Writing about new Star Wars games, especially long and forgotten Star Wars games that deserved to be made again, may seem a bit pointless in light of the recent news concerning the closure of LucasArts and EA’s acquisition of the property.
However, I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time, even more so since posting my first ‘Return of the Retro’ article, and a little thing like the shakeups at LucasArts isn’t going to stop me. Star Wars games are still going to be made, and while Rogue Squadron has an even smaller chance of returning now than it did last year, the possibility is not an utter impossibility.
Plus, if “Return of Retro” isn’t about seemingly hopeless causes, I don’t know what is.
Collecting Smiles, the developers of Colors! 3D, published a press release yesterday announcing that a long-awaited update for the popular Nintendo 3DS digital painting application will be released on April 5th.
The update, which will be free for those who have already purchased the app through the eShop, will feature several fixes, most of which are centered around improving the way users can interact with the Colors! Gallery from their handheld devices, as opposed to the gallery that can be accessed via a traditional web browser.
The release of next-generation hardware is the perfect time to bring back old franchises and resurrect forgotten titles of the past. With the ever promising possibilities in store for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, everyone has considered what games they’d like to be released on the latest generation of Nintendo hardware, whether it be new IP or old.
With the recent announcement of a new Yoshi game for the Wii U, these thoughts were once again brought to the forefront; if a game franchise that hasn’t seen a title since 1997 can make a reappearance sixteen years later, what other games will make their comebacks?
One of the games that came to mind the other day, no doubt in light of the recent buzz surrounding Pokémon X & Y, was Pokémon Snap.
There have been a variety of different reactions to Nintendo’s recent announcement that they will be releasing an HD version of the Wind Waker on the Wii U. These reactions have ranged from surprised to excited, from confused to disappointed.
I think it’s great news for the shear fact that a lot of people who missed out on Wind Waker will be exposed to it for the first time, but there is one point of contention that I’d like to discuss and that is how the game looks; more specifically how it may differ from the already-released stills to the final product.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen any progress regarding Square Enix’s next generation gaming engine Luminous Studio, and considering the more recent news that the company is the first to adopt Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, it will be some time before we see a game from the Japanese studio that actually runs on Luminous.
However, for the first time since this summer, new technology demonstration videos for the upcoming engine have been released to the public.
The folks over at Penny Arcade have released a new episode of their PATV show Extra Credits entitled ‘Aesthetics of Play.’ The episode is essentially a brief rundown of a larger paper that discusses the MDA (Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics) framework behind game design.
While the attempt of the MDA paper is meant “to bridge the gap between game design and development, game criticism, and technical game research” it also serves as reminder, for those of us who are well versed in the process, of some of the potential reasons behind a game’s success and/or short-comings (i.e. striking the perfect balance between mechanics and aesthetics when approaching game design).
Before this article gets any further, let’s note right now that I do in fact like the idea of the Wii U. I think it has great potential as a system, it’ll undoubtedly have a great library of titles (eventually), and a part of me is quite jealous of everyone here at GenGame and off-site who has pre-ordered the system this week.
However, I will not be purchasing it at launch, nor for a foreseeable time post-launch.
Sound is so important.
You can have great visuals, the image on-screen can literally be perfect, but without proper and well-thought out choices in regards to sound design, the whole thing can fall apart. Even the conscious act to cut out sound can be a very powerful tool when applied appropriately.
But when it comes to any visual form of media within the realm of film, animation, and gaming, sound isn’t just music; it’s a lot of other elements too. Not only do you have your standard issue of foley, but you also have to think about voice-acting, whether that be dialogue or effort-noises recorded during AR. In addition, there’s also ambiance, which is one of major elements of sound design I’ve been thinking about over the course of the past few days.
Generally, at least in the gaming world, closing the gap refers to the the gap between what can be live-rendering within a video game versus what can be pre-rendered in a cinematic cutscene.
Doubtless we have all experienced excitement over a cinematic trailer, only to be disappointed by what the game actual looks like once the first gameplay footage has been released.
To a certain extent a similar gap exists within the feature film world between what a scene looks like within a CG workspace and what the final scene looks like on the silver screen. Reducing render times within the CG film world is a big deal, not only because time is money, but because it allows CG artists to include more dynamic elements within a shot and also provides more context to the animator.
The success of OUYA is nothing short of amazing.
It was astonishing enough that the project managed to accumulate over a million dollars in pledges within twenty-four hours, but it appears to have gained an additional two-million overnight (no doubt boosted by the increase in news coverage on gaming websites).
While this news discredits a lot of the recent comments in the media, mainly from game analysts concerning the downfall of console gaming, it brings to light a much more pressing need within the gaming community/industry.
It shows a desire for independent game development.