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Recipe for the perfect game

Games are hugely diverse and expansive, which is why they’ve become such a popular entertainment medium. But with such a vast choice of genres, cooking one up from scratch and ensuring the meal is delectable is a mammoth task. Fear not though, the recipe for gaming perfection is mere sentences away, and it will guide you fully in the preparation, cooking and serving of a most delightful meal.

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Shall we begin?

No, we shan’t! Put your cooking tools away and instead sit down and think about what you’re about to cook. The preparation is as important as the act; you need to know what kind of game you’re baking.

The options before you are vast. You can essentially make whichever game you fancy. You must decide which experience to focus on at this early stage and then commit to that idea completely. And there we have the first ingredient: the high concept stock cubes.

Now this idea of yours needs to be strong. It needs to be something interesting, unique, and most of all viable. No doubt the other designers in the kitchen are going to have ideas of their own and it’s important to crush those opposing ideas under the weighty brilliance of yours. And remember, however vicious and heated the argument gets about this key ingredient, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Of course their opinions will be wrong so always stick with your own.

Now you need to purchase the rest of the ingredients for your game. All are available from any good supermarket.

Ingredients:

  • Idea/High Concept Stock Cubes
  • Setting Authenticity
  • Graphics Flour
  • Aesthetic Flour
  • Raw Music
  • Innovation
  • Depth of Experience
  • Gameplay
  • Control and Interface Salt
  • Programmers
  • Level Designers
  • User Interface Designers
  • Publishers

Method:

First of all you need to create the flavouring mixture. Boil some programmers until they scream then add two high concept stock cubes and leave to simmer. As the agonising screams turn to tired moans, finely chop some setting authenticity and add it to the simmering brew.

Whilst the flavouring is simmering, you can prepare your base. Mix together a couple of tablespoons of level designers with graphics flour and aesthetic flour. Be careful with the measurements for both flours; don’t get confused by people telling you they are the same thing. The graphics flour will add technical visual power to your game; adding to the taste and making the finished meal more appealing to the eye, but aesthetics flour dictates the style of your meal; the mixture of colour and texture to each and every bite. The measurements don’t have to be equal but do be careful not to overpower one with the other. Once you have a firm dough to work with, line a baking tray with it and pour on three quarters of the simmering brew, allowing the flavours to soak into the dough. Place the remaining flavouring mixture back on the heat.

Keep the flavouring on the heat until you hear mutterings of discontent from the programmers. Do not allow it to boil over to cries of lawsuits or you’ll find the flavour too bitter. Whilst you wait, you can prepare the true substance of your game.

Cut some of the raw music into small chunks of sound effects and the rest into long strings of melodies. However, there are two things to remember when using raw music: don’t buy cooked music, otherwise it’ll ruin the tone of your dish when you cook it up later. Secondly, make sure you cut off all the high pitched tones from the raw music. If prepared incorrectly, music can kill on consumption.

Now dice up some innovation and marinade it with the sound effects and melodies in the remaining flavouring brew. Add a sprinkling of the wonderful spice depth of experience to really accentuate the flavours, before adding the meat of the simulator: the gameplay. Emergent or narrative based gameplay will be fine, chef’s choice.

The game is almost ready for the oven, but first it needs some kind of topping. You have a few different options available to you at this point, so keep in mind who your audience is and craft the topping to fit. You may want to ensure a more approachable, casual game, in which case mix together another batch of dough, this time with user interface designers instead of level designers, as well as the graphics and aesthetics flour. Then shape the dough to either cover the other ingredients entirely or semi-cover in a pattern of your choosing.

If your audience are gaming connoisseurs then feel free to leave you dish open, to allow your audience to really see the ingredients. Either way, before popping it in the oven, be sure to add a sprinkling of control and interface salt.

Now you have the choice of baking or broiling the simulator. Baking is quicker but there is always a risk of undercooking, broiling is the best option, if you have the time.

With your game cooked, it’s time to bring in the publishers to help you serve the dish. It may be the best cooked meal of all time by no one’s going to eat it if it’s sloped onto a plate with no care for its presentation.

