Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PeeAyssPee - Patch him up!

So, what say we, Mr. Patcher?

I think Sony is kinda running into a brick wall, trying to compete in that [multimedia device] sector.

More like they never really managed to exploit their machine the way they wanted to. Always half-arsed solutions, especially regarding Internet. Sony tried something new with the PSP Go, it seems to have failed.
Still, for their try, it worked well.
The irony here is that with its limited touch screen, the NDS appears now to be more modern than the PSP, since it has none.
Seriously, they should really think about adding one to their console. No one's going to cry. Older games will be playable on the new PSP, and it will make people buy the new PSP, even if they had one of the older models.
The UMD? Yes, get rid of that useless noisy and clanky support, and sell your damn games on a proprietary MEMORY CARD format.

But right now, I’d say they’re probably kind of destined to be in second place to Nintendo on the pure game front, and overall in third place [on the entertainment front] with the iPod thrown in.

If we stop talking about true gaming devices and start considering entertainment software on portable systems which still are currently produced, then I wonder if even the DS did came second to shitty game applications on mobile phones.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

As brutal and cool as God of War?

The animation doesn't look as good as in GoW, but the action might be excellent though. That's quite a gruesome universe, Warhammer 40000.
Oh! ... Kratos in a power armour?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Letter to Bob dillan

After reading an interesting Gamasutra article titled Game UI Discoveries: What Players Want, I decided to comment a bit on the claims made by the author. Then I replied to another person I more or less disagreed with, although I think we essentially meant to convey the same thought.

Quoting myself:

@ jaime kuroiwa

The dashboard is not the problem. The question is about if the fiction were real, could anyone see the HUD (or the dashboard here)?

Say your character has a HUD, but wears a visor that allows for all info to be displayed. We could say that the data's displayed on the visor, and therefore anyone, any teammate or NPC could *theoretically* see it as well.

But Dead Space is more like an example that breaks immersion.

First, it requires a certain kind of will to accept the idea that a given suit would display your life status. Obviously, it's easier to explain as we're dealing with an engineer. You're not dealing with a marine who's not supposed to glow in the dark (http://stonebytes.blogspot.com/2008/06/death-by-glow.html). An engineer who works in dangerous environments may want to have his partners know his biostatus just by glancing at his back. Well, sort of (I told you it would be stretched).

Secondly, it hurts immersion because that ethereal concept of a life bar, displayed or not, is literally rammed down your throat and made "real": people in Dead Space literally have life bars.
It literally pulls Dead Space even below the circles of Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Leander, since none of these two games pretended being realistic, but did feature a way to divulge information about the Hero's life without a HUD (Leander's armour changed colour). Mario Bros floats above them, with its purely diegetic treatment of Mario's mushroom-boosted power state in a fantasy world, that somehow totally fits the tale and setting.

Where I agree with Jaime is that having an extradiegetic HUD isn't necessarily hurting (as long as it doesn't saturate the screen) because you know it's abstract.
Take Eye of the Beholder, for example, and that one DID have a cluttered screen. Yet the magic worked.

The absolute diegesis being possible in VR, but we're not there yet. FC2 indeed did a good job about it. FPSes are quite alone, with other simulations, in that department. You won't hear about in-universe HUD integration with a RTS or Tetris. That would be silly.

So that's it. Nothing special. People are free to agree or disagree with me.
Sometimes, though, people just can't simply disagree. They have to be rude... while replying to a straw man and failing to provide a properly constructed argument. Which makes them twice silly.
I invited the person in question to come here and read my reply. Know what? His name is Bob dillan!
Yes, Bob dillan. And Bob dillan disagreed with me. Hell, he even spat at me, but never mind, it's fine. I think I shall feel enchanted for the fact that this famous legend accepted wasting a bit of his divine time with such a lowly mortal as me. Here's what he told me, followed by my humble and pathetic replies:

You are a moron dude, deadspace's lifebar on the guy "hurts immersion"? We know we are playing a f'n game, if you want to get serious about "immersion" breaking rules, how about all the shit that could not happen in the real world or animate like that according to the real laws of physics?

I never pretended that those liberties taken against the real physics would not break immersion as well. Neither did I claim that I wanted as much immersion as possible.
It's merely an observation.
I also thought it was obvious enough that we were talking about immersion while knowing that it's a goddamn game.

Everything in a game is purely imaginary, game UI's do not "break immersion" what breaks immersion is things like the Reaper at the end of mass effect 2 TOTALLY taking away the climax, I just wanted to burn whoever thought it was a good idea to make that reaper a fucking skeleton! who the fucks idea was that? Was one of the dumbest most immersion breaking things ever, YET ME2 was STILL a good game otherwise.

Mass Effect? I don't recall saying it was crap because of X or Y, even less talking about it to begin with.
This person seems to enjoy talking to him/herself but I'm afraid hearing a wacko going through a pointless monologue is only funny for two seconds.

Immersion is a bullshit word, why don't we just talk about whether the art direction, character design and animation and voice overs and sounds are done well?

These are different things. This poor chap apparently can't even manage keeping consistent between two lines. After saying something broke immersion in Mass Effect, now immersion is bullshit and we shall talk about something else entirely?
How enlightening.

"immersion" is really code for "does x, y and z fit together well and add up to a great experience?"

As so, after identifying what immersion may be, what it may encompass and the fact that he attempted putting a name on a concept, that makes immersion "bullshit" just because... it's a word?
What else? Shall we burn dictionaries and all their bullshit words?
I'm afraid I don't have a solution for someone who has a profound issue with the essential principle of what people generally call language.

When the quality of each of the facets of a game are not done well or corners are cut, THAT is when immersion is broken. For instance the conversation system in ME2 was finally perfected after a lot of games that had conersation systems from bioware, NWN being one of the first games with a conversation system, then Neverwnter nights 2... the Convo system in ME2, is basically an upgraded version of the one found in Neverwinter nights 2.

Here returns the claim that immersion is broken by X, despite immersion being a "bullshit word". I told you, fantastic.
More seriously, our friend here doesn't get the slightest feeling that "the quality of each of the facets of a game" may also include making sure that one element fits with the universe's tenets and the narrative?
I'm sure that if I picked a soldier from Call of Duty and planted a large coloured flower in his buttocks, sticking out of his pants, said flower bearing ten petals, each representing a portion of his life bar and falling when the player would take damage, it would somehow break immersion, don't you think?

Game developers finally got aclue about where to put the camera when dealing with NPC's and making NPC interaction more cinematic BUT, notice in order to do so they had to take hte player out of the game - stop gameplay completely and go into cinema mode where the player has no control to do so.

Compare it against talking and merely listening to characters when not in dialogue mode in mass effect 2, when they in their natural state and the effect is not the same because of where the camera needs to be when you're in gameplay/navigation mode.

They did the exact same thing years earlier in Deus Ex and it went fine.
Or is immersion broken when watching a movie because of the special effects or the way the camera is placed?
Not really. That's technical, mimetic concerns. What would hurt immersion, even in a movie, would be inspector Harry wearing a hat with a neon sign so he would look cool.
It would certainly make him a clearer target, if anything else.