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Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Second LifeBy Michele McMillan

I could never understand how SecondLife worked, or what made it interesting; but what really appealed to me was the virtual economy – how a pixelated avatar could generate revenue in the real world and intrigue many of us and marketing and technology professionals everywhere take notice. It just didn’t hold me. RPGs have always been my favorites because I’m more into losing myself in an experience, but I have yet to find one online to join. Being a developer, I am always looking at code and thinking of things to write, and lately I have been wondering about a more graphically intensive online virtual economy…but what? Does the future of the virtual MMORPG economy rest solely in user accounts and weapons? Is there something more we are missing? Can the fantasy become the primary life? I believe as we approach the possibilities of wildest science fiction dreams, we need to first, come up with them. We need to imagine the possibilities for the usage of the latest technologies. What if every home had a danger room? What enemies would you fight? Where would you go on the holodeck? Currently, we have tons of awesome, fast-paced, action packed games, but where does one go to relax?







The Future of Video Games

Posted by Keith Webster

Candy CrushBy Keith A. Webster Jr.

Who knew that video games would make it this far in modern society. With the linkage of online play for the Xbox and PS4, there seems to be no end to gameplay for mass audiences. Let’s be honest, the diehard fans of video games will always be there in the present. But what about the video games of the future? How will developers continue to reach gamers and capture their interest in gameplay? I will give a short glimpse of what video games could look like and how they will affect the nature of game design as well as experience within society.
First, there is the mobile game revolution, in which games are being played on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. With the overabundance of apps being created, this model of gameplay will surely be the next big influential style of game choice. Some games that can be found on the smartphone are Candy Crush and Clash of Titans just to name a few. Smartphones have increased in sales over the past ten years, up to $50 billion in 2015. If this continues to unfold in the U.S., then there is no end to whether the smartphone industry will sink in dependency. Mobile app games will find a home in smartphones, creating the new age personality and attracting gamers within a wide range of Millennial age groups (mostly 12-30+).
Second, there will be an increase of virtual reality gameplay with the use of motion sensors and goggles. This type of style can be found on the Xbox console (Kinect), but its style is questionable in the mainstream market. Some of the virtual reality games developers that come to mind are Oculus Rift and Virtual Omni. These two industries will become more popular if the pricing of the games and virtual reality accessories can be situated.
Third, there is the visual graphics of the video game, which makes the game more realistic. The graphics hardware these days have made the gaming industry more prevalent with gamers. However, the visual components of the game are affected by the way it is modeled, animated, and scripted. In other words, the environments of sleek game design are being challenged by game physics, lighting, and human attributes (hair and facial movement). It won’t take long for game developers to match these changes appealing to gamers, and innovative for future games.
How will you become an advocate gamer will depend on your style whether its sports, adventure, or action. Games will never die down, and will never replace its devoted fans.


 About the Author

Keith WebsterKeith Webster earned a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Tampa in 2014. He has also studied to become an Instructional Designer as a graduate student as well as a professional in the workplace. Webster has completed multiple projects involving the use of instructional strategies that are involved in the learning process of academic learning in higher education and non-profit organizations.
Currently, he is involved in the creation of an online web game with a group of game developers, and has high hopes of obtaining overall knowledge of the gaming industry and its components, including script writing, game design using 2D and 3D animation, logo branding, and other important tools for game development.

Seven Wonders By Darwin Geronimo
My love for games extends not only to digital games but tabletop games as well. Companies such as Sony and Microsoft spend millions of dollars developing and designing controllers comfortable to the player’s hands but no video game can replicate the feel of rolling dice in your hands or shuffling a deck of cards or moving pieces on a game board. I look forward to every new tabletop game I receive as much as any video game.
My love for tabletop games arose right around the time I became interested in designing games. I bought my first and still my favorite tabletop game about two years ago after I played it at a convention. The game is called 7 Wonders and to this day, I still consider it the most well-designed tabletop game I have ever played. Thematically, you are the ruler of a civilization based around one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and your goal is to create the greatest civilization in the world. Throughout the course of the game, you build structures that enhance one of your civilizations traits such as military might or available technologies. The beauty of the game lies in its draft mechanic. Each player chooses a structure to build from a hand of cards and then gives whatever cards they do not build to another player while also receiving a new hand of cards from a different player and the process is repeated. The most interesting part about this mechanic is that all players perform this step at the same time. Therefore, rather than the game lasting as long as the sum of all player’s turns like in a typical turn-based game, it is only as long as the sum of the slowest turns amongst up to seven people making for a rather fast-paced strategy game.
What truly interests me about 7 Wonders and tabletop games in general is the communication of the rules of the game. Tabletop games do have many of the same liberties as video games do. A video games programming will often restrict players from breaking the rules of the game, though kudos to speedrunners for finding holes amongst the rules of the game. The thing enforcing the rules of a tabletop game is each player’s understanding of the rules outlined in the rule book. Designing a rule book is one of the most crucial parts of creating a tabletop game. All your mechanics from your game are derived from the rule book. If a player fails to understand what is written in the rules, then they are not playing the game you had intended them to play. It is an excellent exercise for beginning designers to create a tabletop game and to effectively communicate the rules of said game. That is why as an aspiring designer, I will hold tabletop games in the same regard as video games.


