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Showing posts from 2011

Getting Ready for 2012

Oh 2012, what new exciting things can I hope for in this year. Here's what's going down now.

1) Corvidology is working on a fashion app.
2) I'm still chipping away at my VN Line of Heroes. With only minor updates since the last one.
3) I'm also working on a few Dating Sims. I've finished scripting one. I'm so proud of me for figuring it out.
4) 7 Eldest is in book 2. I still don't give it all the love and attention it deserves.
5) Also kind of looking for a new job. ^^

Project Update: Line of Heroes

Lots of progress has been made on this project actually.
I've finished most of the scripting so it is now playable. :D

Artwork is really going to pose a challenge I think. So far I think everyone has 1 sprite.

I still need to make:
Title screen - sketched
Sprites - need costume changes and various emotions.
Music - found some royalty free music and sound effects.
Backgrounds - ugh
CGI - meh
UI elements - might stick with default

Assume makes an...

Assuming things about your audience can definitely make an ass out of you (and me). And sometimes, it feels like some games designs are built on this foundation of assumptions about its players that might be excluding a large market.

So what inspired this was something I noticed in my email. Several months ago, I had joined Lord of the Rings Online so I could keep in touch with my boyfriend who enjoyed WoW. It was a free MMO (since I was not quite willing to pay a subscription fee). And quite seriously a little gem in the MMO scene.

Today I had received notice that their game guides had been updated and the message was very new player friendly. It had a colorful list of new player and beginner MMO guides to the game.
When I had first heard about this MMO it was at GDC. A developer was explaining to me how LOTR Online was aimed for a more mature group of people and that it was not as 'immature' as WoW. Now my research on MMOs had pointed out that these games attract the most un…

Angry Chicks

Another bit of a rant about games, or really one game. Angry effing Birds.
As an iPhone game developer, I can assure you that the easiest way to piss us off is to ask us about Angry Birds. In casual conversation when I bring up my profession, guaranteed 100% of the time the person will ask something along the lines of: Oh iPhone games, you mean like Angry Birds.
Or my personal favorite:
"Oh you know my son/daughter plays this one game alot...what was it?"
Me: Angry Birds. (There is no intonation of a question in this response. It's a factual response.)
"Yes that's the one."

What. The. Duck. Seriously, has Angry Birds become the FACE of the App Store? It really feels like it has. Yay for that company...they have made it into infamy. And I get so pissed off seeing their fisking merchandise at the mall.

Jealous? Perhaps a bit, but on the other hand I'm REALLY glad that an iPhone game has gotten that huge. That makes the platform meaningful for a wide audie…

Opinion: Games for Me?

So I spent some time catching up on all the buzz about E3. Well some of the buzz really. And while some may be excited, I've found nothing on the horizon that lifts my spirits. I'm starting to worry about the game development industry.


Nintendo Not Cool Anymore?
You know, I grew up with Nintendo. Its the company that got me back into gaming and was the only console we ever owned. I'm nervous about what this company is doing. The WiiU seems like a smart step as it is well...an iPad in disguise. Although I like the 3DS, I don't see any interesting or fun release titles. I bought a 3DS in part because of the new Zelda and Kid Icarus but mostly because I wanted a new DS that actually connects to my wireless and I can download games on. (Because its a platform my company is considering in the future).

Perhaps Nintendo is banking on their portable devices since their gimmick devices are not doing so great anymore. However, the series that got me back into gaming, Legend of Z…

Irreverence

Controversy and gaming can almost be synonymous. Reasons why or subject matters will offend differ between parties. However, most of this thought bubble was actually inspired by an anime series I started watching and feel confused about my feelings towards it. I feel like I have accepted the 'offense' no longer or never really offended me.

Rooms with Elephants
The series that sparked these thought bubbles is called "Hetalia: Axis Powers" which is an anime series where the episodes are 5 minutes of loose history about the relations of countries during WW2 and other points in history. All countries are 'personified' as characters with certain stereotypical traits.
While the stereotypes are funny generalizations, they are generalizations made by a Japanese perspective. I've only gotten through season 2 but I keep waiting for that 'elephant in the room' to be acknowledged. The Axis powers did some pretty terrible things. Also America did something terrib…

Meta Stories and Games

Another thought bubble about narrative and games. I've touched on the topic of meta-game elements several times but now we meet it head on. (apply directly to the forehead.)
First what do I mean by meta-game elements and stories? Where will this post go?

Meta-Game
I remember when I first ran into the term "meta-game" while studying table-top RPG games. For example, rolling the dice and points were meta-game elements. It could also mean elements that pertain to the game world but not the main focus of game play. In table top role play, the dice rolls and charts are necessary for the game but that is not the main focus of the game. That is to say that a person doesn't play D&D to roll dice...that's what Yahtzee is for. The goals of the game are to explore, complete tasks, and refine your character.

