Making a Super-Duper Superman Game

To start off, I am NOT a game designer. Hell, I'm not even that good at most video games. This is just going to be a poorly thought-out rant of an blog post.

 Hey, speaking of poorly thought out, let's talking about Superman games! 
 

Arguably the most powerful and famous superhero of all time, Superman has starred in some of the greatest comics, movies and cartoons ever created...but what about his games? They've all been mediocre at best and at worse, they've been Superman 64. 

                                                  This happened, and we let it happened. 

                                                  This happened, and we let it happened. 

 I don't want to sit here and just mock the games, that's been done to death, I want to try to brainstorm on how to make a GOOD game. There have been good superhero games before, Batman: Arkham Asylum/City/Knight((?) I haven't played it yet, so I can't judge); Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage (well, it was very flawed, but still fun), Spider-Man 2000, Spider-Man 2 (PS2, Xbox), Shattered Dimensions and Web of Shadows were all fun...but, those two characters are on the relatively low end of the power totem pole, right? Bats just has athletic ability and  tons of gadgets while Spider-Man (while capable of lifting 25 tons or more and dodge automatic fire) is still susceptible to injuries and death...

  But wait, The Incredible Hulk--considered one of Marvel's most powerful characters--had a game that gave you his full power and it was great! 

   And then the company that made this went on to rip off their own gameplay for Prototype.

   And then the company that made this went on to rip off their own gameplay for Prototype.

Sure, Superman isn't a rampaging radioactive man-beast that destroys everything in his path (well, except for in Man of Steel) but, this at least shows that you can give a hero his full power without weakening gameplay. The trick seems to be how you build around it. 

 So, how do we build a game around Superman's powers while keeping it interesting and entertaining? 

Multiple Events

 One thing Supes is know for in the comics isn't just stopping Darkseid or Doomsday, but also stopping major storms, saving villages from earthquakes and even depression.

                                                                                   Would Superhugs count as a Quick Time Event? 

                                                                                   Would Superhugs count as a Quick Time Event? 

Perhaps by having the players juggle between various crisis situations in a massive world with timers like the ones in the Dead Rising series would give enough variation on gameplay to keep things interesting, but only rewarding the players based on successes and not punishing them for failures would keep them from getting frustrated? Especially if it gives the players to find creative ways to use Superman's godlike powers to solve the problems (superspeed and flight to disrupt dangerous storms, ice breath and strength to stop lava flows, etc.). That's one of the tricks to a well done Superman story in the comics: He's a character that doesn't want to constantly have to resort to the sledgehammer method, rather trying to powers in more constructive and creative methods as opposed to throwing things into the Sun. 

Boss Battles Only

Let's be honest, fighting mooks as Superman would be boring. He can defeat mere mortals with a harsh glare and even some higher tier opponents with no more than his pinky, so...should they even BE in the game? Sure, the potential of defeating the occasional bank robber might break up all of the saving kittens from trees or whatever...but wouldn't that get boring after a while? WE'RE CONTROLLING SUPERMAN! WE WANNA DO MORE THINGS THAN JUST BE THE WORLD'S SUPERNANNY AND KEEPING PEOPLE FROM CATCHING ON FIRE! WE WANNA USE THESE POWERS TO BUST SOME FACES.

What if instead, we took a page from Shadow of the Colossus and have nothing but boss battles?? 

                                                                                     Now, image if that was the Anti-Monitor...

                                                                                     Now, image if that was the Anti-Monitor...

Here's where we could also get into an argument of levels vs. open world as well. Possibly having Superman flying around some kind of hub world to find these baddies fighting while also balancing his other side quests of saving kittens from trees or whatever. 

