Well, if you haven’t noticed I’ve kind of taken a break from the blog. It’s summer, and thus, life happens. Life also ends, and sometimes horribly – like in the case of zombie attacks. There was one game this year at E3that, while I’m not so sold on it yet, definitely intrigued me with the new hardware and interactivity. Ubisoft and Nintendo have teamed up to bring a zombie survival game that tests the boundaries of interactivity and brings a whole new perspective to the experience. The game will infect you and keep you on your toes as you try your best to survive in the upcoming: ZombiU.
The London Olympics – just prep for this?!
I’ve looked over countless interviews, stories, and information trying to compile something wonderful for you all. Consider it your survival inventory as you get ready to tackle the newest adventure from Ubisoft. I’ve looked over previews and interviews and here’s what I’ve learned so far about ZombiU, and what I think about it’s accessibility so far:
ZombiU seems to be a survival-horror game set in London in late 2012. I have to admit that I like the new environment vibe for this game.
ZombiU seems to require the use of both hands to do many of the actions required for the game. A difficulty for motion-impaired gamers.
ZombiU seems to have everything you’ll need to use incorporated within the Wii U controller: inventory, body scanners, etc.
The one touch controls of these functions definitely gives the game a plus in this regard. It seems easy, and provides accessible movements.
The touch screen seems like it may cause some struggles with colorblind gamers. The scanner is very bright with monotone blue tones.
There are moments within the game that the scanner gets disrupted. This will be extremely frustrating for deaf gamers due to loss of radar.
Gamers with heart conditions or other medical conditions that may be triggered by unexpected moments of fear may want to avoid this game.
The game is very dark and unpredicatable, which may make the game difficult for visually impaired gamers.
The game starts you off playing as a random citizen thrust headlong into surviving in this apocalyptic London environment. You’ll have to keep on your toes, keep your inventory up to date, and prepare for anything! The most innovative function I find that ZombiU carries is that Ubisoft incorporated a twist to gameplay I haven’t seen in past zombie games. If you die within the game there are NO save points. This means that the game is meant to be played through seamlessly, as though you are truly a survivor of the apocalypse. If you die, don’t worry though, you’ll be brought back as a brand new survivor. You WILL lose any inventory or upgrades you earned as your first survivor, but hold on – there’s a catch.
Don’t think that all is lost – [ even if that zombie is eating your brains like a bowl of oatmeal… ]
God Save The Queen – and EVERYONE ELSE!
You may come back as a new survivor, but if you FIND your old survivor body and kill the now-zombified former you, you’ll acquire ALL of the inventory, upgrades, etc. that the former survivor had. The bonus here is that things like doors, or impassable areas you may not have been able to access as a new survivor will already be opened and accessible. This means that each new playthrough will be different and more dynamic than the next. Ubisoft designed the game with surprise of the survival horror genre in mind. These aspects of the game may make the game more difficult for some gamers, but I’m actually excited for this title because of the unexpected design of it.
I want to feel frightened as I play through the London expanse. I want to feel like, no matter what, the gameplay won’t provide a linear similar experience each time. I want to feel that sense of tension around every corner, even if I’ve been around that corner before. I feel like, while the Wii U controller may be cumbersome and challenging, it’s going to aid in providing a brand new sort of survival experience that no one’s ever had before. I may have my concerns in terms of accessibility, but overall this game looks as though it’ll be one of the more adult successes for the Nintendo franchise. I can’t wait to get my hands on this for real and test out my survival skills – but this is shaping up to be a scary good time!
ZombiU is set to release right around the holiday release time of Wii U. So here’s to all of the disembodied fun and hoping we survive our royal induction into the infected world of ZombiUcoming late 2012! Thanks Nintendo for giving me a reason to fear your console with an M rated passion!
Now I’m all about exploring the newest technology on the market, and Sony brought out something that truly caught my eye. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know my love for spreading education via the virtual video game experience. Well Sony seems to be on the cutting edge of the educational ‘gamification’ movement with their new tech they rolled out called the Wonderbook. Now what exactly is the Wonderbook? Well from what I understand they’re going to be actual interactive books that correlate with the Playstation Eye and using the Playstation Move to interact with the product. How cool is this idea? Well you better believe the little kid in me is squealing with excitement!
