Heavenly Fun

28 12 2007

So I got my Playstation 3 and have been playing my first PS3 game, Heavenly Sword. I love it. I’m about half way through it and it’s been a really great experience! I was a huge fan of God of War and I feel like Heavenly Sword is a different and very intriguing story, but with similar gameplay mechanics that have been basically fine tuned. And like an awesome new Mario game, I enjoy the mechanics even though it is rather familiar.

And after having a gaming drought, due to being forbidden to buy any new games so that my mom could get me something for Christmas, this game has been such a great breath of fresh, or maybe, just great sweet sweet air! I also got Soul Caliber Legends and Super Mario Galaxy. I haven’t gotten to Super Mario Galaxy yet due to being semi-obsessed with Heavenly Sword. Oh and of course there is also Motorstorm that came with my system.

Oh and one of my sisters gave me two Sims 2 expansion packs! So now I have Seasons and Teen Style Stuff! All I need now is University, I think! I used to have it but then it got kind of misplaced with all the hurricane Katrina stuff! Bleh!

So anyway! Heavenly Sword, so far its great! The boss battles are fun and the fighting styles and techniques are a must-play. I loved the voice acting and felt like it was such a great piece of work that many people should definately enjoy.


Relationships in MMO’s

23 12 2007

Whenever I first thought about relationships in MMO’s in the sense of dating in them, I laughed. But for some people dating in an MMO is a great thing. I’ve heard from a real life friend that a friend of hers has been dating the same guy on an MMO for about three years now. Supposedly they’ve moved their conversations to phone calls too. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I guess if it makes people happy than okay. What I like is the roleplaying relationships. The relationships that are fake and only meant to enhance the story of the characters. Now that is pretty cool. You can have this whole epic story going on with your characters that doesn’t affect your real life in any way.

Some people get married in MMO’s. Again, I originally didn’t get this! But upon further research, I learned quite a bit. While some people do actually get married in games like World of Warcraft and live out their characters’ lives as a married couple, there are some to do very different things. There are some real life couples who, while they are getting married in real life, have laptop set up on the alter and have their MMO characters getting married at the same time. Then there is the whole roleplaying aspects alone. Some people get their characters married to other characters (in no way are they actually in a real relationship) just to boost the guild/clan’s morale and have some fun and add to the story.

So how do I feel about people trying to have real relationships through MMO’s?

I really don’t know. I know that I wouldn’t ever do it, because it’s not really something I’m comfortable with.

What about fake relationships for the sake of storytelling?

Now those are cool! I like that idea of that even though the developers have set up this world and quests and such, players can customize it in a way by creating their own stories.

Slow Season Personally

23 12 2007

So I’ve been in a sort of gaming drought lately. And its all Christmas’ fault! I have been forbidden to buy any games since like November! So, I’ve been playing free games online. And man, have I learned a lot! I played the game Passage. And I feel like my life has been changed. Seriously, it made me realize what makes games an emotional experience. Its humanity and mortality. Something we’ve all experienced being brought to life in a game can affect so many people and help them to relate to how the character they are playing is feeling. *** SPOILERS FOR PASSAGE AHEAD! *** While playing Passage, I got soooo sad when the wife died. And wait a second? When did it say that she was my character’s wife? And when did he become MY character? See? These are things that point to a good experience in a game – or a human experience in a game. When the main character becomes you or yours. When you almost make up these backstories or ideas of what each character feels for the other without realizing it. Making those social human connections from the images of the two characters walking together, made me have this idea that they must married. And maybe it was also due to when she died at the end. I felt this sadness. It was like someone threw a very tiny dust particle at the part of me who remembers when my grandfather died, ya know? It was to the same extent, but it was that feeling of loss. I remember I saw the grave pop up and I actually, without thinking, made my character walk to the grave and stand there for a while by it. Almost paying respect to it. And there was a part of me that wanted her to come back to life. This was a similar experience I had to Final Fantasy VII and yes, to Call of Duty 4. These human experiences are so touching. While most are about loss, I would love to see someone tackle a different human response. I know loss is a logical one to go to because EVERYONE has gone through it. So maybe my mainstream gaming drought hasn’t been all bad.

What I’ve learned so far…

23 12 2007

I’ve learned that non-digital games are a huge deal. How huge, you ask? Enormous! Anyway, they have taught me that….they are important to anyone learning how to make a digital game. When I first thought about learning how to make a full 3d game, I considered learning programming and Maya and things of that caliber. When the idea that you could learn about game design from board games made me think, “Oh…uhhh sure.” But I didn’t really think I would learn too much about making a digital game from it. As I came up with the idea of the game, I realized that I wanted interactivity. I wanted something that took some skill and competition. I wanted alliances and betrayals! As we came up with the mechanics of the board game, I started to see it. I could see exactly what I was supposed to learn. The idea was that I was learning how to make something fun, how the process of making any game goes about, and what non-gamers enjoy. I learned about casual games and mass appeal. I learned more about bringing people into games without intimidating them, as I often felt with such things as D&D. I had no clue that it was possible to learn so much about digital games through creating a nondigital game! It was the best experience for someone like me, who is only beginning to learn Maya and programming.

