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Let’s Talk About: Absolute Drift (Actually talk about it)

Absolute Drift - Intro

So yes, I kind of talked about Absolute Drift yesterday, but not really to any analytic sense. I really only touched on the game’s philosophy and stylings. The aesthetic likeness to Japanese Sumi-e art and building up an artistic confidence that experience plus loss of self-doubt can only bring. (Post here)

This is more to focus on what the game does and doesn’t do well.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: Absolute Drift (Actually talk about it)”

Let’s Talk About: (Zen and the art of) Absolute Drift

sumi-e 2

Have you ever seen a Sumi-e painting before? There’s a distinct elegance to looking at a Sumi-e painting because of its minimalism. The use of a single color (black). The confidence in their brushstroke that this line is exactly how I want to look or even the ability to adjust when the stroke came out wrong. Being able to visualize the mystic beauty of the world with only greyed silhouettes. Able to use the void of the whitespace to your advantage, to give more meaning to the color on the page, instead of requiring color to fill all of the canvas.

sumi-e 1

This is probably why I picked up Absolute Drift in the first place.

Absolute Drift - Intro

 

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Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – Who is this Written For, Third Graders!?

Gaming Scripts series:

Language and Aggressions 

Language and Aggression over time 

Word Usage and Aggression

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

A game from the 30,000 foot view, with its intricate battle mechanics, handcrafted scenery, and illustrative storytelling leaves an impression with the player.

Over the past few days, we’ve looked closer and closer at the storytelling portion, the words and transcriptions that are used and the impression that it leaves on the game.

We’ve only previously looked the words that have been said but not about how difficult it was to hear.

42 - Easy Ready - Flesch Grade - Sentiment

So this is how a game’s script reads. At least looking at the Flesch Kincaid Grade scale, it says that even the more difficult of scripts can be read by a 6th grader; 3rd and 4th graders can manage with the majority of the script as well.

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Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – By the Word We the Intent

Gaming Scripts series:

Language and Aggressions

Language and Aggression over time

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

Recap from first post :

Looking at a game and its script as a whole, it’s easy to get an understanding of what kind of game it will be. Having violence in a game is one thing, but having the characters in the game be in distress about it are two different things. You play the game and it stresses you. You don’t necessarily become immersed to the characters but the tension does rub off on you.

12- Game Script - Lang use over time, only NonNeutral minus 10k a-g 13 - Game Script - Lang use over time, only NonNeutral minus 10k h-u

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – By the Word We the Intent”

Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Aggression over time. A long time.

Gaming Scripts series:

1 – Language and Agressions

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

Touching back on what we found out in the previous post was that games, in general, use aggressive language considerably. Granted this is from a small sample size of AAA titles, but are titles that permeate through the gaming community. Required reiterating in-case there are new readers to this post who hasn’t read the last one, yet. (Cough, cough.)

But the last post looked at a game as the sum of its parts and not the parts that made up that sum.

6 - Game Script - Lang use over time a-g 7 - Game Script - Lang use over time h-u

And there’s a reason for that. The parts of a game’s script are a bit messy, jumbly and noisy. The above is the running average of the sentiment, the polarity of aggression where negative (red) denotes more aggressive language and positive (green) denotes more friendly language. But these graphs for the most part are bit too noisy to make sense of them aside from the general feeling that a game is. Comparing say the Call of Duty games, where there’s very little green up top but a whole lot of red underneath, makes it easy to assume that its language is more aggressive in nature than say Portal 2 where the opposite is true with its green hair and ginger public area.

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Aggression over time. A long time.”

Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Language and Harsh Undertones

We play a game and absorb a lot of created by the developers. Gorgeous tropic landscapes; the honks, footsteps and clatter of an urban environment; the dialectic change for stepping into 1950s New York in the Bronx. The developers and artists and writers put a lot of time sculpting and crafting their environment and it leaves an impression on you. When you put down Assassin’s Creed 2, aside from the killing, freerunning, building scaling that you do, you also absorb a bit of 15th century Italy. The architecture becomes recognizable, the attire becomes familiar and you learn many of the ins and outs of getting around the city. This very much thanks to the developing teams request to keeping the game period perfect and because of that, a part of the game seeps into us and we learn from it and grow from it.