About the Author

Darwin Geronimo
Darwin Geronimo is a 21-year-old senior from California State University East working toward his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. His specialties include scripting, game physics, data analysis, and critical problem-solving. He hopes to one day break into the industry designing systems and mechanics.

HatredBy Brian Massey

After the release of Hatred, a lot of people were angry about the whole game; In fact, the game was removed from Steam Greenlight but was brought back a few months later. With a goal to kill as many people as possible, the game started people wondering “what kind of game am I playing?” It started a lot of controversy – shouting about real life events that are similar to this game – and describing it as a serial killer simulator. After looking at the game I can certainly agree with that analysis.
At first I saw it as some arcade style shooting game playing some bad guy. But the more I saw of the gameplay, I found a lot of disturbing things about Hatred. And I can understand why some people compare it to actual incidents that are similar to Hatred, which offend them. So now the question is, when it comes to video games should there be a limit in regards to Moral and Ethical terms?
I agree that there need to be a limit as to what the designer does. Sometimes the designer can get his research wrong which can be insulting to a group depending on a past or recent event which led to a lazy design in game development. Extra Credits went over this topic a few times on several games whether made by a famous publisher or just a few designers.
The sad part about this is that some people who design such horrible games don’t care how everyone reacts to it or who it offends. There have been Top Ten about these kinds of games all over the internet with even more disturbing ones out there. I even took part in a class talking about some of them and describing how loathsome they are.
It’s the job of the developers, designers, and programmers to stop and think about what they put in their games otherwise there will be conflict with a lot of people that will be offended with what kind of game is put out there. Now, I’m aware that not every game is perfect; even though other games people are familiar with also got a bad recognition like GTA and Payday. However, in those games you don’t have to kill people at random, and in Payday the game takes away points if you will, from a random citizen.
But there are times when a game company or a few designers do it because they think it’s a good idea; but a lot of times it isn’t and there will be consequences. I know that there are better games with smart developers that avoid ways to make a game raise controversial questions.


About the Author

Brian MasseyBrian Massey has been studying game design for 4 years now. He is 21 Years Old. He earned the Deans Honors List last semester. He has learned game design aspects such as 3D Modeling and Special Effects. He went to Japan to Form Software in a study aboard program to learn more about the company. He hopes to not only be a part of a large game design company but also that one of his game ideas be created and shown in the real world.

Leisure Suit LarryBy Michele McMillan

One of the big things we have been talking about is film video game crossovers. At first we considered films about games, but then someone mentioned Leisure Suit Larry, seemingly out of the blue. Back in the 90s there were playable video game demos of RPGs that came on CD, inside of a magazine. That is how at 11 or so years old I discovered Leisure Suit Larry, a little sleazy/lonely man trying to meet women. There was always a side adventure, he was in a casino, college campus, or, (and this one I later owned) trying to make it in the entertainment industry. Now, older, not only do I know that guy exists, but I loved Annie Hall. Unlike role playing industry satires such as Guitar Hero, this was a game to teach you to schmooze. I played a few years ago, with the assistance of a smartphone to pass the age verification questions. It was still fun, although an annoying compatibility mode aspect. It left me wondering where I’d seen more “gentleman,” training in a game. And I immediately thought of the ballroom dancing in Sid Mier’s Pirates. What Industry RPGs can you think of that focused on the politics of the entertainment industry?