Monthly Archives: March 2012
1. Daniel Benmergui: Storyteller: You don’t know what I know
Fresh Nuovo Awardist Daniel Benmergui tells the story behind his Storyteller. It’s all about storytelling. Quite a story. Sorry. We’ll stop now. Read post here!
I am particularly interested in characters lying to each other, and acting upon false information. This would make some stories trickier as players will have to remember who knows what.
Read the rest of the 5 Devblog Posts of the Day after the break. Read More …
Column — by two time IGF Finalists Vlambeer
[epic_dropcap style="dark_ball"]I[/epic_dropcap]mitating another game allows people to learn someone else’s rule set. That can be useful to establish a sort of game-rhetoric, which is a good way of learning and understanding how other people achieve their design and gameplay. Imitation, sadly, does not lead to good games. All parts of a rule set have been designed for specific problems within that specific design. By using the solutions from another design, a designer is ignoring an endless amount of more fitting and interesting possibilities. Ignoring those possibilities is one of the reasons so many games in the stores look so alike.
Feeling is an abstract given, that should be applied in a concrete way.
On the other hand, this abundant ‘cut & paste’ mentality also means it’s easy to achieve innovation in games. By changing something minor in an existing design, a game quickly seems innovative. Every year, the indie scene uses this to produce thousands of monstrosities with original game design. So, analyzing game design obviously doesn’t lead to good nor interesting games. These kinds of design are solely based on imitation or avoiding imitating too closely.
Guerrilla Games’ Jan-Bart van Beek on being involved with one franchise for over a decade.
In the last couple of decades, I have spent countless hours playing video games but there is only one game that dominated my every waking (and sleeping) moment for the last 12 years. A game that crept into my system and changed the machinery within. That game is Killzone.
I always wanted to build cathedrals. Not literally the brick and mortar buildings, but something of size. Of importance. Something that I never got to do in advertising. I found my three years at an ad agency to be of a depressing emptiness. Advertising is a fleeting business. Hardly anything has permanent value. You just drag yourself from deadline to deadline only to see your work in magazines or on billboards for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of doing this same job year in year out with nothing to show for all my hard work. So I quit. And in October 1999, I joined Lost Boys Games in Amsterdam.
Composer and adaptive music expert Rik Nieuwdorp shares his thoughts on the state of adaptive music in games.
[epic_dropcap style="dark_ball"]A[/epic_dropcap]fter the initial and successful integration of adaptive music systems in the 90s like iMuse, it strangely disappeared from the scene, probably when full-quality, high-end scores were made possible through cd-rom technology and the likes. Now, adaptivity in-game music is slowly seeping back into ‘regular’ games, and I expect that process to continue.
Basic adaptivity in game music is regaining ground.
[epic_dropcap style="dark_ball"]E[/epic_dropcap]very game has bugs. That’s a fact of life. Sometimes they’re big and fat and hard to miss, but sometimes they’re nasty little buggers that hide inside lines and lines of code and nibble away at your game (and sanity). Joost van Dongen, Tech Lead at Ronimo Games, had his fair share of bugs, but this was by far ‘the lamest’ he ever encountered while working on Awesomenauts.
“In the past half-year we encountered a really rare bug in the PS3 build of Awesomenauts about once a month. The game would freeze for anywhere between 10 to 100 seconds, and then continue normally as if nothing had happened. We always have a PC connected to collect logs from the game. However, the log printed nothing interesting and showed simply the frame rate, which is printed once per second:
13:48:13 60 fps
13:48:14 60 fps
13:49:21 1 fps
13:49:22 60 fps
[epic_dropcap style="dark_ball"]T[/epic_dropcap]he Brain is the biggest untapped resource in video gaming. Sure, everything you play, see and hear is being processed by it, but your grey matter doesn’t play an active role in controlling the on-screen action. It receives input through your eyes and ears (and hands if you are holding a feedback controller) and tells your body what to do. But what if we cut out the middle man, so to speak, and let the brain control the game directly? No more use for your hands holding complicated controllers or getting cramps from mouse and keyboard. Just you sitting comfy in a chair thinking your way through hordes of baddies.
300 milliseconds. That’s how long it takes for the computer to react to your thoughts.
Is that even possible nowadays?
According to extensive studies in the Netherlands brain-controlled navigation is feasible. Yeah! Wait… what happened to killing bad guys left and right by the mere thought of it? Apparently THAT is a loooong way off.
A new game by psychologist Pamela Kato helps young doctors reduce stress and thus save lives by… taking a deep breath.
[epic_dropcap style="dark_ball"]“P[/epic_dropcap]lease raise your hand if you have ever played a video game.” Pamela Kato gazes into the crowd and sees only a few hands raised. It’s clear that among the medical professionals attending this convention on quality and safety in healthcare in Amsterdam there aren’t many gamers. Targeting this particular group with a game looks like a mission impossible but Kato doesn’t seem the least bit worried. “Okay, let’s get started”, she says smiling.
As the numbers on screen indicate, standing here in the limelight doesn’t leave the man unaffected
How award winning composer Joris de Man turned a personal tragedy into a classic theme.
Sometimes life is great. And in May 2010 that’s the case for Joris de Man. The music composer just found out his name will forever be connected to the Ivor Novello Award. This particular music award, though not very well known by gamers, is one of the highest possible forms of recognition for composers and musicians. In 2010 de Man receives the very first award in a new category, that of games music. Joris de Man wins the Award for his music for Killzone 2.