Ice Cube Dev Blog #2 - 40 Ounce

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Ice Cube Dev Blog #2 - 40 Ounces


Week 2!! Alright, so I got a lot of good feedback on last weeks small "demo", and I've made some changes that I think you'll all like, but I'm going to wait until I have some additional stuff implemented before I release another "playable" demo. What I do have to show you is my first draft of the game's preload screen, logo, and title. Check it out:

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I think it mostly speaks for itself. As the content loads, the amount of malt liquor in the bottle decreases. There's also the title which I honestly didn't put all that much thought into, but I think the logo turned out pretty good. What do you guys think?

Also, just a quick note, there won't be an entry next week as I'm going to be busy moving into a new apartment and performing my civic responsibility of jury duty.

The Ice Cube Game Dev Blog #1 - Gangsta Walk

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Ice Cube Dev Blog #1 - Gangsta Walk


The journey begins! This is the first entry in what will be a continuing blog cataloging the creation of a game based on gangsta rap all-star Ice Cube. The current plan is for these things to be published on a weekly basis to keep you guys up to date on my progress. More importantly though, this is where you are all going to hopefully provide valuable feedback and input that will help make this game as good as possible. Please, don't pull any punches. If you see something you don't like, call me out on it. If there's something you would like to see in the game, feel free to voice your opinion.

With regards to what I've been working this week...unfortunately it isn't too much. I've been fairly busy this week finishing up my first semester of grad school, and taking care of all the final exams and such. I know it's not really a great way to start off this blog, but I hope you guys will understand that in spite of this project being very important to me, there are other things that have to come before it.

One thing I would like to do this week, is tell you about the tools I'll be working with on this project. So here are some screenshots of me at work on my PC:

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Essentially, the first draft of all of the art assets are being put together in Adobe Photoshop CS4. Graphics Gale is being used for testing out and refining the animations and making up the animated GIFs that I've shown so far. Then Adobe Flash CS3 is where the game itself is going to be undergoing construction. I'll be honest with all of you that while my programming experience in general is fairly extensive, that I'm a bit of an ActionScript newb, so there is certainly going to be some learning involved on that front. I think my extensive experience with other languages though should allow me to pick up on it pretty quickly though.

As far as what progress on the game itself I've made in the past week: I've come up with a bit of a first draft of walk and run animations (that you can see as animated GIFs in the list below) and a small little demo wherein the only thing you can do is use the arrow keys to walk around. As I've come to realize, the walking/running animation are one of the most essential animations in a game, but they are also one of the most difficult for an art/animation/spriting novice such as myself to get right.

Here are animated GIFs of all of Ice Cube's main animations up to this point:
Idle, Walk, Run, Punch

And here is a little demo for you guys to try out. Before anyone says anything, I realize that the number on his shirt doesn't look right when he turns to the left...that's pretty easy for me to fix, but not really the point of this demo.

Use the arrow keys to walk around:


Well...I started working on that Ice Cube game you wanted...

Not much to say beyond that. Old school side scrolling brawler (main influences are River City Ransom, Mighty Final Fight) starring Ice Cube. It will most likely be done in Flash since that will probably make it available to the broadest audience.

The plot is pretty much this: The game starts in Compton in 1991. Ice Cube is just chilling at his place when Eazy-E busts in and tells him some bustas are rolling on their turf. Then comes the basic tutorial level. Ice Cube rolls on some dudes and at the end of the level Dr. Dre (his PhD is in quantum physics) shows up in a time machine from the year 2010. He tells Ice Cube that in 2010, Ice Cube is a punk bitch that does family films. <Insert Late Title Card>. Having none of that, Ice Cube goes through time to the present and kills himself only to discover that the 2010 Ice Cube is actually a cyborg. Ice Cube and Dre investigate and eventually discover that a league of evil rappers kidnapped Ice Cube in 2000 and replaced him with a cyborg as part of plan to take over the world. Cube and Dre face off against the members of the evil rapper league one by one until they've all been defeated. The End.

EDIT: Expect weekly dev blogs from here on out...most likely posted on Sundays or Mondays. I really want to keep the GB community involved in the process of making this game and get as much of your feedback, suggestions, and input along the way. Also, I just want to say that I'm incredibly flattered from all of the positive interest that you guys have expressed so far, and I'm going to try my damnedest to make this project a success.

I've only just started on the game, so I don't have much to show yet, just a couple of sprites:

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Street Fighter: The Later Years

With the recent release of Street Fighter IV and that Chun-Li abomination, I'm surprised more people aren't talking about the classic, "Street Fighter: The Later Years". That series was pure gold. In comparison to the JCVD headlining film and the more recent big screen adaptation of the classic gaming series, "SF:TLY" has better writing, better acting, and most importantly, it has an element of nostalgia and respect for the source material that neither of the feature films seem to have. All of the characters appear to be of the proper nationality and all of the back story references seem to be accurate.

The "meta" aspects are also something that I think really makes this series great. The idea that the Street Fighter games were based on real people and that they went on to lead boring normal lives is an incredible concept.

