ColecoVision to iPhone Games 29

Jul 8 07:09 2010 M Frizzi Print This Article

In this twenty-ninth part of the series we will examine some more of those classic moments where video game designers undoubtedly got it right and delivered a memorable, enduring and progressive gaming experience.

In this ongoing look at significant moments in the history of video game design,Guest Posting we have already taken a look at Nintendos Kid Icarus, Electronic Arts Mirrors Edge, Raven Softwares Soldier of Fortune 2 and several others.The goal of this series is to go beyond simple gaming magazines and iPhone Apps, and take a closer look at what defines memorability and quality in game design.In this twenty-ninth part of the series we will examine some more of those classic moments where video game designers undoubtedly got it right and delivered a memorable, enduring and progressive gaming experience. Tomb Raider (Multi-Platform) Part 1 Lara Croft.The name has become as well known as any female character in gaming history.An archaeologist-adventurer, Lara can be easily described as a sort of female Indiana Jones.Her adventures revolve around her desire to track down items of historical interest so they may be displayed in museums.She accomplishes this task by various means including leaping, climbing, traversing and otherwise overcoming the obstacles in her way, as well as defending herself from the enemies she encounters along the way.Laras adventures have spawned major Hollywood movies and nearly ten game titles.Her adventures have become a billion dollar franchise, but how did she go from anonymous video game character to international icon? The original Tomb Raider was a third person shooter/platformer that saw release on the PC, Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation.The PlayStation release was of particularly high quality, and largely contributed to the success of that new platform.Few games had used 3-D space as effectively as Tomb Raider, and the graphics were strong enough to get people excited about the abilities of the new hardware.For the purpose of this article we must single out a particular aspect of the game that stands out and merits acclaim, and with Tomb Raider that aspect is its legitimacy of females as video game heroes. Now, anyone who has completed a Tomb Raider title will agree that the games are not difficult in a traditional sense.The enemies do not pose a particular problem and the puzzles are not extremely demanding.The issue with Tomb Raider that causes a lot of frustration among gamers is the fact that often times the player is left clueless as to what their next move should be.With no obvious pathways or clues to follow, many players find themselves aimlessly circling a level until they stumble onto the next portion.While some blame the game design for this, the actual culprit is typically the muddy graphics rather than vindictive designers.While Tomb Raiders graphics were advanced for its time, the surface textures in-game were severely limited by the PlayStations limited resources.The result was higher poly characters than had been seen in games before, but textures that were often blurry.In a game that depended on the player locating small cracks in walls to latch onto, or small visual cues and clues, these low-resolution textures often caused players to become lost and, eventually, frustrated.It should be noted that while these limitations sometimes come across as purposeful concealment, they are actually merely incidental.

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