The Evolution Of Game Music

As a musician myself i can honestly say that im always interested in soundtracks of games coming out these days, and i think its a often under appreciated aspect of games abroad. The music of a game although will not necessarily make or break it as a title but if done correctly it adds a aspect of uniqueness and immersion that is simply beyond words.


For example look at the amazing music in the command & conquer franchise all from the mind of musical brainchild frank klepacki who's works are simply un paralleled across the industry, his dynamic ability to create such immense pieces and icon tunes are fresh in the minds of most real time strategy gamers around the world.


I also remember back to the painkiller days, with music by Marcin "Cedyń" Czartyński which had some of the best prog rock music ive still ever heard to date, this is a great example of what a good musical score can bring to a game as i don't think painkiller would have ever been as good of a game had it not had such powerful music. Its music would get your blood pumping and your mind raging to go viking style on the hordes of hell!


The halo series on consoles also had a amazing soundtrack in all 3 of its titles and a true diversity as well, ranging from orchestral tracks, electronic ambient pieces down to the killer riffs and solos of steve vai. This alone gave halo another unique edge that set it apart from the rest.


Yet another classic is the music from the final fantasy series which is simply beyond words in its composition and execution that creates a dynamic simply dreamy music that is really a step above any other role playing game's music to date, whether you loved or hated the games the music is simply fantastic.

With such unique music coming out of the industry it is acting as inspiration for all up and coming musicians that plan on getting into writing music for games. But whats more with such quality already apparent it is really exciting to think about what our ears and minds will be treated to in the coming years.


It also raises the question, with gaming becoming more mainstream by the day and gaining more recognition as a valid hobby throughout society, with such specific targeted music i wonder when we will start to see concerts and performances from the artists that create such pieces? surely one would assume with such popularity growing by the day the time will soon come when such things could be arranged and be profitable not only for the musicians but for the game developers themselves.

I know i personally am looking forward to the day i have the opportunity to purchase tickets to my favorite game music artists concert, as im sure any avid hardcore gamer would be, the music that we game to is after all the inspiration and drive that captivates the mind and charges it forward into battle, for thousands of years armys have had drummers and score of minstrels to amp up their troops, and as we see the digital battlefield emerge with the combat switching to mind vs mind nothing has changed even today all be it the creativity allowed is far more immense.


Do yourself a favor, next time you load up your favorite game sit back and listen to your favorite tracks and appreciate the artistic work that went in to create that music and pay the artist their due respects for without them the game would be a silent application with only battle cries and bullet fire to entertain you.

Digg!

The Next Wave Of FPS

For years now the first person shooter scene has been dominated solely by the titans of the genre. Counter strike source even today still holds significant standing, however with titles seemingly approaching what can only from a logical standpoint be the end of their franchise potential i find myself considering the next wave of first person shooters which are surely about to emerge.


We have titles like team fortress 2 sending a much needed breath of life into the otherwise stagnant genre, but if you care to look at the other major active first person shooter titles it is for me at least concerning that they seem to all be either sequels or mimicry .


Call of Duty 4 has recently been released and boasts a incredible amount of potential, however it is that , call of duty 4, and yes although it is based around modern combat, one could argue it is more of the same with a skin change, just the same as the claim that Battlefield 2142 was exactly that compared to Battlefield 2. And the claim could not be more true, however that is not to say that the quality of these continuations in the franchise are not entertaining and unique, but it brings you to the question.

Are they interested in developing new and exciting games? or are they interested in the yearly turnover of the games franchise?

When you start to notice that the publishing corporations over the years have been increasingly slanted towards sales rather than quality it is a concerning prospect to the future of the first person shooter genre and gaming abroad.


Thats not to say that interesting titles are not about to emerge, we have crysis about to land on the internet any day now, however i look at the effort that they have put in to the game, the exceptional graphics and the hype for the game itself and i think by noticing this trend it is highly possible we will see a crysis 2 within 24 months of release.

