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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Gamer Insight's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
11:53 am
The Aesthetics of Cloning
Taken from Penny Arcade:

The Flashpoint
Wednesday, February 22 2012 - 12:01 AM

I’ve talked about
David Sirlin a couple times before. I think that if you were to crack open his skull, his brain would look physically different from other brains; I play his games because they’re good, but also in an attempt to figure him out. I felt confident that he’d have a useful perspective on the “clonin’ fever” that swept the web recently, and I wasn’t wrong. He makes a distinction I think is vital, and desperately missing from the utopian/free love model of creative work - what amounts to an Aesthetics Of Cloning. His games Puzzle Strike and Yomi are playable online at FantasyStrike.com.

Regarding cloning, copying, and stealing of game designs: let’s get a couple things out of the way first.

Copyrights. Never violate someone’s copyright, period. That only covers the verbatim expression of an idea though, not the idea itself. This means don’t copy exact art assets, literally identical code, etc. I think we’re all on the same page here.

Patents. Game mechanics really shouldn’t be patentable. I wrote an article on this, on how far warped the patent system has become since 1793 when Thomas Jefferson first outlined the criteria of a patent to be novel, non-obvious, and useful. In that article you can read about Sega’s absurd patent for a game where a car drives in a virtual city with an arrow floating above the car telling you where to go, and where virtual people jump out of the way of the car. Or Namco’s absurd patent on mini-games in loading screens. Wizards of the Coast has an absurd patent on cards turning sideways to denote a game state (aka “tapping”). If anything, go ahead and break some patents on game mechanics so this stuff can be struck down in court. These things stifle innovation, not encourage it.

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Friday, October 21st, 2011
2:19 pm
Next step in gaming: The Painstation
Original Posting:

In 2001, art collective /////////fur//// developed Painstation, a video game designed to punish the player’s poor performance. Based on the classic Pong, Painstation measures your skill and reacts to how you’re playing compared to your opponent. The right hand controls a simple joystick controller, while the left hand is placed about the PEU – Pain Execution Unit. The PEU contains a heating element, a miniature leather whip, and it’s connected to a circuit used to deliver electric shocks.

After years of fighting copyright and legal issues, the group recently announced they have begun construction on Painstation 2, which is expected to be released in the coming months.


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Friday, June 17th, 2011
1:07 pm
Monday, November 15th, 2010
9:57 pm
Tron Legacy Prequel - Tron Evolution

I hear that Tron Evolution will have several different stories taking place between the original Tron movie back in 1982 and Tron Legacy in 2010.

Different platforms/systems get a different placement along the timeline.

Here's the official site.

Sounds idea for folks that have multiple gaming systems. They can get a piece of the story arc of the prequel to Legacy.

The question is, is it a good game?

Preorders are now. Evolution comes out early December.

Is it worth getting?

Here's a preview review.
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
9:54 pm
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
7:21 am
Monday, February 15th, 2010
5:47 pm
Friday, July 3rd, 2009
12:44 am
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
11:20 am
An amazing new game that will be coming out for the DS. Essentially, you are to help your character through the level by typing out various words. The game is supposedly programmed for thousands of words with images attached to each:

God vs KrakenCollapse )

I am continually amazed by the directions Nintendo is taking the gaming industry. To them, it's not about having the fastest system or the greatest graphics, it's about innovation and redefining what it means to play a video game. It's about having fun.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
1:19 pm
Super Smash Bros. Brawl PC Level Editor Changes The Rules

Considering how hyped I once was for Nintendo's all-star Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl, my enthusiasm cooled once I'd experienced all that the game had to offer and explored all that I cared to see. I'm not quite sure what happened considering that the previous Melee title continued to see heavy use during the entire GameCube era. One Brawl aspect that was good for an impressed musing was the stage editor, although I also relaxed on that once I discovered that my creations were limited by the less than expansive scope of the editor. I may have to revisit that part of the game now that there's a Brawl stage editor for the PC that simplifies the creation process while adding the ability to tweak variables that the built-in Brawl editor does not allow to be touched. Kombo has the details and a YouTube video of the program in action.

