Saturday, 2 May 2015

Wolf Among Us

I got a little distracted and only just completed Telltale Game's The Wolf Among Us. This was a pretty intense type of gaming where it was about decisions and quick ones that ramped up the tension and made all those choices scary. I am not sure if everyone playing regrets lots of the spur-of-the-moment decisions but I certainly did  (super fun to play this way though). I dont think I ended up with that much consistency in my play, I was much much tougher on people at the start of the game figuring that was who I was playing and these fables needed a tough hand. Every time a character said 'they will remember this' though I got more mellow except with those I thought really were the really bad guys...

All up a pretty excellent game and experience that was all about the story with enough 'game' to keep the emotional and physical investment high. The artwork, music voices and esp the writing are all top notch - now to get back to their Walking Dead...

Aleco247's wallpaper for TWAU

Friday, 1 May 2015

Nasus Q Scarf

Here is an idea for a League of Legends themed scarf (it is coming up on winter here in our lovely southern hemisphere). When we were talking about scarves the other day I thought a LoL-themed one could be pretty cool and the person we were talking about happens to be a Vel'Koz and Nasus player - so here is my idea:

Yes a Nasus Q Scarf - for people that know the champion, the large number of Qs will make complete sense, plus he is pretty Egyptian as a character so the hieroglyphic representation works and the simpler form should hopefully keep the effort required to actually make the scarf bearable.

I did the initial thinking in Photoshop before switching to Excel to work at this really low res and few colours. Then brought things back into Photoshop to get the texture and such going. I quite enjoyed the challenge of doing a representation of the character with so few pixels and also with a hieroglyphic style thrown in as well.

Below is how the Nasus at each end would work (orange in different spots) with as many Qs in between to make the scarf the right length. I did wonder if the Qs could get bigger and bigger towards the middle, but that is lots more work for the maker.
As the rift is kind of green, I also made a greener version which makes for a more Aussie-supporter coloured look (green and gold) and doubtless other background colours could work as well.

Lastly here is a pic of Nasus from the LoL site for everyone who has no idea what I am talking about.

I did wonder if a Vel'Koz scarf with a Life Form Disintegration Ray running down the length of the scarf could work as well. Hell maybe #LoLscarves could become a thing...

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Contrast and Independent Gaming

I really enjoyed playing Brothers - a Tale of Two Sons a little while ago, seeing how much clever storytelling a small studio could build into a game like this. Add to that the clever mechanics of puzzle solving using both brothers at once (use a controller) and it was hugely satisfying.

Hoping to get something similar (while home sick and feeling miserable) I decided to give Contrast a try and it was also pretty wonderful. The mechanics of popping in and out of shadow form to solve all the puzzles was really clever, but this notion was wound up in the story playing out at the same time. We are slowly given more and more clues as to what is going on in this odd world which is flashed out by some nice audio and music that reminds me a little of Telltale's games or Limbo or Brothers.

Here is the trailer but I would actually recommend not watching it until after you play the game if you can, it only has very minor spoilers but those are mini clues for things if you end up remembering them.

Anyhow, I do recommend Contrast as long as you don't get too frustrated by the puzzles, they do require some manual dexterity as well as the solving part.

The game was built in Unreal Engine and I am now more tempted than ever to craft a proto-game or experience of some sort in the engine using one of the many ideas floating around my sketchbooks and such. Here are a few of concept sketches and ingame art plus a screenshot from the site as well - lovely stuff:

I admit to not having played that many of these smaller games, but I should definitely do more! Maybe Darkesk Dungeon after I finish my Telltale Games and then watch some more of Jesse and the rest of his Canadian little gang working on Viking Squad (twitch dev stream <- awesome="" completely="" p="">

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Party

Our RP gaming group is back into the thick of things in our 13th Age game as the party (plus a few NPCs) ventures forth from The Eye of the New World (see sketchy map below). I liked the area around the eye, first we found ouselves in an old crumbling city turned on its side with a waterfall sheltering all the fungaloid life within. Getting up and out we found the giant circular lake pouring out like a vast overflowing bucket. The party had a few days of relaxation up there beyond the reach of the Shadow and all our other enemies (until we realised at the bottom was a vast eye). After winding our way down the outside we ended up sailing a raft down the River Jenny where we were lured in by a mysterious black obelisk...

Anyhow, here is the pic of our current party of PCs. Not pictured but with the party currently are also Sorra (matriarchal tentacle dwarf mage), Jenny (enthusiastic young lass from the moon), Var (earth genasi and new member of the red cloak), Ulm (odd cleave mountain dwarf cartographer) and now Simon (dragonborn ranger adventurer).

So the pic features our little party:
Salar: Druidic Salamander and Lava Engineer who grew up caring for baby Dragons.
Zephyr: Air Genasi combat monk, trained in Shadow while a slave to the Storm Giants.
Jim: Moonling Bard with an arcane fascination and strong ties to The Multitude.
Thrail: Tanky Tentacle Dwarf protector from Chillhearth and founder of the Red Cloak.

Some elements you will find in the pic: Thrails leaden shield and Ferret Hammer; Zephyr's slave chains now weapons; Salar's dragon tooth druid staff; Jim's rat with an eye on its back (best not to ask); lots of mushrooms, Jim's various medals; Salar preparing his oft-cast flaming spear; Zephyr's blackened hands from mining shadow ice; Thrail's huge tentacle and tattoos; Zephyr's trinkets; Jim's musical magic prowess and Thrail's huge red cloak.

Here is Ulm's map of the area around The Eye (which in map form looks rather too much like a Beholder for our liking). Map of the continent coming soon as we continue South...

Plus while we are here, this was the initial sketch for the group pic, came a fair way since then and took ages. All done in Photoshop on a Surface Pro 3.