Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

One Year’s Introspection

April 4, 2010

One year ago today I began this blog because of my love of games.

I’ve often wondered why some people, myself included see games from radically different positions than other seemingly like-minded people. Games, externally, are pretty misleading – someone asks you what you do for a job and you break into a sweat – “I make games you respond with apprehension” as the person you’re facing straightens their posture, and with a sneer states “I’ve always thought games were a bit of a waste of time”. Much like a lot of things, people will take considerably different positions within and without a knowledge base, but almost none more than the video game will establish such division between those who understand and those who do not. I’ve always wondered what created these barriers – I’m sure that at some stage everyone has enjoyed a game of some sort, but I’m beginning to think that it takes a certain experience to plant the seeds of a certain way of thinking; an experience that takes such a firm grasp upon our minds; a feeling so strong that we spend our lives compelled to seek it and understand it, and those who do must live with the knowledge that it is their duty to share it amongt their kin. (more…)


Why I don’t like Red Faction Guerrilla

March 28, 2010

Red faction Guerrilla is a simple, fun shooter with an excellent destruction engine. I’m glad I got that out of the way, let the vitriol commence.

If there’s one thing that annoys me, it’s when a game promises me the moon, then gives me a bucket of rocks. I should be used to this now, every developer has made bold sweeping claims about their intentions, then in one way or another been forced into a compromise or a cut. But it’s when the game rides that feature on into the sunset, then expects everyone to accept what they’ve made, then it’s just a boot to the crotch of the unsuspecting gamer. (more…)

Too much icing – The bane of Portal 2

March 24, 2010

So yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard. Portal 2 has begun making its slow glorious trek into existence, speaking kind, enticing words and releasing ambrosia from its very pores. You may have noticed that a lot of people are clamouring wildly over its new concepts, its cooperative play, its FANCY NEW JUNGLE. And yeah, I’m one of those people, quite shamelessly, with only one glaring reservation. (more…)

SCoA 4: The monster is just a metaphor

March 1, 2010

In Shadow of the Colossus you know nothing. Tabula Rasa, blank slate. You enter a mysterious , foreboding yet familiar world tasked blindly with only bringing about the end of the 16 Colossi in vain hope that the princess may awaken from her eternal slumber. What do the colossi represent? They’re merely there – innocuous contours in the landscape, their actions determinate of yours. The world, there for your interpretation and contemplation – the fate of the colossi, completely unknown. So what if we do so slay the colossi? What if we exert our unsubstantiated prejudices upon these megalithic testaments to our misunderstandings? (more…)

ScoA 3: The designers’ Fallacy

February 21, 2010

I’ve been thinking recently about the kind of games that I think I would make well, and the thought of genre specificity continued to float to the top. I don’t play as many RPGs as a lot of my friends, although I have had some exposure to some of them, more notably RPGs set in the first person, and this got me thinking. What would happen if a designer approached a game they intended to make with no prior knowledge of the genre or subject matter? (more…)

SCoA 2: In the darkness

February 14, 2010

Okay, so I promised myself that I would wait until next week to write about this, but I’m in a writing mood. Take advantage of that.

Twas a dark and stormy night, last moon and I was awakened from my slumber. My eyes opened wide, my mind on the moon, the night as dark as umbra.

That moment I, rose up on my might and abscond my domain. In a fit of grief, the monster grew and weaved through the rain. (more…)

Super Condese-o-article 1: Here’s the deal

February 13, 2010

Why hello there dear Droogs.

It is apparent that I am now in year 12, and writing a massive analysis every week is somewhat draining when it comes to writing a massive analysis for everything else, so this is what I’ve devised. In all of my audacity, I’m going to attempt condensing my ideas into a couple of paragraphs whilst maintaining a familiar air of entertainment and intrigue, ALRIGHT? Who knows, this might even prove a more effective formula for sharing my crazy ideas with you smart and sassy folk. So without any further deliberation or digression let’s get this show on the road.

Fear the worst: The importance of bad endings

February 6, 2010

This thought has been rattling around in my infernal brain machine for some time, and surprisingly not just as a side effect of playing far too many games that have arbitrary moral choices that end as you become an ethereal spirit of light, or Satan with a hangover. However, since this is a games blog-type-thing, it does deserve some exploration.

Quality bad endings have been something that have never really caught on, at least not in the majority of mainstream cinema. It’s something that, whenever brought up, people will react with distaste and argue that they would be disappointed if a movie didn’t end in a rainshower of roses and sunshine, and this pisses me off. It’s really a matter of institutionalisation through passive influence – a sequence of expectations and results that have been ingrained into our being through extensive exposure to the Hollywood Machine. See, Hollywood in itself has become the definition of high production value and satisfaction, so it comes as no surprise that when they tell you to bark like a chicken, you goddamn well better. (more…)

War. War Never Changes.

January 31, 2010

As dedicated gamers, we’ve always cherished the experiences that we know the developers not only made for our enjoyment, but made because they had a deep connection to their work. There have always been bad games, but it seems that with the emergence of the popularity of games, there were a lot fewer developers working on titles that meant a lot more to them. Even publishers as such as EA were keen to allow developers to put their own flavour into commissioned games, allowing the experience of the developers to flow into their projects. But times have changed, and somewhere along the line, the unrelenting maw of the publisher has grown hungrier for profit than ever, driving an odd trend through the industry. Games have now become disposable items. (more…)

Disneyitus – the fall and rebirth of a giant

January 19, 2010

It really doesn’t come as a surprise any more. Like all things, even the greats succumb to age and senility begins making choices that are beyond its rational judgement. Minds grow feeble, and are subsequently replaced by new minds that are evidently too bloated with cash to care anymore. This is when the greatest surprise of them all arrived – evidence that Disney, the undisputed father of contemporary animation seeks to reclaim its image of old and re-imagine what once made them great. This was the day that Warren Spector, of Deus Ex fame, signed up as designer on Epic Mickey. (more…)