Pro Evolution Soccer 2013

Introduction

Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 is an association football video game, developed by Konami and published on April 18, 2012. The players are encouraged to take control of one soccer team or player to win a tournament or a single match, of which the opponents could be either an AI or another human player. Different soccer tactics and skills can be applied and they will perform differently on different players. According to public game reviews, this version is widely recognized as “one of the most classic versions” in the “Pro Evolution Soccer” series. Click here to view the trailer of this game.

 

Lens #7 Element tetrad

Aesthetics

During game period, the game scene resembles an actual football court with different views including wide view, live TV view, and player-focus view, etc. There will also be playback for goals, shots on goals and fouls right after they happen on court. In addition, other administrative scenes including players booked and substitutions made will also cause the game to pause and playback just like live TV. After the game, players’ off-court life would also be shown including their life in trainings, their communications with coach and managers etc.

 Story

After a busy and fruitful trade window, the season of 2013/2014 kicks start with passionate players and teams. Some of them try to defend their glory they gain from previous seasons, some of them who did not perform well in the past finally got their chance to prove themselves again. There are several mode, including friendly, starting a career as a manager or a player, or playing a specific tournament.

 

Mechanics

Most soccer tactics and skills are made available in this version. For attacking options, you can control your player to do short pass, long pass, straight ball, volley, different types of fake actions. On the contrary, for defending options, you can switch player to control(only when you are controlling an entire team) and conduct following, tackling, clearing, goalkeeper out, etc.

Besides these skills inside the game, you can set the mode of playing as a team before a match and you can adjust the plans according to different game scenarios.

 

Technology

The majority of PES 2013 is developed in C++ and 4A engine, it also allows different players to connect to each other in PC, Playstation, Xbox, etc.

 

 

Lens #32 Meaningful choices

In order to provide a suitable difficulty and create an entertaining experience for the user, this game provide plenty of pre-game setup, which is intuitive and concise. Firstly, you can easily set different difficulty level to get a satisfying experience. Secondly, all teams are up to your choice in matches and you can change transfer players from clubs and national teams in order to form the “dream team” of your own. You can even create new players who simulate yourself as well. Moreover, there are a large number of setup to be used in pre-game configuration, you can change your formation, put more people to defend the opponent’s key players, etc. To sum up, this is a game that provide you with sufficient but not redundant choices.

 

Lens #1 Essential experience

Enthusiastic football fans can find this game really attractive and even addictive, because it covers more or less everything that can be seen in soccer world. When we are playing this game, it feels like that we are really one player or manager that is handling businesses carefully in the soccer world and fighting hard on the pitch. In the real world, the team you like might be currently suffering from defeats, but you can always pick up your pride because you are literally the god of this soccer world.

 

Lens #6 Problem Solving

One of the most attractive features of this soccer game is that the computer will start to adjust your style of playing during a tournament or a career. Therefore, it is impossible for you to stick to one strategy and win all matches because the computer will gradually adapt to your style of playing, therefore you need to solve the problem of creating new strategies to beat the opponent AI player. Moreover, when you are conceded with goals, the players are simulated to be more “nervous” and therefore influence their style and skills of playing. In other words, it makes it harder to score goals when you are 0-1 down than you are still 0-0. These designs provide quite deep level of simulation of real soccer match, and requires the players to think in different situations.

 

 

 

2Cars

Name of Game: 2Cars

Description: It is a offline one player game. You control the two cars on each side with two fingers. The goal of the game is to get as many circles and avoid all the squares. The flow of the game will get faster as time passes.

Link to Game Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI3OKIvJh5k

Mechanics: the screen is divided into two for each car and again into two lanes. On every lane, there is a vertical flow of square or circle blocks along the road. Players control each car by tapping on either side of the screen, which switches the lane of the car. The game ends when any car hits a square block, and the goal is to hit as many circle blocks as you can before the game ends.

Story: There is no story in this game.

Aesthetics: There is a calming blue background which helps to contrast the bright colored circle and square blocks. The two sides also have their own distinct color for better differentiation. The aesthetic is simple and easy to look at.

Technology: There is no technology needed to enhance the experience of this game.

 

Lens 1 Essential Experience: the experience that the players are led to is that of driving cars on the road while trying to hit some items and avoid some items along the way. As the speed of the flow increases with time, players can feel the rush and excitement of an increasing challenge. There is also an experience in multitasking when players have to look out for and control each of the two cars individually.

Lens 2 Surprise: There is definitely the element of surprise throughout the game as the placement/timing of the square and circle blocks are unpredictable and users have to respond fast to what they just saw.

