Trouble Thinking

September 20, 2011

Hey. What’s Up With That Hawken Game?

Filed under: Game Engines, Game News — Tags: , , , , , , — Durandal @ 10:26 pm

Hawken! You know it, you love it you goddamnit you don’t remember a fucking thing about Hawken do you.

This is how it always is. I leave for a minute or two weeks and you start forgetting about the things that Matter. Things like an awesome independent developer Unreal Development Kit game that looks amazingly, almost rudely great. It’s a multiplayer-focused first person shooter that puts you in the seat of a giant man-shaped robot bristling with weaponry.

From what I’ve been able to gather from trailers and the website, it’s looking to be less of a stolid, engineering-focused MechWarrior, and more like something out of the Japanese quick-jumping mech variety, just from a first person perspective. Which is great! Because I loved the unfortunately named S.L.A.I for the PS2, a game to which Hawken is looking pretty intensely similar. Quick matches of simple but interesting mechs composed of a moderately varied pool of parts.

On display in the video are a few very neat weapon layouts, with the standard many-missles, one-missle, strong-gun, weak-fast-gun, and so on. It also shows what looks like a call-in/kill-streak mechanic of some sort, with a massive flying fortress dropping some pain on a few players. If you’ve got a quick eye, you may notice the “cloak” mechanic, when the video’s protagonist shuts down all inessential systems and drops off the map in order to confuse another player as well as avoid some heat-seeking missiles.

So far, almost nothing is know about this game except that they are using dark rituals to make fucking amazing environment detail with nothing but two people working on the game. Check out the video and begin salivating procedures!

February 20, 2011

Infinity by I-Novae Studios

Several days ago a colleague of mine showed me a youtube video that absolutely took my breath away. It’s a technology demo for an in-development computer game called Infinity, and though it’s still in earlier stages of development it looks to be something truly special. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

The elegance behind the I-Novae engine is that planets, stars and environments are procedurally generated using complex algorithms, meaning each planet, star, or element doesn’t need to have the bits stored on a disc or on a server somewhere to be looked up and instanced. Rather, the engine will generate an object for the user on an as-needed basis, allowing the developers to implement a persistent full scale galaxy of billions of stars without needing the data of billions of stars to be pre-written to memory.

Procedurally generated elements are not the same as randomly generated elements. If two players are each visiting the same planet, the seed assigned to that planet will cause the procedural algorithms to recreate the same planet for both observers. Infinity is an MMO designed around this engine, and from first impression promises to be a game which is very unique.

What I like most about the planned game play of Infinity is the fact that there are NO classes, races, levels, cooldowns or other traditional RPG progression mechanics. Combat is real time and dependent entirely on player skill, and unlike EVE, you won’t need to spend 3 years building up skills to have the ability to use big capital ships. The game is incredibly open ended, player driven and (forgive the pun) astronomical in scale.

It will probably be a few more years before Infinity is released, as the small independent studio behind the game is currently working to polish up the game engine for sale and licensing. Still, I’m content to wait if it means that they can deliver the sort of game they’re promising to. It’s finding gems like these that make me wish I had a wealth of venture capital to invest.

Official Infinity Site:

I-Novae Studio Site:

Are you interested in other interesting things? Of course you are! Read my review of DreamKeepers Volumes 1 and 2!

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