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2:23 PM on 02.28.2013

Hawkeye's Year of Nintendo- Super Mario Bros.

Week 1, February 21st to February 28th
Game Played- Super Mario Bros.
Completed- No
Continuing- Yes

This blog will be an exercise in firsts. This is the first week of my experiment, it's my first foray into reviewing games, and we'll be talking about firsts a lot. I want to start by talking about Super Mario Brothers as a whole, with a focus on the character of Mario. Part of the reason for me doing this blog is to explore gaming culture and it's roots, and Super Mario Bros. definitely falls under the category of “roots”. Super Mario Bros. was the game released with the NES and as such was the first game most people played on the NES. For a lot of gamers, the NES was the first console they owned, and therefore Super Mario Bros. would have been the first game they ever played. I think it's interesting, therefore, to examine this game to see where we came from, and then compare that from where I came from as a gamer.

I would be doing a disservice to Shigeru Miyamoto if I didn't start examining Super Mario Bros. by examining the design of the game, specifically level design. I hear the sentiment a lot that gamers have World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros. hardwired into their brains. There are a lot of things we could contribute that to. It's the first level of a game where “Game Over” means “start at level one”, so obviously it will be the most-played level of the game, and thus the most remembered. You could also attribute the phenomena to the place Super Mario Bros., and thus it's first level, has in gaming culture. Super Mario Bros. is an icon of an era, and so most of the aspects of Super Mario Bros. are iconic. I think it has to do with the level design. Every part of World 1-1 is designed to inform the player about the game they're playing. In the first few seconds of the game, World 1-1 demonstrates that Goombas are bad, question blocks are good, eating a mushroom makes you bigger, and you can break bricks when you're big. The rest of the level teaches you other skills you need to know in a relatively risk-free environment. Bottomless bits are a bad thing. Hitting multiple enemies in a combo nets you more points. Koopa Troopas can be used as psuedo-projectiles.

Level design isn't the only thing I need to give credit to Miyamoto for. The mechanic design of Super Mario Bros. is simply elegant. I would say there are three basic mechanics to Super Mario Bros.: Mario can run and jump, Mario gets powers by eating mushrooms/flowers, and Mario dies if he touches an enemy/obstacle or falls into a pit. The sheer amount of content that Miyamoto and his team got out of those mechanics is one of the reasons Super Mario Bros. is so pervasive. The game itself is so simple, yet provides hours of endless gameplay.

Why is all this important to gamer culture? I think it tells us a lot about game design, and how the first generation of game enthusiasts experienced gaming in the beginning. Super Mario Bros. doesn't hold your hand. What it does do very well is explain the rules of the game, and slowly build up they player's skill level. This was a style of design that would prevail almost all the way to the emergence of 3D experience and many-buttoned controllers, and was for the most part how the first generation of gamers got into new games. It tells us how we developed our skills, it tells us where we started as a culture. The current attitude of gamers, which uses phrases like “true nerds” or “hardcore gamer” comes from this position, where in order to play a game you had to learn it. Completing a game meant the honing of multiple skills until you had mastered the mechanics put before you and using those skills to complete a challenge. I think that's what brings a lot of us into the gaming fold: we seek a challenge, and for a lot of us, games are that challenge, and when games don't offer much challenge, it clashes with our ideal of what games should be.

In all of these blogs, I'm going to try to relate the experience of the Nintendo generation to my own experience. I've mentioned it before in other places, but I think I'll bring up here my first experience with console gaming. My very first console was the Sony Playstation. I don't remember when we got it, but my parents bought it for me and my sister for Christmas, and it came with a whole bunch of games, one of which was Spyro the Dragon. Spyro was my “first game”. I love the sense of exploration you get from the collectathon nature of the gems. I love the level design, how much stuff the designers managed to pack into such a small space. Like Super Mario Bros., the mechanics of Spyro are pretty simple. Spyro can jump and glide from place to place, he has a charge, and he can breathe fire. Like Super Mario Bros., each world had a theme, with each level in that world being a variation of that theme. Comparing the two, I would say that Super Mario Bros. is more difficult to complete, but Spyro is much more time consuming to perfect. Sure, you could go through Spyro really quick, not really bothering with any of the treasure and just go from world to world, and you'll be able to complete it, but you won't get the reward for getting 100% of the treasure strewn about the place. It's a kind of self imposed challenge, which I enjoy immensely.

What do I think of Super Mario Bros. as a whole? I think it's a damn good game. Even today, the simple mechanics and charming aesthetic design still hold up. Mastering the mechanics is hard, and Mario sometimes controls very loosely (I've died more than a handful of times trying to stop him from sliding off a giant toadstool) and some of the enemies are hard as balls (I'm looking you at first Hammer Brother of world 5-1), but I wouldn't detract points because of the difficulty. Do I think it's perfect? No, I think that the execution of the mechanics is sloppy in some sections and sometimes the difficulty is just derived from throwing a bunch of shit at you at once. I do think that Super Mario Bros. has earned it's place as a touchstone of gaming culture. A must play for anyone wanting to experience gaming's history.

Final Verdict: 9/10   read


8:16 PM on 02.20.2013

Hawkeye's Year of Nintendo- Introductory Blog Post

I have a confession Destructoid. I've never finished a console game developed by Nintendo. I can cite many reasons for this: my first gaming experience was on PC and my first console was a Playstation, I didn't own a Nintendo console until the Gamecube, I just didn't grow up with it like a lot of people did. That being said, I feel obligated to at least make an effort to reach into gaming's past, to explore my “heritage” as it were. So, that's why I'm embarking on a quest of sorts. I call it 'Hawkeye's Year of Nintendo'. Every week for the next year, from this moment until February 20th 2014, I will attempt to play a Nintendo game to completion.

