All posts by David T. Marchand

About David T. Marchand

Author of several games and interactive stories. Twine 2’s Spanish language translator. Enthusiast for games shorter than 5 minutes.

Onda verde

Update: We did it! We released the game. Thank you so much to everyone who participated. You can play it on the following link: Onda verde at Itch.io.

Next up, the original post:

Today in Matajuegos we’re announcing the free, safe, and legal web game, Onda verde (Green wave), to be released this August 8th in support of the march for the right to free, safe, and legal abortion in Argentina.

But we need your help!

Our game is going to depict a march towards the Argnetinean Congress, and we need virtual protesters. Go to the link up there and send us a 100×100 px image with a transparent background. It can be a drawing of yourself protesting or a made up character.

We hope you can come!

Getting Over It with David Marchand

Video transcript

A lot of people detest spoilers. When you’re in no hurry to watch a certain movie, but you know you have to go see it because if anybody tells you how it ends you’re not gonna to be able to enjoy it. Or when a new season of a show you like just came out on Netflix, and you have to tread carefully on social media. Bear in mind that you can save this video, buy the game, try it out for as long as you want and then come back if you feel like it. My accent’s not gonna get any better, but I’ll still be here. Continue reading Getting Over It with David Marchand

Windows, borders and defamiliarization in Daniel Linssen’s games

For some minutes he had been watching the Tower of Art […] As is the case with many things that are totally familiar, he hadn’t really looked at it for years.

Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett, 1989)

The first game by Daniel “Managore” Linssen I played was his metroidvania birdsong (2014). The game’s main appeal, in at least two ways, is its camera. The first way is the clearest: the viewport encompasses Continue reading Windows, borders and defamiliarization in Daniel Linssen’s games

The Real Escapist Was Houdini: Molleindustria and Games for Facing Reality

…we can imagine ways to fix Monopoly – either rewarding players who are behind to keep them within a reasonable distance of the leaders, or making progress more difficult for rich players. Or course – this might impact the game’s ability to recreate the reality of monopoly practices – but reality isn’t always “fun”.

MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research
Hunicke, LeBlanc y Zubek, 2004

Game criticism always goes back to the question of what’s the purpose of games. The answer has to be complex because not every game has the same goal, and different players look for different things (sometimes in the same games).

For common sense, there is no complexity to it: the purpose of all games is to produce fun, and the player is always looking for new ways to escape from their mundane reality. Sooner or later one encounters different forms of this escapist idea as a justification for criticism being unnecessary, since criticism often explores the juncture where games and reality are more closely related. Criticism is then left in the awkward position of arguing that many games couldn’t care less if their players are having fun, which is true yet counterintuitive.

Continue reading The Real Escapist Was Houdini: Molleindustria and Games for Facing Reality

All Mechanics Convey Meaning

It can be annoying when people who don’t know the first thing about videogames claim that games can’t say anything relevant on a human level. Still, those are people we can ignore. In my experience writing about games, the true pebble in the shoe are those who know them very well, yet decide we can only take a game’s message seriously if we’re going to praise it. If, instead, we intend to criticize a game for its message being toxic, then the game’s only purpose is to entertain, and all criticism is an overreaction.

The logic behind this defensive attitude is full of false assumptions: that only some or a few games convey any message at all, that a piece of entertainment must by definition have nothing to say, that if criticisms were correct players would replicate in-game actions in real life, that you can make art without your pesky subjectivity getting in the way, that freedom of artistic expression means toxic ideas are above scrutiny.

Continue reading All Mechanics Convey Meaning

Minimal input games and the exploration of juice

We’ve all played a game that is simply too much fun to touch. A thing whooshes when you move it, two things wiggle as they push into each other, it all feels alive and reacts to the controls with glee. There might be many things that make the game good (or bad), but just interacting with it on a superficial level you already feel like a baby who can’t look away from the flashing lights of a toy, or the song it plays.

Some game designers call this “juice”. You can define it as “tons of cascading action and response for minimal user input”. A game can be juicy, and most games should be juicy, or so the saying goes. Another saying goes, “Game design is quite hard and it’s impossible to give broad statements that are true for everything, but adding juiciness to your game makes your game better 100% of the time”. Continue reading Minimal input games and the exploration of juice

Asdfasd

Genre is a slippery concept. Audiences tend to think of genres as separate shelves where every book, every movie, every song has a definitive place. In videogames, this is reinforced every time a company capitalizes on our shelving compulsion to sell us stuff, or every time an indie hit spawns a thousand derivative games, giving birth to a genre that is more an awkward formula for success than an organic system of expressive devices.

I’m about to tell you how refreshing it feels when I come across what feels like a True Genre, however absurd or insignificant it might be, but don’t let anybody define “genre” for you. Games are experiences. You’re not supposed to buy into marketing-born, feature-based experience classifications. I mean, you are, in fact, but what I’m trying to say is: don’t. Continue reading Asdfasd