GBAtemp game of the week #88 - Diamond Trust of London (NDS)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by FAST6191, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    [h2]GBAtemp book game club #88[/h2]

    Diamond Trust of London (NDS)

    Potentially breaking from form this edition and actually looking at a relatively recent title, it is one of the ones that could be a selection on the basis of it being an interesting industry story though we picked it just as much for the gameplay/gameplay design.
    Many of you will probably have seen the so called crowdfunded projects in recent times, though such things as donationware and shareware have existed for years the model has seen massive growth with sites like kickstarter. Likewise many of you have probably seen homebrew (we try to mention it where we can around here) and all sorts of interesting things that happen there and also the rise of the "app" model which has all sorts of implications and effects all over the place. This game straddles several of those worlds, which is very unconventional for the DS, and will probably be a study point for years to come because of it.
    The full story is quite long and going in depth would be somewhat beyond the scope of this article, short version is that it was set to be a conventional game but the Majesco dropped out, rather than becoming another unreleased game it went the crowdfunding way and eventually found itself being published. A more complete version of the story if you wanted such a thing.
    Traditionally we talk about the developer here but where developer tends to mean a company here we are probably going to have to talk about Jason Rohrer instead. Depending upon what circles you move in this may well be the first time you have heard of him; it is his only effort on the DS and most others are focused on the iphone (though the PC versions tend to be open source or otherwise free) and network development. For the most part his games seem to be somewhere between homebrew as we like to tell it with all sorts of interesting ideas, game theory games made up into a full games and game design practiced very well, all of which combine to make things we at the GBAtemp retro reviews/game of the week desk search long and hard for.

    The game itself.... computers are fairly limited devices when it comes down to it and many concessions have to be made from that when trying to implement things from outside computers (board games, card games, especially collectible card games, and pen and paper role playing games being among some of the most notable) which makes for an interesting thing to study. Some of the most interesting (and lasting) things tend to come from when people set out to design something within the limits of a medium with heavy inspiration from another rather than straight adapt and we would hold that is kind of what happened here with "what if a board game was made for a computer" being the underlying description. Here the RPG as nicely animated spreadsheet criticism is largely turned on its head and the hidden spreadsheet nature of things becomes a strength and may even have allowed a board game to extend beyond what is feasible in the real world. We still have not nailed down any gameplay so we are going to end up saying it is something like a black market trade simulator (diamonds being the black market item of choice) with deception and market manipulation of various forms playing a huge role in it.
    The main downside is the game really wants to be played against another person, AI is there but it may be where our "other medium" analogy breaks down owing to complexity of the underlying calculations making for a limited AI.

    Game discussion from giantbomb​


    Game sales page

    Would be kind of homebrew developer makes something great or this would never succeed in the commercial games world?
    We do not really have much like it to try but good versions of board games have been made for the consoles and things like drug wars tend to be found among the collections of people that enjoy these sorts of games. Many of the card game collections also feature things you might like here and previous game of the week feature Lone Wolf DS might scratch an itch here.

    We are working on getting a new searching mechanism working with the new forum software now our tag system has been changed. In the meantime all the editions are in this section and hopefully a search for GBAGOTW should get you the other entries in the series. gbagotw.

    Our portal is very important to us here at GBAtemp and as such we try to have a nice mix of news, features, reviews and more up on it and The GBAtemp book game club/GBAtemp game of the week feature is one of the features we have as part of that.
    Though on the face of it the "GBAtemp recommends!" feature is quite similar it is slightly different in terms of the goals and what makes up each article which is why we can have both at the same time. The distinction is usually that The GBAtemp book game club is more about those in the thread discussing the game after a quick overview (and minimal or no review) from us where GBAtemp recommends! is very much interested in doing a review and covering the history of the title.
    Where GBAtemp recommends! is almost universally after quality we like to branch out a bit and may make a selection of a game that might have missed somewhat in execution but tried something out that was novel or otherwise interesting (we aspire to be something other than a top ? games/hidden gems list). The GBA, the DS and the Wii will be what we spend most of our time looking at though if the DS can emulate something it could appear as well, we will also try to note what went on in the franchise of the selection in question on other consoles too.
    Pretty much anything goes in those consoles and the selection could be a commercial game, some unlicensed title, a piece of homebrew, a hacked version of a given game, leaked betas/unreleased games and beyond.
    [M]artin likes this.
  2. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

    Oct 23, 2004
    Dar es Salaam
    I was looking for the word RISK but I couldn't find it. It's amazing but this seems longer and unnoticed. and man 30 minutes of confusion.
  3. gamewizard

    gamewizard GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 12, 2013
    United States
    I need to order this one looks fun :lol:
  4. ferofax

    ferofax End of the World

    Jan 26, 2009
    I should mention that Jason Rohrer released Alt-Play: Jason Rohrer Anthology for the DSi. I have it on my 3DS, and it is an incredibly deep psych trip. If you're the kind of person that feels all sorts of abstracts when reading something like The Little Prince, you'll feel similar abstracts while playing his Anthology games (it's a compilation).

    There's this game dealing with life journey, Passage, from youth, to love, to losing that love, until eventually, death. Then there's a ball-tossing game (Gravitation) that works on the concept of managing time and fatherhood -- as you play with the kid, your light radius expands, showing how much ahead you can see, and also makes you jump higher (even setting you on fire). It's analogous to getting motivated by your child, and that motivation lets you go farther, see farther, do better. But as you spend time away from the kid, obtaining far away goals (like work or life related goals), your vision contracts, makes you see less, makes you perform less, until you get to the point where you can't see anything else anymore. You try to make your way back to the kid, and the cycle of motivation begins anew. But spend too much time away, and you'll find the child is gone... Then there's a third game, but it requires a second player, so I haven't been able to play it.

    Phew, kinda long, but if you read through that, then that's the kinds of stuff you can expect from his games in this Anthology. It's not something you will play for a long time, nor very often, but it certainly puts things in perspective.

    Definitely NOT for the gamer culture at large, but for people who can appreciate.
  5. DrOctapu

    DrOctapu Magnificent Bastard

    Dec 23, 2008
    United States
    Ah, Jason Rohrer. The guy who made Sleep is Death. Seems like more often than not this guy has great ideas that just end up being neglected by gamers.
  6. ouch123

    ouch123 GBAtemp Fan

    Aug 2, 2012
    United States
    His work certainly seems interesting. Not too sure about this game in particular, but I think I'll look into some of his other works. Thanks for the feature!
  7. syfyTy

    syfyTy PhD in Thaumaturgy

    Apr 11, 2011
    United States
    Tazmily, USA
    I was one of the (many) early people who bought into the kickstarter program and as a result got mine directly from Jason with a few extra caveats. I had a conversation with Rohrer about where to best release it and a few outlets NOT to release it through due to their anti climactic release schedules.

    According to the instructions the single player was added to demonstrate the game play and to practice, not so much as to have a single player experience by itself.

    I am glad I got an original for my collection as I have seen it few other places since then.

    Someone mentioned RISK: To me, having played it, it reminds me more of 'Scotland Yard' (available on DS) or 'Ticket to Ride' (360 + others) than Risk.

    I'm glad the other guy mentioned Anthology, as that is what I signed onto do, until I read his entry.... I thought Anthology was a brilliant concept, if not for the masses, it was an example of a point where art meets video gaming.
  8. beatsbydresale
    This message by beatsbydresale has been removed from public view by TwinRetro, Feb 25, 2013.
    Feb 25, 2013
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