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Australian Games

5:33 pm Filed under: Rant

MadeInAustralia

An interesting topic came up on the Screen Play blog this morning, how little Australian culture there is in games and would you support games with Australian content.

The post inspired me to write out this comment, it turned out pretty big so I’ll post it here for posperity…

 

As an Australian hobbyist game maker and who has travelled the world quite a bit (I’m currently living in South Africa) I’ve given plenty of thought to this subject.

My first complete game Dispell (which you can download for free off my website by the way) is a kid’s game featuring a menagerie of Australian marsupials. But sticking Australian animals in your game doesn’t really capture any our culture the way that some of our TV and Films do.

There are two main difficulties, first and foremost, games are bloody hard to make (if you don’t agree go and try it yourself). Secondly, our cultural history is very short and not very easy to define.

My brother in law owns a house in Wales that’s three hundred years old, around the corner from it is a castle over a thousand years old, they’re still arguing about how old the pyramids are… but they’re bloody old, we by comparison are a very, very young culture!

The usual topics (Ned Kelly, Gallipoli etc) are the few well know stories in our brief 220 year history that best help define what we are, for me it’s.

Gallipoli – no matter how crappy the job is get in there and have a go (I recommend every Australian go there and see for yourself).

Ned Kelly – Aussy ingenuity.

Outside of these classic events it all gets a bit muddy, potpourri is a great analogy, we’re a big melting pot of cultures, there’s so much here that there’s few obvious defining traits, we know it’s in there somewhere and have some idea what it is but it’s tough to write it down.

One cultural trait you can’t deny is that there’s a subtlety to our patriotism, unlike the Americans who in every movie and game no matter what the actual outcome “win the war”, I can’t imagine us making a Gallipoli game or movie where we “win” something that by historical account was a stalemate at best. It’d be tough to make a compelling game experience around a stalemate.

So outside of sports games which are difficult to inject cultural references into, what other events or culture could we wrap some game play around (it can’t just be a story because we all know action adventure games rarely work)

SAS – A Call of duty 4 style shooter based on our SAS would be pretty cool, it’d have to be nice and subtle on the “we kick azz” and trumpet blowing.

Ned Kelly – obvious shooter, I wonder how you could extrapolate the inventiveness/ingenuity side of the story.

Croc Hunter – not real sure what this would look like, if they can sell fishing and deer hunting games surely this should work.

I’d love to see some more Australian culture in games and would gladly support it with my hard earned dollars but I understand why we don’t see it. My current work in progress is a Kart racer/drinking game, not sure if that’s specifically Australian, but there’s bound to be some of our culture hidden in there somewhere!

Hot Dirchie

5:34 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart

Hot-Dirchie-ColourFor the first time in quite a while I sat down with my Wacom table and knocked out some art.

She’s only line work and blocked in colour so far but I think she’s looking pretty good.

One day she’ll star on your "My Games" menu on the Xbox 360… I can’t wait to see that!

Colour from Angle

5:28 pm Filed under: C#, XNA

The other day I converted a formula I found on Wikipedia into XNA C# code, basically I wanted to turn the 360 degree direction of a controller stick into a pure colour hue.

It’s a bit of a weird formula but it works a treat.

public static Color ColourFromAngle(float angle)
{
    float a = angle / 60.0f;
    int h1 = (int)a;
    int h = h1 % 6;
    float f = a - (float)h1;
    float p = 0;
    float q = 1.0f - f;
    float t = 1 - (1 - f);

    switch (h1)
    {
        case 0: return new Color(new Vector3(1, t, p));
        case 1: return new Color(new Vector3(q, 1, p));
        case 2: return new Color(new Vector3(p, 1, t));
        case 3: return new Color(new Vector3(p, q, 1));
        case 4: return new Color(new Vector3(t, p, 1));
        case 5: return new Color(new Vector3(1, p, q));
    }
    return Color.Red;
}

Bad Ass Dirchie

4:59 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart

BadAssDirchieI’m sure I saw a tumbleweed roll across this blog the other day… here’s a 1 minute sketch of a Bad Ass Dirchie head, I’m eventually going to model up a series of heads for people to choose from for their in game character.

At this point it’s only going to be heads, as a one man team I don’t have the resources to build to many in-game assets.

Pretty soon I’ve gotta give the sounds the once over, at the moment Dirchie Kart is a very quiet place, I’m thinking I’ll just record a heap of place holders of me making the sounds into the mic and adding them to the code.

Hopefully I’ll find someone that would like to replace them with proper sounds, if anyone knows of someone can they let me know?

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