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The Dreamcast resource, and more. Home of the DC Technical pages.
(B&W) is simply divine. It's a bit hard for me to come up with a better
expression to define Peter Molyneux's first title since he left Electronic
Arts and Bullfrog, and founded Lionhead Studios. After games like Populous
or Dungeon Keeper, which had Molyneux's genius touch, B&W stands up to
be considered the most ambitious project in his career.
With the designation of a Strategy/God-game (still we can dig up influences
from several genres), we are standing before something completely different
from anything else in the gaming industry, even if there's a possible
analogy to "The Sims". With no doubt, this first project by Lionhead Studios
created an expectation never seen before.
between Good and Evil
takes place in the paradisiacal island of Eden. Here, the utopian ideal
is a reality for all its inhabitants. Peace and harmony is everywhere
and life is good for the several civilizations (African, Japanese, Norse,
Celtic, etc.) scattered
all over the beautiful landscape in various settlements.
In B&W we are a God, and we must impress the small mortals so that they
believe in our power and worship us. We may do this by two means: One
- help and be kind, gaining the "little people's" respect and worship;
or Two - be cruel and heartless, gaining believers through fear. It's
up to each one of us to follow our own path.
Our power (manna), which we need to cast spells, is generated by our worshipers
at worshiping sites. The more people we have dancing at the worship sites,
the more quickly the spells become charged and thus ready to cast.
There are two curious characters, ("Good and Evil", "Yin and Yang", "Black
and White", as they call themselves) which represent our conscience. They're
the ones that advise us, and in the first stage the ones that help us
starting out; usually their advices are opposite and contradictory. This
is most amusing, and isn't hard to notice the (black) humor behind the
answers our Evil conscience gives to our Good conscience.
After completing the first Gold Story Scroll we choose our creature (Cow,
Ape and Tiger, at first), and we're off to cover the hard grounds of parenthood.
Our creature is like a child. Frightened at first, then curious and receptive,
he(she) will tend to imitate our actions. Also like any good parent we
must stroke him if we think he's doing something
right or punish him if he's messing things up. However the concepts of
right/wrong, good/evil are very subjective. It's also important that your
creature learn how to fight and cast miracles and spells, so that he can
aid us in our quests and duels with other gods and creatures. We will
succeed when we become the only god worshiped in all Eden.
Hand of God"
of the most incredible aspects of the game is the interface... which simply
doesn't exist! Let me explain. When I say this, I mean the typical Graphic
User Interface (GUI) is not present. Black and White has the most well
designed interface ever seen in a game, which allows us to move around
freely and interact with the game world by grabbing, dragging, tapping,
throwing, well it's simply amazing. The same goes for spells and miracles
that with the Gesture Recognition system we can draw the spell symbol
on the ground, and according with the better or worst execution of the
gesture, it will be, or not, recognized.
Physics, Zoom, AI
world of Eden is a dynamic world. The real-time morphing that reflects
our actions is extraordinary and this also applies to our creature appearance.
Also, the game engine presents a physics system according to Newton's
laws that assures the interactions between objects look real… or better,
And because we are speaking about Newton, that reminds me of his little
episode were he gets an apple on the head :)... and talking about apples
we get to the zooming feature. Very well designed, this feature allows
us to be watching our
realm from the skies, and in the next second, a worm in an apple by the
Storage Pit, has proudly shown by Molyneux in the several presentations
of the game.
The AI is the most complex ever, even with the flaws it has/may have.
No game has tried to achieve what B&W experiments. Some might say the
AI in Black&White is not qualified as "intelligence", however note that
no one has tried this before, but Lionhead Studios people dared to enter
unknown ground… and I congratulate them for this.
In a multiplayer
game we can face up to 7 players, through internet or LAN. Our creature
takes to a multiplayer game what has learnt in a single-player game. Also,
everything our creature learns in multiplayer will be acquired and available
in single-player. Currently, playing a multiplayer game in B&W isn't much
different from Skirmish, and there are only three maps to play in :(…
However, with the Gamespy support and the community growing and coming
up with maps, mods and utilities, hopefully, and with a patch already
announced, the online feature of this great game should heat up and become
what we expected… much more active.
is a personality test where we can see who we are or who we thought we
were. It's thrilling to take any path without fear, to do whatever we
like, I mean, we are a god. However, what definitly impressed me more
was the dynamics of Eden's universe, the way everything changes according
to our actions. Very much like the real world, after all, the world is
what we make of it…
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