5 May 2016

Dubious backseat designing...

So, I've been a following the indubitable Bill Harris for a number of years now. I was put on his tail by the folks from GamersWithJobs and was hooked from the start. He has a very specific and personal writing style which I would liken to David Gemmell... who could make even the most mundane items and events seem revelatory and exciting.

Bill's a great guy. He also released a game virtually by himself and now he has a follow-up idea.

I think it's a great idea but I think I also have a modification of this idea that would make it more fun and interesting to potential players. The backseat designer in me just couldn't stay quiet. The concept is a half-minute hero version of American football...

4 May 2016

In theory? Is it so hard to understand logic? A.K.A. Why the PS4 was so successful...

There was an article published at Eurogamer the other day essentially positing that most powerful console hardware is the way to 'win' in sales.

Not only is this not true - as seen time and time again - Richard Leadbetter, the story's author also had this nugget to share with the readers:

"Nintendo, Microsoft and indeed Sony itself will be looking at the phenomenon that is PlayStation 4, wondering why it was so successful. Part of the formula is undoubtedly the strength of the core technology. Looking back, Nielsen polling data suggested that "better resolution" was the number one reason buyers purchased PlayStation 4 over its competition. On the one hand, that nugget of data may seem quite unbelievable but on the other, consider this - given two extremely similar pieces of hardware sold at similar price-points with much the same library of software, which would you buy? "Better resolution" may well be the closest the survey had to a response highlighting the spec differential."

I can't understand where he's coming from on this - at all!

26 April 2016

Post Thoughts: Just Cause 3...

This was a really cool title splash screen and sets the tone of 'cool' for the rest of the game...

I never played the original Just Cause though I can extrapolate what sort of a game it was and whether I would have enjoyed it or not from JC2 and JC3. I think I would have. Just Cause 2 was a really fun game in the vein of Saint's Row (but more P.C.) and at the time, the grappling hook gameplay innovation was something really special and added a tonne to the way gameplay felt. Just Cause 3 is another iteration on the original concepts of Just Cause - a big open game world and a new gameplay mechanic added to the mix. 

I'll tell you up front that I enjoyed the game but felt that it overstayed its welcome more so than JC2 did.

As usual: Thar be spoilers!

23 April 2016

AR is the future, VR is the past...

"VR = Virtual Reality, AR= Augmented Reality"

The VR push is in full force now. Demo, after demo, after preview after developer release after... you know what? VR is a great technology.

I'm not sold on it.

22 March 2016

Sci-fi Tropes: Mind over matter...

"We are but dreams amid wanton sleep..." Bloody Mary affiche by binarymind

The fallacy that humans don't utilise the entirety of their brain mass has been dispelled over and over and while what I'm about to delve into is related to that, it's not the whole story...

Sci-fi often depicts advanced races as comprising of super intelligent beings that are able to perform mental gymnastics way beyond our paltry ability. Ignoring, for the moment, those sci-fi universes where embedded circuitry and other shenanigans improve the knowledge and processing power of intelligent beings to god-like levels, it is often assumed that with increasing technological prowess, increasing mental ability is attained.

It's interesting because there is not really any evidence to support this. Humans (specifically Homo sapiens sapiens), are not more intelligent despite our huge and exponentially increasing technological gains over the last two centuries. You can't even argue that we are smarter (with smartness being application of knowledge) because our knowledge base is expanding all the time so application of knowledge will always increase with an increase with available knowledge to draw upon.