One of the aspects added to the game design of Super Smash Bros. Brawl to help grant it greater longevity was a stage creator, so that with the help of its players, there would always be a new place to hold matches. But unfortunately, the interface may not be for some people.

Thankfully, someone has come up with a PC-friendly solution which allows aspiring stage designers to implement all their ideas on their computer, save it to an SD card, and transfer it to the game itself. Even better, it has some extras that the original program native to Brawl doesn't have, such as setting spawn points, creating custom thumbnails, and of course, typing.

I haven't tried this editor yet, but if it's easy to use as it seems and delivers on what it promises, then I think it's a great idea. The beta version of Xane's Brawl Stage Studio is available for download over at Smashboards. Nintendo historically locks down this kind of game modification away from the end-user level, so hurry and try it out before the company updates the Wii's system software to somehow block the SD card slot from accessing these unauthorized custom stages.

Posted by MattG on April 22, 2009 at 12:11 PM
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
4:35 pm
Mirrors Edge - Third Person Hack

"When Mirror's Edge was released late last year for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, some people said that the game would play so much better if it were not locked into a first-person perspective. Some of us need to see our character run and jump in order to time actions properly. Now fans of the game's PC version have found a quick little hack that will pull the camera out of heroine Faith's head and allow players to control her from a third-person viewpoint. I'll direct you to Greyfox of the On-Mirror's-Edge Forums."

Not sure if anyone knows this, but here's the command line for 3rd person view and also no clip view!

Go to "Documents\EA Games\Mirror's Edge\TdGame\Config\" open the file "TDInput" with notepad. Add this line to the "bindings" list:


then press F4 a few times!

"I haven't tried this and do not know if it actually works, but the screenshots provided have me convinced. There's also a YouTube video showing the hack in action. Don't hold Faith's jerky movements against her. Remember, we weren't supposed to be able to see her like this, so her motions are likely unoptimized."

And here's the video mentioned in the above article:

Friday, October 31st, 2008
3:36 pm
The Downside of Rampant Unrestrained Customization

Yeah, although I love to see what people can do... some things should never be done.
Saturday, September 20th, 2008
10:40 pm
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
10:56 pm
Indie Games
Sometimes you gotta turn to indie games, things made by individuals on programs such as RPGMaker or from obscure names in order to get some bizarre but interesting explorations of ideas.

Yume Nikki (Dream Diary)

Name: Yume Nikki
Developer: Kikiyama
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 40MB
Download link: Rapidshare, WHFF, mirror (unzip .rar files using 7-Zip)
- (follow the above link to get to the main article)

In Yume Nikki (Dream Diary), you're cast as a young girl living in a small apartment. There is very little to do in your room, but fall asleep and an entire dream world is yours to explore. The Z key can be used to interact or gain new effects. Certain locations beyond each door may yield more than one effect for the player to discover. Press 9 to wake yourself up. Use the desk in the room to save your progress, and hold the escape key for more than two seconds to exit the NASU console game.

Acquiring the bicycle, lamp and knife should be at the top of your list, as these items will double your character's speed, light up dark areas and allow basic attack moves to be executed. Nearly all locations are wrapped around, hence walking in one direction endlessly will always bring you back to the starting point.

Installation instructions are provided in the zip file. Yume Nikki does have a proper ending. (source: Sekhem, Starmen.Net)

Yume Nikki - video clipsCollapse )

The Sewer Goblet: The Wu-Tang Clan and the Wu-Tang Baby

From the mad minds behind Barkley, Shut up and Jam: Gaiden comes an all-new adventure – The Sewer Goblet: The Wu-Tang Clan and the Wu-Tang Baby! As the story goes, The Wizard stole the Wu-Tang Baby and fled into the sewers. You must send one of the Wu-Tang Clan into the dungeon and bring the baby back! Along the way you’ll tangle with Teknodwarfs, Baby Seals, and other unsavory characters.