Lens 5 Useful Rewards: There is a sense of accomplishment when players manage to hit the circle block as that contributes to the game score. Hence the players are led to keep seeking that goal.

Lens 6 Problem Solving: the problem solving in such a one-player game would be to beat your own previous high score.

Don’t feed the monkeys

Don’t feed the monkeys is a digital voyeur simulator game. This game allows you to “spy” on people (or in this game, monkeys) that you don’t know of. As a player, you can observe people’s dialog and use the environment around them to get the info you would like to know.

Observation

Lens 1 essential experience

Even though we don’t want to admit, we always have the curiosity toward other people’s life (especially personal life which is hidden) In this came, the developer caught that part of the people’s personality and developed this interesting game. People have surveillance camera which can see what other people are doing in their own home and they could even record it and sell it for money. They provide the player the God mode and make you feel that you could control everything in this game which is both unique and addicting.

Lens 2 surprise

As a player, you can easily find surprises in this game. The game developer tried to make this game realistic. By that, I mean each person in this game has his or her little secret that needs to be discovered by the player. As an example, the person who delivery food for you have a sharp knife on his back which is hard to see and then there’s an option “tip this guy $3” or “you can go now” I personally just tip the guy but there might be other options when players click on the second choice.

Lens 4 Curiosity

As we know “play is manipulation that indulges/satisfies curiosity.” As a player, we always want to discover something new. This is the idea behind this game. You can buy more camera to spy on more people and each person that you spy on will give you different feedback.

Lens 5 endogenous value

In this game, you can always earn and spend your “money” in game. Each cage cost $50, go find a job as a dishwasher will earn you some money to afford your living. You will find that the currency in this game is truly useful.

Lens 7 elemental tetrad

mechanics

As you can see, this game doesn’t have a fantastic screen display. As a matter of fact, compared to other game that came out around the same time, this game’s display screen is somewhat old fashion. It’s low pixel and low quality. And in this game, there’s no multiplayer competition but you can always find fun in this.

Story

There are some interesting little story in this game, for example, a well-known singer is about to die within several days but he has a wish of publishing his last album and you can decide whether you want to help him achieve his final goal or not.

aesthetics

In fact, this game uses a lot of vivid colors to make it looks more interesting

technology

It doesn’t require any additional devices so it suits for most of the computers.

Game website:

https://donotfeedthemonkeys.com/

 

 

Tiny Thief

Introduction

Tiny thief is a role-playing adventure game developed by Rovio Starts and was released on July 11, 2013. The game has 6 episodes and each episode contains 5 levels, the player plays the game as a thief and tries to find a main item, a pet and some secret items in each level. The play needs to collect resources and use them wisely in order to find out a strategy to solve each level.

Lens 7: Element tetrad

Mechanics

The rules of the Tiny Thief game are simple and clear, in each level, the player needs to accomplish a main task – stealing the main item, once the main task is completed, the player can continue to the next level; however, the player can also choose to complete two additional tasks in each level – finding the thief’s pet and finding the secret items, completing all three tasks gives the player a better score on the game.

Story

Tiny Thief follows a complete story line, the game has 6 episodes and each episode has a unique theme. The first episode is an introduction episode teaching the player how to play the game, the second episode tells a story about defeating a corrupt sheriff, in the third episode, the player need to complete levels on a pirate ship, the fourth episode has a theme of saving the king, the fifth episode tells a story of saving the princess, the last episode tells a story of defeating a witch and saving the king.

Aesthetics

The characters in Tiny Thief are designed to be cute and elegant, the game uses various background music and sound effects on different episodes, for example, in the introduction episode, the background music is relaxing and delighting, and in the episode where the player needs to save the king, the background music is fast and dramatic.

Technology

The technology used in the game is simple, the game is developed on Android OS and iOS platforms.

Lens 2: Surprise

The game gives the player an opportunity to find a hidden pet and some secret items in each level, the player never know when and where the pet and those secret items will appear, and the player needs to find a way to collect them, this gives the player surprise when playing the game.

Lens 4: Curiosity

The game uses player’s curiosity to attract them to spend more time on the game. In the game, the play needs to think of a strategy to accomplish each task, he/she needs to collect resources and follow a sequence of instructions in order to complete the major task. Find the strategy is not easy in higher level, thus, the game gives the player some hints. The game also uses three star rating format to arouse the player’s curiosity, completing the main task gives the player one star, the second star is earned by finding the pet, and the third one is earned by find secret items.

