Censorship in Games: Violence, Sex and Fig Leaves

From Pong to GTA V, it is undeniable that games have undergone a massive evolution in the past fifty years. While books and movies have offered a passive entertainment, games are the first really interactive media in history. And since we are the first generation which is experiencing it, it’s only natural that we question its power. This post offers a loose perspective on the effects of censorship in art and entertainment; on how it is affecting games and, even more importantly, on what it says about us as a society.

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Understanding the Gaussian distribution

Randomness is so present in our reality that we are used to taking it for granted. Most of the phenomena which surround us have been generated by random processes. Hence, our brain is very good at recognising these random patterns. And it is even better at spotting phenomena that should be random but they actually aren’t. And this is when problems arise. Most software such as Unity or GameMaker simply lack the tools to generate realistic random numbers. This tutorial will introduce the Gaussian distribution, which plays a fundamental role in statistics since it is at the heart of many random phenomena in our everyday life.

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Console debugging in Unity made easy

One of the most interesting feature of Unity is the ability to extend its editor and standard components. This has allowed developers all around the world to create amazing extensions which dramatically improve Unity’s usability. And, in some cases, compensate for its shortages. A very intriguing feature which is not-so-well known is the ability to customise the messages in the debug console. Rather than give you a self proclaimed ultimate solution to console debugging, this post will cover different topics to help you creating your own.

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The most anticipated exploration games

Dream | HyperSloth Games | website | steam

The first time I played Dream was at the BAFTA Inside Games 2014, where I also had the chance to try Monument Valley. After more than one year, Dream has finally been released and it has really exceed my expectations. Made by a very small team, it has a graphics and a level of content which is comparable to many high-profile games. Dream brings you inside the dream of a man, allowing the player to explore a variety of bizarre and diverse environments. Physics and Logic don’t always make sense in dreams, and HyperSloth is building clever mechanics out of this. Dream has been released this week; even if you’re not into puzzles, its dreamy and relaxing locations make it one of the perfect exploration games so far. And if that’s not enough, Dream features some of the best music you can hear in a game.

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The most anticipated abstract games

I can safely say that the undoing of many indies has been compromising on their games in order to make them more commercially appealing. Attempting to standardise games has created a wave of products which cannot compete with the bigger titles, and lack of innovation. Cloning Flappy Bird and Crossy Road can only take you so far. Luckily enough, there are few indies which are not afraid of pushing the boundaries of what a game should be and should look like.

MYRIAD | Erlend Grefsrud | website

MYRIAD is the abstract game for antonomasia. The first time I’ve seen it, I’ve been completely captured by the total randomness of its gameplay. Then, after carefully looking someone playing for few minutes, a pattern emerged. The world of MYRIAD is full of rules; you just have to discover them. Is not hard to understand the basics of the game, but mastering it requires more then just good reflexes. Most of the pleasure from playing MYRIAD derives from the constant discovery of a new rule or trick; “Oh, I didn’t know I could do that too!” should be the subtitle of the game. In MYRIAD I really can make the world and destroy the world. The only thing I still can’t do, is pronouncing the name of it’s developer…

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The 3 most anticipated games: #lowpoly

Sea of Solitude | Cornelia Geppert | website

It is common for indie games to be announced where they are at a very early stage. Sea of Solitude, instead, appeared out of nowhere showing some extremely polished content. From Kill Screen Daily to Rock Paper Shotgun, all the major indie gaming websites covered Sea of Solitude. What makes this incredible is that the game has achieved this level of popularity just with a bunch of screenshots and few GIFs. From its initial announcement, no other content has been released, but the hype is still high. Despite all my attempts, I didn’t manage to meet the developer, Cornelia, during GDC. But that’s understandable knowing how many meeting she was attending. It’s a shame I didn’t manage to play an early build, but I’m sure the final game won’t disappoint me.

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The 3 most anticipated games: #pixelart

It’s not a mystery that I’m attending every game event I can find. Unfortunately, not all the developers are so lucky. Some of the best looking games I’ve seen so far have never been presented to a game event yet. And this is the main reason why I hope, with this series of posts, to help some games reaching out to a broader audience. So, without further due …this is the list of my three most anticipated pixel art games!

MegaSphere | Anton Kudin | website | gallery

MegaSphere is “a sci-fi themed action platformer with a big shiny gun“. The game brings back action platformers, adding all the imaginable improvements and visual tricks. Rope physics, 2D normal maps, volumetric lights, …you name it, MegaSphere has it.

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