infovore + games   1194

Destiny’s Raid Is Interesting Because It Is A Game | this cage is worms
"When Smith describes the raids as “linear,” which allows the developers to “build on your knowledgebase,” he’s really describing something profound in the context of Destiny: the Vault of Glass is a game, where Destiny overall is merely a series of loops." Oh, that's a good way of putting it. (This is a strong article about one of the most interesting parts of Destiny - its first Raid. The Kirk Hamilton interview linked off it is excellent, too.)
destiny  games  design  vaultofglass  loops  notloops 
4 weeks ago by infovore
Hatoful Boyfriend review | Technology | theguardian.com
"Hatoful Boyfriend is the Fifa of pigeon romance and you should buy it for that reason alone." I'm loving the attention Hatoful Boyfriend is getting in the media; this review by Grant Howitt is charming, informative, and on the Guardian website. Brilliant.
games  eroge  dating  pigeons  hatofulboyfriend 
10 weeks ago by infovore
Random UO anecdote #2 » Raph's Website
"When we first did this, however, we forgot to make the horse stop acting like a horse. Pretty soon there was a rash of server crashes because the horse inside the player was wandering around, picking up the stuff it found inside the player, rifling through the player’s backpack and eating things it thought were edible, and eventually, wandering “off the map” because the player’s internal coordinate system was pretty small, and the edges weren’t impassable." Games programming, folks.
games  programming  uo  raphkoster  anecdote 
august 2014 by infovore
Re-Thinking the Game of Monopoly | Capitally | Big Think
"One-thousand dollars invested at a 20% discount with 5% interest (calculating interest every 3 turns, but simple, not compounding interest) means a player will have starting debt of $1000. After three turns the debt is $1050, 6 turns is $1100, 9 turns is $1150, etc. Totally manageable. The banker is your friend and wants you to succeed."
finance  games  monopoly  bubblewhatbubble 
may 2014 by infovore
how to be a blackbird
A lovely game - almost a poem, but definitely Enough Game - by Holly Gramazio, about being a blackbird in a city. It made me feel many things, which is what the best writing does. Also, I shall now probably play it again.
games  twine  hollygramazio  writing  poetry  cities 
may 2014 by infovore
Make Weird Stuff in Unity Tutorial
Using Sketchup as your modeller, and a few other neat things. Bookmarked for reference.
development  games  design  game  unity  tutorial  sketchup 
april 2014 by infovore
THREES - A tiny puzzle that grows on you.
"It took awhile to climb this mountain, 14 months actually. So to “show our work”, we’re posting around 45,000 words that mark the trail we took. It’s not every text, skype call or even every email in our big 500+ email thread. But it’s the important stuff, and a lot of it was important to getting Threes out in the world." I'd pay for this as a book, to be honest. Really excellent stuff.
threes  design  process  games 
march 2014 by infovore
SIGHT & LIGHT - How to create 2D visibility/shadow effects for your game
Really nice tutorial on 2D visibility polygons - a series of interactive demos that illustrates a point very well.
maths  games  demonstrations  javascript  lineofsight 
march 2014 by infovore
Radiator Blog: An alternate history of Flappy Bird: "we must cultivate our garden."
"If you're reading this in 2015 and no one remembers what Flappy Bird was, then I want to emphasize one thing:

In February 2014, there was not much controversy for many game developers, especially indie game developers -- the internet was harassing Dong Nguyen for making a game, which is unacceptable. Many people do not support how Nguyen has been treated, and have said so. It is always important to remember resistance to a mob."
dongnguyen  games  development  howwetreateachother 
february 2014 by infovore
A Free-to-Play World, our brief for IED students at the RCA – Hubbub
"...we though it would be it would be interesting to ask the students to deconstruct a logic prevalent in the games industry (F2P) and to then apply that logic to a real-world system (in this case, a London transport) service." I loved this when Kars first told me about the brief, and I love seeing it again now.
transit  transport  freetoplay  games  design  rca  f2p 
january 2014 by infovore
The Road to TxK: Genesis of a Genre | Yak's Progress
Great article from Jeff Minter on the journey from 70s vector art, 80s vector games, through to the (excellent) Tempest 2000 - including some great stuff on embracing the Jaguar's chips and instructions to make beautiful weirdness - and onwards through Nuon and Space Giraffe to TxK on the Vita. A really lovely balance in the article of coding voodoo, focusing on gameplay, and always wanting to make things both weirder and prettier. (Incidentally: I loved T2K when I first played it, but playing an original Tempest cab at Ground Kontrol was a special moment - striking how much a spinner changes that game). Definitely recommended.