Lens 6: Problem Solving

Tiny Thief requires the players to use their problem solving skills. In the game, the player need to find a way to complete the three tasks, it is quite easy in the beginning level, but it gradually becomes more difficult in higher levels. The player needs to pay attention to details and combine with the story line to solve each level.

 

Dungeon Fighter Online

Introduction/Description

Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO) is a multiplayer PC beat ‘em up game developed and publish by Neople, a South Korean subsidiary of Nexon. Gameplay consists of players traversing through dungeons, which are made of rooms containing monsters, clearing rooms of monster before finally defeating the boss of said dungeon.

Elemental Tetrad

Mechanics

  • Players are able to move their characters in similar fashion to classic 2D side-scrolling arcade beat ‘em up games. They can move left, right, up, down as well as jump.
  • Players have a health and mana bar to the left and right respectively. Health is lost when the player is hit by enemy attacks and will not be able to control their character when it hits 0 (dead). Mana is consumed by the player to use skills; the player will not be able to use a skill if they do not have enough mana.
  • Skills are special attacks which the players can use to help them defeat enemies. They can be used either by assigning them to a hotkey bar, which allows players to use that skill by pressing the assigned button, or by entering the skill’s command manually.
  • Players can choose to play as any of the 12-base characters, each with its own classes and set of skills to help clear dungeons.
  • Players can also equip their characters with equipment such as weapons and armour to strengthen their characters and allow them to progress through dungeons.

Story

  • Each of the characters have their own origin story of their past and motivations.
  • The story is told through text and cutscenes, with the player progressing through a set of ‘scenario dungeons’ to progress through the story. The story is linear, although there are a few choices to be made by the player in the story, they do not cause any major branching or changes in the story.

Aesthetics

  • Being like classic beat em’ up games, DFO uses 2D sprites for the characters giving a similar feel to older games in this genre.
  • Faster paced music is used for the game as players are mainly fighting enemies in dungeons, giving players adrenaline.

Technology

  • Fast and stable networking which allows players to play with others through the internet.

Lenses

Lens 2/5 – Surprise & Endogenous Value

  • The highest grade of equipment is obtained through specific dungeons or ‘hell mode’ dungeons. However, the player will not obtain an equipment every time, instead there is a chance for the equipment to appear. The equipment that appears is also random and may also not be usable for the character being played. Overall, this gives an element of surprise for the play. *Although the surprise does provide some enjoyment for players in character progression, the rate of equipment appearing is very low and the randomness of obtaining them can sometimes leave players feeling frustrated as they are unable to progress because of luck which is not in their control.
  • The equipment that appears in these dungeons offer the most benefit for the player, providing the best bonuses for their character. This give the equipment endogenous value for the player being the best equipment that they can obtain to strengthen their characters with.

Lens 32 – Meaningful choices

  • Classes in the game are mainly classified under 3 types: Damage dealer, Support and Synergy. Damage dealer classes focus on dealing damage to the enemy but do not have any supporting skills such as providing bonuses to the party of players. Support classes provide various benefits to the party such as healing, bonuses to the party’s attack or demerits for the enemy. However, they do not deal much damage. Synergy classes provide bonuses for the party but not as much as the support class and can deal damage but not as much as the Damage dealer class.
  • The choice of class given to the player is meaningful as they can choose how they want to play, and it affects their gameplay experience. If a player prefers to be the one to damage the enemies, they can choose a damage dealer class. If they prefer to keep the party alive through healing, they can choose a support class.

Lens 37 – Cooperation

  • Being an online multiplayer game, players can communicate with each other, group up and go through dungeons together. With the different classes available, players can have class combinations or skills that may synergize with each other, making the group of players stronger than if they were on their own.
  • The game has sets of dungeons which together form a ‘raid’ that requires players to work together in order to clear. This encourages cooperation between players as they work together towards a common goal.

Sample game play:

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Game:

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Description of game:

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (ACO) is a single-player action-adventure roleplaying video game developed by Ubisoft Quebec. The game is set in during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens in 431 BCE. Players get to play either a male or female mercenary seeking to reunite their family and along the way get embroiled in a cultist plot that would shake the entire Grecian world.

Lens #9: Elemental Tetrad

Aesthetics:

ACO faithfully replicates the architecture, environment, weapons and clothing of the era while reinventing some designs to appeal to the ‘supernatural’ aspect of the story. The natural environment of the game is expansive and immersive, with the flora and fauna varying depending on the location. For example, farther south of the map, the environment is more desert-like and the architecture likewise looks more worn down compared to the islands farther up north. Extensive research over architecture and clothing was carried out in order to make a convincing and detailed classical Greece. The characters themselves are all highly detailed and realistically modelled to the point where even the color of their veins are distinct.

