I've been busy working on a job which pays so I haven't been able to give this guy as much time as I'd like but since my last update I have added the beginnings of his leg armour and more definition to his muscles overall form.
The concept is a bit hard to read in places so I have taken some artistic liberties with areas.
Anyway, I'm looking to get as much feedback as possible - does anything stray too far from the concept or just look out-of-place?
This is a continuation of my work on this project; I'm currently at the end of the first day of my sculpting in ZBrush and I expect there to be many more.
At the moment I'm still roughing out the major forms and deciding which muscles go where which is hard for this creature because he's such a mish-mash of various species; dog, giraffe, kangaroo, frog, duck etc. I've mostly been carving away at the legs, using images of greyhounds to help me.
There are some areas which I won't spend as much time getting perfect as others since they'll either be covered with a harness or what looks like a rubbery skin-suit from the concept.
Trine was on my list of games to buy almost since its initial release back in July of 2009 but for whatever reason, it has taken me until last night for be to actual buy, and I regret that it took as long as it did. Trine is a blend of action and platforming with the core mechanic of the game being the control of three different characters (a thief, a wizard and a knight), each with their own unique abilities to allow the player to play through a multitude of levels. This core mechanic is executed flawlessly and as a result, Trine is one of the better games that has been released in the past five years.
As of rougly seven minutes ago I have finished Trine, I still have a few experience potions and secret areas to find but I have completed each of the fifteen levels the game offers. This venture took about six hours which, for a $20 game is remarkable, especially if you keep in mind the replay value Trine offers. What irks me though, that Trine is selling for as cheap as it is since it offers a richer experience than most games that sell for $60. How can the developers of games like Aliens vs. Predator, Prototype and Risen even consider charging $60 for their games when Braid, Trine and World of Goo are available for fractions of the price and are infinitely better games? It's insane how this industry operates. These companies need to learn that you can't just throw money at a game to make it good, if the game is built upon unstable foundations it is going to be shit. Ipso facto.
Trine is the epitome of everything a video game should be; a definite goal to achieve from playing the game - there isn't a plethora of afterthought side-quests to distract you; sharp controls and animations - the characters react instantly when a button is pressed; it is fucking gorgeous - you can't ignore the necessity of a good-looking game; and finally it doesn't overstep its boundaries - there's no stupid message that it is trying to get across, Frozenbyte (the developer/publisher) didn't create a few extra levels just to add an hour or two to the total gameplay time.
For me, the bar has been raised for what I consider a "good game" or even a game worth playing. If you haven't bought it yet and you consider yourself a "gamer" then you should either go buy it right fucking now or go back to playing Modern Warfare 2 for the rest of your days.
Add Beyond Good and Evil to my ever-growing list of games that I just do not want to keep playing. I could quite easily push myself to play through the game all-the-while disregarding the unintuitive user-interface, buggy camera and clunky controls but what is the point? Video games (to me) have always been about entertaining the audience and if you find yourself playing a game and not being entertained then there is essentially no reason to continue playing said game.
I can appreciate the good aspects of Beyond Good and Evil - the art design, characters and gameplay vision - and I highly anticipate that the sequel will be leagues better than the original but I do not feel like wasting any more of my time just to say that "I finished Beyond Good and Evil". I do not need to know how the story ends to judge the game. It isn't a movie or a book; I know whether or not it's good within the first half-hour of playing it and any time further spent with the game should be purely because that first half-hour was so much fun that I would like to continue. A lot of people (myself included) fall into the trap that you need to finish the storyline of a video game to say that they've "played it" or that they've "completed it" and that is a result of most games publishers and developers wanting to make games in the same way that they make movies just with the audience controlling the protagonist and the story unfolding around them. This is not what a game should be. That is elements of a video game held together by cutscenes and unless all of those cutscenes are of Heavy Rain quality (or at the very least Mass Effect 2) then they are the result of laziness on the part of the developer.
