Magicka Trailer

Arrowhead Game StudiosMagicka, the game that won the Swedish Game Awards grand prize in 2008, announced they had partnered with Paradox Interactive for publishing and released an impressive trailer a week back;

The writing in the trailer is a bit too campy for me, but the game itself is a real gem and it has received a lot of visual polish since it won SGA. Last I played it they had removed some of the more complex combinations available to make the game more accessible, a bit sad since there were a lot less emergent gameplay in that version. It was still a truly great co-op brawler that allowed for seamless switching of playing styles, though, and I am willing to bet Arrowhead will make the best of it in the end.

Posted on Feb 23/10 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »

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A deeper Final Fantasy VIII

Squall’s dead

Back in the day, Final Fantasy VIII was criticized for having somewhat disjoint and sappy storyline with characters that were not really likeable, a setting that strayed too far from it’s fantasy roots and one too many outrageous elements. Fans Diedra Rater and Rahul Choudhury have assembled a theory about why this was and presented an interpretation to what the story is really about.

Now, when it comes to games there is a huge volume of poor fanfiction masquerading as literary analysis so it is always refreshing to see something that feels insightful and challenges your way of seeing things. Now, the stories in Final Fantasy games have always seemed very shallow to me but there has always been a depth to the presentation, a history leading from mythological events to the events in the game – seeing someones theories about depth in the meaning of the story as well really makes the game richer.

Well worth a read if you played the game.

Posted on Feb 16/10 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | 1 Comment »

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Blast from the Past


Logan Westbrook wrote some nice things about the Darkness on the Escapist, it’s been almost three years since it was released so it is nice to see other people still thinking about it. I personally liked the game but the story parts got kind of ruined for me since the important scenes in question were horribly broken the first time I saw them, but we worked a lot on the game over a long period of time so I am somewhat relieved to hear the hard work paid off.

Also, the results for Assemblee have been revealed! Congratulations Ivan! Our own project Backworld ended up sharing a 6th place (with Tiny Crawl, one of my personal favorites), which is not half bad considering there were 73 entries in the competition.

Posted on Feb 03/10 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, Homegrown | No Comments »

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Global Game Jam


The Global Game Jam was this weekend, and after failing to set up a local event me and a few friends decided to go to the Nordic Game Jam, reportedly the largest GGJ site. Besides hanging out with friends, acquaintances from the indie scene and making a few new connections, we (Juha, Martin, Tobias and I) created a short game called “Fake“.

We were in development up until the final minutes so there is no proper tutorial; consider this an introduction. Your role is that of an art forger working for the mysterious mafioso “Don Key”. Funds being sparse, you are limited to cut and paste existing images in order to reproduce the paintings.

Start out by selecting a painting, then selecting a theme for your photos on the right. You can re-select the theme later by clicking the button on the top-right but it will reset your work. Click any of the images on the right to select a source, then use the left mouse button to cut out a pattern and use it on the forgery. The left menu bar can be used to select or move the active layer, you can also use the right mouse button to delete a layer. When not cutting a picture, you can move the active layer with the left mouse button, rotate it with the right or press both mouse buttons to scale it. The button on the top left will swap the preview mode of the real painting, how it is shown will have no bearing on the final result, though. When you are done, press the button second from the right at the top to submit the painting for approval by Don Key.

I was really out of my element when hacking this together and too much time went into hacking GUI elements that a proper tool would’ve provided for me. This being the case, the final version does not only miss a proper tutorial but also some basic UI elements and it comes with a lot of bugs. That being said, the game was fairly fun for what it was, the idea feels solid and we managed to make a game out of the development itself by taking pictures of jam attendees and using them in the final version – always fun to do at events like this. All in all, we had a great time at least.

Sadly, we had to leave halfway through the finals and I have not seen very many of the other games from NGJ yet. I would like to give a shout out to Shoot Stop Lollipop and Shadow Ninja… Monkey though, as they both had genuinely interesting gameplay mechanics.

Posted on Feb 01/10 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, General game development, Homegrown, Meta-blog | No Comments »