Categories: "Personal Life"

NyxQuest Kindered Spirits on WiiWare

 

So one thing I've tried to do recently is buy a few more digital release games (I never used to so much as I prefer owning copies), as I know have a steady flow of money I felt I should buy a few games on WiiWare. The first that I actually bought was Bonsai Barber, but I felt more inclined to do a little entry on NyxQuest.

It came out back in June (August in NA), although I had only heard of it since a few weeks ago, it was made by Over The Top Games who are a small independent games developer in Madrid that compromises of four guys. It's also been entered into IGF this year (good luck to them, hope they win!).

It is set in Ancient Greece (it actually used to be called Icarian: Kindred Spirits, but got changed) the game itself follows Icarus, son of Daedalus and Nyx who he befriended (Nyx is actually the titan of the night). It was quite hard to watch the story at the start as I had a few people talking to me, so I missed some of it as there was no voice over, but I can always start the game again to view it again in more detail.

I shall try to keep this short, the setting in the game itself is a very picturesque Greece, with broken remnants of statues of gods, along with temples and rocks, which feature Giorgio de Chirico style long shadows sweeping across the landscapes.

screenshot from ingame

What I would love to hope is as well as the game being set in a midday scenario, is that the large amount of shadows are inspired as well by the main character being Nyx, but I can always interpret it how i wish.

The gameplay itself is what I would expect from a Wii title, or at least one that uses the motion control, but requiring you as a player to multitask. For example using the power of Zeus to move an object while flying and gliding over some spikes.

I would also like to give a big thumbs up to the music, you can download it off the NyxQuest website been listening to it at work recently, it's some really nicely composed relaxing music.

I haven't finished it yet, but I must say I don't really want it to end, it's a very enjoyable puzzle platforming style experience, I would recommend it to people with Wii's if I knew many people with them! Also can't wait to see what Over the Top bring us next!

Dante's Inferno's Lustful level

 

I luckily had a look at EA Visceral's new game Dante's Inferno yesterday. I must say from what I got to see (It was a demo that had been played a fair bit into it) I was fairly impressed.

Ok so Dante's Inferno is on an interesting subject, as the nine circles of hell aren't explored a large amount in most games. To be honest I haven't looked a large amount into the development of the game so far. The subject matter interested me, but that just meant I may pick it up on release.

Now I don't know how well they're integrating the divine comedy into their game, all I can imagine is it won't be following it word for word, as adaptations will never be 100% on an original product.

It was a fairly nice hack n' slash that was quite dull in colour, but I suppose hell would be. I look forward to playing it in a quiet room (was very loud in the area, but I could tell the soundtrack had some quality from what I could hear).

dante's inferno

I look forward to picking it up on the 12th of February.

Person with a job to do part 2

 

I thought I'd make a little quick post which is a start to a few new entries I've got lined up.

But since my last post (the first part that this post is relating to), I recieved an extension on my contract. As previously I was working till September, now it's till the summer (for those that were un-aware of this)

I'm still loving working at EA, and the food is awesome, favourite so far has to be creamy cheesy leek on a jacket potato, that and mint hot chocolate in the mornings :).

Everything is going well there, can't wait for Flips to be released on December 4th. Looking forward to seeing the reception it gets.

EA announces Flips

 

Flips

 

I'm very happy to say that a series of DS titles I have worked on at EA were announced yesterday on a host of websites.

My favourite quote I have noticed popping up has been:

 

"I'm over the moon to see my stories and characters brought to life on the Nintendo DS with EA's new FLIPS range," said Eoin Colfer, author of the award-winning Artemis Fowl series. "Everyone knows that reading improves literacy skills. I have two children who are DS fanatics and cannot wait for the FLIPS to arrive, so EA might finally get them reading my books!"

I love hearing this from Eoin, I very much enjoyed working with Eoin Colfer's books, and can't wait to see the seventh installment of Artemis Fowl whenever it gets written.

Excited to see they've had an alright reception so far on Gamesindustry.biz, MCV and even Gamasutra (along with mentions on Destructoid, Kotaku and a huge host of other websites).

I also can't help but recommend Artemis Fowl, it's a very interesting set of books, even if it is aimed at ages 9+.

(Eoin Colfer has also recently written a new Hitchhikers book which is due out very soon and is called 'And Another Thing'. He's also signing copies of the book on Wednesday the 14th October in Forbidden Planet this week, I'd love to go myself but sadly I wouldn't be able to get there in time)

If you are a fan of reading I recommend you check them out when they are released on the 4th of Decemeber.

The Flips titles available are:

Too Ghoul For School
Enid Blyton Faraway Tree Stories
Cathy Cassidy
Artemis Fowl

I really enjoyed working on these titles and I hope people enjoy reading them.

