It is important you know that I am from Canada because we spell colour and flavour with a U and sometimes use British vernacular, probably because of Coronation Street and East Enders.
I'm a student in something called 'pre professional journalism'. Whatever that is. I'm a major of Philosophy and a minor in Sociology, mostly because critical thinking and the analysis and understanding of social behaviors makes me horny.
My ambitions include creating a fully animated rotoscoped feature length animatronic musical and to build a 'fusion' reactor in my backyard out of little more than a high power laser and an industrial vacuum. Both of these things are possible believe it or not.
Ever heard of the word 'voxel' is like a buzz word in computer gaming in the same way 'nuclear' or 'radiation' was a buzz word in the 1950s.
Voxels are pixels with virtual mass or volume. They are a kind of evolution to the pixel in a lot of ways. The parameters in which a 3D body will interact with an environment so too will voxel bodies on a pixel level. That's like the cellular level of 3D objects maaan. That's deeeeep.
Cube World is like if The Legend of Zelda on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System has a love child with Minecraft and that baby was voxels maaan. It's deep. When enemies die, the like, fall apart into a shadow of their former self, that's deeeeep. So deep in fact that in Cube World you can like, tunnel to hell. That's as deep as you can get without like, comming out on the other end of the sphere on that hemispheres deep end, you keep going, you get shallow and voxels are anything but shallow. It isn't about how they look, it's about how they interact or if you want to go deeper how the user, the gamer, the player, interacts with voxels in their environments. That's like if in the movie Inception, they all stopped for a moment to watch the movie Inception right when all the kicks are triggering during the climax of the film, voxels are that level of deep.
The wonderful, wonderful Voxatron
Voxatron is another voxel game, that's out. You can play this thing. It has a voxel level of detail where by if you cut a pillar in half with your pew pew bullets, that pillar will crumble without actually loosing mass, it will only dissolve kind of, it's siiiiick.
Anyway, can't wait till voxels are like in every first person shooter. Every bullet will have bullet fragments equal to the size and shape of the bullets they came from, and like, cars that explode will actually explode without loosing mass, like in GTA one through 5. When a car goes POP shit from that car goes missing. That shit is not going to happen with voxels. Like when the cars are on fire, the rubber and vinyl in them could like melt, that's a voxel level of deeep that only voxels will ever be able to do.
I guess folks in the future will have fucking awesome video games or whoever, whenever. Until then I guess I'm left waiting for Cube World and Star Bound. Fucking Star Bound. Star Bound is not voxel based but it is deeep, not voxel deep, but fuuuuck, It is like Terraria and Borderlands had a good fuck and made a Star Bound baby. Star Bound is deeeep. Star Bound and Cube World are still in development which means they are only getting deeper, like, one side of the hemisphere is growing as they travel into it, so like, they get double deep as they get deeper into development.
Cube World is going to be a breakout success without question. i look forward to it.
Little Inferno can't easily be placed in any one gaming genre. It's as much a sandbox game as it is a puzzle or mystery solving game, as it is an adventure game. It's odd and quirky and dark like the Tim Burton-esque visuals would imply and yet it is as heart warming as it is unique. All of these it is in spades but non of them singularly it is completely. As a comparison Little Inferno reminded me more of Trash Panic than any other game, and like Trash Panic it has a formula of non-formula that works.
Little Inferno puts you in control of a fire place, after a very campy introduction which portrays the fireplace almost like a children's toy within which children are to burn their toys. The people behind this title "Tomorrow Corporation" know it is silly and if you get anything from reading this, know that it is fun. Little Inferno has a sense of humour about itself. In a game where you huck things into a fire place to watch them burn, explode, and animate having a levity about it makes it worth while.
The sandbox portion of the game comes from interacting static objects within the fire place. You can smash things on the sides, crumble ashes, freeze, and cut them with other objects or the mouse. Some objects have their own gravity, others may emit heat, cold, or have some other property. The properties the objects have in a static space contrasts well to the effects they have or emit while ignited. My favorite item is a laser pointing hand that dynamically cuts any object set in front of the time delayed laser.
