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Still here! Currently working on healing from PTSD

October 20, 2014 in Announcement

First, I am only mentioning about my PTSD because I am at a point where I know that it isn’t something I should be ashamed about. I have also decided to write an online fantasy novel about it (more details below) because I hope that it will help others somehow. Or at least give them some hope or the feeling of not being alone. I also hope that those who like me, felt shame, brokeness, and abandonment, will see that they are not alone. That having this isn’t something to be ashamed about. So please, be kind about this and keep an open mind because it is a painful and sore subject still for me personally.

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I’ve been getting messages/emails from people who thought I just disappeared without a trace. I’m still here, breathing and all. But as the title said, I’m currently battling PTSD that I had gotten due to a pretty traumatic incident a couple months ago. I’m currently writing an online novel about it in a fantasy like setting because writing it as is, is still very painful. I’m hoping it will help others who went through the same thing and those that can resonate with it can feel that they are not alone. I will however, write the positive things that I have discovered along my journey and I’m hoping by the end, I can write the bad things in a non fantasy way because the hurt and the pain would be healed enough.

I know I’m very vague, but I can tell you this. I’m at a crossroad in my life. I am also for the first time in my life, doing something to help myself. It is new to me and I feel guilty for trying to piece myself back together from the things I went through. I’m learning to accept, though very slowly; that it’s okay for me to do this and that I’m not a bad person for doing so.

To be honest, when I was told I had PTSD, it hurt me and frustrated me. I tried bulldozing through it, thinking that I can just suck it up and force myself to be better. But it didn’t turn out that way. The “triggers” caused me to have severe anxiety attack that turned into a panic attack that eventually turned into dissociative seizures (non-epileptic). Because of that, I decided to seek help and take myself to a place where I am safe. Again, seeking help for myself is a first for me and feeling guilt for it stems from me feeling like I’m bothering others.

Some of you may have an idea of what I’m talking about, some may not. But if you know someone who went through some trying and harrowing events in their life and they are like me who was raised to believe that our feelings aren’t worth anything. That we don’t have the right to feel the way we do and that we are only worth something when we can give something even if it means breaking our bounderies and ourselves for others, I hope that you can tell them, there’s always something worth fighting for. That they are worth loving. That we are all worth something and as long as you do things the right way, healing yourself, putting yourself back together, and accepting that our bounderies were impeded on is painful but it’s okay.

I will still be writing reviews and continue to develop my game and novel. But it has to wait until I finish the program which will be sometime in February (it’s a 6 months program). So, I hope you guys understand and thank you for showing me concern and love.

Going through some very difficult times but I’m not out of the game review game yet!

July 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

=) I know I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’m currently going through some life struggles but I’m trying to push forward with an optimistic mindset! After all, my motto is, “There’s always something worth smiling for!”. Yup! Even if things aren’t going well or how you want them to be, there’s always something worth smiling about. Even the little things.

Concerning this indie game review site, I’m putting that one on hold for a little bit more because I have a lot on my plate at the moment. As many of you know, I put a lot of time and work on my reviews because I want the games to really shine through and let the readers know what they will get, both the good and the bad. I also try to advertise them on other game sites so they get the exposure they deserve. I usually spend three days or so doing all that for games I review.

Now, as for my gamedev site, Im making it into my studio, so that means I’m going to have my novels and art there as well. I’ve also lost the cable of my bamboo tablet so I can’t create or draw anything concerning my game or portfolio. I am a very sad panda indeed. But don’t fret you beautiful people! I have ordered another one!

In conclusion, though I’m presently struggling, I’m going to keep marchin’ on with my projects as well. I want to give the gamers and readers an escape and sanctuary through my games and novels :) . Well that’s all folks!

Lexie T.

On break due to it being close to finals, working on my own game, and going back to my homeland on late May til June

May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been 2 months since I’ve last posted a review but this is due to, again, mostly class work. I’ve also been trying to push out some progress in terms of developing my own personal game and that is also taking a lot of my time. Sadly though, I have to put that on break for another more week from today since, well…this is how my hand looks like at the moment (see pic below). On a brighter note! I’ll be going back to my country in May after not being able to go home for about 7 years! I’m excited and I get to see my papa and family there. Since I won’t have access to games *my papa’s laptop is not for gaming and most likely won’t be able to run anything there* I won’t be able to work on my game or review anything, so I’m gna end up continuing my novel. Well, that’s all folks! I’m for sure going to get back to game reviewing. Especially since I just renewed the domain name haha. You can always find me on twitter =) and I’m happy to have befriended a lot of you guys through there as well.

This is due to an injury I had before but my ligament did not heal right. I was told by a doctor I have sesamoiditis, which means, I have little bone fragments embedded by my thumb ligament/joint. Putting too much weight on this hand grinds the bones causing pain. But that's not all! This old injury also gave me gamekeeper's thumb. No, it's not from gaming too much haha. Got it from the same incident that gave me seisamoiditis since my ligament did not heal properly. When I injured the ligament, some bone fragments might have went with the torn ligament or something like that. Either way it explains the bone fragments I have by the thumb joint. But I landed on my hand which resulted with my thumb swelling like no other and pain up to my wrist. Can't hold or move with this hand without pain. The things I've been doing in school and dance ended up really grinding the bones there and caused inflammation and pain @_@ so yeah now I'm with that thumb brace.

