“Army of Two” Impressions

Games for Fun, Gaming 1 Comment

Army of Two BoxI finished Army of Two a few night ago, and decided to write a little bit about it as I’m playing it some more on co-op.

I gotta admit, I’m a huge sucker for co-op games. I like playing together with other people more than playing against them. So, here we have Army of Two, a game built from the ground up to be a two co-op player game. However, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the game. I think in general, it’s a game of missed opportunities.

Let me say what I like about the game. First, obviously, is co-op. Not many games even have co-op as an option, so it’s pretty ballsy to create a game that is built on the foundation of co-op. I’ve already played with with a couple of friends, and just being able to play with them makes the game fun to some degree. Second, I like being able to buy and upgrade weapons. I wish more shooters had weapons customization and upgrades. I also have to give them credit for making the weapons feel distinct. For example, the MP7, the minigun, the shotties, pistols, and so on, are all fun to use in different ways.

Okay, let’s talk about missed opportunities.

> – – – Read the rest – –

Seeing Polished Work = Motivation

Game Development 1 Comment

Finish the Job!This is pretty straight forward, but creating something for your game and bringing it to a finished, shippable state is the only way to go.

“But Jesse, we don’t have time to get it finished! We need to just get it working and move on!”

Bzzzzt. I’ve seen it time and time again. We’ll create some half-baked prototype feature, get an event “working,” put in a temp animation, or place a temp texture. Then, people on the team will start complaing about it, laughing about it, or whatever. Placeholders tend to stay in the game for way to long, and it starts demotivating people. It’s really hard for people, even those working on the game everyday, to see past temporary and placeholder assets. And that’s really bad for team morale. Above all, everyone on the team should believe in the game you’re working on, and placeholders won’t help with that.

Okay, not all holders are bad. I think in some cases, if they look really close to final, that’s an okay thing, especially if you’re placeholdering for memory concerns. I think this is espeiclaly true for sound and VO. However, really bad, or even medicore placeholders will damage team morale, and I think hurt the overall quality of the game in the long run.

> – – – Read the rest – –

“Frontlines: Fuel of War” Verdict

Games for Fun, Gaming No Comments

Okay, so the game wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t awesome either.

Really, the best part for me was one mission where you start with a Barret, and later gain access to the various remote control death toys. The level ends with a defend sequence that went too long, but you also get to set up some rail guns which are pretty meaty. One problem though, is that there are some wacky sequences, like where the enemy uses nukes in your immediate vicinity (it’s okay, they’re tactical) and because you’re in a tank, it’s all gravy. However, you can’t get out because you’ll die of radiation! I hope those tanks you’re in are lined with 10 feet of lead. But later, you can get out once you’ve gotten closer to where the nukes went off. Maybe the nukes wore off? That’s some halflife on those radioactive isotopes.

One of the later (maybe the last?) levels has an equally silly sequence where you’re rolling into a destroyed Russian city and there’s like 50 nukes going off all around you. I guess in the future, we make nukes less radioactive, or something. No one really seems freaked out or cares, but I don’t think the game takes itself that seriously anyway.

So, single player was okay. Crazy ragdoll, contrived situations, 50 bullets to damage a guy, but cool toys.

> – – – Read the rest – –

“Front Lines: Fuel of War” First Impressions

Games for Fun, Gaming 1 Comment

Front Lines BoxSo, a couple of guys at work convinced me to get Frontlines: Fuel of War. Apparently, it’s from the guys who did the Desert Combat mod for the Battlefield 1942 back in the day. Anyway, I saw a couple of videos and saw some cool shit with drones and air strikes. Since other people at work are playing it, I figure “What the hell,” and take the $60 (plus tax) plunge.

The first thing I did was hop into single-player to get a feel for the game. The game felt pretty smooth. The frame rate stayed at a solid 60 (a necessity for any FPS worth it’s salt), and the weapons felt decent. The story has a pretty cool premise, but I’m not sure about this reporter guy. I felt a little disconnected. I’m sitting there thinking to myself “Oh no, they’re going to make me play as this reporter that turn out to be a bad ass,” which fortunately they didn’t. They seem to be spending a lot of time on this character, so I guess he becomes important later.

Anyway, I complete the first mission, and the drones were a pretty cool gameplay element. I was hoping for a little turret you could shoot right away, but maybe they get to that. For now, I got some flying bombs which isn’t a bad way to start. Also, my AI squad seemed to stay around me and move around enough, so that’s good. The enemy ragdoll is a little silly though. I pepper an enemy with a few rounds and they flip head over heels. I prefer a little more realistic ragdoll, maybe even blended with an animation. I dunno, maybe it’s an Unreal engine limitation? I see a lot of games with unrealistic looking ragdoll.

> – – – Read the rest – –

Super Duty-o Bros.

Modding No Comments

Super Duty-O Bros First Screen

Pretty slick, eh? Finally got around to converting the Mario level I made from Return to Castle Wolfenstein to Call of Duty 4. Too bad there’s some scale issues. Oh well, it might be good enough, we’ll see. A video of the original RtCW map can be found here.