Story:

The main story follows a Spartan mercenary that was thrown off a mountain as a child and forcibly separated from their family because of a conspiracy. The child escapes to an island and grows up under the care of a local swindler. The child grows up to become a mercenary and is tasked to assassinate their father. Along the way they uncover an entire plot to control the entirety of Greece and the same plot that separated their family in the first place. As the mercenary embarks to reunite their family they take on the extra responsibilty to take down the group behind the conspiracy. The stakes become higher as they find out how influential this group is.

Mechanics:

The game contains role-play elements such as dialogue options which affect certain endings and interactions. However, most options only give the illusion of choice. Other role-play elements include skill trees, character customization, combat system and the new ‘War System’. The War System allows players to fight on behalf either Sparta or Athens, alongside soldiers on the battlefield and help the states secure territory. The bounty system from the previous game is carried over to this game. Players have the option of taking on bounty contracts and if they gain enough notoriety, through criminal activities, they will be pursued by bounty hunters. Naval combat is also carried over from the previous game.

Technology:

ACO was made with AnvilNext 2.0 for the Xbox, PC, PS4 and the Switch. The same engine was used since 2014 on their eighth game (Assassin’s Creed Unity) and thus graphics and performance remained somewhat the same.

Lens #72: Lens of Projection

The game provides players with opportunities to induce their projections onto the game. ACO acts as a historical playground for players that are interested in classical Greece and captures the players’ imagination with it’s detail, accuracy (to an extent) and promise of interesting characters. Players would get to interact and work alongside famous figures such as Leonidas, Hippocrates, Pythagoras and Socrates. Players get to meet and brawl with mythical legends such as Medusa, the Cyclops and the Minotaur.

Image result for medusa assassins creed odyssey

Lens #42: Heads and Hands

The entire game caters to a wide scope of players; those that are not experienced with games to those that want a challenge. Right from the beginning, players get to chose the type of experience they want, one that reduces the amount of combat and grinding to focus on the story and one that provides a more balanced gameplay. Furthermore, if combat is too easy or difficult, players can increase or decrease the difficulty as they see fit. Furthermore there are multiple playstyles for players to pick if they are not as dextrous with their fingers or not. No penalty is imposed on players for whatever they pick.

Sections of the game require players to decipher riddles, letters and messages and use them to find their targets or continue the quest. Those that find it difficult to decode or aren’t interested in that aspect, can easily chose to skip that section of the game.

There are attempts made by the game to add more puzzle solving to balance out the large amount of combat in the game. There are maze-like tombs for players to explore and uncover treasure. However, due to their ease, are very boring and repetitive.

Lens #68: Moments

There are key moments in the game set to evoke strong emotions or come up with big revelations. Major character deaths and character introductions are spaced apart but remain relevant through storytelling to create impactful moments. Key moments have obviously gone through more processing aesthetically to make them powerful. For example, during one character introduction scene, dramatic music plays in the background as the player and the newly introduced character fight in tandem like in an action movie. Such a scene marks the relevance and importance of the character to the player and makes a large impression on them.

Lens #55: Visible Progress

Progress is measured by the how much the player has completed the various questlines. Each quest has a recommended level for the player to aim for before continuing. The quests in the Odyssey category are related to the main story and the status/progress of the main story is indicated by the icons under ‘Your Odyssey’.Image result for ac odyssey quest screen

Klei: Don’t Starve Together

After the success of Don’t Starve, Klei Entertainment developed a multiplayer version of the game, Don’t Starve Together, officially released in 2016. The resource gathering survival-based game features players placed in a cartoon-drawn wilderness world where players aim to do the very thing the title says: Don’t starve.

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Don’t Starve Together on Steam

Story: Unlike the original game, Don’t Starve Together does not explicitly feature a novel on it’s own, but for the most part, it can safely be assumed to have a similar plot to the base game. A magical nightmare throne capable of trapping people indefinitely in a dimension known as The Constant subjects the characters to a constant fight for their life, forcing them to die again and again but never truly killing them.

Mechanics: Players start out with virtually nothing and aim to survive against overwhelming odds in a world where health, sanity and hunger need to be managed on top of the race for resources, harsh climates and dangerous monsters. By gathering resources to construct tools, players can progressively become better equipped for survival and face new challenges.

Aesthetics: The Don’t Starve series is unique with its cartoon-style 2D graphics in a 3D world. While it does not feature sleek 3D models with shiny surfaces that modern AAA-titles tend to have, Don’t Starve (Together) is able to compensate with their cute animations and great design.

