Happy DayZ – The Survivor Diaries

After many months of badgering me to get in on the DayZ Alpha, my friend Dan finally convinced me to give it a try. I say ‘convinced’, he actually brought me the game via the Gift Option on Steam, so really, he put me in a position where I had to play it. Nonetheless, I’m glad he did.

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars demo impressions

Before playing the demo, I honestly was not completely sure what to expect of Conception II.  I have never played the first one (which was release on the PSP and with no English version).  I had received emails from Atlus informing me of the demo’s release date and containing videos introducing the characters.  I liked the art style and the music.  I then went to the official Atlus site for the game and saw the explanation of the combat and the party system.  It didn’t really all click until I got my hands on the 3DS demo that went live this afternoon.  I literally spent HOURS playing it.  Needless to say, I am completely convinced that Conception II will be an amazing game.  So much so that I am pre-ordering my 3DS copy in the mourning.  So, what was so good?

Reputation, what is it good for…

Absolutely nothing. That is what Microsoft accomplished with the reputation system since the Xbox One released in November 2013. All players score is currently “Good Player” and not a single infraction has been logged in the five months since launch. This will, supposedly, change as Microsoft begins sending notices and prescribes “punishments” for players who fall into the “Avoid Me” category. Will any of this deter bad behavior?

Do trophies impact gamers?

Trophies or Achievements (and Nintendo’s sporadic Stamps) offer a reward system for completing in-game activities. These non-tangible prizes were introduced in full force during the Xbox 360/ PS3 generation. Today, they permeate every platform, from smartphones to Steam, and are an ingrained aspect of gaming culture. All releases are required to contain achievements and they are prominently displayed on profiles. The general consensus is that trophies are a good thing but did gaming habits improve with the satisfaction of defined goals or have players degraded into achievement addicts?

Interviewing Bob the PR Bot: Developer for Indie Game Survivalist

I had a chance to talk with Bob the PR Bot recently about his new game, Survivalist. He was a very nice and personable guy. At least I think he was a guy. He may have been a robot. I mean, “PR Bot” is part of his name. So for now, I’m going to assume he’s human. My sincere apologies to my robotic and artificial intelligence readers, just in case you actually exist.

An Interview With Phil Spencer: Highlights from the SXSW Gaming Expo 2014

Microsoft Game Studio’s Corporate Vice President sat down with Geoff Keighley of Spike TV for a one-on-one panel for the South by Southwest Gaming Expo, Sunday March 9th at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. During the session, Spencer gets candid about missteps in the pre-launch marketing of the Xbox One, unhealthy fan attitudes in the console wars, and possibly taking for granted some of the early Xbox titles gamers want to see revisited. In addition, he reflects on the early process of building the original Xbox library, the impact of the free-to-play games market, and is pressed by Keighley on the lack titles showing the power and value of Kinect.

(Over) analysing The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s chest-high walls (to within an inch of their lives)

I’ve done a close reading of the chest-high walls in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and I’m happy to report that I think they could be a meditation on the tangible benefits of improved graphics. Furthermore, I reckon their implementation also questions if our lust to achieve increased verisimilitude between real and digital worlds is misguided.

Do Volatile Gaming Communities Build Commendable Personalities?

Since the dawn of LAN play, MMOs, online feedback, live chat, ventrilo, and headsets, competitive gaming became a transformative role in the entertainment industry. The simple act of decapitating another player, cursing their brains out, and basking in bloodlust was – and still is, a type of ‘high’. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s addicting. Call up some friends, grab a good FPS, headsets, some cheap beer, and we’ve got ourselves a solid night.