Blog 641: An Unbroken Frame

It was a cover version that first got me into music. I mean, I had some passing interest in some songs before, but it was Erasure’s cover of Solsbury Hill that turned on the taps. I remember I was playing Unreal Tournament mod Operation: Na Pali when I first heard it.

Marsheaux have always been good at doing cover versions. Some, like their idea of timeless synthstrumental Popcorn, might be obvious because they’re famous tunes, but others from off the beaten track you wouldn’t even know were covers without somebody telling you, because they all nestle so well amongst their original work.

So when they said they were going to cover an entire album for their next project, what was I to think? Especially when they made the so very… interesting choice of Depeche Mode’s difficult second album, A Broken Frame.

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Blog 640: A World of 1D Arrays

It’s amazing what you can do with only global state and one-dimensional arrays, when you really put your mind to it. What was supposed to be a quick fart in the general direction of a Warcraft project has grown into something quite incredible.

Well, incredible on the technical side. The game itself is no more or no less than a streamlined version of my standard WC3 RPG formula. You may or may not want this.

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Blog 639: Original Sin

Ahh, the darling of Kickstarter. I didn’t back Divinity: Original Sin, because while I’ve enjoyed many previous Divinity titles I’m also extremely risk-averse and scared of new approaches to life.

I mean, what if they made a game I didn’t like? Or worse: what if it would have been my input that made it bad? Artists, I think, are best left to their own devices, and as a consumer I feel better making an informed purchase (or not) of a finished work. Crowd-funding might be an excellent way to gather cash up-front for things that seem too risky to a giant publisher (even though there is actually a huge audience hiding under the quilt), but I’m not sure that crowds are entirely trustworthy in some other matters.

Either way, the game got funded and got made without my intervention. Did the crowd impart its wisdom or did Larian make a belter despite its howling? Does the presence or absence of crowd intervention even matter?

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Blog 638: Continuing to Make Sense of Cellular Automata

When it comes to modding, I have to admit to a masochistic streak. I could use the 3rd party pre-processor to get structs and pseudo-object-orientated syntax that would make this a whole heap easier, but no, I’ve got to use the bare metal to feel alive.

So, that procedurally generated Warcraft III side project I’ve been fiddling with during lunch hour is a whole barrel of laughs. This episode’s consternation surrounds creature spawning.

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Blog 636: Saints Row IV

Saints Row IV is a Mass Effect parody that wants to be a Sonic game. Pretensions to being an open-world crime simulator are finally revealed to be just that — pretensions. There are many games packed in here and very few of them care to make much use of the game’s supposedly core mechanics.

Luckily, all of those different games are pretty well done and the parody is hilarious. Does that make it right? Let’s talk about it.

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Blog 635: So’s Your (Inter)face

I deliberately left off doing any UI work at all in my game, because when I first fired up Unity the UI system was on the cusp of being replaced. Well, with the advent of Unity 5 (well, the tail end of 4) that replacement has arrived — so maybe it’s time I put some thought into health bars and stuff so you can actually, you know, keep track of your own status?

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