So, so, so..

November 26, 2009

This WordPress is defunct!

The website is up.
http://xbeforea.co.uk/

My HTML is infalliable. It’s not completely done, but you don’t need to come here for updates anymore! Go to the site! Every day! Anything important that was here will be put on there, eventually, old posts (the good ones, anyway) will go in an archive section when I can be bothered to make it.

So, yeah. That’s it. Goodbye, free things. Hello, spending money!

I’m hoping that any fans I may have had here will be happy to follow me to the new site. It does have a blog, so if you were only interested in my nonsense ramblings, then they’re not going away, don’t worry.

Thank you for your support over the.. months (?), and I look forward to seeing you as IP addresses and numbers eating up my bandwidth.

Love you guys.

Website Woes

November 25, 2009

You may have been wondering where I’ve been all this time. I sure have. Well, the main reason is because I’m lazy, as you already know, but the secondary reason is that I’ve been working on a website, which is currently live and in an unfinished state, because I have had lacking contact with the person that helps me with HTML.

I am trying to learn myself, but my limited skill (this is why I have a WordPress account.. well, several) hinders me in my endevours. I may completely redesign the site so I don’t have to use CSS so much and I might be able to understand and keep it updated.

Anyway.. if you would like to check out what I have up there so far (which is very subject to change), then please head on down to X Before A, and your every wish will be satisfied.

Well, perhaps not every wish.

The Germ of My Creation

November 14, 2009

Just a bit of writing I did this morning. It’s a first draft, but I like the ideas. I have the rest of the story in mind, so maybe I’ll get somewhere with it, you never know. Read it if you want to.

Read the rest of this entry »

Evony of Camelot

November 13, 2009

Now, I’m fullly aware that the whole games industry is based up ripping each other off, but usually they try and do it a little bit tactfully. When it comes to the point that one company is making a retarded version of another’s game, then perhaps it’s time someone called them up on it?

If you’ve used the internet at all in the last few months, then you’ll probably have seen adverts for Evony. You know, the one with the boobs? Yeah, you know it. And if you don’t, then here’s a link. Knock yourself out.

http://www.evony.com/

Don’t get me wrong, Evony isn’t a bad game. I enjoyed it, for the various times I could be bothered to play it. But that’s because I’m sad and I like the sense of achievement you get from very slowly creating something to try and be better than everyone else, then realising it’s the same as everyone elses. But that’s not the point here.

If you have Facebook, and you keep up to date with new game/application things that come along to irritate people and waste time, then you may have noticed this:

http://apps.facebook.com/kingdomsofcamelot/

Now, there’s ripping off, and then there’s exactly the same. “Kingdoms of Camelot” is in every aspect the same as Evony, even down to at some points paraphasing and others pratically copy-pasting descriptions from Evony to add to buildings with different names.

If you’ve played Evony, you’ll know the drill of what’s going on here. It’s a real-time building type MMORPG thing. You build a city, it takes a long time, you train troops and attack other people’s time-consuming constructions and gain status and power and you join alliances and blah blah.

I know I’m making it sound like I don’t like it again. But I really do. Not because it’s good or anything. Mainly because it’s got the balls to keep using 2D graphics in a world so obsessed with 3D. I’d talk at length about good 2D is better than shitty 3D, but a) I can’t be bothered right now. And b) Yahtzee beat me to it.

Anyway..

Evony of Camelot

That’s the two Map screens. Yes, on both games it’s called the Map screen. And then both have a Map screen. And every other screen. The same. Oh God.

So, if you’re a fan of Evony, and faniced playing a worse version of it with a severe graphical downgrade on Facebook, then you know where to look.

Enjoy yourself, you weirdo.

Abandon: the Interview

November 10, 2009

An interview discussing Alexandra Evans’ planned game, ‘Abandon’, and games in general.

AE = Alexandra Evans
I = Interviewer

I: So, I hear you’ve been designing a game?

AE: Yeah, it’s an idea I’ve had for a long while now. I was inspired a long time ago because it was brought to my attention how much I hate it when in games that are supposed to be ‘realistic’, you can get shot in the stomach five times and still live, y’know? It just gets on my nerves.

