Our Properties: Gamasutra GameCareerGuide IndieGames GameSetWatch GDC IGF Game Developer Magazine GAO

Recent Comments

  • Toby Palas: If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then read more
  • anonymous: When a person don't lso are have your own 'microsoft' document previously a lot of if you do previously you wind up ordering good and read more
  • anonymous: Ever wondered how to coach soccer or more specifically youth soccer? There are many things that?ll start coming to your mind that it?ll confuse you read more
  • anonymous: ICS will, however,louboutin, verify your employment to make sure that you are a legitimate employee. They may also verify other details related to your read more
  • anonymous: haha,ugg laarzen nederland,ugg laarzen 2011, ugg laarzen online, ugg laarzen outle, well, that just goes to show how much studying theory can do for you, read more

About GameSetWatch

GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

Read More

Column: Diamond In The Rough

Column: Diamond In The Rough: 'Far Enough Away to See Clearly'

September 21, 2008 8:00 AM |

['Diamond In The Rough' is a new column by Tom Cross focusing on an unusual innovation that a game makes on an old, tired aspect of game design -- an innovation that contributes to the advancement of video games as a medium, but that might get overlooked because the game is not otherwise remarkable or is hindered by major design flaws. This column? All about distance and Prince Of Persia.]

As gamers, we are often asked to identify with some pretty rough-and-tumble characters, and often, those characters are cruel and violent, not just tough. Whether the hero of a game is good or bad, dumb or smart, we are asked to be that person, control them, and hopefully like them (or at least like being them).

In the previous installment of this column, I lauded games for using certain techniques to increase the sense of immersion and connectivity with one’s in-game avatar.

That got me thinking about the games that head in the exact opposite direction: games that, for whatever reason, choose to divorce you from the settings, characters, or events that unfold before you. Why do these games present themselves in this fashion, and what are the results?

Column: Diamond in the Rough - 'A Body in the Dark'

September 5, 2008 8:00 AM |

['Diamond In The Rough' is a new column by Tom Cross focuses on an unusual innovation that a game makes on an old, tired aspect of game design -- an innovation that contributes to the advancement of video games as a medium, but that might get overlooked because the game is not otherwise remarkable or is hindered by major design flaws.]

When playing a video game, the physical presence of your character is often strangely difficult to get a visceral feel for. In first person shooters, very few attempts are made to simulate mass, friction, or a feeling of the solidity of your character’s body.

Games like Portal and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic use mass and momentum to attempt to create a virtual space that your body appears to inhabit (Portal does this well, DMoMM does not do it so well), but in general FPSs avoid the question altogether.

Third person games must take an entirely different approach. Since the player is staring at their avatar’s front or back for most of the game, the developer must create a believable surrogate for the player, both visually and physically.

This is a tough issue to get around, and most games don’t find a perfect way to solve it, but some are worse than others. Even major titles like Oblivion and Knights of the Old Republic have produced egregiously stiff and robotic character models.