In the middle of the week I spend my time looking for a digital buffet of gaming goodies – I post them here on the Humpday Bump.
This week’s bump features a glimpse of what can happen when a professional gets their hands on Valve’s Source Filmmaker. The video below features no dialogue or narration, pitting two opposing engineers against each other in a sort of spy-vs.-spy kind of way. I have to admit that I’ve been easily impressed with even some of the most primitive creations to come out of SFM, but this video tops all the one’s I’ve so far.
According to Kotaku, the short film was the brain child of BioWare cinematic designer James McVinnie who spent roughly 130 hours on the project. “Practical Problems” depicts a rivalry between the game’s red and blue engineers who spend their time attempting to one-up each other after the red engineer laughed at the blue engineer for getting slammed with a rocket. The whole thing has sort of an old-school cartoon feel it, and I really hope that this becomes the first in a series.
GDC Online has released the finalists for their third annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards which can be found here. I haven’t played every game on the list, but still I have my doubts about some of these choices. I mean, Draw Something for ‘Best Social Network Game’ is kind of a stretch considering it was only popular for a few months before being purchased by Zynga who’s stocks are now tanking. I’m also surprised to see SWTOR on the list at all; they’ve been having trouble with player retention for months, strange for a game touting a nomination for ‘Best Online Game Design.’ Who votes on these things anyway?
Speaking of Zynga, they’re not doing so hot at the moment as their stocks are trading somewhere around $3 per share. You can see the last 6 months of the stock’s progress here if you care about that sort of thing. This could be related to their sketchy and vampiric business model of purchasing smaller game companies or simply copying the games from companies who refuse to sell, but it might also just be that social game companies have no business going public on the shoulders of fad games that have a shelf life of only a month or two. Source: Reddit.
Darksiders 2 isn’t even out yet, but Vigil Games lead designer Haydn Dalton is already thinking about the third according to videogamer. Dalton says the size and scope of Darksiders 3 will rely almost entirely on the success of Darksiders 2, “The only people who can really shape if we do [another] Darksiders or not is basically the public.” He also talks about how Vigil Games could reduce the overall size of a potential third game, and instead adding more detail to the world. Considering no one knows how much business Darksiders 2 will have, any plans for a third are obviously subject to change.
In an article on PC Gamer, Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson outlines why they’re hesitant in bringing the massively popular game to Valve’s digital distribution platform Steam. While Notch see’s Steam as a great service for the game community, and potentially for the future for Minecraft as well, they’re worried about Steam becoming too large, hindering smaller companies from self-publishing their games, “I do somewhat worry about the PC as a gaming platform becoming owned by a single entity that takes 30% of all PC games sold.” There’s no rush for Mojang to partner-up with Steam as they’re still making roughly $300k per day in new sales – Crazy.
Taking up the anchor position tonight, Square Enix has announced their “rebranding” of Final Fantasy XIV, now calling it “A Realm Reborn.” They’re rebuilding the game entirely from beginning to end, saying the PS3 and PC version will be out “soon.” I’m sick of these games to be honest, as each one rides on the coattails of its predecessor. I mean come on; this is the fourteenth game isn’t that enough? Perhaps A Realm Reborn will be amazing and I’ll love it and take back every mean word I’ve said, but I’ve been hoping for something similar since Final Fantasy 7 with no luck. Maybe it’s time to retire this aging cash cow.
If there's one thing that Gabe Newell and his team at Valve know, it's how to make and sell PC...