Saturday, January 06, 2007

The true meaning of Christmas

It's been some time since the last update, I've been taking things nice and easy over Christmas and playing a few games. I'm going back to University tomorrow. There I'll be working, at some point I may find myself free to work on my coursework again. Once the camera works correctly and I'm happy - it's something I'd quite like to make avaliable for download.

Dirge of Cerebus

I completed this game for the Playstation 2 over the break, and I enjoyed it a lot. The reviews seemed to have been on the whole quite harsh, though I'm not sure why. I hated Golden Eye on N64 I really didn't get it, Doom, Quake, Ulitma Underworld where all far far better (in my opinion). I hated aiming with the little N64 thumb stick and it didn't really grip me. Same for Halo, either one, they're just FPS games, same old same old. So it suprised me to find that I really enjoyed this game which is basically an FPS. The graphics are excellent as is the engine they sit upon, very smooth and I felt far more in control that in any previous console FPS games. Usually I hate the control schemes of any 3d game, it's too much for me but this just clicked. Basically you progress through the game being bad ass and sharp shooting the various bad guys that coming running at you.

It's not all good. While the story is the usual semi-coherent nonsense that we all know and love there's a few grammar and spelling mistakes. For instance you can pick up "Poitons" and at some point a character says "I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less" and various other minor irks. I'd like more bad guys that run at me in big waves so I can pick them off with the gun. The cutscene-gameplay ratio is a little heavy on the cutscenes. The AI can be quite stupid and sit there doing nothing. This doesn't bother me too much because I tend to assume I've been super steathly and can now pick them off at my pleasure. Despite these flaws I found the game a great deal of fun.

The Dreamcast

I mentioned to my brother I fancied one of these and on Christmas I got one which was very nice. They where a very cool machine more powerful than the Playstation but somewhat behind the Playstation 2. Recently I've been playing Rez, a panzer dragon like shooter but where all the event's are linked to music and the graphics are quite vector based and surreal.

The other game that I've only briefly had a look at is Shenmue, which seems very interesting. I've always been curious about this game because it seemed to be a little similar to Ultima 7, both of the game worlds where realized in great detail.

Game Development

Just before Christmas I had a mouse controlled character walking over a number of maps. There's still no animation. My modest goal is to have a chest, you can open the chest, get some reward then the game ends. I've got items kind of working, as you can see there's a chest in the screen shot. If you pass the mouse across it, the words "Mysterious Chest" appear next to the mouse cursor. Currently you can walk under the chest, which I intend to fix today.

Despite the goal being quite modest there's a lot that needs doing. I've started a new Gui library because my previous one is a godawful mess. It's the first Gui stuff I'd ever written and it doesn't handle texture resources very well. I only wrote enough code to get labels working.

After that goal is reached, I'll have something a little like a game. Then I'll neaten up the code where required. Then make all the details dependant on scripts. At this point it's ready to take on a lot of the code from my main Einfall project. It's also at a good point to create other tile based games.
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