Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Dark Souls #3

The continuing adventures of Jarvis in Dark Souls - this time we take on the taurus demon. I love this game! This is my first LP of it and if you have somehow never seen the game before, I hope this persuades you to try it!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

GTAV: 12 Days of Christmas

A short christmassy video from the world of Grand Theft Auto 5. Unfortunately it was made before the christmas update! Oh well! Enjoy!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Transference Devlog #3

There's no new art this week, instead I have been researching lots into the setting and what the planet would be like in the future, and here are a few thoughts.

The game is set far into the unknown future, long after the technology and footprint of mankind ended around the year 4000. So I need to think about the art design, and how the future technology will allow for some interesting puzzle design. The change in technology over the last 50 years proves that sometimes all you need for an crazy idea to sell, is a good marketing campaign. I want to use this to my advantage when designing some assets in the story, in order to produce a memorable and quirky vision of the future.

Some of my inspiration comes from work such as Luc Besson's Fifth Element. The clothes, technology and the way society is portrayed is like a comic book and the attention to detail is awesome. The cigarettes for example look like they are 80% filter, 20% tobacco, and I'm intrigued to discover the backstory on why that is. Not that there has to be; sometimes it's good to get an understanding of the science behind something (or potential changes in the future), and then twist the facts into something else for the purpose of style. This is how I will be approaching my design, for example: if housing was in high demand over a small area of land, how would this be accomplished? Could an apartment block be built with multiple basement levels, the lower you get, the cheaper it is? Or could a city be multi layered, with cheaper slums on the bottom and the rich on the surface? Could the housing district be a big cube grid of 'pods' with slides (yes slides) to get down to the surface. I'm thinking playground slides rather than Futurama tubes (but I will definitely be re-watching a lot of that for inspiration too).

As well as how the tech will look, I will also need to imagine how nature and the elements would have changed in the year 4000 and how humanity had to alter their way of life and adapt. Plus in the distant future how would nature have retaken the planet after humanity has disappeared. I've found a few interesting theories and I may make use of all of them. For example, a new ice age could have resulted in the freezing of the oceans. What would be the consequences on humanity have been if they were still alive when this happened, and what other dramatic changes in the weather could be present. The population growth of the planet increased dramatically in the last century but it has begun to slow down; what would the population have been like in the year 4000 based on the planet possibly becoming a more volatile place. Would society be more diverse and tolerant, or would we have reached the peak of utopia and begun to spiral downhill into an archaic class system as resources became scarce. Would religion as we know it have a place in the future or would those ideals have been extinguished?

Class, religion and gender will all be themes in Transference, as well as nature, technology and artificial intelligence. I'm not attempting to predict the future accurately, but I do want to visualise the potential outcome of the human race, in a quirky and engaging way. I have already made a lot of decisions about this future planet but I would love to hear some ideas from you guys. Hopefully my story will intrigue you. This will most likely be the last devlog of the year as I am quite busy this christmas, but I should have a christmas post next week about the future of my website and youtube and possible patreon plans. Thanks for reading, and check out the link below! -oP


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Transference Devlog #2

I've added a few more elements to this mock-up and have already decided that it definitely won't feature in the final game. I've been analysing the world the story is set in and made some design decisions to add depth. The filing cabinet of paper for example has no place in this future! Trees were in short supply (at least before nature re-took the planet). Random elements of the story may be released during these devlogs but not enough to ruin it and hopefully enough to keep your interest.

Anyway, here is the same scene with more content, plus an example of the mouse cursor highlighting an object. Yes mouse cursor! I think I will plan ahead and aim to release this on desktop as well as iOS.

As Christmas is approaching, updates for this will slow down but I'm aiming to have something to show you next week and maybe the week after. Thanks for reading! -oP

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Transference Devlog #1

Reintroducing: Transference

So I briefly mentioned this game months and months ago, but I decided to put it on hold because I hadn't finalised the story plus I needed to focus on getting my first game Dungeon Burglars out the door (download HERE for FREE). My original idea involved platform game mechanics and a gimmicky 'energy transference' system which enabled you to control other objects. This was all supposed to result in a metroid-vania style game with puzzles and slightly weighty in story (but not too overkill on narrative).

Things change! I decided to go back to my original story and pick it apart, add other elements and flesh out the themes and narrative. I now have a draft outline of the new story, plenty of ideas for scenarios, content and dialogue. The most drastic, yet important change is that now the game is a point and click adventure! I realised that the imagery in my head had always appeared as an adventure game, and as the narrative definitely has some weight to it this time, I felt that this would be a more appropriate way to present the story. 

The art design is based on isometric pixel art: simple and retro, but with careful attention to detail in order to give weight to the atmosphere and maintain an engaging experience. Instead of my usual process of making a working prototype with placeholder graphics, I am making an entire prototype scene (not necessarily as it will appear in the final game) which will demonstrate exactly how I want it to play and look. Here's a screenshot which is in no way finished, but should give you an idea of the style I'm going for. I'm not revealing anything about the story yet except that you play as an robot/android (and no it's not Machinarium fan fiction, but I do want to create a similar sense of whimsy in my own style!). There are some overgrown roots of a plant coming through the window, a strange computer featuring a holographic screen with a sound wave displayed on it and the robot/android player.

I should also mention that I am making this for iOS, however if it was popular I would consider releasing it on android as I would only need to pay for the appropriate license. I was considering starting a Patreon based on the development of this game, for my writing and youtube but what are your thoughts? Those of you who already pledge to other Patreons, what makes you decide to do it? What kind of goals convince you to pledge, or does that even matter as long as content is being produced? 

All the art is subject to change, and comments and criticism is welcome. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy following the progress of Transference! Please spread the word! -oP

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Indies Vs PewdiePie Game Jam

EDIT: So I didn't manage to get this done and bug free, but I liked the concept and so at some point I will return to it. I was inspired by the likes of 100(1) Spikes and Spelunky, and I need to make the controls a lot more responsive for it to play like that. So one day Indica shall return!

Indica: Lair of the Manticore

You play as Ctesias, a scholar, physician and explorer of the stars who crash lands on an uncharted planet: Indica As your ship falls into the atmosphere and deep into a crevice, you lose all your research documents! Now you must find your way to the surface and recover your work as you go!

Gameplay involves basic platforming with a wall jump ability. You have a gun, but the main aim is to avoid the dangers of the caves. I've gone for a simple pixel art style (of course), but it differs from my usual stuff!

