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What Works And Why

12 months ago

Feature: Numbers crunch back

What Works And Why: Juicy maths in Slay The Spire

What Works And Why is a monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game or mechanic and analyses what makes it good. When games offer you abilities and perks that boost your stats, they often do it in a meager, fiddly way: 5% chance to deal 10% extra damage for 5 seconds. Does not stack. This…

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1 year ago

Feature: Training the locals

What Works And Why: Mentoring in Far Cry 5

What Works And Why is a monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game or mechanic and analyses what makes it good. Far Cry 5 is a mixed bag, but one of the bigger, shinier objects in that bag is its companions system. It's a crossbreed of Far Cry Primal's pets - you can summon them…

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Feature: The recon is on

What Works And Why: Unfair intel in stealth games

What Works And Why is a monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game or mechanic and analyses what makes it good. Games about one player character against hundreds of enemies generally have to give you some kind of unfair advantage. In action games, it's usually resilience: getting shot in Call of Duty covers you in…

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Feature: Gunpoint's designer analyses games

What Works And Why: Optimising in Opus Magnum

What Works And Why is a new monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game and analyses what makes it good. Opus Magnum is a puzzle game about designing machines that arrange and combine shiny little atoms to turn lead to gold, and other fanciful alchemy. It's by Zachtronics, whose games follow such a recognised pattern…

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Feature: Gunpoint's designer analyses games

What Works And Why: Emergence

What Works And Why is a new monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game and analyses what makes it good. I love Deus Ex, System Shock 2, and Dishonored 2, and the name for these games is dumb: they're 'immersive sims'. If you asked me what I liked about them, my answer would be a…

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