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DEDENYS Caplice Siobhan

English Teacher in Rubika. Started the blog with students hope they keep it alive !
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Progregency – A neological essay

A neologism is a made-up word. The present article uses a few of them to make a point. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll find them in a dictionnary!

Progregency: rate of change of the demand of a person.

(portemanteau from progress and exigency)

 

Demand,’ in this essay is used to describe someone’s expectations and what they estimate is required by a task, mostly in terms of hard work.

During a project, a person’s demands almost certainly vary. Demand is extreemly important, as it is often what links a person to the way they work and thus to the potential product. That’s why it seems important -or at least interesting- to explore these variations and see how influential they are on a person’s mindset.

 

The following terms are used to describe someone’s mindset at a given moment. It’s more of a situational state depending on various factors like mood, the person himself, the object of potential demand, etc.

Rarely should they be used to describe someone’s actual nature/character as if it was set in stone.

 

Progregent: a progregent person has demands that grow with time.

By definition, progregents cannot reach their goals: they will always evolve as the project progresses. This means that a progregent person shouldn’t be put in charge of a project, as the potential members of their team wouldn’t be able to follow a progression that’s constantly demanding more.

Most of the time, a progregent person is more fond of the act of working itself than the completion of a task.

The progregent could be described as ‘too ambitious’, ‘eternally dissatisfied’, or ‘perfectionistic’.

 

Congregent: a congregent’s demands don’t change with time.

This means that the congregent is efficient at setting goals and keeping them for the duration of a project. It is better that a team leader be a congregent for they have a constant goal that everyone can aim for.

Congregency leads to the idea of wanting to reach a goal by all means, because of this, a congregent mind often likes completing a task more than working on it.

The congregent could be described as ‘consistent’, ‘stable’, ‘obstinate’, or ‘stubborn’.

 

Regregent: a regregent person lowers their demands with time.

The regregent usually lowers their expectations in order to make sure their task is doable.

Regregency is defined by the realisation -or supposition- that something is not actually feasible, most of the time, a pessimistic point of view leads to a goal way lower than initially intended.

Because of this, a regregent is most of the time relieved that a task is over, and won’t be that fond of working even if it’s to put the final brick.

The regregent could be described as ‘lazy’, ‘fatalistic’, ‘pessimistic’, or ‘realistic’.

 

Why is it important to know?

When working in teams, it’s obviously important to know your team mates and how they work.

Progregency helps understanding how you and others might approach work, and allows you to stage your demands better and understand their potential evolution.

 

Of course, progregency isn’t useful alone, for it depends on the initial demand. Someone might be congregent, if their initial goal is too high to be feasible, they will need to lower it.

 

I hope those terms can be useful to those of you who are wondering what group they belong to!

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Game Development Tips for Wannabes

How to begin game development when you don’t know a thing ?

 

Intro

If you’re reading this, you are probably willing to develop your own video games. Before going any further, I have to warn you : Reading this post WILL NOT make you a good game developper. To be very honest, the only way to make good games is to make a lot of crappy games. Like, dozens of them.

So, you want to develop your very own First Crappy Game. Where to begin when you’ve never done anything close to it?

 

1 – Programming

The thing that’s most probably blocking you right now, is the programming part of your game. Programming is a very specific skill, that needs you to learn a whole new language and way of thinking. Well, believe it or not, if you can’t program at all, that’s actually not a problem : There is a lot of middleware available, such as Game maker or Construct 2. They are very easy to use, and will allow you to make games without writing a single line of code. So, if you’re not a programmer, the first thing you have to do is to download one of these two, and learn its basics. It shouldn’t be longer than an hour or two, really.

Go ahead, do it. I’ll wait.

Now, if you’re a seasonned programmer, and you already know a programming language (or even more than one, who knows?), then you might want to use this knowledge, and you’d be right. So, just use Unity, that runs on C#, or Unreal Engine, that uses C++, or Flash, or anything else you feel comfortable with. As long as you keep in mind what you already know and what you need to learn to begin developping your game, you should be fine.

 

2 – The Idea

By now, you should have the technical skills to develop your game, and you should know where to find any piece of knowledge you could be missing (if you don’t, just google it. It’s that easy. Being stuck sucks and someone online probably has the answer to your problem anyways).

