About games and gaming thereof!

Let’s Play

Insert Game Here

My clumsy adventures into Let’s Play territory continue! A few personal friends and I have started a Youtube channel called Insert Game Here. The first game we’re covering is Super Mario Sunshine. Here’s episode 1:

And here’s episode 2.

Yes, I know the audio for our voices isn’t great. What I don’t know is why episode 2 is so much quieter than episode 1. Bear in mind that I’m not doing the editing this time.

We haven’t decided on what sort of release schedule we’re going for, and we don’t know what we’ll be able to keep up with until we turn this into a routine. Our own work/school schedules tend to conflict with one another, so we don’t know how often we can record episodes. I guess we’ll find out. The important thing to note is that since I’m not editing or uploading the videos, you don’t have to worry about me being lazy and putting off episode uploads for long periods of time.

Alright, now I want to explain what I was talking about with regard to moving platforms in episode 2. I was hoping Aeroguns would add a diagram like I suggested, but he didn’t. In a nutshell, most game devs haven’t figured out how to incorporate the law of inertia into their physics engines yet. The law of inertia states that an object will maintain its velocity until acted upon by an outside force. When I started talking about an airplane and making hand-gestures you couldn’t see, I was talking about this:

If someone or something were to drop out of a moving plane, it wouldn’t just dive straight downward; it would begin moving in the same direction as the plane, and then gravity and wind resistance would gradually turn its direction downward. The same applies if you jump in an elevator, or off the roof of a car as Aeroguns suggested. (Don’t try that at home, kids!)

But in a game, when you jump off of a platform or in an elevator, your momentum isn’t preserved at all. If you jump in an elevator moving down in a typical FPS, you’ll suddenly fly up to the ceiling, and then slowly glide back down to the bottom, and then take falling damage when you land. That’s not how physics works.

Anyway, in other news: Holy shit, has it actually been almost two months since I last updated this blog? Geez. Sorry about that, guys. I got a new job last month, but that doesn’t explain all of the inactivity. I’m gonna try to post more in the near future.

It isn’t too late for a Games of Note 2012, is it…?

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Ninja Blues – Castle Crashers ep. 2.2: Accidental Guest Stars

So, uh, we kind of accidentally had Shamus and Josh from Twenty Sided show up at the 2:26 mark. We’d forgotten we were sitting in their ventrilo server doing nothing.

For some stupid reason the last four minutes of the video got chopped off during the uploading process. I blame Youtube. Sadly, this means you don’t get to see Jarenth lose against the boss, and then against me in the arena. Yeah, I totally beat him in the arena. Twice. Though the first time wasn’t exactly fair (I jumped on a horse).

Also, I know why my voice audio comes before Jarenth’s; it’s because internet lag is a thing. What I’m wondering is why my voice audio comes before the in-game video and audio. If you pay attention you’ll notice that I talk about things a second or two before they happen, or as they happen. It’s something to do with Fraps, I’m sure.

Anyway, this is the last episode we recorded right at the start. Now we actually get to play it again! Stay tuned.


Ninja Blues – Castle Crashers ep. 2.1: So Much Poo

After a long delay, here’s episode 2, part 1.

As you may gather from watching the first five seconds, this episode was recorded immediately after our first one. (It took so long because my upload speed sucks and it takes something like five hours to upload a bad-quality ten minute long video, and because I’m lazy and don’t want to do that.)

In this video and the ones preceding it, my voice is picked up before Jarenth’s. This is because my voice is picked up directly through Fraps, while Jarenth’s is delayed because internet. This is why it sounds like I’m constantly interrupting him. I figure this has to do with us communicating through the Castle Crashers built-in voice chat, because I don’t think Ventrilo has the same delay to it. We would just disable Castle Crashers voice chat and use Vent, if the game would let us do that, but it doesn’t, so for now I think we’re stuck with this.

Also, like the stupid that I am, I wrote in my previous post about how this game could be interpreted as sexist, and forgot that I brought that up in the very next video. Whoops.

Also, how about them buttfaces, huh?

As usual, insert hyperlink to Jarenth’s post here.


Ninja Blues: Castle Crashers ep. 1.2

New half-episode! The opening frame montage thing still isn’t working properly. I tried adding a filler frame before Jarenth’s, on the hopes that it just cuts out the first frame, but it cut out both.

So the monsters kidnap a bunch of helpless princesses, the dudes come kill the monsters, and then kill each other over who ‘gets’ the princess. And then she kisses the winner.

Surely I don’t need to point out what is sexist about this.

You can defend it by saying, “Oh, well, it’s an homage to classic tropes! It’s the hero rescuing the lady, etc.!” or “Well this game shouldn’t be taken seriously, it’s just trying to be silly and funny!” And maybe I’d buy either of those defenses if we weren’t seeing the same trope(s) everywhere else. That’s the thing about games with sexist tropes: They don’t exist in a vacuum. They offer sexist concepts to their audiences. Of course Castle Crashers alone won’t convince me or anyone else to be sexist and think of women as objects for us men to obtain; it’s the fact that so many stories that we consume carry that same message.

Am I saying Castle Crashers is bad because of this? No. I’m saying we should be wary of these tropes and the effect they have on our community.

Anyway, sorry for being That Guy. Here’s Jarenth’s post about the episode.


Ninja Blues: Castle Crashers ep. 1.1

Jarenth and I are doing a new Let’s Play! And it’s not of a laughably terrible game this time.