This is due to an injury I had before but my ligament did not heal right. I was told by a doctor I have sesamoiditis, which means, I have little bone fragments embedded by my thumb ligament/joint. Putting too much weight on this hand grinds the bones causing pain. But that’s not all! This old injury also gave me gamekeeper’s thumb. No, it’s not from gaming too much haha. Got it from the same incident that gave me seisamoiditis since my ligament did not heal properly. When I injured the ligament, some bone fragments might have went with the torn ligament or something like that. Either way it explains the bone fragments I have by the thumb joint. I’ve awoken this old injury when I recently landed on my hand which resulted with my thumb swelling like no other and pain up to my wrist. Can’t hold or move with this hand without pain. The things I’ve been doing in school and dance ended up really grinding the bones there and caused inflammation and pain @_@ so yeah now I’m with that thumb brace.

[Blogger's Choice] Painters Guild Alpha Breakdown Review

February 11, 2014 in alpha review, Blogger's Choice, Historical, Management, Simulation

History nerd? Art aficionado, specifically renaissance art? Well darnit, look no more for this game brings the two together, giving birth to a beautifully pixelated simulation and management game of artistic proportions. See what I did there? *wags eyebrows* Don’t judge meh! I’m tryin’ to be witty here!

Notice:

Interview with the developer at the end of the review.

(Really interesting read especially for developers who gets into their own slumps)

Painters Guild

A Renaissance Art and History Inspired Simulation and Management Game

Developed By: Lucas Molina

Painters Guild

Painters Guild

Shout-out to Mr.Lucas on getting the game GREENLIT on Steam!

What got me interested: Actually, I initially discovered this game through my twitter feed. One of my dev buddies there retweeted the game when it got greenlit and being the history enthusiast that I am (specifically Renaissance and Baroque), I was all over that beez-knees. There’s also a concept in the game that I really loved. You see, I tend to read up on the history of how and why the artists painted certain works of art so I actually know a lot of what most people would call, “useless” information about a handful of art during that era. Having said that, when I researched the game more, I found out that, not only did it had a LOT of my favorite painters (Caravaggio!) it also…Well, you’ll see as you read further. Again, if you’re a history nerd like me, especially about this era, you’ll really appreciate this part of the game.

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First Impression and Gameplay

OOoh, already have a groupie outside our studio.

What Painters Guild gave me is basically a game made up of a couple of my favorite things (sim and management genre, history, renaissance art). Quite frankly, I really enjoyed it. You actually start the game off as one of the most renowned painter in history (and many considered to be one of the first anatomist and engineer, but that is subject for debate and I digress!). So who could this beastly artist be who’s work is still, to this day, considered to be magical pieces of art? Well it’s none other than Leonardo DiCaprio! Kidding! (but give the man his Oscars Dood!), It’s actually the brilliant artist, Mr. Leonardo Da Vinci in his teen years. He’s the kid in the red hat on the picture above, and the man next to him is his mentor, Verrochio. From there, you get a mail telling you how the control works (click n’ draggin’ the painters) as well as your first batch of customers. Honestly speaking, in the beginning of the game, it may drag on a little bit for some people when the paintings’ difficulties are still low and you get a little bit of downtime as you wait for the painters to finish painting. Now, personally speaking, I actually had to look back and think in an outside perspective to notice this fact because I didn’t feel that way at all when I was playing. As you read further, you’ll see why I didn’t feel like it dragged on at all, especially as I got more prestige and as the paintings’ difficulties got higher.

Visual/Artstyle

creation of adam

The Creation of Adam

As you probably have noticed, the game uses  a quaint 2D pixel artstyle. I really loved seeing some of the famous works of art transformed into pixel versions of themselves! Although, I did notice that the paintings that were based off actual works of art by certain renowned historical painters, were actually not done by their game versions. For example, pixel Da Vinci painted The Creation of Adam in-game when it was actually created by Michelangelo, his arch nemesis! Dundundun! However, if this was done on purpose by the developer just so he can show you that the game includes all these well known paintings, well, we’ll just have to wait and see on release.

Music

The piano piece playing in the background really invokes calmness. It’s a really nice piece for sure. But, if you’re like me and you end up invoking TOO MUCH calmness upon yourself thanks to the serene piano piece and the fact that you’re exhausted, resulting in you dozing off, which consequently caused many of your customers to be angry where in the end your guild goes bankrupt, there is an  option to mute it. I honestly want to grab the mp3 of that piece.

Historical Events and Prestige

There will be messengers arriving at your door throughout the game. They’ll be giving you letters of historical events that consequently influences your prestige, both positively and negatively.

historynerd

The history nerd in me is oh so very pleased with this feature

Management

Reality hit me and I was forced to be a multitasking queen!

So…I thought this was one of those management games where I can take my time and just chillax on my chair, maybe watch a little Judge Judy as I wait for them to finish painting. Well, I was wrong. At first I thought it was okay to be lax since I just started the game after all. Next thing I knew, when I look back at my screen, the picture below is what I saw.

notgoodstart

200! I guess I gta pimp some h…I mean sell some…merchandise…cough

After that little notice, I started to pay attention more. What had happened was that I took too long to finish the customers’ paintings, and at the time, I had no clue what I was doing wrong! I started to panic as one by one, the customers basically threw a BF (“bitch fit”. A term I had learned from the movie, White Chicks) and stormed off. Before I knew it, I saw a more dreadful notice (pic below).

fail =(

Now! Having said all that, as well as showing you how I shamefully mismanaged things, let us boogie down onto this topic’s subtopic and hopefully it will shed light at what I did wrong as well as inform you the mechanics of the management aspect of the game.

