Online gaming has grown a lot since... well... since the concept even started. It has grown from just plain game sites to first-person shooters. In the beginning, it was friendly to the point where we say hello to each other. Now it grows to the point from saying hello, where you get a "F*** off."
It's hard finding gaming communities, clans, or guilds that are decent with respect and maturity. We play online games to pretend what we want to be while having fun. So what makes a game good? Not just the gameplay... but the community too.
So what happens when a community is terrible? There are less active players, because who wants to come online and be insulted everytime? No one does. Whether it is in text chat or voice chat, you're either gonna get harassed or talked nicely to. It is almost like a 50/50 chance with new people.
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Glad to see some of you have tried out our new radio solution and are enjoying it, or so I hope! We would love to hear from you. Provide some feedback, offer suggestions on new songs to add to our database, give us ideas for new radio skins! Complain about how your favourite songs are not yet on the list! Any feedback is welcomed. Just drop on over to the radio topic on the forums to leave your mark.
Fixed a few bugs in the radio code. Now that it has had some public air-time, I noticed a pattern forming on the songs it was selecting to play. I've made some changes to how our playlist generator works, and it should be a much more random selection now. Hopefully you'll hear a greater variety of songs Also added some statistics gathering so I can track the most requested songs, and songs that get played most often, just for curiosity.
What delves us into the depths of videogaming?
What makes us attach to video games?
What makes us who we are from video games?
All that aside, video games do play a role in society. As a child or a person not into technical stuff, when you get in video gaming, it is like a whole new world opened. Either playing as some plumber who likes to eat mushrooms, or an elf clad in green bringing peace to the kingdom, or unraveling mysteries of crystals, or becoming a boy in a baseball cap that wields a bat to save the world.
The options? Endless. The type of games? Endless. The Endings? Well...endless...
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You heard it right, we're back in business. Well, sort of. The site needs some major overhauling but I am happy to announce that our forums are once again open for service (with some fresh paint, new arcade games and tweaks!) as well as our brand new game music radio solution! Both are available for you to check out right now! Go listen to some tunes, play some games in our forum arcade, and leave a message telling us how you're doing. Join in the discussions! We welcome anyone new and old. Any feedback, and suggestions are always welcomed as well. I hope you will enjoy this first step in bringing the RPGamers Network back on the map.
Just wanted to give a quick update on our progress towards the return of the forums and radio. I would like to have everything up and running before the end of March, but no promises! Still doing some finishing touches. We have been busy adding lots of music to the radio database, making up skins for the radio player, tweaking new forum addons, and adding games to the forum arcade. Fingers crossed everything doesn't explode by the time I am done messing with it!
Lots is going on, but there isn't much to see for a little while longer. I will send our an email to anyone who was an active member of our forums previously when things do come online, so keep an eye on your inbox if that includes you!
In the spirit of trying to bring some life to our website, I have been working on a new solution for our game music radio. I spent some time creating custom software which will allow you to enjoy game music tunes via any web browser that has a flash player!
Users will also be able to make requests from our music selection and check out a log of recently played songs. There is also functions that will ensure that you don't hear the same songs too often, currently set to remember the last 50 songs played to prevent repeats. The new radio toys are not publicly available right now but if you drop by our chatroom you can help test it out.
We don't have a lot of activity around here lately, but I thought I would post a blurb about our Forums and Arcade re-opening very soon! I have wiped the slate clean and removed all topics, which was needed to get rid of the piles of spam that had plagued our forums when we had to close it. Old account data is still intact, but you may request a username change if you desire.
I have also been working hard to add a few simple new features to our boards, which will be outlined in an announcement when they come online. The arcade has been given some tweaks, and a pile of new games added. High scores have been reset! This means you have a chance to make the leaderboards once again. Athelena and SilverDistortion were our Arcade champs before the reset, congrats to them! Hopefully we will see some new names on the top list.
I know forums are not that exciting for a site that is so quiet, but hopefully we can get this place awake again and bring some people back! Maybe we can pool our brains together to figure out the future for RPGN. Look for the grand re-opening announcement coming this month
Steam Holiday Sale started today.
It's the usual deal of bunch of games on sale for 24 hours, and then the games switch and the new set is on sale for 24 hours, and so on and so forth. These things last till the 1st of January, so prepare to say goodbye to all that money you probably saved just for this reason.
And to top that off there's of course varying publisher catalogs and pack deals that are on sale during this whole thing as well. So yeah, that's a lot of stuff on sale.
Additionally, there's The Great Gift Pile. How that works is basically like this, a lot of games got holiday updates and achievements, if you earn that achievement, you'll either get a gift or a lump of coal. Gifts seem to either be games, or some kind of coupons. With lump of coal, you can either save up and trade 7 lumps into a proper gift, or save them up and enter into the Epic Holiday Giveaway. The Grand Prize of that is EVERY SINGLE GAME ON STEAM. There's more info about that in the link few lines above this one. Go check it.
This all comes with a price though. Right now, the Steam servers are crawling. You'd think that their past sales would have taught them something, prepared them for this, but nope. It's always the same. It's probably going to take a few hours at least until the service becomes more reliable again.
