Spartan Ops

The original Halo came out just as I was starting to get deep into the commitments of my first real job. I enjoyed spending my bachelor evenings with a buddy screaming at each other as we would toss plasma grenades down the hallways to see if we could make them stick to some baddies before reveling in the satisfying thud as the glowing baseballs went off. Real life has a tendency to get in the way of such activities, though, and I soon found myself neck deep in work. Since my buddy was the one that owned the Xbox, and I didn’t even have a TV, the investment to get up to carrying on my interest in Halo seemed to be a pretty high barrier to entry. As the franchise blossomed, it all but faded from my memory.

343 Industry’s series of short videos titled Spartan Ops has sparked my interest anew. It is a well-shot, fast-paced miniseries that is worth getting into for any science fiction fan. Although there are clearly bits for which I had no knowledge of the evidently deep background lore that has developed over the game’s three subsequent iterations, I was still able to enjoy it deeply.

The videos are available on Youtube, but I have embedded them all here, if anything to make it easier for me to go back to watch it again in the future.

While I’m at it, I might as well include the Halo 4 Story, which has been stitched together to form a single continuous clip. It has helped me fill in many of the blanks. Ideally, this should be watched first if you haven’t diligently been playing Halo.

Spartan Ops 1

Spartan Ops 2

Spartan Ops 3

Spartan Ops 4

Spartan Ops 5

Spartan Ops 6: Scattered

Spartan Ops 7: Invasion

Spartan Ops 8: Expendable

Spartan Ops 9: Key

Spartan Ops 10: Exodus

Spartan Ops 11: Exodus Conclusion

And to top it all off, here’s the preview for Halo 5, which now makes much more sense to me (and still looks awesome!)

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Tom Clancy’s The Division Gameplay Footage

One of the games that doesn’t appear to be getting the attention it deserves in the buzz surrounding the impending release of next gen consoles is Tom Clancy’s The Division. Developed by Ubisoft and Massive, the players take up arms as members of an elite unit activated in the wake of a biological weapon unleashed on Black Friday. The gameplay looks engrossing, and the graphics are convincingly realistic. This isn’t a game about huge fireball explosions and overdoing gun play Hollywood-style. It looks gritty, with a no-nonsense esthetic that covers a vast urban landscape that displays a painstaking attention to minute detail.

This game has my attention.

The Dark Sorcerer: Quantic Dreams E3 Demo (not suitable for younger audiences)

If you haven’t caught it yet, here’s Quantic Dreams’ demo of the Dark Sorcerer. It is a technology demonstration being used to test out some next generation capabilities for the PS 4. With any luck, games will look like this in real time in the (relatively) near future.

Even if you’re not into the technology of game development, it’s worth watching the video for the humour that has been profusely laced throughout its twelve fantasy-packed minutes.

Some thoughts on leadership and accountability in a development team on CodedGamer.com

The Codedgamer.com website was taken offline to sort out some of the inevitable issues relating to pre-launch development. It is now back online.

I’ve taken the time to re-publish my thoughts on leadership and accountability in terms of achieving peak development team performance.

Go check the articles out, if only to be amazed by masterpieces such as this one.

Go check the articles out, if only to be amazed by masterpieces such as this one.

Breathtaking work on DeviantArt

Okay, so I’ve got a bunch of bits and pieces that have been building up in my notebook that I eventually have to get out on the blog. As Real Life has been busily clamoring for my attention of late, they will have to wait for another day. Part of real life has been waiting for a work laptop to run its way through a variety of self-checks and system updates that have been taking ages to process. As I have been waiting for the poor device to splutter back to a semblance of life that I can make use of, I have been crawling around the DeviantArt.com galleries. I’ve come across some spectacular artists with a wonderful eye and humbling talent. I’ll take the next few days to share some of the stellar work I have found there, hopefully piquing your curiosity sufficiently for you to go out and discover more of their work.

I will begin with a Star Wars urban combat piece by Kai Lim, who goes by the handle Ukitakumuki.

I like my stormtroopers gritty and cinematic.

Getting in on the ground floor: Coded Gamer’s inception

If you’re interested in game design and development, head over to Coded Gamer. The brand new site is still under development, but there’s already some interesting material beginning to bubble up on its pages.

Kevin Pybus is the evil mastermind behind this shiny new project, and he has one goal: world domination. Okay, he may have a few more, so  here’s what he’s got lined up for the site:

Our goal is simple. We want to bring developer and gamer together. Coded Gamer is dedicated to the communities and developers of independent games and is heavily focused on community interactions. We’re here to help dev’s promote their hard work and build a true fan base. Just as equally we’re here to support indie gamers in every way possible. Coded Gamer is made by the indie for the indie. You can find more details about the site’s promising scope here.There’s even the promise of loot and swag for early adopters

There's even swag in it for you if you sign up early!

There’s even swag in it for you if you sign up early!

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself over to codedgamer.com! There’s even a cool mini-game to verify your password rather than the irritating and eye-warping captcha authentications.

Enjoy!