I’ve been talking a lot about less technical stuff recently. Let’s mix it up – today, I’m gonna talk all about the design and implementation of an important part of our game. If you couldn’t guess from the title, today we’re gonna talk about menus!


Menus are a pretty important part of your game. Most people make a game and then just “slap” a menu down on top of it. Since the menu is the first thing users will see, it can be pretty make-or-break, so it seems like poor form to spend the least amount of time on it! That’s why it’s so important to actually put some thought into your menu design.

Early on, Frank and I decided that we wanted to have as little text in Where Shadows Slumber as possible. There were a number of reasons for this, the most obvious being:

  • We have to do less work to translate the game into other languages
  • It adds to the “mysterious” vibe we’ve been going for
  • The user isn’t burdened with a bunch of text they have to read
  • The text-based menus were possibly the worst part of SkyRunner (our previous game)

To go along with this choice, we also aimed to make the menus as transient as possible – rather than opening to a menu, where the player must choose to start playing, the game itself would just start playing immediately. That’s what the user is here for, after all! This “game-focused” menu model is an attempt to reduce the user’s barrier to entry, making it as easy as possible to actually start playing the game.

So what does that look like? Our menu design breaks down into four small parts:

  1. The first thing the user will see is the splash screen. This is just a quick little screen that shows the Where Shadows Slumber logo. It’s not really a menu, since it doesn’t do anything, but it’s worth mentioning (and it’s important for implementation purposes).
  2. Before starting a level, the user is met with a level title card. This tells the user what level they’re on, which provides important context, as it’s the only menu interaction they’ll have before they get to the game itself. After tapping through this menu, the user is dropped right into the game.
  3. During the game, the user can press the pause button, which will bring them to the pause menu. This is where most of the interaction is – you can restart the level, mess with the settings, etc. In order to move from “menu-focused” to “game-focused”, we’ve moved everything you would see in a “main menu” into the pause menu.
  4. The only exception to the “game-focused” menu design is our level select menu. Coming here will actually take you out of the game – but for good reason. This menu is by far the most complex, as the user can choose from any of our levels or cutscenes.

After textlessness and transience, a big driving force behind our menu design was incorporating game elements. For example, a quick description of our game’s mechanics might read like “things change when they’re in shadow”. So, wherever possible, we wanted to have a menu where things changed in shadow. The only place where we had the freedom to do something like this was in the level select menu. We thought about it a bit, and ended up with this beauty:


This idea came up after about a million attempts at a menu design that showed off our mechanics a bit, but I think it was worth it. It’s pretty subtle, and uses a relatively standard swiping interaction.


For those of you looking to make your own games, or just curious what our process was, lets take a look at how we actually brought these menus to life.

This is an area of development that really benefited from our three-phase process, in which we made a demo version of the game, and then started over when we began on the full game. This allowed us to iterate on our first approach to implementing the menus, without having to go through and update the existing menus. There are three interesting things that we did to create these menus.

Splash Screen and Pause Menu

In the demo version of the game, we created a pause menu prefab, and made an instance of it in each level. That way, we could update the prefab, and it would apply to every level. Seems pretty cool, right?


Because Where Shadows Slumber isn’t reflex-based, it can continue to play in the background!

While this is a pretty good pattern, and we’ve used it for a lot of other things, it didn’t really work for menus. The biggest reason for this was that we found ourselves going through every single level to update the individual menu objects with small, level-specific changes. While this might work for the demo, which only had ten levels, it’s a lot more work for the final game, which will have 38 levels.

Rather than have a menu object in each level, we decided to have a single menu object that persists throughout the entire game. After all, the menus themselves don’t change much from level to level. This is where the splash screen comes in – when the game loads up, the first scene is always the splash screen. This scene has the single menu object, and we simply tell Unity to allow it to persist from scene to scene (using DontDestroyOnLoad()). Any changes that need to be made to the overall menu text are made per level, as the level is loaded.

Level Title Cards and Translation

One part of the menu system that often gets overlooked during design is translation. For example, we decided to provide different languages for the demo, but we didn’t consider it or add it in until close to the release. This left us with a half-hearted translation system that was hard to update.


I don’t think we need outside translators – my skills should suffice

The second time around, we decided to think about translation from the beginning of menu implementation, and we were determined to come up with something easy to work with. What we realized was that, for a foreign language, all text should be loaded from somewhere else – why should English be any different? Instead of creating an English menu and then applying translations, we started with an “empty” menu, and used our translation system to populate it with whatever language we wanted, English included! This forced us to take translation into account much earlier – so we can be much more sure that our translation system will work nicely with our menus.