Now bring an unsuspecting tester in off the street and present to them a plate full of your game. Encourage them to dig in, to play with their food, and then ask them what they thought of the presentation and the meal itself. If after a few bites they are still breathing, then that’s a great sign, it means you prepared the music correctly after all, good job! Now take the testers thoughts on-board and adjust your presentation accordingly. If the meal itself raises concerns then try adding a selection of spices. Depth of experience, setting authenticity, or even some whisked up developers and programmers can add spice to your meal.  Now see if the tester finds them suitable solutions, or even begin planning for side dishes – also known as expansions – to compliment the meal. Be warned though, if the tester hates your meal or dies from tasting it then I strongly advise you start again from scratch.

And there you have it, a perfectly cooked simulator ready for mass consumption. Bon Appétit!

5 Game Sequels Or Revivals We Would Love To See

With the Xbox One fast approaching, and we prepare ourselves for the next generation of games, and with Microsoft boasting 15 exclusives (8 of which being brand new franchises), I have decided to look back through my gaming past and have picked out the 5 games that I would love to see again.

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Too Human:- Back in 2008 we were treated to an action RPG called Too Human. Developed by Canadian outfit Silicon Knights, this was a game that was 10 years in development, which was finally released on the Xbox 360, after being originally penned as a 4 disc release on the P!$&?@%$*@!

Too Human told a futuristic retelling of Norse mythology that portrays the Norse Gods as cybernetically enhanced humans tasked with protecting mankind from the onslaught of Loki’s army of machines. The player takes the role of the Norse god Baldur, who is less cybernetic than the other gods, thus being “Too Human”.

Too Human was originally penned as part of a trilogy, and dammit I want the second instalment. However I will accept a reboot too. Too Human was, for me, one of the most understated and under rated games of this generation that fully deserved more recognition than what it got. Admittedly Too Human wasn’t the greatest of games, but it was a huge game that boasted a rather unique combat system, that and its wide range of customization options and allowed for a huge amount of enemies on the screen at one time, made Too Human one of the most compelling games of this generation, and I want more!

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Brute Force:- Brute Force takes place in the year 2340, when the human race has spread out across the galaxy and settled around 50 star systems, which are collectively known as the “Known Worlds”. The major colonies and some alien races are governed by what is known as the Confederation of Allied worlds. They patrol borders, protect their people, and keep watch on hostile alien races, as well as humans who wish to work for the aliens.

Brute force was for me, one of the revolutionary games of the previous generation. Brute Force was a 3rd person squad based tactical shooter that allowed for up to 4 player co-operative multiplayer. Each character had a different ability and was more proficient with different weapon types, so choosing the right character for the right situation was critical.

There was also a multiplayer mode which had players choose a squad type (different ones became available as the campaign progressed) and compete in different game modes against other players. As with the campaign, each different squad had different abilities and weapon sets.

The reason I would like to see this game make a comeback is due to the leaps and bounds that squad based games have come on in the past 10 years since the games release, and I think many of the modern day games will owe a lot of thanks and credit to the people at Digital Anvil and Brute Force. You just have to look at the likes of Gears of War and Ghost Recon to see what can be done, so it would be good to see this game make a comeback and see what this game will do with the new tech that’s on offer.

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Vanquish:- This is easily the winner of my under rated game of all time award. Vanquish was innovative and offered some unique additions to the 3rd person shooter, which included fast paced action, reminiscent of 2D bullet hell shooters, and an original sliding boost mechanic that allowed players to slide across the floor into cover and still fire on the enemies.

In essence it is a typical offering that you would expect from Platinum Games, and believe me if you haven’t played it, you will want to pick it up on the cheap somewhere.

Vanquish takes place in the near future where Earth’s human population has grown so rapidly that nations are fighting for the scarce remaining resources. The United States of America has attempted to alleviate its energy problems by launching an O’Neill Cylinder space station harbouring a solar energy-driven generator to provide them with an alternative source of energy. However, the government of the Russian Federation has been overthrown in a coup d’état by ultra-nationalist forces calling themselves the Order of the Russian Star. Russian forces capture the space station and divert its harvested solar energy into a blast wave that devastates San Francisco. The main antagonist, Victor Zaitsev, demands that the American government surrender or he will choose New York City as his next target.

