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2010 May | PencilGym.com

Archive for May, 2010

Modnation Racers! Following in step of Sony’s other “play, create, share” games like LittleBigPlanet, Modnation Racers offers you, to let your imagination run wild and create your very own unique avatar, as well as a race kart… apparel, color choice, stickers, accessories, body kits, vinyls, decals, you can create just about anything your artistic soul can think of…

and then, race it.

Racing like the way of Mario-Kart style “battle races”, you get special bonuses during races to take down your friends and boost yourself into the lead. The race tracks themselves are equally whimsical, with random obstacles sprawled all around the environment, shifting bridges, big air jumps…andd after you’re done playing, dive head on into the game’s seemingly-equally-robust racetrack editor! Build the track of your dreams, then share it online with your friends and loved ones, and take them on in your very own “home turf”!

This might just turn out to the competitor of Mario Kart! Only time can tell, ModnationRacers releases May 25th, 2010, on the Playstation 3.

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Free MMORPG - Grand Fantasia

 

Really interesting game to explore and pick up on the rapidly expanding “Free to Play MMORPG” Trend..!

Might as well check it out! Visit the site and take in the vibrant art world :)

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Yay! Sequel for one of the most loved PS3 Games is about to arrive!

Little Big Planet 2 has a planned release for the Fall this year!

Seems to be offering a much more robust Game Builder for players to mess around with, opening up even more opportunities for modding and level creation. Different camera angles, more awesome lighting effects, “smarter” objects? o:

I think games like LBP are genius. You build a game, advertise it as a game where “you create your game, the way you want it, anything and anyway you like it!”

“Don’t only get to play the game, you also get to build your own levels and also download and play other players’ creations!” “You guys have made over 2 million custom games and worlds! Much moreee than we could have imagined!”

It’s genius!

Why work to build “DLC” to keep a game alive? Make your consumers do your work for you! Take “Modern Warfare 2″ for example…they push out like.. DLC Map Packs “+5 additional levels” every few months..

with custom game builders like Little Big Planet, you are pretty much getting 5000 “additional levels” every few months, and the work is done by your consumers, not by you!

haha, awesome x] Build something and have the world continue the work for you..hehehe..advertise it as a “build and share your creations“..

Sure, those “user created worlds” are free to download and share, so there’s no fee and can’t be labeled as “DLC”. But then, i’m pretty sure there will mean increased and continued sale of the game software itself, which probably makes up for the “free add-ons”. The game also features other purchasable stuff, like custom avatars for your in-game character, which you do pay for.

Little Big Planet 2 Debut Trailer:

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Another Gamasutra feature article, this time talking about game developers moving overseas in search of new work opportunities, and they’ve put up a lil’ something about Singapore and the gaming industry!

Singapore’s quality of life is “just amazing. Everything is super-efficient — especially the public transport system which is very organized and very cheap, the food is incredible, and there’s just so much energy in the air.”

- Claude Langlais,
Ubisoft Singapore

Haha, really? x) I guess you don’t realize these kinda stuff growing up there all your life, ’til you’re away from it and you start reminiscing it :D

Singapore is starting to show up more often on the map for game development, i’m really looking forward to see how much it grows there and what it grows into over the next 5 or 7 years. I myself was lucky enough to have had a chance to visit and speak to LucasArts Singapore back in 2008…as well as EA Singapore where i had a short chat with the VP-of-something x]

Other new game studios that had popped up in Singapore include Ubisoft and TakeTwo Interactive.

Full writeup at Gamasutra - http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28461/A_Global_Move_Worth_It.php

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Here’s another game with amazing art direction.

Yep, Limbo is an Indie Game too, developed for the Xbox Live Arcade platform only (unfortunately). I believe the game has won awards for it’s just-gorgeous art style…minimal yet still so powerful in conveying emotion in the viewer. Almost every part of the game, you can pause and it becomes a work of art, like a gallery showing.

