Daily Dosage 15/08
As promised, here is todays Daily Dosage, a daily injection for all things games!
None sadly, but we’ve got quite a few over the next few days.
News from Around the Web:
MCV : Have an article on EA claiming high-street game retailers need to adopt a model of Apple Stores. This all ties in with what I said in the first GO about digital distribution, and that I (and a lot of other people agree) tend to prefer digital downloads.
Doesn’t get around the standard “I just bought this game, now I have to enter a 16 digit code in order to get my content!” issue that a lot of people have with DLC. And really, what’s the point of going into a store if they’re not going to give you the damned thing then and there? Might as well download from home.
Oh, and the guys over at AllAboutTheGames have an article on Noel Gallagher claiming that games caused the riots. Pretty topical…
Perhaps he’s right, perhaps the violence we see in games and movies are causing us to become numb… Or maybe people are just crap, and will take any excuse to try and get something for nothing if the opportunity present itself? It’s not as much being poor as feeling poor anyway. Someone could have a gold plated toilet at home, but if their neighbour has platinum, you know they’ll get a guilt complex… Anyway…
To kick start our “topics” section I figured I’d start up a glossary of how to define games. Like movies and books, games can have many genres. I mean, you have romance, horror, action etc in movies, and then you can also have hybridized movies. Rom-com, Exploitation-Horror (think Planet Terror). Same with games, only infinitely so, as the very mechanics of the game can affect the genre.
So todays game-genre-type-thing…
Platformers are games which mostly revolve around jumping from platform to platform (hence the name). Anyone born in the 80’s would have seen these during their childhood. The most iconic of which are Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario, and numerous contemporaries and copy-cats.
Chances are that if you’re running left to right, avoiding bottomless pits and spikes, and defeating enemies by jumping on their heads you’re either INSANE or playing a platform game! Note: The two aren’t mutually exclusive…
A word you’ll often find associated with platformer is “Side-Scrolling”. This refers to the way the screen panned with the character movement left or right, though this is a purely 2d limitation. There was a brief spell of 3d platformers as well, but for the most part the genre has evolved and bred with others to produce new genres. Trying to position yourself in a space with length and depth was hard enough without throwing width into it as well!
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is a good example of a 3d platformer, and if you look at Naughty Dog‘s (their creators) latest work, the Uncharted Series you can see some similarities between jumping around platforms and climbing over ruins.
Another example can be found with the guys at Sucker Punch and the Sly Racoon series, and their latest franchise of Infamous. Jumping around and traversing terrain is still a big focus of the game, but these are no longer mere Platformers.
You can still find some old fashioned 2d Platformers though. Indie developers have a lot of love for 2d games (cuts down on production costs and time) and Platformers are no exception. However, they tend to have a much needed twist.
Whether it’s the cloning mechanic in The Misadventures of P.B Winterbottom, the time manipulation of Braid, or the world turning of And Yet it Moves, they’re still all at their core platform games, but would be better defined as “Puzzle Platformer” where the Platforming is used as one small tool to solve puzzles.
Starting to see how difficult it is to do the taxonomy of video games?
That’s done for today, same again tomorrow!