2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny

2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny

Without further ado, here is inaugural episode of Ryan Winslett and I’s new podcast hosted by Cinema Blend…. but it’s WRITTEN. Because why not check to see if people actually read anymore, am I right? This week’s focus is on Destiny:

There’s no denying that Destiny is shaping up to be one of the biggest launches of the year, set to arrive on PlayStation and Xbox home consoles on Sept. 9. The PlayStation beta begins this Thursday, with the Xbox crowd joining in on the fun just one week later. In other words, the whole world is about to find out whether or not the folks at Bungie, developers of the Halo series, are able to deliver on their promise to mix first- Continue reading “2Player: Time to Get Hyped for Destiny”

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Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS

Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS

I’ve finally decided to start blogging baking stuff again, mostly because I love to do it and because my kitchen is much larger than the 10sqft I had in my previous residence. So, without further-ado, I present to you the baking section of Thought Process. These are thoughts that are edible… edible thoughts. 

Continue reading “Edible Thoughts: HOW TO PORTAL CAKE… IT’S NOT A LIE! IT’S DELICIOUS”

Conversations We Should Have: Bioware’s Manveer Heir on Diversity in Video Games

Conversations We Should Have: Bioware’s Manveer Heir on Diversity in Video Games

Bioware’s Manveer Heir discusses the importance of diversity in the development of video games.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

When I first started studying and writing about media and games, discussing diversity within the medium never crossed my mind. I was naïve in my idealism—complacent in ignoring the nuanced bread crumbs that would eventually lead to conversations we should all be having. But this changed when I began to attend industry conferences, a change elicited largely thanks to people like Bioware’s Manveer Heir (a designer currently working on the Mass Effect franchise).

Continue reading “Conversations We Should Have: Bioware’s Manveer Heir on Diversity in Video Games”

Ken Levine’s “Narrative Legos”: A World of Infinite Replay GDC 2014

Ken Levine’s “Narrative Legos”: A World of Infinite Replay GDC 2014

Creative mastermind Ken Levine discusses how games have infinite potential in narrative design.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

In a panel at this year’s Game Developers Conference, BioShock’s Ken Levine discussed his aspiring ideas on how to break the mold of linear narratives in game design. His goal? To create a system that allows for infinite replays. In other words, he wants to create a circle that remains unbroken…. without falling into the linear redundancy that he graciously admits games like BioShock often rely on.

Continue reading “Ken Levine’s “Narrative Legos”: A World of Infinite Replay GDC 2014”

Cultural Implications: The Defense of Jodie Holmes

Cultural Implications: The Defense of Jodie Holmes

2013 has been a year of progression in terms of tangible female protagonists in games—but does that matter if the media ignores them?

(Article published on Gameranx.)

When Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls released in October of 2013, it was met with mixed criticism that often questioned its validity as a video game.  Throwing incessant invectives at the overuse of quick time events and the minimalistic use of game mechanics, reviews often failed to bring into question what the definition of a video game actually is. IGN’s review was titled “Look, Don’t Touch.” Kotaku emphasized that you would like the game if “you don’t mind a game that’s basically a movie” and if “you’re down with the idea of playing as a teenage girl.” I’m not going to say Beyond was the perfect game; it’s based on a genre that isn’t necessarily for everyone. However, if we look closely at how some games are widely reviewed in media, we can witness the cultural implications they carry. Media, after all, helps to establish the standardization of the industry. Continue reading “Cultural Implications: The Defense of Jodie Holmes”

Titanfall Beta: First Impressions

Titanfall Beta: First Impressions

Wall running and jumping, massive robots, and a fast-paced shooter have been blended together in a gorgeous narrative of strategic gameplay that never fails to lose speed.

(Article published on Cinema Blend.)

What do you get when you mix Mirror’s Edge, Mech Warrior, and the FPS genre together? Utter chaos, one would think. And yet Respawn’s Titanfall seems to be the successful marriage of all of these. Wall running and jumping, massive robots, and a fast-paced shooter have been blended together in a gorgeous narrative of strategic gameplay that never fails to lose speed. In creating a new IP, Respawn was absurdly bright in that they didn’t pull as much from the traditional FPS games like Halo or Call of Duty as they did from other titles. The FPS genre, after all, has been losing its originality. The majority of the hype around the Titanfall stems from the idea that people are growing tired of the incessant monotony of FPS formulas. But was all of the hype worth it?

After playing the beta, I would say it’s completely justified.

Continue reading “Titanfall Beta: First Impressions”

Change and Writer’s Block

Change and Writer’s Block

For the past week or so, I’ve been staring at a blank word document trying to make myself write something. Anything.

It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write. I have to finish writing features on games, work on job applications, create my class curriculum. The list goes on.

But the word document just sat, its cursor mocking my gaze with its blinks.

It’s my first true encounter of writer’s block; something I like to think I’ve encountered before on those long nights, writing my seminar papers at one in the morning, invoking a glass of red wine as my muse. But never to this extent. Continue reading “Change and Writer’s Block”