Inspiration Inspiring Development (part 2)
In my last post, I spoke about my first experience of gaming as a child, and how I brought those influences, both stylistically and mechanically, into my current projects. I also jotted down little tips and tricks that could be incorporated into game projects, such as simplicity and design cues. Today I want to make a list of games that shaped my tastes and style, and why.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega, 1991 – current): Probably the most obvious and divisive name I can throw out here, considering the Hedgehog’s recent luck in the current gaming climate. The very first games in the series appealed to me because of the character designs, momentum based mechanics and world building. The style of the early games were so intrinsic to how it played, but it seems to have unraveled when converting to 3D. This series of videos explain it more succinctly than I can.
Eternal Champions (Sega, 1993 – 95): A largely abandoned duo of beat ’em up games that became the last to influence me. The cast come from different time zones, but the plot is that they die before they fulfill their true potential. A being called the Eternal Champion snatches them away right before their time of death, and pit them against each other to win a second chance at life and change their fates – because the future sucks, and he needs only one of the champions to change the timeline. It had a massive potential for a larger series and had loads of lore, but was axed by Sega to promote Virtua Fighter in the western market.
Final Fantasy VII (Square Enix, 1997): My most favourite game of all time became the biggest and brightest influence of them all. Everything from the character art, the settings, the plot, battle system and music to those tiny moments in the game, the mysterious locations, all the hidden clues and goodies convinced me – after playing 16 bit game for five years prior – that videogames can be big, beautiful experiences and can grab the player emotionally. Despite the spinoff games and the Advent Children movie (which are not necessarily bad but, thanks to plot revision, will probably chip into the upcoming remake of the game considering their canonical changes), Final Fantasy VII never fails to embrace me into its world time and again.