I will start with what will probably be considered a bit cliché: Super Mario Bros. for the NES. After SMB I'm going to do Legend of Zelda, then Metroid, Then Kirby's Dreamland. I'm willing to take suggestions after I finish KDL, but for now the prospective timeline is:

February 20th-February 27th: Super Mario Bros- NES
February 28th – March 7th : The Legend of Zelda- NES
March 8th – March 15th : Metroid- NES
March 16th – March 23rd : Kirby's Dreamland- Game Boy

I will be updating this blog once a week with my progress: how long I played the game, whether or not I beat it, and how long it to me to complete it. I will also be giving short reviews and overviews of my experience. My hope is that a pair of fresh eyes taking on classic gaming icons can give us all a new perspective on the games that shaped our medium and our culture. I'd also like to have fun. Also cocks.   read


7:58 PM on 11.28.2011

Tales from Skyrim: OMFG BLOODDRAGON

Skyrim is one of those games I will be playing forever. It goes right up there with Tony Hawk's Underground, World of Warcraft, and Sly Cooper for me that offer endless amounts of exploration, not just in a game world, but in gameplay as well. There are also the gorgeous visuals, the rich writing and dialogue, that keep me coming back and again. But, none of that compares to what could possibly be my favorite videogame moment ever.


Skyrim's Aurora Borealis can be quite beautiful at night

It happened in the upper northwest. I was traveling from on foot from one fort to another, when I came across the Aurora Borealis that will occasionally happen at nights in Skyrim. Wanting a better look, I climbed up a hill, my trust companion Lydia with me. We watched the Northern Lights for some time, untill I hear a distinct ROOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR and that epic music that heralds the arrival of a dragon. Having learned from a previous encounter that it is preferable to save when this happens, I did so without first analyzing my opponent. Thus my fight with the Blood Dragon was begun.


A blood dragon about to turn an unwary Nord into swiss cheese


Let me explain at this point that I was level 14, and had put a good deal of my perks into blacksmithing, so in reality I was around level 10. I was specializing in destructive magic, though I hadn't learned anything past spark and flames, as well as one handed. My character's basic strategy was to set her opponent on fire, and then chop his face off with an axe. It was a pretty good strategy for regular mobs, but not so much for this level fifteen Blood Dragon. Furthermore, I was in the middle of NOWHERE, so I was pretty much fucked. In fact, the first time I fought this Blood Dragon, I died. And not the first time, the second, third, fourth and fifth times too.

It speaks highly of a game when I'm able to die more than once or twice, and I take it as a personal challenge rather than a "fuck you" from the designers. To this day, three games hold the honor from me of not having been rage quit after multiple failures at one task: Kingdom Hearts, Sly Cooper, and now Skyrim. Each time, I gave enough of a shit, and was not yet frustrated enough, to quit flat out. For Skyrim, I had found a worth opponent. This Blood Dragon was more naturally skilled than I was, but I had the advantage of tactics on my side. This was a battle I could win, were I skilled enough at the game, so I perservered.

Eventually, I settled down into the following tactic: snipe away at the dragon while it's in the air, use my "become ethereal" shout when it hits me with it's frost attack, and use the remaining time in the air to regenerate my health with the heal spell. The tactic wasn't perfect; there was a pretty big chance I could die half-way through the fight because I messed up somewhere along the line. This indeed happened, and I died a few more times. I was not discouraged; in fact, each death spurred me on even more. It all payed off when I finally killed that GOD DAMNED dragon. I leaped from my chair, gave a shout of FUCK YEAH! and sat back and watched as the dragon burned, and I absorbed it's soul.

This was one of the most satisfying moments of my gaming life. I'd put it up there with the end mission of Half-Life 2 Episode 2 as one of the most explosive release of emotion come successful completion. There was a real feeling that I had done something massive, that I had overcome a challenge that was worth overcoming. Absorbing that dragon's soul, and looting it's body for goodies, and then giving those goodies to Lydia to look after because they're damn heavy, was a truly satisfying victory of a moment, one that I won't forget any time soon.   read


8:38 AM on 07.06.2011

My Mom Didn't Let Me Play M-Rated Games

I've been thinking for the last week of how to write about the Brown vs. EMA decision. It's been my belief and opinion that the California law was not only unconstitutional, but also redundant. In fact, I've found it absurd that anyone would dare claim that the games industry doesn't regulate itself, or that parents can't regulate what their kids play. It occurred to me today that I've actually had discussions with other gamers about the ESRB itself, and we've disagreed whether or not it was effective. I've always thought, of course it's effective! I just haven't realized why it's effective until now.

My mom never let me play M-Rated games. More specifically, my mom hates guns and violence; her reasons are her own and I won't get into that here. Regardless, violent video games were never allowed in my house until I was 17 years old, and the only reason for that is that I could but it myself. I live in Massachusetts, and have never been to a Gamestop, Best Buy, or other game retailer that didn't card me when trying to buy M-Rated games. Likewise, my mom always read the ESRB content label. If there was any semblance of extreme violence I knew better than to even try.

