January 2010 Archives
interactive fiction is on my display.
Headbanging along to a heavy beat,
Someone on my Friends list is not asleep.
A message pops up, and they start to say,
"Have you played any Left 4 Dead 2 today?"
"No" I say, "I've been busy all day."
This is what the rest of the conversation did say:
7:18 man, so you still need that expert realism achievement?
7:18 yeh, i would've gotten it yesterday but my wireless card stoppd wrknf
7:19 *stopped working
7:19 But i've been reading some cool stuff on the EL250 page
7:19 oh yeh? Like what?
7:20 theres this really cool article comparing RE to silent hill
7:20 which RE?
7:21 the whole series it looked like, basically how its changed from game to game
7:21 kinda like all the different mario karts right?
7:21 yeah, mostly the camera, controls, and gun play have changed.
7:21 in RE i mean, not mario kart
7:21 they probly changed it all cause ppl were complaining bout the *****y controls
7:22 dude watch the language or im not gonna be able to use this for the portfolio
7:22 is it that hard to delete the words?
7:22 i dont want to have to do this twice...anyway i was also reading through an article
7:23 on gaming as reenactment. i think its a pretty awesome idea.
7:23 so were like reenacting the zombie apocalypse in Left 4 Dead 2?????
7:23 i meant in historical games like CoD or Medal of Honor as ive mentioned in
7:24 the comments.
7:24 most of the missions and maps are based on real locations anyway so yeh i
7:25 guess that true.
7:28 did you see my blog post about indie game?
7:28 no i missed that one, got the link?
7:28 just click here to see the list of indie games i put together
7:29 AOOFAD looks pretty messed up in the head.
7:29 ive played through that and yeah, your right. its really good though, try it out
7:29 ill do that later tonight, after the Halo 3:ODST clan match
7:30 its just i wrote about PC's versus Consoles in a blog entry
7:31 well everyone playing in that halo match probably wouldnt last that long in a
7:31 round on pc
7:31 i bet you wouldn't last that long in a console match
7:31 you're right, because the controls are horrible
7:32 whatever, at least were both against wordy TOS contracts
7:32 speaking of which, this entry has some comments about that
7:33 is it wordy?
7:33 not as much as the contracts
7:33 i probly still wont read it
7:34 w/e heres something you could show your little cousin though
7:34 its an entry about Scratch, a game creation tool directed at kids
7:35 looks pretty simple
7:35 from the video, yeah it looks that way.
7:35 and everythings sprites????
7:35 its supposed to teach kids who are just starting out
7:36 its not the Unreal Editor
7:36 haha i can see that
7:36 is your family still playing guitar hero?
7:37 yep, pretty much every night
7:37 theres a video about that, the fact that GH is bringing families together
7:37 sort of like playing monopoly with the family
7:38 yep, everyone is competive
7:52 have you finished Oblivion yet?
7:54 not yet, still on the massive main quest to close all the glowy portals from hell
7:54 how are you playing the game?
7:54 my character is pretty much good at everything
7:55 i mean, like are you playing it as you yourself would play it or are you roleplaying
7:55 your character?
7:56 im deciding stuff based on my own ideas not the characters
7:56 yeah thats how i am too. one of those "players who who play themselves."
7:56 i just want to play the game,
7:56 not take the time to come up with a story to follow
7:57 that sorta ties into mods. the fact that people are creating their own stories
7:59 yeh good point
7:59 whats this about you hating farmville?
7:59 exactly what you said. I hate farmville. they even tried to scam people to get them
7:59 to play.
7:59 i bet a lot of the social games do that, probly spam you with email
7:59 but i guess scamming isnt far behind, listen i gotta run
8:00 alright man, thanks for the help
8:00 no prob, did you have to do any big project things for that class?
8:00 Portfolio One and Portfolio Two were pretty big but they werent projects.
8:00 theres a presentation thing i put together though. A short interactive fiction.
8:00 you made an IF game? cool, ill check it later, gotta go
8:00 kk thanks again
Silent Horror - An Interactive Fiction by Matt Takacs
Q and A:
What software did you use to make it? Inform 7
How long did it take to make? 2 days
How long is the source text? 2,299 words
How many Metallica CD's did you listen to while writing it? the first 4 (some more than once)
Did you use any other software? Paint, for mapping out the locations and Parchment to put the game online.
