Zen Of Design

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

Month: July 2006 (page 1 of 2)

E3, We Hardly Knew Ye

I haven’t been to E3 the last two years. Three years ago, I was so appalled by the endless array of Vietnam shooters, mediocre racing games and licenses slapped onto ‘me-too’ gameplay that I left convinced that Playboy: Mansion was the most innovative game at the show. As such, when it came time the next two years to ask whether or not to splurge for plane tickets and hotel rooms, I decided to pass. Too much noise, too much hype, too little innovation – it had actually grown to be more depressing than anything else. Continue reading

In Abstentia

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. I’ve been on heavy documentation duty at the office, and when that occurs, my desire to write something actually worth reading drops dramatically. It’s a shame, since a lot has gone on lately.

For the time being, go read Scott’s Design Challenge. I was going to post the same thing, only Scott did it first, and to a much higher level of quality than I ever would have.

Excelsior!

My Fiancee on Who Wants To Be A Superhero: “This is, like, 100 times worse than the Rock Paper Scissors tournament.”

Valve’s Portal

This may be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. (YouTube link)

The Subtle Promise of EQ’s Expansion

In a time where every new MMO that’s not named “World of Warcraft” has struggled, it’s kind of heartening to see that Original Gangsta EQ is releasing an expansion pack, which includes the usual new levels, new race, and expansion of the level cap.

The most interesting line of the press release to me, though, is this one.

Content for Levels 1 to 75: Play through every level of the game without ever leaving the Serpent Spine Mountains.

Continue reading

The Ship

My officemate recommends The Ship, a simple game built using the Source engine. It’s effectively K.A.O.S (Killing As an Organized Sport) in a computer game, with a 1920’s cruise liner feel to it.

I haven’t played it yet, but I’ll try to sometime this week.

 

SWG Emulator Hits Alpha

Slashdot has the story: an SWG emulator has reached the status of vague feasibility. I admit, the movie is quite cool. There are a couple of interesting spins on the story:

The first thing to note is of course the to dance around the fact that there is apparently a market for an SWG emulator where previously there was not. I will decline to comment beyond that.

The second thing that comes to mind is to wonder what the team’s plans for data storage is. I know enough about SWG’s infrastructure to know that pre-NGE made Oracle databases cry like a little girl.

The third thing is that I can’t imagine this not getting shut down by LucasArts and Sony at record speed. To quote one person in the Slashdot thread:

“Execute Order 66. Wipe them out. All of them.”

Playstation 2 Ads Worship the Gamer

Coolz0r, a blog devoted to savvy marketing, has a couple of cool Playstation Ads. One shows a boxer, and the other a soldier, each praying to their god: the gamer.

Check them out. I really need to find the top one in higher resolution.

 

A Return to Baseball

A week and a half ago, I came home from work to my fiancee watching a baseball game. “I’ve decided to like baseball,” she said.

Before this, her interest in any sport at all was none. If not negative. Any sports fan who has ever dated a non-sports fan knows that this is kind of like finding plutonium in the backyard – extremely exciting, but absolutely necessary to handle with complete care. Continue reading

DiceWars

A Friend of Zen sent me this little timewaster: Dice Wars.

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