  • Furniture: Not only does it beautify your humble abode, but it will help you get sh!t done son!

So…I kindaaa forgot about the fact that furitures give certain effects…Well, ok, fine, I neglected to hover on the stuff, missing out on the fact that they weren’t just decorations. As of this moment in the alpha there’s only a couch, a sofa, and a desk. These furniture will become very important as you get commissioned with more higher difficulty paintings, specifically the sofas/couches. The higher the difficulty, the longer those pieces takes to paint, so you really have to be on top of your painters energy bars. Otherwise, you’d end up like me, noticing too late that they slowed down a lot with the painting or that had fallen asleep and stopped painting entirely.

Hovering over the furniture will show the effects they give

Hovering over the furniture will show the effects they give

Now, the desks aren’t chopped liver either, they also play an important role. They increase the painters’ skills and speed, so if you have one painter who’s just lolligaggin with nothing to do, I highly advice you to drag his lazy gluteus maximus onto the desk. You really need speed with the higher difficulty paintings because they are timed, so even if they’re well rested, but they’re lagging, it’s no bueno.

Desks also plays an important role. Especially when you need to finish higher difficulty paintings fast

Desks also plays an important role. Especially when you need to finish higher difficulty paintings fast

The picture below shows the painters stats.

Displays everything you need to know about the painters.

Displays everything you need to know about the painters.

 

  • My only gripe with this game: This is why/how I was forced to be a multitasker, clickin’ and draggin’ all ovah the place~
Painter's energy bar

Painter’s energy bar

Unless I drag the painters onto the sofas/couches, I wouldn’t know how much their energy bars had depleted, so I have to do a lot of estimating. Or worst, they’d already be asleep, and that little chair in the beginning of the game takes a bit of time refilling the energy bar back up, resulting in customers angrily stalking off. As more customers started coming in with their high difficulty demands, I had to be clicking and dragging the painters from the paintings, to the sofas/couches, and when I have an opening, the desk, one after the other. Sometimes I’m forced to split the work between the painters and have them paint the big ones alone rather than together when I’m pressed for time. This is usually because one of them is working too slow due to tiredness that I didn’t notice due to the lack of visible energy bar (unless they’re sitting on the couch/sofa). Meaning, I had to make them paint as much as they can, get the most tired to rest, then drag the newly restored painter to the painting that’s mostly done, then move the other tired painter onto the couch/sofa, get that one rested, then drag his pixel butt onto the mostly done big painting with the other painter so that they can finish it together and move onto the next halfway done painting. Yeah…and this is why I never felt that the game dragged on at all. Coz I be all over the place.

Upcoming Features

The following was taken directly from the website

-Play from 1400 to 1650 in Sandbox mode with infinite replayability.

-Hire new artists, both procedurally generated and historical: Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio as well as female artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi.

-Customize your guild with furniture, wallpapers, floors, decorations and more.

-Form relationships and romances, both heterosexual and homosexual.

-Paint in different Renaissance art styles: Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante, Unione and Tenebroso.

-See more painting sizes and visual diversity.

-Listen to new great songs by Morvan, our soundtrack composer.

-Craft items like paintbrushes, canvases and colors.

 Side-Note: CARAVAGGIO! One of my most favorite painter. This guy is one interesting dude and talented artist. Seriously, check him out. There’s even murder in his background…muhahaha…

 Final Verdict

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the game and how much multitasking I had to do considering it’s still in alpha stage AND didn’t even have many of the features that’s going to be in it upon release. From the pixel versions of the famous works of art, to the little history related mails you receive that affects your prestige just like how it would in real life, I enjoyed them all. I would highly recommend this game for sure and eagerly await the final product when all of the planned features are implemented and ready for action. Plus, c’mon! If you think about it, this game may very well be the first of its kind. And when I say kind, I mean a hybrid of history, art, and management/simulation game. Honestly speaking, I try to get as much Renaissance games as I can. I wish a Baroque one will pop up somewhere (if anyone knows anything let me know!).

Please Read: Alpha demo

I want to address something about the ALPHA demo. As I’ve mentioned, for me, the alpha demo did not drag on because I was forced to multitask, however, it may drag on a bit for some and, considering that the demo so far only has the basic mechanics of the game, it can get repetitive as well, but please do remember it’s an alpha demo, so I hope you won’t rush to conclusion that that’s everything the game has to offer because that would be false, as you can clearly see not just from the features section of this review, but from the game’s recent indiedb update as well (pic below).

Taken from the game's indiedb page. Shows the recently implemented hiring mechanic.

Taken from the game’s indiedb page. Shows the recently implemented hiring mechanic (Feb 2 update)

Release Date

Sometime this year, 2014

Website

Official Website: guildofpainters.com

Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=211564825

IndieDB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/painters-guild

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For more game reviews:  Game Breakdown Reviews: Released/Beta/Alpha

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If you liked what you’ve read and wna show some luv <3~

Donation Corner

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Interview with The Developer

What inspired you to make this game?
-My inspirations are history and art. I’m an art history student (master’s degree) and I enjoy this subject a lot.

Was it hard to replicate the famous works of art in your game as pixelated versions of themselves?
- No. I have years of experience in replicating famous paintings digitally, I like studying the old masters. It’s easier for me to copy something than to make something original. I usually make digital paintings, though, not pixel art. But pixel art makes it even easier – that’s why it’s the game’s art style, it’s easy and fast to make. As a solo developer, efficiency is important. If I spend too much time on art I won’t have time to code.