Coming soon/at some point/when I get round to it. -oP

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

First Impressions: Courier of the Crypts

Courier of the Crypts is currently indiego-go-ing and unlike a vast majority of crowd-funding campaigns out there, it has a playable demo. Here's a few of my impressions from my short time trapped within the crypts.

It's a 2D dungeon-puzzler, which for me invoked memories of my time playing HammerWatch, however the simple mechanic of looking after a magical torch makes the experience less of a mindless run, shoot and loot. The lingering threat of death should the fuel for your torch run out, keeps you moving with haste, albeit cautiously as scary spiders hide in the shadows. You can extinguish your torch at will to conserve fuel, but the spiders will come for you. You won't be able to hack and slash your way through this dungeon, as being a courier means that you haven't exactly been slaying monsters all your life in preparation. You can throw rocks and fire-bombs as you collect them, but for the most part it's best to avoid enemies and conserve ammo.

The well presented lighting effects play an important accompanying element to the main gameplay mechanic, and the level in the demo seems carefully designed rather than procedural. Each tile placement seems precise and deliberate, a feature that some games with generated dungeons lack. Care has gone to add levels of detail that frankly the developer could have gotten away without doing. In the opening area, the crumbling ceiling and dust effects combined with the simple, atmospheric soundtrack brings the eerie crypts to life, and the animated gravedigger, shovelling away in a brief cutscene, makes you appreciate the world a little bit more.

There is a brief example of a puzzle-based boss-fight, which requires timing your movement to avoid fireballs, spike traps plus avoiding a spider. Despite the simplicity of this, I can foresee bosses becoming progressively more interesting, requiring brain-power rather than spamming the attack button.

So would I recommend CotC based on the demo? I would because I want to see what the rest of these 'hand-crafted' levels can offer. It's time to take a break from running down algorithmically generated corridors, and do some thoughtful, well paced puzzle solving. If you want to find out more check out the indiegogo campaign. -oP

Courier of the Crypts Website
Indiegogo Campaign

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Silver Revisited #10 - Evil Eye Bears

Part 10 of my LP of Silver. Today I make some burglars pay, and I meet with an old friend. Oh and we end some wildlife.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Dungeon Burglars wins an award!

I'm proud to say that my game has won the award for Game of the Month October 2014 on Game Salad's website. I'm very happy that my first ever project has had such a great response from the community and I can't wait to get my next stuff out there. I'm taking part in some game jams at the minute, and intend to polish off and release the games I submit (even the ones I don't quite finish during the allotted time). Thanks for the support from you guys, I appreciate it! Keep playing and reading my stuff! The announcement and interview with me can be viewed at the link below. -oP


Monday, 20 October 2014

Why Do We Buy Old Games?

This is a 300 word article I wrote as an application to Rock Paper Shotgun. -oP
So you’ve just just built an epic gaming rig, you prepare to crank up those settings to ‘ultra’; you imagine the difference will be similar to Anakin Skywalker’s sensation of going from 0 to 588mph in his podracer. Shaking, you attempt to grip your £200 gaming mouse without accidentally pressing one of several (hundred) buttons; then you stare into the face-enveloping abyss of your quad-monitor setup. You click on Steam and… What? Baldur’s Gate is 50% off? Um.. ADD TO CART!

As a lover of old games which don’t like working on newer machines, I am guilty of doing this. Unfortunately I haven’t really got the time for digital deja vu; you know, with life ’n stuff. The truth is: if it wasn’t for digital download services acting as facilitators of our pixelated hoarding addiction, then we probably wouldn’t be revisiting old games.

These services have been a boon to the indie ‘scene’ (if anyone is still calling it that), as it’s now easier than ever to get your game out to the masses. Although, this isn't necessarily a good thing - as a quick perusal of Steam Greenlight will tell you. We love pixels, hell we love pixels so much we’re now starting to hate pixels (and the word ‘crafting'), so perhaps this torrent of modern, yet low-res 2D stylisation is a catalyst for our nostalgia.

There’s also very little risk in buying a game that we already know we’ll like, whereas investing in early access is probably, at it’s core, the biggest risk for us as the consumer. So for now I think I’ll close down Steam, finish browsing Kickstarter and dust off my copy of Theme Hospital; cranked up to ultra, naturally.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Dungeon Burglars: Complete!

Dungeon Burglars is my first complete game for iOS. It's FREE to download here. An update is already in review and I will continue to update it if any bugs raise their ugly heads. As I said this is my first game and I don't deem it perfect in any way! However I am proud of my achievement, as I have been trying to finish projects since I was a kid and have struggled to maintain focus. I have already made lots of progress into my second project which is another simple concept, but there is a lot less work 'under the hood' than there is in Dungeon Burglars. So this game will be in development for a considerably shorter period. I have learnt a fair amount from a design perspective, and about what game mechanics work and what don't.

Any feedback is welcome and I will take it all on board. I won't be altering the build in response to suggestions as I want to move on and upwards, but if you discover any bugs then let me know and I will do my best to fix them. Again this game is FREE so please give it a go! Also thanks goes to my brother for his bit of testing. -oP

Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Bit of Minor Self-Indulgence

I've been fairly quiet of late on the old bloggerooni, youtoobs and the tweeters due to my life going through some changes. I'm not only morphing into apparently an illiterate moron (refer to the first sentence for evidence), but I'm also moving house and attempting to switch careers whilst also closing the physical distance between myself and the missus. Along with it being festival season (which is work for me) I've unfortunately had plenty of excuses for not keeping up with my videos, pixel art, blogging and whatever other drivel I insist on forcing upon you; I have made massive leaps with my mobile game Dungeon Burglars however. I'm currently testing it on the latest and last generation of iPhones, and I'm hoping after a few minor tweaks it will be ready for the masses. It will be free to play, with no micro-transactions and (hopefully) will be worth the download for the odd 5 minutes of play on the commute to work. There will be unobtrusive banner ads during select points of the game, which will not affect gameplay whatsoever (hey, I gotta at least try to break even and make my money back after paying the necessary development fees).

There's no real reason for this post except for giving people who are vaguely interested some 'behind-the-scenes', "oh my god what a scoop" related gossip. I'm not often this self-indulgent so forgive me for it! Work wise, I have been looking for something within the games industry since my decision to switch career last october. I am not a coder, and have no qualifications for design and development in this industry; I will refrain from quoting Liam Neesom - no need to tell you all about my special set of skills. In my spare time I have attempted to keep this blog going, working on my pixel art, start a mobile game (and actually have pretty much finished the bugger) and write multiple CV and cover letters convincing potential employers that my degree in media production and my work as an event production manager and sound engineer can somehow become relevant enough to warrant an interview. It's been tough.