To begin developping your game, the only thing you’re missing now is an idea. Just keep it as simple as you can : your goal now is to finish your game, be it the simplest, or even the worst, that has ever been made. If you’re lacking inspiration, just begin with a standard top- or side-view game, the rest will come later. An idea from an other game is totally OK if you can’t find anything else. Don’t worry, more ideas will pop up as you develop games.

 

3 – Aesthetics

By “aesthetics”, I mean the assets of your game, for instance the environment, the character animations, and the cool sound your avatar produces when he punches an enemy, but I also include all the things you can put in there to make your game “feel” better, such as particle effects or the fact that the screen shakes when everything around you explodes.

I’ll be honest here. I don’t think think aesthetics are essential when it comes to creating your very first video game. Don’t get me wrong : I do think they can make the difference between a bad game and an excellent game. Just don’t waste all your time and energy making gorgeous sprites if the rest of your game just sucks.

What I’d recommand for a first game is, as always, just to keep it simple. If you feel inspired, you can create assets by yourself, or else you can use some stuff you found on the Internet (just make sure it’s free ! Take a look at these sites if you don’t know where to begin).

 

4 – Iterate !

When you begin developing your game, don’t worry too much about details. I know it’s hard not to correct that-minor-bug-that-you-could-totally-fix-if-you-just-had-three-more-hours, but you have to put the core features of your game together first. Having a working game is only the first step, and you need to get to it as fast as you can. That’s why I’d recommand you create games with simple mechanics at first, so you can see the result of your work very quickly.

Once you have worked on your game enough for it to be playable, you can begin iterating on it, which just means improving your game, correcting bugs and adding features, until you get bored or it seems finished enough to you (depending on which happens first).

And that’s how you develop your first video game.

 

Conclusion

What to do once you’ve finished your first game? Well, there are a lot of possible answers to this question, mine being “Just make a second game. And a third one. And then another. And another again.” It’s simply the best way there is to improve !

Here are a few general tips that may be useful if you keep developing games :

Keep it simple : Getting small games done is better than giving up on bigger ones.

Be creative : Try to make every game you make different from the previous one, and from any other game out there !

Have fun : What’s the point in making video games if we don’t enjoy ourselves?

Keep learning : Once you’ve made a few games, try to get out of your comfort zone !

– Ask other people to help you : Making games with other people is easier, more effective and much funnier than doing them on your own !

Share your games : Showing your game is the best way to get feedback and advice ! Talk to other game developers and participate in game jams to get valuable experience and meet lots of interesting people !

Henri Couvreur

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The Step by Step process of an art commission

WARNING: The final piece presented in this article depicts a nude woman. Those who do not appreciate such visuals may not engage in reading. Also it’s a pretty lenghty article due to pictures. :)

In the vast world of modern art, Internet has become a great place to share your work for everyone to see. Upon seeing an artist on the net whose work tickles your fancy, why not approach them and have art made for you and you only?

I was approached by an Internet acquaintance for an art commission of his player character in a MMORPG called Final Fantasy XIV, a game I’ve been playing myself for a few years now. It is not unusual for artists on the Internet to receive requests from gamers, and it’s been known for a while in the game’s community that I was one, so drawing this piece was a really fun and lengthy process that I enjoyed very much!

The commission requested a single pose of the character in full view, nude and resting on their side, rendered in 2 distinct ways: in color for one and in a thicker, black and white only linework for the other.

After collecting screenshots from the requestee’s character ingame (a brown-skinned, white-haired cat-woman wearing shaded glasses), and discussing the details of what he wanted to see in the final piece, I finally got started on it! (using my favorite art program Paint Tool SAI)

Let’s draw a cat-lady lying on her side!

Now when you start a sketch, you may be tempted to dive immediately into the finest details of your piece, with every lace of clothing and every straw of hair carefully drawn out, but that is, infact, very likely to confuse you in the later stages! You don’t want to see a character with perfect hair in a broken, awkward position do you?

