But, teh E-3zorZ, oh NoEs!

For my part, I’m happy E3 is going the way of the Dodo. I just don’t share the affinity many in the gaming press – and, indeed, in game development – hold for the yearly raucous shitfeast. I’m sorry if you don’t get out of the studio and interact with people more than once a year, I really am. I’m also sorry if having your picture taken with strippers dressed as humanoid foxes or Lara Croft is the highlight of your year romance-wise. Please understand, though, that E3 is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the game industry. That it is being castrated is a good thing for intelligent, adult gamers and those who want to make intelligent, grown-up games. This image of the gamer as greasy fetish geek wallowing in his fetid basement has got to go. You know, if our industry is to have a future.

Imagine a world where the ‘E3 pressure cooker’ is no longer sucking up precious development time and burning out our best and brightest. Imagine a world where the public face of our industry isn’t trashy hookers, cosplay, and an assault to all senses. Imagine a world where there’s no delineation between ‘gamers’ and ‘non-gamers’. I mean, people who watch TV don’t call themselves ‘TVers’, do they? And imagine a world where the most violent, misogynistic shoot fest sits side by site on the content-ranked ‘Itunes of games’ with beautiful, experimental experiences that are hugely profitable because they serve a powerful niche.

E3 is basically the embodiment of the Old Game Industry in the sense that it’s puerile, dripping with saggy strippers, and completely focused on what a certain luminary calls “The Reptilian Brain.” Out with the old, I say. Make way for the new game industry.

Urf!

I’ll be back presently with a lengthy demo-filled article. I’ve been writing and teaching quite a bit, with a sprinkling of game design. In the mean time, enjoy Lego Mario:

Tune Project Update #4.1

Bizahm!

I wrapped this up last week but was holding off posting it until I integrated it with the Mario-like prototype. Ah well, ended up doing fun board game prototypes today instead so I figured I’d post this. In its current form, this is more or less how I envisioned the interface for Tune working – less the screens for unlocking new UI elements (like sliders and text entry) and new parameters (like gravity or physics time.) Also, I need to put in some kind of number or point tracking system for buying new bits or leveling up or however I end up structuring it. It will be very important, I predict, to clamp down and limit the numbers (on either end of the slider for example) that players are allowed to tune between, if that makes sense. I can’t allow the player to go between 1000 and -1000 gravity; it’ll just make the physics go wonky and unstable.

As an addendum, I had an enjoyable conversation the other day with my friend Dan “Tabby” Tabar over at Data Realms about Tune, in which I explained the concept very simply and succinctly:

Crepusculum: http://www.steveswink.com/Tune/Info_Tune_Prototype_B_01.htm

Tabby: i suggest sticking with the WASD or arrow key ocnfig

Tabby: i can’t beleive how frustrated people get when they keys aren’t in obvious places

Crepusculum: Right on, will do

Crepusculum: The idea is to take a physics driven mechanic and environment, expose all the relevant physics variables, and make a gameplay progression around tuning those varibles to allow you to complete various tasks

Crepusculum: Have to defeat increasingly large/difficult creatures to get access to new parameters and buy new UI elements, something like that

Crepusculum: Upgrade how much you can alter existing ones

Crepusculum: Buy different UI elements

Crepusculum: If you check out the other proto here: http://www.steveswink.com/Tune/Info_Tune_Prototype_A_01.htm

Crepusculum: It has a slider at the top right that controls gravity

Crepusculum: Seems to point to a lot of neat gameplay possibilities

Crepusculum: Hit space, you can alter a lot of the gameplay variables as well

Crepusculum: (On prototype A)

Crepusculum: I think that one has EDSF controls as well, should switch it over

…and I think that explanation makes more sense than my previous, long-winded one. Either way, the first full progression protoype will speak for itself.