Back again

Hello all my readers!

I am really sorry, that I have been quiet for so long. Finishing my Master of IT studies have taken quite a toll on me and thus I haven’t had the time nor the energy to write anything. Although those who have been following me on Twitter (@Japskua), have seen me alive at least there πŸ˜€

As I said, I will start writing this blog more often again. My idea is to write more things about games and my own life as a student, programmer and IT person. I will also talk about entrepreneurship and doing research as both of these are quite close to my heart. All together, everything is somewhat related to my profession – computers, as my mom would say πŸ˜€

So, welcome to my new, hopefully fresh blog. Enjoy and feel free to comment, positive or negative.

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Picks of the Week 16

Hello all and welcome to the Picks number 16! First of all I want to say that FINLAND WON ICE HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! All the goals can be seen from here. What an awesome night it was!

  • Gametheory Online had an article about Creating video game trailers to enhance marketing. And just few moments after adding this link, I saw a good example of trailer you should never make. 2nd Guest Trailer.
  • Nordic Game Indie Showcase has been announced. Even one Finnish (at least 50% Finnish) production is featured! YAY!
  • Game Developer Magazine published its 10th annual salary survey. According to the survey, being an indie game developer does not make you rich. Individual indie devs seem to make a little over 11.000 USD per year. Read more from Indiegames.com post.
  • And Crowdfunding continues. Few weeks ago I posted about the crowdfunding and introduced 8-bit gaming, that is targeted only for video games funding. Now, Gamasutra has another article that talks about the different ups and downs of different crowdfunding sites.
  • RockPaperShotgun gave an interesting short review on Lume. The game itself is made completely in real-world as a carton doll-house and filmed with a video camera. Really interesting concept.
  • Some still bother to make really bad games. I already had my doubts about Hydrophobia Prophecy and it seems I was right. Read the first impressions from RPS. And no, don’t make games like that, even though it sounds fun.
  • Yes! Someone has answered to my silent prayers. Some of you probably remember such old games as Flashback and Another World. Well, now there is a new game continues with the glorious steps of its predecessors. May I present you: Concurrence. It seems, that also Indiegames.com featured a video of the gameplay and some more info. Go and check that out too!

Picks of the Week 15

Hello hello again! And happy labors day, the greatest day ever!

  • Nintendo has announced that they are indeed making a new game console and releasing it in 2012!Β It seems that they will be showing of their new console in the E3 this year. What will it really be about? We will see soon πŸ˜‰
  • As an answer to Nintendo’s announcement, both Sony and Microsoft have said that they are targeting for 2014 with their next generation consoles. Interesting to see if Nintendo can get an upper hand with their move or what will happen in this competition of making the mega-awesomest consoler ever!
  • The internet went crazy with the announcement of Nintendo and immediately GameTheory was asking for the top 10 features they want to see in the new console. Well, I think the HD graphics would just be common sense. Otherwise, I am hoping for something new, not just the boring competition of who can make the best graphics. There are more to games than that!
  • Continuing with Gametheory, they also posted about the Best new video games that are (or at least should be) coming out this summer.Β I am still skeptical with Duke Nukem Forever… I mean, you never know πŸ˜‰
  • I hate everything related to Social Media gaming. Everyone is doing their facebook games or whatever social media games. That is just lame and the games are usually annoyingly BORING! They just seem to like using social media to make it look more sexy. It is not! However, I came across this interesting project of making a game that is affected by Twitter tweets. Sounds interesting, yet I don’t know how well it could work in the end. Anyway, I suggest you to take a look at least to the kickstarter page of Tweet Land and check the video. The game has already gained their funding goal, so it will be really made.
  • Experimental Game Dev Podcast had a discussion about the passion behind the hit iPhone game Single Life. It is game where you have just only life (although you may train to level before actually playing for real). Maybe a little bit clichΓ©, but people seem to like the game.
  • GameSetWatch featured a trailer of a new game coming out soon for iPhone (sorry, it is not intentional to put so much Apple stuff here). A Pig’s tale: Herbert’s day out just seems quite strange a game. Read the article for trailer and more info.
  • AngryAnt released a new update to the Behavior Tree tool for Unity. The tool is really good for creating AI for games using behavior trees. Really worth checking out!
  • And more good news! Pirates of the Caribbean will be released as a Lego game! I loved Lego Star Wars and can’t wait to see Johny Depp as a Lego character bouncing through levels πŸ˜‰

Picks of the Week 14

Happy Easter for you all! Nice to see after a few weeks break. This weeks links feature a little bit about Artificial Intelligence in games (that’s a little bit close to what I am studying currently here in Spain) as well as the normal indie related articles. Enjoy your final day of Easter and the coming week!