The overall effect of this is two-fold: first, I haven't played a lot of first person shooters. I didn't play Halo, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, etc. until I was 18, and I'm 19 now. I've generated a sporadic interest in FPSs, mostly games like Bioshock and Half-Life. I'm gonna guess this is mostly because I grew up playing games like Spyro the Dragon, Sly Cooper, and Kingdom Hearts, i.e., games with more emphasis on character and exploration. Secondly, I'm much more aware of the ESRB ratings myself. Because my mother always checked the ratings, I'm fully aware they exist, and I normally will idly read the ESRB descriptors on the back of the box. These descriptors have never made me put a game down in disgust, but I have the awareness and knowledge to read them. I'm certain that when I eventually have children, I'll be aware enough of both the ratings, and how my children act and their level of maturity, what games are good for them to be playing.

I will admit that some games should not be given to children. Regardless of the stereotypical 13 year old playing Modern Warfare, games like Hitman, Manhunt, Dead Space, Silent Hill, or Fallout would not be approrpiate. This evaluation comes more from the specific content of the games. Hitman and Manhunt include graphic scenes of death, Dead Space and Silent Hill are both horror games, and the Fallouts encourage a level of cynicism and survival-at-all-costs, which aren't healthy for children at a certain age. Of course, it is up to parents to use their discretion in deciding what games are appropriate for their children. What is appropriate for me at twelve won't be what is appropriate for my 12 year old child, and what is appropriate for him will not be appropriate for your 12 year old child.

All in all, I think I've realized why I always thought this law was useless: I've lived it. I know for a fact that a parent who cares what media their child views will do the research. They'll look at the ESRB warnings, and they'll make an educated decision. I know this because my mother made this discision for me all the time. It doesn't need to be a crime to sell a game to children; it doesn't even need to be regulated in the grand scheme of things. Parents need to take an active roll, end of story.   read


7:40 PM on 04.15.2011

Aaamaazing! Setting Free the Princess' Heart

I define gaming, the pastime, as sitting on a couch, staring wide-eyed at a tv, a controller in your lap. From my humble beginnings on the original Playstation, that's what gaming has been to me. Since I first picked up a controller to play Spyro the Dragon, games have left me wide-eyed. I've always loved games, and I've loved my companions. Up until a few years ago, I had never played a game with a protagonist I didn't personally like. They were all amazing in their own way. But none of them were more amazing than the main character of my favorite game of all time, Kingdom Hearts.

Sora here is by far my favorite voiced protagonist in any video game. I know that, quality wise, he really isn't up there with the ranks of Solid Snake or John Marshton. But he's been my favorite since I was just a little kid. I've always loved the idea of a kid with a giant key, taking out monsters born from the darkness in people's hearts. He can go anywhere, because his weapon can unlock any door. He's always a just person, and he's always pure. If we can say anything about Sora, it's that he's pure and good. Some think that's a negative thing; personally, I think we could do with more positive game characters. But I digress; we're here to talk about a specific moment from Kingdom Hearts.

For those first forty hours of play in the original game, Sora and I had terrific adventures together. We'd scoured a mystical cave with Aladdin, we'd fought off a giant house with the help of a walking skeleton, and we'd fought off a giant parasite in the belly of an even gianter whale. It was towards the end of the game, after all the time that I'd spent with Sora, that one of my favorite moments in video game history happened. When I confronted Hollow Bastion, I had very little idea of what challenges would await me. I was outright appalled when my friends, Donald and Goofy, betrayed me, and Riku stole my Keyblade, my one source of power. I was delighted when my friends came back to my defense, and my friendship conquered Riku's hold over my Keyblade. I was laughing at how easy Maleficent's first form was, and was pumped when I defeated her second form. After Maleficent's death, I confronted Riku, who lead me to the chamber where the Princesses were held. Riku and I fought a fierce battle, and then something happened that left me stunned: he told me that Kairi, the person I had been searching for the entire game, was a princess. What's more, her heart was trapped inside my own. It's then that the greatest scene in game history happened:

[embed]198968:37739[/embed]

I love that scene. It's amazing. It embodies everything I love about games; wide-eyed amazement of what's going on, what's happening on the TV, something that I made happen. I was 12 years old when I first saw this scene. To this day, I've never sat more wide eyed at a scene. That's why it's the best of all time. That's why it's amazing.



[Top tip about that video. A fun drinking game is to watch the end of any Kingdom Hearts game (the end being past the 3/4ths mark) and taking a sip of beer every time the words "heart" "light" "darkness" "friendship" and "keyblade" are mentioned.]   read


4:06 PM on 02.13.2011

Piracy- Let's Talk Facts and Truth

I normally don't express a "radical" or "black and white" opinion when it comes to piracy and other grey-ish topics. I'm usually open to the opinions of others, and normally consider a wide range of explanations and arguments. But, there are some times when have a closed mind is necessary in order to come to a rational opinion on a particular topic. Jim's recent Jimquisition, the impending SHITSTORM, and the news articles that followed and their shitstorms, drove me to write up this post. In this post, I'm going go though the facts and truths, as I understand them, and hopefully come up with an opinion that makes some level of sense.

First, I think it's easiest to talk about a topic that's at least a little black and white: DRM. DRM, or Digital Rights Management, can be defined as any software developers add to their products to prevent piracy. I could joke how there is no such thing as DRM, because none of it actually does a good job of protecting digital rights, but that's not while we're here. Instead, let's talk about how and why DRM came up, and how it affects gaming and the gaming industry in general.

