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Archive for the ‘positech’ tag

Cheating in Game Design

Posted on 16th Mar 2009 at 11:09 by Cliff Harris with 16 comments

Cliff Harris
One day, the cheapest laptop will have a quantum graphics computer that can render pixel perfect photorealistic images at 70 frames per second with infinite complexity.

Until that happens, games programmers will do bodges, cheats and sneaky optimisations that you probably don't notice.

I remember a comedy sketch from years ago that ridiculed the kids puppet show Stingray for having a character in a high-tech wheelchair-style device that he slid around on. The joke was that this made him easier to film as a puppet, because it was always the walking that looked rubbish. Game developers do the same thing all the time.

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You Have No Heavy Calvary

Posted on 24th Feb 2009 at 09:29 by Cliff Harris with 17 comments

Cliff Harris
I've just finished my first play of the demo of Empire: Total War, and it reminds me of my original motivation for the design of Gratuitous Space Battles.

I'm a big fan of the Total War games, although I don't devote much time to the campaign game and certainly don't get time to play them as much as their true devotees. They have, for me a single major frustration. Although I might go to great lengths to field a decent army against my enemy, although I may pick a good formation and a decent time and month to fight, the moment the two armies come into contact it becomes an almighty uncontrollable scrum where almost anything could happen.

The basic dilemma is ranged units. If your guns can fire one metre further than the enemies, just ensure you are always at maximum range and shoot at him till you win. This may sound simplistic, but it's how a lot of real world battles were fought. The US & Buddies pulverised Saddam's army because their tanks could fire from further away. In the open tank battles of Gulf War 1 and 2, hardly a single tank shell of Iraqi origin hit anything.

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My New Game: Space Battles

Posted on 12th Feb 2009 at 11:29 by Cliff Harris with 14 comments

Cliff Harris
People love space battles. Oh, we may pretend we really care about whether or not Anakin will betray Obi-wan, or whether Ben Sisko will ever marry Cassidy, but deep down, we don't care what happens as long as people end up resolving their differences in a giant battle in space with things going zap and bang.

That's the idea behind my next game. As an indie developer on the PC, I'm 100% free to make whatever game I want. There is no publisher to 'pitch' the game idea to, and I don't need to aim for a specific demographic, because as a one-man outfit, I can basically target any niche big enough to earn back a years salary (that's how long my games take).

In any case, I reckon big space battles are a safe bet. Making a game about space battles is like offering someone chocolate biscuits. Nobody ever pretends they don't like chocolate biscuits, and nobody really dislikes big over-the-top space battles.

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Mionix Nash 20 Review

Mionix Nash 20 Review

We take a look at the £85 Nash 20, an analogue stereo headset with huge...
Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month June 2014 in association with Corsair

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