Category Archives: Uncategorized

A New Wave of Turnerization

I think its sad to me when artists let their original works fall to the waist side and become unoriginal versions of themselves. What George Lucas did to Star Wars is the prime example of this. I was aware that this trend has been happening in the games industry for years already. Square Enix had to basically remake Kingdom Hearts HD edition from scratch since the original game doesn’t exist anymore. I think Mackey makes a good point when he says that the industry is all in favor of moving forward with things but they’re willing to forget the past.

I also like the point that was made that the purest games still left are ROMs on the internet, and even those are illegal to play. If gamers want to play something that has been out of print for years, or is hard to get, then they have to turn to the internet. Why make a class game like Manic Mansion if it won’t exist for people to play in the future? The game is one of the great relics that Lucas Arts had as company and they don’t even exist anymore.

My Thought’s on ‘The Cabal’

This weeks article is interesting to me. I always love “what if?” stories. What would have happened if Valve continued to make the game they originally had intended to make? I doubt the internet would be craving for a Half-Life 3. It’s always great to read about the process developers when they re-work almost every aspect of a game they have busted their asses for. Valve clearly had this ambitious project with cool monsters with great set pieces but it wasn’t very fun to play.

They spent 11 months looking for a “game designer” to lead them down the special to help they achieve what they want. It was clear that their goals were too lofty for one, eventually realizing that what they needed was in them all along. It was almost cliche to read that. It was like in Space Jam when Bugs Bunny tricks the Tune Squad into drinking Michael Jordan’s secret stuff.

And then the kicker at the end: They mention they’re applying this same process to Team Fortress 2, a game they’re currently (at the time) developing. It wouldn’t be released until 2007. Its clear that they’re ambitious, and Team Fortress 2 proves that. That game has undergone such a radical development. It’s clear that they finely tuned everything to be just right for that game. It’s what makes Valve such a great developer.

Piercing the Spectacle

The argument in the article presents both dated, and relevant information for todays world. The article states educational games at the , time aren’t very useful, stating, “The reason why we have not succeeded in building good games for education is that to do so would entail reconstructing the notion of education itself. In particular, we would need to redefine what it means to be a good learner. Instead of receiving information, we might construct understanding. Instead of giving the right answer, we might think of taking an appropriate action. Instead of obeying the rules, we might question authority.”

I think this is where certain open-world sandbox games come into play. It sounds like the author is describing games like Fable, Mass Effect, Deus Ex,  or the various Elder Scrolls games. In those games, you are able to make the choice and decide what to do, and how to do it. The games may give you a general quest or a ‘structure’ to follow, but it’s up to the player how to go about it. It is the spectacle he or she is looking for.

But then again, they’re pretty spot on regarding mobile games. They’re right, people prefer interactivity compared to sitting (or standing) on a loud, long train ride. But that shows how dated the article is again. The author is talking about mobile games. But with the booming mobile phone industry, people web surf, check facebook, play games, check emails all on the go. People even bring their tablets on the train now to read books. All that “junk”, is what people still consume to this day.

Gone Home: Final Conclusion

As I wrapped up Gone Home, I thought to myself, how did a three hour game manage to pack a ride range of emotions in such a short package?

I think it starts with the characters. The game is able to develop and establish strong characters based off your interaction. It’s up to the player, Kaitlin, to discover where everyone is at. Because the story is told through journal entries, notes, voice memos, and other things, it’s unique in the way characters are developed.

Kaitlin’s sister, Samantha, is also missing. A note is left on the front door begging Kaitlin not to go searching for answers of Sam’s disappearance. Throughout the game, it is found out that Sam has developed a relationship with another girl named Lonnie. I think Sam sort of fills the description of Jenkins’ description of both “girl space” and “boy space”.

Jenkins’ describes “boy space” as a place of adventure, risk taking, and no place to seek cover. “Girl space” holds secrets, romance, and sacrifice.

Sam is finding out who she is. She doesn’t fit the mold of what a girl should be, especially in a video game. She loves Nintendo, plays Street Fighter, yet never had a friend besides Daniel. She sees Lonnie and instantly get’s her attention. They begin to hangout and eventually form a relationship and run off together.

