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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Creation - Meet Sputty

 
I quickly made this cute little Gif to explore Sputty's personality. Sputty is Probo the Math Bot's friend. He assists Probo on the space station and likes taking pictures.
 
-Paige

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Commentary- Taking time to make Sequels

Sorry I haven't had time to post (I'm getting ready for GDC), so I'm posting a Commentary instead of a Creation.
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If a studio makes a successful title, it seems they immediately jump on a short production schedule to get the sequel out the door. My response, "slow down."
If not, the sequel will have minor improvements, feel formulaic because the developers were afraid to take risks, and, in the worst case scenario, be buggy.

I didn't enjoy Pokemon Platinum as nearly as much as it's predecessor (Pokemon Ruby) due to the fact it felt like the same game with prettier art.

The Portal series is a different story. Portal was released in 2007, while its sequel was released much later in 2011. Portal 2 added a deeper story, more puzzles, better graphics, and co-op with its own storyline. Despite the fact Portal 1 set up GLaDOS's character, I like the sequel more because it adds so much.




Taking time to make great sequels or games in general isn't a bad thing. I wish more publishers would realize that.

Image courtesy of PC Gamer

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Commentary - Crazy Bonus Content!



I apologize that I'm reviewing an old game, but I couldn't resist. Today I'm going to talk about Ape Escape 3 for the PS2. First off, if you haven't played this game, find a used copy and buy it now! The duel stick controls are very innovative and responsive.

Anyways, Ape Escape's story revolves around an evil monkey named Specter taking over the world's TV broadcasting stations. Each platforming level is cleverly designed around a TV show or movie. Although this game is amazing on its own, it's the bonus content that pushes Ape Escape 3 to the next level.

You can watch their skits or make your own!

Throughout the game, you'll watch small monkey skits performed in front of cameras. That alone is awesome, but once you finish the game, you can make your own skits! They voluntarily wrote their own video editing software inside a lengthy polished game! It not only supports the story, but it provides countless hours of fun for the player! That's dedication. There needs to be more bonus content like this!



An example of some created videos.

And, the extras don't stop there! They also included a lengthy kid-friendly Metal Gear Solid ripoff. Not to mention a fortune teller, multi-player fighting game, and a monkey toss!


Definitely harder than AE3...
Wow. Ape Escape 3's massive amount of bonus content shows that Sony cares about the player and loves making games! I'd love to make a game with tons of bonus content. If you've played any Ape Escape titles let me know in the comments below!

-Paige

Images courtesy of Google Images and Brian's Simian Cinema

Friday, March 14, 2014

Creation - Fixing up the Blog and a vid!

So, I'll be fixing up the blog the next few days. (You may have noticed the new temp banner)

But, to keep you guys entertained, I posted a concept video of a game level. The video highlights a musical field where Orkestral (birdy guy) lives. This would be a multiplayer musical fighting game. I hope you guys like it! Oh, the music is by BlackMill.
 
- Paige

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Commentary: Originality in games.

Today I downloaded Smash Hit by Mediocre on my phone. And I was blown away by the originality! It was a much needed fun and interesting phone game! They took the contrite endless runner game mechanic combined it with break-out to create a first person smash to survive game. 
This game feels so indie, I love it.
Here's why it felt so original:
 
Mediocre improved upon the endless runner genre. As far as I can tell, the bulk of the world is not randomly generated, which plagues many runner games. As a result, Mediocre could handcraft the look of the environments and made sure it didn't become too hard too fast. They also created checkpoints, so when you die, you can start there. So nice! (It's part of the paid version.)
 
The world is art. Even with simple geometric shapes, Mediocre sets the mood with music, material shading, and lighting. This game is living proof that videogames are an art form. Even though there is no story, you can still sense it!
 
Everything is a game! There's even a level for the credits! If you smash everything in the credits, there's a secret minigame (Now that's attention to detail!).
 
Finally, this game is not a clone or money grabber. It's really refreshing. I can tell the studio loves making games for games sake.
 
 Oh, and the physics engine is AMAZING!
 
 Seriously, try it out! It's free to play on Google Play here.
Apple Store here.
 
If you've played it, let me know what you think about it in the comments!
 
P.S. Mediocre is based in Sweden and focuses on non-violent games. Now that's my type of studio!
 
Images courtesy of GooglePlay

Creation: Moosh loves Bananas!

Here's some fan art based on Zelda: Oracle of Time. The game doesn't hold your hand with instruction and you also get to ride on various creatures! Depending on the creature you chose would determine the overworld terrain. Choosing Moosh resulted in a land of holes you had to fly over. It was a cool mechanic that increased replay value as you could only chose one creature per play through.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Commentary - Interactive Props (Pokemon Y)

I want to turn this blog into Game Creation and Commentary, where Sid and I share art from projects we are working on, but also give our thoughts on game design. I think it will be really fun! If you guys have any suggestions or ideas, let us know in the comments below.
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Anyways, I wanted to start commenting on interacting with props. I'll pull an example from Route 14 in Pokémon X and Y. When first encountering this route, I noticed a playground! My heart raced with joy as I realized you could play on the equipment!

However....
I was sorely disappointed when I sat on the swing and nothing happened...

"Is this swing glued to the ground?"

You may think that allowing the player to swing is trivial and that I'm too picky of a player. But, I think it's the thought that counts. If players could swing, it would say that Game Freak goes the extra mile to put love into trivial details. I know there are big deadlines that prevent extra code, but it would be really fun to swing. The world would feel more alive and interactive.

Anyways, on a more positive note, at least you can ride down the slide!

"Time to go down the slide again!"
 
Thanks for reading! 
-Paige
 
 
Images courtesy of Let's Play Pokemon Y

Monday, March 10, 2014

Creation - Math Bot Promo Video

video
 
Hey Friends! Here is a video I made promoting Math Bot, a fun math tilting app that Sid and I helped make. It also was a finalist in the BYU Rollins Center Mobile Competition.

Support us by downloading from the links below.

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.SmartCookieStudios.MathBotLite

Amazon App Store:http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Cookie-Studios-Math-Lite/dp/B00IEXOXA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394504445&sr=8-1&keywords=math+bot


Tell us what you think!
- Paige