Thursday, October 28, 2010

Impressions: Fable III

I've managed to tear myself away from my Xbox 360 long enough to write an Impressions piece about Fable III. I want to say that it's everything I've hoped for from the Fable franchise, but, though it's a very polished, refined game, it doesn't completely hit the spot. It might just be the nature of games like this; developers make us feel connected to these fantastic worlds, but it always falls short of reality and so falls short of expectations. Like in Fable II, you work jobs by playing mini-games to earn money and you slay baddies to gain renown. All it does though is leave you wanting more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Journal of a Survivor: Day 2

It's easy now to see why the people who would survive a zombie apocalypse (or actually, any viral epidemic) would be the sociopaths. I'm not accusing anybody playing HvZ here of sociopathy; the only person I'm pointing to is myself.

My hours during the day in between classes is dominated perpetually by paranoia. Behind every corner is a possible zed waiting to nom me. Every person I see in the distance is a possible threat to my very existence. Even the guys and girls I go zed-hunting with could be turned and possibly come after me. To echo a gigantic, upcoming film: "Trust no one."

It's getting hard to keep track of what's been going on. Campus has been a whirlwind of undead and human activity. The following is my record of what's happened starting from 9 AM Oct. 19 to 1:30 PM Oct. 20. I hope I'll be able post again later tonight for Day 3.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Journal of a Survivor: Day 1

Humans vs. Zombies has started down here at Ohio University. It's a game of dart tag that spans the entire week, where "human" players have to survive for as long as they can against an ever-growing horde of "zombies." Every human who is infected (his bandanna on his arm is grabbed), then he joins the zombie horde.

This is my account of the zombie apocalypse, the journal of a survivor. I'll keep recording every day for as long as I am uninfected. If I fall, then the zombie version of me will record a zombified record. I'm just that smart.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Valve Bringing Dota 2 to Steam

Personally, I was never much of a fan of DotA (Defense of the Ancients), a popular mod for Warcraft III where up to five players per team takes control of a unique hero to help an NPC army conquer the opposing forces. It was a fun game the few times I played it, I'll admit, but it also had a steep learning curve and a pretty noob-hostile community. However, I feel like this is pretty significant enough news to be worth mentioning here on my blog.

IceFrog, the mysterious, nameless person charged with maintaining and updating the current DotA-Allstars was hired by Valve in 2009 to work on Dota 2. The sequel is alleged to be pretty much the same game with new technology. The fanboys probably won't complain about that.

All of the same heroes, skills, and items will carry over. However, the game will run on the Source Engine so it will surely look a lot nicer. Voice chat will be integrated through Steam. The art style will retain the quirkiness granted to it by the Warcraft III engine. Dota 2 will be released alongside upgrades to Steam which will allow Valve to integrate in-game achievements, much like Blizzard's new

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sauron Looks to the North

Snowblind Studios, famous for the acclaimed Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath, is developing an action RPG called The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy.

Set in the northern reaches of Middle-earth, the game will cover events not shown in the movies or the books. This gives Snowblind the power to exercise their creative freedom, though hopefully not at the expense of violating the nerd-sanctity of Tolkien's work.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guild Wars 2 Rewards Revealed, Remaining Professions Hinted

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, dear readers. It's because classes have been so - Aw, who am I kidding? I haven't been able to blog in a while because ArenaNet launched a secret attack of awesome on the Guild Wars community, not because of the college workload.

Yes, ArenaNet has finally opened the gates of secrecy regarding how the Hall of Monuments will transfer your Guild Wars characters' achievements to the sequel. From the site, you can enter any of your characters' names and it will calculate your account-wide achievements and what rewards you have netted.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Infection Spreads: Zombie MMO Headed to Consoles

Keep your Zombie Survival Guides handy. The infection is spreading to a console near you. No, it's not Left 4 Dead 3. It's not downloadable content for your favorite game. It's a standalone, massively multiplayer online zombie game, or as the boys at Undead Labs call it, an MMOZ.

Undead Labs is a Seattle-based developer whose sole objective is "to create the definitive massively multiplayer zombie game(MMOZ) for console gamers." The studio was formed in 2009 by Jeff Strain, an MMO industry veteran, who has previously worked on groundbreaking projects like StarCraft, DiabloWorld of Warcraft, and Guild Wars. He is joined by industry talent such as James Phinney and Doug Williams, who both have previously worked with Strain at ArenaNet. What binds these guys together is their passion for gaming and, especially, zombies.

There's no doubt that crafting an MMO experience for the console is an ambitious and difficult job. Numerous talented studios have tried it in the past and failed. The team at Undead Labs has addressed this. On their blog, Strain emphasizes that their MMOZ project will not simply be a port of a PC game; it will be designed specifically for the consoles and play to their strengths.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Guild Wars 2 Team Covers Their Loot System, Hints at Crafting

ArenaNet's John Hargrove posted on the official ArenaNet blog, discussing the as-of-yet mysterious reward system. He addresses the four principles the Guild Wars 2 team kept in mind while designing the looting mechanics:
  1. "Everybody gets a swing at the proverbial pinata"
  2. "Rewards should be worth obtaining"
  3. "Players should look the way they want to look"
  4. "Players should be able to look truly unique"
  5. "Upgrading your gear should be fun"