The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on March 8th, 2009 at 12:48 pm.

Sundays are for sitting in a pristinely clean office. For the first time ever. And now, on my clean keyboard on my clean desk in this clean room, I sit and – with my dirty mind – compile a list of interesting game-related reading from across the week, while desperately resisting trying to link to Falco Ex-McLusky’s new single.

Failed.

.

76 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Paul Moloney says:

    “Mr. Moloney, that’s a very pretty track. Makes me want to play Oblivion more than anything else so far!”

    Part of enjoying Oblivion for me was simply wandering through the scenery listening to the wonderful music. You really should play it.

    P.

  2. unique_identifier says:

    ta for linkies to the ai article. there odd little snippet from developers describing how they approach certain problems was very interesting. reading that creative assembly’s ai programmers have got some offline machine-learning scheme in place for tuning empire’s ai was fascinating. Especially the part where they mused that the system might be able to continually learn and improve based on replays sent in from players.

  3. Justin Fletcher says:

    Every one who reads Lara’s piece needs to open the preamble link in another window and let it play while reading the rest of the article.

    Very nice.

  4. Arathain says:

    Oh, and Marriage score: 96%. The best in a whole bunch of unexpected ways. Don’t believe the hype- it’s a fantastic game, but not always for the reasons you might think.

  5. Radiant says:

    I’ll miss Croal’s Newsweek articles.
    He seemed to bridge the divide between the American ‘technical writing’ and the UK’s ‘I feel’ style.
    He’d always try and back up his views with at least some evidence and you have to respect that.

  6. Oak says:

    Oh, and Marriage score: 96%. The best in a whole bunch of unexpected ways. Don’t believe the hype- it’s a fantastic game, but not always for the reasons you might think.

    If you’re ever looking for more of a challenge, try the Divorce campaign. There’s no friendly NPC assistance and you start with half your normal resources.

  7. Dave L. says:

    So you’re saying it’s harder to exit Marriage than the PC version of Assassin’s Creed?[rimshot]

  8. MeesterCat says:

    I know its not strictly game-related, but surely the Imperial March from Star Wars would be the best wedding music?

  9. Dinger says:

    Tei’s point sort of reveals the other side of the “MP Storytelling” story. While we praise Left4Dead for requiring cooperation, another way of viewing it is that much of Left4Dead’s design seeks to limit the power of sociopaths and incompetents. A TKer is someone who uses the rift between physical rules of the game (shooting a friendly will kill her) and social rules (shooting a friendly will damage your side’s chance of victory) to assert power over those who “play by the rules”.
    For many online games, these simple sociopaths provide the largest barrier to success; and any game that requires a human player in the loop will also need some sort of social structure to enforce discipline.

    (Although, in the OFP debug console example I gave above, when some player became a problem, the solution was easy: remove all his weapons, and move him to an unused part of the map, 5 miles away, until he was ready to play nice with the other children. Oh yeah, and fix any damaged he’d caused)

  10. Muzman says:

    Gap Gen says:
    I guess I’d give marriage about 78%. It’s pretty OK, but let down by frequent bugs and cost issues.

    You shank. It’s all arranged for you. You get it for free in the mail (from the Philipines presumably). Then you dis it like that and you don’t even talk about the multiplayer! OF COURSE it’s only 78% without the multiplayer! NO ONE is getting into that for the vanilla game!

  11. Aldo says:

    Oh, and Marriage score: 96%. The best in a whole bunch of unexpected ways. Don’t believe the hype- it’s a fantastic game, but not always for the reasons you might think.

    Very high system requirements, though.

  12. Heliocentric says:

    I’ve not seen anything of the marriage since the preview build at the engagement party. Given they can rebalance the sides and get the teethin issues with oral sex fixed i see no reason not to give this title 7/10

  13. Gap Gen says:

    Muzman: The concept of a single-player wedding is the most tragic thing I’ve heard for a while.

  14. Ginger Yellow says:

    [quote]ta for linkies to the ai article. there odd little snippet from developers describing how they approach certain problems was very interesting. reading that creative assembly’s ai programmers have got some offline machine-learning scheme in place for tuning empire’s ai was fascinating. Especially the part where they mused that the system might be able to continually learn and improve based on replays sent in from players.[/quote]

    Indeed. I wish there had been more detail on that. The implication was that the “learning” was being done by the AI itself, but reading between the lines I suspect they meant something more like using the replays to tweak the AI themselves, spotting flaws where the goals are wrongly prioritised or something like that. It would be incredibly awesome, however, if they combined the goal based battle AI system with an evolutionary algorithm approach to learning. Make some parameters in the goal/decision tree variable, create a population of slightly varied AIs, run a round of battles between them, then let the winners “breed”. Repeat ad nauseam. It wouldn’t be easy building enough flexibility to let really creative evolution happen, but I suspect it would work really well at optimising parameters within a given set of options.

  15. Muzman says:

    Gap Gen: It’s one of those things where you say to yourself “Should I bail because of this fundamental flaw in the “joke” or forge on in the hope that it will be met half way and envoke swinging or something”
    One of those options results in having to do actual work a lot sooner, so the choice is easy.

  16. Premium User Badge

    MacBeth says:

    Despite my love for gaming, using music from *any* game for Important Real-Life Events just feels intuitively wrong to me, regardless of how meaningful/lovely/soaring one might find the tune. I think it must boil down to deeply rooted societally-induced shame of being a gamer…

    Perhaps here we have inadvertantly discovered the answer to Are Games Art? The answer being – not until someone can play the music at their wedding and be proud to say where it’s from, and not lie to their parents about it.

    Then again I would probably inwardly cringe if someone used a movie soundtrack to walk down the aisle central passage way. Guess I’m just a snob…

    Oh and the flip-side of marriage being *your* day where you can do what *you* want is that it’s of little or no interest to anyone not involved in the actual wedding, and hearing how nervous you were etc. is really quite tedious. It’s like gushing over how you feel this unconditional love for your newborn child. Newsflash… it’s not news.

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    MacBeth: Depends how empathic you are towards other people’s pleasure, really.

    KG

  18. Premium User Badge

    MacBeth says:

    Kieron: Indeed. I felt great pleasure at my brother’s wedding – and at the birth of their child, my delightful niece. It’s random strangers that I feel nothing for…
    I’d read Take A Break if I wanted to be empathetic with people I don’t know at all.

  19. Oak says:

    Feeling nothing for random strangers, eh? I think there’s a word for that.

  20. Premium User Badge

    MacBeth says:

    Just to clarify: by ‘feeling nothing’ I don’t mean I would gun them down if they stood between me and a sandwich that I wanted. Well, unless it was a really nice sandwich

  21. Premium User Badge

    MonkeyMonster says:

    and you happened to be a balding russki and the cheeky sandvich thief was wearing a cap and running shoes…

  22. Premium User Badge

    MacBeth says:

    Don’t touch sandvich!

  23. Lewis says:

    Another review of The Path has just gone up on Russian site StopGame. Score is 4.7/5. If anyone can make sense of this Babelfish translation I’d be very interested to know what the hell it’s on about.

  24. Premium User Badge

    DarkNoghri says:

    I was totally going to correct them that the planet was called Nal Hutta, but then I read the article.

    Oops.

  25. shoes online says:

    I found this post while surfing the web for Thanks for sharing this article.

  26. north face denali says:

    Thanks for a great post and interesting comments