Archive for February, 2010

In Korea

Posted in Life in General, Miscellany, Video Game Development with tags , on February 24, 2010 by Dan Amerson

I posted a bit back that I’d be in Korea for GameTech 2010. I’ll try to get a few pictures and post them later. I’m here now enjoying the kimchi and living that surreal feeling that you get when you don’t speak the language. Being that alienated gives you a very deep appreciation for how it feels to be on the other side when folks are in America and don’t speak English, and Korea is actually pretty friendly to English speakers if you know just a few phrases in Korean.

Also, it looks like the middleware meetup will be going down. Location is TBD, but the Thirsty Bear is the current frontrunner. Drop a message if you have an opinion otherwise.

dba

Middleware Meetup

Posted in Video Game Development with tags , , on February 18, 2010 by Dan Amerson

Here in the NC triangle area, we have a very fun group set up. It’s called the Triangle Game Developers Social, and everyone in the group is invited to meet at a random location monthly. Usually, we pick a bar and get together for some beer and conversation. Each week 10-20 of the groups 100+ members show up. It’s a great way to keep in touch, but it’s lightweight and informal. That group gave me a good idea for GDC.

All of us in the middleware space know each other through competition, partnership, or other collaborations. At GDC, it’s always good to see each other and catch up. However, we’re all generally so busy working the booth that we don’t have much time once the show starts. I thought it would be good to have a middlware meetup where we can all get together and talk about the show, share stories, and have a drink. It would be a lot easier than trying to find 20 minutes on the floor during the show. In other words, let’s have a GDC Middleware Developers Social.

The plan would be to keep it simple. Pick a bar near the conference. Pick a time. Descend and meet up. No sponsors, no big party, no mess. Let’s just get together.

Let me know what you think. If you’re in the middleware space and would be interested in such a thing, reply in the comments (preferably) or send me a message using the contact form on the right. If there’s enough interest, I’ll find a spot in SF suitable for crashing. Also note a preferred time. I’m thinking Wednesday night at 9PM. That would be before the show starts but late enough to have most booths set up. However, I’m open to other suggestions.

dba

Desperate Struggle

Posted in Video Games with tags , , on February 15, 2010 by Dan Amerson

I saw this link about No More Heroes 2 sales numbers on Joystiq the other day. It makes me pretty sad, so I figured I’d write a post with the hope of inspiring someone to go buy this great title.

I picked up No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle on launch day. I’ve gotten about a third of the way through it, and it’s great. I played all the way through the first title in the series as well. For those not familiar, No More Heroes is beat em up game like so many others. You run through a world, target enemies, and hit the A button repeatedly to slash them with your beam katana. There’s nothing fresh there. What is amazing, however, is the sheer wackiness and, dare I say, panache with which the game delivers that classic gameplay experience. The entire game is a huge send-up of anime, comic book, and video game culture. It’s irreverent, and it dwells on the most puerile bits of the “culture.” The fourth wall is broken repeatedly with references to the game being a sequel. One note, however, this is not a game to play with the kids around. There’s swearing, blood (lots of it), and tons of risque moments.

On top of that, motion controls are integrated at appropriate times. It adds to the experience but doesn’t feel too forced. The game has been streamlined between the first and second iterations. Riding your bike through the city is gone in the sequel which is mostly welcome, and the mini-games to make money are generally better in their new retro, 2D incarnations. However, there were moments when I wished for the old style; that may be nostalgia speaking. Notably, the gimmick of taking cell phones calls by holding the Wii remote up to your ear really appealed to me. One of the more novel uses of the Wii hardware is gone.

Any way you slice it, you owe it to yourself to check out one of these games. Go buy it, or at least put it on your Gamefly queue. It may not be your cup of tea, but Grasshopper has made a truly unique series here. It needs some love lest it die out.

dba

Gametech 2010

Posted in Video Game Development with tags , , on February 3, 2010 by Dan Amerson

It may not affect any readers, but I thought it was worth sharing. I will be giving a talk at Gametech 2010 in Seoul on Feb. 25. Most of you are probably not going to be in Korea for that conference, but if you are you can check me out in the first person. Otherwise, you can trip over to the site and see my stunning picture on their banner. Tim Sweeney from Epic is speaking there along with folks from NVIDIA and several Korean game companies. It looks like a good day of talks.

I’ll try to post the slides here or elsewhere once the talk is done.

dba