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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Weekly Review: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Hey y'all, how's it going?

Today, I'm reviewing Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. I'm going to keep this short because I want to go back to playing it.

I am thoroughly enjoying this game. Unfortunately, I couldn't buy it at release, I was broke as hell, but I bought it yesterday and I just haven't been able to put it down. The visuals are just amazing, the storyline is intriguing and the gameplay features... Wowee, I am impressed by this. 

A screenshot from a battle scene
I'm going to start with the graphics. Not many games these days trade off more realistic graphics for cartoonish and anime-like graphics. It's a refreshing change to be honest. They're so nice to look at, and some of the environments  The colour schemes and the tones for each areas are so well defined. One minute, you can be in a bright, vibrant environment and the next, you can be inside a dark swamp just CRAWLING with nasties.

The game play is very interesting and varied. All the different challenges you come across aren't all combat related. Sometimes, to solve someone's problem, all you need is one specific spell to get the job done. There's are large variety of spells to unlock, I don't think I've even unlocked half of them and I'm halfway through the game. There are some pretty creative spells in there too, such as a spell called "Rejuvenate" which restores objects to their former glories or "Bridge" which makes certain places once unreachable reachable.

And then there's broken-hearted people. People that literally have a piece of their heart missing. Broken-hearted people are shells of people who they used to be. There are different forms of broken-heartedness, such as people lacking of kindness or enthusiasm. These people are often important plot points and can only be healed with the "Give Heart" spell.

The one thing I would improve on however is the tutorial, it's not really engaging, most of the time it's just a text box explaining what to do. They do have some interactive ones when it comes to combat related ones, but I think it would be better to let the player learn through actually playing the game.

So yeah, if you ever see this game anywhere ever and love RPGs, I definitely recommend this one. I don't want to spoil anything, but so far, this game has been far from cliché. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Global Game Jam Dairy

So, I'm going to be keeping a dairy of over the next 48 hours (46 if you wanna get technical) how our design process and my personal feelings about it.  The theme this year is the sound of a heartbeat

Hour 5
I just got home, we decided to rest for the night as we'll most likely be pulling an all nighter. We mostly focused on our main idea and how we're going to develop it. We're making a side-scrolling platformer in which your a Nanobot jumping from cell to cell in a blood stream inside someone's veins.

I really like this idea, but I feel my noobiness is going to affect our output already. I came up with 3 ideas during our discussion and one was taken into consideration. Which you know, feels pretty good to be honest. I mean, at least I contributed something. But when we began writing out the Design Doc, I was running out of things to type pretty quickly. So far, things are pretty laid back and chilled; I know that mindset won't last long.

Hour 22
We've almost finished all the scripting there are various complications coming up such as software complications and scripting errors. I'm contributing fairly well so far, I've mainly been working on sound effects and some texturing.

I still don't feel as if I'm really pulling weight, but then again, I think I'm keeping up so far. But when the game behind to come together, I'll most likely have less and less to do.

So far, we're still relatively calm, but other groups seem to be far ahead of us and that may add to stress also.

Hour 25
We've completed most of the scripts and we've gained quite a large Libary of assets. I've mostly contributed to the graphical and audio component. The stress is on as we still havent created a basic level yet.

Hour 29
It's about midnight and I feel really gross. I'm already exhausted and I feel slightly nauseous. And all that junk food is certainly not helping. We've done the audio pretty much, I'm trying to model in Maya but it's not really a strength of mine.

I want a bed. Already.

Hour 35 (I think)
So, that nausea turned into vomiting. So I ended up taking a short nap for about 3 hours. Everything seems to work in the level now when it comes to scripts, now it's just all about putting it together. I still feel a little off, but I think as soon as I eat something substantial, I'll probably feel alot better.

I've run out of things to do, right now I'm just touching up on the design doc, but after that, there's really nothing else I can do for the time being. I do not want to be lazy because laziness would make me tired. Well, even more so.

Hour 38
All that seems to be left is the level construction so there's very little for over half of our group to do. I'm trying to come up with names for our character. That's how scarce work is right now. I feel sorry for our programmers, they've been working solidly on this since we began this. Well, it'll soon be over for them at least. I just think everyone wants to crawl into their cozy beds for the week and just hibernate.