Especially due to the first major author that’s signed on to do a Wonderbook: J.K. Rowlings – HARRY POTTER ANYONE?! That’s RIGHT! Rowlings has helped to devise a wonderful interactive storybook, The Book of Spells, that will take the reader into in-depth to NEW content by Rowling herself! Players will get to experience the Harry Potter universe like never before, and I personally can’t wait to see what they’re going to be capable of with this. You’ll see in the demo that they do have some technical glitches, but hey it’s the initial stages of what I believe to be a wonderful product. There’s always going to be some hiccups – that’s what demos and Q&A testing are for. Well now knowing that what do I expect from Wonderbookgoing forward?
Wonderbook definitely seems to be aimed at a younger crowd [ family and youth ] but I see a lot of potential here for some classic works.
There’s so much educational potential here. Can you imagine books like Dr. Seuss? Sesame Street? Where The Wild Things Are?
Interactive reading isn’t new by any means, but Wonderbook brings two of my favorite things together: reading and video games.
Disney used to provide interactive software for PC long before Sony began bringing this out, but there’s far more personal engagement provided via Wonderbook I’d imagine. I loved my 90’s Disney Interactive software, but Wonderbook conceptually feels much better.
Teachers may even benefit from having PS3’s in their classrooms now, and using Wonderbooks to teach classic novels to students.
The interactivity provided by video game mediums provides new, exciting, and exhilarating memorable experiences for players.
The comprehension and excitement of reading might be sparked with enthusiasm via the way Wonderbook delivers this new material.
Sure, some naysayers may claim that this newfangled ideology of ‘gamification’ towards the way we read might turn children, parents, and others off actually reading. I say no way! Imagine this. Your young child sits down and plays with a Wonderbook [ for this hypothetical let’s just say Disney signs a license via Sony and they produce a Winnie the Pooh Wonderbook ] and he, or she, gets to explore the Hundred Acre Wood, learn valued moral decisions via Pooh’s adventures, counting, letters, etc. The educational potential is limitless! How could you not love this idea? So where do we go from here? Well we wait. We wait patiently for Wonderbooks to catch on. It sounds like they’ll be sold seperately as individual ‘game’ titles, but I wouldn’t mind spending on them. Especially if they were titles that I was hoping for [ like Harry Potter ]
If there are adults out there wondering, “Well, wait, so is Wonderbook only going to be for children and families?” – it certainly looks like that, but I can tell you folks with confidence that there are tons of companies that host more to teenage and adult fair that are interested in the Wonderbook technology. In fact, I’ve done some snooping around and it sounds like BBC America is totally interested in getting in on the Wonderbook vibe. If the idea of Stephen Moffit reinventing Doctor Who for an interactive reading material isn’t cool, then you may direct yourself to a TARDIS right now and jettison yourself into a time vortex! Can you imagine books like: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a Dr. Whonovel based on the Whoniverse – Daleks, Cybermen, Fallen Angels, etc. or who knows – Game of Thrones? Lord of the Rings?
A Whovian Experience like NO OTHER?!
The choices are endless and I hope to see some of these come to life for real. They most likely won’t be out this year, and it’ll probably be a 2013 release – but I’d be willing to wait for such literary enjoyment. I’ve never been much of a Playstation Move supporter, but you’ve won me over Sony! Congratulations, now I’ll be Move supporting – as long as you continue to use your Move technology for the benefit of educational mediums.
Well this is pretty fantastic – I found something awesome via Tim Schafer. Yes. The Tim Schafer. I follow him on Twitter and he just so happened to share a link that I feel like blogging about as well! So there’s this lovely gaming group called The Speed Gamers. The Speed Gamers run gaming marathons all the time, but this one really stood out to me. Why? They are currently running a charity gaming marathon to raise money for ACT Today.[ Austism Care and Treatment ] What is this gaming marathon about may you ask? Well I’ll let this graphic explain it:
Gotta Catch ‘Em All for Autism!
They are usingTwitch TV to broadcast the stream and it’ll be up through the 22nd. So if you’re a fan of Pokemon and you want to support research for autism – grab your DS or your Gameboy Color – relive the retro love of this epic marathon and get to catching ’em all and donate to this wonderful cause. You’ll be helping children of all ages, while watching one of the most EPIC Pokemon marathons I’ve ever seen.