I often wonder, if because of the publishing corporations now expressing major interest in turnover of the products that the development teams of all games have been restricted. Because of course you can never blame the programmers, the designers or any other part of the team, they are just doing there job, to refuse to meet a deadline or to refuse a idea would have them fired presumably.

With that in mind it is easy to see how the creativity of the development teams will now be restricted in order to meet deadlines and turnover quotas. This is not at all a concern to most gamers as they like their franchises they have, and that of course is not the issue being addressed, the point at the end of the day is that yes, we have more gamers coming online every day, we have gamers developing their skills every day, so why are their not more quality major first person shooters becoming availiable?

I suppose that would be a question that only the development teams could answer, but if you take into account basic business sense then it is easy to see the answer. The development teams are funded by their revenue gained from previous releases, sponsors, and at times publishing companies themselves, those companies want to make back there money that they have put into developing the game, and to do so they are adhered to follow trends that they created in order to be able to obtain the funding to develop a game in the first place.


This in the big picture will lead to lack of creativity in the genre, as developers will be forced via the business aspect of the industry to continue to pump out sequels or clones of previous first person shooters. Sure we are bound to see a few new revolutionary titles thrown into the mix but given the amount of gamers there are these days, and given the expanding growth of the internet daily, when you sit back and look at the titles we have, compared to the amount of gamers or in the developers eyes "customers" the equation does not add up correctly. Is something rotten in the state of Denmark? Time will Tell

Digg!

Paid Beta Testing - Honest Advice

Gamers all around the world dream of acquiring a paid beta tester job, whether it be under contract or a long term position with a development company, however when this is a dream of most passionate gamers there is obviously going to be disappointment for gamers who do not attempt to obtain there dream via the proper channels.

However if you are prepared to start down the road of becoming a game beta tester there are many opportunity's available to you if you are prepared to put in the proper amount of effort. Landing a job as a game tester is just like getting any other job, you need to apply , submit a CV and wait for callbacks, however if you are prepared to do the rounds on the various websites then you will quickly be shortlisted by most of the major company's.

As a free bonus to Assasin Diaries, the gamers compendium (my book) i have included a free guide that details exactly what you MUST do to become a games tester and start earning as much as $300 a day by playing the games you love!

If your looking to obtain a role in the games industry and were considering beta testing its important to note that there are many sub divisions of the game development industry and any one of those could be a professional you would enjoy doing.

From software testing, to development, to marketing & more there are literally hundreds of opportunity's available for those that want to get into the industry, the secret is that most people don't know the correct websites to visit, or the proper channels to search through.

If your serious about getting a job in the games development industry you shouldn't be complacent and apply to one place, or pursue one field, apply to every site you find, apply to every field of the industry and you will undoubtedly start being bombarded with replies.

You should always continuously check the mainstream games industry websites to look for new job opportunity's, however its also worth your while looking at the independent or “indie” developers as many of them also offer career opportunity's.

The most important thing you can do if your looking to get a a job in the games industry is to be persistent, if you apply for a bunch of jobs and get declined, you MUST try again, and keep trying and sending out your applications, Input = Output and if you put your CV out there with all the proper company's one of them is going to take the bait.

Never Never NEVER! Give Up! And CONSTANTLY apply for roles within the industry.



Digg!

Digital Assasin's - Gamers!

Everyday gamers around the world are training their skills and abilities, with first person shooters and real time strategy games requiring more skill than ever before, the games are now a digital arena for a mind vs mind battle. Gamers are constantly learning new and unique ways to best their opponents and are becoming the digital assassins of the Internet.

With gaming on the rise its no surprise that in country's like South Korea gamers are receiving such great fame and fortune, as the skills required to play the games are consistent of refined motor skills, advanced reflexes and a heightened mind.

Game companies are now creating there games with spectators in mind and we see live events and tournaments being transmitted via mainstream game sites all around the world, as well as that the developers themselves are no incorporating spectators to be able to view matches from outside of the game by utilizing new technology and this has lead to the creating of such things as source tv, and the c&c 3 tournament tv.

