Monday, April 30, 2012

Mass Effect 3 - The Dive In - Story

A little while ago I temporarily emerged from my sock drawer to play some mainstream AAA titles. The last part of this streak was all three games in the Mass Effect series. I actually timed things pretty well so that I ended up finishing ME2 just in time for the release of the third game which I also immediately played through. I thought about discussing it right away before all the hype and fan rage/defence settled down(not that it hasn't,) but that's not my style anyway. I'm not here to give consumer advice, and I'm not here to give everybody my two cents on the ending. I'm here to talk about interesting game design concepts and manifestations in games, and today I feel like Mass Effect 3.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

That OMF thing

I've recently resurrected one of my old projects for fun.

I'm working on animation and pre-viz ATM, but I rendered a full quality 720p frame here for you. I've thrown out the script in favour of a fight between a Jaguar and Katana without context. Sure the removal of a story results in a less awesome video, but it's better than never finishing the project in the first place.

And make up some excuse that this post went up late.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Infiltrator Part 20

This session marks an important milestone, as it concludes at the same time as version 0.0.5. That means I'm halfway to the first alpha, and I've got some spiffy features to show for it. Unfortunately, there are too many features and too little time to do a full breakdown, so I'm just going to quickly mention some of the more notable improvements.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Individual variation in videogame appeal

Every game designer, analyst, and reviewer has to mention this somewhere. I'm sure that almost everything that needs said about this has been already, but everyone still expects me to talk about it anyway. This also has the plus side of offering those of you interested in game design but unfamiliar with this particular idea a kind of crash course to get you stared.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

House of music hacker

This is going up on time, but a little later than usual. I blame YouTube.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Infiltrator Part 19 - $5 feature bin

As predicted, this session was easy and time consuming busywork. It's pretty cool to think how I've set things up so that adding these features is so easy. It's kind of like building a good foundation for your Lincoln Log house, making it a simple matter to add a roof or some more greebles and nurnies. That said, don't expect any amazing, ground-breaking, or super cool features. This is merely another step forward.

I didn't even notice I had a read more button until recently.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Coding After Midnight release at 100%

Uploaded to YouTube and playlisted, available for download on MediaFire, and cataloged on it's own page.

See this page here for all details.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Moral Choice as a Catalyst for Introspection

A lot of the things that need said about choice in videogames have been said already by reviewers and game analysts alike. However, most of what's being said seems to center around developing moral choice as an opportunity for the player to affect the story and reason out moral grey areas. These have the benefits of making the player feel like they're having a legitimate effect on the universe and allowing interesting and intellectually stimulating moral dilemmas. While this is a great direction for videogame design to take, there is more that can be done with player choice that I feel it isn't being given much attention. I also think that a lot of the common complaints for moral choice are about problems that stem from this challenge.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Making Gameplay Feel Relevant

I've been thinking about an interesting problem in my exploration of game design. The problem is easy to explain but difficult to solve. Put as a question, how do you make every moment of gameplay seem to have a relevant a impact on the story? Not just the big picture of a mission(or level or whatever) like "go find X person," but every part of it. The reason I'm bringing this up is because a lot of games seem to suffer from large amounts of gameplay which feel like filler. You feel like your character isn't taking the quickest route between points A and B because the game developer came up with contrived reasons for it to take longer. I'm not just talking about games with choice. Whether the player is actually making choices that impact the plot or not they need to feel like their actions are important and make a difference.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Infiltrator Part 18 - Getting Around Path Finding Obstacles

Fixing a bug like this always makes a programmer feel invincible. Until the next one shows up anyway. Everybody get a Ginger Ale or something to celebrate successful integration of a path finding engine into the Infiltrator code.

This time I'm going to take the example of other people doing a gig similar to mine and try to break down the problem and what went into solving it for those of you who aren't programmers. This should still be entertaining for those of you who are programmers though. This will help make following this series more of an interesting set of problems and solutions and less of a screenshot log. Buckle up, this is going to be a kind of long but still awesome ride.