Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2010 VGA Picks

The list of nominations for this year’s Spike Video Game Awards was released today. After going through the list, it really reminds me of how much of a great year in gaming its been. While there are some obscure nominations (Danica Patrick as Herself in Blur for "Best Performance by Human Female”), generally all the nominations I agree with. So while these might not become actually winners, they are who I would choose.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sometimes I wish I was a Console Gamer

I love being a PC gamer. The number of reasons why PC gaming is superb is more than just a handful, as opposed to what console gamers might suggest. Mouse and keyboard support is the most precise control on any system. The ability to switch DPI on the fly for sniping is invaluable. An analog stick on a controller just doesn’t match. High resolutions and true HD gaming are a standard for the PC. While consoles of this generation are just now approaching 1080p, resolutions of 1280x1024 and higher have been a staple of PC gaming since the early 2000s. The fact that resolutions range as high as 2560x1440 nowadays shows how far ahead PC gaming is in terms of computing power and graphics. The modding community is a strong sub-culture in PC gaming. Fans of many games have taken their existing architecture and used them to create new maps, weapons, items, or entire new games. Counter-Strike originally started as a mod for Half-Life, and it grew into a full fledge title. The number of mods that can be found for Unreal, Quake, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, StarCraft, Fallout, and many more games show that while the shelf-life of a title is finite, the modding community can extend it’s prevalence to near infinite.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Best Parts

So after pouring over the 72-page transcript of yesterday’s Supreme Court case of Schwarzenegger v. EMA, a couple of things surprised me. As much as I’ve feared what could be a worst-possible-situation, the Justices seemed to hover on the side of reason and common sense rather than protectionism. The Justices also seemed to be much more familiar with the games industry and the games within than the California lawyers were. Over the course of the hour proceedings, it showed that some of the briefs filed by organizations, such as the ECA, did have a favorable effect for the case. I wanted to highlight a couple of quotes that I think standout and sum up the oral arguments. These are direct quotes taken from the case transcript which can be found here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Firefall Trailer Shows the Future of Free-to-Play

A new trailer was released earlier today for the upcoming free-to-play game Firefall, which was first revealed during PAX 2010 back in September. Developed by Red 5 Studios (awesome name for a development house), the game is a combination MMO persistence with FPS features. Red 5 Studios was founded by Mark Kern, former World of Warcraft team lead back in 2005. While not much is known about gameplay, Red 5 has said that the game will feature, “large, open-world cooperative campaign that can be shared with hundreds of other players as well as a competitive multiplayer component that incorporates things like ladders, tournaments, clans and leagues.” The art style is similar to that of the hit game Borderlands, using a mixture of cell-shading and stylized art to create a feeling one might find in comic books. While the free-to-play in past has been overrun with second-rate games, the trend has shown that AAA titles can use the same business model, and Firefall is just another example of this.Firefall will be available for PC sometime during the fourth quarter of 2011.