» Posts Tagged ‘games’

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Xbox One with Kinect and ControllerLast week Microsoft unveiled its successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One. While most gamers are concerned about how you’ll actually be able to play games on the device (including the loss of backwards compatibility and the issues with used games), Microsoft went out of their way to show off the device as an all-in-one home entertainment system. They reiterated how they want to integrate TV into the experience — even going so far as to add an additional HDMI port so that the Xbox becomes a pass-through device for cable or satellite boxes. There has been plenty of negativity about the changes, but might the focus on all around seamless entertainment actually open up new ways of storytelling? More »

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The other day I saw an inspiring documentary about independent creativity, and even though it wasn’t about film, it couldn’t be more relevant to The Age In Which We Live. The landscape of video games is the same as the landscape of movies: it’s divided between multimillion-dollar blockbusters made by large corporations employing hundreds of salaried craftspeople, and tiny passion projects made by small teams working from sweat equity and fevered inspiration. After a successful festival run and road tour, Indie Game: The Movie finally opened theatrically this weekend, and if you’re in NY, LA, San Francisco, or Phoenix I can’t recommend it highly enough. More »

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Many argue the legitimacy of games when it comes to learning, but games can certainly exercise the mind if they challenge you to think and problem-solve. I’ve never really seen a game of any kind that could possibly help me become a better filmmaker — that is, until now. If you’re brand new to color correction, or even any sort of graphic art where color is involved, there is now a game called Color that will help you improve your skills. More »

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Check out the aesthetic of the independent game Limbo, which seems to be influenced by film noir, sci-fi, and german expressionism. Limbo won Spike’s best independent game award last year for its presence on the Xbox Live Arcade and has been lauded as a “modern classic.” Today, the game premiered on the Playstation Network for $14.99, and will also be coming to the PC platform on August 2nd via Steam. Here’s the atmospheric trailer, which shows its cinematic influences by beginning with the sound of scratchy film: More »

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In the blockbuster game world, recent multimillion-dollar releases like [easyazon-link asin="B002I0J5UQ"]L.A. Noire[/easyazon-link] (which was the first video game to play at the Tribeca Film Festival) and [easyazon-link asin="B003O6E3C8"]Portal 2[/easyazon-link] have taken videogame storytelling up a notch. If this demo of the forthcoming game BioShock Infinite is any indication, first-person shooters are packing in the action, set-pieces, ideas, and storytelling of blockbuster films — but handing controls over to the player. And that’s the whole point, right? Take a look at this video, which isn’t a pre-rendered trailer, but rather 15 minutes of screen-captured gameplay : More »

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Rockstar Games has long been in development on L.A. Noire, a sort of videogame version of L.A. Confidential. Many of Rockstar’s games have taken their cue from film history, but instead of fleshing out the concept as another action-based shooter, Rockstar has taken Noire in the direction of an interactive movie, creating a playing experience that may be more closely related to watching a film than playing any of their previous games. Here’s the trailer for Noire, which is cut like a movie preview and lacks any on-screen graphics other than the titling: More »

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Since we’re on the subject of games this weekend, it occurred to me how much like a movie production is this behind-the-scenes video of Uncharted 3 — it’s especially akin to a CGI-based film like Avatar. I’m not much of a gamer, but I always keep an eye on Game Trailers to see what’s new in the world of interactive storytelling, as it’s something I fancy getting into… eventually. I can’t help but thinking that the gaming world’s lower standards for writing and acting (in my opinion) represents an opportunity for filmmakers. More »

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The Humble Indie Bundle is a package of independently-developed games (5 in all), that work on all platforms, are free of DRM, and are currently being sold with a “pay what you want” model. On top of this, when you set your price, you can also determine what % of your purchase goes to the developers, and what goes to charity. The’ve sold over 120,000 bundles so far, and presumably a large portion of the one million dollars of revenue is going to charity. Deal expires Tuesday; here’s a video look at the bundle. More »

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Nintendo’s announcement of the Nintendo 3DS brings with it the usual slew of technology refreshes — faster processor, higher resolution display, etc — as well as a capability new to handheld gaming: 3D. However, this 3D technology is a bit different from the one moviegoers are used to, in that it doesn’t require glasses. What could this mean for the future of 3D video games and movies? More »

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Seen: Modern Warfare 3

04.2.10 @ 12:00PM Tags : ,

With all this talk about realism and immersion in video games, I think Modern Warfare 3 just might take the cake.

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I have played one video game in four years; I’m not a gamer per se. But the ongoing revolution in social and casual games has been hard to miss, from watching my little cousins playing Club Penguin to the irrepressible Facebook invites I’m always getting for Mafia Wars. To date social games have been used as part of a feature film’s marketing campaign (most recent example: The Crazies), but they will become increasingly integrated into the core story. I’m already working on a social game as an integral component of my next project.

For the future of (social) gaming in one entertaining 30-minute presentation, here’s Jessie Schell’s invaluable primer from DICE 2010.

Watch it all the way to the end, as his final point is worth the half hour on its own. And if you think it’s just a thrown-in feel-good ending, the success of Nike Plus (sidebar) and more recent entrant Fitbit is living proof of socialization’s effectiveness when it comes to modifying real-world behavior.

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Seen: Heavy Rain

03.2.10 @ 12:00PM Tags : , , ,

According to the New York Times review, the new Playstation 3 game Heavy Rain offers “a glimpse of the future of interactive entertainment, a future when characterization, writing and emotional connection are more important than combat mechanics.”

Another tidbit from the Times review: the script for Heavy Rain was over 2,000 pages long.

As a storyteller I’m less interested in the skill and coordination aspect of videogames, and more interested in the choices one has to make as a player/participant in interactive movies. The rest of the reviews of the game/movie are also overwhelmingly positive, and I look forward to playing/watching (I guess I should I just say “experiencing”) it.