Archive for September, 2005

Game Artists
September 27, 2005

One of the biggest problems of the game industry, is that it has been seen as a cousin of the software industry for a long time. It’s very common to see gamers speak about how cool (or sucking) Nintendo, id software or EA are.. Just like most geeks like to speak about Apple or Microsoft.

But games are culture. They’re not just electronic entertainment if we believe that a game can express something meaningul to our lives. And the artists that create games with very personal views of the world are the ones who really deserve the recognition: Miyamoto-san was the creator of Mario and Zelda, Will Wright brought us The Sims, Tim Schafer made the fantastic Psychonauts.

Do you see any music fan screaming “Virgin Music is the best!”? Or any movie-buff state “Warner Brothers rocks!”? It’s the minds of talented individuals that usually lead to the creation of a fantastic work of art. Studios are here just to help make the projects a reality.

It’s time for the game industry to start becoming a cousin of the cultural industries…

IGF 2006 Entrants
September 26, 2005

The entrants for the 2006 edition of the Independent Games Festival have been announced. A total of 118 entries can be found here. For sure, you will find very interesting games to check! They will all be featured on our site Smile.

Play Different
September 22, 2005

It sometimes surprises me the good debates that are going on at the site’s forums. Last week, user TapeteViejo started an interesting thread entitled “Games that can make you cry” where the issue on feelings & play was discussed.

As I’ve posted on the thread, I’m really convinced that as developers (and gamers!) we must start conceiving games as a cultural form of expression instead of a technological entertainment. Debates, and specially magazine and website reviews on games, must start putting their emphasis on the game’s message, its metaphors, what the creator wanted to say and how well his vision is expressed. Most reviews today rely on a game’s technological capacity to show visuals and audio and the use of the interface. Rarther than game critics, reviewers seem to be technique critics.

So, it’s clear that an evolved gaming culture must arise. That’s one of the main goals behind this very own digital space. And I would like to encourage everyone to be an active member of the forums so we can all -as a community- start changing the perception that primes today in the industry.


So, if you haven’t realised already, the site has a cool “Hot Topics” bar now, to immediately check what’s going on in the forums Smile.

Nintendo’s Revolution
September 18, 2005

Everyone’s talking about it all over the net. For sure, Nintendo’s Revolution Controller has been the most important piece of news of this year at the gaming industry. And I must admit I was really skeptical on the innovative capabilities that the oldest of all gaming companies had. The revolution controller is fantastic. The biggest step towards better gaming experiences in a long time. Finally, someone did understood “it’s not the graphics, stupid!”.

It will be a revolution for certain: A revolution for gamers. Considering that all the titles in the history of Nintendo will be at our disposal with their new console.

revolution_controller.jpg

And the possibilites of this new device may encourage new genres, games that weren’t common in consoles and people that aren’t used to play games might feel more comfortable with this “control-remote-looking” device. Yet, developers are still waiting if Iwata-san has something “revolutionary” to say about the possibilites of working with his new-generation machine. At the last GDC he mentioned that “Nintendo DS also means, Nintendo Developer Systems because it will be the best platform to work with (?). Also with Revolution we are thinking to make the most friendly device for you [developers].”Lets see if its a “Revolution for Developers” as well. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check the promotional video of the Nintendo Revolution.

New Section: INDIE GAMES!
September 14, 2005

“Indie gaming is a term for games that are made without backing of any publisher. They generally have a small budget and are usually only available online.”

Wikipedia definition

A new section has been created for this site: Indie Games. And its intention is to let absolutely anyone that is developing, has developed, or will develop a game, to share his creation with this young community.

You may check it up by clicking on Indie Games at the fancy flash menu with a cool tank as an icon (refresh your browser if you can’t see it). There, you’ll see the link to upload your game and get it exhibited at GamesAreArt.com. So c’mon, show us your game! Doesn’t matter if its big or small, it matters only if it was made with ‘love for the art’ Smile.

And hey, if you’re an indie developer, make sure to check out the Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition. They’re one of our friend sites and are giving a great opportunity to all talented game makers out there.

indy.jpg

Realism vs. Style
September 8, 2005

“The larger question at hand, however, is perhaps unanswerable: Is the point of gaming to recreate reality, or should it go beyond realism, into the realm of art?”

zelda-ds.jpg
An article at Slashdot debated on this issue by analyzing a very well-known game such as Zelda.

We all know how Nintendo tries to struggle against their karma of “kiddie games”. For sure, that may have been an important fact to mature the looks of our hero Link.

Yet the debate on Style vs. Realism is an important one. If we take a look at the history of pictorial art, it took several centuries for artists to get the necessary knowldege and technique to paint realistic landscapes and human figures. It wasn’t until the renaissance period that fundamental concepts such as perspective and the chiaroscuro where discovered. Since then and till the late XIXth century, realism was the norm. Modern art, broke all those concepts and brought us abstraction, simplified forms, style.

Videogame technology has been obsessed with realism almost throughout all its history. As we discover the techniques that we must master in order to express ourselves in this new medium, realism seems to be our main concern. Yet, once we may achieve this goal, abstraction and style shall emerge. Movies have went through this same process and not only in the visual sense, but also in the narrative styles of their screenplays.

As independent developers, we have to be vanguardists. We shall see further and try to experience with our own particular style. We must not be part of the industry’s main obsession with realism, but a true alternative. Plus… considering not every indie developer has the budget to get a “realisitc” engine, we have no other choice. Smile

Revolution Calling
September 5, 2005

Etymologically speaking, the word ‘Revolution’ means changing the course of stars in its opposite direction. The Videogame Industry, in all its history, has been nothing but simple evolution. The course of things keeps being a benefit for the usual people: retailers and publishers (big ones only).

Developers who believe on innovation and good interactivity have been left to a side in all these years just for the sake of ‘cutting-edge-graphics’ and the usual make-up to disguise the same old boring gaming concepts.

As gamers, we know that with all the available technology today: the times for a new golden era of games and good gameplay is possible. Yet, while the business states that games must be about a specific movie IP or only a few dozen of titles get into retail (unlike the music or DVD industries): we’re fucked.


We must read every word of Greg Costikyan in this article.
We must unite and start raising the volume of our claims!

We must do our Revolution.