Each year Double Fine takes a short break from making their scheduled games to take unique game ideas and make them into prototypes. This period is what they like to call “Amnesia Fortnight”. The result can sometimes blossom into an entire game, but most of the time they don’t make it past the prototyping stage. Fortunately Double Fine decided to sell these prototypes as a package to the general populous, and thus Armless Octopus is going to delve into each of them and record the process for your view pleasure. Please enjoy.
Concern regarding violence in games is nothing new. Usually the conflict comes from outside of the industry in the form of congressmen, parents and lawyers claiming games have a severely detrimental effect on society. Yet every time their arguments have proven impotent and erroneous. Lately however the conflict is coming from within the industry as many of us ask the question, “Is violence really necessary?” It’s an impossible question to answer with a simple “Yes” or “No”. Just like any other topic worth discussing, trying to reduce it down to simple black and white variables is misguided and pointless. This is a piece discussing how violence is simply another tool in a game developer’s tool belt, and not worthy of being the current taboo hot button in games.
Jack Thompson was one of those ignorant people who believe games were the source of all youth violence
First off let’s separate the terms “Violence” and “Gore”. Violence can be portrayed in a plethora of ways while gore is simply the bloody and visceral mangling of a living being. While Gore is not always needed, Violence sometimes is. The need for violence is the same as the need any other game mechanic. It’s the same as including a soundtrack, dynamic lighting, ETC. Violence is simply a basic form of conflict and is perfectly suited for the medium. Why is it necessary? The answer is pretty obvious if you think about it. Imagine one of your favorite games. Let’s use Final Fantasy 7 for example. Now, if you took all the violence out of the game what would you have? There would be no battles, no weapons, no conflict. Also, one of the most iconic scenes in gaming history, the death of Aerith, would never have happened. Read more
Fresh off a widely successful Kickstarter campaign, developer Pixelscopic brought their success to PAX East as part of the Indie Megabooth to demonstrate that Delver’s Drop is more than just an excellent pitch. So after seeing it in person and finally getting my hands on it, I can assure you that it not only looks good on paper, but it’s also an adventure you should be anticipating the arrival of.
Assuming you are unfamiliar with Delver’s Drop, the style is akin to the dungeons of The Legend of Zelda, or maybe more closely to the SNES’ A Link to the Past more specifically, which has you you following one of the chosen/jailed adventurers/miscreants thrown down the “drop”. As you descend further, each room is varied by through a combination of pre-generated floor layouts mixed with randomized content. This helps to create a unique experience every time. Even in our time with the PAX demo, as well as watching others play, we were hard pressed to find the same room layout, with variations between puzzles, traps, battle royals, or an interesting mix of the three. I unfortunately didn’t reach any bosses due to the the difficulty of the demo, but it would also appear that there are larger foes to tackle. Fortunately though, the adversity I faced was not due to the controls, which are extremely fluid and responsive, but instead just due to my own inability to adapt to the constantly changing environment.
Sony’s Playstation Vita, despite having a number of excellent titles available for it, often doesn’t get the respect it deserves. This theme carries true for the protagonist of Drinkbox Studios’ latest Vita offering, Guacamelee,. Juan Aguacate is a down on his luck man who is befallen with the task of becoming the ultimate luchador in order to save the world. An Evil Charro Skeleton is the catalyst behind this event, as El Presidente’s daughter is kidnapped by the mad man apparition.
You may already be well acquainted with Guacamelee as it was one of the first games support by Sony’s Indie Pub Fund. Additionally, it’s one of the few titles to take advantage of Sony’s cross-play compatibility, wherein players can not only transfer their saves across both their Playstation 3 and Vita, but also play with
The Vita screen can also double as a secondary screen, when playing on the PS3. PS Nation does an excellent job of illustrating exactly how to set this up, which allows players to have their in-game map appear on the Vita, and all gameplay occurring on the television screen.
The brash, self-involved yet lovable protagonist has been a sought after character troupe in modern stories since Han Solo took control of the Millenium Falcon across the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs. German developer Daedalic has managed to grab lightning in a bottle and seems to have found what made that archetype so popular oh so long ago with Rufus, the main character featured in their adventure game trilogy Deponia.In the game’s current state, Rufus, who has long sought to escape this wretched planet, had a fate encounter with the beautiful Goal, an Elysian from the city floating in the skies above who fell from grace. Since their initial meeting in the first game they’ve come across a plethora of sarcastic and charismatic characters on this junk filled planet; a relic of a time long gone by.
It’s often said that it’s rude to point. But Double Fine Productions doesn’t care. They want you to point the entire time you’re playing Dropchord, their “music-driven score challenge game” that uses the Leap Motion controller. We had a chance to give the game a spin at PAX East 2013 and found ourselves wanting to be pointed in the direction of a full version — the game was a ton of fun.
The Leap Motion controller took a couple of minutes to get used to, but the learning curve was pretty soft. It can track your hands and the way they move right down to the five individual appendages on each one. Luckily for the player, Double Fine has seen fit to use only the pointer fingers. You hold both of them out above the controller and direct the cursors to two specific points to start the game. Like all free-motion gaming devices (Sony’s EyeToy, Microsoft’s Kinect) it’s possible to lose your orientation in regards to where the device is due to a lack of physical feedback, but because it seemed to be less of an issue due to the relatively small motions required to play. Read more
So we just watched the trailer for Moebius, the first game directed by Jane Jensen since Gabriel Knight 3, and there is just one thing that stands about above all else: Did he just say his name was Malachi Rectum?
He said Rector? Really? Okay, well Rector is an antiques export who is approached by a secret organization called F.I.S.T….
Wait, are you sure it’s Rector? For realsies? Okay, well he’s tasked with investigating the death of a politician’s wife, and that’s where you take over with lots of pointing and clicking and puzzle solving. Oh, and apparently it co-stars Sub Zero as everyone’s favorite photographer.
Moebius is being developed by Pinkteron Road coming to PC, Mac, iPad and Linux. A public demo will be available in June, and an alpha build is currently playable for those who donated to it’s massively successful Kickstarter last year.