Saturday, November 10, 2012
There are few things in this world I believed would get me back into blogging. A Halo movie, the Zombpocalypse becoming a reality, or maybe something as simple as In N Out finally arriving here in Washington State giving me yet another reason to never move back to California. But one thing I did not count on was Battlestar Galactica to come back to life, again. I seriously thought it was dead.
Starting back in the 70's, it came back again briefly in the 80's, went silent until 2003, then officially died again in 2009 only to have another prequal come in 2010. This series just refuses to die. Now we have SyFy teaming up with Machinima to bring us nine 10-minute segments you can watch on YouTube. It's not the full 2+ hour movie I was hoping for or a complete TV Series revival, but I will take it.
So far I have watched Episode 1 and 2. And it's kept me interested so far, as the prequel follows a young William Adama on his path to eventually becoming the Admiral of the Battlestar Galactica. The sound effects and visuals we have all become accustomed to with the 2003-2009 series is there in all its glory. If you're a fan of BSG, this will definitely put a smile on your face.
And if you're a CG fan, game or film artist or just interested in learning about the production of this new adventure, CG Society has a Production Focus you can check out. Enjoy!!
Now please excuse me as I slowly bring this blog back to life. -B
Posted by Branden Brushett at 12:45 PM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Lazy Susan is a short film I was fortunate enough to be a part of last year. Written, produced, directed and edited by my good friend Albert 'Art' Ferrer, who I met during my time in Vancouver, BC, Lazy Susan is a collaboration of global talent via the internet.
"Lazy Susan is a unique 6 minute short film that combines computer graphics, and live-action in a fully narrated, fantasy tale, in which the orchestral score, and bold imagery take the viewer through a modern take on a classic silent film, of the German Expressionist era."
"Filmed within half a day, entirely on green screen, and in post production for several months, the filmmakers with a very small budget, made a small film, with lots of character."
Thanks again to Albert for allowing me to take part in such a creative film. I am proud to have some of my 3D art on full display in the background. I really have to hand it to the texture artists though and the many months of post production. These talented individuals from around the world really brought my 3D models, and Lazy Susan to life. I hope you all enjoy.
For more info on the film and my friend Albert, be sure to check out my interview with him I posted a few months ago.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Learning from these failures, like being told: 'NO' hundreds of times for potential job opportunities. Or being denied a much deserved promotion at work. Or having someone claim, 'you're just not what we're looking for', all of these negative responses can help you grow stronger mentally & emotionally, more than you realize. Believe me, getting into the game industry is difficult! If you're reading this right now, chances are you already understand that statement. Chances are, you have been denied countless amount of times during your path to your dream job. The key is to take the negative and turn it into a positive. That's what works for me at least.
Let me give you some examples of how many times I have failed. I have been trying non-stop to get my foot through the door of the game industry since summer 2006, when I started getting my feet wet with game art & design programs. Right after graduation, I started applying for art positions all over the west coast of Canada and the U.S. And guess what? Studios were actually interested. But interest and first contact is merely a baby step in the process of getting hired. I learned that very quickly.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Joe Madureira, famous for the Uncanny X-Men, and several other Marvel comics. The comic book-style approach to the art is evident the moment you fire up the game. The artists and designers held nothing back, and the game just oozes with attention to detail. However, I am in no way saying the graphics are earth-shattering. It's just the little stuff that really caught my eye. Like the designs on the blades of the the weapons and the physical addition of new gadgets, weapons and power ups to War's character model. It's all just very clever, and sort of stands out in its own brand of subject matter.
The game seems to be a mix of many different games even follows recent ones with one awesome CG cutscene at the beginning of the game, and the rest is filled with poorly animated cutscenes from the in-game engine. The aforementioned brief backdrop on whats going on in both War's life, and the post-apocolyptic world he is slashing his way through, kinda leave you wanting more, and also makes you a little curious as to how the world got to the torn-up state it's in. Once you decapitate or slash a few goons in half, all that curiosity flies out the window.
It's a little scary how similar this game plays to the newer 3D Zelda titles. It's also slightly scary how similar to God of War and Ninja Gaiden it is as well. Though, you won't be pulling off extravagant 3 button timed combos in Darksiders. Instead the combos are dumbed down to one button per weapon, which are switchable on the fly, mid-combo. Start off with a few sword slashes, and then break out your Scythe to deal out some hurt. Once you punish enemies enough, the "B" button will finish them off with a God of War-esque finishing QTE. These Quick Time Events are pretty sweet, and range from slicing an enemies legs off, slicing their bodies into thirds or the occasional decapitation. These sequences also follow into the boss battles as well. The boss battles though I found were the weaker elements of the game. The campaign consists of quite a bit of dungeon crawling, often very long dungeons. Lots of back and forth, obtaining keys, unlocking doors etc. Once you conquer these labrynth-style dungeons, the boss fights were pretty easy and felt a little lackluster. It does not take from the overall experience at all, but when you compare it to the likes of Devil May Cry, and Ninja Gaiden's bosses, it surely feels underwhelming.
