Life/Routine: Ludum Dare 26 Post-Mortem

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Hey everyone,

Leaving behind all the nonsense that's been going around, let's focus about what I've been upto.

  1. These. Few excerpts --> I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
  2. Also a little event that's in the title of this blog.
  3. Where I did this.
  4. And later wrote about my experience.

 

OK. That kinda seems vague.

So,let me explain. Point by point.

1) If some of you didn't know (I have mentioned it previously), I was the Literary Chief of my college over the past year. Besides organizing a couple of inter-university events and a costly (but fun) cultural festival in February, I was also the Chief Editor of the annual college magazine. It came out the previous week and they are three sample photos I took just to show it to you guys. The artwork on the cover was done by me. As pretentious as me I know. :P If you want to know the concept behind it, it's basically about materialism. The objects we have defining us more than what we are.

The next image is the Editor's Note where instead of thanking all the professors, fellow Students' Council members etc, I thank me. So narcissistic of myself I know :P I got a lot of praise from my peers and professors for that Editor's Note, so I guess you should check it out. I simply wrote what I wanted to. If people liked it, it's cool. :D

The final four images (IIIIVVVI) is a running concept throughout the magazine which I came up with. Each section's intro page has a short description of life in the four years of engineering. So, basically as you traverse through the magazine from start to end, you are living through through the years of college. Supposedly made a senior "wet" his eyes when this was distributed during their farewell ceremony. :)

 

2) Ludum Dare 26. The 26th edition of the biggest game jam. I wanted to participate in it since I've had a previous string of attempts of incomplete projects. So, I wanted to start with something simple and finish it. I was weirdly targeting for the more challenging 48-hour deadline of the stricter "Compo" (competition) event than the more relaxed 72-hour Jam. I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it but I saw it as a learning process. 

 

3) Guess what? I did finish it. Here's the game page on LD' site. It's a dynamic rhythm game. I simply explain it better there on the page so see it and let me know what you think. Keep in mind this is my first "finished" game and was made in 48 hours. So, please be gentle. If not, you shall be burned.  :D

 

4) The post-mortem. Where I lay in a rather personalized and stream-of-consciousness intro about persistent aspirations from our childhood and my previous experience with game development and the timeline of the 2 days. It's unusually fun because an awful LOT of things were stacked against me but even to my surprise, I showed dedication which I didn't know I had. I made the 48-hour deadline with mere minutes on the clock. IT'S THE PLAYOFFS SEASON,Y'KNOW! :P

 

That's it for now. Let me know the feedback -- good or bad. Read the description to get a better hang of the mechanics and the concept behind it and how it relates to the theme (which was conveniently minimalism)

Later.

Lightwarrior179

P.S: From what I've seen, Gone Home is going to be the big indie darling of this year. I bet my money on it. It looks absolutely brilliant. Also,  I heard Fez is out. I was told I should get it. I guess I will. At some point. Blood Dragon looks cool but I'll wait for Summer sale. Not really playing anything besides Super Hexagon(daily!) and the occasional Tomb Raider and CKII(of course!)

EDIT: Indie Game Mag covered my game as their "Indie of the Day" :D

An Editorial

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This is an editorial. 

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Hope I have enough content to meet your expectations and your inherent elitist groupie fantasies. 

Or maybe you can buy this $5 DLC to get more content?

In the words of a famous guy who used to work in Microsoft,

Deal with it.

The Mask

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There has been a certain craze related to confessions lately which has spread itself  like a plague on Facebook. It started with college confessionals and spread to specific localities and we now even have a Twitter Confessions. On Facebook. Theres an inherent irony in that but my sheer disgust at this prevents me from appreciating it.

This piece was born out of that disgust for what I see as a silly craze that goes on to show just how badly Internet has made us starve for attention and validation. 

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The blog contains a short fictional piece which criticizes the aforementioned aspects of our modern-day culture. 

Link

Hope you enjoyed reading it. It's one of the first times, I recall linking a short story written by me to all of you. If you enjoy it, I will link all of you to more of it whenever I post the remaining ones in the future.

 

--Ansh

Game of the Year 2012: The Ultra Late Edition

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Hey everyone,

I'm back with the final installment of the Best of 2012" series which crowns the very best games from last year.