  • No indeed, when I start to sketch a character, I try and focus on the POSE itself first, having a rough idea in my head of how it’s going to look and using circular, loose brushstrokes to place all the necessary body parts in a composition that works. If a part doesn’t sit right, now’s the time where I just erase it all and restart, with no level of detail whatsoever. I use a simple, thin brush that allows the drawing to be as loose and messy as possible, and when I’m finished setting up the pose, it generally looks like this (with a few stronger strokes to mark « strong points » in the pose or show its borders more clearly):

01

 

 

Pretty messy isn’t it? You can barely make out the character herself. But we’ll get down to detailing it later, what’s important here is that the pose sketch works for you.

  • Next part, you start actually drawing the character, following the guidelines you just set up for yourself. I like looking at the reference screenshots I took prior to drawing once in a while to make sure the character is recognizable (hair style, body type, chest size, age etc etc etc)

Again, the lines don’t have to be cleanly cut-out, I’m still using the same brush as for the base pose sketch. I roughly sketch out every different part of the character (body, face, ears, tail & accessories) on a different layer for easier refining.

At this point I’ve already spent around 30 minutes to an hour on the piece, depending on the complexity of the pose and the number of accessories, and I’ve already modified a few key points of the pose to make it work better (tail going to the left instead of the right). For the ears and tail, in addition to the character’s screenshots, I’ve looked at reference pictures of actual cats to determine their position on the body easier.

rough character sketch

 

 

 

  • I then remove the pose sketch layer, place a few values using greyish blue and roughly sketch out where the shadows are going to be placed. After this step, I sent out the sketch to the requestee to make sure they like it before continuing more in-depth. I am now roughly aware of what the final piece will look like too.

03

 

Already looking like something nice, doesn’t it? But let’s not stop here and go further into details!

The first part of the commission involved a sharp, binary black and white only strong linework, to show the character’s strong & feline side, along with resembling the style of the original game artwork.

  • I thus remove the value layers, take a black, sharper ink brush, and refine the character as much as possible, allowing thicker lines in shadowed places and thinner, spaced out lines in lit-up places and in the fur of the tail.
  • The muscle build of the character is enhanced via short lines that define the joints and how strong they are.

During this process I’ve also altered the original sketch and shortened the arms to make them more reasonably proportioned.

04

 

At this point, the first part of the commission is done, as I remove all of the sketch layers still present underneath the linework before saving it for later delivery.

  • The shadows are made with thick strong lines that merge with the outline of the body parts. Certain areas like the face have an entire side left black to show the shadows.

 

  • The thicker the line, the thicker the muscle is. The general impression must be of strength and wilderness. The white areas like the tail’s fur and the ears have thinner, multiple lines to render fuzziness & softness.
05

The first part is finished!

 

08

Details of the face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

09

Muscle lines on the thighs and belly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s now make the second, and most lengthy part, the colored version! I have already spent over 2 to 3 hours on this piece, but we’re far from done yet!

 

Part II: The Color

 

Now that we have a neat looking sketch and have finished the first part of our commission, let’s move on to the lengthier process of coloring!

I was honestly tempted to be lazy and use the finished binary lineart as the base for color, but it wouldn’t have turned out so good in my opinion, so I decided to make a new lineart especially for color, working back up from the base sketch.

Details: the earring witha  touch of color and the hair

Details: the earring witha touch of color and the hair

 

 

 

 

  • Using a thinner, gray brush, I make a thinner and fuzzier lineart that will harmonize with the soft colors and shading later (a few things were tweaked in the process)

 

  • This lineart is purposedly lighter than the black one, to blend with the colors more easily.

 

  • Certain details of the drawing, like the earrings and eyes have been refined to stand out more easily.

 

 

 

 

Once this is finished, I have a nice lineart ready for color! The time spent on it varies between another hour to 2 hours.

06

  • Note that the « muscle lines » present in the binary black & white first lineart have been removed to give a softer, feminine feeling.

Now the final step, color!

I begin by laying out a base hue for the skin. The character is fairly dark-skinned, so I chose a mildly warm, reddish color.

10

You may notice a few areas that have been left white, these are areas that are illuminated by light and thus bring volume to the piece. The painting technique is uneven to mimic a certain kind of skin texture. I also paint the inside of the ears that are not covered with fur.

  • Then I add a new layer with a mask, and use a more saturated, red hue to shade areas, and a lighter yellow hue to give a bit of variation to the skin complexion. The white areas are still left white to keep the light and volumes.
  • The lips and claws have been shaded to look more red/pink than the rest, to keep a feminine, sensual side. Touches of white on the lips give them a glossy look.

