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Posts tagged “The Mechanic”

Feature: Drunken child robots explained

How Grow Home Uses Maths To Generate A Personality

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, colourful procedural climbing game Grow Home [official site]. Put simply, BUD is a box suspended over legs and is held together by springs. In practice, BUD is an ungainly robot child, staggering and tripping his way around a low-poly world. BUD is the star of Ubisoft…

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Feature: We spoke to the developers about jumping

What Makes N++ Different To Other Platformers?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, N++ [official site]. What makes Metanet’s long-running N series different to other platformers? Each level takes place on a single screen, and that makes it uncommon, but certainly not unique. It focuses on acrobatic avoidance of hazards, but that makes it an elder cousin to Super…

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Feature: Explaining the magic behind the scifi colony sim

How RimWorld Generates Great Stories

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, RimWorld [official site]. Every player will have stories of their RimWorld colonists. Dramas set amid cabin fever, raider attacks, depressing decor, infected limbs, cannibalism and bloodthirsty local fauna. Personal dramas, tales of threat and victory, of small things and large things, tragedy and comedy. This colony-building…

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Feature: Keeping you in the action

How Hyper Light Drifter’s Ammo Recharges Its Combat

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Hyper Light Drifter [official site]. Hyper Light Drifter is a game about exploring mysterious ruins and killing the monsters that inhabit them with ferocity and precision. Whether you favour a slash-slash-shoot, a dash-slash-slash-dash, or any other combination thereof, combat is built on a holy trio of…

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Feature: Glory be

How Doom’s Glory Kills Maintain Momentum

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Doom [official site]. Doom, the new one, has one heck of a sense of forward momentum. It’s a game of aggression and constant movement. You’re the Doom Marine: you move like the wind and your shots are unbroken by the need to reload. At the heart…

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Feature: The terror of the command line

How Typing Heightens Duskers’ Deep-Space Horror

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Duskers [official site]. That atmosphere. That rising tension. That emergent puzzle-solving. That moment in Duskers when deliberate planning turns to hell, and you sit, impotent, as your team of unswerving drones are fried by radiation, pulled into the vacuum of space, or are torn into scrap…

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Feature:

The Secret Behind Invisible, Inc. Is Giving You Loads Of Information

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Invisible, Inc. [official site]. Invisible, Inc.’s defining features aren’t its most obvious, and yet they’re all about making things obvious. This turn-based tactics game about hacking and sneaking through procedurally generated levels thrives on them, because they make you feel like a mastermind, even though your…

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Feature: Interpreting the Echo

What Makes Kentucky Route Zero’s Dialogue So Good?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Kentucky Route Zero [official site]. I haven’t a lot of patience for dialogue in games. Weighted by exposition and lumpen characterisation, it tends to lumber, but I love the dialogue in Kentucky Route Zero. Telling a story which balances the bizarre with the everyday, it communicates…

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Feature: HITBOXES

How Brutal Doom’s Gore Works

“Saved my hide, it did. The alien's broad back shielded me as its brethren flung their fiery mucus wads; the fireballs burst, spraying flaming, red liquid that dribbled down my dance partner's legs to pool on the ground, lighting the room with a hellish, red glaze. I fired nine or ten times, finally blowing a hole clean through the alien ... a gory loophole through…

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Feature: A pile of paradoxes

How Super Time Force Lets You Play With Paradoxes

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to pauses, rewinds and dissect the systems that make their games tick (tock). Here are the five stages of first playing Super Time Force: 1. It’s just another arcade run and gunner. 2. Huh, I play alongside my former lives? 3. Causality, paradoxes? And a time limit? Oh god. 4. I CAN REWIND TIME. 5. Haha…

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Feature: And how it's improving next

How Minecraft Got Better Combat

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out one its features, just to see how it works. “I feel that combat got quite boring over the long term, it mainly felt like monsters were standing in your way.” For a long time, Minecraft’s combat has been, well,…

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Feature: From code to chaos

How Spelunky Creates Amazing Unexpected Situations

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. The arrow trap that shoots the croc man that causes him to telefrag you. Being caught mid-jump by a boomerang that juggles you towards a spike trap, leaving you stunned…

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Feature: "I had a picture of how it would work and how people would play it"

How Does The Witness Teach Without Words?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. The Witness [official site] is generally considered to be very hard. It is frequently very hard! I’m feeling a little brutalised by a succession of puzzles that I encountered last…

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Feature: How time doth waste you

How Risk Of Rain Increases Difficulty Over Time

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. The start of a game of Risk of Rain [official site] is quiet. Your small pixel character stands in a vast alien landscape, in which somewhere you’ll find a teleporter…

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Feature: The plot thickens

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Geralt?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. It’s about the sweat, grease and genius behind the little things that make games special. Here’s a question: How do you solve a problem like Geralt? There he is, stern…

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Feature: The Mechanic

How Do Infested Planet’s Mutations Work?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. It’s about the sweat, grease and genius behind the little things that make games special. Infested Planet [official site] is an RTS that channels Starship Troopers. You control a small…

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Feature: The Mechanic

How Do Alien Isolation’s Lockers Work?

This is the first entry in a new column called The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites a developer to help him put their game up on blocks and take a wrench to hack out its best feature, just to see how it works. It’s about the sweat, grease and genius behind the little things that make games special. Alien: Isolation is an AI-driven science-fiction horror…

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