Friday, July 30, 2010

Mary Poppins - Sorceress of Game Design

In ev'ry job that must be done
There is an element of fun
you find the fun and snap!
The job's a game

Mary Poppins sang this 46 years ago.

Games can be put into anything. We all grew up following mazes on the back of Lucky Charms boxes. Thanks to General Mills, breakfast was FUN.

You can go the other way, and make any real-life chore into a great video game.

How does crossing the plains in a covered wagon sound? How about Oregon Trail?
Another one I remember playing when I was young is Lemonade Stand.

While thinking of new game ideas, try looking at real life. Then, you find the fun, and snap! It's a game!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thallian is Awesome... OK Anton is too

And in other news.. Yes I'm awesome! I just had a good job interview today so hopefully I'll have a new job soon and can have some free time to blog at home instead of all this job hunting I've been doing.

Secondly, I've done a couple changes to the blog. Now anyone can post comments, even anonymous people, hooray! Due to a certain Chinese spammer though, I've decided to turn on comment moderation. His comments will no longer plague our website. And to (mis)quote him directly "dripping water does not always cut through the toughest stone, if you shut the faucet off!" If we go a year without spam I might consider turning moderation off again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Anton's Weekly(Yearly) Sketch

I haven't really been interested in sharing a lot about games lately on this blog. But I realized I've been drawing a ton and sharing none. So, enjoy this piece, drawn last Friday for my Indie Game, Siphon Spirit (which is months and months behind what we expected--but it's going to be Awesome).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

GEEX this Friday and Saturday!

This Friday and Saturday is the GEEX show in Sandy, UT (just a short drive South of Salt Lake City). I'll be on stage to give a little speech on the development of my Independent game, as well as my insights on working in the game industry. Any self-respecting gamer in Utah should be there!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Good Game Cube Era RPG's

Hi everyone, as promised I've come up with a nice list of my favorite RPG's from the game cube era.
Skies of Arcadia: This was a Dreamcast game and it shows in the graphics but what you can't tell is that the storyline is super original and funny and the world is one of the most unique ones you'll ever play in. You fly a pirate ship around in space helping the blue pirates (good) and helpless countries against the black pirates and the conniving Empire, and end up doing lots of crazy things like going to center of the earth and the moon. Particularly unique to this game are the ship battles, which play out like a tense, "sudden death is possible but you can usually recover and overcome", card game. I won't spoil it further.. just buy this if you ever see it on (not a sponsored link)

FF9: I usually avoid posting about Squaresoft rpg's on general principle but I do believe I should open with Final Fantasy 9 simply because I love the storyline and it is so creative and fun. I loved the music too. I played this one when I was in college, my junior year. The story starts out with a play which becomes an abduction, then a flight from the evil royalty with their good princess daughter, all across the continent and then into another dimension of course. The plot variety in the game is tip top as the war is not always one-sided. Sometimes the good guys win and sometimes the bad.

Paper Mario - The Thousand Year Door: The writing in this game is priceless. Dry witty humor worth hours of entertainment. The storyline is top-rate, the puzzles are hard and clever. But the game isn't impossible, and never devolves into ridiculous cheesiness unlike its sequel on the Wii.... There's even and old cave type experience alla Lufia 2, a never ending pit of dispair you can delve through and leave every 5 levels.

Phantasy Star Online: The only "online" game to come out for game cube, it supports 4 player at the same time on one console as well, and more levels than we ever got through alive. The game cube version has a new adventure with invisible cloaking and uncloaking enemies, lush environs, crazy hard bosses, etc.. I like episode one more personally but at any rate this one is a fun long game to play with friends.

Zelda Twilight Princess + Zelda Wind Waker: Twilight Princess is a fantastic achievement on low powered hardware. The graphics, sounds, puzzles, story, all top rate and very dark, detailed and you get to fight the scariest looking Ganon you've ever faced, he can even possess people.
The monsters posses a much better "Artificial stupidity" than usual also, so you might find the random mobs to be more of a problem than usual.
Zelda Wind Waker is on the other hand cutesy but deceivingly so because it requires thought for its puzzles, and has great heart in its story. It takes place after all the other Zelda's to follow in our time-line and it is where Ganon finally dies after losing his connection to the Triforce, never to return. You also get to know the original King of Hyrule a lot better ;)

Some dragon game on the PS2 that Anton showed me. (He'll give me the name shortly I'm sure)

Anton says: Dragon Game on the PS2...Could it be Dragon Quest 8? That is probably the best RPG I played on PS2. Or if you're thinking of Radiata Stories, I might have shown you that one, and it has a few dragons. That game was disjointed and the humor wasn't funny, but the art style was breathtaking and time-passage in the city meant things were always happening, which made that part of the game the highlight for me!

Don't forget Shadow of the Colossus, ICO, and Beyond Good and Evil, as the highest quality experiences I ever had on ps2. FFXII would have blown me away had I played it sooner, also, but now my interests and expectations have shifted drastically...ever since I started playing games online, that's all I care for any more!

Baiten Kaitos A unique card game played RPG with very cleverly done battle mechanics and gorgeous hand drawn graphics. The plot however is a bit.. weird. Still a fun game to play nonetheless. Some of the puzzles are OK too, but I don't like how at the very very end the difficulty goes through the roof forcing you to grind levels up before finishing it like so many Japan RPGS do.

And we can't forget my favorite fighting RPG, and Anton's least favorite, Tales of Symphonia!