I talk about the following points in the blog:

  • A look at "Where we stand" as a community/medium/industry after 2012
  • My personal journey as a gamer in 2012
  • The awards categories which include: "Best Visual Design", "Best Audio Design", "Best Game Design", "Excellence in Writing & Narrative", "Best Soundtrack" and of course the "Non 2012 Game of the Year"
  • My Top 5 Moments in a Game from 2012 (spoiler-free)
  • The Game of the Year section where I briefly explain the criteria and then look at the Honorable Mentions before moving onto the Top 10

Here's the linkto it. 

Hope you enjoy reading it. 

Until next time.

C ya 

Light





BioShock Infinite -- A Three-Headed Take

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Hey,

I finished BioShock Infinite a few days back and as you can judge from the few lines I wrote last time about it I enjoyed it and it not only managed to beat my tempered expectations but also I ended up liking it more than BioShock 1 -- which to me was a glorified corridor shooter with a story that peaks too early and an enchanting setting.

So, for the review, we did something different. I and two other editors at that site I always link to got together and did a conversational format of a review -- complete with little debates and wise-cracking one liners by weaving something of a vague narrative to it just to give it some order. It is a different review format, one that's a lot more casual and doesn't involve the fancy words many reviews use but one that I hope you'll enjoy and find informative about Infinite's highs and lows.

Link

I have a LOT more to say on BioShock Infinite. It is a game that inspires a lot of thinking and revels in its subtlety. Very few games do that (Dark Souls was the last one to do so) and shooters even rarely so. 

Have fun. 

--Ansh

Best of 2012: Television & Movies

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Hey everyone,

I'm back again this time with the next part in the "Ultra Late" edition of "Best of 2012" this time covering the best of TV & movies in 2012.

I first talk about the Top 5 TV series of 2012 and their highlight moments of their respective seasons. I then move onto movies selecting my Top 5 movies from a deserving list of candidates.

Have a look by clicking the link

Obviously the next blog in the "Best of 2012" series will follow soon with "Game of the Year 2012" -- preferably next week if things go to plan and I end up finishing Mark of the Ninja and playing a little bit more of Borderlands 2. 

Until then,take care.

C ya

Lightwarrior179

P.S: I also finished BioShock Infinite. Don't recall when a game of this magnitude of hype lived upto its expectation. Excellent game. Not flawless, it has its' shortcomings but it is such a subtle and refined exercise in first-person narration that it truly feels like a step forward from BioShock in every manner possible.

Columbia is not as enchanting as Rapture but it slowly grows onto you. It has more depth and history to it than Rapture which works in its favour. Elizabeth is a great AI partner and something all devs need to look at whenever they design friendly AIs from now on.

The gameplay is much improved. Rapture felt restricting(reasonably so) but Infinite's shooting is chaotic with no space for breathers. Skylines make the wide-open battlefields crazier and Vigors while mostly identical in methods are varied enough in their purpose to not feel like Plasmids. Another good thing is the shooting never feels excessive. That is something that needs to be mentioned as a lot of shooters feel the need to keep players constantly occupied. Infinite is happy to divide time between exploration and shooting.

Also, while I won't spoil anything....all I can say is DAT' ENDING! I don't recall a game ending keeping me awake. Spec Ops did it but that gave me nightmares. This kept me awake tossing and turning. Don't know which is worse, but Infinite is seemingly having a deeper effect since it deals with a concept I was fascinated with back in my high-school physics class. :D

I'll do a proper review of it soon but for now I can say that it's a must-play. Another positive hope for the FPS genre. 

Reality or Illusion Backlog: Violence in Video Games, Dragon Age II, Emergent

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Yo,

Been awfully busy lately so that GotY blog post is still up in the air. It's coming though. Soon.

In the meantime, check out a couple of posts I did in my "Reality or Illusion" column. Basically the feature looks at a popular issue or an opinion from all possible perspectives and tries to figure out what exactly is the "Truth" and what is "Illusion"

Violence in Video Games

First up is Violence in Video Games. A very hotly debated topic of late. I mention some of the points which are often overlooked by people from both the sides in the heat of discussion. And of course, I equate NRA to the "wolves.

Reality or Illusion: Violence in Video Games

 

Dragon Age II

Over the past two years since it's release I've seen many polarizing opinions on DAII. Mine was a negative one but I was intrigued by what some of its passionate fans saw in it. Like you know, I'm a fan of the breed of "Underrated Overlooked RPGs" like Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, Alpha Protocol to name a few.

