In this segment, Josh and I chat about Fallout 3 and New Vegas as well as two not-so-great titles, Dungeon Siege III and Alpha Protocol. Josh also talks about getting a job in the industry and the importance of Making Mods.
Download the mp4 here.
|Hello everyone! I'm back again, this time to dive into more details on the collection of playable home-consoles on display at the 2012 Houston Expo. (Part #1 of my coverage is here. Part #2 is here.) For Part #3, I shall also recap the 1-hour presentation given by Joe Crookham of Classic Arcade Works on how to replace your battered and failing arcade cabinet with a faithful reproduction. Additionally, I'll give you an overview of the delightful conversations I had with Joe, about his business, how it's going for him, and his plans for future expansion. So with no further delay, onwards...|
I've typed this article up on an Apple laptop - and had to google to find out how to type the hash symbol. How lame is that? Jobs had some strange ideas about what people use - what was it with Java support in the iPhone/iPad default browser? Noone uses Java? What a load of rubbish.
Anyhow, it has been some time since I posted here on this subject (i.e. my far too big collection of games that I will never get around to playing to the level of commitment that the games probably deserve) and here are two I've been putting some time into recently and keep going back to - Gunbird 2 and Raiden III.
My last post in this blog was about a shmup (Darius Gaiden) and I make no apologies for following up with another two - because I'm going to rant a little bit about high scores again. Look at Darius Gaiden on the Sega Saturn - a lovely game that is tarnished because it doesn't save high scores (boo!)- taking a big chunk out of the reason to own it which is a crying shame as its an excellent shooter with a lot going for it. But a shmup with no high score is bordering on pointless. Gunbird 2 and Raiden III both do it right - though the OCD part of me thinks that Gunbird 2 could have gone a bit further with how it supports high scores.
|Hello everyone! Welcome to Part #2 of my coverage report on The 2012 Houston Arcade Expo. (You can flip through Part #1 of my coverage here.) For this article, I'm back with details on the many amazing machines that were available at the show. I'll get to the interviews in Part #3 and Part #4 of this series. Check back soon for those. For now though, it's time to enjoy more of the eye-candy!|
As one of a legion of fans of the 1984 videogame classic, Karateka (Apple II and a host of other 8- and 16-bit platforms), I was both delighted by and cautious of the February 2012 announcement of a modern day reimagining. On the one hand, the game's original developer extraordinaire, Jordan Mechner, was going to be directly involved. On the other hand, Karateka was not your average game, so reimagining it could prove disastrous even with Mechner's involvement. As heavily stylized, Disney-esque in-game images began to roll in, along with camera angles that reminded more of a modern day Street Fighter, it seems our worst fears had been realized. So, it was with somewhat muted enthusiasm that I set the new game to download on my Xbox 360 at work to wait for me when I got home. I was sure to be disappointed. Luckily, I was anything but.
This week I'm back with Josh Sawyer to continue our chat about his history and game design philosophy. Josh started off as a web master at Interplay, but made such a positive impression on the management that he was soon designing his own games. Josh and I (and I suspect YOU!) have a lot of the same games that inspired us, like Pool of Radiance. Josh also talks about some cancelled projects, such as Project Jefferson (BG III) and the Aliens RPG.
You can download the video here.
Hot off the CoCo mailing list press comes word of a new Tandy Color Computer coding contest. As the Website states, "Just about any software that runs on the Tandy Color Computer (1, 2 or 3) is an eligible entry. Whether you finally finish a project that has been simmering on the back burner for years or decide to start something entirely new, you are welcome to enter. See the rules for clarification and details.
Entries will be tested, reviewed, scored, beaten, and mutilated in time to announce the grand prize winner at the 2013 CoCoFest! in Chicago, IL, on April 27 - 28, 2013. You don't need to attend the fest to enter or win (but you'll have more fun if you do!)."
Hello again dear readers, it's great to be back! Once more, my inner arcade- and computer-gaming aficionado has burst out of the dreary doldrums of "Crazy-Busy Normal Life", after being confined for just too darn long. I did so with some gusto this time, and took the opportunity to shamelessly gorge myself on an enormous and truly delicious smorgasbord of gaming: The 2012 Houston Arcade Expo.
Even as I write these introductory words, the whole 2+ day event is STILL going on. While it's scheduled to officially wind to a close in the next hour or so, from all the good folks I chatted with, the talking and story-telling and drunken networking will likely go on until dawn. For my part though, I had to throw in the towel a little bit early. For starters, I had to dash home and start cracking on this set of articles for you fine folks!
Not to mention that my ears are absolutely ringing from the roar of 120+ pinball and arcade machines running full-blast, and my eyes feel like they're covered in plastic-wrap. (Note to self: When binging for 10+ hours on video games and pinball, remember to blink.)
Modern CRPGs are console shooters. And that pisses me off. But how did they get this way? Last week I wrote about some features I'd like to see in a classic-style CRPG. I've been thinking more along these lines, thinking carefully about all of my favorite CRPGs and attempting to isolate the elements that so endeared them to me. What I've discovered is that this exercise is futile. You cannot create a good game simply by taking out the best gameplay mechanics from different games--what's more important is how well a designer has been able to build an attractive and coherent homology. I don't much like the term, but I like how Barry Brummett defines "stylistic homology" as "the signifying system that is a style is held together by formal properties such that one could look at a new article of dress, for instance, newly designed, and identify it as Edwardian." I think we could easily do the same for individual games or even whole game franchises, assuming it's well-designed. For instance, World of Warcraft has such a coherent homology that I'm sure most players would be able to look at screenshots of a city they hadn't personally visited--such as the Undercity--and realize it was from WOW and not Guild Wars 2. If you bear with me a moment, you can also see that this concept extends beyond just artwork and into gameplay. Even before you ever played a monk in WOW, for instance, if you're familiar with the other classes then you already have a pretty good idea of how the talents, abilities, and so on will play out. I think it's the sign of a great game when you can introduce something as radical as an entirely new class and not have the rest of the game fall apart.
Unfortunately, the problem is that such coherence comes at a cost. The same factors that allow us to already have a pretty good idea of what the monk will be like are the same factors that lead to boredom and disinterest. And man oh man, am I bored with WOW and Skyrim.