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Video Games: the most successful animation industry

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Video Games: the most successful animation industry

Video games are the world's most popular form of animation and animation history's greatest success story.

What are some particularly great video games and why?
(Feel free to go back as far as Pong.)

What contemporary releases do you recommend?

What games would you recommend to people who hate video games?

I have to put in another vote for Shadow of the Colossus. The game is simply beautiful and amazing! Not only is the animation breathtakingly real, from what I have read, it was done 100% by hand! The horse is so incredibly lifelife! The interpolation of actions impressed me as well, one motion alwayse leading smoothly into another, whether running, rolling, jumping, or stumbling over a rock!

Beyond Good and Evil was also graet for the inventive characters and gameplay. It had a fun story, and just felt like being part of a whole new world.

I agree the Prince of Persia games are almost like the current benchmarks for overall quality (with a few points off for PoP2's unneccessary and overdone angst)

For funny games, that no one has mentioned.. I loved the Futurama game, the gameplay wasn't the greatest, but the story and voices were done by the original cast and crew.. helped me get my Futurama fix while waiting for the eventual dvd movies...

And for games anyone can play and have fun, especially in groups, Eyetoy games are great, as are the Karaoke Revolutions, but the best one out there (in the running for best game ever! hehe) is Guitar Hero!

Ive heard shadow of colossus is very good. I do not have a playstation though so i cannot play it.

It is a shame : [ Aside from Resident Evil 4, Shadow was easily the best game of last year.

I've been holding off on games recently as I don't have the best discipline for scheduling. This means I've missed Animal Crossing: WW and Viewtiful Joe DS, Castlevania DS, the new Katamari Damacy for the PS2- all these games look great. Simply haven't the time.

Electroplankton could've used a save feature- but to be honest, when you've got a groovin' loop going- it feels really good to think "and no one will ever be able to recreate this again." It's a great fun for travel and airports, but yeah, not an urgent buy.

I forget who mentioned it earlier in the thread, but I truly look forward to playing Killer 7. I hear it's madness!

I wouldn't call it contemporary but a great blend of animation with support of writing in a game is, in my opinion, Curse of Monkey Island (the blend being great -- I won't speak to the quality of the animation itself :rolleyes: ). I wished a couple of times that they'd taken that into TV show form. Probably more palatable for my weird-ass sense of humor than 90% of anything actually on ...

If we're going back as far as Pong, Tempest is still one of my favorite games of all time. You have slight chances to breathe, so the pace is broken up decently, but it keeps you active and it's visually appealing in a simplistic way.

And I'd recommend Mafia to a game hater, because even though on the surface other games have the exact same format, the continuity in art direction and the lengths they went to get you immersed in a real live story, shallow or otherwise, made you care to play the thing.

The interpolation of actions impressed me as well, one motion alwayse leading smoothly into another, whether running, rolling, jumping, or stumbling over a rock!

Or clinging to the most ridiculously gigantous, skyscraper-wielding, drop-a-load-in-your-knickers-HUGE boss-monsters ever!

All that was done by hand? I would've called it top-notch mocap, shows what I know. That's even more impressive.

Cheers to the other mentions, Beyond Good and Evil was so overlooked- it makes no sense that game didn't sell millions.

I have no great love for the new PoP series. Gameplay seemed secondary for some reason... And I can't play guitar hero 'cause I only have 9 working fingers. Long story.

Some of my past favorites (I've been out of touch for a couple of years now):

My current (and nearly for the past 10 years) favorite:
- Mario Kart Franchise - Simple yet engaging game play that allows for quite a bit of fun. The cartooniness of it all fits very well with the game style. It's pure escapism at a fast, and fun pace. Plus, it's just plan fun to blast your friends and family off the track with turtle shells.

Other favorites
-The Legend of Zelda Series (Minus the second one) Simple game play that manages to be engaging. The story elements have been getting better and better as the series continues.

- The Metroid Series - Again, simple game play that has kept up with the technology. Story is mysterious enough to keep me engaged (not the high point), but the thrill of discovery and problem solving really keeps me coming back. I still remember the thrill of discovering you can shoot through walls in the first installment as a high point in my gaming history. The newer 3d versions are cool, but loose some of the appeal that the 2d versions had for me. I'm not sure if it's just nostalgia talking here though.

