October 31, 2020, 02:04:00 AM
News: Hey, we have forums!
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6]
76  Bit Blot / Off-Topic / Re: New Nightwish Album Upcoming... on: December 11, 2007, 11:36:24 PM
Given the there's loads of awesome orchestral parts obscured by vocals, the 2nd CD's actually rather nifty.

Overall I surprisingly found this one better than Once (Good Live though), and despite a few hesitations on the new singer I honestly believe it's for the better (Not that I hated Tarja, it's just the whole operatic thing started to feel a bit bland).  The final album's considerbly more Metal than their previous work, with a few tracks seemingly dedicated to a great big "Screw you!" to Tarja's departure.  Crazy thing is, it feels like a concept album - THey shift styles constantly, one minute you've big orchestral choirs, then a full on metal shred-fest, then a nautical sea shanty, constantly interchanging between the female and male singer more than they've done in the past.

Overall, tis rather epic :p Will hopefully catch 'em Live when they visit UK next year
77  Aquaria / General / A fine example of Indie Gaming on: December 11, 2007, 11:17:09 PM
First a quick introduction: I'm a Scottish Games Programmer/Software Engineer/Musician/Thing working in the Games Industry and enjoying life making games after years of mucking about, making silly games in anything from OpenGL, Flash and The Games Factory...

One thing I've always appreciated is the concept of Indie games - Small, cheap, catchy games made by people with no deadlines (Well, no publisher deadlines anyway :p) and vast quantities of skill in several fields - It's a great chance for musicians, coders, designers and artists to show the world what they can do and share that with the community.

The closest I ever came to such fun, I took part in this years UK Dare To Be Digital - http://www.daretobedigital.com/ - And with a team of 5 people and 10 weeks we created a Rhythmic Action-Adventure (It was pretty much just Guitar Hero meets Pokemon) - I worked on everything from UI Art, Programming the battle system and composing the music (God bless Fruityloops in our hour of need...) It was the most fun I've ever had, and it's the sort of thing that you'd never be able to do in the industry unless your company had a money factory  to burn.  Just get down and make yourself a game that focuses on fun, away from all the normal mapped, phong shaded nonsense that seems to be standard these days.

I'd been following Aquaria for a while (Well, since I spotted the trailer on Gametrailers. Good call putting it up there incidentally), having only finished Cave Story (Oh how good it was) not long before I was looking for another well made thing to occupy my time.  I found Mr. Robot (Moonpod) to be a little lacking in what it promised, while DEFCOM and Gish were amusing for a short while but became a little repetitive.  I was losing a bit of faith in the Indie market, hoping that the future wouldn't just be various versions of Bejeweled, Desktop Tower Assault or various platform games with a fancy physics engine attached to it. 

Now I'm not going to mention Aquaria's 2D, and that 2D > 3D or 3D > 2D or what have you because it's irrelevent.  Both the Indies and the Industry swap between both depending on what's right for the game.  There've been brilliant 2D Industry games and there've been great little Indie 3D ones, and it all comes down to limitations of both areas (Granted, going 2D often forces you to think up new ways to make the game interesting, but it doesn't and never will guarentee a good game.)

So I went ahead and download the Aquaria demo - A game I thought could be a good spiritual successor to one of my favourite and one of the strangest game series' ever to grace the market - Ecco the Dolphin.

In a sense I found Aquaria to be both similar and complete different, which was great.  Plenty of fresh ideas presented in an incredibly way and (surprisingly missing from many indie games) a rigid tutorial and difficulty curve that's actually fair but doesn't stop the game and intrude your play while you listen to what the game has to say.  A clever narration of the story and classic, tried-and-tested Zelda style progression creates an overall complete and fun experience, and when you only need the mouse to control your game, you can't really argue with the control scheme.

It's well put together too.  Out of the whole demo I only found 2 things that bugged me.  Firstly, and this may be grumpy British opinion but punishing you for not saving by sending you back to the last save on death is best left in the 90s :p With a lack of lives, and given how frail I found Naija to be, I died once due to taking on Nautilus Prime sans the Energy form and was taken waaay back into the ruins where you recieve the Binding Song before I'd retreived the song itself.  However, later on in the demo I noticed save points becoming a little more plentiful, so it may have just been a one area niggle (And my reluctance to save...).  The only alternative I can think of is an autosave when entering each new area, but that's just me... Just to take pity on those who forget! :p

Secondly, the whole 'Stick to walls - Dash' thing.  It's handy when bypassing various creatures but if you try swimming through a narrow cave and Naija attaches herself to the walls, it becomes a kind of rapid, dash-jump-a-thon to get her through there.  Maybe I'm missing something but is there anyway to get her off the wall? It's hardly a major bug, but it cropped up a few times and as I was playing using the mouse it led to much rapid clicking.

I found the demo to be an excellent length, clocking in at just over an hour for me, and while it didn't exactly end on a cliffhanger the game had more or less made its point. It didn't skip on the features or the size of the game world.

So to summarize: I've seen a good many games here and there, some good, some bad, some absolutely terrible.  Indie games for me are always hit or miss - Every now and then a really good one comes along that sucks you in and keeps ahold of you until you're done, and even then the developers have kindly unleashed editors for the community to carry on the torch.  Now I haven't played the full game yet, but you can be darn sure I'm buying it as I type, and once I'm done I'm going to unleash the full fury of this fully operational editing system to see if I can't come up with my own unique adventure with this impressive game engine.  I really do believe you've hit the nail on the head with this one as an original and involving game not like anything in recent years.  A fantastic job on the Art and the Music too, while some parts look and sound better than others, the overall package comes off highly polished.

Makes me almost jealous I didn't work on it myself Smiley

Thanks for adding another fantastic, unique little game to the reputation of the Indie Games Community.  I look forward to what you guys do next (and hopefully look forward to the aforementioned editing, unless my limited knowledge of Lua falls out my brain and I just stick to making sadistic level designs :p )

Oh yeah and y'know... Xbox Live version kthx :p There's so much drivel on the marketplace right now you'd be quite comfortably able to sneak in and take some of the pie.  Couple the promise of downloadable content (new mods and such like) and you'd be a sure favourite.
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6]