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Everything posted by Simon

  1. Adventure thoughts by someone whose 'heart is not in it'

    Puzzles are an ideal way to allow the player to discover the world slowly and naturally, not on a level-based system, but as a real continuous story. In that way, they are an excuse to tell a story. But they're also ideal for creating satisfying gameplay. See, I think a good game design constantly rewards the player, and adventure games have the perfect system for this in puzzles. When you solve a puzzle, you get to see a flashy animation and/or get a new place to go, person to talk to, etc. Furthermore, a well-made puzzle will be challenging but logical, so its satisfying when you solve it. There's the double-whammy of the new areas of the game to experience, and the satisfaction of having used your head well to get there. That's gameplay to the max, man. Adventure games are real games, not just stories. I think there are plenty of them that just wouldn't work as books or movies, because the story doesn't hold up as entertainment without the satisfaction of puzzle-solving. The puzzle-solving is certainly tied up in the story, but it is gameplay, I think anyway. Hope that made sense to someone out there.
  2. Jaws: The game

    As its one of my favourite films ever, I'd hope that a Jaws game would be super kick-ass. But it's hard to see how they could do it, and this premise isn't quite convincing me yet. The evironmental twist is very forced, but it sounds like you still get to kill people. That sounds really bloodthirsty and idiotic, but the idea of horrible gorey death from below is what makes Jaws tick as a movie. But if it was a totally free-roaming game of terrorising a small island, that would be cool. The locals would step up beach watches, shark hunts and bathing restrictions in certain areas. Maybe they could borrow the idea from (the awful) Jaws 3 and let you destroy a marina. Also head-butting the sides of a little trawler in, or jumping out of the water and snapping a fisherman's head off or something could be quite fun. Maybe a mutliplayer mode where it's shark hunters vs. shark would be cool too.
  3. Turn-based or Real-Time?

    They're just different sub-genres of strategy, and I suppose I have soft spot for both. Both styles suit pretty different kinds of game. I can't imagine playing Civilization II real time, as the game feels like it's rewarding all your careful turns of empire planning and troop-shifting. That your strategic forethought has resulted in success is what's satisfying. Likewise, I can't see a Command & Conquer game working in real time. Why is this? Well, I haven't really thought this idea through, but it sprung to mind, maybe it's right. Perhaps turn-based gameplay suits more epic, long time-span games where you're not working towards a specific goal. It's more a 'sandbox'-type thing where you can be what you want. In Civilization you do make your own way, you don't have to be any certain kind of leader or have to achieve certain things by a certain time. It's long-form gameplay that lends itself to turns and careful thought. Real-time, on the other hand, seems more fitting for strategy games constructed in levels or missions - where it tends to be a short time span and obviously you have clear objectives (secure this territory, defeat all troops here etc.). In real-time games as diverse as Syndicate, Theme Hospital, and Command & Conquer, this seems to be true. My favourite strategy game is actually Pirates! Gold (soon to become the probably-awesome remake) and I'm not sure exactly what that is. If anything its real-time, but it involves strategy in various different kinds of gameplay that are fused together to make an addictive whole.
  4. Outlaws

    I really dig the soundtrack, but I've only ever played the demo. Man, I've always wanted to check the rest out, but never had the time. Someday soon, I will. Cowboys rock. Western is such an under-used gaming genre when you compare it to sci-fi or fantasy, it has just as much awesome stuff going on.
  5. New computer

    I actually did a big upgrade last weekend too (it's not nearly as nifty as yours, I got a nice new motherboard, AMD Athlon XP 2600+ processor, 512MB DDRAM) and I bought Beyond Good & Evil too. Sadly it plays fine except all the text is screwed up and I can't seem to fix it, which totally sucks. I can't read any menus or instructions. The install process was neat though, with that propaganda song. Can't wait to play the full game, if I can ever get it working.
  6. Tim on TechTV

    When I heard that pronunciation I worried, for a moment, that I'd been saying 'LeChuck' wrong all these years, that I'd been living a lie, and I panicked. But then I realised the presenter was most likely an idiot. I'd also always wondered if I knew how to pronounce 'Tim Schafer', but the Gamespot video of him at Double Fine put my mind at rest there. That Insider show was a very shallow show, and even of the few facts it did contain, some were wrong, but it was kind of neat to see people like Mike Stemmle talk about stuff like Full Throttle, on TV. Hopefully one day, when games are a revered artform, we'll have hour-long 'Behind The Music'-style documentaries on this kind of stuff.
  7. GTA: San Andreas screenshots

