The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on May 27th, 2012 at 10:39 am.


Sundays are for sitting inside, avoiding the boiling sun. You’ll probably want to shut the curtains so that you can concentrate on important writings about videogames, like the ones below.

  • This is kind of breath-taking: “For Superlevel, I went on a quest to test all 1.402 games of the Ludum Dare #23 – yes, every single one. I’d like to give you an overview over particularly innovative gameplay, wonderful ideas and exquisite digital entertainment. Have fun!”
  • Are Videogames Just Opiates in the Form of Stories? is just a splendid headline. It’s an interview with Jonathan Gottschall in which he (sort of) discusses whether stories can be bad for us.
  • While at Killscreen, check out Yannick LeJacq on Diablo III: “Diablo III has to make every corpse pop from the isometric perspective—a camera almost solely used today for the disengaged, analytical viewpoint of real-time strategy. Everything about the game therefore screams out at you to go faster, become stronger, get richer. Achievements bing and buzz at the bottom of the screen in an endless array of exclamation points. Creatures roar and charge at you with reckless abandon. The tiny bodies of zombies, crumbling walls and loose furniture, all erupt in beautiful nonsense around you.”
  • Tom Ewing discusses “de-gamification”. It can be desireable, he argues: “Part of the reason I think this, I admit, is my own experiences playing Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games in the 80s and 90s, when the more I immersed myself in the hobby the more I was drawn to rule-light or even rule-free systems. D&D has – as you’ll know if you ever played it – a vast and hydra-headed system of rules. At first we would modify them, as almost all players did – dropping the ones that weren’t fun. But eventually we abandoned the rules entirely, shifting to what used to be known as “freeform” gaming – something more like interactive storytelling.”
  • Patricia Hernandez on Proteus: “The electronic hum of this digital nature speaks to my sensibilities well. Nature holds an element of mystique in the game. Proteus is at once both a comfortable place that we can all situate within our lexicons, but there’s also something piquant about it—and this drove my curiosity and wanderlust mad. I explore in Proteus to see what I already know—I won’t spoil too much, because Proteus is meant to be experienced—only parsed in a new way. I can appreciate it on my preferred terms, too: intellectually. There are no scraped knees here. There is, however, alt-tabbing out to read up on Proteus himself.”
  • Gamasutra interviews David Cage: “Games is a really wide genre where you can do very different things. You can do puzzle things, or you can do Call of Duty, or you can do Heavy Rain. You can do many different things. There should be a place for all. The market wants that to happen, and people want that to happen. But it was surprising to see how aggressive some people can become because they felt that were touching their holy grail. I don’t see any reason in that.”
  • Quinns on Diablo III’s hardcore mode: “My hardcore character, a Witch Doctor called Raki, is nuzzling up against the end of Act 2 now. And you know what? It’s incredible. If Diablo 3 is a bottomless abyss of numbers, rewards and explosive combat, Hardcore mode is the abyss staring back at you. It makes the game more tense, yes, but also more atmospheric, rewarding and so much sharper.”
  • Quinns on Day Z: “It doesn’t cut it to say that Day Z is a game of fragile alliances. What’s important about Day Z is what this game of survivors/zombies does to the world itself. It turns it into a devastatingly evocative apocalypse – the world gains a sense of place so fierce that simply waiting out the night in an old school, or being perched on a hilltop, watching a nearby town through the scope of your gun, is riveting.”
  • And a lot more on Day Z from Day Z Diary.
  • Digital Foundry – which famously dismissed cloud gaming – has another look at the tech: “Current cloud technologies usually overshoot the 50ms target by some margin, but in the Bulletstorm example above we have a shining moment where the technology seems to be hitting the target. It does not do so consistently (re-running the test on Friday night at 6.30pm saw lag increase by two frames, and other Gaikai titles we tried came in at over 200ms), but the fact we get there at all is a seriously impressive achievement. NVIDIA’s aim seems to be all about increasing that 50ms window as much as possible and getting more value from the time available by centralising the capture/encode section of the process.”
  • A report on the last Gamecamp: “There was a fly in the ointment. Some sessions apparently boiled down to one person giving a long, rambling and overbearing speech to a mute and incredulous audience presumably too embarrassed to interrupt. This would be no problem if the rules of the Camp did not explicitly plead for “conversations, not presentations”. I was unlucky enough to be present at one of these sessions; I didn’t bother to discover the culprit’s identity, so I couldn’t name names if I wanted to. But if you wish to hold forth, there are plenty of ways to do it. You can have a Twitter feed. You can register a blog (look at me, Ma!). You can write angry letters to the Daily Mail and sign them “Disgruntled, of Internet”. But however brilliant you are – and the session in question was not brilliant – doing it at a collaborative conference is against the spirit of the entire event, and no fun for anyone.”
  • Joe Martin’s new podcast, Unlimited Hyperbole, starts with him and Dan Pinchbeck discussing STALKER: “Why did the game make Dan re-evaluate his PhD on narrative in computer games? How did the tortured development process create a better game than if work had gone smoothly?”
  • True PC Gaming interviewed Remedy about Alan Wake: “We are PC gamers at heart. Our first title was on PC and I certainly at least hope for simultaneous launches in the future. I think when the decision is in our hands I know which way we would go, but having said that, the decisions aren’t always in our hands.”
  • RPS chum Lewis Denby interviewed Molyneux: “Well, I’m going to say what 22 Cans is doing defines what is – if you’d like to call it that – a ‘Peter Molyneux game’. I’m a little bit nervous when people say ‘Peter Molyneux game’, because all I am is… I’m just the inspirer of the great people that I work with. I always have been. It’s not that I’m a brilliant coder, or even particularly good at putting my ideas down on paper – it’s just being able to take everyone and say, “Look, let’s do this in this way.” If you had to use one word, what I’m trying to get to is ‘life’. Life, and a unique experience to you. Even back in the first game that I did, Populous, it was all about this little living world, and I always found those fascinating. And what I found fascinating is how you interact with that living world.”
  • Daniel Thron, the chap who directed the cutscenes for the first three Thief games, sent us a link to his latest short.
  • A nineteen year old Egyptian student has patented a space propulsion system based on Quantum physics. At 19 I think all I could boast was that I was very good at Goldeneye.
  • I can’t remember if I linked this anywhere, but I am quite pleased with our Interactive Village Name Generator for Sir, You Are Being Hunted. (Which is the game I am now working on.)

