Hi! Happy New Years to all those who are reading! This blog was supposed to have been released last year, but I needed more time to flesh things out a bit. Too long, Didn't Read: I’m a bit late! I digress; today we will be learning about creating a new project and the engines tools. The tools section will be split between two blogs, so keep an eye out for part 2.
I have participated in a lot of game jams during my time at UAT. If you’ve never heard of a game jam, they are competitions to make games in a short amount of time, usually 48 hours, based on a theme. There are around 3 game jams a year hosted here on campus, and I try to never miss one. I just recently brought my on-campus jam count up to 7 with the Founder’s Jam 2019, so as you can tell, I really like game jams. Being able to start a weekend with nothing but a blank canvas and end the weekend with a fully functioning game gives a feeling of accomplishment you’ll never get anywhere else.
Just the other weekend, I hopped into my 7th UAT hosted Game Jam with a group of friends and for 48 hours straight, we developed a game from scratch. The theme of this jam was Halloween, so the games we made were all in some way related to our favorite spooky holiday! A lot of very unique games were created during this jam, so instead of just talking about mine, I wanted to dive into a few of the other teams’ individual experiences and ask them how the jam went for them.
A few days ago, there was a post on the Arizona Melee Community group on Facebook. A player by the tag “Link” asked if anyone in Tempe wanted to play. Needing more practice, I didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to learn. A few more people asked if they could come as well and I figured why not since there would be more people to practice with. Players by the tags “Mr. N”, “Nerin”, and “Penguin” showed up as well. We practiced for all of a few hours, but in that time, I learned a lot about something that I never really thought about when playing Melee. Instead of learning to play with my hands, I learned to play with my brain.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a wide array of exciting soon-to-be-released goodies. For one, the amount of games announced and hyped up is staggering. Speaking of games, all Original Xbox games are available for play on the Xbox One! Personally, I was a fan of the PS2 back in the day, but this is extremely exciting because that just broadens the amount of games that are made available to the player-base. Finally, the new Xbox One X has been announced. Although plenty of memes came along with the release of the new console, it’s the most powerful console to date. I’m extremely excited for the future of Microsoft and what they’re going to release.
Local coop games have been making somewhat of a comeback recently. These games are typically made for console, but with the surge of indie games on steam, anything is possible. Overcooked is one of the best local coop games I have played in quite some time. I feel that this can stack up to the greats, things like Smash, Mario Party, etc. Now this blog is going to be fairly biased when it comes to my opinion of certain games, so obviously take it with a grain of salt. Maybe even a chunk of rock salt if that’s more your style. Anywho, these games have fallen out of the AAA industry as they don’t exactly sell as well as singleplayer games. This is to be expected, as you need 2+ people to play one game on the same machine, so why would both of those players both purchase the game? This goes for many different games, and without any real single player differences (besides the time it takes to do things like chop and cook), there isn’t any reason that it would sell as much as a singleplayer game of the same quality. Now the part where it gets interesting is the praise that this game has gotten over the past couple of months.
As we all know, Virtual Reality is quickly becoming the future, as this is where the larger game companies have been moving over their man power. There was a Valve employee that estimated that roughly a third of Valve is working on VR and VR-related projects. I feel that this technology is quickly becoming one of the most popular game consoles. Or at least it will be eventually. With the hefty price tag of $800, the HTC Vive is no dollar store item. But this hasn’t stopped people from getting their hands on the technology anyways. As of just recently, the University of Advancing Technology has acquired one and made it available to the students to use. Only one evening was enough for me to gather these thoughts and come up with an idea of how this is going to go. Now obviously I’m not a Valve employee, nor can I see the future, so take everything I say with a bit of skepticism, just in case.
Everybody has heard of VR by now, as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift have taken the market by storm. Before this point most people only had an idea of VR from movies such as James Cameron's Avatar, which technically wasn't really VR anyway. The essence was there however, using technology to put yourself in another place, world, dimension, etc. This post would mostly be dedicated to the Vive, as I feel that it has more to talk about.