I have always enjoyed writing and video games, and so combining the two makes perfect sense to me. This has spurred me to try writing different styles of article, from retrospective and current gaming culture, to critical analysis of crappy Kickstarter projects. I've not done as much as a lot of people, but I'd like to focus more time into it when I've sorted out moving house, and finding a job. I've applied for QA and testing jobs, associate producer at entry level, reporter, PR and marketing internships and even a design internship in Hamburg of all places. As I said, it's been tough. I'm not giving up, but I do need actual options. I also really don't want to leave London behind!

This has gotten a bit too personal; I'm writing everything my brain is telling me to without really thinking about it at this point! This unnecessary blog post is basically my reasoning behind briefly stopping video uploads and other things. In terms of video, I have experimented with a couple things including a weekly news video and more recently a group 'let's play' of a god-awful game in a similar vein to some of my favourite YouTubers: Retsupurae. I quite like the format so I may do some more. I have to work out a method of splitting hangouts audio and the game audio next time, as the game was pretty loud in places. That video is here.

Finally thoughts are, I really want to work in this industry and I won't stop until that happens. Until then, I will do everything I can to make up for my lack of relevant education and experience! Anyway, that's probably enough. There will be a post soon announcing Dungeon Burglars' release. I'm excited for it! My first ever completed game, I hope you guys will enjoy it - even for a few minutes! Thanks for taking the time to read this. - oP

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sh*tStarter: Poorly Presented Concepts & Begging

I was going to write about a promising Kickstarter project this morning, but instead I found my eyes glazed over, dumfounded by the sheer quantity of blatant begging and naivety. I'm not saying I'm a cynic; I'm a fan of the crowd funding model, and I feel that most projects I look at are sincere and transparent. It's just that there's a level of preparation required in order to present a captivating project with high production values, capable of drawing in potential backers. It's a business pitch, but without the stress of dressing in a suit, sweating on the way to a conference room, and looking an investor in the eyes and asking for his/her money with a lump in your throat. So as a Kickstartererer, you have an advantage over the IRL marketers and businessy peoples, in which case there's no real excuse for a half-arsed pitch.

This isn't a new thing, Kickstarter has had numerous crap filling it's pages for a long time, both accidental and deliberate. The potato salad pitch for example, requesting backer support in order to make: potato salad, has had copycats with even more ludicrous 'investment opportunities' cropping up. Let's keep things game related though; I'm going to reference a few projects that I have problems with, and in most cases my criticisms will be mainly constructive... well, I hope.

Kingdom of Oberon by Trini-V Games

First up we have this 'dark' MMO, offering a unique multiplayer experience, as this statement clearly proves.
Now, what, you may ask, sets us apart from the multitudes of other MMOs on the market today, such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Everquest? First of all, our world will be split into multiple islands, allowing separate and drastically differing areas to explore, while still keeping them connected. 
It helps when pitching you game, to have someone well-versed in the design philosophy, development schedule, financial details oh and of course the lore. In this case, we have one of these boxes ticked... sort of. It doesn't help when your entire video is 15 minutes long and is presented by someone who isn't a part of your company. No offence to the 'guest speaker' but I would have requested from him some form of scripting, editing and possibly some production values? Investors want to feel safe and comfortable when funding a project, and a bit of fancy editing and well spoken commentary assists with giving us a little faith. I appreciate that you have learnt the backstory of the game, but I'd much rather see some gameplay than take your word for it. How about screenshots, no? Concept art?

Ok that'll have to do....

There is some minor descriptions of gameplay elements, including Borderlands-esqe weapon generation and classes, but all in all this project is presented extremely poorly and is more like the ramblings of a wannabe fantasy novelist if anything. I don't want to deny someone of their dream of creating a fantasy world, but building an MMO isn't exactly a small undertaking. Plus, recycling old and standardised MMO features and claiming that they are unique isn't going to fly. It's ok to be innovative! To top things off there are no links to the developer's site, and no social media contact details besides those belonging to the YouTuber who is pitching the game.

Cookie Crush Raga by InnovatelTek

Ignoring the obvious cheap cash-in nature of this project, and by judging it on it's presentation; Cookie Crush Raga is a multi-platform puzzle game and is presented, at first glance, quite professionally. Upon analysing the content however, it becomes apparent that the developers have gone to great lengths (as in, hundreds of words worth of... great lengths) to explain every little detail of the game as opposed to showing us succinct video gameplay.

Its obvious that this is nothing more than a bunch of mock ups, and there is no real detail about how the funding will be spent on the development process. Maybe I'm being too judgmental; who wouldn't want to see screenshots of a login page and lists of GUI components down to the player's name? The kickstarter also treats us to paragraph upon paragraph of information about astrology and how it features within the concept... What's wrong with being short and concise?

If you respect developers who are open and transparent about their project's risks, like the example below, then this'll be right up your street.
In doing a unique and great project like this, certainly there is the risk that people won't get it, they won't understand what the game is all about, and why uniqueness is important.
I'm not going to bash the potential audience that this game could have, or the concept at it's core; my problem is solely with the fact that this bored the hell out of me. Too much about nothing. Ok next.

Swine Bomb by Max Garrod

What element of a kickstarter project is most likely to tip the scales and convince you to invest? Is it the fact that the game is already finished and is free to download? Um, no! I am giving no opinion or criticism of this game whatsoever, mainly because there is no video footage, screenshots or even description, other than:
Swine Bomb is a great, faced pace game filled with bombs, timers and a little flying pig.
This developer is asking for £5000 in investment for advertising his existing game. This is not much better than the other kickstarters begging for money so that they can buy the equipment to become the next Pewdiepie. The only tier costs £7, the reward of which is being one of the first people to find out about the next game... I don't need to say much else.

So that was just a few different examples of bad kickstarters (not what I was originally going to write about). I will write about something a bit more positive next time! Hopefully! -oP

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dungeon Burglars DevLog: 7

It's been another busy month of work for me, but I have found time to do a lot of work on the game. I have completed the 12 main levels and after some testing decided that it was a bit too easy (although I knew what was coming). I had a thought this weekend and quickly added 2 new 'support' burglars: The Cleric and the Sapper. Despite all the work I've done, this video is a short one showing off these new additions. Check it out!

