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CSI: Deadly Intent – The Hidden Cases released!!! October 28, 2009

Posted by Cesar in working me.
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CSI: Deadly Intent – The Hidden Cases. That’s my first published title as an Other Ocean programmer! It is in stock everywhere! Ubisoft and CBS are very pleased with the game and I am very proud.

Taming the DS was a very difficult challenge, the platform is notorious for not being development friendly. I did a little bit of everything: worked on the crime scenes, created the framework for putting the story together, tweaked graphics and VRAM usage, developed tools for automated content generation, even worked on sound. But I have to say, all programmers did a very good job (Congrats Wendall, Amine, everyone!).

The game was published now but we wrapped it up a while ago. Now I am working on a completely different game: new style, new platform, very cool IP. I’ll tell more about it when it is released.

See you space cowboys…

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OnLive: the future is not that close October 26, 2009

Posted by Cesar in gaming me, working me.
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A while ago there was an interesting discussion about OnLive on a LinkedIn group.  And I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently. I should say my religion is technology and I believe in the concept of OnLive from a theoretical point of view. That is: with a good enough connection, it will be possible to play high end games without disturbing lag. And I believe that connection exists.

That’s not to say I think OnLive will be a huge success. I think while the current connection speeds can be good enough for the service, they will often not be reliable enough, which will be a huge problem since local playing is not an option. You know those days you can’t surf all that well? You won’t be able to play either.

But that’s not all. One guy in the above mentioned discussion brought up a point that is very valid and somewhat unquestionable. While the connections are fast enough, they are not ready for that much traffic. And I am not talking just about the infrastructure, but also about the business model. Most ISPs in the US, Canada and Europe have what they call a fair share policy: there’s no written limit, but if you abuse it, they will cut you down. And according to the OnLive FAQ (and you know how these things go right?), to play with a 720 resolution at 60 fps, you need a 5Mbps connection. But unlike regular online games, where traffic happens in bursts and latency matters more, we can expect a somewhat constant data flow when playing OnLive. So…

That’s 625KB per second.

Roughly 2.2 GB per hour.

For a casual gamer that plays 7 hours a week, we are talking 63 GB per month.

Now imagine how much an avid gamer will consume. I will not even write it down. It is not doable. Not right now. Not with the current plans offered by most ISPs.  So while I believe in the technology, I don’t think the hit will be all that big. In fact, I think we’ll still see one whole generation of home consoles until the OnLive model becomes truly feasible. That is not to say it will fail blatantly either. It just won’t change the industry this winter like many have been saying. I for one intent to get it anyway, even if it is as a secondary console.

But I could be wrong. I hope I am.

See you space cowboys…

Demon’s Souls: the joy of dying October 23, 2009

Posted by Cesar in gaming me, working me.
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If you have a PS3 and are a hardcore gamer, you have to try Demon’s Souls. It is a dungeon crawler that does not take you by the hand every step of the way. Dying and trying again is part of the game. And it is also the reason this game feels so rewarding.

I won’t make a review of the game or talk about its unique multiplayer. For those, you can check any of the reviews on the game, as they are all good. Instead I wanted to talk about how nice it is to see a truly difficult game on the shelves. Nowadays, even the so called hardcore games can be pretty easy. No one has any trouble getting to the end of GTA IV or Gears of War 2. Long gone are the days of trying the same level over and over again.

And that’s the scenario where Demon’s Souls comes in. It is a great game, it is really difficult and it does not feel broken. In a way, more than creating a real challenge, I believe the difficulty of the game has the capability of increasing immersion without any help from graphics or sound. In the case of Demon’s Souls it forces players to focus more, pay great attention to the environment, be careful about every encounter. Just like your character would do if it were a real person. And when you beat a level or major demon, the reward is also much bigger.

On a side note, I find it curious that platforms and business models created for casual games ended up as the media for some hardcore, old style games. Like Alien Hominid, Ikaruga or N+,  just to name a few. But that’s a different topic. For now, just go play Demon’s Souls.

See you space cowboys…

Football: I had to come to Canada… October 22, 2009

Posted by Cesar in sporting me.
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I love football, I really do. And I am a huge fan of São Paulo Futebol Clube. Last Sunday was my birthday and my parents sent me a cap and a jersey from the team. I then realized that, even with all my passion, I did not have a jersey. I stopped to think about it and noticed the reason.

You would need to have lived in Brazil to know: there, football involves more emotion than it should. People fight and kill in the name of their teams. I know it sounds insane and it IS insane. But that’s how it is. If the rivalry is too big, a surprisingly big minority of the supporters of one team will try and kick the asses of the supporters of the rival team. It is no joke, sometimes people die simply because they support the rival team.

So when I was born, I lived in a city that was not the home town of Tricolor (it is the nickname for São Paulo Futebol Clube) so the rivalry was very small and I used my uniform very often, to go to school, to visit friends… whenever. I then moved to São Paulo, the home town of Tricolor. There are 2 other major teams in the city and the supporters fight. A lot. And I stopped using the jersey, fearing the violence on the streets.

Now that I’m in Canada I can use the uniform freely again. And I do, even though no one has the slightest idea of what it is. Isn’t that insane?

See you space cowboys…

About me! October 13, 2009

Posted by Cesar in gaming me.
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Hey! I just finished the About me page of the blog. Check it out!

See you space cowboys…

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