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5:29 PM on 04.30.2010

Alan Wake Lead Writer Interview





I found a tasty interview with Sam Lake the lead writer of Alan Wake where he talks about the story of Alan Wake at a little more length. Teh interview is about 30 minutes long and he talsk alot about the internal struggles of the main characters as well as the major influences for the story. He then goes into more detail about the symbolism in the game talking about key set pieces in the game. He breifly discusses the Dark Presence a greater length and alludes to how Remedy may want to do more than make games with the IP. Lastly he talks about developer cameos and Nordic themes that you may find in the game if your looking. All in all it was a pretty interesting interview. Here's the link to the show.

Sam Lake Interview   read


9:48 PM on 05.03.2009

The Great Perma Death Debate.



Hi all and welcome back to the grand re-opening of my blog. It has been awhile and the landscape here has changed a little, but all in all it is great to be back talking about one of my favorite gaming genres the MMORPG. So without further adieu here we go.



Perma-Death

Ok so I've been on my fair share of forums for MMOs in development in my day, and one theme that always seems to find its way onto the forum is the idea of perma-death in the game, or at least on a server of the game. Part of me wonders if this is the singular effort of one man to see this argued on every MMO forum, or part of a group effort campaigning for this idea until one day a Dev out there somewhere says in a meeting "What if when a character dies their really dead!" and everyone in the room replies "Brilliant!". I think it is time to break down why the whole perma-death idea is flawed and why it just doesn't work in the MMO space.

First off the idea of having to reroll my character everytime I die sounds a little frustrating in my opinion. What masocist wants to build up a character in a game only to die for any reason be it a PvE or PvP related incident and then have to reroll that toon and start over from scratch. I personally would go nuts having to play the same content over and over again hoping and praying I could make it to level 20 this time before my number comes up if you will. I wouldn't feel very enouraged to PvP either as one wrong move means *ding* I start all over again. I guess I fail to see how this type of system encourages players to keep up a script to a game.

What if we took this concept to a single player game? Let's say I'm playing "Bioshock" and I get to the very end without dying once and get killed by the final boss only to have to start all over again. I would be tempted to throw my computer out of my window with the obligitory profanities being screamed at the top of my lungs. While this would be great for the computer manufacturers I can't see any other benefit other than large populations of gamers on antianxiety meds.

How would content updates look in the perma-death MMO? Would you even bother adding more endgame content if over half of your palyer base kept dying before they got to it? I guess you could add more races and starting zones so as to break the monotany of having to start over at the same spot over and over again.

Soloing in the game would probably be nonexistent as the prevailing logic of safety in numbers would most likely prevail. Which maybe isn't all that bad. :) But thats for another post altogether now isn't it.

The biggest flaw I see with perma-death though is simply that it lends itself to exclusivity rather than acessability. If WoW teaches us anything it is that the more accessable the game the better. In a perma-death world we would probably see an exclusive group of payer that would make it to the end game and either attempt to hinder others progress or make money helping it. The Massive in MMO gives us a look into the priamry goal of these games which is to have alot of people playing them, and when you sacrifice accessability you lose population plain and simple.

Now don't get me wrong friends you are not reading the remblings of a carebear here. I still have emotional scars from "Ascheron's Call" getting killed and respawning in nothing but my undies knowing that some a-hole is looting all my great gear. I am all for a death penalty. Heck part of me keeps thinking about playing "Dark Fall" simply because of its death penalty, but even that is a drastic yet entertaining example. The idea of the death penalty to me is sound which makes me not want to die very much, but doesn't completely ruin my experience if I do.

In the end I'm sure that person or group of people will keep hitting up the forums with the perma-death argument. Maybe one day a poster will find solutions to my issues with perma-death, but I doubt it. This genre jsut wouldn't do well with it. Now one idea I do like is if I decide I do not want to play the game anymore to be given an option to do a perma-death scenario with my toon which would allow me to cancel my account with a bang. Now that I could deal with.

