NumenorMember Since 20 Apr 2005
Offline Last Active Sep 26 2015 01:17 PM
Knowledge: The Best Part of Learning and Designing
An energetic person fighting the labor bubbles and recruiter requirements, experienced as a general clerk and a traditional writer, a terrific game tester, and a traditional RPG designer, with an imagination for greater goals in our digital era.
I joined GameDev because of its extensive resources, its membership for digital gaming, and the possibilities for collaboration. Being online now since approximately 1997 has enhanced my knowledge of digital gaming and overall digital influences. My first community I opened was with Microsoft, and the new community was initially about neo-terminologies for the specialty hobby of civilian wargames, as experienced by myself in the United States, starting in late 1960s. My first community was entitled The Metawargame Group. This community took a supreme precedence over other activity, even though I was striving economically--yet the effort and knowledge wasn't enough. I new blending two different eras of gaming could be more beneficial, just like I discovered during the early primal Dungeons & Dragons' era that universal rules would accommodate users' playability and offer a greater range of adaptability for developers, though the idea of blending two separate genres of gaming wasn't a working model that retained my interests during the late 1990s. There was some speculation about universal rules but development ideology, such as a signal role-playing model for a swords and sorcery RPG, and market expectation for a fledgling development company took its immediate toll. This was the early to middle 1970s in the United States.
Blending digital gaming with traditional models of gaming became a reality when I relocated to San Francisco, California during 2001, where I have been living in some capacity since then. I was introduced to Photoshop (Adobe), Flash (Macromedia, Adobe), and video editing (Ulead), and many of their advanced functions, at City College starting in 2003. In addition, I became extremely cognizant of digital gaming--online, platforms, and PC/Mac. Everywhere in San Francisco, wherever stores carried them, you could purchase various digital gaming and technology magazines. The larger retail stores, including GameStop, sold digital products and provided demo games. With just this small sampling, I knew that digital games had ingested the market prior to 2001. I was way behind, yet I still hadn't experienced a real digital RPG and RTS. These came not much later, however.
Becoming aware of the Doom sci-fi video game by id Software produced in 1993 demonstrated that the video gaming market was established, and certainly earlier than I had expected. The playing dynamics and quality of the first person shooter and the third person shooter were phenomenal. Although I couldn't play Doom, there were other FPS games I could try, such as Half-Life (Valve Corp., Sierra Studios), which I always thought of as rather cool, Wolfenstein (id Software), Halo (initially by Bungie), Resident Evil (Capcom), and GoldenEye 007 (Rare). Tomb Raider (Core Design/Crystal Dynamics) demonstrated another style of FPS that intrigued me more about the capabilities of digital RPG dynamics, yet I hadn't viewed World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment) and Final Fantasy (Square/Square Enix). I was still missing something, so I purchased some video gaming magazines that had video game demos and software programs installed on accompanying DVDs. This is about 2003-2005. It was about 2007 that I purchased my first notebook, an HP Pavilion DV6500.
One day, however, I walked into the Metreon mall, a popular San Francisco restaurants, shopping, and entertainment destination, even prior to its current major refit, at Fourth and Mission Streets. In one of its empty corners, a major computer technology magazine had setup computer gaming stations so that interested mall goers could play their games. I was stunned. The games featured were Rise and Fall: Civilizations At War (Stainless Steel Studios/Midway Games) and Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth (Electronic Arts)--both RTS versions. Can anyone imagine how long it takes to learn a new-concept RTS within a time frame of a length of a demo? I continued to return to the computer stations featuring Rise and Fall. It didn't take me long to learn the conceptual dynamics and building schemes about the game. Rise and Fall had everything, most which I wouldn't ever be able to image, including building architectures, units, and fleets, upgrades/levels, campaigns, multiplayer, and "hero mode." The hero mode was unique because with a toggle key, you could switch your hero from overall standard mode (controller viewing units from above) to a hero's third-person or first-person viewing mode and back again. In hero mode it allows the hero to view the situation from ground level (controller viewing from hero's perspective), support fighting units, and conduct sub-maps to a particular level in the game, using the inherent capabilities of the hero. Not only was Rise and Fall fun and easy (for me, at least) but I had finally learned what a RTS was about. Rise and Fall encouraged me to try Lord of the Rings, which caused me to slightly falter. I couldn't learn how to build up my castle, allowing enemy surges of troops and monsters to conquer my forces. That certainly was an eye opener because if a player didn't learn a game within a certain time period, he/she would probably lose in some fashion! It is, therefore, recommended by me to study a purchased game before you become actively involved in competition.
