Got some MTG cards today, keen to figure everything out and play it :P
The future is always something I think about, sometimes more so than other times. However, nearing the end of my degree has been one of the cases of “more often”. I have no idea where to go from here and what’s going to happen, I want to embrace it with open arms but.. It’s too hazy, to have a distinct feeling.
What I want to do with the next year of my life
- Make games!
- Get at least one small game fun, polished, and sold! How much it makes doesn’t matter.
- Make enough money from a day job to survive, and also to take a trip overseas, I’ve never left the country, so that’s a big one.
- Improve my drawing skills
- Improve my animation skills (Not sure if I really enjoy it yet)
- Improve my general programming ability, since I’m enjoying it with unity at the moment.
- Network a little more – This year has kind of gotten in the way of attending local gamedev events.
- Get fit again.
- Spend more time with friends, I think I’ve only spent about a week with friends actually physically with me in a total of one and a half to two years.
I’ve stupidly sacrificed a lot of my health and time in the wrong things this year, I feel that way anyway, so next year (and the rest of this year) I need to reinvest myself better to improve my skills, and my lifestyle.
Writing about Stevens v Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment and Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited has probably been the least enjoyable thing I have had to do in my recent life, though that goes to show how good my life has been lately, here’s a list of things I would rather do than finish this assignment, in no particular order:
- Eat some cake.
- Go to the dentist.
- Play a video game.
- Read a book.
- Read a book I wouldn’t enjoy.
- Read a book by Jane Austin.
- Read a book by Jane Austin and write about it from the perspective of enjoying reading it.
- Don’t do the above.
- Play superman 64.
- Play the first mass effect game.
- Pretend I enjoyed it in conversation with a fan.
- Attend a day of year 12 again.
- Enter a religion debate on the internet.
- Become a Christmas caroler.
- Go to a church service.
- meditate with some monks.
- Have after meditation drinks with some monks and wake up without one of my legs in a German hostel.
- Play Sengoku.
- Play Sengoku as the Oda clan.
- Play Sengoku at full speed while trying to have a conversation with someone.
- Read webcomics.
- Read webcomics i dont like.
- Listen to terrible libravox recordings of H.P Lovecraft stories.
- Try to raise the dead.
- Try to raise the dead with self raising flour.
- Try to raise the dead, succeed, then fight off the dead uprising.
- Walk down the street and then back up it.
- Not doing my law assignment.
- Becoming a cleric and oppressing people.
- Watch home and away for five hours.
- Translate Nicki Minaj songs into english.
- Try find a low ping server in an old multiplayer only game.
- Become a true cultist and take a boat to where Rleyh supposedly is.
- Reinstall MSN messenger.
- Email past clients and ask how their lives are going.
- Read a political news website.
- Read an american political news website.
- Colour co-ordinate my games collection.
- Colour co-ordinate rooms in my house.
- Door knock looking for people who look like me, close the door on them if they do not look like me for them.
- Trick or treat with no costume in a run down part of the city.
- Rig a character with countless limbs.
- Play Dota2 and trick myself into enjoying it.
- Read IGN reviews and trick myself into enjoying them.
- Send fanmail to people i have mutual friends with on facebook.
- Play dungeons and dragons by myself in a bee costume.
- Do other assignments.
- Eat two cakes.
- Put out signs on my lawn protesting myself.
- Pay people to put signs on my lawn to protest me doing my law assignment.
- Make a miniature version of myself making a list of why miniature me should not do his law assignment.
- Clone myself so that i could get him to also not do my law assignment.
- Hire a lawyer and pay him to not do my law assignment.
- Reblog things mindlessly on tumblr.
- Cook food and take photos of it for all of my friends on facebook.
- Post song lyrics on facebook.
- Listen to my collection of radio drama.
- Watch the news shows on TV and call my future self to warn him about mundane things.
- Sculpt Dean Halsey before and after the typhoid epidemic/reanimation.
- Play Munchkin because its actually fun.
- Make a youtube video about the epidemic of youtube videos.
- Get a tattoo.
- Get two tattoos that contradict each other so i can get put on failblog, for example “Leviticus 19:28″ and then “I love marking myself!” i don’t know..
- Become a lawyer and then exile myself from the rest of humanity, to study the art of lawyerim.
- Take up a dance class.
- Take up a dance class and a fighting sport, attend both in wrong attire.
- Stare at a lamp.
- Make toasted spaghetti sandwiches.