It's beginning to be very rushed and we've had to cut alot of our original features out just in hopes that we'll actually get our project done in time.

Okay, so I didn't update the last few hours because I felt disgusting. I'm still pretty sick now. But I'm happy with our final product. And we ended up winning the Perth Game Jam :D. I'm pretty stoked with this, this makes all the grossness I feel right now totally worth it.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Global Game Jam is This Weekend!

Okay, so the Global Game Jam is this weekend. For those of you who don't know what this is.

Shame on you!

But I'll forgive you if you look up this link to find out more about it.

I'll give you a brief explanation for those of you who can't be fucked clicking link (bunch of lazy bastards...)

Basically, it's a weekend that you dedicate to making a video game. You need to follow a theme they reveal on the night, but from what I've seen, they're pretty broad (betrayal was one of them for example.) You get broken into groups (don't worry if you don't know anyone, think of it as an opportunity to make new friends!) Other than that, the sky's the limit! It's a good way to network with your fellow designers in your area. At the end of the weekend, your game gets showcased. This event happens simultaneously all over the world and is quickly gaining speed with 10 new countries joining this year (so far.)

Kinda hope this doesn't happen to me.

So, on impulse, I decided to go to this. I'm kinda nervous to be honest, I'm not really industry standard at anything yet. Certainly not art and definitely not programming. But more than anything, the people at my uni who're actually good at these things are going to be there. I feel like I have to impress, is that silly? Because I fucking feel like it is.

And then comes the dilemma, should I go in a group with them? Then all these other questions just pop up. Will they say yes if I ask? What if they say no? Am I actually going to be able to help them or am I going to be an errand boy? I am telling you this right now.

I am not going to be dead weight.

If worse comes to worse, I'll go slide myself in another group, but I'm pretty shy so that's gonna be hard for me. I think I'd have decent ideas to bring to the table at least. And I know how to write decently and how to write a decent plot.

In fact, I had some inspiration this morning.

Some of you may remember this little rant I had the other day. I was browsing the boards of GameFAQs and read a couple reviews. Some stated that this game had good potential, until Square Enix sorta fucked things up.

So I started thinking, it'd be easy to make this game more enjoyable. There would be a variety of classes available (in a formation YOU choose). You could also set their default action when the battle begins and you can change it whenever you like. But it still needs to be touch friendly, so if you do need to make a command, I'll just add something like: "command healers to heal" or something like that. It'll need to be basic, I can't just bombard the user with GUI.

But yes, these are ideas at this stage, I think my programming needs to improve somewhat before I can even tackle this on. If I go with the 8-bit art for this, I could do a decent job with art. Maybe.

I sort of trailed off there, but I just WANTED TO SAY IT! Back to the topic at hand though. Global Game Jam.

If there's one in your area, I definitely recommend going to it. Well, I say that, but I haven't been to one yet. But I'll post up here to tell you ALLLLLLLLL about it.

(That was a shitty conclusion, what is wrong with me?) 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Weekly Review: Final Fantasy: All The Bravest

Okay, so I was going through the app store today, and I saw yet another Final Fantasy spin-off. The price for it was 4.99 and to be honest, I thought it looked kinda shit. But I thought, maybe there's more depth to this?

I was wrong. I instantly regretted purchasing this product. Not only is it the one of the most mindless games I've ever played. It has casual elements to it AND there's expensive ass DLC on top of it. It's not bad enough you already made me pay almost 5 dollars for this?! The DLC you can purchase is extra maps and secret characters; and you don't even get to choose what character your purchase.

This is where you'll be spending most of your time when you play this shitheap.
Pretty much, the premise of this game is you slide your finger around the screen and if your character's ATB bar is full, they attack. Not only is there a shitton of things happening at once, but it's one hit KO to all your characters. The number at the top represents your max party members and the current ones you have. You get one every 3 minutes OR you can do this awesome thing when you can use an hourglass to get a max party.

