Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Games Games Games

Yes, the point of this blog is to talk about the game industry. But we can also talk about our favorite video games here. So, here's my history:

I didn't own any consoles growing up. I was strictly a PC gamer. I remember the first time I played Wolfenstein 3D. I don't remember if it was the whole game, or just the first level, but it fit on a small 3.5" floppy disk. I was blown away by the graphics. We have really come a long way since then, in just the short span of 15 or so years. Just imagine where we'll be in 15 years if technology keeps advancing at the current rate.

Today, I don't really touch PC games at all (except maybe some X-Moto every once in a while). I currently own a PS3, PS2, PSP, and Nintendo DS. Ever since I started at Sensory Sweep, I've been working mainly on DS games (as I've mentioned in other posts).

Another great perk about my company (and I'm sure a lot of other companies in the industry) is that we have video game competitions every once in a while. I've been in Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, and Rock Band competitions. They also do other games that I'm not so good at, like Madden.

We also have a video game library. There are hundreds of titles across all the major platforms that we make games for (which is pretty much all of them). It's great borrowing games from the library, rather than going out and spending $50-60 on a game that you may end up not liking.

So here is a sampling of some of the best games in my collection (to give you a taste of what I play):

  • Hot Shots Golf (several)
  • Tony Hawk (several)
  • Guitar Hero (several)
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • ICO
  • Burnout (I have 3 and 4, but 3 is still the best Burnout game ever made)
  • The Orange Box (I got this one mainly for Portal, even though the rest of the package is amazing too)
  • Rock Band
  • Tony Hawk (both PS3 releases)
  • Lego Star Wars (these Lego games are great for Co-op)
  • Lots of PSN titles (Echochrome, Pain, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars...)
And I'm currently playing Phantom Hourglass on the DS. Overall, I would say that I'm a gamer driven more by new and different concepts that are well-executed (see Echochrome, Shadow of the Colossus, Portal), and not so much by typical FPSs or sports titles that tend to dominate the charts . I'm usually willing to take a chance on groundbreaking new concepts or ideas that will push game design in a new direction. Of course, I still have my old standby's of Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, but they, too, were new and groundbreaking when I started playing them.

So what drives you to play the games you do? Let's hear about some of your favorite games in the comments.


Christy said...

I'm driven by Nostalgia...the best game ever and the only one I like to play is Galaga. Best game ever! I shall only play it three more times...today.

What is ICO?

pmccombs said...

I'm not much of a Gamer now that I have fewer pimples and more élan, but lately it's been Spore when I have a chance.

I started out on the TI-99/4a, and in those days it was Parsec, Ms. Pac-man, Super Demon Attack, and TI-Invaders (a space invaders clone). Also Scott Adam's text adventures on cassette tapes. Before we had disk drives, we had cassette tapes. ;) Sorry, no punch-card games. I'm not that old.

The nostalgia games are mostly of the DOS variety, usually anything from Sierra in their hey-day. And Starquake, Starcon II, Wing Commander, Dune 2 (the grand daddy of RTS)... Played 'em all on amber monochrome, then CGA (with the right monitor, you could sometimes get composite to work), then VGA. We thought it could get no better when Doom came out. I was in heaven with my Roland LAPC-1 and the SoundBlaster Pro. Sweet!

In the post-DOS PC apocalypse, it was Lucas Arts (Grim Fandango, Monkey Island), and some of the classics like the original Warcraft and Startcraft. Jodi and I played an Icewind Dale campaign once. Actually, twice. That was fun. Oh, let's not forget Heroes of Might and Magic III. Wasted plenty of time on that.

We never got a console until the SNES came out. We had the Sega Genesis too. We played Sonic, Super Mario, and Mario Kart, among others.

Now it's the PS2 and Wii. The other "Next Gen" consoles are too pricey. On the PS2 the favorites seem to be Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, and Rayman.

All of the portables are too teeny and gadgety. ;)

I only game to relax now; there's nothing serious about it, unless somehow I could learn how to make my own game. I'm into making things. I was able to program a fine "guess the number" game once, in full monochromatic text glory. I'm thinking of a sequel.

thegameprogrammer said...

I don't have a Wii, but I have lots of PS2 games. Let me know if you want to borrow some.

Sharmi said...

Interesting one about the game programmers. Looking for a career in game development to design new and interesting games.