February 27th, 2010

My words about it are over here.

Does game design work best when it’s analogous to film making, or to music composition? Neither, and I don’t think it’s important to make the distinction. Games shouldn’t imitate a specific art form, they should express the qualities of them all. Because they can. Video games are the culmination of art as technology, and technology as art. They’re amazing. We shouldn’t limit such a medium by trying to make sense of it in the context of less capable mediums.

Games as we know them today owe a lot to Carmack’s work. I can’t think of a person more deserving of this award.

This week also marks the first year anniversary of Quake Live, as well as the 14th year anniversary of QTest. In celebration, Quake Live received an update and event, and id employees past and present have reflected on QTest on the Bethesda blog.

Of course it is.

EA/DICE restricting dedicated server files to certain “partners” is leaving me conflicted about wanting Bad Company 2. They’re keeping dedicated servers on a leash, just out of reach of total freedom. But whether I like it or not, the market is changing, and we players seem incapable of shifting it in our favor. If EA’s restriction really is just to maintain statistic and rank integrity, and to sell maps (which seems benign in comparison to Activision’s or Ubisoft’s), I can be okay with it. Or I could, if it weren’t for EA’s history of shutting down online games.

But I’m probably overreacting. EA appears to deactivate games based on how many people still play. There’d be greater cause for concern if Battlefield 1942, despite its persisting popularity, had its master servers taken offline in light of a sequel being released. Besides, the Bad Company 2 beta was a heck of a lot of fun, and we haven’t had a successful non-Call of Duty, non-Valve shooter on PC in a long time. I’ll probably give in to temptation and buy it.

This is an hour-long “Quick Look” where every cut scene from Amped 3 is shown. I had no idea the game was so surreal.

August 15th, 2009

If I hadn’t been fortunate enough to snag a code for it from Ben Kuchera’s Twitter feed, I probably wouldn’t be paying attention to Trials HD right now. I had written it off as a port-and-rename of the PC version, Trials 2: Second Edition, but there is actually more to it than that. There are a bunch of mini-games, unlockable bikes (with varying performance), and a level editor. The bike physics also feel markedly different — not necessarily better, but heavier. These heavier physics have made climbing easier, but it’s now harder to pull off flips and wheelies.

Although Trials HD’s features are a strong argument for choosing it over Trials 2, Trials 2 is no less of a good game than it was before, and it’s cheaper. There’s also the possibility that Trials HD will come to PC (where it would be HDer). A thread on the Trials 2 Steam forum has a developer response saying, “At the time is only for Xbox 360.” If I didn’t already win a free code, I would be waiting to hear more about that.

Unless “configure and run their own private servers” means mod support — which would be great news for players if true — I hope they have more than just private servers planned for subscribers. I say this because I want to see Quake Live succeed; it’s unfortunate that selling ads isn’t working out for them.

Don’t let them think crap like this is okay: stop using Digsby. I recommend Pidgin or Miranda IM as alternatives.

I skimmed this. Not because it’s so long, but because I realized that I don’t want to know everything about Rage before I play it. I don’t need to know anything else. No matter what happens, I’m going to buy it, and I’m going to play it. I did watch the trailer, though, and it made me happy.


April 18th, 2009

This is probably just my tinfoil hat talking, but GameStop doing this feels like an intentional slight against Stardock’s Impulse service. Anyone who buys Demigod at retail will shortly have their eyeballs on a competitor’s store, as the game requires Impulse activation. Customers bringing the game home and attempting to activate could have hit a brick wall and been left with half a game. This would have no doubt sullied their attitude toward the service. Fortunately, Stardock was on the ball and that didn’t happen; the game’s release was moved up a day.

After what was probably the cruelest April Fool’s joke to come from the games industry just a few weeks ago, Microids has officially announced – fo’ reals this time – plans to develop Syberia 3. It seems Sony could impede their ability to turn a profit, however.

Please forgive the GameSpotness, but they got the interview. Ugh. Anyway, lots of interesting info in here. Particularly a video that I hadn’t seen elsewhere, kind of a tech demo from inside Rage. Also, word of some as-of-yet-unannounced games that will debut at E3. So far we know about Wolfenstein, Doom 4, Rage, and Quake Live (still technically in BETA). Could it be Quake V?

This game looks like great fun. I’m surprised to see another PC/PSN game, we don’t see many of those. I think the last one was Everyday Shooter. Trine’s from the same developer that made Shadowgrounds, so here’s hoping its multiplayer isn’t local-only too.

March 3rd, 2009

Way back in April of 2008 I made a post talking about some of the games I was most looking forward to in 2008. Later, in November, I made another post reflecting on that list, what I’d actually gotten to play, and what I my impressions. Right now is that time of year just before games start getting announced en masse; GDC is just a few weeks away, and E3 has been moved to June this year, up from July last year. There are some PC games that we’ve known about for a while now which will probably be coming out this year, so I think I’m ready to share my list for 2009 right now.
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February 28th, 2009

I’m very glad that Quake Live’s launch has gone relatively smoothly. Having a queue system in place from the get-go showed great foresight and probably prevented any major crashing. I’ve also been impressed with the frequent updates id has been giving on their status via Twitter, news posts and interviews like this one.

A few months ago I voiced my concern for De Blob’s retail success, despite glowing reviews, due to third party Wii games’ tendency to tank. It looks like De Blob is in the clear!

I’m always interested to read about the process of game design, especially when it relates to a game series that I love. The Myst III puzzle discussed within happens to be a favorite of mine.

July 24th, 2008

It’s that time again. To snort lederhosen and call 911, you ask? Nay, it’s time to look into the future of gaming. Outside of the comic we don’t actually write much about current and future games here. This is the specially reserved segment, last posted three months ago, to unleash our lists of anticipated PC titles. (obvious ones excluded) As you see, it’s my turn.

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