My 2019 in Gaming

If you want a Game Awards done right, you gotta do a Game Awards yourself. Welcome to my year in review, everyone! And Happy New Year! 2019 was another year full of changes. I started out the year insanely overworked, and it only got worse as I went into summer. Both gaming and this blog … Continue reading My 2019 in Gaming

A Design Novice Tackles Super Mario Maker 2

As a Nintendo nerd interested in level design, a better game couldn't possibly exist. Super Mario Maker was arguably the best idea the Wii U ever had. If this game were a launch title, I think the Wii U would have had a completely different story. For the past 3 years now YouTubers have posted … Continue reading A Design Novice Tackles Super Mario Maker 2

Sakurai, Part 5: The Kirby of Game Developers

In his beginning years, Sakurai made it a point to learn game design by playing games. Each game was a textbook of mechanics filled with ideas to analyze. Since then Sakurai has taken a unique position in the games industry where he can observe gaming as a whole, sample and borrow mechanics, and make them … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 5: The Kirby of Game Developers

Sakurai, Part 4: Designing Immortal Games

Overwatch, Anthem, Destiny, Fortnite, Call of Duty... In the short time I've been back into gaming, I've seen several publishers push their games into being subscriptions, trying to get their players to keep paying for content for extended periods of time, whether that's a schedule of DLCs, events, updates, season passes, or lootboxes. One of … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 4: Designing Immortal Games

Sakurai, Part 3: Designing Games with Variety

Eight games in one! That was the tagline for Kirby Super Star, Sakurai's third game, and the first one to include smaller games with widely different styles. This has become a staple of his design philosophy ever since. Opening up a game and seeing a sprawling menu has become his calling card. Sakurai flirted around … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 3: Designing Games with Variety

Sakurai, Part 2: Designing Complex Games

Let's imagine video games as theme park rides. Many of the intense ones have a height requirement in order to protect young kids from getting hurt. In a similar fashion, most video games, in order to get much enjoyment out of them, have a "height requirement" in skill. It's true that many games teach you … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 2: Designing Complex Games

Sakurai, Part 1: Designing Accessible Games

As we begin diving into Sakurai's works, our first point of discussion is perhaps what he's best known for: games that anyone can easily learn and enjoy. Sakurai labeled this design philosophy as Kirbyism. His flagship series, Kirby and Super Smash Bros., are superb entry-level games not just for their respective genres, but for anyone … Continue reading Sakurai, Part 1: Designing Accessible Games