Day: July 29, 2008

I Swear to GOD…

Tim Schafer cannot catch a break in this goddamn industry.

Move on, Tim. Go work for Pixar. Write an animated movie for them and make a hojillion dollars. I know you loving Gaming, but Gaming is currently controlled by her chain-smoking crack-addicted abusive alcoholic mother Corporate Game Development and until Gaming finds the courage to sneak out of her mother’s house and jump into your convertible so you can spirit her away, you two are obviously never going to be together.

Edit: I jumped the gun just a bit on this (though reading that headline, can you blame me?) I had actually gone to the Double Fine Action News Site to find out if Brutal Legend was going to be okay. I did not think to mouseover the picture of the weevil, but that’s Schafer for you.

Edit 2: Turns out that Activision did drop Brutal Legend – fortunately, Double Fine owns the IP. So things aren’t quite as rosy as Tim made them out to be. Yes, in theory, with Guitar Hero and Rock Band making squillions of dollars finding a new publisher for Brutal Legend should be a no-brainer, but please see the “chain-smoking crack-addicted abusive alcoholic mother” comment I made above.

My Son David’s Two-Word Review of Lego Indiana Jones

“It’s awesome!”

I am inclined to agree. Pulled down the demo over Xbox Live and I am very impressed with it. Lego Star Wars was much more combat-oriented, with the gameplay basically consisting of you entering an arena, shooting or eviscerating anything that moved, and then figuring out how to move on to the next arena. David actually had trouble with this because most of the puzzles weren’t explicated very well. Most of them required you to use a Jedi power to open a path for another character, who could then open the door. While David did figure it all out eventually, I had to help him a fair bit and there was some frustration.

Lego Indiana Jones is much closer to a traditional platformer with lots and lots of well-constructed puzzles to solve as well as some combat. And excellent cutscenes – when Lego Indy escapes the first temple after being chased by the ball he is confronted by Lego Belloc, who demands the golden idol. Lego Indy tries to give him Lego C-3PO’s head instead. I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

One of my design philosophies is “Let players be clever, and reward them when they are” and Lego Indiana Jones follows that philosophy well. And frankly I was amazed at how quickly David – without any direction from me – figured everything out. He had no trouble with the puzzles where you had to do something with one character then switch to another because the game made it much more clear what you were supposed to do. After seeing the demo I will definitely be picking it up.