Josh’s Sproggiwood Review

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My friend Josh created a hilarious review for a game I wouldn’t normally give a second glance, Sproggiwood. Check out his video review below or read his review here.

I feel like Veruca Salt. I just want “more.”

I want the world! I want the whole world! Give it to me!

Consider this your Veruca Salt moment for the day. You’re welcome.

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Cultural Lies

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I am not usually down with Rick Warren, but I thought that this was a good quote:

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. – Pastor Rick Warren

Do Video Game Developers Have No Regards For Children?

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My son and I are gripping our controllers, leading our small group of Avengers to victory. But wait, even though the screen is split, the onscreen action blinds us both to our positions in-game. Lego Marvel’s Avengers fails to provide a visual indicator to note where ones character is on screen. There is no “player one” or “player two” designation. The game’s camera pulls too far out of the action for the player to be able to follow their hero.

I am frustrated; my six year old son, even more so.

Lego AvengersThe Lego games have always frustrated me. There is so much potential with the Lego properties, squandered in the name of shoddy controls and split screen mode. What frustrates me more, as with Disney Infinity, is that developers market this half-assed game design to children. We love playing videogames together. My son is able to hold his own in Guacamelee. His skills increase every time we sit down and play. But Lego games block our fun together.

I would like to say that videogame developers hate children. But that isn’t true. Videogame developers lack a certain awareness of how kids play.

Kids games need to:

  • Provide clear visual cues
  • Make it easy for players to find themselves: a simple portrait of a superhero, in the top right corner of the screen, doesn’t cut it. For a great example, check out Diablo 3.
  • Offer different camera distance so that players can see the action
  • Give players control over the environment that engages motor-skill and muscle-memory

My son and I will probably continue to play Lego Marvel’s Avengers. I just wish it was more finely-tuned to my son’s early skill levels.

Time to Hop Out

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Woke up yesterday a bit late. Didn’t have time to exercise. So I jumped into the pool for a bit. In May, East Texas received record amounts of rainfall. I was beginning to think that I had somehow moved to Seattle. As I got into the pool, I noticed a small frog on top of a lounge float. He didn’t stay in the pool long. One might say he flipped out.

Work has been slow lately. My firm is in the midst of gearing up for two projects. Both projects are simple. I’m not sure what anyone is going to be working on after we complete them.

After seven years of working as an office manager, I am feeling ready for a new challenge. I am ready to work for a company that offers job growth outside of going back to school to get a degree in architecture. I don’t want to be a frog stuck in the same pool. Time to hop out.

Just need to figure out what hopping out looks like.