Posts Tagged ‘interactive’
by Danny Kim
One Tuesday in the fall of 2011, I was sitting in CTPR242 (Fundamentals of Cinematic Sound). The date was November 15th, merely four days after 11-11-11, a momentous day when many a gamer’s social lives went kaput with the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I’d been playing quite a while over the weekend, and EVERYONE was talking about it – even CNN was raving about it! I saw ads for Skyrim quite often on TV and online as well. Suffice it to say it was a very well marketed game, and I assumed people would at least be familiar with it as a pop culture style, “Oh, I saw an ad about that on TV!” thing if nothing else when I brought it up, in the same way I’m familiar with the Geico Gecko even though I never actually use any of their services.
So that Tuesday in 242 when Preston began lecture like he did every time by asking us what we’d seen over the weekend, I asked, “Oh, can I talk about a video game I played?” and he was like, “Yeah, go for it!” So I mentioned that I’d been playing a ton of Skyrim and loved the atmosphere and music in it. But then when I looked around to see if anyone else knew what it was or had been doing the same, and all I saw were blank faces – the same kids who would be aghast if I told them I wasn’t familiar with Pulp Fiction or the Godfather series had never heard of Skyrim, let alone the Elder Scrolls franchise as a whole.
Right now, Interactive majors are required to take CTCS190 and CTPR241/290 like most SCA majors, and I presume the reason for this is to give all students in SCA a common fundamental curriculum in the cinematic arts to draw from. But then I have to ask, how is this fundamental curriculum complete in any way without an introduction to video games, the most recent development in cinematic arts? I believe that all SCA students be required to take an intro level CTIN course that teaches them the history, culture, and language of video games. But why? you might ask. Why should I care about video games? I’ll tell you why: (more…)
(Originally published on CelebritySC on 2/16/2012)
“My name is Alan Wake. I’m a writer.”
With its impending PC re-release and the closely following release of its downloadable followup, I figured now is as good a time as any to talk about one of my most favorite games of all time, one that I think is overlooked beyond belief: Alan Wake.
“A Psychological Action Thriller,” the caption on the front cover reads. Just from this text, it’s clear that Remedy is aiming for so much more than just a generic third person shooter with a barely functional narrative. No, Alan Wake is a game where the narrative elements play a huge role in making the overall package as great as it is. And would we expect any less from the developers behind Max Payne (for the less interactively educated, I promise you, the games are infinitely better than the piece of shit movie starring Mark Wahlberg), a series known for its strong story, atmosphere, and style?
And yes, the main character is a writer. Not some action hero or soldier. That plus the whole “Psychological Action Thriller” thing should make you think about Alan Wake a little bit differently to start with. (more…)
by Danny Kim
(Originally posted on CelebritySC on 2/10/12)
Destroying blocks and making words always feels good.
It’s a near-undeniable fact that millions of people who’ve played games like Tetris and Scrabble over decades of time can attest to. Developed by USC Interactive Media Division student Asher Vollmer (’12), Puzzlejuice aims to take what we love from some of our favorite word games and puzzle games and combine them into one package, into what I guess you could consider the video game pseudo-counterpart of a bacon-wrapped hot dog. Both puzzle games and word games are a dime a dozen iOS App Store, many of them garbage but some of them quite good; so does Puzzlejuice’s approach of combining elements from both help make it fun and stand out from the crowd? Let’s find out. (more…)
by Danny Kim
(Originally posted on CelebritySC on 2/8/2012)
It’s a concept that most survival-action and survival-horror games and films boil down to, “You don’t wanna die, so here, take this shotgun and shoot shit,” or, “Oh my god, you’re helpless, you better run.” (Amnesia, anyone?) No game has really chosen to explore the human side to survival, the wear it inflicts on a person over time and the stress it puts on those trying to stay alive. But it seems like that’s finally about to change. (more…)
by Danny Kim
(Originally posted on CelebritySC on 1/25/12)
With over 14 years of experience in the games industry, Chris Avellone is an industry veteran in every sense. Currently Creative Director and Chief Creative Officer at Obsidian Entertainment, he has played a role in shaping some of the most memorable experiences in gaming history, from the vast wastelands of Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas to the countless lightsaber battles of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. In this interview, we sat down with him to pick his brains on game design and the gaming industry.
Danny Kim: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your specific title(s) and position(s) at Obsidian Entertainment.
Chris Avellone: I’m Creative Director/Chief Creative Officer at Obsidian Entertainment. I’m involved with brainstorming and reviewing existing design content at the company, playing the builds, critiquing design documents, and assisting with the designer hiring and testing.
How did you first start working in the games industry?
I ended up working in the game industry by writing pen-and-paper game adventures in my spare time, and I was persistent enough to get them published. Once published, my boss then recommended me for a position at a game company based on his work experience with me (a positive one). (more…)