archive-com.com » COM » G » GAMESPY.COM

Total: 893

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #9: My Life On Screen - Page 1
    game manual My vision of surgery and the medical field in general is heavily influenced by television and popular media as I m sure is true for everybody who doesn t actually work in the field On TV and in the movies surgery is always a dramatic crisis where the camera focuses more on the blood and the faces and dialogue of those involved than the machines or the technology I was therefore unprepared for the experience of getting wheeled into the operating theater In the 10 minutes or so I was awake on the table while the doctors attached monitors to my body I looked around the room What struck me was the number of HDTV monitors there were There were at least a dozen or so arrayed around the table and hanging from the ceiling They were big ones too at least 35 inchers My surgery you see was going to be done laprocopically That means that to avoid having to actually cut me open the doctor would be inserting pinhole cameras into my body along with remote controlled instruments in order to do the actually cutting and suturing The reason for all the screens was that my surgeon would most likely never actually look at me during the procedure He d have his eyes glued to the screen and my life depended on his ability to be able to read the information coming off it and remotely manipulate the instruments he was seeing In other words my future health depended on a real life game of Trauma Center As I am an incurable wiseass my comment to the attending operating room staff upon seeing all of those screens was to make a smart remark When one of the staff asked me Are you okay as the first

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/974/974237p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #7: The PC Needs An RTS - Page 1
    as Microsoft s notorious lack of support for the platform This makes sense from a business perspective of course as the sales volume of the Xbox 360 easily outstrips little sideline PC businesses like Minesweeper and Windows Then there s the problem of on screen real estate A real time strategy game would need to display up to a dozen units on the screen at the same time This is feasible on big screen HDTVs of course but running on a PC screen at 800x600 or even a processor scorching 1024x768 with the units displaying the same size as the ones in Halo Wars makes the units too small to even distinguish one from another The biggest problem in my estimation though is simply the problem of control Take a look at your average Xbox 360 control pad There are six buttons two triggers a d pad and a pair of analog sticks That allows for at least 15 simultaneous inputs something certainly within reach of the casual gamer The hardcore RTS fan sometimes needs to input 20 or 25 units commands every minute The average two button mouse simply cannot keep up with that kind of demand It s a physical impossibility Even if you add more buttons and really it s all my six fingers can do to keep up with Quake Live that still doesn t address the problem of the level of gunk that ends up accumulating in the average mouse ball I asked one of my experts over on Yahoo Answers to estimate the average stickiness or viscosity of Cheetos dust that coats an average gamer s mouse and the answers were not encouraging Finally there s the ever present problem of a lack of decent content that might be turned into an RTS There are only so many science fiction first person shooters that can be plundered to be turned into RTS games Sure Doom Wars might work I d certainly love to see a Half Life Wars where one side plays the head crabs and the other plays the Companion Cube from Portal My dream of course would be for a company like Blizzard to take the characters from the monster MMO World of Warcraft and shrink them down into a a real time strategy experience Who wouldn t love to not just get quests from Thrall or Jaina Proudmoore but to actually command them in battle A pipe dream I suppose as Blizzard has never shown the slightest interest in the genre But it s probably the only company in these times with the money for a bold experiment of that sort Once you move past a couple of the big action games the pickings get mighty slim Where on earth will you get the kinds of interesting military units and big picture combat between soldiers if not science fiction or maybe fantasy The History Channel Sure Like anyone s going to pay decent money to watch a trebuchet lumber up to

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/968/968684p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #6: A Lecture on Magic - Page 1
    ve been thinking a lot about magic lately It s sort of an occupational hazard when you play as many RPGs as I do and have memorized as many magic systems as I have What s always struck me though is how easily we ve come to accept a phrase that really should be an oxymoron magic system How do you quantify magic Magic by definition is supernatural something outside the realm of reality that s not beholden to the laws of existence Magic cannot be truly contained or controlled or systematized because if it can it s not really magic It s just an alternative science that works along different principles As in my example above if waving a wand in a particular pattern every time always has the same result then the magic mirror is no different than a television Magic real magic is far more H P Lovecraft than Gary Gygax Such a thought is anathema to game developers and gamers though Magic in a book or a movie can always be twisted into whatever it needs to be in order to serve the needs of the story J R R Tolkien didn t worry about exactly what powers Gandalf the Grey had or what his relative power level was vis a vis Elrond or the Balrog or exactly what spells he had in his repertoire Gandalf did whatever Tolkien needed him to do The developers of The Lord of the Rings Online on the other hand faced an enormous challenge when creating out a workable magic system based on Tolkein s world They were forced to quantify what had been a nebulous amorphous source of wonder into an enumerated hierarchy of abilities spells and powers that needed to be numbered and balanced Since gaming is a