Now, it is odd game. Granted, the main play-set of it is a fireplace. Part of the adventures in finding out what happens when the objects are together or together on fire, and that's part of a mystery you have to solve on your way to making interesting combinations. To unlock more objects you have to complete mysterious combinations of objects by igniting objects with similar properties or perhaps unique themes. The way the game progresses is by discovering these combinations. Catalogues which contain items can only be unlocked after discovering sets of objects with ambiguous tag-lines like "Generations", and you are left to figure out what items will unlock that combination when they are grouped together and ignited. It seems simple but you will literally burn through dozens of objects trying to find the combination that works. After moving forward the very odd story will progress and you will be treated with mysterious letters, which you then read and burn.
There are more than 50 objects to interact with and a strange story and almost point and click adventure feel to some portions of the game. It is a fun and silly game that is worth your time and attention. The game's story is about warming the world - the gameplay is about a feel-good experience. It delivers again and again. In fact, deliveries are how you receive objects to burn after having selected them from interestingly themed catalogues. If you are in the least bit interested or confused, don't wait another second check Little Inferno out! As a title that is beautiful in its simplicity, experience it.
Recommended Most For Those Who Liked The Art and Play Style of:
-World of Goo
- Also recommended for anyone with abstract pyromania.
My strong suggestion is do not look up anything for Little Inferno at all.
Ever. Not so much as a trailer or a screen shot.
That's a lot to ask but trust me, get a copy of Little Inferno.
It will feel so good not knowing what to expect.
Go in cold. Play it and then show it to a friend..
TLDR: poor edits in this, vid console sales drop - does innovation drop? maybe. CITATIONS NEEDED also tits
Disclaimer: This is an unedited rant about personal speculation concerning the future of the video games industry. I am not trying to side with any extremes nor do I.
There have been three electronic entertainment renaissances to date. We are within the third. Here is how, why, and what it means for the industry we love:
Because of Atari, Intelevision, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and much latter to the party Microsoft we have had incredible leaps and bounds in the electronic entertainment industry. The last two decades of gaming has been an age of incredible innovation that goes beyond entertainment. As a more recent example gyroscope research has found its way into biomedical science, motion tracking has lead to smart monitor and camera technology, video games and technology developed for gaming has gone well beyond its intended purposes and mostly for the better.
What are you even saying when you say that?!
Now, many people, consumers, gamers, - the central audience and computer savvy core of PC gaming has for the most part given home video game consoles the cold shoulder. For apparently valid reasons mostly concerning the aesthetics or practicality of the entertainment software medium. The very rational and albeit valid reasons not to purchase or invest in home video game consoles has led to consoles becoming more multipurpose in design, thus pushing innovations which may benefit other fields. So in a way I suppose PC gamers who boycott or speak bitterly about the pros of video game consoles have done well.
Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately because of this third renaissance we're just starting, it appears there is a branching path of forks leading to our imminent and very real future. One absolutely leads to competition and innovation, one leads to a mish-mash singularity of PC gaming and home video game consoles entertainment, etc.
Totally lost here.
Cloud gaming works and it's cheap. You don't really need to make any kind of actual investment beyond a subscription and perhaps a few other things like an Internet connection, but no big expensive products or physical products need to, for the most part, be purchased. OnLive has/had a home console box that worked fairly well and their PC service did as well. They received generally positive reviews and as any new company trying to profit on the edge of an entertainment razor does or will do, they have had financial and technological setbacks which can only be expected. The SteamBox is similar in a lot of ways and may have a few tweaks or work in conjunction with a home computer, the end result is similar as OnLive which is to produce less strenuous and expensive demands on consumers by producing an effective means to access entertainment.
The PSVita, 3DS, and Wii-U are all working as a mish-mash of designs and ideas all crammed into a package that like the Wii and motion tracking arcade games, may never have their potentials fully realized by producers and developers. That isn't to say these things are failures but the Wii for example is the culmination of years of research which has lead more into other industries than anything else. Touchscreen technology even more so as a means of cost effectiveness and ease of access for devices.
