Posts Tagged ‘permadeath’

How killing permadeath in Darkwood led deeper into the forest

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Darkwood [official site].

“All roads lead deeper into the woods,” says one of the twisted characters in Darkwood, an excellent and haunting game of survival in a nightmarish forest. There are horrors in its tangles of subsuming wood, things you won’t quite understand, characters who aren’t quite human, aren’t quite friendly. A game in the tradition of Pathologic and STALKER, Darkwood was developed by a Polish team of three called Acid Wizard Studio, and in many ways, it sounds as if that mordant quote is a comment on their experience of making it.

Their desire to marry a strong non-linear story, meaningful choice, a threatening atmosphere, and a procedurally generated world that changes shape during play, led to serious challenges. As team working on their first-ever game, they’d blundered into tackling some of the biggest design questions in games today. “It was an extremely stressful experience,” artist and writer Artur Kordas tells me, as Darkwood’s development pushed into five long years. And part of their solution? Killing permadeath – a decision that led them deeper into the woods. Read the rest of this entry »

Get Thumped On: Thumper Adds Permadeath Mode

You may have THUMP THUMP THUMPED the thumping great audiovisual assault of Thumper [official site] by now but you’ve not bested it. You’ve only made it angry. Thumper is back, faster and meaner. A new update has added a faster, harder, ‘Play +’ mode, where you’ll game over if you die once. Permadeath thumping. Oh you’ll take a thumping, chummo. Read the rest of this entry »

Shadow of More-dor: Playing With Permadeath In The DLC

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor came out last year to widespread appeal. Sure, the combat’s just a gorier, hyper deadly version of what we’ve already seen in the Batman Arkham games. Yeah, open world icon assassination was clearly lifted from Assassin’s Creed. But this time those icons were orcs, with actual memories and personalities, balanced on a power structure which the player was free to tinker with.

It’s great, but by the end of the game, messing with those systems felt unnecessary. You were powerful enough to just wade into the fortresses and kill your targets willy-nilly. What’s held my attention instead are the extra modes added since launch (one free, the rest paid-for DLC), which allow you to play the game as something approximating a roguelike. The free ‘Test of Defiance’ is the only mode that actually limits you to a single death, but it also doesn’t randomize the enemies or require you to gather intel on them.. Instead, I’m playing the ‘Test of the Wild’, which tasks you with ‘killing all 5 Warchiefs plus all 20 Captains’. I’m only giving myself one life, and to make things more interesting I’ll only use runes which I find as I play, ignoring the haul I gathered while playing the main game. Bring it on, hordes of Sauron.

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My Colony For Some Pants: Salem Enters Open Beta

EVE Online might have 500k subscribers, but can it do this? CAN IT?

Having grown so tired of the traditional MMO formula that I can be rendered comatose for 40 years by the merest utterance of the phrase “vulture gizzard,” I’ve been watching Salem with eager eyes and a saliva-stained jaw. As we’ve mentioned previously, it’s an exceedingly sandbox-y colonial MMO focused on crafting, establishing in-game settlements, and never trusting anyone ever. So one could argue that it’s more EVE or Wurm than WoW, though it appears to be largely a beast of a nature all its own. And now it’s in open beta, so you can play it! And you and you and you and you. But not you. Oh gosh, please don’t make that face. Fine, argh. You can play too, but only if you’re good.

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