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If you haven’t heard about it, Blizzcon is a convention hosted by Blizzard. Most gamers are very familiar with Blizzard, one of the leading companies in the online game-design industry today. It’s responsible for developing man successful titles like World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft. Each year, Blizzard hosts a convention to showcase some of their developments and possible sneak peeks for some of the games they are developing. Fans from around the globe come together to play demos, interact with the designers and simply enjoy a unique experience of being at a convention filled with people who enjoy Blizzard video-games. Many also cosplay which adds to the overall, game-oriented environment of the convention. Unfortunately, tickets for Blizzcon 2013, which will be held in Anaheim, California in November are already sold out. Regardless, I’m hoping I’ll be able to perhaps attend Blizzcon at some point within the next few years.

For more information, visit http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/

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So if you’re a Mac user in search of potential online games to play, I highly recommend looking into some of these titles!

  1. League of Legends
  2. World of Warcraft
  3. Starcraft 2: Heart of The Swarm
  4. Guild Wars 2
  5. Minecraft
  6. Planeshift
  7. Counterstrike: Global Offensive
  8. Path of Exile
  9. Diablo 3
  10. Runes of Magic

Defiance is a newly released online MMO that is arguably the world’s first online game and TV show combined. The game is a third person shooter set in a sci-fi fantasy setting where humans and aliens exist on Earth. The main facet to this game that separates it from other online video-games is the TV show that will interchangeably affect and be affected by changes taking place in the online world. The TV show will offer drama, story and entertainment coupled with the immersive game itself. This game is also being developed by Trion Worlds, the company that created another well known MMORPG called Rift and the TV show will be aired by Syfy. Another thing that differentiates this MMO from others is the fact that the game is a shooter as opposed to a fantasy or medieval-themed hack and slash game. It’s available on the Xbox 360, PC and PS3 which makes it a potentially successful multi-platform MMO. Lastly, the game also requires no monthly fee or subscription in order to play; it’s a simple one time buy and play forever type of deal which may make it more appealing when compared to many other MMO’s which require monthly payments. Overall, Defiance takes on a whole new approach to providing entertainment for gamers; I’m definitely excited to see how well this game/TV show combination works out.

Find out more information at: http://trionworlds.com/en/games/defiance/#7

Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls Online is a new MMORPG currently in development. It is expected to be released mid-2013 and could possibly compete with World of Warcraft which is currently the most popular MMO. Due to the remarkable reputation and success of Skyrim’s console titles, this MMORPG is highly anticipated and may attract a high player-base upon the first few weeks of release. However, this game could potentially fall short of expectations like the countless ‘WoW-Killers’ prior to The Elder Scrolls Online. Many games such as Guild Wars 2, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Tera have been hyped up during the beta, but have eventually failed to sustain a player-base comparable to that of World of Warcraft. Nevertheless, since Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls Online is going to be available for Mac users, I’m definitely excited to give the game a go and see how it compares to World of Warcraft which I’ve been playing for years.

http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/

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Here’s a few links to some of the careers out there at some of the top-notch video-game companies:

http://www.riotgames.com/careers

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/careers/directory.html#region=Americas

https://www.ubisoftgroup.com/en-us/careers/index.aspx

As you can see, some of these companies are international and offer job opportunities at various office locations around the world. All of the video-game corporations also have countless sectors ranging from animation to marketing and business operations. Therefore, video-game design companies employ a multitude of people with different degrees and skill sets; you don’t need to have a degree in animation or video-game development to work for one of these companies. At the end of the day, each video-game is a product that needs to be designed, marketed and sold from start to finish. This process involves the cooperation of employees from many different disciplines!

  1. Design or create something – Whether it’s developing iPhone apps or creating websites, it’s important to produce quality work and force yourself to create anything you could add to your portfolio. It’s also important to develop a unique aspect to your work that differentiates you from others. For example, certain music artists have their own style of singing or rapping to their unique-sounding instrumentals; they essentially create their own marketable label.
  2. Constantly learn new tools – Many jobs in the video-game industry require potential employees to have mastered certain programs. For example, animators may need to showcase mastery of programs such as Drupal and Maya. It’s important to research some of the requirements for the employers and jobs you would be seeking in the future.
  3. Broadcast yourself – Reach out to people and display yourself to the gaming industry. This can be done in many ways from online podcasting and blogging to crowd-sourcing through websites like kickstarter.com. The key is to maintain some kind of online persona and make an effort to get yourself out there and be heard.

