I just got back to my friend's place in Oakland after crawling SF following this year's Game Developer's Choice Awards. I think I lost my voice cheering for Phil Fish (monocles FTW) and Jon Mak. So awesome. The IGF was freakin' incredible this year.
3 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW!
1. Fez was created entirely in XNA Game Studio. Yes, the $99 one. Did it not just become 50 times more awesome? What more do you want? Phil gave his acceptance haiku wearing a fez and a monocle, fer fucksake.
Evidently, someone at the 32nd Street GameStop in Manhattan thinks he's a comedian:
ALSO! Tomorrow (Friday) marks my final day of employment at Atari, Inc.
Oh, you bet your ass it was my idea this time. I've come to the realization that the only way I can keep my enthusiasm for my own projects is if I'm not working for a video game company during the day. I mean, I work in marketing. There aren't many opportunities to cross-pollinate into production from there (never mind the fact that Atari is now two companies). So I'm gonna bounce, finish the last four (FOUR!!1!) credits I need to get a degree, and start makin' some goddamn games.
So yeah. At least I finished 3 different trailers for the new Dragonball Z game. Trust me, they'll make you wanna preorder that shit. It's the nature of my raw Final Cut skillz.
I posted last week about GDC, just wondering who was going to be attending the conference. Like an idiot, I posted it in the late morning and evidently did not capture a large enough cross-section of Dtoid (Hi CTZ!). So I'm just asking y'all at night in the hope that we can throw down in San Francisco come Monday. Excited?
Hey dudes. Just wondering if anyone else from Destructoid is going to hit up GDC this year. I'll be rocking the Independent Games Summit on Monday and Tuesday, but I might just wing it the rest of the week. Are any of you guys planning to head to Moscone as well? What are you excited to see/hear?
So I spent all day collecting screens and footage for Dragonball Z: Burst Limit. Although I was never a dedicated fan of the show, I've had a soft spot for it since grade school, and when we began working on a DBZ game for 360/PS3, I wasn't really sure how the boys over at Dimps were planning to up the ante.
Well, all I gotta say is that the game looks pretty damn good.
A few of the screens I took weren't quite press-worthy, and since they don't really show that much I figure it's better to put them somewhere low-traffic than just let them sit on my hard drive indefinitely. I think these two in particular actually come pretty close to the look of the show. Both are in-engine; the first is from a cinematic, the second is gameplay.
So I'm playing Rez HD last night. I clear Area 3, and I'm just about to hit up Area 4 when a tiny voice in the back of my mind tells me to wait a second. Usually in this situation I'd just increase my dosage and rock back and forth in a corner for an hour, but this time the voice sounded a little more sincere.
Apparently I can do math subconsciously now, because when I checked my gamerscore, there it was:
Damn. I can't finish Rez just yet. That's gotta stay up for at least a few more days in tribute to Arthur C. Clarke. Anyone else ever get a meaningful number in your gamerscore?
I got a little nervous when Faith & a .45 was announced last week, but I figured it would be a while before any details got out. 1UP describes the game as Ico meets Gears of War, which sucks, because I'm 40 pages into a design doc for something pretty damn close. Well, mine's more like Ico meets Mark of Kri, but I had always hoped to be the first to try integrating Ico's dual-protagonist structure with a more action-oriented game.
On the up side, I can keep an eye on Faith & a .45 to learn from any mistakes it makes, but I'll have to time it right so I can get some publicity before every producer and his grandmother's cat decides that dual protagonists are the new Quick Time Button-Masher Event and suddenly craploads of these games show up.
At least they're going for co-op, rather than my super top-secret ultimate awesome sauce control layout (currently testing in 2D with Multimedia Fusion)...
I mostly wanted to make sure I could actually embed Unity3D web players in my cblog without breaking Destructoid, but it's still pretty sweet, right? If you don't have the plugin, it should give you an install prompt.
This is a demo from the Unity3D site, but I'll be posting some of my own work soon.
So yesterday I asked you guys if you'd ever noticed anything wrong with the video outputs on your PSTriples, and it seems I'm the only one whose machine is acting up like this. Well, I figured I'd have to find some way of showing it to Sony eventually, so I made a little video to illustrate the problem:
PRO TIP: Stage6 embed code is fail. Just press play and it'll come up.
Have you experienced anything that looks like a Z-buffer issue in your games? I've got a first-gen 60GB model, and I get this irritating bug in all of my games where individual pieces of geometry will either disappear or turn to green silhouettes for a frame or two at a time. It never happens across the whole screen; it's always just one door, or a fence, or a character's face, or sometimes - and most amusingly - it's the skybox. So, obviously not related to the "did you get the $90 certified Monster cables?" question that support reps who don't have video engineering experience will always ask me.
I know some nVidia video cards have this problem, and it's related to the Z-buffer (it looks like these bits of geometry are getting rendered out of order). Since the PS3's GPU is made by nVidia, I figure it's somehow related. My games run fine on other machines, but this bug pops up in every game, leading me to believe it's a hardware issue.
Obviously I'll have to post a video so I can show it to Sony's support reps, but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this, or if this is some sort of freak manufacturing defect.
