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Greatest Video Game Trailers, God of War III (3) Release date and cover

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Posted by Tony Huynh.
If you haven’t already noticed, I would like to call your attention to the new WordPress Theme created by none other than the wonderful and talented Berenice Limon of I haven’t been posting because we’ve been in the final crazy stretch for God of War III (3) coming out this March 16, 2010. We’ve been all working a lot of late nights and weekends to make sure GoW3 is the conclusion that the God of War series deserves. The hectic schedule is finally beginning to wind down as we get closer and closer to the ship date.

In another announcement, the box art is finalized for God of War III.

God of War III God of War 3 Cover Art - Tony Huynh

I know some of you may prefer to have a certain “other” cover for the game. If you are one of these people, you may want to grab your copy of God of War 1 and 2 and open the case and take out the cover. Now flip the cover around and you’ll notice that on the back is an alternate cover for the game. When you get God of War III, you may want to do the same thing.

I also noticed that Amazon has a great deal on God of War III pre-orders. You can get the game for $57 and they’ll throw in a $10 gift card.

Lastly, there are some great games coming out this first quarter and beyond and some really great game trailers to go with them. Here are a few of the standout trailers.

Mass Effect 2 Launch Trailer
Damn that’s a good soundtrack and I’m a sucker for good soundtracks.

Red Dead Redemption Trailer
This is the perfect trailer for a Western themed game. It’s surprising that so many western genre games miss on evoking what a western is about. It is about selling the setting and not the main character and always has been.

These game trailers got me thinking about all the great video game trailers of the past. Here are a few of my favorites off the top of my head.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 2K7 Trailer
I like explosions.

Silent Hill 2 E3 Trailer
This is one messed up trailer, especially looking back on it now that I’ve played the game.

Gears of War (Mad World)
This trailer is made by the inspired choice in music.

GranTurismo 5 Ferrari Tribute
Damn this is a sexy trailer and a great accompanying song.

World of Warcraft Cinematic Trailer
Blizzard has been known for creating amazing cinematics and this is their crowning achievement.

Mirror’s Edge Trailer
Amazing soundtrack and innovative gameplay. The game wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but this trailer made the game an instant day one purchase for me.

Halo 3: ODST Live Action Trailer
Damned if Microsoft doesn’t know how to market a game. Truly successful trailers sell a feeling and a sense that the game is bigger than it is.

Street Fighter IV Announcement Trailer
Without any news on the actual game and this trailer the only thing to go by, I thought if they could make the game a 1/10th of how awesome this trailer was, I would be satisfied with Street Fight IV.

Battlefield Bad Company – Snake Eyes
I genuinely laughed when I saw this. Humor works.

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (There’s Always a Girl)
Rockstar knows pop culture. When you can cut a great trailer with The Look from Roxette you’ve earned my respect and god damn it, there’s always a girl.

Halo 2 Announce Trailer
I remember sitting there in disbelief when I saw this trailer. It left a lasting impact especially for somebody who loved the first Halo as much as I did. What separates a great trailer is that it evokes a feeling of something bigger than the game itself. Halo 2’s advertising campaign did that and that’s why it is my favorite trailer.

Hope you enjoyed the video game trailer blast.

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Back in Southern California: New City, New Team

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Posted by Tony Huynh.
It is official. I have left Day 1 Studios and joined the God of War team at Sony Santa Monica as a combat designer. While I enjoyed my time at Day 1 Studios and met and worked with a lot of talented people there, the move brings me closer to friends and family geographically. I will miss the city of Chicago and all the friends I have met there.

If you are a reader of this blog, you may have noticed that there has been a long lull in the posting recently. Now you know the reason why. I will be continuing to update the blog as time permits. Thanks for your continued support.

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Posted in Chicago, San Diego, Video Games, life | No Comments »

A Real Guitar Hero – Sungha Jung 12 Year Old Prodigy Fingerstyle Guitarist

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Sungha Jung is a 12-year-old fingerstyle guitarist from South Korea. This kid makes me think I wasted my youth playing video games. As I watched his videos over the last few years, it is like watching Sungha Jung grow up. The thought of how YouTube has chronicled people’s lives is a little weird. It just makes you realize how much YouTube has changed our lives. In video game development YouTube is the greatest referencing tool there is. As a fellow game developer asked the question, “how did we ever copy stuff before YouTube?”