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/967/967523p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #5: EverQuest's Heroic Journey - Page 1
    game was the natural mistake the developers made assuming that everyone who ever entered the world of Britannia would view it the same way they did as a giant stage where they could act out their role playing inclinations What they created therefore was a world of complete freedom where anyone could be anything they wished to be The problem with that notion was that there s a word for complete freedom anarchy Not everybody dreams of being Lord British or being a tailor or a baker in a medieval serf s village In a game with absolutely no social controls or directed experiences many people used their freedom to indulge the worst aspects of their character in a consequence free environment Their role as it were was to have their fun at the expense of the fun of others Indeed the more miserable they made an anonymous stranger they more they seemed to enjoy themselves Without an actual game to play these folks found that winning by harassing another player offline was much easier than fighting a monster that tends to hit back The greatest innovation of EverQuest wasn t the game s graphics or the technology that let it push so much data over the primitive Internet technology of the time It was in the very name of the product questing MMOs are often derisively called graphical overlays for chat rooms but that misses an important distinction People already have such technology available to them if all they want to do is remotely chat They re called chat rooms EverQuest did more It gave people the other half of the Dungeons Dragons fantasy They not only got to live in a fantasy universe they got to go out slay a dragon steal its loot and feel like a

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/965/965588p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #4: A Tale of Three Watchmen - Page 1
    of Tom Bombadil While I can t seriously argue with the first as poor workmanship will ruin anything the second intrigues me because I ve always thought that people get that exactly backwards It isn t lack of respect for the source material that ruins an adaptation it s a lack of respect for the process of adaptation itself Exhibit A Three versions of Watchmen a book a movie and a game 1986 s Watchmen is arguably the greatest comic book ever made It was I believe the book for which the term graphic novel was coined to separate it out from the lower orders of disposable drugstore rack funny books It s an opinion I share as the proud owner of all 12 original issues in mint or near mint condition and the possessor of my fourth dog eared copy of the trade paperback Watchmen is a rich feast that gets richer the more times you read it It s a deconstruction of the superhero myth a treatise on the politics of power and the power of politics an examination of heroism and where it comes from and much more It s also and the importance of this cannot be understated a comic book Watchmen derives much of its power from its status as a comic book Despite the attention paid to the work of Alan Moore Watchmen owes as much to the artwork of Dave Gibbons Consider that the broadly symmetrical nine panel grid layout of Watchmen was not common at the time and harked back to the format of the EC horror comics and the work of Steve Ditko which was itself influenced by comic s origins as a newspaper strip This strictness of this form is one that verily screams comic book because it s the classic comic book idea of good and evil that what goes on inside the panel is busy deconstructing Watchmen s artwork respects the power of the format even while it s busy pulling apart its sacred symbols Who Watches The Just this past weekend I went to see Zack Snyder s film Watchmen a remarkably faithful adaptation that did the seemingly impossible cram the essence of a gargantuan story into a relatively compact three hour running time While I won t claim it s a great film it certainly doesn t beat Snyder s own 300 I enjoyed it What struck me while I was watching the movie though was that the film s weaknesses didn t stem from any lack of fidelity to the source material if anything it was from a failure to properly fit the property into the requirements of a film an art form very different than a comic book A comic book derives its power from the sequential nature of its art in combination with text and the active participation of the reader in the so called gutter filling in the blanks between panels thanks Scott McCloud Films quickly move from place to place and

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/962/962744p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #3: Imperial Hubris - Page 1
    new nation and their motivations for searching for empire The in game Maratha are a conglomeration of ethnically Indian Hindu tribes that are rebelling against the oppression of a predominantly Muslim Mughal Empire As such their victory conditions require them to dominate 15 total provinces including 12 specific ones That essentially means that to win the game I would have to completely crush the Mughals by 1750 kick the Portuguese out of a rich trading port and crush a friendly independent kingdom Once again I have no idea how historically accurate this is and to be perfectly honest I didn t care My battles to lead the Maratha Confederacy to victory were an absolute blast There s a reason I gave the game five stars I began by examining my assets which included a lucrative gem mine and relatively peaceful relations with the Portuguese as well as the aforementioned independent kingdom I looked at my armies and those of the Mughal and realized that my only hope was money I needed money lots of it and fast in order to research better soldiers and have the numerical superiority needed to triumph in battle With all due respect to the many digital Maratha warriors who have died in my service one on one they re simply no match for Mughal troops I therefore made the decision early to try and make peace with the independent kingdom and keep the Portuguese at arm s length The last thing I needed was a war on two fronts or European involvement The only thing I wanted from Europe was money something available in abundance once I began selling tea to Great Britain As I began to explore the possibilities of the game s intricate trading system something odd struck me One of my earliest and best trading partners and later allies was the Ottoman Empire itself a Muslim state Religion in Empire Total War plays a role much like that in Civilization IV as one factor among many that act as AI predilections By and large states that share a faith are more inclined to like one another while those that don t have a harder time getting along Thus Protestant Great Britain in the 18th Century is less than inclined to be buddies with France or Spain both Catholic Yet here was a powerful Muslim empire essentially siding with a group of upstart Hindus battling against their fellow Muslims I started to wonder why Was it an ethnic thing If the Ottomans are primarily Turks there might be little love lost between them and the ethnically Indian who I think would later become Pakistani Mughals Were they just looking to foment chaos to bring down a rival empire near their border There were a lot of possibilities of course The thing is these questions are never answered in Empire Total War Beyond the bland introductory text describing each faction in the game this world of 18th century battle and intrigue was very much