Anything other tools? 1 large bowl of coffee ice cream.
If you play through it, leave some feedback below, but keep it spoiler free.
- Night of the Cephalopods
- "Survival horror game with old school pixel art graphics and an innovative fully voiced dynamic narrative system."
- World of Goo
- "Physics based puzzle / construction game."
- Alien Assault
- "A turn based top down strategy game taking place on abandoned ships infested with deadly aliens."
- Star Guard
- "Guide the spaceman through the castle and defeat the wizard."
- All of Our Friends Are Dead
- "Atmospheric run and gun platformer, immersing the player into a strange alien world."
- "Amanita Design's first full-length project, hand drawn and meticulously animated, about a city populated by robots."
- In Another Brothel
- "Noir-style platformer set in the 1940's. Equipped with a gun which can fire crates, our hero must rescue his girl by creating platforms and stairways with said crates."
Questions are from Susan
1. Grimes states that only a few adults actually pay attention to contents of TOS contracts. Do you always read and fully understand TOS contracts for adult online gaming sites, and what is your reasoning for either way?
I don't I've read a complete TOS contract in my life. As long as I'm playing the game as intended, I see no problems. However, I have never had to deal with the issue of "who owns player created content" in a game.
2. Do you think that a child would understand the following example from MyUville?
I seriously doubt a child would understand the 2530 word TOU example. Who wants to take the time reading when you could be playing something instead?
3. What is your position in the ownership of players' virtual property debate? (E.g. do you think that players should have partial or co-ownership over player-generated creations, or is the industry entitled to sole ownership based on the fact that they own the game code?) Does your view change or stay the same regarding children?
If the property is in-game, then the company who developed the code owns it. If someone makes fan art or fan fiction, the the fan would have ownership over that but still cannot sell it for a profit.
4. Do you think that if challenged TOS contracts hold up in court?
Yes, only because the player had to agree to it before playing the game.
5. What are some of the ethical implications of conducting marketing research without first establishing informed consent, particularly when the participants are children?
Players information are gathered without their knowledge of what the developers will do with it.
What platform(s) do you prefer?
Are you more comfortable with one control scheme over another?
Come on, join the crowd!
Hope you like excessive noise!
It could get extremely loud!
Hear the tale of a merchant,
who's lost some goods to a thief,
(There's a lack of security in that place,
so I'm not in disbelief.)
Quiet now! We're about to start!
Lock those doors up tight,
There better be no interference,
I'd hate to see a fight.
[The aging story teller climbs a few chairs then stops, clears his throat, and begins....]
Cross the broken pyramids,
the sands are sweeping in.
Traveling bands of caravans,
speak of ancient sin.
Fleeing from the city,
Thief, now must run.
Carrying lots of entries,
and comments, about fun.
Now he sees another town,
a place where he must rob.
The unsuspecting visitor,
makes children cry and sob.
How shall they find,
the bad, and the worst,
if Mr. Thief has taken,
all the gaming news read first?
But what is this? He's dropping,
what looks to be some paper,
Now he's doing, some sort of dance,
a ghastly little caper.
Let's take a look at this one,
just what could it be?
Ah, it's some comments,
about a documentary.
I see the crowd goes anxious,
there's a deafening of silence.
Look, I've found an entry,
on some video gaming violence.
A cry of approval?
Yes that's what I hear,
While playing some interactive fiction,
Getting to work was Peter's fear.
See this drink I'm drinking?
It's made from maple sap.
Getting very far in life,
requires a detailed map.
I have a bird at home,
it's sort of like a vulture,
this one particular game,
had some influence on our culture.
Is this a peaceful town?
Or an angry little village?
Makes me think of lots of people,
complaining over this girl's image.
The sun is rising in the...
[At this point, someone in the crowd loudly and rudely insists the storyteller continue on about things of Depth.]
Alright, Mr. In-the-crowd,
You're rude and look like a panda,
fine I'll tell you about a game,
that's all propaganda.
Also something interesting,
just how much are you buying?