Here are some of my favorite videos of his.

No Woman No Cry – Sungha Jung

All Along the Watchtower – Sungha Jung

Blackbird – Sungha Jung

Tango – Sungha Jung

Moon River – Sungha Jung

When the Children Cry – Sungha Jung

For further information on Jung Sungha check these sites out.

If you want to see a great movie about a child chess prodigy I would highly recommend the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer.

See my other related articles:
My Student Films 2: EverQuest Documentary and Guilty Gear Isuka Trailer
Best MMA Fights & Genki Sudo: Real Life Video Game Character
Become a Video Game Designer: Everything You Need to Know Part 1
10 Greatest Video Game Designers Part 1
Roger Ebert is Right: Games are Not High Art…Yet

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American Badasses and a Russian Who Became a Hero by Doing Nothing

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

5 Most Badass Presidents of All Time
This is a great take on America’s most badass presidents. If you ask me, after reading Andrew Jackson’s article he deserves to be higher than #5. JFK at 4 is a little generous, but I definitely can’t deny Teddy Roosevelt at #1. Click on the link, it’s worth your time.

Hugh Glass
Speaking of badasses, this man was mauled by a grizzly, awoke to find himself abandoned, without weapons or equipment, suffering from a broken leg, cuts on his back that exposed his bare ribs, all his wounds festering and left to die. He then found a rotten log and placed his back against it so the maggots can clean his wounds. After that he proceeded to crawl 200 miles living off roots and berries back to civilization and tracked down the two men who left him to die.
Read more about Hugh Glass.

Wesley Autrey
When a stranger collapses from a convulsing seizure and falls to the subway track Wesley Autrey “made a split decision” and jumped down to the tracks. As a subway train came racing at the pair he dove on top of the convulsing man and pinned him in the roughly one foot of clearance between the ground and the train racing overhead. After the subway passed he yelled up to the gathering crowd: “We’re O.K. down here, but I’ve got two daughters up there. Let them know their father’s O.K.”

Stanislav Petrov
Lastly, is Stanislav Petrov. He single-handedly averted thermonuclear destruction and saved us all from a fate similar to Fallout 3. The incident happened at the height of the Cold War when tensions were at the tipping point. Only three weeks earlier, the Soviet’s had shot down a South Korean passenger jet, and killing 269 people on board, including a US congressman, Stanislav Petrov saved us all by ignoring USSR protocol and doing nothing when the Soviet’s early warning system reported that an American ICBM was heading towards the Soviet Union. Petrov sums it all up for us, “”All that happened didn’t matter to me — it was my job. I was simply doing my job, and I was the right person at the right time, that’s all. My late wife for 10 years knew nothing about it. ‘So what did you do?’ she asked me. I did nothing.” Read more about Stanislav Petrov.

See my other related articles:
What’s Bad About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Mode?
Roger Ebert is Right: Games are Not High Art…Yet
What Video Games Taught Me About Life
Best MMA Fights & Genki Sudo: Real Life Video Game Character
Why and How I Broke My Addiction to Caffeine
The iPhone 3G & AT&T Service Review
Environmental Heresies – Wired Magazines Contrarian take
Bet on the US, I am

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What Video Games Taught Me About Life

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

It seems like a week does not go by without the media putting out a report or hearing somebody say that video games are a waste of time and that there is very little value in spending time playing them. Despite what others think, I can personally say that video games have been hugely beneficial to both my social and professional life. I have learned first-hand many of life’s lessons from video games and I constantly draw upon my experience as a gamer to be successful in any goal or challenge that I face. Here are some of the life lessons that I have learned from playing video games.

