Neglected Blog

I’m hoping to get back to writing articles soon. My most recent semester at college (thankfully over) has been a complete meat-grinder and I haven’t been able to keep up a schedule. I’ve also run into a huge writers block on the two or three articles I had in the works already. I have a job and I’m taking another class over the summer (network security; always fun).

However, as I said, I have two or three articles in the works that I’m bouncing between, and I should be able to get back to working on them and get over this writer’s block.

Definition of Terms

A friend suggested I define some terms or concepts that I use, so people don’t have to wonder what I’m talking about, they can actually check. A lot of them will be common-sense for those who have been playing games, and if they are for you then just skip it. I’ll keep adding onto this as I run into terms I should define.

First-person: The view in-game is from the perspective of the player; through his eyes, etc.

Third-person: The view in-game isn’t necessarily through the player’s eyes. Usually it’s over his shoulder.

Mechanics: Some distinct element of the game, usually a set of them define a genre of game. Some examples include upgrade systems, a first-person view, or even reloading on weapons.

Shooters: Genre of game where you have a gun and you shoot things, usually centering around action. I wish it was as cut and dry as that, but later will throw in comparisons to set them apart.

Role-Playing Games: The role-playing games are classically defined as a game where you choose a role and play as that. They are usually accompanied by a set of mechanics, such as creating and designing a player character from scratch, acquiring experience points to progress in power (leveling up), or performing tasks and missions (quests) for neutral people (non-player characters). Some games use some of these classic RPG mechanics, but aren’t actually RPGs.

Monster: Kind of basic, but it’s the generic term for some enemy in shooters, RPGs and other games. For example, I’ve used it to describe enemies in Binary Domain, which are just robots.

Open World: Usually used more in role-playing games, but used in some shooters as well. Open-world games usually give you objectives, but don’t really care how you accomplish them, and in some cases don’t care about the order in which you accomplish them. The first half of Crysis 1, Red Faction: Guerrilla and Fallout 3 are good examples.

First-person shooters with RPG mechanics vs first-person RPGs: Some people have got on me about the difference between first-person RPGs and FPSs with RPG mechanics. For example, I say I’m not talking about RPGs, but I mention Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The primary difference between these two genres is how quickly things die when you shoot at them. In Deus Ex, if you shoot something with an assault rifle it’s going to die pretty quickly, but in Fallout 3, you can sometimes shoot things in the head several times before they die. The other difference is how central the RPG mechanics are to the game. For example, in Fallout 3, the game revolves around getting new, better equipment and leveling up individual stats, and even your weapon skills revolve around those stats.

Old-School: I keep hearing this term used as though it means “limited and crappy,” but whenever I use it, I mean it as a game of a particular style that was more popular years ago. For example, Quake is “old-school” compared to Rage because it’s of a style that was more popular back in ’96 than it is now. Nothing to do with whether or not it’s more fun or better, just using it to refer to style.


     So, lately, I’ve had a lot of things to say on the subject of various games. Rather than spreading it across various forums (fora?), I figured I should concentrate it all in one compact, easily-ignored place! For some odd reason, I’ve been writing some reviews about games I’ve been playing lately, so I’ll probably be starting with stuff like that.

Introductions; I’m a person who plays games, and has been playing games for the last several years (started with Doom back when I was 3 years old a long, long, long time ago). For the last decade or so, I’ve been into modding several games, such as Starcraft and Doom (Through the ZDoom source port), and have learned quite a bit with regards to modding and good design in general. I haven’t released many finished projects, but a lot of my contributions to ZDoom have been in creating resources for other modders to use (new monsters, new weapons, etc.), and in writing a few guides and essays on the subject of good design. I also help administrate a site which acts as a centralized database for many custom resources and tutorials, and I have a Youtube channel with which I do playthroughs of games.

I don’t consider myself a “gamer” in the new, modern sense. Today’s gamer can’t wait for the next greatest thing, be it the new Call of Duty, Battlefield 3 or Skyrim, whereas I usually spend a lot of my time playing games that have been around for several years. For quite a long time, I’ve been quite behind the curve on new games due to a lack of necessary hardware and the money required for the necessary hardware, and as such I don’t usually care about graphical fidelity all that much. I am perfectly happy playing Red Faction, BattleZone or similar titles that many people today would say look like crap, as long as they’re fun to play. To be honest, I can’t stand many of the design decisions in a lot of newer titles.

So, if any people are paying attention, keep a look out for reviews, showcases of mods, design essays or things like that.