Can't you spare some change,
because Darfur is Dying?
Learning from each other,
like the Thief that I once fought,
gives you lots of experience,
so practice what is taught.
[The crowd is stunned to learn the old storyteller once fought the Thief that is tearing across the lands. Another from the crowd asks him to tell about the interaction of that experience. Someone else says he should 'Discuss it in a timely manner.' The storyteller continues...]
You've never heard the story?
Where have you all been?
First I'd like to tell you that,
in September 12th you can not win.
Story plays a bigger part,
than realism, at least I think,
But then again how should I know,
by mind is on the brink.
I found another comment here,
this time about Gee,
before I can let you see it,
you'll have to pay a small fee.
[A young boy produces a large gold coin and tosses it to the storyteller. He fails to catch it. Instead, it hits him squarely in the face.]
My thoughts are getting fuzzy,
the air is getting thin,
I've been standing up here quite a while,
Just how long have I been?"
[With that, the storyteller falls from the chair, asleep. The Thief, who was standing in the back all along, rushes forward, collects all the blog posts and comments, then dashes though an open window to the sandy desert below. The crowd looks from the open window, to the storyteller, to the open window, speechless.]
James Gee has an incredibly positive outlook on what the future holds for those just entering or discovering the industry. If I could pick one quote to really show what gaming, and the technologies powering it, have accomplished so far, it would definitely be this one. He also mentions that games must be learning systems and learning communities both in schools and out.
As I have said in the beginning of this course, playing Age of Empires allowed me be to better visualize the civilizations I was learning about in Social Studies. It brought the limited pictorial representations off the page, showing me how they looked and what specialized military structure they had. This by far was more interesting than simply staring at a bunch of little paragraphs that were written to be understood by fourth or fifth grade students. Gaming built on what I learned, in school and in the game.
Moral choices in a video game are relatively new, although you might have felt bad about beating your friend in a shutout game of Pong, yet they are becoming the front and center issues to deal with and talk about. Gamers are being tasked with completing objectives which may conflict with what they believe is right. Video games up to now, never had to think about personal morals. The No Russian level in Modern Warfare 2, for example, got a lot of press coverage and debate even in our own class. While playing Deus Ex, I had to decide whether or not to kill an unarmed leader of an 'evil' organization. In Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I decided to join the Thieves Guild, eventually becoming their leader. Some games do a much better job than others at laying out the consequences of your actions, but nevertheless they are teaching us new things.
This is absolutely true. Of the small amount of people on my friends list for Left 4 Dead 2, each one has taught me something. Some of what they taught me was what not to do in a particular situation but nevertheless we were learning from each other. We've developed and internalized the many in-game terms, crafted our own abbreviations, and enhanced our coordination. In Left 4 Dead 1, I didn't dare try and complete a campaign on Expert difficulty. Now, in Left 4 Dead 2, my small band of zombie apocalypse survivors battle hard through hordes of infected, get each other up when struggling, and make use of every last item and weapon on our way to beating it. Simply listening in on what I'm saying over voice chat in the next room over may seem like I'm speaking total nonsense, but I'm really engaged in intelligent conversation with fellow peers.
What makes you think I am the one who said it ?
>> I can scroll up and find the exact sentence
Can you elaborate on that ?
>> I click on the up arrow and stop when I find the phrase
Do you say you click on the up arrow and stop when you find the phrase for some special reason ?
>> to answer your damn question
Why are you concerned over my damn question ?
>> I'm not
Tell me more about that.
>> I don't think so. Goodbye.
Because of the limited nature of the program, Eliza can only understand so much. It usually spits back phrases which you typed and asks why you are concerned over them. Basically you are fighting with yourself if you get frustrated with it. In this review, they echo the same complaints and have the source code available. For a program written in 1966 though, I am impressed. While the illusion last, it is very convincing. Artificial Intelligence has come a long way since then.
Are you talking about me in particular?
>> Go away Eliza
I've always agreed with that. Someone who grows up watching Rambo is going to be different than someone who watches Tom and Jerry.
"Stories function like cultural DNA, passing values down through the generations." - Laurel 62
This is true for all forms that stories can take. Older games are just as meaningful today as they were back then.