jeffminter  tempest  t2k  txk  vita  games  vectors  programming  art 
january 2014 by infovore
Inside Monopoly's secret war against the Third Reich • Articles • Board Game • Eurogamer.net
"Houdini received this sort of letter every day, but Clayton Hutton's was different. Clayton Hutton was different. By accepting his challenge - by promising Clayton Hutton the considerable sum of £100 if the packing case in question defeated him - Houdini set in motion a strange chain of events that would, in a wonderfully mad and circuitous manner, impact the course of a vast global conflict that was at the time still 26 years away." Somebody please commission Christian to write a book? Soon? Thanks! (This is great).
monopoly  ww2  history  christiandonlan  games  writing 
january 2014 by infovore
A breakdown of 2013's most fascinating video game moment | Polygon
"In another view, the "true Spelunky" is the live-streamed experience, both for broadcaster and spectator. Spelunky - as a concept, as an experience, as an entity — isn't just the game binary that you download onto your computer. It's also the Twitter banter about the game; it's the daily slog to get better at the game, slowly but surely, death after death; it's the communal effort to uncover new exploits and weird secrets; it's something that's equally "ours" as it is Mossmouth's. Spelunky, like any sport or game that matters — I mean really matters — is inseparable from the culture around it." Doug Wilson's analysis of Bananasaurus Rex's Solo Eggplant Run makes a great late contender for games writing of the year. It's precise, expert, and yet exciting, all at once; it demystifies and celebrates all at once. Great stuff.
spelunky  dougwilson  difficult  streaming  sharing  games  writing  feedbackloops 
december 2013 by infovore
The Suite Science: Paul Weir Talks Generative Music | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
This is a super-good article about developing generative music - though it's on a games site and one of the focuses is games, it also talks about generative piped music for buildings. And, notably, comments on the difference between a generative score and generative mixing. It's a great article, even if you're not into games.
games  music  generativemusic  paulweir  composition 
november 2013 by infovore
Some Assembly Required » Blog Archive » “AI-Driven Dynamic Dialog” at GDC 2012
"At last week’s Game Developers’ Conference I delivered a talk titled “AI-driven Dynamic Dialog”, describing the dialog system used in Left4Dead, Dota, and basically all of Valve’s games since The Orange Box." This is a brilliant talk - really worth going through the PDF for. In a nutshell, it's how the Left4Ddead conversation works - something I tried emulating with my Twitter bots a while back - but also sheds light on how I could have sped up some of the decision-making code on Hello Lamp Post. It's also good on what designing (andwriting) for this kind of work looks like. Might have to write something longer on this.
programming  games  language  conversation  memory  text  valve 
november 2013 by infovore
Lookspring » Mind games
"I like co-op games where the other player gets a beer, not a second controller, but can still be utterly pivotal to the outcome of a game." Yes, that, and indeed, all of this lovely post from Margaret. I should return to FTL - I played a lot of it last year, and loved it, even if it mainly was a game about seeing how quickly somebody would asphyxiate when the Oxygen Machine blew up. Again. Sigh.
ftl  games  writing  margaretrobertson 
november 2013 by infovore
The Mayor of NeoTokyo - Tigershungry ...a playful producer
Won't lie: nearly had a little sniff at Marie's presentation during Playful 2013; a love letter to a town in Animal Crossing, and also to London. Safe travels, Marie!
mariefoulston  animalcrossing  play  games  home  farewells 
october 2013 by infovore
PAN » Blog Archive » Post boxes – a very public object
Ben on postboxes as boundary objects - with a nice map from Hello Lamp Post, indicating how the boxes were talked to, and suitable name-checks to The Crying of Lot 49.
postboxes  games  play  design  cities  waste  trystero 
october 2013 by infovore
IF Comp 2013 Roundup | Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
"...I feel like five or ten years ago we had a common critical vocabulary robust enough to talk about what is going on in low-agency, linear, or hypertext games, but that the community has shifted enough not to be using that vocabulary now that there are lots of such games to talk about." Emily Short's roundup of the 2013 IF Comp. Really good notes on the state of the modern competition; also good notes on the nature of interactivity. Worth your time.
emilyshort  interactivefiction  writing  games  if 
october 2013 by infovore
Wot I Think: Castles In The Sky | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"Castles In The Sky is a tiny window into a delightful bedtime story. I imagine parents reading it aloud to their children as the child is fascinated by the huge bounds the boy makes through clouds. Very little happens but kites and planes go by; the music gently ebbs into your mind and as the story ends you feel peaceful and contented. It has thawed me a little, from a week of thinking only about GTA V and how serious life must be all the time. It has made me think about how five year old me used to listen to stories in our community library crosslegged and have to shut up, at least for a little while." This is a glorious piece of writing from Cara. And: a reminder that the thing I've always known is that being read to - and reading aloud to others - is so often a complete delight.
writing  games  caraellison  readingaloud 
october 2013 by infovore
OpenEmu › Multiple Video Game System
OpenEmu: OSX emulation front-end that supports multiple back-ends. Currently in beta (ie, compile-it-yourself) but looking interesting.
