Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Gamescom 2013 Review ^__^

So this was the first games convention I have ever been to, so I thought I would do a review. As I absolutely love dressing up, I decided to dress as Harley Quinn from Batman: Arkham City (Harley Quinn's revenge DLC), and my boyfriend dressed as The Riddler, also from Arkham City.

On the reasonably tiresome walk from the train station to Koelnmesse (where Gamescom is held) I overheard a woman saying that she comes here every year and this is the busiest she had ever seen it. 
In a way, hearing this filled me with a bit of dread, I generally don't like lots of people, especially thousands and thousands of them, even more so that I couldn't see many of them dressed up. I could see a handful of people dressed as anime characters (possibly, I don't know as I'm not really interested in anime, so I couldn't recognise who they were supposed to be!) However, as soon as we got into the first hall, with all the brightly lit up game banners, loud music and so many interesting things to look at in all directions, I knew that this was definitely what I had imagined a game convention to be like, it was overwhelming.

There are some very exciting game titles coming out this year including: Thief, Fable Legends, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Grand Theft Auto 5, The Sims 4, Titalfall, WWE 2K14 and last but not least Elder Scrolls Online. Not forgetting a sneak peak into the next generation consoles as well of course!
Some of the upcoming titles that I am personally looking forward to are:
Batman: Arkham Origins, Saints Row 4, and Lego Marvel Superheroes - and I got to play all three!

Batman: Arkham Origins
The graphics on this game looked even more spectacular than before, if that's even possible. I was already quite enthusiastic to play this game as me and my boyfriend got to skip the queue, as we were dressed as characters from the previous Batman game released. :D We even appeared on the official Batman: Arkham Origins webpage ( amongst other Batman Cosplayers, but our outfits were clearly the best.. The game itself is quite similar to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City as it is a prequel so the controls are the same, there are some new gadgets and obviously a different storyline, but other than that it doesn't seem that much has changed from the last game. This however isn't in any way a bad thing, as the Batman Arkham games are very well made and an interesting play.

Saints Row 4
Another Saints Row title! Amazing. In my opinion Saints Row has always had what the Grand Theft Auto games have lacked over the years. - Saints Row is purely for fun, yes it's ridiculous, but it's also brilliant! Sometimes you just feel like dressing your overly-musculer male gangster character in a small pink cocktail dress and catapulting people out of a cannon that's attached to a car shaped like a cat, or equally, hitting the general public with a ludicrously phallic looking weapon. So ultimately I am super excited for this game! Having had the opportunity to play this at Gamescom, I found that it looks and plays just like Saints Row 3, which is disappointing in a way, as there hasn’t been much improvement...except the fact that you now have SUPERPOWERS! Awesome idea! You can run super fast and jump the height of buildings, it's so cool! I also really loved the addition of the Dubstep Gun, and the Black-hole Gun, both are as the titles describe, and are both just fantastic. I will definitely be buying this in the next few days.

Lego Marvel Superheroes
Lego and superheroes, what could be better? I am definitely a huge fan of the previous Lego games, and a huge Marvel fan, especially the Avengers, so I am really looking forward to this title. Ok, I know it could be argued that Lego games are pretty much all the same, but with different characters in, but Lego games are great, there is absolutely no need to change them! In my short play-through of this particular title, I was controlling Thor, Wolverine, The Human Torch and Captain America and our little team had to save Thor's home-world of Asgard from the invading Frost Giants who were invited in by Loki. I'm a little bit disappointed that they didn't use Tom Hiddleston to voice Loki, I am a bit of a fan girl for Tom Hiddleston and I'm sure he would have been up for recording his voice for it! (he did for instance do most of the narration for the Thor game.) But I digress.. The gameplay was very similar to the previous Lego games, except now with the introduction of superheroes a lot more abilities are available, (like with Lego Batman 2) this will probably be a bit confusing with all of the different characters at first, but I'm sure I will get used to it!

The whole experience of Gamescom was overwhelming in a great way, there were some amazing live bands promoting various games, loads of cosplayers dressed as characters from games, films and anime. 
There were loads of people wanting to take photos of us as well which was fantastic as they recognised who we were supposed to be! I would love to find some of the photos people took with us, but I've had no luck yet unfortunately! We also found the Saints Flow Can guy! Yayy! <3

So all in all, I would definitely go again, I really enjoyed myself, I loved dressing up and I loved getting the opportunity to play games before they are released to the public. 

Here's some of the swag that me and my boyfriend got from the convention. :)

Self Set Summer Project 1 ~ Joker’s Hideout [Post 4]

Where has the time gone?! I have had too many distractions, all I wanted to do this summer was to get this project out of the way, and maybe do another self set project afterwards. 
I managed to finish the 5 Visual Design projects that I was set, before the deadline, so I had enough time to prepare myself for my holiday to Germany which I have had planned for months. 
I went to Gamescom, dressed up as Harley Quinn, acted like a complete loon and had a fantastic time! XD But now FINALLY back to this project!! 
I wanted to get my Joker project finished before going to Germany, but recovering from my laser eye surgery and having 5 extra projects piled on top of me got in the way of me progressing as quickly as I planned.

Having a look over my level, I realised that I have mainly concentrated on the factory and maybe wasted my time a bit with lighting etc, that can be done after everything is built. 
I decided to concentrate on the sweet shop, as I hadn't done anything for this, and this is supposed to be the starting area. So I started building the walls and a few of the bigger assets that would be needed, like a display counter and some barrels filled with sweets. Soon enough, once I had made the textures, it started to look like a sweet shop. 

I decided to use the purple and green colour scheme to hint at The Joker, and I wanted to add a few signs around the place as additional hints. (e.g “Service with a Smile!”) 
The floor tiles are supposed to look like chocolate, and I think I succeeded quite well with this, but once I have made a normal and a specular map for this, I think it will look a lot better.

On the back wall, I was considering making a large Joker face that vomits out sweets, a bit like the one from Harry Potter, in the Wesley's shop, but a bit more creepy. I'm not sure if I would actually animate the flow of sweets to look like they are being vomited out, or to just have it stationary. 
Obviously it would be easier to have it stationary, but I could probably figure out how to make it animated, (like the glowing beakers in the science room of my group project level.)

I created the bags of sweets by taking photos of some sweets I had at home, the bags of strawberry laces look a bit like actual hearts in my opinion, but maybe that's OK as it adds to the unusualness of the level. I will keep the sweets as they are for now and if I have some spare time at the end, I might change them. There is still a few things in this room that needs addressing, like the windows and the texture on the ceiling and the jars of sweets on the counter, but other than that everything is looking as I expected it to. Some more sweets and signs need to be added and possibly the giant Joker head that I mentioned before, but overall I am quite happy with how this room is.

I am glad that I can get on with this project again, as I was feeling a bit annoyed that I had to abandon it for a while.