Archive for February, 2011

Limbo and Space Alert

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Minor update from the last couple of days here at Vallekilde Academy. We had Rilla Khaled from ITU over and talk about serious games and the benefits, flaws and pitfalls you might encounter as a game designer. A serious game is a game which aim at solving a specific and concrete problem outside the proper game world, it aims at highlighting, advertising or otherwise teach us about the issue at hand with an agenda. Furthermore a serious game will often find itself sacrificing fun and the entertaining parts of the game to emphasize the agenda – an example could be an unbeatable game, like Gloom, which strains the point the developers are trying to get at. Gloom is a game you can’t win, the demons you are trying to kill keeps coming at a higher and higher pace to a point you can’t keep up with. Added with the tremor of a Parkison’s Disease you end up playing it only a few times – but that’s enough to get the picture of what a person, suffering from this terrible disease, struggles with in his everyday life. Once you’ve lost you get a link to an indepth article explaining the disease, to put it all in perspective. It works, unfortunately the game doesn’t ‘capture’ or keep you within the game’s world for long and that is perhaps it’s downfall – if I was sort of stuck in this state for longer I think the effect of the parkinson would sink in better than a five second rush before I lose. Well, that’s just me.

Later this week we’ve been looking at boardgames like Space Alert – see the link for Thomas Vigild’s full review of that game. It’s a fast paced, real-time based multiplayer game where you have to work together to overcome the enemies which the game throws at you. It stands out from other boardgames because its focus is solely on the teamwork of the players and the fact you have to listen to a CD which spouts out all the enemy movements. Great fun and I hope we get the time and chance to dwell further into it – it has some potential I think.

Next up is Limbo from PlayDead Studios. Check out the link and the video – get a feel of that vibe! This game is a jewel and even though it’s not in colors it’s candy for your eyes. It has this poetic touch that make every step you take crucial and possibly fatal. Makes one think about cause and effect and freewill. I didn’t get a chance to see the game through nor try it myself but I was there watching the other guys play and even as a spectator this game drags you into its dark and gloomy universe. Made me think of Dante’s Divine Comedy;

1 “MIDWAY upon the journey of our life
2 I found myself within a forest dark,
3 For the straightforward pathway had been lost”

I’ll end the post for now as I got some dinner cooking my way soon. Next up I’ll try and write some of the game-developing thoughts we’ve discussed in our groups here on the Academy. TTFN folks!

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Future of Vallekilde Game Academy:

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

So, first ‘proper’ day at Vallekilde has begun – we’ve been introduced, greeted and gone through some overall gaming experience of one another. All interresting so far and from what I can tell we all come from a broad background and have different experiences. We’ve done some 1-man interviews with our academy-leaders and all agreed to each get a blog up and running. What you are seeing here is my contribution.

My expectations are fairly high and I can’t wait till we meet some heavy-weighters in this business, such as IO Interactive and Limbo developers. We’ll see which way the wind blows in this business and hopefully it’ll be easy to sort out the dead fish floating downstream and the living ones swimming upstream. Anyways that’s me out for a fag for now. TTFN!

abit about me gaming experience;

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

So I just got my first blog done and up and running. Still lots of polishing to be done but lets get down to basics first and why we are here, games of course!

My game career started back as a small kid, can’t have been much older than 6-7 years old, when my father brought home an old DOS computer on which I was rocking away with games such as Carnage (1993),Carnage

Lemmings (1991),

Prince of Persia (1990),

Syndicate (1993)

and the old Simcity (1989).

All bringing a different aspect to my first gaming experiences at a young age. Especially Carnage and Syndicate strikes me when thinking back.

Later on I got my own PC, lost time and date which says more than it leaves out, where games such as Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (1999) jumps to my mind.

Moving ahead to more contemporary games I developed a taste for games with a strong story to tell; few examples such as Mass Effect, Max Payne 1&2 – I actually enjoyed the second edition more due to such a strong story with some awesome poetic lines in the graphic novel. Another example is of course the popular Monkey Island series – I actually didn’t get my first-hands on this series untill the fourth edition, Escape from Monkey Island. Lovely game, awesome setup, theme, story and of course hilliarous sense of humour – if you haven’t tried any of these old LucasArt pearls (Telltale developing the newest ones) I’d definitely recommend you picking one of these old classics up – fairly cheap too I might add 8,99€ each and 13,99€ for both. The first and second game have both been republished in a special edition. The last game I want to mention is also the game that I have spent the most hours, days and months getting buried into – Operation Flashpoint. Not a hugely famous game developed by, back then, small-czechslovakian Bohemia Interactive Studios. The game in itself didn’t strike me as anything mindblowing – not to mention a so-and-so singleplayer campaign but the amount of fanbased modding that toke place the following years of the release was astounding. The fanbase’s modding and BIS own will of giving the fans so many different tools for modding made the game grow rapidly. The gameplay was considered fairly hardcore back then since most death the first time you jump into this game will come from 500-1000 yards away. Rough but also realistic and you quickly learn to crawl and move from cover to cover. Operation Flashpoint was released in 2001 and has later been followed up by games such as Armed Assault 1&2 and most of the fanbase followed from Operation Flashpoint to the newer Armed Assault series.

I’ll end the post here and come back with some of my thoughts, hopes and expectations of this academy.