Music this week is Graveyard Blues by John Lee Hooker. (Something about old blues records on a sunny Sunday morning that is perfect to me.)

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151 Comments »

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  1. Tretiak says:

    Sunday Papers on Sunday?!?

  2. Batolemaeus says:

    “We are PC gamers at heart”…hilarious.

    • MSJ says:

      Why?

    • Kaira- says:

      Well, they are, you know.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Batolemaeus, they made really great PC version of Alan Wake, PC version of Alan Wake:American Nightmare is even better. They released DRM free versions of both games via GOG. They communicate directly with the fans through their and Steam forums. They listen to their fans! You know, few days ago I put an idea for AW:AN on Remedy’s forum and get the answer from Remedy co-founder! Yeah, they are PC gamers at heart!

      • DK says:

        They’re not PC Gamers in any organ. They’re a gullable dev who’s figured out maybe they shouldn’t have just believed Microsoft when they said “there’s no money in PC games at all” years too late.

        • Werthead says:

          Since Microsoft had agreed to publish the game and was bankrolling the project, Remedy had zero choice about following Microsoft’s directive that there be no PC version (to start with). They may own the Alan Wake IP, but they still have to follow their contactual obligations to Microsoft, which included keeping their mouths shut when Microsoft’s PR guy made that ludicrous claim about sofas and TVs to justify why there was no PC version at launch.

          Since Alan Wake and both Max Paynes were developed with the PC first in mind, and they fought very hard for a PC version of Alan Wake for two years before getting it, I think they have a strong claim to call themselves PC gamers at heart.

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          AmateurScience says:

          It’s worth remembering that Remedy is a business with, y’know, employees who depend on their monthly salary. So when, even if you’d rather as a CO be making PC games, Microsoft come to you and say: ‘hey, make games for xbox, here’s enough money to keep all those employees you’ve got securely employed for another 4 years’ it’ll be difficult to turn down, and it gets harder the more employees you have. So don;t be so quick to denigrate a company because they made the ‘gullible’ choice. When you’re talking about a group of 4 or 5 devs, a band, a writer or other creative it’s much easier to stick to the ‘creative integrity’-style choices, but when you’ve got responsibility for not just a handful, but a small army’s-worth of employees and their dependants, you have a responsibility to them that goes above and beyond perceived platform ties/loyalties.

          I think remedy have done a very good job of having their cake and eating it too, they’ve got as secure a future as they could have hoped for and have still been able to release games for PC (albeit a little after the fact but no harm no foul).

        • DocSeuss says:

          That’s not what happened. Originally, Remedy needed funding, and Microsoft said “hey! We’ll make this a Windows Vista game! We’ll show how it can take advantage of DirectX10 and it will be awesome.” Remedy were making the game for Windows.

          Then Microsoft said “hah, fuckno, we lied” and had their representative make the comfy couch remark. Remedy is said to have “begged” Microsoft to allow them to do the PC version, and went so far as to back up the PC version they were working on to wait for the day when they could release it. The second that exclusivity was up, we got Alan Wake PC.

          There is nothing–NOTHING–to support your cynicism.

  3. Cryo says:

    That killscreen article is so #firstworldproblems it hurts.

    • Patches the Hyena says:

      Isn’t every article here like that? Seems a bit unfair to pick on one.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s a well-known fact that literally no one in the developing world has computers. Thus, problems having to do with computers literally do not exist in the developing world, because everyone still lives in caves and wears furs for clothing.

      Oh, wait.

