What Is Your Dream Game?

26 02 2009

I think that there comes a time in every gamer’s life where they’ve contemplated the game that they would make, if given the budget, staff, and freedom to do so.  Of course, many of these ideas are half-baked, because you obviously don’t have the staff, the freedom, and most importantly, the budget to get that game made anyway…so why bother detailing your personal dream game?  

But with the advent of the iPhone and iPod Touch, Microsoft’s XNA initiative, and many avenues for flash gaming on the PC front, homebrew gaming is alive, well, and flourishing in staggeringly increasing numbers.  Many people who simply had a great idea, are finding ways to cheaply and profitably create and market their games to a mass audience.  

I’ve often wondered what kind of game I’d like to create.  Of course, over time it’s changed.  When I was younger, it would have been a Mario clone, of course.  An epic platformer, where the main character (some hybrid of Mario, with a Bionic Commando-style grappling arm) would traverse levels with trapeze-like grace, and that speed of platform traversal would be as important as health and powerups.  

When I got older (junior high and high school) and got into PC gaming, I wanted to create the next Starcraft-style RTS.  I wanted an (of course) epically-gigantic list of creatures and vehicles to create, and a complex world of trading, resource harvesting, and strategy on par with the world’s best table-top strategy games like Axis and Allies, or Shogun (rebranded as Samurai Swords, I just learned…click for more detail)  My ideal game would have involved the cyberpunk movement, as I had recently read William Gibson’s Neuromancer (my favorite novel, to this day), and thought the world had enough complexity to merit a street-grid based RTS (with RPG elements, in terms of leveling characters, unique stat-bonus items, and story elements)  including thugs, fixers, wireheads, and large, intimidating corporations.  (I actually still really like this idea, by the way…)

Now, as I’m older still, I see the value of short-burst gaming.  I’m not ditching my Bioshocks or my Resident Evil 4s, or the like, but I’m finding great joy in titles like Rock Band, which can occupy a couple songs, or an entire evening, Portal, which is perfect for snack-sized gaming, or even super-casual fare over at Kongregate.  I think that if I made a game these days, it would have to be profitable, of course (finally having to make money for a family, that is) and therefore find the iTunes App Store to be most appealing.  However, try as I might, I can’t come up with something original enough to break through the noise.  I don’t know if that’s a function of age, or simply a matter of “nothing is new under the sun”.  Either way, it’s a bit saddening.  So I’m wondering…

Have any of you awesome readers have come up with any (epic or otherwise 🙂 ) game designs or ideas that you’d be willing to share.  Please comment!!!





Videogame Covers, if they were "Penguin Classics"

20 02 2009

This says so much in so little.  Great work!

Thanks to Tina Sanchez from 1UP for Twittering about this amazing thread (WARNING: There is a LOT of profanity on this thead!  You can totally skim it though, and just look at the pics.  I’d say it’s worth it, but don’t let me pull ya down into something you’re not okay with!!!)  over at Something Awful.  What they’re attempting to do is take video games and create “classic covers” for future reissues.  It’s an excellent photoshop idea, and I’d love to see what the readers here come up with, if you trend towards graphic arts!

Click the jump to see a couple more of my favorites! (don’t worry, there’s still PLENTY to see on the SA forums too)  

(Apparently there’s an issue with the images after the jump – sometimes they show up, sometimes they don’t.  If you want to see them and they’re not showing, click the Something Awful link above to check them out in the original thread!)

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Videogame Covers, if they were “Penguin Classics”

20 02 2009

This says so much in so little.  Great work!

Thanks to Tina Sanchez from 1UP for Twittering about this amazing thread (WARNING: There is a LOT of profanity on this thead!  You can totally skim it though, and just look at the pics.  I’d say it’s worth it, but don’t let me pull ya down into something you’re not okay with!!!)  over at Something Awful.  What they’re attempting to do is take video games and create “classic covers” for future reissues.  It’s an excellent photoshop idea, and I’d love to see what the readers here come up with, if you trend towards graphic arts!

Click the jump to see a couple more of my favorites! (don’t worry, there’s still PLENTY to see on the SA forums too)  

(Apparently there’s an issue with the images after the jump – sometimes they show up, sometimes they don’t.  If you want to see them and they’re not showing, click the Something Awful link above to check them out in the original thread!)