- Try finish “I wanna be the guy” without dying, restart everything on death and cut off one of your fingers.
- Play second life.
- Sing along to a song while videotaping it .
- Record myself doing walk cycles and animate over it.
- Claim I’m a member of some subculture and say everyone else in that subculture isn’t a “Real” member of the subculture.
- Kill sims by removing the ladder in the swimming pool.
- Play through the metal gear solid series while eating cake and sleep in afterwards.
- erase the version of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) ” by Cher.
- Visit Innsmouth and stay in the really nice hotel they have there.
- Drink a gallon of soy sauce .
- Drink a gallon of soy sauce, wash it down with a gallon of miso soup.
- Write hatemail to people I like and respect, sign the hatemail with my full name.
- Listen to my younger brothers choice of music.
- Learn Swahilian.
- Make coffee for every member of today tonight’s team.
- Try to find people who would play ARMA2 with me.
- Paint war gaming miniatures .
- Watch a game of Australian rules football.
- Watch a game of soccer.
- Unlock everything in cooking mama4.
- Get to level 80 in World of Warcraft in one sitting.
- Play through the Dynasty warriors online tutorial’s three times.
- Actually do something productive.
- Write fanfiction.
- Make a visual novel from the fanfiction with stick drawings.
- Make a first person shooter/romance novel epic to follow it up as a sequel .
- Eat a fried egg.
- Eat a fried egg hard mode: Not allowed to drown it with sauce.
- Watch the lord of the rings series again.
- Actually watch starwars for the first time, enjoying it is not a requirement .
- Write a list about what I could do instead of this assignment.
- Post list on Facebook to waste other peoples time reading it.
So far this weekend I haven’t really touched Maya, which is good and bad I guess.
I’ve had a good two last days though, yesterday I started messing around for next week’s ludum dare, warming up by making a somewhat generic shooter game that can be found here to get used to construct and snippets of java script again, in the early hours of the day I listened to Alan Watts talk about zen and various other things I didn’t really understand but enjoyed listening to.
Today i headed into the city to hold a gamedev group for qantm students, as I expected no one really turned up, I’ll have to rethink how to get people to attend. One classmate turned up a little while later which was nice, and then when he left i decided to keep chipping away at my little top down game for a while, the complete solitude was actually really nice. Headed down to Iku Sushi, tried the cheeseburger sushi again, ate about half of it before feeling destroyed and sat in there listening to the music and watching people.
Well, now that I’ve posted this rather pointless update on my life i feel like my days complete, time to soldier on and jump back into legal case studies and getting better with 3d.
id have posted an image of the hack but its too ugly to feature, here’s the laughing man instead.
Well today after watching ghost in the shell all day I had an interesting surprise, my site had been hacked by a Saudi Arabian hacker, cool. Its just.. they didn’t really do an impressive job, used lame and possibly the least intimidating design for their note.. I was a little sad. Furthermore since they just seemed to have exploited an out of date wordpress installation to delete my account and change the frontpage to a crappy html file the second I get updated FTP details from my host I’m simply going to delete the directory.
Till then, hollowminds.com/blog is a place to enjoy bad colour and typography choices.
Remember to update your word-press installations and delete old unused directory’s guys!
I’ll also be sure to email my hacker some info on design, colour theory and typography. Because a page that looks like a badly done word document menu from a five year old isn’t intimidating, or half as cool to see.
2011 was a pretty awesome year for me, some major up’s some major downs. But looking back with a smile despite the few issues that came up, it was a good year, there were some awesome game releases for me as a consumer and I had some major epiphanies/eye opening moments as a developer. Anyway, here’s what I thought of 2011 for any lonely souls out there who read these things:
2011 in gaming
I had a hard time answering friends when asked what my “Game of the year” was, the following noteworthy plays we’re pretty much all in a brutal internal war for the throne, but bastion came out on top. The game made me feel new, refreshed, exited to play another game and play with making games some more.
The game is a great example for the “games are art” argument if ever needed, it marries visuals with audio, narrative and play so well that I sat down to play it and didn’t stop till the narrator had uttered the last word, and then when the credits had rolled, and I went to bed, the “Setting Sail, Coming home” song burst back into my head, alongside all the little details, background stories and twists the game gave to me, that’s perfection and I can’t even explain how much I love supergiant for this masterpiece. I’d go into more depth but don’t want to spoil a single drop of this game for anyone. Get it.
