Donkey Kong Country

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Donkey Kong Country is a 1994 platform game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game centres on Donkey Kong and his friend Diddy Kong, who are on a quest to recover Donkey Kong’s stolen banana hoard from King K. Rool and the Kremlings.

— Wikipedia on Donkey Kong Country

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2018.04.13 Friday ACHK

Intellectual Headaches

Game design

They got the key, and then some other stuff happened, and then they reached the door, and were able to open it; but “acquiring the key” and “opening the door” were stored as two separate, disconnected events in the player’s mind.

If the player had encountered the locked door first, tried to open it, been unable to, and then found the key and used it to open the door, the causal link would be unmistakable. You use the key to open the locked door, because you can’t open the locked door without the key.

Math education

I’ve drawn parallels between game design and education before, but it still took me a while to realize that problem-solution ordering issues crop up just as often in the classroom as they do in games.

Remember how, in high school math class, a lot of the work you were doing felt really, really pointless?

Consider Dan Meyer’s question for math educators: if math is the aspirin, then how do you create the headache?

In other words: if you introduce the solution (in this case, a new kind of math) before introducing the kind of problems that it’s meant to solve, the solution is likely to come across as pointless and arbitrary. But if you first let students try to tackle these problems with the math they already understand, they’re likely to come away with a kind of intellectual “headache” – and, therefore, to better understand the purpose of the “aspirin” you’re trying to sell.

Functional programming

— Locked doors, headaches, and intellectual need

— 27 October 2015

— Affording Play

Here are some excerpts of an elegant essay. Please go to the author’s website to read the whole.

— Me@2015-11-03 03:46:41 PM

2015.11.03 Tuesday ACHK

Dear Esther, 4

cease to exist

~ cannot be found in the original region,

but is still possible to be found in the meta-region

For example, at the end of the video game Dear Esther, the character dies, computer screen turns black, you cease to exist there,

but you wake up and continue to exist outside that video game, outside that computer screen.  

— Me@2012.10.27

2014.06.01 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

A writer reading books

chris_mahan 24 minutes ago | link

I don’t watch TV (at all) and I game maybe 4 hours a week, usually in 2 sittings.

(I will occasionally watch a DVD, but maybe 2 hours a month, max.)

When people give me grief that I play the games, I tell them I’m a software developer: it’s like a writer reading books.

— Hacker News

2014.04.20 Sunday ACHK

L.A. Noire

The case that makes you and the case that breaks you…

The one you never solve, the one that keeps you awake at night.

The case that gnaws at your guts and ruins your marriage.

The case that keeps you propping up a bar as you relive the what-ifs, the might-have-beens, the half-leads and half-truths.

The case that other cops murmur about whenever you walk past.

The case you never… ever… discuss.

— Herschel Biggs

— L.A. Noire

— Me@2014-03-17 05:27:25 PM

2014.03.19 Wednesday ACHK

Antichamber, 3

Gameplay/Plot

In Antichamber, the player controls the unnamed protagonist from a first-person perspective as they wander through non-Euclidean levels. Regarding typical notions of Euclidean space, Bruce has stated that “breaking down all those expectations and then remaking them is essentially the core mechanic of the game”.

— Wikipedia on Antichamber

2014.03.15 Saturday ACHK

Antichamber

The good part is that the game is a genre in itself. There are no similar games in this world.

The bad part is that a few levels, such as “Falling Forward” and “Laying the Foundation”, do not make any sense. They exist just for wasting the players’ time.

Whenever you get stuck, don’t try harder. Just consult a walkthrough.

— Me@2014-03-09 08:58:45 AM

2014.03.10 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

The Journey of Life

This is a logo owned by Alexander Bruce for Antichamber.

Antichamber (originally known as Hazard: The Journey of Life) is a single-player first-person puzzle-platform video game developed by Alexander Bruce. Many of the puzzles are based on phenomena that occur within the Non-Euclidean geometry created by the game engine, such as passages that lead the player to different locations depending on which way they face, and structures that seem otherwise impossible within normal three-dimensional space.

Author or copyright owner: Alexander Bruce

The game includes elements of psychological exploration through brief messages of advice to help the player figure out solutions to the puzzles as well as adages for real life. The game was released on Steam for Microsoft Windows on January 31, 2013, a version sold with the Humble Indie Bundle 11 in February 2014 added support for Linux and Mac OS X.

