Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
His newest game, Blueberry Garden, was released earlier today on Steam, and at the very affordable price of $4.99 I said "Why not?"
After stretching the 1-2 hour game into a solid four hours, enjoying each moment as much as the last, I'm left wondering: "Why isn't there more?" This isn't a criticism of Erik's work, though, but a question aimed at the game industry at large. Why is it that a few small indie developers can breathe life into an otherwise dead industry, when the large developers can't? Certainly it's not for a lack of creativity; and while profit margins dictate the newest games on the shelves, the majority of them feel empty by comparison.
Take World of Goo, for instance, developer 2D Boy's tour de force. Wildly successful, yet so very simple. And here we have Blueberry Garden: for the first time since Jason Rohrer's Passage, I was genuinely moved by a video game (not, perhaps, in exactly the same manner, but the effects were the same). As a bird-like creature set loose in a strange, unfamiliar world, you must explore - and build - within the Blueberry Garden to find the source of your troubles and escape into the sky. With a fully realized ecosystem, simple platforming gameplay, and a powerful piano arrangement by Daduk, the Blueberry Garden truly is a wonder to behold, as compelling as it is beautiful.
The demo is on Steam, and is absolutely a must for anyone who would argue the validity of games as art. And please, consider purchasing the full version; the gaming world needs more developers like Erik.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Teachers are strange creatures. They are well educated individuals who have been tricked into wanting to spend nearly all of their waking hours with children of varying ages, but this is only a small portion of what makes them so strange. A truly complete analysis may never be conducted, but I will say this:
As evidenced by the 30 second clip below, there is something incredibly entertaining about a secondary school teacher dancing.
The addition of music was especially artful in the way it matches nearly ALL of the movement.
Still, nowhere near as incredible as the Robert Englund lookalike that was my high school algebra teacher:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Following the theme of incredible game trailers, I stumbled across what must be the SECOND best trailer ever created. The lack of a serious budget obviously lends itself to creativity, as is shown in what will likely prove to be a sleeper hit: Stalin vs. Martians.
As usual, a busy schedule has dragged me away from my computer at an inopportune time. Normally I would follow the established routine of making up a number of excuses for this and leave it at that, but this time I actually found something that needs to be shared.
Anyone who regularly uses Steam may have seen this already, as it's currently featured on the main page, but PopCap Games (the developer behind incredibly addicting games Peggle and Bejeweled) is releasing a brand new timesink, and with it comes what must be the most amazing game trailer ever made.
Enter Plants vs. Zombies, a VERY different mixture of the Tower Defense and Real Time Strategy genres with a premise that should be pretty self-explanatory (if not absolutely insane). Normally I avoid these kinds of games, as I value my time and would prefer - if I'm going to waste the better part of a day - to waste the better part of a day playing a video game with a high production value. Still, regardless of how well it all comes together on release, isn't 10 dollars a fair reward for such a spectacular trailer?
Let it be known, also, that the song itself was written and sung by one Laura Shigihara, who has since stolen my heart.
I want my heart back, Shigihara.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
And now for the pun: Started fencing lessons, having fun, living out childish Zorro fantasies. L4D is not yet forgotten, more after the break.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Here I am, however, several months later (and an hour too late to make the Thursday deadline), apologetic for yet another period of inactivity, and ready to give this segment a go.
This month I'd like to share the soulful melodies of Magnet. Hailing from Bergen, Norway, Even Johansen (according to his website) "...follows in the footsteps of traditional folkdom and modern surrealism, treading a neat path between the two." The comparison, as the site continues to say, has not been made in vain.
I originally discovered Magnet, believe it or not, through a videogame. A rather incredible videogame, actually, named Dreamfall: The Longest Journey; an oldschool adventure game trapped in a modern development cycle. The game still has decent graphics by today's standards, and an incredibly well-developed story with extremely likeable characters and, of course, a great soundtrack. But I'm getting off track.
With lyrics that delve into the soul and a sound that sweeps the mind away in its current, Magnet is a refreshing reminder that someone is out there who still 'gets it.'
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Known Bugs/Issues - Updated 2/13/09
-Displacement edges render incorrectly (seen in several locations, let me know if you see others: ledge outside of first office, room with broken wall dividing offices)
-Purple haze on higher graphics settings (Caused by advanced shaders, cannot be fixed until the launch of the official SDK. To work around, turn your shaders down to medium or low. Note that this disables normal mapping)
-Warehouse crescendo can be skipped *FIXED*
-Vents in administration building DONT spawn zombies *FIXED*
-Some textures for flourescent lights that are OFF are wrong.
-Lighting in general is off. Light sources are missing in places where lighting exists (mainly the admin building).
-Fire doesn't generate light. *FIXED*
-Zombies don't spawn in one of the side rooms on the lower floor. *FIXED*
-Weapon spawns need balancing. *FIXED*
-Ammo piles don't spawn correctly.
-Washing machine boxes blocking the path past the warehouse entrance are clipping into the wall. *FIXED*
-Fire at crescendo event takes up larger area than intended.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Some background: The survivors find themselves holed up in an infested Office Park when the military begins bombing runs in an attempt to curb the spreading infection. Left with no other options, players must escape their hideout and work their way to the distant city of Palm Island where it is rumoured a survivor's outpost has taken hold. The campaign consists of five maps which span a variety of locales, from a small town Office Park through a backwoods swamp and into the commercial delta of the Palm Island city limits, where players fight their way through a department store and finally to the gates of the Palm Island Civilian Outpost itself.
The campaign is planned as follows (All links will lead to L4DMapDatabase campaign pages):
Concrete Bayou (Working Title)
01 - The Office Park
02 - Rural Route 305
03 - City Limits
04 - Bullseye
05 - Drawbridge
Seeing as how this project has taken up a large portion of my free time, I believe it is fitting to include my progress here, both as a resource for anyone interested, as well as a contribution to a rather stagnant portfolio. As of this post, Automated Sweet Talk has taken on the additional function of Concrete Bayou Developer's Log, and I will provide campaign progress, development milestones and hurdles, L4D Mapping tutorials, and "exclusive" screenshots for those interested.
But enough of that, the Demo build of The Office Park is compiling now and will be live in approximately two hours. Take care, and remember:
Friday, January 30, 2009
Now that I'm back, though, it has come to my attention that my 'photography, writing, and tech blog' has transitioned into a 'political zombie blog,' which is an angle I might pursue as I have resumed work on my Left 4 Dead campaign. With the Beta 0.5 release in two days, I've been hard at work hammering out some of the finer details that I've previously neglected. More on this soon.
Also deserving an honourable mention is the town of Zebulon in North Carolina, because never before have I been so convinced that a small town is inhabited by a race of highly advanced extraterrestrial beings.
Photo actually taken by someone else, in Georgia. Who'd have thought there was more than one?
Now if only I could have seen Jesse Jackson's face when Obama stepped out of his limo...
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Of course, it can't be helped after Sunday, because I'm venturing north to try to get into the District of Columbia before the bridges are closed for the inauguration. No, I wasn't fortunate enough to get tickets to see the big man himself, but I'm just crazy enough to brave the crowds and sub-freezing temperatures anyway.
What all this means is two things: first, that I have every intention of abandoning my post(s) for at least another solid week, and second, that my return will mean a huge content boom for the site. This will be the temporary home for everything involving the development of my Left 4 Dead campaign (tentatively titled Concrete Bayou), including updates, concepts, and development milestones. A number of photography updates should be expected as well.
Also, happy new year, for those who mind. Now, if only I could find a pair of long johns...