emulation  osx  mac  games 
october 2013 by infovore
My life as a Pokémon trafficker • Articles • Eurogamer.net
"I was no boy naturalist, unlike Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri - whose collecting habits earned him the nickname Dr Bug among friends. And yet I vividly remember catching my first tadpole in a Golden Wonder crisp packet, then cradling this sloppy pouch all the way home to a sluiced-out jam jar. When you know Tajiri wanted to make a game to communicate his joy in catching insects as a boy, and look at Pokémon, it is impossible not to feel how powerfully he succeeded." A really lovely piece of games writing, about breeding and trafficking Pokémon as an adult - but, secretly, about the appeal of the series to players of all ages.
pokemon  games  writing  surprise  charm  gottacatchemall 
october 2013 by infovore
Level With Me, Auriea Harvey | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
It turns out that all the Tale of Tales interviews I found problematic possibly came down to Michael; this interview, between Robert Yang and Auriea Harvey, is gentle, charming, and insightful. Not what I expected at all; really worth reading if you're interested in a different approach to game/level design.
games  levels  taleoftales  aurieaharvey  robertyang 
september 2013 by infovore
Twitch-based: Exploring the Salty Bet phenomenon • Articles • Eurogamer.net
Yet another entry in the weird, wonderful world of "why I like fighting games and their community". The vast amount of jargon that the streams lead to is weird, hilarious, and entirely befuddling for an outsider. McCormick's article is nice because it captures the excitement of the weird end of the community, and explains it to an outsider well.
mugen  saltybet  twitch  fgc  fightinggames  games  writing  journalism  jargon 
september 2013 by infovore
Creative Restriction and The New Realism - Front Page - Magical Wasteland
"This is not to say that real human interactions are not ritualized to the point of mechanic in some ways, but that procedural rhetoric about human life nearly always makes a specific argument: life works this way, life works that way. Counter to this, Gone Home eschews systems; in particular, it avoids systemizing anything about its characters. Instead of portraying the characters themselves, or providing a set of interactions with those characters, it presents instead a series of artifacts from the characters’ lives without trying to build mechanics around them. The family is only present through those artifacts, the shapes and shadows each member leaves behind. In a certain sense, you could say that the game sets its sights low. But it also hits its mark extremely well– and by doing so achieves something greater than a reductive mechanical take on those same characters ever could. Gone Home is not intended from the top down to be “a game about life”, as some ham-handed experiments have been– instead, it simply represents or evokes certain lives very well (and therefore naturally becomes about life). The game allows its characters to exist on a plane that we usually reserve for ourselves." This is a fine paragraph from a very astute take on Gone Home; for someone who talks so much about games as systemic media, it's good to be reminded so eloquently of all their other qualities I'm prone to forgetting.
gonehome  games  criticism  realism  narrative 
august 2013 by infovore
Seltani: An Introduction
"I thought: what if there were an all-text Myst MMO?" And then: Zarf built it. Or rather, is building it. A super-interesting experiment in what a MOO for the Tumblr and Twine generation might look like; I'd be fascinated to see the Twine community spin up a server or ten.
development  games  interactivefiction  multiplayer  mmo  myst  zarf  andrewplotkin 
august 2013 by infovore
Radiator Blog: "Gone Home" and the mansion genre.
"...if you're in a public-facing room of the house, then who owns the stuff in that room? (A lot of Gone Home pivots on this question, of who owns which spaces?) To help you figure that out, objects frequently overlap each other: something that belongs to one character might sit on top of a leaflet they picked up, which sits on top of a letter they received. It uses these spatial connections to emphasize the narrative connections between things and what they symbolize." Robert Yang, as expected, is shrewd and fascinating in his take on Gone Home. But I really liked this point: in many ways, it's a really interesting game to view from a material culture perspective - the way spaces are used, and personalised, and (in a home people have just moved into) what are the _first_ things they have unpacked? And so forth. It's a good game about actual, honest, *stuff*, and the way it represents us.
stuff  materialculture  gonehome  games  robertyang  radiator 
august 2013 by infovore
Slow swordfighting : Cennydd Bowles
Lovely, deep, expert post from Cennydd on the World Chess Championships; it reminds me of my favourite writing about sports and games tournaments. It is not, in many ways, that far removed from Evo.
chess  games  competition  strategy  cennyddbowles 
july 2013 by infovore
Evo 2013 in Photos | Polygon
Great set of pictures from Evo 2013; I really, really ought to go sometime.
evo2013  games  photography 
july 2013 by infovore
Gamasutra: Adam Foster's Blog - Alternate Reality Game puzzle design
This is super-good - not just on ARGs, which aren't necessarily flavour of the month, but on designing difficult puzzles for a large number of people to solve, and how not to be surprised by how fast groups are at solving things when they have the network. Gating the experience with slow tasks - MD5 brute-forcing, for instance, is one nice idea; I also really like Adam's points about making sure players know precisely what is in-universe and what isn't, so there's never a question of whether something is right or not; just like a good cryptic crossword.
games  args  design  puzzles 
june 2013 by infovore
Gunpoint Recoups Development Costs In 64 Seconds - The Gunpoint Blog
"About 1 minute and 4 seconds after Gunpoint became available for pre-order on the evening of Monday the 27th of May, it had recouped its development costs. This was not entirely surprising, since the only direct development cost was buying Game Maker 8 for $30 three years ago.

