Defender Of The Favicon

Gaming No Comments

Someone made a fully playable game in a favicon.

I love stuff like this. What a creative and neat way to make a game. Okay, so it’s not terribly practical, but this person is definitely thinking outside of the box. Actually, he’s thinking inside a tiny little box which seems to work better for him.

Condemned 2: Simulating Hobo Beatdowns Since ’08!

Games for Fun No Comments

Condemned 2: Bloodshot 360 BoxAfter hearing enough accounts about how “cool the bear is,” I figured it was time to man up and play some Condemned 2: Bloodshot (C2:B).

Let’s just jump right in. C2:B is much better than Condemned: Criminal Origins (C:CO). Gone are the repetitive door-axe and crowbar mechanics from C:CO. C2:B actually took me by surprise and put much more emphasis on melee and combos. Also, the cooler parts from C:CO have been retained, like using lots of environmental objects as melee weapons.

The melee system has been improved greatly from C:CO. In C2:B, you can do various “Attack Combos” which are followed up by a super damaging attack. I mainly used the one-two (left-right) punch, which is followed up by a 3x damage attack combo. Parrying and blocking then attacking are also followed by an extra damaging punch which rewards players for not turning the game into a slug-fest.

You can throw a hook as well by pressing down on the left stick, then attacking. I found that throwing hooks was a little awkward in normal combat though, and hardly used them. Apparently you can use hooks to disarm enemies, but I found that throwing my weapon was usually as effective. Plus, throwing a weapon at an enemy usually stuns them for a long enough time to get in close and pummel them. Oh, you can still kick enemies as well, but if you kick too many times in a row you get tired or something. Kicking wasn’t really effective either so I didn’t really use it that often.

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Myers-Briggs and Video Games

Game Development, Gaming 13 Comments

Gamers, gamers everywhere!

I’m not one for horoscopes, I think they’re pretty terrible actually. Everyone with half a brain knows that horoscope listings are purposefully generic and vague so that they can be applied to anyone, anywhere.

Enter the Myers-Briggs personality test or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). In college (something like 8 years ago?), one of my computer science professors had the class take the MBTI and compare results. The experience felt a bit horoscope-y and mystical to me for some reason, so I didn’t take much stock in it. A few days ago, people over on the SomethingAwful forums were taking the “test” and I figure “Why not?” Let’s give this thing another look.

So I score as a particular “personality type,” and I start doing some research about my type and the test seemed to have nailed me perfectly. Actually, the result was sorta spooky and naturally I thought to myself, “Well, it’s probably more vague star sign crap again.” I looked at a few other MBTI personality types and as I was reading them, I was thinking to myself “Damn, that’s totally not me but I know a guy who behaves just like that.” Later on that night, I had my wife take the test and it matched her personality as well (which was vastly different than mine). After more research I found that the Myers-Briggs test is used in psychological studies, by the government, and corporations to help determine people’s preferences. While the MBTI seems a little hokey, it’s actually fairly reliable according to most accounts.

If you’re interested, you can try it out here.

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Kane and Lynch: Why’s Everybody Always Pickin’ on Me?

Games for Fun, Gaming 2 Comments

Kane & Lynch Box 360 I was eating lunch with a group of producers one day about the time Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (K&L) was released. Unfortunately, K&L came out during a storm of other awesome games (it was a holiday 2007 game, going up against the likes of Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, Bioshock and so on). We were discussing various games that we had been playing when one of the producers at the table asked me “Have you played Kane and Lynch? It’s really good.” He seemed fairly adamant that this game “had something to it” and his comments stuck with me to this day. I had been itching to play it, and finally decided to see what the fuss was about.

K&L starts out interestingly enough. You play as Kane (Lynch can be controlled only in co-op, more on that later) who is being broken out of a prison transport by Lynch. It soon becomes apparent that K&L tries to straddle the style of a comic book and something out of a Hollywood heist movie. As you stumble around the tutorial level, large groups of similarly dressed (and masked) goons help cover you as you make your escape. The game jumps off immediately with huge fire fights against swarms of police, SWAT and even some choppers.

The first thing that stood out to me from a gameplay / technical perspective, is that when you shoot enemies, they just sorta twitch. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. When other games’ AI have actual pain animations, it feels a little cheap to have the enemy just kinda procedurally twitch when getting shot while not stopping. Plus, enemies can take a hefty amount of damage. I’m sure it was purely for balance reasons, but tagging a human character three times with a gun in practically any game should drop him. That’s not the case in K&L, especially for leg shots, which can take 5-10 shots to drop a guy.

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