Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Careers in Video Game Industry

There is a boom in the video games industry. More and more skilled professionals are in demand by game development companies. And there is no dearth of careers in video games. You can choose to become a texture artist, a concept artist, a level designer, a physics programmer, a user interface programmer etc. There are multiple career options waiting for aspiring candidates. But before you step into the video gaming industry to make a career, it is essential to decide which career path you want to choose. Whether you want to choose a programmer's career, a designer's career or an artist's career, it will depend on your interest and skills.

Video game development companies are trying to develop computer games or video games that look 'amazingly real' and excite and engage users. These companies are targeting not only the fans of video games but also those who play games casually. In order to make the gaming environments more and more realistic, game development companies are looking for talented candidates who have a passion for playing as well as making games.

Career Paths That You Can Choose in Gaming Industry

Figure out your interests to pursue a desire career in games industry. Candidates need to have a combination of artistic and technical skills to be successful in their careers. If you really desire to make a profitable career in games, you need to have the knowledge of both the artistic and technical aspects of the games, gaming environments and its multiple elements.

Here's is a list of career paths you can choose when you step into the video gaming industry:
  • Concept Artists
  • Texture Artists
  • Level Designer
  • Physics Programmer
  • User Interface (UI) Programmer
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programmer
  • Sound Programmer
  • Animator
  • Tester
  • Publisher
Video game programmers deal with the technical aspect of the game while designers and work on the artistic aspects. Animators deal with object animation techniques. However, all these professionals work as part of a team to make gaming environments exciting, engaging, user friendly and as realistic as possible. Work environments are mostly very casual and it is quite fulfilling coordinating with others specialists and experts in the field of video or computer games.

Educational Requirements/ Skills

For most of the video games careers, candidates need to posses a degree in computer science, multimedia arts, graphics arts etc. Additionally, candidates can enroll in training programs and courses offered in game related majors. Today, there are hundreds of schools that offer courses and training in game related majors including video game console design, C++ programming for game developers, introduction to robotics, graphics programming, game mathematics, artificial intelligence for game developers, physics for game developers, video game testing etc.

A strong passion for playing and making games, however, is the key requirement for taking up any career in video games industry. Interpersonal skills always play an important role to have a successful career. Candidate need to improve their communication skills, team playing skills, ability to change original ideas as per the game development project requirement, ability to abide by the timeline, ability to have a keen eye for details etc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Video Game Designers Job Description

The gaming industry has come a long way in the last 40 years and is now a respected and profitable part of the business establishment. Video play sales have boomed all over the world and just in the United States alone this industry produced over $12.5 billion last year. The development and expansion in the computer game market implies that companies that design and manufacture the games are looking for well qualified workers. You have a good number of employment posts available in the gaming industry. One half of the jobs positions in this industry are creative and the rest are related to the business marketing.

If you happen to be thinking of getting into the computer game field, then you will need to have some expertise and training for that business. You have varying requirements for different employment positions but for getting a job on the creative side, it is usually necessary to have a university or college four year degree in an area like computer programming, video tournament design or computer sciences. Jobs in the video game designer field increased as computer games become more complex. The audiovisual tournament designer job description is in a constant state of change because of the ongoing evolution of computer games.

The video game designer job description is varying every day so as to keep up with all the changes in the video games themselves however a good range of technological and artistic skills are still required to create video games that could be in demand in the market. A key position in the creation of a video game is that of the video game designer. Audiovisual games are often developed by a team of junior designers, under the supervision of a lead designer. The lead designer is in charge of the junior game designers and is also responsible for successful project completion and management of the funds.

A group of junior creative designers with a variety of design tasks usually work in a team under the guidance of the lead designer. A crucial part of the video game design process for big and complicated games is that of the environmental designer or levels designer. The levels designers should create the many levels or stages that are inherent in modern computer games and they are also responsible for developing a game environment which flows smoothly and seamlessly throughout play. One more function that may be given to junior game designers is that of creating an effective user interface for the video game.

One more important animation game designer job description for junior designers is that of systems designer or game mechanics designer. These people are responsible for setting game rules, the story line and also the characters involved. These types of video game design jobs obviously need training and knowledge and to be competitive in the market a graduate degree in video game programming, computer sciences or computer engineering is compulsory. There are several higher education facilities which are now offering degrees that are specifically aimed at the computer sports industry. Jobs in the computer game industry are very well paid.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Call of Duty: Black Ops Review

CoD - Black Ops


Intense and expansive campaign
New story telling never before seen in a Call of Duty game
Multiplayer system has been expanded further with currency and theater mode
Combat training allows players to play against AI before venturing online for competition


Campaign ends too soon

Over the past few years there has been a new Call of Duty entry into the series each year. Each one expanding more than the last. Call of Duty Black Ops is this years entry and it for sure lives up to the reputation that the Call of Duty series is renown for. Everything that you love from the earlier games is all included plus new additions that really add to the excitement.