I feel like shit today. Forgive the ranting; I'll do everything I can to keep this relevant.
You guys all saw this, right? I'm sure you did. It's not unreasonable to expect that this little bit of sensationalism, coupled with a number of other thinly-veiled fetishistic ramblings that have skittered and swarmed across the smoldering wreckage of what used to be meaningful debate, would send at least a few people into paroxysms of uncontrollable rage. We were even warned, by a man whose judgment I hold in very high esteem, against the dangers of responding to this sort of behavior:
What, then, is the source of this imagery? To find it, you must drill deep down through the artifice and find the undulating reservoir of sexual fetish that boils beneath. This scheming, grotesque caricature of a 'concerned citizen' is about as transparent as it gets...
...I urge you not to encourage any further outbursts on his part: the man is strictly small-time, and you have the power keep it that way.
Wise words, in my view. But did you actually read the shit that went down afterwards? Look at McCullough's account of the ensuing response:
To a person (after being hyped a bit by gaming blogs) and no doubt instructed to flood my inbox with response, the gist of these responses went something along these lines, 'YOU LIED, YOU LIED, YOU LIED.' Some called me a yellow journalist, some just typed the 'F' word something like 27 times, and signed it, 'have a good day'...
...Look, if the Gamers need outlets to find adult oriented gaming options - then make them drive to the outskirts of town and be forced to frequent those places that no one wants in the community to get them...
...God didn't design it that way, and no matter how many gamer-nerds spam my inbox with profane dreams of seeing my dead corpse sodimized (sic)...
I will always speak up!
Alright, it's Accountability Time™. Who the fuck wrote those responses? Are you people batshit? What the hell did you smoke, and how much, to think that you were going to spark any kind of intelligent discourse - or even shut the guy up - with that kind of ignorant, mouth-breathing, adolescent fuckwit retaliation?
Did you not see the way Ms. Lawrence spoke to Geoff? Darling? Do you not understand their tactics? These people are being deliberately disrespectful just to get a rise out of us; to make us lose our tempers in the public forum so they can use it to discredit us. I'm proud of Geoff for not falling into their trap, and I didn't expect the rest of us to be any less mature.
I have major problems with not being taken seriously. I've always had a vivid imagination, and I've been thinking up weird, implausible shit since I was a little kid - that's the life of a science fiction writer. I've come too far in my life, and I've put too much effort into attaining a modicum of credibility, for a landslide of prepubescent philistines to drag me kicking and screaming back into the primordial geek-fantasy miasma that it has been my life's greatest challenge to avoid.
As someone with ambitions of game design, the possibility of not being respected - of being viewed as a childhood-destroying mastermind or an eccentric builder of silly little toys - is fucking terrifying. If I awoke to find that, like Gene Roddenberry, my fanbase consisted of 35-year-old virgins still living with their mothers, or hostile knuckle-dragging mongoloids such as McCullough's ill-advised "critics," I'd probably blow my brains out. I'd rather be nobody than be loved by fucking idiots, and the last thing I need is to have my artistic integrity defended by underdeveloped sociopaths who at any moment might turn around and give me lip for not allowing them to dismember their opponents in my games.
Which inspired yet another, deeper fear: suppose nothing I create has any substance to begin with? I'm hammering out a game idea right now that revolves around the relationship between a warrior and a priestess caught on opposite sides of an earth-shattering war, and I'm hoping with all my heart to say everything I can, with as much subtlety and tact as the medium can muster, about the brutality of sexism and the redeeming power of romantic love. I really hope I can pull that off. But what happens if I fail?
What happens if everything I want to say becomes lost in blind adherence to tired gameplay conventions that I am too steeped in video game culture to question? What if none of the things I want to say ever comes across, and all that remains is a passionate sex scene (yes, there will be sex) with no emotional substance remaining to motivate it? And what if that's all the world ever sees? Another "Sex-Box" devil machine to warp the minds of children? And the only people still playing are in it for the titties?
God dammit, I'd rather die.
But I'm so in love with my ideas that I can't turn my back on them. I'm in love with video games, and I'm in love with what I know in my heart they are capable of achieving. I can't bear to face the possibility that we're just going backwards; spiraling into an uncontrollable tailspin that can only result in the blanket prohibition of video games, or worse, the permanent marginalization of an entire creative medium, lumped for all eternity into the same cultural cesspit as bukkake and Faces of Death.
And my biggest fear is that all the while we'll be proving those ignorant bastards right.
For the love of all that is creative, empowering and meaningful, what the hell are we doing with ourselves? Are we destined for a total meltdown? Are truly forward-looking designers like Jonathan Blow, Jason Rohrer, and (damn I hope so) myself just pissing in the wind?
I just don't fucking know anymore. But it makes my skin crawl.
Maybe my next game will be titled Fear of Failure.
PRO TIP: Regulus was the ice boss in
Bomberman 64, a great game that was
nonetheless forgotten so quickly that I
currently own half of all the existing
cartridges. The other one belongs to a
seal trapper in Finland, and if the two
are ever brought together, it will bring
about the End of Days.