Archive for category: Awesome
Is it wrong that I want to make love to it? Well, then I don’t want to be right.
A violent (for a cartoon) but awesomely stylish mashup of Hotline Miami and Team Fortress 2. Pretty rad.
As I said, I’m currently playtesting System Crash. Which means playing it all day, day after day, tweaking parameters, iterating.
Honestly, I expected to find it a bit tedious, doing this part. But it’s not! It’s really fun!
Fun gameplay combined with the feeling of “OMG, *I* did this!’ = AMAZING!
I’m on top of the world! 😀
A bit of fun for a Friday. 😉
Found this fake “tv intro” clip for a Shadowrun show while browsing around on youtube. It’s fairly neat.
I’d watch that!
Project Eternity has finished its Kickstarter campaign, ending just shy of 4 million, though the additional pledges from Paypal should tip it over that milestone.
Congrats to Obsidian! I think they’ve done a great job getting RPG fans excited for the project. As I said in the previous post, I wasn’t impressed with PE initially, but I’ve since come to consider it the best-run and most promising KS project I’ve backed.
One of the neat things they did, as the campaign wound down, was to run a livestream of the Obsidian offices as the clock ticked down the final hours. Employees gathered around, answered questions off the stream, joked around with each other, did shots at each 50k accumulated, and generally had a “party on the internet”. 😀
It was actually a fairly fun, I tuned in for the first few hours, before it got too late here in the Southern Hemisphere. They’re a cool bunch of people. The sense of camaraderie, both between the employees of Obsidian and with all the RPG fans who’d tuned in, was fantastic.
The passion of everyone involved was incredibly motivating, for me personally. These are my people!
The feed was recorded, so if you missed it you can watch here. I’m running the last few hours in the background, while I work. Listen out for the Age of Decadence and RPGCodex shoutouts, and the look of panic on Avellone’s face when it was suggested they invite the Codex to the launch party. 😀
That feeling, of working closely with people you connect to, is one of the things I miss most, working alone. Even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing with my life, the last job was a pretty great working environment, the people were awesome and we had some fantastic times. I miss my mates. Communicating with people on forums and twitter helps keep me from feeling too isolated, but I want that kind of feeling again.
It was actually something I was uncertain about, when I started this. Do I want to stay a one-man band? Do I want to be like Jeff Vogel or Cliff Harris, keeping my operation small and being free to answer to no one but myself? Managing people, even contractors, isn’t easy. It’s easy to dismiss what managers do as trivial paperwork and bureaucratic bollocks, until you’ve had to manage a project involving more than one person. Taking on full time employees would increase my ability to produce new games, at the cost of having to spend more and more time managing. And it limits your options, you have to make decisions taking into account the people who rely on you, whose salaries you need to pay. Like having children, you can’t just follow your whims anymore. It is worth it?
For a long time, I thought the answer was “no”. But my viewpoint has changed this year. There’s lots of things you only learn “hands on”. And while some of the contractors I’ve worked with have indeed been a pain in the ass, a couple have proven a real pleasure to work with, to the point where I would hire them in a heartbeat if I could afford it, and won’t hesitate to work with them in the future. The trade-offs ARE worth it.
Also, I’ve finally accepted, really accepted, deep down in my emotions, that I won’t be able to finish a project on the scope of Scars of War without a team. So the question I had to ask was, am I happy to stay small at the cost of knowing that that kind of game is forever out of my reach, or am I willing to grow a team over time so I can tackle larger scale projects? Knowing that it would probably mean drifting into a more managerial role, at least to some degree? Could I let go of things like directly making all the programming decisions?
I really wrestled with this. I have always found the idea of managing people a bit of a turn-off, but at the same time, I started down this game development path a decade ago out of a desire to be involved in the creation of the type of games I loved. The Baldur’s Gate 2s and Dungeon Keepers and so on. If I accept that I probably can’t make those with my available resources, do I even want to be in game development? Should I go write books or focus on art, instead?
