Ok, reading that back, that title kind of sounds creepy. Maybe next time you comment use a different handle so my next post won't sound like the dirty version of a Tom Hanks movie. I thought I would post my answeres to the questions the poster fomr my home state of Illinois posed. I have been in writing mode lately, so I figured I would use some of that writing momentum to get back into the blogging habit. Not sure if I will be able to keep up the pace I am setting here, but I will sure as hell try.
Here is my fairly long winded responses to the questions about my gaming habits/likes/dislikes.
What game systems do you own?
Right now I have a few PS2’s, (One I bought, and my old debug for playing GOW2 discs at home when we were in production) a PS3, a 360, a Wii, a Gamecube, (Cause the new Zelda is more fun for me on GC) an Xbox, (To play Morrowind and KOTOR) a PSP, a DS, a GBA micro, an Astro City arcade cabinet, and my home PC. At one point I did own an Ngage…but that was very short lived as it was fairly lame. Many people at work made fun of me for getting the side talking taco….even though the one I got did not require side talking.
Man…I never realized how much I have until I listed it out like that. I really need to get a life outside of games.
What games do you own?
There are waay too many that I own to list them all out. I buy a ton of games; I am a pretty big geek. It is a wonder that I have ever had sex really. I try to play everything in the action adventure genre, no matter what it is. And then I also tend to buy a bunch of the newer big games regardless of the genre. I have a stack of about 15 games that I need to work my way through.
What is your favorite genre? (I made this one up on my own...that's just how I roll)
I like story based games or games with strong sense of character development. Not that I have anything against other more ‘pure gameplay’ games, I just prefer to have a strong reason of who I am and why it is I am doing things in the world. That being said I really don’t have a favorite genre. I like adventure, action adventure, survival horror, and RPG’s. Not too into music games until a little game called Guitar Hero came along. Before that I had only played a little beat mania, amplitude, and this freaking rad dancing game called Bust-a-Groove. (That game was sweet)
What is your all time favorite three games, and why?
I really don’t have one favorite game, so I decided to talk about three…but even then that is too limiting. There are just too many games that I love!!! But I will name just a few here.
First, Future Wars for the Amiga. (Pictured above) This was a traditional point and click adventure game from Delphine Software (Another World, Flashback) about a guy, who I think is basically a janitor, who gets caught up in a time traveling adventure to save the earth from certain destruction by the hands of an alien race. The story sounds cheesy now, but when I first played this game it was just amazing to me. when asked abotu my favorite games I say this one all the time because it was really one of the first games that hooked me and had me staying up for two days straight playing until the end; I was that into the story and the sense of discovery the game gave me. There was no voice acting, just text and music, but the game had me hooked. This was way before the internet so their wasn’t any gamefaqs.com or strategy guides…so it took forever to figure some of the more obscure puzzles but I loved every minute of it. I still draw some inspiration from the way that certain scenarios made me feel…the sense of wonder these relatively simple graphics evoked in me.
Second on the list is a little adventure game called Grim Fandango. I was debating whether or not to put two adventure games on the list, but freaking Tim Shafer is damn awesome that I would be an idiot to leave off this freaking masterpiece. I wanted to put Day of the Tentacle, or even Full Throttle...but int he end I think this game grabbed me the most of the three. This game was truly in a class all its own. Some of the puzzles were a bit annoying, but all in all, this one was of the most satisfying and unique experiences I have ever had with a game. The writing was brilliant, the art was fantastic, and for the most part the play was great! I can still go back and play this one every so often, just as I do with Day of the tentacle and Full Throttle. One day I hope to be 1/50th as talented as Tim…one day.
The number three slot in this somewhat verbose list is the sweet FPS Half Life. I almost hate calling it an FPS, because when I think of most FPS’s great character development and great story really don’t leap to mind. But Half life really changed my perspective on all of that. I was actually working on an FPS when the Half life demo came out.(Requiem: Avenging Angel) It freaking blew what I was working on out of the water. The demo for Half life was better than our entire game. The level design was unbelievable, the core mechanics were fun and offered the perfect mix of familiar with ‘new’, and the presentation was top notch. Valve started something that everyone in the industry has been imitating ever since.