The surprising bit happened next." It is really lovely that Gunpoint has worked out so well for Tom. It's an interesting little game, and I'm glad he's going to keep poke "interesting" games rather than having to make a pile of money. Well done him.
tomfrancis  games  development  gunpoint 
june 2013 by infovore
Insult Swordfighting: Quiz: The Citizen Kane of games
"Which game is being called the Citizen Kane of games?" This is why I love Mitch Krpata.
games  videogames  ohvideogames  mitchkrpata  citizenkane 
june 2013 by infovore
Martin Hollis on Monopoly | Hard Consonant
"My challenge to you is as follows. Design a game which is appealing to play, which will go on to be a huge commercial success and yet illustrates through its systems the abject and total horror, the inhumanity, the alienation, the banality, the evil, and the hell-on-earth of a socio-political practise taken to extreme. The game must be named honestly. It must be easy to learn. It must be a game for all the family." As expected, this is great, but of course it is, because Martin is great. More to the point: it's shrewd and useful. (And: excellent nous from Cara to pick up this piece from someone who clearly could become a major games journalism talent. Please keep commissioning this "Martin Hollis")
boardgames  design  games  martinhollis  systems  capitalism  monopoly 
may 2013 by infovore
Xbox One won't allow indies to self-publish g - Video Game News, Videos and File Downloads for PC and Console Games at Shacknews.com
"Independent developers cannot self-publish their own games on Xbox Live Arcade. Instead, they must get a publishing deal--either with Microsoft Game Studios or with a third-party partner. Games published on Xbox Live Indie Games are exempt from that policy, but that marketplace isn't necessary seen as viable." Seriously? How do we live in a world where Sony and even Nintendo get this, and MS don't? (This isn't saying XBLIG is going, but given how effective XBLIG was...) Compare that to Sony's attitude to indies making Real Games, and it just makes me sad.
xboxoneoneone1!  microsoft  games  indies  xbox  xboxone 
may 2013 by infovore
Civilization 5 - Brave New World: Are culture players finally getting the endgame they deserve? • Previews • PC • Eurogamer.net
"...the whole thing comes to a head with the Louvre, the only building in the game with four culture slots and a truly dazzling theming bonus if you can match the specific criteria. Offering massive boosts to your stats, the Louvre is essentially the headshot of the cultural world." The overhauls to the cultural victory in the forthcoming Civ V expansion sound great. Also: the way Christian writes about it is great.
games  systems  meaningfulmechanics  culture  civilisation  christiandonlan 
may 2013 by infovore
SYSTEM OVERVIEW | special stage systems
Truly beautiful: a games console built around patchcords, in Eurorack format; the system exposed to the user, and directly manipulable. The direct manipulation of the physics is kind of brilliant, the more I think about it. Just wonderful.
console  patchbay  patchable  eurorack  games  gorgeous 
may 2013 by infovore
Affectionate Tumblr • Obsessive stuff: NEC PC Engine (Jap)
"Aside the proportions and general ‘80s cuteness, I get obsessed with the PC Engine’s moulded details. Such fine relief work doesn’t seem to appear on modern consumer electronics; it’s all transfers, printing or stickers these days. I personally think really good relief moulding is something of a lost art so it’s nice that the PC Engine has a surprisingly large amount of such details." Which Tony goes on to describe and photograph at length. Lovely post about a beautiful little piece of hardware - but which Tony loves for its stains, scorching, and dust.
patina  dust  stains  plastic  games  injectionmoulding  pcengine 
may 2013 by infovore
...........//: it's okay to like games
"i'm tired of feeling like i'm writing to 17 year olds when i write about games. if we can't accept a base level of validity to the thing we're talking about without having to constantly feel shame and prove and defend its existence, then i'm not interested in participating in discussions surrounding games. it's stupid and boring to have so much of the talk be constantly channeled through that. who cares what Roger Ebert or whoever else who never played a videogame thinks or has thought. games are games and they can do good or bad things depending on how they're used. they're only just one tool." Yes, all of this post, and this in particular. I like games; I also like books and films and art an all manner of things. Culture is culture, and I engage with it all in a pretty similar way. A nice piece of writing expressing that, though, and reminding us of the ways we _can_ engage with our cultures and media.
