More Than One Million People Didn’t Need a Burn Heal!

If you have seen the news recently, or you may decided to look at some news because you were bored at work, you may have stumbled onto a new internet social/gaming experiment entitled “Twitch Plays Pokemon.” No doubt you’ve heard of it, but if not, it is simply an online version of Pokemon Red, but with a twist.

You start in a chat room and basically there are 2 modes of gameplay. Democracy gameplay is where each player inputs a command over a 30 second period and the key with most votes is inputted into the game. However when Anarchy gameplay starts, any key that is pressed is inputted into the game, allowing for a mass amount of chaos.

As you can see, it looks like a giant clusterf**k of people just hitting in commands in order to complete the game, but eventually it was completed. However it wasn’t an easy process due to the amount of absolute assholes who started playing and thought it would be funny to make the gameplay more difficult.  Asshole might be an understatement when you consider the following occurred:

  1. People jumping off  ledges during the long maze areas of the game
  2. Bloody Sunday where 12 Pokemon got released
  3. Repeated use of the start command and using items that really weren’t necessary
  4. Constant use of the Pokedex
  5. Constant saving

I know some of the above may not seem too much of a problem but seriously people, releasing 12 Pokemon? What the actual fuck? That’s 2 teams of Pokemon. You people who call yourself “Trolls” and think it’s funny are just fuckheads. You even released the starter Pokemon! A level 34 Charmeleon! He was 2 levels away from being a Charizard!? Charizard is one of the best Pokemon in the game. He flies and breathes fire. I hope you’re all ashamed of yourselves and you quietly die in a hole.

Maybe a bit over the top, but nevertheless, the trolls probably did die in their respective holes as the game was completed. It proves the gaming world is full assholes but eventually, with enough perseverance, gamers can rally together and finish one of the greatest games ever made.

If I’m honest, I wish I had the opportunity to take part in this experiment, but luckily the anonymous designer has applied the same idea to Pokemon Crystal. I will having a crack at that and make a valid attempt at completing it as my life plan is to not die in a hole.

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Contrarian Commenters

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Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

I am an individual pretty much consistently consumed with rage. Anger is the only basic emotion I have mastered, and I am known for my misanthropy and fury. I’ve decided to turn this into a semi regular article called ‘Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back’ in which I will discuss something that has irked me particularly that comes under the umbrella of topics that The Lost Lighthouse covers, really as an outlet. I won’t as a general rule rant about every day occurrences, mainly because I live in London and really don’t have time to write a new article every time something pisses me off, which averages out about once every 37 minutes. I’ll also round off each instalment with a list of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, to end on a positive.

So the thing that has been p*****g me off this week is people that are intentionally contrary or combative in comments threads for no f*****g reason. I know comments are a wretched hive of scum and villainy at the best of times, and a shower of c***s the rest of the time, but for now I specifically mean someone who reads an article or a comment from someone else, then contradicts or points out something totally f*****g pointless for no other reason than making themselves look better or to p**s people off. I’m not just talking general internet trolls either (though I f*****g hate those time and space wasters too).

One example of what I mean was when finishing a recent game, there was a particularly great story moment that was both natural and unique in its own way, for which the developers received a fair few deserved pats on the back including from the LGBT community for the particular story elements involved. Even the majority of the comments were particularly positive for once, nothing heinously homophobic. But then some d**k starts saying how it isn’t a big deal at all saying (paraphrasing) “Oh my god, why are people praising this? This should be something that is happening everywhere already, this isn’t newsworthy”. Correct, it should be something that should be accepted. It would be great if one day we don’t need a news report about LGBT issues in games (or other media too really, gay superheroes make news headlines) highlighting the achievements of those willing to push the boundaries to include this stuff, because those boundaries will have already been pushed and this will be as acceptable and expected as anything else in the media we consume. But we aren’t there yet, so the people that get us closer to that absolutely should get the props they deserve. It just struck me as someone being contrary ostensibly just to show how much more progressive they are, so progressive in fact that they don’t even care about the issue.

