Friday, September 25, 2009

"Why didn't anyone tell me about these?"



Sometimes I feel like Henchmen 21 from the Venture Brothers. Howcum no one told me about the "Awesome" series of cartoons? If you haven't seen them yourself, they're damn funny and incredibly accurate. (but not for the kiddies)





Their creator Egoraptor obviously had the same experience with "Shadow of the Colossus" as I did. }:P



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yeah, I know... it's obnoxious but...



Everyone's doing it. And now, so am I.

mrbossdesign@twitter

Join the fun!

Is it Rocktober yet?



Brutal Legend is coming in October and I CAN. NOT. WAIT!

video

This intro movie should be used in screen writing classes as an excellent example of how to introduce a character in a game. Bravo Double Fine!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Scribblenauts



Today is the release day of Scribblenauts - the latest game from my pals at 5th Cell. (Who also did "Drawn to Life")

Scribblenauts is a very clever puzzle game for the Nintendo DS where anything you type comes to life. Write a Tyrannosaurus? Get a Tyrannosaurus. Type Rickroll, get Rick Astley. Then the two of them fight! Who will win??!! And that's not even the game!



You can pick up a copy at the link below (hint hint) and find out when you enter "Scott" (that's right, I'm also in the game - kind of :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Six for six!

I was shopping at a local Toys R' Us today and I saw a promotional kiosk selling older PS2 games for $9.99 ($5 off if you buy two!) - one of the games being sold was Maximo vs. Army of Zin, a game I was lead designer on while at Capcom. I picked up a copy to send to a relative but then I noticed something... it was a "Greatest Hits" version.



For those of you who don't know, Greatest Hits status is awarded to games that sell over a half a million units. It had always bugged me that Zin never reached Greatest Hits as I think it is an excellent game. Well, now all six playstation games that I contributed to the design of are all greatest hits! (Pac-Man World, Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness, Soul Blade, Maximo, Maximo vs. Zin and God of War)

Hooray!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This has nothing to do with game design, but...

As many of you know from this year's GDC talk, I like Disneyland.

I won't embarass myself by telling you how many times I've been to the Magic Kingdom this summer alone (more than most people go in their lifetimes) but tomorrow I go for a special reason. It is the (un) official 40th anniversary of my favorite attraction: the Haunted Mansion.



Built in 1964 and finally "populated" by ghosts in 1969, the Haunted Mansion is the easily (IMHO) the world's best dark ride. It serves as a constant inspiration to me as a game designer - the way it uses space, sound, lighting and simple but effective effects to bring its 999 grim grinning ghosts to life. But my favorite phantom isn't even in the ride.



This the infamous Hatbox Ghost. This fine fellow appeared only for the first month of the ride's life and was quickly taken down because his effect - which gave the appearance of his head disappearing from his body and appearing in the hatbox - never worked correctly. Here's what he looked like... actaully, this is a full-sized reproduction - an item you can bid on at the upcoming D23 expo - isn't it gorgeous? If only I had the money and space...

Anyway, rumor has it that the Hatbox Ghost will be returning to the Haunted Mansion during the 40th celebration. Well, I just can't missing welcoming the old boy home if it is true. So tomorrow night at midnight, I will be crusing along in a doombuggy, hoping to catch sight of a hatbox clutching ghost.



Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ultimate PS2 library!



OK, I can't afford to get EVERY game on the PS2 (my favorite gaming platform... well not counting the Vectrex), but I've been amassing a moderately impressive PS2 library for some time.