With regards to a sequel for this game, it’s not something I want; it’s something that I NEED!! So please Platinum Games, if you have any kind of a soul, you will give us Vanquish 2.

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Crash Bandicoot:- If there is ever a gaming character that deserves a revival, it’s Crash Bandicoot. Most gamers at some point in their life would have made contact with everyone’s favourite marsupial.

17 years ago I was first introduced to Crash and Aku Aku back on the original P&!£$%*@!£” and I instantly fell in love, and it is thanks to Crash and (dare I say it) S&%! (apparently I can’t say it), that I fell in love with gaming. I can’t remember the amount of hours I put in trying to defeat Dr N. Brio.

Of course as time went on, Crash kind of lost his way in the gaming world and finally came to an end after 2008’s Crash: Wrath of the Titans. I’m not going to sit here and preach about how much Crash deserves to be rebooted, because quite frankly if he were to get the reboot, I don’t think even Naughty Dog could make it compete in the next generation of games. However what I would like to see is a game reminiscent of classic Crash, and with both Microsoft and S&%! Saying they will continue to support their current platforms, it would be nice to see Crash come back as maybe an arcade release as I feel that is the area it will fit well in.

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Timesplitters:- Every time the question about a Timesplitters sequel arises, all I hear is WWE superstar Daniel Bryan chanting in my ear ‘YES, YES, YES!’

Timesplitters was first introduced to us back in 2000, and instantly became a hit in the hearts of gamers. Two sequels were produced, the final one being 2005’s Timesplitters: Future Perfect. There were talks of a Timesplitters 4 but in 2007 it was indefinitely postponed. Since then gamers have been hitting the internet in their masses demanding another instalment to the franchise. It has since been announced that a fan made sequel will be made available totally free on the PC entitled Timesplitters: Rewind and depending on its success, a console release may be considered.

Now however good this news may be, it’s not an official sequel, I am still hoping for the day that Crytek announce an official sequel is in development. The chances of this happening however are probably very slim, what with Crytek currently putting all their efforts towards Ryse: Son of Rome and Homefront 2. However should the day come that they announce it, I will do all I can to find the person responsible for signing it off, and plant a big wet one on them.

Well those are the games I’d like to see get a modern day facelift, what games would you like to see? Let us know in the comments section below, and don’t forget to stay tuned to This is Xbox for all the latest news and reviews as it happens.

ThisisXbox Top Ten: Xbox HD Re-Releases

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Over the past few years, it has become apparent that a new fad has come into fruition. Dressing up our old beloved games in a new high definition gloss, and releasing it out to the world once more. Today’s gamers have accepted these releases at a huge scale. Accepting them rather then scorning them. It’s a great idea, take something everyone loves, repackage it with more content, make it better looking, let people relive their past loves. Here at ThisisXbox, we have painstakingly gone through the list of HD re-releases and picked the best ten of the bunch to share with you. Continue reading ThisisXbox Top Ten: Xbox HD Re-Releases

If You Like Technology – Meet N3RDABL3

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To kick off our new feature of showcasing some of the best technology and gaming websites from around the net, let us introduce to you a 2012 start-up for all things techie – n3rdabl3.co.uk

The concept

n3rdabl3 (pronounced ‘nerdable’ for those interested) began at the beginning of 2012. Founded by Aaron Richardson with a great team of writers, the aim is to provide readers with content about nerdy things, gadgets, gaming and technology. The initial concept for n3rdabl3 first started out as a personal tumblr blog, but in wanting to be serious, more dedicated and to market n3rdabl3 as more of a website than a personal tech blog, Aaron is working on getting a team on board to help write/develop and expand the site into something bigger and better.

The Future

In the future Aaron and his team are aiming to make n3rdabl3 something of a household name when it comes to gaming and technology, He is aiming high and is hoping that anyone he takes on board will have the same ambition.

n3rdabl3 covers all current gaming consoles including the upcoming OUYA, as well as all mobile platforms, and regular features. It’s not just covering a great range of content that made n3rdabl3 stand out for thisisxbox, but also their focus on ‘tips and tricks’ to engage their readers with useful help about the technology they know and love.

There are future give-away’s, competitions and collaborations in the works, so why not bookmark, visit and completely check out their website with this link

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