nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

Tag Archives: gameplay

Busy Busy

Really, two weeks have gone by without a post?! Wow, I thought I had something ready last week. Anyways, here I am!

Recently I’ve been bogging down my internet with uploads of Prison Architect. Actually quite different since the last time I read anything from the developers. I didn’t realize there was a campaign and more items to build. As I’m writing this post, I’ve uploaded the first part of the sandbox gameplay and a bit of chapter 5 has been published.I still have a lot to upload. I do miss playing long sessions and editing it down. I’m still shying away from adding effects in Lightworks. I’ve said many of times, I upload to share and not to profit; well, that’s the case for now anyways.

In December, I think I’m going to push this new hard drive and play and upload like crazy since work is going to ease up closer to Christmas. However recently I’ve gotten into watching some live streams on YouTube Gaming. Like Twitch and Hitbox.tv, I have a major problem with people playing a lot of games from the mainstream. Mainstream games like Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, the new Call of Duty and Battlefield, it seems there is just a lot of streamers who just wants to play these games and nothing else. Maybe I want to see smaller niche games make it to the front. Any web developers from these companies, there’s an idea for you; make me a stream search filter for small games and streamers with a certain amount of viewers. Back to topic though, I’ve seen a lot of Life is Strange and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Kind of tough to find games to watch since the games worth watching don’t have streamers.

There’s my weekly update to my blog; more like a bi-weekly, but I almost made it through an entire year with a post a week.

New Game – Prison Architect

This week, I’m going to get back into recording gameplay for my YouTube Channel. It has been a very long time since I recorded anything, I figured out why. Stardew Valley was the last game I played on the channel and as I watched, it was getting fairly monotonous. I’m going to break away from Stardew Valley for awhile and focus on a new game. “New” does not mean recent; in this case, I’m taking a game I’ve had in my library that I haven’t played and I bought many moons ago in a Steam sale far far away.

Awhile ago I had bought myself a few games; Stranded Deep, Call To Arms, and Prison Architect. As per the title of this blog post, I’m going to start working on these sandbox games since I’ve had them in my library for the longest time. I’ve already recorded and edited a few episodes and it feels much more fun than the last few episodes of Stardew Valley I’ve put together. Reason behind going with Prison Architect was because the developer recently announced they were done with this game and any upcoming patches would just address major bugs. That was probably a couple months ago, which by now should be fairly stable and playable.

I think after I get a good chunk of Prison Architect completed, I’ll start on the next one and then maybe consider revisiting Stardew Valley. For the time being I think I’ll stop and enjoy what I have accomplished. Much like I did with Defiance, the MMORPG, I’m going to leave this one as is until I feel I can play it in it’s entirety.

For Future Fallout

In my hiatus, Bethesda announced Fallout 4 and providing a bit of gameplay in their E3 demo. While most of the world has seen the video thousands times over and speculating over every pixel, I just saw the reveal in past Saturday. Though the next game shows a lot of progress between New Vegas and now, there is always some room for improvement. From what I’ve seen, the next Fallout has taken the best of the modding community for Fallout 3 and put them into the this game. Most obvious is construction settlements and weapon modifications. Though weapon modifications was touched on in New Vegas, settlements however were seen in Fallout 3 as a mod. Regardless, the next instalment to the series will feature the universe we have seen and probably more. However as I said, there is always some room for improvement.

Vehicles

There were some scenes in the presentation which saws the player in a vertibird as well as views of a zeppelin over post-apocalyptic Boston. Though aerial combat would be a nice addition to the game, I would like to see a fleshed out vehicle system. My suggestion would be the ability to build and salvage vehicles. Either building from shells and hulks in the wasteland or melting scrap into components to build the entire vehicles. Even with that, the vehicles would require a fuel source. With it’s limitations, it would benefit the player into travelling the world. Though the fast travel system in the last two games would turn vehicles obsolete, but how cool will it be to cruise around in style?

Weapons and Power Armour

From the presentation, one thing I was impressed was customizable weapons. Rather than swapping parts, you build from a set of modifications. Each weapon a shotgun, a machine gun and an assault rifle. This from my point of view opens the player to play by their rules. They can be as hard hitting, quick drawing, lead slinging as they want. In the Fallout universe, we have ballistic weapons as well as energy weapons. In the last couple games, the energy weapons did have an advantage over ballistics; slight if not nothing. I think projectile weapons should get deeper if not for all the weapons. Right down to the triggers, barrel, springs and capacitors. Being module is great, but having an intricate gunsmithing system can nitpick each stat.

