Work In Progress : Aerial Heroes

Here below are initial screenshot of the latest project of Teapot-Studio:a fast paced shoot’em up. It looks pretty much like after burner climax, however the gameplay and level design should differ a lot.

Our initial draft, after a couple of hours…
One month later: dumb-but-shootable enemies, a decent skybox, and some eye-candy items like the lens flare or the water (kudos to Riemer).

We’re still looking for talents so if you wish to join the project, feel free to tell us what you can do. In any case, more news about this project soon.

Read More

My first RROD

Yesterday, I tried to play Dead Space, but instead of starting normally, my XBox 360 displayed 3 blinking red lights… known as the Red Ring of Death, RROD, or ROD.

I heard/read a lot about this issue, however, being myself a moderate gamer, I foolishly hoped my XBox wouldn’t end up like this.

A RROD usually means your XBox won’t start anymore, and you have to send it to the microsoft repair center. The good news is that Microsoft is aware of this bothering issue, affecting 30% of any xbox produced before 2008, and 10% of the latest versions. So the warranty has been extended to 3 years. (and luckily, I got my xbox end of 2007).

Since I couldn’t play anymore, I was thinking about this issue, among others, and tried to figure out what I would have decided if I was out of this 3 years warranty. (buy another XBox? a PS3? a Wii?). So I decided to write a post on my blog to give my point of view. (well, nothing better to do, as you know).

So, if I had to buy another console, would it be…

A Wii?

No way, just kidding. I said I’m a moderate gamer, but I work a lot with CG, and can’t be impressed by Wii’s games visual quality. In addition, the lack of connectivity is unconceivable for next gen console. (well, there are channels, but It’ll never be close to the PSN or XBL). And appart multiplayers games very funny when you have 2 or 3 buddies at home, I have yet to find an interresting single player game. Not to mention the lack of achievements/trophies.

To sum up, the Wii is not an option.

a PS3?

PS3 has really interresting features: cool games, a blue ray reader, a nice VOD catalog, and the PSN is free. A nice console, and a multimedia platform.

Another XBox 360?

There are good games as well on the 360. And the live features are nice. However, there are also major drawbacks:

  • – The reliability. RRoD for 30% of the production clearly tells the buyer “you’ll probably need to buy me again someday”
  • – The noise. I feel there is an airplance taking off everytime I start my XBox. And I feel it particularly ruins the effort of Microsoft to promote VOD. I can stand such noise while playing a game, but I’ll never play a movie on my XBox only because it’s too noisy.
  • – The price of the Live. The service is good, even better than the PSN. I agree to keep additionnal features (discount, special downloads, access to special tournaments…) for Gold members, however I won’t pay for a service free on other platforms (ps3, steam…)
  • – The lack of blue-ray. This is not a major issue, but now, the BR clearly burried the HD-DVD. I guess Microsoft isn’t too happy to pay royalties to a competitor, but I cannot see how the XBox could become the multimedia platform Microsoft want it to be if it doesn’t even propose a recent media reader.

With so many drawbacks, you may wonder why I keep my XBox. There is one huge advantage microsoft has over their competitors:  XNA/Indie games. Being a passionate coder, I always dreamt about creating games on a console. Microsoft made it possible, and their framework is simple and accurate. I cannot see anything close on other consoles.

As a conclusion, I’ll keep my xbox now because it’s still under warranty. If it wasn’t, I would clearly think a lot about switching to PS3. I don’t know what will be in the next XBox, but it would be really great to have at least the issues I mentionned fixed, even if it means a more expensive console.

Read More