First, DRM has been around for a lot longer than some may think. Information scrambling technology was used on DVDs in the mid to late nineties. The idea was to encrypt the information on the disk, so that only a specific DVD player could read the DVD (this was done to help enforce region locking). As with most DRM, information scrambling was rendered moot about a week after people get their hands on it. And I think therein lies the problem with DRM.

Now, according to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), companies DO have the right to protect their copyright in any way they see fit. However, I think most of us would agree that DRM just doesn't work. Even if you're not for companies protecting their copyright, you would say that companies should try something different. So, what can companies do to protect their copyright, that would actually protect it?

One thing that companies could do instead of using DRM would be to enact some kind of reward for purchasing the game in the first place. A download code for extra content, that those who don't buy the product don't receive? That could work, I guess. With PC games, they could include a level builder with the game itself. I know a lot of games already do this, but it would probably cut back on Crysis 2's piracy rate if you could actually edit levels and make mods if you buy the game.

Well, that part was easy. Now for the hard part: Piracy itself. I've been kinda dancing around this, because I know my analysis of the arguments is gonna earn me some flak, no matter which side I take. That being said, I have to put my lot in with those who criticize pirates. Look, guys, we all know that piracy is illegal. Whether or not it should be isn't even up for to debate. A lot of people bring up the argument "I would steal a car if in the morning the other person still had their car." While, yes, you aren't robbing another person of the product; you're not physically taking the game from someone or deleting it from their harddrive. But you are essentially taking money from the developer and publisher. To be fair, most of you don't give a damn about the publisher, and some might not give a damn about the developer. But think about it. If about a million copies of a game are pirated, the company would see it as a loss of sixty million dollars. Also, the publisher isn't going to care if YOU don't see it as a loss of sixty million dollars- you're the one who pirated it. Of course you're going to dismiss responsibility. They're still gonna react as if they lost $60 million. They're going to fire people. A lot of people. A lot of good talent goes into making just one game. What would happen if a company, or perhaps the industry, lost even a fraction of that talent?

I guess my opinion is this- piracy, regardless of your opinion of its effects, is just wrong. We can kick and scream all we want amongst ourselves whether piracy is right and wrong. But when it comes right down to it, what matters is the publisher's opinion about it. That's what effects the game, and the people who made it, the most. It could make the difference between a game getting a sequel, or not getting one. It could mean the life or death of an entire studio. Here's what I'm saying: we all know it's illegal. We all know that the publisher is going to see piracy as a threat to the business. If we want good games to keep coming, we need to give publishers a bit of room here, to make sure they're protecting their intellectual property, and they don't fire good, honest, talented people. Think of it from the dev's point of view- would you really want thousands of people to say "meh, it isn't worth the sixty bucks", after you've worked on the thing for a good two to three years of your life?   read


1:56 PM on 01.24.2011

The Mind of a 40-Something Ignorant Asshole

I'm somewhat of a political man. I enjoy a good debate about our country. So, when I listened to a recent podcast by Dan Carlin, and heard them talk about our generation, I signed up to the forum to make a couple posts and have a right laugh. I got into an argument with some older gentlemen, who took issue with my position that my generation is being swept under the rug by the older generations. Maybe it didn't help that I stared calling them "old pricks". As the conversation unfolded, I mentioned that I'm a Game Design major in college, and my concurrent appeal to their logic centers as I tried to explain why I would choose such a field. Below is the conversation I had with multiple people on the board in question. I'm Kmurphy005.

(Warning, by the time this arose, we had gotten to using strong language, which I think was my mistake)


PRE-EMPTIVE TL;DR Idiot tells me I'm worth shit because I'm a Game Design major, and that'd I'd be better off working at McDonalds, then asserts he could do a better job by making a game about meth.


Kmurphy005:

You seem to be confusing my generation for your own. You hippies were handed the world to you on a silver platter by your parents (my grandparents), and what did you do with it? You threw it on the floor and pissed all over it. Took billions of dollars, a safe home, and family ideals that should have lasted lifetimes, and butchered them. You decided that instead of building on the foundation your parents gave you, you erected a shack called Civil Rights, then spent the next twenty years smoking pot, listening to the worst music ever devised, refusing to go to war for your country, all the while admiring the rickety old shack that you barely had any part in building. Aging hippies like you are the reason this country has been going down the toilet since the seventies.

Meanwhile, my generation is left to sit on its hands, while you old pricks piss our future away. Here's the truth: you had your chance at success, and you fucked it up big time.

Oh, and as for your quip on video games, I now have a reason to despise you professionally. I'm taking a college major in Game Design, a career that, although I know won't turn me into a millionaire, is a life I can live with. It's assholes like you who don't see the true merit of my art and my generation that are leading this country into a festering pile of shit.

Smitty-48
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:17 am
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Kmurphy005 wrote:

You seem to be confusing my generation for your own. You hippies were handed the world to you on a silver platter by your parents (my grandparents), and what did you do with it? You threw it on the floor and pissed all over it. Took billions of dollars, a safe home, and family ideals that should have lasted lifetimes, and butchered them. You decided that instead of building on the foundation your parents gave you, you erected a shack called Civil Rights, then spent the next twenty years smoking pot, listening to the worst music ever devised, refusing to go to war for your country, all the while admiring the rickety old shack that took you barely had any part in building. Aging hippies like you are the reason this country has been going down the toilet since the seventies.

Meanwhile, my generation is left to sit on its hands, while you old pricks piss our future away. Here's the truth: you had your chance at success, and you fucked it up big time.

