Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things (Games)

So, with my brain still fried and my cat slowly drooling on my lap, I'll give a brief rundown of the types of games that I am most drawn to- this is nowhere near comprehensive, just a brief summary of my very favorite game types.

3D Platformers
For me, I think it really started with Spyro the Dragon. Looking back now, Spyro appealed to both my love of exploration and fantasy. My first career choice as a kid was becoming a dragon, and while I couldn't achieve it in real life, Insomniac made it possible.
Favorites - Spyro the Dragon (1&2), Jak and Daxter, Kingdom Hearts (1&2) Shadow of the Colossus, Portal, Mirror's Edge

RPGs (turn based and realtime)
I almost put JRPGs up there, but that isn't entirely accurate. I'm very fond of strategic, (usually) turn based battle systems, and having multiple or changable party members at my disposal with skill trees/upgradable stats. An over-exposure to anime and manga going through junior high and high school did nothing to broaden my exposure to other types of RPGs.
Favorites - Final Fantasy 7 (I'll write an entry on this later), Other Final Fantasies (Tactics, 12), Digimon World (3, Dusk), Monster Rancher (3, 4), Chrono Cross, Dofus, The World Ends with You, Persona 4

I'd love to hear suggestions on games that I should check out, as I've always had a pretty limited budget, both for time and money, and I know I've missed out on a lot of good games. I've also missed a lot of amazing classics, as people frequently remind me. Partially because I'm relatively young, and partially because gaming was not my primary leisure activity until very recently.

GDC 2010 - Overview

Today I flew back from San Francisco. I'm yawning a bit as I type this, with a cranky but purring cat in my lap. She might have even missed me. Last Sunday I arrived in San Francisco for my 4th GDC (also the 4th year I've volunteered to help with the event, but I won't say anything more, as I can't/don't speak on behalf of UBM or the CA program).

My brain is a bit fried, frankly. For those who haven't been, or have only spent a day, attending the whole of GDC is a bit mixed. It's amazing and fun and exciting, but by the end, you're glad it's over because you are completely drained by the end.

This year I spent most of my time networking and attended few sessions. I'll be checking out some of the recorded ones on the vault once they're posted. I made several new friendships- we'll see how I do on maintaining those- and attended several parties and group meetups. Now that I'm located in a hub of development, I might even see some of these people more than once a year.

To be perfectly honest, I've been in a slump since discontinuing my Master's studies and being among all the bright and upcoming talents of the industry was both intimidating and bittersweet.

Personal Highlights (I'll talk about these more once my brain has recovered)-
  • Taking the giant human hamster ball on the Expo floor for a testdrive
  • Meeting several of the fine people from 1st Playable at Destructoid's party
  • Attending the 'Comedy in Games' session with Tim Schaefer, Rhianna Pratchett, and Sean Vanaman. "Where do I hide my babies!?" ~Vanaman
  • Attending R.A. Salvatore's session on worldbuilding - it was my first exposure to the man, and he earned my respect and interest in the space of an hour.
  • The Women in Games SIG meetup and 'What Color is my Hero?' sessions both continued great and ongoing dialogs on diversity in the industry.

Attending this event has also reminded me that I really need to buy that HDTV and PS3 and play more of the current generation of games.

Some Updates

So, a lot has changed since that last post - I forgot I had a blog, for one.

No longer a student, now a QA tester for a casual games company in Seattle. Just for the record, nothing I post here in any way reflects or represents the opinions of my employer. This blog is for my personal opinions, rants, ravings, and areas of interest, which range from chasing crustaceans to building worlds.