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Sound Shapes Released August 7, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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When I first demoed the Playstation Vita at E3 2011, I was given five games to test, each to show me a wide spectrum of the functionality of the device.  Those games were, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Little Big Planet (Vita), Virtua Tennis, Little Deviants and Sound Shapes.

All of the games impressed me, and it opened me up to the possiblity of actually getting a Vita.  However, of the five games I played on the Vita, as far as I know, before today only Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Little Deviants have actually been released.

Today, Sound Shapes is out for download on the Playstation Vita and the Playstation 3.

I first demoed the game at E3 2011 and found myself enjoying the gameplay quite a bit.  The game controlled quite simply, but to me the game’s experience was more than just advancing from level to level, what made the game so enjoyable was the soundtrack that you would unlock in each part of the level.

Now, it looks like in the year since I originally demoed the game, a lot more has been added to it, take a look for yourselves at CORPOREAL, a new feature that will be part of the game.

Sound Shapes is out now for download on the Playstation Network for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita.

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Classic Quake Machinima August 7, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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I know that during the recent Quake Podcast I mentioned a fan made machinima called “Escape from the Bastille” but other than a simple story synopsis I gave very little information about it or where you can currently find it.  After that I got to thinking about all the other great machinima that the Quake series made possible.

Machinima is still being made to this day, but a lot of current generation machinima is bound by the rules of whatever the game is that it is created for and in some of those cases the toolsets for modding are not available.  That wasn’t a problem with a game like Quake, which could be very flexible to users who wanted to create custom arenas, gametypes and character models.  Let me tell you, there were some really talented people who made some great work back in the day and I wanted to shine some light on that.

First off, I want to show the movie that I mentioned in the podcast.  While its unofficial working title was simply “Quake: The Movie” during its development, its official title is “Escape From the Bastille”.

During my search for the short I actually found a lot of new content had been created by the game’s director over the years.  In fact, he had actually gone back and practically made a feature-length Quake movie using assets from Quake 3 Arena and Doom 3, called “Arenas”.

In it, you follow Doom, a guy stationed on Phobos base during the invasion by Mars.  After defeating the invasion, we discover he may have brought a part of Hell back with him.  When escaping from quarantine he is transported to an unfamiliar place, an arena world where he is forced to compete…or die.

A second season of Arenas was planned but cancelled due to lack of funding.  You can watch what they did make from the cancelled project here.

Next off I want to mention the Ill Clan.  They were a group that started off making shorts with the original game Quake, which followed two lumberjacks, Lenny and Larry, who just wanted to slack off.  My guess is that they chose the job of lumberjacks for their characters because the starting melee weapon in the original Quake was in fact an axe, but I could be wrong about that.

When they really took off was when they made “Hardly Workin'” on the Quake II engine.  They created their own sets, character models, and had a hilarious script.

In fact, they became so good at what they did, they could actually make machinima in real-time.  “Common Sense Cooking with Carl the Cook” was a live machinima they did with their “Hardly Workin'” tools, and it was actually recorded in front of a live audience.

The last time I checked on the Ill Clan they had changed their name and were producing high-end CGI animation for television and feature films.