Atom Zombie Smasher is a very unique zombie apocalypse-centric game, and is definitely worth checking out. This indie game is probably the most light-hearted zombie game I’ve played, but at the same time it’s probably the most stressful and terrifying. I didn’t know this combination was possible. The reason I say this is because the aesthetics are very cartoony and it’s coupled with surf-rock music and the story anecdotes they have are humorous (granted, it’s dark humor). The reason I say it’s stressful is because this isn’t a game about killing all the zombies; rather it’s about trying to save as many survivors as possible, and you quickly find out that it’s simply not possible to save all of the survivors, in fact, you’re lucky to just meet the goal. 
This game is a wonderful example of good storytelling through gameplay. As a military tactician, you have to play a game of numbers, and the top-down view with all the units represented by dots is a good visual of this. It is a way of disassociating the survivors from being actual people, as I imagine someone who would be responsible for their care would try and do, since they can’t all be saved. However, if you’re like me, you’ll find that you can’t completely disconnect yourself from these dots and you become really tense when you see one lone purple dot (a zombie) coming towards a yellow cluster (survivors) because the second that purple dot reaches the cluster, a group of people just turned into a horde of zombies. If you’re lucky you’ll have snipers that you can aim in that direction to protect the people, but chances are you won’t. From mission to mission you are given scarce units to use. You might be given only barriers, trip mines, and a stink bomb thing that attracts the zombies and have to figure out how to work with just those. 
The difficulty of this game is fitting though since it is a zombie apocalypse; it’s not going to be easy. 

Atom Zombie Smasher is a very unique zombie apocalypse-centric game, and is definitely worth checking out. This indie game is probably the most light-hearted zombie game I’ve played, but at the same time it’s probably the most stressful and terrifying. I didn’t know this combination was possible. The reason I say this is because the aesthetics are very cartoony and it’s coupled with surf-rock music and the story anecdotes they have are humorous (granted, it’s dark humor). The reason I say it’s stressful is because this isn’t a game about killing all the zombies; rather it’s about trying to save as many survivors as possible, and you quickly find out that it’s simply not possible to save all of the survivors, in fact, you’re lucky to just meet the goal. 

This game is a wonderful example of good storytelling through gameplay. As a military tactician, you have to play a game of numbers, and the top-down view with all the units represented by dots is a good visual of this. It is a way of disassociating the survivors from being actual people, as I imagine someone who would be responsible for their care would try and do, since they can’t all be saved. However, if you’re like me, you’ll find that you can’t completely disconnect yourself from these dots and you become really tense when you see one lone purple dot (a zombie) coming towards a yellow cluster (survivors) because the second that purple dot reaches the cluster, a group of people just turned into a horde of zombies. If you’re lucky you’ll have snipers that you can aim in that direction to protect the people, but chances are you won’t. From mission to mission you are given scarce units to use. You might be given only barriers, trip mines, and a stink bomb thing that attracts the zombies and have to figure out how to work with just those. 

The difficulty of this game is fitting though since it is a zombie apocalypse; it’s not going to be easy. 

I’ve played through the first sequence in the game Trauma, which I got from the current Humble Indie Bundle, and so far the music is powerful, the story is poignent, and the imagery is great. What I especially want to point out though is how they designed the mechanic of moving around. I’m accustomed to those room-escape games where you just press the arrows on the side of the screen in order to look at another wall or area. In this game however, when you move your mouse around the image, different spots will light up that you can click in order to change your perspective. I think this is a vast improvement upon the arrow method especially in a game such as this where arrows would not only mar the image, but also limit where you can explore. 
You can actually play Trauma in your browser for free if you would like to try it out. 

I’ve played through the first sequence in the game Trauma, which I got from the current Humble Indie Bundle, and so far the music is powerful, the story is poignent, and the imagery is great. What I especially want to point out though is how they designed the mechanic of moving around. I’m accustomed to those room-escape games where you just press the arrows on the side of the screen in order to look at another wall or area. In this game however, when you move your mouse around the image, different spots will light up that you can click in order to change your perspective. I think this is a vast improvement upon the arrow method especially in a game such as this where arrows would not only mar the image, but also limit where you can explore. 

You can actually play Trauma in your browser for free if you would like to try it out. 

I’m particularly excited to try out Trauma from the new Humble Indie Game Bundle. According to the game’s website Trauma “tells a story of a young woman who survives a car accident. Recovering at the hospital, she has dreams that shed light on different aspects of her identity - such as the way she deals with the loss of her parents.”

I’m particularly excited to try out Trauma from the new Humble Indie Game Bundle. According to the game’s website Trauma “tells a story of a young woman who survives a car accident. Recovering at the hospital, she has dreams that shed light on different aspects of her identity - such as the way she deals with the loss of her parents.”

The new Humble Indie Bundle is here, you should check it out. You pay what you want, you get great games (cross-platform, DRM free) and you even get to choose how the money you donate is split up between charity, developers, and the Humble Indie Bundle site. 

I couldn’t find a screenshot of it, but I just wanted to note how whenever you continue your game in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, there is a mini-recap of what is currently going on in the story, similar to that of a tv show recap. I find this to be a simple, yet incredibly nice feature since I sometimes have quite lengthy hiatuses when I’m playing a game, and when I come back to it I end up being completely lost in terms of narration. This can sometimes be a huge deterrent from getting back into the game.
The recaps in this game are just three different pictures with three lines of text each which was probably pretty easy to throw together, considering the pictures already appear in the game. I think this method might even work with your typical 3d, console game. This is possibly where you could integrate the concept art into the actual game instead of just being part of the ‘extras’ menu option. 

