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September 21, 2019
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Leo Karakolov's Blog


I write little bits and pieces on the design of various games I play and reflect on. I am largely focused on Stealth games, and games that deliver a rogue/thief/assassin fantasy, but my play experience is rich and I do play a little bit of everything. Many days, I feel like I enjoy writing about games more than actually playing them, but that usually lasts until I get a controller in my hands again, hooked up to some gem I haven't played yet. As with all other humans, I strive to constantly be learning and bettering my craft. Game Analysis combines writing, logic/reasoning and videogames together in a wonderful way for me to practice my understanding of all three. Cheers! 


Member Blogs

Posted by Leo Karakolov on Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:54:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
In this piece, I discuss a few reasons why, despite being called "systemic" games by its developers in interviews, Assassin's Creed's releases are rarely genuinely systemic experiences. These include fear of letting the player err, among others.

Posted by Leo Karakolov on Mon, 25 Apr 2016 01:53:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Previously, I talked about Elite enemies in Assassin's Creed. More on that in this post: the value of the idea, why a loss of rhythm is so bad in the first place, and the way this enemy type damages its game by drawing attention to something unsightly.

Posted by Leo Karakolov on Wed, 20 Apr 2016 12:30:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
At their core, Assassin's Creed's current combat systems are all about encouraging a sense of rhythm and flow. Find out why the Elite enemy types in these games run contrary to this design goal, and some possible quick/bandaid solutions to this issue.

Posted by Leo Karakolov on Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:04:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Social/Online
I take a look at Warframe's in-game economy, and why and how it's clever for a Free to Play game.

Posted by Leo Karakolov on Tue, 29 Mar 2016 08:39:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC
Many times when alterations to Assassin's Creed's level design and the resonance between its story and narrative are brought up, they tend to be swatted down with the universal reference to Genetic Memory. I examine why this doesn't hold water.

Posted by Leo Karakolov on Wed, 24 Feb 2016 06:45:00 EST in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie
AdventureText is a recently-released, freeware Text RPG inspired by Cleft of Dimensions. I interviewed its developer to find out what it was like going through the entire process of programming and designing a small text RPG from scratch.

Leo Karakolov's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 03/03/2016 - 12:42]

I completely agree. I once ...

I completely agree. I once wrote a longform essay of sorts for the Assassin 's Creed subreddit essentially speaking about the same topic. HUD-less AC1 is something really close to my heart, and I was overjoyed to see that someone on Gamasutra was actually writing about it. It was genius, ...