"Active participation keeps a world alive. People want to know how they can interact with a world and what sorts of things they can do."
Exactly. If everyone playing WoW suddenly stopped playing, the Warcraft lore might still be intact, but the game world would be a lifeless barren desert.
"The games that are not fun for me are those that do not allow the player to play fairly. Any game that has sloppy controls, poor hit detection, overly complex rules, and no hint of where to go next are unfavorable." - Matt Takacs
It would seem like Fatworld falls into that category. Dr.Jerz expresses frustration (multiple times) over the use of 'spacebar' over 'enter' when trying to 'enter' a building. Moving the chracter requires you to press two buttons at once to go in one direction due to the isometric view and the restuarant mini-game was all sorts of confusing; the customer timers were buggy and it was difficult to interpret when the food was ready. I also found it ironic that in Fatworld, the character was a 'healthy' sixty nine pound adult.
This closely resembles Koster's words as well:
"The designer who wants to use game design as an expressive medium must be like the painter and the musician and the writer, in that they must learn what the strengths of the medium are, and what messages are best conveyed by it." - Koster
So we have two very similar views asking that game developers take a closer look at their intended audience and address there specific needs and wants in a challenging way. This can only be viewed as a good thing. The more engaged the players are, the more they are likely to get something out of it. When developers fit messages, morals, and social issues in the game, the gaming medium slowly but surely gains maturity.
"The belief that humanity's power to shape its own destiny through the application of knowledge and reason is a good thing." - Laurel 14
This statement is also similar to Koster's idea of games as teaching tools. The teach us to recognize patterns and see past fiction to the core gameplay.
"I think one of the reasons why the videogame business has been so horribly stunted in its growth is that it has been unwilling to look beyond itself to its audience." - Laurel 36
Although many developer's do fall into this category, Valve has managed to teach a player all the basic skills of the game in the opening cinematic, most notably Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, greatly increasing the games player base.
The major difference between SCMRPG and a game set during World War II or any other act of violence, is that it was an attack on innocent people, not soldiers fighting for their country. In the same way that Darfur is Dying got people to talk about what transpired, so too does this game. I have heard of the game before but had no desire to play it then, nor do I feel inclined to play it now. I understand the game's importance in better understanding what gaming media can do, yet I hope no one has to make another one to analyze another tragedy.
In this article on "Ethical" computer games, it talks about how some colleagues of Susana Ruiz, one of the designers, thought the content was "too serious to be tackled in a game." Having played it, I think the game gets it's message across without trying to hard. It's getting people to talk, and play about a crisis in need of help. Raising peoples awareness was the point of making it, and it's done just that.
When I first played the NES port of Pac-Man many years ago, I thought the ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, were pretty smart. Now, many years later, I think the code behind the ghosts is pretty smart. The careful analyzing that Jamey Pittman presents on the Pac-Man Dossier is well worth a look. Interesting facts that caught my eye:
- Puck-Man's creation was a year and five months in the making--the longest ever for a video game to that point.
- The game starts with Pac-Man at 80% of his maximum speed.
- Billy Mitchell offered a $100,000 cash prize to the first
player to prove they could legitimately get past level 256.
"When one considers that this pioneering work on text adventure games was happening during a time span which includes the May 25 release of Star Wars and the June 5 sale of the first Apple computers, it is not likely that any other similar time span has encompassed so many seminal events in geek culture."
The article also goes on to examine why interactive fiction is still prevalent today, even after the "death" of text games. One reason, which echoes what I wrote in a previous entry here, is the involvement of the player in determining the exact unfolding of the narrative.
"To those who say the art of the game is purely that of the mechanics, I say that film is not solely the art of cinematography or scriptwriting or directing or acting. The art of the game is the whole."
Absolutely. Even if one aspect is not particularly powerful, for instance the music is hard to listen to, the overall appreciation of the game as art is degraded. The same could be said for when everything is working together.
"When we look at the great works of art, however, they are shaped in special ways. They are trellises that form the plant in particular directions. They have intent behind them, and they have the purpose of achieving something in particular with the growth of the plant."
Games should not strive to be jack-of-all-trades. The theme and reasoning behind them must be carefully thought of in order to stand out from all the other titles on the market.