So that you don't forget it again, I've included all the videos here for you guys to refresh your memories of this great series.


Wii don't need no education, Wii don't need no PS3

How can anyone argue with the numbers? Wii is selling like mad and yet...I don't care. That's right. After 20 years of following Nintendo wherever they led me, I no longer care about Nintendo, but it would seem as though Nintendo doesn't really need me. With the N64 and Gamecube, the life-long gamers and fanboys were the only thing that really kept Nintendo afloat in the console realm. Now though, Nintendo has almost entirely migrated into a new market for gaming, the casual/non-gamer gamers. I can honestly say that I never expected that Nintendo's attempt to appeal to non-gamers would be so successful that they wouldn't even concern themselves any longer with the old core gamers...but I guess I was wrong. So long Nintendo, have fun with your new friends. I gladly await the day that you come crawling back to me after all those people realize that Wii Music and Carnival Games are rubbish.

Now it's your turn Sony...what the hell happened? Why are 360's selling at double the rate of PS3's? I'm sure you're probably asking yourselves the same questions. The PS2 was one of the most successful consoles of all time with one of the best game libraries of all time, and so the PS3 should have been a slam dunk followup. That's not quite the way it's turned out though is it? So what happened that took you from first place in the console race to last place? Perhaps that Blu-Ray drive wasn't as essential as you thought and the bump in price by including it certainly didn't help either. It turns out that most people aren't really interested in paying $500-600 for a console that doesn't have much to offer over one a few hundred dollars cheaper that's already been out for a year and built up a decent library of exclusive titles. Maybe you should blame the Japanese developers like Square-Enix for dragging their feet and not smoothly transitioning to next-gen or blame developers like Capcom and Rockstar for not keeping titles exclusive to your console. What about your first/second party developers? Why am I still waiting for God of War 3? Why have I not even seen a glimpse of what team Ico is up to? Where are Jak and his ottsel sidekick? How long did you expect PS2 gamers to wait for you to get your act together and start releasing AAA first-party exclusives? I guess it was also a bit of surprise for you to find out that a consistent and structured online experience actually is important. Sure, you're light years ahead of Nintendo's friend codes, but PSN still pales in comparison to XBox Live.


To PS3 or not to PS3...that is the question!

I'm torn. I don't know whether or not I should just stick with the 360 as my only console or if I should purchase a PS3 to go along with it.

I was quite into PS2 back in the day, and as such I really want to buy and love a PS3 but Sony is making it very difficult for me to do that. Meanwhile you have Microsoft, who in my opinion is on a major roll and has made a lot of wise decisions with this generation of consoles (aside from the whole red ring debacle that has impacted me quite a bit). Sony just hasn't really put together anything that can really compare to the solid and consistent online experience of Live or the addictive and enticing achievements system. If you judge the PS3 just on its on merits though there are some compelling things there. Sony is doing a lot of very interesting things in terms of downloadable games on PSN and the Blu-Ray movie support is a real bonus.

When you get down to it though, the most important component of any console is the game library. With the 360, I've been extremely pleased and almost never without something interesting to play. This includes plenty of exclusives such as Mass Effect, Gears of War, and Fable II. Along with that though you have a huge library of third party multi-platform titles, many of which perform and look better on the 360. The PS3 library has some high points, but overall just seems thinner than the 360's. When you consider how overwhelming large and great the PS2 library was it's hard to even believe that the PS3 could have gotten itself into its current situation. Japanese developers such as Square-Enix and Konami that had a major hand in making the PS2 a success just haven't made a very smooth transition to this generation of consoles. In addition, a lot of big PS2 first party titles have still yet to make an appearance on the console. God of War, Jak and Daxter, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus...where are they? These are the sorts of games that could drive people like me that were fans of the PS2 to make the leap, and considering the tremendous number of PS2 owners there are out there, it's hard to believe that Sony isn't doing more to appeal to them by bringing back those familiar franchises. I don't want to be entirely down on Sony though...I wouldn't be considering purchasing a PS3 at all if there weren't exclusives that I wanted to play. Ratchet and Clank, MGS4, Uncharted, and Valkyria Chronicles (the game that resparked my interest in PS3) are all tremendous game that I would love to play. The question is do they justify the $400 price tag?

So, what do you guys think? If you have a PS3, are you happy with it? If you don't have a PS3, what's holding you back from making the purchase? I'm just curious about what everyone's take on the situation is.


Braid is this year's Portal

I feel like my reaction to this game is really similar to my reaction to Portal last year. They're both innovative and masterfully crafted, and both deliver a complete and satisfying experience. They may be short, but it's games like this that really stick with you and effect you. Five or ten years from now, games like Gears of War and Call of Duty 4, while great, will probably start to blur into the gaming landscape that's dense with top notch shooters, but unique titles like Braid and Portal will continue to stand out.


It's an XBLA weekend!

I haven't really gotten all that far in Braid yet, so that's definitely on tap. I'm sure I'll also be putting some more time into Geometry Wars 2.

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