer but have occasionally dabbled with Mega Drives, Nintendo’s and even a playstation2 (randomly).
While this list is not exhaustive, they are just some of the titles I consider to be landmark moments where I appreciated game design.
Tron, Gauntlet, Dizzy, Ant Attack, Laser Squad.
Bards Tale, Shadow of the beast 2, X-COM: Enemy Unknown, Mega-Lo-Mania, The Secret of Monkey Island.
Rings of Power, Shining Force Series, Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat 2, Herzog Zwei, Wonderboy, Micro Machines, Sonic, Soleil, Super Hydlide.
Fallout 1&2, World of Warcraft, Grand theft 2 and 5, Divinity series, Left for dead, Portal, Halflife, League of Legands, Counter Strike , Diablo 2, Battlefield 2, Fortnite.
What makes me tick when looking at games
When considering what games I would like to make, there are a few factors that are more important to me.
I love a good story.
While the story does not have to be in-depth, it needs to have meaning. Cappie & I have spent many lunches discussing back stories for game concepts ranging over many genres. Sometimes we get a bit too heavy at this stage, but passion is a complicated beast to tame! We tend to “over-engineer” things. It does mean that we immerse ourselves in the process. Next round of sandwiches, please?
Stats and attributes
What’s the point of having a great story and game if it is shallow. Some simple games are great, but stat-based games done well make the experience better for me. Fallout 1 blew my mind for its attributes and perks system. This was one of those random demo magazine installs that I was not expecting much from. The character creation and gritty story had me hooked. Turn-based combat, while not the first I had played, was undoubtedly the most violent I had seen. Character customisation was fascinating, all of which profoundly impacted the way you played the game.
Best all-nighter playing a game?
I have to give this to a game called Shadow of the Beast 2. I was around eight years old, staying at my uncle’s house with his Amiga all to myself. I had previously played a few times and found it very difficult. My uncle had brought home a collection of papers which were maps to the entire game, which was like the rarest treasure (he was like some secret agent providing me with intel that could change my life )
The intro and the music brought on genuine fear and suspense I had not experienced in a game before; it was releasing all the right brain chemicals!
After MANY tries, I sat down and figured out each piece to this platforming nightmare. I entered the last castle to deal with the evil Zekek. With the mighty blasts from the ring of power and victory in line with the rising sun outside my window, what a game!
Looking back, it feels so tiny compared to modern titles, but there is undoubtedly some untapped magic in some of these older games that I think the time has forgotten.
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