Anyway, what does all this mean for our technological future?
I think the biggest and best questions to ask is, "What are the current major companies in home entertainment going to do to compete in a more PC centric future?".
This is the question that is the umbrella which all of what I have said above falls under. Beyond applications and devices with multi-purpose designs, they are all trying to emulate personal computers. Netflix, Facebook, Crackle, YouTube, Internet browsers, friends lists, multimedia servers, and more are all native to personal computers. OnLive and SteamBox accept that fact more blatantly, openly. Console ports to PC, an independent video game surge, the prevalence of purchase bundles, and . . .
Do the sciences push technology or does technology push science?
And a singularity of console and PC gaming is kind of plausible. Almost necessary really. With every game headed by a major player in the video game industry having a checklist of mandates and insane budget plans, release schedules, and narrow profit margins, it is almost needed and I'm sure would be openly accepted. Online video games need to bridge between all versions of that title to form a cohesive online community, or else what's the point? It isn't environmentally ethical to produce a product annually just so you can push all of your customers onto the next new thing on some bastardized form of consumer product symbiosis. The industry isn't respecting people enough nor granting them access or use of their services and products beyond how they dictate. They can shut the servers off when they want to and owe you nothing. Console gamers get the short of the stick because of this because they are so sharply bound to comply to the rules and regulations to the games they play. While a PC user can just make a server or session for essentially any title, even titles which were not produced or developed to have online support. Because of this you'll still find Quake and Doom being playing. As an example what of the diluted online communities of the Call of Duty, Halo, or Madden games? DefJamRapstar and MMO titles are still on store shelves for consoles in many areas when they have no more support or even a means to experience the title, someone forget to send a memo to retailers? The market in that way is not in favor of consumers or gamers.
What do you do if you want to play a game yet you do not agree with the companies practices, terms of services, or DRM? As a PC gamer you'd probably pirate whatever software it is you want to play. As a console gamer, you pretty much have to say yes to everything, no question.
Part of the renaissance I hope, is a more friendly almost entirely DRM free future for video games on the PC. While I also hope consoles begin to form bridges between services to allow for more accessibility, but not only is this suggestion a stupid one and flawed on too many levels to count - it is perhaps a suggestion that is too late.
I hope Sony innovates.
I hope Microsoft innovates.
I hope Nintendo stays crazy and quirky and fun.
I hope PC gamers get their better graphics, not because they need it, but because they are paying for it and driving the consumer interest investment portion of the engine that drives computers forward.
I hope people will realize technology, like life, is impermanent and that no matter in what way your entertainment is delivered to you - you will be bound by the means of content delivery. With many terms of service going the way of 'this service is granted on a temporary license' we can say no and force them to come up with something better.
Personal prediction: A lot of people are going to go with PC gaming as a cost effective way to get everything they want and with the added bonuses of cool shit home consoles don't do.
Say what you will about Skrillex or dubstep music in general, this has to grab your attention if you are a classic Zelda fan. Someone has written a love letter to the digital frontier by incorporating the music of Skrillex with a Legend of Zelda inspired adventure.
In Skrillexquest you take on the role of the P1, the one who will save a Nintendo cartridge from falling into glitched obscurity because of a fleck of dust that fell onto a connector and started to make the game unreadable.
As the game world begins to fall apart and corrupt into the glitch, artifact pixels begin to attack and stain the landscape with corruption. As the hero it is your job to collect the artifacts and keys to preserving the land.
The game uses the sounds of Skrillex's music to transpose broken lines of code and corruption as a character, Skrillex's music is also used for the soundtrack as well. So if you're not a fan of Skrillex's music, this might be a pass. As someone who isn't that big of a fan, I still laughed when I found the 'bangarang' an odd pun in place of the blue boomerang from The Legend of Zelda fame.