    • LionsPhil says:

      HOW can you be on the INTERNET complaining about COMPUTERVIDEOGAMES when there are BABIES in AFRICA which are STARVING to DEATH?!

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      I’m so sick of this response. Human beings generally don’t care about anyone’s problems other than their own. If you genuinely cared more about the problems in some disadvantaged corner of the globe than “first world problems,” you wouldn’t be reading this site to begin with.

      Setting that aside, third world nations aren’t all just sitting around singing campfire songs with one another, and first world nations aren’t devoid of serious problems. Go post this comment under an article about the Catholic church’s baby stealing operation in Spain or the nuclear disaster in Japan and see if anyone agrees with you.

    • Bhazor says:

      Killscreen.
      The try hard hipsters of vidjagaymes.

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      lurkalisk says:

      It seems to me this can only be the sentiment of a person who seriously underestimates the complexity of Humanity, its distribution, and existence in general.

    • SCdF says:

      How can you have games journalism that isn’t construed as “firstworldproblems”, they’re fucking computer games.

  4. Spengbab says:

    A RPS article that contains a fleck of positive commentary about Diablo 3? Who are you and what have you done to Jim

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      You’ll note that I haven’t actually authored *any* negative commentary about Diablo III. If I do get around to writing something, then it will likely be fairly positive.

      While I agree entirely with John’s summation of the games’ problems at both a technical and design level – and I couldn’t even connect for almost the first week – I am enjoying it enormously. It is a game I’d been looking forward to playing with my girlfriend for several years, and our evenings are now dominated by loot sifting.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      We live in a pretty sad world when people think a company which holds customers in contempt deserves good press.

      • JackShandy says:

        I’m just depressed about how much everybody loves skinner boxes.

        • NathanH says:

          I’m just depressed about how much everybody loves the term skinner boxes.

        • noodlecake says:

          I had to look up what a “skinner box” was. True but these things are very fun and very compulsive. Clicky clicky, shiny shiny, clicky clicky, shiny shiny!

        • jealouspirate says:

          Yes, how dare people repeat actions that lead to rewards they enjoy.

          Life is full of skinner boxes. You’re fooling yourself if you think they’re inherently bad, or if you think that you’re somehow not affected by operant conditioning.

          • shitflap says:

            This. So much this.
            I’m frankly sick of people using this term when they don’t even realise it can be applied to all videogames or all of our hobbies or anything people are attracted to.
            You want a new pop-psychology meme to throw around? Learn about Harry Harlow.

          • Bhazor says:

            Diablo 3 is as shamelessly manipulative as the Zynga games.

          • brkl says:

            Skinner isn’t pop-psychology, his behaviourist theories still drive at least the assessment part of most of our education. And explain to me how you can apply the Skinner box idea on practically any hobby. It works with slot machines, bingo, WoW, but all in all very few hobbies operate with that stimuli-reinforcement pattern.

          • shitflap says:

            I am quite drunk, so you’ll have to bear with me on this, I may not be followable.
            “Skinner box”, can be applied to fruit machines, as they operate in an imput/output form. This also means that despite failure, you’ll continue to play in the face of that failure, as the reward is so much more compelling, like all of gambling.
            This is not true of games, even games that people look down on, like WoW. There are many stimuli that reinforce the rewards you recieve when you play games, be it domination over people, learning new skills, learning the story or anything else.
            What they are not is this input/output mechanism, and the implication that any game, or any pursuit that we undertake that we are not forced to, is for any other reason other than rewards, be they mental, physical or emotional is incredibly shortsighted and narrowminded.

          • JackShandy says:

            A skinner box – as I use the term, in relation to games – is a machine that has a random chance of giving you something good. Here’s an article on why this is bad:

            “That said, I thought the most interesting thing was Stone’s example where he said most teachers would give some lecture about B.F. Skinner, but that’s boring even to him, so instead he made a game out of it. (Oh boy…here it comes.) The “game” is that each player gets two dice and there are no turns or anything, anyone just rolls whenever. If you get double sixes, you get a poker chip. If you have a seven showing when someone else gets double sixes, you lose a poker chip. That’s it. Notice that there is no strategy at all, and no decisions to be made. This is not even really a “game” at all. The secret is that Stone is trying to see how long he can get students to stay interested in this “game” which is entirely based on skinner box mechanics, with the students as the rats. He can usually do 30 minutes (wtf) and his record is 1 hour (haha).

            Then, he throws down a bunch of quarters and says now you get real money for double sixes. College kids need quarters for laundry and vending machines, and they are broke anyway so now this is way exciting to them. After a bit of that, he says let’s up it even more, and fans out twenty dollar bills. Do I even have to tell you how exciting the game is to these kids? lol

            The crowning jewel here is that Stone said he got kind of tired spending twenty dollars every time he did this session, so he figured he could cut his losses by playing too. Maybe he’d win some of the dollars back. “And I have to tell you,” Stone said, “…this game is pretty damn awesome!” Haha. I hope you all realize the power and depth of that statement. Even a highly accomplished and knowledgable teacher of game design who is playing a thing that isn’t even a game, a thing with literally no decisions, gets swept up into the skinner box training. That’s how powerful it is.”

