Top Ten Games of 2013

24 02 2014

1 | Rayman Legends
After really enjoying Rayman Origins (and Rayman Jungle Run for that matter) I was blown away by how much better Rayman Legends is. My only real complaint against Legends is that the Murphy implentation in the Lucha Fiesta world isn’t great (a relic of this originally being a Wii U exclusive).

I stopped on multiple occasions to take in just how visually striking the 2D art is. Controls are tight and responsive. Content is varied and always egnaging which was a problem I had with Origins at times. Even the dreaded underwater levels are amazing thanks to added stealth gameplay. Legends is an absolute joy to play and a reminder of how fun games can be. Oh did I mention how awesome the music levels are? They’re incredible and I wish there were more.

2 | DMC: Devil May Cry
This game caught me somewhat off guard as I have never gotten into DMC despite my favorite genre being third person action adventure. Even more surprising was how solid the gameplay is coming from Ninja Theory. Their last game Enslaved: Oddysey to the West is one of my favorites from the past several years but not for its gameplay. DMC succeeds largely because of how much style is on display with its visuals and level design.

DMC’s controls for using your many weapons (trigger modifiers) put a vast amount of attacks at your disposable without having to memorize tons of combos. I wish the story had been more consistently over the top but what’s there is fine. Traversal is a blast.

3 | Batman: Arkham Origins
Leading up to its release I had largely written Arkham Origins off as it looked like a carbon copy of Arkham City. Though I had bouts of deja vu while playing Origins it successfully captures the previous two games (developed by new studio). Origins may be the best of the trilogy only failing due to the originality and innovation introduced by Asylum.

The Arkham series solid gameplay still holds up. Though melee combat remained interesting throughout thanks in part to new tweaks I found the stealth sections to lose steam quickly. Boss fights implement your gadgets in an engaging way and are further helped by villains jumping in and out of the story. Speaking of narrative Origins is very well written and paced much better than Arkham City. A more colorful palette and comic book style provide a striking backdrop for your adventures as Batman.

4 | The Last of Us
A great character piece very reminiscient of Children of Men. The amount of combat feels unnecessary and intruded on my investment at times. There is a particular stretch around the Dam that feels like pure filler. Incredible amount of varied and detailed art helps to create a very strong atmosphere. Definitely a game with flaws but a story certainly worth seeing through.

5 | Puppeteer
The first item I have to bring up with Puppeteer are the visuals. Absolutely beautiful artistic direction that is both imaginative and in large quantity. The story in Puppeteer is a simple fairytale but is excetued well thanks to great writing and mostly solid voice acting. Gameplay mechanics are simple but feel unique due to smaller level design and the ability to cut with scissors. The act of cutting is best on display in the games clever boss fights. Though the cutting mechanic should remain enjoyable throughout I found it to be a bit overused and the game in need of one more mechanic to balance it out (maybe simply the oppositive of sewing something back together).

6 | Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
I was suprised by how much I enjoyed this atypical entry in the Call of Juarez franchise. Heavily influenced by Bulletstorm’s arcade style shooting experience. Its defining feature is the narrative framework which has the level changing as the narrator revises the story.

7 | Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Successfully captures the feeling of going on an adventure. Beautiful art direction is reminiscent of Middle Earth. Though I never got a full grasp of the game’s unique control scheme and at times hated it the moments when it worked really added to the narrative.

8 | Saints Row IV
This game is pretty dumb and that’s great. Saints Row 3 missions are more memorable but the superhero powers make this a lot of fun. I probably had the most fun just running, jumping, and gliding around the city. Hey that’s normally the part I hate in open world games.

9 | Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
I should have written something down after playing this. It was a lot of fun.

10 | Honorable Mentions
Remember Me
Tomb Raider
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Bioshock Infinite
The Swapper
The Stanley Parable





Inn of the Dancing Sea Dragon

14 04 2011

Short Version
I’ve created a very short casual adventure mod for Sacrifice that follows a Druniad named Hazel who runs the Inn of the Dancing Sea Dragon. Currently there are only three puzzles with supplementary linear dialogue trees but this was only meant to be a prototype.

More Information
I’m in the very early stages of attempting to make a commercial casual/classic adventure game. I’ve been looking at a bunch of engines to work in and have become attached to the Monocle engine as it shares a lot in common with Aquaria (Alec’s working on it). Monocle still has a ways to go so I decided to prototype some adventure stuff to see what I could get working. I was playtesting with random images from Google for a while before I came to the conclusion that I may as well use the Aquaria art. That of course then led me to making that prototype into something playable which is why you see this post. I guess it kind of makes sense as before Sacrifice grew into something much bigger it was originally intended to be a more casual experience of Aquaria.