They’re still only half way done and they’ve got 3 days to go!
Well, as I work hard on trying to get my Zombi-U impressions together, I figure I should actually give you folks a game to play today huh? It’s been a while. Well I’m kind of in love with the idea of text adventures right now. I know. They may not seem like much but, truth be told, they’re the building blocks of many of your favorite games you play today. Text adventures employ one fundamental game design technique that’s necessary to all games:
Look at how the pretty choice bubbles float around my head!
Choices. Choices. Choices. Ok – umm THIS ONE!
Providing the user choice over their actions gives a sense of meaning and interactivity to any action that players take within the game. It allows game characters to become more life like and real, stories to become more emotionally tense, and gamers wanting to continue with each passing moment. So without further adieu, considering I’m in a zombie mood, I present to you: Choice of Zombies
Note: I haven’t played through the whole thing. They’re rather extensive [which is nice.] but folks should be aware that it does contain some language and of course violence in this piece, so just use caution when playing.
It’s a text adventure game that drops you into, well an infected zombie world. You wake up one morning and discover a human leg in your kitchen, and then it’s up to you how to react to the scenario. The game is entirely multiple choice and incredibly easy to play, but what I love is that it’s kind of addictive. You start with one question, but find yourself thrown head long into trying to figure out when everyone started becoming zombies, trying to survive, etc.
One little, two little, three little zombies… four little… fiv-grraah!
There are plenty more games designed by a company called Choice of Games. They have a plethora of multiple choice text adventure titles to choose from. They even have an open source text adventure script that can be used to design your own text adventure games in the future. You can write your own story and Choice of Games will even help you host it on their site.
So, if you’re interested in text adventure games, if you long for the days of Zerg, and you just happen to have an affinity for zombies I’d give this game a look. Between Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Zombi-U, and Resident Evil 6on the horizon there’s plenty of zombies to look forward to – I just figured you all could use a little bite to tie you over. Enjoy my minions!
Well it’s becoming an age of digital exercise isn’t it? The outdoors has become a scary vortex of something called ‘sunlight’ that burns the skin of nerds everywhere isn’t it? Well have no fear! The superheroes over at Microsoft and Nintendo intend to keep you agoraphobia ridden folks happy and healthy with their newest edition to their exercise video game roster. Microsoft has teamed up with Nike, and Nintendo intends to expand their Wii Fit program. I personally have never been one to think that my video game console could be used as a digital trainer and assistant in my health program, but I think I’m starting to see a trend here. Couch potatoes be damned – the exercise games have come full circle so prepare to get your butts moving instead of your fingers children!
Hey – they’ve got shoes, why not have a game that uses them?
How to start this then, well let’s look at the general use of video games as a participant in our physical activity. It sounds like a neat idea right? I mean, sure, for years I thought the only use for my console was to train my thumb muscles and brain to protect me from zombie attacks. I’m now realizing that with these added games on the market, I might actually be able to work out more than my thumbs. I personally never got into this idea, because I felt like it was just going to be a gimmick sale and that it would pass just as fast as an old high school fad. I was wrong, oh so wrong.
Wii Fit U – so U don’t have to!
So let us begin shall we?
Note: Keep in mind that I’m aware these games may not be suited for many mobility impaired gamers. I’m hoping that by looking into this area of gaming, the industry might look into how to introduce physical therapy and low-intensity exercise programs into these games in later iterations. There are so many exercise games out there: Zumba, Just Dance, Dance Central, Active, etc. I just hope that companies focus on exercise for ALL players and not just activities for MOST players, and with that I move on…
Compete with your friends online. This way you don’t feel self conscious.