    This is going to take absolutely ages before it hits PC or Xbox, isn't it? I can't wait. My brother's even considering buying a PS2 to play it. The whole in-between cities twist sounds great, and it has bicycles now too. Where to go from here though? They've now re-made all the cities from the original - Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas. I suppose they could re-do GTA London but it seems to have less potential that the big American crime-hives we've seen since GTA3.
  8. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    Everyone! Yes, you too! Check out the new Scott DFAC: Super Long SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT EDITION. Also Nathan and Raz have new (non-announcement-related but still super) comics up.
  9. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    Moosferatu, you've now confused me! But as far as I know from the previews I've read, the guy in the game thinks he's Napoleon's brother, not Napoleon himself.
  10. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    jp-30 / Jake : Thanks very much for the suggestions, not sure which one I'll go with yet. Probably the USB link-up actually because my brother's Xbox has two controllers, one of which isn't usually in use, so I might be able to nick that to play Psychonauts with. How does that work, do you get drivers to let you customise what buttons/pads do different things? I'm still totally stoked about this PC port, the excitement hasn't faded away into the frustrated waiting for the release just yet.
  11. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    I've played a fair few Xbox games now (Indy, GTA, Splinter Cell, Halo, KOTOR) and I like the controller. It's never taken me much effort to get used to it in its various different configurations. Psychonauts seeming so console-y, I'm hoping it will support a gamepad on the PC, and that I can get one thats a bit like the Xbox pad. I was raised on a Sega Megadrive (Genesis) as well as a PC too, so gamepads are in my blood. Not sure what types there are out there for the PC though.
  12. DOOM 3 GOLD!!!

    Well, that's a cool way to remake the whole Doom concept I guess. Part of me yearns for the manic, arcadey trigger-happiness of the old games but I'm liking what I hear about all these scary scripted encounters and the generally dark and terrifying feel of the game. I think I might get it, as I haven't played a good scary game in ages. I'm upgrading on a budget soon (not specifically for this game) so it depends if it stretches to a PC that's going to be able to play it properly.
  13. Alien Hominid

  14. DOOM 3 GOLD!!!

    I've not played it yet. One thought I had was that the original Doom games had corridors, but also massive open areas where you were taking on tons of monsters at once. I haven't seen much of that in the few trailers/videos I've seen, just the tense dark corridor stuff. I hope Doom 3 has the insane amounts of monsters as well as the scary aspect, which people are saying is really well-done. Also, I am impressed id have finally done a game with some attempt at story. With the Quake games I felt like they were introducing great new technology to open up new frontiers for other developers, but they missed opportunities for storytelling in FPSs that other people were seeing. The trailer promises some decent cut-scene cinematic-type stuff, and I hear the scripted in-level monster introductions and set-pieces are ultra-fantastic. That said, my hunch is that Half-Life 2 will do the story kinda stuff better and kick major ass in other ways too. We'll see.
  15. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    As Psychonauts is a console platformer at heart, I think it will feel more right on the Xbox, but I doubt I'll have an Xbox forever. If I get the PC version I can play it for many years to come. If it's possible I might buy a gamepad to play it with. I think the only reason I'd buy the Xbox one is if the PC port got delayed. Strangely, I was thinking about Double Fine t-shirts and how great they would be the other day. In fact, I think about it every day. I'm sure some cool stuff like that will become available someday soon, maybe keep pestering Tim for it.
  16. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    Yes!!! Best news ever. Now I'm definitely going to upgrade my PC soon. Thanks for the news tabacco, it's made my day. "...what could conservatively be called the greatest game of all time ever" - Tim Schafer. Please stick that quote on the box art, Double Fine.
  17. BUY games? what are you, stupid?

    Whilst people going into the industry because they love games is great, even those people still want to make money out of it. It's their job, it's not their hobby. None of them, faced with a crushing sales disaster, will think "Oh, we lost thousands of potential customers to piracy, nevermind, I love my job!". Because they'll probably not be able to hold onto that job or the best creative aspects of it if they don't shift units. I'm sure it's especially frustrating if your game didn't sell too well but kicks ass, meaning there's probably a fair amount of people playing illegal copies and downloads of it. A genuine love of gaming or an artistic mindset doesn't mean you don't want to be successful. You can't seriously rationalise theft as a reasonable way of helping games as an industry or an artform just because you're enjoying a game you wouldn't otherwise have played, either. I think theft can only hurt the industry.
  18. Alien Hominid

    Hmm. Makes me think that Alien Hominid Vs. Stormtrooper might be a better idea for a film than the upcoming Alien Vs. Predator. Going to see about securing the rights.
  19. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    Good hypothetical 'evil masterminds' conversation, Ryam. Having looked into it a bit more, I'd say your idea about Ed Fries is about right. I also think they saw Action Comics and panicked. "These guys are just drawing comics all day!"
  20. Psychonauts gets a publisher: Majesco