Playing video games has taught me…

1: …to set goals and overcome challenges.
On the surface, the goals in most video games are clearly defined and easy to understand. When I first started playing video games, as I met the challenges of overcoming a level or a boss in a game my self-confidence grew. By setting goals to achieve and persevering to meet my goals I was learning the foundation of what it is to be successful in life. Just like in life, as your video game playing matures, the goals in games become more self-appointed, like climbing a competitive ladder or beating a game at its highest difficulty mode. With video games, I was given a safe place in which learn and grow and take on self-appointed challenges. I began to learn about self-reliance and being able to see the growth in my abilities and learning to trust in myself to accomplish my goals. The self-reliance and confidence in my abilities does not leave me when I turn off the game. It carries through as I set and meet goals in life as well.

2. …to fail your way to success.
Video games are unique in that they provide a safe environment in which to learn by making mistakes and failing. Thomas Watson once said, “The way to succeed is to double your error rate.” It is natural for people to learn by failing. In fact, people learn more from failing than being successful. In life you cannot be afraid of failing or making mistakes, otherwise you will never have the will to achieve anything.

Video games taught me that each time I failed, if I analyzed what the cause was and attacked the problem from a new angle, eventually I would succeed. Nearly every video game reinforces this valuable life lesson. Ninja Gaiden is a good example of this effect. Ninja Gaiden has relentlessly hard bosses and each time I failed and reloaded I tried something new and before long I started recognizing the weaknesses of the boss. What was happening was that I was learning by attempting over and over and formulating a strategy and executing it. I asked myself the question of “is my strategy or execution flawed?” If it is the strategy then I will have to change it, if it is the execution I will have to practice it until I can perform it sufficiently. In life when you fail it is possible that there are severe consequences, but in a game you can fail and the only thing that you have lost is a bit of time. The lesson is that if I have a goal, in this case defeating a boss and continue to learn from my mistakes and adjust my strategy accordingly I will eventually succeed. Life is no different, there will be setbacks and obstacles in any goal worth attaining, but if you learn from your mistakes and renew your efforts you will be able to accomplish your goal.

3: …to make quick and accurate decisions.
By playing a lot of games I am able to assess situations and make faster and more accurate decisions. This includes strategic and long-term decisions whose purpose becomes apparent multiple steps in the future. Video games challenge players to take into account the weaknesses and strengths of the tools that they have on hand and apply the correct tools to the varying problems. In the competitive team game of World of Warcraft arena, when multiple opponents simultaneously attack me (focus fire), I have to assess my surroundings and break their line of sight to prevent further damage, while staying close enough to my team’s healer to regain lost health. This positioning and awareness of my surroundings has to be coupled with choosing which defensive moves (cool downs) to use that will allow me to survive without going too far and putting my team in such a hole that we cannot later turn the tempo back against the opponent. The consequences for not making the correct decisions in a timely manner are dying and more than likely losing the match for my team. With the consequence of failing your teammates when not making the correct decisions, I quickly learned to improve my situational awareness and to make better decisions for each situation. In the workplace and in life, the fast data processing and quick and accurate decision-making abilities gained from video games are invaluable.

4: …that in life there are winners and losers.
Competitive games have taught me that not everybody wins and not everybody is entitled to winning, as most of the other coddled Gen Yers would have you believe. Winning in competitive games require hard work and practice. How badly you want to win and what hardships you are willing to put yourself through to win is a huge part of whether you win or lose. You have to persevere and put in the time and effort to continually self-improve to win any competition. As I previously mentioned, often you learn a great deal more by losing than winning.

Do not be a good loser. Be a bad loser. By this I do not mean be a poor sport when you lose, but when you lose it should hurt because it is the failure to achieve a goal. When this happens, do not just accept it. Take action by looking at what went wrong and analyze what could have been done differently to change the outcome and then figure out ways to get better from a strategy or execution standpoint, which leads me to my next point.

5: …that talent is overrated.
Talent can be overcome by hard work and deliberate practice.

