No birthday post yesterday

I was a little busy so I had to break the tradition before it had even started. It feels good to be a rebel.

In retrospect, the past year hasn’t really involved any new insights or great achievements for me, which might be the real reason why I didn’t bother writing anything yesterday. I have some plans to change that for the year to come, though, so hopefully this page will have something more interesting to say in a year.

Posted on Jul 25/08 by Saint and filed under Meta-blog | No Comments »

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Yeah, so…

… I’ll admit I was wrong since it seems like Imagine is actually doing pretty well;

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Granted, there are five different Imagine-games according to Ubisoft, but it’s still a pretty impressive number. And sarcasm aside, it is usually a good thing when someone finds a previously untapped market, especially if this raises interest in games as a medium.

Posted on Jul 16/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »

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Into the Pixel 2008

Into the Pixel 2008

Into the Pixel has announced the winners of 2008 and posted their images online for all to see. While it’s not so well-known that it could claim to have the best game concept art in the world, the level of quality (and innovation, in some cases) is very high.

Posted on Jul 12/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, General game development | No Comments »

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Mirror’s Edge Story Trailer…

… And apparently they have one of the writers from Heavenly Sword in on the action.

I had hoped for a grander treatment of the Orwellian subject at hand than “They framed my sister! now they must die!” so the trailer and the relation to Heavenly Sword makes me pretty disappointed. Hopefully, the gameplay will survive on it’s own or I’m reading too much into it but it’s sad to see bad news when so little information about the game is released.

Posted on Jul 10/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | 1 Comment »

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Penny Arcade Adventures 1

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It’s been awhile since this game was released… Well, less than two months actually but since it’s a downloadable game made by a company based around a tri-weekly webcomic I’m using internet time. The Penny-Arcade game is more or less just another extension of their franchise, Penny Arcade embodied in a RPG/Adventure Game hybrid. The gameplay is very similar to the “Mario and Luigi”- RPGs, with simple commands¬† triggered by single buttons and reflex-based minigames in order to block or maximize the potential of attacks, so as far as gameplay goes it’s simple but not very original.

Penny Arcade has grown from the comic and the accompanying rants, something that is clearly visible in the game as the hand-drawn cutscenes and witty dialogue between the main characters are easily the best parts of the game. As for the rest of it, it is okay but not very good; minigames feel like a chore, quests are always “Bring item X to Y” or “Kill X of Y” and the battles are very straightforward with few elements that actually make a difference throughout the game… To be fair though, as it only is the first part of a series it is pretty short and you don’t have time to grow tired of it.

It also has some glaring technical difficulties, at times the game doesn’t allow you to pick up objects that you’re supposed to be able to pick up, or move to place you’re supposed to go. And it’s not a technologically advanced game so it probably could’ve looked better in-game, as it is now it just looks like geometry with drawn surfaces on them and characters practically pasted on afterwards, instead of the comic book-feel I assume they were going after.

It all depends on whether you think using a very by-the-book game to deliver a Penny-Arcade- style story is a good idea or not. I personally like it and think that the writing is better than you usually are rewarded with for doing tedious tasks in game, but I can’t really see non-PA fans liking it – although seeing how many of those there are, I doubt they’ll need to appeal to the masses.

Posted on Jul 10/08 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »

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The Hardcore Niche

Brandon Cheffield of Game Developer Magazine presents a refreshingly odd viewpoint in an article reprinted on Gamasutra. He points out the current differences between the movie- and videogame industries, and theorizes that the big blockbuster titles of today might well the gaming equivalent to independent cinema;

“But is that really the case? Do aliens, wizards, and soldiers really make a piece of entertainment inaccessible? Many millions of people went to see the Iron Man movie over the past two months, and a large percentage of them have probably never picked up a comic book in their lives.

Why is it that people will go see The Lord of the Rings’ movies, but many of them will not play the games?”

It’s not something you accept as-is seeing as videogames still hold the records for highest-earning entertainment launches, but it is an interesting take on the state of the industry that provides food for thought.

Posted on Jul 04/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »