Monthly Archives: May 2008

Being Indie, Being Resourceful

Being indie can definitely be tough sometimes. I’ve often said that indie game projects are kind of like fish eggs: thousands are laid but few manage to survive to adulthood. Content for a 2D or 3D game, whether it’s artwork, music, voicework, or animation, can be a real problem for a small team on a shoestring budget. It’s no secret that content, specifically character animation, has been the biggest challenge for Vespers.

Sometimes, it takes a little creative thinking to figure out ways to stretch those limited resources.

A while back, when I was looking for help with voiceover work, one idea I had was to try tapping into some good but inexpensive local talent — theater students at the University of Utah, where I [More...] Read the rest

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A Triumph of Sheer Will and Determination

Not terribly related to adventure gaming, I realize, but it’s something I feel needs to be said. I don’t do a lot of game playing these days, preferring to spend my spare time on developing, but recently I had some extra time and I thought I’d spend it trying to catch up on some old, unfinished business. That business, unfortunately for me, was Doom 3.

Okay, all snickering aside — yes, it’s an unabashedly vapid action FPS game, and a relatively aged one at that — I had purchased it some time ago, played it for a few hours, and shelved it, not entirely because I wasn’t enjoying it but because of other games and commitments. And since I have the tendency these days [More...] Read the rest

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Nineteen Years Later, The Record Is Still Skipping

Yesterday was a birthday, of sorts; it was the birthday of The Grumpy Gamer, the blog site belonging to Ron Gilbert (of Monkey Island fame) for his “often incoherent and bitter ramblings about the Game Industry.” Four years ago yesterday he posted his first blog, a reprint of an article he wrote in 1989 which, he says, became the foundation for the design of Monkey Island. And at the time of its reprint, in 2004, Gilbert made the proclamation that “Adventure Games are officially dead.”

What I find fascinating is that the article, titled “Why Adventure Games Suck (And What We Can Do About It)”, discusses so many of the ongoing issues surrounding storytelling in games that people like me continue to blather [More...] Read the rest

Posted in adventure games, story in games, Vespers | 2 Responses

First Fresco Finished

One of the things that I thought Jason did really well when he created Vespers was the creation of a very vivid image of the monastery church, an image which rots and decays over the course of the game as the abbot and monastery descend into darkness. One of the real challenges for us as we adapt the game to a 3D environment is the visual representation of this decay.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in this regard is one of the game’s best depictions of this fall from grace: the frescoes on the ceiling of the church. The frescoes are extremely difficult for a number of reasons —

– the frescoes are on the ceiling of the church, which is supposed to be high above [More...] Read the rest

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Wii Virgin No More

Okay, yeah, this blog is primarily about adventure games, interactive fiction, and indie game development, almost exclusively from a Mac/PC desktop perspective. I’ve never been a console gamer myself, unless you go back to my Atari 2600 days. I already spend too much time in front of my computer, and I’ve always felt that if I bought a console then either (a) I would spend even more time not doing important things, or (b) it would just end up collecting dust in the TV cabinet.

I don’t even know very many people who have consoles (or most haven’t told me). I’ve yet to even see an Xbox or Playstation 2/3 in person. And the only time I’ve ever seen a Wii was at an indie [More...] Read the rest

Posted in miscellaneous | 2 Responses