All entries for Thursday 27 January 2005

January 27, 2005

Mr and Mrs Smith

Writing about web page

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play husband and wife who are both assassins, but neither knows it of the other until they get assignments to kill… each other.

This is one of the darker horses of next summer's movies; the trailer has plenty of big guns and explosions, but it's hard to read what the tone of the film's going to be. Some bits play like light comedy, others seem darker; once the lead characters work out what's going on, they seem to be trying to zap each other with relish, which suggests that the tone could be quite black. If it's another War of the Roses or Prizzi's Honour then it could be great. And Doug Liman hasn't made a bad film yet; Go, Swingers and Bourne Identity have all been cool. So… maybe.

Games for children

Writing about web page

Writing video games for young children is both unfashionable and tough, which may explain why there aren't many of them. Tone down the violence, lose the rap soundtrack, eliminate all criminal behaviour, and what's left? Nintendo do a good job on family-friendly titles, but there aren't many third-party producers doing the same. So I found this write-up on the making of Ty the Tasmianian Tiger 2 pleasingly insightful. It touches on some technical problems – streaming level data in, frame-based versus delta-based game timings – but much more interesting (to me, at least) is the commentary on how you (a twenty or thirty-something developer) make a game for young (six to twelve-year-old) children. Sample quote:-

There's a difference between making a great game, in general, and making a great game for younger kids. We may be kids at heart, but we are still adults. Sure, we like giant robots, we've got Transformer action figures all over our desks and have Nerf wars through the workplace, but there aren't many of us that burst into tears when you can't jump over a fence that LOOKS like you can due to invisible collision, or get scared because the spiders are too life-like.

At the very least, it's made me want to pick up a copy of the game for when my son is a few years older.

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