Is this a one man team, if so, what are the hardest parts about developing the game so far?
- I’m pretty much alone, my friend Morvan is making the music and I’m making everything else. The hardest part right now is finding motivation. When I was aiming towards getting greenlit I had plenty, but now it seems to have faded away. I still force myself to work on the game daily, but I haven’t been making the absurd amount of progress that I was making before.

Concerning the previous question, what has changed? (Concerning motivation). It’s just so people understand better as well as realize that sometimes this does happen to developers.
-I lost a lot of motivation due to personal issues. Still making daily progress, just not nearly as much as before. Since I’m a solo developer, what happens in my life affects the game a lot. I agree that finishing games is extremely important. Easier said than done, of course.

Were you already experienced in the game dev field prior to making this game?
-I’m somewhat experienced in making my own games, no industry experience. I started in the end of 2012 with Avant-Garde, another game about art history which was a university project. As with most first projects I was overambitious and have yet to finish it. Then I went on to make over 10 games, most for game jams, through which I learned how to scope my projects and finish games.

Are there any other future plans you wish to implement in the game that has not been stated on the website?
- Probably not, I tried to put my best, craziest ideas on the website to get people excited about the game. I guess one plan hasn’t been stated because it’s rather grim: the plan to make sure some of those plans never become reality, because finishing games entails cutting planned features.

What do you wish to bring to the players with Guild of Painters?
-I want to give players a playground. A playground built in 1450 with paintings, canvases, artists and history. I want players to create their own narratives and use the game as a catalyst to their imagination. It’s about having fun with history, playing with things that never happened but that could’ve happened. But they only happen because of the player. It’s a subjective experience inside historically inspired systems.

Any advice to those budding indie devs who also wish to make games based off things they love about?
-Make games and finish them. You don’t need anything; not money, not a computer, not prior knowledge, not even advice.

New Indie Game Review Soon. Will Be Loved by History and Art Geeks (like myself)

January 31, 2014 in Announcement

Sorry for the lack of new reviews for couple months. As you may or may have not read, I had a series of family emergencies and was also focusing on the development of my game, as well as my manuscript (xD my first novel). Actually, my mom is having another surgery on the 3rd and I have a bunch of projects from my classes at the moment so I’m going to try and squeeze in some time to do the review.

Although, I’ve talked to many of you beautiful readers via twitter :) which actually alleviates my stress.

Speaking of twitter~ It was one of my twitter buddy/wonderful supporter (of any of my work) birthday so I drew this for him (he’s the cat). If you have twitter feel free to say hi to him and greet him~ @captainjuggy <-his twitter.

Beof0D6CcAAOS3R

Anyhoo! As the title said! New review com in out as soon as things stable down. I’m going to try and have it done by the weekend (try coz school is now back in session) along with a developer interview.

This game just got green lighted as well! So I’m gna try to help it get some more well deserved exposure. If you really love art, especially classical ones, you’ll really appreciate this lil wonderful piece. An added bonus are the little history snippets that pops up now and then.

Til’ next time ya’ll!

Lexie T.

Please Read, Important Notice (Updated:1/31/14):

November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Notice:Latest reviews will be after this post

Reviews will be published much slower than usual due to family emergency and personal projects

It will take me longer to review games due to my mom having multiple surgeries, other family issues, as well as my own personal projects such as my novel and a game I’m currently developing. Also, school is back in session so I have a lot of class projects as well. If you’re a developer, feel free to contact me via email, facebook, tweeter, or comment here. Thank you for your understanding!

Fellow gamers, I humbly ask for your help. My country’s people need your aid due to a very tragic event (Typhoon Haiyan).

Couple months ago, I went around the gaming community seeking aid for my country. As some of you may know, I was born and raised in the Philippines before I moved here to America. I’ve experienced first hand how bad the storms there could be, but it was nothing like typhoon Haiyan.

Everyone I have a favor to ask. My country was ravaged by what was considered to be the worst typhoon of all time. More than 5,000 dead, many were hanging on trees or floating on water. My country was declared in a state of calamity. And with that said, I would like to ask you guys for any donation you may provide. Anything helps. I’ve posted a link and how to help on this post. Thank you in advance.

It hurts my heart to see the carnage that happened to the country I grew up in. To see dead bodies everywhere, to see ships washed into the cities, destroying houses, to see children who didn’t make it. To learn about how dead bodies littered the streets, polluting the water that people still drink so that they can survive. To hear of people who are starving and lost everything. It’s simply heart breaking.

To the gamers and developers who are helping me spread the word. I want to thank you.  I wish I can do more, but this is all I can right now, and so, seeing all of you try to help me in this means a lot not just to me, but to the people of my country and on their behalf, I, with all my heart, thank you.

Link (official cnn website that gives information and links of charities that are helping Philippines): http://cnn.it/1bnJVs6

Videos:
here’s a video of the aftermath and to give an idea on how bad it is. There’s other videos about the storm there.

Particulars Alpha Breakdown Review

November 4, 2013 in alpha review, Puzzle, Uncategorized

Proving that science can be freakin’ fun. Particulars is not only an eyegasm game (see how I had to make up a word just to describe the game?), but it’s also challenging, refreshing, and finger crampingly fun. That’s right! a science game that requires you to tap into your inner finger ninja skills.