11

Time to paint the hair and fur!

  • With a new layer, I use white and blueish gray to paint over the hair and fur. The grey serves as shading and most of the white fur is left white.

 

  • In the meantime I also painted the shaded glasses with brown and yellow to give it a golden/bronze aspect.

12

Most of the painting is done, then I focus on certain areas that need highlighting and touching up like the eyes and earrings.

  • They have a base color layer, a shading layer, and a highlight layer with very light colors to make them look bright instead of dull.
13

Eyes, earrings and lips with base colors and shading, no highlights yet.

14

Eyes, lips, earrings and glasses with highlights (gold blue and beige).

It’s done!

angelica_color

At this point, aside from a few touchups on the colors and possible fiddling around with layer hues, the painting is complete!
The color being the longest process, the final amount of time spent on this commission was around 6 hours!

I deliver it to the requestee within the next hour, with a message of thanks for their interest in my work. The next day, I got a message from them: They loved it!

I’m looking forward to more commissions. This really was a fun piece to do, especially on a game that I like so much!

This article and the artworks presented within it were realized by SAFFAR Laure-Hélène aka Adagio Fantasque.
Final Fantasy XIV is made by Square Enix.

Artist’s galleries on DeviantArt & Tumblr

Thank you for reading!

mar
30

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate : One Hell of a Hunter Life

MH4U-Image_001

 

Getting lost. Clunky camera controls. Dying. Retrying. Ragequitting to eventually come back to it and grin at the rewards you ripped from your now dead enemy. Oh, and cats, too!

Those words were what defined Monster Hunter the most for me, when I first discovered the franchise back in 2010 with Monster Hunter Tri. But now, this monster-slaying series can easily keep me hooked for several hours in a row in a single day. This might sound contradictory, but I am pretty sure this is how the vast majority of Monster Hunter players felt like when they happily dove into the series. And a new wave of wannabe hunters is most likely experiencing this again with the arrival of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the latest episode of one of Capcom’s most reknowned series, released early February this year.

Monster Hunter has always been known for its seemingly unnecessary complexity when you start the game for the first time. I have yet to meet a first-timer knowing – even barely – what to do in the game when they have never played a Monster Hunter episode before. This is because the game has never, ever, reached out a hand to help and guide you throughout your hunter’s journey, and simply throw you into the wilderness of its universe. Monster Hunter slowly became a series reserved to no one but its old veterans.

1423495205-7643-capture-d-ecran

However, Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 breaks this invisible wall which stood between the regular players and the newcomers by introducing a real, complete tutorial which makes you dive head first into what Monster Hunter is all about. We also have an emphasis on the scenario which was neglected or even non-existant in previous games. This means that the NPCs are a lot more present and interact with the player more than before to explain most of a hunter’s basic knowledge. Learning how to fight, how to combine items, and completing numerous other actions is now explained right from the beginning, and players who were thrown off by the harshness of the series right off the bat might want to consider giving Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate a go. While the presence of an actual tutorial in a game sounds logical, its appearance in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate definitely open the gates to a fabulous world for anyone willing to invest some time in a pretty time consuming RPG.

monster-hunter-4-ultimate-beasts-daren-spiky

Veterans who’ve learnt everything they know from the game by themselves might fear it to be easier because of how warmly it welcomes new hunters. But, although the game is now definitely more accessible, the core gameplay is still there with a lot of new features spicing up the hunts, most notably the introduction of verticality into the game, something which might be overlooked by the newcomers but adds a sense of freshness for everyone else. The fights are as unforgiving as ever, and each time you faint teaches you what not to do. Often times you will find yourself struggling with a monster you cannot seem to defeat, but the satisfaction you eventually get by dealing that last blow and seeing your nemesis fall to the ground is priceless. And with each of your victories comes your rewards with which you will be able to make new equipment to hunt the hundred of monsters the game has to offer. You’ll make your hunter unique by making fancy but sturdy and deadly new weapons and armors. Speaking of which, there are a total of 14 weapon classes, each one fitting a playstyle. Are you a type who bashes and knocks down monsters by smashing their heads ? The Hammer is there for you. Or, on the contrary, do you prefer a safer playstyle, looking for an opening to accurately hit a monster’s weakspots ? The Lance’s deadly tip and its big large shield are probably fit for you. If you wish to take monsters down from a distance, the Bow will do the trick. Efficiently hunting down monsters requires knowledge about them, and you will need to spend time to see how they react under certain situations and what moves they can perform to prey on you. Not to mention the preparations needed before heading out on a quest!

