Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Random Thoughts: October 5th

I’m taking a bit of a mini vacation this week (up in the country of cottages), so I won’t be able to continue map editing on Unearthed until I return next Monday. In the meantime, you can enjoy this short digest and look forward to a new dMetric post by Radiostorm this weekend.

I’m also trying out a new formatting style for blog posts! I am thinking of abandoning the square images at the beginning of each post with larger ones throughout. I also made some spiffy spacer images because the generic HR tags were driving me bonkers. Let me know what you think!

First, a quick and dirty game review. I played through LIMBO the other week and I have fairly mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it really did an excellent job of building a tense atmosphere and a dark (both thematically and stylistically) world for the player to explore. On the other hand, I found the puzzles to be more trial and error than anything else and the ending to be rather disappointing.

Certainly not the worst thing I’ve played all year, but I feel like it had a lot of really great elements and set pieces that never met their full potential. Like that %@#&$ spider that killed me about a million times.

Back when my brothers and I were young lads, we used to waste a lot of time playing board games. The biggest timesink for us was a game called HeroQuest, a dungeon exploration game which basically played out like “Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies”.

The game operated in a fairly straightforward manner. Zargon (essentially the dungeon master) would set up the board and guide a group of heroes through a string of adventures. The heroes consisted of a few typical D&D archetypes: a barbarian, a dwarf, an elf and a wizard. Through the use of magic, weapons and lucky dice rolls the brave adventurers fought their way through various dungeons to complete their objectives.

Why am I going on about a game I played as a child? Well, I recently found a website where you can download all of the game documents for free! I generally don’t support game pirating, but considering that HeroQuest has been out of print for almost 20 years I’ll let it slide for now. The site is called Ye Olde Inn, and even boasts some user generated content for the game. Pretty neat stuff!

Nuit Blanche happened last weekend in Toronto, and I can’t help but feel that people are starting to catch on to how badly it is organized. I haven’t seen so few people at the event since the first year I attended back in 2007, and most of the exhibits I saw were fairly lack lustre. As a result, I initiated my “drink the night away” plan earlier than expected.


Before I start sounding too cynical, I will say that I have an enormous amount of respect for the organizers of the event. There are so many unique challenges involved in setting up a small scale new media show, let alone one that is experienced by thousands of people. But I find that the artists and organizers attempt to overcome these challenges with the same annoying tricks (projectors and jumbo speakers anyone?), resulting in a whole bunch of art pieces that are presented in exactly the same way.

That’s all for now! I’ll be back in less than a week with more progress on Unearthed, and maybe a few new videos as well.


Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By Michael
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer