So far I have dedicated many hours to create a good fistful of tools to develop 3D multimedia applications in real time, that is: video games. After erecting structures for Finite State Machines, scripts, messages and (soon soon) triggers, I decided to merge the whole thing into a single concept, and try to bring out errors, bugs, etc. I thought it would be quick and easy to make “a small game”. I was wrong. Continue reading Video Games design: First Contact
Women, that beautiful 50% of the population which handle more than 50% of the small consumer’s money! Let’s go over a couple quick facts related to girls and interactive computing:
1. No sane woman will ever enter a Micro, Game, Microplay -or whatever they are called. Have you seen those places? They are full of nerds, have enormous cardboard figures of a half naked Lara Croft on display -or worse: featuring a six-feet-high Mario!… If they were searching for ways to repel girls, they really Continue reading Girls and Video Games
The next evolution will be leaner and meaner, with some cool features you might not expect.
Dave Kerr has released an update of aiplanet, the open source dynamic ecosystem simulation. Furthermore, he has also announced that a new version is in the works, one that, in his own words, will be “a radical improvement on the first version”. He is working on a new engine, called AIR, which will add new features and make development much easier. Aiplanet V2 will probably take many months to be released, but it is already very good news to know that new work is being done.
Besides this announcement, it also worths to read the interview that Tom Barbalet, from Biota, made to Dave just a few days ago. The interview gives an excellent overview not only on the underlining principles behind aiplanet, but also on the development process of an amateur project. Continue reading Aiplanet: back on air
a majestic journey through ancient lands to seek out and destroy gigantic mythical beasts.
Shadow of the Colossus is a game which succeeds in conveying an atmosphere of purity and refinement, partially by means of its sense of aesthetics and gameplay, partially because of its technical achievements, and mainly because it avoids or even twists most of the common places in videogames in such a way that it is unique without being pretentious. There´s no hurry to reveal the story too quickly, nor unveil it completely, and no interest in adding elements alien to the core of the design to lenghthen the game. These decissions are certainly risky, but they pay off by making the whole look coherent, special and more than just a game (less is more, they say). Sometimes finding the beasts can be tedious, the camera angles unreliable and certain fight patterns frustrating. However, those are small shadows out of a truly brilliant whole, from which two highlights overexcel: the beasts, which are the most incredible creatures I have ever seen in a video game, and the music, great in both how it is made and what it adds to the overall experience. Together with ICO, which shares most of its values and quality, Shadow of the Colossus stands as an all time masterpiece of digital art.
Update 18.02.06 Link to a recent interview with Fumito Ueda and Kenji Kaido.
Our philosophy that complexity is not necessary for fun, and that it is possible to have fun even with basic primitives given a compelling interaction and goal.
Born by the initiative of four students at the Carnegie Melon University, Experimental Gameplay is as much a project as a manifesto by which the participants commit themselves to make games under three constraints: one person, one week, one topic, an attitude which parallels that of the Dogma 95 filmmaker movement.
In a situation where mainstream videogame developing is quickly moving towards the same practices of film industry, with evergrowing companies and games which aspire to comprise as many different experiences as possible, it seems a paradox that some young creators want to refine their skills by putting boundaries to their work. However, there are in fact many benefits in doing so: a seven day deadline underlines the need for accuracy and self criticism, both in analyzing the problem and giving solutions to it; that the work must be all done by oneself forces to face all the elements of game creation, which will result in a better understanding of the teammates in bigger productions; and limiting the subject focuses the problem, thus stimulating creativity and putting the technical and craftmanship skills to a test. Moreover, an emphasys is made in that the main goal is not to show off those skills, to output “tech toys”, but to make playable games: wise words! Continue reading Dogma05: Experimental Gameplay
At last, Glest 2.0-rc1 has been released. The version is not the complete 2.0 though, some icons are missing and some animations will be improved; However it includes most of the features that will be present in the final version.
– New Magic units:
– Tower of Souls: Air defense building, attacks air only
– Golem: Defensive unit, needs EP to walk, can’t attack air
– Daemon giant: Heavy melee unit
– Drake rider: Light ranged unit
– New Tech units:
– Aerodrome: Building for producing air units
– Air ballista: Air defense building, attacks air only
– Horseman: Fast medium unit
– Ornithopter: Light air unit
– Airship: Heavy air unit, can’t attack air
– New Magic upgrades
– New Tech upgrades
– New animations for existing units
– Loads of balance changes
New units really change the way factions are played. The Magic faction now has a new defensive unit, the Golem, that makes them stronger at the early stages of the game. The Tech faction now has air units, but should be less powerful because both factions have new anti air defenses too, which make towns very difficult to attack with air units only.
To play this version, download the data and win32 binary packages from sourceforge. Linux users can still use 1.2.1 source code with 2.0-rc1 data.
Rotobo is a level- based Flash game by GlobZ where, from a top-down view, you handle a little robot which has to achieve the goal by jumping from platform to platform without falling in the surrounding magma.
As well thought as the game is, the interaction is very simple: the robot´s head is constantly spinning and its eyes tell the direction of the jump; by pressing and holding the left mouse button (or the space bar), you control its height and length; finally, when you land, Rotobo´s head starts to spin again in the opposite direction. But beware! once in the air you can´t change directions, and when you want to get the bonus items and finish the level quickly for extra points, thinking twice usually means one less life. 😛
In all a very nice game with solid visuals and gameplay, its only drawback is the lack of sound, but that doesn´t make it less amusing!
New features in this version are:
– New tileset objects
– AI now expands its base
– 2 new maps: “in the forest” and “island siege”
– Improved existing maps
– Pathfinding optimizations
– Fixed issues in windowed mode
– Balance changes
– Enemy projectiles are visible when being attacked outside the sight range
– Fixed crash when trying to build a unit without be_built skill