Will Wright on franchises

Will Wright is a great speaker. Not only is he a brilliant designer – he’s always got interesting observations that sometimes seems completly unrelated to games, yet ties into the core of what they’re about.

Here’s Will talking at an EA party at this year’s GDC, to an audience that apparently have been given “motivational liquids” by the publisher. He mainly talks about franchises, and my favourite part is the logic behind why the value of a franchise is connected to how deconstructable it’s world is. Yes, at times it seems like there’s no red thread to what he’s saying, but stay with him and pay attention and you’ll surely appreciate it – I know I did.

Head over to Kotaku to see the video.

Cryengine does Bravia ad

My favorite commercial of all times is the Sony Bravia ad, with the bouncing balls. Crytek (the devs behind Crysis) showed of their own version at GDC. They render the whole thing realtime in their engine, and it’s quite impressive. Here are both versions for comparison.

Sony Bravia. Color like no other.

Crytek Cryengine 2. Realtime like no other

The Cryengine 2 demo shows hundreds of bouncing teapots with realtime physics and shadows. Now that we’re getting close to photorealism and realistic physics – dare we dream that AI will be the next big thing?

First experience with Rock Band

A week or so ago, I saw someone play the Rock Band drums at work (yeah, we have a copy from the states). I was looking forward to the drumming part, so I was quite disappointed when the drum sounds from the game drowned in the clunky noise produced from the drums themselves. Everytime a drum was hit, the plastics went “glick”. “Glick glick glickglickglick”.

I had the chance to play it myself today, and what can I say? Everything is forgiven, Rock Band. I want you! I’ve not had so much fun with a game in a long time. It feels close to playing real drums, and nailing a tricky part is so rewarding. I felt like I was part of the rhytm more than what I’ve experienced playing Guitar Hero.

One minor negative point is that the game doesn’t provide enough audio feedback if I’m failing or succeeding. Drums are normally less distintive and clear compared to guitars in rock music, and it hurts the game slightly. But who cares when it’s such a joy to play?

Ok, the “glick” is still annoying.