- Warcraft II and Starcraft - The strategy is fantastic. Team play is great, and the stories aren't bad either. I really DIDN'T like Warcraft III though. It became more complex and focused on smaller skirmishes, loosing much of the appeal of the large scale war, with simplicity that the other two had. I also didn't care much for the storyline either. It became more detailed, but I just didn't like the writing in it.

- Star Wars Battlefront - I enjoy the first person shooter and being able to take up the role of familiar character types. The team play stands out in this one for me. It's not a fantastic game, but it's fun alternative to some of the deeper FPS (First person shooters) or some of the more mindless ones.

- Toe Jam and Earl - Best played with another person. Absolutely hysterical team game. A little long, but the animation throughout was brilliant as were the jokes. Never played the sequel.

- Fallout Series - Absolutely awesome storyline (that actually branched some). Extremely good mix of humor and darkness set in the apocolypse, with a pretty good combat system that relied on strategy not reflexes. I would love to see this made into a movie (and get the chance to work on it too). Worth checking out just for the animated intros. The graphics were nicely done, too.

- Paper Mario on the Game Cube - Great graphics and animation. A pretty cute story line (obviously aimed at a younger crowd) and a very cool and unique game interface. Definitely worth checking out if only to see how 2d and 3d can be combined without just resorting to toon shading.

I have also enjoyed: Myst, numerous Nintendo and Sega titles, many of the Super Mario Games beyond what I've mentioned, Quake up to and including III (and a number of mods, especially Team Fortress for Quake I), Half Life (and Counter Strike), Doom I and II, several Flight Sims, Earthworm Jim, Diablo I and II, and hundreds of games on the Commodore 64.

I'm sure I'll think of more as people start posting to this.

Basically, this is how an appealing video game does it for me (I may revise this as the discussion continues):
First is theme, is it something I'm interested in (I don't like sports, and Mario Kart is as far as I go into racing, while fantasy and science fiction rank pretty high on my list)
Next, and this is a short one, but can be a deal breaker, the elegance of the game play (controls, interface, etc.) gets me into the game. Some games are just too cumbersome to be bothered with.
And finally, The feel of the game elements (ie. challenge, problem solving, storyline, imagery comes back here in the form of "does it enhance the experience?") keep me playing and coming back
And finally, the graphics, is it flashy? Beyond catching my eye, if the game play stinks, or it's another football game, I'm probably not going to be very interested.

That all being said, I don't allow as much time for games as I used to. I'm trying to be more focused on getting my ideas out of my head and I've been playing more boardgames lately, www.boardgamegeek.com revealed a whole new world beyond Parker Bros and Monopoly to me that's even more engaging than video games. I'll choose 'Ticket to Ride' or 'Citadels' with my friends over sitting by myself playing another FPS any day. While there obviously isn't much (any actually) animation in them, I find myself much more creatively engaged and can work with a clearer head on my own projects. After video games, typically all I can think about is bed, eating, tv, or more video games.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
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It's going to be a close race with all the quality this year. Good luck!

When are the awards? Are they broadcast on the net?

February 9th is the day of teh awards in Vegas... Not sure if it will be broadcasted anywhere though unfortunately.

Thanks

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

Sorry for the lengthy post. It just came pouring out. Someday I'll write a book to collect dust called "Crap I Think About." No one will need to read it. :)

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

Wade:
That's great that you guys are working so hard on actually adding character and emotion, and just plain good animation to P.O.P. :D Good animation is not something you really see in a lot of games :( I know I'm a student but sometimes I can look at a game and say to myself: MAN those characters looks stiff or that facial animation could've been done better or something else.

lol, I'm rambling on like I'm a professional which I am far from right now *sigh* .

Just curious, how long did it take to complete the animation in the whole game? I'm guessing a year or two right?

Was motion capture used at all?

