Sunday, August 3, 2008

I am the model of a modern major geek

Hey folks,

Call me a dork for posting this video, but I ran into it on You Tube and can't get the bloody song out of my head. Pretty much everyone has heard this song at least once in their lives and I really have to tip my hat to the people out there who have to memorize the whole song and perform it in front of everyone.

Anyway, enjoy Model of a Modern Major General from Pirates of Penzance. And yes, thats a young Kevin Kline in there.

-P. Knight

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sounds good!

Hey folks,

So recently I have been toying with the game concept of sound. Lot of new video games recently have really been playing on the whole sound concept and many gamers admit that they do end up loving the soundtracks and music for most modern games and think that it really pulls them into the game. I also agree with that statement and find that good music and or soundtracks can really make a game and even helps players play the game better if they actually have good music to listen to as well as get into the mood of the game.

With that idea in mind, I was actually working on a game idea that allows you to actually literally surf music. I was always a big fan of the SSX game serious back in the PS2 days and I know many gamers out there like the idea of surfing/riding giant waves, objects and or pretty much anything else out there as well as doing really cool tricks. For the game concept, which I am going Soundwaves, I wanted to take that idea and apply it to music.

Instead of riding on snow, cement or water, players would actually be riding on music waves. Much like any other surfing, snowboarding or skatboarding game, the player would control a character from a third person persepctive and the character would be more or less locked towards the bottom of the screen much like other games of this type. You can move forward a bit, but the whole point is that the character isn't going all over the screen.

Now the real kicker would be the fact that players are having their characters ride music. Coming from a focused point way down the path from the player's character, sound waves would be coming out towards the player and the player would then be able to use his/her character to surf these sound waves. Now the waves would sort of looks like those pin art toys that were made really big back in the 90's thanks to the Sharper Image and science museums everywhere.

So bacially imagine the player's character standing on a surface in the game that looks much like the image above. Where the ground is all bumping looking. Now imagine the ground going up and down forming little hills and edges while coming at the character from a long distance all the way to the bottom of the screen. Like I said though, all those little hills and edges though would be based on music and or sounds.

In the game would be a program that reads music and then based on the rythem and beats of the music, the program would then create all the hills and edges in game and send them speeding at the player's character. In a way, its like Guitar Hero, but instead of having to play the music beats on your guitar, your character is having to surf over these "sound hills" all the while doing all sorts of crazy tricks to gain points.

Now the game itself would come with 25 different songs of course to give people a feel to the gameplay. But once they get use to it, they can download and or add their own tracks to the game since the game will have the hill building program already built into it. This way players can add whatever songs they like to the game and try to see what sort of scores they can get with the music they like.

Of course they can take the game online and there would be scoreboards for all the main songs that came with the game as well as scoreboards for user uploaded songs as well. That way other players from around the world can see what songs others are playing and may even decide to go check that song out for themselves. Since their are millions of songs out there of course, there will be lots of scores. But we can break them down into genre and rank them by how many scores were submitted for each song. That way people can see which ones are the most popular to play.

Art style wise, I was thinking of using something similiar to the manga series, Soul Eater. A light playful type style that is a bit sytlized and looks like a mix between Japanese and American art styles. I am debating about if the game should be very bright or very dark, but I think either could work really. Most likely dark backgrounds with light characters would work I think. That way the characters pop a bit more and people won't loose their vision trying to focus on things going on in the background.

Anyway, its just a idea I was toying with. I think it could be a cool little game since it would allow players to use their own music as part of the game and would have a highly stylized look to it as well. Music games have really become hugely popular as of late and I think this one could step up and be a good contender as well since it would be easy to make and fun to play.

-P. Knight

Monday, July 28, 2008

More of Northrend part 2

Hey folks,

Here is the other batch of Northrend photos I promised. This time around, I got some shots from the other new starting area, Howling Fjord. Howling is on the opposite site od Northrend from Borean Tundra, but its also a second starting area for all you level 70's out there. I talked about this earlier, but Blizzard has done a smart thing here and has made two starting areas in Northrend for level 70's instead of just one like they did for level 60's and Hellfire Peninsula in Burning Crusade.

Howling Fjord is actually a very cool looking zone and is a bit of a throwback to more of the classic look of WoW with a touch of viking influence. The starting town for Aliiance is a place called Valgarde and is run by dwarfs who are trying to stop a viking race as well as local mobs from taking down the new city. The early photos are of Valgarde and the surrounding area that is all located at the bottom of a canyon. You can arrive at Valgarde by taking a boat from Menethil Harbor.

Once I got out of the town, I took the roads northwest and traveled through Ember Clutch where I ran into some dragons and trappers and then went up to Gjalerbron which had a ton of undead and spider mobs roaming around. After that I went east past a Horde town and then further north which took me down a mountain and into another new zone called Grizzly Hills.

Now for all you backpackers or outdoor types out there, you will get a real kick out of Grizzy Hills. The place is very much like a WoW version of the Yosimite National Park here in California. Huge massive trees and forests, all sorts of cute animals running around and of course lots of furblogs as well. The whole area has a very serene feel to it and you feel like you are gonna get lost in all the woods. You honestly never know what you are gonna find in Grizzly hills. Just walking around i found huge tribes of furblogs, massive earth giants, really mean stone golems as well as a several different humans who are trying to cut down all the woods. There are a few undead roaming around, but they are more on the outskirts of the zone instead of all the way in like most of the other zones in Northrend. I think people will get a real kick out of Grizzly Hills just because its one one the more normal looking places in Northrend and definitely gives you a breathtaking view once you get higher up in some of the areas.

Anyway, thats it for now folks. Gonna get some more photos later on and will post them on here as soon as I do. But for now, enjoy these!

-P. Knight

Pixar is on the up and up!

Hey folks,

For all you Pixar fans out there, here is the brand new teaser trailer for their new upcoming flick, Up! There isn't a whole lot known about the film other then it comes out next year, but it looks like it will be a funny and cute little adventure just like most other Pixar films of course. So check out the teaser trailer below. Enjoy!

-P. Knight

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More beta pics from Northrend

Hey folks,

Well as promised, here are more pictures from the WoW:Wraith of the Lich King beta. These first batch of photos are from some places I had already been, but ended up going back to and was able to find some more cool parts to explore.

Most of the pictures are of Borean Tundra again. This time around I decided to explore the west cost of the zone and got to see one of the Horde starting cities as well as some familiar faces as well as the new siege vehicles. And yes, that is Kel'thuzad that I had targeted near a Horde city. Not exactly Mr. Friendly I tell you.

Anyway, once I got out of Borean Tundra, I went west again back into Dragonblight for a little bit. There I ran into a really huge stone mob walking around on "The Path of the Titans" as well as got to see undead mobs resurrecting dead dragons into frost wyrms.

Finally I went north from Dragonblight and wound up at the entrance way to Storm Peaks again. There are no mobs there yet, but the entrance way area, called "Crystalsong Forrest", was still amazing looking and I snapped a few shots there before I got ported back to Howling Fjord by Blizzard for going into a area that wasn't ready yet.

Enjoy the pics, will have a fresh batch up really soon.

-P. Knight