games  culture  media  consumption 
may 2013 by infovore
rotational» Blog Archive » Backgrounds
"Truth be told, I’m a bit tired of pixel art, but work like this aspired to transcend mere pixels. And I think that’s why it still packs a punch for me today. It’s evidently not content with the paltry colour depth and resolution it’s forced to use. It’s not about celebrating its form, unlike today’s pixel art, which is all about the form and evoking aesthetics of the past without quite nailing their fundamental nature. Instead, these backgrounds are all about what they depict – little scenes, ripe with little stories and humour, and inflected with travel pornography." Great writing from Alex, and a lovely cherrypicking of the selection. I am not a huge SNK fan, systemswise, but I adore their background art - and have a particular fondness for the whole package of Garou: Mark of the Wolves. This post does a lovely job of explaining why.
games  fighters  art  2d  snk  alexwiltshire 
april 2013 by infovore
Make games together with CraftStudio
This looks lovely: the right balance of editor-as-environment (ie: multiplayer level-building, which people recognise from Minecraft) with scripting, full control, and a learning curve. Really need to poke this.
development  games  collaboration  play  tools 
april 2013 by infovore
Hello World « Blendo news
"Someone smarter than me once described game development as jumping out of an airplane with nothing but a needle and a silkworm." Brendon makes good games, and this is a good post. But I really liked this quotation.
games  development  design  creativity 
april 2013 by infovore
BLONDE CAPTIVE OF THE CLAMS | The Hack
'"Screw this,” said Horace, downing his Babycham. “I’m going skiing.”' As niche fiction goes, this is very niche, but it is quite a thing. I am not sure how many people Horace fiction is relevant for, though.
horace  games  zxspectrum  horacegoesskiing  fiction  gosh 
february 2013 by infovore
Thunder Bluff Classic Rail Poster Art Print by Josh Atack | Society6
Charming. My favourite thing about this is that it's a picture of home, and, weirdly, it arouses the same emotions in me as it would if it were a poster of a real place.
wow  games  art  pastiche  poster 
february 2013 by infovore
Doug’s Favorite “Games” of 2012 | Die Gute Fabrik
"In this post, I want to pay tribute to my favorite “games” of 2012 – specific performances, instances, and events that really meant something to me. The list is admittedly idiosyncratic, subjective, and a little self-indulgent. And that’s the way it should be, I feel (um, unless you’re a journalist or something), because games, at their best, are deeply personal affairs. Games generate memories, and I want to share some of mine with you." Doug is smart.
games  dougwilson  play  events 
february 2013 by infovore
Rules for making games | Not The Internet
"If you have some control over it, and it affects the player's experience, you should either design it, or think very hard about why you're not going to." This also applies to things that are Not Games, too.
games  v21  rules  georgebuckenham  design 
january 2013 by infovore
Death by Million Cubes | Armin Ronacher's Thoughts and Writings
"Now that we know some of the problems, how does Curiosity solve it? The answer is: it does not. It saddens me but the game does not even appear to have realized what the problem with the design might be. The cleverness in the execution seems to stop after realizing that transmitting all the blocks at one time is a bad idea. Instead of looking at this as a form of interesting engineering problem nobody thought anything at any point..." Ouch. Great analysis of the problem, depressing analysis of the implementation. You'd really have thought game developers building a game around these very issues would have thought they'd have been critical to solve. Hey-ho.
analysis  games  22cans  curiosity  synchronicity  scaling 
january 2013 by infovore
the educated gentleperson’s fighting game primer | insert credit
A really nice look at how to play fighting games, starting with the urtext - Super Turbo - and the ur-character - Ryu - and breaking apart the entire game as a reaction to Ryu's skillset. It's a variation on what I blather about when I blather about the design of fighting games, which I do a lot.
games  beatemups  patrickredding  superturbo  systems  design 
january 2013 by infovore
Press X Not to Die - Kill Screen
"We were jealous of the younger kids in the one-to-one ward, because they had a PlayStation. It didn’t have the best games, but it had Micro Machines and Tomb Raider and it was better than what we had." I'd rather not quote anything other than the first line of this; you should just read it. A beautiful, haunting piece of writing from Mary Hamilton, about the things games can sometimes save us from (and sometimes can't). The kind of honesty you can't look away from, which is so hard to capture in writing, but which is here. Striking. (Trigger warning for self-harm).
maryhamilton  games  writing 
december 2012 by infovore
TASVideos :: View topic - #3767: bortreb's GBC Pokémon Yellow "Executes Arbitrary Code" in 12:51.87
Executing entirely arbitrary code inside a Gameboy Color game using only the dpad and buttons - nothing else. Nuts.