The single-player campaign is still the hard hitting action that it has always been, but the storyline is more on the verge of a thriller genre. The story follows the Cold War and events that take place during the 1960s. You travel to places such as Cuba, Russia and Vietnam. The story is very different in the fact that you are playing a series of flashbacks while being interrogated by an unknown voice. With each flashback you receive another part of the story's puzzle leading up to the thrilling ending.

The campaign is roughly six to seven hours long, but the multiplayer will have you coming back again and again. The competitive multiplayer has many new additions and all have their place in Black Ops. The biggest addition is the currency system used. As you level up and gain experience, you also gain CoD points. These points are used to purchase new weapons, attachments, gun camos, face paint, clan emblems, and playercards. The clan emblems and playercards are the equivalent to the emblems and titles found in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The well known multiplayer games can be found in Black Ops under the player matches and private matches. There is also another game type called Wager Matches where players can bet their own money and play some outrageous game types. The Wager Match games are: One in the Chamber, Sticks and Stones, Sharpshooter and Gun Game. One in the Chamber consists of players only having a pistol with one bullet and three lives. Players can receive an extra bullet upon achieving a kill. Sticks and Stones is a game type where only the crossbow, tomahawk and ballistic knife are used. In Sharpshooter each player receives the same random weapon every 45 seconds and receives perks upon gaining killstreaks. The final game is Gun Game where players start with a pistol and progressively gain more powerful weapons upon each kill. The first person to kill with all 20 weapons will win.

Zombie mode also makes a return in Black Ops. The first zombie map continues the storyline of zombie mode from World at War. There is also a second map upon completion of the single-player campaign where many well known figures are in the position of fighting to survive.

Each year Call of Duty brings something new and exciting to the table. Black Ops is this year's prize. Even though it does not really add any new mechanics, the Call of Duty core is still there, it does add a new layer of excitement to the single-player, multiplayer and co-op. The expansive and intriguing campaign makes the storyline the best in the Call of Duty series. Black Ops is this year's biggest first-person shooter giving veterans and new players some of the best experiences.

Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10
Replay Value: 9/10

Overall: 9/10

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: Battlefield 3 - Close Quarters

Battlefield 3 Screenshot

One of the most anticipated DLC packs of the celebrated Battlefield 3 title, Close Quarters was released in June of 2012 to generally positive reviews. The first in a series of DLCs that will include Armored Kill and End Game (both scheduled for release later in 2012), Close Quarters adds some impressive new features and interesting twists to one of the most promising game titles in recent history.

More maps, weapons and a new HD Destruction feature

What this primarily brings to the familiar Battlefield 3 gameplay is a focus on tight indoor environments. Here's a quick look at some of its more interesting features.

- High-action infantry combat
- Vertical gameplay with threats from every angle
- 10 new weapons
- Ability to earn new weapons and use them in the base game
- New assignments
- New modes for combination team play and instant action
- HD destruction feature that causes massive damage

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters is available in PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 versions.

Tight, close quarter gameplay

As the name suggests, this game focuses primarily on infantry style gameplay. In this DLC, players will have to fight their way through,all of which feature plenty of tight spaces and vertical playing surfaces. The close quarters action lends the game a frantic and high intensity feel that will keep adrenaline junkies pumped all throughout. With scores of new playing styles and methods, a selection of new weapons, and action that simply won't quit, it puts you right in the middle of the mayhem of a high-intensity infantry battle in full swing.

If you have been accustomed to the gameplay of the Battlefield 3 base game, you will definitely have to adjust your orientation a bit when you play Close Quarters. The extremely tight playing environments and somewhat disorienting vertical gameplay requires a slightly different approach along with a lot more focus and determination. In any given game, you can be blasted through the walls, the contents of a room can be totally obliterated, and pounds and pounds of lead can be traded by both sides. Truly one of the most action packed shooters in existence, Close Quarters is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

The HD Destruction feature

One of the much-lauded new features of this game is the aptly named HD Destruction. This feature is perfectly suited for the high-intensity close quarters action of the game, allowing for a level of destruction unheard of in even the most action packed titles. HD Destruction basically allows players to pump an astonishingly huge amount of lead into any playing environment, essentially reducing everything to rubble. The combat gaming genre has no shortage of titles that really let you pour on the mayhem, but for sheer volume of devastation, it is pretty hard to beat.

