Posts Tagged ‘strategy

31
Jan
13

Inflection Pixel’s Ten Titles I Loved In 2012, Part Two

Winner!

That’s right: more posts about video games.  Today, we have games: IN SPACE.

Continue reading ‘Inflection Pixel’s Ten Titles I Loved In 2012, Part Two’

30
Mar
10

Probably a brief thought on probability

Civilization: Revolution

Sid Meier and Rob Pardo of Blizzard gave a couple of talks recently at GDC 2010,  and they inadvertently talked about similar things; fudging the math away from “truthful” math under the nose of the player, usually to the player’s advantage.  Meier, for example, reported frustrations in playtests when players lost fights where the game had given them a 50:50 chance to succeed, and even more so when they lost consecutively.  Mathematically, it’s a completely reasonable scenario but that didn’t matter to the beaten and battered player.  They decided to fudge the math that actually increased chances of success after failures above and beyond what the statistics would report (the player’s unit strength vs. their opponent’s).  Players responded well, and now the game launched with that system in place.

The debate here is that fudging the math like that seems to be undercutting the strengths of gaming to pushing players’ abilities and thought process to higher levels than before the challenge is presented and their experience has stagnated for it.  Jaron linked a good overview of that argument on the Game Design Advance blog here.  The points being made there are valid and I don’t disagree with them at all.  A good game, like a good book or a good movie, isn’t afraid to keep shoving you towards its own intentions, no matter how uncomfortable you might get, until you start to learn, grow, and better yourself through its obstacles (or stories or messages or whatever).

Continue reading ‘Probably a brief thought on probability’




intro

My name is Anthony Munar, a computer programmer in Utah. I also play a bunch of video games every now and then. I talk and think a lot about them, but I never really solidify those thoughts anywhere, and writing is something I like doing, so I thought I'd do it right here. I don't intend to be high-and-mighty authoritative about what I say and I don't really have any sort of standing in the games industry. This is just for me to muse about games when I want to.

Naming a blog these days was harder than I thought. In calculus, the inflection point on a curve is where its concavity changes between upwards and down. So, maybe, the inflection pixel is the pixel which represents something that turns my opinion around on a game, like the pixels representing a beam cannon firing in FreeSpace 2, the pixels representing a flying car wreck in Burnout, or the pixels representing my own sentry gun holding off an army in Team Fortress 2.

Using the word 'pixel' in naming something game-related seems clichéd, so sorry about that.

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