Tag Archives: what i learned

What I Learned From “Spec Ops The Line”

It’s been a while, so let me recap: “What I Learned” essays are not game reviews in the traditional sense. Rather, I talk about what I learned as a designer from playing the game in question. Sometimes I learn awesome things from terrible games, and sometimes games I love don’t actually give me any new insights.

This past weekend, I played Spec Ops: The Line….

Wait, before I start. This essay will not just “contain spoilers” as we mere mortals understand it — I will ruin the entire game for you. I will spoil this game like five-month old milk. Here be spoilers. Spoiler alert. Seriously, I’m going to talk about the end of this fucking game, a lot. If you haven’t played it, just know that it is not a typical shooter, and the narrative is worth the six or so hours it’ll take to get through it. Come back when you’re done. I’ll be here.

(Oh, and avoid the comments, too. Spoilers there as well, most likely.)

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What I’ve Been Playing

58694182_bf6e244a51 Although I haven’t had much free time lately, when I do have some I try to sneak in a few games here and there (both for work research and because I like playing games to relax). I haven’t posted an update on what I’m playing in a while, so here’s what I’ve been playing over the past several months.

Torchlight: I didn’t play this for a long time, because I was getting a bit tired of the grind and long loading times on my netbook, but with the new computer I picked it up again and tried a new character class (Destroyer). It’s still fun for a spot of hack and slash when I don’t have the time for a more involved game, but I’m not playing it terribly much at the moment.

D&D 4e: Still playing in two different games of this. Still enjoying it. Still finding people online surprised at the fact that I’m playing and enjoying it.

Icons: I’m actually getting together a game of this starting in July, a gritty take on superheroes called “Needs Must.” There’s a wiki for Needs Must up on Obsidian Portal, although it’s still pretty rough at the moment. I haven’t run a game in a while, and Icons looks to be a good balance of entertaining fun and low-prep that I need at the moment. I’m curious how the idea of putting all dice-rolling into the player’s hands will work in practice, though.

Loom: I picked up the LucasFilm Adventure Pack on Steam a few months ago, and have been slowly making my way through them. The first I played was Loom, which is a great, short little adventure that was indie long before indie was cool. The gimmick of having to do most things through the interface of musical notes was a little frustrating, but the charm overrode the annoyance for me, and I appreciated the deep focus on just the gameplay that mattered to tell the story. It’s disappointing that it was set up for a sequel that never happened, but still worth a few bucks.

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