James :cool:

Is anybody here a "gamer"? I am what you would classify as such things. Ive played since as far back as i can remember. Starting with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

Some particularly great games? well THE ONE that is completely amazing, and wins a lot of "best game" category in the console world is: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was the first Zelda game release in THREE dimensions on the nintendo 64. Not only did it have fun gameplay and awesome brainteasing dungeons but there were some pretty thematic cinematics. I couldnt wait until i came across the next cinematic in that game. The animation was better than in some games you see even today.

For the PC gamer Half Life and Half Life 2 seem to reign supreme as BEST GAME. I must agree i did enjoy Half Life 2 quite a bit. It has First Person Shooter action with some puzzle elements thrown in. The story is portrayed through in game scenes of animation. It is really a very nice looking game. I am going to purchase the first one this weekend.

My personal favorite series of recent years. Halo. Say what you will, usually in gamer circles there are people who call it overrated and hate it....but.....theres always those out there for EVERY game. Halo 1 had one of the best stories for an FPS and looked amazing. There were also cinematic sequences of storytelling. The animation was quite good as well. The multiplayer was awesome and great fun. Halo2? i have not put it down for more than a week since its release 1 year ago in november. The online multiplayer is the best thing you can experience on xbox live. From the gameplay, to the developers interface and party system, it is just a great multiplayer experience.

Some other awesome series? Metal Gear Solid is pretty awesome. Mario games are fun and getting more humorous. what else do i play....haha....not too into RPGs as a lot of people are, but i do admit they can be pretty addicting and if done well, awesome games. The example i can think of is Morrowind.

Another classic and well known is Goldeneye. Another Nintendo 64 release which showed that FPS games can really work on consoles. The single player campaign was always full of enemies and fun FPS action. This is the first game i would stay up to the weee hours of the night playing multiplayer with friends. Great game.

OH, and who can forget Super Smash Bros. (64 version) the gamecube version is pretty awesome as well. These games are the only "fighting" games i have spent more than a few hours on. Something about fighting against classic nintendo characters with classic nintendo characters is just straight out fun.

To refrain from going on 10 pages ill just stop here for now and see what others think.

i will only say this about people who hate games: look into a nintendo DS

EDIT:
it seems kdiddy was writing his 10 page thing while i was. haha. and i just gotta say. YES, MARIO KART! the N64 version was my favorite but now it is on Nintendo DS and i love it. It is pretty similar to the N64 version but with free online play, which is awesome!

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

What games would you recommend to people who hate video games?

As a non-gamer I would like to tack on a question to Harvey's...

Are there any games with a sense of humor or wit other than "blowing up things is funny" humor?

just curious,

ed

Department of Computer Animation
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Florida

Although I clearly see its qualities, Beyond Good & Evil failed to cast a lasting spell on me. I can't quite explain it myself. All I know is that I started playing, was glued for a while and then lost interest.

any oddworld game has great animation.

I just got Animal Crossing: Wild World for nintendo DS and im so addicted.

It really makes you question what a "game" can be.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

On the same note of games for non-gamers, Kraft is having a promotion to get kids exercising (so you can't blame cheese for all the lardos, I imagine). They're giving away a bunch of dance pads ($9.99 s&h):

http://www.kraftbrands.com/activegame/pad.aspx

Apparently they show up as a joystick and you can use them with the games from their site, or the open source version of DDR called StepMania (http://www.stepmania.com/)

I ordered one out of curiosity. It hasn't gotten here yet, so I can't vouch for the quality, but at $10, it's not a bad risk, IMO. I used to love the Nintendo Exo-pad (or whatever it was called).

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

Although I clearly see its qualities, Beyond Good & Evil failed to cast a lasting spell on me. I can't quite explain it myself. All I know is that I started playing, was glued for a while and then lost interest.

Hm... Never a good sign for a linear game. Was it the stealth action, maybe?

The hovercraft was enough to keep me glued.

Are there any games with a sense of humor or wit other than "blowing up things is funny" humor?