  • Aigamedev.com is giving online classes during the weekends. Before that was only for paying subscribers, but now the live stream is FREE for everyone! The classes are really worth your time, whether you are a hardcore ai programmer or not. For more info, read the announcement.
  • Continuing with the artificial intelligence in games. The open challenges in first-person shooter AI technology is yet another interesting article from the aigamedev.com site. There is a clear explanation on the problems and give a good look on what should be fixed. Another good AI post.
  • DevMag had an article on how are puzzle games designed. This introduction has some history of puzzle games as well as an explanation of how to design the mechanics and also some extra links to continue your search for the perfect idea for a puzzle game.
  • Gamasutra on the other hand published an article on Crowdfunding perspectives. The post features both successes and failures on getting your audience to support financially your game development. There are few good sites (although they suffer from the only-life-in-america -disease). However, if you are still interested, check out 8-bit funding (this one is for everyone in the world, not just for Americans).
  • ArsTechnica discussed the problem of early reviews and indie game sales. Try not to give out pieces of games for reviews, unless you really have something to sell. The people will forget easily and for cheap titles (in my opinion 0-5 euros) they will just go and buy out the game straight after the review – or maybe never.
  • GameTrailers featured a video from this years GDC in San Fransisco. In this video the creator of Syparty explains the idea behind the game and you can see some video of the gameplay. Interesting concept, I am waiting eagerly to see how this turns out to be.
  • A new game called Terraria is coming out soon. Indiegames.com posted an article showing gameplay of Terraria. Seems like 2D version of Minecraft, yet it features a lot more than that. Read the post and check the video for more info.

Picks of the Week 13

Hello! As this post is coming out, I am enjoying my vacation in Morocco. The next few weeks will go without updates, because of my trip. Sorry for this, but I will be back fresh and with more energy at the end of the month πŸ˜‰

  • RockPaperShotgun has got their hands on information about the possible return of Max Payne. I really loved the first two ones and with the great mods (dual-wielding anyone?) it was even better πŸ˜€ Although I am a bit worried about the amount of sequels coming all the time.
  • Wired has reviewed Gemini Rue, a Blade Runnerish scifi adventure game. I would really like to get my hands on this one, yet I currently don’t have enough time to play this through. However, the game will definitely go to my summer’s shop list.
  • IndiePub had an interesting article about how games are getting worse by the time. The writer makes an analogue to cannibal tribe and bad genes of the royal families of Europe. At least there is a point behind the talk and I agree. Make something new.
  • And where copying goes, just after reading the article above I came up with this post on Indiegames.com. Someone has done a real Metroid copy called Minitroid. The video looks exactly like metroid, with all the graphs just changed a little bit – but the weapons like bombs and rockets are there. And moving as a small rolling ball. Well, I DO love Metroid, but still. What did I just say about originality?
  • Classic Video Game Deaths, the Ludologist features a nice video with a collection of deaths in different games. The music was really good for the atmosphere and the video brought back some memories. Good times.
  • The Ludologist posted an amazing (although pretty long, but thorough) video of how Braid’s design choices formed from the first prototype to the final version. Really worth your time.

Picks of the Week 12

Welcome to picks number 12! This week, unlike last week, has been a slow one. I don’t know why, but it seems not much happening on the game front. However, I do have something to share with you. I don’t want to share just any random stuff, so better to have a little something worth your time than lots of time wasters.

  • The Creators of the great game Machinarium have revelead that they are working under three new projects, that might be released quite soon. Hopefully.
  • The Java4k competion is finally over and the results are out. The idea of the competition is to make a game with Java that is under 4 kb. Which is really nothing πŸ˜€ The final results can be read from here.
  • Indiegames.com has a video from IGF where the creators of Octodad were showing their Kinect version of the game. I don’t know whether playing something on Kinect is actually that one… but, I haven’t tried, so who I am to comment?
  • Okay… here is something that is definitely wrong. I mean, really, really wrong! Playmobil has created an Apple Store Playset for kids, featuring a Steve Jobbs. Where is this world going to?

Really little eh? Well, that happens.

Picks of the Week 11

Hello everyone again! Hope you remembered to change the clock forwards by one hour, ’cause the summer time has started!!!! Β The weather here in Madrid has been horrible (rainy), but according to the weather forecast, things are starting to change for the better in the coming week. Wherever you live, I hope the spring is about to catch you as well πŸ˜‰ While waiting for the summer to come, take a moment and check out this weeks picks πŸ˜‰