Geoff Colvin details something he calls deliberate practice. This is different from regular practice in that it emphasizes relentlessly practicing what you are bad at instead what you are good at. I had unknowingly stumbled on this concept many years before reading Colvin’s article “Why Talent is Overrated” in the game Street Fighter II – The World Warrior. In my youth, I played Street Fighter II endlessly with a group of friends. Some of my friends picked up on the intricacies of the game much faster than I did. I was tired of being beaten at the hands of my friends and set about getting better at it. I practiced the game on my own time and refined my skills. I targeted the areas of my game that were the weakest. In Street Fighter II players would either start on the left side of the screen if they were the first player or the right side if they were the second player. The player on the left entered commands into the controller in the opposite direction as the player on the right. As I generally played the game as the first player, I could execute the moves very reliably when my character was on the left side of the screen. The problem was that on occasion the players would switch sides if your opponent jumped over you or threw you to the opposite side. When this happened I was a much less effective player as I could not reliably execute the reversed commands. I began only playing as the second player to practice the reversed commands over and over. By the next gaming session I was equally competent on either side of the screen and started to take advantage of my friends’ weakness in this area by purposely throwing or jumping over them to place them on the side they were less comfortable with. Through hard work and correctly applied practice I learned that I was able to overcome my group of friends’ greater natural talent at the game and that talent is indeed overrated.

6: …teamwork, communication and friendship.
For myself, gaming has always been a social activity to be enjoyed with friends. Cooperative and team objective based games cater to this almost exclusively. Competitive team based games, like first-person shooters and massively multiplayer online role-playing games place an emphasis on working with team members to accomplish team-oriented objectives. These games reward player teamwork, communication and cohesion and punish teams without these qualities. As a result, teams constantly work to refine not only their individual skills, but also team based strategies and communication. The lessons I have learned from playing team based games have translated directly into my team-oriented professional workplace. The ability to work in teams and producing at a high level in groups is something that holds true whether in a game or in life.

Even for single-player games, stories are shared between friends on how a specific scenario was tackled and defeated or recounting moments in a particular game that had left a lasting impression. Gaming as an experience begs to be shared. This is why every moderately successful game has a community of gamers who participate in message boards related to the game. In fact, the quality of the community surrounding a game greatly affects the players’ enjoyment of the game. One of the main reasons behind the success of World of Warcraft is the size and how enthusiastic the community for the game is.

I have had many strong friendships developed through gaming. All those hours of playing video games with my friends have solidified our friendships and we still retell stories about some of our greatest shared video game moments and continue to create new ones together.

I am not here to tell you that there are no differences in life and video games. I will be the first to admit that when taken too far, games can be a serious distraction from real world responsibilities. While I may be biased because I turned my favorite hobby into a career and I owe so much to games, I am relating my personal experience that there are some valuable life lessons that can be taken away from playing video games. The most important thing is to set the right goals. How do you know your goal is a worthwhile goal? Ask yourself the question of “why you want to achieve this goal.” If your answer is strong enough, then you know that you have a worthy goal.

Life is much more abstract than a game. There is no experience bar guiding and charting your success. Life is much less predictable and a definitive approach to success is not defined like in the game rules that are set down by a game designer. Setbacks in life and the consequences are much harsher, but games teach you to pick yourself up again and to strive for and to ultimately reach your goals by trying new strategies and having better execution. It provides you with a safe environment to experiment in which to fail and make mistakes. It allows you the ability to continually self-improve and to work together to accomplish what you could not do alone. These are lessons from games that translate into real life.


See my other related articles:
8 Ways to Make Your Goal a Certainty
Become a Video Game Designer: Everything You Need to Know Part 1
Low Skill Cap and Luck (RNG) in World of Warcraft PVP
Best Games of All Time by Genre Part 1
10 Greatest Video Game Designers Part 1
Roger Ebert is Right: Games are Not High Art…Yet
What’s Bad About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Mode?
Call of Duty: World at War Through the Eyes of a Game Designer
Gears of War 2 Through the Eyes of a Game Designer
Dead Space Through the Eyes of a Game Designer
Top 5 Greatest Moments in Competitive Gaming (eSports)
8 of the Most Underrated or Overlooked Video Games of All Time
Best MMA Fights & Genki Sudo: Real Life Video Game Character

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