I'm sure there are hundreds, but these are the few that come to mind:

[list]
[*]the Donkey Kong / Mario series
[*]many arcade games such as BurgerTime and Dragon's Lair
[*]the Oddworld series
[*]Out of Boneville
[*]numerous games based on cartoon series and animated films
[*]Grim Fandango
[*]Psychonauts
[*]Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas
[*]the Banjo Kazooie series
[*]The Sims series
[/list]There are many other video games which are neither humor-based nor violence-based. You can often find these games by looking for the "C" or "E" rating.

C = childhood
E = everyone
T = teen
M = mature
A = adult

(The difference between "M" and "A" is one year: pretty stupid, if you ask me.)

I am actually surprised that nobody has yet mentioned the Prince of Persia series. Since "Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time", it has held the reputation of an industry leader for character animation.

Maybe I am just trying to blow smoke up my own arse, having just finished directing the animation for the third Prince of Persia title, "The Two Thrones"... However, I think I was able to accomplish my personal goal with this game, and that was to bring some CHARACTER to each individual enemy, and try to get out of that "cut and paste" method of animating characters which has become so popular. It seems that every character, hero or villain has the same walk cycle, same run cycle, etc. in order to save time (using character studio in 3D Max to copy the same animation onto other characters).

Anyways... As far as I am concerned, Blizzard is the industry leader for animation, with their warcraft releases, as well as starcraft. However, it is important to point out that they shine mostly with their cinematics, rather than the actual game animation. We at Ubisoft are hot on their tails though... ;)

Cheers

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

True

Sorry for the lengthy post. It just came pouring out. Someday I'll write a book to collect dust called "Crap I Think About." No one will need to read it. :)

True it may be lenghtly, everyone knows that, but I believe it will be a moderate success, because you :) put soo much work and heart into it,
Like Wow!!! :D

He who seeks the truth, must first empty his heart of a false pursuit.

Diemeras Dark Angel

Sly Cooper

Oh yes... Sly Cooper and Rachet and Jak and Daxter are also very good choices.

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

Listen

I, must comment on like the greatest game of all time, get ready..................
The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time.
I mean oh my Lord, that game is impressive, and to top it off just this year I played that game, on the N64, (yES, i KNOW i wAS a bit late), but forget that, I was blown away by the graphics and the actual style of play, (Navi, I love you, you little warrior you), the game is quite long but that just adds to the excitement, from collecting the 3 elemental stones in the first half, to defeating the 6 temples and saving Hyrule. Nothing has impressed me more than Zelda and what's even more compelling, is the fact that I was never a fan, believe that, Final Fantasy was my all time favorite game, but now Zelda has my interest, it's dept far exceeds that of the commercially inclined FF.
The battle with the boss was exciting as well as deep, (Navi, couldn't help me in the first part, but we worked as a team to defeat GANON), together, we beat the evil and saved Hyrule. :)
I was so saddened to finish the game, that I felt a strange eerie of grief (no, it's okay, I'm over it now :( .) But to all of you who despise video games, understand this, there is always a tale out there for you.
I'll talk more on this later..................................................................

He who seeks the truth, must first empty his heart of a false pursuit.

Diemeras Dark Angel

I hated the art style on "A Link to the Past" Good game though.

Ocarina of time=perfect.

I liked windwaker but, i felt it was a bit on the easy side and the dungeons were very short. I kind of hated the bosses castle place one too. What really annoyed me was they totally tricked me.

****SOMEWHAT OF A SPOILER****

You go into the temple of time and you get into Hyrule Castle and all, and its really awesome and epic because the world was frozen as stone and whatnot. I really felt the kind of amazing in game feeling at this part. BUT ANYWAY, i totally thought the game was going to open up and be AMAZING by going into hyrule and actually doing some bigger and amazing dungeons......

but....that was too good....instead i got stuck looking for parts of the triforce on the seachart and it was easy and short.

.........

I cannot wait for Twilight Princess to come out. I was so excited it was originally going to come out this holiday but then it got postponed until spring. I tell you its the first thing on my list come spring time.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

For the PC gamer Half Life and Half Life 2 seem to reign supreme as BEST GAME.

