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Wow, I can come up with the most riveting names for blog posts!
So Uni started back a few weeks ago, which I somehow failed to mention. Its not like its a major part of my life or anything, dunno how I could forget
So, I guess, expect to see a few things in the upcoming weeks, including (but not limited to) Unreal Maps, and some random writing.
Speaking of writing, we were pointed to this link for Writing for Interactive Narrative. Have a look. You'll laugh.
I've finally decided a project to get down and dirty with on Phoenix. After a long, hard think of the kind of game that would A) be fun to make, B) be fun to play and C) demonstrate a bunch of different elements in the engine, I've settled on a Tower Defense style of game. It encompasses many different systems, but most of them aren't overly complex, and its a fun game to play, and all that stuff. So it makes for a nice sample. You'll see. I'll be making some regular-ish updates here once it really, properly gets underway.
Most of the stuff in regards to the importing workflow and all that stuff has drastically changed since my video tutorials, so I'll spend some time in the future remaking those so you can all see the awesome of the engine.
There was a post on the Steampowered forums recently with a Video of Head Tracking Techniques inside of Source. Its an interesting little video, and for anyone who has seen Johnny Lee's videos of head tracking with Wiimotes, and found them interesting, you should love this stuff. It gives a couple of small, basic uses of headtracking in games, but using webcam software rather than the Wiimote/IR stuff. Things like looking down sights, or peering around corners. Its definitely a glimpse as to where gaming is headed in the future.
On the non-computer front, Metallica released a new single. I've been a big Metallica fan for a few years now, but I'm undecided on this new stuff. Its a bit of a tease, really... the intro starts off pretty sweet, and sets up something that could be fairly epic. But when it comes to the vocals... they're very raw and uncut, and the lyrics themselves aren't that flash. The song has grown on me a little since I first heard it though, but it wasn't an instant 'fall in love' kind of thing thats happened with so much of their previous work.
Rise Against, my new bandlove, also released a new single, which is on their MySpace site. But I've sworn to hell and back that I'll never, ever post a MySpace link on this site. So look for it yourself.
So I'm trying to update my site and blog far more often than I used to. I've said this many times and never really achieved it, but we'll try again.
I'm reading alot mew news lately than what I used to, thanks to a great little program a mate introduced me to called FeedDemon for RSS Feeds. I was never a big RSS kinda guy, but upon discovering that all my favorite sites - Gamasutra, GameDev.net, Shacknews and XKCD, amongst others - all had RSS Feeds, and that I could get notified for new stuff rather than remembering to look, I was sold. SOMEONE will say 'Wraiyth you n00b RSS has been awesome for ages', but its something that I've never needed to really think about. So, with that, hopefully I'll be able to point out some cool stuff floating around the net, present some opinions and ideas as well as talking about my own work.
I invested in a copy of Lost Winds a couple of days ago on WiiWare. Its a fun little game. For 1000 Wii points, you get around 2 hours of interesting gameplay that utilizes the Wiimote well. Seeing this game on any other platform wouldn't do it justice. Its gotten some very solid reviews, and for anyone with a Wii I recommend that you give it a go
TIGSource (The Independent Game Source) and The Indie Games blog are two of the sites that I've hit up on my RSS Feed lately too. I've never really been big on the Indie scene, but its something I'm starting to get into and keep an eye on. Some of the stuff that comes out of the indie developers is very thought provoking, unique and can really put an interesting spin on gameplay mechanics or ideas that we take for granted.
I want to point out a few titles here. Muslim Massacre is actually a hard little 2D shooter, a bit of a throwback to the days of the NES. Its pretty quick and intense, and the gameplay could easily be applied to any theme, but its one of those nice controversial ones that you'd expect the media to go up in arms about (see Super Columbine Massacre RPG). The game feature 6 levels, suicide bombers and all that kind of stuff. An interesting title that is actually a bit of fun, albeit controversial and inappropriate. Then again, what you you expect from someone from Something Awful
TeeWorlds is Soldat-cross-Worms open source 2D Shooter. The key here is Open Source. The game is fun to play, and for something that could probably be sold, its great to see the dev team make it open source. I've checked the game out and its alot of fun to play. It has rocket launchers, grapping hooks and ninja swords. How can that NOT be fun!?
Finally, there was a recent update from World of Goo. Anyone who paid attention to IGF last year would recognize that its the game that spawned from the physics-puzzle-construction game Tower of Goo. Take a look. I dare you.
From my side of things, most people will know that I'm working on a new mod now. Entitled CANVAS (http://www.canvasmod.com/ - no, thats not blood, its paint), most people don't know what its about. And thats the way its going to stay. Theres no official announecment of the mod, or any of that stuff. A few of the guys from NightFall are part of the core team, so we don't want to make the same mistake and generate alot of hype and have to meet some level of community expectation. I've been working on various things for it, but I'm always very happy to get a major tangible change in, such as a a HUD. Yes, Alyx is looking at you.
I wrote in my last post about Wiimote stuff. Well, it appears that the Wii Update 3.3 has already been cracked and the Twilight Hack used to load Homebrew stuff has been updated to work. I'm still trying to borrow a copy of Twilight Princess from someone, as I'm too poor to buy it, but I'm still looking forward to playing around with all this stuff. I'll have updates when I do! I promise.
I've been enjoying messing around with the Wiimote the past week or so. Haven't really gotten into using the accelerometer and stuff much, but its been a fun little exercise, dabbling in the basics of both the Wiiuse library and Irrlicht.
I said previous that I was semi-surprised that not too many big things were being done with the Wiimote & Wii in general. Well, I still stand by those comments, despite looking further into Homebrew Wii stuff today. Some of you may know about the Twilight Hack that allows you to run custom code on the Wii. Despite the most recent Wii update fixing this exploit, it looks like that a group of dedicated souls have already found a workaround for this to continue the use of Homebrew content on the Wii after the latest update.
That being said, unlike the popularity of PSP Homebrew, Wii Homebrew hasn't really taken off yet. Theres still not too many good Homebrew applications/games floating around the net yet - mostly Emulators and a few simplistic games (Asteroids, card matching games, Pong etc), perhaps with the exception of a Quake port. The great thing about the Homebrew community is that they generally share all their source code and activies with each other, so most of the utilities and applications (including Quake) are all open-source, free for you to learn from, or hack the shit out of.
I'm now looking very forward to trying out some Homebrew stuff on the Wii, and potentially doing some stuff of my own. Its a nice little exciting time for me at the moment, so I'll keep everyone (who cares) updated with the stuff I'm doing :)