Technology: Don’t Starve Together starts players off with primitive tools such as axes and spears, but through progression, players are able to unlock access to magical tools and weapons such as the Ice Staff/Weather Pain.

Lens of Punishment (#41): Don’t Starve Together can be seen in a way as hardcore Minecraft, as deaths are much more punishing and monsters are capable of inflicting greater levels of damage, not just on the player, but their base (E.g Beargar) and hence progression as well. When a player takes too much damage in Don’t Starve Together, they are now forced to play safely or commit time to regaining health, or risk dying and being put out of the game for a significant amount of time, along with becoming a burden to fellow teammates, who now have to revive the fallen player.

Lens of Visible Progress (#49): Progression is highly visible in the game, determined by the state of the player’s camp and the gear that they have equipped. As players gather resources and unlock new technology in the game, they are granted the satisfaction of upgrading their tools and ability to survive with greater ease as well as combat stronger foes.

Lens of Freedom (#71): Don’t Starve Together’s sole objective is to survive, by any means necessary. The game was designed as an open-world game, where players are given the choice to pursue personal goals for further progression. One could choose to explore the whole map for the best location to settle down, or quickly get a base up and running so as to proceed with other challenges.

Lens of Feedback (#57): While Don’t Starve Together is largely unforgiving, there is a fair amount of feedback in the game itself that aims to help the player. For example, the player character issues warnings when there is an imminent Hound attack. The crafting menu highlights in green what items the player can craft with the materials they currently have. Examine options also assist the player when they discover a new structure or item. It is clear that while Don’t Starve Together is built for endless replayability and skill in survival, it provides adequate feedback to the player for learning the game without having to refer to external sources.

Lens of Time (#39): One of the toughest challenges in Don’t Starve is managing time in the game. As it is heavily based on resource collection, players are encouraged to prioritise and choose to pursue goals that they deem most important at that point in time. Every in-game day feels like a rush to achieve objectives, but at the same time, the presence of seasons provides some leeway for players to manage their long-term plans. Spring/Autumn are deemed as friendly seasons with plentiful harvest while Summer/Winter are harsh seasons, having temperature as an additional hazard. Don’t Starve Together is beautifully balanced with its periods of worry and relaxation despite it’s unforgiving nature.

Lens of Skill (#27): In order to do well in Don’t Starve, one has to master the core mechanics of the game. Learning how to manage one’s inventory, kiting to avoid taking too much damage as well as efficiency in time management can heavily influence the success of the player throughout the game. In Don’t Starve, players are meant to learn by playing, dying and repeat.

Lens of Competition vs Cooperation (#38): All the previous lenses apply to Don’t Starve Together as they do to the original base game, but here is one that is special to the former. With more mouths to feed and more hands to work with, Don’t Starve Together had to be designed and rebalanced for teamwork, to accommodate multiple players working together to survive while maintaining the challenge that is core to the game. One of the more significant changes is the modification to monster health, with most mobs having their health doubled and in some cases tripled as compared to the original game. Nonetheless, the multiplayer experience grants the opportunity for experienced players to guide newer players through the ruthless environment that is The Constant while allowing all to have fun.

Although the title implies a focus on cooperation, Klei has incorporated the choice for a competitive environment in the form of Player-vs-Player mode. This brings the original game of Don’t Starve to another level, as players are now issued a whole new challenge, with actual competition for resources and threats that no longer attack in patterns like the computer-controlled monsters that players are used to.

Conclusion: All in all, Klei’s willingness to listen to popular demand has resulted in the release of Don’t Starve Together, an amazing game built off an already brilliant one that highlights the great design decisions associated with modifications for multiplayer.

Dota Auto Chess

Introduction

Dota 2 is a well-known Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game developed and published by Valve Corporation. Dota Auto Chess is a Dota 2 custom game mode designed by China-based Drodo Studio, which published on Jan 4, 2019. By Jan 13, it broke 100k concurrent users and over 672k subscribed users.

Gameplay revolves around drafting “pieces” from a pool of heroes against other players and pitting them against one another in a round robin format. There are 30-second rounds in between each “skirmish” that takes place in the game which determines a winner between each player or creep. Players then rack up gold after each round which then can be used to purchase more pieces, upgrade their “chess level” or just let accumulate. Chess level in the game determines how many pieces you can have on the board as well as potential to obtain even stronger pieces. Whoever wins the most rounds and has the most lives after all the skirmishes, wins the game.

