Board Games: Cash ‘N Guns & Bloodbound

One of the coolest parts about attending the UCSC Games & Playable Media program is the games lounge on the second floor. It’s a large room with a bunch of gaming consoles, board games, and tabletop RPG books, and I’ve been able to play all sorts of different board games in the last year. Two of them really stood out as amazing party games that I’ve purchased my own copies of, and I wanted to pay them some lip service. If you’re the sort who looks for games that large groups can enjoy, I highly recommend these two, especially because… [Continue Reading]

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Comparing Barik and Torbjörn

Considering how similar Barik and Torbjörn are at first glance, I feel that there is actually a lot of difference in how their kits are designed and implemented. I feel that a comparison between both characters’ kits can give rather valuable insight into the differences between both games, and how the games are designed and built. Firstly, some background on both games are needed. This provides some necessary context as to how the heroes are designed. Overwatch has 4 main game modes. In Assault, the attacking team tries to take down two control points defended by the other team. Control is… [Continue Reading]

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Destiny 2 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Years after the TF2 blog stopped being constantly updated, I decided to personally consider “The Daily SPUF” as my new official TF2 blog. However, it wasn’t long until the lack of content in TF2 made The Daily SPUF writers to place other games in the spotlight. I personally wouldn’t have gotten myself addicted to Warframe otherwise. Almost half a year ago when I first started writing this article, I was extremely excited about Destiny 2 coming to PC, even though I didn’t have a clue on how exactly should I approach new players. My initial aim was to introduce and… [Continue Reading]

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Widowmaker Vs. TFClassic Sniper: Who Would Win?

So I was talking with a friend about hypothetical cross-franchise class matchups, in the vein of Scout vs Tracer, Medic vs Sona, Engineer vs Nuparu, Heavy vs Braum, and Pyro vs Toa Vakama. It’s a pretty popular concept on our blog and I realized we hadn’t covered one of the most obvious, that of TF2’s favorite Kiwi versus Overwatch‘s favorite cheesecake. But after ruminating on the idea, I had trouble even starting due to the nature of TF2 Sniper’s unlocks. Do I treat TF2 Sniper as his stock class (which means Widow wins easily) or as an amalgamation of his unlocks, which turns him into a horrifying combination… [Continue Reading]

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How to Design Enemies That Are Truly Scary

There are many, many enemies in video games designed to be scary, and I wanted to take some time to talk about ways to make enemies that fulfill this trope without resorting to “cheap” tactics like jumpscares or making them speedy OHKOs. Note that this article is mostly interested in “normal” enemies, not single boss-like monsters (like Spider from LIMBO) or full-fledged NPCs (like Pyramid Head from Silent Hill). Also I’m not an art major so my focus is on game mechanics and AI behaviors, and less on appearances. One of the scariest monsters I’ve had to fight in any game was… [Continue Reading]

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FPS Cliches Found on Only One TF2 Weapon

Hey look, a TF2 article! As a longstanding and proud member of the first-person-shooter genre, TF2 nevertheless stands apart from most other games due to its versatile array of weapon designs and its avoidance of most of the common shooting mechanics that permeate shooter games. TF2 is really amazing in just how simple they keep the core combat at its foundation, avoiding things like weapon stability, accuracy modifiers, tactical reloads, and other ‘realistic’ mechanics that complicate matters. This article is designed to showcase the few cases where these mechanics appeared, usually in subtle form. The scarcity of their presence just reinforces how… [Continue Reading]

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My Growing Obsession with V̶o̶l̶t̶ Frost

In pretty much every Warframe article I’ve published, I’ve written them from the point of view of Volt, my starter character and still my favourite. I’ve mentioned my other unlocked characters a few times, most notably Trinity, the healer class I dislike. While Volt and Volt Prime make up for about 60% of my Warframe gameplay, I really should mention the other 30%. Turns out, half of that 30% belongs to Frost. Frost was the second Warframe I acquired and leveled up, and I did so very, very quickly. So fast in fact, that I don’t actually remember leveling Frost… [Continue Reading]

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Overrated

Okay, seriously, it’s not a bad game. But I don’t like it and (again) that title was too damn good to pass up. Think of this as an extension to Medic’s article except written by someone far less competent. I wanted to like Overwatch, really, I did. (Lower your damn pitchforks!) I tried the beta, which for some reason would cause my router to crash and freeze every time I launched it, forcing me to play it offline. Even when it was in a playable state in the free trial after the full game came out, I tried to ignore my… [Continue Reading]

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Cops & Zombies & Zeds

(Fun fact: The description for this episode reads: ‘In this video I become the first person ever to compare Killing Floor 2 to Dungeons & Dragons’. Then the WWAUT goes live the next day and starts with: Last time around, we talked about the high level concept of what the Survivalist is: a high skill cap, jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none (or the bard for those of you who play those sorts of games… with “magic” and “dragons.” Guess the comparison was more mainstream than I thought!)  I was talking with someone on reddit and they wanted to know how Steam’s three biggest horde-based shooter franchises differed from each… [Continue Reading]

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Day of Deceit

A couple of days ago I was watching a YouTube video showing upcoming shooters. Overall, nothing really caught my eye. The “new” ones I’d seen before and I hadn’t found them interesting to begin with, and the others were remasters. But one game… One game most DEFINITELY caught my attention. Days of War. Now you may be pondering why this one game had caught me hook, line and sinker while the other games hadn’t even managed a blip on my radar. There’s a very, VERY good reason for that. You see, I was a Day of Defeat: Source player for… [Continue Reading]

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