Blorp Makes A Wish For You To Donate To Make A Wish

The bros from Blorp are hosting a live gaming marathon over at LiveStream where they will be staying up playing difficult nes/snes/PS3  games for hours on end to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. Thats not all! Raising this money will help one of the awesome members from Blorp to be able to ride in Make A Wishes 48 Hour Ride For Wishes bike marathon. So help out and watch or even donate as this awesome crew of gamers fight alongside Silver Surfers, bounty hunters and other memorable 8Bit Super Heroes to save the world from mass destruction and help the kids through Make A Wish. Head over to the live stream and click on the links below. you can donate through the link below or the one from their LiveStream channel where I got the link from.

http://www.livestream.com/blorp     

  http://tinyurl.com/makeawishdonation  

                                                                                                                                                                                     Much Love JT

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Unexplored Realms of Game Design

Why must I live on the East Coast?? And be broke. 😦

In an attempt to inspire submissions for the 2012 GDC call for papers, GDC’s advisory board members for the Game Design track spoke on the biggest challenges that face game designers and outlined what they hope to see on March 2012 in San Francisco.

The creator of Canabalt and independent designer, Adam Saltsman, along with Dragon Age: Legends and Civilization IV designer, Soren Johnson, came together to discuss some of today’s often-overlooked areas of game design, along with some some notable innovations and rising trends as part of their mission to encourage all of you to submit ideas for the 2012 GDC Main Conference.

These industry veterans and advisory board members will be joined alongside colleagues like Clint Hocking (LucasArts) and Mark Cerny (Cerny Games) to oversee the event’s Game Design track and ensure all of its sessions stay true to the massively high bar of quality and relevance that GDC attendees, and journalists/editors/entities of awesome such as myself, have come to expect.

ACT FAST, because the deadline on “the call for papers” is September 6th; here’s a list of Game Design-specific topics. Gamasutra sat down with Adam Saltsman and Soren Johnson to discuss key issues that they would like to see pointed out at next March’s show.

What are some key games from the past year or so that have impressed you with their new approaches to design – and why?

Adam Saltsman:Amnesia: Dark Descent and Bit Pilot are very interesting games. These are fairly hardcore horror and arcade games respectively, but neither game allows you to attack. Instead, your goal is to hide, avoid, and survive. For me this is a really welcome and interesting break from aiming and shooting games, but without sacrificing any of the awesomeness one might expect from a survival horror game or an arena shooter.

Soren Johnson: I was very impressed by Magicka‘s concept — letting players cast spells by simply combing simple elements such as fire, water, electricity, arcane energy, and so on. This system encourages a sense of discovery absent from so many games; I loved trying out certain combinations just to see what would happen. That the game often supported my assumptions and guesses made the world feel alive. Allowing play based on intuition from existing knowledge instead of memorization of invented lore is always a big advantage.

The other development that stands out to me is how the best small-scale, indie games, like Frozen SynapseBastionAtom Zombie SmasherHOARD, etcetera, are creatively outpacing games from the big publishers simply because they can take risks and maintain their own vision. Many game genres and formats are simply not feasible for the big guys to make anymore, and this has surprisingly been great for the industry, because there are now so many gaps for the indies to fill.

How do you think the rise of social games will influence design in other areas of the game biz? 

Adam Saltsman: One positive outcome that I am looking forward to is the expansion of our audience. PopCap helped do this, and a few years later the Wii helped do it again. Social games are having that effect right now; I think it’s really great to have people that haven’t played video games in a decade or more playing games again. Not everyone that plays FarmVille is going to rush out and get a PS3 next week, but there is a basic literacy thing happening that is going to have a huge long-term effect.

Soren Johnson: Social games are still so young that they are difficult to judge. To date, most of them turn the social interaction into a tax that helps the game spread virally instead of a benefit that makes the game much more compelling. The social games that make this leap will be the ones that move the format forward. Right now, the primary lesson for the rest of the industry is that players will nag their friends for whatever in-game bonuses we hand out — I’m not sure if that is a healthy path.

