Yesterday I gave the keynote for the Global Game Jam 2012 in Leeuwarden. Below are the slides that I promised to upload. Here is one slide about the emotional roller coaster that I always went through when I took part:
The emotional roller coaster that is the 48 hours of a Global Game Jam.
The rest of the slides is a bit more practical about how game jams and big game development is similar -and what to keep in mind: Zip of the complete Keynote
The art posts took a bit over – but games still have a big part of my heart! I had some time to play some again, and here’s a little gem I came across: A free flash game called Oshiyoseru. It is super simple, but with interesting game design: It is a mix of RPG with a shooter – playable in 3 minute chunks.
You can download it here if you click on the “download now” button. Unzip the file called “Gold” and enjoy!
There are several Japanese designers that publish little innovative games for free. And they’re usually very witty – maybe I’ll link up more later. There are other neat games of this specific guy (Nametake) at his page “Kogane-Games“.
The game is Japanese – and I thought figuring the mechanics out was half the fun. But if you feel lazy, I’ve put a translation of Oshiyoseru (オシヨセル – means something like “enemies rushing in”) here…. makes me think though it would be cool to make a game in “alien language” and let the player figure it out as part of the gameplay.
Use the arrows and WSAD for movement and the mouse for aiming. If you click you get to a level-up menu.
Here are the level categories that you can choose:
Level rises faster
Score rises faster
Less Enemies (Something like that – maybe they’re just slower. The word says “critical rising” so maybe)
Radius of Item-Pickup
Red N: Rises bullet amount
Green I: Rises bullet speed
Green R: Repairs the ship
Blue S: Shield
There are three rows. If you get all in bronze/silver/gold you get 2/4/6 level points at start-up.
The first row starts with: Amount of chain, then High-Score and highest Skill-Level. About the next two items I’m not sure, probably time survived – it wasn’t hard to get though. Next is the unspent Skill-Points trophy. The following 8 are all level-up categories – max them out to get gold. And the last row starts with four trophies for enemies-destroyed by color. The last three are about the trophies themselves – get them all in bronze for the first … and so on.
And shameless as I am – I’ll crosspost again about my game. This time I can finally show some trailer. I’ve got some interesting feedback already. It is of course tricky – because not only is everything not even half done, but much has to be rushed. I’m the only artist on it for now, and can only work on it in-between earning money – so there are limits, and I cannot fix all critique. But good to hear anyways – so I will for example probably still tune down the light colors. We also will tighten up the level, so that the breaks between the player-interaction are smaller.
If you live around Utrecht, you can check the game on the upcoming Saturday – 14th of May in the Dutch Game Garden.
If you’re too lazy to click it – it is a 3D clone of Breakout. You control a paddle and a keep a ball in the playing field that can crush the environment with beautiful physics. There are some special twists to it, but more on that later. We are further along than it shows, and the plan is to kinda slowly trace back how we went about the development. Over the next weeks I will post more concept-art and posts about the 3D-art. My goal for the style is to get a unique style by simulating comicart a little – using colored lineart as textures.
I also have some 3D tutorials ready that I’ll post in the process. Big plans are still ahead – and a lot of work.
First screenshot, and I already Photoshop-fake it. Game industry for life baby!
These cows are very excited about their future appearance in the game.
If you visit gaming sites, you probably came across this before: Minecraft is awesome!
It’s perfect to my taste: Very free – basically no borders. Simple in one way – but developing a huge complexity out of it. And I think it fits “games” just more when they have no single storyline, but allow each player to have their own story to tell.
…I had a very similar thing – and damn, it’s a shock you won’t easily forget.
But it got even worse. I was building huge mansions, and castles – big glass villas, and underground lairs. And I was exploring this wonderful huuuuge world. Discovering lots of places, with strangely shaped landscapes and floating islands. I marked them with torches, so I can find them again and explore even more. But then: Crash! While saving. The save was corrupted and I could not get the world back – everything gone forever.
I always have trouble imagining what death is – if you loose a life in a game its usual nothing special. Bu this was different – not just I was gone, but the world. No way to come back, explore again. Final darkness.
But at least: no regrets. I played every Minecraft-day as if it was my last.
Hm, so this is my first post about games. A friend advised me not to mix too many topics here, but I think all these things interconnect. There is some advantage in bringing them together. Having some bigger plan there so I’ll keep at it.
Below you see a talk by Jesse Schell, first posted on fury.com – mainly about Facebook gaming. That has become huuuuge business. Jesse Schell mentions some stunning numbers. He’s a very good speaker and makes some predictions about the future that are not far off.
His main point is that many recent gaming successes, including Facebook, are based on small psychological tricks. He paints a picture of the future, where we are surrounded by those tricks – with actual game designers affecting our behavior with social gaming included everywhere.
Games will leave the virtual realm – breaking through into our real life. He mentions that people look for more “real things and authenticity”.
Which brings me to my point, which he doesn’t mention: These games are anything but real. They are fake – and they are frauds.
Why are those Facebook games so successful? A: They are played a lot because games like Farmville and Mafiawars make you think you have to fight your friends for points. And if you have more points, you feel better. Is there any real value there? I don’t think anyone is a better person because he has more points. So actually – these games make us care about things that are not real at all. B: They are financially successful because they pull peoples money out in new ways. Michael Arrington (a once insider) writes about it – the title of the article gives the idea: Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell. Interesting reads – in short: Those games scam you into using your credit cards. Or into giving away your personal details for virtual cash, which they then sell to advertisers.
In the talk above Jesse Schell mentions that kids are led by tricks to make their parents pay money for online games – he is well aware that its shady, but doesn’t seem to care. Rather he wants to be as soon as possible on the money making train.
And I think I can answer Schells question “What is it now that people are demanding reality, demanding authenticity”. It’s not really because “we’re cut off from nature”.
When I stand in front of a super market shelf, then I feel like I’m in a war. It’s me against those companies. I want good food, and they want to sell me cheap chemicals. They will lie to me (with advertisement) and they will use psychological tricks (putting smiling cows on the steak package) – and I somehow have to try to look through it. Not really fun I must say.
And I don’t think games should become like that. It’s abuse of people – of our social twitches. And just as the government tries to limit gambling, as it makes people addicted and loose money, so should these games be watched. Unfortunately the business is moving so fast, legislators will have a hard time catching up.
The game industry should stay honest. We should not abuse our power over peoples minds to make cheap cash. At some point people will look through it – and we will have lost their trust, just as the food companies and banks did.
And in the long term – as Umair Haque convincingly argues – I think honesty will pay out in cash too.