Friday, October 8, 2010

Killzone 2 . . . I want to like you.

Killzone 2 is killing me. Quite a bit. (Also forgive my tardiness in reviewing this, but I finally got around to playing it.)

It looks great, sounds great and makes me feel like I am in a chaotic war zone. Yet I don't like it. Why the hate bro?
The controls are terrible.

The number one thing a game needs to have, is stellar controls. You then work your way from there on everything else. This game feels so loose, it drives me nuts. If I aim a reticule at a dude's head, I want it to stay there when my thumb stops moving the analog stick. However Killzone 2 has a slight shift in weight for the gun. This leads me to not attain headshots. Which makes me unhappy. Gears of War and Halo have a good solid stop when you pull off of the thumb-stick. The reaction time is (essentially) one to one. Same with Call of Duty. Immediate stops. Yet Killzone 2, perhaps, is going for a more realistic feeling stop. I don't like it, and it has cost me my life multiple times. Also when you are zoomed in and you hit reload it won't reload. STOP BEING AN AHOLE GAME! JUST RELOAD MY WEAPON. Work with me, there are loads of grenades, shotguns and automatic weapons exploding around every corner. Just reload for crap's sake.

Also DROP THE 6 AXIS CRAP. There was no need for the gimmicky bomb planting motion controls. Sony, stop forcing people to use this please. It doesn't sell units. In fact, if it was not in the game at all, I'd wager it would sell the same amount.

The cover system is also a bit finicky. There were multiple times where I would be crouched behind a wall, and yet bad guys would shoot the top of my head. They would apparently shoot enough of my hair off for me to die.

The melee attack is also slow and and hard to predict where it will hit. Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty had a great melee system because of it's responsiveness. "HOLY CRAP ZOMBIE IN FRONT OF MY FACE!" Boom, ready with a shotgun butt to the back of the head. "TERRORIST UP IN MY GRILLE!" Blammo, knife to the junk. With Killzone it's often "Man all this armor is weighing me down in this crazy warzone. HOLY CRAP GLOWY EYED DUDE! ERRRUUNNGHH! Crap. I missed! EERRRUNNGGGHH! HIT HIM! Oh wait I can't. I'm dead from swinging my gun around like a jerk."

The story and characters are also pretty generic/boring. "Vargas! Get me some firepower!" screams a commander with another last name name that is easy to remember. "I gave your mom some fire power last night Diaz!" replies the generic grunt soldier who is someone you should apparently care about because they are your squad mate. I know this is an action movie themed game, but COME ON, give me something with a bit more depth here. I frankly could care less if they got wiped out by the . . . uhhh. . whatever the Space Nazi's are in this game. They look great, but I don't understand what their deal is either. Why can't there be a mission where you have to escort an enemy back to interrogation, and you actually get to know him on the path back to the player's base? Something other than "Dudes with the glowy eyes are bad."

I am not, by the way, one of those people who just craps on a game to be cool. This game got glowing reviews pretty much all around. It is not a terrible game, but it is not a great game either. It's a decent one, at best. I think the visuals and the fact that Sony put out a good multiplayer game, got this game a bit higher reviews. I just found it to be a bit overhyped is all.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Job!

I am terrible at updating this bad boy. My apologies to all 3 of you that read this.

I recently started a new job at Carbine Studios out in Aliso Viejo, which for those of you that are not familiar with Californian geography, is where the 'Real House Wives of Orange County' live. Looks like I'll need to pick up tennis lessons and lease a Range Rover.

My job title is the Associate Producer of Design. I'm working on an unannounced MMO. No I can't say what it's about, yes it's cool. You can see all sorts of info on the place at

In other news, the Batman: Brave and the Bold stuff had a great reception at Comic Con. Check out this video playthrough on Gamespot. Green Lantern fans will get a kick out of Guy Gardner being a playable character in the game.

I'll update when I get some more news. :D

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Video Games are art, an explanation for critics.

Ahhh Roger Ebert. Admitting you were wrong. Good for you sir. However there is still a tone in the article you just posted that irritates me. I am glad that you are admitting that you had no place saying that video games are art because, well, you never play them sir. However you still say, essentially, that to SOME people it is art. That isn't good enough for me sir.

This debate has been going on for years. The old "Are video games art" debate. The short answer to the argument is yes, they are art. However I would say that, you know, being in the game industry. However I figured I'd use some art history examples that even critics of video games can even understand and prove to them unequivocally, that video games are art.

I am a big fan of art history. Specifically grand, huge and technically challenging pieces. I love artists like Bernini, Caravaggio, Rafael, Michaelangelo, Durer, Delacroix, de Goya. . . these were true masters of recreating movement in a medium of still images. Their works were awe inspiring and command a great deal of emotional attachment for millions of people. I am one of those millions. I am in awe that these were done HUNDREDS of years ago. (well ok de Goya and Delacroix were more recent but still, they are amazing.)

There are people however that disagree with me, and what my definition of what art constitutes. The Dada movement was a group of people that said, effectively, that these artists were not their representations of artistic masters. Specifically people like Marcel Duchamp. He is mostly known for his work 'Nude Descending a Staircase' a work using the Cubist style. Some critics of the time found it distasteful and hardly art at all. Duchamp made a career of challenging what art really means. Nothing is more evident of that than his piece 'Fountain' where he used "Found Objects" and declared them art. At the time there were critics that hated the idea and found it an insult to call these pieces art.

The Pop Art movement that followed followed numerous ideas from the Dada movement. Using simplicity and everyday images and altering them. Andy Warhol is famous for his prints, using photographic images and silk screened pieces. Again, at the time, there were critics that found this to be insulting to be considered art.