IS THIS AWESOME FEATURE FREE?! You're asking me. No, it is not. Of course it isn't you idiots, haven't you got the memo that Square Enix has essentially turned Final Fantasy into what Activision has turned the FPS genre into. A pretty shitheap, is essentially what Square Enix has turned the Final Fantasy series into. They know they have a large fanbase, and takes advantage of this by making their customers pay out the ass for their games. Just like Call of Duty.

Hello casual game element. I have not missed you,

I'm a very loyal Final Fantasy fan. I was captivated by Final Fantasy X and I've played them all ever since. But, recently, their games don't seem to have that amazing charm that they used to. Square Enix has essientially become EA in my eyes now. If they keep this up, I'll swear off buying anything made by their company. Just like I already have for Activision and EA.

After today however, I am a Final Fantasy fan no longer. I didn't think I'd ever say that, I'll still play the previous games I enjoyed so much, but any future releases, I will be very hesitant in purchasing. This may be the last one I buy, that's how shit this game actually was. Yes it was just a spin-off, but I shudder for the main series.

Square Enix, I hope you get your shit together and I sincerely hope that this is just a stage. Or you're going to lose alot of loyal customers. Also, finish Versus XIII please, it's been like 6 years hasn't it? This game isn't even worth to wipe my arse. Get your shit together, you make me question the industry I'm going to work in one day.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Eager Beavers.

Okay. So, I've just found out my ex has ALREADY gotten together with another guy.

Lemme throw you some background story. We had dated for a year but we decided to call it quits for awhile. We were single for a few months and then, our flames reignited and we decided to start dating again up until about a month ago. Now, within that time, he's found a new beau, started casually dating him and then, became his boyfriend a couple of days ago.

Now, I want him to move on be happy, and so do I. But this just seems so sudden, so soon. It kinda upsets me a tad. I know I don't have no real right, but we've barely stopped seeing each other for a month and he's already dating someone else. It kinda makes me feel worthless.

How I feel right now.
If it were a few months or so down the track, I'd be fine with it. That's enough time passed between relationships. But this... it seems too soon. He seemed more than too eager to move on. 

So yeah, that is my love life in a nutshell. To anyone reading this, is this short period of time an acceptable time to move on? Or do youse think it's too soon? Comment on what you think!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Fuck Programming. Fuck it with a Chainsaw.

Programming. The bane of my existence. Well, that and drawing, but we'll save THAT for another time.

Fuck you. That is all.
For everyone who has tried programming, they know how difficult it can be to pick up. It's essentially learning another language. Only, if you get it wrong, instead of an old European woman scrowling at you, you have a computer, screaming at you that you are wrong in several different ways (if you're lucky) all because you forgot to put a damn semi-colon at the end of a line of code!

I hate that this is the very core of making a video game. Yes, you can have an engine (such as Unity & UDK), but to make something unique and special, you need a vast knowledge of programming. It doesn't help that the engines available to us have slight variations on official languages just to confuse you even further!
This is a truth I wish were a lie.
I wish that they would make these engines a little more versatile. I've been learning JavaScript from CodeAcademy for almost 3 weeks now, I go to build a game in Unity just to find out Unity's JavaScript and regular ol' JavaScript are two different things. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO PEOPLE?!

So yeah, by the looks at how things are going, I probably won't be anymore prepared for programming for the next tri than I would've when I started, although I have roughly a month to get myself into shape with it. I do not want to fail again. It has already delayed me enough just failing once.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Drinking is NOT Fun Kids

I feel so gross.

So, I hadn't been out in awhile, so, a few friends and I decided to go to the local gay club. We told ourselves we were there to make friends, even though, we really just wanted a lover for the night.

Fat chance of that happening.

I'm not really big on the whole clubbing scene, in fact, I'd probably be one of the last people to go to an event at a club. But, I decided, if I AM going to make more friends this year, this is just one of the things I'm gonna have to bite the bullet for.

Yup. Complete and utter failure. All I did was get ridiculously drunk and throw up everywhere. There was kind of a sweet moment though when people in backpacks give me a bottle of water to drink and a vomit bag; which was bloody handy on the taxi drive home.

This is why I don't drink that often. It's good for like 2 or 3 hours, but after that it's just shitcity. Give me drugs over booze anyday, at least it doesn't make you chuck your guts up unless it's taken in shockingly big proportions.