But what does that translation system look like? Pretty much all of our other scripts are given values through the Unity editor. We did this for translation as well in the demo, and it was a complete disaster – even with our low-text menus, there was still a lot to add! We realized pretty quickly that we didn’t want to include the translations as part of the Unity scenes – we decided to have them loaded in separately, using JSON.

JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a pretty cool file format used to organize values into a set structure. By storing all of our menu text (and translations of that text) in a JSON file, we can pretty easily read it into the game as it’s loading, thus allowing us to populate menu text objects with the correct language. It’s easy to read, easy to backup, and easy to update (unlike the Unity editor script fields), which makes it perfectly suited to this type of use-case.


A small sample of our JSON

The end process is pretty simple – when the game loads, parse the JSON file (which has all of the game’s text in “every” language). During the splash screen, where the menus are created, populate their text fields with the correct text from the JSON file. If we need to update the text, it’s as simple as changing the text in the JSON file, and everything just works!

The Level Select Menu

While the other subsections here describe ways that we learned from a bad implementation to make a good one, the level select menu is just a cool menu design.

Whille toying with menu ideas, Frank created a few of these “world tableaus”, and we knew that we wanted to have them in the level select menu. The coolest thing about them is that they aren’t just textures – they’re 3D scenes, which allows us to give them subtle movement (this kind of effect really helps make a game look “polished”). The question becomes – how can we display these scenes in such a way that they can interact with each other in two dimensions, while acting as completely separate scenes?

Unity has a pretty awesome feature called a RenderTexture, which allows a texture to display the live view of a Camera object (for the curious among you, that’s how you could make a CCTV screen or a mirror in a Unity game). Using a RenderTexture basically allows us to “flatten” the moving tableau scene into a moving texture, which we can then manipulate as we please. And, as it turns out, it pleases us to use math and angles to create the “sweeping shadow” effect.

You see, I’m a pretty big fan of math on the whole, and this was a perfect place to apply some trigonometry. Using complicated concepts (like “sinusoidal”, and “minus”), I came up with an algorithm that  would put two RenderTextures and a shadow triangle together in such a way that it created the desired effect:

Level Select Transition

theta = (3 * atan(h / 2x) – atan(h / (2 * (x + w)))) / 2

What you’re seeing here is that each RenderTexture is angled (and stretched appropriately), and then positioned in such a way that the line where they cross is exactly covered by the moving shadow. This gives the illusion of the menu behind the shadow magically changing from one image to the other.

This menu is my favorite part of the menu system, because it’s the most interesting, both from a technical, implementation perspective, and from an outside, aesthetic perspective. That said, I think we ended up with a pretty sweet menu system all around, thanks in no small part to our past failures in this area.

Looking Ahead

Unfortunately, no part of the game is ever really done. The menus are in pretty good shape, but there’s still some polish we need to do, and I’m sure there will be small changes we want to make as we move forward. In fact, this was one of the more important concepts behind a lot of our decisions – any changes we want to make should be pretty easy!

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Hopefully you enjoyed this peek at the menus for Where Shadows Slumber! If you have any questions about our menus, or if you have any other questions about Where Shadows Slumber, feel free to contact us! You can always find out more about our game at, find us on Twitter (@GameRevenant),, or Twitch, join the Game Revenant Discord, and feel free to email us directly with any questions or feedback at

Jack Kelly is the head developer and designer for Where Shadows Slumber.

2016 Year In Review

Christmas is behind us, and the year is coming to an end. For the final blog post of 2016, we decided to recap the major events in the lifetime of Where Shadows Slumber that occurred this year.

When we began 2016, the game’s demo (currently available on iOS and Google Play) was only 2 months into development. As we created and refined our 10 level demo over the next 12 months, we also had the opportunity to attend some incredible game industry events. Here are some of our favorite development milestones!



Jack got cropped out of this picture, as punishment for being too darn tall.

April / IndieCade East

At the very end of April, we had the great fortune of attending IndieCade East. This juried “Show and Tell” event required us to submit an application and go through an approval process before being allowed to showcase the game. We’re so glad that the judges were impressed with our game, even during its infant stages. This was the earliest feedback we got from total strangers, and it was positive yet constructive.



Dan Butchko, the CEO of Playcrafting.