Read the rest of this entry »





Christmas in February. 8-Bit Christmas, at least…

20 02 2009

8-Bit Jesus CD CaseSo I just got my physical copy of Dr. Octoroc’s 8-Bit Christmas and I’m loving the design of the case and the detail put into the artwork.  Excellent work all around.  You know I love the music, so I won’t go too much into that, but seriously, if you like chiptunes at all, or if you’re just a huge fan of the old NES days, you should get this album to dork out during the Christmas season.  

Click the jump to see more photos of the case art! Read the rest of this entry »





Boom Blox Review

19 02 2009

(This article, and my reivew for Bioshock can both be found at TerrorTube.  Check it out, and vote it up, please!)

 

Boom Blox

Boom Blox

BOOM BLOX – Nintendo Wii – Developer/Producer: Electronic Arts – ESRB Rating:”E”

Let’s face it, the world is changing. Everywhere around us new technology abounds, people are doing new and interesting things, and yes, even gaming is hitting the mainstream thanks to the runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii console.

While as a reviewer and a longtime lover of video games, I tend to have tastes that trend towards the hardcore market, it’s worth noting that as a father of two and as a fan of games of all sorts, I am interested in what’s out there for the casual market.

This is what led me to Boom Blox. Boom Blox was created by Steven Spielberg (yes, that Spielberg), and developed by Electronic Arts for the Wii. Spielberg originally wanted to create a game that his kids could play with him, and one that really leaned on basic fun elements. Thus, a game where one throws balls at towers of blocks was created! Yes, in its essence, Boom Blox is about usnig the Wii Remote to throw a ball at the right point in a tower, to knock it over in the most destructive way possible with as few throws as possible. It’s a simple concept and one any child can grasp (especially boys). However, what bogs Boom Blox down, and keeps it from staying within that box of “simple fun”, is its need to expand the gameplay using all sorts of extra elements like special blocks (a bomb block explodes, chemical blocks need to be combined to, erm, explode, and disappearing blocks, well…they disappear.) And throughout the game, you’re introduced to other mechanics as well. There’s a ray gun that lets you zap blocks (or blocky animal enemies) for quick effect. There’s a sticky hand that works like one of those gummy hands you’d buy from a machine in a store for a quarter, inside an acorn of plastic…you simply place it on a block, and then use the “string” to pull it out.
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Commitment. It's This New Thing…It's This Old Thing.

13 02 2009

 

Old-Skool Hardcore Commitment

Old-Skool Hardcore Commitment

So I was listening to the Bible today (I’m a big fan of the “Daily Audio Bible” podcast…the reader, Brian, is awesome and so on fire for God.  He’s got a hippy-dippy voice so not created for radio, but he’s doing his thang-thang for God and that’s amazing and powerful and God’s definitely taking his loaves and fishes and working miracles from it, and that is truly inspiring…but I digress.)  

 

So I’m listening to the Bible today, and thinking about those ancient times.  Times so distant to us that a lot of the cultural references and thoughts are so foreign to us, that we can’t really get in there, mentally.  We can only associate ideologically or really, more in a strictly historically academic sense.  So I am thinking about these things…And then I think about commitment.  I consider myself committed to Christ.  What does that mean? 

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Commitment. It’s This New Thing…It’s This Old Thing.

13 02 2009

 

Old-Skool Hardcore Commitment

Old-Skool Hardcore Commitment

So I was listening to the Bible today (I’m a big fan of the “Daily Audio Bible” podcast…the reader, Brian, is awesome and so on fire for God.  He’s got a hippy-dippy voice so not created for radio, but he’s doing his thang-thang for God and that’s amazing and powerful and God’s definitely taking his loaves and fishes and working miracles from it, and that is truly inspiring…but I digress.)  

 

So I’m listening to the Bible today, and thinking about those ancient times.  Times so distant to us that a lot of the cultural references and thoughts are so foreign to us, that we can’t really get in there, mentally.  We can only associate ideologically or really, more in a strictly historically academic sense.  So I am thinking about these things…And then I think about commitment.  I consider myself committed to Christ.  What does that mean? 

Read the rest of this entry »