Information paraphrased from Scott Steinberg’s article found here.

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Image taken from www.mmo-champion.com

After extensively playing the latest World of Warcraft expansion,  I’ve experienced most of what it has to offer with exception to some of the PvE content. Overall, I would say Mists of Pandaria is a decent expansion, but does have some drawbacks. So what are some of the pros and cons of this expansion when compared with previous expansions?

Pros:

  • New talent trees which allow for players to choose different abilities depending on their playstyle; this new system also diversifies players from each other and there is no longer a simple cookie-cutter build people have to abide by
  • Rich lore and storyline considering Pandaria and its inhabitants
  • New content including, but not limited to the monk class and the playable Pandaren race
  • Solo Scenarios offer a new way for players to attain rewards without the need for an entire group of people
  • Focus on world events such as world bosses and world PvP

Cons:

  • Imbalanced PvP in the sense that certain classes are extremely over-powered although changes and tweaks are being made with each patch
  • Repetitive Gameplay regarding daily quests and the inevitable grind for in-game gear

All in all, despite the many additions to the game in this latest expansion, I’ve recently decided to stop playing for the summer. The repetitive gameplay of World of Warcraft is what really got to me in the end. Most of my friends have also stopped playing long ago so I wasn’t having too much fun playing by myself along with a couple of online friends here and there. That being said, I still think Mists of Pandaria is a great expansion and is definitely something that should be experienced. I think this time around, Blizzard definitely did a great job introducing all the new content and unique additions to the game.

Defiance is an upcoming online MMO that is arguably the world’s first online game and TV show combined. The game is a third person shooter set in a sci-fi fantasy setting where humans and aliens exist on Earth. The main facet to this game that separates it from other online video-games is the TV show that will interchangeably affect and be affected by changes in the online world. The TV show will offer drama, story and entertainment coupled with the immersive game itself. This game is also being developed by Trion Worlds, the company that created another well known MMORPG called Rift. Overall, Defiance takes on a whole new approach to providing entertainment for gamers; I’m definitely excited to see how well this game/TV show combination works out.

 

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PAX East 2013 – Image taken from madcatz.com

Last weekend, one of the world’s largest video-game conventions took place in Boston. PAX which stands for Penny Arcade Expo, lasted for 3 days from March 22-24. During this time, video-game designers and developers take the opportunity to showcase many of their upcoming products. For example, at this year’s PAX, Ubisoft announced information regarding their next Assassin’s Creed title: Blackflag. Those who attend the convention get a sneak peek at the newest advancements in the video-game industry. Additionally, there are many demos, free give-aways, tournaments and much more which makes PAX a must-go event for many video-game enthusiasts. Not to mention, PAX is also known for attracting cosplayers of all sorts! Overall, people get the chance to meet others with similar passions and the general atmosphere of the convention is thrilling!

For more information, visit the official PAX website. Although I haven’t gone to PAX, I’m definitely looking forward to going next year!

http://krisgiampa.wordpress.com/

This is a great blog I found that goes in depth about the sound and instrumental production aspect of video-games. Many people are often concerned with the visual design of video-games and don’t spend much time thinking about the unique sound component that is essential to all modern games. Kris Giampa, the sound designer who runs this blog, showcases many of his experiences in the video-game industry. Personally, I like the information he includes about landing a job in the video-game industry. He outlines all the steps needed in order to get your foot in the door, so to speak. Stumbling upon his blog also opened my eyes to the possibility of perhaps delving into the sound production aspect of video-games myself. Not only does his blog include information on sound production, it also has general information useful for other facets of video-game design as well such as programming, level design, quality assurance and more. Overall, I think this blog is definitely worth checking out of music and video-game design interest you. Kris Giampa has years of experience in his field and has even worked for Blizzard, one of the leading companies in the video-game industry!