Like a Finely Tuned Engine, Game Mechanics Makes it’s Debut in PlayStation Home

Back in March, I reviewed an awesome, multi-player pirate game in PlayStation Home known as Cutthroats. Since then, Cutthroats’ Lead Designer left Sony in an effort to follow his own entrepreneurial pursuit. With the experience he has gained from many years of programming not just in Home but within other companies and games across the spectrum, his new company, Game Mechanics emerges as a new developer in PlayStation Home.

As of this week, November 7th, 2012, Game Mechanics first batch of Virtual Items have been published and can currently be found within the New Release Section under the Game Mechanics Logo. To start us off, they have created a nice selection of chairs, tables, a desk, two clocks and a bar, most of which are race car themed. For this review, I picked up the Personalized Canvas Chair and the Tall Table with Stools. One thing to note is the fact that the tables and chairs can all be purchased in both standard and active item formats. The active item chair that I purchased has a cool feature that allows me to personalize it by pressing Triangle to add my own custom text to the back of it. One of the best things is the fact that this item only uses three of your one hundred furniture item slots. Its nice to see a developer that takes memory allocation and efficiency into consideration. Considering the fact that I do everything I can to max out the item limit in all of my Virtual Real estate, items like these give us the best bang for our buck.

The other item I purchased this week was the Tall Table with Stools. Folks, lets face it, Home is filled with tons of tables and chairs. So why is it exactly that I am raving about this specific set? The secret is in the Math. Normally, if you wanted to set up a table and four chairs, you would use up five item slots, one for the table plus four for the chairs. With setup comes the absolute frustration of having to place your chairs close enough to the table so it won’t look like you are sitting fifty feet away and at the same time, you need to keep collision zones in mind so you do not get the infamous dimmed out “sit” icon. The beauty behind the Tall Table with Stools is the fact that for only three item slots, I can have a full table and four seat set without the hassle of setup. This helps me save two slots that I can use for other stuff like Arcade Machines :-). These tables especially come in handy when you are trying to set up your clubhouse quickly for meetings and themed parties. I should also mention that Game Mechanics have done an exceptional job of creating the collision zones for these items. Unlike countless other active items with large, dominating collision boxes, the developer took the time to create small, compact collision boxes that accurately fit your avatar while sitting at the table. Also, when getting out of the chair, it immediately places your avatar in a safe spot so you are not stuck trying to wiggle your way out from in between the table and chairs.

Overall, the best thing about Game Mechanics Active Items are Beauty within Simplicity. These items are extremely efficient in the way they use memory in PlayStation Home and give us more for less. Its this kind of genius that I would like to see more of in Home and a lesson to future developers on how something can be simple, useful and highly effective. Not only do I highly suggest picking these items up, I will go as far as saying they are the new essential for setting up a social atmosphere in Home.

Beyond that, there are a few more things I need to say before closing this article:

– I love the customizable text on the chairs and I would like to see this implemented into other items in the future (Especially Picture Frames. Art Gallery Event Holders would go crazy for this feature 🙂

– Seeing you like cars so much, I can honestly say that we need a car themed personal space or even a clubhouse that actually lets us race cars.

– Good luck with your business and congratulations on your launch. I will be looking forward to new items as time moves on.

Till next time, this is Bit-Journal signing off…

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