Friday, October 30, 2015

Homework 7

This week I started working on an options menu, and I plan on making some corridors and rooms for the player to travel through.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Homework 6

Persona 4 Golden



While the graphics aren't the greatest, something Persona 4 Golden excels in is the aesthetics. The game is very stylized, which sets it apart from other JRPGs with their generic and bland menus. Everything from the menus to the user interface is meticulously designed in order to provide a pleasurable viewing experience. Each dungeon also has a unique art style and soundtrack, which complements the atmosphere well.


Statistics for a Persona
Persona 4 plays very similarly to a Final Fantasy game with a little bit of Yu-Gi-Oh. The game centers around summonable creatures called "Personas" which act as vectors of your abilities. In combat, you take turns making your attacks in a randomly generated dungeon, while trying to find out the culprit behind a series of mysterious murders, which leads to the next aspect of the tetrad.


The "TV" overlay when in combat
The story centers around you and a group of friends who have the ability to summon a Persona and enter another dimension known as the "TV World." Without spoiling too much, at midnight when it's raining, turning on the TV to a certain channel shows what happens in this TV World. People who appear on this channel end up dying shortly afterwards, and its up to you and your friends to seek out the truth and find the serial killer kidnapping and putting these people in the TV World.


The game was originally made for the PS2, and was remade for the PSVita, so some of the hardware limitations were bypassed in the upgrade. For example, in the original, the game would have framerate drops when using certain, flashy abilities, which has mostly been fixed since the port.


The game is very well balanced, and lets you change the difficulty on the fly in case you're having problems getting past a certain part. Once you beat the game you're even given the ability to customize your difficulty setting even more, allowing to fine tune what you want easier or harder.

Emergent Properties

The game has a surprisingly deep Persona Fusion system, which allows you to fuse different personas together to create new and more powerful ones. Each persona has a "class" which specializes in certain tasks, such as supporting your party members, casting spells, or doing damage. It can get deep enough to where you can predict the type of Persona you get, as certain types combined together will always net you with a different, but constant type. However, this level of strategy isn't needed to progress through the game, as you can get through just fine randomly fusing and still getting good Personas as a result.

Interest Curves

What something Persona 4 lacks, at least initially, is the interest curve. It starts off very oddly, and the hook doesn't happen until 30 minutes in, which at some point people might give up on it, which has happened to my friends to personally. But after you get past the the slow beginning, the story quickly picks up pace and plot thickens. Throughout the 70 hour story, periods of respite to relax are given between the parts where you have to enter the TV World and save someone. Pressure is also built because if you don't save someone before a certain time, as you will get a game over screen and are forced to load an earlier save.

What I Like

Literally everything about this game is great, from the atmosphere to the characters, and even the grindy gameplay. While this type of game isn't everyone, it manages to do a lot of things right to keep the user entertained and immersed. The aesthetic is shown in every scene and UI. The story leaves you bittersweet, and carries itself through the final scene.

Fives Nights at Freddy's



If FNAF got anything right, it was definitely the aesthetic. It has a very ominous feeling, and when you play it for the first time, you will feel scared. Everything from the lack of music, and whirring fan just adds to the atmosphere of "demonic Chuck-E-Cheese". Unfortunately, this feeling gets detracted by the overly repetitive gameplay. 


The mechanics in FNAF are quite simple: it's a point and click game where you sit in a security room and observe watch as animatronics come to life in the restaurant. You can keep them at bay by turning on the lights in the left and right hallways, but it drains the generator. You can toggle between watching the security footage and watching your office. If you spend too long in either mode, the animatronics come after you with a jumpscare, which gets old real quick. The first few times is unexpected, but eventually it becomes a bore as you repeat the same old task of

  1. look at footage for a split second
  2. turn on light on left
  3. close door on right
  4. footage
  5. light on right
  6. door on left
  7. repeat


There is barely a story in the original FNAF. It is expanded on in the sequels, but from what I can garner, some people were murdered and stuffed into the animatronics to hide their bodies, which consequently made them haunted. Now the animatronics try and stuff anyone they find haning around the place at night into one of the suits, effectively getting revenge. Most of this is only implied, and some fans with way too much time on their hands over analyzed the game to the point where they looked up minimum wage statistics in the U.S. to find out when the game took place.