Noteworthy 2011 titles:
Total War: Shogun 2
Shogun2 was one of the games that I HAD to buy this year, so when I got it i was glad that I was actually really happy with the game. The Sengoku period of japan has always been something that took my interest enjoying stories such as Hideyoshi’s rise to power and unification of a land divided (though that’s a glossy way to put it). So I decided to try my hand at becoming a grand unifier, sadly thats easier said then done, as I learnt the hard way, becoming shogun and then losing all of my allies, the land I attempted to unite now turned to me in the center of it. Greedily looking at my provinces and new gained power.
If the above paragraph didn’t say it by proxy, shogun2 is a challenging game of tactics, no one is to be trusted in the long term and as power is gained, when you have a large deal of land the proper spreading of troops to defend and also expand is a whole strategy game of its own, then theres managing sea based threats, pirates and how to feed all the men under your rule. Oh, and don’t forget the variety of special units who can assassinate generals, sabotage castles, spark religious uprisings, convert troops to a way of peace and much more.
Off the grand strategy board and into the real time tactics battles shogun2 continues to shine, though the seemingly intentional engrish can be a little silly feeling to begin with all the units have a perfect feel to them, sending a volley of arrows to rain death on the enemy is satisfying, and seeing the enemy’s archers emerge from the trees and line up your charging footmen is heartbreakingly exciting. Well worth looking at if your interested in Grand strategy or tactics/wargaming. The “Rise of the samurai” expansion based on the Gempei War is also worth a look if you enjoy the game, looking forward to fall of the samurai.
E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy
My time with E.Y.E has been interesting to say the least. It’s felt like a strange mix of Ghost in the shell, Warhammer 40k and Halflife. I didn’t find the game too hard to understand despite a lot of complaints I’ve read prior to playing, I’m not sure if that was due to patching, playing a lot of games all the time or just managing to get it but anyway that didn’t seem like much of a problem. The story though convoluted is enjoyable, though It had been a little while since having to read so much. It’s not a mess, its interesting, its just how it’s delivered that seems to be the issue. Essentially though you play as a member of a force of warrior monks/samurai (which remind me slightly of the space marines/a ghost in the shell esque force) whilst there’s a interplanetary war and something something multiple factions something something, go play it.
Though the art assets aren’t next gen or stunning the visual design on the armor, environments and creatures is quite awesome, knight and samurai armor with anarchist/post-apocalypse touches really make the Secreta Secretorum an interesting faction. The visual design really creates a completed atmosphere for the game, despite its issues its worth looking at, as if stalker went cyberpunk.
Similar to Irongrip: warlord, Sanctum is an enjoyable first person shooter/tower defense game, made all the better with a few friends and the ability to abuse text to speech features. Organizing the construction of the most convoluted maze possible to maximize the amount of time enemies have to walk while taking damage, placing floor tiles to slow movement or amplify damage and then the all important construction of various towers give Sanctum a huge choice in how to go about defeating that next wave, while preparing for the ones to follow.
Skye is a well designed character, the enemies are all well designed as is crucial. That and they wear tophats and dance if you lose, so the game also has a nice amount of light heartedness to it.
Magicka‘s a blast, It constantly throws something funny, be it a clever reference or just casting an obscure spell on yourself or your best soon to be worst friend. The game and its DLC provides a fair deal of content and challenges to get through by yourself or with friends, alongside PVP maps, some better than others… Like the ice map where fire + rock = victory at your fingertips. Local co-op with gamepads was a nice thing to see too, and the control scheme worked just as well after a little while of getting used to the joystick directions instead of the q – r and a – f keys.
When one of the developers from Team Wanderlust sent me a key to the game Wanderlust: Rebirth I was really surprised, I admittedly wasn’t expecting a great deal off the bat but the game combines a nice story with really solid mechanics and controls, the art styles nostalgia inducing, the musics great and each class feels modern in usability yet still carries the retro tropes we’d expect from them. It also has four player co-op, sadly I haven’t been able to try much of the co-op. Though from the short games I did connect to everything worked well, would be fun with some pals.
Even though it’s not officially out as finished its in public release as alpha so I’m going to mention it anyway. Project zomboid’s one of the most interesting indie developments of the year, for me at least. It’s not the mechanics or a unique twist on play that makes Zomboid so interesting, its the package as a whole. The arts simple though still connotes the dreadful events, audio is used to its full extent to deliver the intended emotions be it the saddening vocals to the background music or the sudden noise as your character is panicked. The game play’s still lacking, being in alpha and all, but its getting there, and its already got there in terms of its overall atmosphere. It’s looking promising, and after several problems through its development the team at indiestone are still going, with each update looking better and better.
