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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.

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

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”

SGDQ 2015 Highlights

Summer Games Done Quick 2015 has wrapped up this morning. The event raised around 1.25 million during the week long charity stream where around 125 games and 140 players donated their time and expertise to give the gaming community an entertaining 24/7 display of gripping moments, glitched games and great commentary.

Background

For the uninitiated, the point of the Games Done Quick community is to beat a game as quickly as possible. For any given game, there is a pocketed community that devotes hours in finding the fastest path, developing the best execution and discovers the newest time savers. Completing a game can mean many things to many people. The categories are typically:

  • Any % (Complete the game with any percent of the game completed)
  • 100% (Complete the game with everything collected)
  • Glitchless (Complete the game without unintended exploits)
  • Race (Compete against other players to beat the game as quickly as possible) – used more for games with heavy randomness throughout the game.

To view the official world records for many games, you can check them out at http://speeddemosarchive.com/

This is probably enough background to understand the majority of speedrun videos and enough to understand the highlights for SGDQ2015.

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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.

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A Look Back – Call of Duty – Modern Warfares

I just spent the past two weeks going through all of the Modern Warfare games in preparations for another project that I’m working on it was a struggle. The games aren’t particularly long, consisting of maybe 4 – 6 hours for the campaign, nor were the games particularly difficult, since I set it to novice difficulty just to get through the main plot points of the game. The struggle was stepping back into technology that was still infantile when comparing AAA development from a decade ago to today’s technology. The contrast to how Call of Duty creates a voice for itself through Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare franchise from its first inception to its last makes it hard to piece the games as a trilogy, in everything but name and characters. It makes it hard to go home to your roots.

Hot potatoes get dropped, butter fingers
Hot potatoes get dropped, butter fingers

The problem with calling it a trilogy is that there is normally some coherence between the games. Either a coherence in story, people, setting, tone; but as you play through the games, the story is consistent, albeit sparsely given; the people generally there; the setting somewhat there; but the tone is all over the place.

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Thoughts On: New AAA Gaming Debuts, Promises and Expectations

New IPs (Intellectual Properties) come and go in any media. Movies have their John Carter of Mars and Vampire Academy. TV has their unpopular spinoffs like The Lone Gunman , Trust Me, and Rubicon. They try to capitalize on a franchise or build up a new one, they are either over-ambitious and  over-optimistic to the point where they just can’t live up to what they were trying to bring to the audience, or they are overly simplified and uncreative, bringing nothing new to the table and not creating enough substance to keep an audience entertained long enough to last even a half season.

Games aren’t any different than more traditional entertainment. There’s a build up of all of this news and press about how the game looks great and plays well but once it’s time for the game to be released, all of that buzz evaporates into a white noise of simply going unnoticed over the wash of other games that get released or older games that people go back to. Although, some games do tend to keep up with the perpetual hype distortion field that it generates for itself and they continue to at least pump out something every so often to the combined purchase power of a few million or so fans.

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Liebster Thing-of-a-bob.

WHY!!! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME ERI!! GAHHH.

Herc_is_Disappointed

Well… Thanks for the nom, Eri.

  • If you were to be an expert in a singular subject (anything not just regular school stuffz) what would that be

It’s answering this kind of questioning that might make others think that I have an ego about myself, which I try constantly to never have come across. Probably because I never liked it when people boast about themselves just so they let others know how they view themselves and it doesn’t add to the conversation except for them to start a conversation about themselves.

But that’s still a digression from the actual question. I don’t know which subject I’d actually pick because I while I do have knowledge in many subjects, I never like to call myself an expert because there’s always something new to learn, something new that others know more than you, and many more in the field that are yet to be discovered so being an expert in a subject is rarely long-lived.

Continue reading “Liebster Thing-of-a-bob.”

Let’s Talk About: Grow Home

There is no competition, there is no worry, there is only your task at hand, to Climb and the Grow.

GoneHome_Climbing

Samu, the Zen practice of physical work, through doing, being present and in the moment, leading to an enlightened Zen state. Grow Home embodies this perfectly. Grow Home is the latest in Experimental Games from Ubisoft following Child of Light, and has you with the only real goal of growing a giant plant by plugging its seeds into the floating rocks with glowing Zelda beacons by climbing up the plant and riding the seed to implantation.

GrowHome_Seedling

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