Other RTS games followed. One such game was Rise of Nations (Big Huge Games), which is a sequence through Ages game, similar to Civilization (MicroProse, others), from the Ancient Age to the Information Age. RON had encouraged me to purchase Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots (Microsoft Game Studios/Microsoft Studios, Big Huge Games), the Gold Edition for PC, which I loaded onto my HP Pavilion. I was able to experience other games, as well, including other Tomb Raider versions, GTA (DMA Design/Rockstar North), Battlefield Online (Electronic Arts, EA Digital Allusions CE, Neowitz Games), Call of Duty (Infinity Ward, others), Serious Sam (Croteam), and new releases of Halo. Serious Sam is, what I term, a carnival FPS, a very excellent one at that, with the major figurehead, Serious Sam Stone, defeating opponents throughout the maps or levels. Battlefield Online was a competitive team mode during the modern era. You would pick your sandbox by joining open team slots. Once in the sandbox's map, a player has to continue eliminating the opponents until the time period runs down. In such an environment, I had to learn to become efficient. One example is when an opponent cast a grenade at our group moving into action, I learned very quickly, if I noticed the grenade, to move fast away from the grenade's explosive radius and, sometimes, towards the opponent who cast the grenade. During several similar events I was able to save myself and was also able to eliminate opponents who dared to cast their grenades too close. I had discovered, however, that being familiar with other modes of play was difficult to learn within an acceptable time period. Battlefield Online had several modes, such as infantry, tank, and helicopter. Trying to learn all modes during one event is an impossibility, such as starting in the infantry mode, and then switching to the helicopter mode--unless you had some prior experiences, of course. If not, you become thoroughly mode shocked trying to learn the new controls so that you might be able to acceptably perform during a heat. This is what I encountered at a competitive event sponsored by Virgin Mega Store in San Francisco. My opponent defeated me because I hadn't practiced Halo for some time, and I had become mode shocked in the event trying to learn or re-learn the system.
To become competitive in the graphics industry, a creative individual must have tools available for productivity. Some of the software, I've already mentioned. I found others, however. One was the Inkscape svg drawing program. The Inkscape application had fascinated me so much, I installed a version of the program on my notebook for later use and wrote an introductory article about its basic interface tools. There are many more available, primarily through open source software agreements. Some of these include ZBrush (Pixologic Inc.), Flame Painter, Daz Studio, Blender, and Gimp 2.0. Normally, these same programs are upgradeable. For instance, my Draw Plus Starter (Serif) edition drawing program can be upgraded at various levels that will cost me some extra cash but well worth the new capabilities and features. The owner's of a program are not "pushed" to make upgrade purchases; they are simply emailed an update with offers, sometimes at great discounted original prices. For a web administrator or web designer, CoffeeCup has an expansive list of software author environments, tools, and upgrades. They are worth the discounted prices when an administrator or designer wants to improve performance and appeal of website and weblog interfaces. Other author environments are the NeoAxis 3D Engine, the new Unity 5 integrated development engine for 2D and 3D games, GameMaker: Studio (YoYo Games, Playtech PLC), Audacity (SourceForge), Maya 3D animation software (Autodesk), Sketchup 3D (Google), Illustrator (Adobe), AutoCAD, and CorelDraw. The list of available authoring tools, including writing and designing code, is becoming the length of an endlessly written scroll. The real concern about any purchase of products online is that they are properly supported.