mh4 wepaons

But, what makes Monster Hunter truly what it is for most of us is the multiplayer element. Group hunting is definitely the most wondeful thing you can do in the game. And it is now easier than ever with the appearance of online support for a Monster Hunter game on a portable system. Hunt anywhere with players from all across the world and team up to take down the biggest creatures of the game. Set up strategies, lay down pitfall traps to allow your teammates to go berserk on the monster, or heal everyone in case of emergency. Each hunt is unique and there is always something new to learn from every hunt, be it about the monster you went against or a new way of playing from a fellow hunter. And it takes a lot – a lot – of time to be a flawless hunter and knowing everything the game has to offer.

I personally am a hundred hours in and I don’t feel like I am anywhere near done with the game,  and actually, quite the opposite. The amount of content at our disposal is insane and everytime I pick up my 3DS and start the game, I intend to learn something new to perform better in my next hunts.

 

FANTESINI Kevin.

 

mar
27

Imagine Cup Bootcamp

Sans titre-1

 

Hey, Ryan and Seb here, back from the Imagine Cup bootcamp !

We haven’t slept much, but our projects have taken a new turn. We learned a lot with the coaches we met there. on the first day, we presented our projects and got feedback. After that, we all worked hard on improving them. The next day, the coaches took a look at the evolutions and again, gave us tips for the finals.

Of course, the goal of this event was to prepare ourselves for the French finals. It’s happening on the 9th of April and we still have a lot to do. But we all got a lot of experience over this week-end.

By the way, we released videos about our games. You can check them out by clicking the links below. The most liked video on YouTube will win a prize, so don’t hesitate and share them !

 

Jet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwQuJMC2KTw

 

Willy the Wisp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4eQh1FpdxI

 

Alkhemia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ichqRmwasvM

 

 

mar
27

Darkest Dungeon – Review

 

Behold! A newcomer in the already huge world of rogue-like games.

But this one is not like the others, this one is not one you can learn and master at the drop of a hat. This one will not abide by your rules.

This brand new game is  Darkest Dungeon.

In a Lovecraft-like world, filled with occult darkness and nightmarish monsters, you lead a party of adventurers who have sworn to overcome the evil lying in the darkest dungeon.

Pretty classic plot, right? Well, the game isn’t!

Why? Because this game is not nice. This game will bash you until you bleed. Even the first disclaimer of the game says this. What’s more, the tutorial can even kill you if you don’t manage it right.

For random play is a really important part of the game, both in the turn-based combat system and in the character progression. You can die on a single unlucky hit. A character of your party can be driven mad by the stress of the dungeon, or even if they come back they can develop a phobia of beasts which will dangerously handicap them.

So you have to be both a good manager of your shady heroes, your limited supplies and the limited availability of the town, to manage to crawl into the deepest part of hell, complete the random-based mission and finally face and defeat the bosses awaiting you in the darkest part of the dungeon.

You will die. You will fail. You will cry. And if you finally win, you’ll feel like a God…

Until you eventually die again…

A must for Rogue-likers !

 

By Jules Gassie

mar
27

CitizenFour

citizenfour

“For now, know that every border you cross, every purchase you make, every call you dial,

every cell phone tower you pass, friend you keep, article you write,

site you visit, subject line you type, and packet you route, is in

the hands of a system whose reach is unlimited but whose safeguards are not.”

Edward Snowden

Citizenfour (2014) is a documentary by Laura Poitras, who followed the whistleblower Edward Snowden and the journalist Glenn Greewald before and during the revelations that highlighted the NSA’s secret surveillance programs.