Well they did it. Microsoft really impressed me this time. They joined up with one of the biggest juggernauts in workout apparel and content, Nike, and managed to form a game around your personal health. Impressive guys. Impressive. I mean I saw what Microsoft had to offer with Active for Kinect, but I was still on the fence, because it didn’t seem as effective. Well Nike+ just set me straight and I can’t wait to actually get this game for my family [ of course this means I’ll actually have to buy a 360 now. Woo! ] It seems like, in comparison to other games, Nike+ will be a virtual trainer. It will help you keep track of calories, heartbeat, jump height, etc. It will track everything and for folks who are wishing to lose weight, gain a little more muscle mass, etc. can definitely benefit from seeing that rewarding progress tracker. Oh, and if you think that’s cool, you can port the info to your phone – to keep yourself on track on the go [ outside! ] I just ask that developers look at gamers of all kinds. Fat, skinny, mobility impaired, etc. We all need exercise to stay healthy, and we all need ways to participate in doing just that.
Wii Fit U
Well Wii Fit. You’ve been the captain of the ‘in-home’ fitness genre for years now haven’t you? I remember my first experience with the Wii SportsBoxing and how much that used to make me feel like I’d had a real workout by the end of it. Well, with a new console, comes a new rendition of Wii Fit. Introducing Wii Fit U. It seems as though it’s designed as an advanced version of the Wii Fit program, but with some added benefits. What I found that I loved about the Wii Fit U in comparison, was that it allows for mobile activity. What I mean by this is, say a friend wants to come over and watch a movie, but you’ve still got 5 minutes of workout to go. You can port the Wii Fit program from your Wii U to the controller and it’ll display on the screen. This leaves the main TV open for personal use by others. I didn’t see this in the Nike +Kinect Trainer [ but hey XBox Smart Glass might change this. Wink Wink Microsoft! ] The Wii Fit U also comes with a portable pedometer to carry around.
It may not seem like much but that dual screen functionality is going to help!
I’m not sure how much the Nike+“fuel bands‘ cost, but I’m uncertain if one of them comes with Nike+ – Wii Fit U has the edge here.
I will say, I feel like Kinect was more physically accommodating – but Wii Fit U gets the mobile usage edge at the moment. We’ll have to see later.
Overall, I love that game companies want to get us all active. I’m excited to see these games affect our daily lives, but will these drag me away from games like AC III, Watch Dogs, or Black Ops II? Probably not, but I’ll be glad that they’re available for when I want to work out at home! So keep a look out for these – it looks like it’ll be a sweaty holiday season at this rate! Happy gaming folks! Much love to you all!
The Assassin’s Creedseries has been a staple of my gaming library for at least 6 years now. I’ve followed Desmond from his first days in the Animus, and I’ve travelled through time to some of my favorite eras in history: Jerusalem, Renaissance Italy, and the Byzantine Empire. I’ve seen it all and I’ve enjoyed every conspiracy driven minute of the Assassin’s journey, and now Ubisoft is bringing my much loved franchise to an era that I can’t get enough of. Assassin’s Creed III will bring the boats back around, setting sail for a story centered in Colonial America.
“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.” – George Washington
With a new addition to Assassin’s series comes a brand new assassin to embody. The game will continue following the story of Desmond, but this time his ancestry takes him neck deep within the Revolutionary War. You’ll get the opportunity to strap on the white cowl as you play as Connor, a half-Native American/half-English assassin, who becomes a silent voice for liberty above the tyranny of the British soldiers. Now from what I’ve seen, this game has everything I could ever ask for when considering what I would want out of a 18th century experience.
It would be incredibly easy to go into a in-depth, multi-paragraphed dissertation on all of the ways Ubisoft has altered the newest addition to their Assassin’s series. I, however, will try and remain completely objective and refrain from my fan-boy obsessions with the time period and characters to give you a detailed and unbiased multi-platform examination of the game. Here goes:
In past Assassin’s Creed games the game has had some linearity to it, but it felt like an open world experience. In AC IIIUbisoft truly revamps the open world experience for the game. I always found that in past iterations of the Assassin’s series that, while the environments looked beautiful, they lacked environmental climate changes. In AC IIIUbisoft has seen the need for environmental experiences. Players can now experience the weight of walking through thick tufts of snow, crunching over mounds of dried leaves, and even fighting off generated wildlife that roams the wood.
The most epic game of “Hide and Seek” ever.
