Thursday, October 28, 2010

Games done right: Lessons from Force Unleashed


For starters, let me clarify that this blog post is about the original Force Unleashed, not the newly-released sequel. If it seems weird that I'm talking about a game that has been on the market for two years, you must be new to the blog. I never played Guitar Hero in any incarnation until about nine months ago. I'm still occasionally working on unlocking everything in the 2006 hit, Marvel Ultimate Alliance. I grabbed Bioshock for Christmas and have yet to load the disk, and I just grabbed Arkham Asylum a couple of weeks ago. When it comes to video games, I'm not really on top of things.

However, let's not think of this post as a discussion of the merits of what is effectively ancient gaming history, but about why I think the folks at LucasArts really got some things right with this one, and why game designers from both the digital and tabletop genres can take some things away from this.

Read on for my brilliant ideas.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rifts Lawsuit Settlement? Call Your Shot.


Good afternoon, dear Internet. It appears that it may be a great day for fans of Rifts, but we don't yet know any details. It was reported today on the amazing livingdice.com that the Trion Worlds versus Palladium Books legal battle may have finally come to a close.

If you're just joining us and don't want to go through the whole story as I lay it out here, for the past several months the video game developer, Trion Worlds, and the RPG publisher, Palladium Books, have been in a war of words and letters and statements over Palladium's claim to hold the trademark for naming a video game "Rifts." This, naturally, was a big deal to Trion and their in-development MMO, Rift: Planes of Telera. There are numerous side issues and developments, but ultimately Palladium wants the name of Trion's game to be changed, while Trion claims that Palladium's trademark is invalid or even fraudulent.

But, as it appears that this has now been somehow settled out of court, and as we have no official announcement as to the terms, it's time to do what any good citizen of the Internet would do given this situation: speculate! Let's examine how this could have gone, and then you can go on record with how you think it played out.

Read on for more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Return of Complete Characters

I have returned

I'm not going to go into my mysterious absence in any sort of detail. Let's just say there were monkeys. Lots and lots of monkeys. I really can't say anything more. I'm back now, and we're together. Isn't that what really matters? Let's not dwell on my many failings as a blogger, but instead talk about the gift I have for you, my cherished readers, brought back with me from exotic places afar.

Step inside, where we can be a bit more comfortable.