Monday, 30 August 2010

Sometimes, blogs do end on a question...

Today is a rarity. After an interesting bank holiday weekend, i have successfully managed to beach my car in the ikea car park, cut up an idiot 4x4 on a roundabout and spent half hour trying to work out what the warning light on my dash was all about. Turns out i had accidentally turned overdrive off...

What has this to do with games and games design you may cry. Well, nothing actually, i was just venting. Incidentally, if you do drive a Chelsea Tractor, try and work out what you want to do on a roundabout before you enter it. If you do get cut up by a techno grey micra, just laugh and put it down to a rarity.

This week i have been puzzling over something. If, in this world, we are accepting of all religions and cultures, why are atheists persecuted for their non beliefs. The scouting movement recognises a vast majority of religions, yet believes that atheists should not be leaders. In parts of America, an atheist in a town is about as welcome as a 4x4 in London.

Now...i went to a catholic school, and i must say that those schools do very well in turning people from Christians to Agnostics, yet utter that you don't pray every night, and the Chaplin will have a fit. What a world we live in.

As for frozen skies, work has paused for a bit. The next Facepunch Mapping Competition has begun, and i am working with Firegod to bring a bit of heat to an otherwise cold world.

Now, i did say i would end on a question, but i can't remember what the question was. So, i will make one up.

What is the question for the answer for life the universe and everything?

And when i remember the original question, i will post it.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Maybe this twice weekly thing could work...

Second post this week. Second Monitor up and running after having to travel down to the shops twice. The number two is hawt this week.

Just started working on an English club in UDK called "The Snowball". It has the sort of music we can expect from an English club. Trashy club music that no-one can work out the differences between. I'm trying to establish a concrete and metal feel to it, this is an area which, while outside of the law and order of the inner tunnel, is still protection from the chills of outside the heated zones. Tunnels connect to these areas, the outside being too cold for people to move freely through unless they are an idiot, or have heated protection.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The drive of the narritive

And thus, like a speeding train, i derail off the rants, and rerail back on the rails i should have been on all along. Today i talk about narrative.

We have two types of narrative, the scripted kind, and the unscripted kind. Scripted is commonplace in gaming. You are often forced to follow a set storyline. Even in open world games such as World of Warcraft, what you do is set out. You can only become a hero. There is no range of who you become. A set hero in a mass produced world.

An unscripted story is harder to accomplish, but it can be done. Games like Wurm Online and Love give the players a world, not storyline and let them become who they want to be. It's a risk only indie companies want to take.

Thing is, when risks are taken, occanionally something dramatic will happen. Whether it's accidentally blowing up the guild house again, or managing to revolusionise the way planes are used in a war zone, it's a risk that needed to be taken. And only by taking risks can we move forwards.

Of course there is another side to an unscripted world. The idea that you don't need to give the player all the information. Give them a storybook with half the pages missing, let them make their own stories. Even though i highly doubt blizz read this blog, i'm looking at them, and the other big names to start allowing the players to make their own name in a changing world, not someone elses name in a static world.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

War...War never changes

Quick thing on this...

This quote comes from Ron Pearlman at the beginning of the fallout games. Now, MG4 essentially stole the line for their game and used "war has changed".

Some clarification, and something which i am trying to write into Frozen Skies. When Black Isle talked about that epic line, they were trying to portray how mankind, even on the brink of it's own destruction will try to find a way of killing itself just that bit more. To this end, MG4 was wrong.

War never changes.

Fallout took humanity to the end of the world, yet there was still fighting between those who thought they were right and everyone else was wrong. War can advance and fall behind, but it will always be the same brand.

Added onto my little rant of the day comes the observation that people seem to think that post apoc = fallout. Kids today...they do need to learn that post apoc doesn't mean post thermonuclear war. Thus the creation of frozen skies.