The day I’ve been waiting for is finally here: Bethesda has released the Creation Kit for Skyrim.
Apparently it uses a new scripting language called Papyrus. They claim that if you’ve had experience with modding Bethesda games in the past, it shouldn’t be too tough to understand how this one works. Bethesda, of course, provides a bevy of tutorials for understanding quest creation, level creation, and scripting. Those can be found here.
I highly recommend getting into the Skyrim modding scene. The community has been nothing short of helpful, giving, and passionate in the past. They’re an extremely friendly group, and I expect awesome sites such as UESP to have dozens of great tutorials within the next week.
The Creation Kit can be found in Steam. Click on View up in the top left, then click on Tools. The Creation Kit will be in the list.
I already am starting out on learning Papyrus, and once that’s mastered I hope to have a relatively fleshed out quest and corresponding dungeon done by Friday afternoon. Keep an eye out if you’re a Skyrim player!
Cheerio, and happy modding!
The little-article-that-could has now become a full-fledged weekly column. [Retro] will run (to the best of my abilities) once a week on Mondays. The format will be very similar, with articles chock full of interesting information; how the game ties into the political, economical, and cultural situation of its time; and most importantly, pretty pictures.
We’ll be taking a look at Ninja Gaiden in the arcades.
I finished Gears 3 last night. This is a series I’ve followed since the first game made an appearance on the 360, and it’s one that I’ve loved from the get-go. My friends and I would gather around and play the first one together, remarking on the controls and the cover system. I played Horde mode non-stop once the second came out, and I was immediately the best of my friends. At this year’s past E3, I waited a little under an hour in line just to play a few rounds of Horde mode in the third game.
While Zelda: Ocarina of Time will forever be my most favorite game ever, the Gears series is definitely my favorite as a young adult. Why?
A year ago, I would have given the answer, “It’s simply a fun, well-executed game. The pieces all come together. The result is cinematic and epic. I feel like a hero.”
After finishing up this last entry, I want to bring up another aspect that has caused me to enjoy the series even more. It’s something that Gears detractors (one of them a dear friend of mine) enjoy bringing up and ridiculing.
The character insight given to players in Gears 3 reverses previous notions of an all-brawn-but-no-brain cast, and the characters become stronger and more developed in simple moments throughout the game.
Spoilers, from here on out.
I was an avid Oblivion player and modder. I didn’t submit anything to sites–something I regret doing now–but I was only in high school and still unsure about my skills. I played or modded Oblivion every day, for at least an hour. I balanced that with advanced placement classes, being captain of a club volleyball team, being a starter on a softball team, hanging out with my friends, and being an active volunteer in the community.
I read last week an interesting article on how liberally Batman: Arkham City slings the word “bitch” about. I don’t yet have the game myself–of course I’m itching to play it–and I’ll wait until I get my hands on it to pass judgment. The articles that have stood out most to me have been Kotaku’s own articles on Batman’s weird “bitch” fixation and the hypersexualization of female characters in game worlds. I thought these two to be well-written articles that certainly incited a lot of discussion in their comments. That is, of course, never a bad thing–discussion begets critical thinking. Hopefully.
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.
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.