 Or we could cut out the open world and have levels connected to a map screen. Maybe with Superman floating in space above Earth using his supervision to see where the trouble was occurring. The player would pick their mission and Supes would fly there (this could also cover for the area's loading screen), from there, the devs could just focus on making a bunch of puzzle based bosses like from SotC or even the Mr. Freeze battle from Arkham City. One battle could be one of brute strength (Superman vs. Mongul) or where Supes has to use long distance abilities (using heat vision against Metallo or Parasite) to subdue opponents. Maybe after finishing the first few, Supes would then have to deal with multiple opponents at once (Atomic Skull and Bizarro for example...though, that would be an odd pairing). Eventually, it could build up to the real serious bosses, like Doomsday (who would be fought in multiple areas, or where Supes has to manipulate the terrain to slow him down similar to some battles during Death of Superman) or eventually having the fight move from space to Earth and back (most likely again Darkseid). 

                                                                                                   Something like this? 

                                                                                                   Something like this? 

 Doing a boss-only system like this would not only give players difficulty-tiered system to learn how to use ALL of Superman's abilities and practice to see which ones worked best against certain opponents (Ooh...are we taking some lessons from Megaman and Pokemon right now? IT'S ALMOST LIKE I'M NOT A TOTAL IDIOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT LOLOLOLOL) but it would also give the devs an excuse to have a health bar/energy bar system in the game--maybe not have Superman actually be defeated, but having to return to space to recharge or heal if, say, Parasite drains too much of his powers or Metallo blasts him with Kryptonite too much...and then slowly introduce a health system with opponents that actual damage Superman? 

 Like I said before, Superman is a very easy character to write wrong or write stupid, he's crazy-powerful and can do almost anything...and it's even harder when making a video game...and...I've lost my train of thought now. 

 Oh course, all of this means butt cheeks if the combat and movement system isn't up to par...sadly, I can't give much advice on this...good thing I'm not a game designer! Haw! 

Posted on June 28, 2015 and filed under gaming.

Father's Day 2015!

Good morning, everyone! I woke up this morning in a cold sweat realizing that I had totally forgotten to write this post and I have barely an hour before work soo...let's do it. 

 Fathers. They're incredibly important to the welfare of a family and absolutely pivotal in raising children. Again, these aren't necessarily the BEST fathers out there...but they're awesome nonetheless...


                                              Omni-Man

                                                                                 The Superman of the Invincible universe, Omni-Man is one of the strongest beings there, he was also shown to be a very supportive and loving father, always there for his son--especially when he finally developed superpowers and became the hero Invincible. Omni-Man would give his son fatherly and superhero-ly advice while doing things like playing catch...by throwing the baseball around the planet...

                                                                              

  The Superman of the Invincible universe, Omni-Man is one of the strongest beings there, he was also shown to be a very supportive and loving father, always there for his son--especially when he finally developed superpowers and became the hero Invincible. Omni-Man would give his son fatherly and superhero-ly advice while doing things like playing catch...by throwing the baseball around the planet...

catch

Of course, this being from the same mind that writes The Walking Dead, there's more to the story than just a simple father-son relationship...I don't want to spoil it, so definitely check this series out.

                                         Bruce Banner (Hulk)

banner

 Huh. Who would've thought that the Incredible Hulk would have ever become a dad? Yup, Bruce Banner's emerald alter-ego married and became a father during the Planet Hulk storyline. 

 At least, until his planet was destroyed and killing his beloved bride and unborn child (or so he thought on that last part...) Hulk did what any father would have done: punched his way back to Earth with a small army of survivors and declare war on the planet, leveling most of New York and bringing most of his former friends to their knees. Even every X-Men ever combined was not able to tame his anger...as Wolverine finds out the hard way. 

ouch

After capturing the likes of Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, Tony Stark and others, he forced them into cages and slave collars and even into fighting each other just like he endured during his forced exile. 

 Although the war ended with Banner once again de-Hulk and with his son Skaar arriving on Earth for revenge against his green father...only to find Bruce there, who took his son in and even worked on training him how to fight and kill the Hulk whenever he finally returns. 

 The funny thing, even though a returned Green Scar Hulk nearly killed Skaar and they eventually overcame their rage to accept and embrace each other, this relationship is STILL better than the one Bruce had with his own father. Crazy.