            Games should be intrinsically motivated. An externally motivated game consumes time instead of providing value. It’s depressing that that’s what the majority of people want from games.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Jack I don’t think you actually know what a skinner box is.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I just think we need to seperate the issues out more.
        The game to many is fantastic; its actually financially supporting the rape of customer rights that is a massive issue.
        Nobody should buy the DRM infested game(thereby encouraging this kind of shit); everybody should get to play it though.
        Getting to a point where we can have both a normal(where you can cheat, mod and play any time you want to in SP) game experience and sales is where we should want to be as a gaming community.

        Instead we often have consumer enslavement apologists on the one side and rabid “company, game and all” haters on the other.

        • StormTec says:

          While I am in agreement with the crowd that do not want to support Diablo III, for fear of what it might encourage, the massive success of the game is no longer in question. So, basically, it doesn’t matter if you or I, or a dozen other people decide not to buy it out of principle because the game has already been seen to be a massive success. There’s nothing left to do now than to hope other companies don’t just see sales numbers and think “hmm, that must mean it works!”

          • RegisteredUser says:

            I hope your point isn’t “Its already succeeded, may as well support it myself now then.”
            That’s how you go from the first person buying it to the record sales figure.

            It isn’t over, nor can it ever be over. If you stop participating in the debate or trying to create awareness, you just give up.
            I don’t want what they are offering, so I will not give up arguing against it, because they can affect more than just the one game they put out(which I can still live without pretty fine).

          • StormTec says:

            My point is: The horse has bolted. Whether you try and lock the gates now, or whatever, doesn’t change that fact. I’m not saying people should stop debating it, but the battle against the issue with Diablo III, the way I see it, is largely lost. I just feel that commanding people to not buy the game now is like pissing into the wind.

            We can only think about trying to prevent the next horse from bolting (if there is going to be one).

          • diamondmx says:

            The problem with that logic is that the way to prevent the next one from doing the same, is to convince them that it would hurt sales for them to do such an ugly, anti-consumer system.
            Except that every sale made argues the point against that.

            Yes, it may be a bit late to claim to Blizzard that such a game would not sell well, but you don’t need to show them in quite so much detail that gamers don’t actually give a fuck, and will cave to the addictive game as soon as they’ve finished having their little whine.

            The reason that community outrage has so little effect so often is because they know most of us just don’t care enough to not buy something that might be good. And Diablo 3 is not even getting reviews as being particularly good, just pretty damn compulsive, with an illusion of fun thinly glazed over.

          • StormTec says:

            Right. So, the problem is getting people to care enough to make a difference in the first place, isn’t it?

          • Phantoon says:

            I’m still boycotting Ubisoft. Haven’t looked at or played or bought any of their games since they announced the always-on DRM years ago.

            You shouldn’t give up your stance because you feel you’ve lost- the point of standing up for what you believe in becomes even more important when everyone else gives up, no matter how small the issue.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Ubisoft actually capitulated on Heroes of Might and Magic 6. You still need a one time online activation, and if you want the Conflux achievement tracking you have to be online, but you can now also play the entire single player campaign offline. It’s a significant step forward for them, but i’d still beware on future titles. They might try and revert to the old ways again after the success of D3.

          • Fincher says:

            If you caved in and bought Diablo III after initially being against the crap Blizzard pulled, I’m not angry at you. I just pity you.

            Of course, my pity is little substitute for your Blizz fix.

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            Wisq says:

            Frankly, given the reports of having to wade through 30 hours of gameplay — a.k.a. “more time than I put into the typical singleplayer game as a whole” — before it starts getting even remotely challenging and thus interesting … yeah, I’m not having a lot of trouble adhering to my Diablo 3 boycott.

            I’m sure the click-click-clicking is as addictive and immediately “fun” as anything else. But it’s those moments when you take a step back, when you question what you’ve been doing for the past thirty hours and what you honestly have to show for it, that ultimately kill the experience.

            For most games, I can at least answer that with “experiencing something new and interesting”. With D3, I fear I would say “grinding through the game just so I can grind through the game again and again forever” and find something more interesting to play.

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            jezcentral says:

            @Phantoon, I’d look at buying any Ubisoft games you enjoy that don’t have the always-on DRM. While I admire your determination not to buy games that have this (God knows we could use more people with that attitude, right now) you also need to reinforce good behaviour by buying their games that don’t.

            I still haven’t bought From Dust, though.

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          jaheira says:

          I’m not sure I see this as a rights issue. We have, or should have, a right to many things such as freedom from government oppression, freedom of speech etc. I don’t think the right to throw a jar of spiders at a zombie while not being connected to the internet is a thing. You’re being offered a product. If you don’t like it don’t buy it.
          Having said that, the small print on the back of the box is very small. I wonder if shop workers are letting people know about the online requirement?