I'll have to agree with blinkmetoys. Half Life 2 is the most beautiful game I've ever played.

http://media.pc.ign.com/media/492/492830/img_3085009.html
http://media.pc.gamespy.com/media/492/492830/img_2466497.html
http://media.pc.gamespy.com/media/492/492830/img_2466586.html

Particularly memorable levels are the one where you drive the car down the coast, and the one where you pilot the boat down the river.

The ending is somewhat anticlimactic though. The ending in Half Life [1] - where you're transported to the alien world - is much more exciting.

I also agree with Diemeras. The entire Zelda series is very impressive.

How could I ever have forgotten about Grim Fandango? Classy presentation, genuine humor (laugh out loud in parts for me) and one of the kings of mood and of story in recent memory.

Cool. I've heard a bit about 3DS Max. Never really looked at it much.

So, is there a Prince of Persian 4 planned?

Did you guys do any modeling or rigging or just animation?

Sorry, I have a lot of questions :rolleyes: I don't know much about how games are made. I have a general idea but I don't know a whole bunch.

James :cool:

SOrry Spooze, but I cannot talk about any existence, if any, of a Prince of Persia 4. You will have to watch the press releases for upcoming titles. Sorry about that. Part of my contract is non-disclosure.

Yes, we do all the modeling and rigging as well.

As for not knowing how games are made, don't feel bad... Neither do I ;).

Cheers

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

I've been enjoying this game called City Life in which you build 3D cities that you can walk around in.

Check it out:
http://www.montecristogames.com/city-life/en/index.html

My list of games is to large but the ones that stick out in my memory are:

Day Of The Tentacle: A comedy
Last Orient Express: Cutting edge gaming, a who done it classic.
Gabriel Knight Mystery, The Beast Within: A game that I can not finished because it keeps locking up.

As for something new, from what I have seen, there is nothing out there that a nongame would be interested in. Nongames are very social people, so any game that would bring them in would also have to be social. It would have to be entertaining, read in funny, are they would feel like they are wasting their time.

I could make a long post, but I would have to do that off line.

Continued Wind Waker Spoiler****

****SOMEWHAT OF A SPOILER****

You go into the temple of time and you get into Hyrule Castle and all, and its really awesome and epic because the world was frozen as stone and whatnot. I really felt the kind of amazing in game feeling at this part. BUT ANYWAY, i totally thought the game was going to open up and be AMAZING by going into hyrule and actually doing some bigger and amazing dungeons......

but....that was too good....instead i got stuck looking for parts of the triforce on the seachart and it was easy and short.

.........

I cannot wait for Twilight Princess to come out. I was so excited it was originally going to come out this holiday but then it got postponed until spring. I tell you its the first thing on my list come spring time.

*****PARTIAL SPOILER CONTINUED******

I totally agree on all points here. I was really hood winked into thinking, "Holy crap! This game is going to be huge!" and then pretty disappointed that Hyrule was under utilized. The game's only really huge because you had to sail around for a 1/2 hour at a time. I used to set the boat on course, go get lunch and come back and STILL not be there! Sure it doesn't take too long to get around if you follow the islands in order, but that just amounts to a rail shooter then. Even with those complaints, I still enjoyed the game. Like I said, I'm a sucker for Metroid, Zombie movies, and especially Zelda.

I was extremely excited for Twilight Princess, too. It was on my Christmas list, and then again, they yanked the rug out from under me. Perhaps they had a chip shortage again.....*

I just hope it comes out before their next console does.

*WARNING: The following is a "when I was a kid story":

"Chip shortage" is a reference to the late eighties when for several years in a row, Nintendo sought to capitalize on the purchasing frenzy surrounding Christmas, made famous by Cabbage Patch Kids and later Transformers, and again with Tickle Me Elmo, amongst others. In the '80's it was standard practice to hype a toy beyond believe and then sell just enough to look like they weren't selling enough.

