Monday, August 18, 2008

Flower Power!

UPDATE: Seen a few posts on other sites (that have linked to this post) where people are assuming the reason Flower works on an emotional level is the graphics and the music. Let me just say- without giving anything away- that Flower's music and art- great as it is...and it IS great- is NOT the core thing I am responding to. That is why I think Flower is so special. And so rare in games.

I am not one of these guys who can be so easily manipulated...there are classic games- some of my faves of all times- that people call 'art' just because you hear the wind blowing and the colors are kind of washed out/blown out and there's not alot of killing going on and it's all kind of echoy and the game I am thinking of, btw (in my top 5 of all time) but it does not- in my book- get to be called art just cause it has this layer of 'arty farty' over the gameplay...and hell, I think flOw got some of it's love because of this same sort of 'arty farty' presentation....just like GOD OF WAR got some of it's love because of its brutal presentation....and that was- design wise for GOW- I get the technique, I understand it and like using it. It's a short cut technique to making the player feel, and it works by taking techniques that the player has already been trained to respond to- usually by the movies-and simply applying them to games. But let's be honest about it: it's cheating. In these cases, the games never really earn the emotion they ellicit (and you'd think critics would call us on it, but they don't. I mean, man,Twisted Black got MUCH better reviews than the core play deserved because of the dark theme that was simply us ripping off movies like Seven....not that TMB is not a good game, I think it is a really good game, but it was NOT as good as TM2, but you would have never known it from the over blown review scores.)....either way, that technique is not why I am responding so strongly to Flower. The cheating technique is there- by the way- in Flower,in spades. TCG does it better than most companies these days. But that's not the magic in the least not for me...


Hey guys- sorry for the lack of updates last few days. Just been swamped.

A coupla quick hits:

#1- Got a great demo of That Game Company's newest game FLOWER when I was in Santa Monica last week. Holy Shit! Now I had played the first level before and really liked it. I had liked it alot more than flOw which- as I always say- I APPRECIATED but never really enjoyed as a game experience. But this new game? Shit, man. It's on the road to being a classic, no doubt. And I don't say that lightly cause while the core game mechanics are fun, it- in my mind- lives or dies by the emotions it creates while you play. And you guys know I'm a disappointed cynic when it comes to video games evoking subtle emotions in players. But I'll tell you what- from what I saw on Friday- these guys/gals at TGC are well on their way to having made one of the most emotional games of all time. I love what I saw. And if the whole game feels like the stuff I saw last week...well wow! Just wow! And the coolest thing to me is, hell, now I'm inspired to step up to the plate and try to do something a bit more meaningful as well. Maybe not with our current title, but one day soon. Thanks TGC!

#2- I was having a hard time coming up with some ideas today so I figured I'd take my mind off work by sticking my Mighty Muggs Indy that I got from Comic Con into my fake bamboo plant and pretending he was in the jungle.

Yep, I am a total loser :) I am not sure if this is one of the benefits or one of the pitfalls of working at home, alone, where there is no one around to judge you :) Except little kids...who happen to think stuff like this is cool. Still, 5 minutes after I did it, I took Indy out of the plant and put him back on the shelf. I just felt too lame.

#3- Saw Tropic Thunder- a few great lines, Cruise rocked, Downey rocked. Rest of the movie=rental, and better still: cable flick.

#4- Not plaid Braid yet. Probably will, people seem to like it alot. Anyone on here played yet?

Ok, gonna try to get a little more work done. Talk later!