Game Industry Quest, Part 20

So I think I’m technically three posts behind on my one-post-a-week New Year’s resolution.  D’OH!  To be fair, I’ve been dealing with a bit of writer’s block, not that I fancy myself a writer, nor a particularly good one, but I like to think that I write competently, and lately that particular competence has been low enough where I write something, then proceed to delete what I wrote, as I was failing in what I was trying to communicate, in my opinion at any rate.

The topic in question that I’ve been trying to write about concerns Kickstarter.  I’ve backed quite a number of Kickstarter projects this past year; concerning I’m only a part-time Assistant Producer in the game industry, the financial wisdom of such behavior is questionable, but c’est la vie.  That’s not what I wanted to say about the crowdfunding website.  I mentioned a long time ago that there was something about Kickstarter that made me uneasy, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I have found myself examining those fears in a recent Kickstarter involving sending a kid to a programming camp.  I’m going to refrain from saying more, as I’ve been unable to compose a blog representative of my actual thoughts and feelings.  Basically, I’ll save it for another time.

So I thought I’d basically give a shout out to a game that surprisingly caught my imagination.  During the Christmas holidays, I got a Playstation Vita (heavily discounted over Black Friday).  However, thought it’s a pretty cool device, with surprisingly better battery life than the Nintendo 3DS, it has seen sporadic use game-wise, including demos and what not. Excluding watching videos during my flights to and from GDC this year, a part of me wondered if the Vita would eventually suffer the fate of my PSP, which has more or less sat in a desk drawer unused and unloved for years on end.

However, since this past weekend I have played it everyday.

I downloaded a demo for the game Soul Sacrifice, and it has honestly captured my imagination.  Unexpected but true, from the presentation to the haunting music to the visuals to the gameplay, not only have I played the demo everyday since downloaded, I preordered the game at Amazon.  For my money, it is honestly that good.

Since the demo is out, I don’t really consider anything I say spoilery, though one could make a reasonable counterargument, so I’ll just say it: spoilers for the remainder of this paragraph.  You play a caged prisoner who finds a talking, magic book in said cell.  The book was written by a (presumably) long-dead sorcerer and you can live out said sorcerer’s memories.  Much of his/her memories involve monster-slaying and consistently presented with the dilemma of, after defeating a monster, saving or sacrifice that creatures soul.  Thus far, all monsters were at one time humans, birds, cats, rats, etc.  When defeated, if you save their soul, they return back to normal and your life force/defense increases.  If you sacrifice their soul, they die, and your magical power increases.  There was one forced choice (you had to sacrifice someone to proceed with the game), but for the most part, the choice is yours to make.  The gameplay is varied and fun, as you accumulate spells re-living the sorcerer’s memories, and you eventually start experimenting with and adapt your play style as the game progresses.  I must admit to really looking forward to the full release next Tuesday.

I’ll also throw in some sports and movie thoughts into this blog post, just because I can.  The third trailer of Man of Steel that came out last week honestly has me excited about the movie.  Being a lifelong comic book nerd, I’m really looking forward to what I hope will be a good-great Superman movie.  Unlike the last one (Superman Returns), which was merely…okay.  Not awful, but not particularly good. Also, I preordered the CD soundtrack for Man of Steel; I enjoyed it that much.

Switching to sports, specifically the NBA, it looks like my beloved Boston Celtics are on their way out the in the first round of the playoffs.  Already down 0-2 in their series against the New York Knicks, at this point I’m just hopeful that enough Celtic pride remains that we’ll win one game to prevent the always embarrassing sweep.  The loss of Rondo to injury midseason was bad enough, but in watching the two games, the offense has sputtered in the second half consistently, which leads me to believe that unless Jeff Green consciously decides to take over, there is no hope.  Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will end up being an all-time Celtic greats and Hall-of-Famers but Father Time is unstoppable, and they both look unreliable in generating consistent offence.  We might see one Paul Pierce offensive explosion one of these games, but while my heart roots for the Celtics, my mind says the Knicks will win this series.  I personally blame the Sports Guy Bill Simmons, whom I’m a fan of (check out Grantland for more), for talking up the Celtics before the season began.  I was skeptical of a number of things about the team, yet Simmons predicted 60 wins for this team, where I was thinking more around 45, 50 tops (they ended up winning 41).  He talked things up to a point, that I was totally on his bandwagon.  Then the season began, and things never really fully clicked the way they should.

C’est la vie.

I should rename my blog C’est la vie…wonder if I can do that…

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