Video Walkthrough
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvCjwdYrEE4

Screenshots





League of Legends: Champion Designs

3 03 2011

I wrote a spec script based off League of Legends at the end of last year that you can find here. Somehow I forgot to upload two champions that I designed along with a short bio for Singed. Check it out below!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3175096/ChampionDesign.doc





League of Legends: Lux

3 03 2011

Lux has become one of my favorite champions mainly because of how much she can contribute to a team. She has a very potent AP nuke combo, shield control/CC for carry protection, and the ability to steal buffs and finish fleeing enemies that can be combined with superb map control thanks to CV and wards.

http://www.leagueoflegends.com/champions/99/lux_the_lady_of_luminosity

Masteries
standard 9/0/21

Summoners
Clairvoyance / Ghost

I’ve come to love this combo as it synergizes so well with her ultimate. If someone else is running CV ignite or teleport would be the next best options.

Runes
magic pen / mana regen / cooldown per level / flat health quints

Lux doesn’t really need the flat health quints but I don’t have a separate page for her at the moment. I would most likely run magic pen quints.

Leveling
R > E > W > Q

Singularily is your strongest damage/harass ability while your binding is only needed for its CC ability.

Items
core: Sorc Boots / Soulstealer / Morello’s Evil Tome / Deathcap

I build these 3 core items 95% of the time. Normally I try to avoid soulstealer on champions unless I’m doing very well early game but I feel that it’s always a good choice on Lux. Because Lux’s playstyle is so far behind her team and she has survivability similar to Janna she’s very good at living through most situations. This provides lots of assist stacks but her ability to finish off champs with her ultimate ensures even more.

After Soulstealer I build Fiendish Codex into Morello’s Evil Tome for some much needed mana regen and cooldown reduction. If the game goes super late I build Void Staff or Lich Bane.

I almost never build a defensive item because of her playstyle but there are rare situations where you just have to. An example: I recently faced an Akali/LeBlanc nuke combo that forced me to delay my core build to get an early Negatron Cloak so I could survive until team fights.

Playstyle

Lux does just fine in either a solo or duo lane. I hate top on Lux as it wastes her roaming/finishing strength during early/mid game. The sweet spot on Lux’s domination seems to always occur between 11 and 16. During the laning phase you want to harass as much as possible with your binding and singularity. As soon as you hit 6 you want to start using your AP nuke combo which is Binding -> Singularily -> Lazer.

Once team fights start you’ll want to utilize CV and your binding to try to grab champs out of position. Once a fight actually starts use your lazer immediately as teams tend to group up at the start. The cooldown is so low on Lux’s ult that it should be up again by the end of the fight. After your initial burst your primary goal is to spam shield on as many teammates as possible while using your CC to protect the carry and stop people from escaping.

Conclusion

Positioning and landing skillshots are crucial on any champion but they are absolutely vital on Lux. If you are out of position even in the slightest you will be killed almost instantly. If you fail to land your skillshots (all 4 abilities are) you will be worthless to your team. More detailed guide to come… ?





In Pursuit of Perfection

15 09 2010

I’ve done a bit of polishing on two of the writing pieces listed here on my portfolio (Red Dreams Blue Nightmares and my original myth). It has been a while since I read these and there were some grammar, formatting, and dialogue flow issues that have been resolved.





League of Legends Script: Episode 1

28 08 2010

I was inspired by the cast of champions in League of Legends (video game) to write a story, in the form of a screenplay, roughly the length of a half hour TV episode.

PDF – 90kb
view: Episode 1: Breaking and Entering
download: Episode 1: Breaking and Entering
– this will force a download if your browser is not displaying the document

Synopsis
A growing number of guerilla attacks on the League of Legends have placed its ability to function and maintain relative peace into question. Sabotaged arenas, fixed battles, and a general glossing over of problems by the League have led city-states to reject conflicts resolved on the Fields of Justice. High Councilor Heywan Relivash suspects General Boram Darkwill of Noxus is behind the attacks and considers forming an army of his own. As the League attempts to salvage the situation and avoid open war returning Singed leads a direct assault on the Institute of War with a small force of abominations.





Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship

2 03 2010

February 28 was the shipping deadline for the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship and I was happy to sneak mine in on the 27th. I work very well near a deadline. The script I submitted has been in an early draft form under the WRITING tab for some time. I’m very happy with the submitted and most likely final draft which included a lot of revisions and additions. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until September/October to see how I did. No reason to say anything else other than to check it out for yourself!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3175096/SpongeBob_Brainfreeze.pdf