Tag Archives: multiplayer

Mission Architect: City of Heroes

I had some time to kill the other day so I cranked up the old gaming rig and patched up City of Heroes to see how long it would take to whip out a custom mission.

Really, not that long.  After taking the grand tour, I pretty much dove straight in to the Mission Creator.  It’s pretty cool.  Setting up a story, and setting objectives is really simple.  You can also create your own enemy groups, with minions, lieutenants, bosses, elite bosses.  You can even create NPCs and the mission contact.

I whipped up a story about “transporter buffers” going amok after a “power surge.”  This if course, occurs in the Synergy Gestalt’s base, “The Workshop.”  As a result, every member of that supergroup now has imperfect clones running around.  Additionally, the least imperfect of the clones (the first copies) got the idea to steal the transporter components and use them to create an army of clones to take over Paragon City. I think for the finale I’ll have the heroes defend a transporter while a technician reverses the polarity.

So right there, that’s a mission with a lot of fighting, bosses to fight, and components to destroy.  I created various designs of the clones, for minions, lieutenants and bosses.  I found that the clone angle was really a “cheat” since I could just reuse the character designs over and over again.  Then I could tweak various aspects, like skin tones or add goatees to make the variations of the clones.  The bosses of course, were just character designs from the characters in my Super Group on Virtue.

Which really only has four active characters in it, so that made it easy as well.

I added some flavor text, dialogue and then saved the Arc title and I was off and running testing the new mission.  It was that easy.  I think concept to execution was about 45 minutes total.  After playtesting it for a while I’ll publish it to the main servers and then people can play through it.

Overall, it was very cool seeing something I had written become a part of a video game.

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Fighting! On the Street!

First things first.  I have the opening theme for Street Fighter IV stuck in my head.  It has the infectious poppy feel of both a boy band and a teen idol earworm, and I’m kind of stuck with it.  The menu has it looping around and I tonight I found myself starting up the game and then making dinner.  While I kept the music on, I just wanted to dance.

I know.

But, back to the game.  There is a feeling of coming back home, while also finding out that while you were gone, some incredible remodeling took place.  The new Street Fighter IV is a 3d fighter with a true 2d feel.  It just feels like street fighter, but with this fantastic aesthetic with some great special effects.  The collision detection for the fighting is great, and I never feel like an attack should have hit when it didn’t.  Soul Calibur and its sequels had that issue sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great 3d fighter.

There’s just something about coming back to a two dimensional fight plane.  Continue reading

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City of Villains

I think one of the best reasons I still play City of Heroes (and Villains) is because of the people.  Which is funny because the reason I’ve left other MMOs is because of the people.  I’ve been playing for nearly five years now and still, I’m surprised and entertained by the humor and creativity displayed by the players of the City of games.

Most of it is due to the setting.

Which is Rhode Island.

Of course, since this is a video game, it happens to be the nexus for all sorts of super powered things happening in the entire world.  As a consequence of that setting, anything goes.  Anything from a knight errant magically transported through time, to a gritty streetwise martial artist that fights crime with his bare hands is fair play in the City of Heroes, and the developers wisely gave you a convenient location for you to put all the juicy details of your heroic or villainous background for other players to read.

Most people (at least in my experience) seem to be older, and it’s many a mission interrupted by a quick chat message, “AFK, putting the kids to bed.” or its like.

Besides, in what other game could I run into “G. Gordon Liddy” and “Neal Patrick Harris?”

Both Villains, of course.

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Regarding the Cartoon Network’s free to play MMO, Fusionfall:

If it’s as half as cool as its trailer and comic, then it’s well worth the cost of entry.

Which is, of course, free.  A lot of it reminds me of the Power Puff Girls fan comic from Snafu comics.  Mainly the older characters and the darker tone.  Both take their characters a short time period into the future, both have a Japanese influence, and both are fun reads with story lines a little bit older than you think they would be.  I’ve yet to sign up for an account, but I’m thinking about it.

A lot of it reminds me of Phantasy Star Online, a game I played so much that I actually fell asleep while playing it.  I was woken up by one of my teammates, who was telling me they needed me to open a door, and was wondering where I had gone about four rooms ago.  I awoke to find my character running headlong into a corner in an empty room.

This was during its second release, on the original xbox, with voice chat.  I played it through on its initial run on the Dreamcast and then proceeded to play it again on an entirely different console because it was so fun.

So, I’m already sold on the gameplay.

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Halo 3: Hilarity Ensues

After slogging through the disappointing single player game, (mostly via inertia from the cliffhanger ending of Halo 2) I have to say that the multiplayer aspect of Halo 3 is the “real” game that I paid money for.

While the single player game brings nothing new to the table, the fact that I can save my multiplayer replays is amazing.  My proposed subtitle for the multiplayer aspect of Halo 3 is the title for this post, and rightly so.

Replays are comedy gold.

That said, here’s my service record.  It’s the same granular statkeeping as Halo 2, which is say, obsessive.  But now it has screenshots from the match.

Which make great if sometimes embarrassing wallpaper.

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