A second lesson is that the size of an actual mainstream audience is far larger than we ever imagined, and their needs and interests diverge significantly from our traditional core audience. A final lesson is that a demand exists for “sporadic” games, which can be played in bite-sized chunks throughout the day, but which still have persistence and a multi-session arc. These games can appeal both to the mainstream audience as well as the traditional core users because they fit a hole in players’ schedule where persistent gaming did not previously fill.

What sort of design challenges do you feel the industry has yet to overcome? 

Adam Saltsman: This is a gross generalization, but I think if you look at The Sims and Call of Duty, the things in those games have been completely explored at this point. That leaves a lot of territory on the table. I think Heavy RainL.A. Noire, and Afrika are headed in some of the right directions. These games all have monumental flaws, but like Amnesia: Dark Descent, the driving force behind the games is not about domination and destruction. This isn’t exactly a new thing, by any means, and maybe this is the decade that adventure games finally make their triumphant return — or maybe not.

I think chilled-out variety games like Pilot Wings and Wii Sports have secured a very healthy foothold in the space. And there will always be room for some games about exploding things with guns. But our chances at reaching this massive new audience and their budding, social-games-driven computer game literacy will be much better if we are willing to branch out and take some risks.

Soren Johnson: The biggest design challenge is learning to match the fidelity of a game’s graphics with the depth of its mechanics. Many games are graphically rich but are mechanically barren, so players quickly discover that most of what they see is not real and has no consequence to their gameplay. Sometimes, the graphics even become a hindrance as players begin to understand the “real” game that lurks within and lose patience with the meaningless window dressing.

Are there particular genres of game that you think are under-utilized and stand to see a lot of design innovation, if better explored? 

Adam Saltsman: Chances are if it is already a genre, then it has been mined pretty heavily. I am certain there is still gold in any genre we could name, somewhere. But at some point the effort we have to put in to find it is going to outweigh the benefit of discovering it, especially when there are so many unexplored frontiers. I’m not sure which genres have crossed that threshold and which haven’t, but I’d venture that at least some of them are getting awfully close.

Soren Johnson: Real-time strategy is heavily under-utilized. Obviously, there is a glut of RTS games, but it doesn’t take long to discover that they are all essentially the same game — harvest some resources, build a barracks, rush with tanks, and so on. The design space for real-time play occurring in real-time should be much broader — think of games like Railroad TycoonPopulous,SimCity, even M.U.L.E. Some developers have started to expand this space once more with games like Swords & SoldiersAtom Zombie SmasherAI War, and even Plants vs. Zombies, but it is sad that the letters “RTS” still only mean one thing.

What subjects are you particularly excited to see covered in this year’s Game Design track? 

Adam Saltsman: There’s something we’ve been talking about for a lot of the tracks, which is this idea of a “design walkthrough” or “design history.” The idea is that developers can select some part of their game that turned out especially good, but was very, very hard to develop. Then they’ll walk us through the different ways they tried to solve the problem, and the different obstacles they had to overcome. It’s different from a traditional postmortem, more focused, with more of a narrative. We have had a few amazing talks in the past that had this sort of structure, and I am very excited to see more developers taking this approach.

As far as specific topics go, talks about deep multiplayer system design, especially competitive games, online or otherwise, are just something I am personally interested in at the moment. This is a really rich space and it’s always great to hear people talk about what they’re doing in it.

Soren Johnson: I thought the most important talk at last year’s GDC was Ben Cousins on the post-launch development of Battlefield Heroes. Simply put, the team discovered there was a huge difference between what players said they were willing to buy and what they actually did buy. Much of microtransaction-based design is still shrouded in mystery, as few developers understand what actually works. I hope other successful teams come forward to share their stories.

As always, thank you very much for reading. Feel free to leave your opinions that we cherish in our comments section below. And if you really.. REALLY loved this (or us in general) then feel free to subscribe to us. 🙂 Also, don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and stalk your favorite editor/me on Twitter.