Notice:

Interview with the developer at the end of the review

Particulars

A Physics Inspired Puzzle Game

Developed by: See Through Studios

Distributed by: Surprise Attack

particulars

Particulars

Shoutout of gratitude and congratulations!:

I would like to thank Surprise Attack, a company that distributes indie games including this one; for providing an alpha key in order to test out this wonderful game. Also, I want to send out my congratulations to both your company and See Through Studios for getting Particulars GREENLIGHTED >:D HOOOHAH!

What got me interested: As I mentioned earlier, I was contacted by someone on behalf of Surprise Attack to check out this game. When I checked it out, sure I was entranced by the pretty colors and explosions, but what really mesmerized me was the concept of this game. I was so very intrigued on how they had incorporated physics into a puzzle game. There aren’t a lot of games like this out there. A similar game that I could think of, in terms of using science as a muse, would be “Foldit”, a game that challenges people to solve protein structure problems (this game actually helped solve “MPM-V”, a relative of the HIV virus found in monkeys).

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First Impression and Gameplay

I think she be one of ma people yo :P

I think she be one of ma people yo :P

The game has a very helpful tutorial in the beginning levels which I really appreciated. Especially because when I was watching  the video trailer, I got a little intimidated. It looked like a simple enough arcade/puzzle game at first. Until I saw the higher levels with all these other particles in complicated positions, colors, and effects towards each other. I was like, “well shi–”. I was still saying that on many of the levels.

 Visual

Simple to complexity. Boom Boom Boom of colors!

This is going to sound contradictory at first but visually, it’s pretty simple yet at the same time, it becomes the exact opposite depending on what you have to do to solve the puzzle. It’s not like other puzzle games where often times, it’s visually noisy all around. Meaning, there’s a lot going on in those games even when color is absent or limited to a low amount. The scenery, background, etc. would still be very detailed. Not that it’s a bad thing since many of the puzzles HAVE to be that way because it plays a big part on their games’ mechanics and what their game represents. Not to mention, it’s their games’ unique artistic style. In Particulars however, all levels starts off visually simple. There’s really only circles with colored glows in this game. However, as you progress through the levels, you’ll be treated with explosive chain reactions where colors blend and bloom all over the screen (the eyegasm part). I mean just look at the pictures below.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Explosions that occurred from the picture above

Explosions that occurred in the picture above (same level)

Life Story Snippets

As you play the game, you’ll be able to read some of the life stories of the “player”. I found this to be very enjoyable because although I couldn’t see the person moving the particle, it gave me a sense of bond with the person behind the machine.  Also, a lot of the snippets made me laugh and were quite entertaining.

My most favorite life snippet of hers. She feistehhh.

My most favorite life snippet of hers. She feistehhh.

Music

This game has great music for sure. It really sets the mood especially on levels that involve many particles. There’s some levels that look like there’s a war about to happen between the particles and the music really compliments the feeling of, “oh shi-”. For me anyway.

Controls

Tap into your inner finger ninja

For an alpha build. The game is pretty polished which surprised me. I haven’t come across any kinks or bugs either. The controls (arrow keys) are pretty smooth but you have to have some fast reflex and quick thinking to be able to finish the levels. When you move your particle, it basically slides across the screen like it’s on ice, so not only must you control how fast or slow the particle skates through the screen, you must be weary of the other ones and evade, capture, and purposely hit other particles for desired/required domino effects. That’s right. You’re fingers must become badass tactical ninjas like Shikamaru from Naruto (one of my most favorite characters along with Kiba).

Examination mode: 

Making this game feel like you’re “tokyo drifting” in a matrix like fashion like a sir. You go into “slo-mo” when you’re close to the dark anti quarks that makes you explode.

Too much speed and pulled a "tokyo drift" last minute :P

Too much speed and pulled a “tokyo drift” last minute :P

The Levels

In Particulars, the most common way for level completion requires you to evade and/or hit particles. On some levels however, you must act as a delivery man/woman and deliver the designated particles onto certain areas. Easy enough? Yay and nay. You must take into consideration how fast you’re gliding across the screen as you try and catch the other particles. Hence, speeding too fast will cause the particle you already captured flying off your quark. Also, you have to be tactical since there’s a limit in how much particle you can carry and to top that off, the particles you’re retrieving must be placed on their spots long enough for you to put all the other particles inside the designated areas. Let me tell you, those particles don’t stay still so I was all over the place.

The particles I grabbed kept flying off me because of my speed.

The particles I grabbed kept flying off me because of my speed. By the way, I got stuck in this level for a long time. Physics! why you thwart me! >:(

Some levels of the game, as I’ve mentioned, looked like a war is about to happen between the particles. These levels are actually one of my favorites because I can grab a couple of particles and use them as shield against the evil anti dark quarks legions!

meatshields

I felt bad but it must be done.

Difficulty Progression

I feel as if the progress of the game’s difficulty was done pretty smoothly. I’ve played puzzle games where it was too easy in the beginning, then next thing I knew, I got thrown into a clusterfudgestick and I end up wanting to pimp slap anyone who bothers me as I try to finish the puzzle and fail miserably due to the ninja’d difficulty. I think everyone one of us has come across such games.

