Portland charges its lasers with voice-controlled videogame

Videogames can get stale pretty easily. There’s a lot of hype for games like HALO:Reach, Starcraft 2, or the newest Final Fantasy. And there’s a reason: they’re great games. These games pretty much set the standard for the genre, and pretty consistently too.

But that can be a problem. Think about this: with the success of one good game, many others seek to copy it and get the same success. And as a result the copies seem insincere, and on top of that every game in the genre suffers and becomes stale.

That’s why sometimes, people like a change in pace. Just watch this. It’s called PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew. You’ll see hear why.

These guys are hard at work getting this game on the Xbox 360–use Rock Band mics to play.
This is at Portland’s Global Game Jam 2011, at the Art Institute of Portland.

I’d say that pretty much changes the pace of gaming, yes? It’s not about being involved for hours, racking up achievements, playing through a long campaign. It’s about a unique approach to a similar idea.

Uniqueness is something gamers seem to like; just look at how successful this game called Minecraft has been; it’s an indie game made by some dude in Europe, coded in Java (not a good language for games because it’s kind of clunky)–but he’s sold almost 1,500,000 copies. Here’s the kicker: it’s not even finished. The game is still in beta testing.

And it’s all based on an arguably-unique concept of playing with blocks in a videogame. You can build whatever you want, much like with LEGOs.

Games like Minecraft, and P^9 aren’t about being addicting, but being unique and fun. That’s the way gaming is going now.

And here’s a nice thing about indie games. They’re typically not as complex as a traditional RPG or FPS, so they’re significantly easier to code. That means that if you’ve got a good idea, you could feasibly make one yourself.

Some recent creative indie games with unique gameplay.

  • Magicka
  • PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew
  • Minecraft
  • Super Meat Boy (not so much unique as it is unforgivingly challenging.)
  • Braid
  • ORION: Prelude
  • Limbo (kind of depressing!)
  • Overgrowth

And a couple links for P^9.

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