| Subcribe via RSS

Game Genres

January 20th, 2016 | Comments Off on Game Genres | Posted in Guides

Action – In this genre there is a major emphasis on reaction times and responding to threats to the character on screen. These are the typical fighting or platform jumping type games such as Mario. They sprang up from the early arcade machine days of video games and are what many think of first when they think of video games. These used to be some of the highest selling games and even today, they do well, though games with higher production values and more story elements have come to take precedent.

Shooter – This is a more recent genre that began with Wolfenstein 3D in the First Person Shooter genre, but there are also other types of shooters such as Asteroids. These games emphasize the shooting of enemies, usually in a military type setting for first person shooters and for those similar to as Asteroids and arcade-style shooters, they are generally set either in outer space dealing with a space ship or a fictional aircraft of some sort.

Adventure – These games generally involve a single player character which is more developed than in many other types of games. They emphasize the story that the characters must go through, almost as if the player were taking on the lead role in a movie. The emphasis of play is on solving quests, puzzles and other challenges within the game as the story progresses. They are normally single player rather than multi player.

Construction/Management – Often, games in this genre are considered simulations because they tend to be closer to real world settings such as the stock market or the building of historical civilizations, but they can also involve worlds of total fantasy. The goal here is to helm a large group of characters and manage the resources in the game. The emphasis is on the proper creation and allocation of resources to obtain a goal of dominance in some form or other. These can be single or multi player.

Life Simulation –  The Sims is a prime example of this type of game because players will be in full control over the life of a character or small group of characters. Realistic play is paramount in this genre, but there are sometimes story elements in with the simulation of reality. Pets, plants and other things can be simulated in this genre, as long as they are life forms.

Role Playing – One of the largest and most popular genres today thanks to the ability to play online with and against other players around the world, RPGs are a huge segment of the gaming hobby. In these games, which differ from games in the adventure genre, players will take on the role of a character that they have created specifically for the game by giving them a unique name, appearance, traits, skills and abilities. These games generally involve quests and advancing a character to a hero or villain status.

Strategy – Similar to games of construction and management, these are generally war games though they can involve other settings. The goal here is to out strategize one’s opponent, whether they be human or computer, and take control of the game world by strategic use of resources.

Vehicle Simulation/Racing – These games are all about the racing of vehicles, be they cars, planes, boats or other types of transportation. They involve varying levels of realism with some games allowing for complete customization of the vehicles and offering real physics while other games are more arcade style in nature. This is an enormously popular genre.

Music/Party Games – These games are a fairly recent genre in terms of development and they focus on the fun of the gaming experience rather than obtaining specific goals, for the most part. With music games, players use special controllers to recreate the beats and melodies of songs and these are often played to the party gaming crowd, but there are also party specific games aimed at this audience which are simple and meant for group involvement with non-traditional gamers.

Puzzle Games – These games involve exactly what their name implies: puzzles. They may be along the lines of Tetris with geometric puzzles to be solved, but there are three dimensional and other games in this genre such as Portal which is a highly complex and more recent addition to this genre.

Trivia, Board & Card Games – These games evolved from pre-video game roots and are simply the digitized versions of traditional games that are played in this format. The can be played either solo such as the world famous Solitaire which came installed on Windows machines or can be played online against a host of other players.

Sports – There are video games in this genre for all of the major sports ranging from football to the Olympics, but there are also less common sports which are covered, too. These games can be both arcade style or simulation, depending upon the specific title. They almost always offer multiplayer capacity. 

Educational – These come in a range of different styles and with a huge array of different themes, but the purpose of this genre is to not only educate, but to entertain. They are usually market to parents with children.

Exercise Games – These are a more recent form of game that involve players performing physical actions as a way to win points or simply for the sake of doing an interactive work out that keeps their minds busy.

Studying Computer Animation

January 13th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Education

Do you think that you are pretty creative? Then maybe a computer animation program is something that should interest you as it is one of the most creative qualifications to get and one of the most diverse and artistic industries to work in.
When you say computer animation to someone then they will automatically think of computer games and, for sure, many animators do go on and work in the computer game industry but this is just one small sector and only one place where you can work with a qualification in computer animation. For example, computer animators can go on and work in a wide variety of digital arts professions; these can include a special effects technician, art director, animator or a digital publisher. Indeed, many go on and work in the TV and film industry and help to produce effects and animation for films and television shows.
In the program you learn all about 2d and 3d animation as well as becoming experienced to an advanced level in the programs and techniques that are used to create some of the animations that we see in TV, film and in computer games as well. However, creating animation is not the only thing that you learn when you undertake one of these courses even though this is a major and probably the main part of it. Rather you will also learn and improve your skills in relation to the business side of things; many people who graduate with this kind of degree go on and freelance or even set up their own company so they need to have the business acumen and in order to be able to do this. Computer animation is a highly creative and competitive industry but with the right skills and training the you can be a success.

The Rising Popularity of Indie Video Games

December 29th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Gaming

The video game industry in general has changed drastically over the years. Traditionally, certain consoles have always been popular and developers working with these console manufacturers are the ones that have seen their games being sold. Today however, there are a number of independent or indie developers that are rising in popularity.

As the internet has gained in popularity, so has the development of indie games. At the latest International Game Developers Conference, over half of all those attending were actually indie developers and their games are being created for the latest in tablet and smartphone gaming crazes.

Independent video games are certainly not new to the industry. Pong was a very popular game in its time and was developed for Atari. The game itself was developed by someone working for Atari but was considered an independent development at that time. Today, many independent game developers spend time and money creating the next big thing in video gaming with hopes of getting their games noticed and more and more consumers are becoming attracted to these independently created games.

