Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Adventure Game Mucking Around

A while back I got bored and made Doctor Who: Tardis Trouble, which for all its stolen graphics and the fact I've not quite uploaded the finished product wasn't actually that bad for a first attempt.

Anyroads over the last year or so I kind of realised that my ambition as always exceeds my grasp. I'd visions of churning out a regular series of games using the AGS engine.

I am going to have a 2nd bash at it - Doctor Who: Tales From The Time War. A small adventure set with the 8th Doctor at the beginning of the Time War (not the entire bloody thing!)

Last time some folk emailed me asking, "Why don't you use David Tennant's doctor?"

Because... I prefer the McGann doctor over the 'hip and modern' Tennant and there's no 'official' story for his doctor (though I believe he's the one who fought in the Time War and whoever wrote Doctor Who: The Forgotten agrees). It'd be easier to use Tennant though - there's a lot of art available to half-inch on the net. :)

The programming side is easy, even cobbling together the occassional object graphic to represent a bag of jelly babies, sonic screwdriver or other object is a doddle. People on the other hand take ages - mainly because I don't have a decent program to animate a walk cycle, and because my characters look an awful like characters from Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis (the McGann is a paint job on the Indy sprite - I though I did a pretty good job hiding it, but there ya'go). I have toyed with learning Maya and pre-rendering 3D human characters in it to use in my adventure games, and possibly even pre-rendering 3D scenes by creating the same scene and rotating the camera to render "unique" scenes.

Are there any packages that make it really easy to customise and prerender a convincing 3D human (or humanoid) models?

In the meantime - here's one of my less 'convincing' creations, Rufus the Jailor (probably going to be replaced by a less interesting character):-

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Mincing About

In this wintry climate I've been bored rigid and have taken to playing a remake of Elite 3: Frontier First Encounters. As a testament to how little there is to do I've made it to the Elite ranking of Below Average and have bought a new ship, which in true Kerrigan tradition is the most silly looking thing on the market.

Ladies and Gentleman - in the tradition of such great ships as the Millenium Falcon I present a Cobra Mk 1, the Mincing Leopard...

Not all the other models look so... camp... in the remake.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Dr. Stu on Doctor Who End of Time 2

This was definitely better than Part One. However it was most definitely not Doctor Who at its best (i.e. Human Nature/Blink levels) and sadly once more my expectations were much higher than the actual events of the episode.

Some folk had been predicting an epic finale appearance of the 8th Doctor (?) and the reintegration of the Time Lords to round off the Time War stories, leaving Stephen Moffat with the opportunity to make his own mark on the Doctor Who universe. Given it was an RTD finale I doubted this...

Every single finale has had some sort of 'reset' device - the first season had Uber-Rose conveniently kill every dalek and resurrect Captain Jack (though not anyone without a player character badge like Lynda with a 'y' or anyone else on that station). The second season had the Cybermen and Daleks on Earth sucked into a void. The third season had a paradox machine that reset the entire events of the episode. The fourth season had Donna push a few levers to destroy the entire Dalek armada. And now this fifth mini-season had the Doctor shoot a machine to send every single Time Lord back into the time locked Time War.

I personally didn't like the idea of making all the Time Lords evil - smacks too much of racism for me (like saying every Welsh person became evil) - and I wish we could've had more exploration of the Time Lords and their newfound evilness. Of course it might be possible in this episode for other Time Lords to have snuck through and remained on Earth, and I did like the fact that they alluded to two Time Lords disagreeing with the President - though I hope a few more were 'co-erced' in their voting by that handy glove device.

We do not know who the mysterious lady was (Susan? Romana? The Doctor's mother?) but then this is typical of RTD finales - the reasons for things are less important than the sheer showmanship. We never understood why Bad Wolf appeared everywhere at the end of Turn Left, exactly what Bad Wolf was or why Rose was able to appear on TVs throughout Season 4 - she never even mentions trying to contact the Doctor this way in the Season 4 finale. However I'm less bothered by not knowing who the lady in white is than these other things - I've come to expect it I guess.

True to form contradictions arise - Donna remembers her time with the Doctor and suddenly zaps every Master in the vicinity unconscious rather than exploding - which is what the Doctor said would happen to her. This is just like how Rose could never ever get back from the parallel universe... but did and then got taken straight back by the Doctor.

There was some good stuff however - Bernard Cribbins was excellent. The revelation of 'he will knock four times' was clever. The cactus guys were good.

The last 15 minutes of the show were absolute self-indulgent nonsequitur with lots of ex-cast members cameoing in a shameless nostalgiafest that makes me wonder why the production team criticise multi-doctor stories so much.