Numbers crunch back
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 is dry, fussy and boring to me. A 5% chance is so low I can never bank on it happening, 10% extra damage is so small I won’t notice it, and lasting 5 seconds means there’s this extra state I now need to know about and track. And ‘does not stack’ might be the saddest phrase in game design.
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Home and Hearthstone
Welcome to Spawn Point, where we take something wonderful from the world of gaming and explain what it is, why it’s worth your time and how to get involved. This time: collectible card games (or at least, the videogame kind).
Hello, I would like to collect some cards please. Of course, friend. We have a wide variety of fantasy themed cards, ranging from hostile dragon to raving ghoul to –
Hang on, what are these numbers? Oh, ignore those, they’re nothing to worry about. Look at this wizard! Read the rest of this entry »
A dream quest
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game
retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
Still very much a going concern around these parts, but screw it, I’ve not yet written about Slay The Spire, a game that has consumed most of my waking thoughts these past couple of months, so here we go. Read the rest of this entry »
Blending Rogue-likes with CCGs
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, Slay the Spire [official site].
Slay the Spire is a deck-building card game about careful attack and defence. And poisoning. And letting your own blood to amplify your damage, and hitting each enemy every time you lose a card, and gaining energy by hovering close to death. It’s a bit like Hearthstone, but it’s also a Rogue-like in which you ascend floors and find new cards and relics which power up your character in transformational ways.
It’s really good! And the secret behind it is a detail that seems minor, but without it your card-playing strategising would be for nothing. It’s the fact you get to see what your enemies will do on their next turn. Read the rest of this entry »
So much hot air
As the charting games on Steam once more congeal into a single amorphous lump, quickly dive in to catch the last appearance of Subnautica, and probably Slay The Spire too. Next week it’ll just be GTA: Counter-Strike – Witcher Battlegrounds. Read the rest of this entry »
Oh it's some games in a list
Some websites will fob you off with scant details about your favourite best-selling games, but not RPS. Here you will find gaming’s most insightful commentary on the leading games of the modern age. Read the rest of this entry »
Listen now or be monstered
They lurk, they creep, they skulk and weep. Monsters in videogames can be as simple as a big spiky cyclops ball, or as unsettling as a sobbing woman in a rainy alleyway. This week on the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, the team is talking about their favourites, from flaming skulls to digitally possessed diving suits, and the clever ways in which game monsters inspire heebies, jeebies, creeps and sometimes even willies. Read the rest of this entry »
The Mystery Machine
Where oh where is #9 this week, you ask, uncertain that it is possible to have a top ten without it. A mystery! Of course there are the usual suspects, the increasingly usual new suspects, and even a couple of new entries, but when it comes to slot nine, there’s a gap. The URL for the entry is this, the number seemingly unattached to anything on the store, and not the since deleted entry for the idiotic CS:GO championship sticker collection, as I’d first assumed. Go solve the mystery, mystery solvers! Read the rest of this entry »