Another recent example was following the very sad news of Harold Ramis passing away, on a retrospective piece looking at his career. The piece was on a relatively nerdy website, so there was a focus on Ghostbusters and his role as Egon Spengler in both the article and the comments. Then some p***k decides to intentionally rile people up/try to make themselves look more knowledgeable or insightful by pointing out that Ghostbusters wasn’t the only thing he ever did (something clearly discussed in the article) and that it wasn’t that great anyway. It being that sort of site, of course there would be an Egon focus because that is the role that meant the most to people like us. That is what people will miss the most. Being contrary and arsey about it specifically in that forum doesn’t achieve anything. I guess I don’t post opinions often enough in comments threads, but I really see it in the same way as in normal conversation. If I don’t have something positive or interesting to add to a discussion, on or offline, I just don’t f*****g say anything! Just because you don’t have to open your mouth to say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the same level of basic thought about what you are saying as you would if you were verbalising it

Maybe my problem is just a larger one with comment threads. They can be full of pointless little fan-boy wars that don’t hurt anyone, or they can be minefields of the most deplorable arseholes that use the anonymity of the internet and hide behind cowardly little prefaces like “I’m not (blank) but…” to be disgustingly prejudiced against people they have never and will never meet based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. Spouting toxic s**t about any of that stuff isn’t acceptable in a group conversation, why should it be OK just because you’ve got a witty username concealing your real identity? Anyway there are much better reasons to hate someone, like their personality. Or how s**t their witty username is.

*Disclaimer – rants can and will stray off topic, and then end abruptly.*

What I’m playing – Mass Effect 3 Insanity playthrough

What I’m reading – Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks and Rachelle Rosenberg

What I’m listening to – Altered State by Tesseract, Something Witchy (new He Is Legend track), Howlin’ Wolf: The Collection

What I’m watching – Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2

Would You Kindly Get Me Into the Gaming Industry? Chapter Two

Our contributor Nathan continues his journey into games design.

For those of you who want to know, I passed the introduction to my course WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So off to a great start and now I can really dive in and get started.

I received the next part of my course and got straight on it. First section was entitled “The Game Development Cycle” which shows the complete process of design and development of a game. I knew games required a lot of planning but I was blown away by how much. I won’t go into detail as to how much there is, but there are approximately 12 processes a game goes through from concept to release. A very brief lesson to begin with but with enough information to give a basic outline of each concept.

The next section was all about game genres. Luckily through my many years of gaming, I knew a lot of genres so this section was a breeze, however I feel they missed one huge genre out. Why would you skip horror and everything it includes? Horror games are huge at the moment, with the latest release of Dead Rising coming out with the new Xbox One and then series like Dead Space and Resident Evil being the pinnacle of the genre. Have to say I was a little disappointed.

The next section focused more on the business sides of things. It was SWOT analysis and Competitive Game analysis which is nice to know about as the developers aren’t just people making video games, its a business and money has to be made.

The next section was called “Hardware Formats”. This section I found very interesting. It was all to do with the different hardware formats games can be played on, such as Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo and PC. It goes into detail on how each system has different requirements and what is included. Playstation have a document called the Technical Requirement Checklist, Nintendo has Lot Check and Xbox has Technical Certifications Requirements and all these are checklists used by developers to make sure that the game they develop can work on the specified console.

The last section starts on the basics of documentation. I won’t lie, it was pretty boring but I stuck with it. It talks about how to pitch the game and the documents needed to pitch it and a unique phrase called “Razor X” which is a one-line summation of why your idea is a winner. There are also mock examples of these documents to allow you to get a better understanding.

That’s all for this section on my journey into the gaming industry. Next time I will talk about my registering for GameJam 2014, where students on the course meet up, design and make games over a 48 period. I have already been entered into a team and we will see how it pans out unless I end up punching them all in their stupid heads because their ideas are stupid and they’re stupid.

Nathan

Help! I’m Too Good At Games!

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Do you feel that you’re breezing through games on hardcore and insanity? Pwning all the N00bs a bit too easily? Then this is the random assortment of words for you! The following will show you a number of ways to make your games harder so you can feel the challenge of a real difficulty curve once again! I mean, you could play blindfolded with one arm tied behind your back but where’s the fun in that?