 

Website: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1613886175

Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qSNbONW9o

Elemental Tetrad

Story: 

Life stories and abilities of different heroes are provided in Dota 2. All parameter settings in Auto Chess are based on those background information known by Dota players, which will greatly help Dota players to begin with. However, new players who are not familiar with Dota world line can still master this game very quickly. All players need to remember is that heroes are your chess pieces and they will battle automatically on the chessboard.

Aesthetic:

The map is designed to be simple and clear in order to keep users’ concentration and engagement. All hero pieces are characters in Dota 2,  so it inherits most of the aesthetic design of Dota 2 directly: a set of principles that help keep each hero immediately and uniquely identifiable from above during gameplay. More information can be found here:

https://support.steampowered.com/kb/9334-YDXV-8590/dota-2-workshop-character-art-guide

Mechanics:

The objective of this game is to be the last remaining player of eight. Each round, players will purchase pieces to place on the chessboard and will fight against creeps that generate on the battlefield. As player’s units die, they deduct player’s HP until this player is knocked out. Most importantly, Dota Auto Chess offers a ton of depth (race, class, check and balance, even luck) and strategy wildly differing from the mainline Dota 2 gameplay.

Technology: 

Since Auto Chess has to be launched in Dota 2, its technology requirements are the same as Dota 2:

  • A Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics card with a Core 2 Duo E7400 2.80GHz or Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+ processor to reach the recommended specs,
  • Achieving high graphics setting on 1080p.
  • RAM requirements are at least a 4 GB memory.
  • Minimum RAM requirements are 2 GB system memory.
  • A GPU capable of running DirectX 9.

Lenses and Comments

Lens #4: Surprise

Very few chess pieces are very powerful, usually come along with ability of area of effect (AOE) or Crowd Control. Besides, heroes can be upgraded by combine 3 identical pieces. Level up their star rating and in turn, make them more powerful. If a player gets these powerful pieces fortunately, the probability of win will increase a lot.

Upgrade heroes to make them stronger

Lens #39: Meaningful Choices

A player can retain at most 10 heroes on the chessboard. Heroes who have the same species or classes will gain strong combos. Thus, how to combine existing pieces into combos and how to restrain lineups of others will play an important role to this game.

Auto Chess Species/Class combo

Lens #46: Reward & Lens #53: Balance

Gold is the only resource in this game, it can be used to buy heroes, refresh current draw, upgrade “chess level” to place more heroes, and simply accumulate to earn 10% of interest at the beginning of each round. Players will get bonus golds if they achieve a winning streak, and get compensated for losing streak with bonus golds as well. This mechanism will guarantee the balance between players.

Interestingly, some players found that it is much easier to keep losing instead of keep winning to get bonus golds. So they choose to lose several games on purpose at the beginning, then save money until they have enough economic advantages to buy strong chess pieces all at once. The strategy of “turn the table” is one of the reasons that attracts so many people.

Lens #79: Freedom

Players can choose any hero type and place it onto chessboard, and adjust the lineup on 8×8 chessboard as he likes. Freedom guarantees creativity. There are still many players all over the world thinking of new strategies and new combo combinations among different species and classes. As more and more versions are updated, new heroes and new combos will show up, which guarantees that the possibilities of battle arrays will never come to an end, and there could never be a “best strategy” for this game.

 

Subnautica

 

The crash-landed Aurora

Introduction

Subnautica by Unknown Worlds Entertainment is a first-person, open-world survival-adventure game whereby most of its gameplay takes place in the ocean of an alien planet. The player is encouraged to explore and interact with the entities and objects found in multiple underwater biomes in order to secure the means of survival and learn more about the unknown waters he/she is surrounded by. Click here for gameplay trailer (warning: video starts with rather loud explosion).

Lens #7 – Elemental Tetrad

Cyclops, submarine for deep-sea exploration

Story

It is currently the late 22nd century and humans have begun extensive space exploration to colonize alien planets. The “Aurora”, a spacecraft constructed by the trans-gov Alterra was shot down while passing near Planet 4546B on a mission and crash-landed onto the planet’s watery surface. The player takes on the role of Ryley Robinson, a survivor of the crash, as he explores his surroundings and searches for possible survivors and a way to escape the planet. He uncovers the history of the sentient inhabitants of the planet, both alien and human, which gives clues to why the “Aurora” was shot down and how to prevent the same thing from happening if he wishes to leave Planet 4546B.

Mechanics

The player’s survival depends on 4 main gauges: Health, Food, Water, Oxygen. The Food and Water gauges deplete over time and can be restored by consuming certain items. Health may be lost due to attacks by hostile entities and can be restored by using First Aid Kits. The capacity of the Oxygen gauge can be increased by equipping gear. Oxygen decreases gradually while the player is submerged and is replenished by resurfacing or by boarding a vehicle or functional habitat. Complete depletion of any of these gauges eventually leads to the death of the player, upon which the player will drop all items from a non-secured inventory and respawn at the last known safe-house.