 

                                                      Pat Dugen

STRIPE

   Stepfather and former sidekick for a teenage hero, Pat Dugen was greatly disliked by his stepdaughter, Courtney Whitmore. When Courtney finds Sylvester Pemberton's cosmic converter belt in her stepfather's belongings, she donned the costume in order to annoy her new old man as partial revenge for marrying her mother and (supposedly) forcing the family to move away from Los Angeles to Nebraska. 
 However, not only was Pat somewhat supportive of his stepdaughter becoming a superhero, he even design a giant walking tank-- S.T.R.I.P.E (Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer)--that allowed him to help protect her by becoming her sidekick. 

 Not too bad for a stepdad, huh?

                                                   Jonathan Kent

kent

Raising kids is hard, and not everyone is cut out to be a parent...but what happens when you have to raise an alien god? Just ask ol' Jonathan "Pa" Kent. When baby Kal-El fell into his and his wife's lap (almost literally), they knew they had something special on their hands. Somehow, through love, devotion and hard work, they raised the kid up that would become Clark Kent into the Superman we all know and love today. In fact, we have seen just how important they play into how Superman acts as Superman--with the New 52 version of him being far more brutal and aggressive without a loving set of parents and a strong father figure in his life to help him temper him and keep him humble. 

 Unfortunately, Jonathan ended up passing away, something even his all-powerful son wasn't able to prevent, but with him, a legacy began with what ended up becoming Earth's greatest superhero. 

everybody

                                                         Uncle Ben

ben

 Sometimes, the greatest dads aren't even your dad--adopted or otherwise. Uncle Ben was handed the role of father to a very young Peter Parker and did his best to raise him as his own despite already past his prime. Doing everything he could to teach him how to be a good, strong man.

strong

  Unfortunately for Peter, he tossed the teachings and morals from his only father-figure out the window when he was bitten by a radioactive spider and granted amazing powers. When trying to use his powers for personal gain, Peter ignored a brief chance to make a difference by stopping a crook and...well, we all know what happened from there.

guilty

  Haunted by the guilt of being responsible for allowing the man who would kill his uncle to escape, Peter changed Spider-Man from a gimmick that could make him rich and famous to one of Marvel's greatest heroes.

  Ben's untimely and tragic taught Peter one final lesson: with great power comes great responsibility.

 

 

 

 Well, that's it for this round of heroic fathers in comics. Want more? Have anything you want me to discuss? Let me know in the comments. 

 Have a great Father's Day! 

Posted on June 21, 2015 .

Happy Mother's Day 2015!

How's everyone doing? Hope you're well! Especially all of the mommies out there. Today's YOUR day! So, relax lock the kids out of the house, pull out that bottle of wine you've been saving and curl up on the couch and...

...read an article on my favorite super-powered moms! There's no real order to this list, just whatever came to mind or was recommended to me by friends...so...enjoy.

                                                                                                             Scarlet Witch

   

 

 

 ...Does creating your own children using magic count? Well it's my write-up so we'll just going with "probably".
 
 Being married to a robot (well, android, kinda) makes it kind of hard to get preggers, so Wanda used the power of magic to conceive, which turned their relationship even more awkward when their robo-daddy gets dismantled and rebuilt as an emotionless android, forcing her to be an almost-single mother.

 ..Oh and her kids ended up being shards of the soul of the demon Mephisto, who was basically Marvel's version of the Devil. Sooo...that happened. 

 Then--after hearing The Wasp mock her desire for motherhood--she decides to go to Doctor Doom for help in trying to get her kids back, and even merges with a mysterious cosmic entity.
  
  Ah...the power of a mother's love! 

 Except, instead, she goes crazy and decides that it was the Avengers' fault that her kids died and launches and all-out attack on them, which results in the death of Vision and Hawkeye with Scott Lang nearly dying as well...and I don't think she even got her kids back after nearly wiping out the Avengers...hmm.

 Ah...the power of...a mother...scorned...? 