It all comes down to choosing what your goal really is. I DON’T want Spiderweb-scale games to be my upper limit. I DO want to work on games of the scale of Project Eternity, Baldur’s Gate 2, Vampire Bloodlines. That IS what I want. And with the right team, I believe I, no WE, can do it.
One of the first things Serge (Vince) of ITS told me : “Build it and they will come”. He was telling me that as he encouraged me, random dude on the internet, to show and talk about the RPG I’d been working on in my spare time, Scars of War, to the RPGCodex.
So I will build it.
Obsidian shows us how good pre-rendered-with-handpainted-details can look, using modern technology. And it’s just beautiful.
I’m definitely excited now. Maybe that makes me a graphics whore, but so be it. IT’S PRETTY, I LIKE THE PRETTY.
In the final stretch of their Kickstarter campaign, Obsidian have reached for the big guns, revealing 2 delicious stretch goals for the next half-mill milestones : a stronghold and another big city. Me, I love both of those things. Urban adventuring is my favourite type by far, and I loved the Strongholds in BG2 and Morrowind.
Let’s get behind this, people. I started off fairly skeptical, but I’ve become more and more impressed as updates have been rolled out, and after watching the various videos. I get a sense that they are level-headed dudes, who are listening carefully to community feedback and juggling the demands of transparency and preproduction flexibility. And their stretch goals seem well thought out without being over-ambitious.
Perhaps it’s just hopefulness on my part, but of all the big-name video game KS projects, this has become the one I am most impressed with so far. Let’s hope this project becomes a defining moment for Obsidian, where they go from being Bioware’s plucky younger sibling to a leader and trendsetter in PC roleplaying, as Bioware did with the Baldur’s Gate series.
Lovely piece up on Edge where 18 well-known developers answer the question “What motivates you to make games?”
I found it rather inspiring. I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I wonder if I still want to make games, if I still enjoy gaming. Sometimes, you need something to remind you of what you love about a thing.
Certain quotes particularly resonated with me.
My desire, my need, to make videogames goes back to my very first Dungeons & Dragons play sessions. I’ll never forget the emotional high, the joy, I felt. I’d always known I wanted to tell stories for a living, but until D&D, I assumed I’d tell them to people. What D&D taught me was the power of telling stories with other people.
Five or six of us – working within a framework created by a dungeon master – could craft our own experiences. We could see and do and say things no one else in the world had ever seen, done or said… We could do things in our imaginary worlds that would be at best unacceptable in the real world… We could walk in the shoes of people from ancient civilisations, have adventures that put to shame the exploits of real explorers… We could all become storytellers.
My friends and I also played a lot of pen-and-paper RPGs. Story drama and game/verb drama blended together in RPGs. Then I discovered videogames: the way the bat in Adventure changed the game dynamically, the bullfrog puzzle in Ultima Underworld, which I solved in a nonstandard way by exploiting spells and physics…
Ultimately, the reason I make games is that I still find it fascinating to explore the dark, the potentially threatening or hostile space; it’s thrilling to me to solve problems under duress, to fight monsters in the metaphorical sense. And I want to do it myself, expressing my own desires and quirks. I’d rather be there as an active agent in a truly dynamic, changeable situation, and games do that better than film or literature.
But perhaps the best line comes from Adrian Chmielarz. Summing it up perfectly in one line.
Because games actually allow me to see the attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
A level created in Unreal 2 as tribute to Blade Runner. Fantastic.
I wanna play this!
Man, but I would love to have level designers/artists like this working for me. This is the kind of RPG level design I love the most, the DX/VtmB “open, non-linear levels but not vast sandbox” style level design, combined with a first person “seeing it from the ground” view.
And cities are so much cooler to explore than boring tracts of wilderness!
I think, when I do go back to creating a 3D RPG, this level of art (the U2 generation of games) is a good one to aim for. It’s simple enough that art isn’t incredibly time consuming to produce, but good enough to create great mood and atmosphere nonetheless. What do you guys think?
Too, too cool. BG expanded needs to come out soon, I can’t contain my urge to replay the series much longer.