Dragon Age: The Game for all Ages

With so many online games available, I am still happy that action-role playing video games were never neglected. I keep on searching more about video games and discovering great details about it. I am a game enthusiast and playing these runs in my blood. Yes, I stopped blogging, but I am now on track to continue my interest.

When I asked Google about the video games of 2014, there are plenty of games provided. Technologically wise, Google provided a sorted list of games commonly discussed on the web, so I never feel worry finding the best and most played games. One of these is the Dragon Age: Inquisition. Several games appear in my search, but let me first discuss this. I will discuss the rest in my next post.

I don’t like writing without experiencing what I am saying. I played the Dragon Age: Inquisition. And it’s fun, exciting and fantasy enclosed game. It took me a hundred hours to play and finish Dragon Age: Inquisition. Developed by Bioware, the Dragon Age: Inquisition is their third major game, next to Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. I never played these two, but I believe they are also good.

Playing the game gives the opportunity of becoming the band of adventurer’s leader. Leading them has the purpose of bringing back reform on their lands. Of course, they also aim for peace. The land I am mentioning here was tattered due to political strife and civil wars.

Skies across the world are torn due to the rifting of inter-dimensional demon spewing. As the leader, it is your task to resolve the issue. By all means, the organization is divided into small groups that will manage different regions. Moreover, your band of adventurers should search for regions and locations. This is only possible by surviving every story missions. Similar with other video games, you have to survive and gather more regions to win the game.

The one hundred hours of playing is worth it. I don’t even want to eat the lunch and dinner because I am too excited to discover more regions and fight against the rift. This game has been customized by the developers. I agree with that. I was able to control over my game. The experience was fun and worth it.

Compared to its predecessors, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, the Dragon Age: Inquisition brings more twist and challenge. More opportunities were offered to the players, so gaming was brought to the next level.

I personally play the game and can testify the improvements. The game is challenging and hooks me to finish it as soon as I can. No wonder why it ranked fifth during its first week of release.

Everybody can play this video game. Aside from enjoying, you will also love the story. With this, you will able to manage small groups and work on strategies to win the fight.

I hope you find this review interesting. I guarantee the awesomeness of the game, platform and graphics. It is very professional and user-friendly.

A New Bicycle- The Art of Monkey Island 2 Special Edition

For this original article about the release of The Monkey Island 2, I got so many responses. So I thought to use them in this redesign. You can give your impartial views about this.

The other day I was shopping at “Canadian Tire” (a chain of department stores in Canada, like Wal-Mart), and I noticed a father loading a brand new pink bicycle onto his truck. I saw it as a girly bike – the kind with multicolored tassels flaring from the handle grips, white plastic training wheels haphazardly poking out of the sides, and a bare frame anxiously waiting to have My Little Pony stickers pasted all over it. I smirked a bit, and kept walking. As I passed the man’s truck, I saw his little girl sitting on the passenger seat, peering through the back window as her father loaded the bike. The look on her face – I cannot find the words to express it – was ecstatic! She was bouncing all over the seat, squealing excitedly like only a 4-year-old can. Like the infamous N64 Kids she looked to be in sheer bliss.

I remember that when I was young, getting a new game was about as exciting as my father coming home with a new bicycle. As I’ve mentioned in a prior post, Monkey Island 2 has a special place in my heart. It was the first game that my sister and I pooled our money together for, after months of back-breaking work on our farm, feeding horses and mowing acres of lawn. In those days, the recession of the early 1990s was hitting my family pretty hard. My mother was attending university at the time, and my father’s carpentry business was not going well at all; money was a constant problem around the house. While my parents paid my sister and I an allowance for doing chores around the acreage, I knew that an allowance was a frivolity that my parents could barely afford. Buying a new game with months’ worth of our pooled chore money was a big deal.monkey-island

I would tear open the box as soon as we had left the store, and start digging into the manual. The 45-minute car ride back to my family’s acreage was like torture. The Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge box art (painted by Steve Purcell) became a playground for my imagination; by the time we arrived home I had already created a world and story based on what I saw on the box. My sister and I traded pieces of the game back and forth as we drove home, but inevitably there was something about the box’s front cover art that we both were attracted to. There was something about the cover art that invoked our imaginations. It had horrible tension, an utterly terrifying pirate on the front, and it told a story in one glance: whoever that guy is on the left, he’s in trouble!

For the release of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, a latest cover art was introduced with an attractive and luxurious modification made in it. For me something was lacking or rather not upto the mark in the entire demo. My curiosity and doubting on the nostalgic behavior leads to make a differentiation of both the current and older version of the art with some sort of other artists work also included. The gaming world is of much taste for me, including the gaming house as well. In the current article, I used the ideas and terminologies from the Heinrich Wölfflin for performing this distinction in more transparent and authentic way. Being not an expert or a commentator, I suppose to make a lot of faults. Thanks to my friends for their immense support to make out this comparison and to make me aware about the Wölfflin.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

I am disturbed by my brother on the other room. He keeps on trash talking. The sound of the computer game was disturbing, too. I don’t know what makes him interested playing the game. So, I went in his room and sneak on his activities. Well, he is playing a computer game, as always.

