Smack My Bones Up

27 05 2011

Smack My Bones Up is a short “game-music video clip” I decided to create as a homage to the Mortal Kombat fighting series, the Mortal Kombat theme song, and The Prodigy. As a fan of the of all three, it was hard to resist not coming with something up after listening to the remix. In fact, I posted the video a response to the original remix, which is also available on Youtube. The main objective was to make a short video (between 1 and 2 minutes) comprised of Mortal Kombat 9 game footage in sync with the main beats of the song. I realized the high pitched scream from Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up would serve a nice cue for images of pain or characters screaming. However, since I didn’t plan on having Sindel screaming every 5 seconds, the x-ray combat moves served an ideal purpose. Not long after editing, the pun-like title came to mind and below you can check out the result. Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Smack My Bones Up é um curto “video clipe musical de jogo” que eu decidi criar como uma homenagem à série de jogos Mortal Kombat, à música tema do filme Mortal Kombat e à banda The Prodigy. Como um fã de todos os três, foi muito difícil escutar ao remix utilizado como faixa sonora e não pensar em alguma ideia. Inclusive, eu postei o vídeo como uma resposta ao remix original, que também está disponível no Youtube. O objetivo principal foi fazer um curto vídeo (entre 1 e 2 minutos) composto de cenas do jogo Mortal Kombat 9 sincronizadas com as principais batidas da música. Eu percebi que o grito agudo da faixa Smack My Bitch Up cairia muito bem com imagens de personagens sentindo dor ou gritando. No entanto, como eu não planejava ter a Sindel aparecendo a cada cinco segundos, me dei conta de que os golpes raio-x cumpririam essa meta de maneira ideal. Pouco depois de editar o vídeo, o título-trocadilho me veio à mente e abaixo você confere o resultado. Me diga o que achar e divirta-se!

Customers Care: The Radiohead Strategy that Worked with 2D Boy

21 10 2009
World of Goo

World of Goo

2D Boy asked consumers to name their price for World of Goo until the 19th, but just as it worked with Radiohead, it did with them. Now, in case you still haven’t bought World of Goo, you’ve got a second chance…until the 25th.

If you don’t know what this is about and why 2D Boy and Radiohead have something common, check the previous post “Catering to the Consumer”.

Though publishers, developers, and service providers might worry about tending to their customers, truth be told: In the end it’s about the profit. A business cannot maintain itself without making money and that isn’t something new. The novelty arises when different strategies are used to cater to the consumer and obtain income simultaneously. 2D Boy acted in that sense by allowing customers to pay what they wanted for the game World of Goo for the duration of one week.

The response came through statistics released by 2D Boy via surveys and interestingly revealed that though consumers do care about those developers, publishers (not so much), and service providers who treat them well, in the end it is how much they can afford that matters. According to the sale results, 2D Boy’s Ron Carmel deduced “Few people chose their price based on the perceived value of the game. How much the person feels they can afford seems to play a much larger role in the decision than how much the game is worth.” At the time, 22.7%  of the buyers had confirmed in a post-purchase survey that they paid what they could afford. Read the rest of this entry »

Catering to the Consumer: Name Your Price for “World of Goo” and Create your Character in “Dragon Age”

18 10 2009
World of Goo: Name Your Price!

World of Goo: Name Your Price!

Part of being successful on the game industry relates not only to making great games, but also establishing a healthy relationship with your consumer. Many developers and publishers fail to see their gamers as legitimate consumers and when that happens, sales tend to drop. These scenarios have been witnessed before, be it with aggressive DRM implementation or broken promises. On the other hand, allowing for player customization, such as mods and plug-ins, and providing free DLC through ongoing development are known strategies that have led to the growth of loyal gamer communities. No developer or publisher is perfect, but a consensus remains that usually it pays off to treat your customers with due respect.

In this sense, aiming for similar strategies, World of Goo developer, 2D Boy, has just announced that you can name your price for their game. Starting at one cent and normally being charged at $20 USD, customers have now the opportunity to pay what they think their entertainment is worth. Some might may this business strategy is flawed, but RadioHead would disagree. They did it before and simply revealed that new business models demand new forms of pleasing your customer. When it came to World of Goo’s birthday, 2D Boy took the opportunity to come up with a nice surprise. No matter the cost you pay for your Linux, Mac OS, or Windows version, you’ll certainly be sure that the developers are aiming for something than your money. That extra something you’re paying is your potential loyalty. As in the future, it is only natural that we, as consumers, tend to favor those who in the past have done good deeds. Be fast though, their benevolence ends on the 19th. Oh, and 2D Boy, please release the statistics tracked for prices over the week.