For a digital translation, this would be interface or the repeated actions in a game. In a game with random encounters (like a J-RPG), the main focus of the game is not …

Dishonesty, Lies, and Comedy

Straight up opinion this round, but I have recently started watching Glee after the encouragement from my sister. I've been making my way through the first season somehow but it's becoming harder and harder to continue to like the show. It brought up for me a couple of other things people have mentioned about romantic comedies and high school dramas.

Now for me, the only thing that keeps me interested in Glee is the music. I love musicals and having a TV show that is essentially a musical has some appeal to me. And it should come as no surprise that I was actually part of my school's "Glee Club" although we called it "Swing Choir", but it was basically the same thing. Wear a costume, choreograph a dance and sing at the same time. It was a mixed-bag experience for me because I love to sing and dance but felt bad that there was a lot of rivalry and politics between the teacher and students.

Let's talk about romantic comedies. One of my fellow podcast …

LOH: Backgrounds

Thanks to a friend, I'm getting some 3D models for buildings for my backgrounds.
I will probably paint them myself otherwise.

Characters are pretty much designed, except for the main character. I still can't seem to draw her right. :P

Modding

One of my not-so-secret pleasures about some games is the ability to MOD them aka modify. It takes a lot of time, talent and a workhorse of a computer but the results are amazing. Unfortunately I haven't been able to create my own mod for years thanks to work.

Mods
Mod communities are a proverbial cesspit of creative and talented folks sharing game content for FREE...usually. Utilizing the limits of the game to add something new and provide MORE playtime with that game. If I find a mod community for a game I usually download a thing or two. (Or a million in the case with the Sims).

What makes a good Mod
Mods can vary in type from program fixes, hacks and cosmetic changes to full blown extra stories, missions or DLC.
One of my university courses was to create a Mod using the Neverwinter Nights 2 Toolset for game writing. The whole experience taught me what really goes into creating a good mod.
Pre-planning has a lot to do with it and learning is the other half. Planning and experience r…

Interactive Storytelling

Narrative has become a packaged deal with video games. The need for well-written games is becoming a selling point and a norm. And this is a good thing. Narratives have had a good long history in video games and where it is heading is an interesting journey.
Text Adventures/Point and Click Adventures When games appeared on computers they took the form of text adventures. Programmatic inputs were necessary to interact with the world. And for the most part, players had a very strong connection with the narrative and story. Even to the point where they cried. However, once these types of games became graphical like the Sierra Adventure games, a level of connection was severed slightly. While the input was the same, the output wasn't fuel for the players imagination. What could have been an epic was reduced to cartoon or comic style graphics. It's similar to the experience of watching Lord of the Rings animated and reading the novels. The iconic almost comical style of the ani…

Script Done

I finished the script a couple of weeks ago. Finally. Wow it took far too long to write that. Now I need to design and draw characters. >_< And backgrounds.

I'm periodically collecting music and sound effects.

Role Play

When I was young, I role played all the time. When it was snowy out, I'd pretend I was a dinosaur and build a nest out of snow and pine needles. Sometimes I was an arctic fox or a squirrel or a unicorn. Sometimes I'd be my favorite Ninja Turtle or a Time Traveling Scientist. And there's some part of us that never really out grows this love of role playing...being someone we are not.

RPG
You could argue that ALL video games are in a certain sense a role playing game. (Just not in the genre). In a first person shooter, you are playing the role of a soldier, in a flight simulator you play the role of a pilot, in a real time strategy you play the role of a god. Yes you can be whoever you want to be in a game. You can disregard the rules of proper society and set things on fire without remorse or guilt.

However, the concept of Role Play as in the RolePlaying Game is vastly different than my child-like concept of playing pretend. I don't get to immerse myself in a role playing…

Wild Horses

For the past year or so, I've been playing with the design of a horse riding RPG type game and I find recently that it's pretty much been made to an extent.
Yes, I finally got Red Dead Redemption and my lord it is a FUN game. I never was a fan of Westerns...not after reading Shane. *shudder* it haunts me so. However, I'm changing my mind on the genre ever since the movie, "Australia" and I got the idea for a story about a rough 'n' tough unicorn herder. (It's badass...I just need to draw it properly.)

But RDR has gone ahead and done it for me pretty much with their Undead pack (which I will totally get just because I can rope and tame a unicorn.) I'm actually a bit sad someone beat me to the punch.

Well, it's certainly been inspiring for me and it kind of works like a demo in a way for what I was planning. It also shows me the scope I can take it if I go the 3D route.

Some things I might improve upon:
Horse Stamina Meter - needs more of an iden…

Let's Plays

Recently, I've discovered fun Let's Play videos of people playing some of their favorite old games and giving commentary. Much mirth is to be found in these. I might try my own hand at a few.

So far here are some of my favorites:

Paw from That Guy with the Glasses
Let's Play Quickly: Kikoskia

Wow that's really not a lot. I'll add to this list as I discover more. In anycase, while I love watching game reviews that play snippets, I really love these because I can experience the game without playing. It's especially helpful when I'm at work because I can not play games at work (I just make them. :P). Sometimes they play obscure titles I know I won't ever have access to.

Enjoy!