Cool little side note on that, one of the level designers on that game (Requiem) with me went on to be the Lead Designer over at Tim Shafer’s Double fine studios…he was the lead on Psychonauts…I am very jealous of him. :)
There are so many other games I love that I don’t even think these are my top three. This is the top three I can think of right now…but in an hour the list will change.
What games inspire you?
I think that every game inspires me in one way or another. Some really great games inspire me to get back to work and push harder to make what I am working on better. Really bad games inspire me to get back to work so I don’t end up releasing something that makes people mad they spent 50 or 60 bucks on my game. This is why I buy all my games…so when I get a Spiderman 3; I know what it feels like to feel cheated having spent the money on game that really feels unfun and unfinished. I actually like the second one, but three just did not live up to my expectations of the series.
As for specific games that have inspired me in the past….I would have to say there are so many that I will just name a few.
1. Indigo Prophecy was great…especially that beginning section in the diner. I played through that opening like 5 times trying different things to see what would happen. It’s a slower paced game, but I love the storytelling. I like the way they handled dialogue trees in this game, it felt pretty good. The whole 3D David Cage (The game director) tutorial in the begining was a bit much though...it is kind of wierd to have a game version of yourself teaching people the mechanics of the game. But hey, maybe that is just me. I would not be able to supress the urge to punch myself int he face, or slam my own head in a door, if I had a 3d game representation of me.
2. DMC 1 and 3…you gotta’ love these games. Not that great of story telling, I don’t dig the mission structure, and I am not all that into Dante as a character, but the mechanics of this game are just freaking solid. This game has great animations and interesting enemies and bosses to fight. I don’t really care about the super insane difficulty of the game, that kind of gaming is just not my thing. Some people are all about ‘Dante must die’ mode, which is cool, but it is just not for me. I usually want to enjoy the experience, not get my ass handed to me by it. I love the air combat in this game as well. There is just something cool about how long you can keep Dante and an enemy in the air with the combos. Their effects are always top notch as well; I have noticed that most Japanese games have really cool ‘inventive’ effects. I think that western developers tend to reference a lot of Japanese games for effects. I could be totally worng on that one, just something I have noticed over my years in this business. I also dig the new style system they implemented in the third game.
3. Shadow and Ico…I don’t need to go into why since I already talked about that in the previous post. Needless to say that every time I play wither of those games I feel like I am not working hard enough.
4. Resident Evil 4…this game has it all, great level design, pacing, atmosphere, sweet bosses, and gorgeous art. This game was an all around masterstroke for the Resident Evil series. I was never a huge fan because I hated the survival horror design conventions. I couldn’t stand that the only way to convey fear and tension was to make the character move like a tank, and have characters attacking from off screen. And the puzzles always felt random and out of place. This series drove me nuts….cause I love the horror genre…but the game was just too frustrating to play. When RE4 came out, it freaking blew me away. That is until I wasted all my ammo getting to the Gondolas and I had to go back to an earlier save and play smarter. I still thought the game rocked, but I was pissed that I was so dumb. Anyway, this game kicked me in the pants and made me wish I was working on a horror game. It also made me take a second look at how I approach certain design decisions.
5. Medal of Honor…the first one. I mean, storming the beach at Normandy was freaking unbelieveable the first time you did it. This game raised the bar for immersion I think. I know that I still look at these games a lot to see how they are handling the narrative through real time NPC’s and events. It really is wonderful stuff. The later games in the series got a bit derivative, but I have high hopes for Call of Duty 4 and Airborne…we will have to see how it all pans out.
6. Marvel vs. Capcom 2...I just love this game. even though I am probably the worst of all the people I play it with, it is still fun. the game is fast, and sometimes confusing, but always a blast to play. The cast of characters is diverse and huge and for the most part the combat in this game is amazing. I don't think I will ever get tired of this game, it allows sloppy players like me to have fun in a way that Street fighter just can't do. I like most of the Street Fighter series, but most of the guys here I play with are just so damn good at it that I just dont have fun. And I really don't have the time to dedicate to getting better.
Ok…that is all I have for today. I am going to get back to the other four documents I am trying to finish. No more slacking for me today. Have a good weekend everybody!