Play Vegan

Does your game require you to eat meat etc to regain stamina? Well no more! Playing Vegan means that you can only eat items that have been lovingly given to you by the Earth/Moon/Wherever the hell you are. No meat, no cheese, no milk, no honey, no leather, no wool. This applies particularly well to Minecraft though don’t go around celebrating the fact that you finished Resident Evil playing Vegan. All they eat is Herbs. Apparently Oregano is the perfect accompaniment to zombie slaying.

The Blacksmith screwed my wife

And he over charges! I never want to see him again! Only take the weapons that the game forces upon you and never upgrade them. This means you could be taking on the final boss with the equivalent of a toothpick and you may kill it simply by making it laugh to death but at least you never have to give that Jerk Blacksmith any money.

I spent my bill money on games

Due to rising game prices and my own lack of budgeting we can now no longer afford electricity! Better play your games at minimum brightness because you don’t need to see to shoot things right? Anyone who does this playing Dead Space I want photos of your traumatised little face when playing it even darker. I need them for science (disclaimer: science may actually be my own personal collection).

 He’s ‘armless!

No really, there was a chainsaw accident. This mainly applies to Beat ‘em ups. Never use your arms in combat! Kicks and head butts only! No cheating and playing Mortal Kombat either as that has a mode that does all the hard work and removes the arms for you. Cheats!

Glass Cannon

Armour? I barely wear clothes! Go through the entire game relying on your own muscular prowess and don’t buy a single defensive item. It’s alright so long as you beat the boss to death before it breathes on you. Chain mail really chafes and helmets are for losers anyways.

 

Kii

Why the Hell Haven’t You Played This Yet? – Doom

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Every few weeks I will write an article on what I believe to be the best games you need to play before you die. These are games from all platforms and all differing in genre and gameplay, whether you play them or not is completely up to you, but I’d recommend it – Nath

Doom

Before we get started, let it be known that Doom is not the granddad of first-person shooters. Wolfenstein 3D was released over a year before Doom so this game should be considered the first first-person shooter, albeit Doom was more popular and more successful.

I can understand that most people who read this will have already played Doom or the other sequels/spin-offs that the game has spawned, however it goes on this list as I have replayed this game so many times and I still don’t get bored. It may look primitive compared to the first-person shooters of today, but you still need skill and perseverance in order to successfully navigate the levels filled with the spawn of hell.

You play a character known as “Doomguy” and his only objective is to kill all the enemies he sees in front of him and stop the invasion. Seems simple, but it is not unless you’re a pussy and playing it on the easier difficulties, and if you are, shame on you, you should play this on “hurt me plenty” or higher.

The game starts off in a room with a pistol and a bloody corpse and your aim is to find the exit whilst battling numerous monsters with a variety of weapons. New weapons can be picked up from monsters, but most of them are just lying about the levels, mainly in secret areas. They vary from shotguns to rocket launchers to chainsaws to the legendary BFG 9000. Now if you don’t know what the BFG is, it is a weapon that fires a large green plasma shot and deals large damage to the monster it hits, as well damage to other monsters you can see in view. It is considered one of the best weapons ever created.

I can imagine most of you are thinking “why should I bother playing this 90’s game”, but trust me, it is worth it. I love this game, it brings me enjoyment when I play it as well the deep satisfaction I get when completing a level on Nightmare, the hardest difficulty on the game. This difficulty doesn’t even allow you to enter cheat codes so basically you are in for a rough time. You take more damage and the monsters are faster and they respawn, a lot, like seriously loads, its ridiculous. Good news is you get double the ammo when you play on this difficulty, not that it matters because you’ll be dead before you fire the gun.

In the end, this is a game you have to play for numerous reasons, the difficulty of nightmare, the fun and simplicity of the game and a history lesson in gaming. It is one of the first first-person shooters to grace the gaming world and it made a huge impact. Also if you play the game and/or the brilliant sequel Doom 2, you will have a massive appreciation for it’s reboot Doom 3 and it’s expansion packs. On a side note, don’t watch movie based on the game. I know it has Karl Urban and The Rock in it, but it is awful, except for the 4 minutes where the film enters first person mode. Actually watch that bit, not the rest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueKhVcqQBtg

Hope you enjoyed the review, happy fragging. Also, roll on Doom 4!