Although it has not taken off in most western countries as of yet, in the Asian nations we also see that mainstream cable television networks now all carry game tournament tv stations, where spectators can watch their favorite pro gamers play off against each other live!

With competitive gaming growing as a spectator sport this can only mean good things for the competitive games industry and gamers abroad, as this revolution takes place it calls for the greater need for stronger game development so players skills are truly tested and also entertaining for spectators to watch, and as more money is given to developers to do this, some amazing multiplayer competitive games in all genres are starting to emerge.

The main competitive genres are first person shooters and real time strategy and both genres are seeing a tremendous growth in spectators both online and offline, it is surely a matter of time before we start to see gaming as a recognized skill all around the world.

With these new game developments it has also called for the need for more official tournaments, and as these events attract more attention corporate sponsors begin to come on board breathing a much needed breath of life into the competitive online industry, more than ever the potential for gamers to use their abilities to obtain vast amounts of wealth in prizes is just at their fingertips.

Its a amazing time for the world and the next few years are bound to see a enormous growth in the competitive games industry as new titles in all genres prepare to launch for the new game season.



Digg!

MUD's Pioneers Of Gaming!

It is amusing to take note of the MMORPG social gaming explosion that is taking place across the Internet because when you cast your mind back and take notice of the MUD's of the past and those pioneer coders of the Internet and the worlds they created, you realize that the only thing has changed is the graphics.

MUD's or text based adventures as known to some, were the first form of persistent role play available for gamers to partake in, The skills and stats were given to players, but the only limitations of the game were there imagination. Through highly descriptive writing and creativity pioneers game developers were able to create web based text based worlds for players to game within.

These games would have no graphics, but instead powerful descriptions and storyline s given to players to visualize the things they were doing, the commands and game play were equally well described so the game play was seamless and without disruption.

One of the most commendable benefits of these MUD's were that they did not require any expensive software to play, because they are created solely from text and those worlds are created with imagination the games are playable on nearly every computer in the world with a standard Internet connection.

The genre never really fell into decline or lost popularity, but rather more game opportunity's became available to gamers and the rise of graphics and game play has made the MUD genre forgotten to most gamers.

But the good news is the genre is just that, forgotten, it is however still extremely active, whilst the numbers are not as prominent as they may have once been many quality MUD's still exist and are played today, some of the highest quality muds are....

Achaea - http://www.achaea.com

Lusternia - http://www.lusternia.com

Imperian - http://www.imperian.com

Aetolia - http://www.aetolia.com

Any many more can be found at: http://www.topmudsites.com

Nearly all MUD's are created and maintained by the community's that play in them and you are nearly always assured a friendly quality experience. From social gaming, pvp , role play or more MUD's are still a very prominent genre of games alive on the Internet and have something to offer to everyone!



Digg!

LAN Tournaments

Competitive gaming is by and large a online phenomenon, however as the the hobby has grown and more gamers refine there skills there has become a popular increase in LAN tournaments in local areas around the world (Local Area Network) as gamers met up to and hook up to giant networks to compete together face to face.

Gamers will bring their pc's and strap themselves in for often a weekend of gaming or in some cases longer extended periods, games are played, tournaments are conducted and the events are usually a good time for all. The gamers set themselves up a temporary digital coliseum and battle it out until they cant stay awake any longer... or until the venue kicks them out, usually the latter comes first.

Lans can be small with as little as 12 people gathering at a home, or as big as 10 thousand people at the larger organized events, the size and the duration is completely at the discretion of the organizer and it is up to them to do their publicity. Some of the larger organized lans have corporate sponsors and are conducted on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

The largest lan in the world is Sweden's Dreamhack held in winter , which currently holds the record for most attended with a counted 10 thousand people attending the most recent event.

With wireless technology and improved network capabilities slowly becoming more mainstream game Lan tournaments are sure to increase as more people start gaming, the only limitations at the present are the vast complications that can sometimes arise when establishing such a large network with such a constant stream of data transfer but as high quality servers become more easily available this last barrier is slowly being dissolved.