Dragon Age Origins: Character Creator

Dragon Age Origins: Character Creator

Bioware has also adopted a seen-before-strategy to cater to the customer. However this time unrelated to the music industry. By releasing their Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator, the developer is allowing players to create and customize a player character which they can save and use when the PC game launches. Spore did this before and the number of assets (or weird creatures) created through their Creature Creator before the release of the game was huge. Dare I say it generated a lot of talk and buzz about the game itself, but ultimately (given the reviews on the final product) the creator itself became more popular. Regardless, consumers felt honored by getting the chance to actually create their aberrations before the game was out and make up their minds whether or not they would like to take part once the game hit the shelves. Now you can save hours of character creation before Dragon Age is released and when the game is out, you’ll already be itching for a long time to be playing with your human noble, commoner dwarf, or magi elf. This time, the strategy is not about paying less, but staying in tune with the potential product you’re about to acquire.

In the end, the one that strives is the one who pleases the consumer. No longer are we gamers playing simply for the products themselves but the services that accompany them, be it innovative DLC, up-to-date patches, customizable add-ons, and better integration with a social network.

Curricular Games

18 07 2009



Back in January (2009), Kotaku let the world know about a peculiar initiative involving two (apparently) very distinct elements: learning and StarCraft. It was confirmed that UC Berkeley had a class on the “Art of Competitive StarCraft”.

The class focuses on applying critical thinking, quick decision-making, and game theory skills throughout an in-depth analysis of how the theory of war is conducted within the confines of the game. Prerequisites include a working knowledge of StarCraft strategy and the suggested readings are The Art of War by Sun Tzu and Crazy as Me by Lim Yo. Impressive isn’t it? To see games be taken so seriously among an academic environment. Truth be told, electronic games emerged as an entertainment medium, but in time their uses proved to be far more varied. Read the rest of this entry »

A Point of View

29 06 2009

When I manifest myself through my works, be it reading, writing or playing; be it telling a story or commenting one, it is not in order to oppose myself to something, but rather express my feelings toward something else (which I enjoy). There is no say without an opinion, but the marvel of it all is to stimulate debate, not settle it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
from the Freshminds Alan Watts Animation Theater

By debating, we are nothing more than “point of views” sharing each their own perspective and acting collaboratively towards shaping one polished result and the birth of new ideas.

Watts’ words summarize my thoughts.

Music & Programming: ZhayTee Interview

3 04 2009

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing an indie icon I truly admire. Joseph Toscano, better known by the moniker ZhayTee, is a computer programmer and musician. Having already worked on the soundtrack for free game projects, his involvement with the MOD community stood out with the track Absconditus” for Minerva: Metastasis (listen to it below). Now, having recently released the game “Luchi Garage Sale”, ZhayTee sheds light on his thoughts on inspiration, licensing, MODs, and future projects.

Arthur Protasio: So, for starters: name, age, nationality, and profession?

ZhayTee: Joseph Toscano, 26, American, Computer Programmer.

AP: I got to know your work, musical works to be more specific, through the HL2 MOD Minerva. How does that fit into your history and the “Computer Programmer” classification?

ZT: Actually, the history there is quite short and simple: I was browsing the Internet several years ago for nice-looking Half-Life 2 mods, and I stumbled across the work-in-progress that is now known as Minerva: Metastasis. I thought it looked quite professional, so I promptly e-mailed Adam Foster (the author of the mod). He was very receptive to the idea of original music for his mod, and so I went to work. The first song I produced is called “Absconditus”, and it was included in the game shortly after I finished it. After that, Adam Foster and I kept in touch and I produced several more works for Minerva during its final years of development. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but Absconditus became well-liked by many fans of Minerva. Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzard Writing Contest

30 03 2009

Blizzard Entertainment is hosting its first global writing contest.  This is a spectacular way to write your own fanfic and not be sued, but rather be prized for it.

If you enjoy the Blizzard Entertainment universes, such as the lore from StarCraft, WarCraft, and Diablo, feel free to grab a pen (preferably a keyboard) and elaborate a fantasy fiction between 3,000 to 10,000 words.

The stories need to be written in English, but even if the title has “global” in it, Brazilians (among others) are going to have to let this one go. Only residents from the following countries are allowed to participate: United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Russia, The Netherlands, and South Korea.

The deadline is April 12th. I’m eager to read the results.

For more information visit Blizzard’s web site.

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