    If they get it into shops in the UK, I'll be happy. Does anyone know a specific reason why Microsoft ditched Psychonauts? I was reading a Tim interview from a while ago and it seemed that then, things were going great - full creative freedom for Double Fine, Microsoft happy to have them on board etc. Looking at the Majesco site, they did publish Solider Of Fortune for the PS2 which was probably quite a major release.
  21. Jedi Knight II owns my ass

    Yeah, I remember having that, it was pretty cool to have it looking more real. I tried a lot of the mods for the first JK, I remember there was one ridiculous one that made Kyle somersault every time he jumped, even if it was a tiny little jump he'd miraculously spin round in mid-air. On the subjects of Jim Cameron and Kyle's hot ass, I agree that Kyle looks quite like the famously stroppy Aliens director, but I've not really noticed the latter.
  22. Jedi Knight II owns my ass

    This post has tempted me to find my copy and play it again tomorrow, you've truly sold me on the coolness of it all again. I'd forgotten about that bit where you suck all the stormtroopers out into space, that kicks ass. More great things Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast that spring to mind: - First time the lightsaber actually looked like one, rather than a big green toy stick (as in Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight. The glow is awesome. - Lightsaber is fun and the moves on the keyboard make good sense. Though annoying (pre-patch) when it came to multiplayer, the backward lunge was incredibly satisfying in single player to finish the bad dudes off. Throwing in all the rolls and jumps cleverly was just a lot fun. - Tons of saber fights - the plot allowed for a silly amount of 'saber fodder' Dark Jedi so you got to kick ass very frequently in the later levels. They still had the tough bosses though, so it wasn't too easy. - Recreates an original trilogy feel pretty well, like very few of the Star Wars games have. Decent cutscenes with Luke etc. whilst never feeling like it wanted to be a movie. - Cloud City was done really well. - Decent multiplayer levels and options, Duel mode was fun. I'm kind of shocked it wasn't received better than it was, actually. It wasn't panned but I don't think it's regarded as one of the greats of its year, however I enjoyed the hell out of it. I'd say this was actually the best Star Wars game ever, for a short spell - before Knights Of The Old Republic, came out. There was recently a kind of sequel, Jedi Academy, but it was effectively like an add-on (same interface, Quake3 engine use etc) - anyone tried it? I heard it wasn't up to much.
  23. BUY games? what are you, stupid?

    Games are generally cheaper than they used to be. I think when I bought Full Throttle the day it came out, it cost me £49.99 or something ridiculous (that's equivalent to about $90 in the US). By about 1998 I think things had become a bit more reasonable. But if you say new games are costing $30-$50 across the pond, I think the UK is still only getting the high end of that price range. You'll very rarely see a brand new game for below £25 (about $45), and certainly not for a console. Rip-off Britain, you see. None of that affects my belief that you should always pay for a game you want to play though. I just wanted to clarify that it's perhaps not everywhere that prices have dropped quite so much. Of course, as Chris says, waiting around for price drops and sales will always help you get good deal on the games you want. * Edit: On a related note, I was reading on Eurogamer that Doom 3 has been leaked, then I checked a BitTorrent site - 26,600 people were downloading it at once. Whilst the game's still going to be flying off the shelves everywhere, that's quite a sickeningly huge amount of money lost, assuming that it's the real full game, and none of those people will now buy it (maybe some will though).
  24. BUY games? what are you, stupid?

    I can't say I've never downloaded a game that I could have bought, but it's rare, I can only recall one in the past few years. On the subject of downloading games I already own to get round scratched-up CD-ROMs, I have no moral quibbles with that really, if there's a law against that it seems wrong. Back to the main topic here - I just feel awful enjoying something that I should have paid for, that goes for movies too, I've spent hundreds amassing a DVD collection I could probably have built up illegally via BitTorrent. Also, there's kind of an aesthetic thing I dig about having a shelf full of real DVDs too, which perhaps goes back to really loving the artwork on all the old LucasArts adventure games - all of those box designs just rule, it's part of the whole buying/owning of a game. So that's one other aspect deterring me from piracy. With games, I actually buy them less than I used to, for several reasons. Partly there aren't many that will run well on my PC, partly I don't have as much time/disposable income as I used to, and partly there aren't many I'm desperate to play as soon as they come out - but when I do want to play a game, I'll pay for it.
  25. Stranger is looking good

    Just watched that big video of the presentation, seeing Stranger in action I'm more excited about it. It seems like a lot of fun but there need to be plenty of different types of mission, I'm hoping that what Lorne Lanning showed wasn't basically everything the gameplay had to offer. I suppose constant new types of ammo are going to keep it interesting along the way. His stress on story in that interview is encouraging too, a deep epic story and lots of plot twists is a fine thing in a game. The animations seemed nice, I like Stranger running at full pelt. They've preserved the Abe's Oddysee tradition of being able to explode/grind up/mangle the bad guys into chunks as well, which is of course great fun for all the family.