The project began with 1 person’s basic sketches, which he made into a video (animatic), that captured the hearts of millions in an instant. Developers and publishers alike then opened up opportunities to develop it into what it is today. After 6 years of development, we have this beautiful piece of a game to appreciate.

This is just the reason why i have grown such a love for indie games. The art direction is usually what most Indiegames seem to focus on as a result of having limited resources/small man-power. Minimal, yet brilliant, simplistic nature of the games.

It drives home the fact that you don’t always necessarily need to make the next “Call of Duty Moden Warfare” or “Crysis” or “Unreal Gears of War” to win the hearts of gamers around the world.

http://www.limbogame.org/

Check out the videos!

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for peeps that havn’t heard of this game yet, i think it’s one of the best takes on keeping that retro-spirit in gaming, alive.

3D Dot Game Heroes, developed by Silicon Studios, coming out in a couple weeks (May 11, 2010) for the PS3 exclusively, features the “pixelated retro look” from the old days of gaming on our crappy low-resolution screens… picture the days of the GameBoy and it’s green & black lcd display.

now modernize that by throwing it into the realm of three-dimensions, and you get this gorgeous of a game. The soundtrack keeps in step with the retro vibe, an energetic loop-ish “MIDI” music, mixed in with some orchestra to bring it to the modern era.

some nitpickers already comparing it to Zelda games…but hey, it plays well and has one of the most distinct visuals in years of gaming.

check out more of the game! it’s beautiful.

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Just read about this brand new support funding group called “Indie-fund“.

Started up by 7 of the industry’s most successful “Indies” (Independent developers), namely creators of “World of Goo” Ron Carmel & Kyle Gabler, “Braid”s Johnathan Blow (one of the most awesomely hand-painted games in my opinion of all time), Kellee Santiago from “Flower” (PS3), “Critter Crunch”s Nathan Vella, Matthew Wegner “Off-road Velociraptor Safari”, and Aaron Isaksen of “Armadillo Gold Rush”…the groups mission is to support fellow Indepedant Developers/”Indies” by

…helping indie developers get financially independent and stay financially independent.

Ron Carmel explained that indies going to publishers was a “system that never worked” because there was no “transparency” in the process. Also Indies that go to these publishers (ie. Activision/EA/Ubisoft) always mostly end up getting pushed around, hurting the original game design process, restricting the creative process, and these Indies get tied down by the publisher..publisher tells the Indies “what is better to do”.

With Indie Fund,

…A focus will be on flexible development.

The game development process requires experimentation and iteration, so the old methodology of coming up with big design documents ahead of time, with milestones attached that risk employee pay, ends up causing developers stress and ultimately risks game quality.

Under the Indie Fund model, the developer submits periodic builds to the fund along with a change list, so the game can be evaluated based on where it was last time it was evaluated, “not on where we think it should be”. This approach “respects the game design process as it should happen”.

Importantly, Indie Fund will not seek IP ownership. “We want the developer to own the IP and for the developer to be master of their own destiny.”

“We don’t want to tell you how to make your game.”

“If we provide funding for a game, then that’s a vote of confidence in the team that they have a vision and that they can execute it.”

If i know better than you what’s right for your game, then we probably shouldn’t be funding your game.”

- Leigh Alexander and
Simon Carless

GameDeveloperMagazine April 2010

Indie Fund is the bright light that many aspiring Indies will look to! Since the Fund only just launched, it is still a model in testing, and future funding for more games is still uncertain. They however, already plan to bring in bigger investors to support, if the funding model does prove successful.

This is great news for Indies. Especially today when “big houses” have been laying off so many people, regardless an industry veteran or not. Casual/Indie games have been booming, over Facebook, iPhone/iPad (mobile games), XBox Live Arcade, PSN, and other web platforms.

I am too personally, rooting for Indie Fund’s mission to be a success. I feel it’s a great time to break away from the developer/publisher model, let the hard work of indies pay off the way it should..encourage more people to explore Indie games as an option!

I would encourage anyone who’s interested in developing Indie games to check out Indie Fund further. :D

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