Speaking of D&D…

17 12 2007

I have NEVER played a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I love the idea of making up characters. In high school, my best friend and I would make up these characters and draw them out with their full names and likes and dislike, etc. We ended up making this huge family tree and two years of comics! Haha! It was sooo much fun! And so I’d love to join in a game of D&D. It just seems impossible to find someone who will deal with a newb! That’s why I kind of like my game idea, just because I want to let people who have no experience in D&D, have similar fun. Like in my first board game project, I like as much interactive and player control as possible. I think having such opportunities for creativity and imagination are what’s needed in an action adventure rpg.

Board Game Status

17 12 2007

So I’ve been brainstorming ideas for a board game project, just for the fun of it. And today, I was thinking about Uncharted. I’ve never okayed it due to lack of a PS3, but I was just thinking about how you have to collection pieces of clues to get to the main objective – same in pretty much every game. And I realized that I want this mechanic in a board game. But I want it to be fresh everytime you play it. Like a D&D adventure, but with every piece and info premade. So now that I have that mechanic in my head, I want to fool around with it for a few days and see what comes out of it.

Recent Women in Games Industry Interviews

15 12 2007

This is an interview by Me. The interviewee is….me.

Elle (Interviewer)

Me (Interviewee)

Elle: So what got you into game design?

Me: Well I’ve always been more artistic and imaginative as a kid. And I loved cartoons. I thought for sure I’d be an animator. There was a sort period in the second grade when I wanted to be a game designer, but at the time I didn’t think that was even possible. I figured it was like some sort of far away unheard of club that you needed to be born into. (laughs). So from there, I got my first PS2 and DVD! I think it was “The Mummy” and I saw a making-of feaurette. I immediately fell in love with the idea of making movies!  I would take our family camera and write up these stories or scripts and make my friends and sisters act it out in front of the camera. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever done. When I was starting high school, I went to a month long program called the New York Film Academy and got my first taste of FILM, not just movies, but film. And I got to work for the first time with a Mac and awesome programs like Final Cut. It was like going to a foreign country. I did 5 week program and then another month one and then went to a film school for half of my day and regular school during the other half. When it came time to apply for colleges, I had no idea what to do. I just never really thought about it. It was during my senior year that I realized that I didn’t want to spend the next 4 years re-learning how to film. It just didn’t seem to make sense. Someone told me about SCAD, so I looked it up and looked at their majors. That’s when I saw Game Development.

Elle: And you fell in love again?

Me: yeah! It was like a moment of realization where I  thought, “Oh my god! I can get in the club!!!” (laughs)

Elle: Have you ever felt like you haven’t been taken seriously amongst your male peers?

Me: Are you kidding me? No way! I’ve always been taught by my mother that I can do whatever I want and no one can stand in the way of my dreams. Seriously! So when it came time to work with boys I just didn’t even flinch. And I think they never saw me as anything less than an equal and knew that I could take care of myself. I never felt like I had to prove myself. And if there’s a girl out there that feels like that, well stop it! You’re gonna hurt yourself! Just go out there and do what you gotta do.

Elle: What do you think about people who are annoyed by these recent interviews by MTV on women in the industry?

Me: Its ridiculous to be annoyed. They are acting like these interviews are women complaining and whining about how hard life is, but in fact they are the exact opposite. And I’m happy that they are doing so many interviews for women. I know that it helps me out. Its just that be a filmmaker it would so nice to find female filmmakers just because you could relate more to them. I’m still a huge Steven Spielberg wanna-be, but I love Sophia Coppola’s work as well and its not just because she’s a woman. I think the guys need to lay off on their whining about there being these interviews! Just shut up! Sometimes girls that are aspiring and working towards being in the game industry love to learn about other female designers because it makes up feel more like “Yeah! Wow! I really can do it!” more than if we just saw a man. Just like guys would better relate to men, girls would better relate to women. So let us have our interview and eat it too….wait…uhh…you know what I mean. Just stop being so defensive, read the interviews, and realize that they are positive toward your gender!

Elle: Do you think its hard for women to get into this industry and be taken seriously?

Me: No way! I think that right now there really isn’t a struggle for women to get into the industry. I mean, it was probably different in some places a few years ago, but as of now, I don’t see there being any big problems. The only thing that I think really gets to me is the Spike TV’s VGAs. If they are going to have naked women, then they better have naked men. I felt like there was nothing on that show that was directed toward me – a woman. But that’s not the industry. That’s TV.

(this is possibly to be continued at another time….)