Lans are truly a case of “put your money where your mouth is” theirs no hiding behind internet connections and any claims to pwnership must be backed up with the proof of abilities, Trash talk is at a minimal and if arguments do occur they are quickly settled in game. The events symbolize the fun & talent of competitive gaming far more than any other area of the hobby.

As more competitive orientated first person shooters and real time strategy games come onto the market offering diverse tactics and team gameplay it is going to mean a increase in LAN tournaments which have become a popular activity amongst game enthusiasts.

Game Developers - Artists Of The 21st Century

In every aspect of society artistic talent seems to have its place, and as we have seen gaming take off to to its true potential online over the past 10 years one thing is certain. Code Is Art. With powerful software being available to developers and freelance developers building on manual code programing alone the result is the games that we play.

Its important to take note of the detail that goes into game development these days, most gamers simply charge through a area and progress to their next objective without taking note of the many objects and design of the level they just played, However when you sit back and really look around you in the games as you play them, it becomes clearly apparent of the work that went into creating it.

From the simplest placement of a cup, to the elaborate model design of end game bosses game developers are truly to be commended for their imagination and their ability that has brought us digital art with the power of technology.

As Personal Computers become more accessible to homes gaming is certainly on the rise, and with quality hardware now being available to game developers and publishers offering more funding with every successful title, games are starting to show us the graphics we could have only though of in our wildest dreams.

This is truly amazing to witness because when you take a look at the graphics that we have these days, combined with the game play we are certainly on the verge of seeing some of the most breath taking games of all time. Titles such as oblivion shook the world in the past, and these graphics have been surpassed by upcoming titles such as crysis, When this is the best of the best, gamers should be on the edge of their seat in anticipation for the next wave of games.

Down to the literature side of art, the plot lines for games themselves are outdoing themselves nearly every time with artistic writers being able to contribute their fiction to game developing teams and create imersive story's and worlds.

We see developers, musicians, artists and more , all forms of artists coming together to create these digital masterpieces and it is only going to get better with every game that is released. As more focus has been put on computer component development , game developers are no longer restricted by their hardware as it seems with such a push we see some new & revolutionary tech available for purchase every 6 months.

Next time you find yourself playing your favorite game, take a look around you and take note of all the aspects that went into developing that level, and marvel in the beauty of digital artwork.

E Commerce On The Rise - Gamers Loose Out

E Commerce is on the rise all around the world, with pay per click, affiliate marketing and paid blogging on the rise thousands of entrepreneurial money ventures have opened up to those that have the abilities to make money online. With the growth of mmorpgs such as World Of Warcraft, Eve Online and Guild Wars on the rise many gamers have found themselves accumulating a vast amount of digital wealth, many gamers could quite easily earn a reasonable income from there digital assets however due to license agreements that the games have this opportunity is denied.

Whilst the specific wording may change from game to game the general technicality seems to be that the game developer themselves hold possession of the digital products be they items or currency and thus the player is not aloud to sell them.

This can be seen as nothing more than a attempt to restrict gamers ability to make money from there hobby as it raises the question “who really owns this” you can purchase a game, pay for a subscription, build YOUR own character, yet somehow none of it belongs to you? So what are gamers paying for exactly? The most expensive and elaborate form of rent ever?

Many companies argue that to allow players to sell their digital wealth would be unfair to all playing the game, this is a statement that i tend not to agree with. And i think to anyone its fairly simple why, when someone is paying $20 of actual currency for $100 worth of in game currency who is the one loosing out? The person who plays the game and didn't pay ANYTHING for it? Or the person who just forked out the cash?

Game companies need to recognize that the supply and demand for digital items often far superceeds their actual in game wealth and people are prepared to pay cash for it willingly and do not consider it a crime. If the game developers understood this they could generate a system that allowed gamers to donate their in game currency or digital items in exchange for cash, that way moderating the services.

One thing is clear, as more and more people come online the demand for players to be able to sell their products and currency becomes stronger and stronger and the developers need to take action either in the form of them handling the sales or giving the power to the people by changing the license agreements.