This goes the same with Power Armour. In the past, Power Armour was something most desired. It had the most resistance to the damage but it would be heavy too. I think in the future, modifying power armour would be impressive. Make it lighter, denser, have special capabilities; it would make the armour more versatile in the end. Especially modifying it down to the pieces; rather than helmet and suit, maybe including the shoulders and appendages.

Settlements

Within the presentation, you can build within certain parameters; I would assume from the presentation, on foundations of older buildings. Though it’s a step in the right direction, it would be more free if the player allowed the ability to create their house and settlement anywhere. Though this is a new feature to the universe, I am like many expecting to explore it. They have included tools to make these settlements something we would be willing to fight and defend. It would be tough to imagine something I have little experience in, but it would great if the game blurred the feature into the world. They tried to blurred the lines in allowing NPC and traders interact with these settlements, however it would expand further. I’m talking about factions trying to take your towns over or trying to subvert your authority through espionage or by use of violence (like raids as seen on the demo). Perhaps the authoritative factions are choices you can pick as the law enforcers of your settlements? Maybe even setting laws in towns and allowing NPCs to develop into these roles like a simulator?

Farfetched as these ideas are, we all can hope Fallout 4 will outdo its predecessor and improve on developing its universe. Doing bigger and better but even then, there is always room for improvement.

Going Through the Motions

The past week felt like a breath of fresh air. Ever since the start of Autumn, I have been really busy with a lot of developments in my personal life. For the most part, I’m sorting out the finer details of adulthood and finally feel committed to improve myself. Still have I not found a place I want to be just yet, but I hope the shotgun of requests will find a way to get me somewhere.

This year with more games on my Steam account, I’m starting to get a lot of game updates around autumn. Though I am more than happy to play through these games. I worry I might be losing steam (Pardon the pun) when it comes to recording new  gameplay for my YouTube channel. Regardless, I will not give up on my channel just yet. For now as more new content, I would like to get into multiplayer co-op matches if I find them. Beyond recording, I’m playing through the new content from Interstellar Marines update 14, though it’s limited. I’m still hooked on playing Star Trek Online and it’s Delta Rising content has left me playing an hour a day exploring the new end game. On the Insurgency front, the new Nightfall DLC looks interesting; at the moment of this post, I’ve taken a peak of it on release. I feel like I could record more if I could somehow get my hands on new games. For the moment, I’ll settle with what I can buy and download. Gaming on a budget has it’s downfalls.

With YouTube and the new stuff, I have lacked in exercise. I promised I would keep exercising but I want to do more then just push ups while I wait for videos to render. I want more than just the usual. I would join gym but at the moment, my finances does not accommodate a gym membership at the moment. Maybe having a running buddy would be even beneficial, if I had a friend who enjoyed exercise. I’ll keep trying to stay fit while the weather gets more forbidding.

For now the new things in my life has to take precedence over the stuff I’ve created the past 10 months. Though the old and new my clash, both from my point of view have a part into my future. The only question is how much and would it be good for me.

Into Indies

At the moment on my YouTube channel, I have played a couple indie games but I never really just picked something up to just display it. Recently, I thought I would use IndieDB to help me find some games to make short playthroughs. As a starter, I have downloaded TubeStar.

TubeStar is a parody to making videos on YouTube and “simulates” being a YouTuber. I wouldn’t be so sure what that would actually be like but I thought I would give it a shot. Though there is a bunch of games out there so why would I pick something so obscure? Simply, I picked one at random I can download and gave it a shot. From the recorded gameplay footage, I somewhat regret my decision. It was very dull to say the least and the gameplay was not compelling.

Lessons learned from this little let’s play recording session? First would be to read about the game, then download it to play a bit to see if it’s compelling or has something worth showing. Secondly, compelling gameplay; honestly I got kind fo bored halfway through the game. Most definitely trust my ADHD-meter for interesting games. Last point to make would be pick from genres I would enjoy and not through a mystery bag system.  

So the first indie lets play on my channel is a semi-success, but I’ll let the viewer make that count. Until then, I’m sticking to my laggy playthrough of The Dead Linger. 

Flashpoint Marathon – “Why isn’t this a video game?”

