The games industry has been changing for a while now – perpetually since its inception, in fact, but the last few years in particular have seen a boom of smaller games, alternative business models and a diversification rather than a technological arms race. It’s interesting to watch it happening from the inside – console generations used to last around 5 years, the XBox 360 is currently on it’s 8th and there is little information about what comes next, if anything. It used to be that merely making a game was hard – not so anymore, but making a good game is really hard. A couple of years back, I wrote that the AAA games industry had something you couldn’t get anywhere else – experiencing how it responds to change is a big part of that. But enough jetlag-induced blabbering.

Before I reminisce about other games, you should read Jon Blow’s post about inspiration if you haven’t done so already.

the Unfinished Swan, the game itself did not feel particularly interesting, it had a few brilliant moments but mostly it was more or less a linear slog through levels giving you the first-person puzzler equivalent of pixel hunting. The narrative, presented in the form of a child’s storybook, was a refreshing look at the creative process and probably the best one I have ever seen a game do.

Rayman Origins, it is definitely a question of a game right in my comfort zone – if you do not enjoy twitchy platform games, you will not enjoy Rayman Origins. But it knows what it is trying to deliver and does so with surgical precision.

Closure, there are always plenty of good platform games that ask you to solve puzzles (Queue mentioning my own project Backworlds here and quote from Jon Mak), but with the genre confusion going on it is hard to find games that actually require you to think and solve problems rather than repeat the tutorial to change the pace. Admittedly the challenge level is an individual thing but Closure hit a sweet spot right between busywork and insurmountable, and had some pretty fresh ideas as well.

Posted on Jan 03/13 by Saint and filed under Meta-blog, Reflections | No Comments »