Awesome Kansai Game Developers

I had a very long, but very awesome day yesterday. I had some business in Osaka so I left my house in Yokohama early, hopped on a bullet train, and was in Osaka by 10:30 AM. I lived in the Kansai area (Osaka and Kyoto–I was in Kyoto) more than ten years ago as a […]

Do you want me to explore or not?

I’m most of the way through Alan Wake now (at least, I think I am–it’s not supposed to be very long) and so far I’m enjoying it. It’s very different than the Japanese horror games that make up the bulk of this site, and it’s a very nice change of pace. I’ll write more about […]

Interestingness Increasing

I’m writing this post from a hotel room in central London. I’m visiting the UK in order to attend the Develop Conference, a Europe-centric conference for game developers. Yesterday I took the train south to Brighton for the first day of the conference, a special day focused on mobile developers, and gave a talk to […]

Loading… considers our favorite genre

You might recall that about a year ago, I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the Thinking After Dark conference (my notes: one, two, and three). Now, several of the papers presented at that conference (including, I’m honored to report, my own) are available in the latest issue. Half of the issue is […]

The Inversely Suspicious Character Problem

I’m several hours into Heavy Rain now, and I’m throughly enjoying it. There are some flaws here and there but generally the whole thing is amazingly well done, and unlike 99% of other games on the market today. I’ll post a lot more about it when I finish. Playing Heavy Rain got me thinking about […]

Why Juon Matters

The recently released Wii horror game, Ju-on: The Grudge, is not a fantastic game. It’s plagued by a game design that values one-hit kills and requires levels to be replayed over and over, and yet it’s so simple that no amount of replaying can really make you a better player. The level designs themselves are […]

Horror vs the In-Game Store

Problem: Balancing game difficulty across ten or twenty hours of play in a way that enables all types of gamers to enjoy your game is hard. Games that get too hard will be frustrating, but games that are too easy are boring. There’s a sweet spot between those two that makes a perfect game, but […]

Storytelling in Resident Evil 5

I’m close to ten hours into Resident Evil 5. So far, I’m throughly enjoying it; it’s not some great masterwork but it’s an extremely well-made game and I haven’t run into any major frustration points. Unlike the technically similar Dead Space, the moment-to-moment game play is deep enough that simple pattern alterations (new enemy, new […]

Terminal Station

About four years ago I was working in the game industry making video games. At the time I was getting ready to start on a PSP game (this was before the PSP had shipped, but game development was already in full swing), and I wanted to get up to speed with my company’s 3D graphics […]

The Survival of Survival Horror

There’s a pretty great article over at GameTopius called The Survival of Survival Horror about the way that modern survival horror games resemble their predecessors. The author, Thomas Cross, draws a line in the sand between games like Dead Space and Resident Evil 5, and Siren: New Translation and Silent Hill 5. His point–which is […]