Final Verdict

Sense of Achievement and Challenge

I was glued to the game without wanting to skip levels

I like the sense of achievement and rush that I would get whenever I completed a hard level or when I’m speeding through the screen and evading those anti matter thugs like the ninja that I am. The challenges that I have to go through every level really kept me playing. There’s just so many things to take into consideration in terms of particle effects as well as fulfilling the levels’ requirements. Nothing was monotonous for me. It’s hard for me to explain but I’ll try my best. For me, although many of the puzzles I’ve played got difficult as I progressed through the levels, they still had the same basic foundation and concept in terms of solving them. In this game, many of the levels had to be solved differently from each other and you have to be fully aware of everything going on around you. It’s personally refreshing although sometimes it makes me want to reach through the screen and squish those anti-dark quarks to smitherins.

yikkkkeeess

Pfff this is nothing! <—met her doom in 15 seconds

PS: I ended up feeling a bond with my quark. Especially when I have to grab other particles. They are now my little friends and I will name them squishy, for they are my squishies and I am theirs.

Makes Science Enjoyable

I recommend this game to kids. It has the ability to make them curious about physics.

I’m more of a life science type of gal, such as biology and paleonthology in terms of scientific knowledge and interest. Having said that, I had to wikipedia what a quark is as well as how they work because I only know about particles that I learned in high school (no quarks there). This game honestly made me more interested in physics in terms of the particles effects towards each other. Of course, the game’s particles aren’t exact replicas of the originals, but it did make me check out if they really react the way they do. Having said that, I feel like Particulars also serves as an educational game. I would seriously have kids play this.

Price

Details taken from the official website

Basic Pack:

$9.99

Includes:  Particulars (cross-platform and DRM-free) as well as all updates to the alpha and final release + Steam key

Supporter Pack:

$19.99

Includes: Basic Pack + all future DLC (cross-platform and DRM-free) + secret backers group + soundtrack and digital art book (on release)

Devotee Pack:

$49.99

Includes: Supporters Pack + free Alpha access on our next game + ‘How We Got Here’ pack + a unique ‘Thank You’ message in the credits.

Purchase here:

 http://www.particularsgame.com/#buy

For more game reviews:  Game Breakdown Reviews: Released/Beta/Alpha

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Interview with The Developer

Was this the first game you’ve made?

Yes and no. Particulars was the first game I ever made, back in 2009, but back then it was a tiny flash game (you can still find it on newgrounds). Since then both I and the studio have made a number of games and built up our skillsets considerably. Particulars is the third game we’ve made as SeeThrough Studios.

What made you decide to make a game with this concept?

One of the courses I did as a part of my Physics major at university was High Energy Physics. I found the course quite inspiring, and thus decided to explore the world of quarks through a game. At the time, I had no idea that it’d eventually become the fairly large game that Particulars is.

Did any/all of you had prior knowledge and/or experience that essentially became the basis of the particles in the game? or was it one of those things where you genuinely had an interest on the subject and everything just went on from there?

As mentioned before, I had the prior experience here. There’s still quite a few things that needed to be researched for the game, but a large chunk of it is from the course I studied.

How difficult was it to develop the mechanics of the game? Was everything going according to plan? Were there any roadblocks?

Many of the mechanics of the game were surprisingly easy to create, though it was somewhat more difficult to hone them to be as satisfying as possible to play. The hardest thing was to figure out what a level is: how long they’d be, if they’d all have the same length, and so on.

What do you guys do for your free time?

Saul (my co-founder) is currently raising a 6-month old daughter and playing a lot of Card Hunter, and occasionally runs D&D games when he finds the time. I’m developing a board game about time travel and learning to tango.

Any plans for future projects yet that’s okay to talk about?

I think we can say that our next game is going to be an ‘ecological tower defence’ game. We’re prototyping right now, so a lot of the details are still being worked out.

Any advice for those starting out who are also inspired by their interest?

Don’t be afraid to let go of an idea: if it’s good, it’ll come back. Also, if you’re making a game about something you love, you’ve got to spend some time to figure out why that thing is amazing, and how you can expose that to your players.

Update (10/12/03): On a midterm week hiatus, will resume when midterm is ovah!

September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

Update: I’m still alive O_O as you would have seen on my tweets. I had a family emergency then midterm weeks and project weeks so it was hard for me to squeeze in some personal free time. But I shall be backeth! Feel free to message me via social media though :). It actually helps relieve some stress off.

Hey everyone~ I sadly have to push my next review for 2-3 weeks because I have a lot of school projects to do. I’ve also been pushing myself to go to school when I had fevers which resulted with my fever coming back on and off. So I’m also going to need about a week to fully recover since I don’t take medicines when I’m sick. Also, I end up staying up late to finish projects which makes it harder for me to get better. Sorry :(

If you haven’t yet check out my latest review down below this post! Gone Home Full Breakdown Review!! Is it worth the money? No spoilers in there <3

Til next time! You guys can always catch me on twitter, steam, or facebook group.

-Lexie T.-

Gone Home Indie Game Review: Is it worth the price?

September 5, 2013 in Indie, PC

An adventure game that has the purpose of giving you all kinds of the “feels”.

Gone Home

An Indie Adventure Game

Developed by: The Fullbright Company

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Players’ debate concerning the game and my initial goal with this review:

There’s actually a heated debate about this game at the moment. Many people believe that this game shouldn’t be considered a “game”. The other group of people claimed that the prior party knows nothing and that Gone Home is indeed a game, and a groundbreaking at that; for the same reason the prior party argues it’s not. Then there’s the small group of people who talked about whether the game deserves its $19.99 price. If I were to put myself between those three groups, I would be on that small last group. I purposely did not delve into people’s comments too much because I wanted to play this game with an open mind. Hopefully my review will reflect this. My intention for this review is to first break down the game for you readers so you guys have an idea of how the game is. Afterwards, I will show you guys why I’ve come to the conclusion I did concerning whether or not I believe the game is worth its pricetag. I also know a lot of gamers have been wanting to play this game but are hesitant due to the price. I’ve actually been asked by a couple people to review this for that reason.

