Category Archives: Gaming

No School Like The Old School

Last night (and again tonight), I played Counter-Strike for the first time in a decade. I’m not one of the players that can tell you the ins and outs of how this balance change or that gun or whatever else over the years has ruined the game forever, so all I can say is – it felt really good.

The most striking part of the experience for me is looking at the top-down layouts on each loading screen. They’re so simple – simple as they ever were, but glaringly so when held up against the modern standard of super dense clutter-based shooters or the sprawl of massive multi-modal maps (including my own work on Starhawk’s multiplayer levels). There’s an elegance and intimacy in this era of level design that still has a place today amid higher-resolution graphics and higher detail meshes – maybe more of a place than ever as we get ready to move into a new console hardware generation and the inevitable “ooh, shiny!” effect.

Much like I was able to use lun3dm5 to finally check off the “make a damn Quake III map” bucket list item, I’m hoping to use CS:GO to mark off “make a damn Counter-Strike map.” I’ve had a fun idea for a setting floating around since the Counter-Strike: Source days that I think is due for some blockout ideas…

Identity Crisis

Hell yes,” I said aloud as my character stepped onto the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. I was so ready for this. Through its first three missions, Battlefield 3‘s campaign had been a shaky ride – literally, too, as the entirety of “Uprising” can be legitimately blamed on the earthquake that closed “Operation Swordbreaker” – and the game was teetering back toward the shelf. For all the hype, for all the amazing trailers closing with the Terminator Salvation-esque take on the familiar “da-dun dun da dun-dun” Battlefield theme, this was a game that seemed to be in the midst of a major identity crisis.

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After a couple years of being possibly the worst-kept secret in games (let’s be honest – just the rumored name piqued my interest in employment at LightBox), the cat is officially out of the bag. We’re working on a little thing called Starhawk.

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There is an absolute mountain of coverage out there on your favorite gaming site(s), but I’ll just draw your attention to these two videos. The first is a behind-the-scenes look at the excellent team at LightBox, and the second is an introduction to Starhawk with LightBox President Dylan Jobe:

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