Once again, thanks for reading; now go back to saving the world or something.

-Mave

Pokemon Trading Card Game Beta Now Online

Have you ever wondered why there is no official online Pokemon  TCG? Well wonder no more as Pokemon TCG has now gone online as a Beta.. I’m guessing that it’s an open beta as i signed up instantly.

Need I say anymore? Of course I don’t.. the link is here:

http://www.pokemontcg.com/tc

15 Year Old Game Developer Takes You Into A System So Surreal That it Will Blow Your Mind

The next brilliant mind of gaming is among us and he’s a 15 year old developer and his name is Jordan. Jordan the founder of Flying M Games had a dream a dream about the end of the world, that soon became a dream of creating a game.  That dream soon became Surreal System the game he is currently working on about Scientists who create a child with brain power far superior then any human beings to help save what little is left of the world from being destroyed.  The game is currently in pre production so it will be a while before we will get to play it, but for now support the kid and read his dev blogs where you can learn about the dream that sparked the idea for Surreal System and how it came to be.

Flying M Games Site and Dev Blog

http://www.wix.com/surrealsystem/flyingmgames#!articles

Much Love JT

Spartan Off Duty Ep.#1

Ever wonder what Spartans do in their spare time? Well now you know. Sadly they make how to videos when they are not shoving plasma grenades up grubs asses. Since all of the Interverse is doomed by derp Spartan LXXXV decided to try to save at least a few of us and teach us how to open a box. In this first episode of Spartans Off Duty you get to see Spartan LXXXV unbox Xenoblades Limited Edition and make love to the fresh new manual with his nosy.

We rate this Unboxing 5 “Fuckin Stickers” out of 5

Much Love JT

Fine WTFs in Gaming 1 (Super Pii Pii Brothers)

In this new segment I’ll be bringing to you is called ‘Fine WTFs in Gaming‘, I will scour the ends of this brittle and shattering Earth searching for every bit of weird and odd video game history to you all. Without further ado I bring to you the first inductee of this very prestigious list, “Super Pii Pii Brothers”

Just… just watch the video.

Wait….

WTF??!

In Super Pii Pii Brothers those women who are sufering from ‘Penis Envy’ (as Freud so confidently declared) can finally get a glimpse of what its like to take a piss with a penis in their hand. Let’s add a dash of cuddly in this bitch and have some ginger kitten-cats pop out of toilets for no reason… pissing on them gives you extra points.

Gingerrr catz gets nos repectz

This was supposed to be a pic of a 

ginger cat but for some reason

this picture was in the results

its a Wtf in a WTF its like a 

muthafuckin paradox!!

Anyways, there’s no additional reason to spend time on this topic – until next time with another Fine WTF in Gaming… ★MissB.

P.S. This video game was actually a 2008 joke from ThinkGeek.com to this day, it still tricks people. Nevertheless surely worthy of a what the f^_^k  lol

Wipeout Again this Holiday Season

ABC’s hit show Wipeout has put thousands of real life players on their ass, backs, and necks enticing the viewers at home to be a part of this Wipeout madness. It’s no surprise that the video games version ( which was released on Xbox360 last year ) was a huge success and Wipeout wants to duplicate or even pass that success with Wipeout 2. This year’s Wipeout game version will feature the obstacles from the Winter and Summer seasons. Using your motion control device of choice (based on your console) you can run the course or throw things at players who are running the course all with improved controls. Exclusive to the 3Ds is a 4-player pass-and-play mode which is cool…. but not as fun but hey whatever.

Wipeout 2 is going to be available for all consoles ( PS3 (with Move), Xbox 360 (with Kinect), Wii, DS, and 3DS ) right in time for Christmas.

Ummmm….. wtf is Wipeout??? Check out the Top 10 Best Wipeout Moments ever to check out why I and millions of others love this show. MissB.