No vehicles

The fact that Close Quarters does not include vehicles at all may leave more than a few players scratching their heads, as did we. The thrill of a full-blown vehicular rumble simply cannot be denied, which is why we were a bit puzzled why this game chose to pass up this opportunity for even more action filled levels. That being said, the tight indoor environment and the vertical orientation provide plenty of unique new twists to the action. If you really must have your vehicular warfare fix, you would do well to stay tuned for Battlefield 3: Armored Kill. Slated for release later in 2012, Armored Kill features what is supposedly the biggest map in the franchise.

The verdict

Whether or not it is for you depends on how you like to play. If you are mainly focused on solo play, Close Quarters provides a pretty stunning audio-visual gaming full of high intensity action but not much else. If you are comparing the DLC to something such as Call of Duty, Close Quarters doesn't really measure up. With regard to multiplayer action goes however, the varied gaming styles and demanding environments give Close Quarters a uniquely high-intensity feel that few other games can match. Although not a genre-defining addition by any means, this is a more than worthy addition to the impressive Battlefield 3 line.

Top Ten Android Arcade Games

All the best free Android Arcade & Action games show off all the improved technology and basically what's possible now and in the future with mobile phone games. Even with a small screen, these games are a lot of fun and it's mainly because the graphics are so good. Even with adequate graphics, if the playability wasn't good, no one would bother downloading these games. Thankfully for all of us, it's there as well and these games are beginning to compete with standalone portable game sets. This is not to say they're at that level yet; but with time and constant improvements on both the Android OS side and the developers getting even better, it will become a more widely discussed topic.

However you look at it, it's amazing what's happened to the mobile phone games market in the last few years. And all of us consumers are the ones who get to benefit. Whether you're a hardcore gamer or not, you need to check out a couple of the very best free Android arcade games. If nothing else, download a few to simply see what they're like and you'll probably have a greater appreciation for your Android phone!

Robo Defense FREE
This is one of the best free Android arcade games that's been around quite a long time. It's constantly improving and there's a reason it's been towards the top of the list for seemingly ever. It's a tower defense game that has all sorts of maps, stats and 11 difficulty levels. There are quite a few upgrades available with this game.

Fruit Ninja Kaka
This is a fun little ninja training game. The goal is to train your ninja to cut fruit and be a "fruit killer". There's a paid version on its way and the overall quality seems to be getting better all the time.

Dante: THE INFERNO game
This is one of my favorites. When you're playing it, you're really into the game and it's like you're actually there. Quite a few levels (over 120!) and there's multiple endings. It's quite a long journey and if you're into the Zelda-like games, you'll be happy with this one.

Probably the plainest, simplest game on this list; it's also the most addictive and just tough to get enough of. This is a jumping game where you move from platform to platform with a smiley face. It might sound stupid to you, but if you download it and start playing, you'll be at it for a while. It's like Doritos; try eating just one.

GameBoid (GBA Emulator)
This is the "famous GameBoy Advance emulator" and new games are being supported all the time. It'll take a bit of time to get it all working no doubt, but when you do, it's pretty awesome. There's a full version that is worth buying if you're looking to use this often.

Flying High
This is a great flying game for your Android phone. You can play the game with two different goals in mind: to go for and complete the stunt course or fly in survival mode and see how long you can go. This is a solid game; could be better and surely will improve over time.

Best Multiplayer Android Games

World War
All the World War Android games are amazing. There are millions of people that play them and rightfully so. You can battle other players live while you're fighting the war. It's intense and if you're into good graphics and solid fighting, this game is for you.

This is one of the free Android arcade games that has quite a few diehard fans. You start your journey up through the mob as a petty thief with the goal of becoming Mafia Don! You accomplish this by bringing others into your mob and doing all sorts of mob activities. The graphics are good and it's got a ton of players- now over 1.5 million people!

Vampires Live
This is an extremely popular multiplayer vampire game with over a million players. You start off as a "lowly vampire and become the most powerful vampire lord" with lots of time. This is another game that could become quite addictive. It's fun and I guess a lot of other people think so as well.