There is limited technology in FNAF, which is understandable because it sets out what it was intended to do: cheap and frequent jumpscares with as minimal effort as possible.


The game is oddly balanced; whenever you devote too much time to one thing, it sends the animatronics after you. For example, when the game first game out, people thought not even looking at the cameras could let you win, but this would drain the generator too fast and you would be left without door closing. If you look only at the cameras, a special animatronic is sent after you to punish you. With each night, the animatronics get more aggressive, so your tactics must match them in order to persevere.

Emergent Properties

The game isn't very deep, with simple mechanics that proved to be its downfall as it was very quickly figured out how to beat the game by repeated the previously mentioned steps. It does let you cycle through different camera angles throughout the building, however. This builds up suspense as you frantically attempt to find the animatronic that was in the room you were looking at just a few moments ago, only to find him waiting outside your door with an evil grin.

Interest Curve

I will admit, this game did have a pretty appealing curve in the beginning. Your employer calls you and gives you vague hints as to what goes down at night, leaving you to find out the rest. Each night he calls you and gives you more information, until you get your paycheck at the end of the game. Not much changes throughout the game except for the increasing difficulty and aggressiveness of the animatronics.

What I Don't Like

Since this game was only five bucks, I can't really complain too much. I got what was advertised; a game with jumpscares. What irks me though is the fact that this series would produce three sequels with only slightly different mechanics, and at a higher price point, all within one year of the first game's release. I can't blame the game designer for cashing in on the hype produced by popular YouTubers such as PewDiePie and Markiplier, which is one of the main reasons this game became so popular. Their exaggerated reactions provided free marketing for the developer's game, and thus became a massive success from what looked to be a fairly easy game to make.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Homework 2

Assignment 2Ross Island

What type of game will you be creating?  [25 pts]
We decided that a 3rd person RPG Platformer would be our game. A amnesiac girl washes up on a shore of a beach and she must find shelter whilst also trying to regain her memories. We haven’t figured out a title, but it will borrow elements from games such as The Forest, Tomb Raider, and Fallout.  

 What is the quintessential experience you'd like the users to feel? [25 pts]
Like with most survival games, the main experiences we want the player to feel are senses of Adventure, Intrigue and Curiosity. Having to fight for survival is the perfect way to get a user drawn into a storyline. By pairing a general sense of curiosity for the surrounding world and our unique survival adventure, our players will instantly relate to our main heroes epic tale and be drawn into her world.

 What is the theme of your game? [25 pts]
Remembrance of the past, fear of the unknown and survival of the fittest. We are also aiming to implement the Stages of Grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance, as symbols throughout the levels. We haven’t decided what exactly the protagonist will be grieving over, but maybe in her coma-induced state she dreams up this world, and has to go through the various stages because she doesn’t want to die.

 Provide an initial storyline [25 pts]
A young girl wakes up on the shore of a beach on an island, with no memory of who she is, or how she got there.Aside her is the wreckage of a boat which seemed to have carried her to the island. She must overcome various obstacles in order to regain her memory, whilst not giving into despair or grief. Using her surroundings and braving the elements our heroine will have to travel where no other has gone before in order to obtain her true goal.
The first level of the game will be to find shelter in a cave that she sees off in the distance. (or maybe give the option to choose a direction, either a cave in one direction, or a little hut/house with a mysterious light in the other direction) She encounters different beasts, or animals during the trip to the location; where she uses any tools available to her to fend of attackers. Upon reaching the end of the first level,  a dialogue sequence will start which will determine the fate of our heroine.
The second level of the game will be to reach the top of a mountain, or hill on the island to get an understanding of where she is. encountering different wildlife, enemies, and

 people along the way. Upon reaching the top of the mountain a hooded figure stands there and tells her that all of her questions will be answered if she would only close her eyes and listen.The hooded figure fades away and the the girl passes out. The game ends with a closeup of the girls eyes quickly opening as she lay in a hospital bed.