Kenneth on Games: Conversations in “Undertale”

I certainly don’t think that Undertale is the “game-to-end-all-games” like its fans say it is, but it’s still worth an analysis. Undertale might be one of those rare titles that uses conversations as an actual game mechanic. Of course, you can argue that Undertale isn’t really about conversations, it’s about bullet hells that are thinly masked as conversations, and you would be totally right. But for what it’s worth, Undertale definitely has its moments.

WARNING: Boss spoilers, especially for pacifists.

Drexel Undergraduate Game Design Team Wins at GDC2016

Congratulations to the 51StandFire senior project team and faculty advisor Jichen Zhu for winning first place for best game play at Intel’s University Games Showcase at this year’s Game Developers Conference! The competition this year included Carnegie Mellon, NYU, RIT, Savannah College of Art and Design, SMU, USC, UC/Santa Cruz, Utah, the University of Texas, and Digipen.

Kenneth on Games: Levels in “Azure Striker Gunvolt”

If I had three words to describe Japanese game design, those words would be Azure Striker Gunvolt. This spiritual successor to Megaman Zero is stuffed with all the things we’ve come to expect from Japanese titles. Cringeworthy characters, overtutorialized dialogue… but also some great level design. I have plenty of problems with the high level concepts behind Asian games, but I’ll never turn down a good Megaman-like.

Student Spotlight: Asexual Representation in the Media

As a term, asexual has traditionally been used in biology to describe organisms that reproduce without sex. However, over the last decade, asexual has developed into a term to describe people who don’t experience sexual attraction. For an asexual person, they may find someone more emotionally or romantically attractive. There’s a wide spectrum of asexuality identification, but the common denominator is that an asexual person doesn’t experience the typical sexual attraction portrayed in the media.

Kenneth on Games: Dominion in “League of Legends”

Ever since Dominion shut down, I’ve been crying myself to sleep. But I’ve also been thinking deeply about the circumstances behind it. Obviously, Dominion has been a dead game mode for a long time, and it only makes sense for Riot to cut their losses. There are plenty of reasons why Dominion died: queue bugs, unbalanced champions, lack of marketing. Still, there are other games that have done Dominion’s job and succeeded. While I was grieving, I took a look at these and tried to figure out what went wrong with Dominion in terms of game design.