The Best of the Lost Features of Gaming

LostFeatures (3)The British Isles are a funny place. It can be one of the hottest, loveliest days on record, yet the ground will still always be a bit damp from the not-too-long-ago rain.

This summer is no exception. Although it has put in an amazingly good effort to leave me genuinely satisfied. So much so that it started to feel like I was back home in South Africa. Which of course sent my mind racing down the memory motorway, quickly turning off at the junction leading to the town of “Gaming“.

And therefore despite the glorious weather keeping my mood up, I’m going to be reminiscing on those features that used to be so common in games, but are now unfortunately no longer with us.

Let’s begin then, shall we?

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The Limbo Developer – Ray-casting and videos

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Well, I really got into this development thing. And pretty much ignored my blog.

All for good reason though, because nearly all this time has been spent on the project I’ve talked about in previous posts. With the occasional trip abroad getting in the way.

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So what’s new? Let me tell you, and then follow it up with some new videos.

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The Limbo Developer, Part 3 – Videos!

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Things have been going pretty smoothly so far on the development side of life. With only occasional interruptions from a recent desire to replay through the Tomb Raider series again (I’m halfway). Oh, and getting a bit addicted to Hotline Miami. Also, I tore through quite a big chunk of the PC version of L.A. Noire to see how it compared. Um, and I spent a lot of time making new wallets in Far Cry 3… and, well, I literally just spent the last two hours re-watching The Avengers.

Ok, maybe development hasn’t been AS frequent as I’d want, but when I’ve been on it, it’s been smooth. My game now has a menu system to allow you to create your own worlds, save them, load them up again, and play them. And you can now link levels together. So this update will be about showing things in motion.

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The Limbo Developer, Part 2 – Tricks for Character Collision

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In my last post, I described my pipe dream of releasing a game of my own, and showcased the world editor I created for it.

But! There’s no fun having a world when you can’t interact with it, right? Therefore, it’s time to create the player’s character. This post will focus on the collision aspect, as it can be more tricky than it first appears.

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The Limbo Developer, Part 1 – The Plan, the Tool and the Editor

I’m a software developer by trade, and a games developer by hobby. The latter actually came about first when I was extremely young and happened upon a version of ZZT on a Shareware CD.

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If you haven’t heard of ZZT, it was a little gem created by Tim Sweeney right before naming his company ‘Epic Megagames‘. Ring a bell?

zzt_4It was essentially an ASCII-based DOS game where you went from room to room, solving various puzzles and shooting things. Though the magical bit was an included ‘World Editor’, where you could create your own games and stories, with a simplified scripting language as well.

And thus, my interest in programming and game development was born. While I’ve spent my entire life creating silly little games using various game creation packages, I have now concluded that it is time to use my professional skills with C# to create something solid.

This series will record my journey through this experience!

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Why Assassin’s Creed is important (And it’s not the gameplay)

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Having recently finished Assassin’s Creed III, I have been struggling to understand whether I enjoyed the series or not.

The reason for this is because there are more than enough arguments against the mechanics of the games, and what the developers did wrong. Most of those arguments are correct.

But honestly, I think the AC games provided something beyond all the ‘is it actually a good game?” nonsense. Because in each one, I came away with more knowledge about our world than before I started. The writers also clearly had some things they wanted to get off their chests, which can be hard to find in our choice of media.

And therefore, it is the one series where after each completed game, I felt like I hadn’t actually wasted hours of my life.

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Never make the main character funny. Ever!

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I love laughing. I really do.

And some of my favorite games can safely have ‘comedy’ tagged on them.

Yet, all too often, there is a certain comedy trick that is used which completely ruins my experience with a game.

This trick is often used when a ‘comedy’ title changes hands to a new developer. It’s not about misunderstanding the previous developer’s humour. It’s not even about having poor humour.

It’s simply about thinking that the main character was the butt of all jokes. That should NEVER happen in video games.

Here’s why.

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