Ninjas Live
Just like the previous 3 games on this list, it's another massive multiplayer online game. You do battle with other ninjas live to advance yourself. It's fun just like the others on this list. If you're into MMORPGs, you'll definitely like this game.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Overview of the PS Vita

PS Vita

The Vita
The latest in handheld technology, known as the PS Vita, was released in February 2012 and has had a big impact on the way we play our handheld devices. It is by far the most powerful and impressive handheld gaming console ever built and its specifications are phenomenal.

The Vita packs a quad core ARM Cortex processor which helps the stunning 5-inch touch screen OLED display continue to look crisp and beautiful. It is available with both 3G and Wi-fi to keep you connected wherever you go and it also has Bluetooth capability. It has dual analogue sticks that make it feel much more like a modern day controller and the front and rear touch screens give it more delicate movements and actions. The Vita also has a Six Axis motion Sensing System including 3-axis Gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis electronic compass.

This is quite a large console but the size is necessary to support its big screen and all those buttons. The Vita's width is 7.2 inches, height 3.3 inches and it has a thickness of 0.7 inches. Despite its fairly big size it is a snug and comfortable fit in your hands but you won't be keen on sliding it into your pocket.

Vita Gaming
The PS Vita since launching has been repeatedly praised for the amount of games that are already available on it and the quality of many of these games. Lumines: electronic symphony is a very popular block busting, puzzle solving game, which has made its return on the Vita and has scored a rating of between 80% - 90%!

Wipeout has made a brilliant comeback on the PS Vita and is one of the most popular in the Wipeout series. It looks great on the Vita and the implication of cross platform play between the Vita and PS3 shows what we can look forward to in the future.

The Future of PS Vita
Although the PS Vita is an all round beast of a console there is plenty of juice left to be squeezed out. One feature that has kept chins wagging is the idea of remote play between PS Vita and PS3. The idea of being able to play your PlayStation 3 games on the PlayStation Vita is truly a mouth watering thought.

Sony has also promised a huge round up of games this year. Where the 3DS was greatly criticised for its lack of games and content, Sony are trying very hard not to fall short in these categories.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Angry Birds Walkthrough

Angry Birds Screenshot

Angry Birds Walkthrough : Top Mobile Game of All Time

Almost everyone who has a smartphone has probably heard of Angry Birds, so it is no surprise that this game is one of the most popular games available to date for any smartphone operating system including Android and iOS. So what is this game causing all the rage?

What is Angry Birds?

The game, developed by Rovio Mobile, is a puzzle style video game where players launch birds with a slingshot at evil green pigs or the structures that those pigs occupy. The structures on each level are made of materials such as ice, wood, and stone. The object of the Angry Birds game is for the player to eliminate all the pigs in each level by either hitting the structures using the slingshot to damage them, which causes them to collapse and kill the pigs.

In different levels of the game, special objects such as explosive crates and rocks are found, and may be used to help destroy pigs and structures. The game is broken up into several episodes, each containing multiple levels. The first episode is called "Poached Eggs," which begins the birds' quest to go after the pigs who stole their eggs. Rovio also released Halloween and Christmas themed editions of the Angry Birds game in 2010.

Game FAQs

The game was first released for Apple's iOS in December 2009, which made the game available for most iPhone, iPad and iPod users, and Rovio has said that they have sold more than 12 million copies, with the majority of downloads attributed to the iPhone app. This success has led the company to design versions for other smartphones such as those using the Symbian or Android operating systems.

The Android version is free and relies on advertising based revenue. In its first 24 hours of availability, the Android version was downloaded 1 million times, causing the server to crash at one point. The company has seen over 30 million downloads from its free app versions, including "lite" versions for other systems. Versions of Angry Birds have now been released for both PCs and gaming consoles as well and is expected to be just as popular as the iPhone app.

Why so Popular?

The combination of low price with its addictive game play and humorous tone has led the Angry Birds iPhone game to be downloaded over 50 million times in total across all systems. According to recent statistics, Angry Birds sees over 200 million gaming minutes per day!

For a game that cost approximately $140,000 to develop initially, it now earns over $2 million per month with half from sales and half from advertising. The game has also received positive reviews and Conan O'Brien has even mentioned Angry Birds on his late night television show. The overwhelming popularity has led to cross merchandising, which has included t-shirts, plush toys of the birds and the pigs, as well as an upcoming board game version.

In March 2011, Angry Birds Rio, will tie in with the release of the 20th Century Fox animated movie "Rio," which is scheduled to be available for iOS and Android. The Angry Birds characters will appear in Rio de Janeiro and attempt to rescue other birds, including those from the film. There has also been some talk of an animated feature film for the birds themselves, but such a movie will be further off in the future.