Nintendo produced the new, and much anticipated Super Mario Bros 2 in short supply, claiming they didn't have enough chips. Of course it rocketed to the top of every kid's wish list, prices ballooned, moms and dads made shady deals with Toys-R-Us employees in back allies, some lucky kids got it early and bragged non-stop about finishing it already. For a 13 year old the thought of not getting it for Christmas felt more threatening than all the built up years of anxiety over the Red's invading combined. The '80s were a crazy time. I didn't get it (but a neighbor did and he let me borrow it when he was done). And as to be expected, the day after Christmas as everyone was looking for things to spend their exchange money on, there were more copies of Super Mario 2 on the shelf than there were Nintendo Consoles under people's TV's.

Of course it doesn't really apply to Twilight Princess because they're all printed on disk and they aren't planning on releasing it for Christmas (or maybe they are and it will be delayed until then).

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

And for anyone here who feels like games just haven't captured the fun of the old stand up arcades of the '80's, you should check out MAME (or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator). I don't want to get into the details on this board, because unless you own the game originally, copyright and ownership details get a little messy. It's kind of like burning DVD's and Music. If you own it, you're all right... otherwise, take it to a different forum.

Do a search for MAME and you may be suprised what you come up with.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

As a non-gamer I would like to tack on a question to Harvey's...

Are there any games with a sense of humor or wit other than "blowing up things is funny" humor?

just curious,

ed

Absolutely.

I've already mentioned Toe Jam and Earl for the Sega Genesis - Awesome sound design, brilliant characters with matching animation, bizarre level design (floating islands that ascend towards the final rocket ship pieces?) and all and all very non-violent (throwing tomatoes and the wacky dentist are about as violent as it gets)

Earthworm Jim, while it involved a ray gun and some things blowing up, the humor was much more centered around the absurdity of an earthworm in a power suit

Paper Mario for the Game Cube centers very much on, albeit for kids, humor in the story and game play. There are some small explosions and stomping, Mario Style, on the bad guys, but the humor is in the animation and the writing

Wario Ware centers around very bizarre micro (5 seconds or less) challenges that including picking boogers, slapping flies, etc. Some funny stuff in there.

How could I forget the two Sierra graphic adventure series of Roger Wilco and Leisure Suit Larry. Very light on the violence, very heavy on the humor. If you ever see collections of these, by all means pick them up. Very funny stuff (Roger Wilco in particular, after growing older than 17, Leisure Suit Larry is only mildly funny anymore)

I know there are more, I'm just drawing a blank now. In short, yes, humor is in a number of less violent games. There are a number of psuedo violent (towards robots and monsters as opposed to people) such as Zack and Dexter (sp), Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet and Clank, that have some very funny elements, whether in the from of chicken guns, or in the jokes in the cinematics or cut scenes (the movies that play between game play scenes to further the story).

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

I'll have to agree with blinkmetoys. Half Life 2 is the most beautiful game I've ever played.

That settles it, I have to pick up a copy of this. I've been meaning to for a while now, you guys finally pushed me over the edge. I'll be forwarding my wife's response to you two. :D

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

Nongames are very social people, so any game that would bring them in would also have to be social.

There is something called a "multiplayer game" which allows a large number of people to join the same game.
The Sims is a popular one and unique in that it appeals to women more than it does men. (It's sort of a virtual doll house.) The Sims is about nothing but socializing.
There are also games like World of Warcraft which allow thousands of players to inhabit a single world.

That settles it, I have to pick up a copy of [Half-Life 2].

Maybe download the demo first.

Maybe download the demo first.

I loved the first one quite a bit, and love the look of the story and game play in the second. I will get it, but I may wait until I have a desktop again. Laptops just aren't as much fun for gaming. I'm going to go check for a demo now.

And as far as social games:

Most console games require you to sit in the same room together.

The Mario Party Franchise is very social and is simple enough for most to pick up, and many times people who were at their best in the '80's (with reguards to video games) often have a slight advantage due to the button mashing type of gameplay. The variety of games and randomness with in it also tends to keep someone from really dominating in it.

Mario Kart has a bit of a learning curve for driving, but I've gotten several non-gamers interested in it.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

The hardest thing to do was to out-do the past two POP titles. I, as a director, am not simply happy with doing the equivilant of what has been done before in terms of quality, so I pushed to make it even better. This was not the easiest thing to do though because, as you know, POP is known for its character animation. However, I think we achieved the goal.