Oh, and as for your quip on video games, I now have a reason to despise you professionally. I'm taking a college major in Game Design, a career that, although I know won't turn me into a millionaire, is a life I can live with. It's assholes like you who don't see the true merit of my art and my generation that are leading this country into a festering pile of shit.


:lol:

I think you have me confused with a Baby Boomer and a Lefty-Progressive.

Video Game Design? :lol:

I rest my case.

Kmurphy005
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:20 am
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It's better than being a washed-up gun-toting millitary dumbass. I'm putting myself in the best position possible, given the circumstances. I could laugh at you for having wanted to play army for the rest of your life, but I wont. Instead, I'll give you some advice. Get an education. Also, they're one in the same.

Smitty-48
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:38 am
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Kmurphy005 wrote:
It's better than being a washed-up gun-toting millitary dumbass. I'm putting myself in the best position possible, given the circumstances. I could laugh at you for having wanted to play army for the rest of your life, but I wont. Instead, I'll give you some advice. Get an education. Also, they're one in the same.


Actually, I'm thinking about going back. The Wife wont let me go overseas again, but she's OK with the Reserves.

Ever since I quit Smoking, I've gotten back into pretty good shape.

I did the Battle Fitness Test the other day, and I blew that fucker away. I would have scored superior for a 19 year old, let alone a 'washed up old fart' like me.

Talked to the CO of the local unit, and he's keen to have me back in.

Embrace the Shuck, Little Oysters!

DBTrek
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:39 am
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Kmurphy005 wrote:
Don't quite get where you got:

1. I'm homosexual


I didn't say you were homosexual, simply that you enjoy performing oral sex on Rush Limbaugh and vomiting up his regurgitated jizz in these forums. You could be straight as an arrow, maybe your just a fan of Rush's flavor.

Quote:
2. Rush Limbaugh, a Republican, is homosexual

I'm not entirely sure of his orientation, but he certainly loves having a bunch of angry, uneducated, hate monkeys lapping up his man spooge day after day so they can vomit it back out on the internet.

Quote:
Furthermore, my choices are to raise my concerns or shut up? I'm pretty sure the First Amendment gives me the right to express my opinions in an open forum, if you'll excuse the pun.


I'm pretty sure this Forum is privately owned by Dan Carlin and his affiliates. If you're going to rail about how others have destroyed this country you might want to start off by understanding how this country works.

Quote:
And what exactly am I supposed to do about the jobs market? Walk into my nearest McDonalds and demand that the general manager hire fifty more people?


You're supposed to be the type of man your parents raised you to be, found a software company, produce games for mass consumption, and hire more people to help your company remain strong and competitive.

THAT'S what you're supposed to do.


Kmurphy005
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:44 am
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DBTrek wrote:
Kmurphy005 wrote:
Don't quite get where you got:

1. I'm homosexual


I didn't say you were homosexual, simply that you enjoy performing oral sex on Rush Limbaugh and vomiting up his regurgitated jizz in these forums. You could be straight as an arrow, maybe your just a fan of Rush's flavor.

Quote:
2. Rush Limbaugh, a Republican, is homosexual

I'm not entirely sure of his orientation, but he certainly loves having a bunch of angry, uneducated, hate monkeys lapping up his man spooge day after day so they can vomit it back out on the internet.

Quote:
Furthermore, my choices are to raise my concerns or shut up? I'm pretty sure the First Amendment gives me the right to express my opinions in an open forum, if you'll excuse the pun.


I'm pretty sure this Forum is privately owned by Dan Carlin and his affiliates. If you're going to rail about how others have destroyed this country you might want to start off by understanding how this country works.

Quote:
And what exactly am I supposed to do about the jobs market? Walk into my nearest McDonalds and demand that the general manager hire fifty more people?


You're supposed to be the type of man your parents raised you to be, found a software company, produce games for mass consumption, and hire more people to help your company remain strong and competitive.

THAT'S what you're supposed to do.


I'm supposed to start a software company? I have a few questions about that:

1. With what money?
2. With what learned skills?
3. What should the games be about? Who should they be marketed to? On what game engine should they be made? How much money should I give to each product (I could go on with this one, seeing as it's a point to the major I'm taking, but I wont.)
4. With which people? With what ratio should I hire designers programmers and artists?
5. Should I switch to a business major, thus forfeiting the life and art I've dedicated myself to?

DBTrek
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:47 am
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Kmurphy005 wrote:
I'm supposed to start a software company? I have a few questions about that:

1. With what money?


With the venture capitol you raised by producing promising, working, prototypes of market viable software.

Quote:
2. With what learned skills?


Whose fault is it if you have no skills?

Quote:
3. What should the games be about? Who should they be marketed to? On what game engine should they be made? How much money should I give to each product (I could go on with this one, seeing as it's a point to the major I'm taking, but I wont.)


I thought YOU were going to be the game programmer. Why am I supposed to come up with your plan? I'd start on smart-phone or FB type games because they're viable for small start-ups, where as console games and PC games are not.

Quote:
4. With which people? With what ratio should I hire designers programmers and artists?


Again, if you don't know whose fault is that? My generation didn't make you clueless. :altwink:
Zuckerberg seemed to be able to figure it out.

Quote:
5. Should I switch to a business major, thus forfeiting the life and art I've dedicated myself to?


If your 'art' isn't of sufficient quality to keep you fed I'd say yes.
So either get good at what you do, or go do something you're good at.


Smitty-48
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:51 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:23 am
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I bet I could design a better game than this little Twerp. All they do is come out with the same 'First person Shooter' military games, over and over.

