Friday, June 29, 2012

Why didn't I find out about this sooner?!

A picture of Bryce 7 Pro
Get it free while you can!

I have no idea why and not that I'm complaining at all, but in case you didn't know already, DAZ has been giving away some of their flagship software titles for free for a while now (since about February, apparently).

They're giving the 3D terrain modeling and animation commercial software Bryce 7 Pro absolutely free, along with their 3D modeler Hexagon 2.5 and the normally-free Daz Studio 4 which now included commercial Genesis included for free--all free for a limited time.

I just one day last week went to this site by chance just to check out Bryce 7, and surprise!  It's free!  I just wish I had found it sooner!

So, if you're interested in checking them out, even just to fool around with them, go there and download them!  This goes well with Blender and Unity Indie version--both of which I use for my game development.

Though I already own other software for my game terrain, it certainly never hurts to have more!  Bryce 7 Pro in particular has some very useful terrain generation and rendering features.  And for free!

- Brian

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Community Game!

Just wanted to spread the word about this project going on here (esp. since I'm involved in it now).

The Community Game (at the Peripheral Games website)

Just check that out if this sounds interesting to you.  You can submit your idea for The Community Game and even offer to help David develop it.  It's an iOS and Android game that will be made by the gaming community, for the gaming community, and all profits from the game (which will sell at 79 cents) will go back to the community in the form of Kickstarter and donations all over the place!  If you're a gamer or just love indie games, go check it out!

(And hey, to some of my fellow Blender and Unity users in particular, check out some of David's useful videos on YouTube on using Blender and Unity.  He covers a few topics that you don't find too often.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My sorta-brief review of E3 so far (Updated)

This will be "sorta-brief" because, well, I think this sums my feelings up best...

Microsoft, for the most part, stank (it was Kinectmania).  Ubisoft annoyed me with their host Aisha Tyler introducing games I generally didn't care about.  EA was EA as usual.  Sony did a lot more of the same--sequels with little-to-no major changes, a showy 3D-scanned motion-captured "cinematic" game (Beyond, from the makers of Heavy Rain but not as good), a shameless clone of successful Nintendo game, and introducing an stupid investment that no one who owns a PS3 will buy (WonderBook).

Now this leaves me to Nintendo, which whom, personally, I was favoring.  I'm quite fond of the interesting concept of Wii U.  I've followed its development from day one.  I can see its clear potential in gaming.  After a largely boring and disappointing E3 thus far, the ball was clearly in Nintendo's court.  But Nintendo really dropped the ball.  In terms of presenting, yet again they present an interesting piece of hardware but once again they failed to provide an impressive list of launch games.

They introduced a new system that was clearly the best hardware of E3 (the Wii U console--namely the Wii U GamePad controller), and started off by introducing the long-awaited Pikmin 3, which was nice.  And then a special-edition Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition was shown.  It was okay, but nothing outstanding that the game that's already out.  And then it just kinda went south from there, when Nintendo soon gave the floor to Ubisoft (and you know Ubisoft, they're 8 out of 10 of their games are going to be forgettable).  And, well, just watch some conference highlights on somewhere like GameSpot or the E3 website.  Overall, though, it'll leave you feeling like Lemongrab.

I think Wii U still has a chance to make it, but Nintendo just needs to get their act together by taking advantage of their advantages.  In case you haven't seen the E3 presentation or heard news from it, just know that they started off good and then it went all downhill from there, ending the evening talking about a game that frankly should've been left to the show floor to reveal.

But here's 12 announced and strongly-suggested games that I was hoping would be talked about more from Nintendo during their main E3 presentation, but they didn't and for the life in me I don't know why:
  1. Zelda HD (it's in the works and would've been pivotal--why not show something about it, even if just concept art?)
  2. Star Fox Wii U (one developed by Retro Studios, just as they said they'd like to do)
  3. Golden Sun 3DS (there's more 3DS games to announce later, but my hopes aren't up anymore...)
  4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS (again, it's in the works and would've been pivotal--show something)
  5. F-Zero Wii U (Miyamoto said he'd like to see it on Wii U--listen to the man!)
  6. Zone of Enders 3DS (Konami tweeted about the game--show something)
  7. Metroid Wii U (some guy hinted that it was in consideration--why not do it and show something?)
  8. Fire Emblem Wii U (I was confident that this game would be announced...)
  9. That announced RPG in development from Monolith
  10. Project C.A.R.S. (again, it's coming to the Wii U--why wasn't anything on it shown?)
  11. An MMORPG announcement from Funcom (as they indicated was a good possibility)
  12. Ghost Recon Online Arcade (this game was one of the first games to exist for Wii U and would've been one of Ubisoft's better games to show--why wasn't it shown anywhere during the main presentation?)
Most of these games are actual Wii U games in development--why weren't they announced? It's so stupid, because the Wii U doesn't have to suffer the criticism it's now going to suffer if only they had announced some of these games.  I still haven't given up on Wii U yet, and I think it still has a reasonable chance at success, but I think Nintendo's made their already uphill battle just that much more harder for themselves.

