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Archive for the ‘mirror's edge’ tag

Thoughts on Jumping

Posted on 15th May 2011 at 09:30 by Joe Martin with 29 comments

Joe Martin
It may seem an odd subject to focus on, as jumping doesn't seem to be very important on the face of it – cut it out of a game, though, and it can make a huge difference. Games in which players can’t jump, or at the very least dodge or roll, can seem painfully slow, dull and static. Games in which players can jump around and use that movement to interact with the environment can seem immeasurably more fun because of it.

Take Half-Life 2, for example. It’s a game which nearly everyone would agree is well-made, decently written, fun and fast to play through. Now cast your mind back to the first scene in Kliener’s lab, where Gordon is first properly introduced to his allies, where the plot is given its first proper push and where you’re gifted with the HEV suit again. It’s a busy sequence; lots to do, lots to take in. You’d expect most players to pay close attention, at least the first time around.

Instead, every single player I know spends most of the time jumping around. Sometimes they try to jump on the scenery or knock over objects, other times they just leapfrog around the room when a simple stroll would suffice.

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iPhone Review: Mirror’s Edge

Posted on 19th Sep 2010 at 08:33 by Joe Martin with 1 comments

Joe Martin
I played and previewed Mirror’s Edge on the iPhone ages ago, but for some reason it was an iPad exclusive for ages after that. It’s only just been released on the iPhone recently and, interestingly, while the iPhone version is exactly the same as the iPad one, it also manages to be a better game. I’ve played Mirror’s Edge on both platforms and it’s the smaller of the two which is best.

It’s mainly because of the type of game that Mirror’s Edge is. Like Super Quick Hook it’s a fast-paced racer with exploration elements as you search for secrets and new paths through the levels. The levels are short and slick, flying by in a matter of minutes. It’s a game for filling train journeys, not for keeping your hands busy while you watch TV.

It’s an important and often glossed-over distinction, I think. The iPad is great good for laying on your lap and playing slow games that don’t require constant attention. The iPhone is useful for when you need something to fill the uncomfortable silence in a moving lift full of strangers. The iPad is for Scrabble; the iPhone for Hook Champ and Mirror’s Edge.

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Thoughts on HUD Design

Posted on 31st Jul 2010 at 15:06 by Joe Martin with 32 comments

Joe Martin
Heads-up displays are, to me, a far more contentious issue than some of the other more bandied-around topics in modern game design. Everyone cries about regenerating health and how many weapons a player can feasibly carry, but HUDs seem a lot closer to the real, underlying complaints these other issues hint at. Instead of worrying about whether players have regenerating health, what about considering if the player should even know how much health they have left?

The issue of how health and ammo should be presented though is only secondary to the far bigger question of if they should be presented at all. Whereabouts do you draw the balance between accessibility and realism? In most shooters there's no logical reason why your character should have an ammo counter in the corner of the screen. It's only there because the player needs that information in order to get the most out of the game. As players we just take that info for granted.

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First Look: Mirror's Edge iPhone

Posted on 19th Mar 2010 at 10:41 by Joe Martin with 7 comments

Joe Martin
I’m really glad that EA is continuing to develop the Mirror’s Edge series, even on the iPhone. A lot of people poo-pooed the original for being too short and for annoying combat, but it wasn’t something I had a problem with. The fighting wasn’t great, but it served the purpose of slowing the game down a bit. The game may have been short, but it was also very replayable.

I’m pretty happy then that EA’s iPhone version of the game, which I got a chance to see yesterday, is treading along the same grounds. Combat is only a minor part of the game; little more than a distraction really, and the game is short but replayable. That last fact is doubly important for a mobile game.

In other areas though, an awful lot of the game has changed. The limits of the iPhone processing power has meant a change to a side-on perspective, though Mirror’s Edge on the iPhone still manages to retain 3D visuals. Here the simple, stylised look of the series work to EA’s advantage – there’s no need for detailed textures and the like.

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Episode 20 - Core i7 naming poetry, SLI for everyone and Autumn Games

Posted on 12th Sep 2008 at 19:26 by Podcast

Podcast
Episode 20 of the Custom PC podcast is out, and features discussion of the official Core i7 name for Nehalem, Nvidia’s change of stance on SLI hardware and Intel’s SSDs. James bursts into the studio mid-recording to yell about Core i7’s performance, and the team look forward to Autumn games including Mirror’s Edge.

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Bit-tech Modding Update - July 2014 in association with Corsair

Bit-tech Modding Update - July 2014 in association with Corsair

We take a look at a few of the best projects to be completed this month
Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

We've got six of the best mods and scratchbuilds for you to drool over

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