Archive for October, 2010

October 27, 2010

LoL: Week 15 Champion Reviews, Week 16 Rotation

Good day to you all!

Today the free Champion rotation changed in League of Legends so here’s what will be a weekly post reviewing last week’s rotation. Here are the champions available this week:

  • Ashe
  • Cho’Gath
  • Galio
  • Warrick
  • Veigar
  • Udyr
  • Twisted Fate
  • Taric
  • Janna

I’ve been waiting to play Twisted Fate (since I heard he was a little similar to Invoker in DotA) and Warrick seems pretty cool.

Unfortunately I couldn’t review all the heroes last week, the horrendous patcher (and my horrendous internet connection) meant that 2 days were spent trying to patch the game. With various issues connecting to the game, I only really had 1 day to review… so I’m a bit short. Those of you wanting to hear about Heimerdinger, Sivir, Teemo and Garen will have to wait for another time! I did get the other champions done though, so without further ado I present…

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October 22, 2010

Intrigue of Legends

Yeah I know, it’s horrible. I’ll get on my pun-writing guy. You try finding a word that rhymes with “league”!

In my previous post, I mentioned the awards that League of Legends (LoL) has recently won and said I should check out the game. Well, I have. Unfortunately I’ve come across technical problems and cannot really give you a solid, in-depth review of the game. My internet is too slow to play online (which is a problem in an online game) and I can’t purchase any of the Champions (Heroes) because I’ll likely transfer to the Chinese version of the game when it’s released. Or when my friend can get me a Beta key *nudge nudge*.

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DotA Killer?

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What I will do, and what I think will give a much better overall judgement of the game, are champion reviews! I already review quite a lot of DotA heroes on the PlayDota.com Hero Suggestion forum, and suggest my own. I think I’m pretty good at theorycrafting for these types of games and with my hero creation experience I should be able to give a good opinion about the current heroes in LoL. Every week there is a new ‘rotation’ of champions, where Riot Games (the developer) allows access to 10 of the champions for free. This is a good idea, as it lets you try out the champions before spending your hard-earned Influence Points (or hard-earned $$$). It’s also a good idea because it gives me 10 champions to comment on each week!

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October 15, 2010

Understanding Valve and DotA2 – A perfect match?

I assume everyone has seen it by now but I’ll link you anyway, just in case… Valve announces DotA2.

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Valve & IceFrog's next project

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At first this would seem like a bit of a surprise, but there is some background to this. Back in 2009, Valve hired IceFrog (the current designer for DotA-Allstars, the popular modification for Warcraft III), gave him a team and let him develop the DotA concept into the future. At first I think this surprised many people but when you look at the changes IceFrog has made and the support he continually gives to the game, he really is a perfect choice.

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After arriving and chatting with them, the first thing I noticed was how much of their decision making process was like mine. They shared the same aspirations towards building a long term and sustainable community without having short sighted business goals that end up hurting the quality of the game.

IceFrog on his visit to Valve

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IceFrog is one of the smartest designers we’ve ever met. He’s made so many good decisions over the years in building the product. He virtually never makes a decision that doesn’t have some reasoning behind it and a way to pick apart the logic behind it.

Project Lead Erik Johnson on Game Informer

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His recent change to the gold system, to promote aggression, reminded me of Valve’s Team Fortress 2 reasoning for their respawn system*. There’s another comment by Valve about using respawn timers to reduce stalemates but I can’t find it right now! Finally, IceFrog’s regular content updates released free of charge are in the ‘Valve spirit’ of things.

But one colleague asked me why Valve would create a DotA 2. Valve games have all been FPS’s (plus an FP Puzzle game with Portal), their whole fanbase is hardcore action shooter fans. I’d never really thought about this, although it would be natural to do so. Why didn’t this come across my mind? Because I think DotA2 and Valve is a perfect match.

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October 10, 2010

Project Rumble: Concept Document

It’s done at last! Finally completed the Concept Document for Project Rumble. It actually shouldn’t have taken that long. As I explained last time, I used Tim Ryan’s template for what should be included. I’d actually finished all but one of the parts on the day I started. But, the description part took me a while. I guess I just had writer’s block. So I’ve spent the last half an hour doing that and, while it’s way too long, I think it’s ok enough for a first stage concept document. In the end, I’m not trying to persuade anyone to make the game so this whole exercise is more of a learning process (as compared to trying to get investment with a snazzy concept).

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October 6, 2010

An update

Hey guys,

Sorry for the lack of action recently, especially regarding Project Rumble. Been working on my first game design project at my company which will 100% be shipped! It’s exciting stuff and definitely a challenge. Right now I’m working on designing the narrative, lore, characters and quests. There are some limitations, which I can’t go into unfortunately, but overall it’s a perfect primer for real game design. I’m hoping this leads to more exciting things so I’m getting my head down and I’m determined to do a good job!

Hopefully though I’ll be back here blogging soon!

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It's crunch time

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Sam

October 2, 2010

Realism: Should it be in games or left in the real world?

This weekend I had a quick session on 2 new games; Dead Rising 2 and FIFA 11. While playing these games, I noticed how powerful a design tool realism can be and that if this tool isn’t used properly it can just ruin the experience.

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My weekend involved zombies and football, unfortunately not mixed.

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