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Post Tagged with: "Journey"

#SummerOfGaming: So Many Streams

Whelp! I’m used to June being centered around games, reveals, trailers, conferences, and streams, but this year — even without a real E3 — it’s explosive.

There are so many streams, I can hardly keep up. So thank you, Belghast, for making this list with all the streams and links. I’ll come back to it and make sure I watch all the streams I’ve missed so far.

I’ve watched most of them so far and I’m seeing a lot of repeated content, but the added gameplay/interview segments are amazing. It’s nice to see gameplay played by the hosts instead of someone who’s already played the game for 100+ hours because they need to test everything. I want to see players experiencing the game as newbies. Because I will be a newbie, and I will fail miserably most of the time.

It’s like seeing clothes on normal-sized models instead of size zero or two models with no boobs or butt.

So let’s talk about trailers. The streams are filled with them, but will they actually sell me any games?

What makes a good trailer (imo)?

Disclaimer: This is all my opinion and should not be taken as ‘this is the gold standard’.

Most trailers (not teasers) should include at least some of the following:

  • In-game footage
  • Gameplay
  • An introduction to the player character
  • An introduction to the setting
  • A question or hook

I put ‘in-game footage’ first. Why? Because we want to know what we can expect visually. Games are still a visual medium and thus the art style and graphics can heavily influence our decision to (not) play a game.

Gameplay! I can’t stand trailers without gameplay. That’s what we’re going to do for, who knows, 60+ hours? I need to see the combat system (if there is one) because I can handle some better than others. I need to know if it’s first or third-person. Because I can’t play anything first-person and thus the game would be a not-buy if it is.

Every good piece of marketing needs a hook. We as an audience need to care, need to have a reason for wanting to play. I wouldn’t necessarily say the question or hook is a call-to-action, but it’s part of the sales funnel. With a dozen space-related games announced across multiple genres, why would I care about your game?

This is where the introduction to the character(s) and setting comes in. Maybe this is enough to convince some players. Like the teaser for Cyberpunk 2077. I’ve heard so many players loving the setting, and most of them didn’t even care about what kind of game it was (or would be).

For some games, the character and setting, with a small bit of gameplay are enough to show what the game is about. Think about Journey. There is no textual story. It’s all told through narrative design. It makes you wonder, and that is the hook.

Solar Ash had the same kind of vibe. There was no need to introduce the story. The character moving through the world and interacting said more than words could about what kind of game it is. Based on the trailer, I would try it.

Trailers or teasers?

I saw two trailers, Project Athia and Star Wars: Squadron, which only featured video segments, although they say in-game footage. You get a sense of the graphics you can expect. (Please don’t. We all know how deceptive these things can be.) But we see nothing of the combat system, UI, or what’s actually something we will see outside of the cutscenes. I wouldn’t say these are trailers, they’re teasers. They want us to become curious about the game, but it’s not made to sell us the game.

I’m curious about what we’ll see when they’ll reveal more about Squadron later this week, but I’m not holding my breath about any new info on Project Athia.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Finish 5 Games

I suck at finishing games. Or I play games that you can’t really finish. Right now I’m mostly playing The Sims 4. Guild Wars 2 is my other option. You can’t really finish these games.

So far I’ve only finished one game since starting my goals, Journey. I never thought this would be the first game I’d finish since there are so many others that I wanted to play first. I’ll still play the others, at some point.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is on my list to complete as well. I loved Dragon Age: Origins and skipped Dragon Age II. Why? I don’t know. I might be halfway done with Inquisition, although it’s hard to pinpoint with the open world setting. I’m having fun though. It reminds me much of Origins, but better.

Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten is my third game that I want to finish. It’s a tower defense game with heroes instead of towers. I’m not really following the story (not skipping, but fast forwarding), but it’s nice that there’s more to it than just the general zombie invasion.

The increased difficulty per level is nice as well. I usually start new levels at casual, but there are four difficulties per level in total. And then there are the challenges. I haven’t tried those yet, since my team might not be strong enough. I’d rather level them up a bit more and buy better equipment.

Epistory is the fourth that I want to finish. I already wrote about it this Blaugust, and I haven’t played it since, but I will. I just have to get a little faster with my typing.

Now, my fifth game is still open. I have no idea which game I want to play and that I want to finish. I have a dozen, but I seriously have a problem with my Steam library. It’ll also depends on the mood I’m in.

Relaxing with Journey

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

Journey is an indie title for the Playstation. It was praised and loved by many and I played earlier this year for the first time. I felt sick and needed something relaxing to play.

Journey almost feels like a meditative game. Your avatar doesn’t speak and the music is relaxing. The environment is the only thing guiding you through the levels. Exploring the levels more will give your cape a boost which means you can jump/fly higher/longer. I think my cape was longer than I was and the extra boosts were useful in one of the later levels in which you have to ascend a tower.

You begin in a desert with only a few ruins around. That’s where you’re going. Red and gold indicators help you find your way, slowly introducing new mechanics to unlock new areas.

There are some enemies, giant dragon like structures, which point their laser eyes at you. I think I died once when I saw them for the first time.  They’re intimidating enough that you know without anyone telling you, hey, this is a bad guy. I commend the devs for the art direction.

Even though the game has been released years ago, people are still playing. I had no idea that you shared your game with someone else. After a few levels I noticed that my buddy’s cape had different lengths, indicating they were different players. In the later levels, a buddy is crucial for keeping warm. I was lucky to have one who knew what was necessary.At the end of the game, I even received an extra achievement for finishing the game with a partner throughout the whole game.

Everything they say about this game is true. Beautiful art style, great music, a nice story. It only took me a couple of hours, but they were a lot of fun. I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t played it yet.

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