Cantrip Games Journal – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of my games journal. This week I played a larger number of games, for a little bit of time. The first two are prototype card games I played at a local game design meetup. Then there’s a bunch of video games. Last, a recommendation for an entertaining YouTube video series about one of my favorite games, Final Fantasy VII.

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Cantrip Games Journal – Week 1

I’m going to try something different for my blog. One of my goals for this year was to update at least once a week. So far, I’ve been keeping up, but I’ve been having difficulty with writing on interesting topics each week. Coming up with ideas for posts is easy, but I’d like to dedicate more time to fleshing them out. To compromise I’ve decided to make my weekly updates quick journal entries about each game I’ve played throughout the week. This is a pretty simple format that should be easy to keep up with, while also allowing me to put down quick thoughts on games as I play them (traditionally I’ve felt the need to “complete” a game before I express my total thoughts on them). I still plan on posting more focused essays, but they will be more sporadic, but hopefully longer and of higher quality. Without further ado, here is the first entry of my “Games Journal”.

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Making Your Own Fun in Video Games.

In episode 146 of the Waypoint Radio podcast, they discuss ways in which they created new gameplay scenarios within the rules of existing games. This took the form of improv within open ended games like Sea of Thieves, or challenging themselves to play against their usual impulses in A Way Out. This is a fun episode and I encourage you to check it out.

It also got me thinking about ways in which I’ve used video games in unintentional ways to create new ways of play. Below I’ve got a short list of various ways I’ve created my own fun. Some are well known variants, but others may have been more original. Check em out, let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried these things, or other ways you’ve created your own fun within video games.

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Book Review: ‘Final Fantasy V’ by Chris Kohler

Final Fantasy V

By Chris Kohler

The Boss Fight Books series are in depth analysis of video games. This particular book is about one of the most overlooked games from my favorite video game series, Final Fantasy V. While originally released in Japan in 1992, we didn’t get it in the US until 1999, in the compilation Final Fantasy Anthology. For me and many others though, it was overshadowed by Final Fantasy VI, one of the most highly regarded games in the entire series. But, as Kohler demonstrates in this book, FFV is a much more interesting and important game that I originally thought.

 

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My Top 5 Gaming Youtube Channels

I watch a lot of different stuff on youtube: film reviews, cooking shows, interviews, comedy, and of course games. I wanted to highlight some of my favorites on gaming.  I also included my favorite video from each channel.

Also, if you have a gaming related video you really like, share it with me in the comments!

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Crystal Compendium: Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VII is one of the more unique entries in a series that prides itself on uniqueness. Following hot on the heels of the vastly successful and influential FF7, 8 continues the series tradition of evolving and experimenting with the RPG genre, with mixed results.

A Crystal Compendium Hub

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Roguelike Card Game – Solitairica

Solo card games have been getting a bit more attention lately with the launch of Hearthstone’s Dungeon run mode, and the surprise success of Slay the Spire. But these titles aren’t the only games to feature roguelike card based dungeon crawling. Back in 2016 a little game called Solitairica captured the feel of these games, and is available for free on your phone.

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Solving the Mana Problem

In my mind the biggest issue with MTG (other than cost) is its mana system. Anyone who has played MTG can tell you about the many times they’ve lost games because they either drew too much, or not enough mana. This problem is so old and common it has a name known by both its players and developers as Mana Screw. While this problem can be managed to a certain extend by good deckbuilding and mulligan practices, there is nothing preventing it from rearing its ugly head in any given game of magic.

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