All 9 entries tagged Games

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September 22, 2005

Revolving still

Follow-up to A Controlled Revolution? from Dan Lawrence's Blog

Further controller thoughts here

Analyzing the entire corporate startegy of Nintendo versus Microsoft and Sony. I'm sure there is lots to disagree with in there but I think the broad thrust is fair enough.

Other than reading that I've been mostly coding stuff up in a mixture of javascript(which I have no idea about) and php (which I also have little to no concept of). So far it hasn't been too bad with the internet, general all round coding skills and some helpful housemates, all chipping in to bash it into shape. Turns out the little tool I am trying to code up is actually just like a simplified JIRA. Its mostly to organise myself to do the coding on the Half-Life 2 game, but also to practice those web developer skills to add to the CV.

Good.


September 17, 2005

A Controlled Revolution?

Just to show, to those who doubted, that Nintendo haven't gone completely mad here's what they are doing to ensure support from third party developers.

If thats not enough to prove to you that this controller is very exciting then check out this teaser video.

I highly reccommend it.

In case you haven't been following the story (And who hasn't?), Nintendo have decided that the next generation of Console Wars will be won, not by the people with the best graphics, but by the people with the best ideas. This controller for their new Revolution console is their first blow (That bit in the middle slides out, looks like a TV remote, and can do all kind of fancy stuff – watch the video its the only way to understand how a game about chopping carrots could actually exist in the near future).


September 16, 2005

CSS Returns And Dan Gets Bed

After only a short outage I've bought the blog back up under my custom scheme.

After a few changes its now better than ever. With all kinds of magical stuff going on.

In other news, I have obtained a nice shiny new bed thus completing my furniture collection. Things are quite tightly packed into my new room with two desks, large chair, a cupboard, drawers and a double bed; but it does all fit and the new bed is truly awesome.

Found a bit of time to carry on playing Planescape: Torment this week, noticed a few bugs which have marred the play experience slightly but thats being picky. It truly is a shining example of a dialogue driven game, taking much of its best features from the world of the text adventure rather than fancy 3D graphics. Behind every door in Planescape lurks some mystery, and there are lots of interesting choices (Do I end the suffering of an old woman who I believe will not recover from her illness; by stabbing her? Do I kill someone just because they are a demon and someone has asked me to? Do the undead have a right to existence? Am I responsible for my crimes if I do not remember them or anything about the person I was when I commited them? Is immortality a blessing or a curse?)

Still jobless.


September 15, 2005

Life Long Hacking

Still awaiting that dream job here in Fort Awesome, how long will I last waiting for a call back from a place I actually want to work at, before I crack and apply over at MacDonalds or ASDA? Take your bets please.

In the meantime I've been trying to improve my C++ skills by moving them into the modern era of namespaces, I/O streams and design patterns. My current method is to mix a variety of reading material sources with some real world problems by coding up a mod for Half-Life 2 called The Opera. The mod is one I've been involved with for some years, through a release on the original Half-Life (netting 5 stars in PC Gamer I might add) to an abortive attempt on the Unreal Engine finally reaching the present day with a Half-Life 2 version. Previously I've always been involved in the level design and modelling aspects so this is my first foray at taking the very familiar design into my ill practiced coders hands.

I always feel like something of an academic leper, useless at the most high brow philosophical debates due to the large gaps in my knowledge caused by doing a split degree. Yet I have also never been able to quite keep apace of the computer Scientists either. While I have latterly felt more at home among them, I actually studied even less Computer Science than I did Philosophy. Maybe this is why I can't get one of them fancypants coding jobs.

So, with my degree a fading memory, I've decided that I don't really care too much for those high falutin' philosophical debates. Nietzsche was right. The End. I'm going to spend my post university time learning to be better at all things computerized. Soon I shall know my observer pattern from my bridge pattern and I'll write UML designed code that will make grown men weep in wonder.

If anyone has any essential C++ coding tips or, just tips in general then post up a comment.


September 08, 2005

The City That Sleeps

The way I have my desk set-up in the new house is perfect for encouraging me to sketch in idle moments when I'm thinking or otherwise being generally unemployed (yes, jobs are on my mind a lot right now). I've always been drawn to the image of a city at night; the shapes and dramatic lighting fascinate and excite my emotions.

The sketching is gradually improving almost a year on from when I decided to restart sketching and brought a whole bunch of fresh materials. A lot of higher priority things got in the way of my drawing ambition but I've hung on in there and drawn things throughout the year. I'll aim to do more.

I was generally in a bit of a useless TIZZ last night and this morning, got a bit over stressed by the whole employment search. Its easy to feel like the whole process is outside of your control, which can then become demoralising when things remain unchanged. At around mid day I relaxed a bit, made myself a nice cooked lunch, did a little bit of drawing and managed to take back some of that control by re-emailing the people I have contacted about jobs and tuning up my CV for some other kinds of work.

I've pretty much decided that my future lies in making games, but with my lack of experience and the difficulty of getting started in the industry it seems likely I'll have to take on some other kind of work in the meantime. Most of my proudest achievements however relate to the making of games in some way so the CV has required some highly creative editing.

I seem to have now gained coding control over my long running Half-Life 2 mod project so I shall be using that to brush up my C++ game programming skills while I hit refresh on my email account and glance anxiously phone-wards.


August 16, 2005

Amiga Power

Amiga Power 2

I expected noone to understand this. Mostly I was right


August 11, 2005

Indie Games

Writing about web page http://diygames.com/


Will independent video games soon rival the strength of the independent cinema scene, and provide a similar role in reinvigorating the conservative mainstream? These signs are definitely begin to show, with a few breakthrough games like Uplink showing that the small scale independents can still have large success, as they did in the dawn of the industry. While the team behind the game have said that if they'd known how hard it was going to be in the beginning they wouldn't have tried, somehow I don't believe them. On a much wider scale independent companies are having success in specific fields with good buisness models – such as in MMORPG games where players pay a monthly fe for an ongoing experience and are often prepared to do without expensive and time consuming graphics for a greater depth of experience.

There are plenty of signs from the more artistcally inclined game designers that they yearn for a stronger independent scene in which to exercise their skills. Warren Spector (Credited as the main genius behind the original Deus Ex) went on a 'rant against the games industry' panel at this years GDC saying:

We need Sundances. Independent Film Channel. Equivalents of those. Just try to find some way of funding your stuff that doesn’t come from a publisher.

See the full text here

Outside these big industry names there are also things happening; independent games are getting better. Observe this article over at Euro gamer on some of the more interesting titles around today.

There are new models for lower cost gaming emerging, with new distribution models. Check out Ritual's SiN: Episodes . They intend to use Valve's Steam software to deliver game content directly to consumers in a format like TV serials, evolving and changing the way the game plays as more content is released and players generate feedback.

Its exciting and somethng that everyone should encourage and be involved with. More independent games means more innovation, games for smaller markets, games for adults, women, artists. Games that make you think, make you cry, games that move the industry into a proper art form, worthy of the name.


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