Sam starts getting into trouble at school, (as seen in one of the notes that is found in the house), attends concerts in the city with Lonnie. Her parents get in denial that Sam is gay and brush this off as a “phase”.

Sam is going on her own adventure with Lonnie, essentially taking a huge risk since she is in her senior year of high school. That would fit into the boy space. And she is making a sacrifice by dropping her life in Oregon and running away. And she is also willing to not see her sister for a last time.

The fact that the story told almost organically through these methods provides a certain depth that is almost isn’t even seen in most games. The fact that their parents are seemingly having their own problems. Their father is having troubles with his writing career, and Kaitlin finds a brochure for couples therapy retreat that is on the same weekend as their anniversary.

It seems kinda ironic that the house they lived in was inherited from their uncle who had mental problems, who for everyone who currently lives there to have their own problems. Except for Kaitlin of course.

Sam truly thought the best thing she could do for herself was to get away with Lonnie. And Lonnie was taking the same risk by changing her mind.

First Hour of Gone Home

I’ve never played Gone Home, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. It was placed on countless game of the year lists. I kind of went into the game with a certain knowledge about it.

 I think the first thing that caught my attention was the fact that it’s set in 1995. I also liked the fact that it’s (seemingly) set during a rainy night. I think I would have enjoyed the game a lot more if I my 2010 Macbook Air was able to run the game well. Oh well, It’s still enjoyable.

 I kept what you said in mind and didn’t go upstairs, I spent almost 45 minutes exploring the entire first floor. I like how the story is told through various letters, and items regarding your sister. It keeps the story is interesting and keeps you guessing why Same isn’t around.

 I also like how there are references to Nintendo and Sam’s love of Street Fighter. And one wouldn’t know that their dad is having problems of his own in his writing career. Of course you wouldn’t know that unless you dig through a cabinet underneath a bar in a dark room.

 I think finding things out for yourself is a big part of the game and the storytelling as well. I can’t wait to find out what else happens.

Just Leave Me alone, Dammnit

GamesRadar, posted an article explaining how online multiplayer games have become anti-social gaming atmospheres. 

I know that I am guilty of this, but there’s a reason why. Growing up, I would play multiplayer video games in person with my friends or my brother. Once Xbox Live came around, I thought it was a neat opportunity to do the same, but play with my friends who were 20 minutes away.

Of course over the years that has changed drastically. Games used to require teamwork or a group of people talking to each other to get whatever the hell they wanted done. Nowadays that isn’t the case. When I go online in Battlefield 4, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I just want to kill people and waste about an hour. And then of course there’s the little kids who swear and make me feel old, the people who blast music through their mics, or the lone person just talking into the mic.

I usually just end up muting them all.

It makes me feel terrible because a game like Battlefield 4 pretty much runs on teamwork. Huge 64 player maps with teams of 32. And each player is put into groups of mini “squads” so they can efficiently work together. Of course, no one ever communicates.

The multiplayer world isn’t going to change. It’s stale. People have no motivation to do anything.

 

The Future is Now

I visited Comcast SportsNet today as part of my Sports and Social Media class. It was extremely fascinating to see how a company is still growing and adjusting. It wasn’t a bad thing per se, because the Internet, along with social media, is an ever-changing field.

 In fact, the newly appointed Senior Director of Creative Services, Jay Wadhwa, looks at the younger generation for answers. He believes that we’ll be the ones interviewing him for a job in the year future.

 Social media is becoming more and more important, and Wadhwa mentioned that it’s not about targeting just one group of sports fans. It’s about targeting a White Sox fan, a Cubs fan, a Bulls fan, and a Blackhawks fan all separately. Catering to what they want.

 Wadhwa described how the Blackhawks gained a huge female following within the past year because they have handsome players. The team started to cater to the female fan while still holding onto their 18-34-year-old male demographic and how it was “genius.”

 The future is bright for someone like myself, and many others in my generation. We have a whole array of tools at our disposal to branch out to different audiences.