What are your thoughts on perma-death in MMO's? Feel free to comment below I'm a huge fan of feedback.

And that's all I got.

Eric   read


5:25 PM on 08.24.2008

Star Trek Online: 7 minutes with Jack Emmert




[embed]101020:14040[/embed]
Jack Emmert recently sat down with MMORPG.com's Keith Cross at Gen Con to discuss the upcoming Star Trek Online mmo. If you don't feel like watching the full 7 minutes here's a quick recap.

Factions-Yes you can play a memeber of The Federation or the Klingon Empire. Factions will compete for resources as well as PvP.

Acqusition of the IP Jack discusses how they got the IP from P3 fomerly known as Perpetual. Jack also talk about not really taking anything from the previous designer although he admits that there may be some aspects of the game that mirror the previous developer.

Player made races Jack talks about alien race creation and that the player will have a variety of tools in which to create your own race, but admits at launch you will only be able to make "humanoid" type aliens.


Customizable Ships Jack reports that the player will be able to customize their ships both interior and exterior, but you will be limited to better keep the look and feel of your faction.

Speedy Production Jack discusses how Cryptic having an exisitng engine allows them to produce STO very quickly since they mainly have to worry about the in-game assests rather than engine development or porting first. Jack hints that Champions Online will launch next spring.

Combat System Jack reports that ship combat will be slow and tactical where the ground combat will be much more action oriented.

STO for the Xbox Jack says there is nothing preventing the development of the game for the Xbox save the business end of things. Jack also states that they are always looking at moving games to consoles since they have the technology to do so.

Will STO be a more traditional mmo? Jack says that he wants this to be a Star Trek mmo not just a mmo that happens to have a Star Trek back drop. Jack ststea that they have looked at game mechanics from Mass Effect, Hellgate:London, abd Tabula Rasa for inspiration.

Well that's about it for this ST:O update. Stay tuned I'm sure there will be more to come.   read


11:38 PM on 08.04.2008

"Sims" fan makes a pixelated Kat Von D, and she's hot.



Featured by Amy Tucker on the website Simsgamer.com and created by player Ver Marina you can now have the gorgeous celebrity tatto artist in your very own Sims neighborhood. And who wouldn't want a hot chick with ink hangin with thier favroite Sim.

For about a second I thought about playing just to have her in my hood, and then I thought about some ice cream and the ice cream won.

To compare the two here's Kat Von D in real life.




Until Next Time

Eric   read


11:09 PM on 08.04.2008

"Doom" Creator talks about developing for the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

[embed]98190:13660[/embed]

John Carmack wieghed in recently on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 at Quakecon 2008. If you don't feel like watching John get his geek on I'll recap briefly his points on each system.

John blabs about Megatextures and how he came up with the game.

John says its easier to develop for the Xbox 360's architecture. John thinks it sucks that Microsoft will not require a hard drive for thier game as it may cause graphics glitches, and mentions possible quality sacrifices for the system if they can't use 2 or more DVDs for the game.

John finds the specialized cell architecture of the PS3 annoying. John likes Blue Ray as it has the space to allow them to present the game in the quality and compression ratios for the game. John mentions that PS3 works well for the big games.

And thats about it. If you want to hear it from the horses mouth watch the video.

Also if you are a fanboi of either system feel free to use the comments section conveniently located below this as your battleground. :)

Laters

Eric   read


6:56 PM on 07.24.2008

The DC Universe Online: Comic Con '08 Gameplay Footage

I found some gameplay footage of Sony's new action mmo The DC Universe Online on Gamespy The footage features the speedster travel power, shows off some combat, and shows some of the versatility in using the enviroment as a weapon. Take a look and tell me what you think.

[embed]96803:13455[/embed]




[embed]96803:13456[/embed]




[embed]96803:13458[/embed]




[embed]96803:13460[/embed]   read


9:00 PM on 07.21.2008

A Cast of Thousands or My Tribute to the Second Fiddle

Caution: Spoilers are throughout this post, but if you haven't played any of these excellent games by now you deserve to have them spoiled for you.


