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Keep an eye on that meter on your wrist... it's pretty important.

The world of Metro: Last Light isn’t pretty. To escape nuclear war, millions of the game’s Russian citizens descended into subway stations the instant the air raid sirens cried out, forced to leave their lives on the surface behind. Below ground, life is bleak. The irradiated world above means no access to fresh air or sunshine. Money means nothing, and ammunition is currency. Fathers nearly break down when sons ask where Mom is and when she’s coming home—and they have to repeat a variation of the same lie they’ve told for countless years. Radioactive mutants attack the subterranean train-station-based encampments.

The setting is easy to buy into because few blinking indicators and status updates slap you in the face, offering constant reminds that you’re playing a video game. This is deliberate, according to Andrey Prokhorov, creative director and co-founder at 4A Games, the studio behind Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.

“If you look at your monitor (or TV set) as a gate into the world of the game, the heads-up display (HUD) elements become the bars keeping you from entering that world,” he told Ars in a recent interview. And it's part of a trend.

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The concept of badges and medals seems, in theory, very straight forward – reward users for completing specific benchmarks. So why are certain games titans of innovation adding incredible value through their rewards system while others leave their users confused and apathetic? I’m convinced it stems from the very basic human concept of achievement and our desire for it to be relevant. Relevancy will be divided into social and solitary categories.

Let’s start by understanding the broad objective of gamification. Ultimately as a marketer, community manager or designer you want to add value to your game. If done correctly you can also provide structure and direction for gamers (often something many games lack), but this is a tacit result of successful gamification design. The value added comes by attributing quantitative representation of qualitative accomplishment. It gives explicit validation for intrinsic accomplishment or simply put, you have something more tangible to look back on to herald your success and give you something to work to accomplish.

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Original author: 
Jenna Pitcher

The latest update for Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming role-playing game Project Eternity shows off its first gameplay footage, notably its exterior environment comprised of dynamic elements such as water, foliage and lighting.

"The Infinity Engine games were known for their art, and we wanted to hit the high standard of visual quality established by games like the Icewind Dale series," the update reads. "We also wanted to introduce dynamic elements into the environment that were mostly absent from the classic games, like dynamic water, movement in foliage, and dynamic lighting of the scene."

Last December, Obsidian revealed some examples of the game's character and environment models, which were created using Maya.

The RPG's...

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Original author: 
(author unknown)

These are some concrete examples to illustrate how randomness influences player experience. It is a companion post to the previous post: "Emotions and Randomness - Loot Drops"

Includes Ni No Kuni, Castlevania: SotN, WoW, Demon's Souls, Binding of Isaac

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A conclusion to a series of posts on Driver: San Francisco waxing poetic on the firm foundation of play feel the game's deeper elements are built upon.

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I am working on implementing Braid's rewind functionality, and coming up with an interesting design is proving difficult...

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