E Commerce is on the rise but gamers are loosing out, digital distribution has become a mainstream method for content distribution for movies, mps, books , games & more, so it only seems logical that the sale and distribution of in game products should be allowed.

Digital Dimension & Virtual Worlds

Welcome to the digital dimension, a place that overshadows the entire world alive on pocket servers of the Internet, From information & entertainment to everything in between this place thrives, and on servers around the world life has begun in the Virtual Worlds of MMORPGS...

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games have bursted to life around the Internet and in the year of 2007 we see that they are certainly here to stay. With such giants as World Of Warcraft & Guild Wars dominating the scene it has sparked a flame strong in the hearts of gamers and now more mmorpg's are starting to emerge than ever before.

Although these two titles are not the only contenders, merely the titans, other games such as Eve online has also established themselves strong footholds in the genre's industry and still growing at a astronomical rate.

What can be certain is that with the increase in popularity will mean that game developers will have more to focus on in terms of content, while some mmorpgs out there now are simply WoW clones or similar engines there is only so long gamers are going to tolerate the same repetitive game play.

When your talking about virtual worlds this can only be a good thing, as more development will mean we start to see new and intuitive game play styles as well as world sizes increasing which will mean more fun and gaming for everyone involved.

As computer components upgrade this to also contributes to the quality of future mmorpgs, as we are now starting to see quality computer parts available to the general public at a not to unrealistic price this to gives game developers more creative freedom in all areas of game creation.

Another major aspect of why the genre has taken off as a popular choice is due to most major western countries having access to high speed Internet connections, this in tern has allowed for people from all around the world to play together in a virtual server all in real time. With clans and guilds being able to establish decent community's within their games by utilizing forums and voip communication software mmorpgs have become the single most popular online genre and growing exponentially.

The social aspect of mmorpg's however is by far the main reason that the games have taken off so much in recent years, as mentioned with these high speed Internet connections the distance and cost communication barrier to the rest of the world has been removed, and players can develop strong friendships within these community's.

Gone are the days of localized gaming as the mmorpg revolution blazes its way across the Internet it is a time of fun and adventure for all those that find themselves drifting into the digital dimension and these virtual worlds.

The Titan - Counter Strike Source

In 2004 Half Life 2 Was Released, And with it packaged Counter Strike Source, the Gates had been opened, the maps had been loaded and the servers went ablaze with a endless reign of gunfire that sounded the birth of a new competitive gaming god.

Counter Strike Source has long been a favorite choice for First Person Shooter enthusiasts around the world, its team based game play and exhilarating action packed firefights make it one of the most respected first person shooters to ever be played professionally.

Utilizing All of the main core concepts of first person shooters the game is diverse in its tactics but simple in its implementation, this makes for a high speed tactical game play that is rarely available in most other games in the genre.

The Cyber Athlete Professional League consists of counter strike source ladders, and all around the world most major Internet service providers host their own ladders. Counter Strike Source has quickly become the standard for tactical first person shooters and is unrivaled in terms of its game play, diversity and modification potential.

The source engine itself is a extremely diverse engine, but its ability to be modified has seen counter strike source take a tremendous growth in the terms of user made modifications. From zombie maps, to surf maps, gun mod, vikings & pirates and more the game has been modified time and time again, and each and every time utilized to form something completely unique.

The engine is one of those that will go down in history, whether you love or hate counter strike source there is absolutely no denying the games popularity, skill and sheer creative diversity in all its forms.

So as such it is often a “right of passage” for hardcore first person shooter enthusiasts to earn their guns playing counter strike source, and those that find themselves on the battlefields of dust and office soon realize that tactical hearing and lightning fast accuracy are essential for obtaining a decisive victory.

Counter strike source players are known to be amongst the most dedicated of gamers and their abilities truly reflect this dedication, If your a css player you have to learn to utilize all the core concepts of first person shooters to be able to become a digital Assasin and dominate each and every css server you ever join!