Would Star Wars have been Star Wars without Han Solo? What would The Lord of the Rings have been like without Golem? In my opinion they would have been missing that special something that takes the ordinary story and add that extra layer that makes it a true classic, the interesting and compelling supporting characters. All of the classic tales have them those characters that add that little extra life to a story and makes the main charcter(s) struggle that much more interesting. These characters vary as nemisis, comic relief, or just that character that moves you through their hardship and sacrifice to the main plot of the story. It is these charcters I find most apppealing in movies, books, and of course video games.

So I thought for my first monthly musing, I would dedicate it to these unsung and sometimes overlooked characters who capture our imagination, and make the epic story in which we play through that much better if not even possible. With that in mind I thought I’d share with you some of the most memorable “second fiddles" I've ran across in my gaming experience. Characters who helped shoulder an excellent story ,and without them the story may not have been the same, or in some cases ever told.




The G-Man (Half Life Series)


[embed]94110:13012[/embed]

Half life was one of the first games to make me feel like a rat running a maze rather than a free roaming hero, and all of that feeling was due to the presence of the G-Man. From the first time we ever saw him to now he remians shrouded in mystery leaving the player knowing only that he is the one pulling Gordon's strings and setting the events of the series in motion. With his "men in Black" style wardrobe mixed with his "Twin Peaks" weirdness he tops the list of my all time favorite supporting characters.


HK-47 (KotOR)


[embed]94110:13013[/embed]

When I first bought "Knights of the Old Republic" I expected the charcters that I would interact with to have that "Star Wars" feel to them, and by and large the game didn't dissappoint. From a brash pilot to a Twi'lek with a Wookie sidekick the game screamed "Star Wars". Then came the sociopathic protocol droid with amnesia, and a disdain for organic "meat bags". Everything about HK-47 was the antithesis of a "Star Wars" type character. With quotes like "I think he is making fun of you, Master. Shall i proceed with wasting the Meatbag?" HK-47 quickly became a permanent member of my away parties as well as one of the best comic reliefs I have ever seen in a video game.






Kai (Heavenly Sword)


[embed]94110:13016[/embed]

"Heaveny Sword" is a pretty typical martial arts tale of good vs. evil with a mythical weapon in the mix, but it was when the character of Kai was introduced that the story became a little less ordinary. With her childlike innocence mixed with her lethal repeating bow (not to mention that she eats worms) Kai was that quirky supporting charcter that stole the show for me. I found myself more interested and drawn into her story than I did the main story most of the time. Now that the sequel to "Heavenly Sword" is in question I have to admit I was disappointed as I was hoping that the second installment would have featured Kai wiedling the "Heavenly Sword" as well as promoted this "second fiddle" into the lead.




Sgt. Avery Johnson (Halo series)


[embed]94110:13014[/embed]

The "Halo" trilogy is easily one of the best IPs to come out of the consoles. Playing the iconic "Master Chief" through the trilogy is an epic and extremely fun undertaking that I would reccomend to anyone. From playing this trilogy I can say that it would not have been the same without the off the wall comments of the battle-hardened Sgt. Avery Johnson. What makes him one of the greats to me is that he was always there in the story as this half crazy motivational speaker with a firearm, and when he was killed in Halo 3 a little part of me went with him. I have to wonder what Halo 4 will be without Johnson in there spouting off some order or off the wall comment. Although I'm sure the writers will create a replacement it just won't be the same without Sgt. Johnson.



Sgt. Paul Jackson (Call of Duty 4)

[embed]94110:13017[/embed]


Although you never really see Jackson's face through out the time you play him in the game he is by far one of the most powerfully scripted supporting charcters I have ever played. In "Call of Duty 4" Jackson is the soldier you play through the Middle East portion of the game with. Although he has no speaking lines in the game what makes his character so powerful is that you get to play his death in the game. I remember playing through the game the first time, and after playing through Jackson's death the first two words out of my mouth were "f*ck me." It is one of the best examples of a charcter reaching out through the monitor and reminding me what is happening to American soldiers right now in Iraq, and that not all heroes get to come home alive.



