Top 5 List of Game Documentaries

Today I wanna present a short list of game documentaries that I have watched – and some backed on Kickstarter – over the last few years. At a later stage I will also write some personal opinions about them but for now only the list (if you have seen some, know more or disagree with the ranking let me know in the comments):

 

1. Indie Game: The Movie
http://buy.indiegamethemovie.com/

“Indie Game: The Movie is the first feature documentary film about making video games. It looks specifically at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their visions with the world.”

REVIEW: Coming

2. Us and the game industry
http://www.usandthegameindustry.com/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/627987916/us- and-the-game-industry

“This is a feature length documentary filmed between 2009-2012 in the USA and in Copenhagen. Us and the Game Industry explores computer game development.”

REVIEW: Coming

3. GAME LOADING: Rise Of The Indies
http://www.gameloading.tv/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/studiobento/game-loading-the-final-push

“GAMELOADING – RISE OF THE INDIES explores the new global subculture of independent game development. In the spirit of movements like the French New Wave, the Punk and Grunge scenes, hundreds of indie auteurs are emerging and finding success with their own unique voices and artistic goals.”

REVIEW: Coming

4. Minecraft: The Story of Mojang
http://www.minecraftstoryofmojang.com/

“Minecraft: The Story of Mojang is a feature-length documentary that follows the young company over the course of its first year as their profile expanded across the world stage and into the homes of millions of gamers.”

REVIEW: Coming

5. Video Games – The Movie

http://www.videogamesthemovie.com/

“From executive producer Zach Braff comes an epic feature length documentary chronicling the meteoric rise of video games from nerd niche to multi-billion dollar industry. Featuring in-depth interviews with the godfathers who started it all, the icons of game design, and the geek gurus who are leading us into the future, VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE is a celebration
of gaming from Atari to Xbox, and an eye-opening look at what lies ahead.”

REVIEW: Read the book it´s way better ;)The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven Kent

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In the running:

Good Game
http://goodgamemovie.com/

“Good Game is a feature length documentary about a group of men who exhibit the competitive drive of an athlete, the tactical skill of a general, and the creative talent of an artist. They bring all of these things to successful careers in competitive gaming as members of Team Evil Geniuses’ Starcraft 2 division.”

Beyond the Game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_the_Game

“Beyond the Game is a 2008 Dutch documentary film about the world of professional video gaming, most notably as related to the game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne featuring world champion players Chinese Xiaofeng Li (Sky), Dutch Manuel Schenkhuizen (Grubby) and Swede Fredrik Johansson (MaDFroG) prominently.”

The Art of Playing
http://www.gog.com/movie/the_art_of_playing

“Indie video game developers push games to new frontiers in storytelling, music, animation and design. Texas has the second largest concentration of game companies in the U.S. Along with major game developers like EA and Blizzard, there is a small but committed group of independent developers and artists working diligently to bring their own voice to “lower the floor and raise the ceiling.”

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Bonus:

TPB AFK: THE PIRATE BAY AWAY FROM KEYBOARD
http://www.gog.com/movie/tpb_afk_the_pirate_bay_away_from_keyboard

“It’s the day before the trial starts. Fredrik packs a computer into a rusty old Volvo. Along with his Pirate Bay co-founders, he faces $13 million in damage claims to Hollywood in a copyright infringement case.”

Veröffentlicht unter Kickstarter, Review, Trends

Game Contest

Hi there,

just wanted to get the word out that I will take part in the http://contest.rpgmakerweb.com/ game design contest. It is sponsored by the RPGMaker company and runs from the 29th of May to the 30th of June. There is also a Humble Bundle weekly sale https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly for the RPGMaker software for those who are interested :)

So I will finally have a motivation to finish my Ninja game ;)

Veröffentlicht unter Game Design

Games as Art

I ill try to start a new series where I try to find and collect games that can be seen as works of art – I know I know it is long discussion (which I also wanna try to find some articles for) and I am not trying to answer it here just present some examples that could be seen as art:

I start with Monument Valley from ustwo (see also http://www.monumentvalleygame.com/):

 

 

Veröffentlicht unter Uncategorized

Broken Age Review (8.5 out of 10)

Ok first I have to admit that this is my first review of any game also I have played a lot :P , so don´t expect too much and I am also not quite sure which form to choose for it so I will do it as a living review in the ay that I will update this post from time to time. So enough of the talk let´s go to work:

As some of you already have guessed I have fond feelings for adventures of Tim Schäfer and Ron Gilbert (mostly for the Monkey Island series) and when I heard about the Kickstarter for their new project I backed it instantly – plus I finally wanted to get a reall insight into the development of a bigger game project. And I have to say, it was worth the wait of around two years :) and a huge part was indeed the documentary of the development process. Indeed I wouldn´t have even needed the game … nah just kidding ;)

Whoever wants a taste of the documentary watch the videos about the Amnesia Fortnight (see for a taste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTl2V3EDJik) and if you have the chance to see them later – I am not sure if Doublefine wants to release them on DVD or as download at some point after Episode 2 is out – DO IT!

But now finally to the game. Bascially it plays like walking throw a beautiful painting and that is no accident as Tim Schäfers intend was to make the game look and feel like an actual painting from Nathan Stapley (always called “Bagel” in the documentary). And it works, the game looks gorgeous.