In AC III there seems to be far more open ended fun to be had. The quest systems seem to be more ‘in the moment’ and even if they’re similar in some fashion [ and by this I’m referring to the fetch quests, assassinations, etc. eventually they felt very similar in scheme after a couple of attempts.] Ubisoft seems to want to change that with letting you feel as though each mini-quest is as important as the main story scheme. Interact with historical figures and feel like a meaningful part of the Revolution Era. I’m sort of loving this, and I can’t wait to see what that means for further gameplay.
It seems as though your main enemy in this game is, of course, the Templars. The Templars seem to be mostly associated with the British soldiers, but that’s not saying there probably won’t be some traitors within American ranks either [ I’m actually kind of hoping for that! ] Ubisoft really focused on being authentic though, because if you watch the gameplay scenarios, the soldiers only shoot once before they have to ambush you with bayonets.
This is going to give a lot of variation to the new gameplay mechanics, and with some of the new moves that seem to be showing – I think this will be one of the most versatile combat systems we’ve seen out of the Assassin’s series. The movement and dodge mechanics seem to have new animations and provide the player with a brand new experience that makes every combat scenario a unique experience. I can’t wait to kill off Templar goons, string them up, use them as bullet shields, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget that there’s actually going to be naval ship battles too – which blows me away! No pun intended!
The game has multiplayer of course, and though I haven’t seen much of it. It looks like they’ve made the system easier to deal with and more accommodating to the user. I was unfortunately disappointed by the Revelations revamp and how difficult the system was to handle. I preferred the interface they incorporated in Brotherhood, but it seems as though the interface for AC III seems far more fitting to the user.
The game is going to be released multi platform as always, but what makes AC III so intriguing for me is that it’s going to be coming out for Wii U, PS3, 360 and PC. I’m intrigued by the possibility of AC III on the Wii U. Will you be able to use the second screen function as a far more visible HUD, inventory screen, etc. How will the touch screen be implemented? This also brings to mind the 360 Smart Glass. How will Smart Glass help AC III differ on their system in comparison to if I bought it for PS3?
For Liberty and Justice For All
I’m hoping the new gameplay and environmental elements of AC III will bring Connor’s story to life in the greatest way possible. I’m hoping with new technology and new ways to interact with the AC universe that Assassin’s Creed III will be one of my most loved and cherished games. I will be on pins and needles waiting to see how this game unfolds, but it’s shaping up to be one of the most epic adventures that Ubisoft has ever unveiled.
Thanks guys for giving this designer something to truly swoon over both from a gamer perspective and from a tech junkie’s anticipation! The game’s slated for October 2012 – so get ready folks! The Revolution is coming!
Well I’ve done a lot of E3 coverage on the games lately, and I think it’s about time that we started talking a little bit of TECH don’t you? I also want folks to know that I’m an all inclusive gamer. I don’t want it to seem like I have a bias towards one company or the other just because I don’t happen to own a system to play games exclusive to it – SO let’s talk some XBox news shall we?
Microsoft’s press conference was loaded with some pretty awesome coverage of Kinect and their games, but there was something that definitely peeked my interest: XBox Smart Glass. Now what exactly is XBox Smart Glass:
What intrigues me about this concept is that Microsoft is realizing that gaming consoles are swiftly becoming hubs of peoples homes. Games are becoming more casual, movies are being streamed, music is being uploaded, and the web is practically a necessity in this generation of an interconnected world. So – how does Microsoft plan to answer this conundrum of how to provide all of this to mobile on-the-go families?
XBox Smart Glass.
Wii shows off Wii U, but Smart Glass looks sharp for sure!
The applications that you’ve seen above really grasped me. The idea that Microsoft will allow players to use their smartphones and tablets that they already own to interact with the 360 device is genius. They’re not asking for players to go out and buy a peripheral piece of hardware like they asked for when they released Kinect, but rather, they’re integrating their products into the already mobile lives of families and gamers. I’m sort of in love with this honestly. It’s not like I haven’t seen this before, in fact, this technologies been around for quite a while.
Tablet to TV? Awesomeness!
I’ve seen integrated screen technology being utilized by Microsoft and Apple for ages now. In Disneyland’sInnoventions – Microsoft and HP fully utilize the integrated screen technology within the Disney Dream Home segment. They opened the exhibit in 2008 – so it’s been around. It’s a fantastic look at the usage that Microsoft can get out of their software and integration technology. Honestly, walking through that home, sometimes I wonder why some of these integrations haven’t been fully utilized in games. Well now that looks as though that’s about to change.
