WARP DOGS Game of the Year…?

Image result for ghost of christmas present

Games.

Video games, to be specific. Seems like nary a year goes by without seeing a release or two that are rather quite good.

I had originally made this post to talk about my game of the year. It’s always a fun to think about and, hey, everyone is doing it.

So I began scrolling through the releases this year and compared it to the games I played. It only then that it hit me:

I didn’t play any good games released in 2016.

I played No Man’s Sky – bad game. Paper Jam – terrible. The Witness – pretentious garbage. Infinite Warfare – fine, but not GotY.

Clearly I know that a ton of good games came out this year. I just…never…actually got to any of them?

That doesn’t even seem possible. Surely I played at least one of them, if only by accident. Like, maybe I fell onto a controller and began to play Dark Souls 3…?

Turns out that the games I played – the good games, GotY contenders, anyway – were largely from last year. Or the year before that. Or like 20 years ago.

Well, this is going to be awkward, huh?

WARP DOGS’ GAME OF THE YEAR,

(ASSUMING IN THIS CONTEXT “OF THE YEAR” REFERS TO WHEN I PLAYED IT,

NOT NECESSARILY WHEN IT WAS RELEASED),

2016,

GOES TO:

The Witcher 3

If you sat me down in front of some very smart, very capable game designers and asked me to describe my perfect game, the end result would have probably still been less enjoyable than the Witcher 3.

It’s sublime.

It nails the humor and tone I want to see in video games. It absolutely crushes it with the world and the efforts it goes to build it up into something real. The story is fantastic. The combat is fantastic. Geralt – fantastic. All the characters – fantastic.

Graphics – gorgeous. Voice acting? Wonderful. Music? Oh my god.

Quests? Otherworldly. They’re all so good. Every single one of them – in the way they subvert your expectations, in how they play with your emotions, the themes they explore, the callbacks to the most obscure lore and myth.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

It’s also gigantic, but always in the right amount. It’s open world without quite rubbing your nose in it – no towers or minigame icons and checklists.

Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to complete everything, explore everything and, indeed, check all the boxes. The difference is that it was always on my terms.

I did it because this world, these characters, deserve help. I cared. I did it to see the next thing – it was like Civilization’s “one more turn” syndrome, only it was the entire game.

What more can even be said about this game that hasn’t been addressed by countless others much smarter than I?

All I know is that as a game designer I am at once in awe and jealous of this world. There’s so much to be inspired by in the Witcher – not just 3, but the entire Witchering series generally – and I am overjoyed that they exist and are successful.

There are few games out there that can be said to have improved the entire industry by just existing. The Witcher 3 is absolutely, without a doubt, one of them.

Anyway. The Witcher 3: didn’t release this year, but gosh darnit it is easily my Game of the Year 2016

Deflated Expectations

I’ve dreamed about quitting my job and making indie games for half a decade now. I’m an escapist by nature, and thoughts of sitting at home making and play games all day sounded absolutely wonderful

What’s stopping me? Well, “life”, I suppose…there’s always some big expense or reason not to quit, and my responsibilities grow each year. No one wants to hear about the boring life of someone with suburban angst, so I won’t keep going

This time around I’ve pledged to at least dip my toes in the water – thus this site, this project. Small dips of the toe. Testing the waters. Mixing metaphors. That type of thing.

However, the world is very different than it was 5 years ago. The idea of a single developer creating a cool game that’s enough to sustain them was possible then, if not entirely probable. Nowadays? The competition is much, much stiffer in the indie world. I’m seeing games labeled as indie with cutting edge graphics, 10+ team members, and a big boy budget.

Worse, I’m seeing ideas very similar to my own. They can execute better by sheer numbers alone

Last night I felt down. Today I feel less down, and a bit inspired in the way an ant must feel when taking on preying mantis. I cannot imagine an ant would ever take on a preying mantis in the wild, but just imagine how pumped up he’d be. What’s he got to lose, you know? And if he wins?

Yeah. So my expectations for myself have been deflated, but it’s resulted in a boost to my confidence. Weird how that works.

Anyway. Back to work