“It’s hard to think outside of the box once you no longer have the box.” That sentiment is fascinating. It’s accurate, too; many artists are firm believers in the stimulative powers ...
I first came across Laura Post’s name when looking up the voice actors involved in upcoming game Firefall where she voices Aero. Prior to appearing in Firefall, Post has been ...
It’s not really a huge secret that I’m not a big strategy game enthusiast; it’s tough for me to cultivate the patience for them, and often tougher to uncover the ...
No, really, like... super ambitious...Proven Lands' Ambitions Lead To Kickstarter
And lo, a bounty of amazing Kickstarter projects.
I’ve already highlighted Ashen Rift’s efforts at crowdfunding, but equally off-the-radar for many is the new campaign for science fiction gem Proven Lands. If you haven’t heard of it, wait until you get a load of this ambitious pitch: “Explore a unique, vast and beautiful science-fiction sandbox roguelike, procedurally generated and studded with an AI storyteller.”
Now, what kind of black magic the group at developer thesetales is going to employ to make that all happen is a mystery to us all, but I personally wish them luck. Proven Lands looks wonderful–be sure to scroll down to their entire Kickstarter page. Look at all the new content they’ve got planned, in particular the underwater areas.
The goal is steep, but if the right people see it, Proven Lands will be in our hands early next year.
A Compelling Use of a Canine CompanionAshen Rift: A Man And His Dog And You
Anyone who has followed my writing in particular knows I have a… special relationship with Kickstarter. I won’t bore you with the laundry list of issues I have with many campaigns, but every once in awhile some projects pop up that feel worthy of the attention.
Ashen Rift’s Kickstarter campaign launched last week, and unlike many game Kickstarters, there’s loads of footage of the game that exists. It’s not a pithy concept; the ideas seem fully-realized and tangible, all centered around an the extraordinary use of a canine companion.
I interviewed developer Barry M. Collins last month for a feature about the dog in Ashen Rift, and seeing him talk about it in the pitch video makes me all the more convinced that the game is onto something unique and spellbinding. The goal is modest, too, so hopefully we’ll all see Mr. Collins vision become a reality.
Oh, and be sure to stay tuned to the end of that video for the hilarious origins of Ashen Rift, and its alternate sidekick…
Speaking of Skyrim...RPG Club Plays Skyrim: Week 1
It worked! Months of bullying and pestering and finally the RPG club caved to my demands: now we have a whole month of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As you can imagine, I am beyond ecstatic. For week one, we start pretty slow, just looking at the characters we have made for ourselves (as well as some goals).
A Little Goes A Long WayHow Skyrim Creeped Me Out
I was wandering through a dungeon in Skyrim when something struck me. How do you make a game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, filled with zombies, corpses, and slaughter, creepy? As it turns out, all it takes is a few assets piled in a corner – it doesn’t have to be complicated if you can do it right.
The player characters are all-powerful beings who do whatever they want. They aren’t scared by the threat of death, because respawns are trivial and save points are frequent. Zombies, skeletons, and giant spiders aren’t scary because they’ve been seen so many times before in the game. Jump scares can work now and again, but will lose their power if they are used too often. So how do you make a player tense? How do you put them into a cold sweat, while their white-knuckled hand grips the mouse too tightly?
Tips for getting things done when the schedule is packedYou're Never Too Busy For Creative Projects
“It’s hard to think outside of the box once you no longer have the box.”
That sentiment is fascinating. It’s accurate, too; many artists are firm believers in the stimulative powers of restriction. Duke Ellington famously said, “I don’t need time, I need a deadline.” The entire premise of The White Stripes was constraint, and Orson Welles lived by the same idea, saying, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”
Relayed anecdotally in an inspirational article detailing her Game Of The Week experiences, Adriel Wallick cites the folkloric wisdom as she details her own motivational conflict. What it boils down to, though, is a lack of focus, seemingly brought on by an excessive freedom of sorts.
But what about the rest of us? What about people who don’t have the luxury of walking away from it all, just to chill and globetrot? We’ve still got ambitions, goals; we still yearn to be part of a creative community that breathes life into the world.
For us, it’s not that the box isn’t there anymore, it’s more like the box is inside another box that’s filled with jobs, kids, mortgages, oil changes, and lawns to mow. We might be great at thinking outside of the box, but the air out there is muddied with inescapable responsibility.
WoW, LoL, she's been in plenty of acronymsLaura Post: Interview With A Voice Actor
I first came across Laura Post’s name when looking up the voice actors involved in upcoming game Firefall where she voices Aero. Prior to appearing in Firefall, Post has been involved in plenty of other tv shows and anime dubs, but more interesting are her roles in video games, including voicing Ahri in League of Legends and Valentine in Skullgirls. She was kind enough to give me some of her time, and below I’ve paraphrased as much as I can. If you want it in its full glory, the full interview is available at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
I'm Captain Kenway, And This Is My Favorite Port In The West IndiesMass Effect Could Learn From Assassin's Creed 4
Mass Effect is still my favorite of Bioware’s seminal trilogy. Even now — clunky mechanics and stiff controls aside — it’s the only game in the series to honestly inspire me. Everything about it, from Jack Wall’s haunting soundtrack to the cool blues that dominate the color palette, set it apart from the vast majority of recent space-based action games – even its own sequels.
At its core, Mass Effect is about exploration. It’s about the weak and fragile first forays of a fledgling race into a much larger universe. It’s cold, dark, and terrifying, more late season Star Trek: The Next Generation than The A-Team in space. For Shepard and her crew, it was about a life lived on the frontier, feet towards the unknown with the wind at their back.
In that sense, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag might be the best Mass Effect game since the original, and a title I would hope Bioware would think of while designing whatever Mass Effect 4 is going to be.
Be Free For As Long As You Can PretendWake Up Sheeple: Goat Simulator Says Happiness Is Futile
As a result of a month-long game jam, Coffee Stain Studios has brought forth the darkest and most bleak game I’ve ever seen. Sure, it looks like a happy-go-lucky goat running around headbutting and licking things, but once you look past the surface you see the truly depressing message this game conveys. Goat Simulator is telling you that you’ll never be happy, and to try is madness.
Hearts for the Kingdom Hearts GodRPG Club Plays Kingdom Hearts: Week 3
The RPG Club’s playthrough of Kingdom Hearts has hit something of a snag: some of us are super busy, while others (hint: it’s me) beat the game long ago now, letting the sting of the game’s abysmal ending sequence wear off a little bit. However, we’ve got some fresh thoughts for you this week. Hit the jump to give ‘em a read.
Wonderful--though obscured--story afootLearning Curve Ahead: A Review Of Blackguards
It’s not really a huge secret that I’m not a big strategy game enthusiast; it’s tough for me to cultivate the patience for them, and often tougher to uncover the tactical minutiae required to traverse the fine line between winning and losing.
Normally, these games are about Good versus Evil, and advancement through the game simply represents reclaiming land or traipsing through enemy territory. But even from the opening moments, it’s clear Blackguards is going to do something different with strategy game conventions, even if the mechanics get in the way.