Rawrnosaurous's forum posts

#1 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -

 

Video games have started to come out of the realm where only those with a love for Dungeons and Dragons and repeatedly shooting an alien in the face with a gun can find merit in them. Motion gaming and the Wii in particular has garnered the attention of those who wouldn’t normally touch a controller. As such Nintendo has tried hard to stay in the public's mind with their software and hardware that has become aimed at those who haven’t necessarily been buying their systems avidly in the past. *for better or worse* One of the many peripherals that they have come out with over the last couple years is the Wii Fit and the balance board peripheral that comes along with it.

Wii fit is a game in the loosest sense of the word, it comes packed in with a very sophisticated piece of technology for the price. The balance board is a nice little piece of plastic that hearkens back to the nineteen-eighties for what they tried to do with motion gaming peripherals back then such as the power glove. The first time you start up Wii fit and step on the balance board it calculates your BMI status, it will then ask you to set a goal for yourself concerning your BMI. The goals will end up concerning where you want to end up and the amount of time you want to give your self to reach said goal. The goals will appear on the Wii fit calendar and graphs which will detail your progress of your BMI and weight, it will also allow you to compare your progress against eight others so that you can get the whole family involved.

The Wii fit activity log allows you to record the amount of time you have spent exercising outside of the Wii fit, you enter it on the activity log under light, medium, or heavy exercise and have the ability to compare the amount of time spent and the strength over time. Wii fit allows you to track your calorie intake and how many calories you burn in your exercise and how much exercise you have to do to burn off the calories of the food you have eaten.

While nothing can really get rid of having a personal trainer or coach to urge you day in and day out to stay on task or work harder. The Wii fit does a decent job of trying to give you the illusion of your own personal trainer and gives you the option to choose between a male or female avatar for your trainer if you are so inclined to have a preference. If you are using Wii fit at the very least you should get on every morning before work and checking yourself in for the day to keep track of where you are at and the goals you are going for. Even if you don’t want to use Wii fit for it’s personal training functions or it’s tracking, you can play short little fun mini games that require you to move around on the board to burn some calories while having fun and playing with your family.

I’ll talk more about the specific games and training that Wii fit has integrated into it’s game in a later article.
Next article will be however all about Microsofts new motion accessory Kinect and Ubisofts your shape game for the Kinect. 
#2 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -
@CowMuffins:  I've sadly never really been able to play through sandbox games, I always get annoyed or bored while playing. I'm not sure why, but give me so much freedom and I don't end up really wanting to do anything.
#3 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -
@WatanabeKazuma:  These few blogs are just articles i have written for past employers and never got around to anything more than a rough draft phase. Pardon the mess.
#4 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -
@Bellum:  I've been gaming for the better part of my life, none of these are game breaking issues in any way I wouldn't refuse to play a game because of these issues. These are just issues that I tend to find that never really get pointed out, it's small in the grand scheme of things but I secretly wish that someone pays a little attention to it and fixes it.
#5 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -
@LordXavierBritish:  I might have, i'm trying to grab everything from my past employers server so i'm hoping most of these are the finished versions.
#6 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -

  One of the newest and more interesting forays into motion gaming is Microsoft ’s Kinect. Eschewing controller ’s altogether and instead putting your body and movement at the forefront of this new innovative product. Kinect is very similar to Sony ’ s eye toy in that it uses a sophisticated camera system to track your movements and place your body in the game world. Unlike the eye toy however instead of taking the video feed of yourself and your room behind you. Kinect takes your body movement and transfers it to your avatar on screen. So if you jump on screen your avatar will jump as well.

Kinect in and of itself is not a very robust fitness coach or trainer. This can be easily remedied using 3 party software of course. The most substantial software offering for fitness purposes I feel is Ubisofts newest franchise your shape. While not only visually stylish as you can see from the embedded video it is also technically very strong when compared to a Wii offering. Your shape has many different modes and activities that one can pursue using the game such as kickboxing and Tai Chi or Yoga, along with mini games such as target practice.
 
  

 
 
     

 

You'll burn calories while having fun, either with a personal trainer, taking classes or through family-friendly mini games. As you exercise, you'll receive specific feedback on your every move, so you know you're getting the most out of it. That's because your workouts are created for you based on your specific fitness level and the goals you're setting for yourself. And, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved responds to your moves with fun, surprising, interactive visuals that keep you motivated and engaged.

