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Map Building, an interesting job

This evening I was working on maps for a new game. This is very hard, for single player and multiplayer. Many AAA title developers (Infinity Ward, Treyarch, COD guys) complain about how hard designing a MP map is a very hard part, well I find single player maps the hardest. The game will not be a “shoot the bad guys and push forward”, you are the squad leader, trying to find a way out. So, the map needs multiple dead ends, interesting routes, and many lines of sight. Also, it must be balanced so that AI cannot easily get you, nor can the player just get them all in a small spot to ‘nade.

I think the single player is important, without a good map a level may be really easy, or ridiculously hard. Neither is fun. Thus balancing comes to play. Now, once you have balancing down you also need to take into consideration the player’s gaming platform. A SP map is bigger than MP with more objects to load because it has enemy spawns, the large map for the mission, interactive elements, and constant sound. So, you need a good medium of balance, load time, and overall fun level.

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Why we will not port to Xbox 360 [YET]

To answer a question we get on a regular basis, we will not port to the Xbox 360 or any other console, yet.

To break it down, we currently make zero income from games we produce. Why? We like getting our name out there, no one will buy a game from a developer they’ve never heard of with only one game out, right? So now that we are officially “out there” we will start charging a price for our games. Back on topic: To get into the Xbox 360 developer program, it is $100 (Dreamspark will not pay for publishing, only resources) to sign up for the program. On top of that, we need a hard drive for our Xbox (apparently the hard drive inside my Xbox isn’t good enough), which is another $100, and then, add $100 on top of that for the Xbox Live Membership. That is $300 from a company making $0 starting off. A -$300 deficit isn’t the best thing to start off with. Granted Indie Games are required to be paid from Xbox (no free indie games), but then again, how many of you knew Xbox had an Indie section? (not talking about the XBLA).

 

So there you have it, I hope this helps give insight as to why we stick to PC at the moment.

SOPA: Why it’s bad and our stand point

SOPA/PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect Intellectual Property Act) is a bill trying to be pushed through congress that would censor much of our internet. Let me explain,

SOPA is a bill which aims to stop online piracy – or the downloading of paid property online without paying. Downloading for free. That sounds like a great plan, however. The scope of what it covers is far too large, it includes user generated content as well. Take Youtube for example. It would be shut down, there is tons of copywritten material freely viewable on YouTube. This goes for Facebook as well. You post an image or logo that is under copyright, Facebook will go down. How do they do this? It is a DNS blocking system, similar to the way China’s censorship online works. It takes hold of your internet provider and blocks the domains with infringing material. So the site doesn’t go down, however, it is now blocked from yours and everyone else’s ISP. The owner of the domain will also be sued for the material on the site.

Why is it a big deal? This is censorship. The internet is something still developing – always changing. If we mess with it now it may never go back the same. Leave the internet how it is.

Our standpoint on this is to stop it. Some of our games contain free 3d models that may be covered under this, so any and all revenue would be lost and we would be done. We have already emailed local senators and tweeted them. To get in contact with yours, type your zip code here on Wikipedia’s Zip Code lookup and email them. In the mean time, watch this video, it will explain in graphic detail. Thanks for helping defeat SOPA.

Future Game Information

Shattered Games has undoubtedly had great success with our first First Person Shooter being released. With high praise and a large number of downloads, this prompted us to continue on the a gaming venture. So will we be a one hit wonder? We hope not. We are collaborating with a team to start working on a project while we simultaneously work on Nations Under Fire, which is out to be the best Indie FPS and break the ground of what we know of traditional games like Call Of Duty or Battlefield. This will be our biggest game with supported online multiplayer, epic campaign, and a special mode we have yet to test ;-).

The game we are working on with the other team will not be fully owned by us, we are going to be one of the company contributors. Not fully made by us, but it still has a special little touch to it.

A release date for either of these titles has yet to be determined and we will keep you updated.

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