 

                                                                                                                   Lionheart

Geez. This woman is hardcore.                                                        

Geez. This woman is hardcore.                                                        

Kelsey Leigh was happily married English/History schoolteacher with kids (otherwise, why would she be on this list, right?) living in South-East England until her home was invaded by thugs and robbing and then brutally gang-raping her. Fighting back, she managed to hurt one of her rapists who, in turn, cut her face with a broken bottle, permanently scarring her. All the while, her husband was too paralyzed with fear to help her. His guilt over this...uhh...'incident' caused the dissolution of their marriage and making Kelsey a single mother. 

 Somehow, her family eventually found themselves in the middle of a battle between the Avengers and the Wrecking Crew. When Thunderball rendered Captain America unconscious, Kelsey put herself between Captain America, Wasp and their attacker, picking up Cap's shield as a weapon. Kelsey, unfortunately, lacked Cap's strength and endurance and while the shield protected her from being instantly killed by the blows, the impact did inflict mortal injuries and she ended up dying en route for medical treatment. 
 
  But death isn't badass enough to hold this woman back, she awoke and found herself in a ring of standing stones and met a vision of Captain Britain (Brian Braddock)--who was currently ruling Otherworld and his wife. Deciding to pass the mantle of Captain Britain on--and with Kelsey proving worthy due to her selfless sacrafice--he presented her with the same choice he was given when first becoming Captain Britain: The Sword of Might or the Amulet of Right. Unfortunately, unlike when Braddock was presented the choice, the symbolic importance of the only two choices were not explained to Kelsey. In a desperate need to be with her children again and not seeing how an amulet could defend ANYTHING, she chose the sword (that thing's a sword??) 

 The Sword, however, was the path of violence and Kelsey was instantly transformed into the new Captain Britain. Only then was it explained that if she revealed the truth to her family, it would cost her children their lives. 

 The new Captain Britain gets sent back to Earth just in time to help the Avengers to stop Morgan Le Fey from taking over the planet and proves that she is far more ruthless in battle than her predecessor-- apparently killing Thunderball, impaling him with her sword (did I mention this lady was hardcore? Cuz she is). The Avengers take her kids into their care and accepts an offer to join the team, knowing this will be the only way she can stay close to her children even if she can't be truly reunited with them. Awww...

                                                                                                  Jessica Jones

Because everything needs a Wolverine appearance.                                                                                                                

Because everything needs a Wolverine appearance.

 

                                                                                                             

Oh my, Jessica Jones, what a difficult life she's lead but hey! You're getting a show on Netflix soon, so I'll skip over most things in case of the dreaded spoilers.

 Anyway, her road to motherhood began when she retired from superheroics and opened a private detective agency during this time, she began an on-again and off-again relationship with Luke Cage (AKA Power Man), until they finally admitted their feelings for each other and--once becoming pregnant--started a committed relationship. Jones then moves on to working for The Daily Bugle getting attacked by Green Goblin who gets beat down by Cage. Afterwards, she ends up quitting the Bugle after a smear campaign initiated by J. Jonah Jameson on the New Avengers (which her baby daddy was a part of), and got revenge by denying them the exclusive rights to the birth of their daughter. (Take THAT old man! That's what you get for hating Spider-Man!)

 She and Luke Cage begin living together and gave birth to a daughter, named Danielle (name after Danny Rand/Iron Fist, Luke's best friend) and then they marry! Though Jones keeps her maiden name, cuz the alliteration is just too cool.

 More things happen, Jones moving to Canada to protect her baby during the Civil War arc, then taking the kid to Stark Tower to try to protect her kid from Skrulls, only for it to have been replaced by a Skrull with the real one kidnapped during Secret Invasion...they get her back, and she eventually decides (with the help of a pep-talk from Spidey) to go back into super heroics as a positive inspiration to her daughter...but...more stuff happens. 

 GO READ THE COMICS. SHE'S A GOOD CHARACTER AND I LOVE HER FAMILY DYNAMIC. 

Donna Troy

                                                                                            Finally! I put up a DC character!  