"Games do need to present us with problems and patterns that do not have one solution, because those are the problems that deepen our understanding of ourselves."
Having played more of Deus Ex over the weekend, I will use that as my example. When faced with infiltrating a building and a 747 hangar, there were many ways of going about it. I used stealth, carefully bringing down enemies in as few shots as possible, and the environment to gain access to an open window. I could have just walked through the main door and blasted the place, but by carefully analyzing what objects I had at my disposal, a quick backtrack to acquire a crate allowed me to progress with minimal interference.
"The mere titling of a piece of music lends it narrative context and enriches it tremendously."
The same could be said for game titles. Final Fantasy evokes more emotion than Prison Tycoon.
"When someone cheats at a game, they may be acting unethical, but they're also exercising a skill that makes them more likely to survive."
While playing Left 4 Dead I've encountered this. It falls into the "exploits" category, however; all four players would crouch in a corner of the room during crescendo events. This not only allowed everyone to survive the event uninjured, but conserve ammo as well. Oh, and it got rid of all the fun out of trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Luckily, Valve addressed this issue in Left 4 Dead 2 with a new enemy and I haven't seen that tactic used since.
"But once you get past the point of doing something perfectly, do yourself a favor and quit the game."
Although that may be true for singleplayer games, in cooperative multiplayer games, again ill reference Left 4 Dead, you have to take into account the skills of your teammates. You might have mastered it, but there are a great many variables thrown into the equation when playing online.
"The designer who wants to use game design as an expressive medium must be like the painter and the musician and the writer, in that they must learn what the strengths of the medium are, and what messages are best conveyed by it."
Exactly. Games should try and achieve what other mediums can not.
If you would be so kind as to follow me this way you shall see the Coverage posts I have put together. They contain a multitude of topics. For instance, my comments on What is Fun? deal with ethics determining what is fun for someone, how the skills learned in early life (my example involves Lego's) carry over many years later, and the importance of being rewarded (by earning an achievement) for something actually challenging.
On this next table, still in the Coverage area mind you, I comment on Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good For You lecture. I debate whether or not games are "more sophisticated delivery of stupidity" according to George Will and raise a few questions on how algebra might be why people can understand new interfaces.
Underneath this same table, my comments on the use of videogames, specifically Civilization, in schools can be found. Oh and that box to your left, wait, no, my left, contains additional coverage of games in schools, especially math oriented ones.
Continuing on...just a moment. Let me place this large vase down. I'm not even sure how I was able to talk all this while with that blocking my view! Anyway, inside it you will find another article about fun. This time, however, it is explaining how someone might feel as "socially connected" while playing a singleplayer game, as they would be by playing a multiplayer game.
On the floor here is an article examining the importance of story in games, another one about sequels and originality, and that last paper is about the humanity of Pac-Man, whoever that is.
It looks like we've reached the end of the coverage section, follow me this way, no this way, to take a look at some things in the Depth area.
The bustling streets of this city are never empty! Make way simple peasants, I have a customer! Right, so you were more interested in depth articles, correct? How about this piece on the parts of a good review, or maybe this article on how classics are sometimes not playable for hours on end. Or perhaps a few responses to the book titled A Theory of Fun for Game Design? Still not satisfied, eh? Comparing a traditional review to a new games journalism article should do the trick.
Your need for information is unsatisfiable it seems! A stirring Discussion and Interaction with my peers is perhaps what you seek.
On Susan Carmichael's blog, I raised the question of how nightmares fit into the theory of "When our brain is really into practicing something, we'll dream about it." As of now, there are no responses yet, but I feel it is a discussion that could grow. Alas! The sun is getting low, we must hurry if you are to see the rest! On Jessica Krehlik's blog, I also point out that Mystery House and Maniac Mansion for the NES are similar. On that same blog I link to a new version of the classic Rogue, this time in the theme of Doom. While browsing
*Note* This was done in Windows, though it should be the same steps for the others.