          • RegisteredUser says:

            Actually consumer rights are exactly this: Being able to do stuff with the product you bought.
            Your whole perception of this seems wrong.
            But that’s exactly what has become so troubling: The increasing willingness to accept the whole IP logic of “We make, own and control from start to finish everything about this” from the corporate side.
            “Consumers, who are the actual majority, should not have a say in this.”
            It is quite a bit frightening how readily so many bow to this.

            They don’t have any power unless we submit it to them. Nobody truly seems to get this.

            We, the gamers and modders and hackers and cheaters etc pp helped to make this industry what it is today. It in many, many parts once was a very collaborative and community based thing, with exchanges of ideas and one-upmanship in competition around stuff. Most people started out with a cool idea and then went to market with it.
            We’ve since then perverted into “What will sell best? Lets do that.” and the thought that without the big corporate makers we wouldn’t be getting our next gaming crack fix.
            Which is just wrong.

            As for “Don’t like it? Don’t buy it!” that is exactly my point. Nobody should be buying it until the conditions around it change.
            The trouble is that despite not wholly liking it, people are still buying it.

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            jaheira says:

            “Actually consumer rights are exactly this: Being able to do stuff with the product you bought.”

            Yes, I should be able to do stuff with the things that I buy. But it’s not reasonable to expect to be able to do everything with the things that I buy. My consumer rights have not been violated if I buy a spade with the intention of using it to fly to the moon and that turns out not to work. Believe me, I’ve been there. Wasn’t pretty.

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            RobF says:

            But it’s fine wihlst no-one tells you that you don’t have the right to try and use your spade to fly to the moon. Or that they’re tying it to the ground with chains to stop you lifting it off the ground to protect their soil auction house from being cheated.

          • subedii says:

            I think these metaphors are getting a little strained.

          • Bhazor says:

            No it’s like buying a shovel that can only be used in direct sun light. The rest of the time the creator of the shovel comes to your house and forcefully takes it away from you.

            The real issue is
            What is the bullshit Always On (except when it’s not) DRM adding for the consumer?
            The answer; fuck all. Indeed the auction house does a lot more harm than good.

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            jaheira says:

            @ Bhazor

            Well that would be a correct metaphor if those were the conditions under which I had agreed to buy the shovel. Which is why Diablo 3 being always online is not a consumer rights issue.

          • Phantoon says:

            Actually, it’s a terrific analogy. I live in the Northwest so we don’t get direct sun light often- in the metaphor, I’m the person with bad internet/bad luck getting booted from the game after a lag spike and losing out on thirty minutes of gameplay.

            Just because you haven’t been inconvenienced by it doesn’t suddenly make it okay, and others have obviously found it a royal pain in the ass.

          • Bhazor says:

            And you’re assuming everyone who bought it knew about the always on DRM.

            Small print is small.
            “Internet Connection Required”
            is not the same as
            “Constant Internet Connection is Required to Play”
            I would be fascinated to find out just how many hundreds of thousands bought the game having no idea about the online requirment. Who assumed “Internet Connection Required” was just a registration or to download a patch rather than a straight jacket.

            Again I feel the need to point out you’re defending a company using alway online DRM. In a single player game. It’s worth remembering that.

            @ Phantoon
            It also works as the sunlight has entirely no effect on the use of the shovel. It’s an entirely arbitary limitation put in by the maker.

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            jaheira says:

            Phantoon, I’m not saying it’s “okay”. I’m not passing judgment at all. I’m saying that Diablo 3 having an online requirement does not violate anyone’s consumer rights.

            Bhazor, if you look further upthread you’ll see I made that exact same point. Actually, looking at the box it’s not just small print; it’s tiny. As in genuinely hard to read. Like I said, I hope people are being warned in shops. The online requirement for single player isn’t “arbitrary” by the way. It’s DRM, despite Blizzard’s disingenuous protestations to the contrary. DRM which appears to be working so far, if we take “stopping something from being copied” as a definition of working. By the way, I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to think of discussions as always being “attacking” or “defending”. I’m not really doing either.
            Also, straight-jacket is hyphenated.

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            Wisq says:

            The key difference between the “spade to the moon” and the “shovel in daylight” analogies is that spades have never taken us to the moon, whereas shovels have always been usable at night before. Thus, the former is unrealistic, while the latter is not just realistic, but expected.

            Technically, offline singleplayer is not a right, any more than videogames themselves are a right. But it is a privilege and an expected feature, and generally, it’s not particularly fair to take privileges or features away unless you replace them with something of equal or higher value. (For example: a shovel that only works in daylight but can take you to the moon.)

            If anyone can’t play the game as much as they expected due to the online requirement, or was genuinely unaware of it, then yes, Blizzard should be willing to return their money. That fulfils their obligation as a games publisher. Doesn’t mean they’re not boycott-worthy dicks for doing it in the first place, though.

