Kotaku - All News
Saturday - May 11, 2013
Kotaku - Memorable Pre-Rendered Backgrounds
Kotaku has a new article on the most memorable pre-rendered backgrounds in games. Now he lists a few RPG's, but doesn't mention any Infinity Engine or Fallout titles.
Pre-rendered graphics weren't only used in complex cinematic cutscenes back in the day when a game's own 3D engine couldn't do the job. Developers also used them as in-game backgrounds to bypass graphical limitations. And some of the games had really well-made, atmospheric pre-rendered backgrounds.
Squaresoft and Capcom preferred these a lot in their PS1 games in the late 90s, but it wasn't just them. With minor differences—some games had a combat screen in full 3D, for instance—other developers also took advantage of this method.
And it had a good run, until video game engines started to become much more powerful and were able to handle camera angle changes and real-time rendering.
Monday - April 29, 2013
Next Mass Effect Game - Developed by Former Kingdoms of Amalur Devs
According to Kotaku former Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developers have just joined the studio.
The two veterans have been unemployed since Big Huge Games and 38 Studios went bankrupt. Some of them founded the Impossible Studios venture alongside Epic Games, but that studio quickly closed its doors as well.
Following the closure of Impossible Studios, several senior staffers who were working on Infinity Blade: Dungeons have joined BioWare Montreal as leads on the next Mass Effect title. Colin Campbell, who was the lead world designer on Impossible predecessor Big Huge Games' Kingdom of Amalur, will serve as lead level designer on Mass Effect 4 Or Something. Ian Frazier, lead designer on Kingdom of Amalur, will be lead gameplay designer on Mass Effect 4 Or Something.
Friday - April 19, 2013
Kotaku - You Donít Need Combat to Have a Good RPG
Kotaku has seen the need to publish another article on combat in RPG's.
When it comes to gaming, RPGs represent the pinnacle of storytelling with games like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Mass Effect, Skyrim, and Earthbound. While many games from many different genres do indeed have compelling stories, storytelling, more than any other facet, is what RPGs are known for.
But despite this, RPGs always seem to tell the same basic narrative: a group of heroes comes together to “save the world” from a powerful villain. Sure, sometimes it’s a fantasy setting and sometimes it’s a sci-fi one, but the basic story is almost always the same. Why?
What seems most likely is that this story framework allows for a fighting system, be that a shooting system like Mass Effect or a turn-based system like in most JRPGs.
But why must RPGs be centered around fighting? Is it not possible to have fun in an RPG without the mass murder of woodland creatures?
Why not have an RPG based around two people falling in love over the course of their lives? Or why not have an RPG about a group of friends traversing a planet to escape it, as the world itself dies around them.
Put another way, do RPGs need a fighting system to be RPGs? The answer is simply “no.” And as if to prove this, RPGs are slowly but surely breaking out of this narrow combat-necessary mindset.
Friday - March 08, 2013
Kotaku - Planescape Torment Love Explained - Editorial
Kotaku has penned an editorial about why people love Planescape: Torment. Here are some of these reasons - according to Kotaku:
Maybe it's just the little things
In Planescape: Torment...
•You can die. You'll come back to life. This is an integral part of the game.
• You can join a cult that worships death, or a cult that believes that everybody is a god. Or you can just become an anarchist.
• You can visit a pregnant alley, then prevent it from getting an abortion. This makes even less sense than it sounds.
• You can piss off the deity-like Lady of Pain and find yourself trapped in a maze for all of eternity.
• You can kill the incarnation of your character's mortality.
Although Planescape hasn't aged super well-and you need a high-resolution mod if you plan to play it today-it's a special sort of game, and it's had a significant impact on a lot of people. No wonder so many people want to throw money at the sequel.
Monday - April 23, 2012
Kotaku - Plot vs Play PAX Video
If you recall the recent Plot vs Play PAX panel featuring David Gaider, Chris Avellone and Ken Levine, a video of the actual panel is now available at Kotaku.
Wednesday - April 11, 2012
Kotaku - Gaider, Levine and Avellone Discuss Narrative
Kotaku reports on a PAX panel titled "Plot vs Play", featuring David Gaider, Ken Levine and Chris Avellone talking about the importance of narrative. All three bring a different perspective - let's take a snip from David Gaider:
What it provides that regular media doesn't is the interactivity, right? You can have great stories in a film but it's the level, it's the part where the player is personally invested in their own character and their own story that can bring it up to the next level. There's a lot of talk about whether games are art, and no one seems to question that about a movie or a book, but in games their element of interactivity lets the player be partly an author along with the game's creator and that's unusual, that's weird. And from an outsider perspective that doesn't add anything — that's why there's all this discussion, because they don't see the value for the person who's playing the game, how to them that elevates the story and makes the stakes much higher. I think that's what's important.
Monday - November 22, 2010
Kotaku - Insane Deals for the Holidays
Kotaku has an extensive list pointing out all of the deals going on for the holidays at the major outlets in America. Some of the deals have already started and some won't begin till later this week. The list is too large to post here, but here are a few of the PC sales that might be of interest to you:
Consoles on the cheap! Twofer video games! Accessories galore! It's here, the gauntlet of shopping that is the run-up to the holidays in the U.S.
Below you'll find a ever-growing list of video game deals, sales and giveaways that will be available on the days surrounding Thanksgiving. Feel free to drop your own deal finds in comments and bookmark this page. We'll be updating it daily through to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Day After Thanksgiving
*Sony Vaio VPCEB3AFM/WI laptop for $399
*Fallout: New Vegas for $39.99
*World of Warcraft Battlechest for $9.99
* World of Warcraft Battlechest $9.99; World of Warcraft Game $4.99
* Buy 2, Get 1 Free on all pre-owned games and accessories
Many more deals at GameStop's Black Friday ad.
*World of Warcraft for $4.99
*World of Warcraft Battlechest $9.99
Wednesday - June 30, 2010
Kotaku - Weighing Morality in Gaming Editorial
An editorial at Kotaku named Weighing Morality in Games discusses how games have used and uses this when forcing the player to make choices. Games mentioned are The Witcher Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect. No games prevous to these are mentioned, KOTOR, BG1 or Fallout. Here's what the author says about Mass Effect:
There are few developers, however, that have made the transition from merely allowing the player to affect the physical world to enabling him or her to influence the people and events in that world with more than a gun, sword, or spell-book. Of these, Bioware's Mass Effect games are perhaps the purest example of how these kind of systems have been implemented thoughtfully and effectively. There are real consequences that the player has to live with, and they carry over throughout the series. Players can choose between morally good (blue) and morally questionable/renegade (the choice between playing as Luke Skywalker or Malcom Reynolds) with a neutral choice in between. The player can always choose either good or bad, but persisting in one type of choice long enough unlocks a kind of super-powered good or bad choice later in the game.