July / Playcrafting Summer Expo

Throughout the year, we attended two of the gaming nights hosted by Playcrafting at Microsoft’s offices in New York City. These intimate gatherings are great for indies looking for a foothold in the industry – lots of people go to them, admission is free for developers, and there’s even free pizza! Both the Spring Expo and July’s Summer Expo were excellent opportunities for us to show off the game and get some candid feedback from strangers.



September / Studio Madness

After a busy summer, we finally got a chance to sit down with Earl Madness, a photojournalist we met at IndieCade. Our long form interview is available to view on YouTube – in it, we discuss our hopes and dreams for Where Shadows Slumber, as well as some general thoughts about the game industry.



October / Website Launches

Web developer Caroline Amaba pulled off an incredible feat in October – creating a website as beautiful as our game! The site launched in October and has been a massive source of subscriptions to our newsletter, which means traffic is high as well as interest. Keep up the good work, o Mistress of Webs!



October / Gameacon

We attended Gameacon 2016 in Atlantic City, NJ for the first time in October. For a new convention, we were pleasantly surprised by the crowd that came to our table to see Where Shadows Slumber. To top it all off, we were nominated for a Crystal Award – Best Mobile Design! Unfortunately, we did not win. But the experience really helped shape the future strategy of the game, and for that we are thankful!



November / The Demo Launches

On the first day of November, we launched our game on Google Play! Shortly afterward (November 2nd, or midnight on the 3rd…) we launched our game on the App Store. We don’t like to talk about that scheduling mishap, but we should.

A word of caution: when you schedule an app to “release” on the App Store at a certain time on a certain date, the game is not available at that time on that date. Rather, it begins processing at that time and date and will be on the store a solid 24 hours later. The good news is, it happened to the demo and not the final game’s release! We won’t make that mistake again.



November / Accepted Into MIVS

After an arduous submission process, Where Shadows Slumber was accepted into MAGFest’s Indie Videogame Showcase (MIVS). We’ll have the good fortune of attending this event in just over a week (Jan 5th – 8th) at National Harbor, Maryland. This is our first time attending the Music and Gaming Festival in any capacity, so it’s going to be a wild ride! We’ll keep you posted on how that turns out just after we return.




December / Playcrafting and 16 Bit Awards

Our previous attendance at two Playcrafting events made us eligible to apply for a ’16 Bit Award. We had no idea at the time, but apparently Playcrafting holds a massive award ceremony at the end of every year! Our submission was accepted and we were officially nominated for Best Mobile Game. Although we didn’t take home the grand prize, we had a blast at the ’16 Bit Awards. They went all out for this thing! The event had free food and a live band, and we got to hang out with some really cool developers. 10/10, would go again!



That’s All For Now!

We’re going to save the “look ahead” for a future blog post, where we’ll discuss what to look forward to in 2017. Some major events are just around the corner – and there is at least one morsel of news that we are legally barred from publicly announcing. (Don’t worry, it’s good news!)

This year has been good to us. We hope it has been good to you, too. If not, well… just wait longer! 2017, here we come!


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How was your year? We’d love to hear about any cool projects you’re working on. Maybe you’ve made progress on your game in a significant way – or perhaps 2017 is the start of something new? Whatever the case may be, feel free to use our comments section as a way to get the word out about your game! See you in the new year.

Frank DiCola is the founder and CEO of Game Revenant, a game studio in Hoboken, NJ.

Chicago Toy and Game Fair 2016

I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip to Chicago for the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. Below, I’ve posted my thoughts about the Fair, as well as a bit of a cost-benefit analysis.

Never Been To ChiTAG? I’ll Explain…

When I told some colleagues of mine that I was going to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG), they told me they had never attended this show and asked me to let them know what it was like. I suppose they are considering attending in the future. Here’s my recap!

ChiTAG begins with a conference during the week that I did not attend (the cost was quite high). The conference was designed as a way to network with big-wig industry professionals. I regret not doing this conference. In fact, if I could turn back time, I would have paid for the conference and not the booth. I found it hard to make industry connections on the show floor as many of these people were busy dealing with the general public. Anyway, I can’t comment on the Inventor Conference except to say that I shall go to my grave always wondering what might have been. (Just kidding. That’s a bit extreme.)


My final setup at the show. This is a 10 x 10 with a round table, four chairs, a long table, and two banners that I shipped in to Chicago.