-My review will touch all groups and their arguments. I tried to look at this game in as many perspective as I’m able to see, so hopefully, I wrote in an open-minded enough way to help you guys decide better.-

Shoutout of Gratitude: Thanks to one of my steam buddies, Ben, for gifting me the game =).

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What got me interested: I first discovered Gone Home from my tweeter feed. I saw one of the people I follow gush about the game. After going through some research about the game, two things caught my attention. First, I found out the developers originally worked for the company that created bioshock 2, bioshock infinite, and xcom which, I’m not gonna lie, seduced me. Second, I usually glance at games’ ratings to have an idea of how the general public view the game, then from there, I can check out which aspects of the game are getting bashed and which parts are getting love so that I can take note on what things to further break down for the readers. Now, having said all that, when I checked the rating, I found something very interesting. The rating between the critics and the users were glaringly opposite. In metascore, for critic review, the game scored, 90/100 (based on 28 critics), while the users gave the game a low 4.8 (based on 432 ratings). I’ve never seen such a polarized score on any game until Gone Home. This made me want to play the game much more.

Notice

Read especially if money is tight for you, fellow broke person you!

As mentioned, I will be breaking down the game first which shows the aspects of the game that shined through for me, then at the end, I will explain why I believe what I do concerning whether or not the game is worth its price. I hope you guys/gals read everything carefully because I believe it’s one of those games that are on a balance scale in terms of being great or not, of course this depends on the person as well. Plus, as a fulltime broke college student, I understand how for people where money is tight, every penny counts, so I understand you want to make sure the game you’re getting and/or supporting has enough content to live up to its price. I feel horrible saying it that way, but us monetarily challenged people just do not have the luxury of going, oh well, and shrug it off. As I said, majority of the people who asked me to review this game are in this situation so I hope I write well enough to help everyone with their decision.

——————————-

First Impression and Gameplay

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Meet the family you don’t get to meet :P

As I started the game, I was greeted by the voice of the character I’m playing, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but as she talked and because of the atmosphere of the house, I started thinking of the movie, Taken. Afterwards, I finally entered the big house. The first thing I noticed was the scary and ominous vibe of the huge @$$ house. I also started thinking that they are one messy people, leaving trash everywhere. If it was an Asian household, such as the one I’m living in right now; that shi won’t fly son. Sorry, I digressed! Anyhoooo, since the house was eerily too quiet. I started turning all the lights on as I go from room to room, not caring for the electric bills since I’m not the one paying, but I ended up turning them off again because I felt too guilty. Yes I know it’s a video game, but like I said, I live in an asian household. We are trained well (tears). I must say however, I was enjoying myself trying to find out what the hell is going on in that creepy big house. Although, after about 20 minutes into the game, I already had an inkling on what’s going on but I kept going to see if it’s right and things started to feel a bit laborious which I will explain why later on, on the review.

This is you in the game

This is you in the game

Visual

I honestly do not understand why I saw many people bashing the graphics of this game. It’s not bad at all! Especially on max setting. Sure it’s not as blindingly godly as something like bioshock infinite’s graphics but I found Gone Home’s visually quaint look to be refreshing. The graphics itself is 3D, but if we are talking about the game’s visual theme, it’s a blast to the past since the game was set to be in 1997 (the year I first got my playstation! and it’s by my birthday too. June Babies Unite!). As you scavenge through the game, if you’re a 90′s and below baby, you will see so many nostalgic items like the one below. I really appreciated the trip down memory lane.

You guys remember this eh? eh? I used to have a polar bear, a cat, and a unicorn <3

You guys remember this eh? eh? I used to have a polar bear, a cat, and a unicorn <3 For those of you youngins who haven’t seen this marvelous artstyle. It’s by Lisa Frank. Back in the day they were everywhere! Stickers, binders, lunch box, bags, etc. Her rainbow animals became iconic I believe.

Audio and Story Progression

First, I want to mention the game’s progress isn’t really shown. Rather, it is heard. As you find notes and letters in Gone Home, you will hear Sam, who is your sister in the game, telling you the events that lead up to her disappearance. I thought this was a pretty cool way to show story progression. However, this can also be problematic. Remember earlier I mentioned, after a while, the game became laborious? Well that’s because if you didn’t find certain notes or letters, you can be lost in the game. I actually found numerous people who claimed that they got confused and lost because they missed a chunk of the story from not finding some of the letters and notes that Sam shamelessly littered behind. So, in terms of the game being laborious, that’s right, you have to search every nook and cranny if you wish to understand fully what the hell is going on in that house as well as where the heck did everyone go.

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Sam you mean butt! Poor Daniel, the boy just want some luuuuv

Like I said, I checked every nook and crannies! I felt like a pervert sometimes though when I go through the clothes u.u

Like I said, I checked every nook and crannies! I felt like a pervert sometimes though when I go through the clothes u.u

Music: Ah, as you go around the house, you’ll find cassettes here and there that you can play. You’ll certainly get a blast from the past with the songs that play.

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Cassettes…Why You So Nostalgic?!

The Story

The game’s story, as you might have already figured out, revolves around finding out what happened to your sister Sam. As you discover some of Sam’s stories, you will notice how it reflects the stories of many teenagers and even adults, not only of her time, but of this time as well. It’s hard to really expand on that more because by doing so, spoilers might leek out, so we’ll leave it at that. However, this is probably what won a lot of people, but it’s a double edged sword, because of what the story unveils. Again, can’t really reveal much or even write my thoughts as to why it’s a double edged sword because it will give hints. You readers are just too clever not to see.