Veröffentlicht unter Kickstarter, Review

I love video game development documentaries :)

Also I am not yet a backer of the Kickstarter project for this one (Mighty No. 9) I always like to watch these kind of documentaries. I have access to the Doublefine One already and also watched “Indie Game: The Movie” and I am always blown away by the passion these guys have for making games :D

Enjoy!

Please also check out http://www.2playerproductions.com/ for more if you like what you saw in the video …

Veröffentlicht unter Game Design, Kickstarter

Finally: True Cross-Platform Play

Finally someone has made it possible and that is what for me defines next gen: true cross-platform play … I hope Destiny delievers in that regard too :)

Veröffentlicht unter Game Business, Game Design, Trends

Gaming Memories

A while ago I read the following very cool comments on an article about the game Erthbound about memories that you have with games that you played then you were young.

http://kotaku.com/my-online-handle-is-something-that-ive-just-kept-for-as-582710970

It also reminded me of my first game session back when I was maybe 10-12, actually I cannot remember the exact age anymore – which means I am getting old I guess :P … my parents bought me and my brother are shiny 086 computer with 4Mhz computing power with a 5 1/4 disk drive – yeah the big black thin ones. Still not sure why our parents bought us one but thanks for doing so :D … Some of our friends had an Amiga at that time and sometimes we played – or better watched him play – the orginial Pirates! from Sid Meier. And as our first game we also really wanted that game. I am not exactly sure what happened but without knowing – I think we just saw some pirates on the cover – we ended with Monkey Island instead of Pirates! :) … so we installed it – I think it were 10 disks or something – used the very cool anti-pirating code disk to input a random number to prove that we bought the game and then sat there wondering when we could finally controll our ship XD

Thinking about it makes me laugh, two small boys awaiting some ship battles but having to solve weird puzzles … but we really liked it and our friend with the Amiga also came over regularly to help us with the puzzles. So the three of us sat there before the screen and whoever had an idea for a puzzle did grap the mouse and tried it. Looking back it was one of the most memorable memories I have about gaming …

And yes eventually we did get Pirates! for our PC but after Monkey Island it was just not so interessting anymore ;)

Veröffentlicht unter Game Design

Interesting take on the Video Game Rating System

Veröffentlicht unter Uncategorized

XBox One vs. PS4 – so what is next gen again?

Much has been written about the battle between Sony and Microsoft at the E3. Personally I have never seen a press conference at E3 – and with 34 years I have seen a lot of them – where one platform holder had such a positive reaction to his presentation as Sony had. And as others already said it was much more Microsoft foult than Sonys content. Basically they said we do it as before on PS3 and that was enough :P … All in all I think Microsoft just like with Windows 8 wants too much too fast.

Don´t get me wrong from a business point it makes sense for Microsoft to focus on the largest gaming market which is the US with the Xbox One and it´s TV features but for the rest of the world those either will be available very late and limited or not at all. Also in Japan Microsoft in non-existent - and I lived there for one year, so I have seen it with my own eyes – and that will not chance with Xbox One, not a chance. Japanese gamers just like Japanese games, simple as that and this time Microsft is not even trying to have a something like Blue Dragon on Xbox One – well at least not at launch. And also Japanese people like Japanese products but that is for another post.

My biggest concern with both conferences MS and Sony was the lack of truly new gameplay ideas that really showcase why this gen is the “next” gen. MS is stressing the cloud and how much processing power it gives the developers but fails again to see that most of the people outside of the US don´t have a very good internet connection that I guess will be essential for that feature. I know the future is in the cloud but I think it is still around two to three years away. I think that is the biggest problem for MS, they want to sell something now that most of the costumers outside of the US care maybe in a few years.

Sony on the other hand is just delivering a better version of the same as before, just cheaper as MS. And that is enough for the core at least.

But what about the games. Sadely so far I have only seen the same as before and most of the times it doesn´t even look better than today on PC. So what exactly is next gen? HD graphics? Done before. Open Worlds? Done before. Massively Multiplayer? Done before. Social? Done before.

Hmmmm …

I must admit I have a soft spot for Nintendo (I love Zelda) but at least they try to find some new forms of gaming with their second screen. Sadly it´s not so innovative as before with the Wii motion controlls so they are not selling as much systems but I think with the right games they will.

Let me know what you think …

Veröffentlicht unter Game Business, PS4, XBOX ONE

Indie Development on Next Gen

There is a very good article about indie development from the folks at VG247 … I am also planing to write a piece about E3 and X1 vs. PS4 on the weekend but until then it is a good start ;)

http://www.vg247.com/2013/06/19/red-alert-xbox-ones-indie-aversion-is-a-serious-risk/

Summary: “A large part of the future of video games is giant, digitally distributed libraries of content which support multiple formats, all layers of development and offer every price, starting at a dollar. Of Microsoft and Sony, only the latter appears to get the need to support the smaller guy. Xbox One may be many things, but it isn’t home to discless development apart from exceptional examples. It’s a direct policy, and one Microsoft may discover to be catastrophic over the coming generation.”

Veröffentlicht unter Uncategorized