Saturday, 7 November 2009

3D on the lap

With us starting to play more with 3D in the office now, I like seeing developments like this from Asus, who always have something fun in the works it seems. Their new 3D laptops powered by the NVIDIA solution may well mark the way of things to come for us...

Report on RegHardware.


[pic of the Asus 3D laptop via the RegHardware article]

Our no mercy HP, homebrew and Alienware machines will be here in the next week or so as well - drool.

Golems over Elementals

My evolving story of a series of girls and their elementals took a slight turn last night. I was thinking through the differences between a Golem and an Elemental - at least as they are in my mind. Here are some quick key differences between the two:

Golems
Manipulations, abominations, sad, unnatural, imprisoned, concoctions, scientific, child/pet like, living, killable, preparation before a big event, hunt for components.

Elementals
Pure, pristine, free, magical, emotionless, no aspirations, no relationship, natural?, dispellable, summoned, need to be mastered.

So, despite the perhaps more negative language around the golems, they are very cool and push the idea to more of a mad science bent. Here are two sketches that I did after this and they feel the same really, they are "animated raw material" !! This can still cover the gamut from flesh, stone, magma, sinew, paper and mind through to stranger matter like shadow or bacteria.



I have plenty of ideas around the antagonists, the world and the origin of the power to create the golems in the works. The notion of ancient powers awakened is fun, as well as focus through markings. Here are a few quotes to hint at what might be to come:

"..when I draw the same markings on my arm, check it out..."

"Whatever went wrong with the brotherhood's ritual, the effects can be seen all over the city, for those who know what to look for."

"Have you tried the rat-tail experiment in the old science book yet, I just couldnt sleep after that"

"... we may not have created every religion you see today, but rest assured, our people are well represented at the highest levels of each and every one."

Thursday, 5 November 2009

MMO

With us about to dive back into WoW, I took some time to watch the 5 episodes of season 3 of The Guild on their site just now. Scary - in a good way...

In a turn which will doubtless net Blizzard even more cash from all the WoW players, they now have paid non-combat pets you can buy for real money.


[image of the first 2 WoW paid pets via the BLizzard Store]

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Yawnosaur combo desktop mk2

I wasn't that happy with the combo desktop wallpaper for Avril the Yawnosaur from a few days ago. Here is a slight edit/refinement which is better while still using the basic principal.

Botting and iPhone RockBanding


[Joe Bowers RockBand playing bot via his blog]

Botting, esp in the world of the MMO can be lucrative, powerful and certainly convenient. Computers and botty things can be used to play computer games to great effect given some clever creation. Here is a tangential example, Joe Bowers has crafted up a sensor driven little robot device to play RockBand on his iPhone. He has details on his blog entries at OhBowz with images and more videos.

Eye of the Beholder


[Eye of the Beholder box art via Wikipedia]

This classic game comes up in conversations every now and again, and for a few reasons. Eye of the Beholder dates back to 1990, running in DOS prior to other ports - I wonder if I will be able to get it on the iPhone anytime soon...
Anyhow, for its time, the graphics was pretty good (scary looking at them now) and we had this virtual 3D world, well a simplistic turn-based grid rendered to look a little 3D anyhow. Here are a few screenshots of the game:


[screenshots from Eye of the Beholder assembled from multiple sources]

There are several reasons I like to reference the game, apart from some fond memories of lots of hours playing. One of the elements of the game involved collecting keys to open doors, esp for a sequence at the end and while a fine mechanic, if you get to the end and start unlocking doors to find that you need 4 silver keys and only collected 3, then you were stuffed. The idea of going back through the whole dungeon hunting for another key was silly, so you would just give up - maybe start again. It had quite a good level of re-playability actually.

The main feature to note for me was the level with the spiders. Here you had a maze of tunnels with spiders moving around in them. The spiders had a poison attack that was very deadly, so you start with a certain amount of apprehension. Then as you (and the spiders) move around in single turns you can hear the spiders, through the walls or down the corridors. This made for a truly exciting experience, you were nervous about going around corners (2 turns) and a T-junction was scary because it took a turn to move forward a turn to look left and then 2 more turns to look the other way. All this time the clicking of the spiders would get louder and louder.
This is one of the best examples of building tension using very simple mechanics. If we leap waaay forward to doom3 we get a similar effect with much greater visual impact with the flashlight.

There were some nice features, you could assemble a party of 4 at the outset and have other characters join you as you went along. I remember even making a party of 4 paladins who stomped merrily around the spider level with their immunity to poison.