The images of CitizenFour are staggering by their simplicity. The major part of this documentary is in a hotel room in Hong Kong with discussions between Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald (reporter for The Guardian). And yet, in seconds, it is like watching a movie, a real fiction. The protagonists exchange encrypted messages, hide under the bedsheets to enter their 100 characters passwords, disconnect the phone from the room for fear of being bugged…

The intelligent editing contrasts with the figure of Snowden, forced to stay in this “isolation cell” with the growing media coverage of the scandal that is played outdoors. For example, Laura Poitras films the whistleblower, alone in his room, watching his tv screen which displays his face and the face of the journalist to whom he delivered information. It’s rather sureal !

For nearly two hours, the viewer is projected into a place where he can fear that everything that surrounds him could be monitored. Laura Poitras offers a dense movie that urges every citizen of the world to think about the deviance of our contemporary societies and policies.

Now, I will always remember this frightening sentence (which is an understatement): “It has become an expectation that we’re being watched”. And indeed, the fact that we could be watched has become a running joke even though it is not a joking matter, on the contrary…

More than a documentary about the NSA or a documentary about Edward Snowden, CitizenFour is rather the testimony of a journalist about freedom of speech.

Tristan Peschoux

mar
27

White Bird in a Blizzard

White-Bird-in-a-Blizzard

Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) centers on Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley), a seemingly regular teenage girl. In 1988 her world is turned upside down by the sudden disappearance of her mother, Eve (Eva Green).

Set over the course of three years, White Bird in a Blizzard tracks the growing mystery surrounding what really happened  to Eve and how it changes the passionate Kat as she attempts to grow into a young woman.

After two playful works that could give you the impression of a return to an assumed immature cinema (A Smiley Face, Kaboom), Gregg Araki reiterates in a genre he had transcended and which threw off moviegoers in 2005 with his surprisingly challenging drama Mysterious Skin.

A true art house movie with a very strong identity, White Bird in a Blizzard seduces us by its slow rhythm, its amazing photography with highlighted colors, its unforgettable soundtrack (The Cure or the album Music for the Masses by Depeche mode) and a dive headfirst into the eighties.

What is pleasant with White Bird in a Blizzard, are the different levels at which you can read this movie each in high quality staging. Thus, White Bird in a Blizzard opens like a family drama where it is expected to follow an investigation around the disappearance of the mother. However, we quickly understand that this is a sham to make us glide smoothly into the psyche of a teenager in search of herself.

Araki’s cinema impresses with its eminently pop dimension. He transcend the common, the trivial, even the vulgar through non-ordinary dialogues (where, in the cinema, do we hear adolescents speak with such detachment and sincerity about their sex lives?). His staging gives acute attention to everyday objects.

Nevertheless, in White Bird in a Blizzard, as in the delirious Kaboom, the modest chronicle of everyday teenagers is disturbed by the strange and the underpinned melancholy instilled by an impressive artistic direction. Araki dynamites with mastery every moment of the American ideal. He depicts the difficult transition to adulthood, with uncompromising direction.

White Bird in a Blizzard is a remarkable work of cinema. Sparkling, simple, sometimes dark and often funny, this movie leads the viewer into a real rollercoaster of emotions.

Tristan Peschoux

mar
27

“Kerbal: space program”: Is rocket science fun?

A spaceship, orbiting the Moon

A spaceship, orbiting the Moon

                « Kerbal: Space program », created by Squad, is a game about making your own space program, and building your very own spaceship, or your space station. The game respects the laws of physics, so it is almost as complicated as in reality. But, by respecting the laws of physics, does the game become less interesting? Is rocket science fun? Indeed, you have to think a lot in KSP, and not everyone want to use their brain too much while playing a game. It is difficult, for beginners, to learn how to launch a vessel, and put it in orbit. And, at the moment, Scott Manley, a well-known youtuber playing KSP a lot, is building a gigantic spaceship out of several parts, docking them while in orbit, and is sending that spaceship in orbit around a moon of a gas giant, landing a smaller module on that moon, and finally going back in orbit, and returning home safely.

Every KSP player doesn’t have the skills required for such missions, but with some training, it is actually easy. The key is to think about everything, from the moment you build your rocket, to the moment it touches the ground of the targeted planet/moon (and eventually the moment you return home). You have to plan the entire mission in your head, before launching your rocket. And that will teach you to think about every aspects of a project before doing anything.