Deckard Cain (Diablo Series)




The Diablo series is truly one of the best in all of gaming in my opinion, and much like any series it needs that supporting character you can rely on to be there to go through it with you, and who better than the crusty old scholar Deackard Cain. Sure he can get annoying telling you the drawn out history of the Horadrim and the such, but that's what makes him great in my opinion. He's like my Grandpa was at family gatherings. Always wanting to tell you something important that you deem as trivial. Yet through all of his ramblings he's the first character you want to know is coming back when there's a new installment of the series. Diablo just wouldn't be Diablo without Cain. In the end I hope the writers find a way to make Cain responsible for the whole mess and make him some uber bad ass that you have to fight in the end all the while you are fighting him he tells you some long drawn out story or just says repeatedly "Stay awhile and listen."

Well that's it for my list of my favorite supporting characters. In the end I find these charcters to be the foundation that a strong lead character and story are built on. I look forward to what new "second fiddles" I'll be introduced to in the new games to come. If you have a fond memeory of any of the characters mentioned above, or have a favorite "second fiddle" of your own please share it below. I always find it fun to hear other gamers memories as well.

Until Next Time.

Eric   read


8:06 PM on 07.20.2008

"Dark Knight" sets box office records.



I'm sure this is no suprise to anyone, but The Dark Knight (155.34 million) has unseated Spider- Man 3 (151.1 million) for the best openeing weekend reports the Los Angeles Assoiciated Press. The record is attributed to the buzz surrounding the death of actor Heath Ledger who plays Batman's arch-nemisis The Joker. The movie was hailed by critics across the nation, and Oscar buzz is in the air for the deceased Ledger. The Dark Knight also set the record for top single-day movie gross as well bringing in 66.4 million for the movie's Friday debut. Once again topping [i]Spider- Man 3(59.4 million).

I personally am glad to see the movie well recieved and a big hats off to a very talented actor. Rest In Peace Heath you will be missed.


Until Next Time

Eric   read


9:10 PM on 07.14.2008

E3 08:New "Rage" trailer from id software.

"Rage" E3 2008 Trailer

[embed]95266:13119[/embed]


For the second conscutive E3 the team over at id software tease us with more "Rage". The creators of "Doom" and "Quake" depart from thier often used dark and stuffy settings for a brighter and more expansive setting not unlike the Mad Max series, or Fallout. The difference being a comet collision instead of a nuclear apocolypse. As reported by Gamespot the game is a little first person shooter mixed with dune buggy driving/racing. The game is under the direction of co-founder of id software John Carmack. "Rage" is using id software's new tech 5 engine and has been in development since 2007. The trailer looks great, but I was hoping for its second appearence at E3 they would have some gameplay as well, but it's not over yet now is it. Awww who am I kidding?   read


9:20 PM on 07.09.2008

Gamers Rejoice!:The Sleeper hit of the summer is here Beijing 2008!!!!!!!!!!!

[embed]94486:12966[/embed]

I know you've all been following the hype on this game for awhile, and at long last here it is. Beijing 2008 boasts the most realistic Olympic simulator since "Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games." You can actually play real Olympic athletes! Here's the list of events for those of you who can't wait until you buy the game:

Track
100 m
200 m
400 m
800 m
1500 m
100 m hurdles (women only)
110 m hurdles (men only)

Field
High jump
Pole vault
Long jump
Triple jump
Shot put
Discus throw
Hammer throw
Javelin throw

Aquatics
50 m freestyle swimming (men only)
100 m backstroke swimming (men only)
100 m butterfly swimming (men only)
100 m breaststroke swimming (men only)
3 m springboard diving (women only)
10 m platform diving (women only)