            Frankly, Bliz is on my blacklist these days. Starcraft 2 was a bust for me — short SP, not really interested in MP, only bought it due to peer pressure at work — and the combination of Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, WoW’s pandas, and Bobby Kotick, is enough for me to conclusively declare that they’ve jumped the shark as far as I’m concerned. I will be very surprised if they ever produce anything I’m genuinely interested in, once all the reviews are in.

        • alundra says:

          It’s nobody’s fault but theirs that all these people that rushed to buy this thing are behaving like powerless junkies. And they get highly aggressive when you question them, showing without doubt that the theory of cognitive dissonance and/or stockholm syndrome is not without foundation.

          The point is, it doesn’t mean that the fight is lost, sure, the statement of 7 million copies is big, without questioning what is the source of that figure, but it only means one thing:

          7 million copies were sold.

          Only that, nobody mentions for how many people Diablo 3 was the end of the line with blizvis, nobody mentions how many people are satisfied with their product, nobody mentions exactly how many have fallen victim of blizvis piss poor account security, and their crowning jewel, the rmah slot machine, I mean, after the security issues became so evident, you gotta be totally out of your mind to put your personal info and CC details anywhere close to that thing.

          So in the end, what are we left with?? Just another multi million condom game from Activision, another stepping stone for them in their quest to turn gaming into a just another super market supply product.

          Question here is, who is really winning with all this?? Certainly not the (entire) gaming community.

      • wodin says:

        Well said, to be honest all those that went out and bough it best not moan about any DRM measures again. As it’s people like you who have no will power at all and have to rushing off throwing your money about drooling for the next hit\game.

        Seriously the only time I see this sort of behavior was when i had a serious heroin addiction. The dealers ripped you off left right and center, bags getting smaller, taking hours to turn up, but hey we’d forgive them and still give them our money cos we needed the hit. Same with you lot.

        The publishers all know now it doesn’t matter how draconian the DRM measures are people will still rush out and throw them their money.

    • pipman3000 says:

      why are you still talking about it?

      • pipman3000 says:

        “UNNGGG this guy write an article about my favorite game that wasn’t 100% praise!!!!!!! f-ing a-hole!!!”

        you’re like the people on gamefaqs who go into fits because someone didn’t like didn’t think final fantasy 7 was perfect.

        lol i hope you don’t start following me around now

  5. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    Well Jim, your choice of music has cause me to pick up my dusty old acoustic and have a strum for the first time in many months. My thanks.

    Edit: apostrophe abuse.

  6. Metalfish says:

    The Day Z diary is quite good, if you can forgive the unnecessary embellishments and occasional swerves towards the purple. It does a good job of showing that sandbox doesn’t mean lacking in narrative(s).

    Though, I personally wish people wouldn’t talk about things that you can’t actually do in these games in an effort to show that they’re the next Tom Clancy, or whatever. I think I’d be surprised if I were a new player at all the things it’s implied are in the mod by this (and other) player diaries that aren’t actually in the mod.

    I guess my point is that I’d prefer if people let the features of the game speak for itself rather than forcing it into a narrative mould for the story they want to tell.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Entirely agree. If you want to write a novel, write a novel. If you want to write a short-story, write a short-story. If you want to write a “Gameplay Journal,” write a journal containing the gameplay you experienced.

      • Bhazor says:

        More importantly.
        If you’re going to be a writer, don’t be a shit writer.

        Hackneyed, poorly detailed and with similies Max Payne would refuse to use the fabrications just remove the moment to moment tension of the actual game.

        I knew the diary was a lost cause. It was as lifeless as the shamling corpses. My mind made up my cursor trembled as I closed the tab, it winked out like a dying star in our godless universe. What fate had brought me to this point? I let myself breath a big breathy breathed breath of air in relief as I looked at the breathing space on my tab bar. The BBC News tab and the Rock Paper Shotgun tab were drawn closer by the vacuum of the departing of their recent companion. Now their sides pressed together. They’re eyes met.
        Here on a computer on a rock of dead lifeless rock orbited by a rock these two had brought together.
        Rockpapershotgun trembled like a dove in the hands of a drunk against the austere and intimidating BBC news tab. Its firm edges unyielding as RPS pressed it against the edge of the screen. Hiding it’s unease under a veneer of confidence RPS pressed close. So close.

        Sorry, got a bit too into it there.

    • John Brindle says:

      Can’t remember who said it, as I thought it was in Gillen’s NGJ manifesto and it wasn’t, but I remember reading: when telling a story from a game, always stick to describing what actions actually happened. So not “my fingers fumbled with the clip as I struggled to slam it into my gun”, but “I reloaded”. Because it’s a game, remember? If your fingers fumbled with the R key, that’s another matter…

      Both the letter and the spirit of this rule, wherever I’m recalling it from, are worth remembering.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I disagree and I enjoy reading the game anecdotes written with imagination

        • StormTec says:

          I am in agreement with this.

          However, there is a difference between embellishing an act that is in fact mundane in execution and conveying the experience you are having in an imaginative and compelling way, I think.