Also, we came up with a name for our show other than Jarenth and JPH Play. Clever, right?! It was Jarenth’s idea, I think.

You may have seen Jarenth mention this on his site awhile ago. Yes, I’ve had this episode on my hard drive for awhile. It took me so long to upload it because my connection is fairly slow. Also,  for some reason Youtube appears to have almost entirely chopped off the opening slide that shows Jarenth’s avatar along with a line of text saying “A mild-mannered glowing eyes man…”

I’m not sure how, or why, this happened. The video on my hard drive doesn’t have this problem, so it’s probably Youtube’s fault. Whatever. Also, sorry about the echo of my voice. I think that’s Jarenth’s headset being stupid.

Anyway, now I can explain what I was saying at around the 4:20 mark: Castle Crashers seems to be a casual beat-em-up for nerd parties, but it comes with a lot of elements we associate with RPGs: Weapon collection, leveling, character unlocking, stat building, etc. It seems strange to me. This seems like the sort of game you’d play through maybe once with some friends, but it looks like they designed it with the intention of you playing it over and over again with the same friends so all of you can unlock and try out all the different weapons and characters.

And one issue with character unlocking is that every character starts at level 1, which means that if you decide to try a different character, you have to start out at level 1 again, and if your friends are sticking to the same characters, then they’re getting ahead of you.

I’m not saying these are bad things to put in a game like this; it just seems strange.

Jarenth’s post about the episode can be found here.


LP Trapped Dead ep. 2.3: Wheelchair Accessible!

And here’s the riveting finale of Episode 2.

I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to see the upstairs. Granted, it probably wasn’t much more interesting to look at than the rest of the level, but still. The whole wheelchair thing is bringing up more problems than we initially expected.

Now that we have the sheriff, I’ll be able to play as someone with working legs. That ought to be nice.

Looks like Jarenth forgot what the fuck we were doing too!


LP Trapped Dead ep. 2.2: Apply Zombies to Face

When we finished the first episode I was worried that after that the game would just become nothing but repetitive zombie smacking. That would make our LP boring, pointless and damn near unwatchable.

I was wrong. This episode has a lot of interesting stuff; stairs as a mechanic, an electric zombie trap, some horrendous bugs, etc. I hope we keep getting more weirdness.

You know, I honestly think Professor Wheelchair not being able to take the stairs was a really good idea. It’s a neat twist, and it forces you to look at the level layouts differently for each character. It could have made a good game even better; instead it’s just another annoyance in this deplorable experience.

Toward the end of the episode we make the observation that the game feels unfinished. I honestly think something went wrong during development and they had to release before they could apply all the finishing touches. It’s the only logical explanation for the messy controls, the input delay, the innumerable bugs, the crashes, the overly difficult single player, the overly easy multiplayer, etc. No competent designer could look at this shit and think it’s ready for release.

Many AAA developers run into a problem where they have to rush a game out to meet the arbitrary deadlines set by their publishers. Indie developers run into a similar problem, where they have to rush a game out to put food on their tables.

I really want to know about the development of this game. Something went wrong somewhere.

Here’s what Jarenth says.


LP Trapped Dead ep. 2.1: Necessary Funsies

Finally, the next episode of our Trapped Dead shenanigans. This one features stairs!

Last time we used music from Kevin Macleod, because that’s what all the internet people do. This time we’re using music from the fantastic freeware action-platformer Iji. That game has absolutely nothing to do with Trapped Dead, but damn it, I am a massive Iji fanboy (still need to make a post about that game) and I say that soundtrack should be in every video, ever.

We would have used it in our first episode, but we needed permission from the guys who made the soundtrack first. Oh, by the way, HyperDuck Soundworks. They made the soundtrack, and a lot of other awesome music. Check that shit out.

This time Jarenth is the one that actually says things about the game we played. Check that out too.


Let’s Play Trapped Dead! ep. 1 p. 3

Meant to post this up awhile ago. I attempted, but Youtube failed. And then Diablo 3 happened.

Alright, kids, let’s review:

  • To select a character, left-click.
  • To select multiple characters, right-click and drag.
  • To use a medkit, select the character with the medkit, equip the medkit (you can only equip one item at a time), and then left-click on the character you’d like to heal.
  • To attack an enemy, select the character, equip the weapon, and then right-click the enemy.
  • To select multiple enemies to attack continuously, select the character, equip a gun, and then hold shift and right-click-and-drag. Or was it right-click-and-drag and then press shift? I attempted both, and neither worked for me.

Stupid control scheme is stupid.

Here’s Jarenth’s post.


Trapped Dead! ep. 1 p. 2

Here’s part 2 of episode 1 of our zombie conga line smacking adventures:

I can actually attack now! Except mostly not really, because the amount of ammo they gave me is so miniscule compared to the massive number of zombies we fight that I left most of the killing to Jarenth and his mighty baseball bat.

This game could have benefited from more weapon ammunition, at least in multiplayer. Perhaps even the infinite stockpiles you find in Left 4 Dead 2. I know it’s supposed to be about tense survival, but when you expect us to kill that many zombies it’s a bit unreasonable to expect the professor to use such few bullets.

In single player you control both characters simultaneously, so it makes sense to hold the professor back and only use him in emergencies. But in multiplayer, each player controls one character. So whoever gets stuck as the professor (i.e. me) is going to get bored.

Then again, examining the ways this game could be improved is like analyzing Duke Nukem Forever. Where does one even start?

For any who are curious, Jarenth is posting each episode on BSOA as well. Here’s the link for today.