Anyone want an Ouye? It’s powered by Android, 1 letter off from a fairly unsuccessful console, and looks identical to the PS4. No? What if I told you the controller is basically from the Xbox One? Ah, now I’ve got you – a super console! From… China!

It’s one thing for a game to borrow mechanics from another, or from one hardware manufacturer to mimic a feature or three in pursuit of a great design. This is something else entirely. Still, it begs the question: What games or consoles have done a good job of “creatively borrowing” from another game or console? My favourite example is Shadow of Mordor, which uses the Batman fighting mechanic perfectly, but still innovates with the Nemesis system.

Friday, 5:19 pm – Albert

I want to play Madden.

Thursday, 9:42 pm – Albert

Random Post but here is something I thought was awesome. Using chatroulette! (it’s not someone masturbating…. MAYBE)

Wednesday, 3:18 pm – Ricky

Awesome examples, Gavin. I’ll have to check out First-Person Tetris later this week.

I’ve been playing quite a bit of Dota 2 and The Witcher 3 over the past week. Well, quite a bit by my current ruler, not by the one I used to use when I was young and single with no job or responsibilities… Point is, I definitely recognize parts of other games in Dota 2 – unsurprisingly, Warcraft – but I’m having a hard time pin pointing systems and mechanics that Witcher 3 might have iterated on. Having never played the other 2 games, I guess the obvious answer would be “it built on it’s other installments, dumb dumb!”, but most modern AAA games will borrow from other modern AAA games, regardless of whether or not there is a history there for the series.

I’m ready to start diving a bit more into both games – there’s still at least 2 months before the onslaught of November games, so I think I can work my way through Witcher 3 and still get some time in with Dota 2.

Monday, 11:41 am – Gavin

I love seeing the natural evolution of game mechanics!

One of the more interesting mechanics I recall seeing, only briefly, was Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, level 7-8, Raphael the Raven.  In this level, once you make it to the boss, you need to pound a pillar into Raphael three times, all while avoiding his movement and attacks.  Raphael lives on a small moon, so in 2D, it’s represented as a circle.  However, what made this particular level unique was that rather than the world being a fixed environment and Yoshi being the mobile object, that conventional mechanic was reverse.  The player is fixed, and the moon rotates beneath his or her feet.  It was a relatively simple boss fight and the movement was easy to avoid, but that convention really made for interesting game play.  It was fairly late in the game and it completely caught the player off-guard.

The idea of moving/altering the world rather than player has resulted in some interesting games.  This is the central premise to And Yet It Moves, a small indie platformer where you control the player, but also the gravity of the level, represented by rotating the level.  It was very challenging, but a healthy evolution of it.

In VVVVVV, your only mechanic aside from left/right movement is to flip the gravity 180 degrees.  That limited input and limited mechanic forced some very creative and interesting level design.  It was much more of a minimalistic approach, but as I’ve written/spoken about extensively, I adored VVVVVV.

Similarly, First-Person Tetris, which is a bit of a misnomer, forced the player to rotate the screen rather than the puzzle piece.  I couldn’t play it for more than about five minutes, but I love the concept!

I’m sure that it wasn’t the first to do so, but the cloning mechanic in The Swapper, wherein you clone your character, and each character is represented as the player, not a clone, was wonderful, was repeated as the double-cherry power-up in Super Mario 3D World and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.  It was an absolute joy to use!  Once you’re cloned, there is distinction between player and clone.  You control all with the same fidelity.  If the “original player” character dies, you continue with the clone(s) as if nothing had happened.

Monday, 9:00 am – Ricky

Happy Monday!