Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The last poll of 2008

It was a very busy year - things have changed a lot in many, many aspects (all for better). The only thing I am sorry for is how this blog was neglected, and how I walked away from game design most of the time. It was not a deliberate choice, but a combination of factors (new job(s), a certain lack of return for game-related things I've done, etc.). I don't know how 2009 will be in terms of Game Design. But I do hope I get to work in interactive projects more often next year.

It's weird how nongaming is mainstream right now. It's really great.

Anyway, here's the last poll of 2008: Should I submit a re-worked version of Flora to Kongregate?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Short news from Brazilian gaming universe

- Here's a link Link to "Estamos Pensando" (We are thinking), interesting brazilian indie art game by Daniel Martins Novais.

- And here's a link to job opportunities at Ubisoft Brazil.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Frasca in São Paulo

Gonzalo Fasca has confirmed a talk (in Spanish) about politcal games and simulation theory in São Paulo, as part of the FILE festival:

Where: Avenida Paulista no 1009, 21 andar
When: Thursday, 28th from 19h30 to 21h30
Admission: Free
Lecture in Spanish language
Título: Videojuegos Políticos y Teoría de la Simulación

If you are interested in videogame studies and happens to be in São Paulo, this should be mandatory for you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Leap over Uncanny Valley?

Whenever the talk is about the development of more human, realistic plotlines for video games, there always might be an objection regarding how characters graphics and animation wouldn't keep up with the required level of realism. Well, as you can read (and watch) in this post by Jonathan Richards of the Times Online, we could be approaching the end of that excuse.

What kind of games should we expect from now (or from a couple of years) on?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Frasca in Brazil

Here´s something I would really like to be able to attend to: Gonzalo Frasca will be giving two lectures in São Carlos, SP, Brazil. From his website:

"I'm invited by the Federal University of Sao Carlos, and I'll be giving a lecture on Videogames and Communication at the CECH amphitheater at 20h on the 25th. The 26th, I'll give a one-day seminar on Contemporary Game Studies."

More information, in portuguese, here:

Update: Here´s the info in English (via Jonatas).

I hope they publish powerpoints, notes, or something later.

Friday, June 27, 2008

flora on abragames

Abragames, Brazilian Game Developers Association have posted a note on JogosBR winners. In case you don´t know, JogosBR was a contest organized by Brazilian Ministry of Culture (Department of Culture? Culture Bureau? you decide) to finance games and demos. Flora was one of the selected projects.

It took some time until someone publicized the demos, which were delivered on January 2007. Well, better late than never.

Reminder: you can play Flora online in English and Portuguese. Standalone editions are available in English and Portuguese.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spore Creature Creator

Brilliant. Here´s the video of my first creature made on SCC:

The editor is great. They could have allowed us more body parts to try on, though.

Casual Games Whitepaper / Spore Trial

On a double post after a loooong time away, here are two interesting things elsewhere on the net:

  • A casual games whitepaper on IGDA´s website on the subject. (via Artur Mittlebach through a games mailing list).

  • Spore Creature Creature Trial is now available for download.

    I still want to publish, sooner or later, an english version of my last paper.

    More and more regular posting would be great too. I do have subjects in mind. Finding time is the tricky part.
  • Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Spore Creature Creator as a standalone product

    I still haven´t posted my lecture on Games as Creative Tools. At least I´ll have time to revise it, since this happened:

    Redwood City, CA - April 25, 2008 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Maxis today announced that a free downloadable demo, and complete retail version of the Spore™ Creature Creator will be available starting June 17, 2008. The Spore Creature Creator gives Spore fans, and those who are creatively curious, the first hands-on opportunity to design their own species and share it with their friends.
    A complete retail version of the Spore Creature Creator will also be available in North America for $9.99 and most European territories for €9.99, which gives players access to all the creature-making parts in the game."

    Arguably, the creature creator is one of the best parts of the game - if not the best (just look at how many videos there are on the internet about this single feature). However, selling this editor before the game makes me wonder:

    1 - Will players have to pay for the tool again, once they buy the full game?
    2 - Would the selling of the Creature Creator be a financial necessity for EA? Why not give away the full version for free?
    3 - Will it be useful for anyone who has not the full game to place the creatures into?

    I really agree that populating the Spore MSOG (Massive Single Player Game, as Will Wright puts it) universe even before the game is released is a good move. Plus, I love to see how games are transforming tools into something fun. But there´s something about charging players for the creation tool - when they could buy the full game with all editors a few months later - that strikes me as odd.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Air traffic upcoming game

    From Gamasutra, via Water Cooler Games:

    "New Jersey based Majesco has announced Air Traffic Chaos for summer 2008, a game in which players take on the job of an air traffic controller, managing flights at busy airports around the world."

    As someone who lives in a country where air traffic chaos is a reality, I wonder if Majesco could pull out something that actually conveys the several forces and conditions behind this situation that makes air traffic controller such a complicated job.

    That is, of course, if the game takes a more serious take on the subject.

    Anyway, it looks like it could be fun.

    EDIT 29/04/08: And who says only serious games can open spaces for discussion, anyway?

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    long, long break + poll

    Almost two months since my last post. That´s quite a while.
    Too many different things going on (all good) keep me from writing, but I´ll try to post a series soon on games as creativity tools.

    Which reminds me, here´s a new poll:
    Which upcoming product will be a good creativity tool? and which one will reach a broader audience?

    You might need to access the page to see the flash poll.

    Copyright, Chico Queiroz