Personally, I was eying that Pendulo Studios Adventure Pack a bit, that's pretty cheap. But I've played through 3 of those games already, so maybe I'll just pick the Next Big Thing on its own.
Next up, Electronic Arts.
They start the show with Mass Effect 3, awesome. Also, no mention of the dumb Kinect support, also awesome. Live gameplay, cover based shooting, some melee, looks like Mass Effect for sure. Shepard is sabotaging a Reaper base, which turns out to be an actual Reaper after they try to blow it to hell with a called in aerial bombing run. Followed by a on rails turret sequence. Closing with a release date, March 6, 2012. Neat date, 3.6.12.
Next up is some Need for Speed: The Run, developed by EA's BlackBox studio. The driving seems fast and fine I guess, but there's also sequences that are not in car, and appear to be completely scripted quick-time-events. Not really too exciting.
Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO next, Bioware doctor talks about it on stage, and then they show yet another CGI trailer. Bunch of EA Sports stuff next.
SSX, a snowboarding game makes a return, Peter Moore talks on stage about how they used NASA's satellite imagery to recreate the real world locations in the game. That's pretty impressive, but I'm not going to play that game. Also, new FIFA and a new Madden is talked about, but I tuned out on those. It's football and American football, what more do you really need to know, right? I did however tune quickly back in during the Madden thing when they started playing the Inception Trailer Music (Mind Heist by Jack Hemsey), it was weird. Like really weird. And then some social gaming with Sims Social for Facebook. Sims on Facebook. Great.
Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning, dude speaks about Reckoning on the stage. Shows some video, seems like this might be a pretty neat RPG.
Insomniac, formerly a PS3 only developer, takes the stage to introduce their new multi-platform game called OverStrike. I don't know about that name, to be honest. The CGI trailer makes it seem like some kind of team based game with nice characters.
And finally, Battlefield 3. They start the demo by introducing the new Frostbyte 2 engine, which looks fucking awesome. After a quick multiplayer trailer, they start a pretty long live gameplay demo, a tank sequence in desert. So much dust in the desert. Looks so fine. Release date October 25th.
As you may or may not know, E3 is happening this year as well. Like, right now. You should know, because I just wrote a little pre-E3 thing about Konami.
Anyways, I've been watching all the live streams of various press events that happened on Monday, and here's a summary of what happened Micorsoft, who was the first. Why don't I just list all the things they talked about first? Yeah, sounds good right?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Tomb Raider (reboot)
Mass Effect 3 with Kinect voice command support
Ghost Recon Future Soldier with Kinect support, plus all future Tom Clancy games would have Kinect support
New Xbox 360 dashboard that launches fall 2011 with support for Youtube, Bing, Live TV, also better Kinect support
UFC fights that you can watch on Xbox, or something like that
Cliffy B and Ice T on stage playing Gears of War 3
Kinect game from Crytek (makers of FarCry an Crysis) called Ryse. At least it's not called Cryse.
Halo Anniversary edition, a HD remastered Halo 1 basically
Forza 4, cars cars cars with Kinect support
Fable: The Journey for Kinect, on rails shooter by the looks it
Minecraft for Kinect
Disneyland Adventures for Kinect, some kind of minigame collection
Star Wars for Kinect
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster for Kinect
Kinect Fun Labs, Microsoft's own Kinect developer environment thing
Kinect Sports Season 2
Dance Central 2 for Kinect
Halo 4, the start of a new trilogy
So that's the list. That's a lot of Kinect, which I couldn't give two shits about. Well, to be fair, a lot of the titles with Kinect support don't require it, so they could still be worth of my time. How about the other stuff then? Modern Warfare 3 looks pretty much like all modern Call of Duty titles have looked like. No surprises there at all. Mass Effect 3 with Kinect support... sure, the idea is neat I guess. But I'll talk about Mass Effect 3 more in the EA post. Same with Future Soldier, Kinect support seems okayish, but not really necessary, and I'll talk about the game more in Ubi post. Gears of War 3 looks like Gears of War, no surprises. It looks like they are upping the ante a lot, and the Unreal Engine looks better than ever. Halo Anniversary edition, well, I guess it's neat. I played through Halo way back when, and they are definitely doing a lot to this game to bring it up the HD, that's about all I can say about that. Also, Halo 4. Start of a new trilogy they say, starring Master Chief again. I guess 343 Industries had to do something. Not too excited about that.
From the games, I'm probably most interested in the Tomb Raider reboot. I like the way it looks for sure, and I'm very curious to find out more. They showed a brief cave gameplay section, but it's hard to say what the final game is going to be about, apparently it's open world jungle or something. I'm looking forward to finding out more. Still not digging the new voice actress though. I heard a rumor that it's Keira Knightley, but I honestly can't tell.
Other interesting thing is the new Dashboard that will launch in Fall 2011. Since the release of first big dash update, they have been bolting on more and more things to it, it has become this massive bloated thing and none of it really works intuitively. So it makes perfect sense that they would refresh it now. It also seems like they are trying to finish the Kinect support for dash that they started with the last update. They only showcased some of the Kinect voice command support and introduced more features like YouTube and Microsoft's own search engine Bing. And some kind of Live TV support, but that's going to be so region specific that I didn't really pay too much attention.
And I guess that's about the end of Microsoft's thing.