Time is the third week of March, one week after the much-needed but ultimately dull spring-break and two months prior to my graduation, and the place is San Francisco. I finally attended Game Developer Conference (GDC) for the first time in my life, as an absolute “noob” in the industry. I decided to not go there last year in order to save my full conference fund for this one visit only, and I have regretted ever since: I missed the chance of talking to companies during the show and getting an upper hand of internship hunting, which resulted in a…


Hellgate: London is the debut project of the new studio Flagship Studios founded by former Blizzard masterminds including David Brevik, the director of Diablo II. 2007 was a time when first-person shooters dominate the world of gaming; Hellgate is a natural extension of this trend, but with Flagship Studios’ expertise in making a loot-focused RPG. It might be a game has been quickly forgotten after its release, due to its very mediocre reception and the disgusting Games for Windows requirement that is also featured on its box-art, but it is also a monumental moment of game design that marks the…


A Massive Multiplayer Online Fallout game is great idea that can so easily be come up with, and both its former and current intellectual property’s owner, namingly Interplay and Bethesda Softwork, has made their attempts: while Interplay was not able to release Fallout Online before its bankruptcy and thus the abortion of the project, Fallout 76 is revealed right before this year’s E3 and will arrive in just a little more than 3 month. The dream is nearly here.

And how much controversies it creates. People are calling it a “Rust-clone” or an “Ark-clone” since its reveal (both Rust and…


I started this blog with my first published article Number Theory for the purpose of, at least at that time, posting my homework assignment from my Game Design class. In that post I mainly discussed a current trend of game design appearing in multiple AAA games, especially games from publisher Ubisoft, such that games put numbers on almost every single element in the game, which is totally unnecessary. I argued that visible stats shift the focus of those game substantially and mostly, a bad, lazy design ideology.

To be perfectly honest, as you may notice after reading it, I did…


In a recent office hour visit to Jesse, I showed him my game for the Frontier of Freedom assignment, Aren’t You Alone in the Dark. It’s an arcade-style game with a score counter for each round, and player’s sole goal is to get scores as high as possible. Replayability is the key of this game and it originates from the randomness of where enemy spawns and the increasing difficulty after players reaching certain points. Replayability, however, is also where the game fails. After playing several rounds even someone like its creator feels bored and not willing to do that again…


Romantic relationship in video games hardly works in the video game way. Romantic relationship in video game never works in the video game way. Do not misunderstand, I have seen extremely strong, emotional moment in videogames with love and twisted romantic stories just as good as Gone with the Wind, but almost none of them have been achieved without cinematics, dialogues or pre-determined sequences. As an eclectic art form, those moments definitely take the strength of other visual art forms to enhance the experience. …


First-Person Shooters (FPS) and Virtual Reality (VR) seems to be a match in heaven. Ever since the concept of virtual reality had been related to video game, gamemakers immediately realized that VR is the definitive platform for first person games, and what else justify first-person gaming better than first-person shooters? In the case of VR, things go in a different way. As far as now, although a plethora of game developers have tried to bring the mass popularity of FPS to Virtual Reality or port already-successful titles to VR, none of them becomes as genre-defining for this genre on the…


Monster Hunter World (MHW), Dynasty Warriors 9 (DW9) are two major game titles developed in Japan releasing earlier this year. Two games, however, have completely opposite fates: while MHW becomes the fastest selling Capcom game ever and receives a 90+ metacritics score, DW9 gets panned hard by critics and even harder by its fanbase. You may think that those two critically diversed games must do things very differently, but they are not. Design ideology-wise, the two games are surprisingly similar to each other.

Monster Hunter series started from PS2 but it was entries on PlayStation Portable that put the series…


PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, popular known by its acronym form PUBG, is the most popular video game now in the world. The game of PUBG, nevertheless, is not exactly widely well-received. As of February 6, 2018, the game has 56% of positive review on steam and 4.5 out of 10 on Metacritics users’ score. Players complain about its lack of content, poor optimization and poor anti-cheating implementation. As much as people hate it, PUBG’s sales number has been in skyrocket for almost a year with more than 30 million copies sold on PC and 4 million players on Xbox One. How does…


Mathematicians may argue that everything in the universe is about mathematics. If you haven’t heard any mathematician saying that, now you do, although I have absolutely zero evidence and proof for this argument.

But one thing I firmly believe is that the core of video game is to play numbers and hiding the fact that players are playing with numbers. Some of them are obvious: health, damage, weapon durability, so long and so forth; some of them are not much apparent: movement, recoil, etc. Those seeable or invisible stats are usually the main component of the game: when a character…

Erhan Qu

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