Yes! Eric Chahi, creator of Another World is back the business!
My oh my, I think I blew a fuse when I saw this!
Go watch the HD version at GameTrailers.com
Pure mind blowing awesomeness. Now, if only Mr. Lucas could get his wallet out and hand over some dosh to Blur to do this as a full time TV series Anyone know if the live action TV show is on the way?
No matter what, I am giving the game a go when it is out, even though it can’t be as mind blowing as this cinematic.
Just letting you know there will be some additions to the Unity Proto Pack, such as heli- and space ship flying modes. All existing customers of the pack will get it as a free update.
The first product is a prototyping pack for Unity, with some simplistic setups for player, camera and enemy behaviours.
In the recent turmoil around Apple changing the legalities around development for iPhone, John Gruber posted his thoughts on it. While I agree with many of his comments, there is a rather strange statement, or claim if you will, at the end of his post:
Cross-platform software toolkits have never — ever — produced top-notch native apps for Apple platforms. Not for the classic Mac OS, not for Mac OS X, and not for iPhone OS. Such apps generally have been downright crummy. On the other hand, perhaps iPhone users will be missing out on good apps that would have been released if not for this rule, but won’t now. I don’t think iPhone OS users are going to miss the sort of apps these cross-platform toolkits produce, though.
What the heck? So these games are bad and no one would miss them if pulled off the App Store?
I don’t think its even a necessary to tell why these falsifies the statement of John Gruber. Unity games have many times over been in the top 10 of popular games, and Zombieville USA is constantly high on the lists, bobbing up and down in the top 100.
Now onto the reason of why this even matters to me. The reason I got a Mac in the first place was Unity, before it was released on Windows as well. First I got a Mac Mini to get rolling with Unity. Later on I got a MacPro 8 core xeon, early 2008 model, a really good deal at the time, unlike the more recent ones. Then I got a Macbook Pro for working on the go and use in meetings. I also applied to become an iPhone developer, got the Unity for iPhone license, got an iPod touch 2nd gen and later a 1st gen for testing. Finally I also got an iPhone 3GS.
Unity turned me into a Mac user. I started to like the system for its underlying BSD foundations, general stability, apps such as Quicksilver and other small clever tools, not having any of the system rotting I have experienced in Windows ( that said, I have been told that its a thing of the past with Windows 7 ). I set up LightWave on my Mac, got the Mac versions of any and all plugins I have purchased earlier, got a Mac license of NukeX and have now been considering to get Final Cut Pro.
If the final word in this situation is that Unity will not be allowed for use as a dev tool for iPhone, iPod, and iPad, then I will most likely end up migrating back to Windows, as I have realized, I am not as much a Mac user as a Unity user and developer. If I am a follower of any sort of technology, its of Unity, and not Apple. The quality of Apple products is good, but if this Apple-Adobe pissing contest will cause too much turmoil in my toolbox then I am a outta here… I hope and cross fingers that the widespread interpretation of the recent legal changes turns out to be mostly smoke and little fire. One good thing from all of this is that it has reminded me not to put all my eggs in one basket, hence why I offer interface design, VFX workflow tools, web and graphic design, rendered and realtime 3D for industrial visualization, game design and prototyping.
The best thing for now is to wait for official word from Unity, not listen to rumors or interpretations and go back to GSD (Get Shit Done).
Oh glorious open source efforts!
I came across this media server solution for connecting up my Mac to the PS3, no more need for USB sticks or being annoyed by a lack of format support i.e. QuickTime… This media server plays everything, even stuff that other commercial solutions don’t support.
There was some issues with setting it up though and it can be summed up with one thing. Port forwarding. To make sure the Mac finds the PS3 and vice versa, I had to set up port forwarding in my router. So, I changed the IP on my Mac to be static, and then I went into the web-interface for the router and forwarded all communication on port 5001 to that IP.
Since I am on a Mac Pro, I have two connections on the network card, shown as Ethernet 1 and Ethernet 2 in the Network Preferences. Under the hood these values are shown as en0 and en1, so for the PS3 Media Server to know which one to use, you should select it here here: General Configuration > Force network on interface > en0 (or en1) > Save > Restart HTTP Server, and you should be ready to go.