I bet I could design a game that would be like Crack and Meth combined, for all the little Wannabe Fanboi's.

Fuck this self defeating dweeb, where are some real Game Designers? Apparently, the best are in Montreal Canada... I should make some calls.

Shuck some of the Little Oysters out of their stupors.

Imagine the Games that the shooters on this Board could come up with... flip the market on hits head.

Kmurphy005
Post subject: Re: The Generationists
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:55 am
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Posts: 15
DBTrek wrote:
Kmurphy005 wrote:
I'm supposed to start a software company? I have a few questions about that:

1. With what money?


With the venture capitol you raised by producing promising, working, prototypes of market viable software.

Quote:
2. With what learned skills?


Whose fault is it if you have no skills?

Quote:
3. What should the games be about? Who should they be marketed to? On what game engine should they be made? How much money should I give to each product (I could go on with this one, seeing as it's a point to the major I'm taking, but I wont.)


I thought YOU were going to be the game programmer. Why am I supposed to come up with your plan? I'd start on smart-phone or FB type games because they're viable for small start-ups, where as console games and PC games are not.

Quote:
4. With which people? With what ratio should I hire designers programmers and artists?


Again, if you don't know whose fault is that? My generation didn't make you clueless. :altwink:
Zuckerberg seemed to be able to figure it out.

Quote:
5. Should I switch to a business major, thus forfeiting the life and art I've dedicated myself to?


If your 'art' isn't of sufficient quality to keep you fed I'd say yes.
So either get good at what you do, or go do something you're good at.


Your answers are, generally, the very reason why I'm in college. Nobody is going to give money to a kid straight out of college without any experience under his belt. For that, I need to know what I'm doing, and to know what I'm doing, I need to learn. It isn't about making money. It's about doing what I'm passionate about.


And Smitty, that has to be the most ignorant piece of shit comment I've ever read. Do some research in a person's chosen field before making generalisations about it. Not all games are first person shooters. And even the first person shooters aren't all about the military. Go pick up Half-Life 2 or Bioshock. While you're at it, go play Braid, Passage, and Sleep is Death.

Seriously, your argument sound like this:

"Huurrrr, vidja gamez, I herd about dat on Fox News, dey said all their good for is teachin our kidz how to shoot cops and beat up hookers! I could make a game about hookers and blow that'll sell millions".

So, there you have it. That's what a Baby Boomer thinks when you tell him you're into video games.

Jesus christ, this was an eyeopener for me. Now I really know the type of assholes and idiots I'm going to be dealing with in the future. Jesus tapdancing christ.   read


10:17 PM on 11.14.2010

Phrases that Piss me Off



Here are some phrases imbeciles throw around review comments, as if they make sense or know what they mean. They're the type of statements that nobody can really back up or prove, but will shout to the heavens until the cows come home.

#1: X game won't sell!

I ran into this one a while ago, and had a big argument with a Dtoider who shall remain nameless. Here's the rub about this phrase: Unless you are either psychic or a market analyst, you have fuck all credibility when it comes to determining what games will and will not sell. Assumptions make an ass out of you and me, especially when they come out to be false assumptions. The argument I mentioned above revolved around whether Kirby's Epic Yarn would sell. Guess what? Kirby's Epic Yarn was #2 in Japan and sold about 100,000 units in a week. Pretty damn good sales, wouldn't you say?

#2: X isn't a real game!

A game is any activity or past-time with defined rules and end-goals. A toy is something you play with. Semantically speaking, the controller in your hands is the toy, the console is your platform, and the game is well, the game. Saying that any video game isn't a "real game" makes no sense at all. Just because you don't consider the game to be "hardcore" enough doesn't mean it isn't a real game. By that logic, anyone who has played that game was making it all up in their heads. Furthermore, it's incredibly disrespectful to comment that a game isn't worth acknowledging just because you didn't like it. A company put up millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to make the game and get it to ship. I don't have to like Halo, Farmville, or Infinite Undiscovery, but I do respect the time, effort, and money put into the making of these games.

#3: I'm a hardcore gamer!

If you are using the phrase "I'm a hardcore gamer" to justify your dislike of a particular subset of games as a whole, YOU ARE NOT A HARDCORE GAMER. A hardcore gamer is someone who loves games. Period. A hardcore gamer will find a game in every genre that he or she can agree with. We don't dismiss games because they belong to a certain genre. I personally dislike a lot of first person shooters; however, I love the Half-Life series of games, and enjoy and appreciate Bioshock. A lot of people seem to think that "hardcore" gamers are people who play Call of Duty and Gears of War. There's nothing wrong with Call of Duty or Gears of War; but if those are the only types of games you play, you're missing the point. If you're passing up on Kirby's Epic Yarn because it isn't "HARDCORE" enough for you, you're not even close to hardcore.

#4: Fuck X reviewer because I disagree with what he has to say!

No, fuck you for clinging to a review as if it was a cut and dry this-is-good-this-is-bad evaluation. It's an opinion. It's intended to give readers who haven't purchased the game an idea of what to expect. If that opinion happens to differ from yours, go ahead and leave a comment explaining your views. But don't go out and yell at the top of your lungs that the review is bias or the reviewer played the game wrong. I'm learning how to design games for a living. It is the designer's job to make sure that the player is getting the full experience, not the players'. If I make an FPS game and don't give the player a gun until half-way through the game, it isn't the gamer's fault that I made a shitty FPS.

#5 X game is SHIT! No, I haven't played it, why do you ask?