For this short iteration of Gaming on Data, I got a bit curious about the scripts behind the game, the writing for the game because gaming is just as much a visual distraction as it is a conceptual one. Much of the writing that a player comes out of the characters that interact within it, so that’s what I focused on.

For this, I scraped the internet for a few scripts for somewhat current AAA titles are prolific in that they cause a large impression on the gaming community. But finding these scripts is not easy, so I managed to only get the following:

Scripts Scraped:

  • Bioshock
  • Bioshock 2
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Call of Duty – Black Ops
  • Call of Duty – Black Ops 2
  • Call of Duty – Ghosts
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3
  • Curse of Monkey Island
  • Grand Theft Auto 4
  • Half Life
  • Half Life 2
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2 (Incomplete)
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Portal
  • Portal 2
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Secret of Monkey Island
  • Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Uncharted
  • Uncharted 2
  • Uncharted 3

1Number of Unique Words in Gaming Script

The above is a graph showing the number of unique words within each game and something obvious jumps out: RPGs and Open World games have a lot of text. Not even by a small margin, like a significant margin.

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Language and Harsh Undertones”

Thoughts on: Rockman 3 Burst Chasers (The opposite of speed is frustration)

Watching SGDQ 2015 over the past week helped to prove two things to me. The first is that regardless of the game, watching someone who has devoted their time into mastering anything is mesmerizing regardless if the game was Tetris: Grandmaster, Mario: Lost Levels, or Super Noah’s Ark 3D. The second that should be apparent is that playing a game quickly is hard. To have small (1/60 – 5/60 per second) frame windows to inputs, mastering complex rhythm sensitive button combinations, and knowing how to react to during long sessions of concentration is something to admire. But some games can be made to be played faster, like the video below:

 

Rockman 4: Burst Chasers is a rom hack of Rockman 3 played at a high gameloop and that speed makes all the difference in terms of difficulty with the game. Think of strapping a blaster to Sonic and throwing him into the Megaman world.

The game was intended to be played at the pace and speed of Megaman, fast enough to get and understanding of the world and decent enough time to react to it. Throw Sonic into this world and it becomes a chaotic mess. The only thing that a player can do is to try and take it slow, like Megaman would, until you develop the reaction enough and are comfortable enough with RockSonic to run through the world at the speed that RockSonic was intended to run at, or memorize the game world to know when to do what action.

Continue reading “Thoughts on: Rockman 3 Burst Chasers (The opposite of speed is frustration)”

Let’s Talk About: Her Story

 

A dim lit room. A lone computer screen in the middle of that room radiating all of the noticeable light around you. Like a moth, you’re drawn to the light. You take a seat in front of the monitor where a single application is running with the text “MURDER” in the text box. Looks like a crappy search engine from a college homework assignment, you think to yourself. You click the Search button anyways. Querying Database and a green sense of progress fills up the bar. A few videos with a brunette appear. She’s been there for more than one day, as her clothes aren’t the same across the videos. It looks like she’s being interrogated. Without warning, without forced motivation, without someone whispering text in front of you face, you sit there watching each video, trying to figure out what this murder is about.

HerStory-Intro

Her Story is probably one of the better story-driven games I’ve played in a while, not because it breaks ground in storytelling but because it leaves the player in complete control of how they unravel the story.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About: Her Story”

EVO 2015 – The Importance of Commentary

Evolution Championship Series (Evo) 2015 just completed this past weekend; a packed Las Vegas ballroom, thousands of contestants across Twelve official games competing to see who’s skillset, in-game knowledge and ability to adapt, and commentators to bring as much insight into the event for the audience as possible. While the event is primarily geared towards the fighting game community, Evo has become a global event where competitors come from around the world, audience fly in from all over to witness the sodium intake and hundreds of thousands more spectator via twitch, YouTube and dozens other restreams.

EVO

Continue reading “EVO 2015 – The Importance of Commentary”

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