I: Well, there are games that go against that. In a lot of games nowadays you get one-hit kills from headshots, an-

AE: Yeah, yeah, I know, but in my opinion the realism is still, kind of, forced? You get what I mean? I mean, dying because you get shot in the head, that’s a bit obvious. But like, dying from bleeding to death from a stomach wound? Or a leg wound? You don’t see that often in games.

I: With those kind of rules inforced, though, it’s going to make the game very difficult, isn’t it?

AE: I think it depends on the situation completely. In a FPS or any other game where there’s going being bullets flying everywhere or intense fighting, then of course, realistic deaths would be irritating and make it too much of a challenge, but in something like a survival horror, it adds to the fear. In the words of Yahtzee, “If I’m not dreading every single moster encounter, then it’s not horror, is it?”

I: You’re a big fan of Zero Punctuation, I take it?

AE: Oh, yeah. I love it.

I: That’s from his review of Silent Hill Homecoming, isn’t it? Which he didn’t like.

AE: That’s right.

I: Your game, Abandon, like Silent Hill, is also going to be of the survival horror genre. People have said that your game seems to be influenced by it. Are you a fan of the Silent Hill series?

AE: I’ve actually never played any of the Silent Hill games except for Origins which I borrrow from my friend once, but couldn’t play because it scared me. The thing is, I have terrible.. and I mean terrible nerves. The jump-out scares in games and films and stuff mess with my head. I was never desenstized to horror when I was young, so I don’t watch horror films or play games like Silent Hill now.

I: You’re missing out.

AE: I know I am. But I just can’t cope. It creeps me out.

I: That’s kind of weird considering that you want to make a horror game.

AE: Well, yeah. But tension and fear doesn’t affect me as badly, it’s just, like I said, ‘jump-up scares’, that get me. The problem I have is that most modern horror games do use that. It’s a cop-out, it’s just an easy way to scare people so you can call what you’re doing a horror, along with excess gore. But that’s just what happens here. I love Japanese horror, because it uses the isolation and oppression to create the fear, it’s not relying on shocking you. From what I understand of the Silent Hill series, one of the main reasons it’s going downhill is because it’s stopped using that. America ruined it.

I: Harsh.

AE: Well, it’s true. And that’s why I want to make a game that uses that oppressive fear. I’m okay with it, because however it pans out, it won’t have any shock-scares in it.

I: What do you mean, “however it pans out”?

AE: Assuming that I’m still around during the production of the game if I do manage to get funding, then I’m not going to let it be a cop-out horror. Because that’s defeating the object completely.

I: I see. So, tell us more about the game itself. What is the plot?

AE: Without giving away too much, your character finds themselves in an abandoned hospital.

I: Hence the name?

AE: Yeah, well, it’s just a working title, I don’t know if I’ll stick with it yet. But, yeah, they wake up in this hospital. And no, they don’t have amnesia, I just want to make that clear now. That’s another cop-out that I hate in games.

I: Right.

AE: Mm.. and the point of the game is to get out of the hospital. That’s the plot from the outsiders point of view. But the rest of the story you find out through exploring and looking around.

I: You’ve mentioned before that there are ‘enemies’ as such, in the hospital. What are they?

AE: Well, you find out what they are while you’re looking around, like I said, I don’t want to give away too much, because the exploration and finding out what has happened is the secondary objective. You don’t actually have to search for clues about why the hospital is abandoned, or what the creatures are that you see, but if you don’t, you don’t get the full experience of the game. That’s the idea. You’re rewarded for your curiousity.

I: So, it’s a sandbox game, in that sense? A sandbox horror.

AE: Yeah, I suppose that is the genre it fits.

I: You have said previously that you get completely free roam of the area. Your aim is to achieve perfect realism.

AE: Exactly. I want to have a game that is completely realistic, without letting it boring because the situation is completely unrealistic.

I: Like living out a fantasy? If your fantasy was being scared out of your senses.

AE: *laugh* That’s right.

