Gun Fight was released in 1975 on arcade cabinets everywhere within the US. Prior to that, however, Gun Fight had an interesting history. It was originally entitled Western Gun in Japan and was designed and programmed by Tomohiro Nishikado, of Space Invaders fame. It was published by Taito and released in Japan and Europe. The decision was made to then adapt it for Western audiences. This would be the first time a Japanese game was licensed for release to America. The title was changed to Gun Fight because it was thought that American players may find the current title odd or confusing. Dave Nutting and Tom McHugh of Dave Nutting Associates adapted the game for its new audience, making a few changes along the way.
Tom McHugh programmed Gun Fight a little differently than Nishikado—his programming and architecture called for the game to use an Intel 8080 computer microprocessor. It was the first arcade game ever to use a microprocessor, and the smooth frame rate and crisp graphics caused others, including Nishikado, to use microprocessors to their advantage in the future. Visually, Gun Fight was nice to look at—it ran at 60 frames per second at a resolution of 265 x 224 pixels. It made use of a black and white raster monitor with a yellow screen overlay, allowing the characters to look a bit more colorful than their counterparts in competing cabinets.
This was my final paper for my advanced writing course. I wrote this in perhaps the worst way possible, and did not give it the time it deserved. It just came at a horrible time, while projects were due, other papers were due, and I was putting in extra hours at work. That all left me to complete this the night before and over the course of the night. Sometimes, life just decides there aren’t enough hours in the day.
You Monster looks at the answer to the question, “How can we create a realistic, strong, and smart female game character?” GladOS plays a rather large starring role as the solution.
This here is the video my partner Casey and I had to create for our game, Into the Darkness.
Into the Darkness is a game where the core mechanic is painting your surroundings in order to see where exactly the you are in relation to the environment around you. With this, players can see if there’s a pitfall at their feet or a wall in front of their noses. Players can also use the paint mechanic to push objects around quickly, albeit with less precision.
The story behind this game is simple–the emphasis in our class was more of a proof of concept rather than a narrative masterpiece–and oh, did it pain me to have a generic storyline!
The player is trapped in an underground lab and must make their way up to the surface. There are traps awaiting them, in addition to a creature stalking them in the darkness. The player must escape the creature before it rips them apart.
Female characters in video games can often be described as slight variations of one of three archetypes: the helpless, hapless damsel in distress; the coquettish, alluring vixen; and the cold-hearted, distant embodiment of stoicism. In addition, the majority of women in games are heavily and overtly sexualized for mass male consumption, thereby providing slight variations of the same visual across several different games. Many lauded video game members have taken issue with the current state of women in games and have offered their own viewpoints in order to fix it. Leigh Alexander writes in an editorial for Gamepro Magazine that characters such as Bayonetta “[take] the video game sexy woman stereotype from object to subject” in which “the game itself is an artistic representation of the concept that female sexuality is its own kind of weapon.” Others disagree, believing that “characters [should] reflect the harsh lifestyle of their world in a much more believable way” (Hamm). Both offer interesting yet opposing solutions. However, both solutions can go much further in creating believable or truly empowering female characters. The hypersexualized dominatrix invoking female empowerment is a dramatic knee-jerk response to the objectification of women in games. The normal, average woman with a matching attitude and manner is currently the method being taken for game developers wishing to inject their games with respect for females. Video game females can be so much more than either of those two proposals. The change the industry needs for their female characters is to make them more multifaceted by giving them unique strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and personality traits. Female characterization needs to evolve to better reflect where females are today, instead of the antiquated false notions of what they were and perhaps should have been in the past.
Below is an academic one page write-up I completed mere seconds ago for an indie game entitled Blueberry Garden. With a charming and eccentric aesthetic and catchy music, this game is definitely an experiment whose main focus is the players, and using them as the core mechanic.
Blueberry Garden is a Steam game that retails for 5 dollars and won awards at IGF and the Swedish Game Awards, in addition to critical praise on many game sites. Blueberry Garden is a platformer that the player is thrust into with no exposition, no instructions, and no clue as to who you are, where you are, and what this game is about. It is a game about curiosity and wonderment. It is also a game that tests the player’s abilities of discovery and persistence. Read More…
Quick little ditty: My computer erased my Growing Up Gamer article. It will be coming soonish, but for now I’m just going to cut my losses and move on.
Below is my diagnostic essay for my advanced writing class. It attempts to answer the question, “Why are people drawn to art?” Even though I talk about a broad range of art forms, I of course always have video games at the forefront of my thoughts. In fact, while reading, keep in mind that for mainstream/popular media, you can use the example of God of War or Halo. For art that challenges the masses and the artists themselves, think no further than Heavy Rain.
It’s also one of the four best papers in the class and will hopefully get a top 2 spot this Wednesday when we pit all four papers against each other. But hey, I’m cool with being in the top 4!
More on the process that went into writing this is over on the sister site Blithely Yours.
Interface Design: a type of design I never thought I’d be too terribly interested. Oh, how very wrong I was.
The Interface Design class is easily one of the best I’ve taken here at USC. I highly recommend it to all. Chevon is a wonderful instructor and I was extremely glad that I was lucky enough to have him as a professor.
Below is my final paper for the class.