By fumbling that golden opportunity of a second first-impression of the Wii U to more dedicated "core" gamers, they've especially disappointed longtime fans like myself who can also still see how much potential the Wii U has, but just didn't get met last night.  Now we currently look like fools for trusting Nintendo to knock it out of the part (for once).  We still might gain some vindication later from the Wii U later, but for right now, we're in bandages.

Anyways, while it wasn't a total lose.  At least I know that many of those games I listed are actually in development, and among some of the announced games for Wii U was the likes of Trine 2: Directors Edition a Wii U edition of Mass Effect 3, and a very interesting "mass-hero action" game currently called Project P-100.  As bad as Nintendo was on-stage, I've actually seen worse lineup of launch titles (even the recent PS Vita comes to mind here).  There's still more Nintendo 3DS games to be announced.  And things are still early even for Wii U.  So here's to looking on the bright side.

- Brian

Update [06/15/2012]:  Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata has spoken some more about just why Nintendo only announced their launch titles at their E3 conference, and furthermore, reason why I shouldn't have doubted them (and it's so simple, really): They didn't want other people to copy their upcoming ideas for Wii U, so they're keeping quiet about it.  Well, that's a relief!

But a lifelong fan, knowing their innovating characteristic and unconventional quirks for going against the grain, after many being relentlessly and shamelessly imitated, I should've known something like this was the reason why, because it was rather uncharacteristic of Nintendo.  I mean, even last year, they did announce new Zelda and Super Smash Bros. title before they were even in production.  All of a sudden, any remaining post-E3 stress I had has now died.  Though even before now, as you can see in my writing above, I was already waning in my initial disappointment about their E3 conference.  My anatomical structure has been prepared once again for Wii U, full throttle!


Sweet chimichangas on a hill of black beans!  This is more awesome than a golden valley of eternal rainbows of phantasmal fire in an nebulous ocean in outer space past the light of the third sun of a galaxy made of cookies!

I hate to say it, Epic, but even though I don't know the side-by-side tech specs of either two engines, this real-time next-gen game engine demo left me way more impressed than the rather underwhelming Unreal Engine 4's demo did.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Another indie game I REALLY like: StarForge

Once again, I'm not only an indie game developer, but I'm an indie game lover.  I try to post up games that I just wish as many eyes as possible would see.  Last time I showed Megabyte Punch, and that game's really coming along (check that one out, too, if you haven't).  This time, check out this exciting game in development called StarForge.  To describe it in short, take Minecraft, Starcraft II and Halo, and throw them into a blender, and basically, this awesome game is what you'll get.

But this game is really its own game, uses a very unique voxel-building system, incorporates several genres to define its own subgenre of RTS game (something I myself can relate to), and is just quite a promising game.  It's already making some waves and gaining some notice in the world of indie games.  What's even more crazy is that currently, only two guys are developing this game, and they're using Unity game engine to do it (again, I can relate to those myself). These two guys are creating (part-time) a kind of game that even larger major full-time game development teams won't do. This game is both inspiring and interesting to me.

Watch this video on YouTube of one of the developers walking through some of the development of the game, and then download their pre-alpha "builder demo" here (or their website, if that download link should stop working for any reason).  Enjoy (and then support them by Liking the video, if you like it)!

- Brian

E3 is almost here and I can't wait!

My anatomical structure is prepared.

Looking forward to E3 coming up!  I personally don't much care about planned new on Kinect, Halo 4, PS Vita or the probable failure EVO 2--this E3 will probably be all Nintendo for me.

I saw the Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 video from Nintendo presented by Mr. Satoru Iwata today, where he revealed a little about Wii U, and I have to say that if that was just a taste, then Wii U is going to be quite a delicious dish.  And I think the purposely-cheesy funny concept video of a frustrated Wii U gamer seeking help with his game is probably going to introduce this year's E3 meme: "non-specific action figure."

Anyways, my guess overall is that in face of a boring presentation from Sony and Microsoft this year and in light of the high praise several major developers have given the Wii U before now, Nintendo's probably going to steal the spotlight at E3 again this year!

I'll post back later and talk a bit about E3!  Meanwhile, check out some stuff I'm posting on my game developer's blog.

- Brian