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Most months, "We Are Data" would have produced a resigned nod and shake of the head, but people visiting it now have fresh reason to feel like their data is being weaponized against them. PRISM and other revelations weren’t just about what was seen — they were about the fact that when confronted with the leaks, the administration drove home how little it thought of public outrage. Watch Dogs promises a solution — but so far, it’s one that occupies an uncomfortable place between commentary and escapism.

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Keep an eye on that meter on your wrist... it's pretty important.

The world of Metro: Last Light isn’t pretty. To escape nuclear war, millions of the game’s Russian citizens descended into subway stations the instant the air raid sirens cried out, forced to leave their lives on the surface behind. Below ground, life is bleak. The irradiated world above means no access to fresh air or sunshine. Money means nothing, and ammunition is currency. Fathers nearly break down when sons ask where Mom is and when she’s coming home—and they have to repeat a variation of the same lie they’ve told for countless years. Radioactive mutants attack the subterranean train-station-based encampments.

The setting is easy to buy into because few blinking indicators and status updates slap you in the face, offering constant reminds that you’re playing a video game. This is deliberate, according to Andrey Prokhorov, creative director and co-founder at 4A Games, the studio behind Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.

“If you look at your monitor (or TV set) as a gate into the world of the game, the heads-up display (HUD) elements become the bars keeping you from entering that world,” he told Ars in a recent interview. And it's part of a trend.

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Technically, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter, the classic Capcom fighting game franchise that's made a comeback over the past few years. This weekend, however, Capcom has made "I Am Street Fighter," a 72-minute documentary film, available to stream free on YouTube. Originally only available as part of the $149.99 Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection, the film traces Street Fighter all the way back to its roots, through the glory days of the arcade, and finally to today's tournament scene, where pro players can make a name for themselves internationally.

Listen to directors and players of the original Street Fighter talk about the series' humble origins, see life-long fans share their stories, their art, and their collections of Street Fighter games, hear former Capcom community manager Seth Killian explain the game's intricacies, and see famous professional players Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara explain the epic conclusion of one of the most infamous showdowns in fighting game history.

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A new poker machine has such smart artificial intelligence that players are hooked even though the house always wins. About 200 machines across the country, called "Texas Hold ‘Em Heads Up Poker," use knowledge gained from billions of staged rounds of poker fed through neural networks, and the result is an unpredictable poker player that can win almost every time. Three different banks of knowledge are used depending on the gameplay scenario, but the basic idea behind its play technique is "to prevent itself from being exploited." "The theory behind it is almost paranoid," as engineer Fredrik Dahl explains. Before the machines hit the casinos, the makers spent two years trying to dumb the AI down so players wouldn't walk away from the machines. Even with the adjustment, it's estimated that only 100 players around the world even have a chance of taking the game down. Michael Kaplan has profiled the machines for The New York Times — be sure to read the full article for all the details.

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Capcom, like essentially all major Japanese game publishers these days, is making a major push into free-to-play titles. Deep Down, the company's big PlayStation 4 release, is a F2P role-playing game, a first for Capcom on consoles. It's a pretty bold experiment for the company, and one that producer Yoshinori Ono is prepared to face some criticism for.

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The concept of badges and medals seems, in theory, very straight forward – reward users for completing specific benchmarks. So why are certain games titans of innovation adding incredible value through their rewards system while others leave their users confused and apathetic? I’m convinced it stems from the very basic human concept of achievement and our desire for it to be relevant. Relevancy will be divided into social and solitary categories.

Let’s start by understanding the broad objective of gamification. Ultimately as a marketer, community manager or designer you want to add value to your game. If done correctly you can also provide structure and direction for gamers (often something many games lack), but this is a tacit result of successful gamification design. The value added comes by attributing quantitative representation of qualitative accomplishment. It gives explicit validation for intrinsic accomplishment or simply put, you have something more tangible to look back on to herald your success and give you something to work to accomplish.

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Resogun, the latest colorful shooter from Finnish indie developer Housemarque, is an extravagant, heavily detailed demonstration of the PlayStation 4's graphical horsepower. But look under the hood and you'll find an old shoot-'em-up that isn't shy of aping its inspirations.

If you remember losing quarters to the local arcade, you will recognize Resogun's Defender-like structure. As a spaceship, you protect humans from waves of enemies that encroach from both the left and right side of the screen. Resogun adds a twist: you must first "unlock" the humans by exterminating a special set of enemies before collecting the living cargo and delivering it to one of two goals.

It's just enough complexity to make the Defender homage feel new. In frantic moments, collecting humans off the ground and tossing them into their safety zone felt like delivering a slam dunk — not the first thing I associate with the retro shooter genre, but a welcome addition nonetheless.

The other inspiration is a lesser-known sub-genre called bullet hell, niche shooters in which hundreds, sometimes thousands of projectiles that inflict instant death gradually cover the screen. To survive, the player must memorize the intricate bullet patterns and carefully thread a craft through holes sometimes only a couple pixels wide.

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Previously on, "Getting Players to Care"
I talked about all sorts of interesting stuff and laid out the foundation for this article series. Each part leads directly into the next and explains what the heck is going on. If you haven't read a previous part, check out Part 1 and skip along merily through my linear corridor of an article-design. I'll work on a non-linear article series next time, I promise. 

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(出典: l-oo)

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