Generally, the player has 360° freedom of movement underwater, allowing for extensive exploration to be carried out. Materials can be gathered, by picking them up or by hunting creatures inhabiting the ocean, which can be used in crafting equipment, vehicles and items to widen the range of actions the player can do. The player is may choose to develop a seabase which can provide perks in the way of upgrades, resource finding, ensuring survival or just purely for aesthetics.

A Reefback’s size compared to a Seamoth vehicle

Aesthetics

Subnautica’s graphics is excellent in the way that the design of the creatures themselves let the player intuitively infer if it is a predator or not, and that the fauna’s size ranges from small critters to humongous leviathans. As the player progresses deeper into the unknown, creatures start to look more foreboding and dangerous, much like how most people would perceive such creatures of the deep, amplifying the instinctual trepidation people have of the unknown. Paired with the sounds and cries made by these entities, an immersive experience is created which evokes emotion of awe, mystery, tension and fear in the player. The use of lighting is kept to a good balance and the depths of caverns out of reach of sunlight is sufficiently lit which allows the player to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere while not being frustrated at being unable to see.

Technology

Subnautica is developed in Unity and is available to play on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It may require a PC with slightly higher end specifications for optimal gameplay with best graphics.

Lens #3 – Fun

The player has a survival PDA which contains an AI that talks to the player when certain events occur. While it does sometimes give a dialogue or hint which is essential for survival, it can also give somewhat witty and humorous responses. One such line quoted from Subnautica when the player successfully leaves Planet 4546B, “Welcome home to Alterra. Permission to land will be granted once you have settled your outstanding balance of: 1,000,000,000,000 credits.” These small snippets of humor coming in now and then, sometimes at unexpected and inappropriate moments, keep the player entertained and breaks the monotone of seriousness at much needed times.

Lens #25 – Goals

The ultimate goal of Subnautica is for the player to escape from Planet 4546B. The player is constantly reminded of this goal both visually and audibly. The burning wreck of the “Aurora” visible on the horizon and the audio log files discovered serve as anchors to keep the player conscious of the desire to leave the planet. Even without following the story mission prompts, the player will inevitably come across key pieces of information and hints which aid them in their escape from the planet while exploring. Every milestone reached towards the final goal is rewarding on its own as it unlocks more avenues of exploration and surprises for the player. Knowing what happened in every part of the story from start to completion gives the player a sense of satisfaction and a goal to work towards to.

Lens #32 – Meaningful Choices

The player is free to choose how to play Subnautica and what kind of experience he is looking for. Choosing the type of equipment and upgrades to use, whether to run or to fight and so on. Even if the player decides to use resources to create a base which is aesthetically pleasing but largely useless otherwise, it is possible to disassemble the base to get back 100% of the resources used with the only loss being time itself. This allows the player have the freedom to do what they find fun without it having strong repercussions on the gameplay when progressing through the story later on.

Lens #70 – Story

Apart from Subnautica being one of the few games which happen almost entirely underwater, another aspect which gets people hooked in the gameplay is its story. The story itself serves as the foundation of Subnautica. It subtly explains many things about the game while being believable for the players. For example, because it is the late 22nd century and technology is extremely advanced, the player is able to create so many things from raw materials with just a tool called a fabricator. For interested players, data can be obtained while playing which goes in-depth to explain the design of lifeforms by including evolutionary factors relating to the environment they are found in.

The escape rocket

 

Overall, playing Subnautica on PC has been a really enjoyable and immersive experience. The storyline and all the additional data available to players to explore freely left me with a feeling of fulfillment upon completion of the game. This fascinating world has an element of elegance which naturally draws people in and has without doubt, become one of my top favorite games to play.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

 

Description

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a third person shooter, hack-n-slash video game that was developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Relic Entertainment. The game was released in North America and Europe in 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine offers players a choice of playing the game in a single player story mode or its online team multiplayer mode.

Space Marine’s official website: https://www.spacemarine.com/

Setting

The game takes place in the 41st millennium, about 38,000 years into the future, where most of humanity has united itself under the rule of the Emperor of Mankind and conquered countless of planets across the galaxy. The player will play as a Space Marine – a hulking, genetically-engineered superhuman soldier. Donned with one of the best armours humanity has to offer, the player and other fellow Space Marines are charged in defending humanity and its territories from the hostile alien forces and traitorous humans that defected from the empire in favour and worship of daemonic entities.

