Tabletop Adventures: Midus’ Treasure Part 1

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It’s been a long while since I’ve done an adventure write up, also it’s been around two weeks since the adventure itself actually happened so the details are starting to get a bit fuzzy. Still I will try my best.

Anyway since my last time running any kind of tabletop RPG I’ve made a couple of major changes. One being I’ve moved systems from D&D 4e to Pathfinder and the other is to be a bit more relaxed with the rules. Both decisions have been great so far. Pathfinder being derivative of the 3.5 rules has taken me back to my youth and has allowed for better adventures, this is mainly because combat encounters no longer take hours to complete! The being less of a slave to the rules thing is more about everyone spending less time flipping through rule books and more about engaging with what’s happening on the table. Which again has proven to be a good decision especially with a group of new players.

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The Perfect Slice – Destiny Alpha

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During E3 last week Bungie announced that the Destiny Alpha would be coming to PS4 for the coming weekend and that all those who signed up for it where pretty much guaranteed entry. Naturally upon seeing this on the video of the PlayStation Press Conference I leapt at the chance to play some Destiny before the Beta in July.

The rest of the week was long but on Thursday night I received my code and downloaded the client. Sadly I wasn’t able to play it until Saturday morning but the wait was worth it.

My god it was worth it.

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that

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(Image Source: OLIVER BERG/AFP/Getty Images)

Yeesh! It has been a busy few weeks for me! Moving onto new projects at work equals new challenges, so I have been arriving home feeling deader than dead. (That’s a whole lot of dead in case you did not know) As a result other, things as usual, have fallen to the wayside.

Still, I have managed to find the time to scribble down many game design ideas and additions to current projects such as CV: The Game! and I am hoping to get some serious design and development time in over the next couple of weeks. CV: The Game! is a great idea that needs to be finished and sooner rather than later will only benefit me. So that is my priority going forward.

In the meantime I have been doing the eternal task of tweaking my LinkedIn Profile and CV just in case something comes up or somebody stumbles across them.

Filler Post: Daniel Cook: Game Design Theory I Wish I had Known When I Started

I figured for the weeks when I am too busy to write anything in depth or in the rare case that can’t think of anything to write. (Like that would ever happen!) I will throw up a short Filler Post.

This is one of those Filler Posts.

This brilliant video is a great overview of a lot of great game design principles that are very handy for whatever project you are working on. I also find that it is a good video to put on in the background when working because it usually helps me break down an idea or mechanic I have come up with using a method I have not considered.

Callum’s CV: The Game! – Update

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Callum’s CV: The Game! is one of those long gestating ideas that I have been slowly tinkering with in the background for the past six months or so. I have managed to fill a notebook with everything I want to do in and with the game and I have only just really got to the point were I can really start putting things into practise.

Two things have been learned from this longer than planed planning phase:

  1. I need to get off my arse and do more game dev stuff outside of my work as a games tester. (Gotta build up that portfolio!)
  2. I really need to incorporate a method digitising the scribbles, notes and doodles I make in coming up with game concepts. Especially considering that a notebook crammed with game and game mechanic ideas decided to go walkabout earlier this year.

Still, I have managed to get everything back on track and I’m sure the missing notebook will resurface at some point, so here is the first “proper” update post for Callum’s CV: The Game!

This week’s update is all about creating the small but crammed with stuff (S.B.C.W.S is an “Official” game design term 😉 ) World Map for the game.

Woooo!

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I GOT A JOB!

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Yup things have been quite around here recently for a reason!

In a turn of good fortune and after many, many, many months of applying for various jobs in the UK games industry someone finally got back to me, got the ball rolling and it eventually lead to a shiny new job! It has been a hectic month and a bit because it was a case of having a few offers and interview chains come up at once. (I wonder what I did to suddenly make myself interesting to employers?) I won’t go into the nitty gritty but for one I was chained to my computer for several days researching and preparing. Another I was chained to my computer for several days researching and preparing…you get the picture.

So what is my new job?

Well you are looking at a newly minted Functional Games Tester at Sony Liverpool! So my job will be to test a variety of PlayStation games and products. Finding and reporting all the bugs, glitches and errors to help make the game more playable for you, the gamer to enjoy. So basically this is now my life,

test all the games

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Mixing things up a bit and getting my Unity on!

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 11.52.39While I’m still quietly beavering away on CV: THE GAME! it has become clear that I am really falling behind on my One Game A Month games! So I have decided to switch things up a bit. The current plan is to run through some Unity tutorials in the next week and a bit, most notably this one, to master the basics. Then make two very quick and small games to get back on track with 1GAM and to learn a bit more about how Unity works.

I’ve dabbled in Unity a few times in the past with the intention of sitting down and getting to grips with it but I have always got distracted by other things like….comic books and….video games…. but this time I am determined because well, Unity is Unity! It is something I really need to learn in order to advance my career. Also to add an extra feather to my cap I am using C# as my code base rather than JavaScript which I sort of already know. There is lots of head scratching involved at the moment but like it was with Java it will click eventually! (I hope!)

So for now there will be very little on the update front while I get back on tack but after that I should be able to get back to regular updates and more robust projects!

Woop! Woop!

 

CV: THE GAME! update.

CaptureSo getting Callum’s CV: THE GAME! finished as my #1GAM for March has failed spectacularly! I started work on it part way through the month and I could have released something to meet the deadline but it would have been half a game. A mere shell of what I have planned for it. Also it being a game of my CV demands that it has a certain level of quality and wit to it and as it currently stands it still needs a fair bit of work.

So my current plan for April is to get CV:THE GAME finished in the next couple of weeks then get onto my task for April: learning Unity. So the plan is to put together a very quick and rough game for #1GAM April as part of my learning process for it. Then hopefully May will allow me to make a more robust game with it.

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Tomb Raider Part 2 – Lara Grows Up

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  • Game: Tomb Raider
  • Platform: Multi (Xbox 360 Played)
  • Developer: Crystal Dynamics
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Price: £32.04 (Amazon)

As I said in Part 1 of this look at all things Tomb Raider, my past with Lara Croft and her games it troubled at best. Having never really been a huge fan of the older games (despite playing a fair amount of them) this new game was a very interesting prospect. Doing away with the old trappings of the franchise and trying something very different but similar at the same time. At its core it is still Tomb Raider as we know it, you explore the environments finding hidden objects and collectables, fight bad guys with a small arsenal of weapons and Lara is still the same person. Albeit a greener, more rounded, more interesting character that you actually care for.

The main focus of the game is to bring Tomb Raider a very, let’s be honest here, cheesy franchise with awkward gameplay and a character larger than the game itself into the modern sensibilities of the games industry. So while it doesn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking apart from having a strong female character at its centre which is apparently still surprising thing in this day and age. It gives us the best bits of modern game design this generation all wrapped up in a very entertaining package.

Crystal Dynamics I doff my cap in your direction!

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