The early twenty first century saw indie games really gaining in popularity. Unlimited distribution and a host of online gaming options has made it very possible to store and share games and instead of turning to major game companies, many developers are simply choosing to sell their creations through networking or their own sites. Indie games do not normally have the manpower that larger gaming companies use in order to develop and then market their games but with the increase in technology, they have made great strides in getting their games into the hands of consumers.

Crowd funding as well as micro transactions and development incubators are changing the gaming industry by the day. These newer business models are making it a bit easier for developers to be seen and larger companies are now reaching out to indie developers to help them to better create and then market their products. Sony is set to release the PlayStation 4 in the next few months and the platform will make it much easier for indie developers to create games and to sell those games on the PlayStation 4 platform. Microsoft and Nintendo are also working to make it easier for developers to push their smartphone and tablet applications and an indie developed game was nominated for more awards during the last gaming conference than any other game, even those developed by major gaming companies.

Video games are here to stay and with more and more games coming out with the hopes of attracting the attention of consumers, many indie developers are beginning to find their place in this often highly competitive industry. The future for indie developers looks promising and as gaming consoles continue to be improved upon and technology continues to grow, there is no doubt that the indie gaming industry is here to stay as well. In fact, with more and more new developers finding their mark, indie games may just be more successful than big gaming company games in just a few short years.

How Game Developers Are Dealing with Piracy

December 24th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Guides

Piracy is a major issue in video gaming and some game developers have had enough. Piracy is the act of owning and using a video game without actually paying for it. There have been many versions of video game piracy over the years and they are all technically illegal. The digital age has led to many technological advances and unfortunately for the video game industry, people have learned many ways to steal video game content and play those games without paying. The gaming industry however, has come up with an answer and many game developers are putting that answer into effect.

In an attempt to weed out piracy, some developers have come up with ingenious ways of stopping pirates from playing or at least keeping them from enjoying their games. The developers of the popular game Operation Flashpoint Cold War Crisis have come up with a great way to deter would-be pirates. During game play, the pirate will begin the game with weapons that work normally. Throughout the game however and as they advance to higher levels, those seemingly normal weapons begin to be less effective and the player will begin to take on higher and more fatal levels of damage.

In Grand Theft Auto 4, another very popular game, developer Rockstar has implemented a very simple method for teaching pirates a lesson. Whenever a copy is determined to have been pirated, the camera in the game will begin to wobble after just a few moments of beginning the game and will not stop which makes it virtually impossible for the player to continue. Rocksteady, developers of Batman Arkham Asylum have made it impossible for pirates to play as well. When a pirated copy is detected in this popular game, Batman is unable to use his cape which means he cannot glide. This makes it very difficult for players to win the game because there are many sections that require Batman to glide using his cape.

In Serious Sam 3, pirates will find themselves face to face with an immortal enemy when they pick up the gun in the first level. If they do manage to outwit the red scorpion and continue on with the game, they will have only a couple more levels before the camera will lock completely into a position that has their characters spending the remainder of game play running in circles without actually going anywhere.

And finally, EarthBound’s developers, Starmen.net, have copy protected their games from piracy by making enemy encounters much more frequent and difficult in the game, which makes it nearly impossible to complete. If a pirate does manage to get through the slower than average game to the end, it will freeze in the last few minutes and delete the entire file.

These are just a few examples of how game developers are beginning to fight back against piracy. There are other developers that are doing similar things to ensure that their games are purchased legally as they should be in order to be played.

OnLive vs Gaikai

September 4th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Guides

OnLive was the first game streaming service to really impress the gaming community, paving the way for cloud based gaming. Offering a huge array of games at a low monthly cost, gamers can stream games directly over the internet, meaning you don’t need an expensive computer to run the latest titles.
Until recently, OnLive dominated the market, but a new competitor has emerged on the scene. Gaikai has begun to offer services which are set to shake up the market. So is one better than the other? Here’s our verdict on how the services compare.
Round 1: Titles
OnLive
With over 300 titles available to play in full, OnLive has an extensive library for those willing to subscribe to the service, costing a mere £6.99.
Gaikai
Gaikai only offers demo trials of games but does this at no cost to gamers. There are plans to roll out full game support but as of yet there have been no announcements. The number of titles on offer is limited at the moment but with ever-growing partnerships and the recent buyout by Sony, expect big things to come.
Winner: OnLive
Round 2: Graphics
OnLive
On launch, OnLive promised better than console performance, though in reality this is far from true. The graphics quality is actually quite poor, looking quite blocky at times. OnLive doesn’t allow for graphic setting alterations, meaning we are unsure of the exact hardware being used at their end.
Gaikai
Gaikai offers much more flexibility in the graphics department, allowing users to change graphic settings on some titles. The terminals running the games are using a GeForce 560Ti graphics card, which is a more than capable graphics card. This comes of little surprise when you look at the screen, the performance is significantly better than most consoles, with smoother lines and clearer view of field.
Winner: Gaikai
Round 3: FPS
OnLive
Despite its low quality graphics, the gaming experience found on OnLive is impressive, never dropping below 60fps, making for a silky smooth gaming. It’s clear that the people at OnLive have prioritised frame rate over graphical performance, which makes sense when playing games over the internet.
Gaikai
The games on Gaikai may look beautiful but, when you crank the settings, you can feel a noticeable difference, with strange frame rate drops and unresponsive moments making for a far-from-smooth gaming experience. By having double the graphical power of OnLive, Gaikai have essentially halved their frame rate to make up for it, giving users on average 30fps.
Winner: OnLive
So, despite its weaker graphical performance, OnLive still offers the best overall cloud based gaming service. You still need to have a good internet connection so be sure to look around for the cheapest broadband service to get the best deals.