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…)

July Roundtable: Games Imagining Better Futures

July Roundtable: Games Imagining Better Futures

Who doesn’t want a better world? Games have the power to let us see, build, and imagine something different than we currently inhabit; in other words, how can games imagine better futures? In this month’s roundtable, the Sidequest team asks what games are doing that, what games are failing, and the pitfalls to consider. (more…)

Sidequest’s “Best of the Decade” Zine Now Available!

Sidequest’s “Best of the Decade” Zine Now Available!

Sidequest.zone is the internet’s resident earnest-yet-creepy* gaming site, and we’ve dusted off, spruced up, and collected 15 pieces** that we believe represent the decade!***. This zine is a good primer if you’re new to our site or want to show someone what we’re about—it’s got some zany bits, some political bits, some heartwarming bits, and is just generally a delight. You can buy it right now on Itch! (more…)

May Roundtable: Game Superlatives for Summer

May Roundtable: Game Superlatives for Summer

We’ve said it before, but: 2020 is a year for games. (When isn’t it a year for games? I don’t know; that’s for another roundtable.) And what’s more fun than making high-school-yearbook-style game superlatives to keep us going into the summer? Nothing, that’s what! For the May roundtable, the Sidequest team did exactly that. What would you put in these categories?

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GYGO: New Paper Mario Announced and Tony Hawk Gets a Remaster

GYGO: New Paper Mario Announced and Tony Hawk Gets a Remaster

Hello, fam. In these unprecedented times, I have noticed an (appropriately) also-unprecedented uptick in my own video game consumption. This week marks what I thought was an impossible milestone: I have hit 400 hours of gameplay in Animal Crossing. I never could have imagined I would spend that many hours playing any video game, but here we are. Whenever I do look up from my Switch, however, I try to keep abreast of current events, especially about what’s new in video games. So here I am again, ready to share some of the tidbits I’ve gleaned this week. Welcome to GYGO. (more…)