Journal Entry 3B: Personal Entry

This weekend our programmer requested that I use the newly made tilesets for our levels for Strongman BTLC and arrange them so that he would know specifically the scale and layout beyond the original sketches.

I did the ones for 1-1, 1-2, and 1-Boss this weekend. It was a lot more time consuming than I expected but they are a far better reference. Here’s the layout for 1-2, tunnels beneath Buffopolis.

Journal Entry 3A: PS4

Since its been crammed down my throat the past week, I figured I’d give my thoughts on the PS4 reveal and why I currently couldn’t care less about it.

I don’t know why nowadays the games seem to be secondary to social features as selling points to your gaming console. In this 2 hour or so presentation, a solid hour of it was about not-games, from people who had a hand in making some console defining titles (for example, David Perry of Earthworm Jim fame came out to tell me how I can stream games on Ustream, which as a service is hot garbage to begin with, instead of yknow, a game to make me want a PS4. Or one of the creators of Crash Bandicoot, among other things, came onstage to Crash music to also not tell us about any games). Games we were shown include a port of Diablo 3 after blizzard taunted us with Lost Vikings and Rock & Roll Racing which I know deep down will never see the light of day again, the next game from the guy who did Braid, whose games are known for all style and zero substance, Watch_Dogs which while pretty really just looked like a modern day Assassin’s Creed (and was a game we already knew about and had seen before), and Knack which was the only legitimately cool and interesting new IP with actual gameplay and potential. They spent two hours of my time to show me one game I would want to buy, being Knack. And then there was the line about how what people REALLY wanted was more vita support, which was an adorable lie.

Yeah, I’m real hype for a PS4 at launch after all that. I don’t care if the PS4 can teleport strippers into the room at this point, I’m not gonna buy a gaming console for presumably half a grand if there’s nothing I want to play on it.

Journal Entry 2B: Personal Entry

This past week I attended my first Boston Post Mortem up in Waltham, with a presentation on the subject on narrative in games by Jonathon Myers, who is a Boston based narrative designer and writer whose works include the IOS title Jack Lumber (Owlchemy Labs), full time writer and consultant for Zynga Boston, and is currently working on Game of Thrones: Ascent by Disruptor Beam.

His presentation touched on a few key points + examples of what happens both positively and negatively as a result. This included for example the fact that above all else, narrative make an experience memorable. He also explained why narrative elements should be decided early on and be flexible, or else you get things like Mirror’s Edge where they came in late and are somewhat off.

I had a chance to speak with him after his presentation and he’s a very cool and knowledgeable guy.

Journal Entry 2A: Metal Gear Rising

So as of tomorrow (the 19th) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will finally be out. I have been looking forward to this game since its announcement in 2009. People may remember the E3 it was shown at where resident cyber-ninja Raiden was chopping some watermelons in half. After that Kojima’s team was having difficulty making a game based around swordplay, and it was nearly cancelled. Then in 2011 the saviors of the gaming industry, Platinum Games, took over to grace us with this game’s majesty, adding the subtitle “Revengeance”.

Instead of sneaking around like a normal Metal Gear game, this one is about fast paced action and chopping as many things into as many tiny pieces as possible while Raiden fights against a private military company known as Desperado Enterprises 4 years after the events of MGS4. The main feature of the game is being able to slow down time and use Raiden’s katana to freely slice anything in the immediate vicinity at any angle you choose. Doing so to enemies in certain ways can also yield rewards.

Demo is out now. Check it out y’all.

Journal Entry 1B: Personal Entry

Currently, my senior game project is more or less back on track from the grinding halt of last semester. Our new programmer, Lorion, is doing a pretty great job on his end to turn all the assets we had into something that works. Right now we’re working on getting the enemies we need for just the first level working as we need them, behavior/animation wise, and getting tilesets made for the platforms.
For this sprint, since we are really only behind in programming from last semester, I am looking into a few other things. Such as the copyright process, how to get the comic that inspired the game onto a store shelf, and writing the next two or so comics to follow the game tie in, as when the game project is over that may very well be our team’s focus.

These animations and matching behavior for this variant of the burger bros were recently added to the game.

Journal Entry 1A: The Wii U in 2013

This morning I saw an article on Gamasutra talking about how Nintendo’s 3rd party support, or lack thereof for the time being. Some of this I was already aware of, such as the previously Wii U exclusive, Rayman Legends, being a) no longer an exclusive and b) delayed until september when the Wii U version can be released alongside the versions for the rest of the consoles, despite being ready. This is not great for the Wii U, nor is it for the consumer. Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade expressed his frustration on his twitter, as he had been telling everyone to play the demo on the Wii U and was trying to build hype for the game and the console.
What I wasn’t as aware of was some of the things on the numbers side, for example how poorly the system was doing in the UK. All 3 consoles haven’t been doing so hot in that market, but Nintendo is by and large doing the worst right now where they saw almost 4-5x the decline Sony and Microsoft did. This isn’t helped by the fact that the Wii was abandoned perhaps too early, causing a very rough transition period while the Wii U stumbles to get games worth playing. And while said games are indeed coming (such as The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, Pikmin 3, and new Smash Bros, the console needs to survive until then.