Sunday, May 25, 2014


Here's a little homage to Team Fortress 2 (I believe the second game I've played the most) and the country that has been hosting me for the last 2 years.

You need to have some basic knowledge of German to understand the joke. Also, it's funnier if you are aware TF2's spy is supposed to be French, and the medic German.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The end of Steam?

Interesting article about how Steam is more and more crowded, and developers are getting it increasingly difficult to stand out of the ocean of new games released every day...

Click here: How the surge of Steam releases will affect game developers

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Back in the days I wasn't impressed by Uncharted 1. I played the company copy for some hours and eventually concluded there were no new game systems that I hadn't seen before.

For some reason I can't remember I bought Uncharted 2, and liked it. Then I went for Uncharted 3 as part of the Ryse research and liked it too. So I thought: "What the heck?", and since it was very cheap at Cash Converters (just 6 euros) I purchased it last time I was in Cordoba, and I've just completed it.

Aside from the lack of MP, the game is very similar to the sequels, only more unpolished. The team mate presence is reduced and as a consequence you lack the witty dialogues from U2 & 3. The melee combat system is unnecessarily complex (it was simplified later) but the platform and shooter sections are pretty similar. Well, to be fair some of the combat layouts of U1 are poor in my opinion, with enemies spawning behind the player without warning, or at different height levels which is generally an issue. I believe those were much more refined in the subsequent games.

But aside from little details, I think the value of Uncharted is to be one of those games that began what some call 'Adventure genre', in the sense of a game that is not based on one system in particular, but in many. That way you simulate the multiple challenges the hero of a movie faces on a high-octane action flick. And it does that very well.

Looking forward to Uncharted 4. I could be the reason for me to buy a PS4...

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I left Grin Barcelona with a lot of frustration. Lack of time and expertise caused the project to struggle when building even the most basic systems. But above anything else, the careerists preying on the team caused us to spend more time on backstabbing instead of making the game better.

I'm 100% sure that if our focus would have been improving the game instead of kissing asses Wanted - Weapons of Fate would have been a fairly good game. Instead, it has a 61-62 on metacritics. Probably a fair rating. There was a lot of unfounded optimism in Grin at that time, but the tools were good and the employees were hard workers, experienced and most of them with the best of attitude.

Anyway, I finally built enough emotional distance with that project to buy and play the final game (I hadn't since 2008), and here are my impresions on the PS3 version:

In general, the game is super-short. Not to be surprised since some of the levels were re-designed up to 10 times from scratch. Only 9 missions made it to the final game, and the final difficulty balance is fairly easy. You can finish it in 4 hours without problems. On my side, I believe our game mechanics were not enough, and not particularly exciting. Half way through you get tired of the same player actions. We didn't have that much time to build more, but truth is we failed in the implementation of some of the ideas we had. I have my own share of responsibility on that.

Another issue we had was in my opinion an ill-conceived flat structure, that allowed up to 13 people to actively change the design (including tweaking game parameters), which at the end created a design with a thousand fathers and none of them really proud of it.

Back at the time I was very fond of the game story. It was written internally (and I was in no little part a major player on that) and we were given great freedom to approach the IP however we wanted. Our story expanded the Wanted lore a lot, and although I keep thinking it's much better than most other games (particularly those based on movies) after playing it altogether you probably won't understand the player motivations unless you've seen the movie beforehand. Since that doesn't need to have happened, you probably won't feel any empathy with the events told.

I learned a lot on that game, but the most important lesson is that I cannot deal with political animals. Or simply I don't want to. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure they'll continue existing, multiplying and destroying good projects and companies.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Not sure if mentioned in previous posts, but I bought at reasonable prices several AC games, and I'm intending to finish them all to get to Black Flag, the one I'm really interested in.

So, after AC1 now was the time for Assassin's Creed 2. In most senses it looked very similar to Brotherhood, which I previously played and enjoyed quite a lot. In my mind, they made wise high level decisions by keeping the things that worked in the previous game (parkour gameplay, simple but effective combat system and interesting locations to explore) and fixed some of the biggest issues: The story is not foreseeable and contains a fair amount of interesting plot twists, and the gameplay is more varied and has lots of optional missions and challenges.

Brotherhood took this even further, adding secondary challenges to each mission and even more combat options, but now looks to me more like an evolution from this AC2 than brand new. Still this one doesn't have MP, so I think Brotherhood is still my favourite one.

I already have AC Revelations, so one of these days it'll be its time...