I can’t get enough of the show; since the finale, I’ve been just watching this chronologically whenever I want to watch to watch a straightforward cop drama. I watched stuff like CSI and Law & Order, it never appealed to me because it was a rinse and repeat method of television with names changed and subtle generic plot twists.

Flashpoint is still the only cop drama I’ve enjoyed because it was live action. The camera work was up close and natural which put the viewer into the situation. The story arcs were mixed and compelling in terms of exploring secondary characters and personalities of the primaries. Revolving around an elite team of police officers similar to SWAT, the show follows the internal and external struggles of law enforcement and the effects it has to the individuals in the team. Fundamentally, the writers did a good job on challenging TV character and item tropes like infinite ammo for the weapons and the good or bad cop. Most surprisingly is the intricate gunplay. When I first watched the entire series, I was on edge wondering when they would shoot someone throughout the series after seeing the first episode. After awhile, the show put you into the frame of mind where there is a grey area where you start to understand when they should use their firearms. In the entirety regardless of whether it was the first or the latest time I’ve watched it, the back of my mind wants this to be a video game.

Let’s assume the best that I was a programmer and I could pull it off, lets visualize this. The pacing should be fairly episodic like you play a character in the story; when you die, that’s the end of the character. So we can assume some extent of character customization like facial customization, body height, voice and maybe character traits. For the episodic pace, likely a mission progression system with key NPC’s reappearing in later content. With that said, I think players would get bored of playing the same missions over an over in a set mode. So probably have some procedurally generated mission system to increase difficulty and positions of NPC’s to offer different scenarios. To make it interesting the levels would have to have a lot of walking room. In my head, it would make sense to have a first person perspective to put the players into their characters. That takes care of the gunplay; the contained scenes where characters negotiate, meaning in game it should have some aspect of that. So an advance AI system that can distinguish combat and negotiation mode and a system that doesn’t necessarily provide right or wrong answers excluding right and wrong answers to diffuse the current situation. There should be a listen and respond component. At the same time, there should be animations to signal mood and behaviour to the player to and respond in a timely manner. Which brings out the animation and the detailing to it. Mostly sticking to face like facial features and body language. In terms of gameplay mechanics, the animations should include things like takedowns seen in Halo and Battlefield 3. Maybe get deeper to that to have a takedown and struggle mechanic where takedowns are more to slow progress and the struggle forces players to go into QTE’s (Quick Time Events) to disarm weapons or escape headlocks. Establishing that, let’s examine the various scenarios which can be in this imaginary game we can make!

In the show I’ve seen a bunch of hostage situations as well as just mentally unstable individuals which can display the AI mechanic, in terms of combat there could be scenarios where players would have to confront situations where it’s non-negotiable. Example would be the player would have to resort into shooting a hostage taker when they feel negotiations aren’t working or have failed. Bomb disposal was part of show in bits so probably have items and mechanics to deal with bomb disposal. So definitely snipping wires could be a thing.

In terms of multiplayer, a lot of games are mostly multiplayer with either a small single player campaign or a tutorial. In this case I think it should be a tutorial and multiplayer to get the basic controls and teach basic game mechanics. The multiplayer would have to co-op since there can be more content and gameplay than just multiplayer for this. The best I could personally see if this was going to be a player versus player would be some sort of deathmatch, Counter-Strike like demolition, or a capture game mode. So not much in terms of being accurate to the show but would remove the AI component. In a cooperative setting, it would likely yield more content in terms of procedural AI spawns, traits and situations. Also allows the character customization to be more important for the player to humanize their character rather be an expendable player especially with certain gameplay traits. Also it opens up opportunity to do things like have AI attack wave after wave.

I wouldn’t be too sure if I would play this but if someone built it and had my attention, I might give it a shot. It would definitely be a change from guns blazing to taking things slow with opportunities to use the weapons and items.

Until next time, keep on daydreaming!

Steam is fuelling my problems

With only one more day until the release of Banished, I’ve found more games I want to play in the Steam store. Helpful as it is, it doesn’t help making me want to play those games. The games I’m being pulled towards? Banished because I want to play it on my revived YouTube channel. Recently I found Takedown: Red Sabre in the Steam store for under 2 dollars as a promotion. Though I think by now, the price has went back up so I’m disappointed. Recently I have this fascination for ship simulators, especially Artemis the spaceship bridge simulator. I could always wait for Pulsar: The Lost Colony and find a few other people to play.