8bit  games  exploit  hardware  hack 
december 2012 by infovore
Night and the City • Articles • Xbox 360 • Eurogamer.net
"We drove about for another hour or two after that, and by this point dad was hooked. Not hooked on L.A. Noire's narrative, perhaps, or caught up in the complex chains of missions, but hooked on the city, on the fascinating, insightful job that Rockstar had done in stitching the past together. Even though I can't actually drive, and the car we were in wasn't a real car anyway, I had a strong sense that I was in the front seat, turning the wheel beneath my hands, and he was riding low in the back, face pressed to the glass. Role reversal. It happens to all fathers and sons eventually, I guess. Why shouldn't it happen because of games?" Chris Donlan takes his Dad - who grew up in late-40s/early-50s LA - on a tour of LA Noire's Los Angeles, and what happens is a remarkable piece of virtual psychogeography. Perhaps my favourite piece of games writing this year.
games  christiandonlan  la  history  psychogeography  parents  writing  eurogamer 
october 2012 by infovore
The XCOM: Enemy Unknown review that took 18 years to write | Quarter to Three
1994 Tom Chick and I have a lot in common - a love of submarine sims and slightly over-technical flight simulators. And X-Com. (Well, UFO, really). A lovely piece of writing about what game design in 2012 looks like (amongst other things) compared to our youth.
games  writing  tomchick  xcom  ufo  youth 
october 2012 by infovore
First Draft of the Revolution
Oh, lovely: using Inkle to write a historical adventure in epistolary form - or, rather, drafting and redrafting a letter to be sent. And: by Emily Short! I'm glad someone's got around to that format.
epistolary  interactivefiction  history  if  emilyshort  games 
september 2012 by infovore
Farewell to the Wii, A Great Gaming System After All
"Perhaps the best Wii idea of all, and one too little copied in other consumer electronics, was that the device itself lit up when something important had happened to it. If a friend sent you a message or if a game needed an update, the system would start emitting a blue glow from its disc drive. You didn't have to turn the Wii on to know something was ready for your attention; the device's light pattern showed it. Most inert consumer electronics do nothing like this, which is a pity. What a disappointing failure that we don't have more electronics that make themselves useful even while they are more or less turned off." Steven Totilo's farewell to the Wii is full of some lovely thought and analysis - as well as great game write-ups - but this in particular bears repeating. (It drove me mad, but, still).
wii  design  electronics  consoles  games  nintendo  steventotilo 
september 2012 by infovore
Tom Bissell reviews Spec Ops: The Line and explores the reasons why we play shooter games. - Grantland
"Not all shooter violence is violent per se. As the game critic Erik Kain notes, "killing people in video games is actually just solving moving puzzles." Which is a true, smart, and helpful way to think about video-game violence. However, most puzzles don't bleed or scream. Why do gamers want their puzzles to bleed and scream? And why on earth do they — do we — also want our bleeding, screaming puzzles to be embedded within a nuanced story?" This is subtle, nuanced writing about an oft-repeated topic; the subtlety is what makes this good. Also, his list of "shooters that handle violence well" is pretty much the same as mine - Metro 2033 was one of the most striking games I played this year.
tombissell  games  writing  shooters  violence  fps 
july 2012 by infovore
Source Filmmaker
Valve really are incredible; just watching the UI and technology for this in action is a little jawdropping. (Also, one for my friends who work in After Effects/3D prototyping and video...)
filmmaking  games  3d  software  technology 
june 2012 by infovore
LA Akira Teaches Best | Goh Notes
"If you ever needed a thorough introduction to the series or the new stuff in Final Showdown, look no further. What top American VF player LA Akira teaches in his appearance on UltraChanTV is more than spectacular. More than 4 hours of video goodness fit for beginners as well as more advanced players." So. Much. Virtua. Fighter. (That tip about holding G+P for both blocks and auto throw escapes is a useful one. Throw escapes got so much easier!)
virtuafighter  games  tips  tutorials 
june 2012 by infovore
Play This Thing! - Dreams Of Your Life
"Dreams of Your Life is not likely to change your life; but that it has the remotest chance of doing so, despite its simplicity of structure and odd subject, makes it an important work." High praise - but also thoughtful writing - from Greg Costikyan about Dreams of Your Life.
doal  doyl  gregcostikyan  games  work  hideandseek 
june 2012 by infovore
Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress - O'Reilly Media
"Dwarf Fortress may be the most complex video game ever made, but all that detail makes for fascinating game play, as various elements collide in interesting and challenging ways. The trick is getting started. In this guide, Fortress geek Peter Tyson takes you through the basics of this menacing realm, and helps you overcome the formidable learning curve." Excellent idea, O'Reilly, and lovely cover, too!
