Monday, November 23, 2009

Mortal Online

Well, just today Mortal Online had it's NDA lift.
And the flood gates have opened.

I've just spent the better part of 3 hours going over information about the game, watching videos, etc.
And I must say, it looks quite good.

With the NDA lift, they also stated on their website, that they are not far off the open beta.
And for once, I may actually do an open beta. Downloading the torrent as I type.

So within a couple of weeks, I'll be able to put her through her paces, and see how she handles.

So far I have been given the distinct impression that it would be like Oblivion online.
But that's good, because I really do like Oblivion.

Maybe not all the time, but it's good to play once in awhile.

Though I doubt it will hold me in the long run, it will it least have me for awhile should it live up to expectations.
(thou, I never really intend on any game keeping me for the long run)

But we shall see.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Boot to the Face

After an ongoing email conversation with Kelley Barnes-Harmann today, I feel a little less then enthused. She must have had her suit on, she was not playing.
The consistent feeling I was getting from her, was that I'm in for a world of hurt as to the likeness of me getting in at this point in time.
A shear cliff if you will.

Well that's good, I like a challenge.

Never the less, I have to face the realization, which I was already acutely aware of, that I may not be hired this time around.
That's fine.

I'll just have to buckle down and try again 6 months from now.

Of coarse I'm still going to finish my portfolio and submit it, even if I do get kicked in the face.
At the very least I'll learn where the benchmark is, and that'll give me an accurate direction to go in.
No more stabbing in the dark.

Still, all things considered, that when well I think.


The Aliens have landed!

Contact! I have made contact!

With CCP!

Misleading title eh?

Over the last month I have been attempting to start up an email conversation with somebody at CCP, as to get opinions on my portfolio work so far. And to build bridges, naturally.

And at long last, Kelley Barnes-Hermann has replied to my pleads.
I was right to think she was a nice person.
Right from the beginning I knew, "if anybody will reply, the lady will". And hey presto.

Now lets hope I'm as persuasive, and as good as an artist an I delusionally think that I am.

I pretty sure CrazyKinux had something to do with this, if so thanks, if not, thanks anyways.
That's motivation fuel for ya.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Massively Single Player games

There seems to be a new sub genre of games that has appeared over the last couple of years.
That being single player games that have elements of, or play like MMO's.

And this can be good or bad, depending on what they take away from them.

If it's the social mechanics, such as you are playing by yourself, but can compare your progress vs other players, then this can be quite good, as it builds community.
Always a good thing for a game.

However, sometimes I see games taking exactly the wrong message away from MMO's.
Namely, the tedious, grindy gameplay elements, often in lue of storyline, in order to artificially lengthen the game.

With an MMO, I can put up with it at times, as the social interactions are usually worth it.
But in a single player game, I'm not going to give it another thought, I'm probably going to drop it in a short order.

For example, I recently had a go of Phantasy Star: Zero.
What a boring freaken game.
Within minutes it's got me running thru randomly generated dungeons, killing ten rats.

There probably is a story under all that pointless BS, but I'm not going to spend money on something that feels like a second job 5mins in.
It does however have an online component, but from what I can tell it's rather shallow.

Earlier in the year I finally got around to playing Final Fantasy 12....... oh god it was painful to play. Not as much as Zero, but pretty damn close.
The story was cliche, the main character was a total douche, yet completely irrelevant to the story anyhow.
The only relief was that you could early on use any three or less characters you wanted to..... out of the staggering selecting of six..... wow.

But the girls were sexy.... so it's not all bad.
But any RPG that has me spending more time trying to look up the female casts skirts, rather then reading storyline dialog, doesn't have a whole lot going for it.

It seemed to be trying to hard. Spending more time on graphics, and finding new and imaginative ways for you to kill ten rats, rather then character and story development...... which is of coarse, only the entire point of an RPG.

To contrast this, a game I played even earlier in the year, Devil Survivor was a smash hit with me as an RPG.
Solid, engaging storyline. Great characters. And while not innovative, enjoyable and purely addictive gameplay.
This game ticks all of my boxes.

While not a long game, it's last just long enough to scratch that itch, while not hanging around like a bad smell like the previous two I mentioned.
It's just classic RPG, in all it's beauty. Something that we shouldn't forsake just to appease the MMO junkies. (yes I'm one too, calm down)

While there are some good lessons to be learned from MMO's, and there are some generally good mechanics that would work wonders in single player RPG's, we should not forget our RPG roots.
Sometimes good story telling is all it takes.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's all uphill from here

Well, my long awaited project is underway, building my portfolio for CCP.

And boy o boy, does it take a lot out of you.
I spend on average, 5-6 hours daily on it. Can't remember the last time I actually played a game.
Don't do much other than wake up, work, maybe get a bit of anime in, work, go to my part time job, come back, eat, and work some more.
Morning to night, art is all I think about.

And I have the next two months of that routine to look forward to.
Joy o joy.

Never the less, it'll all be worth it in the end.
I'm a lot better now then I was 8 months ago. So much so, that I'm easily on par with artwork CCP have done themselves, so I shouldn't have any problems getting in.

Let's see if persistence really does pay off.