Pressing the button on a video game controller quickly is like running the 100 meter dash. Both require dedication and a precise exercise regime. There is also an odd quality about both in which the range between the very best and complete neophyte is tiny. Sprinter Usain Bolt holds the record in the 100 meter run at 9.58 seconds, only three seconds faster than I ran in freshmen high school track. And yet there are thousands of sprinters from a hundred years of Olympic competition in between ...
Video games and books seldom have much impact on one another. Games based on movies based on books are fairly common, but games made directly from books are all but nonexistent. This is too bad, given that they're the two most interactive medias out there.
University video game design programs have been spreading like wildfire around the world over the last ten years. They allow students, researchers and game developers to work on their craft in an academic environment away from the harsh realities of the market, and have led to some interesting products like Fl0w from USC and Ulitsa Dimitrova from Germany. Both games take on topics not often addressed in mainstream games and do so in simple, poignant ways that aim to influence the rest of the ...
Hard drive space is one of the cheapest things you can add to your computer. But people take it for granted, thus game developers have given up any efforts in keeping games compact. With all of its expansion packs, World of Warcraft takes up more than 60 GB of hard drive space, and almost any AAA game consumes a gig or two.
The UK seems to have become an international hotbed of gamers going wild on society. Last week a British Navy sailor killed his superior officer, which parts of the tabloid media blamed on Grand Theft Auto. Today, a more concretely video game related tale of real life violence comes to us from The Daily Mail.
Today concludes our Gamer's Guide to Video Game Software (see Part 1 & Part 2). In our final installment, we will shift away from engines toward video games that allow you to make your own games within them.
The United Kingdom has long been known as an international hub of yellow tabloid journalism. The News Of The World, one of the nation's largest tabloids, is famously in court right now because of the deplorable methods it used to acquire salacious information about interesting people. It appears, given their recent string of video game related reportage, that daily newspaper Metro has also had its fair share of morally dubious reporters on staff.
Many of the indie games featured at PAX Prime have been in development for years. That's how long it takes to make a great game. But the two-man development studio in eastern Europe called Stabyourself has existed for less than a year and has already created two games—three more are on the way. They may be spitting out games left and right, but they've got a few to be excited about.
Blizzard Entertainment is considered one of the most successful game developers in the world. Ever since the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (their debut Warcraft game) in 1994, they've set sales records and created genre-defining games with remarkable consistency. But the company wasn't founded in 1994—it all started back in 1991 when they were called Silicon & Synapse.
Most kids who play video games will never become professional gamers. Those that do are part of a very select group— it's like being a professional actor or athlete. It's nice work if you can get it. For everyone else, the sad realization usually arrives sooner or later that time spent playing games might not have the practical rewards that homework or working hard at your job might deliver.
Minecraft has been out nearly two years now. Hard to believe, isn't it? Fans of the game have been spoiled with a lot of new content over that span from its creator Notch, as well as its modders. A couple months ago, Notch tortured the Minecraft community by tweeting some screens of a "Sky Kingdom" that he was working on.
Anyone who likes shooters is going to hate me for saying this: the best game of the 2000's for me was Psychonauts by Double Fine Studios. It came out in 2005 for the original Xbox, achieving critical acclaim, but never selling very well due to its sheer kookiness and poor marketing. Over the ensuing years it has become a cult classic, with downloadable re-releases on Xbox 360 (sadly no longer available). PC has allowed gamers who missed out on the original to bask in its ageless glory.
Tower defense games have taught us little. We already knew that defending castles from baddies was fun and that legions of weenies are the key to success in most real-time strategy situations. What other insights have they to offer?
Crysis 2 is the current standard for high-quality graphics in video games. No other game looks so smooth, so colorful, so... ultra-real. German developer Crytek has built their reputation on PC game technology to the limit, and the CryENGINE 3 graphics engine they used to make Crysis 2 might be the most powerful tool for creating 3D video game graphics on Earth. As of yesterday, it's also free for anyone, yourself included, to download from Crytek's website here.
Grand Theft Auto 3 was the biggest video game of the last decade, by far, introducing open-world adventure games to consoles, a genre that now rivals shooters and sports games for market dominance. A huge map, decentralized narrative, and myriad of interlocking quests and objectives that happen in a flexible order all became hallmarks of the "new" genre, along with the ability to shape the morality and reputation of your character. And most importantly, all of the quests and stories are compl...
Most of the indie and vintage games discussed in Indie Games Ichiban are pretty cheap to purchase. They rarely top twenty bucks, which is one of the major advantages independent games have against their sixty-buck, major league counterparts. But if you think $60 for a game and $300 for a PS3 or Xbox 360 seems like a lot, then you haven't played Steel Battalion or seen the TurboExpress. They go above and beyond what normal gamers are willing to spend for questionably entertaining products. Her...
Video game makers have never had great name recognition amongst the American public. Shigeru Miyamoto, Cliff Bleszinski, and Will Wright are names most Americans can't be bothered to remember, whatever their contribution to games have been. Most people are familiar with their work, but fail to recognize them by name or appearance.
The noble board game has stalwartly staved off elimination in the face of more technologically advanced video games for four decades. Try as they might, video games just can't seem to surpass them as an easy-to-use diversion for large groups of seated indoor people.
Thought this was cool, especially the video attached.
