Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

ROGER EBERT ATTACKS! INTERNET IN FLAMES!

April 23, 2010

"HAW HAW HAW! TAKE THAT, MEANINGLESS ENTERTAINMENT!"

Yes, Roger Ebert recently decided to restate his previous argument: that games are not, and can never be, art. And yes, the internet promptly rose like a fire-filled tsunami against this tiny agressor. And yes, I’ll be surprised if the poor man doesn’t wake up with every hackable machine in his house programmed to scream “GAMES ARE TOO ART, YOU MORAN” every time he logs on. And yes, yes, yes, I know I’m a bit late to the party. But I’ve got an open letter full of well-researched Ebert-bashing prose under this jump, and I think you just might be interested in reading it. Go on. I’d advise you read the original article first, though.

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What makes a good hero in five minutes

April 18, 2010

I’ve been playing a mixed bag of titles over the last 4 or so months and each and every one of them has had their own concept of what should make a rollicking good hero. The usual fare stretches from the expected grim reprobate with a jaw that could sink Atlantis to the quirky, comical pally pal – slinging bullets and high fives with complete disregard for the laws of anything; and of course everything in between. (more…)

So, I actually bought Borderlands

November 3, 2009

In reflection of what I said a few days ago, I’m in conflict and agreement with my points. At this stage I’m on my third attempt at the game, this point is almost insignificant, but a small technical issue meant that I lost my save three times because I have a partitioned drive, to fix this, create a desktop shortcut, and in the shortcut tab, add -nohomedir after your target e.g.D:\Steam\steam.exe -applaunch 8980 -nohomedir. If you’re using steam, set launch options with the same thing, add -nohomedir in the launch options text box. Bureaucracy Over.

From what I previously wrote, I had serious doubts about borderlands, worrying that the story was going to be inadequate, and that it was going to be one big, long, boring grindfest interspersed with a wafer thin story and (more…)

Visitor Map

May 10, 2009

Free Visitor Maps at VisitorMap.org
Isn’t this a fine and spiffy map?!

Is the games industry recession proof?

April 21, 2009

An economic recession is one of those occurences that strikes a great deal of confusion and discomfort into the minds of business owers, and employees alike. And while Australia isn’t in an official recession, there has been some pretty hefty action taken in order to try to prevent the economic situation from worsening, and joining the countries that have officially slipped into a recessive state. This situation raises the topic of this entry, the question of whether the games industry is can outlast the recession.

Cheap entertainment has always been a popular course of action in times where less affordable entertainment becomes even less accessible. Games are, in this case, a popular choice because even though they may be hideously expensive new here, still seem to have this aura of worthiness regardless of the price. The great thing about games is that they can be purchased, and played, providing in surplus of 15+ hours of gameplay, engaging the player in a much more interactive and gratifying experience, then say going to a theme park for a day, which while may still be as fun in the short run, provides less value for longevity of entertainment. This is something that develpers have realised, and are marketing to by producing more complex games which incidentally take longer to finish, instilling a positive sense of fulfillment in the player, most likely encouraging them to go out and buy another. Conversly, on the development side, developers are still spending huge amounts of money in order to continue working on the titles that they work so hard to produce, often ending in merely scraping by in these times, thus why it would seem more profitable to become independent and cut out publishing costs.

It would seem that this question has reached an interesting conclusing, gamers will most often feel obliged to go out and purchase games, regardless of the economic situation, while companies will often range from struggling to doing reasonably well in these times, if not occasionally better because of the increased purchases on the “affordable entertainment” from. It would seem like the game industry is not necessarily recession proof, due to high costs of production, but recession resistant because of the large portion of gamers that may, or will not changing their purchasing habits, along side the people who believe that games are a good cheap alternative entertainment.

Game Development Software

April 19, 2009

When you feel as if you ideas and passion for the game industry have roiled away for long enough, and you feel compelled to spill your creativity out into the digital world, your going to need a platform onto which your ideas will go. Preferably for a first game, this platform will be a good balance of all or most of the utilities you will require in order to achieve familiarity with the program as well as affordability.

When you start off in the games industry, whether it be a hobby, or practice and promotion for your planned career, it’s best to start of with a tool that covers most features, and provides the best “plug and play” usability. My personal recommendation is a program called Flash, which is now owned by Adobe. This program is, in my opinion, the perfect tool for the beginner designer, short of a game makers, like Game Maker. I believe that this is the best start for people serious about getting into the industry because it exposes them to the rigor of animation and coding, and gives them a more satisfying result once their masterpiece is complete. Flash is basically comprised of a stage, which upon your objects are drawn; a timeline which for games should only be used for symbol animations, and start, content (game) and finish screens; the Actionscript utility which is an extension that allows you to either code symbols or keyframes with a Java based language called actionscript, allowing you to give your obects values- ; and finally a large range of tools that go from simple drawing to much more complex features in the lastest edition (CS4) as such as Inverse Kinetics which is esentually a synthetic “bone” structure, which apparently requires no coding for it’s simplest interactive applications.