— Wikipedia on Antichamber

2014.03.05 Wednesday ACHK

Chrono Trigger

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Setting Out! The Dreamy Millennial Festival
The Queen who Returned
The Vanished Princess
I’m Home!
Kingdom Trial
Across the Ruins……
Factory Ruins in the Land of Mystery
The Farthest Reaches of Time
People of the Demon Village
Appeared: The Legendary Hero
Tarta and Frog
Red Stone, Rare Stone
Footprints! Track!!
Fight! Grandleon
Decisive Battle! Magus Castle!!
Before You Realize It, Primeval
Law of the Earth
Kingdom of Magic: Zeal
Release the Seal, Call Forth a Storm
The Philosopher on Grief Mountain
That Which Awaits in the Sky
The Call of Lavos
The Ancient Era’s New King
The Egg of Time
To the Fateful Time……
At the End of the Planet’s Dream
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– Chrono Compendium
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2010.01.03 Sunday ACHK

Dear Esther

To get a feeling of dying, play the video game Dear Esther till the end.

— Me@2012.12.16

When you finish a video game, you go back to the real world;

when your real world is over, you go back to your realer world.

— Me@2012.12.21

There is another theory, that in a car crash, Esther was put in a coma, and the voice is her husband talking to her, in hopes that she can hear him. She wanders along beaches and through caves that are filled with sometimes strange things, things that are bits and fragments of what she is hearing and what her mind is putting together. At the end when Esther jumps, it is possible her heart rate increased, showing up on the hospital monitor, which would explain the voice at the end saying “Come back,” and the darkness at the end would probably be her dying in the coma.

— Wikipedia on Dear Esther

— 21:01, 29 May 2012

2012.12.22 Saturday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK 

Indie Game: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie is a 2012 documentary film by Canadian filmmakers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot. The film documents the struggles of independent game developers Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes during the development of Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish, during the development of Fez, and also Jonathan Blow, who reflects on the success of his Xbox Live Arcade game, Braid.

The film bookends itself with Jonathan Blow’s opening monologue about how indie gaming differs by offering flaws and vulnerabilities, making the games more personal.

— Wikipedia on Indie Game: The Movie

2012.07.18 Wednesday ACHK

To the Moon

GOG.com

In GameSpot’s 2011 Game of the Year awards, To the Moon was given the “Best Story” award, … It was also the highest user-rated PC game of 2011 at Metacritic.

— Wikipedia on To the Moon (video game)

2012.07.16 Monday ACHK

Good Old Games

GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) is a computer game sale and distribution service operated by GOG Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CD Projekt RED.

In order to ensure compatibility with newer versions of Microsoft Windows, some games are pre-patched or bundled with Open Source emulation and compatibility software, such as ScummVM and DOSBox. Unlike some other services, the games do not use digital rights management …

Along with purchasing the games, customers are also able to download numerous extra material relating to the game they purchased. Often these extras include the game’s soundtrack, wallpapers, avatars, and manuals.

— Wikipedia on GOG.com

2012.07.04 Wednesday ACHK

Chrono Trigger 3

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Masato Kato confirmed that Cross featured a central theme of parallel worlds, as well as the fate of Schala, which he was previously unable to expound upon in Chrono Trigger. Concerning the ending sequences showing Kid searching for someone in a modern city, he hoped to make players realize that alternate futures and possibilities may exist in their own lives, and that this realization would “not … stop with the game”.

– Wikipedia on Chrono Cross

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2011.05.02 Monday ACHK

Sins of a Solar Empire

Sins of a Solar Empire is a science fiction real-time strategy computer game developed by Ironclad Games and published by Stardock Entertainment for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Sins is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that incorporates some elements from 4X strategy games; promotional materials describe it as “RT4X.”

Much praise for the game has been directed towards the game’s clever blend of RTS and 4X gameplay, the seamless zoom function, and the user-friendly Empire Tree and UI. That the game was designed to play efficiently on older as well as newer PCs has garnered considerable praise.

The game was awarded the title “Best Strategy Game of the Year 2008” by X-Play and GameTrailers, and the title “Best PC Game of the Year” by IGN.

— Wikipedia on Sins of a Solar Empire

2012.07.01 Sunday ACHK