Monday, March 11, 2013

Finding Things To Blog About

As a 2013 resolution, I wanted to write in my blog more.  Problem is I've been rather busy both at work and trying to finish Battle High 2.  I also noticed that I usually write when I have something to share about my personal work or my GDC experiences.  Speaking quickly of personal work, Battle High 2 is finally in Peer Review and if all goes well should be published before the end of March!  I'm currently struggling with trying to find PC vendors and sale methods, a process that is not very cut-and-dry -- at least for me.

Blog In Distress

Now I thought about an entire post discussing Anita Sarkeesian's first Tropes Vs. Women segment about damsels in distress.  Overall, I liked it, but I don't know if I could write an entire post on it though.  I couldn't help but feel that Sarkeesian doesn't care for Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, indirectly blaming him for the rise in the popularity of the the damsel in distress trope in video games.  I wish it would have given more ideas on how to avoid the trope, but maybe that will be discussed in part two.  To me, to avoid utilizing this trope, a simple gender swap isn't really enough because part of the problem is that the damsel turns into an object -- a key, a map, a chest.  It doesn't really matter and gives sad truth to the phrase "women are things".  If a damsel has to be kidnapped, making her a fully fleshed out character, one that can possibly solve issues on her own -- possibly escape or help the hero -- and isn't completely helpless is a much more appealing alternative to a completely helpless character.

Sim Server

I then thought about commenting on the whole Sim City debacle I've been hearing about.  Essentially the servers were not prepared for the high volume of users at launch.  It's a common problem, one of which I'm surprised continues to happen, but as someone who has never done network programming, I'll hold my tongue fingers.  I'm not a big Sim City fan to begin with though -- it's a fun game for the first hour or two but I get bored with it rather quickly -- so an entire post seems silly.  What makes me upset are the new trends being developed to prevent piracy such as always online DRM, even for single player.  I understand the desire to prevent piracy -- well to some extent, to another, I think we should just deal with it and something that truly is meant to survive, it will despite people downloading it for free somehow -- but I still think this is ridiculous.  I guess all I want in future generations of games is that allow offline single player, even if the experience is not as complete as the online one.  The next generation of consoles make me worry about this too:  console specific controllers (heard during a fighting game tournament stream), preowned games no longer working, a device that spies on your for the MPAA.  Most of these are speculation, but the future of gaming just isn't exciting me as much as it did before going to college.  Also, I just came across this Penny Arcade comic which sums up my future fears pretty well...alright, amazingly well.

...and this little Squiggie went wee wee wee all the way to the bank!

The final thing I guess I could write about is the SkullGirls Crowd Funding.  There was initial recoil and surprise when the amount of money needed for their latest character -- Squiggly -- was announced.  The reality, however, is that games are expensive, and their team is even working with pay cuts.  I'm happy that they have gotten over $350,000.  I do wonder how they obtained funding for the initial 8 characters if it cost so much for just one.  I'm assuming publishing or something magical I know nothing about initializing with my own work.  Then, there are a couple of things that make me sad about the situation as a whole though.  One is that they have an awesome array of characters they appear to want to do, but sadly, probably will never get the funding to do in the near future.  The second, and I hate admitting this, but I just didn't like the game that much.  There was something about the pacing and visual design and gameplay that I just wasn't a fan of. I can't put my finger on it, but it does suffer from the recent  issue I'm having with fighting games -- even my own -- is just a lack of single-player content and enjoyment.  Overall, when the DLC comes out, I'll surely get it and play it and maybe I'll enjoy it.  Regardless, it's great to hear there are so many people supportive of a fighting game of this caliber.

Anyway, hopefully next post I'll have something more substantial or a tutorial instead of some random opinions!


  1. Skullgirls was funded by the publishers Autumn Games and I believe a wee bit by the distributor Konami. Reverge Labs was torn down and had to restart anew as Lab Zero, with zero (no pun intended) backing, while Autumn and Konami deal with an unrelated lawsuit over a bank loan.

  2. A lot of people seem to think she was picking at Miyamoto a bit too much, but I think the main thing to walk away with in relation to that is that two of the most recognized video game females of the last 25 years (Peach and Zelda) have become household names, spoken by little boys and girls across the world, and have reinforced the damsel trope to this day. She could pick at every fantasy and action game from 1980 to 1998, but that's not really the point as none of us actually "care" about those. The majority of the people don't know them and us hardcore gamers barely remember anything about them other than "yeah, level 2 was a bitch" or something. It really DOES kinda boil down to "Peach, Zelda, Marion, maybe the princess in GnG, and everyone else".