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8Sep/11Off

Zombie Game : [insert verb or adjective here] Dead [insert verb or adjective here], etc.

Dead Island launched this week - a supposed cross between Fallout 3 and L4D. I haven't purchased it yet (waiting for the sale) but very curious how this turns out.

When I started doing research on the game, I came accross this video:

Dead Island Trailer

Couple of initial thoughts on that.

1) Dead child (albeit Zombie child - although that isn't really clear until watching the video) - kind of risky. At the same time, it really illicited emotions from me that game trailers typically don't. The combination of the reverse frame sequence, soft music, and visuals was very effective of portraying the struggle and loss of life. Very impressive that way.

Still effective in the reverse of the reversed version:

Reverse of the Reverse Trailer

2) Being a big fan of the often mindless (did I say 'often' - meant 'always!') zombie genre, the video gave me hope that the game itself could be a well placed adult oriented adventure of survival and horror to really sharpen up the genre. See: Dead [Rising], [Left 4] Dead,

Initial reviews explain the trailer to be misleading in that regard, and the game is plagued with a few notable hiccups (my pet peeve from those reports: searchable items (luggage, garbage bins) that respawn after time, making 'limited resources' actually unlimited).

I'll probably end up getting it at some point, will wait for a patch and some more reviews. Anyone have personal experience with this title?

 

PS - Bonus - the family in the video is actually in the game, so you can find their fate. (*spoilers on the video link*)

Family from Dead Island Trailer

 

20Oct/10Off

Conventions

Sorry - not that kind of convention!

One of the best blog articles I have read recently was at Elder Gamer regarding genre conventions in our beloved MMO's. It hits on a lot of interesting and valid points, and is a great read. I find it interesting that a lot of the 'outside of the box' MMO design discussions (from the armchair folk) tend to look for solutions to twist those around, and try new things. It's true that we are trained as gamers to expect certain things, and when they deliver on those expectations the moans from the crowd are 'oh, just like that game'. But we play on. When we throw out interesting and possible ideas that go against those expectations - but make sense to us - it's likely a non-fundable industry idea. We went from WoW, to games that want to be like WoW (but different!), to games that want to be like games that aren't quite as successful as WoW because copying WoW has failed. In most industries change is enacted by a need in the market. You get the outliers who work to make that change on their own to position their product or service in a better market position, but those are few and far between. If oil prices and the education about the environment weren't so front and center in our everyday lives, then we would all still be driving gas guzzling cars - and why not? If it's the most inexpensive way to create the product, and socially acceptable, that is what we are going to get. Now car companies are struggling to catch up on making fuel efficiency and alternate fueling methods the forefront of their companies - because people actually want them now (and governments are forcing them to). It's all demand - on different fronts.

The fun part with Elder Gamer's example, that in AC2 they didn't want an ammo slot for arrows and how it didn't work for them then - is that WoW is moving that way now. Goes to show how long, and what it actually takes to, make such a seemingly minor design decision. Imagine the timeline on the bigger ideas.

Where am I going with this? Cutting my lawn! (after the break)