GameCity Squared

 

It's coming up to that time of the year, where people carve pumpkins and have a laugh dressing up.

Well as well as Halloween (and my birthday) something else is happening over the Halloween week which also happened the previous year and that is GameCity.

GameCity is a videogame festival hosted in Nottingham, a quote below gives the jist of what it's all about.

Unlike a lot of videogame events, it’s not really a place to come and play them - we’d rather do that at home on the sofa. But if you do love videogames, you’re going to find lots here to enjoy.

Although with GameCity being this kind of event, it separates the people who go to a games related event just to play games, from the ones who want to hear about the process and hear people talking etc.

This year they've got Masaya Matsuura, who recently attended Develop as well, along with Rex Crowle, Robin Hunicke and Dr. Barbara Lippe. Babsi having actually attended WIG 07 when it was in Newport all those years ago.

To cut a story short, it should be an awesome event, they have a whole host of things lined up, mainly taking place during the week so I'm unable to attend them due to work. Although I will be there over the weekend, sacrificing my birthday to go there, that's how cool it should be!

I urge all to check out the website at GameCity.org And you may we see me as well as all the lovely people from Newport!

Below are some viral videos which have been produced by The Alaskan Military School enjoy!

Person with a job to do

 

Ok well I thought I'd update any people who happen to read my blog in case they didn't know.

But I have a job now! At EA of all places, which is so amazing, I never thought my first job would be somewhere so well known.

So obviously moving to Aldershot instead of staying in Newport or going back home, was the best idea ever.

My role is Design Editor which to be truthful has kind of been made up for the titles we're working on. But I don't mind, it's a Designer role, just catered slightly to what needs doing.

I started in the second from last week of July, although sadly as I'm employed as a contractor I'll only be there till the end of September, but you never know what may happen :).

Develop 2009: Gamesification: Turning Other Things into Games

 

Gamesification Panel

Out of the last talks of the Thursday I was really tied with what to go to, in the end I went with Gamesification panel, which ended up being made up of Maurice Suckling - The Mustard Company, Charles Cecil - Revolution Software, Antonia Saraiva - , Jorg Tittel - The main emphasis of the panel was 'product, people, platform, process - making a good game'

It was interesting hearing their problems they've had while in development of games Jorg had worked on Minority Report, and his team hadn't seen the film, and didn't until a month before the game's release, which is why the game was a bit of a failure he feels. If they had researched into the film, and found relevant experiences that the film had to offer, which could have made Minority Report very similar to Mirror's Edge perhaps.

Charles faced many problems when consulting on the Da Vinci Code game, firstly from being told by the producers and directors of the film that they did not want a game. After giving his ideas on it they came to a compromise, but when working with The Collective on it, they apparently only wanted to make a fighting game, which is pretty much what they did.

A point that Charles brought up on game to film adaptations was that people don't understand the process that is required when taking a game and turning it into a film. As he feels most directors rush things, and don't realise that they're taking a character who usually is controlled by a player, from taking this character and placing them in a film it doesn't create the correct atmosphere, and doesn't usually become addressed.

The best way to make a film into a game is by looking over the film and finding relevant experiences that will make an interesting game

Develop 2009: It's Time for Music games 2.0

 

I was so happy for Matsuura-san to come to Develop, coming all the way from Japan it was an honour to have him attend, especially the year that I happened to be attending Develop. His talk had an introduction for while people were entering the room, which was a video of himself playing some music.

Masaya Matsuura

One of the first points brought up is that he feels it's his personal mission to keep making games for the music genre. He feels that games should use music as a way of conveying information just like films do.

The music needs to be integrated into the gameplay, a game that does this well is Mario, with the speed up of music when the time is running low, mixed with the diegetic feel the music has when playing the game.

His main goal lies within implementing rhythm into the games he creates, I can say I honestly can see where he is going as his games such as Mojib Ribbon and Rhyme Rider Kerorican show this use of rhythm amazingly.

One thing he wanted to integrate into his games as well is the feeling of call and response, so that during play the player would get some feedback from the game while inputting. So for example the music would change depending on good or bad circumstances.
He has always enjoyed creating games that can generate game data from music and lyrics, this was of course addressed in Vib Ribbon.
While then also informing us of what he'd love to see in some new music games being:

  • A game where you can perform with actual musicians
  • A game that gives the player an opportunity to play as a musician in the London Symphony Orchestra
  • A game that uses anything and everything as a musical instrument, so everything you pick up or touch creates a musical sound

Vibri

Matsuura’s talk was very entertaining as he showed us 3 videos during his talk, all being very cute and entertaining, one including a talking Vibri.

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