Sunday, May 15, 2011

DLC's Future - A Tale of Woe for Gamers

Image from @legacycrono

Game History

It used to be that expansion packs actually added something new and exciting to a game. These expansion packs were like getting a new game at a discounted price. Life was grand for gamers.

Un-Original Sim

Then along came the Sims. The expansion packs, while a little cheaper didn't add a lot. This model was soon adopted, due to the success in the market place. While some gamers rejoiced, others were concerned about the path that was being followed. In essence the innovation and features were dropped in favor of the much cheaper content development model.


We live in a world with half finished expensive games that require another $20-$80 to get a complete game. Not only is this easier for studios (they don't need to hire/pay a content team) it gives them more money on less investment. A better ROI if you will. Just at the expense of their fans.

The Future

As companies look to increase their profits eventually someone is going to look at old school arcade games. Those games were great at monetizing users, by making you have to pay not only for content but per life. I can see a point soon where gamers will have to pay per life. It is already happening in these freemium games. All it needs is a little more time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Game Two Controllers


Beating Portal 2 Co-Op Mode By Myself

So I'm by no means the first to do this. I beat Portal 2 by myself.

And due to a clipping bug, there was only one really hard part.

First, for reference I'll go through the test course names:
  1. Calibration
  2. Team Building
  3. Mass and Velocity
  4. Hard-Light Surfaces
  5. Excursion Funnels
  6. Mobility Gels
So the first part that is tricky but not hard is in Team Building. You have to hit 2 buttons with each player and the timer is set such that you must do both at the same time.

This is actually quite simple. Set your portals, use your action button, run forward. In terms of actually making sure two people are playing this test is a little lame.

The real challenge comes in from Mobility Gels, test chamber 7. I had asked my wife to help me complete this as it was difficult, but she couldn't quite understand what she had to do. After about 30 minutes of blowing herself up we called it quits.

Here's the thing, player A has to use the speed gel and two walls to get up to speed. Player B has to then hit a button to lift a platform up. While the platform is coming up, player B has to run towards player A and use a portal to launch them onto the platform. Player A must then run to end of the platform on the right hand side. While player A is running down the platform, player B must go back to a different switch. Once player A is in place B has to hit that second switch to drop a box. Player A must catch that box and run back before the platform drops.

Quite literally it took both hands and foot for me to complete this. I had to make player A run forward using a toe, while I controlled player B. It took skill, luck and timing but I passed this chamber into the last one.

Now test chamber 8 is where people say there's another difficult part. I would have too except there's a clipping bug that makes this much easier. In the second part of test chamber 8, you have to slide a box down an incline. This blocks laser beams raising platforms that then lower. It is expected that both players run over the platforms and hit a button at the same time.

Well if you take the box with player A and walk down the ramp you can block the lasers leaving the platform up for some time. If you take player B and use the now stable platforms you can get all the way to the switch. Go to the left switch with player B, and stand in the corner. Face the switch and then have player A unblock the last laser. If done correctly, player B will still be standing facing the switch when the platform retracts.

This then makes it a simple to drop the box, and while it slides run along the platforms with player A. Hit the switch at the same time, and you're all golden.

Then simply take care of some turrets make a big jump and do a little dance cause you're done.

Down to 10 trophies till platinum on the PS3.

Now would it have been possible to make a test chamber actually require 2 people? Sure, but if you did then it may not actually be solvable by most teams playing. That said, a set of running forward and hitting switches and placing portals type of test would have probably kept me from completing it by myself.

But in the end, I saved science.

Oh and the credits are insane. I couldn't catch all of it.
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