Gymnastics
Parallel bars (men only)
Vault (men only)
Rings (men only)
Floor exercise (women only)
Beam (women only)
Uneven bars (women only)

Shooting
Skeet shooting (men only)
10 m Air Pistol (men only)
25 m Rapid Fire Pistol (men only)

Other
Archery, individual (women only)
Weightlifting, +105 kg (men only)
Cycling, team pursuit (men only)
Canoeing/kayak K1, kayak single (men only)
Judo, 81-90 kg (men only)
Table tennis, singles (men only)

In addition, the game will support competition in the male decathlon or the female heptathlon or 5, 10 or 20 random events.

Did I mention online multiplayer? Well for you hardcore PvPers you can compete online in any event. I can't wait for the heated battles in the floor exercise.
[embed]94486:12967[/embed]

Now am I trying to make fun of the Olympics? Hell no. The Olympics are a noble undertaking and in no way do I wish to demean the efforts of the athletes and thier events.

Am I making fun of this game? You're damn right I am. It seems foolish to me that this game would get made for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Yet they fail to reach the console with the largest casual audience the Nintendo Wii. Ahh the minds at SEGA must have been on vacation when that desicion was made. Some extra market resaerch may have paid off big here. It's one thing to watch the Olympics, but to play them over and over seems a little far fetched to this guy. How many times can you win the gold in Table Tennis until it looses its luster? In my opinion this game looks boring at best and has renewed my interest in watching flies f**k.

And that's My 2 Copper.   read


8:23 PM on 07.08.2008

"Quantum of Solace" debut trailer tommorrow.

If you're a Bond fan like me don't forget to check out the debut trailer for the new Bond game "The Quantum of Solace." GametrialersTv reported on Friday that they would be unveiling the debut trailer on July 9. The game is being developed by an internal developer for Activision using the CoD 4 engine. The game reportedly will take you through events in the new movie as well as "Casino Royale". Here are some screens to wet your appetite.



Like he doesn't know you're back there you douche.






Parachute....hrmph...I'm James Bond.   read


1:22 PM on 07.05.2008

Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe: The Skinny so far

[embed]93828:12851[/embed]


For those of you who may not be in the know. Midway is attempting to breath new life into their successful Mortal Kombat series by clashing it with the DC Universe. In the latest episode of Gamtrailers Tv Geoff Keighly interviewed the team behind the game to find out more about it. Here's a quick run down of that interview.

Characters
DC Universe- Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Catwoman

MK Universe- Sub Zero, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, and Sonya

Arenas
The Batcave
Metropolis
Hell
The Graveyard

Gameplay
Ed Boon the creative director for the game explains that there are three different fighting styles that will be employed throughout the game.
The first is tha classic arcade punch, kick, special move etc....

The second is called close fighting where you grab your oponent and bring him in close for a pounding described to be similar to a boxing game.

The third is termed free fall combat which allows you to continue to fight with your opponent as you fall to another level of the arena you are fighting in.


Random Ramblings

There are fatalities for the MK characters and DC villians, but the Heroes will have non-lethal fatalities because the developers feel that the heroes wouldn't actually kill their opponents. Scorpion will have his old burn to death finisher from MK I and II. I'm glad they didn't stick with the "create a fatlaity" like in the last one.

There will be visible damage to the characters as well as costume damage.

They are going for a "T" rating as opposed to the standard "M" whic is kind of a bummer.

They are not sure if downlobale content will be made available for the game which I think would be lame as this game is full of opportunities to add more characters and arenas.

There will be online play. Which is a no brainer.

Jimmy Polmiotti reports that the end battle is epic and there are more than two characters fighting in it.

All in all this game looks promising so far in my opinion. The combat looks excellent as well as the general gritty design of the game. As a long time fan of the Mortal Kombat series it's nice to see them try something new to revitalize the franchise which hasn't been as impressive lately. I hope it works.   read





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