What is the value of creative efforts, often described as intellectual property? And by value I don’t talk about monetary measures alone.
Envision this: You have an idea with a small technical scope and you share it with others. Later on, the exact same idea is presented and implemented as somebody else’s new and brilliant idea, just before your own implementation of it is completed… Would you consider this to be ok, it’s just your own fault you didn’t implement it fast enough after revealing it?
If an idea in itself has no value, and is up for grabs for anyone as soon as it has been verbally or textually expressed, then I don’t think I will spend a lot of time sharing ideas in any open fora, or even closed ones for that matter. Game concepts and game mechanics will be under a lid and seal until the game is finished.
If I spend 90% of my time working out the gameplay and 10% of my time goes to producing graphics and code, then the time spent on gameplay is where the value of the game reside. If you spend 90% of your time on the graphics, and someone traces it to create “their own” version of it, would you accept it as decent behavior? What about re-record the in-game sounds and changing the pitch to create their own version of it?
I am not saying people shouldn’t make another tower defense game (we at illustrata just made one), or not make another physics stacking game, but there is a difference between making a similar game in a category of several variations, and recreating one specific game with only microscopic changes and reduced polish.
If you are a cloner from Kamino insisting on identically cloning other game concepts, at least have the decency to clone something that has already been released and not something you have come across being in development for the same target platform and audience you are aiming for.
Then again, this might only be me being overly sensitive to injustice and what i consider to be rude behavior.
I have a question to ask: Can a game with mediocre gameplay be saved by a grand story or cool graphics? In my book it is a big fat resounding NO. Can a game with no story or simple visuals still be fun? Most definitely yes, look at Tetris.
I can almost hear someone coming in shouting “But Tetris has a story!”. If you want to make a philosophical point and argue that the blocks are representing something more than just falling game mechanics, then sure, you can make the case that Tetris has a story to tell. What about to the wooden tilt-maze game, is there a story being told when you tilt the board to avoid the holes? Is the metal ball a character in a story about not falling into the pits of eternal doom and gloom? If so, then it is the player’s imagination that is creating and telling the story, not the game itself. “But the story is the catalyst for this imagination”, could be true, but even so, it is not the story the game creator was thinking of telling, they created a pure game mechanic in which people can add their own imagination.
David Lancaster has grabbed up Unity and posted 2 videos on YouTube of his process of how to make a fun game. A highly pragmatic approach to game design and development.
Not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk:
I am not against stories being told in the games medium, nor that the visuals should not be impressive, but I believe there is too much focus on making games behave like movies. If storytelling in games are done as if they are movies, we easily end up with horrible or almost non-existing gameplay as in Space Ace and Dragons Lair. Those games were first of their kind and I loved them due to their highly visual and different approach to graphics and vivid characters in games, but I will be the first to admit I was wrong when I back in the 90-ies, hardheaded meant they were the best games available of the time. The gameplay can be compared to having 8 play buttons where you guess what random button to press. If you press the wrong play button for this scene/sequence you cant see the rest of the movie. SMACK!!! Back to start.
We still see games being treated as movies by the frequent use of cut scenes, although real time instead of pre-rendered, and button mashing to get through cinematic kill scenes (such as in God of War and its derivatives). Couldn’t these stories be integrated more directly into a more interesting gameplay? Button mashing and joystick joggling is for Summer Games on C64 and people not know how to play Tekken and Street Fighter (<- me).
Hear ye, hear ye! Gameplay is king and story has proclaimed its support as a loyal subject!
So how to do it then? Take inspiration from the 1991 game, Another World. In that game the story and gameplay is inseparable, no long winded dialog or written stories in sight, and the cinematic cut scenes are short (apart from the intro) and integrated into the gameplay. You are performing the actions that define the story through the game mechanics provided by the game developer, which in this case is also the game designer and the game graphics artist, Eric Chahi.
As a final rant I just want to say: A written story outline is not a game design document and a story can not in itself make a game great.
Now that the rant is off I just want to say: Make your games the way you want to and play the games you want to play. I think I have given a clear point on where I stand
Update: Its not just me who think games should not be treated as movies or books:
The Register – GDC09: Jeffrey Kaplan