This is a girls room – look at how it customizes itself to the programmers interests!
If you want to learn more and take a virtual look of the Dream Home, check it out:
We’ve all heard about the voice command gaming using Kinect via Mass Effect 3and other games, but what does Smart Glass bring to the table as far as accessibility? Well, here’s what I’m seeing. I see a gaming console that utilizes both voice controls via Kinect and touchscreen functions using your own tablet devices to bring a valued, immersive, and refreshing experience. All this would require is the download of an app to your phone or smartphone.
Clearly you can see from the demo that these ideas may actually make games like Madden, FPS games, etc. more accessible for those gamers with mobility issues. Imagine if you were able to play an FPS via a touchscreen, while still being able to interact and play with friends who participate via controllers. I would also love to see if they’ll start utilizing PC/XBox/Android cross play in the future. This technology may soon be able to shrink the boundaries and difficulties that many gamers find in trying to become valued and integral participants with their fellow gamers.
I thought for a moment that Wii U would be the leader in touchscreen gaming, but clearly XBox is trying to take a vast bite out of the newest console from their competition. I see so much potential in this that I can’t wait to pick up a 360 just to test out the future of this technology. I see a vast social and mobile aspect to this technology and I can only hope that Microsoft keeps up with this design!
Way to go Microsoft – you just set the bar for console accessibility in my opinion!
What are your opinions on the newest tech to be released by the tech juggernaut? Let me know in the comments below. How do you think this will change the face of the industry, accessibility for games, the way we design games, etc. I would love to hear from you all!
Now, for those of you who don’t know, I am sort of a huge Hayao Miyazaki fan. Studio Ghibli has helped to release some of my most cherished childhood memories via their films. So imagine my surprise a few months ago when I found out that I would finally get a chance to play a GAMEdesigned by the great Miyazaki himself?! Yep! You heard me right!
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
A GAME BY MIYAZAKI?! TAKE MY MONEY NOW PLEASE!!
Now I know this game has been floating about already, so why in the world is this E3 news? Well, the game has already had booming popularity in Japan, and a few months ago they announced that Studio Ghibli and Level 5 were going to be working on bringing Ni No Kunistate-side! So yes – all of this work simply for an English dubbed version you say? Well, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am and why this forgoes almost everything else I’ve seen from E3 thus far!
The game looks beautiful and it’s done in full cell-shade artwork. They also seem to have put movie-style cutscenes into the game. This decision gave the designers a way to make the game look like a genuine movie quality piece of Miyazaki’s work. It’s a brand new story too, which I’m so excited about. It’ll be the first time that I’ll actually have an opportunity to play an interactive role in a Miyazaki piece of work. I’ve always loved movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, etc.
All I will say about this movie is: Cat Bus for the win!
Would you like one lump of sugar or two No Face?
One of my FAVORITE Miyazaki films! I could watch this for days!
You name it, they were a part of my life, and to know that the start of 2013 I’ll be able to participate in one directly is a true blessing I can’t wait to experience! Level 5 is famous for their RPG designs, and so it’s to be expected that they’d use similar methods to design Ni No Kuni. If you’ve ever played White Knight Chronicles – you’ll definitely see notes of that game in Ni No Kuni. The main map motions, etc. but what I love the most is that it seems as though Level 5 is trying to make the game play out a bit like a Miyazaki version of Pokemon!
You start playing the game as the main character, Oliver, on his quest to be a master magician and save his mother’s soul from this other world called Ni No Kuni. In the game you’ll encounter spirit creatures, which you can collect [ Does this NOT sound like Pokemon, Folklore, etc. – either way I’m intrigued.] to help you fight off later monsters and bosses.
How beautiful! New characters to start loving!
The game isn’t turned based though, so it’s all action based and oriented. The HUD displays look simple and easy to navigate, and it seems as though controlling your creatures is simple as well. I’m truly looking forward to seeing this game and it’s touch towards accessibility. It may be a huge hit in Japan already, but I can bet that Ni No Kuni will sell out quickly in the States too!
Does this not scream vintage games like Pokemon, Chrono Trigger, etc.?!
