Monday, September 26, 2016

Day of the Devs 2016

It appears that the Day of the Devs lounge that was at the GDC in March isn't the only Day of the Devs event that's being held this year.  Double Fine's fourth annual Day of the Devs event is going to be available to the general public soon.

It is a day that is full of gaming fun, from Double Fine and other developers.  Plus this year, they are accepting game submissions from the public.  The game selection will be locked down in the next few weeks, so if you want to take part, head over to the website now and fill out the form linked at the bottom of the page.

The event takes place this November 5th at The Midway in San Francisco, and, as always, admission is free.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

King's Quest: Snow Place Like Home Is Out In Two Days

The penultimate chapter of the five episode King's Quest by The Odd Gentlemen, Snow Place Like Home, is arriving on the 27th of September.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

OpenQuest Converted to Wintermute

I've been learning the Wintermute engine, which I used to create my last few adventure games. I decided to learn more about the engine by converting the open source game, OpenQuest, to the Wintermute.  Every part of the game is in place, including the triangle puzzle, which was in the original AGS version but wasn't included in the SCUMM conversion.

OpenQuest for Wintermute is available here, and sourcecode is available here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Games

For the past month, I've been working on some open source adventure games as part of a Game Jam that took place while the Double Fine Forums were down during an upgrade. I also just completed a new, small, one room adventure game called Dreamcat. It is meant to serve as a template to make your own low resolution games using Wintermute. All of my available games can be played through the links below.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 5 Review

Minecraft: Story Mode has been a breeding ground for new experiments at Telltale Games. The fifth episode is no exception. Rather than an episode to wrap up the season, Telltale has instead created an episode that is all about a new story.

The story of the old Order of the Stone had concluded in episode four, and episode five opens with the new Order of the Stone coming into their own with their new found fame and responsibility. This also has brought them some scorn from some of their peers. This jealousy brings a new danger to the world, and the team is split up in order to confront it head on before it’s too late.

This split up gives the group a much different dynamic than before. The new Order of the Stone has been split in half. Jesse is paired with two people who are seemingly outside of the new Order, but who have worked with Jesse before. These two are the two who were deemed outsiders in the previous adventure. They didn’t fit in, but they tried their hardest to get people to acknowledge them. They managed to do that by the time the Wither Storm was defeated, but after the new Order was formed, they once again found themselves to be outsiders. So, their inclusion in this new group is quite interesting as the two members of the new Order are now much more sure of themselves, and the two who aren’t are still trying to prove themselves. This split in the attitudes of the cast changes the tone of the game, as everyone was more or less on equal footing before. But now with this split, the two outside the Order feel out of place, even more-so than before.

That's the crux of this episode, as it is mostly about the relationships between the characters. While the first arc had a big bad that needed to be vanquished, the enemy in this episode is strictly human. As such, the voice performances are more important than even before. Thankfully, the voice cast delivers. The returning actors are excellent as usual, and the actors for the new characters deliver performances that compliment the regulars quite well. The music and art style once again compliments the story and the performances of the actor beautifully.

As this is a new story, the choices you make primarily matter only within this narrative, for now. However, the long wait between episodes is worth it, as your choices make much more noticeable changes than in previous episodes. There isn't a lot of puzzle solving, compared to previous episodes, but the choices and consequences are handled well. Additionally, now that the three episode Adventure Pass downloadable content has been announced, it is possible that your choices will make a difference in future episodes as well.

Overall, the fifth episode is a worthwhile addition to the main game. The evolution from the old Order of the Stone to the new is explored, albeit briefly. The main crux of the game is the split up group dealing with the relationships between themselves, as well as the relationships of their peers, now that they have become heroes. It's a mostly standalone title, except for a cliff-hanger at the end that sets up the events of the downloadable content. In that way, it might seem like an advertisement for future episodes to some. However, the choices and consequences are handled well, the new locations and characters are fun, and the music and voice acting is handled very well. It doesn't quite live up to the adventure and suspense of the previous episodes, and the puzzle solving is lacking in comparison, but the episode should please fans of the series.

Final Verdict:
3½ out of 5

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Moebius Is Now Available for Linux

Jane Jensen's crowd funded return to adventure gaming, Moebius, is now available for Linux.  People who purchase it now will get access to the Linux version, and if you purchased it already (including crowdfunding backers), you'll be able to download the Linux version now at no extra cost.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My PAX East 2016 Experience - Day 3

Even though I ended up walking through Boston for the same amount of time on my second day as the first, I started off my final day much earlier.  I woke up at 9AM and headed into Boston.  After missing my turn and getting turned around, I arrived at the convention center at 11AM.  I didn’t have the same luck the second day as I did the first, so I ended up having to find parking elsewhere.  Now that I knew the layout of downtown Boston better, I managed to find a parking garage that advertised convention parking.  Luckily it was near the hotel where the fan meetup was held the previous night, so I didn’t have any problem making my way back to the convention center.

I didn’t get to go in through the exhibitor’s entrance this time, but luckily the crowd was already inside, so the line wasn’t nearly as long as it was when I arrived at the opening of the show on the first day.  I spent the previous days checking out the indie games, so I decided to check out the big name games on display before heading to work.  I stopped by Nintendo’s booth, and tried out the games on display.  I was pleasantly surprised by Starfox Zero.  From what I played, I found it really enjoyable, and didn’t notice the slowdown that many had seen.  My favorite booth was the Shadow Warrior 2 booth, which was adorned with cherry blossom trees.  It was really a sight to behold.  I didn’t get to play the game, due to the long lines, but it looked impressive in motion.  I was hoping to try out the games for the virtual reality headsets, but the waiting lines were so long there was a list that was filled up ahead of time, so that was out.

Since the Shadow Warrior 2 display was so close to the Double Fine booth, I decided to see if anyone wanted me to take over so that they could take a break.  My offer was gladly accepted, so I took the tablet that was being used for credit card transactions and settled in for my last day helping out at the show.  The large T-shirts were mostly sold out by the time I arrived, and the Brutal Legend art books sold out before the show closed.  Gang Beasts continued to be a crowd-attracter, and more Everything also brought in its share of people to marvel in its charming weirdness.

The time seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, it was 5:30 and we began counting down the clock. Of course, the last thirty minutes seemed to crawl.  It always works that way when you are paying attention to the time.  I decided to help the team pack up before they headed out, as they had an early morning the next day, since their flight back to California left at 6AM.  I bid the team farewell, and told Spaff that I was available to help out again if they ever came back to PAX East in the future.

I did get lost on the way back, as to be expected, but thankfully I was close this time. I asked for help on my previous days, but their advice just ended up in me going around in circles.  This time, the parking garage was right down the street, so I was able to easily find my way to it from the directions I was given.  I was going to head directly back to New York, but I was tired so I opted to spend an extra day and a half relaxing before I headed home.   All in all, the experience was fun, despite my knack of getting lost.  I got to check out some games that I was anticipating, got to meet some of my gaming heroes, as well as people that I had only known online through fan websites and in my time as a community manager.  Best of all, I got to help one of my favorite companies, and I have a lot of fond memories and pictures to remember from my experience.  If the opportunity to do something like this came up to do this again in the future, I’d take it in a heart beat.