 

 

Your shape, while off hand is the main fitness focused game is not the only way for you or your family to use Kinect to stay in shape. Kinect, is still in and of itself a videogame device and peripheral, because of this games and entertainment is (hopefully will always be) the main focus of the system. As such there are many games that are coming out at launch for the system. Such as Kinect adventures, Kinectimals, Star Wars Kinect, Kinect sports, such software is sure to be unrefined more caused by being launch titles for a new system then being poorly designed. However, they are also sure to be interesting in concept if nothing else along with being enjoyable and burning some calories while you wave your arms around and pretend to hold a light saber. Kinectimals is a very interesting and wildly innovative game; it is very reminiscent of Peter Molyneux game concept of Milo. Milo was a game concept debuted at an earlier E3 and the game is made and centered on interacting with a game character. It was centered around using your voice to affect and interact with the character on screen. While it was never really shown past concept videos and mock interactions on-stage it left a veritable deep impression among gamers and journalists. While still existing in some form or another whether in development still or not focus has since been shifted to make Kinectimals the new showcase game at least in many journalists ’ eyes.  Kinectimals the new showcase game very rightfully so when considering the audience seems to be striving to enamor. A game in which you take care of and interact with an exotic pet such as a tiger is a more interesting pet game compared to Nintendogs. Assuming of course that face biting is not some unknown game element involved. Although, I personally would not be saddened by such a feature and would thus review the game with an automatic 10. The game was debuted to the public at this year ’ s E3 along of course with Kinect itself. As shown in the adorable presentation shown in the video the game requires someone, who may or may not be an adorable little girl, to speak to the pet and give it instructions. You can interact with the animal mock physically but moving your arms and hands. Also, according to the presentation the game will be able to sense whether or not you ’re within the camera view and interacts on that level as well.

  
#7 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -
 

                The problem is that the more photorealistic the graphics get it’s easier to notice what is going wrong. Take as an example stairs; they can look great there is nothing wrong with the models and textures. Well let’s not talk about Alpha Protocol it’s probably not a bad model the textures are just lacking. I would take a screenshot of what I mean, but I’m not going to subject myself to that game again. What I am talking about in terms of stairs is however, the fact that for many games there is only one solid movement animation. Don’t get me wrong I know most games have more than one animation for movement. I’m talking about the fact that they are all made for the player to run on a horizontal axis. There are generally no animations for walking up/down stairs. Even if there is such an animation in the game it doesn’t feel like your character is running / walking up a staircase there is no weight to them, I’ll talk more about weight later though. There are some games that get these animations feeling and looking right, the first game that comes to my mind is Alan Wake. Now call me crazy *please don’t I can’t take the pressure* but you have no idea how much time I spent in Alan Wake just running up and down the stairs and marveling at the animations. Alright, as soon as I wrote that I began to feel crazy let’s forget I ever said such a thing. This animation is a make or break for me in terms of immersing myself in the game. I don’t care how nice the graphics are but if I walk down some stairs and it looks like he/she is floating above it, it reminds me that I am in a game and not inhabiting the character. Alright so the first paragraph was all about stairs, things can only get more interesting from here right? Right?

Alright now it’s time to talk about rock physics and yes I’m serious. If they are going to try and make the game realistic, yet walking along you can move a generously sized chunk of rock just by bumping into it with your feet, there seems to be some kind of gravity problem. Either that or your character must have spent all his time in the gym on his legs, they must be huge. This is a problem for me and I especially noticed how much it bothered me, when I saw gameplay in Crysis 2 where chunks of a building exploded off of the side of it and then bounced harmlessly on the cement or car. Needless to say I cringed at that moment. Lucasarts has created the euphoria system to give everything the ability to realistically react to opposing force glass, wood, and metal are all wonderfully realized put a rock in front of someone and it will stay the exact same rock no breaking apart in the least. Now I understand this is probably not that big of a deal for you in games. As I’ve already said I’m probably just crazy.