The last gadget I want to share might be a spoiler, but its just too damn cool and under the radar to mention. Again taking its que and DNA from another succesful title, the Voidwalker is the exact clone of the gun from Portal! It differs a bit in that you can only shoot on gate-holes that look a bit like Orange, stained-glass windows. The same momentum priciples apply, and it just feels incredible. You only get it for about the last section of the game, but you will use it quite a bit not only to navigate levels, but also to fight bosses. One memorable section pitted War against a gigantic boss with a club-like mace. When he reared back to swing his mace at you like a baseball bat, a portal on the back of the club was visible. Shoot the portal gun on the back of his club, then next to you on the wall. Once he reared back to swing again, jump through a nearby portal and fly out of his club to land behind him and DO WORK!
Darksiders really took me by surprise. At times during the game I thought to myself, where are the other riders of the Apocolypse? Well, a pretty cool ending that I will not give away, will answer that question. If you have not played the demo, it's over a hour long, and provides a nice introduction to what you will expect in the full game. Give it a go, and if you enjoy long Zelda-like back and forth hack-n-slash, you're simply going to love Darksiders. It defintely ranks above Bayonetta and Dante's Inferno in my humble opinion.
Darksiders receives a 7.9/10 on the Dig-O-Meter.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I've been saving some trade-in credit at GameStop for about a month now, knowing LP2 would be coming out soon. So I've been patiently waiting, not completely convinced I would buy it on release day, but confident it would be worth the purchase if I did. Still though, as with most games I buy now, I have to play the demo first before I buy. Just like when buying a car, I need to take it for a test drive to make sure my hard-earned money is spent wisely. So, I took the LP2 multiplayer demo out for a test drive.
It seemed like this map was quickly thrown together for the demo. Like it was rushed, as none of the game assets that make up this map, and the placement of these assets, made sense to me. Did the designers even think this one through? Usually in a multiplayer demo, I can get into some type of flow. I can quickly pick up the controls, get to point A, complete the objective and then move onto the next one. Knowing how to play this game already, I expected that to happen. But getting from point A to point B, was nowhere near as fun as it was in the first LP demo. And no, I won't stop comparing the two demos. Especially when it's expected the demo for the sequel should be just as fun as the first, if not more.
Shooting was also a disappointment. I found myself losing one on one gun battles with the player in front of me, because my character would stop shooting as I tried to dodge the opposing players bullets at the same time. Usually when I move side to side in a third person or first person shooter, I can count on my bullets to fly out of the weapon continuously as I hold the Right Trigger. The shooting was very inconsistent from match to match. Sometimes shooting was spot on, and then other times it was like my machine gun kept jamming. Standing still seemed to work best, if you can believe that. For now, I guess I'll just have to blame the connection. Which for the most part, was pretty good. Especially when finding a game. It was very quick and easy to find a match with a lot of players ready to go.
The best part of this game being the Mech suits (or Vital Suits), I tended to seek them out every chance I could. However, another problem I encountered, was the pace of getting there. Damn these snow pirates are slow! The grappling hook can help you get to your destination faster but you can't always count on an object to be nearby to hook onto. At some points, it felt and looked like, I and other players were running on ice. One dude even looked like he was doing the 'running man' dance. Once I did jump in one of these Vital Suits, I couldn't help but feel like they are even weaker than before. Weaker and slower than the enemy snow pirates who seemed to outmaneuver me with ease. I was quickly destroyed by a snow pirate throwing a couple of grenades a few times. At no point in any of the matches I joined, was I able to kill someone with a vital suit. I didn't see anyone else have luck with them either.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Extreme? Yes. Far from the truth? Probably not, depending on the location.That may or may not be the next words your local 7-11 cashier will hear when some crazy dude comes in disguised in a Obama mask. I hope not, but considering a few GameStop's have been held up in the past and the fact that 7-11 stores are a target for criminals already, the recent news about 7-11 beginning to sell used video games just increased the chances of the ridiculous scenario above, actually coming true.
However, with every negative, there is usually a positive. 7-11 jumping into the used video game business, much like Amazon and Walmart did not too long ago, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Competition is good! The more the merrier I always say. Okay, I've never said that in my life. But you know what I mean. It's simple supply and demand. The more choices us gamers have when shopping for the best deal on the games we've put on the back-burner for months, the less money we'll have to fork over when we finally do want to see how bad games like Damnation, Terminator: Salvation and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty really are.
Well, good luck to you 7-11. I don't think you have a store near my home, but if I ever see one, I'll be sure to go inside and see what you have on display. Might I recommend some extra security though? I don't mean to be a pessimist here, but I think the target on your back just grew a bit larger.
I wonder how long before we see some package deals? I predict a video game and a 40oz for $20 in the near future. In all seriousness though, I hope they are successful with their new business plan.
