Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Humble Bundle V

Just a quick blog about this and then back to work teaching kids (9-year-olds) how to make Augmented Reality games. This might seem strange me blogging about this, on a blog predominantly aimed at how purchasing an expensive Mac Book Pro effects my productivity, I decided to talk about a collection of games I have recently bought. I have to though, it is great.

I recently purchased the Humble Bundle V, I had seen previous bundles and been tempted in the past but this collection was just too good to pass up, I think the tipping point for me was the "Limbo" soundtrack, I already have "Limbo" on the XBOX 360 and hold it in the highest regard, it is an awesome, unsettling and beautiful game. There was also "Bastion" and "Braid" both games had been released to critical acclaim, I however hadn't gotten around to them yet, and now as a treat, I decided it was the right time. I had just done a major chunk of work on the Creative Computing Club and had some money to treat myself with $15 to be exact.

There are several other games in the bundle, but if I am honest I didn't know much about them, it is not to say they are no good, they are brilliant, I just hadn't heard of them. There is Psychonauts by Double Fine, I had just bought "Double Fine Happy Action Theatre" for my 3-year-old for the Kinect and it is easily the best "game" we have had on Kinect system, everyone in the family has been playing it, so we knew "Psychonauts" would be good. Super Brothers: Sword & Sorcery EP has this wonderful and bizarre animation and graphics style which make it unforgettable, and I love the way it is sectioned in chapters of play. "Braid" is outstanding, you have to play it and get infuriated with it to know what I mean, it is a challenge but well worth it, it is like a melancholy 2D Portal. I haven't played the others yet but judging by the quality of these, I will be very happy.

You can download the games in several ways directly or through "Bit Torrent", so I downloaded "Bit Torrent" and did it that way to take the strain off of the Humble servers, it was a little slow but it meant I could do my work online at the same time.

In the end I downloaded them all for PC, my Mac Book Pro is for game development and "work". But to my horror, my PC just wasn't up to playing "Limbo", it doesn't have the "shader" graphics card capability, (my PC makes music it is not really concerned with graphics), it is not the games fault, my PC is crap.

In the end I got them for the Mac as well, how good is that, not only can you buy all these games in a wonderful collection, you get them for PC and Mac (I think Linux too), and the soundtracks, I love game soundtracks, one day maybe somebody will ask me to make a game soundtrack, ok yeah I did "OCARBOT" and that was great, but one day hopefully I will do another.

So just to recap, you get excellent games, in the format you need, some of the soundtracks too, you can decided how the money you send gets shared between, the developers, the charities and the people who organise this wonderful thing.

So there, I was happy with what I had bought, and having them installed on my Mac was ok, so long as I just dipped in and out of games and didn't get too distracted and I am pretty good with that kind of discipline, and then it happened "Super Meat Boy" along with "Lone Survivor" was added to the bundle, I love "Super Meat Boy", I really do the fast and infuriatingly diffulct (for me) game play is a must experience. So the best games bundle I ever bought just got better.

This "system" putting great games together is wonderful and I strongly recommend this bundle of games, in a lot of cases they re-affirm just how thoughtful and introspective games can be. I came for the horrifying ambient "LIMBO" soundtrack and I stayed for the comic bloodshed of "Super Meat Boy", and I got to rewind it all and do it again with "BRAID". I got to see and discover a load of other very talented games developers and hear a lot of excellent music.

I sincerely hope the charities make a ton of money from this, I hope the game developers make a ton of money so they can make a living and make more wonderful games and I hope the organisers make a ton of money so they too can carry on the good work they do.

Well done to all involved.

Any questions, comments, abuse tweet me on twitter @pixelh8