If you definately want to stay away from the 2 dimensional avenue of game design and want to get straight into 3 dimensional, it is going to be a difficult, but nonetheless interesting task. First of all i recommend you download the free trial of a program called Maya which was developed by autodesk. Maya is a very popular and powerful 3 dimensional modelling program that allows you to do this simplest tasks like remodelling polygons, to full bone structures and surface modelling. Along with maya, other programs you may like to explore are 3DS Max (similar to maya), Mudbox or Zbrush (sculpting and modelling 3 dimensional skins);and Motionbuilder for realtime animations and interactive visualisations. Or if you’re more interested in coding, you may like to download an express version of C++, a language commonly used in games to get a taste for how the C system works, if you’re already a knowledgeable programmer. If you’re a beginner programmer it would be wise to research programming guides.

Hopefully these programs will give you an understanding of what goes into creating a game from the most basic digital elements. If you are keen to begin working on games, i highly recommend download the trial versions of these software packages, to see which one of them suits your style and skill level, and hopefully you will emerge with a wealth of ideas, even if it means you changed your personal scope of game development, for instance from 3D to 2D.

Happing gaming

Miles

Razer Deathadder review

April 16, 2009

For at least 2 two years i had been making use of the very ergonomic Logitech MX Revolution. This mouse at the time appeared unparalleled in comfort, performance and macro programmability, but i noticed one thing, that i seemed especially bad at twitch reaction gaming (ie FPS), and it was up until i decided to take the plunge and purchase the Deathadder, that i had no idea what my problem was.

The Razer Deathadder is not a particularly new addition to the Razer range of gaming mice, but nonetheless a critically acclaimed piece of hardware, this is when i became interested. This mouse had the response time of a high performance mouse, and that design that i became comfortable with using the MX, a sort of draw between the “palm” and the “claw” grip. So i decided after much careful deliberation to go ahead and purchase this mouse. At first i was pretty impressed, it had a great aesthetic, it was comfortable and most of all it didn’t require constant recharging…on a dock that i kind of broke. But still i wasn’t completely impressed with the performance, so i ramped it up to 1000Hz polling rate, still i felt that i didn’t make much difference, so i decided to make a direct comparison with the MX, which is now installed on another computer. Suffice to say, the MX felt like driving a truck in comparison to the Deathadder, not just in bulk, but in response time. What i’d neglected to do initially was to make this direct comparison, but after seeing just how much the aging wireless mouse lagged across the screen, i was sold – the deathadder gave me pixel perfect precision.

Razer prides themselves on presentation and functionality, apart from the attractive mouse, it comes boxed in a container with a hinged cardboard front, thats held down by a circle of velcro to allow you do view the mouse, prior to its unvailing. The case the drivers come in is actually quite attractive, enclosed in a matte cardboard square with some stylised edges, and the Razer logo stamped on in a glossy material; it then carries on with “the benefits of buying razer” and all of the propaganda, don’t let the promotion put you off. Then finally there’s the drivers, which may i mention comes in a very nicely labelled DVD. The drivers give you some great control over the mouses performance, allowing the user to toggle various variable as such as polling rate (home many pixels the mouse moves across in a second) which comes in 125Hz, 500Hz and 1000Hz; also the DPI (the number of steps the mouse will report when it moves one inch) comes in three settings of 450DPI, 900DPI and 1800DPI. In addition, it provides advanced users with the utility to fine tune the DPI generally, and on each axis, including options for things like mouse acceleration and scrolling speed; it also features a host of tools for defining macros which can be applied to the two main left and right click, middle click, scroll and side buttons.

Coming from a gamer of all facets, as well as an animator and CAD user, this mouse is in excellent buy for anyone wanting to improve their control over the game, as well as having a comfortable mouse that can be palmed or clawed. Along side gaming, this mouse also performs superbly in every other application i’ve tried it in. If you are deliberating over your next mouse purchase, and desire a piece of hardware that can be utilised with both grip styles, is very comfortable and has a multitude of software tuning options, this mouse is a definite buy, it also looks great.

I recommend purchasing a quality mousepad with this as you want to protect the low drag feet of the mouse, as well as taking advantage of their design. I’d personally recommend the Razer Goliathus. Omega if you’re space confined, standard for gaming, or Alpha if you really want a mat you could use as a lunch tray.

Happy gaming

Miles