I get this shit in real life, and it annoys the living PISS out of me. Here's the fucking rub. Just because you didn't want to buy the game because you didn't like the commercials doesn't give you free reign to say a game was shit. In fact, it gives you full right to shut the fuck up about the game because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. I'm sorry for the language, but I have to be blunt about this. Also, don't call me a piece of shit for liking a game you've never played. That's like me calling someone an douchebag for liking chilidogs, when I've never had a chilidog in my life.

In short: Think before you open your mouth. You'll sound like you know your shit more.   read


7:06 PM on 06.10.2010

Finding Things in PRGs by Accident is AMAZING!

Ok, I'm channeling my inner Chad Concelmo on this one guys. Not just because of the RPG comment or the AMAZING comment, but because of what game I'm actually talking about. I was recently (and by recently I mean ten minutes ago) playing Shin Megami Tensei for the SNES, and something flat out awesome happened. For the uninitiated (always wanted to say that!), in Shin Megami Tensei you have the option (which isn't really that optional if you want to finish the game lol) of recruiting various demons to your team. You also have the option of combining various monsters into new, stronger ones, which is awesome. So, I'm playing Shin Megami Tensei, and I've just got past the first real "dungeon" of the game, and when you get your dog into your party. Now, at this point I also have a Pixie and a Weredog in my party. I wanted to try out the combining thing for the first time, so I headed over to the combining station thing. I notice you can combine three different demons at once, so I'm like, alright, let's combine all three! I had no idea what I was going to get, of course, so I saved beforehand. Little did I know that that would be completely irrelevant.



(above is my verision of a Shin Megami Math Equation)

What did the three demons combine you ask? Maybe a disgusting formation of ooze? Or a beautiful Pegasus or flying unicorn? No, my friends, this is not what they created. Oh no, they created the ultimate creature (ok, probably not ultimate, but still epicly AMAZING), Kerberos! Also known as Cerberus! That's right! I had summoned a god-forsaken Hell Hound! I summoned the guardian of Hell! I summoned Hades' pet doberman! SO AMAZING! Hell, it's so awesome, I'll show you all his stats and stuff as well!



How awesome is that beast?! I mean, come on!

Anyway, the point of this post is to both relate this story, and ask you all if you've had similar experiences. Have any of you stumbled upon anything that just either made a game way to easy (in the case of Kerberos here), or was just way awesome? Post a comment below.   read


7:58 PM on 02.28.2010

Console Exclusivity Is Bullshit

You know what? Fuck it. Console exclusivity is completely horseshit. There's absolutely zero point to it. It blatantly hurts the developer of the game, it ruins the relationship between the console retailer and the consumer, and it all around makes things harder for us gamers. There is no reason that I should have to shell out a thousand dollars in order to have the privilege of playing a game. There is absolutely no reason that developers cannot port games to all consoles. There is NO FUCKING REASON for developers to sell their souls to Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft in order to get their games out. If you ask me, it's a childish practice, where each major company is going "nah nah nah nah nah, you can't have it." It's pissing me off, and that's why I'm writing this blog.

One of the things that makes console exclusivity utter horseshit and ridiculous is the fact that it hurts the developer. What do I mean? Well, consider this. The Microsoft has sold 6 million more Xbox 360s than Sony has managed to sell PS3s. Now, consider any game that is Xbox 360 exclusive. That means that at least 6 million people can't buy that game. Even with we assume that only 10!% of the people who own a PS3 and not a 360 would want to buy that game. That's about 600,000 units not sold. At current retail, that's 36 MILLION dollars that the company who went console exclusive missed out on. And that's a generous estimate! If we assume that 25% of people only buy one console, and 50% of those people bought an Xbox 360, then the population of people with only a PS3 would be somewhere around 15 million. And let's say that 25 percent of that fifteen million would want to buy a console exclusive game. That's 3 million copies not sold, or 180 million dollars. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Second of all, console exclusivity limits my ability to be a consumer. I only own an Xbox 360. That means I can't play Infamous, can't play MAG, probably won't be able to play Kingdom Hearts 3, and several other games that should come out within the next few years. How is that fair to me as a consumer? If I want to buy something, I should have the right to buy it and enjoy it to the full extent that my money is valued at. You don't say that you watch USA network because you don't own a Toshiba TV. I mean, really. I don't want to have to shell out another 300 dollars just to have the right to play certain games. That's bullshit. I want to pay my three hundred dollars once, then pay my sixty dollars for each game, and play those games. I don't want to have three different consoles, just to cover all my bases. It isn't fair to me.

Another thing that pisses me off about console exclusivity is that it's taking advantage of the developers. I discussed how the developer loses out in console exclusivity above. The only person who actually profits from this is the console company. Let's say that .01% of people who don't own a certain console when a console exclusive game buy that console so they can play that game. Let's also say that the 15 million people without an Xbox 360 estimate is accurate. Let's also say that they're buying the $250 model. 15,000 people buy the Xbox 360, which means Microsoft just made 3.75 million dollars. The developer lost 180 million. How in bloody hell does that make any sense?

Shitty fucking business practices.   read


7:28 PM on 02.16.2010

Why Antagonists Rule

I've been doing some thinking into antagonists recently, and how they affect our gaming experiences. Whether it's the Covenant from Halo, Bowser from Mario, or Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7, antagonists come in all shapes and sizes. They drive us to go on in the story of the game, and give us motivation to keep going. They serve as a constant reminder that there is a point to the game, even if there isn't really one. Sometimes the game itself can be the antagonist, as in the case with games such as Demon's Souls. Other times it can be a manipulative chess-master type, such as GLADOS from Portal. Despite the form they take, antagonists exist for one reason- to give us a reason to play. So, let's go over some of the antagonists I think make antagonists.

