Games: Art/Science Ratio?

Continuing the yesterday’s theme, but let’s put more fine grained options to answer.

[poll id=30]

Pick one that feels closest to your liking. I deliberately did not put 60/40 answers (just choose 50/50 instead then, since that’s closest).

I want to see “how much ‘both'” there is in games.

And of course all answers are correct answers, different games just have different amount of art/science in them.

7 Ways To Legally Get Indie Games Without Paying a Cent (W00t!!)

Everybody knows that indie game devs are lovable and cute people. That’s why they are even prepared to give their games for free. Sometimes.

Here’s some ways to get those games at your disposal!

  1. Beg! Don’t beg the developer (that just annoys the developer and makes you look stupid), beg your parents! (that just annoys the parents, but they give in – eventually they always will) If you do the laundry and rake the grass, in no time your parents will give you those 10 bucks (or whatnot) to get yourself that game!
  2. Beg more! If your parents think that 20 bucks is “too expensive” then tell them that you will work for 5 bucks per month. No parent can resist this offer!
  3. Contribute in the development team’s discussion forums – become a moderator and act like a sane person. In no time you’ll receive fame & glory, and of course the game for pro bono.
  4. Set up a fan blog dedicated to the game. Write tons of posts and get people to visit the game site. In no time, a copy of the indie game is yours!
  5. Do a video about the game and get it in everybody’s face. Then humbly go and ask if you could get a copy.
  6. Participate in contests: the developers have all sort of nice contests where you can win stuff. And the game.
  7. Offer to translate the game! Many devs are more than willing to give a copy of the game in exchange for a translation.

Bonus tips:

  1. Become a game tester (by hermitC)
  2. Become a games reviewer (by Andy)

Or just skip a few beers, spend that money in the game and you should be just fine.

Sober too.

How to Deal With Stupid Orangeholes

We all know that there’s “stupid” people who “don’t get it”. They come to us and tell how things need to be done. They act like idiots and don’t respect our comments, ideas or thoughts.

Here’s what I have to deal with:

The orangehead story
Me: “Here’s a list of games we can play then.”

Orangehead: “But I won’t participate unless there’s good games.”

Me: Well, what games you want? Why cannot you show some support? This is a team effort, no time to go solo. Everybody needs to show some team spirit here!”

Me thinking secrectly: (What a goddamn orangehead. This type of situation doesn’t very often and this dude is already ruining the plans even before we get started)

And so on
No matter how much we force our own opinion, they just don’t get it.

Orangeheads.

Here’s one lil thing that has helped me to see to the other side of the fence. It requires a big drill, but after there’s a hole – I can take a peek and have little more understanding why these orangeheads act like they do.

The drill philosophy states that: “People do the best decisions from their point-of-view”.

If I start thinking this… I can think that perhaps the Orangehead in the story isn’t that orangehead after all. Maybe he really wants to participate, but is concerned that there aren’t good games to play. Maybe he would be fully supporting the plan, but just wants to ensure that there are really good games to play.

If I label him (in my mind – or in a blog post for that matter) as an “orangehead” I’ve sort of like “already made up my mind what I think about this chap”. This calls for confrontation. I defend my view, he defends his view… and it’s a battle. Instead, if I think that this orangehead, I mean fellow chap, is doing the best decisions from his point-of-view I can gain more understanding and perhaps help find some middleground.

Me Thinks Respawn Has a Huge Impact on The Gameplay Experience

Almost ten years ago I spent quite a bit playing Rogue Spear online. This “shooter” game had one very unique gameplay element in it: there was no respawn. In online gaming, if you got shot… that’s it. You had to wait for one team to win the whole round before you could participate in a new round.

Some people might think that it would be better if you could respawn after death… but me thinks that this would ruin the gameplay. The fact that you could not respawn made it important to stay alive. You had to be careful since one shot could kill you. It made a huge impact on how people played the game. It wasn’t a shooter game the way Quake or others were. It was different.

Bit similar thing was introduced in Battlefield 1942. You would respawn… but only every 30 seconds or so. (I don’t know if nowadays you can define the respawn rate on the server, but anyway). This made you think a bit before rushing towards the enemy. You had to think a bit. You could rush… but it was a choice to consider.

After playing these 2 games, I tried playing Wolfenstein Enemy Territory… and didn’t really like it. Everybody was running screaming around shooting stuff that moves. Same happened with Quake Live.

Of course there was more than just respawn rate (such as character movement speed, weapon damage rates and such) but to illustrate how powerful impact respawn rate has, consider this. In Zombie Master mod for Half-life, there’s some servers/maps you respawn in the game after death, in some servers you have to wait until the round restarts. This makes the world of difference on the feeling.

On those servers where you respawn, the game is degenerates into running & shooting wildly… it’s brainless shooting. It becomes meaningless… boring too.

In maps where there’s no respawn, things immediately change to more tactical – and more careful playing. There’s meaning in playing.

We value rare things. Things like player’s life. Respawn rate has a big impact on this.

(My theory is that Buddhists must find life pretty boring.)

Here’s One Way to Get a Job In A Creative Industry

Take a look at the video below:

Worked for this advertising copywriter: he spent $6 to get his name in front of the top creative directors in his industry – he bought google ads that were shown when creative directors were googling for their own names. (but don’t go spending your bucks in google/facebook/wherever without realizing that this like might – you know – not work for the job you want).

Minimalistic Art Style, So It Shall Be

Yesterday’s blog post about retro style purchases got poll answers I didn’t anticipate. I expected more “no” votes, but alas people have purchased games with retro/pixel/non-fancy3d art. Of course that poll was wide open to people to draw their own conclusion what they meant… but at least it shows that a game doesn’t need great 3D art to get purchased – even minimalistic style will work in some cases.

This made my life easier… and I’ll stick with minimalistic art style for my stealth game prototype.

And hey, if Monaco does it, I feel I’m on quite safe waters here.

Escape From Alcatraz

I got some suggestions for good prison/escape movies and started watching Escape from Alcatraz today. I feel this makes a great stealth/disguise/escape game theme. I started working on a design (I base the core gameplay idea to the ancient The Great Escape game).

I’ve done some research on the gaming side and noticed plenty of “issues” with some games that try to be stealth games. For example, Escape from Alcatraz (PC) game degenerates into so much trial/error/restarting – and then some shooting & bombing that it goes quite far away for what I think a prison escape game should be (there’s some good ideas in that game – checked the demo – but I feel that it’s not going to be a threat). I read the review for Splinter Cell: Conviction, and there’s immediate issue with it. It’s no more so much a stealth game, but rather action game. It’s so much about killing.

That’s where I see opportunity. The good ol’ C64 times. No killing.

Instead, the prototype aims to offer “planning your escape”, “gathering materials for it”, “executing the escape” – with stealth as well.

I’ll continue working on the gameplay design, and then it’s time to do some coding.

The One Who Invented Regions Should Be Spanked. With a Large Trout. Really Large.

You know what’s pretty annoying? Seeing text like “this video isn’t available in your country”. Whose idea was that? Is there a specific reason why I cannot watch some crap in Youtube? (Or Hulu.com for that matter) Is that idea somewhat related to ensuring that money doesn’t travel to wrong region or something.

Country regions. Region codes. DRM.

This region restriction is almost as disturbing as those unskippable copyright notices.

They sure want to give people reasons to start pirating.