The setup day was Friday, November 18th. There was ample time to set up, from noon until 6 pm. We were allowed to stay past 6 pm but the doors were locked, so if you weren’t in the convention hall you got locked out. That night there were two events that I also didn’t attend because of the cost – PlayCHIC (a fashion show…<_<) and the TAGIEs, an award show. The TAGIEs cost $250 per plate! I decided to opt out due to the exorbitant cost and my general exhaustion.

This recap is off to a pretty bad start. I missed a ton of stuff! No wonder it sometimes felt like I didn’t get my money’s worth! I suppose I should have… spent more money?

Last thing about setup – the convention services people seemed professional, but swamped. They were in a bit over their head, and partially screwed up my order. I put in an order for two tables, four chairs, a carpet, 1 tablecloth, and a table skirt. I got most of that, except for the tablecloth. Also the table skirt was the wrong color. Not the end of the world – I brought my own tablecloths, because the Boy Scouts trained me well. But it was a bit annoying. Their offerings were quite expensive! I expected better service. They were nice people, though.

Before the show opened on Saturday morning, there was a breakfast with bloggers and influencers from 8 am to 9 am. I didn’t go to that either – that was reserved for event sponsors. Another paywall! I didn’t quite realize how many things I was prevented from doing at this conference until I started writing them all down. I can’t tell you much about this breakfast, because I didn’t see it. One blogger told me that it was mostly “people pitching their games to us” while they ate. Is that what “continental” means…?

On Saturday morning, the show opened to the public. On Saturday, the show went from 9 am to 6 pm, and on Sunday it went from 9 am to 5 pm.



The Reception of Mr. Game!

I had 66 games shipped in, which is 11 cases. This number is quite high, but the warehouse team charges for a minimum of 200 lbs of product no matter how much you ship in. So, I thought it made sense to bring just enough in (198 lbs) so the value matched what I paid for it. In retrospect, this was an error in judgment. I also don’t like this system of charging for minimums, and will not do any shows in the future that have this policy.

Regarding sales, I was able to sell 10 games directly to customers, and 20 to a retailer named C&C Games. C&C Games appears to be a reseller that specializes in Rio Grande products. It was cool seeing my game on a shelf with modern classics like Power Grid and Dominion.


Yes, that’s Mr. Game! on the C&C shelf next to all those Rio Grande games. No, I didn’t sneak it up there!

I gave 6 games (1 case) away to various influencers who approached the booth. Some were educators, and others were bloggers. I hope to reach more online now that the show is over – there were a few who expressed interest but never returned to the booth.

As planned, some of the excess product was donated to local charities to avoid the cost of shipping them back to my apartment. 11 games in all were donated to two different Chicago charities. The other 18 games were shipped back to me. So, the chart looks something like this:

  • 10 customer sales
  • 20 wholesale sales
  • 6 giveaways
  • 11 donations
  • 18 shipped back to me

I expected to sell more on the show floor to customers. It helps to have a third day, usually Friday, to absorb more of the show’s traffic. But we only had Saturday and Sunday to work with. ChiTAG felt like it was ending the moment the show opened on Saturday morning. That’s kind of a sickening feeling – after spending thousands of dollars on a booth, shipping, transportation and hospitality, I felt like I had barely enough time with the customers attending the Fair.

Traffic wasn’t dead, but it was definitely slow at times. It’s also worth mentioning that the buying habits of the attendees seemed rather frugal – I heard a lot of parents discussing the “one game” rule. That’s probably excellent parenting, but hearing that during the show got pretty annoying. I wanted them to buy all the games! Including Mr. Game!, of course…


I was shocked (and overjoyed!) to see children as young as 8 years old grasping the game and enjoying it. This little girl was Ms. Game and she had no trouble bossing us around!

My sales technique was essentially to run demos at the booth and hope people would return to buy the game. Very rarely (never?) did someone buy it right after playing. Typically, they resolved to come back once they saw everything at the show. I lost a lot of people this way. I’m not sure what I could do to change this customer behavior.

I left the booth a few times to try to show the game to the larger players at the conference (Target, Pressman, North Star, Goliath) but they were too busy with customers to have time for me. I don’t blame them in the slightest – there are other shows (NY Toy Fair, GAMA) that are probably better for doing this kind of behind the scenes business.

Am I Returning Next Year?

At this point, I’m really not sure. It’s always fun to imagine what my schedule would be like if I was making millions of dollars and money was no object. Going to these events is always fun, and you’re guaranteed to meet new people.