Antagonist Type 1- The Rival

Representative- Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7



Ah, the rival antagonist. You probably have one that you hate to it's bitter core. From the innocent times of Pokemon where you went up against Gary Oak, to your clashes with Lloyd from Legend of the Dragoon, these people have been a thorn in your side for years. This guy follows you around the world, ruining everything for you any time anything goes good for you. He's annoying. But he's always just a little outside your grasp. You nearly get to beat him every time. A good example of this is Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7. To be fair, you're chasing him, but he is always one step ahead of you. Every time you encounter him, he beats you. You almost never have a chance against him. Yet he is always someone who you think you could take on. This gives you a type of motivation no other type of antagonist can give you. It's someone you genuinely want to beat. It's a type of emotional attachment to a character you hate. It's like the Batman and the Joker. True rivals. Neither can be without the other.

Antagonist Type 2- The One Out of Reach

Representative- Loghain from Dragon Age: Origins



JUST FUCKING DIE ALREADY! Ok, sorry. Got caught up in the moment. We all know these guys. They're the ones that stay at the back of the battlefield. Someone who is always ruining your things from far, far away. Someone who you would strangle in a heartbeat. Who's an example of this? Loghain Mac-FUCKING-Tir. This guy was my motivation for Dragon Age: Origins. Ever since he slaughtered the Grey Wardens, I knew this- he had to die. We all have someone like this. My first was Gnasty Gnorc, from the old Spyro the Dragon game. He showed up once, and had sent you on this damn quest to begin with. These guys are another type of antagonist that gives you motivation. They continuously get on your nerves. They give you someone to hate. And in a JRPG, they give you something to look forward to during all those damn grinding sessions.

(Note: I'm sorry for the profanity in that last section. Those guys just get me angry.)

Antagonist Type 3- The Hivemind of Villians

Representative- The Flood from Halo



The constant enemy. Your Empire to your Rebels. Your Nazis to your Allies. Your Darkspawn to your Grey Wardens (sorry for the second DO:A reference). Man, do these antagonists make a game. You have a threat to the world that is completely homogenous. Everyone has a giant group of enemies that they despise. For some, that group is the Flood. Never has there been a more pure hivemind in video games. The Flood, a giant alien race that is taking over the universe, and answers to one entity. You are Master Chief. A one man army against the hordes of the Flood. These protagonists make the game dramatic. You vs. the world, against a giant army. There's just no other way to explain it. It makes you feel epic.

Antagonist Type 4- The Organisation of Baddies

Representative- Organisation XIII from Kingdom Hearts 2



A collective of enemies, each with his or her own personality, own powers. You face them each, taking them on one on one. The Claw Gang from Sly Cooper. The Order of Chains from Infinite Undiscovery. These organisations make your lives a living hell. And like with the rival, you face off with them again and again. One of the things that set these guys appart, though, is their personality. Each has their own goals. And each one you connect with. Organisation XIII brings this to an extreme. You know so much about each of your opponents, and it makes you even feel for them. And then some of them you hate with a burning passion and want to see them die. Again, it gives you motivation.

So, that's my rundown of villians. If you have any other suggestions or classes of villian, leave 'em down below in the comments. Thanks.

-Hawkeyed One   read


8:10 PM on 01.08.2010

The PS3 is the Cheapest Console of This Generation

You know, I realized something today. The PS3, like I say in the title, is the cheapest console of the current generation. Now, I know what all of you are thinking. "But Hawkeyed, the PS3 cost 600 dollars on launch day! The Xbox 360 only cost 400, and the Wii cost 200!" Yes, that is true. At least, for the first purchase you make. But, In reality, which really costs the most? To be honest, it is probably actually the Wii. Why is that? Simply because of all the added things you have to buy in order to get the full experience. To get the full experience from the Wii, you need to get tons of different peripherals. You wanna play Wii Sports? Get the Nunchuck. Wanna play Wii Fit? Go pay $150 for the ballance board, and $60 for the game. Wanna play Mario Kart? Go buy the steering wheel. I could go on, but I really won't. If you don't get it by now, get the hell off this blog.

Next comes the Xbox 360. Surely this is less expensive than the PS3, right? Wrong again. Sure, the console itself is less than the PS3, and there are no peripherals to buy, excepting peripherals for multi-platform games like Street Fighter. But take a closer look. Xbox Live Gold. Costs what, $60 a year? The console has been out for what, 2 years now? 3? Tack on another $180 price tag. By the time the next generation console rolls around, if you bought the Xbox 360 on launch, you would have paid about 300 extra dollars for online play, one of the essential things about the Xbox 360. Even more damning is the fact that the online play for the PS3 is free!

So, how can we judge this? If you're looking at how much money it takes to fully enjoy the system, there is no denying that the Wii is the most expensive. At the least you're gonna hauk up $300 dollars for the full experience. Maybe even $500. That chalks up a total of $700. The Xbox 360 will probably cost you anywhere from $120-300 extra dollars from the original sale price as well. And as for the PS3? Absolutely nothing. You buy the PS3, and that's IT. No peripherals. No bullshit paid accounts. Just the console, and basic online play. Go on how you like about quality, but there's not debating that the PS3 is the cheapest console.   read


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