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1  General / Check this out! / Re: Alpha build of Bientôt l’été now available on: August 02, 2012, 03:54:10 AM
So my computer is having some issues lately playing games.  Most games (including this one) are giving me the Blue Screen of Death, so I couldn't play more than 10 minutes or so, but I do have a couple quick hit comments, FWIW.

My favorite thing was the art direction of the shore and atmosphere, especially when twilight and then night came.  It is done so delicately, and yet slightly unexpectedly.  That part alone is worth the experience.  The negative - when I was in the cafe waiting for someone to come (no one did), it drove me absolutely crazy that I could hear things going on around me, yet all I could do was stare straight at the back of my own head.  Obviously you can't recreate an entire bustling scene, but if you blocked off the view with a curtain or something, you could still give the player freedom to look around and feel a greater sense of place.  (This portion of the game is shades of Dinner Date, maybe?)

I was looking forward to seeing what was next, particularly because I have a memory from art school of disliking art that had text inserted into it.  Maybe this is because of the way college age students tend to use it, but I continue to have similar feelings about it.  Hopefully I'll get my system sorted out and can get deeper into the experience.
2  General / Everything / Re: It's over, for now on: August 02, 2012, 03:41:07 AM
Ick, I have dreams about ghosts all the time, ranging from mildly disturbing to full-on nightmares.  I'd be personally interested to see what comes out of that project.

3  General / Everything / Re: Notgames as a genre & notgame hatred on: July 10, 2012, 06:09:06 PM
The way I see it, there are certain things the human mind is built to do that are very useless to fight against.  One is that the mind loves to categorize and to label.  The other is that people hate to be labelled.  Even in this forum, the word "notgame" is used as a noun to describe things we've made or found, rather than simply understanding it as a coming together of like-minded people.  I consciously eschew the word "notgame" in my posts, but the temptation is always strong.  I've also noticed there have been quite a few articles on Gamasutra lately by people wanting to define "game" and "video game" once and for all, as well as to codify any number of other terms.  Most of these are painful reading, and there is often a lot of blowback in the comments, but it nevertheless has become the topic du jour.  I don't really think there is a way to tackle the issue intellectually.  The intellect is the very stuff of definitions and divisions.  I would say the appropriate way to react to this sort of thing is to get offended, maybe blow off some steam over here, get over it, and go back to making stuff, and it'll either work out or it won't.  Maybe our legacy as seen from the outside could be that we rejected the codification and eventually came out with a certain range of products that are surprisingly varied and unique.
4  General / Check this out! / Re: UDK 4 on: June 11, 2012, 09:37:52 PM
ah, I see.  The last time I used Unreal was Unreal 2, so I'm a bit behind
5  General / Check this out! / Re: UDK 4 on: June 11, 2012, 05:36:35 PM
1. The lighting is indeed very well done. And typically one of those features that players may not notice because it looks so natural. But for a developer, it's a big bonus.

2. Their editor is starting to look very interesting. Will it be available to the public? Will it be expensive? is it PC only? Can it compile for other platforms?

UDK is currently free and you can currently compile for Mac as well as Windows. That will probably continue to be the case. Smiley

Oh, right, I noticed that too.  Looks like they've implemented some sort of visual editor for code.
6  General / Check this out! / Re: UDK 4 on: June 10, 2012, 05:36:04 PM
Yeah, I was impressed by this.  The indirect lighting is huge.  The subsurface scattering is wonderful.  These are things that previously required a high end renderer like Mental Ray.  Emissive materials that actually cast light into the scene.  Volumetric particle effects.  There's a lot to get excited about here. This is the video I saw earlier - it explains everything out pretty clearly.
7  Creation / Reference / Re: Papo & Yo on: June 08, 2012, 05:51:13 PM
This looks really beautiful.  I've always been captivated by the vistas of shantytowns, even though I am necessarily brought crashing back to earth when it sinks in what they really are.  I'm not really worried about how gamey it is, as long as the gameplay is a natural expression of what he's doing, rather than shoehorning gameplay in just to have gameplay.  From the video it looks very playful, a flight of fancy, if you will.
8  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Repetition and boredom on: June 08, 2012, 05:46:28 PM
Then, of course, there's the cynical view, which is that the majority of games are just Skinner boxes, and the repetition is not enjoyable, but instead a necessary evil before you get your dopamine fix.
9  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Repetition and boredom on: May 31, 2012, 06:11:43 PM
Another source of repetition we enjoy is music.  There are some who have tried to describe the effect of music by describing a trance-like state forming due to the repetition of musical elements.  (If anyone's particularly interested I'll try to find the paper I read on that, but it was a while ago so I'm not sure where to get it).  So, there's at least some indication that the human brain does respond to repetition itself.
10  Creation / From the ridiculous to the sublime / Re: Proof that capitalism is good for us on: May 10, 2012, 04:02:12 AM
Well, everyone's time as beings on this earth is equal - but the fruits of their labor is not.  If you can figure out how to reconcile the two, then you're a step or two or ten ahead of the rest of humanity.
11  General / Check this out! / Re: Visioning games – what we can learn from games like Dear Esther and Journey on: May 09, 2012, 09:14:39 PM
And in the end, the subtitle of most games could just as well be ‘The Epic Adventure of Numbers and Progress bars’.

Heh.  Love it.
12  Creation / Notgames design / Re: The problem with 3d on: May 07, 2012, 07:58:09 PM
I think voxels make the process easier - you don't get ugly artifacts like pinching or stretching and shrinking of volumes, but to the larger point, it is still converted to polys at runtime and rendered using a simulation of the physics of light.  It also creates, by necessity, a perfectly logical structure in 3D space.  But what if we could break out of that rigid logical model? 

Just a random thought I had - what if, instead of pulling verts to construct a logical volume, a tool was set up so you could instead trace silhouettes with your stylus?  You'd start with your front and side views, but it would let you rotate to any angle and trace the appropriate silhouette.  When rendered, you would see the drawn silhouette, or an interpolation between the closest ones available, depending on how many you drew at different angles.  The result would not be a volume that logically exists in 3D space, but there would be enough information that it would hold together visually from any angle, and it would hold the visual life you get from a manually done drawing.
13  Creation / Notgames design / Re: The problem with 3d on: May 07, 2012, 05:17:03 PM
I think the problem is that 3D art tools are made by engineers, not artists.  When you draw, you are creating a final work.  When you do a 3D model, you are really just making a sort of seed that the simulation "plays".  And the simulation is always mathematically perfect, because it has to be.  I've always wondered what a 3D tool would be like if its goal was not to mimic the physical laws of light, but to be targeted at an end result look or feel - you know, artisty stuff.  I know we've rehashed this before on here, so I won't go too into detail with it.
14  Creation / From the ridiculous to the sublime / Re: bored by emotion on: April 22, 2012, 06:06:10 PM
I know that is true for me. But does it apply to all? How explain the desire for more of the same, then, in a large part of the audience?

I think you have to pull your frame of reference back a bit, and see the ebb and flow of movement and counter movement in public opinion to see that pendulum.  Gaming doesn't really have enough history yet to see this emerge though. 
15  Creation / From the ridiculous to the sublime / Re: Addictive games on: April 22, 2012, 05:58:49 PM
Oh, here too, it's just that the Christian fundamentalists get more air time.

One of my great frustrations is that the public discourse on a subject that has the potential for such sublime subtlety seems to be stuck in a dichotomy between the rantings of the Ben Steins on the one hand and the yammering of the Bill Mahers on the other.  And even the intellectual discourse doesn't get a whole lot better for the most part.
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