Nath

Would You Kindly Get Me Into The Gaming Industry?

Today our good friend Nathan introduces us to his first steps on the road to games design.

Since I was young enough to use a mouse and keyboard, I have always enjoyed video games. I can remember playing Doom with my dad when I was very young even though my mother didn’t approve of it. I can still remember the cheat codes and for those of you who don’t know, all weapons, ammo and keys is IDKFA, god mode is IDDQD and level select is IDCLEV (no I didn’t just look them up).I purchased my first Sony Playstation when I was 11, much to the annoyance of my mother, she thought it would be a bad idea and at the time she was probably right. What followed for the next 15 years was the usual cycle of playing games, buying new consoles, LAN parties etc. however all of the above adds up to my love of gaming, whether I am shooting down aliens, jumping across buildings or with friends beating the crap out of each other.

Eventually my love of gaming would lead me into the industry, but it didn’t happen straight away as I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I went to Loughborough university and studied a science and engineering foundation degree that lead me on to a a degree in mechanical engineering. Unfortunately I dropped out after the first few months as I couldn’t handle the work load and started at Loughborough college studying video game design. When I left, I had a pretty awful portfolio so made it impossible to get into the industry. I started a job as a telecommunications engineer and worked there for around 2 and a half years before I realized I wanted to leave and work in the gaming industry. I stumbled upon an article regarding a company called Train2Game and how they get people into the industry. I went to their website and read the articles and testimonials and decided to apply. I didn’t hear anything for 6 months.

I started contemplating going into Cisco networking until I received a telephone call from Train2Game and to be honest, I tried to fob them off at first but then agreed to a telephone interview. I then had a face-to-face interview with a representative from Train2Game and I explained my reservations upon starting the course. He explained that in the surrounding area, 250 people were interviewed over the phone, 15 people were selected for face-to-face interviews and 5 were selected to start the course. He explained that their greatest advertisement were the students that complete the course and obtain a job within the industry. It would’ve been stupid of me not to sign up. So here I am, studying to be a video game producer.

My first assignment was an introduction into a game engine called GameMaker. Here I created a total of 5 different games in order to further my understanding of programming, a point-and-click game, a basic scrolling shooter, a more advanced scrolling shooter, a puzzle/maze game and finally a 2D platform game. All of these allowed me to understand the basic concept of coding as well as problem solving and debugging as to why the game may not work on the first try.

My second assignment was a brief history of video games. Luckily I studied this at college and I had recently watched Charlie Brooker: Videogames Changed the World so I could skim over this chapter quickly. At the end I had a multiple choice test to complete and I am waiting on the results at the moment. When I receive them I will let you all know and hopefully continue on the path that will lead me into the industry and hopefully become one of the best video game producers in the industry.

Nathan

The Woes of a Healer

In her first article for The Lost Lighthouse Kii helps us through the essential MMO role that is The Healer! Have you ever dropped dead in the middle of a dungeon in World of Warcraft? Ganked in mid lane during Ranked on League of Legends? Who you gonna blame? The Healer! Sometimes healing is just too hard and us Support players like to take naps. Here’s a quick list of things you can do so you don’t die and make your support cry.

KiiHealerAntimony     KiiHealerSoraka     KiiHealerLulu

  • Don’t be a d**k – Trust me, nobody likes healing a player who’s spouting abuse at anything that moves. Want HP? Keep your NOOBs at home.
  • Don’t be stupid, even game lives are precious – Some of us can’t heal you fast enough if you run forward, naked and alone into the entire enemy team.
  • Do listen to OOM – When your healer declares Out Of Mana, it’s time to be careful as they can do shit all to help you now.
  • Don’t be a d**k.
  • Do cover objectives instead of just playing Deathmatch – If you’re meant to be clearing out mobs, protecting a gate or pushing some form of button then f*****g do it! If you just try and kill enemy players all the time you’ll never get anywhere. Also you’ll probably die a lot and everybody will hate you.
  • Do think of your positioning – Most games run on the design that the healer will be behind the damage dealer. If you stay behind your support then they will be in the line of fire. Healers are weaklings and will squish up and die. Then you have no support and you will squish up and die.

DON’T BE A D**K. Kii