Don’t Leave Luck to Heaven: The Small Secret Feature that Altered the Spirit of Animal Crossing

Don’t Leave Luck to Heaven: The Small Secret Feature that Altered the Spirit of Animal Crossing

Randomness in games is often talked about purely in terms of strategic cost-benefit analysis. Random number generation (RNG) is good when it is fair, or used in procedural generation processes, otherwise it is bad and must be avoided. But randomness can also be aesthetical a la aleatoric art—pardon the tongue twister. Celeste‘s gameplay is wholly deterministic, which is a part of why speedrunners like me admire it, but in actuality it uses RNG for its various particle effects. One game series which uses RNG in both a mechanical and aesthetical way is Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, and not only in its island-creating algorithm. (more…)

GYGO: Toxic Twitch Culture and Indivisible and Crucible Shutdowns

GYGO: Toxic Twitch Culture and Indivisible and Crucible Shutdowns

Howdy gamers, what’s the latest? Like (seemingly) most of my Twitter timeline, I’ve been enjoying Hades, as well as Animal Crossing for those sweet, sweet fall updates. I’ve also been playing a lot of Going Under, where you play as an intern clearing the dungeons—er, offices—of failed startups in your company’s coworking space. It’s very good. Let us know what you’ve been playing over on Twitter! Now for this week’s news… (more…)

Game Enjambment: On Shining in the Darkness

Game Enjambment: On Shining in the Darkness

Game Enjambment is a reoccurring poetry series on games and gaming.
(more…)

An Inclusive Future: A Recap of Game Devs of Color Expo 2020

An Inclusive Future: A Recap of Game Devs of Color Expo 2020

Like many shows this past year, the Game Devs of Color Expo took things entirely online.

GDoCExpo was originally founded to create a much more inclusive space for marginalized creators in the games industry. GDoCExpo’s fifth year was hosted on Swapcard, a platform used to host online conferences and meetups. The convention had the format of a typical convention guidebook with information tabs on the guests, games, and their developers. (more…)

Playing Beat Saber Is Like Doing Magic

Playing Beat Saber Is Like Doing Magic

I do a lot of magic. I also play a lot of Beat Saber. These two facts about me seem pretty thoroughly unrelated, but the more Beat Saber I play, the more I don’t think they really are. Magic is intense and personal, and it feels like being on the same wavelength as something primal in the universe. And—hear me out—Beat Saber is the same. (more…)