I've decided there is no Game of the Year 2018. Everything's been mediocre sequels or ripoffs; that a shitty deathmatch shooter is the most popular makes me disrespect your species nearly as much as sportsball.
I'm still playing old games:
- Elder Scrolls Online: Mixed bag this year. Summerset's a fantastic "chapter"/DLC they make even subs pay for. Murkmire DLC is awful, its only virtue is that Shadowfen's no longer the worst zone in the game. Mac client performance has been garbage since Murkmire, and the nerf to Sorc shields has annoyed the shit out of me. But, close to 5 years in it's still the best Elder Scrolls game.
- Unturned: France map is fun and moderately hard, but 3.0's reaching EOL and who knows how buggy 4.0 will be. Ominous.
- Minecraft: 1.13 update was a buggy shitshow for a while, but it's made the waters interesting. But I build bases in taiga or mountains. Very little time in it this year.
- Animal Crossing Pocket Camp: Least bad gachapon/daily clicky-toy game in its second year. The monthly cycle of garden event, fishing event, scavenger hunt is pretty solid now. The Cabin recently added lets me save a few favorite animals outside the ever-rotating camp roster. It's OK.
This year's failed contenders:
- EXAPUNKS: Haven't bought it yet because like TIS-100 and the rest of Zach's games, real coding is more fun than fake-coding, but maybe if I was more fun-not-GTD it'd be on the shortlist at least.
- World of Warcraft Classic demo: The most exciting pre-release was a 10-year-old version of the most boring MMO.
- Dragalia Lost: Good but compromised design. I loved it for a few months, the characters are fun and cute, action dungeon's great for quick play, but the gachapon store drives the game and creates too many identical heroes, dragons, and cards, and it nagged me out. This could've been GOTY if it was paid up front, earning heroes by questing instead of random pulls.
My own failure to ship is appalling. I can't justify it. Perilar gameplay is excellent roguelike tactics & resource management, but some dungeon generation's not right yet.
Delvers in Darkness, my new tabletop RPG, is getting another rewrite of the adventure and I haven't done any art direction. I think it's fun in solo tests, but still need table testing.