Video game controllers are our windows into the soul of the machine, our sole means of interacting with them. More often than not, consumers seem displeased by their controllers; it's comforting to blame sticky, poorly laid out buttons for messing up your game than your own lacking skills. The original "fatty" Xbox controller was so large it caused mass consternation and prompted Microsoft to replace it with a smaller version in a matter of months.
As previously reported here, CryTek's immensely powerful CryEngine is now free and available for all. CryEngine is, however, incredibly complex and powerful. If you need a little help using it, and if you've tried to you probably do, check out this excellent series of tutorial videos.
Big Block Games has a pretty good indie track record. They've spent years developing their fun free-roving space game, Black Market, which is still in Beta. And they've spent just as much time with their much simpler, but fully completed physics platformer, Super Goblin War Machine. Their newest endeavor is called Coffee Break Hero. It sets itself apart from the other games, not so much by the game itself, which has only been in development for four days, but by its unique execution. Big Bloc...
Big news from the world of game development engines. For several years, Unity3D has been the free 3D game development engine of choice for aspiring and indie game designers around the world. While it isn't as powerful as Unreal Engine 3 or CryEngine, it's free and much easier to use. Now, according to an announcement made by Unity yesterday, Unity 3D is about to unleash a huge weapon that neither of those other engines can claim: Flash compatibility.
The last week has been a trying one for me. On Sunday, there were four computers in my office, three of which were broken. The fourth was not really a computer, but more of a collection of parts that were cobbled together for the purpose of constructing a PC that would sneer derisively at the mere mention of turning down any game's ambient occlusion settings.
This week's roundup features three games that I've either never bothered to play, was unable to play due to PC technical limitations, or haven't played because they've just been released. None of these three games cost more than $15.
Hungarian developer Nemesys Games is best known for making the lighthearted Fortix series, a pair of casual tower defense variants available on Steam. For their latest project, they've decided to expand their horizons, going beyond downloadable sawbuck games. It's called Rocket Bullet Storm, a chaotic old-school shmup similar to the surprising number of others to come out in the last year. The difference is that this one is huge—30 feet tall—and consumes 250 square meters of floorspace, which...
Video games were blamed in the death of Chris Staniforth last May, but now things have gotten worse as video games take the blame for a more recent tragedy...
Deepak Chopra is one of the last people you'd think to be associated with video games. He's a new age spiritual icon who's built an empire on self-help books and speaking tours, one of which my Marin County liberal parents deigned to drag me to in middle school. Recently, a new outlet for his teachings was announced—a video game project three years in the making, simply called Leela.
Game Developer Magazine is a prominent periodical for game industry folk to read up on their craft. For those who don't work in games, it can be a little dry, but every year they release a Game Career Guide devoted to welcoming other people into their world. Best of all, it's free! You can view the newest issue just released here in your browser, or download the PDF version.
It's been a great year for video games, kind of. Sure, the AAA release lineup has been a trainwreck and hacking has been a bigger problem than ever. But two things have happened involving the federal government that have made video games more legitimate in the United States than ever before. The Supreme Court ruling establishing that video games were the equivalent of movies and books, not porn, was the more significant decision. But in May, the National Endowment for the Arts made another si...
Playing Super Mario Brothers for the NES is the first thing I can ever remember doing, at age 3 sitting on the carpet at my grandparents' house. It was a special game for an entire generation, including British youths Andrej and Adam Zamoyski. It inspired them to eventually become video game testers and designers themselves; Andrej at Lionhead Studios and Adam at Headstrong Games, and then Zynga Mobile UK (until recently called Wonderland Software, developers of Godfinger for the iPhone).
George Plimpton may be one of the most interesting Americans ever. Foremost a sports journalist, he was also a novelist, Fireworks Commissioner for New York City and host of Mouseterpiece Theater. Some of you may also recognize him as one of the men who tackled Robert F. Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. But most of you probably remember him as the pitchman for products like Pop Secret Popcorn and the Intellivision video game console. Actually, his most appreciated work would probably be a s...
Song by Anamanaguchi, part of their original soundtrack to Scott Pilgrim: the Game.
A small group of students studying Game development at Stockholm University just released their first game.
If you go over to the Iphone store and download social haven rescue. You will see a cute little space app and the fish under the sea secret water world is adorable. Its a free good attempt. What games are there out there that also have fish like graphics?
I'll keep this short and sweet, as the game is online, loads quickly, it's free, and easy to play: it's quicker to play it than describe it: EnterTheStory.com
Hey everyone! These are a few screenshots from an indie game we announced today - Nyrthos. If you like it, definitely check us out at www.nyrthos.com and tell us what you think!
Dungeon Defenders is finally out on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. We've previously featured the tower defense RPG, and if you haven't had a chance to check out the PAX interview with Trendy Entertainment, now would be a good time.
Dungeon Defenders is the most exciting craft game on the Fall 2011 release schedule. I got a chance to play it at PAX in August and interviewed developers Trendy Entertainment last month. After more than a year of publishing difficulty and delay, the game finally came out on PSN, XBLA and Steam. I put about 20 hours into the XBLA version over the past weekend, beating all the campaign maps and racking up a huge pile of in-game money. It is not a perfect game. But it is a huge, challenging, an...
This week's review roundup is a diverse lot. They really only have two things in common—their indie origins and puzzle elements. Otherwise, they come from France, Spain and the U.S., a few from unknown designers and one by the guy who inspired Minecraft.