Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: RPS


When I first heard of Retro City Rampage I thought it was rather esoteric and I questioned the ability to cohesively put together all these disparate games in a way that made sense to a contemporary gamer. Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) recently reviewed Retro City Rampage (RCR) and it address my previous thoughts, sadly it seems that RCR fails to live up to the games it’s paying a homage to.

From the review:

I get it. I get that our rich, shared history of gaming across many decades is something we want to celebrate and that there is cosy soul-warmth to be had from seeing these familiar scenes again. But perhaps there’s more to be done with it than just pointing at it, as though we’re in some hyperactive museum where all the exhibits are on motorised wheels whizzing around the hall at speed while the tour guide screams a disassociated pepper spray of facts and lies about them.

Moreover, I’m not sure that the game in which all these things are indelicately placed is all that much of a good time, or at least not on a par with the joy it clearly feels in its nostalgia. It is a minor technical marvel for sure, cramming in a slick, busy open world rendered in 8-bit 2D as well as rapidly-changing scenes based upon games of yesteryear. There is a large space to run around in, wielding many weapons and driving many cars, maybe suddenly hopping into a side-quest in a near-indestructible tank with infinite ammo, maybe running into a laundry and smashing all its washing machines to steal the change inside ‘em.

Read the full review.

A Huge List of Dos and Don’ts in Game Design

Rock Paper Shotgun is great in announcing their opinions on game design and I love them when they espouse such opinions. I also enjoy their half-joking take on games themselves, particularly how to improve them.

Here’s their complete list of rules for game makers. Some seem very serious while others seem to just bring back the author’s ideas of good games from years ago.

DO have your in-game volume sliders work. It’s beyond all my understanding – and I have over sixty-three understanding – why I can drag the slider down to a fraction of a millimetre from the bottom and still not be able to hear the TV show I’m watching on the other screen. I shouldn’t have to use Windows’ in-built volume controls to SHUT YOU UP. Especially YOU, Popcap. It’s like your volume sliders go, 10, 9, 8, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 0. Your games do not demand my full attention, as brightly coloured as they may be. I might want to enjoy an evening of Peggle and light-hearted crime procedural dramas, and I need to hear the quips.

DON’T make it difficult for me to quit. In fact, since I’m telling you how to do your jobs, you should add this new requirement. A quit button. I know, it sounds cuckoo-crazy, but bear with me. From anywhere in the game, I want to call up the menu (by pressing “Escape” – not by looking at a device strapped to my wrist, tabbing through three pages, and finding the four pixel button for the options) and then choose “Quit to desktop”. I do not want to quit to the main menu. I do not want to quit to the level selection screen. I do not want to quit to that insane screen that asks me to press a button to start. I want to quit the game. Completely. In one go. I don’t, because I’m some sort of insanely fussy old pickypants, want to go through each of those previous pages one by one, until I’ve eventually climbed back up enough ladders to see the crack of daylight that is escape. Yes, you can ask me if I’m sure, in case I select the wrong thing because you probably haven’t bothered to add mouse controls to your 360 port. And then, PING!, I’m back at my desktop ready to continue with my day. Leaving a game shouldn’t be more of a challenge than a boss fight.

The big list of dos and don’ts

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