Longest time alive is 2 months 3 days and 2 hours
There are a lot of other games worth mentioning, but i think those are some of the most played 2011 games. Portal2, Orcs must die, Dungeon defenders and payday were all good fun too, payday actually surprised me since i thought the media would eat it up, a game about armed robberies but seems like it slipped under the radar. The two most disappointing purchases this year for me were Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. I also played a tonne of Mount and Blade: Warband and Samurai Warriors 2, good fun.
Here’s to another great year of games!
I hate leaving my little corner of the web to gather dust for too long, sadly I have a workload the size of an elder god at the moment and it prevents me from being able to write about interesting topics, mainly because I just don’t get the time to scratch the surface.
Whenever I get the time I’ll be posting updates and Case studies on assignments/personal projects but for the following 11 weeks I’m going to be a very busy body. I have a UDK level to draft, grey box, produce assets for, set lighting and post-processing details up for etc. I also have two animatics to produce, one I need to animate and another which is a 6 minute draft for a cinematic for a personal project. I also have my 3D animation course work including the process of learning to rig etc.
I’ve also become a mentor at Qantm Perth, so I have a batch of the new intakes to help out. Hopefully to the best of my ability.
It’s not all bland “waah I wont be posting here as often”, the bright side is that by the end of these next 11 weeks I’m going to have a lot of content, useful readings and advice on these major area’s of interactive entertainment. Hopefully a couple of readers will be able to extract something useful from that. Till next time my dear blog, I’m sure a lot will happen.
Today was super busy and somewhat important so its worth a blog post. Today was Perth’s game development meetup and there was much to see. Blacklab games ‘Star hammer tactics’ for the iPad was on display with its new 3D assets and particle systems, developers gave us a peek at the latest and greatest things coming from the Perth industry. Also got a peek at how things work with the Team fortress 2 community contributions (and how much hate mail you get from it apparently). Also had the chance to chat with the developer of osu and Chris who develops the “infinite 8 bit platformer” so now im on an osu binge
I also got to present BashKing to the local developers, a few people approached me afterwards and one idea in particular stood out to me which is the use of class systems similar to day of defeat and team fortress2. I also met some people who are interested in getting on board with the development of the game, which I’m all for. The more content, the more ideas and the more man hours to polish off assets,code, balance etc.All in all it was an awesome day, finished it off with sushi and bubble tea and im ready to get my viking beard on now that production of assets and environmental design for bashking begins.
So some key points:
- Presentation went ok, wasn’t overjoyed since nerves got me at the start but apparently it came off fine, cool.
- Black labs games ‘Star hammer tactics’ is coming along nicely, I can’t wait for a PC side version of the game since I lack iPad
- Osu is still super fun and the way Peppy’s tackled difficulty in the new version of the game’s great. Still suits touch more than the mouse but is good fun.
- Theres a really cool mafia board game being made by Handwritten games, I like the idea of secret alliances in-game etc.
- Lots more happened, saw some content updates to TF2 way before they’re coming out but ill hush up on that.
Awesome day, thanks to the folks at “Lets make games”
Be warned, this is a long possibly messy post. Feel free to comment if you want to ask anything.
I was at the QANTM booth for a few hours today and had to answer a few questions here and there asked by students looking at where to go once they leave highschool, and a few parents. Not to mention listening to all the other questions asked to my lecturer Dan and some other QANTM/SAE staff.
During the day one of the most asked questions would have been about getting into a big games company, and the reality is, in this market and the way the industry itself is headed. You probably won’t get into a huge games company on graduation, its kinda unrealistic and yet a lot of people think its how everything will go down.
Now im not going to be “Ben the dream crushing monster” of course, it’s still 100% possible if you really apply yourself to what area of the industry you want to get into, have a high standard of work and get to know the right people.
So now that I’ve said: You probably wont be able to get into a really big and awesome game studio the day you get out of university or whatever study you want to do, what could I possibly say to keep your dreams intact? Well, a lot can be said. The industry is constantly evolving, though some could say it’s had some shrinkage due to the global economic climate and various other social/economic issues they miss the one growing powerhouse, the indie scene. And not even JUST indie, the smaller studio’s that grab publishers later down the road for better or for worse.