I couldn’t find a screenshot of it, but I just wanted to note how whenever you continue your game in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, there is a mini-recap of what is currently going on in the story, similar to that of a tv show recap. I find this to be a simple, yet incredibly nice feature since I sometimes have quite lengthy hiatuses when I’m playing a game, and when I come back to it I end up being completely lost in terms of narration. This can sometimes be a huge deterrent from getting back into the game.

The recaps in this game are just three different pictures with three lines of text each which was probably pretty easy to throw together, considering the pictures already appear in the game. I think this method might even work with your typical 3d, console game. This is possibly where you could integrate the concept art into the actual game instead of just being part of the ‘extras’ menu option. 


The new Extra Credits episode takes on the possibility of pro gaming and what needs to be done for it to become a sport people actually watch. 
I’ve never been interested in pro gaming myself - playing or watching - however this video brings up a very interesting point for designers, what if you thought about a spectator in designing your game? When I was little I would always be content to sit there and watch my sister play Zelda (despite her always pausing to read the guidebook) My brother grew up often watching both of us play games, he even was able to play the N64 before he could talk! 
I still find it enjoyable enough to watch someone else play a campaign/story mode, however it’s incredibly boring to watch someone else play a game online, such as CoD. 
On multiplayer games where you don’t respawn right away and you have to just sit and watch, you often just get a 3rd person view of another player that you follow around. I’m not quite sure what you could do to make this better, maybe give the option to go split screen and follow multiple people at once? But I imagine a good way to test the success of a spectator mode for a possible pro-gaming game would be to try them out on these multiplayer FPS games and get feedback from the players.

The new Extra Credits episode takes on the possibility of pro gaming and what needs to be done for it to become a sport people actually watch. 

I’ve never been interested in pro gaming myself - playing or watching - however this video brings up a very interesting point for designers, what if you thought about a spectator in designing your game? When I was little I would always be content to sit there and watch my sister play Zelda (despite her always pausing to read the guidebook) My brother grew up often watching both of us play games, he even was able to play the N64 before he could talk! 

I still find it enjoyable enough to watch someone else play a campaign/story mode, however it’s incredibly boring to watch someone else play a game online, such as CoD. 

On multiplayer games where you don’t respawn right away and you have to just sit and watch, you often just get a 3rd person view of another player that you follow around. I’m not quite sure what you could do to make this better, maybe give the option to go split screen and follow multiple people at once? But I imagine a good way to test the success of a spectator mode for a possible pro-gaming game would be to try them out on these multiplayer FPS games and get feedback from the players.

I’m playing Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box currently and the music is just stunning in this game. I think music is the best way to create atmosphere and establish a setting. The game itself is really fun too, but I just wanted to note how amazing the soundtrack is. This is music I’d listen to by itself even!

albotas:

Gamestop Steals from Deus Ex Customers
You’ve probably heard this already, but I think it’s important to spread news like this as much as possible. Gamestop have been caught with their pants down after opening and removing vouchers from PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The vouchers were for a free copy of the game via OnLive’s cloud-gaming system.
GameSpy broke the news and even provided a quote from a nonchalant GameStop suit: 
“Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge,” said GameStop public relations representative Beth Sharum, “and we did pull and discard these coupons.”
Even a five-year-old would know this is wrong. It’s a bummer that GameStop has such a deathgrip on the game retail marketshare that Square Enix simply doesn’t have the choice of saying “fuck you” to the chain.
I guess this should be taken as a strong reminder to support your local game sellers like record stores or dedicated game shops. As Public Enemy once said, “We gotta fight the powers that be.”

I always try my best to shop local when it comes to groceries and various other things, but I sometimes forget how huge a powerhouse GameStop is in the industry as if the fact that it sells video games exempts it from being a corporation. This is a good reminder to do my best to support the small game exchange store in my town, and the larger one I stumbled upon the other day about 20 minutes away. 

albotas:

Gamestop Steals from Deus Ex Customers

You’ve probably heard this already, but I think it’s important to spread news like this as much as possible. Gamestop have been caught with their pants down after opening and removing vouchers from PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The vouchers were for a free copy of the game via OnLive’s cloud-gaming system.

GameSpy broke the news and even provided a quote from a nonchalant GameStop suit: 

“Square Enix packed the competitor’s coupon with our DXHR product without our prior knowledge,” said GameStop public relations representative Beth Sharum, “and we did pull and discard these coupons.”

Even a five-year-old would know this is wrong. It’s a bummer that GameStop has such a deathgrip on the game retail marketshare that Square Enix simply doesn’t have the choice of saying “fuck you” to the chain.

I guess this should be taken as a strong reminder to support your local game sellers like record stores or dedicated game shops. As Public Enemy once said, “We gotta fight the powers that be.”

I always try my best to shop local when it comes to groceries and various other things, but I sometimes forget how huge a powerhouse GameStop is in the industry as if the fact that it sells video games exempts it from being a corporation. This is a good reminder to do my best to support the small game exchange store in my town, and the larger one I stumbled upon the other day about 20 minutes away. 

It can rain / snow in Minecraft now?! I’m thoroughly amused. (yes I know this is probably old news for everyone else but I haven’t played it much yet)

It can rain / snow in Minecraft now?! I’m thoroughly amused. (yes I know this is probably old news for everyone else but I haven’t played it much yet)