          Saying that, I suppose I don’t really object to situations occurring in a game like Day Z to be used as inspiration for fiction as you would read in a novel. The feeling I get from the Day Z diary is that it is meant to be a collection of stories – of fiction – inspired/translated from in-game situations. And that’s not so bad, really, if that’s what you like.

        • John Brindle says:

          imo a great game anecdote should not require embellishment or distortion: what happened in the actual game (situated in the real actual world) was amazing, interesting or poignant enough. keeping to the rule of “I reloaded” defends against the lazy habit of fluffing up a boring or pointless story with purple prose and feverish fan-fic.

          As with all rules, this one is made to be broken. Someone could surely do an amazing pseudo-fictional anecdote. In fact, I’m sure someone has. It’s just rare. And I’m more interested in hearing about how something amazing happened in a game, hearing the direct and honest representation of something really occurred – otherwise I’m just reading what is on most of the internet most likely to be third-rate fiction.

          • StormTec says:

            And that is perfectly fine, I think. My point, I guess, is that I think it is meant to be what it currently is – more fan-fiction than gameplay journalism. But I guess we weren’t to know without having actually looked at it first.

        • FunkyBadger3 says:

          Are you Johann Hari?

      • terry says:

        Disagree. I don’t think Dwarf Fortress diaries would be so entertaining if they were full of “The ASCII smiley face character approached the capital letter G and flashed a bit”.

        • John Brindle says:

          Yes, but I’m not advocating that anybody write “I hit the R key with my finger and the pattern of pixels designed to resemble a gun with light reflecting on it shifted while a series of clicks and clacks came over my speakers. The number in the bottom-right hand corner of my screen changed from 0 to 30; I was ready to click the mouse and send hitscan attacks in a straight line towards my simulated enemies once again…” I am obviously not arguing for a completely reductive approach to graphics and pixels or rules and programmed entities. I’m arguing for a common-sense approach to what ‘happened’ in a meaningful sense and what did not.

          Dwarf Fortress diaries are entertaining because even when they stick to exactly what’s happening in the game, that game is so complicated and wonderful that it produces entertaining stories. The equivalent of my ‘bad NGJ’ example would be attributing actions, thoughts and emotions to a dwarf that the game did not model. There’s some leeway here – one might fairly say of a dwarf standing next to her dead lover and refusing to leave that she was “in mourning” – but when was the last time you read a DF narrative that described the tears streaming down the dwarf’s cheeks and getting caught in his copious beard – the empty feeling in the dwarf’s heart, the subjective dimension of distress? If *you* felt that, fair enough. But the dwarf didn’t, so I think it is a good writing guideline in general not to pretend that she did.

          • Phantoon says:

            Dwarves need to do that. They don’t go into tantrum spirals fast enough for my liking.

          • Lemming says:

            I agree and understand what you’re saying, and I suspect your detractors do as well given they are going from one extreme to the next by misinterpreting your words, which are very clear.

            There is a world of difference between a game’s narrative (which a journalist can embellish) and projecting your own narrative onto it to make the game sound like it’s doing something it isn’t.

            Apart from anything else, it’s misleading about the product.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            Couldn’t you just go with what best suits the mood and theme of the piece you’re writing? Isn’t that sorta just ok?

            We’re talking writing about made up stuff anyway. I’ll go with whatever serves the story first and foremost over wangling whether someone can fumble a reload in a videogame.Whatever keeps me enraptured is good.

      • wodin says:

        I disagree, if you can’t work out whats put in for dramatic effect and what is actually in the game, your to stupid to play them anway.

        • Lemming says:

          “I disagree, if you can’t work out whats put in for dramatic effect and what is actually in the game, your to stupid to play them anway.”

          And if you can’t use the correct form of grammar for ‘you’re’ are you too stupid to post?

  7. Mistabashi says:

    Really looking forward to Sir, You Are Being Hunted! The name-generator thing is dripping with atmosphere, it makes all the difference seeing it in motion with appropriate moody audio accompaniment. I was a bit doubtful about how well you could capture the mood of Stalker without the gritty realism, but this seems to be it (okay, perhaps a bit less serious, what with the robot gentlemen and all).

    • brkl says:

      Ahahah. Comely Twiddle.

    • Lhowon says:

      Seconded, everything I can gleam about it from the (lovely) name generator looks splendid. Tweed-wearing pipe-smoking robots are quite the thing, and I was surprised at how evocative of STALKER bleakness the landscape is, given the relative simplicity of the graphics.

    • Unaco says:

      I dunno… it’s definitely a weird topic/subject for a game. I don’t feel entirely comfortable with it myself.

    • caddyB says:

      I stopped at Much Swelling.

      Yeah, I like this.

    • John Brindle says:

      Does anyone else find “dripping with atmosphere” a really odd phrase? In the very first issue of PCG UK I ever imported, KG used the (clearly memorable) phrase “droplets of purest atmosphere”, and that always made a piquant kind of sense to me, because I imagined the atmosphere settled over the landscape like morning due, fresh, untouched, held in tension, waiting…”dripping with atmosphere” is more like, ew, I don’t want to touch this, get it away from me. Oh god now it’s all over the floor.