So I did a replay of DAII last month and wrote a little retrospective on Dragon Age II almost two years after its release and whether it really deserved the storm of hate it received. An honest second look at a deeply flawed, potentially brilliant RPG.

Reality or Illusion: Dragon Age II is the Worst RPG Sequel 

Emergent

The most recent piece is on the rise of emergent narratives and whether they really are the "true forms" of narratives borne out of the video-game medium. Popular examples from recent years like Dark Souls,XCOM and CKII are cited as well as SMTIII Nocturne from the yesteryears.

Reality or Illusion: Emergent -- True Form of Narration

 

That's all for now.

Catch you guys later!

Proteus Review

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Another review.

This time I have a little fun and don the cap of a poet for the ambient "curiosity simulator" adventure "Proteus" by Ed Key and David Kanaga. It is an interesting little experiment that is bound to appeal to those who liked last year's "Dear Esther". An extension of the exploration without interaction adventure.

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Games like these challenge the very definition of "what is a video game?". Sadly, it is a little too abstract and minimalist to convince the "games require interaction" gamers otherwise. Those who consider "games = experience" will enjoy this however.

Here's the link to the review

Or the text link: http://is.gd/NvFU8J

Select quotes from the review:

  • An experiment in a closed room full of odd sights and puzzling mysteries that have little purpose than to simply hold your fancy and mystify you
  • Think Myst without the puzzles or Skyrim without its quests
  • As dawn turns to dusk, the world adopts an aura of magical realism in the blanket of the starry sky
  • A world where you are a silent observer to its oddities where time is the only medium of change, the music your only companion and the seasons are lingering indicators of the time that has sped past
  • Proteus is akin to a beautiful impressionistic painting in a museum where you can observe its many mysteries from a distance but never fully participate in it

The review also begins with a poetry that pretty much describes the game and the opinion itself. That poetic intro is for the "TL;DR" crowd while the review (one of my smaller reviews) is for the ones who want to know more about this curiosity.

I'm a little unsure of my "poetry" and this is one of my first proper attempts at it. So any critique of the review (meta much?) would be appreciated.

 That's all for now.

My GotY blog (yep,the usually delayed one) is coming soon I promise. I just need to play Mark of the Ninja and Borderlands 2 a little more. 

Later. 

Ansh

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

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Yo,

Sup.

I'm back again this time with the review of Platinum and Kojima's Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. 

Follow the link below or click here

http://is.gd/OgisW9

Select quotes from my review follow:

 

  • Resulting in some of the most magnificent slow-motion finishing moves and damage physics youll see, the "Blade Mode" is rightfully the central mechanic around which the entire action of Revengeance pivots around.
  • Platinum have developed a reputation of sorts of providing smooth action with emphasis on the word smooth ever since Bayonetta and Revengeance continues that tradition.
  • Storytelling for action games is a reversal of Metal Gear Solid. The game is no longer driven by its story and instead Revengeance merely needs it to give a basic background.
  • Cyborg, ninja, badass, tortured maniac with a split personality it was almost like someone was ticking off the Coolest Things in a Character checklist when they envisioned Raiden as the protagonist.
  • The focus on parrying as the defensive mechanic makes Revengeance  feel like a much-needed refinement of the typical hack-n-slasher formula.

 Hope you enjoy the review of this solid game. 

Before I exit....

ALL HAIL PLATINUM! 

That's all for now, folks! 

--Ansh 

P.S: Remember that blog of mine I linked to last time? The one that went "The Space That Games Exist In". Well, that got featured in Critical Distance's February round-up of "Blogs of the Round Table". Little mention but it feels nice. :D

The Space That Games Exist In

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Greetings,

Been a while since I blogged here.

Here is a blog I wrote on the rising "Fantasy versus Realism" argument among the self-proclaimed "intelligentsia" of game criticism and where I talk about games as escapism and also as stark reminders of our own reality.

Link to the Blog

It dabbles a little into the abstract and the mind occasionally so those who dislike that, bear with me on that.

Nothing much other than I've been ridiculously busy with organizing a successful college festival, midterms and now editing the college magazine. I haven't even found time to post some of the articles/features I've written in the past month for your reading pleasure. Need to rectify that soon.

PS4 looks alright but I'm still not sold on it, WiiU already is beginning to seem like a relic, I really need a 3DS, MG Revengeance is badass and the new Tomb Raider looks surprisingly solid.

That's all for now.

Later.

--Light