Cheers

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

Has anybody here played Ico? I thought that was an extremely good mix of enjoyable animation, enjoyable and thoughtful gameplay, and a great story told almost through gameplay exclusively. There was no real dialogue in it that was comprehendable, and the game really respected the player's ability. At one point without notice asking the gamer to make a gameplay choice during a pivotal moment in the game. Me and my friend both seperately made the right instinctive choice to progress in the game. That's one thing I love a game to do, give the gamer responsibility.

Another one of my favorites is Metal Gear Solid. Metal Gear Solid 3 especially understood giving the gamer responsibility. Narratively it's also extremely fun and unique - creating a pace of it's own not akin to any film as none are 30+ hours long. So there's things like a 3-hour mission before the actual credits, hour long sniper fights in a jungle, 8 hours of gameplay without a single cutscene, music kicking in right at the perfect time during gameplay to remind you of the narrative plot, and one of the best climaxes to a game ever. It constantly mixes cinema and gameplay. Some complained in MGS2 of it getting too cinematic-heavy and I really think they countered it in MGS3.

Anyway, those are just 2 series/studios I really respect. I also love the main Mario games, Zeldas, Prince of Persias, Grand Theft Autos, Devil May Crys, and especially Shenmue. Shenmue 1 and 2 are up there near the top as well for me.

I miss the old point-and-click adventure games. ;) There was one called "Toonstruck" that just had it all as far as I was concerned - good acting, good puzzles...and it was all a cartoon!, and pretty funny too.

And those kinds of games are really pretty easy to make, with all the freeware tools out for them now. All it takes is somebody with some time, some imagination, and decent drawing skills -- anybody could make a killer game!, very democratic unlike the MMORPG market or whatever. ;)

There's this ittybitty development team in Turkey, making a game called "Mount and Blade". I love it - I bought the full version after twenty minutes with the demo. I got it two days after I bought the Oblivion game (Morrowind's sequel) - and I haven't run Oblivion since. It's really addictive stuff, worth checking out!, really cheap, in-development, easy to mod - it's just a great example of independent game-making, which I think is where this thread should really focus for at least a few pages. ;)

Very good.
I'm glad you all are trying to push the limits of character animation in video games.

Anyway, I think I'm outta questions...

Thanks for your answers!

James :cool:

I finally got my new computer up and running. I got an AMD Opteron and got a free download of Half Life 2 with it.

Holy crap... you guys weren't kidding. Besides being a good game, it's gorgeous. I can't believe the effort they put into lip synching. Sure it isn't a feature (or even on television) but it does look extremely good for a video game. The textures and level designs are fantastic (Ravenburg....er, zombie town, was particularly great being a George Romero fan). The story is just engaging enough, but I wish there was a little more meat to it than "Just keep going and we'll eventually fill you in..." Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the mystery, but I just wish Gordon would freaking ask someone what the deal is.

Now I've just got to get my hands on PoP to check out some of Wade's handy work.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

I just saw the PoP 3 Development diary on animation and saw thou Wade! Really interesting stuff there. I hope I can play this eventually. The animation is THE BEST I have seen in a game.

James :cool:

Just got word that Prince of Persia "the Two Thrones" was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Animation" at the 9th annual Interactive Achievement awards. We are up against God of War, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath, Rise of the Kasai, and shadow of the Colossus. I have not played many of the other titles, but God of War is not so great. The big hydra enemies are cool, but the hero, doing anything but fighting is horribly animated.

Fingers crossed. A lot of blood and sweat went into the making of P.O.P., and my animators deserve the win.

Cheers

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

Samurai Shodown 2 and 4, super metroid (fantastic audio), goldeneye(dd44 rocks) & perfect dark especially 4 player shoot 'em ups, I can't believe halo isn't even close to being as customizable as PD, street fighter 2, Zeldas, earthworm jim, Final Fantasy 3, Chrono Trigger, Goonies 2, river raid, yar's revenge(hshwsh?), Doom, scorched earth, Double dragon, TMNT, area 51 (arcade, 2 fisted), tecmo super bowl, super contra, megaman 1-3, uh there's gotta be more. spy hunter, gauntlet....

im very curious to see who wins. Oddworld has plenty of animation credit under its belt. Some lip syncing in Strangers Wrath was a bit on the stiff side, but they really did get screwed by the publishers and whatnot.