book  oreilly  publishing  games  dwarffortress 
june 2012 by infovore
The Rise and Collapse of Yoshinori Ono • Articles • Eurogamer.net
"In my philosophy, Street Fighter is a game, but really it's a tool. It's like playing cards or chess or tennis: it's really about the people. Once you know the rules it's up to the players to put themselves in the game, to choose the nuance of how they play and express themselves. I think fighting games flourish because it was this social game. If it had been a purely single-player thing, it would never have grown so popular."
play  social  games  yoshinoriono  streetfighter 
june 2012 by infovore
Markov Guybrush | Basil Safwat
"Greg tweeted ‘Markov Guybrush Threepwood’ the other week. I thought that was a good idea so I spent a bit of Sunday making Markov Guybrush. It’s a Twitter bot that generates random Guybrush-ish Tweets." Excellent work by Basil.
markovchains  bots  monkeyisland  games 
june 2012 by infovore
Saturday Soapbox: At What Point Does a Game Become a Toy? • Opinions • Eurogamer.net
"At the moment, however, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that audiences have to be tricked into buying digital toys. Toys have to be disguised as something else. They don't yet have the framework of expectations around them that allows people to decide whether the proposition is worth it on its own or not, whatever that phrase really means. They're yet to feel entirely legitimate." Lots of lovely stuff in Christian's article here, but this stood out particularly: having to disguise toys to sell them to current expectations and the current marketplace.
toys  games  expectations  play  christiandonlan 
june 2012 by infovore
The guide to implementing 2D platformers | Higher-Order Fun
Lovely article exploring the various ways of implementing 2D movement in platform games (though some of these tips/methods apply to all 2D games, when you think about it.)
2d  games  development  programming  design 
june 2012 by infovore
Thoughts on Dear Esther | The Gameshelf
"So, given this [zero-button, move and look] interface, whence interactivity in Dear Esther? I say: from an understated but deadly-precise sense of attention design through spatial design.

You walk along the beach; a path goes up the bluff, another along the strand. You go one way or the other. There are no game-mechanics associated with the choice, and a plot-diagram analysis would call them "the same place" -- you can try either, back up, and go the other way. But this misses the point. Precisely because the game lacks keys, switches, stars, and 1ups, it has no implicit mandate to explore every inch of territory. Instead, you want to move forward. Backtracking is dull. Worse: given the game's sedate walking pace, it's slightly frustrating. (They left out the run button for a reason, see?) Moving into new territory is always the best-rewarded move, and therefore your choice of path is a choice. You will not (unless you thrash hard against the game's intentions) see everything in your first run-through." Cracking writing about immersive, environmental storytelling in Dear Esther, and why it's clearly a game.
jmac  games  dearesther  if  interactivefiction  exploration  immersion  design 
may 2012 by infovore
Dual Analog Controller Object
"DAController is a wrapper class for use with the proCONTROLL joystick library written by Christian Riekoff for Processing. It encapsulates the two analog sticks and all the buttons found on a typical dual analog controller." Ooh.
processing  controller  analogue  games 
may 2012 by infovore
Prototyping without physics - Edge Magazine
"It should be pointed out, however, that physics is not the only systemic toy upon which fun games can be built. Probability fields, such as those forged by the colours, numbers and suits in a deck of cards, and the stochastic patterns that emerge from mixing those cards up, are another well-known toy upon which many great games are built. In fact, there is a literal infinity of foundational systemic toys upon which meaningful games can be built, yet for the most part, the game industry focuses on building baseline game engines that simulate one single toy that is proven to only be marginally fun: physical reality."
design  games  simulation  physics  toys  systems  clinthocking 
may 2012 by infovore
On Endings - Kill Screen
"There’s still a smell of bullshit to almost every videogame story I read, even as it’s advanced to a very high level being in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. To me it derives from this politeness about the thing that’s experienced. In literary criticism there are really cutting deconstructions of things that are inadequate—Nabokov talking about what a fraud and charlatan Faulkner was—but there’s this really intelligent, but painfully milquetoast, quality to the way we appreciate games. It’s a reflection of how partially engaged we are with each one. We consider games primarily as ideas, rather than actual evolving relationships that we’ve had over time." Yeah, that. I enjoyed this discussion: I'm pretty sure you don't have to finish games to review them. Then again: I also think writing about games six months after they came out is way more interesting than trying to hammer through something to fit into a review cycle.
games  reviews  criticism  killscreen 
april 2012 by infovore
Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing | Valve
"If most of the value is now in the initial creative act, there’s little benefit to traditional hierarchical organization that’s designed to deliver the same thing over and over, making only incremental changes over time. What matters is being first and bootstrapping your product into a positive feedback spiral with a constant stream of creative innovation." (Michael Abrash is scary smart, at Valve, investigating wearable computing, but this line - about the value of being first and being innovative - was the most important here for me.)
michaelabrash  games  valve  innovation  creativity 
april 2012 by infovore
Jenova Chen: Journeyman • Articles • Eurogamer.net
"So what happened when you removed collision detection?" "Players started looking for other ways to get more feedback. Helping each other yielded the most feedback so they began to do that instead. It was fascinating." A lovely interview - and great piece of writing fro Simon - with Jenova Chen. The parts on how players regress is particularly interesting, as is Chen's ambition to be _different_ rather than just 'artistic'. I particularly enjoyed the anecdote about collision detection, hence quoting it.
journey  thatgamecompany  games  simonparkin  writing  interview  jenovachen  play  childishness 
april 2012 by infovore
Downloadable Classics | Hookshot Inc.