This frame of mind I've recently fallen into has become more of a revelation when it comes to my interaction with all media; I'm so sick of the "couch potato" mentality of just watching a movie or television programme, reading a book or playing a video game for the sake of doing so. So many times I've played through a mediocre game just so that I could say that I've finished it when in reality, all that I've done is just waste time that could have been better spent playing a game that captures my imagination and entertains me from start to finish.
Other games that I can lump into the pile dubbed "Most likely won't be played again" include Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Psychonauts and Gyromancer. And for those of you who gasped at the sight of Psychonauts on that list, think about why you actually liked the game. Is it because it was fun? Or is it because it was the quasi-Dreamworks-esque world created intrigued you enough to bounce through the actual game portion of this video game. There is too much useless dialogue and unnecessary travelling to justify the "pretty good - at best" platforming gameplay.
I recently purchased a game that has been on my radar for quite some time now; Beyond Good and Evil. Whilst all I've heard from the game has been positive I never bothered to look too far into acquiring it until it appeared under the "games cheaper than $10" section of the Steam Store. After the hour or so it took to download the 2.2 gigabytes of files required to play the game on my PC I delved into the cult classic and here - three hours later - here are my thoughts so far...
I was instantly disappointed by the lack of controller compatibility as I have recently come across an Xbox 360 controller for my PC and I'm not much of a fan of using a keyboard and mouse to play games viewed in the third-person perspective, although if I could play through Batman: Arkham Asylum purely with my keyboard and mouse I could tolerate this. I selected the "New Game" option which triggered a 3 minute pre-rendered sequence involving the protagonist of the game, Jade. The moment the movie switched to a game is when I was hit with a number of graphical glitches and floating three-dimensional artefacts and since one can not change the video settings in game, rather the Settings Application I had to quit the game and fiddle around with the various drop-down lists and check the Steam forums regarding the various glitches the game has when played on any PC more powerful than the original X-Box. That was now all behind me and after half an hour of having the game installed on my computer I was now able to play it.
To be honest, I'm quite a snob when it comes to games and an experience the likes of which I just had would usually sour my entire time with most games, however Beyond Good and Evil had such instantaneous and undeniable charm that I felt obliged to forget the technical troubles and lead Jade and her friend Pey'j along their quest. I really didn't know what to expect when it came to the gameplay of Beyond Good and Evil other than something along the lines of "Stealth-based action adventure" and I was pleasantly surprised when what I got was a strange mix of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Pokemon Snap. You control Jade from the third-person perspective and at any time you are able to press Shift which causes the game to switch to a first-person camera view with which you can photograph and document the various fauna found in the game (150 to be precise, much like one of the two aforementioned games) or take snapshots of bad guys doing bad things. I always believed Pokemon Snap would have been infinitely better had it been an open-world (or at the very least NOT on-rails) game in which you photograph various Pokemon so the clever blend of this aspect of gameplay in addition to arguably one of the greatest games to have been made in Ocarina of Time and we have a winning formula, right? Ehh..
So far I have noticed one striking flaw with the game (aside from the technical issues) and that is the horrible controls. The mouse-based camera movement is the safest bet when it comes to any third-person game on a PC but Beyond Good and Evil does it so much worse than most others in the genre; moving the mouse forwards and backwards results in the camera moving directly up and down on the Y-Axis which is extremely counter-intuitive, especially compared to the regular format of the camera moving around a single point (usually the main character's head). This isn't such an issue when driving around the world on Jade's hovercraft or just walking around the cities but it is crippling during the moments where the gameplay switches to a stealth-style and timing and accuracy of Jade's movements are key to survival and success. I found that at one point I needed to crouch to pass a number of guards and the camera did not reach any higher than Jade's shoulders which severely limited my line of sight and caused me to have to restart that section of the level a number of times.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to put up with the controls, camera and UI long enough to play through the storyline of the game - I hope I do, for the sake of all the critical acclaim and fandom Beyond Good and Evil has attained.