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/960/960171p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #2: The Last Gaming World - Page 1
    old boys I don t care how old you are Heck I m going to be 40 with two kids and my wife will be happy to tell you that I m 14 That goes for the developers and many of the personnel in this industry as well Travel to any game developer or company involved in the gaming industry and you ll see the same things There are cubicles overflowing with action figures posters of giant robots Nerf guns hacky sacks skateboards and cans of Mountain Dew Red Alert It s the playground of the nerdy kids who got beat up by the jocks in school who have figured out a way to make those childish fixations pay Indeed the more successful gamer culture becomes and when the biggest movies of the last few years are based on comic book characters you know we ve arrived the more perverse satisfaction we take in getting back at mainstream culture The problem with gamer culture is while it is often wildly creative it s also frequently lacking in depth Looking over the subject matter of most games it seems like the only books we ve read are Lord of the Rings and Starship Troopers and the only movies we know anything about are The Matrix and Star Wars The genius of Warhammer 40 000 is that it takes all the greatest gamer tropes and jacks them up to 11 reference check It s not enough that Imperial Space Marines are in power armor No they have to be genetically enhanced immortal supermen who wield what s basically a rocket launcher as a personal sidearm and go up from there to weapons that level whole continents Your fantasy orcs not scary enough Check out our badass space biker Orks that wield laser guns and flamethrowers Check out the Imperial Guard s Baneblade tank it s basically the drawing we all did as a kid of a giant tank with 14 guns that had smaller guns atop the larger ones It s a power fantasy masquerading as a gothic mood piece The result of all Warhammer 40 000 s badassery is that the universe itself has already gone once around the bend to parody back to super serious to some weird headspace of its own devising If you can contemplate any single element in Warhammer 40 000 for more than two minutes without a sly knowing smile spreading across your face you doubtlessly have some profoundly disturbing fan fiction that I never want to read As for me the more time I spend in the Warhammer 40 000 universe the more I realize that the reason that I love it is that it s me It s my world my culture It s the fantasy universe I ve inhabited since I realized that lugging around a copy of Bullfinch s Mythology was unlikely to get me invited to many parties on Saturday night The result of this mindset can be seen in much

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/957/957897p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive

  • GameSpy: The Angry Bear #1: The Heart of Gaming - Page 1
    gaming is the bearded Visigoth hammering at the walls of Western culture responsible for everything from a falling literacy rate to school shootings to for all we know the heartbreak of psoriasis Despite this gaming has flourished And as the first Atari wave gamers hit their mid 40s and take up semi responsible positions in society gaming and gaming culture have at last begun to truly enter the mainstream Incumbent upon gamers then is the need to stop reacting in knee jerk fashion to all the criticism that gets aimed at our hobby and start parsing what comes through to separate the constructive wheat from the reactionary chaff In the next generation of kids you re going to see a lot of storytelling in games Serkis continues in the interview And I think it s important to invest in that I absolutely think that gaming is a massive storytelling arena in the making and now the technology has arrived to do that It seems pretty clear to me that Serkis isn t anti game and that perhaps he s actually trying to offer some constructive criticism Perhaps we might start taking the time to listen At the turn of the 20th Century the mere novelty of seeing moving pictures was enough to pull in the crowds As the novelty factor wore off though the medium had to grow It had to develop its own artistic language At first this meant adding things like narrative plot and the idea of separate scenes that told a story It seems impossible to imagine now but the first hit films were of things like trains going into tunnels and filmed horse races Things that we now consider the basic building blocks of a movie had to be invented experimented with and eventually perfected to

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/954/954010p1.html (2016-02-16)
    Open archived version from archive



  •