Check out the 7-11 article over at Kotaku
Monday, March 29, 2010
I knew there would be another reason to trade in my copy of Modern Warfare 2. Soon, if not already with Battlefield Bad: Company 2, gamers will slowly be leaving the most played multiplayer game on Xbox Live. I personally just couldn't take it anymore. Even though all of my closest friends play the game every night, it just wasn't doing anything for me as a gamer. Where happened to the fun? Too much camping, too many people playing for themselves instead of working as a team, too many annoying assholes running their mouth off like the game lobby is a hate-filled chat room, and just too much bullshit to tolerate in general. And then the nerve of Activision asking for even more money for the DLC maps to top it all off? I know Infinity Ward spent time and money making these new maps, well, 3 out of 5 of them, and they should indeed be compensated. But with all the glitchy shit fans of the Call of Duty franchise have had to deal with in MW2, the least they could do is say: "Hey thanks guys. We know we fucked up with the lack of quality testing on this game prior to release, but for sticking with us, here are some new maps... free of charge. Enjoy."
Free content is not to be expected all the time. I know this. I've purchased many DLC packs in the past, when it's worth the value. But when you have inconsistencies among certain developers and publishers wanting to charge for DLC and at the same time, others willing to give DLC away for free, this is the type of reaction you're going to receive. Especially when said content is already on the disc.
Whatever.. that's my quick rant on that. I no longer own it, so I'm moving on. And one game that may help me move on, besides some major upcoming titles like Red Dead Redemption, Crackdown 2, Lost Planet 2 and the Halo: Reach beta, is this new game called Breach, by Atomic Games.
Yes, the same Atomic Games that started a shit-storm a few months back when developing a game called Six Days to Fallujah. I guess that controversial game is still in development, whether or not they will ever get a publisher for that I don't know. But it looks like they have taken what they learned from making that game, and started a whole new game. With a lot less controversy. And the most amazing part about this? It's supposedly coming out on XBLA... for $15!? Are you kidding me? There is no way this is a $15 arcade game. That's what they're saying though. The video shows off some pretty impressive features not found on most $60 Xbox 360 First Person Shooters. Needless to say, I can't wait to see more of this Hydrogen Engine. Expect this game to make a big impact in the way games are priced and purchased.
Another game sure to make a decent impact this summer on XBLA is Hydrophobia, by Dark Energy Digital. Prepare to interact with water in a video game like never before with realistic water dynamics created in the HydroEngine. The game itself takes place on a huge luxury ship the size of a city called, "Queen of the World". While the rest of the world has fallen apart due to overpopulation and a lack of food, the rich prospered ever more and began living on this ship, creating their own little world outside of the chaos that surrounds them. Of course, there is always a "but", and that but is a bunch of terrorists who decide to bomb the ship and it begins to take on water. This is where you come in and play as the hero on-board this massive vessel, Kate Wilson.
The release date hasn't been announced yet but considering this game will be released on XBLA as episodic content, we could see the very first episode as early as this summer. But who knows?
The games mentioned above, along with Perfect Dark Zero that's already available, Hydro Thunder Hurricane if that's your cup-o-tea, and dare I say, Snoopy Flying Ace, are key ingredients to the Xbox Live Arcade summer of fun. Not to mention, possible games that haven't even been announced yet (More news at E3?) and old school arcade games on Xbox Live's Game Room. Now, if I can only get my Xbox 360 returned back to me from the repair center. I might actually get to enjoy some of these games.
Here's to hoping one of these games is as good, if not better than last years XBLA success story, Shadow Complex.
What XBLA game are you excited for?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
BRINK is swiftly becoming my most anticipated game of 2010. Maybe it's the heavy influence taken from Valve's Team Fortress 2? Or maybe the highly detailed environments, the variety of options to customize your character, or the innovative SMART gameplay mechanic Splash Damage has employed. Either way you slice it, the game is looking good, and the hype is slowly but steadily building. BRINK could actually use some more hype behind it. Splash Damage are out to make a statement with their first original title. I believe BRINK is another game that can come out of nowhere and hijack the 2010 GOTY award. I really believe this year could be up for grabs. Everyone is saying, God of War III, Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2, Halo: Reach.. we don't know shit. There are a lot of good games coming out this year. Some we don't even know about yet. The Spike VGA winners are usually pretty predictable, but I hope this decade brings with it a bit more 'unpredictabilityness'. And no, that's not a word, so don't bother Googling it. I already did.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Man I can't wait to find out what the story behind Metro: 2033 is all about. The game is looking good, real good. But as with every game I get hyped up for and then finally play, it could be better. They can always be better. But as picky as I am, I think I'm finally one of those gamers that no longer cares about the graphics or how many polys make up a character or environment. As long as the game is fun to play, or has an awesome story to tell, then count me in as a fan. You can have the best HD graphics in the world, and your game can still be shitty.
This may be what will happen with me and Metro: 2033. The game has tremendous potential. But I'm unfamiliar with the developers behind this and well, from what I've seen so far, the characters bother me. Both enemies and friendlies. And I'm not normally a fan of being stuck in the same kind of environment throughout the game. Unable to get out for a breath of fresh air, if you will. Games like Doom, Bioshock, F.E.A.R. and it's endless amount of office cubicles, all could have used a change of scenery. Even if it was just for one level. It helps to see some trees, skylines and water every once in a while. But who knows? I could be wrong. And with my track record, I probably am.
So until the day comes when Metro: 2033 gets released, enjoy the trailers and the hype that it brings.