"Melville’s searing, wayward novel about obsession and the nature of evil becomes a twin-stick shooter for consoles. The twist? The playing field is 5000 miles wide, and there’s only one enemy." Christian is brilliant. (I'm pretty sure my links are full of 'Christian is brilliant' annotations)
games  books  literature  melville  christiandonlan 
march 2012 by infovore
Manovich: Database as a Symbolic Form
"Or, in a diffirent formulation of the legendary author of Sim games Will Wright, "Playing the game is a continuous loop between the user (viewing the outcomes and inputting decisions) and the computer (calculating outcomes and displaying them back to the user). The user is trying to build a mental model of the computer model.""
games  loops  models  willwright 
march 2012 by infovore
Fantasy Shipping Forecast
"Using the daily 0048 Shipping Forecast from BBC Radio 4, we take the average of each gale force mentioned for an area to determine that area's score. Pick a dream team of five sea areas, and your team's score will be the average of the scores of those regions, both daily and weekly." Hah, lovely.
games  shippingforecast  radio4  kevandavis 
march 2012 by infovore
Proteus and Audio-Visual Beauty | Games @ Parsons
"Proteus, in the end, helps me move further into a design philosophy that avoids blacks and whites, finding a comfortable home in the much less solid greys.  Videogames aren’t about mechanics.  They aren’t about visual or audio either.  They aren’t about the ideas of the author or about the experience of the player.  They aren’t about story or actions or strategy.  They aren’t about controllers or processors or screens.  They aren’t about technology or culture or ritual.

Videogames are a combination of all these factors, or a combination of some of these factors.  Videogames are whatever we want them to be.  For Ed Key and David Kanaga, while making Proteus, videogames are about the beauty of walking, looking, and listening." However much I bang on about rules/systems/you know the score, I still very much agree with this. I still like the abstract.
games  abstract  gameiness  proteus 
february 2012 by infovore
Dave Hickey - The Heresy of Zone Defence [pdf]
"Kareem, after the game, remarked that he would pay to see Doctor J make that play against someone else. Kareem's remark clouds the issue, however, because the play was as much his as it was Erving's, since it was Kareem's perfect defense that made Erving's instantaneous, pluperfect response to it both necessary and possible—thus the joy, because everyone behaved perfectly, eloquently, with mutual respect, and something magic happened—thus the joy, at the triumph of civil society in an act that was clearly the product of talent and will accommodating itself to liberating rules." This is phenomenal writing.
writing  play  sport  games  basketball  davehickey  juliuserving 
february 2012 by infovore
Introducing Playfic - Waxy.org
"My hope is that Playfic opens up the world of interactive fiction to a much wider audience — young writers, fanfic authors, and culture remixers of all ages." Which is always the audience Inform 7 felt like it was really branching out towards. Sometimes the way to make things accessible is to lower the cost of entry - and in that case, it means a webservice, rather than a downloadable app. Will be interested to see how Playfic develops.
games  interactive  fiction  if  waxy  andybaio 
february 2012 by infovore
The Millions : The Arcades Project: Martin Amis’ Guide to Classic Video Games
"As a novelist, his ludic delight in finding new ways of playing with language — new ways of narrowing the ever-descending phalanx of cliché — is palpable in every sentence. So for all its contextual aberrance, this strange and disreputable book actually makes a certain kind of warped sense. And if for some reason you happen to be looking for a guide to arcade games of the early 1980s, you could probably do a lot worse." I knew of the book already - but this is a striking look at it.
books  games  martinamis 
february 2012 by infovore
Happy Action Theater Review • Reviews • Eurogamer.net
"But still that voice nags away: "Is it a game?" The question, in the end, proves laughably redundant. Ask my daughter if she's playing a game and she'll look at you like you're an idiot (I get this look a lot) because of course she's playing a game. What else would you call it? The difference is, it's a game on her terms and, crucially, it's a game that takes place in her head, for the most part." As suspected, Happy Action Theatre sounds brilliant. More toys, please.
toys  games  happyactiontheatre  doublefine  kinect 
february 2012 by infovore
Hookshot Inc. | Writing about the games that arrive via SPACE.
Parkin / Donlan / Porter / Stuart start a blog about sub-$15 downloadable games. This is going to be good.
friends  games  writing  downloadable 
february 2012 by infovore
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