Friday, October 22, 2010
I just uploaded a new version of my website (mainly useful as an online resume) to update several sections and add some more info about my level design skills. However, only minor changes and several images to add flavour.
For some unknown reason one of the sections looks ok in Dreamweaver but once uploaded the format is gone. I'll see if I can fix it in a future update.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I bought Emergence in Games in the 2008 GDC at San Francisco. Now that I have the time I eventually read it, and here are my thoughts:
Emergence and its applications on games have been a recurring theme among developers from a long time, particularly since GTA was first released. Many see a potential Holy Grial on it, and there are countless lectures and papers about the subject. At a certain extent this book goes in the same direction. Quoting the author: 'Emergent games are the next step in game development'.
My personal feeling goes in a different direction: Except for some (and succesful) games based on emergence such as The Sims, the majority of games can take little advantage of emergence, except for supporting mechanics such as creating realistic city traffic flows or setting grassland on fire dinamically (Far Cry 2). Furthermore, I don't think the bulk of players are willing to spend time experimenting with the tools the game provides. The majority just want to be challenged, beat the computer and that's all.
So you could say I'm an skeptic about emergence. In order to achieve the industry standards about spectacularity, I think scripting is a much productive way for developers. But who knows, maybe I'm wrong...
Friday, October 15, 2010
4 days ago I completed another game, Nyx Quest - Kindred Spirits (PC, Steam). It was developed by Over the Top Games (a group of ex-workmates from Pyro) and it's remarkable because it was made by 4-5 guys but the production values and the scalability of its design.
It was originally created for the Wiiware, and as far as I know it's doing fine (money-wise). I admire the bravery of these guys to open their own studio, and how they created a really nice experience with little elements. The level design in particular offers new challenges in each level, and even some replayability elements. Considering the time and the people needed to build it, it's kind of amazing.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
On my September post Heavier Rain I mentioned I took part on a Gamasutra / Game Career contest. You know what? I won! Click here. However, if you read the other contestants' proposals my victory makes more sense. They didn't include any image, and focus mainly on different settings instead on gameplay.
Anyway, it's always nice to win something (although there is no reward at all, just the inner satisfaction).
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In the last book I read the author included this quote from Vicente Verdú, a sociologist and writer (the translation is mine):
“Fiction is an increasingly important dimension on the life of many people. Reality is not anymore a fertile territory where to build an interesting life or, in any case, it’s absurd to content yourself only with that existence”
Most people nowadays don’t accept this, particularly women. Some that I know find challenging and exciting enough just to create a family and dedicate the rest of your life to it, and they’re probably right. But for me I need something else.
Seems clear to me that the everyday life in western societies lacks challenges and thrills. The most exciting decision most of us make in our lives is to choose career, which eventually takes you to spend 40 years locked in one office or another. Honestly, it sounds boring to me.
Maybe that’s why I like movies, videogames and books. And at a certain extent I’ve dedicated my life to those areas. I sincerely think that videogames are needed to fill that gap most of us feel in our lives.
Friday, October 1, 2010
I've just replayed Portal, which I had finished on January 2008. No more reason than the fun of it. I wanted to see the ending again, and my save files got lost when I formatted the computer.
So I played it again. What a great game, really. This time only took me 5-6 hours to complete. There is a Portal 2 coming next year, and I'm really looking forward to play it.