The Internet has become a tool in itself. This has taken several forms, but what has interest me are the many authoring tools available at closed communities. A closed community is like a group of artists with similar art interests, and each artist has his/her own unique identification and password. Some communities allow you to join and write software modules. Fantastic? To say the least, of course. The Internet in this respects has come from far since my introduction of the Internet during the late 1990s. Then there are the clouds and their tools. Lost? Get a Google.com account. The reason I suggest Google is that they have improved on the number of business productivity apps (tools) for your account's cloud. These apps allow you to produce, save, and share from the cloud--without the need for extra copies anywhere else. As a simple example of what's available online, I'll use a differentiated set. For instance, at Pixlr anyone can use their tool, which is similar to an Adobe Photoshop work environment, and for free. The Artifice is a closed community writing environment with its own tools; and alongside Writing.com will help an aspiring individual to write with tools for fiction as well as for non-fiction. There are some social websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, that have various apps available for use. These will assist in your social preferences, communication, and provide recreation. There are many, many more websites online, including designing, displaying, and selling artworks and merchandise--or even for manufacturing. Now for designing a blog?
What of online games? They have exploded since the late 1990s. (As a side note, within the text of this document, so have mobile applications, today.) If you have some doubts about online gaming, checkout Miniclip.com for their variable list of genres. They allow you to play most games for free, but they are for sale and Miniclip provides links to certain games so that you might sponsor the game and Miniclip on your website or weblog. Sometimes an addition client is necessary so that your computer can process and view the game. One such client is the Shockwave player. There are other games online, sponsored by their supporters. WWIIOnline is one of the first, fully-functional online games in 3D; that is rotating 360 degrees around an object. WWIIOnline is one of the first MMOFPS digital games online, and its "world" is set up for a World War II European theatre of warfare, but in order to play, a participant must have a computer device so that a client can be downloaded and saved. Here's a small list of competitive online games that I have played in the past. These are termed MMO, MMOP, MMOPG, MMORPG, and others because this genre of gaming allows a mix method of representation. MMO games are very intensive, meaning that you must participant to build up your strength and conduct your moves, which minimally requires that you logon about twice weekly. The MMO genre also involves--and very heavily--guilds that you might join as a single player in a game. Guilds group players in the game, and they provide other benefits for players as well as the guilds themselves.
- King's Age (Gameforge, Gameforge USA, Gameforge 4D GmbH)
- Wild Guns (Gameforge, Gameforge USA, Gameforge 4D GmbH)
- Battle Knight (Gameforge, Gameforge USA, Gameforge 4D GmbH)
- Empire Craft (Oak Pacific Interactive)
- Imperia Online (Imperia Online LTD.)
- WWII Warfare (Bitcomet Inc., Play Comet)
- Urban Rivals (Acute Games, Boostr)
- WAR2 (WiSTONE)
- Astro Empires (Cybertopia Studios)
- Terra Militaris (Suzhou Snail Electronic Co., Ltd.)
- Might & Magic Heroes' Kingdoms (Ubisoft)
- Forge of Empires (InnoGames GmbH)
- 7 Dragons (Gamigo AG, Outspark, Fiesta)
- Waronline (Alex Fiedler)
- Battle Corp (Battleteam)
- War Commander (KIXEYE)
- The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age (Kabam)
- Under Fire (R J Games)
- Soldiers Inc. (Plarium Global LTD.)
- Ogame (Gameforge, Gameforge USA, Gameforge 4D GmbH)
I don't really suggest that you become over-involved with the online MMO genre, but it's fun nonetheless because of its interfaces and cooperative play. Try no more than three games simultaneously until you find out what MMO is all about or find a game you really like playing. Participating in too many MMOs is like writing some software programs: you become so involved it becomes overbearing and demanding to conduct. MMOs are just demanding, especially when you start really competing against other players and guilds! Read more news about multiplayer games at Mpogd.com.
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- Age 61 years old
- Birthday December 25, 1953
Building better websites and weblogs. Learning more code. Pre-design digital game elements. Constructing imaginary worlds. Designing great graphics for business. Forging a better alliance. Playing more MMOG. Developing digital/gaming reviews.