It's a fairly short game with a few collectibles. On my first run I had a 47% completion rating so I am unaware as of yet if there is some kind of bonus for a 100% clear. It made me smile more than once which I think makes playing this game worth the while.
I don't like Portal and I really do not like Portal 2. I'm not saying it just to say it, I'm saying it because I mean it and because I feel it to be true for myself. It is a genuine distaste I am sharing and I don't believe any amount of community maps or mods will effect my opinion.
Half way through Portal I felt like I was drifting away from the game because it didn't feel so much like a puzzle game as it did a series of linear events, like a shooter on rails or something. I had similar thoughts about Portal 2 after I had completed it, which I had done only because it was gifted to me by a friend who wanted me to so desperately play it and enjoy it. I told my friend I was enjoying it while I was playing it but really I was bored. The extra animations and voice work didn't seem all that inspired. It was all very predictable for me. When I told him how I felt he had a reaction that I'm sure any Portal fan would. He called me stupid.
This was all months ago now and I'd only just launched Portal 2 since I'd seen it to its end. I decided I was going to go in cold and make my own map with the editor. So I started a map, something simple at first. The level starts, you fall five or six meters, to your right a cube is spawning inset from within the ceiling, dropping orbs continuously into a vat on ambiguous game-over-juice. You take the orb and place it on the orb button, which turns on acceleration gell and spawns a cube in the same fashion nearby. You then place this on the cube button beside the orb button, which triggers the blue jump juice to drop beside the orange gel. using a combination of both or neither, you are then to make your way to a switch which is oddly place on a wall. Hitting this switch in conjunction with the two activated buttons draws back doors in the floor opening to a new level. This level requires a timed loop jump and latter I was going to make it so you'd need to link both gels to get across a precipice.
I invited the friend who called me stupid over to test what I had so far.
He played my level and told me that, "Portal isn't meant to be played like this." I asked him what he meant. He says,
"You don't just do one thing and then another thing." I tell him,
"This is exactly what Portal is to me. A linear chain of events." He says,
"No, this isn't on purpose. Your level is just terrible and you don't know what you're doing." To which I tell him the title,
"Check the name, I've called this level Initiate Step 2." I laugh at him. And he checks the description which reads:
-Step 1: Initiate Step 2
-Step 2: Initiates Step 3
-Step 3: Initiate Step 4
I am then assured that 'this' is not what Portal is about. I tell him that is all it is to me. That it didn't stimulate me even slightly. If Portal is a profound example of a puzzle game then Cathrine is the best puzzler I've ever played.
Some days passed and I realized that yes, Cathrine might really be one of the best puzzle games I had ever played. You have to think quickly and make logical choices with some variance of randomization being thrown in, it really is a great puzzle game and if Portal is hearkened by the public because of the personalities and characters, Cathrine has that in spades. You are left to make critical choices that progress the story and change the tone of and cinematic nature of some characters. The moral questions the game asks players is a level of interactivity on top of the cinematic presentation and well done puzzle mechanics. Not to mention it had challenge maps, multiplayer, and is too difficult for most people to play through on Normal. With all of this criteria, it should have been the best selling puzzle game of all time. Why wasn't it? Maybe because some of the imagery is overtly sexual and has anime overtones, but I digress.
So I thought Cathrine was among the best, probably the best I'd played. Until I played Quantum Conundrum. How did I miss this, how did I not see or hear, or even have any interest in this title?! It has all the qualities that Portal does that people say they liked, it has some level of randomization and quick-thinking required like in the tense situations of Portal, Portal 2, and Cathrine... and you actually have to THINK about solutions to solve puzzles. Not to mention it is as entertaining as it is stimulating. To date; Quantum Conundrum is the best puzzle game I have played with Cathrine coming in second. Braid is an honorable mention but perhaps not in my personal top five.
Please, please, do yourself a favor if you find you enjoy puzzle games and play Quantum Conundrum. You might enjoy it. If you don't, well... I don't know what to tell you. Good puzzles are hard to find.