The Sewer Goblet gets a lot of credit as the first rap-themed roguelike game, but doesn’t do too much to innovate the genre in general. Equip weapons, learn spells, manage your hunger (in TSG, every action costs hunger points), eat Wu-Tang snacks with randomized effects, etc. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing – it’s a solid dungeon crawl that’s easy to get into and somehow it never quite gets tiring bringing “da ruckus” as the Wu Tang Clan. Each member has his own special abilities that will aid you on your quest.
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
11:58 pm
Legend of Zelda the Movie

I had predicted this little gem :P
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
6:14 pm
Extra Value Combo Alpha
Now this is a game that needs to be made.

Extra Value Combo AlphaCollapse )
Monday, October 15th, 2007
9:47 pm
Super Mario Brothers Z
This is such a fantastic idea that I thought I'd share - combining Sonic and Mario Brothers...

More EpisodesCollapse )
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
11:25 pm
TMI or... Has the Net Snared Us?
No, this is not a reference to "The Matrix has you," but rather what has been lost by the global information network. Remember the days when you were excited to find a secret, information, maps, clues, etc. I remember putting together a notebook of information for roleplaying games, special attack codes for Twisted Metal 2, maps for Wizardry - and it was fun to figure it out on my own. I remember back in the day talking with a friend about Metroid soon after it came out while in line at a Ponderosa and a person in front of us turned around and mentioned how to find the Ice Beam - that's a memory I still carry about the game and enriched the experience even more.

Nowadays, you look up any information you need on a whim. I've found out information on Wikipedia I never knew was available. I recently got on a kick to replay Phantasy Star 3 after reading the entry on Wiki, I didn't even realize the characters in the game had different personalities!!! And forget hint books, forget the days of Nintendo Power, those days are past. If you want some nice looking art you pick up a hint book these days, because you can get the tips and tricks you need quicker and usually more accurately with a Google search. It saves you money, it saves you time, but does that really enrich the experience?

And game reviews, have they helped destroy an opportunity with a game you were thinking of trying? How many times have you turned away from a game because it only got a 6.5 in whatever game review magazine. There are games I've played and enjoyed which I am sure would do very poorly under the critique of an armchair player. Look at movie reviews, how many movies been squashed in a review and then turned into a part of your dvd collection? Game reviews can't be too different.

Have our gaming sensibilities been diluted by having too much information, too much coverage, too much quantity over enjoying snippets of quality?

So in the end, has what's been lost greater than what's gained? Is it natural that we're at this point, how has this changed the landscape?
Friday, April 27th, 2007
3:01 pm
At the Movies... 01
picture tag

In the ancient land of Hyrule... a darkness has swept over its people. An evil army led by Ganon, the Prince of Darkness, invades the kingdom and steals the legendary Triforce of Power, a magical artifact bestowing great strength. In desperation, Hyrule's Princess Zelda splits the artifact's counterpart, the Triforce of Wisdom, into eight fragments, hiding them in secret dungeons throughout the land to prevent them from falling into Ganon's hands. Her most trustworthy nursemaid, Impa, escapes to find a man courageous enough to destroy Ganon. Upon hearing this, Ganon grew angry, imprisoned the princess, and sent a party in search of Impa.

Impa fled for her life but was overtaken by her pursuers. As Ganon's henchmen surrounded her, a youth drove the monsters off. The boy's name was Link, and Impa told him of Hyrule's plight. Link resolved to save Zelda, but to fight Ganon he had to find and reassemble the scattered fragments of the Triforce. Undeterred, Link set off for Hyrule in an epic adventure....

Coming in 2009...

picture tag

Elijah Wood as The Hero Link
Emma Watson as Princess Zelda
Tim Curry as the voice of Ganon, Prince of Darkness
Linda Hunt as Impa
moreCollapse )

Directed by Peter Jackson

Do you have the power?
2:59 pm
Games & Movies
I thought it might be fun to discuss some hypothetical movies based off of games. Who would be best in certain roles, what the storylines should be / how much should they diverge from their sourc material, etc. So... I'll make a series of posts with games as movies.

Let me know what you think ^.^
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