Posts Tagged ‘Simulation’

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In DayZ, the guy with the gun is close to God and last night, I was the guy with the gun. Not that I liked using it mind… ammo is a premium and hard to find, and you’re just as likely to find ammo for a gun you don’t own then anything useful. So when I came across a small group of zombies I, feeling immortal, decided to put down my gun, take out my hatchet, and go chop me zombies.

It worked quite well, until the last one knocked me unconscious with a blow and slowly depleted my health until I was dead. And so DayZ imparted another lesson onto a man who would be king.

So, as you can probably tell, I’ve finally jumped on the DayZ bandwagon. I would have done it sooner but Steam took, like, forever, to do their discount on ArmA 2: Combined Operations. It was 20% off anyway, but you just knew they were going to do a further drop during one of their daily deals, and whilst DayZ was a quietly burning curiosity I didn’t care enough about the main game to drop £2o on it (sorry, Bohemia). But then it dropped to 40%, so I bought it, installed it, and then began my own adventure.

I could have blogged about my ‘first’ time in DayZ, but it was fairly unremarkable. I walked around a bit, I got eaten by the first zombie I came across, I learned and I moved on. If you’re going to jump into DayZ, make sure you do so with friends. It’s a punishing experience even at the best of times, but having friends with you to laugh and talk about things as you explore the confines of this particular ‘game’ (and whether or not it is really a game is a matter of some debate) just makes it that much easier. Who cares if you’ve died for the nth time in a row? Your mates are there to laugh with you (and at you) about it, and you always learn and move on.

Luck is a bit of a thing this game as well, at the end of my first day of playing DayZ, as my friends were all logging off the night; I decided to take refuge in a building on the outskirts of ‘Elektro’. I found two dead guys in there who looked like they’d only recently been killed (I’d heard a lot of gunfire just minutes before). They had a wealth of stuff on them, which I naturally took, and that basically set me up until my unfortunate encounter with the uber-zombie. Make no mistake, DayZ is infinitely easier with ‘stuff’, and it’s infinitely easier to take it off someone else than it is to scrounge it all yourself. There’s something oddly compelling about this game though, even when you die, and even when you die with a load of stuff.

Case and point: having been slayed by the zombie, I felt compelled to run back to that spot and get all my stuff back. And why not? I’d spend just as much time trying to scrounge just one piece of food or water, so might as well spend the time getting MY stuff back. I was only a little bit inland as well, and spawned relatively near as far as spawn points go, so I spent the next half hour following power lines, skirting around zombie infested settlements, and retracing my steps until I came across my prone and bloody (well, not really bloody) body on the ground. There was no sign of the zombie that felled me, so I simply took my stuff back, and into the trees, and decided to log off for the night and start anew the next day.

Then of course I remembered my water gauge was getting dangerously low, so I decided to log back in on a random server to take a drink, only to find that due to either a glitch or some kind of server incompatibility, I’d lost most of my stuff-

Wait, WHAT!?

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Dear Mr. Robinson,

I, your very pixelated yet oddly cute secretary who you may or may not have banged yet, have compiled a detailed report and analysis as to how well your Videogames Development CompanyDigitalX Media, has performed over the past 160 minutes twenty years:

Capital: $216,121.2k (upon close of year 20)

Highest Selling Title: Samurai Online 2 – 20,007,093

Highest Rating: ShinobiX3 (37 points) & Medieval Wars 2 (37 points)

Awards

Best Design: Lost Count, Consistently won over the last five years at least
Best Music: Lost Count, Consistently won over the last five years at least
Worst Game: Never
Runner Up: Lost Count, Consistently won over the last five years at least
Grand Prize: Once – Year 20 – Medieval Wars 3

Console: The Xplayer – 32-bit Chip, DVD-Rom Drive – sold 9230K units and currently holds 10% of the market share.

Total Staff Salary: $2,6557.9K per annum

Staff: Two Directors, a Producer, a Designer, a Writer, a Sound Engineer, a Hacker and a Hardware Engineer

May I just be the first to congratulate you sir on getting through your first 160 minutes twenty years of business. DigitalX Media has flourished over your wise and oddly precognisant reign. It’s almost as if you knew certain things were going to happen before they happened. Perhaps you owned a videogames company in another life or something. To think, it all started with that PC game that I can’t even remember the name of anymore, because clearly the PC no longer matters as a platform and we should just keep churning out random console games to get sales.

Also, congratulations on winning the Grand Prize award before your best friend from back home, may your bragging be as epic as your game making skills.

Now, since you’re inexplicably closing down your business for reasons that defy logic and even sanity, I best go find another malible wise business owner whom I can tell what to do assist.

Yours Faithfully,

Secretary #1

I think I may need to lie down. It’s not often that I get sucked into a game so completely and so fully that I find myself ‘waking up’ a couple of hours later, physically shaking as I step back say ‘enough is enough’. It does happen… Hearts of Iron III, Civ V when I was reviewing it… games designed a certain way are actually pretty good at keeping players ‘looped’, with no natural cut-off point with which to take a break. Never did I think it would happen with GameDev Story though.

As is my trend, I was fashionably late to the scene with this title. I remember it being all the rage last year (or was it the year before?), but I didn’t even have my ‘roid phone then, let alone an iPhone which is where it came out first, if I remember correctly. I’m not really a heavy mobile gamer… I’ve got Angry Birds, as I thought I’d try it out and see why everyone rates it, and I downloaded a version of old school Snake for old times’ sake (it’s not very good, to be honest)… but I’m a PC/Console gamer at heart and that’s my main source of gaming entertainment. These mobile games are just a distraction for when I need them… much like my DS Lite, actually.

But GameDev Story… sweet Jesus. I decided to buy it outright as I’d heard good things and I doubt I’d be disappointed, and to be honest I felt professionally compelled to see what the fuss was about. I just didn’t expect to get so hooked. The power of managing your own studio, putting out games, levelling up your dudes… it’s all so intoxicating. And it was funny to watch the scores come in as well, and get a taste of what it must be like to be on the receiving end. I wonder if there was deliberate social commentary there or whether it was designed that way simply for simplicity’s sake – scores seem to have no impact on sales what so ever, and are only relevant in getting a game into the ‘Hall of Fame’ (which allows you to make a ‘sequel’, which to me is kind of a poor gameplay mechanic, but whatever).

It’s a shame it doesn’t paint the complete picture – I’d love to have seen the Publisher vs. Developer relationship dynamic represented in some way… bigger studios should be able to start several projects at once (and the management challenges that inherently creates). The fact that you have a choice between bug-stomping or shipping as is is kind of diminished because, so far, I haven’t had any disastrous consequences from waiting until it’s all done. I think one time a game that was ‘similar’ to the one my guys were making was released, but you know what, it still sold well. The combination of games is also a bit odd (No strategy genre from what I’ve found yet!)… But it’s fun experimenting and making different combinations.

Anyway, kudos kairosoft, for well and truly surprising me with your insanely fun little game about game development. Well Meta’d. I’ll be honest, I can already tell this probably isn’t going to have much replayability (had to start again, and already I’m feeling the numbing that is repetition), plus now that I know what is in later stages I think I’m obsessing a bit too much about planning for the best outcome, which isn’t good as that tends to just ruin the experience.

Hmm, some of their other games look tempting too….

(AND SO IT BEGINS)

Just got the latest Sims 3 expansion – Generations – through the post today, for review purposes of course. You can read some initial thoughts I had on it here, but I can tell many an hour is going ot be lost to this game over the next few days, especially now that I’ve finished with Red Faction: Armageddon.

Here we go again.