Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Month: March 2006 (page 1 of 3)

The Skinny

To respond to the email I’ve been getting, Yes, this is true, for the most part.

No, I don’t know what I’m doing next. Yes, I have a good idea, but nothing is concrete. Continue reading

Summary of GDC 2006

Below the break: GDC In A Nutshell

Continue reading

Aggro Me Shows You What Dev Life is Like

I thought this was pretty funny, and scarily close to accurate in some situations.

Snakes In A Plane Update

Also, CNN came out with an update about Snakes In A Plane while we were gone. Behold the power of the internet:

The Samuel L. Jackson thriller “Snakes on a Plane,” which wrapped last September in Vancouver, went back before the cameras this month for five days of additional shooting in Los Angeles.

In this case, it wasn’t the usual reshoot, hastily assembled to fix a nagging story problem. Instead, distributor New Line Cinema decided to create new scenes that would take the movie from PG-13 into R-rated territory [to respond to the movie’s Internet fanaticism].

The audio bit [from a fan-made trailer] uses a Jackson sound-alike shouting, “I want these mother——- snakes off the mother——- plane!” Soon, the growing legion of fans added their voices as they demanded that that phrase also appear in the movie… [In the reshoot] they shot a scene where Jackson does utter the line that fans have demanded.

You genuinely have no idea how much better this makes me feel about the world.


Double Standard in Questionable Content

While I was gone, a Desperate Housewives game was announced! Here’s the amusing part:

Not only can you tap into the delicious secrets held by your naughty neighbors — including Bree, Lynette, Gabrielle, Edie and Susan — but shortly after settling into this cushy suburban neighborhood you’ll also discover you were in a car accident 20 years ago and have been living with amnesia ever since. The goal of the game is to interact with the characters to unlock a few dark secrets of your own.“As fans of the show would expect, the game is loaded with gossip, betrayal, murder and sex — you know, all the things women like,” says Mary Schuyler, the producer of the title at Buena Vista Games… (The game will be rated for ages 13 and up.)

Emphasis mine. Remember, kids, sex and murder is only bad for kids if gang-bangers are doing it! If it involves suburbanites, even Disney can get involved!

Crucifying Your Playerbase

I get press releases from time to time. Normally, I don’t put them up, as I’m not really in the news business, but this one struck me as a particularly bad idea. Here’s the link from Roma Victor. Continue reading

Categories of Bad Films

I’ll be at GDC most of this week. Until then, here’s an article I’ve been working on in my (very) spare time. I welcome new categories and better examples.
Over on F13, they’ve been having a discussion about bad movies, spawned primarily from the (then upcoming) vampfight between Underworld: Evolution and Bloodrayne. The fight has devolved quickly, due largely in my mind to people disagreeing about what ‘bad’ is. I mean, come on, some people are trying to say that ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘the Patriot’ are the worst movies ever. How you can even say that in a multiverse where ‘Battlefield Earth’ exists boggles my mind.

Clearly what is needed are Categories of Bad, to better compartmentalize the various archetypes of bad movies that exist. Inspired by the Sports Guy’s 13 Levels of Losing, maybe this will finally allow people to have an intelligent discussion about bad film. Continue reading

Paladins as Easy Mode

Someone pointed out this Powerpoint slide to me from last year’s Blizzcon – a Blizzard designer pointing out that Paladins were intended to be an easy class to play in that game. By contrast, one can imagine Rogues being designed with the frenetic script kiddie in mind. Continue reading

Two Great Pieces of Games As Art

Here are two examples of videogames that carry a message, and use the interactivity of the games to make their points.

The first is the McDonald’s game (all you need to know is that I’m shocked that McDonalds the Hamburger Guys haven’t shut it down yet). Brian helpfully reminded me of this link.

The second is September the 12th (which I’ve posted before), a profound statement about the ultimate futility of waging the war on terror with scud missiles.

Whether or not you agree with the points the makers of these games are trying to make, there’s little doubt that the game makers are trying to say something here, and that message is aided a great deal by the lens of interactivity.


Accordian to Some…

No comment necessary: The Accordion Hero Postmortem.

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