If rocket science is not your thing, you can still have fun playing KSP. You can find the fun in crashing your rockets, or in creating strange vehicles. Another youtuber, Danny2462, who also plays KSP a lot, is the opposite of Scott Manley. He doesn’t create fancy enormous ships, he stays on the ground, mocks around with funny mods, and creates crazy vehicles, such as catapult launching astronauts, or a plane with so many wings the game engine becomes mad.

Personally, I like that game. I think that rocket science is actually fun. I have played it so much, it has become intuitive, and that is kind of rewarding. I feel free, being able to visit every planets of the Kerbol system (the equivalent of the solar system in the game). It is also educative, I have learned a lot about rocket science.

Descamps Victor.

A space station, build in Kerbal: Space Program

A space station, build in Kerbal: Space Program

mar
27

Mass Effect 3 : Power and Personal Choices

I’m going to start this article with a fact: I’ve played more Mass Effect 3 than I dare to admit. I love this game, and I especially love the multiplayer mode. For the people who don’t know about it, you’re cooperating with up to 3 other people to beat ten waves of enemies coming your way in closed maps, with objectives to do every 3 waves. It’s really cool to play, with a good level of difficulty and a pretty good intensity curve and everything, so I wasn’t really thinking about it, but I started to and… I found out something : This game has deprived me of my personal choice.

I’m not saying that I became a zombie playing it, lost my family, became violent or whatever. The outcome of my little “thinking session” has to do with the way you acquire new gear and characters in the game. There are, indeed, a lot of different characters and weapons to play with, some rarer than others, some more powerful, some with a really exotic gameplay. And to acquire these characters/gears, one needs to buy “packs”.

A pack is a bundle of 5 random items, which can be characters, weapons, consumables, or whatever. The more expensive the pack, the better the items of course. And I think you might begin to catch onto what I’m about to say. The way you buy your stuff will change the way you play.

Let me walk you through my mates and I’s experience. We started, like everybody else, without any gear and with very few characters. After several games, we started to buy some packs. And that’s when the magic happened. Thanks to the RNG, the only characters I got were from the Soldier class, and the only weapons I got were shotguns.

During the single-player campaign, I mostly played Infiltrator/sniper-rifle, a.k.a the polar opposite of what I got in the packs. You can clearly picture my disappointment, as I wasn’t going to be able to play in my favorite style, but I rolled with it. I started to play Soldier/Shotgun, because they were the only powerful ones I had, and I liked the feeling of empowerment. I looted more and more soldiers, more and more shotguns, and I continued playing that way. And now I have weapons of every type and powerful characters of every class, I keep playing soldiers with shotgun; I proudly claim they are the most viable way to play the game.

On the other hand, my mate got a lot of SMG, and now can’t play without one. And we continually argue on whether they are good or not. Truth is, neither SMG nor Shotguns are superior to each other. But the multiplayer taught us to play one way, and we eventually made it OUR way, confusing it with our personal preference.

When playing the campaign, every choice is available with the same level of power, so you can pick whatever you want, according to your own play style. In Multiplayer, the randomly generated system gives you options that are more prevalent or viable than others, so you pick them. And as you experiment with them, feeling the empowerment, your evolution in the game, you start to like them, and finally you can only see them as your own personal liking.

The most important part is that, even if it seems totally obvious when worded out, the player is not aware of these changes in his patterns. It’s comparable to a kind of Stockholm Syndrome: you can only realize it once you start to look back on your history with this game.

The really special part is that, even if I’m aware of it, I’m going to keep playing Shotgun Soldiers. Indeed, unlike the Stockholm syndrome, there’s no real negative part to this behavioral change. I’ve been taught to love this new playstyle, and I accepted this teaching, even if it was not totally conscious. As I kept playing the game, with the system of rewards (formal and informal) validating my “choices”, the little disdain I felt in the beginning quickly faded away, so I don’t have any problem with my playstyle now I that I’ve found everything out.

And now, as I’m playing, I can only wonder about how such a little element of a game system can create such a strong long-term impact on a player. For I know that, if I had had the possibility to just choose a particular weapon to buy, It probably wouldn’t have turned out this way.

by Jules Gassie

 

Recent comments

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    18 août 2015 |

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    22 mai 2015 |

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