games design

Gamin’ gamin’

by on Jun.29, 2010, under consoles, game reviews, games design, playstation

It appears that I’ve got my gaming-mojo back. In defense of my nominal nerd quotient, I’ll insist it was never lost, however the pesky realworld-o-sphere forced its ugly hand and dragged me away from all things gaming. At any rate, I’m BACK, with new toys… A PS3. My first console ever. This is exciting, well, it’s exciting to me. I own a Wii, but that doesn’t count. Sorry, Nintendo.

So, in the spirit a reducto of my gaming ways, I’d like to start sharing what’s been baking in my gaming oven of doom…


(continue reading…)

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Tera goes for Lowest Common Denom

by on Jun.03, 2010, under games design

This game gets suckier every time I see it mentioned.

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Thinking about thinking with Portals

by on Mar.24, 2010, under games design

An absolute treasure of an article from Game Informer.

An excellent peek at the upcoming sequel to everyone’s pet favourite, Portal, along with notes about the design of the game’s devious puzzles. I’m a huge lover of Portal, hearkening back to my first experience with the concept in the student-made prototype, Narbacular Drop.

Have a look, enjoy… just wanted to share it here.

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Kicking skeleton butt in Trine

by on Feb.10, 2010, under games design

Have a look. Trine is reminiscent of the platformers I played in the C64 era, but with zany light effects and physics! On Steam for $5!

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OFP2 Rocked!

by on Oct.27, 2009, under games design

Oh yes, loved it! Had it’s suckage but all in all…. thumbs up.

… more later!

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Planetside 2???

by on Sep.29, 2009, under FPS, games design, mmo

I would very, very, very much welcome this.

According to RPS, this may be in the works. Per

As a somewhat seasoned (but inexpert) Planetside player (CR4), Planetside had a great mix of teamplay, massive battles, and a wide variety of individual player choice (specializations, vehicles, objectives). It’s probably one of my favourite games of all time. I moved on when it was clear the game was dying a slow death (empty servers, etc.).

My thinking on PS2:

  • A PVE axis that contributed to the overall battle (and your XP). This was planned for, and never implemented in the original. There was a real lack of solo content in PS, and this would have really helped.
  • Better base design, thus removing the layout silliness that players would exploit. Also base placement was a huge problem, very odd design decisions were made in that regard.
  • Better LFM/LFG system. Enough of the hunting for extra squad members.
  • Proximal VOIP system would allow you to shout at nearby players to get them moving. Teamspeak was great if you were already grouped, however the whole server couldn’t be on your TS server.
  • If the game has a “Command” specialization that allowed them special privilege to direct the battle, then reward players who following your orders. This would ecourage better organization and get groups moving in the same direction. Having more people on one side of a battle made all the difference.
  • Reward the support activities of players who chose to perform roles that don’t involve battle. The ANT drivers and the GAL pilots should be encouraged, not excluded.
  • Outfit/Guild Housing is absolutely required. The implementation of Outfits was an aborted design, obviously. There must be clear benefits to joining an Outfit and sticking with it. And then rewarding the successful ones. A game built around teamplay should structure itself around the entire concept of “Team”.

The list goes on, now that I start thinking about it. Planetside was THE GAME that realised the goal of most MMO games. Massive battles, massive coordination, esprit de corps, and most of all, fun! I miss that game.

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by on Sep.17, 2009, under games design

Here’s to covert.c, turning gameblogging into bloggaming. I came back to my site to find I had let it lapse again, OOPS! So I re-signed for a whole year to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore. At my rate, that means about 2 posts before I have to re-new again.

Anyhow. Thoughts coming. I’m motivated this time! Thanks for (not) reading!


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Re-re-re-activating the blog and welcoming 2009!

by on Jan.03, 2009, under games design

I’m jumping off the fence for a while on the gameblogging thing, and thought that perhaps rather than just idly thinking my thoughts about Games, I should just post them!

So covertcreations is back and I’m not liking the look of this site anymore. I intend on making a few custodial changes and fixing it up again! Is this a new years resolution? I hope not, or it will never get done! Hah!

My Top Five Memorable Gaming Moments of 2008 :

5. Leading a guild in World of Warcraft.

I had a reasonably strong guild in Warcraft (Bonechewer) only because as a rogue, the chances of being invited to raids was very low. So I decided that starting groups gave me a better chance, and for better or for worse I ended up with a guild out of it. Good times through 2008. Weird times, too. Warcraft is a game of rather broad scope, and the polish makes it enjoyable to play. However, the strong social vector that is present can be a boon and a bust for many things. The role of guild leader that I found myself in taught me a bit of politics and annoyingly, a lot of skill in appeasement. I’ll write more guild anecdotes later, but for now Warcraft was firmly entrenched in my gaming life in 2008…

4. Casual games on Facebook.

I went from Srabulous to Scramble to Word Twist and Word Challenge. Ultimately, the best game was ‘Who has the biggest brain”. Unfortunately for me, I plateaued at a certain stage with no hope of ever beating some of my esteemed facebook friends, as one is a certified genius from high school that routinely memorized entire encyclopedias and solved rubik’s cubes in under 20 seconds. AD&D made a brief appearance on FB this year as well. It was an aborted turn-based questing game that was somewhat entertaining, if not a little flawed. What one COULD do on Facebook with D&D gets my gears turning. More on that later!

3. RSA lose the token deal to VASCO on the Blizzard Authenticators.

Ouch. I was hoping this was a big chance for RSA to get into gaming security. Alas, to no avail. We are just too expensive for Blizzard. Vasco won it, and now you can do 2-factor authentication into Warcraft. And as I said a long time ago – this is GOOD security!

2. Not being able to log into WARHAMMER after changing my password!

WAR was interesting and entertaining. But I was really pissed that after changing my password that I could no longer log in. After hiatus, I’m sure I will return. However my friends in the game seem to be already trickling back to WoW. I’d like to see some good Planetside-style MMO action in WAR, but I don’t have my hopes up. And I’m only level 7 or something… who has time for all this stuff?


1. Counterstrike!

So with my new leet gaming rig, I decided to log CS:S for a night. And I haven’t stopped! It’s crazy and intolerable just like it ever was, however it’s still a boatload of fun that I can’t seem to give up. Really, I wonder.. how OLD is this game??

So there you have it. My top 5 list for the year and the first content post in at least 2!

Happy New Year! 🙂

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Immersion, anywhere

by on Nov.16, 2006, under games design, mobile games, playstation

mobile phone Innovation is surprising.

It’s not something for which we already have a front-row seat. Its the thing that leaps out of the darkness, hitting us straight in the mouth. And we’re happy for it. Cold water can be good, it wakes us out of our reverie.

The next wave. I see the wishful promises across print, spun out of relentless animated GIFs, flooding across the wires, and streamed into my home. Wireless and Mobile Entertainment. “Come”, they say. “Let us show you nextgen”.

I walked through a door once, beckoned by my host. Someone was talking.

“Craig, here’s the future.”

(continue reading…)

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