The Lens of Elemental Tetrad

Mechanics

In this game, the player can choose to play as Space Marines or Chaos Space Marines, evil corrupted versions for their former counterparts, to fight other players or the player can choose to play with other Space Marine players as a same team against AI-controlled teams of Orks and Chaos Space Marines (similar to that of the single player mode). In either mode, the players will be put through multiple stages in which they must slay the opposing team and capture various objectives. The players will have access to an assortment of various weaponry and equipment that will greatly augment the Space Marine’s tactical combat prowess. This arsenal of war gears allows the Space Marine to be tailored to the player’s favoured playstyle and adapt to various situations accordingly. The players can either choose to engage the enemies in close combat, shoot the latter from afar with guns, or even do a combination both. Although the players are unable to jump or crouch normally like what most first-person shooter games offer, they can perform a dodge roll which allows the Space Marine to evade certain types of projectiles or melee attacks.

Aesthetic

Being set many years into the future, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is mainly portrayed in a dark industrial, science fiction setting with heavy aesthetical influences from the Lovecraftian genre. Characters in this game are usually armed with at least a form of weapon or protection, filled with scars, wear and tear or surgical marks. In addition to that, gory injuries and deaths are also repeatedly shown throughout the game – to depict the state of constant warfare and the brutality of it the game is set in.

Story

In the single player campaign mode, the player gets to play as Captain Titus, a Space Marine of the Ultramarines, a hardened war veteran of countless battles and skirmishes. Leading a company of Ultramarines, Captain Titus is tasked to liberate an Imperial Forge World, a planet dedicated in manufacturing of various machines and devices for humanity, from the alien Orks and the forces of Chaos.

Although the story of this game is linear and pre-scripted, it is packed with interesting twists and unexpected betrayals. With that aforementioned, this mode serves more as a tutorial for users to get familiar with the gameplay mechanics and game’s lore and setting at the cost of its replayability – which is more than compensated for by its multiplayer mode.

Technology

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is developed using Phoenix Engine, an internal game engine developed by Relic Entertainment. While this particular game engine is made specifically for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, it has been particularly noted that the game exhibited very similar traits to the games made by Unreal Engine 3. Thus, it could be said that there was not much innovation in this game due to the lack of ground-breaking techniques in developing Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.

However, despite it not utilizing any advanced or unique technology for its game development, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine still managed to appeal to its target audiences through its rich lore and aesthetics as well as its flexible gameplay mechanics.

 

The Lens of Surprise – #2

  • A great number of varied weapons and perks with their own unique attributes
  • Various equipment that alters the vitality, firepower and maneuverability of players, allowing them to surprise each other with unexpected possibilities of combat
  • Pseudo-Randomized spawning locations and enemy types for players
  • Drawbacks of weapons and enemy types that cause self-harm to each other from time to time

The Lens of Dynamic State – #22

  • Not every weapon/equipment/perk are unlocked at the start.
  • Perks and some equipment are only unlocked after attaining certain achievements or challenges
  • Weapons, cosmetics and most equipment can be unlocked by attaining certain levels – levels are gained by attaining a set amount of experience points
  • Each time the player completes a certain stage or round, users can gain experience points
  • Therefore, if players fail to win a certain stage or round, as long they complete it, their effort would not be in vain as they can still gain experience points which will help them in unlocking more weapons

The Lens of Challenge #31

  • This game requires you to utilize your quick reflexes in evading the enemy attacks, especially that of stronger foes – this forces the players to master the game’s controls and enemy attack timing
  • Limited ammunition and as well as the different type of enemies forces the players to balance their ranged and melee gameplay style between each other
  • Weapons and equipment all have their own different strengths and drawbacks forces the players to master the timing of their attacks and positioning in order to not place themselves in a highly disadvantageous situation
  • A variety of enemy types with various types of traits and resistance also forces the players to adopt different playstyles or weapons and equipment in order to better adapt themselves in tackling the former

The Lens of Cooperation #37

  • This game highly encourages communication between each other by the presence of voice and text chat between the team
  • Although players can equip themselves with different weapons and equipment, they are fixed to the that particular equipment and weapons they picked for that particular stage
  • Therefore, players are incentivized to communicate with each other in order to synergize and specializing their roles to better chance in winning the stage (like having one player with heavy long-range firepower and the other player being more melee oriented to drive away enemies that stray or spawn too close to the former)
  • Players who are skillful enough in the game can complete the earlier stages of the game without much help from each other or communication – however without some form of cooperation or appropriate synergy of roles, it will almost be impossible to win the later stages of the round