In the afternoon, I asked him about the title of the video game he’s playing. He said with enthusiasm, “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”. And I said, “Okay”, as if I am not interested.

When I get back to my room, I searched about the game Call of Duty. As per Google’s information, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a first-person shooter video game released in 2014. It is published by Activision. Well, I heard about these, but not too familiar. when exploring more, i found something innovative about the betting world.

This version of Call of Duty was harnessed with technology advancements leading the players to the next enjoyment and fun levels. It is enclosed with high-tech definitions and platforms. Moreover, advances ability set and arsenal was enclosed with the game. Players will be more enticed playing because of the new and fresh equipment, perks, technology and vehicles the game offers. Now, I can say that these features make my brother interested in playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

He played almost every day, until the sun sets. I don’t know how many times it will take to finish the game. If the Dragon Age: Inquisition requires hundred hours to finish the rift, this one needs more time.

The gamer is also allowed to select between the new-improved technology weapons or standard ammunition to use. These weapons create a dynamic and active gameplay for the player. Improved player verticality and movements are the result of the great gameplay introduction. As the player, you are given awareness, endurance, strength and speed by boosting the biomechanics, grappling and jumps, and covert cloaking abilities. With the introduction of advanced weaponry and armor, and exoskeleton, the soldiers were able to do tactics and strategies in any of the game’s terrain. Compared to the previous version, this gives freedom to the players.

In order to upgrade the exoskeleton, the player should earn points during each mission. The exoskeleton will have new features that will help you succeed on every mission.

You can also play the game. As I just observe my brother playing the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, he enjoys it. And one thing I like about it is, it does not require players to start the Call of Duty. Even you are alone, you can manage playing.

And my mom likes the first-person shooter feature of the game because my brother just stays home all day long compared to playing outside with friends.

I will search for more games this 2014 and provide more reviews. As I am writing these game contents, I am learning more about the latest trends in the gaming industry. I will share it with you, of course. Keep visiting my blog for more updates.

The Indie Ethics Problem

This is an original article about the topic of Indie Ethics Problem that i published in 15 March, 2012. After publishing I received lots of feedback and comments so I thought to put it in this redesign, let me know what you guys think about it:

I’m walking down a long hallway in The Citadel, and I’m waved over by reporter Emily Wong. She wants some information on a local crime lord, and I’ve got some data on the guy that would give her a scoop. I hesitate at first, unsure of her motivations, but I eventually give in and I’m rewarded handsomely for the data. Not only does she transfer some credits my way, but I (Commander Shepherd) agree to give her some juicy exclusive interviews. These interviews will put my name on the galactic map. Sweet.

Sadly, we face an almost identical ethical problem in the indie games industry, as I do in Mass Effect.

Diogo Ribeiro’s excellent article The “Indie” Challenge, if you have not read it already, presents an excellent overview of the challenges independent developers face when trying to get their games into players’ hands. Diogo singles out the all-too-cozy relationship between AAA developers, publishers and the writers/editors of large gaming networks, as a serious barrier for indie developers getting their games promoted. The article tugs at a lot of issues dear to us gamers and writers: the ‘us and them’ attitude that pervades ‘indie vs. mainstream’ industries, the ethics of game promotion and reviewing, and the perception of indie games as rarely something more than time wasting devices.

As an outsider to the games industry and journalism, I really appreciate Diogo’s strong insider knowledge of those domains. There is a lot of good information here for the indie seeking to get their newest creation out into the market:

Your first email to either should avoid looking like a typical press release. Don’t bother with terms like “cutting edge” – you’re supposed to be talking about games, not fax paper. Focus on the strengths of your game. If it sports a concept never seen before in video games – a very rare thing, mind you – extol those virtues. If it uses traditional play mechanics with a novel twist, don’t be shy about making comparisons. “All the action of Gears of War with the ovine satisfaction of Sheep!”….

Obviously, this is critical for people trying to make a living out of game development, and I agree with everything he has to say here. But I see an extreme danger in this promotion-driven approach to game development. Herein lies the great danger: During my tour to the Australia i observed the impact of the casinos at a very large scale.

Introversion is a case study for several reasons, but to me the most important one is they cared about one thing that most indie devs don’t – they gave as much emphasis on promoting themselves as they did creating their game. Why aren’t you doing the same, Indies?