But a trip with a $4,000 price tag is hard to justify. I’ll try anything once, but from that point onward I need to see some kind of obvious return if I’m going to become a repeat customer. This number is no exaggeration, by the way. See my costs below:

  • 10 x 10 booth – $1,800
  • Plane tickets – $325
  • Hotel, 2 nights – $360
  • Booth furnishings and game shipments – $915
  • Banner shipping and handout printing – $100
  • Various transportation costs – $135
  • Various food costs – $200
  • Return shipment of games – $125

I was surprised to hear that this show has been around for over a decade. It seemed a bit too small for a show with that kind of tenure. For a long running show in one of the largest cities in America, you’d expect a bit more traffic by your booth. Sadly, that was not the case. I expect that many people cancelled due to the weather, or the difficulty in getting to the show floor itself. (We were on the tail end of the Navy Pier, which itself is on the shore of Lake Michigan and might be a bit out of the way) Before the show, I heard anywhere from 7,000 to 30,000 people were going to attend. Now I see that the lower estimate was a better guess.

At this time, I’m not planning next year’s trip back to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. There were too may paywalls and not enough people to justify the considerable time and effort I spent on this show. We’ll see if the residual business connections I made at the show pay off. Maybe in the next week or two, people who neglected to buy in person will buy the game online. One can only hope.

My plan for the future is to focus on shows that do one thing well. GAMA is a trade show – you go there to get business deals done. PAX is a customer show – you go there to sell product to customers eager to buy impulsively. Blending the two efforts together may seem like a good idea, but there simply isn’t enough time to do either one effectively and you end up in no man’s land.

For now, this was my first and last ChiTAG. Let’s hope the New York Toy Fair is 100 times better!

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I’d like to hear from you. What did you think of ChiTAG? Where you there? Did I see you? Did you watch me as I slept? O_O!! Leave your feedback in the comments below, and be sure to check out the official Mr. Game! website, where you can purchase the game.

Frank DiCola is the founder and CEO of Game Revenant, a game studio in Hoboken, NJ.


Like a building under construction, ChiTAG is worth exploring – but not yet stable.

If Dishonored 2 Repeats This One Mistake, The Entire Game Will Be Ruined

All it took was one line of text to ruin the original Dishonored for me. And it could happen to the next game in the series without the developers even realizing it.

This post contains marketing materials from the upcoming title, Dishonored 2. If you want to keep yourself “in the dark” for a pristine experience, stay back!

The recent release of Corvo’s Gameplay Trailer (above) inspired me to write about what I believe is fatal flaw in the original Dishonored. It was merely a single line of text – and I’m not referring to programming code.

Let’s make something clear first, however. This is not a review of the original Dishonored for PC and consoles. Dishonored 2 has not been released yet as of this moment, so this post is not a review of that game either.

In fact, just to avoid any confusion, you should read this article as if I thought Dishonored was the perfect game in every way. No flaws, no bugs, no issues at all.

Except one.


This is one of the loading screens you see before the game’s first level, Coldridge Prison. Do you see the problem? Blink and you’ll miss it. Read that line carefully.

A high body count leads to more rats, more plague victims and a darker outcome.

This single line of text, repeated ad infinitum, set the stage for completely ruining my experience with Dishonored.

A Darker Outcome

I started Dishonored on a pretty high difficulty, so the first few attempts at escaping my prison cell were met with defeat after humiliating defeat. But honestly, I didn’t mind at all! I was enjoying experiencing a new first person combat system that required timing and good reflexes. Dying constantly to the first few guards in the game was a pleasure.

Unfortunately, it also caused me to have to reload my save state numerous times. (Dying tends to do that.) I was playing the game with my older brother observing at the time. Every time I died, we would see the message in the loading screen above: Kill people in this game and it will end badly for you in the end.

Eventually, the long-term planner in me could ignore the warning no longer. I couldn’t stand the thought of wasting my time playing the game the wrong way. I tried to ignore it at first, but my brother and I both came to the same conclusion: since this is the beginning of the game, and I’m starting with a clean slate, I might as well “keep it clean”, right? It’s not like I already had a track record of murdering guards by the dozens – this was literally the first level of the game. I could be any kind of Corvo that I wanted.

And so, I made the fateful (terrible) decision to play the game non-lethally. Repeated exposure to the warning above had convinced me that, although being a violent psychopath might be more fun, it’s not worth it in the end! So I dutifully choked guards, stuck to the sleeping dart crossbow, and avoided conflict wherever possible. Whenever I messed up, it was time to reload my save. That meant I needed to save constantly, to preserve the tiny bits of progress I made as I tiptoed through the game.