Next on the agenda:

  • Music
  • Last SFX changes
  • Add boss 'The Bankrupt King'
  • Create endurance mode (99999 enemies)
  • Final graphics polish

Any feedback is welcome! What do you think of the new support classes? Thanks for reading! -oP

Friday, 1 August 2014

Early Access First Impressions: 'Jotun'

'Early Access First Impressions' is just that, first impressions. This is not a review, and is heavily opinionated.

Let's be honest, Vikings are bloody awesome. Norse themes are awesome. Rape and pillaging is awe.. no wait, that's not so awesome. The mythology at least has grabbed my attention and so I draw your attention to Jotun!
Jotun is an action-exploration game for PC and Mac that takes you on an epic journey through Viking purgatory.
In this 2D top-down game, the devs want to create the perfect balance of exploration, discovery and combat. Inspiration has been derived from Shadow of the Colossus in that respect. You will explore the landscape in the search for Runes with which to summon the 'gigantic Norse elementals'. Defeating them will appease the gods, and secure your exit from purgatory.

The hook of Shadow of the Colossus was the idea of fighting huge monsters, climbing them and delivering the killing blow in the most risky (and sometimes frustrating) circumstances. The video unfortunately doesn't reveal any actual combat, but a still rendering teases a jotun's ice breath attack.

Inspired by the mechanics of The Legend of Zelda and SSB, the combat in Jotun is fast-paced and organic. Fighting the jotun requires the ability to dodge projectiles, use proper positioning and attack at the right moment.

Unlike SotC, Jotun will require puzzle solving in order to progress, which will be a welcome addition alongside the solemn loneliness of exploration. For me, in SotC the 3D aspect emphasised the solitude, and created a sense of emotional depth (something I believe a 2D medium may struggle to recreate). Considering the top down perspective, there is no landscape to peer across and to remind you of your insignificance. However, I hope to be proven wrong.

The game looks beautifully rendered, a bright colourful palette along with an art style reminiscent of The Banner Saga (come on, it came out recently so I'm bound to draw comparisons), but I consider this a hell of a good thing personally!

The Kickstarter itself is concise and direct, with a video of gameplay albeit (as I mention above) without any actual combat or detailed puzzle solving. Despite the lack of 'gameplay', the page is well presented; simple and to the point. It's also always nice to get a look at the individual developers and their past work, for reassurance of the quality of the project. There is a brief financial breakdown which again, is nice to see as a potential investor.

Our goal is to reach alpha within six months, beta within nine months and full launch within twelve months. Therefore Jotun will be released in September 2015.

The reward tiers are broken down into a table, which I haven't seen done before on a Kickstarter; I appreciate how simplified the devs have presented this, as in the past I have been very confused/frustrated by seeing higher tiers offer identical (or even lesser) rewards. Stretch goals are few and far between, but as they said in their video: perhaps community input could influence the direction of the development.

I'm excited for this, and considering that it's got $31,243 of $50,000 funded already (Canadian; at time of writing), there's obviously plenty of other Norse souls excited for it too.  I'll be waiting for some combat footage before I pledge, but I'm optimistic I'll open my wallet! Go have a look and see for yourself! -oP


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Early Access First Impressions: 'Aegis Defenders'

'Early Access First Impressions' is just that, first impressions. This is not a review, and is heavily opinionated.

I came across a Kickstarter this morning which I was compelled to write about. Aegis Defenders is 2D platformer, that also takes on board some tower defence elements. It's initial release will be on Mac/PC however other platforms will open up as stretch goals are reached.

Lost civilisations and ancient technology is always a tasty hook for me, but the first thing that grabbed my attention in the video was the Ghibli 'Nausicaa' vibe (one of my favourite animations). The Valley of the Wind inspiration is also apparent in the game's theme:

You play as a pair of Ruinhunters searching for the one thing that can save their village - a legendary weapon known as Aegis.

The player can control both 'Ruinhunters' throughout the level, utilising their different skills for both puzzle-solving and combat strategy. Micromanagement is necessary, as each character will only perform one 'passive' ability when not active. There is a stretch goal of local co-op, but I'd love to see some online support.

I'm a sucker for pixels too, and there's pixel a-plenty here, complete with a gorgeous colour palette and cute animations. Awesome audio design has been promised, as the team behind Towerfall: Ascension are on board to collaborate.

Overall, the project looks pretty strong with funding of $24,000; with 3 days to go I can't see how this could fail to reach it's target of $65,000. The Kickstarter itself is very well put together with simple stretch goals and ton of content. I don't have a load to say about this as the Kickstarter speaks for itself! Please go check it out! -oP

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Early Access First Impressions: 'Survive the Nights'

'Early Access First Impressions' is just that, first impressions. This is not a review, and is heavily opinionated.

I like crafting as much as I like turtles (internet reference), and I especially like it when the game I'm playing is unfinished. Sarcasm aside, there has been a plethora of indie survival games appearing amongst the pages of Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight and there's a damn fair amount that are still stuck in alpha/beta. At the time of writing, 'Survive the Night' has 11 days to go on Kickstarter and is described by the developers as:

Unique FPS survival focusing on teamwork, fortification, creativity and strategy. Secure a structure or roam free, the choice is yours.

I would hazard a guess to say that this probably isn't as unique as the developer thinks, especially since it's (arguably) jumping onto the crafting/survival bandwagon of the last 5 years. However, what's popular is popular and if there's demand for it, then having choice is always a good thing.

The game's premise is both simple and complex (as is the nature of the sandbox), collect resources, food and supplies, fortify your home, and then defend it during the night. Most of us are familiar with the model, and for me personally, I'm not too interested in the realism. I casually play Minecraft because it can be accessible, relaxed and sometimes beautiful. I play Project Zomboid, and I play Starbound. Realism is definitely something I'm not looking for, and visually I don't need to see the result of a texture budget of £100K. When it comes to the sandbox however, I like choice, flexibility and creativity (which is where a sandbox can become as complex as you make it).

Having said that, I like the idea of using vehicle trailers and wheelbarrows to move resources, rather than filling your bottomless pockets with planks of wood. The majority of vehicles on the island you inhabit will be usable, and you can insure your ownership of the scavenge by removing vital engine components. What I'm not a fan of, is managing your calorie intake; eating to survive is one thing, but I don't count my calories in real life!