Is it true that indie developers should be spending as much time on promoting themselves as they did in creating their game? Of course there are obvious financial benefits to heavily promoting your indie game, but what kinds of costs come with a promotion-heavy approach?indie-ethics

Indie Ethics

The indie world depends very much upon the goodwill, honesty and free time of people who have very little financial benefit from reviewing or promoting your game. I have never received a penny from Rastek (Wither), Jenova Chen (Flower), Markus Persson (Minecraft), Anthony Flack (Cletus Clay), or Michael Samyn and Auriea Harvey (The Endless Forest). None of these people asked me to write about their games. I chose to write about these little games (some of which became big games) because they were not promoted, because they were unknown, and because these creations impressed me completely on their own terms. When I get a request to review/promote a game, even if it is heartfelt and personal, my interest immediately sinks. People like me who write about games are not interested in being used as extensions of the advertising industry; asking me to promote your game is a very good way of alienating me from your creation. Real writers are their own source of inspiration; they don’t need your one-liner press kits.

There is another ethical consideration at play here. Diogo mentions fellow Canadian Phil Fish, whose game recently won a major award at the 2012 Independent Games Festival. Diogo writes, Fez is an indie game that’s been in development for five years but continuous interaction with fans and trailers that highlighted the core gameplay, along with improvements to the game engine, went a long way to maintaining curiosity about Phil Fish’s game.

True. And it is also true that Fez precipitated a major ethical crisis at the GDC this year, when Phil Fish entered his game for a second time into the same competition purely out of self-interest (Note: I am not singling out Phil Fish – he seems like a decent enough guy, I’m just using this as a recent example). His appearance in Indie Game: The Movie similarly reveals the indie games’ industry’s sad history of shameless self-promotion, endless navel gazing and cult-of-the-celebritization. In The Competition: The Story Behind the IGF’s Critics Brendy Caldwell does a great job of summarizing the controversy here,

So what is the danger here? What’s wrong with a guy who shows off his little game?

  1. The controversy helped to fuel a new ecology for what I call ‘moral entrepreneurs’… journalists, developers and nobodies who use moral crises as ways of promoting themselves (I won’t mention any names here). There was a massive backlash to Phil Fish’s promotion strategy, and instead of focusing on the issues at hand and the games we care about, moral opportunists used this crisis as a ripe opportunity to viciously personally attack Phil Fish, and in so doing draw attention to themselves.
  2. I do not see the public value that is served in self-promotion. Easy-to-chew sound-bites and one-liners, hastily injected into press kits, 0nly serve to devalue gaming as a whole. When a developer encourages a game site (or magazine) to use ready-made text, this discourages independent thought. Needing to railroad a writer into a particular view of your game is, to me, evidence that your game probably sucks. Worse, videos like Anthony Carboni’s recent sycophantic interviews with indie developers do nothing to improve the perception that indie developers are in bed with the media; instead suggesting that journalists are more interested in basking in reflected glory than critical and honest evaluations of games.
  3. All of the work that hard-working people like Phil Fish put into their promotion strategy is time that could have been used in making a better game. Appearing at industry events like the GDC may be a requirement for AAA publishers, but I fail to see how attending the Independent Games Festival makes your game anymore playable. When I attended the IGF/GDC in 2009, there was no time for developers and players to have a meaningful conversation. When you approach an IGF booth, you wait in line for 10 minutes and play for a few minutes – then you ask a few cursory questions about the game with the developer, and make room for someone else to play. The IGF is all about promotion and is not about tuning gameplay; just the Oscars don’t help people make better films.
  4. Aggressively promoting your game puts you personally into ethically dangerous waters. There is nothing worse than seeing a great game get shunned because its developer made a serious (or minor) error in judgment when dealing with the press. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard players promise that they’d never buy a game from ________________ because the developer accidentally said something morally questionable in an interview.

A Quality-Driven Approach to Promotion

I think the main perspective of the marketing promotion approach is the outcome of the design and testing. They do not think about the dollars and their ego, now the aim of the indie workers is good promotion of the games.

Here are some lessons we might learn from a quality-driven approach:

  1. Your game can succeed on the basis of its expressive qualities alone; let real writers do their jobs to find you.
  2. Ever seen how much money it costs to attend the GDC or IGF? Aping publishers who aggressively market their games costs a lot of time and money. Perhaps that time is better spent focusing and improving on your game.
  3. Develop close, honest and respectful relationships with your fellow developers and community of gamers. These are the people who will give you the shirts off their backs, and do anything to see your little creation survive in the wilderness of the industry.
  4. As Ben Ruiz said at a recent GDC presentation, “quit being so fucking egocentric.” The whole notion of “independent” in indie games is a complete falsification of the truth. There is no such thing as independent game development – there is only interdependent game development. You need your fellow developers and gamers as much as they need you; the games industry is a very large ecology with many niches. Instead of playing your personal creation off over and against AAA developers, and cultivating your own ego, why not see how AAA developers and their games can help to improve your project?

Obviously, these are pretty polemic issues. I don’t mean to oversimplify the marketing difficulties that indie developers face, but I hope to at least point out that marketing and promotion bring up ethical problems that the industry has not addressed. And by ignoring these ethical issues, indie developers are only inviting the kinds of problems that AAA publishers are already faced with.

I’d like to hear what you’ve got to say about this, whether you’re an indie developer, AAA developer, gamer, journalist, or someone else.