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Friday, July 26th, 2013

5 keys to a successful game

My main project currently is in improving the perception of video games as an artistic pursuit and opening up game development to a wider audience.  Even though video games are a cultural phenomenon today, they still remain underappreciated by some of our finest critics.  For example, Roger Ebert, whose film reviews I almost always respect, has consistently criticized video games in the past, saying, “One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game.  It has rules, points, objectives, and an outcome.  Santiago [Kellee Santiago, President, thatgamecompany] might cite a immersive game without points or rules, but I would say then it ceases to be a game and becomes a representation of a story, a novel, a play, dance, a film.  Those are things you cannot win; you can only experience them.” He later said that games may be art in a new sense, Direct TV, but he wasn’t going to try one to find out.  Well, why not?  What keeps people from exploring the new possibilities that video games offer? I think that the new popularity of games played for free over the internet is a great step forward for bringing gaming to a wider audience.  Even people who wouldn’t know the difference between a Playstation 3 and an Xbox 360 will visit a site like AddictingGames.com when they’re bored at work.  Those games can be just as entertaining as any you’ll find on a console, and due to their shorter playing time and more casual associations, they can be embraced by more people. This site is also a project of mineone that allows me to share my thoughts on games and the like with others.  I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and to even explore a site that you’ve never heard of before.  That’s the same kind of open-mindedness that allows new game developers to find wider audiences. These are games, companies, and sites that I point out to interested visitors:

  • Tale of Tales: This Belgian developer mainly creates games based on classic fairy tales, which usually are “games” in only the loosest sense.  Some, like The Endless Forest, allow for multiplayerhowever, as the characters are all deer, communication between players is very different than you might expect.
  • Minecraft:  This game allows players to build constructions in an open world out of textured cubes.  It’s very innovative and is a good example of that “immersive game” that Ebert mentioned, since even dying only removes you of your items.
  • WebGL:  A working draft of WebGL was developed in December 2009.  The specification provides 3D graphics in a web-browser without relying on plug-ins, making it very easy for developers to stretch the limits of their game’s capabilities.
  • Unity: A game engine developed by Unity Technologies, allowing authors to create 3D games, architecture, and animations.

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Three films from which game developers can draw inspiration

Video game adaptations of films usually work better in theory than practice; however, here are some ideas that would be difficult to muck up:

The Hunger Games

Imagine the crossover potential. Developers could get teenage girls to pick up controllers and teenage boys to pick up books. The fight to the death between 24 teenagers in a living terrain could work equally well as a multiplayer or single player game that allows participants to choose Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Use and use again: popular computer game engines

There are many great video game engines available for developers today. The Unreal Engine has taken the lead as the most popular engine available today. Unreal Engine allows developers to easily create the game world they need. Unreal Engine works for any genre of video game. Unreal Engine allows you to develop games for all of the latest consoles. Unreal Engine has one of the easiest to use editors of all available engines.

Unity is another great engine used by many indie game developers. The Unity license is relatively Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Their world is your oyster: the growing trend of computer game “modding”

“Modding” a game is the process of altering it so that you can play it in a different way, without actually changing a huge portion of the game in the process. Over the past few years, modding has become increasingly popular. Playing the same game can get boring over time, but with a few alterations you can change your gaming experience to be something entirely different within the same game.

The most popular computer game that players have modded is MineCraft. This game has literally dozens of mods out there that fans have made Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

An introduction to some popular independent game developers

In a market saturated with new material, it’s hard to track the latest and greatest independent game developers. We’ll break the most popular down here. Make sure to put these people on your watch lists.

First is Markus Persson, creator of a popular survival game involving mining and hiding from creatures that appear in the night. If you haven’t heard of him, that’s alright, he usually goes by his nickname, Notch. He started out programming for other game developers before striking off on Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Designing characters that people will remember

Are you a budding video game designer? Are you interested in creating unique, memorable games? Do you want to find great ways to make sure your characters are realistic and believable? If so, read these tips on designing characters that people will remember!

- Realism is great, but do not overdo it.
All great video game characters are a perfect combination of real life and your game’s fantasy world. Characters that have nothing in common with your game’s audience are too difficult to relate to, but characters that are too similar to that audience Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

How to overcome graphics with gameplay

The graphics vs gameplay debate has been raging on in the video game community for years. Some gamers demand lush environments, character models where every muscle twitch is registered with pixel precision and full immersion into a world that looks and feels real. Others are more concerned about the fun factor, and are willing to accept less than perfect graphics if the gameplay is unique and engaging.

Graphical improvements in video games are slowly tapering off. Although new technology comes out every year, the changes are Read the rest of this entry »

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Great Things Games are Doing for Your Kids

You know how your kids are constantly in front of the TV or online with your www.WildBlueDeals.com satellite playing game after game after game? Well here are a few of the reasons you should be happy they’re gaming and not doing something else!
Hand Eye Coordination – The more games your kids play the better their coordination becomes and that’s probably a good thing considering most gaming kids aren’t exactly all about sports. This will Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Popular and addicting online puzzle games

There are many online games to choose from that can be very addicting. Some of these games can be available to play online through various websites. Bejewelled and Fortune Stones are just a couple games that are available to play for free online at any time.

Bejewelled has many types available, including the newest version Bejewelled Blitz. On Blitz mode, the player must score as many points as possible in one minute. This game can even be played with friends online to compete for the top score. The player must find the matching gems Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Crafting the story at the center of your game

Videogames started as something simple, with games like Pong and Tetris being purely about their gameplay. Nowadays, a story is a critical component to keeping players interested and engaged. There are a variety of ways to tell stories within video games with cutscenes being the most popular. However, newer games are utilizing in game events to tell stories in powerful ways.

The biggest thing that developers miss is the emotional connection. Before you tell a Read the rest of this entry »

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