I do also like the idea of hooking up generators to power your home, rather than light switches magically working. I appreciate the constant threat of starving, freezing and losing sanity as an incentive to explore and scavenge; rather than just an onslaught of zombie attacks (oh yeah, there's zombies by the way). There's an emphasis on player built content, and cooperative gameplay. However as with any survival sandbox, griefing will most likely be a standard day-to-day hazard.

Servers will be player run dedicated and persistent. The game as of now is island based. This will allow us to release alpha builds sooner. Islands will be added to the world and players will need to craft or find ships to travel between them. It's very important to us that the world is full and alive. Everything we design and everything we want to achieve with Survive the Nights has a meaning and a purpose.

Graphically it looks fairy, well, dull. You could ignore the fact that it looks probably just on par with Half Life 2 (now a 10 year old game), and forgive the poor texture quality because it's a small indie company from Hull, UK. However from the footage on the Kickstarter and the YouTubes and such, it looks very uninspiring and features sprawling woodlands with not much to admire.

Of course it is early access, and so there's a certain amount of flaws that should be overlooked because ultimately it's just not finished yet. But Day Z hasn't really achieved what people want it to achieve, and currently many consumers feel that it never will. So should we be less lenient when making judgements on an unfinished product? This game could tick all the boxes in the end, so maybe a bit of healthy criticism will be good for the developers. 

I will also add that the Kickstarter stretch goals are incredibly vague (throwing around phrases such as 'extended X system'), and it wouldn't hurt to go into more detail about what the pledgers are actually getting. The game has already been funded 5.5 times over it's goal, so it should get finished. If it sounds like it's worth your time, run over to their site and Kickstarter to check it out. -oP

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

If "....." Was Released Today: An Alternative Review

Considering many indie developers produce work reminiscent of the 8 and 16 bit glory days, it has become fairly standard and acceptable to see ‘retro’ sprites and pixel art in games of recent years. This, along with my current trend of revisiting old games, has inspired me to start a series where I take old games and review them as if they were released today. To clarify, I have a very flexible definition of what an ‘old game’ is, although I won’t be reviewing last years releases (unless for some contextual reason there is validity in doing so). As a starting point, the general criteria will involve games that are at least 10 years old. I have made a few rules to consider whilst I write, and whilst you read these reviews.

  1. Game must be reviewed as if it were a brand new release.
  2. If the game is part of a series, then the other instalments must be ignored and no comparisons can be made.
  3. Comparisons made from any other game old or new are allowed regardless of how factually and contextually (in)accurate they may be (therefore the review may have fictional elements).
  4. Game documents, data and statistics can be researched, however no existing reviews can be read prior to writing.
  5. Game must be scored on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0, and compared to the Metacritic Metascore (or User Score if this is unavailable).

I already have some games lined up, but I would like some input before I begin. I plan on making this as a written series on my blog, however do you think it would work better in video format? Do you have any other ideas for rules to follow? Also what games would you like to see reviewed in this series? I think this would be an interesting concept to follow through as it may open up some interesting critical perspectives which could potentially end up with me ripping apart games I love dearly.

Let me know what you think! -oP

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

How Much Do You Value Your Games?

The long awaited annual event on every gamers calendar has now been and gone. Some of us are smug whilst we bask in our own glorious ability to keep our hands firmly off the mouse and away from the 'add to cart' button, whilst many of us I'm sure, are smashing open the piggy bank, counting the pennies and wondering if we can live off dried pasta for the month. Yes of course I'm referring to the Steam Summer Sale where gaming consumers allow themselves to buy any game that they may vaguely play in the distant future that's at least 50% off, usually resulting in accidentally going over your budget reserved for a single AAA title anyway. 

I know people that practically sunk their whole wage packet on the sale, with the justification that they would play their backlog of games throughout the year. A statistic I plucked from last April stated that 36% of registered games on Steam are unplayed, which is quite high! Remember when you would go to a shop, buy a title at £40 and actually play it? This got me thinking about my games and how many I actually play, not only on steam but on my shelf. I've been wanting to upgrade to a PS4 (other consoles are available) so perhaps now is the time to really look at my hoard of games and be ruthless about what NEEDS to stay and what, in all honestly, could be let go and traded in.

Unlike my Steam digital shelf, I've played ALL of these games a decent amount.

I tried some online trade-in price checkers and was pretty disappointed at some of the offers I was getting. My limited edition copy of Halo Reach (black box with Halsey's journal etc) is apparently worth a whole English pound. I know it's almost 4 years old but still, compare this to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (which came out about 10 months before Reach) currently available on Steam and you will see it priced at £19.99 (not including map packs). Assuming my physical copy of Reach is in perfectly good working condition, is this product really only worth 5% the cost of the digital version of an older game? Sure there are some advantages to having a digital copy of a game - you can download it as many times as you like, you don't need to worry about losing it, storing it; you're paying for convenience. I am partial to the odd digital download myself, but I would much prefer a physical copy. This brings me onto pricing structures for digital games generally.

Physical copies of Grand Theft Auto V can be bought from multiple online stores for around £30 (Xbox 360/PS3), however if you browse the PS3 games on the Playstation store you will see it priced £49.99. I cannot fathom why this is the case, and perhaps it explains why we as the consumers wait until those ridiculous 80% off offers appear online before we commit to a purchase. This model is broken, it surely de-values not only the products, but the jobs, the time - and if you like, blood sweat and tears - that individuals have invested into these projects. I have no problem dropping £40-50 on a new AAA release if I can store it on my shelf and touch and read the manual (although in this day and age, even that's a luxury), but I cannot see me ever buying a digital copy for the same/higher price. If digital pricing aged appropriately with the physical games, then maybe we would be more willing to spend our cash on them and less likely to be sucked into flash sales which de-value games when we already have plenty of things to play anyway! 

£20 difference, surely only the impatient would choose the digital copy over waiting a few days for delivery?

Who is this hurting? You'd think the AAA publishers a little but no I don't think so, I think they will be just fine. They'll keep their digital prices nice and high so ultimately it's the 'little people': you, me, indie game dev and consumer alike that suffer because we don't have the willpower to say no to a sale and because digital games 'aren't worth buying' until they are in one. Even after all these flash sales finish, we get on with our lives and many sad looking games sit on our digital shelves, collecting digital dust, unplayed and unloved; so what, we only spent £2 on each of them, right? I haven’t even mentioned the new Playstation 'NOW’ streaming service and it's pricing structure - but there are plenty of articles about this already of which Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a common case study. In short, Playstation value a short duration of gameplay ridiculously highly when compared with how much the game costs outright on Amazon and other stores. This won’t help to balance the games/digital download economy.

