My Digital Game Lab Experience
During the Digital Game Lab, I worked with 2 other individuals to play, watch, and analyze the mechanics and unique attributes of 6 different games. The games that stood out the most in my experience were “This is the Only Level,” “Mob Inc.,” and “Coffin Counseling.”
For the first game, “This is the Only Level,” created by jmtb02 and Kevin MacLead, presented a very interesting concept, where the player had to adapt to different conditions like altered controls and environmental hazards while playing the same level continuously. I really enjoyed some of the crazy, creative, and clever ways to design a game where you have to interact with other pages in the game menu, besides the game/player screen. For example, level 27 gave us a clue saying, “Credits,” where we had to go to the Credits page in the menu and then click a button saying “Unlock Level 27.”
Next, “Mob Inc.,” developed by Anabir, DrikMcfly, Thomas Lean, and Pietro Ferrantelli, has you play as a skeleton Grim-Reaper-like boss, fighting an endless wave of enemies, leveling up and collecting souls for the devil. I liked the different promotions you could achieve through grinding levels, earning a new skill and appearance, the higher the level, the more boss-like you become.
Lastly, “Coffin Counseling,” by @lastStarFarer, Steven Kaule, Barbara Wittmann, Julius Ebert, and Dominik Johann, surprised me as the game combines 2D-platforming with RPG elements where you play as Dracula’s new therapist in his castle, helping the other monsters with various issues. My favorite part was exploring the castle and talking to different NPCS all around the castle, from in the hall, graveyard, even on the ceiling. The wacky and fun characteristics of the NPCs, reminded me of the funny clues the player would see in “This is the Only Level.” You would see clues like “Time to Refresh,” or “Center Keyboarder,” when playing “This is the Only Level.” This can be compared to the personalities of each character in “Coffin Counseling,” where a Lizard-like NPC was complaining about being lonely for 120 years and how all his friends had broods to spend their lives with.
Watching someone else play these games allowed me to take in the whole scene of the game, including small details that would normally get overlooked if you were the player. For example, my group and I were confused while playing Mob Inc. for the first time. After noticing hearts at the bottom right corner and the verbal warning indicator, I let her know that there is a health bar at the bottom and the indicator means how many tries you currently have. Overall, I admired the different ideas and creativity used in the designs of these games.