These movements made people some critiques wreathe their hands in disgust. The idea though, was to ask "What is art?" Can everything be art? What is the definition? If anything, the Dada movement proved that art is much larger than famous Renaissance painters. They expanded the definition.

But ultimately it comes to this. . . you may not like video games, but they are a creative amalgamation. ARTISTS make ART WORKS for VIDEO GAMES. MUSICIANS create MUSIC (usually considered art) for VIDEO GAMES. Mixed together with technology, consumers of art now have the ability to experience these mediums differently. They can achieve this different experience through interaction.

Just like those critics that could not stand Duchamp, they must admit, that it is art. It is not their favorite type, but it is still art. There are some that are emotionally moved by games the way they are emotionally moved by seeing a painting, a movie or a sculpture. Hence it IS art.

The definition of art has expanded over the past few years, whether critics like it or not, video games are a part of that definition. In summation I guess one could say, if the Fountain is art, so are video games. I respect your ability to admit your mistake, however addendum to your article would be nice Mr. Ebert.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

E3 and other such things!


E3 was a good time. Glad I got to play some Castlevania, Twisted Metal and see some new Mortal Kombat fatalities. :D

Disney also had a great showing this year, it's good to see that they are growing in the right direction. Epic Mickey looks good, and I enjoyed running around in Tron.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold got some pretty positive preview remarks here, here and here.

Also my comic book Mortifera has it's own Facebook page. If you have one of these fancy Facebook accounts you should add it here.

I'll add more updates soon. Hope everyone is doing well in the interim.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gamasutra Article Posted!

Go check out the article I wrote on designing multiplayer in kids games! Go now!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

E3 anyone?


I'm going to E3 this year and am quite eager to see what awesome announcements will come out of the LA Convention Center this year. I'm excited to see some Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 stuff. I was always a big fan of the first two games, so this was a welcome announcement to me. To top it all off, Deadpool will likely be in the game. Awesome! If there's an a-hole who deserves to be in a fighting game, it's Deadpool. :D

We have been working hard for the money on Batman. It's looking pretty good and I think fans of the Brave and Bold show will dig lots of characters in the game. I hope they'll show off more of the game soon. :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Hola hombres y mujeres.

Various things going on right now:

1.) Working crunch on Batman: The Brave and The Bold. Working 12 hour days listening to Darkest Hour whilst fixing bugs.

2.) Working on a side project that involved me driving over 100 miles one way to record some drums. Playing some metal tracks to melt faces and other appendages, thanks to my homie Bryan. It's gonna go over some pretty awesome goodness.

3.) Launched (It's the comic book I wrote, illustrated by my homie Sarah.)

4.) Sold out and bought an I Phone.

5.) Grew a handlebar mustache. AKA the Manstache.

6.) Uhhhh that's it. . . no wait!

7.) Played Darksiders. I like it but there are so many controls and things to remember that the Horsemen kinda looks like an idiot when I'm controlling him. It's very contextualized, which is not so smooth when you are first getting used to things. The art style is awesome though and the puzzles are fairly good. Good game overall.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

They finally posted the game I'm working on. . .

So Kotaku and Joystiq just posted that Wayforward Technologies (The place that I am working at) is working on Batman: The Brave and The Bold.

And they are correct. That is in fact the game that I am working on as well.
Hopefully in the coming weeks they will post some videos and pics. I am really pleased with how the game is turning out and very excited to be a part of this project.

If you have not seen the show that this Batman is based off of, it's on the Cartoon Network. It's not the typical brooding, sullen and pissed at everything Batman. It's more of a tongue in cheek, campy Batman. There are loads of DC characters from the show in the game as well. Like the show it will be about teaming up with those heroes to combat villains.

The game's website can also be seen here:

I will also say it's following the tradition of Wayforward games as well. I'll post some pics/vids when I get some.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mass Affection Too

Fast update as I am tired and need sleep . . .

-Working crunch at the ol' job-a-roony. The game is getting better and better.
-I have not played Mass Effect 2 much because I've been busy at work, but what I have played, was amazing.
-Some more progress was made on Mortifera (see posted image)
-Finally decided that my game of the year for 2009 was Batman Arkham Asylum. (Solid design implementation, good story, awesome art and I was able to act like Batman without looking like a douche. All the things that made Batman awesome were there. . . beating up multiple guys at one time, slowly and methodically picking off dudes from the shadows, using awesome gadgets and experiencing Arkham from the inside. I'll go more into this later, I swears! )
-Worked a TINY bit on another project in my 2.5 seconds of free time.
-Mounted a coat of arms in the apartment. Wife approved and all.

Blammo. That's it. Hasta.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Mortifera!

I was just reading an interview with Stan Lee a few minutes ago. He said that he felt his comics advocated action, not violence. Interesting. I don't know if he's been reading the recent Thor comics, but Dr. Doom straight up murders a Goddess and steals her powers. Rips out her heart and everything. Brutal.

Speaking of violent, the comic I have been working on is slowly coming together. I've posted some of the images from Mortifera: Ascension. (The artist is Sarah McPhie. She's pretty awesome if you ask me.) This is a 'Zero Issue', if you will, that explains some of the background in the current story arch. I'm only posting a few of these pages . . . in my next update I'll post some of the story after Ascension.
In the game design department I have been working on a bit of a crunch at Wayforward. We have a milestone on Friday so we are getting all the stuff necessary for submission and all that. I will post some info once the project is announced. I can also say that I am pretty happy with the Intellectual Property. I have been working on some cool ideas wit
h the other level designers and that's all I can say really. . . but when it's announced, I'll post something!

The other side project is also coming along piece by piece, but that is still early in development as well. I hope everyone's 2010 is looking good so far, because mine is shaping up nicely.