Monday, November 26, 2007

Assassin's Creed: Week One Point Two

[SPOILERS]

It just wouldn't be a mediocre gaming event without a glitch/bug at the end of it.

So. I've killed 8 of the 9 people I'm supposed to kill. I get to Arsuf... or the beginning of it anyway. And in no time I'm having all kinds of issues with the screen. First the archers ignore me. Woohoo. That's to my advantage. Then the screen says "Cannot Access this Memory" despite the fact that I'm on the only road you can travel in the game and there's no where else to go.

So. I walk back, fall through a PIXEL crack and die after 20 seconds of freefall.

I spawn with the DUAL ASSASSIN glitch that everyone is talking about. I got this in no time and immediately started fighting myself. After dying. I respawned four more times as a double, before finally giving up.

I turned it off. And an hour later came back to it.

I read online about similar problems and I tried removing the second controller. I was able to walk through the Blocked Memory, but there were still TWO ASSASSINS. However, this is the best part, when I was ambushed by the 20 or so bad guys, the second assassin helped me out. We died anyway, because the screen was jumpy (with two assassins) and I didn't know which one I was controlling, but it was still hilarious.

So.

Until there issue a patch, I don't think I'll be finishing this game.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Assassin's Creed: Week One Point Six

Okay.

Finished the game. Story ending was excellent.

And in typical completist fashion, I am restarting and trying to get one of everything.

I have all 20 flags from Maysaf and 65 King Richard Kingdom flags, so far.

I've also killed 16 Templars.

I have a busy week coming, so I won't be back to the game for a while.

In other news, a super secret project that I'm working on is coming along nicely.

Assassin's Creed: Week One

I've been playing Assassin's Creed everyday since it came out.

This is my kind of game, in many ways, which is why I rushed out to buy it (something I never do).

While I won't go too into detail about why I love it (Prince of Persia meets GTA meets Splinter Cell), I do want to say a few words about some things that annoy me.
  • As I'm sure you've heard, the game is repetitive. Where GTA has specifically tailored missions that might be similar, they are most definitely different. Because of the repetitive nature of AC, I don't even listen to the NPCs anymore and I just wait for someone to stab.
  • There are literally only 3 kinds of missions and 3 kinds of extra-curricular activity.
  • Also, the flags are a cheesy gimmick. Collecting them in three minutes has nothing to do with the crusades.
  • Holding two buttons to run and jump across roof-tops means there's no timing or strategy to getting around.... which was 1/2 the fun of Prince of Persia.
  • I am tired of saving citizens and fighting guards.
  • There are some PIXEL issues, but in a game this big, that's bound to happen.
  • Killing Templars is cool.
  • The Horse Riding is really well done. Great design.
In all, the game needed about 3-6 more months of design and development. The foundation for a great game is there, but it's like Region A of the World's Largest Dungeon. We didn't vary up the design, and it gave people the impression that the entire book was like that.

Once you enter the second city and all the missions are the same again, you realize that this game is 9 times the mediocrity.

I give it a B-, because giving it less than that is just reactionary and mean. But it did not live up to the hype.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

d20 Recycle

I like this book the first time I wrote it, called Relics. I'm sure the White Wolf guys have done it even smarter and better than we did 5 years ago (we wrote, edited, and designed the whole thing in 2 months), but I'm still not a fan of 100% recycled ideas.
You hold in your hand a codex of almost limitless potential. Each and every artifact within contains not only a detailed description of its powers, but also a rich and inspiring mythology, adventure seeds, and the various consequences and downsides of use that make artifacts such a mixed blessing. Better yet, the Tome of Artifacts also contains new spells, new monsters, new feats, and a tool to aid you in creating your own artifacts, a random system capable of generating literally millions of unique artifacts!
Okay. I'm looking at my copy of Relics right now, and while I don't see the phrase LIMITLESS POTENTIAL, that certainly sounds like something I might write. Moving on... Each and every artifact within contains not only a detailed description of its powers, but also a rich and inspiring mythology, adventure seeds, and the various consequences and downsides of use that make artifacts such a mixed blessing. The back of Relics reads: Each comes complete with a background story, ideas regarding its current use and location, and adventure seeds for creating campaigns or encounters involving the artifact.
Now. My marketing text is VASTLY inferior to theirs, but the similarities are uncanny.
Brought to you in partnership between Necromancer Games and Lion's Den Press, the Tome of Artifacts contains contributions by some of the industry's best known names, including fan favorites Keith Baker, Rich Burlew, and Patrick Lawinger. Includes a foreword by David "Zeb" Cook!
Holy Crap. That's a lot of people involved in one book about Relics. Let's see... Michael Tresca, Steve Crow, Andrew Getting, Gareth Hanrahan, Andrew Hudson, Patrick Younts

And there's is $40 and ours was $25.

