Advertising in Games

I was just reading in IGN about EA dynamically advertising in games I like the comment:

advertising is not only nice to have, but it's an essential component to create the fiction of being there

I agree that it might well add to the realism of the game in question but the real motivation isn't to make a more authentic gaming experience it's to create another revenue channel. I doubt this will result in the games in question being cheaper though. It will be interesting to see if they allow it to be turned off (in the event that someone doesn't want this added realism) or whether we'll see a bunch of people blocking sites in the same way as they do with banner ads.

Blogger Upgrade

Not Related to gaming at all but with the blogger upgrade I've upgraded the template on this site. Let me know if you have any problems with it or such.

I bought Sin Episode 1 from Steam yesterday. One of the reasons for doing this is it was $15 which is a really good price; even for a short game. The second is that it's a Source based game and with all the problems I've been having with Half Life 2 at the moment I thought I'd see if I had with another game using the engine. I played it for about an hour and a half with no problems. Still something to do with Half Life 2 then. That's good as Dark Messiah looks good and I'm hoping it runs ok. Anyway Sin has been really good fun so far. It's not breaking any new ground on the FPS front but it keeps the pace well and has a good action feel to it.



I love steam; the way it burns through your skin... ok I'm really talking about Steam; Valve's online content delivery service which I have more of a love/minor irritation relationship with. At first I had an issue with not actually having a physical copy of the game but it wasn't really that much of a hurdle to overcome to realize that I don't really care about owning the box just the product and the idea of not needing to hunt around for where I left that DVD case appealed so I quickly got over that.

I was playing Half Life 2: Episode 1 with commentary on and recently it just started crashing for no reason. At first I assumed it was something to do with hardware but now I think it might be a regression in one of the background updates. This presents a problem since I didn't know about that update until I read the RSS feed I had on it and suddenly the game stops working without me knowing about it. Of course that's more of an issue with testing a patch rather than with the content delivery system.

I just bought X3 from Steam after moaning about a game working on it. I haven't actually had a chance to play it for any length yet. This is another point about Steam. All games I've bought (as far as I recall) I've preloaded so they have been ready for launch. In the case of X3 it was quicker than buying it from an online store but longer than going to a shop and buying it, taking it home and installing it from DVD. Still I am prone to buying things at 1am so Steam really helps this :D and given I'm looking to buy Dark Messiah on Steam rather than in a store then it is quite obvious I prefer it as a platform over traditional purchasing methods.


Level Design

I decided to get back to some level designing and attempting to create a map for Half Life 2 using the Hammer Editor. I've spent a couple of hours with it (just, not long at all) and it doesn't seem quite as friendly as the Unreal Editor which I previously used to create a map for Raven Shield.

Though developers are willing to put in extra time to develop maps the ability to quickly develop maps and change them is very important to professional developers and fans alike. Recently the Unreal 3 engine has been adopted by EA along with use in a few other studios. Maybe it's time I revisit that and see what I can do. However not before I play around some more with the Source engine.


Console VS PC

I've go through phases in my game playing of prefering to play games on a console and playing games on my PC. Recently the playing fields have been somewhat merged as I'm using my HDTV as a monitor so the visuals and sounds of both my consoles and my PC are the same. Consoles have a certain instant feel about them. You buy a game for a console and you know that it will run ok and that you won't have any problems installing the game to play it. On the other hand Keyboard/Mouse (and I know that is just an accessory) is still my choice of tool for FPS and consoles are still yet to really use that. On the other hand I tire of upgrade cylces and that realisation that games just won't run on well on your machine any more can be frustrating. Not to mention the plathora of config settings can mean that games just don't work on your system or that some background task is messing it up.

I've been more drawn back to my PC recently. That is in part because I've been trying my hand at some level design and that's something that isn't really available on consoles. Also I can pick up some games for my PC for £15 compared to £40 on an XBox 360 and that sort of price difference can't be ignored. Still saying that I'm very much looking forward to Dead Rising and a host of other games for my 360.