Matthew Birdzell

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About Matthew Birdzell

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  1. What is your Game of the Year for 2017 and why?

    Thats a lot haha. A majority of what you say is indeed tough love. That's valid.To me its nitpicky over lots of little design choices the developers probably didn't catch as they built it. You do have good points. However they did work on the game for six years, trying stuff out and writing several stories. Twenty for the main story, in fact. That was stated in an interview with the lead writer on YouTube. Perhaps they also used this first game to experiment with their designs, leaving a sequel for improvements. Thats normally how stuff works. Lots of what you mention can be ironed out and refined. You bring a detailed perspective. Thanks!. I have less to describe in shortcomings in my review I posted a couple weeks ago, over in the blog forum.
  2. What is your Game of the Year for 2017 and why?

    I felt HZD did combat amazingly. I LOVED it. The whole experience is by far one of the most polished games I've ever played. Don't know where you got all the bugs from; I got one, maybe two or three the entire 83 hours I've put into the base game and Frozen Wilds DLC. Also a big fan of Aloy. Sure...she's a bit light on character development here and there. But that wasn't the big point. Its her journey of self discovery that I thoroughly enjoyed. Especially the final scene before credits roll. Its beautiful in my opinion. Made me cry a bit. And the best quote is in my signature. Loved the setting, loved the detail and effort in the lore...though its confusing to align it all. I'm getting there. I agree about the character animations. They are quite stiff in dialogue branches. Cutscenes are very, very good for the most p As for the writing I found it solid. Some dialogue is too heavy in exposition and the plot can get a little confusing. But not often I thought. I consider it one of the best games I've ever played all around. Though I see you're not quite on that level. I understand. If it had those areas ironed out I'd consider a 9.75/10. PubG doesn't deserve it at all. Its fun to watch on Twitch. I do enjoy that. Its so successful too. But really? Game of the Year? hahaha. I might have to try Cuphead.
  3. What is your Game of the Year for 2017 and why?

    Zelda's most likely winning GotY. Meh. Cuphead I've heard was great. Not played it yet.
  4. The year is winding down. Most AAA, indie, second and third party games have released. Probably small ones on the side coming out under the radar still. But regardless, I look back on what I played this year to decide my choice of Game of the Year. Unfortunately I've played just three new games this year. But I've played a total of 15, breaking last years record of 12. Several were games I've already seen on Youtube but hadn't played yet, namely on my new PS 4 Slim - The Last of Us and Uncharted 1-4. Others were new, or replayed on my Xbox. I enjoyed a great experimental title from Ninja Theory I read about in GameInformer earler this year - Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Started and have over 20 hours in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. But the real deal was a game that blew me away. I heard about it last E3 and as it approached launch on February 28th, I didn't think much of it. It was when Polygon.com gave it a 9.5/10 my interest grew. Horizon Zero Dawn took me by total surprise. Its not the greatest game I've ever played but I tie it with Skyrim as the 6th best game I've ever played, and best action RPG I've experienced. I even give it higher rating - also a 9.5/10. I fell in love with Aloy; she's such a great character. Now one of my favorites, on a list including the Uncharted crew, Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us and my favorite game character - Master Chief. I'm really happy to see The Game Awards nominate Horizon Zero Dawn and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice across several categories. So my vote for Game of the Year is easily HZD. A amazingly fascinating story with a surprising amount of lore, some of the best art design and graphics I've ever seen, an emotional journey of discovery that made me cry at the end, a stunningly beautiful musical score and engaging, albeit not perfect, combat mechanics sway me. I gave it five votes - Best Narrative, Best Art Direction, Best Game Direction, Best Action Adventure, and Game of the Year. Hellblade got four- Best Sound Design, Best Indie, Most Scially Impactful, and Best Performance. That last one was hard to chose, but Melina Juergens was phenomenal for someone with no prior acting experience. Combined with the brilliant use of real time cinematography, she brought a depth of grit and raw emotional power I've rarely seen. Huge props to Guerilla Games and Ninja Theory for their work! With that, what's your Game of the Year? What did you most enjoy, even if it didn't make the Game Awards list?
  5. I'm working on my first game story - a futuristic sci fi/military action adventure - that is coming to me in spurts, not linearly. I really want to build this story in a logical, straightforward way. But for some darn reason my imagination brings me ideas so scattered, so randomized, in puzzle piece style that I don't know what to stick with. And this is a game story that I've imagined for over a year and a half. Perhaps two years. Very slowly surfacing. Its sort of annoying how its cooking in my mind. Anyone have problems like this? What do you do to combat them? Write it in small spurts, experimenting with ideas, or work on other projects?
  6. A bit late to the party, but I've been in love with Halo for thirteen years, give or take. The series that gave me inspiration to go to college to become a game writer (originally CS major). One day I want to work on that series that defined my childhood and what I love about games.
  7. I love it. Thats great!
  8. Since I started this blog I wanted to focus on game writing and storytelling. Now I'm expanding that to include reviews I write. I don't do it often though...at least not yet. Maybe I'll start a new blog on that later. I present my review of the PlayStation 4 exclusive hit Horizon Zero Dawn. Released on February 28th, 2017. Hint: its my pick for Game of the Year 2017. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hRixjNWc3-M3DHdEBgUqrFkbaMJpx4Lu1-ANAiC-BBk/edit?usp=sharing Thanks for reading!
  9. Getting together a team!

    Are you looking to pay people or is it all self funded or just for fun? It does sound great! I'm doing writing in school and want to write games and other stuff, but hmm....I don't know if I have time to add to this with my own game story I'm developing. Do you have anyone yet?
  10. I'll crit yours - you crit mine

    I really like this. I'm writing a game story I've very slowly developed for around a year and a half or two years. So far just a small handful of possible scenes and plot structure/character trait ideas. I could PM you a scene or two if you'd like? Also using them in my writing course this fall term. Gotten a little feedback, but not much.
  11. IGN acquires Humble Bundle

    RIP Humble Bundle.
  12. Originality in game stories.

    Its still possible to write original game stories, but I'm actually wondering this - how does one write a game that stands above the rest originality wise? One can borrow from successful games to make their own. One can experiment, but it could be unsuccessful. That said, I believe originality is one form or another is still there for game writing and design. It just appears in more subtle ways. I like thinking about those cool ideas to write as a game, but its about making them original or capturing people's attention that is the tough part. Hmmm...how do you see this?
  13. I posted it here hoping it would reach out to more people than writers, like I asked in my question. Then again, perhaps you're right.
  14. I've posted in the writing forum a few times, as my goal is to be a writer in games. Maybe books too. Actually both would be fun. But I'd also like to try other creative design, like making dialogue for cutscenes and helping direct those. However I might need some sort of film degree, which I don't have and not studying for right now. I'd also like to try developing mechanics and levels. I'd think that would be working hand in hand as a writer, depending on the project. FAr out ideas would be voice acting. I also have no experience there. But you can learn on the spot! Look at what Melina Juergens did as Senua in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. No acting experience. Gave a phenomenal performance. So any other writers here? What sort of work do you want to do in games?
  15. Anyone going to see Bladerunner 2049 at the flicks?

    I'm interested in it. I first saw Blade Runner in my...hmm...third year of college? Or fourth. All I remember from it was it was boring. Perhaps I saw the wrong version. I know they're five versions. And of those one or two are the best ones. Denis Villeneuve made a great film out of Arrival. I think this could be his shining moment.