My words don’t do the game justice though, so I’m simply going to stop. Just take a look at the game for now, and see what Miyazaki and Level 5 have given us humble citizens to look forward to on January 22nd, 2013! So far all I see that it’s getting released for is PS3 and Nintendo DS [ in Japan only ] Here’s to Studio Ghibli and their shining gem of interactive artwork! Can’t wait!
Hey there world, now I know I’ve been touting E3 Impressions all over the place this week, BUT you guys know [ if you’re regular viewers ] my real mission for this blog isn’t just to talk about or develop games, but rather give back to my community via games. It’s been a while since I’ve found a reason to celebrate games as a charity – today I may have found the golden egg of ALLHumble Bundles! Yep – that’s right! This Humble Bundle supports the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play. These charities help fund education and support providing video games to hospitals to provide kids with entertainment and fun.
Indie Games UNITE!
Now why am I so stoked about THISHumble Bundle V? WELL, as a designer, there comes a time where I have found games which I personally feel that no designer should go without playing. The games which should be your guide to artsy, pop-culture, wonder hits. The games that, whether it be mechanics, storyline, or artwork, blew fellow designers and myself away with how amazing these games were for some reason or another. So without further adieu let’s pull back the curtain on what I believe to be the BIGGEST, and BESTHumble Bundle package yet! Oh, and by the way, Tim Schafer is in the trailer!
1. Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP
Now I saw this game when it first came out as a tablet PC and iPhone game – and I was stunned by how cool it looked. It’s retro artistic vibe, with it’s text based dialogue, and it’s almost Zelda like adventure blew me away, and made me want to get a iPhone so bad! I’m stoked that it’s finally coming to a platform where I can have access to it and play it first hand all the way through! The story, art, and gameplay mechanics are something to admire and watch!
Here’s looking at you Tri-Force!
This game haunts my nightmares with how hauntingly beautiful and morbid this game is. You play as a young boy who is traversing this monochromatic black and white dreamscape. The puzzles are morbid and often end in the death of your character, but he comes back to life for you to try and try again. The gameplay mechanics are super simple [ one button for jump, the movement keys, and then another button to grab items ]
While it may seem odd and sort of macabre to take part in this death-defying dream puzzler, Limbo is hands down one of my favorite indie games. Each puzzle is super challenging and it keeps you invested with the emotion you feel for your little digital friend as he makes this journey. Produced by a company called Play Dead Studios [ fitting name ] it’s definitely one of the must see games on this list.
One small step for man… one giant leap for a boy.
3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I actually have never had first hand experience with this game, but that’s also because I tend to shy away from the horror genre of games. I’m trying my best to branch out though, and from what I’ve heard of this game – it’s a must see and experience. I’ll keep you all posted on the accessibility and the gameplay once I buy it and run a play through. Here is a trailer though, to give you an idea of the game:
Well, if this wasn’t the icing on the delicious cake that is this Humble Bundle V. Everyone should know by now that I’m sort of in love with a company called Double Fine Productions. I’m kind of infatuated with them and have been a long time fan of their work. Tim Schafer is like an icon in this industry to me, and one of the main reasons he’s had such an impact on my gaming life is because of THIS game!
Psychonauts is a quirky, off-the-wall, fun and whimsical adventure game. You – well, I would explain it, but honestly, the trailer speaks for itself:
Thanks Mr. Schafer. Thank you and your team for building such a memorable game.
5. Bastion [ If you pay over the average donation, which is $ 8.26 ]
A high-octane platforming narrative that really grasps you from the seat of your pants and carries you all the way to the end… umm… well, I guess there’s a better way to explain it. Perhaps the narrator of the game can:
6. Lone Survivor [ If you pay over the average donation. ]
This is one of the newest editions to the indie house of lovely games. You play as well, a lone survivor, in a pixelated platforming world. Evade pixel zombies, collect loot and resources, and do your best to survive this horrible fate – or you know? Die trying.
One man. Many zombies. All Pixels.
7. Braid [ If you pay over the average donation. ]
Well, how to describe this one? Oh yeah! Take a sprinkle of Prince of Persia [ the time altering ] and then add in some crazy puzzle mechanics that take my breathe away, and THEN compile it on one of the most beautifully retro, hand painted styles of art and graphics I’ve seen on an indie game and you’d have Braid. Enough said – for now.
