How to make a great casual game by not screwing it up

I’ll admit it: I’ve played a lot of casual games–specifically flash games. I’ve played my 2048, I’ve played my Burrito Bison AND my Burrito Bison: Revenge. I’ve played multiple versions of Fashion Solitaire despite the limit of my fashion knowledge being “clashing patterns is bad,” and I’ve spent more time playing a game called Wedding Salon than I did planning my actual wedding. And I enjoyed all of them.

There were way more, though, that were absolute garbage. We’ve devoted an article to knowing your full-length game is garbage, but flash games can have their own slew of sins. Since the internet is knee deep in dumb flash games (and their successor, dumb mobile games), I thought I’d go for the opposite tact: I’m a player whose brain is exhausted from thinking all day. I’m probably watching Family Feud while I play. How do you make a game for me?

Continue reading How to make a great casual game by not screwing it up

Quantum Break-Down: Manipulating Time and Storytelling in the Latest Xbox Exclusive

Quantum Break is the latest of the few-and-far-between Xbox One exclusive titles, developed by Remedy Entertainment and directly published by Microsoft. The basic premise is that a group known as Monarch has been experimenting with time manipulation, after a recent discovery of “chronon-particles”. You play primarily as Jack Joyce, who witnesses a terrible accident that literally fractures time, causing it to “stutter” and bend in on itself. Your goal is simple: stop the inevitable End of Time from happening by manipulating time further. It’s all very edgy and ever-so-slightly convoluted.

Continue reading Quantum Break-Down: Manipulating Time and Storytelling in the Latest Xbox Exclusive

Reclaiming the Throne: How Square Plans to Save Final Fantasy

The “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV” event in Los Angeles ended with a grandiose trailer showing off the story, environments, characters, and combat of Final Fantasy XV. The tagline for this trailer urged the player to “Reclaim Your Throne”, clearly referring to the game’s central premise of Prince Noctis taking his kingdom back from the invading army that has occupied it while he was out on a road trip with his bros. However, this game is about much more than that; it’s the culmination of a ten-year journey that Square hopes will end in a much more important throne being reclaimed.

Continue reading Reclaiming the Throne: How Square Plans to Save Final Fantasy

Edgy or Out of Touch? Marketing Mistakes in the Videogames Industry

As a marketer and a lifelong gamer, it fascinates me to see so many marketing mistakes happening in the video games industry.

Perhaps I’m just naive and inexperienced, but it seems to me that the industry can’t go one year without some company seriously screwing up in the marketing arena. Huge PR controversies and anticlimactic marketing campaigns have become all too common. In fact, many gamers seem to expect it nowadays. We’re surprised when publishers like EA or Ubisoft manage to promote and launch a new game successfully — which is to say, without offending a large portion of their customer base along the way. Continue reading Edgy or Out of Touch? Marketing Mistakes in the Videogames Industry

Bargain Bin!: There’s Poop in My Soup

Welcome to the Bargain Bin! Once a month, I buy a game from Steam or GoG with a list price (not a sale price) of under five dollars, and then tell you about it!
I’ll give you:

  • A brief synopsis so you know what the game is,
  • If it works (from a mechanical standpoint),
  • If I was able to put a full hour into it,
  • If I’m happy I own it once I’ve played it,
  • Any closing thoughts or impressions.

If you have a suggestion for other bargain bin games I should look at, feel free to tweet us @sosimplyverygud or email us at sosimplyverygood@gmail.com and I’ll take a look!

Price: $0.99

What is it?

There’s Poop in my Soup is a very simple game. You play as an anthropomorphized butt running around the outside of a building above a busy street, and you launch poop at people from above. The goal is to land as many deuces in a row as you can; on heads, in baby carriages, bouncing them off boxes, on taxi cabs, getting them under folk’s umbrellas can be particularly tricky, and yes, in a bowl of soup. Continue reading Bargain Bin!: There’s Poop in My Soup

Surprise, Delight and Betrayal: Storytelling in Games

This week, Volcano Bakemeat discuss the whys and hows of telling stories with video games. We talk about the core elements of storytelling in gaming, the advantages (and disadvantages) of telling a story with video games as the medium, how storytelling and game play can complement each other and more.

Please note that in this episode we briefly discuss suicide and children with terminal diseases.

Please also note that in this episode, we may spoil aspects of multiple games including: An early Easter Egg in Psychonauts, an early scene in Baulder’s Gate, a path in The Stanley Parable, a midpoint event in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the ends of the first Bioshock and Kingdom Hearts games, major events in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare I & II, a mission in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and some missions from Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain. If you notice any other spoilers, please let us know and we will update the list.

Continue reading Surprise, Delight and Betrayal: Storytelling in Games

So Simply, very good?

In the podcast’s inaugural episode, the Volcano Bakemeat Radio Crew talk about the games that that turned them into gamers and what makes a game “so simply, very good.”

Continue reading So Simply, very good?

One Man’s Trash: Knowing When a Game Really Is Garbage

We’ve all experienced it; someone, somewhere, starts tearing apart a game you love and calling it “crap”. Nothing is more heartbreaking and infuriating – and yet, just as sure as I am that we’ve all gone through it, I know we’ve also all done the same thing to someone else’s beloved title. This is, of course, just the subjective nature of any art, but it brings up a simple question: When is a game just bad? Continue reading One Man’s Trash: Knowing When a Game Really Is Garbage