Pokemon Go Buddy System: a friend for the road

Pokemon Go just released their much anticipated update which includes the new buddy system.  It allows players to select their favorite Pokemon to serve as their companion when they go on walks.  This takes the walking mechanic used for hatching eggs and applies it to the progression of a selected Pokemon.  This is a boon for…

Playing pretend: attire’s role in roleplaying:

Within roleplaying games players are asked to adopt the morality, views, and emotions of the character they play.  Along the progression of their character they make choices that help define the direction their character develops.  One important aspect of how the player attaches to their character is the gear the character uses.  Are they dressed…

Tipping: how non spenders should pay for free to play

The free to play model has been slowly adopted as the path to develop a consistent player base. FTP games capitalize on their ease of access to make it so that their products get downloaded and played; and focus on recuperating costs and earning their revenue through in app purchases or IAPs. However since not all players must pay,…

Unit composition: cheesing, high tech, and bioballs

Unit composition is a critical element of a player’s strategy when playing games which feature fighting among armies. What units the player will develop depends on the enemy they will face as well the player’s unique playstyle. In RTS (real-time strategy) games such as the Starcraft franchise the player creates units with different roles and upgrades them to create…

Sports Games: arcade vs simulators

Sports video games have had a long history of ups and downs; with their demographics changing from children putting quarters into simplistic arcade games to adults wanting an accurate representation of teams, their players, their stats, and ever increasing realism. However, the problem that arises within the gaming community and hyper realistic simulation sports games,…

Minesweeper: smiling in the face of fear

Minesweeper, being featured as part of the games that came with the 1990’s Windows operating system, became a cultural point of reference for early desktop computer gaming. People enjoyed the quick paced gameplay, which served as a fun distraction from the seriousness of using a computer for work purposes. However, hidden within the simplicity of the game, clicking…

Peaceful victory: why more games should feature diplomacy

In games we often associate victory conditions with beating an opponent through force or strength.  The players amass resources, develop a unit[s], and proceed to best their opponents through direct conflict.  As games begin to develop more complex victory conditions we are starting to see a rise in win conditions which also include self expression….

Grinding gameplay: actions vs choices

In RPGs there is a certain amount of time that a player must spend developing their character before they truly feel capable within their role. They must acquire; mechanical finesse in order to command their character, skills to modify the basic mechanics of the character to make them unique, and equipment to make them stronger….

Guns blazing vs Sneak attack: the payoffs of playstyles 

People all play games a little differently; how a person plays a game is known as their playstyle. Their preference for how they approach encounters can speak volumes about their personality. There is something to be said about the thrill of going into a fight, guns blazing. The adrenaline rush of running into a dangerous…