January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all those who read this thing from time to time and I hope you had an enjoyable holiday season with family and friends!!!

Well, I figured what time is better than now to update the blog. Sorry for leaving this thing vacant for such a long time but I was giving "life" a bit more of my time over the last few months. I had the best year ever, I got married, I got to work on a lot of different games (contract designer), read more than any year ever (shameful but true), traveled a lot, and ran two marathons. Getting married was a whirlwind adventure, 6 days in Italy for the ceremony and first reception, then we had 3 receptions on three consecutive weekends starting in Portland for my wife's family, then to Ohio for my family and finally in LA for friends. Tons of smiles and memories with everyone important our lives, this alone made it the best year so far and probably ever!

Recently have I started to play games again, catching up on everything I missed this year. I manned up and actually played a bunch of shooters of late which is hard for me because I get motion sick from FPS so I have play in small doses. BioShock was really amazing, CoD4 was cool but I suck so multiplayer was just a bunch of dying and being sad. Plowing through The Orange Box right now, done with Half Life 2 which I liked a lot, especially the dune buggy sections, I love road movies and want to make a road game one day. Portal was tough with the motion sickness but I made it through and loved the atmosphere and mood. The humor was endearing and the voice was perfect. Playing all the demos on PSN Store, most are awful and kill any interest in buying the game, word to the do not throw together a demo, instead "kill it" or don't do one at all! Oh yeah I am finally getting an Xbox 360, so late to the party on that one but better late than never. Tons to catch up on that system, but its not like I am missing too much since most of the big games are shooters which are not my #1 genre as I am sure you gathered from the above. The DS was a life saver on the road this year, between the Castlevania series and Soul Bubbles it made a lot of boring hotel stays pretty fun. I love games but there is not enough time in the day like there was when I was a kid so shorter games with tighter story and lots of variety are the key to the future of games, in my opinion... old man gamer in effect!

I played a lot of Street Fighter this year, its my roots in gaming even though I am not very good so it was good to get back to basics. Derek is always the king of knowing when some little get together is happen, I get calls like James Chen's tonight or let's go to Sunland to play on Vic's super gun setup... god bless Derek for being so connected to the community.

I was fortunate to get a lot of matches in with the team members at the studios I have been working with this year. Why do they all love Third Strike thought (never played it until this year), it baffles me but I am old school and love my ST too much I suppose... shrug. Oh yeah Short Short Super is growing quite nicely and that is crazy because I thought it would fail, goes to show what I know. So thank you to all the studios willing to risk time and money on me. Breaking out the Street Fighter for a little after hours cool down or lunch time battles was the icing on the cake for most of the design sessions!

Also I have gotten a few emails and saw a comment asking me about God of War 3. I am no longer with the team which I thought was known and clear from a previous post. Certain members still keep in touch and they say it is going well and will carry on the tradition. I look forward to playing it just like everyone else!

Lately I have been trying to figure out how to post about game design because seem to want that but its hard to write without getting all dry and boring. Most of the stuff on Gamasutra bores me and I do not want to write like that, I wish the lunch conversations and IM Chats I have with industry people could be translated into the blog. I suppose podcast would work but I am too lazy to do that, sorry :( Also I struggle with this weird thing called internet famous, its not my style but no knock to those who are or search it out. Then again I want talented devs to get the respect they deserve and media attention of any kind may be the best avenue to get that respect... but heck I would not even appear on the GoW making of videos (media shy). When I think about writing something this little internal conversation occurs in my brain that goes like this "who are you to write about this" but when someone asks me to write about a topic that does not happen, don't ask me why because I have not put any metal effort into figuring out the difference. I guess that is why I have such an issue with the blog it sort of goes against me wanting to hide in the shadows, oh well it will sort itself out in time like all things.

Well that's it, I updated and said nothing but let's hope this will get me posting more this year. If not yell at me, I respond to pressure!!!


Thenend said...

Happy new year, Eric!

As a gameplay programmer myself, I greatly apreciate all your design posts. You have knowledge and experience which when shared with the community helps us all in making better games. So PLEASE, don't be shy!! :-P

If you want a topic to write about I'll give you one which I can't find information about:

"Attack Animations!!"
Anticipation, recovery, oportunity, damage area, speed, reactions, displacement.

For example you can tell us why Kratos started with two blades (I saw it in a design document ;-)) and ended with two chains or things like that...

I know it's an extensive topic, but maybe you can think of some key points to share with us.

So.. thanks for your blog and I wish you another best-ever year for 2009.

Jason "Shirts" de Heras said...

Last year, I told Omni I'm starting to overcome the fear of blogging/writing about game design because of what people might think of me, or the fact I might be completely wrong or like you said "who am I to write about any of this."

The wise old Omni told me it's about furthering discussion and not about right or wrong or being afraid of how you will be perceived.

I'd say in response to your concern, who are you to write about game design/etc, I'd say you are (and many of us that read this blog)a player, designer, consumer, developer, someone who invests a lot of time into this craziness.

I think those are valid reasons for writing about these sort of subjects.

In the end, it's about contributing to the variety of perspectives regarding game design, etc.

eric williams said...

Hey thanks for the comments, now I feel like a whiny bitch after I went back and read the post!!! Late night updates will do that do you I suppose.

Attack Animations huh, well I will post about that this week. I said so now it's a must!!!

Thanks again,

Jay said...

Whats up man. Glad to see you diving into FPS titles cuz there were some good ones last year. Dont feel the need to hold back on those GoW comments haha

Jason McD