The end result? I experienced the darkest outcome of all: a ‘beige’ Dishonored with all of the fun and controversy taken out. I didn’t even kill Daud, the man responsible for setting the game’s events in motion and murdering the Empress I was sworn to protect. I locked myself out of playing the revenge fantasy I purchased. And for what? It didn’t really feel like the game was designed for the non-lethal approach at all.

Instead, I felt like I played the game backwards. Perhaps I should have played it once all the way through as a violent madman, slaughtering anyone who looked at me the wrong way. Then, after realizing the terrible result of my actions, it would be time to play the game a second time with the added constraint of being an unseen pacifist. Guided by age and experience, I would be able to complete this more challenging version of the game – and be rewarded with a more peaceful ending.

This Warning Is Hypocritical

I have no idea why that loading screen message needed to be in the game. If all it did was warn you about the rats and plague victims, that would be fine. But warning me about the ending of the game set me up to police my own experience in a way that completely killed the fun.


Dishonored is a stealth game that can be played in many ways, but it has so many more options for crazy stuff if you play it without worrying about the moral consequences of your actions. Most of the game’s talents didn’t seem usable to someone like me. A lot of the game’s new items were lethal by design and thus, useless. But the worst part is that by warning me about the game’s Low Chaos / High Chaos system, it caused me to never actually see it occur.

If I had been allowed to play the game and examine the consequences of my actions, I might have made the decision on my own to kill fewer guards or abandon murder altogether. But I never saw swarms of rats because I was always on Low Chaos. Plague victims were just a part of the story and hardly came up in the game.

The warning in that loading screen also flies in the face of the central thrust of the game’s marketing up until that point. Don’t believe me? Watch some old trailers for Dishonored. The game’s catchphrase before it released was “Revenge Solves Everything.” (The commercial I just linked could alternatively be called “3 minutes of people dying horribly.”) I counted a single (!) non-lethal stealth kill. After months of buildup through violent trailers, the perfect setup for a revenge story, and an intro cutscene designed to get your blood boiling… you tell me not to kill people?

The irony is, in worring about not wanting to “waste my time playing the game the wrong way”, I ended up doing exactly that. And I never returned to play through the game again, or purchase the DLC.

So the moral of the story is: if your game has a range of options, but one of those options is clearly the most fun way to play, make sure you encourage players to take that route. Sure, they might regret it later when they realize the whole kingdom falls to death and violence, but that’s the point! You want players to have those moments in gaming. It’s always better to give people experiences that confirm moral truths than to just lecture them.


Fortunately, I’ve already decided how I’m going to avoid this problem for Dishonored 2. Since the game allows you to play as either Emily Kaldwin and Corvo, I’ve decided that I’ll play as Emily first and do an “anything goes” run. That means I’ll start each encounter out as stealthily as possible, but if a fight breaks out I won’t hesitate to kill people or run away. I’m also going to refrain from over-saving, which is a bad habit I picked up from The Elder Scrolls that tends to ruin the flow of games. It’s going to be autosave only for me… the more things go to hell, the better! Then, if I really want to get the nicer ending, I’ll do that playthrough as Corvo. This way, I’ll get to experience Dishonored 2 the way it was meant to be played, and Corvo gets to retain my head canon of being a merciful phantom.

If you’re playing Dishonored for the first time after reading this article, my advice to you is just to play it your way. If you always play stealth games without killing everybody, go for it. Just don’t make that choice because you were pressured into it by the game.

And I have some advice for anyone on the Dishonored 2 team. Go and look at all of the loading screen messages your team has created – seriously! For each and every one of them, consider if they could pressure a player into changing their tactics in a way that makes the game less fun. Ask yourself: how is this game meant to be played? Does our marketing gel with the message players get when they finally get their hands on the game? Would I be happy if someone only played the game in Low Chaos and never got to see some of the crazy mayhem they can cause with bombs, spells, and guns?

If the answer is no, make sure messages like the one above are nowhere to be found. And for God’s sake, will someone patch that loading screen out of the original Dishonored?

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I’d like to hear from you. Is it just me, or did anyone else have a similar experience with this game? Leave your feedback in the comments below, and be sure to check out my gaming stream where I will one day re-play Dishonored… on maximum chaos.

Frank DiCola is the founder and CEO of Game Revenant, a game studio in Hoboken, NJ.