1. Download DOSBox, a DOS emulator, making sure to select your OS from the list.
2. Head to this page and download the compressed archive of Zork, making sure to select your correct OS.
3. Install DOSBox then extract Zork to your C: drive.
4. Run DOSBox and type "mount c c:/" without the quotes.
5. Next, type "c:" without the quotes.
6. Then, type "cd dungeon" without the quotes.
7. Finally, type "dungeon" without the quotes.
8. Try and beat my score.
All italic quotes are by Raph
Koster from his book, A
Theory of Fun for Game Design.
"Think about it; teamwork is a far deadlier tool than sharpshooting."
That is absolutely true. You could have the best Counter-Strike players in the world, but if they are not playing as a team, communicating, they might as well be the worst.
"The stories in most video games serve the same purpose as calling the uber-checker a "king." It adds interesting shading to the game but the game at its core is unchanged."
I have mixed feelings on this particular quote. On one hand, Half-Life 2 contributes it greatness to its story. By taking that away, or changing it completely, the game might resemble any other first person shooter, or it might not. Yes, you are still shooting at enemies, but this game might be an exception to the rule.
"The difficulty ramp is almost certain to be wrong for many people, and the basic premises are likely to be uninteresting or to difficult for large segments of the population."
Another exception to the rule would be Peggle. A simple game, yet it has managed to capture the attention of those who were not usually interested in "casual" games. It has even been introduced into World of Warcraft as a mini-game.
"More and more novel experiences are going to come along, until sometime in 2038 when I'll need the assistance of my smart-ass grandkid to flibber-jibber the frammistan because I won't be able to cope with the newfangled contraptions."
But if we can learn by playing games, wouldn't we understand how new technology works? Haven't we, since the Doom and Myst era, gradually learned and mastered entirely new control schemes and ideas?
"Noise is any pattern we don't understand."
I have never thought of a game as noise before, yet the concept is of great use in describing why one particular kind would not appeal to someone. Thankfully, by sampling and experimenting, the "noise" goes away and we are left with fun, like the quote below explains.
"Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. In other words, with games, learning is the drug."
Learning is the drug.
- Will Wright
There are very few people who have the expertise in all those fields mentioned by Wright. For now, those without that experience must be content with some of the things they can understand; that the gameplay feels solid, the graphics are adequate, or the story is confusing or complex. Until more is studied, we will not be sure just how many ways there are to look at a video game. To some, games may seem unimportant now, but in the future, perhaps they will look back at them as very significant objects. Only time will tell.
"No choice is a choice."
That got me thinking. I compared that statement to one found in the lecture:
"The rejection of theory is a kind of lens."
By not accepting a lens, you disagree with how the world looks through it, or because you are indifferent to everything in general. Regardless, in determining whether or not it is agreeable, you are influenced by what you see through it.
"Unlike fantasy gaming, however, moral panics about computer-mediated culture have continued to develop alongside successive improvements in technology."
seems like the biggest hurdle that has yet to be crossed. On the other hand, Koster's book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design is more of a personal exploration and account of gaming. It is a much easier read and appeal's to a larger audience than The Player's Realm.
Although Adventure for the Atari 2600 looks pretty primitive by today's standards, it was a game of firsts in 1979. For one, it had an ending, an actual goal where you could say you "beat the game." It also contained an Easter Egg, the name of the creator, which is an interesting story by itself. Basically Atari did not allow anyone's name to appear on the game, so the programmer went against those rules and hid it in the game. This was the first time I heard of this story and thought it quite daring.
The most valuable quality that a new games journalism article can have is to connect with the audience in some way. By telling a story, a more personal connection is established.
The crackle of fire and a soft, melodic lullaby greets your ears. The scene changes to an outside view of a house, slowly zooming in towards an upper window where a light can be seen shining through. Now inside, you see an elderly woman sitting in a rocking chair and a young girl reading from an unknown book. As you watch the scene unfold, the young girl turns a few pages and a thought bubble pops into view above her head. She is thinking about medieval knights and envisions herself in a suit of armor. The image last only for a second before it is replaced by another thought. She imagines herself exploring a jungle and the deep ocean before eventually falling asleep. The light's dim, the sound fades to silence, and we are left with the fireplace as the only source of light. Time passes, then she awakes.