Granted this book is probably longer and hard-back... and has bigger names associated with it... and probably better art... and... maps... and it looks like a few monsters... and... um...

Okay. Nevermind. Move along.

Actually, the book looks cool and I'll check it out, but since I don't play d20 anymore, I probably won't be picking it up. But it would be nice to see some new ideas for D&D soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Marilith


This cover is one of the best WOTC covers in a long time.
I'm sure the committee machine butchered the original sketch,
but that didn't stop the artist (whoever he/she is)
from making
a kick-ass version of the Marilith.
It has its issues (see below),
but that won't stop me from posting it without permission.

I have no idea who painted it.

WOTC's new monster book is all about Demons, which for my money are inferior to devils. However, a good piece of art, can change a lot. And this one is probably one of the best paintings I've seen in a long time on a WOTC book.

And let me explain why.

While it has its share of compositional and anatomical issues, it attacks the core of a gamer's soul... the cool factor. This is not only a monster you would WANT to fight, because the art is "bitchin'," it's also a monster gamers would want to be.

And I think that speaks to the heart of good gaming art and why bigger budgets always draw in bigger crowds.

Ironically, WOTC is spending more on art for books than TSR did in the 80s, but is selling less than 5% of what TSR was selling then. In a similar twist, video games sell the same amount now that they did 5 years ago, but the cost of producing art for video games has gone up 400%.

One last thing to think about.

Presently 7 Million people play World of Warcraft Online.

In the 80s, at it's peak, 7 Million people played Dungeons and Dragons.

This has nothing to do with the Marilith, but I wasn't in the mood to write up alternate abilities for this art tonight.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Magic Spells

There's a website that generates random names for everything and I clicked on the useless spells catagory and I got...

Speak With Boyband

...as a spell title.

I thought to myself... only gamers will appreciate this, so I better post that joke.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Chain Golem

I just saw a post on ENWorld about a chain golem and immediately my mind started doing cartwheels thinking of all the second-hand material that golems could be made from.

To explain my thinking, usually a golem is made from a primary material... clay, wood, stone, flesh, bone, and so on... although clay is drawn from sand and a sand golem would kick ass too.

But what if golem's could ONLY be made from discarded items, things that people had forgotten about or lost their connection too.

The longer they'd been left unattended, the more powerful they would become.

Dang. I'm onto something here.

Okay. I'm cutting this short and really going to do something cool with this idea.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Apparently...



My pirate name is:


Bloody Sam Roberts



Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Two things complete your pirate persona: style and swagger. Maybe a little too much swagger sometimes -- but who really cares? Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network


and


Justified Infiltration Machine


Get Your Cyborg Name



or


Journeying Artificial Machine Engineered for Sabotage


Get Your Cyborg Name

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rogue Games Deluxe

As of today, my working relationship and contracts with Rogue Games have been severed. Bearing in mind that I was basically working for free, I have been "let go." Rogue Games was of course going to publish several of my games, but opted out for "publishing reasons" and has chosen to go with a new layout person/art director for "creative reasons."

I wish I could provide more information, but that's all I know as well.

James and Richard have some solid projects coming and I wish them luck, but I would be lying if I didn't say I'm a little bewildered by it all.

The timing was awful. And the impact a little jarring. My initial reaction was not pleasant, although I'm well over it now. However, I'm left with that bitter taste in my mouth that I often get when dealing with the "gaming industry."

I'm not sure what my RPG publishing future is at the moment. I'm going to step away and focus on writing other things. I am presently working on a project with AEG again, and that's all I can say.

Friday, November 02, 2007

City of Coil: Epilogue

Due to scheduling conflicts and bad news from a publisher, my Coil campaign has come to a close. I will post further information when it comes.