Friday, 24 April 2015

Ranslinger - Ep4 - Stop Swapping to Pistols

Some of these levels are a lot more open than I ever realised before. I guess partly to allow for arcade mode and other more creative reuse of level assets.

It was really neat to find paths I had never realised existed.

The framing here is really just used to play around with time and introduce other little tidbits like it being Wesley Harding's birthday. Oh and to rig the duel of course. The first couple of times I didn't really notice, because quite frankly I was bad enough at duels that it never really occurred to me my accuracy was suspiciously off.

I think the key thing that duel is meant to teach you is how to dodge, this can be really important in some of the later duels. It isn't just a case of first to shoot is the winner.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Ranslinger - EPi3 - Mines without Crafts

This episode we spend in and around a mine and get dynamite, which behaves almost exactly like a grenade does in any other first person shooter. You never struggle to light it, you can press the grenade button and out comes the dynamite.

I really like the trick with the mine, letting the player explore it and clear it, then pulling back to go around the outside, because obviously the mine would have been a bad idea. I am curious as to how it came about. When they were pitching the level did they have a couple of team members that thought fights in mines were silly? Did they come up with two ideas for tackling this level but didn't want to have half the level left unexplored by the general player? Was this just more fun than sticking the outdoor section on to the end of the interior one?

I would really love to learn more about how this game was made and put together. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any kind of post mortem of it anywhere.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ranslinger - EP2 - Milling To Victory

This shoot out in the first part of this episode is where they first really push the narration directly impacting the game. First they take away your ammo, not just by providing you with too many bodies to shoot, but also by literally taking it away when Silas mentions that he was running out of bullets.

Then they use it to open up a door, literally by having a sliding a rock over to create a path that was unavailable to you before. It is an interesting variation on the door/gating approach to a combat arena. Often in situations where a game wants to you have a stand up fight you will end up in an arena like that one and conveniently the last enemy to enter will break open a door, or destroy whatever obstacle was keeping you there. This is the first time I have literally had the scenery move itself, it lets the level designer and storyteller be a lot more blatant with the solutions to this kind of problem while winking to the player.

I am glad most games don't take this approach because I think it could be overused fairly easily, but having it happen in a game like this is refreshing and I found it pretty amusing.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Ranslinger - EP1 - A Man Walks Into A Bar

I watched a friend stream through Gunslinger recently and got the urge to play through it myself one more time. As I say in the video I really dig this game, it is the kind of thing I would like to see more studios doing. A small targeted experience, it has satisfying gunplay, entertaining story and doesn't outstay its welcome.

It seems like they settled on a fairly interesting narrative approach fairly early on in the development process and they really got to play around with it. I have not seen any other game use an unreliable narrator framing device quite the way this does.

There should be a total of nine episodes in this season, one per chapter of the game. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Ransistor - Fin

Didn't really keep up with the posts here for this season of Ransistor, but here is the rest of them.

Transistor ended up being a game which for me outstayed its welcome just a little bit. I can't say I ended up too keen on its combat and unlike many of the people I have talked to I didn't quite work out a proper killer combo until the last area of the game and that combo was focused around the action RPG side and the final boss you really have to fight in turn based mode.

That said overall the game was great, it has a great soundtrack, narration and art style. The city was interesting despite not really getting that much development, there was no attempt to even vaguely suggest what the virtual city was for. That is the thing about this kind of environment, they have to exist for a reason and I didn't notice any exploration.

The ending took me by complete surprise, I did not see it coming and it felt pretty horrifying as it happened. The credits sequence helps but wow it was surprisingly intense. I am genuinely surprised that I was not spoilt on that element by anyone.