Here's what I have:
Alien Hominid
Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu
Batman Vengeance
Beyond Good and Evil
Bully
Capcom Greatest Hits vol. 2
Chulip
Destroy all humans!
God of War
God of War 2
Guitar Hero
Grand Theft Auto 3
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
Escape from Monkey Island
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
Harry Potter Quiddith World Cup
Haunted Mansion
Ico
I-Ninja
Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Justice League Heroes
James Bond: Everything or Nothing
Peter Jackson's King Kong
Katamari Damacy
Kya: Dark Lineage
Lego Batman
Lego Indiana Jones
Lego Star Wars
Lego Star Wars: Original Trilogy
Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude
Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
Mad Maestro!
Matrix: Path of Neo
Metal Slug Anthology
Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty
Mark of Kri
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
Maximo vs. Army of Zin
Midway Arcade Treasures vol 2
Monster House
Onimusha: Warlords
Pac-Man World 2
Pirates: Legend of Black Kat
Pitfall: The lost Expedition
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Psi-Ops
Psychonauts
Ratchet and Clank
Rathet and Clank Going Commando
Ratchet and Clank Up your Arsenal
Red Dead Revolver
Resident Evil 4
Rygar: The Legendary Adventure
Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of Rome
Silent Hill 3
Simpsons Hit and Run
Simpsons Game
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
Spider-Man
SpongeBob: Atlantis Squarepantis
SpongeBob: Creature from the Krusty Krab
Star Wars: Battlefront 2
Star Wars: Force Unleashed
Star Wars E3: Revenge of the Sith
Stuntman Ignition
Swashbucklers: Blue vs Grey
Tak and the power of juju
Tak 2: Staff of dreams
Tak: the great Juju challenge
Tak and the Guardians of Gross
Tomb Raider: Legend
Trapt
Twisted Metal: Black
Wall-E
Up
War of the Monsters
The Warriors

And here's what I planning on getting:
Okami
Klonoa 2
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 (Hey, Metacritic says it's the #1 PS2 game!)
Viewtiful Joe
Disaster Report
Red Faction
Mystic Heroes (which was great on the Game Cube)
Jak and Daxster (which I played to completion but for some reason don't own)
Ultimate Spider-Man
Devil May Cry

So, given all of those titles (and that I really don't play sports games) are there any must play or important PS2 titles missing from my collection? Post your recommendations below!

Ride 'em Darksider, RIDE!



As you may or may not know, I've been spending some time here in Austin helping Vigil games with their upcoming title - Darksiders.

However, this isn't what this post is about.

It's about the AWESOME mechanical horse that THQ is showing at PAX. Check this thing out - it looks amazing! It even lights up from within with an eerie eldricth glow! Wish I was going just to ride it!



And don't forget to pre-order the game!

This blog brought to you by...



As you might notice, there are now small ads linked to blog-entry related products at the end of the most recent blog entries.

If they offend you, then I apologize. However, if you are interested in buying any of the excellent products listed below, do me a solid and click on the link below. I get a very small portion of the profit from Amazon if you do and I have a very bad video game habit to support. :)

Thanks for your understanding and business!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BLURST!

Thanks to the fine folks at Kotaku, I have discovered a new game site. http://www.blurst.com/ has several fine looking games with themes that only games on the interwebs can provide.



Minotaur China Shop (from Flashbang studios) might be the first "Man vs. himself" game I've ever played. You play a huge Minotaur who owns a china shop, helping other anthropamorphized customers buy the mug or grecian urn of their dreams. However, you move around like... well, like a bull in a china shop. Each time you accidently blunder into a cabinet and break something, you get more incensed with rage. You can either give into the rage, destroy the place and collect the insurance, or calm yourself with deep breathes and continue with your day. Something I think many of us can relate to.

An absolutely fantastic concept that reaffirms my idea that you can make anything into gameplay. Well done, Flashbang!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Galaga!



I read a new story today about an Australian fellow breaking the world's record for Galaga and it reminded me of a story early in my career:

I was working for Namco during the mid-90's and I was sent to Japan to help out with some design work on an arcade game (IIRC, it was Tekken 2)

When I got to Namco's Yokohama tower office, I was given a tour including the arcade division where I'd be helping out. Their offices were small tables (the kind you'd find in elementary schools) literally wedged between gutted arcade cabinets, filing cabinets and fire-hazard stacks of old paperwork. I had heard Japanese work spaces were small, but our American cubicles were luxurous compared to these work spaces.

In one of these tiny spaces, I was introduced to a Japanese planner ("Planner" is the Japanese term for designer) who, as I was told, had worked for Namco for "a very long time." I asked him (via translator) what games he had worked on and he listed several off including... Galaga.

I bowed very deeply to the planner, telling him how much I loved the game as a child (to the amusement of the other employees with us) and the planner made a "don't go anywhere" motion with hands as he rushed back to his "office."

He returned with a stack of yellowing graph paper which he started to flip through. After a second, I realized he was showing me the ORIGINAL DESIGNS of Galaga! It was amazing to see the whole game on paper: the ship patterns, the controls especially the famous capture mechanic!

I felt like I had been allowed to touch the Declaration of Independance of gaming. It was quite an amazing experience!