Friday, March 2, 2012

PC Gamer's Stereotypical Beliefs

PC gaming is a form of gaming which many consider a dying breed. With console gaming getting more and more popular, PC gaming appears to be on a decline. Many consider PC gamers to be an elitist group, who spend more time upgrading their PCs then actually gaming. In reality, nothing can be further from the truth. I, myself am actually a mixed breed gamer, enjoying the best of both worlds, but I know many people who swear by either PC gaming or console gaming. These gamers have a very radical view on modern gaming, as do console gamers, although they both are very contrasting. After interacting with many exclusive PC gamers, I have prepared a list of some things which they believe about the gaming world. Take note, that I am not being biased towards console gamers in any way, and this is just a fun-post, glorifying some of the common stereotypical things said, and thought by gamers who game on their PCs

1. 1080p is So Last Gen

I bet you have heard this before from your PC gaming friends. Consoles today are still not able to produce full 1080p games (non-upscaled) at 60 fps, and this is a feature which they deeply crave from the 8th Gen consoles. But PC gamers have been gaming at this resolution since a couple of years, and find this resolution to be pitiful.

2. Mouse and Keyboard Gaming is Where it is At

Console gamers commonly fight over which is better, the PS3 controller, or the Xbox 360 controller. PC gamers say, screw you both, Mouse and Keyboard gaming is where its at. It is true that the mouse provides a precision which cannot be matched by a controller joystick. But this doesn't mean that controllers are complete trash. In fact, fighting games are games which feel like they are made exclusively for console controllers. Also, FPS games are not that bad on a Xbox 360 controller, as PC gamers claim.

3. Starcraft II Pawns All

Throughout the years, I have played many games on PCs which I consider legendary, including the likes of Doom, World of Warcraft, Diablo etc. But, in modern PC gaming, Starcraft II dominates. Dominates to the extent, that many of my PC gaming friends play no game apart from it nowadays. According to them, Starcraft II is on one side, and all other games on another side. For them

Starcraft II>>>God Of War III

Starcraft II>>>Cryis 2

Starcraft II>>>Uncharted 3

Starcraft II>>>Gears Of War 3

It doesn't matter what genre, Starcraft PWNS all.

4. Consoles Ruined Modern Gaming (Ruined Crysis 2, Ruined Dragon Age 2, Ruined Skyrim)

This generation, due to decreased profits, we saw many developers focus their attention on console gaming, instead of PCs. Due to this, many games which were masterpieces on PCs, saw sequels which were made with consoles in mind, hence had to be toned down, in accordance with consoles ageing configuration. The result was buggy softwares, with lower than expected graphics on PCs. This deeply disappointed the PC gamers, and increased their hatred towards the consoles, and console gamers.

5. Motion Gaming is A Fad

Many of us believe that, like it or not, motion gaming is the future of gaming. The Wii, Microsoft Kinect, and PlayStation Move are an example of this. But many PC gamers are not willing to except this, and have decided to turn their heads away from the truth. These PC gamers believe that motion gaming is just a fad, and will die out soon. Personally, I believe, the next generation is going to have an even more increased focus on motion gaming, and if motion gaming is a fad, then this fad is going to last for a long time.

6. Online Gaming for Consoles is a Joke

The 7th Generation Consoles are the consoles which saw a heavy focus on online gaming by the developers. Not that online gaming wasn't present prior to this generation, but this is the generation where online gaming gained mass appeal. PC gamers, on the other hand have been gaming online since a long time, and that too in a better way. PC gamers have dedicated servers, as well as private servers. PC gamers are open to the world of custom mods. Console gamers, on the other hand are spoon fed.

7. 8th Gen Consoles Will be As Powerful as Today's Low End PCs

PC gamers have the habit of exaggeration of the difference in specs between PCs and consoles. So much to the extent, that PC gamers claim that that the upcoming Xbox 720, and PS4 will have specs which match today's low-end PC. PCs may be more powerful than consoles, but claiming the above is a stretch.

8. Console Gamers Suck

From all the above things, PC gamers end up believing one thing, which to put blandly, is that console gamers suck. PC gamers believe that it is the console gamers which are ruining gaming as a whole, with their lower graphical standards, and habit of being spoon fed by developers.

These are just somethings which most PC gamers unanimously believe. Some may be true, while others may be a bit stretched.

Do you have any more things which you wish to add to the list? Some more stereotypical beliefs which you have observed? Leave your comments in the comment section.