Sam

Sam is one interesting character for sure. Not only does she befriends people for video games, she writes in a way where it gets her in trouble from the teachers. She seems like a brat though haha. I did enjoy Sam’s character for sure though (based on journals and letters I’ve found).

I found Gandalf The Grey in the library!

I found Gandalf The Grey in the library!

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Final Verdict

Why I think it’s best to wait until the price goes down or there’s a sale before purchasing the game

It’s best to break my explanation down into three parts. So bulletpointing it is!

  • Aside from the interesting way the story progresses with its notes, letters, and voiced narration, many people might hate on me by saying this, but the game doesn’t have anything else. Don’t get me wrong. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know I’m a strong advocate of games that tells a great story. I’m a strong supporter of games with great content and quality. However, for the price, I think the game might have been overselling itself a bit.

 

  • Personally, I feel like this game is more of a 3D short novel than anything else. I commend them for using video games as a platform to tell their story. Now many others who think otherwise, I do consider Gone Home a video game, but I felt like it lacked many things for it to have the price it does. Especially since I beat the game in two hours. I mean just look at games that does the same such as telltale’s walking dead, or Moacube’s visual game, Cinder. Not only are those games telling a story, but they also gave us other engaging aspects that really delivers both game  and story.

 

  • What do I mean by the bulletpoint above?  First keep in mind I do believe Gone Home is a game, as you read further, it will show you why other people consider it as not. However, for the same reason, the fact that I didn’t feel the same feelings I did when I played Gone Home, yet I felt them for the games I’m using as an example, will be the reasons why Gone Home was just alright for me and why I felt that the price is too much for what I got from the game.

                           1: Gone Home’s story is definitely a good story, but it just gives me a sense of contentment. However, Walking dead gave me a stressful time with its story, puzzles, and how our actions will tailor the game so I couldn’t just make decisions lightly. Visual novels, like, Moacube’s Cinder, has a high replayability because of its branching stories. Again, I was very much engaged with the game because, like walking dead, my decisions and actions affects how the story branches. Both games kept me replaying. Point and click games such as my favorite, monkey island, was able to give me a lot of puzzles along with its engaging story line. My point is, all these story driven, wonderful games, are also staying true to being a “game”. They blended well. I believe this might be what people meant and why they do not consider Gone Home a game. As I said though, I do consider Gone Home a game, just like I consider visual novels a game when many others do not. Content and story wise however,I found it still lacking although it did give me the “feels”.

                            2: Now, having said all the that I did on the previous paragraph. I felt like the game was just too short and does not have enough to be worth $19.99. What I meant is, if you look at the game To The Moon, A game where I believe Gone Home would be closely similar with, it’s not only way cheaper, but the story left an imprint in my heart as well as kept me engaged with how they did the puzzles and scavenger hunting to progress in the story. To this day, I still kept thinking about it from time to time. I can actually sympathize with what happened to Sam because 4 of my beloved close family members (who helped raise me when I was young) went through the same thing. So for those who played it and got angry with what I said, I’m clearly not hating.

                            3: I believe if maybe the game followed the same structure as Telltale’s Walking Dead where for the price, you get the game released in chapters that can last for hours, then yes, I will say Gone Home would be worth $19.99 just as it is. 

  • I just want to say however, I also understand why people are saying this game’s defining quality is that it pretty much said, screw every other typical game mechanics, we’re gna’ tell a damn story with this shi. However, you also have to keep in mind other games who’ve done the same. Point and click games, as well as visual novel games (yes yes, I know the whole otome thing, but many of them gives you a heartwrenching story, it’s not all about getting the hot dude you got your eye on), tell wonderful stories as well that can even make you tear up. So in this area, for me personally, I did not find it groundbreaking, but I did find it admirable that they’re taking their stand on it. Still I think they might have overcharged a bit  much. If ever I’ll say the game should be $5-10 tops.

Thank You!

So there you have it! I hope this review gave you the information and perspective that will help you decide. I tried to be as fair and open minded as I can and these are just my humble beliefs. Thank you for your understanding especially if you’re one of the groups that had a very strong opinion of the game, good or bad. I thank you for reading through all of these because to me it shows that you were considerate enough and open enough to listen to my outlook on the game. It was difficult for me to write this review because I do not want to sound derogatory or judgmental. I also wanted to show many perspective of the game and did not want to trample on anyone’s opinion. This was actually my most challenging review! I felt harsh on some parts, but I feel like it’s my duty to write properly because otherwise, I’m not giving both you, the readers, as well as the game and its developers justice. Again, Thank you!

Price

Steam

$19.99

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For more game reviews:  Game Breakdown Reviews: Released/Beta/Alpha

New review will be up soon concerning a game that caused many arguments between players.

August 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Yup, as the title says, the game I’m currently reviewing has indeed caused many arguments. I will however, try to be as fair and open minded as I can. I will also try to show people’s arguments and why they adamantly felt the way they do. I won’t be focusing on the black and white of the arguments though, that is not my intention because that would only either bash the game or praise the game. I would mostly be on neutral ground, trying to show you guys whether or not the game is worth the money. I’ve been asked by a couple people to write a review on this game also for that same reason.

So there you have it folks! Let’s get it crackin!

I will also host a giveaway soon if I don’t get swamped by my workload from projects.

=) woot woot~