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FEATURED VOXPOP danielrbischoff
Peace in the Era of Call of Duty
By danielrbischoff
Posted on 04/15/14
In a world dominated by violent media, Americans are no more eager to go to war than they were in the 1980s or the 1960s or the 1940s. Hasn't it always been someone else's problem? The overwhelming majority would rather go on thinking it had nothing to do with them and there...

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My Short Recipe for Saving Gaming
Posted on Saturday, October 6 2012 @ 02:57:51 Eastern

This is going to be hard to write without giving away some of my top secret ideas and game plans, so you're probably going to get gypped on some of the thoughts I have to share. Just a heads up.

I've noticed people complaining about how stale games have become, lately. Well, it's something I strongly agree with. However, I can't overlook the fact that I still play them daily. As I continually expose myself to them, I think more and more about how they could be better. Not just the individual games themselves, but the entire "gaming" experience. So, as I sit here typing this at 1:00 in the morning, I'm going to try to share some of the ideas I've held on to.

I. Revolutionizing Controllers

"I NEED MORE BUTTONS" is something that's always echoing through my subconsciousness. The current design of today's controllers has run its course. It was good once, but not anymore. This is one thing that PC gaming has always had a leg up on compared to consoles. But, the keyboard, while obviously laden with a plethora of buttons, is not a very comfortable means of input. Things like the lack of an analog stick are why some PC gamers choose to use controls for some games. Heck, we've even put more buttons on our mice to try to minimize the use of the keyboard.

More buttons give you more control. Game designers shooting for rich, deep, and highly interactive experiences are getting the short stick from the miniscule amount of input options they're given, whether they know it or not. Games like Assassin's Creed have increased their input options by assigning one button the role of "hold me for more buttons." It's a great idea, and shows how much more in depth games can be with more control.

(Now I'm going to kinda ramble off about some controller ideas I have. Skip this if you want.

So, more buttons, and a more effective design are what controllers need. My ideal controller could be held with just your pinkies and ring fingers, comfortably. It has two lower buttons on the backside for your middle fingers, 6 buttons for your index fingers, 8 or 9 buttons on both sides, 4 middle buttons that could be accessed either by your thumbs or your index fingers, and long, clicking analog sticks. I've got these things called Control Freaks that extend your sticks to give you more control over small actions. They actually work, and when I try to play without them, it's really tough. By the way, this thing needs to be pretty big. And by big, I mean there just needs to be ample space between your hands. No more complaints from people with big mitts. Your fingers should never touch their opposites when you're holding this thing. Also, it needs some kind of expansion port. The Dualshock 3 has a small keypad attachment that plugs right into the mini USB port. Stuff like this could be great for developers willing to take advantage of it.

I haven't actually drawn this out yet, but I think you should get the idea. By the way, if you've been envisioning the Xbox controller this whole time, think again. This baby takes after the Dualshock in face button and stick placement.)

II. More Originality

A game gets an automatic -1 from me when I see exactly this copy-pasta'd on the main menu:

Start New Game
Load Game
How to Play
Settings
Credits
Eye barf.

That's just one point. A more important one is that so very many games are made with rehashed, twice baked ideas. It's like game developers are trying so hard to color in between the lines that they won't even get close to the edges. As if they're more focused on a list of limitations than a list of possibilities. Or, say, they find one developers footprints on the road to success, and try their best to step perfectly in line with them, instead of walking next to them. Some ideas are good, and probably should be followed, but when you don't leave enough room for originality, you end up with the gaming industry you see before you today.

III. Show Concern for the Players

This is especially important with how industry bigwigs are saying that multiplayer gaming is becoming the new norm, or that singleplayer gaming is dying. This is kinda depressing to think about, considering how multiplayer gaming is complete and utter chaos at this point. It's far, far too easy to ruin someone else's multiplayer experience in most of today's popular games. While it's possible that you could place all of the blame on the inconsiderate jerks that are doing this sort of stuff, it's also necessary to blame the game developers themselves for not doing anything about it.

Let me refer to a comment of mine from last week.
"Training should be mandatory for all online multiplayer games. And based on your performance, you should initially be put into matches with other players of similar skill level when you start playing for real."

It's a common thing to see. Players of lower skill levels are getting frustrated by players of higher skill levels, and players of higher skill levels are getting frustrated by being teamed with those players of lower skill levels. And more importantly, the good sportsmen are being frustrated unceasingly by the aforementioned inconsiderate jerks. When you look at it, it's like they're allowing full grown adults and handicapped old people to play in a little league baseball game, but everyone's playing baseball, so it doesn't matter. It's a broken system, through and through.

Let's take a break from multiplayer, though. Another example of being inconsiderate is stuff like the Battlefield 3 campaign. This sin against mankind pretty much just throws you into a dark room filled with pissed off spiders and slams the door. I use this example because it was a recent experience, but countless other games do similar things, in truth. Making things difficult at the cost of enjoyment is a big no-no. Intentionally putting players through strenuous trail-and-error only causes problems. Don't get me wrong, sometimes difficult problems are fun to overcome, but not when you have to wait several minutes for the checkpoint to reload, and end up having to play the last 10 minutes over again to get to where you were...or something.