With that short
cut-scene, we are introduced to the young girl called Sofi, her dream
world, and her grandmother. Lucidity takes place entirely in Sofi's
dreams, which are divided into numerous levels filled with an
assortment of creatures, treacherous landscapes, and fireflies
scattered throughout. The creatures are related to the levels in
which they inhabit; you will find fish in the underwater worlds,
insects in the forests, and birds in the sky. Landscapes range from
forests and fields, to colorful underwater reefs, cloud filled skies,
or snow covered woods. I am not entirely sure of the significance of
the fireflies; the developers might have just needed an object for
the player to collect and picked them.
game, the level progression stays the same. Starting at the left hand
side of the screen, Sofi continues to move to the right and you are
tasked with placing stairs, wooden planks, springs, and slingshots as
a sort of bridge between sections she would not be normally able to
cross; allowing her safe passage. Placing these pieces however, and
this is my biggest issue with the game, requires you to try and
figure out how the screen is broken up into grid-like sections. Using
a mouse is no better than using the arrow keys or even an Xbox 360
controller. Trying to place a piece even remotely accurate is
slightly frustrating; PC and Xbox co-development is to blame. When
you finally do make it to the end of a level, though, you are greeted
by a mailbox containing a message from your grandmother. This is very
interesting because Sofi is in her dream world when she discovers
these, so either she is remembering stories and sayings that her
grandmother used to say and they are taking the form of a letter, or
that her grandmother can somehow talk to her in her dreams. A cut
scene about the middle of the way through the game supports one of
Although there is the issue of controls, Lucidity does get a lot of other things right. The music found in-game and even on the main menu is quite excellent, fitting perfectly with the dream-like realm of Sofi's imagination. The children's book art style and fluid animations also add to the atmosphere. For a first attempt at an indie-styled game, LucasArts managed to make a puzzle platformer enjoyable by a wide audience.
Our razor-sharp analysis of
defeating elephantmen and bludgeoning lunatics follows.
World Exclusive: Zeno Clash Review
A good review must allow the reader to easily determine what type of game is being reviewed.
We've been playing Zeno Clash. Developers Ace Team were kind enough to suggest that we should furnish you with the world's first review of their insane beat 'em up.
A good review should explain the most basic concepts of the game without giving away plot points or any type of spoilers, just like no one should ruin the ending of a good book or movie.
I think it's actually a lot like a trad linear fighting game ala Double Dragon, as in, you move from fight to fight and it makes no pretense of being a "world". It's an FPS fisticuffs game that looks and feels incredible.
A good review must be easy to understand.
Boss battles in an FPS are usually achingly rubbish, but with perhaps the exception of the very end, the "character battles" in Zeno Clash are really something, especially the parachuting squirrel-bomb sequences.
And finally, a good review must be enjoyable to read.
Our subject today is the esoteric fist 'em up, Zeno Clash, by Chilean types, Ace Team.
I liked the bit where I repeatedly punched a bird-man in the face.
When your review has all of these things, in addition to a few screenshots when appropriate, people will take notice. The words should have meaning, ultimately determining where a potential customer's money will go.
Lego Indy 2 Review
First off, whereas Myst was a brand new franchise, the Lego name was already established, both in video games and the actual physical pieces. When someone mentions Lego's, usually you have a clear mental picture of what they are talking about. Myst on the other hand, is unknown, foreign to those who have not played it. However there is one similarity between the two, as stated in this quote:
"Myst" seems to define a new genre in which the film does not exist without the player who brings it to life.
Just as "the film does not exist without the player who brings it to life," Lego's cannot be enjoyed unless you are actively building something. Rothstein's review of Myst covers more about the history and advancement of games, whereas Richards' review focuses more on the game itself.
"A New Art Form May Rise From The 'Myst'"
There are multiple ways to tell a story. You can describe it in a book, sing it in a song, show it in a movie, or... combine all of those things into a video game. With it's small amount of text, adequate graphics, and iconic music, the original Legend of Zelda for the NES managed to capture an immense story, essentially good verses evil, and shoved you in the boots of the lone hero named Link. You proceed to go on a journey and "challenges are posed" just like Rothstein states. There is a very good context for going on that adventure as well; saving Hyrule and rescuing Princess Zelda. Though the medium may change, we will always be story tellers.