Posts Tagged ‘Clickuorice Allsorts’

Clickuorice Allsorts: burnout in the Overwatch League

As Blizzard’s Overwatch League nears the end of its first season, Nicole Carpenter on Dot Esports takes a look at the “blurred line between work and play” and the stresses and strains it has placed upon players. With at least one team working 70-odd hour weeks, some players are experiencing mental and physical exhaustion, burning out before even the first season’s done. Blizzard are experimenting with running their digital sports league like a traditional sport, complete with ‘local’ teams to root for, but there’s still a lot to learn. A good read; do read.

Watch this Slay The Spire infinite combo deck winning on the first turn

As you might have noticed, we’re playing a lot of Slay The Spire round these parts. With a few wins under my belt, I’ve learned about the power of building lean decks in the roguelikelike dungeon-crawling card game, but I’m still blown away watching a video of an infinite combo winning battles on the very first turn – with only two cards in the entire deck. It has caused several blasphemous exclamations in the RPS treehouse. Read the rest of this entry »

Clickuorice Allsort: Writing systems in videogames

This reads: "lol ur mum"

This is three weeks old, but time is a construct. Philip Boyes is an expert on writing systems and cryptic alphabets, and he has looked at games that use fictional script over on Eurogamer. Zelda’s ancient Hylian is mentioned, and the rune-like alphabet of the Elder Scrolls gets a shout-out too. But also discussed is Sethian, a game about deciphering a dead alien language based on the responses of an old computer, covered with symbolic buttons to mash. I liked this game and it’s good to see both its failings and strengths discussed from the perspective of someone who understands how these magical squiggly lines are born. It’s an interesting read and not too long or hyper-detailed (except maybe when he talks about “deciphering Linear B based on internal correspondences”… buh?). Anyway, fans of silly-looking text, give it a read.

Celebrate Mass Effect turning 10 with some animation facts

punch

To celebrate Mass Effect’s 10th anniversary (crikey!), animator Jonathan Cooper, currently at Naughty Dog, has shared 10 animation-related facts about the game on Twitter. There are a lot of interesting titbits, like the mo-cap being filmed on the same sound stage as Gone With The Wind, or Cooper being inspired by Ricky Gervais’ Extras when it came to picking the close-up camera style for conversations, but nothing beats the story behind Anderson punching Udina in the face. Udina was a worm, so it’s a popular scene, but probably not with the actor playing Udina. He actually got clocked on the jaw. It happens to the best of us.

Clickuorice Allsorts: the strange instruments of Wolfenstein II’s score

What created some of the stranger sounds in the Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus soundtrack? Big sonic sculptures of glass and sheet metal, composer Martin Stig Andersen explains over on Gamasutra. He got to play with the creations of French brothers François and Bernard Baschet, delightfully odd beasts largely played by rubbing crystal rods with wetted hands and amplified through big metal horns, and explains the process as well as how he combined those sounds with other musical elements. The post has many good pictures and things to listen to. Oh, and you might remember Anderson for recording Inside’s music through an actual human skull.

Clickuorice Allsorts: behind the scenery of Silent Hill 2

In just under sixteen minutes, this video shows you more of Silent Hill 2 than you’ve probably ever seen before. I know the game back-to-front and still saw new things. In fact, this is very much aimed at people who know every detail of the game and if you don’t, it’s going to spoil everything.

Shesez’s Boundary Break series uses camera hacks and other tricks to look at all of those scenes and models that you were never supposed to see. Here, you’ll see what happens to Pyramid Head when he exits stage left, what James really has in his car, some dog secrets, and in a thematically fitting piece of technical short-hand, learn that there really are no roads leading out of Silent Hill.