                                                                                            Finally! I put up a DC character!

 

 Oh boy, this is going to be fun...what a long history with this one. Good thing I don' have to explain everything! Just the relationship and being a mommy! 

 Donna Troy started a relationship with an older professor Terry Long eventually marrying him in a big, lavish ceremony and later ends up pregnant, only to find out in one future that her child is born with the powers of a god and full awareness of them and goes insane, ages himself, kills his mother and calls himself Lord Chaos. Instead of allowing Teen Titans from the future to kill her or her unborn child, she takes a third option: sacrificing her powers to become a mere mortal in order to prevent Robert (her son) from becoming Lord Chaos. 

 Ah, the love of a mother! 

 Except, she regrets her decision and tries to regain her powers and when that fails, she joins the Darkstars. After a series of troubles, including her farm being destroyed, she ends up being divorced and losing custody of her child. She uses the Darkstar suit to help the New Titans for a while, even dating Kyle Rayner for a while...until her ex-husband, son and stepdaughter are killed in a tragic car accident. 

 Well, that was incredibly tragic...and people not into comics think that Teen Titans are all funs and puns. 

                                                                                                             Sela Mathers

   

 

 

Okay, this is mainly an honorable mention suggested to me by a friend... since I haven't read this story yet, so I don't want to spoil it for myself...but seeing the art now, I really want to...So, Sela Mathers! I don't know. Is she even a mother? 

                                                                                                      Sue Storm (Invisible Woman)

suepreggers

 Arguably the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four, Sue Storm is also one of the most famous super-moms out there and while normally a relatively passive personality, the one thing you do NOT want to do is threaten her family, because she will RUIN you. Of course, pictures speak louder than words, so let me just give you some examples...

suevswolvie
youbetterdoit
suekini

                                                                        And yet, she still is able to pull off costumes like this after having kids! 


 Well, that's my list of super-moms from the world of comics, but there are plenty more out there for you to find and celebrate! Be sure to post yours in the comment section below! Or not! While you're at it, don't forget to give your mom a hug and thank her for not killing you during your teen years! 

 

  --Opu

Posted on May 10, 2015 .

Free Comic Book Day 2015

Hello out there! 

 Yeah, so...I was totally going to make a post regarding Free Comic Book Day the other day...but then I forgot to 'cuz of all of the CUH-RAY-ZE-NUS from seeing Age of Ultron (spoiler-cast coming soon! Maybe) and then today I had completely forgotten how to use Squarespace.

 PROFESSIONALISM.

 Anyway, unfortunately, I only got a couple of free comics due to everyone else getting to the shop before us, but here's what I grabbed up: 

freecomicbookday2015

LOOT! 

 Aside from the "Our Country's Veterans" comic, the others are more akin to samplings of the coming stories, not really isolated tales, but free's free, right? Death of Deadpool and Bucky O'Hare were NOT free, but hey, gotta support your comic shops, right? Also, Bucky O' Hare was one of my most favoritest NES games from when I was a kid and I refuse to grow up. 

 So, yeah, while I didn't get to pick up as much of the free comics as I would have liked, just finally getting a chance to go back to a comic shop again was really nice. I even got to see they had restocked a couple more New Mutant 98 issues (the first appearance of Deadpool). This being the same store I purchased my graded copy at, I was surprised to see the price had gone up nearly 200 bucks and from what the store owner told me, it's estimated that it could double that price when the Deadpool movie comes out! And who said comics couldn't be a sound investment? 

  That's all I have for this first entry...maybe next time, I'll make one with an actual point to it, but hey, it's a learning experience for us all! Comment with any comics that you may have grabbed up this weekend. Or this week. Or whatever you want to comment with. 

Thanks for reading
 --Opu 

 

Posted on May 6, 2015 .

Geek Inc. Cover Page

Here's the cover page to a comic I was trying to work on until I got lazy. I may post the first issue here, and maybe start working on it again if you people would like. 

Posted on April 16, 2015 .