Author:Kate Holden

“Kate Greatly Disapproves”

I’ve been playing Dragon Age Inquisition, and a thing occurred to me: I don’t really like character approval ratings. Or at least not how they’re generally put into practice. I like the idea of befriending your partymembers and of building that friendship and being rewarded for...

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Thought: Alternatives to HP

So following on from my previous thoughts on healers (there was some interesting discussion in reblogs from that which are worth reading on different perspectives on the issue), I want to record a few thoughts on health itself as a concept in video games. Hit Points...

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Thought: RPGs Without Healers

Okay, so here’s a thought: Healers potentially ruin RPGs. That seems weird, doesn’t it? Because the healer is such a core class. But think about it this way: In most fantasy stories you might read, magical healing is rarely something ongoing in the middle of a...

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What We Can Learn From Valdis Story

So I recently got and tried Valdis Story: Abyssal City. The reviews were really good, and it seemed really promising and exactly what I’d been after for a while. It’s an indie mentroidvania style action/rpg/platformer very much in the vein of Symphony of the Night...

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korelli_hair

Hair Talk

One word that strikes fear into the hearts for 3D modellers everywhere: HAIR. So today I made probably the best hair mesh I’ve yet managed to make, for Korelli in Vacant Sky: It’s not amazing, but it’s actually a half-decent hair mesh and I’m pretty proud of it....

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On Randomness in Games Design

So lately I decided to give FTL another spin. FTL, in case you live under a rock, is an indie spaceship roguelike. One of the key factors of a roguelike is that they use procedural generation for areas, encounters, item drops etc. Another thing is...

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korelli_expressions

Evolution of VSA character portraits

Hi it’s Kate again this week! I’m currently busy working on character portraits for the dialogue segments of the game, so I thought it’d be interesting to show the evolution of the portrait style. Our initial decision to use portraits visual novel style was one made...

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Sarian_2d_3d

Sarian Redesign

Had to redesign Sarian for Vacant Sky awakening to be more 3D model friendly. We were specifically struggling with rigging her mantle and hood, so I had to change to a design with nothing hanging over or in the armpit area. There’s a lot of symbolism...

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On Redundant Game Mechanics

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” Antoine de Saint-Exupery I always remember the first time I heard that quote, I was playing Civ 4, and I just stopped and...

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AH_CG_fight_letterbox

Ars Harmonia Production and Extra Art

NOTE: THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. Some new CGs made for the android/WP8 version of the game. I wanted the art of Ars Harmonia to have a lurid, comic book feel to it. SPOILER WARNING!!! My favourite CG in the game, and probably one of my favourite pieces...

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