Monday, 31 August 2015

On The Title Screen

As graphical and storage technologies have improved, it has become inevitable that the medium of videogames has gained a variety of conventions from film and television. Heavily scripted events allow for photographic techniques without fear of a player straying away from where the camera wants you to be. Visual filters can be crafted to give the illusion that a game is being recorded to 35mm film or recorded with a cheap digital camera. Games such as Dragon's Lair essentially take player input and decide which film to play. Cutscenes with no interaction themselves outright transform a videogame into simply being a digitally produced film. It would be easy to assume that the videogame title screen exists as a borrowed convention from film titles or opening credits. Let's take a quick look at  the two media's approaches and reasons for having them.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Oh Alright; Here's My Week 1 Rising Thunder Thoughts

Rising Thunder is a free to play 2D fighting game currently undergoing an open alpha test on PC. It is designed by Seth Killian, Tom Cannon and Tony Cannon. The latter two are the creators of the GGPO library, a toolset for rollback-based netcode. They're also key staff in the organisation of the Evolution (EVO) fighting game tournament. Seth Killian is also a long-time Capcom Fighters community member, as well as one of the lead designers for Vanilla Street Fighter 4. I've hit Gold rank in the alpha and figure I'll put some thoughts down about the game before I either run screaming or hurtle further into the vortex.

I can summarise the game for you in a single image. Here it is.
If you already have an opinion on the above title, you do not need to read further. However you feel about that game, you will feel about Rising Thunder. The game accentuates just about everything that defines the game before Ultra's release.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What is Fun?

"Fun" is a three letter word that I have seen create contention in all sorts of discussion. Particularly discussion of games, both tabletop and digital. What is fun? According to a running gag on the videogames section of a certain imageboard, "fun is a buzzword for when you can't actually think of any reasons why a game is good." If you talk about utilising all the tools in a competitive game available to win, someone may say that you're prioritising victory over fun. There's a saying that any game is fun with friends. Are these accurate statements? Can we quantify this fun? I want to unpack this word in relation to games.