Let’s do the Time Warp again!
8. Super Meat Boy [ If you pay over the average donation. ]
What do you get when you give a meat wad a lover? – separate them by force, and then ask the meat wad to come rescue his meaty bride? Well you get Super Meat Boy, and it’s one of the most odd, interesting, and funny experiences I’ve had in a game before. The game is definitely challenging, but it’s well worth the challenge – because the designers put so much time, effort, and love into this game. There is no way you’ll walk away from this game without a big, meaty smile on your face!
I’ll save you my ham-flavored princess! I just have to grind my way up the food chain!
I would try to give folks a full run down of all of these games [ and I may later ], but I would be so excited that it would take me a page for each one. Think about this for one moment. You not only get the GAMES, but you also acquire their SOUNDTRACKS – and ALL of these amazingly historic games can be gathered up for less than $10 dollars!! Are you kidding me right now?! That’s like someone knocking on your door mid-June and saying “Merry Christmas stranger!” leaving you some of the most lavish gifts they can give and then just driving away!
If you know nothing of these games, know this: Each of these games, in my personal opinion, contain an aspect of game design that I think EVERY designer should experience. Whether you’re a painter, a fashion designer, a game designer, or even a teacher – YOU SHOULD try these games. They’re emotional, challenging, and engaging stories that have captivated millions in the industry for one reason or another! What once were indie games nobody knew of, and few dared to explore, are some of the most cherished gems in gaming now. So, please, do yourself a favor and support a wonderful charity and grab these fantastic games while you still can.
YOU HAVE 5 Days left! 5! Games are supported for PC, Mac, and Linux! Go now and get your HUMBLE BUNDLE V! Make the most of it! Let your indie gamer live!
Well, so I’ve highlighted two PS3 exclusives in a row and so I feel it’s only right to detail a game that’ll be going multi-platform. It’s not often that I get surprised by a third-party conference, but Ubisoft punched me in the face this time. Near the end of their conference they released a brand new IP: Watch Dogs.
Everything is Connected. Connection is Power.
The following trailers contain some language and violence, but I’m so stoked by the conceptual idea that I can look past that, and look forward to the completed product.
This is how they introduced the product:
In a generation that’s littered with conspiracy theories, financial concerns, explosive gas prices, war, and civil unrest in our everyday society, I can’t tell you how chilling this game concept felt for me. The idea that data silos are sitting somewhere out there in an interconnected community and YOU can be in control of it all – makes the hairs on the back of my neck tingle with both fear and excitement. Here’s where it gets fun, so Ubisoftdropped that trailer, and THEN they released a section of initial gameplay for the game:
Are you kidding me?! – The graphics quality is something that I’ve always found special about Ubisoft productions. Their stories, graphics, and characters are some of the most prolific and beautiful that I’ve ever witnessed. I’m still unsettled on whether or not Watch Dogs will feature one protagonist, or if Watch Dogs will be some sort of multiplayer game – via the online services. Either way I’m excited to see what this unsettling game is going to deliver.
Total Control? Yes! Thank you!
The idea that I can go around playing as [ from what’s been presented currently ] a protagonist named Aiden Pierce, in the seedy underbelly of Chicago. The game seems to be about vengeance and justice being retained for Pierce. The game is also reportedly going to be an open world environment, which means I’ll be able to solve problems, accomplish goals, and side missions in more than one way [ Horray for non-linear formats! ].
It seems like Watch Dogs is not only going to test players abilities to solve problems, but also will give them the free will to determine how Pierce will escape capture, seek his vengeance, and so forth. This small detail will give so much more depth to the gameplay, allowing players to either play as a sympathetic, stealthier assassin – or a havoc and chaos type player where casualties aren’t a concern to your primary objective. How awesome!
The game is slated for some time in 2013 and will be fully playable on XBox, PS3, and PC. So – get your thumbs ready for some major conspiracy control folks! This game looks amazing and I love the HUD displays simplicity as well as the gritty, dark gameplay of it all! Watch Dogs – definitely a game to ‘watch‘ out for! I’ll keep folks posted as more comes about!