Clickuorice Allsorts: the bugged humanoid animals of Assassin’s Creed Origins

Several Ancient Egyptian gods had the heads of animals but a bug in Assassin’s Creed Origins turns beasts humanoid in a wonderful and terrifying other way. While we’ve already reported players bumping into bugs and crashes in Origins, none were nearly as exciting as the creatures photographed and tweeted by Tom Phillips of our corporate sibling Eurogamer. A bug can make animals appear standing on their hind legs, twisted in the human ‘T pose’ (a sort of ‘blank slate’ animation) with their necks mangled. Reminiscent of Red Dead Redemption’s human/animal glitches like the donkey lady and flapping bird woman, they replace Unity’s missing faces as my favourite Ass Creed bug. Sure, bugs can be nuisances, but we can also enjoy their absurdity; I myself was delighted by a light show in XCOM 2’s final mission.

Clickuorice Allsorts: The frying pan of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds wasn’t supposed to be bulletproof

Clickuorice Allsorts are our short, snappy posts about cool games ‘n’ stuff

Gather round, plunkbatters and PUBGilists. Put aside your differences in nomenclature for a moment and enjoy some trivia courtesy of Chris Bratt from Eurogamer. His Here’s a Thing series of videos are short forays into the nooks and crannies of the game industry and this one is about the frying pan of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds – a last-resort item that bloodsports folk use to hit their enemies. The thing is: it accidentally became a bulletproof bum-protector, as Chris explains. There’s more details about this ultimate insult-weapon in the accompanying article, but I understand you may not have time to read it, embedded as you are in your war of words. I hear the ‘PUBG’ vs ‘Plunkbat’ conflict is complete… pandemonium.

Clickuorice Allsorts: Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds personae

Over on Waypoint, merritt k has a great look at players creating personae and histories for their avatars in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site]. I relate strongly to this. My Plunksona is my ladsona, my boisterous characteristics amplified as I imagine I’m on a stag & hen weekend bender gone awry with the lads. Yes, I have forced my Plunkpals to join in. We greet each other with “Laaads,” we banter, we go on disastrous boat trips, we sing lad classics, we don’t leave lads behind, we cry “Wahey!” when cars flip as if a plate were dropped in a restaurant, we slam Red Bulls, and we have dares involving urination. Each round we wake up on a plane – confused, barefoot, and still a bit tipsy – with parachutes on our backs then just go along with it. Lads on tour.

Clickuorice Allsorts: The Mountain King meets Line Rider

Clickuorice Allsorts are our short, snappy posts about cool games ‘n’ stuff

The Hall of the Mountain King is an excellent piece of classical music. And Line Rider is an excellent videogame. Oho, what’s this? What. Is. This. Someone has put these two excellents together and created something double-excellent, as Classic FM have pointed out. “It took me over a month of my free time to create,” says creator DoodleChaos, who continues a fine 10-year tradition of combining one of the best free games ever made with bumpy beats and luscious illustrations. Happy Wednesday, everybody.

Clickuorice Allsorts: The Norwood Suite’s soundtrack

After taking us to a strange train station in the wonderful Off-Peak, Cosmo D will invite us to visit a surreal hotel next week in The Norwood Suite [official site]. He has again composed the soundtrack himself, and again it sounds grand. Here’s the main theme:

Lovely stuff. Cosmo has the full soundtrack on Bandcamp, where you can stream free or buy it for $5. I’m keen to hear how tunes fit into The Norwood Suite when it launches on Monday, October 2nd.

Clickuorice Allsorts: Cute Subnautica Lego pitches

Subnautica Lego idea

A reader sent me some links to really well-done Subnautica Lego pitches on the Lego Ideas forum so I wanted to share them! Here’s Survivors of the Degasi and Exploring the Safe Shallows. The Lego Ideas forum lets people pitch ideas for sets that they want Lego to convert into real products. You need 10,000 supporters for a set to qualify for review and these are nowhere near. They’re also based on a third-party IP – from the T&Cs I don’t think it immediately precludes a set from eligibility but it would complicate matters. ANYWAY! I just really liked how well the projects seemed to get the sense of Subnautica (look at the peeper fish!) PLUS because the submissions can use only existing Lego pieces you could build them/bits of them anyway. The shallows terrain segment gave me some ideas for building my own reef – not Subnautica-themed – using my young relatives’ Lego collection!