There's probably more I could add to this, and I might edit it in later, but right now, the window of time I do my best thinking at night in has closed, and once again, the difficult task of falling asleep has presented itself before me.
 

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Let me tell ya a story
Posted on Tuesday, July 21 2009 @ 01:25:07 Eastern

   It all started on my younger brother's birthday.

   We were going paintballing out here at a place called Fran-Bar Park. Nice place. Big fields for paintball, and a big fishing pond. And some place called the Haunted Hoochie that had warning signs out front saying physical and psychological damage were bound to take place upon entering, and small children and expecting mothers would most likely die. But I don't think it said anything about people with heart conditions, so it must not have been that bad.

   So, we got to play with some serious paintball enthusiests. Guys wearing full camo and wielding some fully automatic peashooters, you know. 'Course my little stepbrother played too, but he didn't get hit as much as I expected/wanted him to, surprisingly. And all we had were some Tippmann 98's with shin pads, vests, and socks stuffed into our undies...and like magic they seemed to redirect incoming balls to our flabby, unprotected regions.

   It was fun, though. In the end it was me up against two of them buggers. I snuck up behind one of them all asthmatic ninja-like and called him dead. I was surprised he never heard me, but sure 'nuff he was like "How long were you following me?" and I was panting like a dog "A loooong time." Then came the good part. The last dude and I spotted each other from behind cover, but he wasn't in a good spot so he started running and shooting at me and I was ducking and shooting at him. I guess he was trying to get to a good spot so he could try to shoot my legs through the tube I was behing, but I finally got him by moving a little to the side and shooting him through some tall grass. Yup, pretty epic.

   But that's not were it ends. My sister and stepmom were fishing the whole time, and when we went back to join them, my dad hooked a snake and I was catching frogs with my stepbrother, which we took home. But then after the big one got out of its cage and started jumping around the house scaring the crap out of my stepmom (wish I had a video camera,) we decided to release them at a lake the next day.

   Now I had the choice of going to the store with my dad, or going to set the frogs free. Tough decision (not). We set them loose off a dock, and then the people fishing next to us caught a freaking turtle.

   ............I like turtles.

   So everyone's freaking out, and they were going just cut the line and leave this poor turtle with a hook in his mouth. Then, with the thunderous boom of my heroic voice, I step in and say "Do you guys have some pliers?" As luck would have it, they brought some forceps. Perfect.

   It was a long struggle. The hook was stuck in the space under the turtle's tounge, and I felt his pain every step of the way. My stepmom said it felt like forever...might have been 3 minutes, but for the turtle, it must have been. As someone throws out the idea of cutting the line again, the hook slips out and Mr. Turtle is so happy he comes out of his shell.

   I saved a turtle.

   So, winning paintball + catching frogs + freaked-out stepmom + releasing frogs = heart-touching moment with a turtle. Go out there and experience life, my friend.



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Huge Super Gamernet Thing
Posted on Friday, April 24 2009 @ 21:09:17 Eastern

(From my blog @ http://tingz0rbgs.blogspot.com/)

  Paying for XBox Live sucks.

(However, I recommend buying subscription cards off of Newegg.com. *winkwink*)

  But seriously, we're buying your console, we're buying your games, we're buying your horrifyingly-overpriced peripherals and you're going to make us pay for playing online.

  This is something I hoped to see wiped out with next-gen gaming, and I even thought it was a ridiculous idea when the PS2 did it. If you want people to pay you for connecting stuff over the internet, then provide internet service or phone service or something. But for gaming? What's the point?

  Here's a reason for charging players to pay for online multiplayer: start a huge super network thing that connects all the consoles together. Not over the internet, but a certain "gamernet" type thing. Of course, you'd probably have to start offering free installation of a satellite dish used to access the network, but hey, you'd have a sensible reason to charge people to play online.

  And think of the fluidity of online play. People everywhere would have one less port being used up on their router, rewarding them with better connections on their computers, and console gamers would be experiencing nothing less of smooth, uninterruptible gameplay.

It's genius, I tell ya.

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Achievement Unlocked
Posted on Wednesday, March 25 2009 @ 13:04:14 Eastern

(Taken from my blog @ http://tingz0rbgs.blogspot.com/ )

Here I will do a brief look at both the achievement/gamerscore system for the XBox 360 (Box is what I'll be calling it) and the trophy/gamer level system for the PS3.

Ach...   read more...

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Demos: Use `em or lose `em
Posted on Thursday, February 5 2009 @ 17:38:19 Eastern

I`ll start off with my main point. I just played the Killzone2 demo I got when I reserved it, and it`s awful. Slow control recognition, out-dated control mechanics, and the fact that I had no idea what to do half of the time.

Now there`s ...   read more...

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After a day of being unsuccessful.
Posted on Monday, January 19 2009 @ 22:28:59 Eastern

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I smashed a package of ramen and it came out both ends....   read more...

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Your chance to win!
Posted on Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 22:55:32 Eastern

You know promotional giveaways, contests, etc. "Enter for your chance to win," "Many will play, few will win," "No purchase necessary," and the like. Sometimes you fall for it, just wishing day and night that you're goin...   read more...

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