A Touch of Marketing

January 27, 2010

So, I would be remiss to not cross-reference my other blog that is currently taking up most of my free time: The All-in-One Gamer Project is a few weeks underway and I’m feeling pretty good about it so far. In essence, I’m trying to familiarize myself with all aspects necessary to lead an independent game development team. So, for the thousands and thousands of you who are fans of this blog (am I rounding up too high?), jump on over and subscribe, comment and be merry!

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Bumble Tales – FTW!

September 9, 2009

At long last, the game that took priority over Domain of Heroes (the game for which I was initially hired to write), Bumble Tales is now available for preview and purchase! You can find it on most of the big portal sites if you don’t trust our main site, but then you’re just giving your money to “the man” instead of us. 😉 

The Team - Bumblized

The Team - Bumblized

It feels like a long time has passed since I originally started writing the tales for these 35 Bumble characters, but our (Tandem Games) development time was only 7 months, so I can’t complain. It has been an experience full of fast-paced crunches, leisurely time-off and lessons learned on how to go about it “the next time”. We have not had our official post-mortem meeting yet, so I’ll keep quiet on all the nitty-gritty details for now, but rest assured, the creation of Bumble Tales will be known by the masses!

Check out our games at the above links or just visit www.TandemGames.comto see a trailer of Bumble Tales. Have fun and give me some feedback – what do you think of the stories? Would you rather have a more linear storyline? How do you feel about the game as a whole? Is this your typical genre?

A little late in the reporting, but Wednesday, the SXSW/Screenburn crew joined hands again with the likes of Bob McGoldrick and the Austin Community College for the 3rd annual Mixer before SXSW. Real quick, are any of you making it out to Southby this year? It’s March 13th – 22nd and loaded with booths and contacts for interactive media, movies and music. As far as gaming in Austin, TX is concerned it is one of the Big 3 events of the year, so try to make it.

The Mixer held a panel with popular names such as Rich Vogel (EA/Bioware) and Billy Cain (Heatwave Interactive), along with others that are becoming gaming household names including Rodney Gibbs, Frank Roan and Lori Durham. Austin’s Chamber of Commerce member, Tony Schum, also delivered information on the economical state of Austin’s gaming. The overall mood was a bit somber as the realization of cutbacks and layoffs was heavy in the air. The silver lining seemed to be that gamers can look forward to solid games being released as companies can’t afford to grapeshot money at projects that have no value. It was great to see some familiar faces again and let’s face it, being around fellow gamers and developers is almost always good company.

The “& More” bit of the title is all about a link to my most recent work: Blogging for The CW Source – Smallville, in particular. You can check out my first paid blog here! Please leave comments here and on that site; it’s how I know you love me and how my boss knows I’m worth keeping. 😉

Farewell, Kristin Kreuk!

Farewell, Kristin Kreuk!

That’s right, for all you audio lovers, the silky sounds of me are on Cryptic Allusion’s Anniversary Cryptocast. Be forewarned, it’s long and I’m only in it for about 15 – 20 minutes somewhere in the middle, but the guys and gal at Cryptic Allusion are great and worth listening to.

"That's right, I said a PODCAST. They'll be huge one day!"

"That's right, I said a PODCAST. They'll be huge one day!"

For those interested, I pretty much plug Tandem Games and Domain of Heroes and talk about recent games I’ve been playing. I’ve been considering adding a small 5 – 10 minute podcast to this blog maybe twice a month. Do you think it’s worth it? Post a comment and let me know (yes, that means you).

Currently, I do not own a Wii. However, this weekend, I was in San Antonio visiting some family and had the unexpected opportunity to play both Wii Fit and Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2009. I’m choosing to cover this title over Wii Fit because, seriously, I think Fit has been covered.

"Simba, it's me! The great white hunter!"

"Simba, it's me! The great white hunter!"

Dangerous Hunts places you in the role of the hunter of all hunters, Flint Abrams (totally fictitious character, I looked it up). This man puts the late Steve Irwin, if not Steve McQueen, to shame. He can barrel roll with crocs, stab leaping cougars in the throat and rifle butt three hyenas with ease! Mix that in with Flint’s Hunter Sense, which darkens the screen and highlights surrounding beasts and you’ve got an expert who is called around the world to quelch daily issues with wildlife.

There was a bit of a learning curve with the zapper controller (Wii-mote on top as a barrel and the nunchuck as the stock) but once I understood all of this, the game became incredibly fun. One level stood out to me as a writer: India. Tigers escape from a truck hit by a rock slide. Your mission is to track the tigers and tranquilize them; any harm to the tigers results in a failed mission. The interesting part to me is the the herd of water buffalo. Peaceful giants grazing in a field quickly turn to angry, charging death-machines if you disturb them in the slightest. Because there is a time limit to achieve maximum upgrade points (the coolest part of the game: upgrades!), I wound up slaughtering all of the buffalo from a distance to avoid their horns while searching for tigers. It was a decision that gave me pause because I really did not want to kill them, but alas, my greed for a new rifle scope won out.

Pick up the game as a rental and if you end up enjoying it as much as I did, buy it. My nephew loved simply walking in circles and hearing the gun fire. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Flint’s athleticism compared to 95% of the hunters I actually see in Cabela’s.

Bioshock Revisited

August 4, 2008

And like that, a week has passed since my last entry. It doesn’t seem possible, but between trying to beat Bioshock on the hardest setting (got the “good” ending…more on this later) and reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (a little too feminine for my taste) and work, I guess a week’s worth of time can be accounted for.

So, to keep with the theme of my blog, I present my final thoughts on Bioshock for PC. Overall, a great game…so great, in fact, I may have to change my gaming mantra, which is to always play a game on its hardest difficulty because more than likely, I won’t play it again. I think I will now play games on their easiest difficulty to save time and frustration. If I find I need more of a challenge, the game SHOULD allow me to change at any point (Are you listening 2K?). This said, I probably won’t play Bioshock again, regardless if I had played it on easy, simply because it freaked me out. I can’t take the anxiety and overall constant state of heightened tension these types of games put me through. Kudos for being able to do it, but…yeah, not for me. This does put a damper on my excitement for Resident Evil 5, however. 😦

 

I can’t say enough about the storyline…or maybe I could, but I won’t. Play this game if you haven’t already! The way things are handled with controlling the story while allowing players the illusion of freedom is amazing. And the few times you do lose control of your character, it gives you enough time to sit back, watch a quick interaction (NOT A CUTSCENE in the original sense) and force your heart to slow its BPM.

As for the ending, it was solid. Not long enough for my taste, but solid.

Short endings are for 8-bits...and even they had bikinis

Short endings are for 8-bits...and even they had bikinis

If you’re looking for more info about me, try www.MadeInMcGee.com