 The Summer Sale has ended apparently? Nope, it never ends.

I'm not an expert in sales, and I have generalised quite a lot, but I think this 'de-valued digital download' mentality exists. I have said 'we' a lot, but I am guilty of all the things I have mentioned above, and assume that many of you who read this will agree that this applies to you also. I currently have unplayed 39% of my Steam games, and this isn’t even truly representative considering the average duration of play of the other 61% is about 4 hours. I will also add that my library, ignoring any sales prices, is currently worth £837.97 with the value of my unplayed games being £273.67. I will say though, that this summer I have done quite well for the most part. When I saw a game I wanted on sale I pulled myself together, checked my existing library and installed one (of many) games I bought years ago and played it for the first time. 

I would love to hear from indie developers who have games on Steam and other services and your thoughts on how you structure your prices, generally and during sales. Give your existing Steam library some love guys, and when you do have some spare cash don't feel bad about spending more than the price of a sandwich on an indie game - it will satisfy you for longer. -oP

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Dungeon Burglars DevLog: 6

It's been a busy month for me but I did find some time to update the game. The additions are minor but they help to bring the whole project together slightly. I haven't been able to tick off everything from the agenda, but they will be accomplished next time! Here's a short video showing the game in it's current state.

Next on the agenda:

  • More audio/change audio
  • Build the first few levels
  • Make extra death animations based on what trap dealt the killing blow

Any feedback is welcome! Thanks for reading! -oP

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Nintendo: How Being Late to the Party Helped Them Win E3

So it’s been a couple weeks since E3 and I decided to jot some thoughts down here. I watched all the big name conferences and as much of the other streams as possible. Why? Because I love games both AAA and indie and despite the large number of E3 protesters on my twitter feed (which is not representative of the entire planet’s POV obviously), I was interested in what all the big publishers were *cough* churning out and whacking into massive boxes along with 12 inch statues of men with guns fresh from the conveyer belt. There’s no denying that the big players will always make the most of the biggest live marketing opportunity in the games industry calendar by showing off the same gameplay we’ve seen each year but slightly updated with more guns, dogs or jet bikes; but I’m not writing this to have a go at big franchises - in fact, I think Advanced Warfare looks like a lot of fun. We were actually treated to a lot of 1st and 3rd player gunplay options releasing over the next year. Both Tom Clancy IPs look impressive, and both taking different directions, Rainbow Six: Siege in particular takes me back to a time where strategy and communication played a bigger part in the FPS genre - very promising for what many people may call ’the same old thing’.

So both Microsoft and Sony had very impressive shows, focusing on the games with actual gameplay and less hype - plus the new playstation hardware (despite having ‘TV’ in the name) looks like a big advancement in the way we actually play games. Nintendo however, surely came out on top.

Nintendo have always been risk takers, experimenting with how we interact with games and having the guts to try something new. We’re all aware of the ‘trouble’ Nintendo has had financially despite the excellent sales of the 3DS console, and their archaic POV of new media and gameplay content on youtube has arguable done some damage to their reputation and (again arguably) their sales. Let’s try to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially since other big publishers have done the same (if not worse) in the past with copyright claims on youtube. Also Nintendo have been in it for the long haul, they are in the business for the love of games, the protection of children (with their restrictive social interaction) and in my opinion are committed to NOT milking human kind of all our hard earned money. They do however have pressure to keep up with some of the profitable aspects of the games industry business model that they have been fairly lax with up until now.

Nintendo’s recent foray into the ‘free to play’ model resulted in ‘Steel Diver: Sub Wars’ on the 3DS, a game which frustrated the share holders because of how the ‘incentive to spend money’ aspect of the business model was almost totally ignored. No buttons with ‘Buy 10 Monopoly Monies’ for £2.99, instead you can spend £0.89 on a submarine - with the total number of subs currently on offer being 10. You can also upgrade to a premium version which allows you to unlock more submarines for £8.99 - but let’s be honest, you can buy a full game and play as intended or play a lesser version for free - developers do need to earn money for their craft and I believe this is totally reasonable. I think many people would agree that in the current mobile gaming climate, this is a bargain and it’s obvious the developers have concentrated on the most important aspect of making a game: gameplay (who would’ve thought!).

Now back to E3, pressure was on for Nintendo to deliver and they did not disappoint. E3 promised fans everything they have been waiting for, new Zelda (with another Zelda themed game to play while you wait for it!) which looks absolutely gorgeous, the standard quality of Nintendo franchises reborn into the current console generation and new alternative IPs such as the 3rd person shooter Splatoon which looks like lots of fun. The big news at the conference for me was the new Nintendo version of the Skylanders and Disney Infinity style models launching with Super Smash Bros. The amiibo! Now I will admit when I heard it I flew off the handle on twitter - how dare they make me spend £40 on a game only to have to then spend £12 (estimate) on what is essentially a Skylanders model in order to unlock them all. My outbursts were foolish and uninformed and I imagine a lot of angry twitterers had a similar opinion. I don’t need to buy all these models to play the game, instead it opens up a whole new set of possibilities within multiple Nintendo franchises. The idea of buying your one favourite character model, and then levelling them up among all your games is actually a pretty neat way to improve your bond with the WiiU console and I am all for it. I would assist Nintendo and argue that from a design point of view this has been the goal all along since the Super Smash Bros concept was based on models becoming ‘alive’, but I imagine a lot of people would dismiss this. I can see many people collecting them all, but I would pick one and stick with it for the lifespan of the console. What’s more is that Nintendo didn’t need a physical stage, expensive A/V hire and pyrotechnics to represent their brand and to show of their games (with the exception of the Super Smash Bros live tournament which I was transfixed by). 

Why does this mean they’ve won E3 though? So what that they are just late to the party and are mimicking existing business models. Well I think they have taken a new risk, the risk of being on the back bench when it comes to the console wars by watching and learning. They have taken heed of how money is made in the industry by manipulating and tricking people into ‘pay to win’ and they are offering another option, an option which I believe to be fair in the current climate. I won’t stick on the subject of ‘collectibles’ and 'micro transactions’ as I didn’t want this article to be a rant based on my hatred for the publishers who do the business model an injustice by offering poor quality gameplay. All I will say is that Nintendo seem to have the right attitude to offering additional content in order improve longevity of gameplay and your enjoyment of their products. There will always be people who will argue that Nintendo just do what everyone else does, churn out new incarnations of the same IP year to year. I can understand that, but out of all the developers who do the same - Nintendo surely do it with the most love and care. They are behind the times in order to be ahead of the times, slow and steady wins the race, [insert another cliche here]. The WiiU sales have been slow since it’s release but with the release of Mario Kart 8, sales in the UK have increased by 666% and I foresee this is as only the beginning.

My opinions of Xbox and Playstation remain unchanged, But If you’d asked me before the event if I would consider buying a WiiU - I would’ve answered ‘no’. Ask me again now, the answer is definitely a maybe! - oP

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Getting Back Into 'Let's Play'

So over the last month or two I've been thinking about my 'dabbling' in 'Let's Plays' back in 2012, and I have decided to give it a go again. I plan on uploading at least two videos a week and have begun recording two games. I don't want to saturate youtube with what is already a saturated LP environment, so I will upload things when I am happy and not ASAP. Also I'm not planning on doing any AAA new games for now; my focus is on introducing people to older games of my childhood. I have titled these 'series' as 'revisited' games, and I hope that people find some enjoyment in seeing what I used to play as a kid. Below are the first parts of both games to kick things off. If you have feedback please contact me. -oP

Dungeon Burglars DevLog: 5

So here's a bigger update to my free mobile game in development! If you are new to this then please check out the previous devlogs if you're interested. In short this game is a free quick-to-play mobile game for when you're bored on a commute. You must protect your dungeon and treasure from pesky burglars using traps which you must buy and place. Treasure is therefore your currency and also your 'health'. When you run out of treasure, you lose. This game is all about being frustrated and beating that high score. There will be a set number of levels, so it's possible to win but the high score is the important factor!

So what have I accomplished? Well I have also completed all movement, status effect and death ('fainting') animations and have done some initial balancing; I am quite happy with what I have so far. Thats the short of it, but the video really shows my progress. This time I have made a video with commentary showing off all the burglars and how each trap affects them. Please have a look!

Next on the agenda:

  • Audio!
  • Build the first few levels
  • Make extra death animations based on what trap dealt the killing blow

Any feedback is welcome! Thanks for reading! -oP

Monday, 12 May 2014

Dungeon Burglars DevLog: 4

Hey so this update is a small but significant one in terms of early 'polishing'. I have made animations for the 7 traps and status effects, all of which are simple and pixelly just as nature intended. I am happy with the way it looks at the minute but I need to make progress on the animation of the other burglars and working on the level design (that term may not seem appropriate for this game but I consider the 'design' of each level to be all about balancing and stats). Once I have finished the other enemies I can begin to iron out any balancing kinks and see how the game will actually play - and then I can consider any drastic changes. Fingers crossed it'll turn out the way I hope! See the video for the animations.

Next on the agenda:

  • The other burglars!

Any feedback is welcome! Thanks for reading! -oP

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dungeon Burglars DevLog: 3

Time for the next update, and I've made some big progress (well in my eyes at least) with the GUI and some minor polish.

So the first big change is the x2 zoom. I felt that the original view was too small with too much black, wasted space. This means that in order to view the entire dungeon you must now scroll left and right. I'm hoping that this will add an additional level of frustration and panic as you wildly fling back and forth to catch the burglars. There is also 11 slots for traps to be placed in (as opposed to the original 9) and traps can now be sold to free up a slot.

The GUI is now restricted to the bottom of the screen, with the exception of the purchase menu which pops down and automatically closes when a trap is selected. After the required amount of burglars have been killed the level 'Complete' screen will pop up indicating the amount of kills, recovered treasure (from dead burglars who managed to reach the treasure), the final total and the current best score.

The temporary numerical cool-down indicator has been replaced with a more appropriate clock-style timer, which despite being a minor change, has made a difference to the overall polish. The majority of the menu and buttons now have a red colour scheme to set them apart from the greys of the background. With regards to the overall aesthetic, I will most likely decide to revisit the dungeon background and add decals and other elements to make it look more interesting.

Next on the agenda:

  • Polish trap animations
  • Animate status-effects on current burglar (replace existing particle effect)
  • Begin to animate the other 4 burglars

Any feedback is welcome! Thanks for reading! -oP

Friday, 21 March 2014

Destiny Avatars

It's been a while since I've done any pixel art unrelated to my latest project or for someone else, so here we go! I made 3 'avatars' based on each class in the upcoming Bungie title Destiny (for which I am very excited for).

Shown from top to bottom, Warlock, Titan and Hunter. The armour and weapons are loosely based on existing artwork but I added a different colour scheme to each based on the favourite colours of 2 friends. The warlock has some Boba Fett colours if you hadn't recognised it and is now my generic online avatar - this space wizard trumps my old avatar (normal boring wizard!). Thanks for looking! -oP

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Dungeon Burglars DevLog: 2

For this update I decided that I needed to have the basis of my trap placement system done. There is currently 9 'slots' for traps to be positioned in. My reasoning behind this is that because it's pixel art, when I come to re-design it for older iOS screens I want to simply crop the existing view, move the doors inwards and have the same amount of space for traps. Therefore 9 slots is the optimum. I will admit that this process is trial and error and I haven't ever produced an iOS game so there are bound to be more snags along the way, especially as I am using pixel art. I may need to rethink the size of buttons and traps as whilst watching this video on my phone, it seemed that perhaps the buttons were too small for an average finger! However, I am just happy that I got something working!

This video shows purchasing traps and placing them. Free 'slots' will be highlighted in green when a trap has been selected. Used slots are simple not highlighted. If there is insufficient funds then the free slots will flash red before cancelling the purchase.

So here is basically what's been done so far in the last week:
  • Purchase buttons for each trap
  • 'Slot's made to place traps
Next on the agenda:
  • Make a button to remove a trap and recover half of the cost
  • Polish up cool-down, treasure total and create a 'health bar' for the burglar wave

Any feedback is welcome! Thanks for reading! -oP

Thursday, 13 March 2014

BAFTA Games Awards

I like any excuse to get into a suit, and today (as I begin writing this) for the first time ever I was able to associate my normal wedding attire with an event based around video games (of which I normally associate wearing lounge pants and XXL hoodies). Yes I went to the BAFTA Games Awards, and as this was the first year that members of the public could enter I feel quite privileged to have gone! During the day, the Tobacco Docks venue also hosted a small exhibition of select games for people to try.

The Inside Games Showcase 2014 was the first event of it's kind for BAFTA, and so I expected it to be a very small 'convention-esqe' environment... and I wasn't wrong. But that was ok! I was able to move and breathe as it wasn't too busy. On arrival my first point of call (and also my highlight of the day) was the Elite: Dangerous Stand where I tried the game, and also Oculus Rift for the first time. There was a bit of a wait, partly due to Dara O Briain getting a cheeky VIP pass to cut the queue! But hey, I forgive him; he wasn't a hog. I only had a brief encounter with an enemy ship using the Oculus before giving up my seat - but it was definitely worth the wait! I loved the immersion, and I definitely felt that for a game such as this, Oculus was the only way it should be played!

-Image taken from the Elite: Dangerous website, see the link below-

The Square Enix stand boasted a demo of their game Murdered: Soul Suspect, a ghost detective game of which I haven't been following. I was curious though, and so I attempted to immerse myself in the opening sequence and beginning of the mystery... I'll be honest, it wasn't a great environment to 'settle down and relax' in, and so sitting though the actual opening cinematic became very tedious and uncomfortable. I would have preferred a brief blurb or brief cinematic, describing the scenario in which you begin, so as to start the gameplay as quickly as possible. Other people were playing for more than 15 minutes due to the slow pace of the game. The gameplay itself struck me as a cross between LA Noire and Beyond: Two Souls, but seemed to lack substance in comparison to the former (I haven't played enough of the latter to be able to say). LA Noire definitely made me think about the cases, and despite the story being linear, you could still get things wrong in the end. With Soul Suspect, I felt that my 'detectivities' (yes I just made that up, and I like it) were little more than spoon-fed button interactions made until the 'clues found' counter reached maximum. I can appreciate the concept - a murdered detective is stuck in limbo, doomed to walk the earth forever as a spirit, until he can resolve his affairs and solve the mystery - it's definitely interesting. However, I felt that some gameplay mechanics had been tagged onto what was already a weak detective mechanic. Possessing people and reading their, sometimes very game-clich├ęd thoughts, felt like a cheat and I found myself jumping from body to body reading minds just to bank a load of clues into my notes for me to look at later. The antagonist element is in the form of demons that want to consume your soul, and here is where the other weak mechanic comes to play. After running from a demon, you can hide in the (and please don't quote me on this phrasing) 'residue of ghosts'. This basically appears in the form of white, cloudy hiding points between which you can instantaneously jump after pressing a trigger until the demon simply loses interest. Then creep up behind the demon and execute it... Oh and you can walk through walls but not all walls... The demo itself had dialogue audio out of sync and sometime missing altogether, as well as subtitles out of sync. I hope the finished product is a well polished and engrossing murder mystery that will entertain many of you, but I can't see myself enjoying this unfortunately. Anyway this was way too much of a critique based on 10 minutes of gameplay!

I have some negative points to make about the day time event unfortunately. For a start the food on site ran out within an hour and a half of opening, and the nearest restaurant was a petrol station hole-in-the-wall McDonalds... not the highlight of the day. The other problem I had was the interviews being made by multiple networks during the day physically got in the way of us average Joes as we attempted to move around the small venue spaces. I think this could've been thought out better. It was advertised that the day event would finish at 6:30pm, but many stalls closed and started packing up between 5 and 5:30pm. I hadn't taken this into account and unfortunately couldn't play any Metal Gear Solid. Oh well!

I don't want to be entirely negative as I really did enjoy the majority of the day and the points I've made above were ultimately not enough to ruin that. So the other highlights included finally trying Plants Vs  Zombies: Garden Warfare, Octodad and Tearaway all of which are awesome fun in their own rights.

Onto the actual award ceremony! After a brief drinks reception we entered the venue, which has an industrial, yet warm and comfortable air about it. There was unfortunately a problem with one of the 4 projectors and as the signal became more and more unreliable I couldn't help feeling embarrassed about it (due to my other line of work as an event technician). I learnt to ignore this as the event began. Dara was on top form as host, however some of the award presenters were fairly lack-lustre in entertainment value - but this is the way of most award ceremonies! Some of them were trying their hardest to not come across as patronising to the game developer community, but by doing so they almost inadvertently did the opposite. Stephen Moffat for example described games as being a brand new art form and kind of writing, and how they are going to own the future. Games have been art for longer than he realises methinks. Other ramblings involved jokes about putting brains in holograms etc, nothing note-worthy really. Presenting the award for best game was the one and only Carol Vorderman.... the tip top A-class of the broadcasting mathematicians (a dying breed). The most prolific presentation, the Fellowship award, was done by the legend Hideo Kojima, who had to enjoy (or perhaps endure) Dara pointing out the flaws of using a cardboard box as a hiding place from highly trained soldiers. Not sure if he totally understood the context but I'm sure he got the reference!

I really enjoyed the event and am thoroughly grateful to have gone. I hope the new format is continued and improved upon as the years go by, especially the day time showcase. I also hope that the members of the public who didn't understand the dress code of an award ceremony this year get their act together next time! I also want to say how happy I am that Lucas Pope received an award for Papers, Please as this is an incredibly innovative title worthy of all the nominations it received. It says a lot about the quality of the individual, and the passion and drive that goes into creativity and design, that a game of this caliber won an award. Just think of what he could do amongst a team of like minded people. It's a reminder that every 'cog in the machine' is an artist in their own right. Papers, Please is an inspiration to me, and I hope the indie scene in general. Finally (as this post has been lengthy) here are the winners of the 2014 BAFTA Games Awards (in announcement order) in case you haven't caught up yet. Thanks for reading. - oP

Action and Adventure The Last of Us

British Game GTA V

Original Music BioShock Infinite

Story The Last of Us

Strategy and Simulation Papers, Please

Artistic Achievement Tearaway

Audio Achievement The Last of Us

Sport FIFA 14

Family Tearaway

Game Innovation Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Mobile & Handheld Tearaway

Ones To Watch Award Size DOES Matter

Game Design GTA V

Multiplayer GTA V

Debut Game Gone Home

Best Game The Last of Us

Performer Ashley Johnson (Ellie) The Last of Us

Fellowship Rockstar Games