Striking a balance between ingenuity and refinement

A lot of retro games are doing the rounds these days. The most celebrated video games are being re-launched to attract the 90s generation. These games are becoming successful because of the nostalgia surrounding them. Do you think the current generation finds these retro games interesting? I wonder.

Once a particular genre gets famous a lot of similar games flood the market because they sell easily. But what if someone wants to develop a simple and short game, play it safe, will it fail to compete with the graphic-intensive games from big studios?

No shortage of hit games

The last ten years proved to be instrumental in putting an end to the stronghold pop culture had on the game industry. Labels such as GTA, Uncharted, and Metal Gear Solid have compelled the industry to move towards creating cinematic experiences.

Game design took a more structured form in that different studios started associating themselves with a certain genre. This gave them the liberty to focus on any one aspect of game design. Creating a good plot became some developers’ priority while others focused more on gameplay.

These high end games in the triple A category gained instant success despite being super expensive. The market kept growing and games with fantastic visuals and heavy price kept coming in. Red Dead Redemption 2 is the perfect example of one such game.

This does not mean there is no space for the indie industry to grow. Not all the gamers look for graphics and a lengthy plot.

Can Indie titles survive against the triple A wave

Even if the triple A titles try to distinguish themselves from competitors either aesthetically or by changing gameplay there isn’t really much of a difference between the content of the game. There have been phases in the evolution of triple A games for example genres like mascot platformer, survival horrors, etc dominated for a specific period of time. So the games during a particular era end up being all similar.

So it falls to the indie titles to bring in new content. Now the focus of indie titles always has been ingenuity. They want to provide their customers a unique experience. The technological advancements have made it possible for the indie developers to rival the big studios in terms of production and create games of equal quality.

But what about the small indie titles that are falling too short of the quality triple A offers. In the same year as Super Mario Odyssey, a really good game Yooka-Laylee went unnoticed.

And that is the real challenge before the small indie titles. They must find a balance between the graphic quality and the story, which must not be too short.

Gaming News Site Announcements

Onelargeprawn Goes to rAge 2011

Good news, everyone! Most of you South African readers will probably be aware that rAge, the Southern African video game expo, is going to be happening this weekend. Happy for you, will be represented at rAge 2011. Well, not the Lord High Prawn himself, sadly for you fans of His Prawniness, but his loyal lackey. And we won’t have a stand, sadly (we’re simply not that big), but you will find me wandering around, taking notes, taking pictures, and taking an opportunity to meet any and all who are going to be at the Coca Cola Dome this Saturday. If you see someone on the show floor who looks a lot like this [ed: don’t you mean precisely like this?]:

then come say hi, introduce yourself, and we can chat about…well…pretty much anything. Also, if I happened to have upset you with one of my reviews, please don’t hit me. I’m sure we can come to some agreement. Feel free, also, to follow me on Twitter, because I’ll be tweeting from the event (not that every other blogger in ZA won’t be, but anyhow!)

Hope to see you there!

Awesomeness Gaming News Massive Cuteness

AWESOME Portal Baby Gear

One day when I’m a much older man, and I have kids, they’re going to look awesome. I’m going to pimp them out with geeky shirts from thinkgeek and skinny jeans. Before then though, I think I need to get them some of this goodness:

There’s actually a host of awesome clothing, including baby gear, over at Cafe Press. Have a look!

[via Gearfuse]

Awesomeness Entertainment Gaming News Mindlessness Video Clips

Kid Plays Guitar Hero on Expert While Solving Two Rubik’s Cubes

This just blew my mind. I’ve seen people ride a unicycle while solving a Rubik’s cube, I’ve seen people juggle while solving a cube, I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous Rubik’s cube related feats, but this one almost made my head explode. Let’s break down what he’s doing:

  • He’s playing on Expert
  • He’s doing it in the reflection of a mirror
  • He’s strumming with his elbow
  • He’s solving two Rubik’s cubes after each other, with one hand.
  • He’s actually doing pretty well at Guitar hero (77%)

If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is. It would have been extra cool if he recited Pi while doing all of this.

Check it out:

[via Gizmodo]


Super Mario Chess Set

The fact that my first two posts on this blog are related to Nintendo games is an absolute coincidence, I promise. It’s just that the content of these two posts was just so full of win, I had to post them.

Anyway, Super Mario Chess! This is just awesome. There are a couple of odd things you start noticing once you get over the feeling of nostalgia. Mario and Luigi as King and Queen? Mario as king I can totally understand, but Luigi as queen? And why on earth are the Goombas playing as towers?

Nevertheless, it’s still totally awesome.You can buy a set at EntertainmentEarth for $40.

[via Technabob]

Arty Awesomeness

Amazing Game Art

Deviantart user, Orioto, has put some absolutely incredible art up. Taking inspiration from most of the games we played as kids (and still dream about today, I’m sure), he’s created wallpapers of the likes of Mario, Sonic, and even Donkey Kong.

Man, I really hope some game designers are seeing this. Imagine playing games that look like this. I instantly think of Braid, and its wonderful visuals.

You can download the high resolution versions of these images, and many more, from Orioto’s Deviantart account. When I say “high resolution”, I’m not kidding; That Mario image is 5000px wide!

Thanks Orioto!

Link Loving

Link Loving – June 3, 2009

I’ve got a metric fuckton of work that needs to be done today or it’s my ass in the sling. Ergo, here are some links for you to chew on.

Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to enter our Love Jozi t-shirt giveaway. It ends midnight June 7th.

Arty Awesomeness Video Clips

8-BIT Waterslide in REAL LIFE!

Featuring an 8-bit water slide mixed with some real world imagery, this cute stop-motion animation was created by tea&cheese for a film competition.

All the characters, props and sets where created and animated in Flash, then cut out and re-animated, frame by frame, in real life.

Be warned – there is mild 8-bit nudity in this video.

[via Milk and Cookies]