Now that finals and the holidays are behind me (and I’ve mostly recovered from a nasty cold), it’s time to get back to blogging. I was thinking back to my very first blog post for Cloudfall about inspiration and I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of my biggest influences. So in this series, On the Shoulders of Giants, I’ll be taking just a bit of your time to share some amazing people, games, articles, books, videos, etc. that I think are worth your time.
To kick this series off, I want to shout out Arin Hanson, also known as Egoraptor. Likely best known for Game Grumps, he originally got his start as an animator on Newgrounds making some pretty funny cartoons (like this one). Though I do enjoy and recommend both of those, I mostly want to highlight his Sequelitis series. In this series, Arin blends humour with insight and breaks down what makes a good sequel. This series was a massive influence on me and was the first time I started thinking critically about games. I really responded to its fast, casual style and it really helped make game design feel approachable for me. Sometimes game design can feel like this intimidating thing that only other people can do, but by making it feel like a fun friendly conversation it felt like something anyone (including me!) could do. It also helps that the videos are funny, interesting to watch, and Arin has a great voice. Honestly, if I never watched this series, I don’t think I would be making games today. So if you’re interested in games (and don’t mind some swearing), I highly recommend binging this series.
This one is about Castlevania, and it explains why Simon’s Quest wasn’t such a great sequel. If you like it, he did a follow-up about Super Castlevania 4 here.
This one is about Megaman, and is basically a love letter to Megaman X. It’s my personal favourite one in the series. I especially love the part where it breaks down how the game teaches the player how to play with its level design, as that’s the lesson I’ve tried to keep in the mind the most.
And here’s one about The Legend of Zelda, which is quite the hot-take on Ocarina of Time.