Clickuorice Allsorts: Overwatch and in-game toxicity

I want to flag up a video with Overwatch [official site] game director Jeff Kaplan talking about the rise in in-game toxicity. Tackling bad behaviour is interesting, but this video is the first time I can remember someone in a high profile game with toxic behaviour issues spelling out the community members’ own responsibility. He also points out that time spent firefighting is time not spent on other features. “Sure we can try to build game systems to encourage [positivity] more, and we will,” says Kaplan. “But we need the community to own up to their part in the accountability that they have for really creating a great game space.”

Further curious and cool snippets about games can be found via the Clickuorice Allsorts tag page!

Clickuorice Allsorts: Making good detective games

Detective games are a strange genre because it’s so rare they manage to conjure up the feeling of you being a great detective. They fail for a range of reasons but my solution to the genre’s struggle has tended to be that you should play as Watson not Sherlock or Hastings not Poirot – there’s a reason the books are often from the perspective of a bystander – and yet that’s still a cop out. Mark Brown (formerly of Wired and Pocket Gamer, now of YouTube) has poked at the subject in a video* which was a good prompt to think more about the things which do work. If you like it, you can support Mark’s work via Patreon.

*Slight spoilers for Life is Strange. The Shivah and Discworld Noir.

Clickuorice Allsorts: Shenzhen Solitaire on MS-DOS

Shenzhen Solitaire

When I saw that Shenzhen Solitaire – the solitaire minigame spun off from Shenzhen I/O – was out for MS-DOS on floppy disks I’ll admit I nearly consigned it to the novelty promo pile along with emails about cassette mix tapes or my friend whose response to new music is always “Yes, but can I listen to it on my Discman?”. HOWEVER! It gets more interesting because developers Zachtronics have written up the project as a blog post. I didn’t follow all the technicalities, but it was super interesting to know more about the choices the pair made, and the quirks of the systems involved under the hood. I find optimisation techniques fascinating so dirty rectangles discussion was a lovely accompaniment to my cup of tea!

The DOS release is available through a Kickstarter running until September 11th.

Clickuorice Allsorts: How Headlander’s look works

Headlander

You want to click on a thing that’s interesting to read RIGHT NOW? This Clickuorice Allsort is a beautiful-looking confection in the form of the art direction document for Double Fine’s head-swappy Metroidvania, Headlander! Writer and director, Lee Petty, lays out things like the game’s influences, and why particular stylistic choices were made – the use of the colour spectrum to accompany progress through levels, so red and orange for early on and blue/violet for later – BUT it also has all these explicit reminders to the team not to fall into common traps of the trade, like mistaking visual unity for uniformity. If you’re interested in art OR design OR Headlander OR all three there’s loads to pick through and enjoy here.

We’ll try to build up a bag of these Clickuorice Allsorts so you can dive in for an interesting nibble whenever you fancy…

Clickuorice Allsorts: Why Steve Gaynor makes games

steve gaynor

The most recent two episodes of the Designer Notes podcast is well worth listening to if you’re interested in game development. In it, podcast creator (and Civilization IV designer) Soren Johnson interviews Steve Gaynor, co-founder of Fullbright Company and designer of Tacoma. Designer Notes is a podcast about “why we make games,” and typically charts a designer’s career, from the first game they played, to how they got started in the industry and how they ended up wherever they are now. In Steve Gaynor’s case, parts one and two cover early forays into level design, working on a FEAR expansion, joining the BioShock 2 team, designing Minerva’s Den, going indie to make Gone Home, and finally the challenges of making Tacoma. Check out the podcast’s archives for lots more, too – the Amy Hennig episodes are particularly great.