I havnt played the new Prince of Persia game so i cannot really give a valuable opinion other than "I heart my oddworld"

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

Yeah, I reinstalled Half-Life 2 after our discussion last month and enjoyed it as much as the first time I played it.

I can't think of an FPS game that has more variety.

The expansion is due out in a few months. :D

Not everyone wants to play online games against college dropouts, highschool 'pros' or Evercrack addicts, and some people can't (due to broadband availability/cost).

Amen to that. I've lost some close friends to MMO's in the past, no joke. I've seen what they can do to ppl, and if that's the future of gaming, I'll stick with the classics. I don't want monthly fees and rentals. I have access to the net, but I still read books.

I don't see the next Metroid or Zelda being an MMO, tho. There's only one Samus/Link, y'know? Nintendo has always been hesitant with multiplayer, and tho they are changing that w/ the DS and Rev, i think the next metroid and zelda will have a strong single player foundation and [maybe] simple competitive multiplay options.

Either way, if I get to actually swing Link's sword with the Rev controller, or pull back the arrow and aim...count me in! :D

Just recently there was an article about such situations with MMOs and stuff.

The people who can spend all this spare time are getting the most out of it, while more casual people just get beat on and that kind of stuff. They were talking about the prices and how they can run the business model so that both sides are equally measured.

But if you are just talking games like Halo2 or any other FPS....then it is going to be the kids who play and play. They are always going to beat on people who aren't as good. But it seems now on consoles they do this Rating system so you play with people of equal skill levels. It was implimented in Halo2 and it works really well.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

Hmm lots and lots lets see what I can remeber :D

Mega drive and Amiga games like Sonic,Earth Worm Jim and Shadow of the Beast.

Playstation 1 and 2 Twised metal, all Tekkens, Street Fighter, GFA 1, VC and SA, Metal Gear Solid, Star Wars Battlefront.

More recent Counterstrike and source, HL-1/2, Everquest 2, BF2, FEAR, WOW, EVE, Beyond Good and Evil, But mainly played for the last 2 years the Global SOE game Planetside ;)

Love gaming :p

Whoa, that's very stiff competition, well, minus God of War, but congrats anyway. Watch out for Oddworld. (And Shadow of the Colossus, which has that artsy game design thing going.) Still, PoP has always been known for outstanding animation ...

Hm... Never a good sign for a linear game. Was it the stealth action, maybe?

The hovercraft was enough to keep me glued.

Nah, I guess it was the races and picture-taking. I've never been fond of racing games.

Hay! I can make a long list too. Apple IIe, Playstation, and now I am on Mac. The sad part of being on a Mac is that I have access to only a fraction of the games that are made, unless I do emulation.

As for current games, I have seen nothing that really grabes my interest. I done shoters and they are ok but I wont more. Game developers are not taking risks but instead are producing product they know will sell. I have bought kids games in the past just because it was an excellent play.

The only thing I am seeing coming out of the game industry are games that deman more, more CPU, more memory, more graphic card power. I am not saying that the current games are bad, it is just that there is nothing new in the game.

So If I were to make a game what would I do different?

Cheers, man. Enjoy.

"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

I miss the old point-and-click adventure games. ;) There was one called "Toonstruck" that just had it all as far as I was concerned - good acting, good puzzles...and it was all a cartoon!, and pretty funny too.

And those kinds of games are really pretty easy to make, with all the freeware tools out for them now. All it takes is somebody with some time, some imagination, and decent drawing skills -- anybody could make a killer game!, very democratic unlike the MMORPG market or whatever. ;)

Check out the site www.lazylaces.com. It's mainly a listing of online point and click games and other internet curiousities. The PnC games usually follow the "trapped in a room - figure the way out" but there are some that are a lot more involved than that. Honestly, I almost always get stuck and have to cheat to figure them out. :confused:

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