Journal Entry 12B: Personal Entry

So last week we had the opportunity to have a small networking event where we got to meet representatives from 4 different groups. One of which I was highly interested in, being Turbine.

I’ve been pretty interested in Turbine from the start due to how close they are to me, but I was especially interested to hear about them developing a new MOBA in the DC comics universe called Infinite Crisis. I’ve been playing MOBAs at a relatively high level for almost 2 years now and I was super excited to hear that they were looking to fill 2 QA positions now and possibly more later. The people we spoke to, Jay Piette and David Lee, were also super cool dudes and I am glad they came out to talk to us.

It was pretty awesome to hear about something I totally wanted to play and try to have a hand in making so close to home.

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Journal Entry 12A: Nintendo Selling Used Consoles

In an effort to probably make Gamestop less than pleased, I found out today that Nintendo is going to sell refurbished consoles (starting with handhelds) through their site. The joke is that they’re undercutting the current used market by about 30$ on the 3DS units.

I don’t really have much to say beyond the fact that its genius and probably the smartest thing Nintendo has done in recent memory. I see no reason for anyone looking for a ds/3ds to not just go directly to Nintendo for cheaper.

Journal Entry 11B: Personal Entry

Hell week still isn’t over, (essays galore!), but the 2nd comic script has been given a relook to make sure its not awful and the tileset is ready for me. World 2 will be assembled soon enough! These set of stages take place in the Buffopolis city park, and focus more on moving horizontally and fighting lots of enemies to contrast world 1’s elements.

Here’s the first part of the tileset, as provided by our environmental artist!

Journal Entry 11A: Injustice: Gods Among Us

So I wanna take a break from all the industry nonsense to have a bit of real-talk about a really good game and what makes it designed well.

Injustice: Gods Among Us came out this past week from NetherRealm Studios, or as they are more commonly known as, “those guys who make Mortal Kombat”. It’s a 1v1 fighting game featuring DC superheroes. While I could talk for a while about what makes the gameplay itself great those kinda of details might not make a whole lot of sense to those not into this sort of thing (long story short: it’s really fun, balanced, and feels good. And despite taking elements from basically every fighter for the past 15 years it feels really new), thats not what I’m here for. I wanna talk about the things it does right that aren’t exactly part of the game itself.

The main thing I want to touch on is the amount of single player content there is. What NetherRealm realizes is not everyone who likes fighting games buy them to be the best of all time. Most games from, say, Capcom, lack any serious single player content and rely heavily on the market of competitive players to drive the game. Nothing is really wrong with that, but the amount of things I can do in Injustice on my own is pretty staggering. There is the decent length story mode, broken up into 12 or so acts (each one played by a different character) complete with cutscenes, voice acting, etc. It’s written in an incredibly over the top and silly way as one would expect from NetherRealm (which I honestly love. Sometimes dumb can be amazing if the creators are aware of it). Beyond that there is a classic arcade mode style where you fight the AI in a random order, but also a large number of unlockable variants of this mode to add challenge and reward you if completed. Going through this mode with each character unlocks more alternate costumes for them as well.

There is also a challenge mode where each character has about 10 or so missions, and you can earn up to 3 stars on each one if certain conditions are met. These range from silly minigames to fights with special rules and beyond. There are also almost 200 of these stages currently and more to follow with DLC.

Another thing I think this game does right is not hide any information from its players. When you go into training mode in this game, it tells you specifically what a move does and its properties, and also tells you information such as frame data, meaning how much a move will leave you at an advantage/disadvantage based on frames of animations when someone is hit by it or blocks it. This is important for competitive players and also help other players improve. Games like Street Fighter provide no such resources. There is also a very useful-to-beginners that explains all the game’s mechanics and has the player do it themselves, another thing other games tend to lack.

It also has a good roster with lots of personality and accuracy to the source material. While it probably goes without saying that a fighter with a lame roster is probably not going to be fun or interesting, its pretty obvious that the people at NRS did their homework and love comics. Alternate costumes reference different moments in the character’s past, character specific banter mid fight adds a lot of charm (for example, Solomon Grundy making comments toward Green Arrow, calling him “arrow-man!” in his simple speech).

So yeah. More fighters should have this level of content. People do like this sort of thing.

Journal Entry 10B: Personal Entry

This week is gonna be rough workload-wise, but my current goals are to wrap up the Strongman comic #2 script (still have a bit of the ending I wanna add and then probably make a pass of the whole thing to make sure it makes sense) and the tileset for world 2 is mostly in, enough so that I can get started on assembling them for our programmer at least.

Busy busy busy

Journal Entry 10A: Maverick Hunter

It was recently brought to public attention that a Mega Man X reboot was in the works from around 2010, and in the end would never see the light of day.

Developed by the talent behind Metroid Prime, this X reboot was similarly designed to Prime, in that it adapted the franchise to a first person shooter, but used the elements that made it what it was in new ways. From the demonstration videos we were shown, it also had a lot of nifty rule of cool type stuff in the combat (for example, badass up close and personal finishers, some of which would allow use of the enemy’s weapon).

The premise of the game was to be a trilogy based off a brief bit of story from the original MMX title, where X was a new type of robot that could think and feel and make his own decisions. But this could be incredibly dangerous should he ever go rogue. The intention of this reboot trilogy was to have X as the protagonist for the first two games, and then the player would play as X’s partner in the 3rd game, Zero, tasked with destroying a now powerful and infinitely intelligent X.

You can see the demo videos here and read up in more detail about what could have been. I’m pretty bummed we don’t get this because it looked pretty cool and I trust the Metroid Prime team immensely.

Journal Entry 9B: Personal Entry

The 3rd sprint for our game is now here, and early on I am working with our character artist, Ron Dorleans, to determine a) what the boss for world 2 is and b) what animations we need for it. Our programmer is hammering out a few polish elements from world 1 and getting the new enemy types in world 2 working while the rest of us figure out the boss stuff. Our environmental artist is working on the world 2 tileset so that I can assemble them in a similar manner as last time.

This sprint I also plan to write a 3rd comic.