Archive for Play This

Open Ocean

For the past six months, I’ve been working on an indie game in GameMaker Studio 2. In two weeks, on Tuesday, June 11, Open Ocean will release on Steam! This is my first indie game, so I decided to make a small game with a big message, and while it’s not the most fun game in the world, I’m extremely proud of it! Here’s a link to the Steam page:



EDIT: The game is now available on as well!

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Story Trailer

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Open World Trailer

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gameplay Trailer

War has come!

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

That AWESOME moment when the game you’ve poured your heart into for the past few years finally gets announced! I’m responsible for designing several of the main and side missions, among other things.


Shadow of Mordor Metacritic

With 28 reviews, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is currently sitting at an 85 Metacritic score!  Not bad for the first game that I’ve been a dev on!

Portal 2

Portal2_box-art-pcGame Name: Portal 2

Developer: Valve Corporation
Platform: PC via Steam

For my review of Portal 2, I’m actually just going to present a link to the Zero Punctuation review.  I agree with  Yahtzee’s review of Portal 2 100%, and couldn’t say it better myself, so here you go:

Zero Punctuation – Portal 2

One extra thing I will note is that just like Portal, a chunk of the implementation/design of Portal 2 was created by previous DigiPen students.  The gel from Portal 2 came from a DigiPen game called Tag: The Power of Paint.  Tag was actually quite a fun game for a student project, so check it out!

Tag: The Power of Paint download


TerrariaGame Name: Terraria
Developer: Re-Logic
Platform: PC via Steam download
Cost: $10

If you thought Minecraft was good, you’ll never stop playing Terraria.  Seriously, this game is amazing!    I have been playing it with two of my friends for the past three days pretty much nonstop.  The game trailer does a really good job of showing all the things the game has to offer, so go watch it here:

Terraria Gameplay Trailer

One thing I really like about the game is the music.  Typically a game like this has very repetitive music that gets annoying after a while, but i honestly never got annoyed with the music at all.  From a design standpoint, I really like two things about the game: 1) The game starts you next to a guide that can help you if you need it and 2) the way that item combinations work.  The game shows you everything you can make and shows you the mats that it takes, assuming you have them.  One thing I would change about it is that I would always show all items that you have ever made, and just grey out the ones that you cannot make currently.

There are a few problems that I see with Terraria.  First of all, the multiplayer part of the game wasn’t working by default for myself and two other tech geeks, so we had to download a program called Hamachi to get it to work (Hamachi can be downloaded here)

Also, just like Minefraft, there really isn’t a clear goal.  That being said, I was constantly driven by exploration, and I never really felt like the game got boring until I thought I had everything in it, which took MANY hours.

I also didn’t like that there was no noise when your health is low.  Sure, it’s annoying, but it lets you know when you be careful, or when to chug a potion.  I found that I died many times just because I wasn’t constantly watching my health.

Finally, I wish that mana was actually useful.  When you first get an item that uses mana, it may seem decent, but mana using items greatly decrease in value as time goes on.

One thing this game can probably do without is fall damage.  It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it just doesn’t really make sense to me.  That being said, there is an item you can get to negate it, but I think it should have just been gone to begin with.

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend buying Terraria.  The cost to fun ratio is amazing!  The game only costs $10!

Terraria Item Combinations


Magicka_boxGame Name: Magicka
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Platform: PC via Steam download

The Good:

This game is full of comedic references to other classic games.  It had me laughing like crazy on the first cutscene, and it only got better from there.  In Magicka, you cast spells by combining different elements to defeat onslaughts of enemies, and sometimes even your teammates, as friendly fire is always on.  You may think of this as a bad thing, but after playing for about 15 minutes, the resurrection combination was almost instinctual after casting a few fireballs.  Also, it’s extremely easy to heal yourself, as well as allies, but beware, you can heal your enemies too.

One thing I really like about the gameplay of Magicka is all the mayhem.  I was only playing with two other people, and it was already hard to fireball enemies without hitting my teammates.  Here is a screenshot that looks like a typical battle in Magicka:


Another design choice that I love about Magicka is that there is no mana.  You can cast spells constantly without having to stop the fun to wait for mana to regen.  All in all I just found the game to be extremely fun and well designed.

The Bad:

One thing that I didn’t like about Magicka at first is that the controls take a bit to learn.  Spells consist of a combination of up to 5 of the 8 different elements, but more combinations can be made out of these combinations.  For example, if you combine water and fire, you make steam, which can then be 1 of the 5 different elements even though it is made out of 2 elements itself.

The major problem that I have with Magicka is that it is quite buggy.  One of my friends that was playing it was unable to see any text while playing the game.  At one point in the game, I alt tabbed out and wasn’t able to get back into the game for at least 1 minute, and it wasn’t during a load screen.  The game seemed to lag quite a bit when lots of spell effects were on the screen, and I can’t even imagine if we had 4 of us.  We also found that we couldn’t play with two of us on the same network from their in game menu, though we were able to ply by right clicking on the other’s Steam name and choosing Join Game.

Another thing I didn’t like is that the best way to destroy enemies seemed to be constantly firing same spell.  Beams seem to be underpowered, but if you constantly cast projectiles at enemies, they will die very quickly, though there is a high probability of you hitting a teammate, or even yourself.

All in all I would highly recommend this game.  I haven’t played all of it, but what I have played has been extremely entertaining, as long as you don’t get too mad when your buddy blows your character to bits.

World of Warcraft

Lately I have been playing a lot of WoW.  If you haven’t played it since Cataclysm has hit, I strongly suggest getting back into it.  Essentially every zone in Azeroth (Excluding Northrend) had something change in it (Though admittedly, I expected that they were going to change a lot more than they did).  At any rate, the new encounters in Cataclysm are actually surprisingly difficult, and I’m not just talking about the raid content.  Many of the bosses in Heroic Grim Batol are quite challenging.  A lot of the encounters are fun even after doing them a thousand times over.  Others are downright silly, but in a fun way, such as Cookie, a murloc in a vat of stew that throws food at you in Heroic Deadmines.  Here is a funny screenshot that I took when running Heroic Deadmines on an alt today: