Wednesday, 14 December 2011

If you want to that is.

Games. Graphics Vs Gameplay. Look at the big companies and their AAA Games, MW3 and Battlefield 3. They all focus on the nitty gritty awesome coolio graphics. But then look at games from the Indie Genre, like Minecraft. This is probably because the coding required to present the same animation for a variety of objects is much harder. Let's look at an example:


I am using Half Life 2 and Minecraft's demonstration of picking up stuff. Half Life 2 uses the simple system of causing an item to hang in front of you if it is light and small enough, however this is a slight problem as the more realistic approach of Half Life 2 means this action is rather odd and questionable. It is old though, so you can give it its due. But for later games, you can see how this basic, yet at the same time complex, feature of picking up any random object is excluded from many more realistic games. Why?

Well, imagine having to sort algorithms, coding and the 3D limitations of a human hand, along with specifications on angle and preferred holding of the random object being picked up, and you can understand why it is so difficult to render such an action, and therefore its exclusions in many games above scripted objects.

On the other hand, a simple retro-style game like Minecraft, whilst minimal in fancy graphics, can easily and believably render the holding of an object by sticking a corner of it in the blocky hands of the game's protagonist. This can be done even more simply in a game like Dwarf Fortress, where holding an object is the equivalent to saying: This dwarf/human/hippie-elf is carrying x, y and/or z.

What is the subject of this rant? Well if you weren't paying attention, I mentioned it on the second sentence of this post (excluding the title).

Also, a question is often posed - why are indie games so great? Why aren't big game businesses like EA or Activision jumping on this massive market potential? Ironically, it is because they are big businesses. Think about it, an indie game is a game with an innovative idea, concept, or gameplay style, or a combination. This can either make or break a game, in the same way mixing random explosive chemicals can possibly cause you to suffer from a severe case of rigor mortis, depending on the circumstances of your remains. From that odd analogy I then point out this: Making a game costs time and money, and big games companies can't afford to waste these kind of resources over something that may or may not sell - they stick to their guns and make more of the same: A guaranteed sell. This is why it is so important to not ruin a series.

For example, look at Nintendo. Mario is a classic adventure in 2D and 3D, but every release is easily comparable to a previous game in the series. Likewise, The Legend of Zelda series cannot easily be changed, it has too many followers that want more of the same experiences of previous titles. On the other hand, the Kirby series is often toyed with, I mean look at the most recent games as of this writing: Ten Kirbys, Kirby as a Ball, Kirby as Yarn, etc. Of course, the Kirby series can afford to do this - it is a wacky and zany adventure that makes almost as much sense as the concepts behind the titles of the aformentioned series, and its followers are those who know that game quite well. If a game flops, it doesn't matter too much, no one cares. It's not a very mainstream Nintendo franchise anyway (in comparison to the other two, and Metroid).

Anyways, back to the point, Indie game developers are random people with ideas. Random people. If they fail, no one cares. It's just another dude making games. But if they succeed, you get today's popular indie games, like those presented in the Humble Indie Bundle.

Anyway, enough ranting.

So, back to the actual relevance of the title, I composed some random music using Beepola. You can listen to it here, here, here and not here! (or right click, save to download). < Insert Article Title Here >.
I wonder how to embed files into a blog...

Rant Over.

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