Skip to main content

Dogmatic

Working full time sure puts the pinch on the time I'd like to spend gaming, and this leaves even less time to blog.  Still, I would like to put out at least a weekly digest of what I've been up to lately.

Gaming: Dragon's Dogma

A week ago, I picked up the PC version of this Capcom-made open world RPG after reading an article on Rock Paper Shotgun about how charmingly oblivious the players' NPC followers are.  Since buying it, I've been steadily plugging in hours every evening after work.  Now, having put that and weekend into the game I am about level 25 with moderate ranks in each of the three basic vocations.
What sets this game apart from the other open-world RPGs like it?  The answer is a bit strange because Dragon's Dogma is, at heart, a hybrid.  They tried to borrow a bit of Monster Hunter's epic monster battles, item crafting, and class balance, Dark Souls' art style and movement, and a smidgen of the Elder Scroll's world scope.  More than anything, because these are the same developers behind the Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series, it ends up being a bit of the former's survival horror and puzzle solving, and the latter's frenetic, over-the-top combat.  So, paradoxically, this game is unique only in the exact mixture of borrowed elements, no mean feat to pull off, and also the aforementioned inclusion of pawns, three NPC follower adventurers.
Overall, I find Dragon's Dogma to be a likable mongrel.  True, as a port of a 2012 console title, it's not as pretty as newer games, and the control scheme is a tad hobbled by consolitus, but there's still a lot to like about it.  The inadvertent quirkiness of the NPC followers ("pawns") provide more camaraderie than their flawed functionality would suggest.  The combat is fun even on the small scale, dispatching the likes of bandits and goblins with over-the-top flair.  

Dragon's Dogma is at its very best when fighting against larger monsters.  These range from terrors the size of small houses all the way up to majestic juggernauts as big as the village you started in, and you can even try to grapple up their sides and molest their appendages like the gnat you are.  Truly "epic" in ways beyond typically utilization of the word when describing other games.
This casting of the Grand Miasma spell gives you an idea of the epicness to be had in large encounters.
(Gif property of the Dragon's Dogma wikia.)
I can see myself potentially burning out on Dragons Dogma soon because, speaking as an altoholic, none of the nine vocations available to the player seem like they would satisfy in the long term.  The problem is that the console user interface limit hobbled the number of buttons the developers had to work with.  Consequently, no matter what vocation I am playing, I am limited to only six slotted skills to activate, plus a strong attack, a weak attack, a jump button, and sometimes a button I can hold down to enter a blocking or archery mode.  Perhaps between the fast paced combat, the three NPCs followers, and the epic large monster battles, it will prove entertaining enough.

Indie Game Development: Trying to come up with a concept.

After completing a few basic tutorials on the use of Unity, I now consider myself good enough at it to consider making a game.  However, on some level, the engine was never really the problem.  The problem is I need a game concept I'm excited enough about creating to see through to completion, and that's a pretty tall order for a guy who has played as many games as I have.

The best I've up with so far is I'd like an RPG where nothing is instanced, everything has consequences, all the bad guys have to come from somewhere, it's possible to wipe them out, and it's possible more bad guys can arise from bad conditions somewhere.  In other words, taking the virtual world RPG to the next level by creating a complete and functional adventuring ecosystem with next to no extrapolation.

If that is my current goal, Unity is doing less for my game concept than I hoped, as its focus on multimedia excellence is brawn and beauty, but what I want in a game is brains and personality. 

But this is no fault of the engine; the responsibility of coding game logic to make an original game happen should obviously fall to the aspiring creator of the game, and the engine need only be flexible enough to accommodate.  Unity's coding IDE (monodevelop with a robust C# implementation) is more flexible than anything short of creating my own engine.   

Lets face it, I've been chickening out, and that won't get a game made.  I need to find an hour in each of my busy days to disseminate this difficult task and whittle away at it, or it will forever remain undone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Sometimes, The Cat Skins You

The formula for cat girls is simple enough: young girls are cute, cats are cute, so young girls who are also cats are cute times two, right?  ... Cat Planet Cuties (a.k.a Asobi ni Iku yo) does not stop there, it includes girls with guns, nudifying weaponry, and even failed romantic comedy that shows lots of skin.  Cat's out of the bag: Cat Planet Cuties is basically straight up wish fulfillment.

The overall plot is pretty simple.  The Catians are a race so advanced that they have not changed in over 70,000 years.  They discover Earth, a planet whose people have uncanny resemblances, right down to speaking the same language!  Desiring an escape from their cultural stagnation, they rename their own planet from Earth to Catia and dispatch a scout to assess the viability of first contact with this new Earth inhabited by humans.  High jinks ensue.

Other than an excuse to see some fun sci-fi devices, the plot sucks. Let me count the ways:
Kio Kakazu - The male center of our harem, a 1…