Speaking of crazy I want to touch on one topic very lightly because I know it’s a heavier handed topic for another day. The animation of shooting or getting shot is a very tricky thing to pull off when the player character can shoot any body part they want. This becomes a problem because I don’t want to see the same animation when I shoot some in the balls compared to when I shoot them in the face. Yes I know that everyone seems to use ragdoll physics, that’s fine it’s a good physics model but when they die and then float to the ground and land with no weight to them. Not to mention that after they fall they have the same problem that rocks do in the fact that they are essentially weightless. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked across a room after my genocide of people that aren’t me, and had a dead body get caught on me and I panic and just started shooting at it and peeing myself. It was on Dead Space don’t look at me like that. This has become more and more of a problem when everything is looking more realistic.

That’s quite enough of that discussion it was starting to become tedious, well more tedious then I usually am I guess. Now, I want to talk about a characters weight, no I’m not calling anyone fat except for the Volus their fat and everyone should hate them. What I am talking about however is feeling a characters weight in the world. If I’m playing as Master Chief I want to feel like I’m am heavier than the marines running around if they stand on a dead piece of wood I should break down into it. I want to feel the strength that a genetically engineered super soldier has. Show him breaking things just by trying to grab it. As it stands there are few games that really show the weight of the protagonist let alone NPC’s. This is a problem if you want me to feel a connection with a game, let alone the character I inhabit. The best game I can come up with a very weight conscious character is Uncharted 2. The beginning train sequence where you climb up the side or inside of the train gives me a feeling that the character actually inhabits this world. He can’t climb up everything because the object may not be able to hold his weight.

These things are essential *to me at least* to get me immersed into a game, world, character, and story. Don’t get me wrong I still fall in love with games but they tend to be few and far between as of late. It’s the realism in certain games that makes the games great. While, fucking this up can prove disastrous to any game trying to immerse you in its world and characters.

#8 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -

 Making mature games has been a task that this industry of ours seeks to understand with a constant pace.


There have been several games that have been seeking that glory filled valley of mature games, from Custer's Revenge to Heavy Rain. The have tried many ways to make mature games for gamers that are getting older. There is even a rating for mature games and a rating for games aimed at adults. The only problem is that AO games have become synonymous with porn video games, games such as Rapelay. Is the problem with the distinctions between the mature games and the games that get put under the banner of the AO games which invariably get put behind the retailers desk, or more common just refused outright to be sold, or even played on the consoles of the time.

  Custer's Revenge was a porn game nothing really else, the point of the game was to get from one side of the screen to the other side of the screen so that you could rape the Native American woman tied to a post. That was the entire game just do that over and over, not exactly what I would call going forward for the industry. Makes you glad that our industry has matured since that day doesn’t it? If only however we matured more, while the game graphics and structure and story have advanced we are still children trying to figure out how to properly use our industry to say what we want to say.

  Another such game that is trying hard to bust into the area of mature game content is Heavy Rain, a game centered on a story about child kidnapping and what one father will do to try and save his son. The story is a very mature one in an industry almost centered on space marines and nerd wish-fulfillment ala Half-Life. Games that want the player to feel strong and powerful against opponents that they normally wouldn't be able to face, being able to save the world, or the princess, in the process. These are not mature games in the sense that the older gamer generation wants the games to become. These are games that revile in blood, gore, and sex games that want to be taken seriously by other mediums while allowing you to kill hordes upon hordes of enemies in minutes.

  Do not get me wrong, those games are some of my favorite video games, however these are not mature games not in the sense that movies have mature movies. Heavy Rain on the other hand gives a very mature setting and story along with a nice set of consequences for your actions. I believe this is how the medium will become able to really use the term mature game. What really makes these games mature is the story, the sense of vulnerability in your character, and consequences to your actions. Such games do not even need to be constricted to Heavy Rains formula, take Mass Effects game play; it's all about the action when something happens. They want you to move about to shoot when you want to shoot to stop when you want to stop. They want you to inhabit this character and this universe. This is exactly what they are creating for the players, a universe constructed by your decisions and give you the ability to change the galaxy to whatever you want it to be become, or find out that the decisions you chose have more far reaching consequences than what you thought they had when you first decided to kill that Rachni.

 This is what I believe the more mature games will soon steer more towards, consequences and storytelling will soon become more popular and not just in RPG games. Here is hoping that soon mature games won't necessarily mean there are tits and someone's head is getting ripped off.