Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Show Me Your Valve

Valve, the company behind the Half-Life, Portal, and Team Fortress series of video games released their latest promo video for Team Fortress 2 -- amazing that's its still going considering the game was released in October of 2007. The original Team Fortress had a long shelf life too, not to mention games like Starcraft, but it is still a feat. Check out Meet the Pyro:

Valve always has bouncy, fun computer animation in their Team Fortress videos. This one is no exception. That said, Valve's engine is a bit dated by today's standards. That hasn't stopped Shane Acker, director of Focus Features' 9, from making a feature film in the format. The reasoning, I think, being that its much cheaper to use a free engine like that -- he's got a budget of $18.7 million. Check out the ambiguous trailer here:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Next Generation Graphics: E3's Goodies

I can't say I was TERRIBLY impressed by the next-gen tech demos that came out of the Electronic Entertainment Expo this month, but I definitely favor Square's next engine over Epic's Unreal 4 engine, though they're just demos at this point. Here's Square's offering:

And Epic's:

The game with the most exciting graphics and star power, clearly, is the new RPG coming from the makers of Fallout: New Vegas...:

South Park fans everywhere rejoice!

This actually looks like it'll do South Park justice after that awful trio of games released for N64 shortly after the show had started. This was the worst of the three, acting mostly as a Turok: Dinosaur Hunter clone:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

To the Moon and Back: Indie Gaming

Following indie gaming is a recent passion of mine and I find there's some really creative work being done in this field -- story, art, and animation wise. A really affecting game came out late last year and became a critical favorite for its story and style. Some complained about the gameplay aspect and the shortness of the game itself, but it has clearly had an impact. Check out the release trailer for To the Moon:

The designer of the game, Kan Gao, explained that his goal for To the Moon is "to have you play it, watch the ending, and say ‘Wow, that was f-cking satisfying — may I have another?" What a great goal for ANY creative project. The music by Gao himself and composer Laura Shigihara is lush and fantastic for an indie game (or any game) --

I'd love to see what Gao can do with a bit more money. He's already winning "Best Story" awards against titans like Portal 2 and Catherine.

One of the two main designers on To the Moon, Alisa Christopher, is working on a new game series now -- Dr. McNinja's Radical Adventures. Here's some background art she's been developing for that:

You can also see more of her work here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Matt Ward

While I'm not wild about his music after he hooked up with Zooey Deschanel, this song from M. Ward's latest album "A Wasteland Companion" is pleasant enough and its got a cute music video to boot. There's some real neat design going on here.

The director, Joel Trussell, also did this rad commercial for the video game I'm currently trying to get through -- Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Saturday morning Assassin's Creed cartoon anyone?