Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wait Im Dead? Journal 1

Wait Im Dead is the game that me and my team are currently working on in CSG Production. It is a 2D platformer about a skeleton who seeks to avenge his own death.

 I am a programmer on the project one of the things that I have been working on recently was programming the melee combat. The way that Ive been implementing the combat is that i create a hit box on one side of the skeleton and then upon hitting the melee button if an enemy is in the hit box they are killed or they take damage. I made it this way because  if i just did a check to see if an enemy is at a certain point and if there was some sort of bug i would be able to see if the hit box is making contact with somhting or not. The below picture shows the skeletons hit box and the attack hit boxes. For right now there are two attack boxes because we are still working on getting the player to turn.
Together they form together to create a penis looking hitbox.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Thoughts on Free to Play

In recent years the free to play business model has amassed popularity between devs and players. Popular to players because it is a free game, Developers like it because it opens your game up to a larger audience so that you can hit the smaller audience that you are trying to sell in game items to. In theory this seems like an ingenious concept however I worry about the kinds of experiences both players have. I worry that the players who dont like to spend any money are turned off by the unfairness of being able to buy overpowered items that are never available to you unless you pay. I worry that players that like  to pay for items simply buy all the cool weapons and armor and then the game is too easy for them and they lose interest. As a player that doesnt like to spend money on these sort of things I typically will play a free to play game for a couple of days before i quit and never pick it up again. Games like this that ive played include Vindictus and Microvolts. I enjoyed these games for the two days i played them but i quit because i knew that there was no  way i could be as cool as somebody who had spent loads of money. There are a few exceptions to this. One game that i enjoy once in a while is called Realm of the Mad God. it is a MMO bullet hell shooter with a fantasy theme. I like this game because you dont need to spend loads of money to build your character when it is fun and addiction just to level up. the option to buy weapons and armor are not even available. Instead you can buy encounters with high level bosses that will gain you lots of xp and some rare loot. you are not garunteed the loot though and it is not garunteed what the loot will be. I like this model because although it is technically unfair the player must still work and have fun defeating the boss to get the awesome loot. I think in order to create a successful free to play game, you have to essentially design two different games. one game that is fun for the player that isnt paying, and a game that is fun for the player that is paying. I also think that if players knew that they would be playing for a long. the will be more likely to invest in micro transactions.
these have been my thoughts on free to play.
Jon out.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why DRMs are BS.

If you want to read about my personal experience with stupid DRMs see my Freaking Spore. blog post. Digital Rights Management has been in the spotlight recently because of EA and their DRM system for Sim City 4. This system is used to confirm that the game was purchased legitimately. The save system also depends on the servers because it is entirely cloud based. In order to play Sim City 4 you need to connect to the EA servers. this is immediately a turn off for me because sometimes I dont have access to the internet and like to be able to play them without internet access. It is also inconvevient that you can only save using the cloud system. I prefer to have local saves because i hate the idea that my saves are being managed by somone else. On top of that when the game was released the game had server problems out the shizzle wizzle resulting in crashes and saves being wiped. These are all examples of why DRMs are not going to be popular in the future because they make the game to inconvenient to play. I know that because of this system i am probaly never going to buy Sim city 4. I think that preventing privacy is a matter of making the product or service better than the free illegal alternative. I dont pirate those games for that exact reason.

Jon out.

Freaking Spore.

Digital rights management is BS. Before I delve into why DRM doesnt work and only encourages pirating. Im going to tell you the tale of my experience with the EA  game Spore. When I was around 13 years old I received the game Spore for christmas. I was really excited to play it. The idea of being able to create your own microscopic creature and evolve it to a galactic superpower was an awesome concept. I recieved the galactic edition(essentially the special edition) which included an art book and a behind the scenes dvd.
I looked through the little white book as the game installed on my computer. Before the game installed i was prompted to type in the key code located on the back of the instruction manual  This was the first time i had seen a game with this system. I typed in the code unbeknownst to me that five years later that prompt would be the bane of my existence. In 2013 I found my game of spore in my basement and decided to pop the disc into my laptop to relive the nostalgia of my younger years. Just like before I recieved the prompt to enter the security code. I looked through the cool white  galactic edition box to discover that i no longer had the code. I turned my whole basement upside down looking for the manual. I tried using keygens to no avail. I wanted to avoid downloading a cracked copy since the install alone had taken 2 hours. In a state of rage I drove to walmart and purchased a new copy of the game for 20 dollars . I used the code from that game to unlock my installed game. I played for 2 hours. Anger had sullied any hopes i had of feeling nostalgia. It just blew my mind that i couldnt use somthing that i had owned for years because i didnt have some stupid code that supposedly prevents piracy. Looking online i could see that that other people have had this problem and that the DRM does not work. In fact spore is actually the most pirated game ever made because the DRM is so flawed. From then on I swore a hiatus from EA games until further notice.

Jon out.