Living in a social Blur – AAA games heading the right way

I usually dive straight into car and driving games as they are possibly my favourite type and style of game. Somewhere in the Red Dead Redemption and holiday interruptions I missed getting Blur
. That is now rectified, and in no small part thanks to Jay “Springwatch” Dykes (also Wimbledon behind the scenes) for having reminded me and giving it the thumbs up.
Blur is from Bizzare creations who have created some of the most innovative racing and visuals over the years. Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast which morphed into Project Gotham 4 on the 360. They were probably the first to bother modelling real places in intricate detail. The clever element to the racing genre for those games was Kudos, the ability to race with style, lots of sliding basically adding an element over and above pure speed. So it was not a simulation, but was set in a real location. I wrote before how it actually helped me hook some pieces of London together
Blur is a very arcade style racing game, as a driving experience, with kart style weapons and power-ups it is very different to PGR4. So it is good, though in gaming terms not overly innovative, but very well executed.
What is different though is the integration they have put in on all the platforms with places outside of the game console. You are able to link both twitter and facebook accounts to share various elements of the game, whilst still in it. A few others have done things with microsites for the game to be able to upload and share photos etc. This though is a little further down the line in injecting itself into existing social networking platforms.
So I am able to take a photo in world like this
Brighton blur style
Share that to facebook, and in this case take that and put it on flickr myself.
Each of the social media messaging systems add a predefined piece of information onto them. This is both clever and potentially annoying in the same measure. Though does break out of the the xbox or ps3 only style communications we have. Not quite cross platform integration but close. Rockstar’s Social Club for GTA and RDR is probably the most advanced in linking the platforms together and providing more than a micro site.
If I tweet a message I can edit my part of it but will be forced to have something appended to it such as “I’m playing #blurthegame”. That is a little too game specific I think. yes its great to have a helping hand with hashtags and proforma tweets for certain achievements, but it gets spammy very quickly.
Other interesting features, once that is also in the xbox arcade titles now, is that of creating a challenge for a friend.
Something that Bizzare have kept is modelling real world locations. In this case both above and below there are pictures from Brighton.
Brighton Blur
This is where many people from the games industry (including me) will be next month at the Develop conference at the very hotel in the top photo if I am not mistaken !
So it looks like the game industry is not going to ignore social media (they have all just been a little slow) maybe next the tentacles will extend out into virtual worlds and richer web and mobile experiences.
For me, seeing AAA games as well as social games letting you share your achievements and set new goals is an important step that fits into the gaming startup that I am working on. More on that as we go forward. The good thing is things are panning out as I said they would šŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “Living in a social Blur – AAA games heading the right way

  1. Hi there, your weblog is on air in the radio! Nice job buddy. Your posts are actually great and bookmarked. Regards

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  3. Good blog, where did you come up with the knowledge in this piece of content? Iā€™m glad I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

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