I: I’ve seen some of your preliminary drawings of the ‘creatures’ in the game. You did one particularly detailed one of th-.. Am I allowed to talk about this? Does it give away too much?

AE: Yeah, go for it. I need something to make it sound interesting.

I: Okay, well, the.. boss enemy? I don’t know, is that what it is?

AE: Essentially. Alongside the normal creatures, there is Zeta, who is one of the only characters that I’ve planned the appearance of completely, I know exactly what it’ll look like, although the drawing I showed you didn’t represent that very well. *laughs*

I: It was okay. Now, let’s start wrapping this up, before people get bored.

AE: That’s cool.

I: Last question; In the past, you’ve mentioned character customisation, use of the PS3 controller’s motion sensing, and super-intelligent AI, all of which you want to use and focus on in Abandon. Are these still desired goals for you in the final game?

AE: Oh, yes. Of course. I want character customisation so you can make the character yourself, or Batman, or whatever. If it’ll help you identify with the character visually, then that’s achieving my goal. I wanted to have the game use the motion sensing to help with movement and in combat, to add to the realism, but I’ll talk more about that later.. What was the other thing?

I: Intelligent AI.

AE: Oh, yeah. Well, that’s kind of an obvious thing, really. But I just wanted the creatures to have personalities, because in a lot of games, the ‘enemies’, as such, are just there to attack, and that’s all they do. But in Abandon, I wanted the creatures to act differently. Not just different types of creatures, but within types, so some will attack, some will ignore you, some will run away, etc, etc. And that would also tie in with the difficulty levels which you choose at the start of the game. So, if you choose a lower difficulty level, a lower percentage of creatures will be willing to attack you, and at higher difficulties, more will. But the actually amount of creatures in the hospital won’t change.

I: It’s an interesting idea. Well, that’s all we have time for. So, thank you for your time, Alex. And thank you for the.. insight into your ideas for the game.

AE: *laughs* No problem. Any time.

Now, it’s not like I’m moaning because my copy of Microsoft Word is telling me something I already know, even though it itself too about 6 months to realise it, but seeing this message coming up recently made me wonder something.

Now, if you know of or use Office 2007, then you’ll know that it’s all very pretty and it has these fancy little tabs at the top which contain all the shit you will never ever need to use, because you are an average person who only uses Office when you have a brilliant idea for a novel which will inevitably be forgotten about in the next few minutes.

The thing is, when your copy of Microsoft Office is not genuine, you get a new tab at the top, in the toolbar of tabs of things you never use. This new ‘Get Genuine Office’ button comes with a cute logo and a link to their website, where you can get ‘Genuine Office’. *yay* The thing that made me think was this; y’see, I don’t know a lot about programming, but I’m going to assume that it takes some effort these tabs, and the program can’t just create them itself whenever it gets suspicious of you and your illegal ways.

(I will happily rant at another time about the disgusting prices of software packages nowadays at a later time. Not now.)

So, bringing this to a hasted conclusion, my point is, that Microsoft seem to have so little faith in their own security systems that they go out of their way to make a shiny little button just to remind evil demon hackers that they will be forced to pay for their awful sin with mild irritation as they have to click once more to get to their delicious plain writing space.

Yes, you’re right Microsoft, giving us a ‘Remind me later’ function along with the choice to buy a real copy of your program will make people very likely to consider the purchase of your expensive software.

Writer’s block.

November 8, 2009

I seem to get that a lot.

Yeah, I don’t really have anything to talk about right now. There are a few things I could mention, but they’re kind of insubstantial, so I won’t bother.

I apologise if you’re actually interested, or follow what I do on this blog, because I’m kind of sporadic in my posts. If you’re that bored, then I’ll point you toward a couple of good flash games that I’ve noticed lying around recently.

For, example: Dragon Boy, a cute little RPG type thing that I don’t fully understand.

Alternatively, you could check out every game in my favourites list on Newgrounds, because they’re all fantastic.
http://ignusiudicium.newgrounds.com/favorites/

Also; download the Battles’ album Mirrored and give that a listen if you haven’t already, because it’s a fantastic album, and it’s good for zoning out to, because it doesn’t make any sense.