A Few Comments on Zootopia

July 20th, 2016

YouTube Preview Image

Zootopia‘s differentiated animal society is a rich allegory that reflects issues of race, gender, and disability. Every element is anchored around these theme and it injects a sense of dynamism, variety, and depth that I don’t think I’ve seen in any animated movies before.


New Daniel Primed Online Store

July 15th, 2016

Stolen Projects, the outfit which published Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4, has recently closed. Yesterday I opened a Gumroad account to continue selling the book online. The new shopfront will also host future publishing ventures and I will continue to work with Daniel Purvis, the creative behind Stolen Projects, moving forwards. Feel free to direct any purchasing queries to my email danielprimed [at] gmail [dot] com.

I have also taken this opportunity to update the Additional Material page with links to Wario-related articles which I have published since the release of the book.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma – Orientating Oneself in Tairon

July 14th, 2016

YouTube Preview Image

Watch a few minutes of the video above. What do you notice about the nature of the environment? And what effect do you think these things would have on the player?

Here are some observations I made whilst playing:

The visual and structural design, as well as the lack of permanency, make it difficult to orientate oneself within Tairon. Because most rooms are narrow and bendy in shape, it is harder for the player to define the room as a simple shape, a technique which is useful when organising the town layout into a mental schema (for example, “the big round room comes after the narrow walkway”). The samey texturing and lack of landmarks similarly deny the player the visual resources with which they can make each room in their mental model of Tairon distinct from the rest. The constant respawning of foot soldiers every second time the player returns to a room prevents one from using the presence of enemies as a means of monitoring their movement through the environment. And, finally, the doors and ledges deceive the player into investigating unnecessary dead ends. Tairon, as a site the player must traverse in various ways throughout the adventure, is a somewhat sluggish stop gap that punctuates the otherwise linear and forward-moving sets of Ninja Gaiden Sigma.