Friday, August 17, 2007

Good idea - The Darkness' loading cutscenes

The Darkness has quite long loading times between areas. In order to help maintain the immersion while the game brings up the next level the developers have put in little cutscenes.

These are little monologues by the main character giving details of his background, or filling you in on his thoughts on the story's progression. The story ones are triggered by entering the next level that the game knows you have to pass through to continue, whereas re-entering other locations gives more generic dialogue.

The protagonist stands under a single light in an otherwise featureless void, and the only other things involved are occasionally weapons - quite clever since it means that they only use resources that are guaranteed to be loaded in.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Good idea - Overlord's treasure room

The tower in Overlord is one of those in-game menu type things. Functionality-wise it's just a nice-looking hub that lets you access armoury and dungeon rooms that you could otherwise imagine being on a front-end options list.

It's dressed up nicely though. You can buy upgrades to make it look more impressive, and characters you bring back with you from the main game worlds can be seen wandering about it.

You can find out how much money you have at any time through the pause menu, but while you're in your tower it's always nice to visit the treasure room - a chamber that seems to serve no purpose but to visibly fill with your plundered loot. It gives you a sense that your wealth is increasing that you just can't get from numbers.

It's just a shame you can't interact with in, Scrooge McDuck style.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's time for another "Good idea, Bad Idea"

It turns out that I really am utterly rubbish at updating this thing. I suppose I could comfort myself with the thought that it's better to only write when you have something worth saying, but then that'd mean I have very little worthwhile to say. And I suspect that most of the previous updates break that rule anyway.

No, I'll stick to the line that I'm too busy and / or lazy to write any full-length updates about games I've been playing, thanks.

With that in mind I thought I'd start doing a series of updates about single features that I like in games. Because then I might actually get some done, and it'll also provide a kind of easy reference in the future when I'm looking for ideas to ... er ... be influenced by, of things that impressed me.

So anyway, there will soon be some updates about things in games that I liked. Oh yes there will.

edit: After thinking a bit more, I'll probably be doing short updates on both good and bad bits of games. Because then I get to moan a bit too, which obviously feels very soothing and cathartic.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Develop awards

First bit of happy news - congratulations to anyone who won a Develop Award last week.

Misery-guts insurgents would like people to believe their "you didn't deserve it" propaganda, but fuck 'em, just bask in the glory of somebody - anybody - recognising your hard work.

In particular well done to Realtime Worlds. I've bleated on enough about how I love Crackdown, and you guys did a great job.