Computer Games

When I was much younger (during my early teens), I would dream of playing ‘revolutionary’ games that were not available to kids like me then. Remember, those were the days of x286 processors and CGA (16 colours) or EGA (64 colours) screens. Actually, I never had a computer with EGA graphics. I had to endure playing in a sick blue/white hue for years during my primary school days.

Alleycat

This is what I had to endure for 6 full years of my primary school. Sob, sob!

With all the advances in computer games, I thought that my childhood dreams would have been fulfilled and kids would be able to enjoy the type of games I could only envision during my free time (which seemed available quite often :P). Boy, was I wrong, and still wrong. Computer games have reached a ceiling block. Sure, many would argue that console gaming is where the innovation is taking place (e.g. Nintendo Wii, DS and DSi), but seriously, it is all becoming very predictive.

The best they can offer is an immersive storyline and physics type gameplay. Where is the elements that spark the imagination of the player? Where is the gameplay that makes one feel competitive and wanting to test other strategies? Where is the fun? Instead, we have repetitive button/key pressing that only varies at times to change the ‘difficulty’ levels.

It is hard making enjoyable computer games. I admit it. I am not a programer or a game designer. I am just an ex-gamer who has stopped playing computer games (in an addictive manner) for 9 years now. But it is intriguing that old games are making a comeback with old gameplay. Adventure games are cautiously coming back (albeit in episodic format, like the recent Monkey Island continuation). Point-and-click games are sorely missed for they rely on wit and humour (most of the time).

Nowadays, to make a game successful, story elements can be distilled into two things; zombies and robots. Hahahaha. It is very true. Maybe I should make a game story out of the two? 😛 And maybe sell off the story somehow. Hmmm… A robot/mech (ala Battletech/Robotech) type of military empires fighting it out, only to be caught by a swarming invasion of zombie aliens intent on destroying everything. Maybe it should focus not so much on the single player, but on multiplayer elements of duking it out between universes (each computer host one type of unique universe).

We can dream. Still 🙂

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The Hunt for Gollum – Fan Made

I have to say that this is a very well done short-film. It is free for viewing and costs less than USD5,000 to produce. Very good quality indeed 🙂 This takes place in between Gandalf finding more information about Bilbo’s ring and his coming back to the Shire. The actors resemble (to some degree) the original ones, but seriously, for the amount it took to make the film, this is considered amazing!

Thumbs up! Some violence to be noted (the same as the film trilogy).

Negation War Issue 1

I could not get a copy of it and was intrigued by the whole concept of ‘ending’ an epic storyline that comprises all the stories produced (most of it) for Crossgen Comics.

Tegra Chip in Action!

ARhrrrr is an augmented reality shooter for mobile camera-phones, created at Georgia Tech Augmented Environments Lab and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD-Atlanta). The phone provides a window into a 3d town overrun with zombies. Point the camera at our special game map to mix virtual and real world content. Civilians are trapped in the town, and must escape before the zombies eat them! From your vantage point in a helicopter overhead, you must shoot the zombies to clear the path for the civilians to get out. Watch out though as the zombies will fight back, throwing bloody organs to bring down your copter. Move the phone quickly to dodge them. You can also use Skittles as tangible inputs to the game, placing one on the board and shooting it to trigger an explosion.

Wow… this is really nice. And you know what? The first Tegra chip we will be seeing, will be on the new Zune HD! Very nice indeed!

Steve Rogers is Back – Captain America: Reborn

The best part of the news that just broke yesterday is this:

The art will be drawn by Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice (two of my favourite comic artist!). The story… come on, you honestly did not think that they would just let Steve Rogers lay dead would you? This is a business run by Marvel Comics… of course they would bring him back. No one has the courage to kill off a mainstream character and give the mantle over to Bucky (Captain America’s sidekick).

Anyway, check this art by Joe Q. Now if only they would speed up Mary Jane’s return to Spidey’s world.

steverogerscap

Victor Von Doom Lost Out to the Marquis of Death

Fantastic Four #567 is part two of “Doom’s Master”, a 4 part series done by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. Excellent duo, telling another excellent tale. Apparently, Victor Von Doom’s masters have come to ‘visit’ him and ends up conveying their displeasure in Doom’s failures. The result is as follows:

The last page of the issue shows the Marquis of Death donning Doom’s face armour, declaring himself as the ‘New Doctor Doom’. Chilling!

Probably a better read once the trade comes out 🙂

Lone Wolf by Ksatria Gameworks – Dead?

lonewolfheader

According to a previous game developer in his blog post at http://godpatterns.com/post/status-update:

The original plan was – move to new job, then buy a computer to develop on (as I didn’t want to send my old one to Singapore), then resume posting.

This was a reasonably good plan, but unfortunately Ksatria’s financial backing started to falter then eventually died and the company went under. It’s a shame because the game was looking very good. At the moment I’m still in Singapore. I’ve had a few queries about possible positions here and back in the UK. In the immediate future I’ll be returning to the UK.

In his resume, he states simply:

Ksatria Gameworks
Jurong, Singapore
August 2008 – February 2009 [Company closed due to financial reasons]

I personally would think that this is a good source of information. The person lost his job due to the problems faced by Ksatria, which is not surprising since Singapore has been badly affected by the financial recession for the last 1 year.

It is a real shame… but it is not surprising. Too many Intellectual Properties (IP) like Lone Wolf has been promised a Triple A development funding but when the economy landscape shifts (as it always does), you find that their previous estimates were a bit too ‘positive’ and smaller problems are multiplied… before you know it, disaster happens within; stifled cash flow, rumour-mongering, cutbacks, etc.

I hope that the game license will be passed on to another (as in sold) game studio to pick up. It is sad to see my most favourite gamebook series coming up dud in the computer games translation.