On a positive note, I think I’ve done all I can for my recording set up. Banished is going to look amazing on low quality! From my last batch of recordings, I can push the quality to 720p but I would suffer a long upload time. In the interest of time and sanity, I decided to keep the video format to one long reel of 20 minutes long so my upload time would take a quarter of a day or less. Considering whatever I do would slow down my connection, it’s invaluable that I do other things until I feel I could do something worthwhile on YouTube. In many ways, I think the channel will be more of a video outlet and supplement to my blog. Talking about stuff and just my open dialogue to the world. Also give you a look at the games I like to play might encourage some people to give them a try as well.

Besides the technical work, I think I’m I need to find someone with talent in graphic design to do my channel art and icon. Not too worried about it at the moment, but I’m considering to make it part of my digital life.

Until next time, feel free to check out my channel and have a mellow Monday!

Testing…1…2…3

Look everyone, I posted something on YouTube after so long. Seriously I have a lot to improve so probably some quick updates in the upcoming week. So without further ado, gamer me has something to say.

Game: Blacklight Retribution

Currently working on getting ride of the letterbox issue for Blacklight when recording, then just have to test it alongside with Insurgency, Star Trek Online then figure an upload schedule. Indeed, I’m taking what I learned in 4 years of blogging to this thing.

So far from uploading this clip, I learned a few things. First being quality is a bit off so I might have to adjust brightness. Uploading is really slow due to my connection. This 20 minute snippet was about an hour and a half to upload and process. Most importantly, re-renders lower the quality. I figured to save time to compress it a bit, but that lowered the quality. So I have to improve on quality. I’m not way too worried about high definition since those files would literally take a good chunk of the day to upload which I don’t really have time to put towards babysitting. I still have real life to tend to and I don’t think being a YouTube personality would be an overnight thing. For now, sticking to my main goal – keep busy!

Until the next test, get ready for a lot of time with Banished in 1 week, 4 days.

P.S. Fill out social media contacts on YouTube…maybe…

Trying new things…not in a dirty way (maybe)

The Steam store has finally gotten the hold on me. There are games at the moment there I want to play and explore; I just spent the rest of my previous Steam card funds on Insurgency. I decided on it on a two fold decision. First was the price, it was 10% off until the end of January so I would spend the entirety of the card. In hindsight, it could backfire wince another game is coming out and I’m absolutely pumped for it. I was attracted to the game for the co-op, I heard it was challenging. When I got the game it was challenging at first; even after a few runs in these maps, I must admit it feels very linear but the computer opponents would be it’s best to shoot back. At times, they’re ridiculous good shots or they are just a cut above the Stormtroopers. When the time is right, those bots are pretty good at keeping heads down or even just slowing down progress. Probably the best AI I’ve seen so far in an FPS, they’re not too smart and not too dumb.

Mentioning a game, I’ve always wanted to play a city building and management simulator. Ever since Simcity moved over to EA’s Origin client, there’s nothing I can find I can get from Steam – until recently when I heard about Banished. After seeing a bunch of pre-release let’s play videos on YouTube, I intensely want to play with it. With only two weeks and two days away from release day, there’s already a lot of videos out for the game. Watching the gameplay does not phase me to play it; I’m more interested in playing it considering it’s a sandbox and it seems like a well made game for one individual from what I hear. From the specs for the game, I think I should rekindle an old project on YouTube.

The last time I did a Let’s Play (technically called a walkthrough, for those who can’t find the noun) was Call of Duty Black Ops. If I can remember correctly, it was on easy too considering the difficulty is fairly steep between medium and hard. I guess it was a test of a format, thus why there’s only one on my channel and that’s all I uploaded. Perhaps when this game comes out, I will get back to doing a “let’s play” of Banished. I guess I should look into downloading the editing suite and recording software. I’ve been out of it so research might be scheduled. It would keep me busy and maybe gain some video editing and production skills, but keeping productive is probably something that sounds more encouraging while I find employment. Yay to being my own intern!

Aside from blogging, I can add making videos on YouTube to the list of things to keep me busy and close to video games. I have about a good couple weeks to get set up and get rolling or chicken out, so that’s something to look into so let me know if you guys want to see me play a sandbox city builder. Until next time, be brave and bold everyone!