      • Postposterous says:

        I know what you mean. I had a philosophy teacher who was always on at us to make our sentences “juicy” and “dripping” with meaning. He was trying to get us to write concisely, but all it ever made me think of was a crispy leg of chicken.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I take it there’s actually a thing there, then? Thought it was borked – there’s just a mostly empty page with a small button in the middle that says something about unity. Seems I need to install a unity to make it show up and work. What is a unity? Never heard of it before.

  8. Wunce says:

    “But eventually we abandoned the rules entirely, shifting to what used to be known as “freeform” gaming – something more like interactive storytelling.”

    This is my personal favourite form of gaming; its probably why I enjoyed GTAIV free roam and garrysmod so much. Shame I’m too busy now to get a crew together to do it any more.

  9. JackShandy says:

    The more rules you add to DnD, the less possibilities there are. Videogames obviously work in the opposite way.

    In the same way, gamification is a way of stripping back the effective actions of real life. Walking across the street can be done in a lot of different ways – the “Lines And Squares” game cuts that possibility space back.

    What that suggests to me is that gamification doesn’t have a whole lot of use for videogames.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Actually it does, if I understand the term correctly.
      Would you call it gamification if I play an RTS with my own rules to increase the difficulty? If I play FPS without ever sprinting, because it makes it more challenging?

      • MasterDex says:

        Used to do things like that a ton with older games, not so much these days though. I also recall certain gaming magazines having challenge pages with fan or editor created challenges.

      • subedii says:

        I actually played through Crysis (and Warhead) on a no-cloak run. No ‘achievement’ to get for it (as insipid as those are), nobody said I had to, it just seemed like it’d be fun.

        I was wrong, it was freaking awesome, and I had a blast doing it.

        • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

          I need to try that. When I played Crysis I compulsively cloaked thrugh the whole game, which was both exciting and challenging, but I can also see how that restricted the experience.

  10. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Every time I read or hear Molyneux, I feel as if I’m back in the 90s and in my teens again, when the world of games and mine are full of possibilities again. Part of those have resulted in successful ideas, some didn’t. This, above all, makes me glad that he’s still doing what he’s doing, failure of people to keep their high expectations in his high ideas in check aside.

  11. westyfield says:

    My music this fine Sunday is Dragonette, specifically their new single. I’ve found electropop surprisingly conducive to revising, with Lights and Ladytron being the other main components of my listening.

  12. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    ‘Unlimited Hyperbole’ and Peter Molyneux mentioned in the one article yet having nothing to do with one another? What the fuck am I reading.

    Also excellent music Rossignol, for a change.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      The quote mentioned above sounds like Molyneux out-Molyneuxing Molydeux. Molyneuxception!

    • Urthman says:

      It’s just so winsome the way Molyneux has embraced with good humor the Molyndeux parody. He hasn’t done it with the “Ha Ha, I’m cool because I get it and I’m willing to poke fun at myself” tone almost every celebrity adopts when they’re being parodied.

      It’s more like he gets that he sounds silly sometimes and doesn’t mind if people think it’s funny, but he’s not going to let it make him self-conscious about it at all: “Yeah, I say some crazy stuff, but listen to THIS idea!”

      It helps that Molyndeux has no meanness or sneering in his parody. Unlike most parodies, Molyndeux makes me like Molyneux more, rather than less.

  13. fiddlesticks says:

    Video games are the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. They are the opiates of the people.

  14. Jimbo says:

    I’m 27 and I still haven’t patented a space propulsion system based on quantum physics :(

  15. Shadowcat says:

    The failure to establish a globally consistent notation for numbers never fails to astonish me.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    That Spoiler movie is pretty bloody intense. Shows with a little consideration, you can still do something relatively original and extremely compelling with an element as played out as the zombie.

    • BAshment says:

      Pontypool had quite an interesting take on the zombie film. Recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      Mention Thief cinematics and I’ll happily investigate. I always loved the Thief cinematics, but found it almost intangible to say what it was that made them so good. This Daniel Thron is clearly a talented guy. There’s this meticulous use of framing, semiotics and what-you-don’-t-see-ness that doesn’t really happen in most cinema.

      If we can now just convince Peter V. Brett to get HBO and Daniel Thron to do The Painted Man books as a series of 30min – 1hour episodes instead of the current plans for films, we might just be getting somewhere.

  17. Maldomel says:

    So much too read. So much good reading!

  18. Kollega says:

    The article about “degamification” was already linked in Sunday Papers once. Here, to be more exact.

    It was still a good read, though.

  19. fish99 says:

    Off topic I know but my D3 account was hacked and my gear/money is gone. So why did it happen-

    – no authenticator (seriously, go get the mobile authenticator, it’s free if you have a smart phone)
    – I hadn’t done a virus scan in 3 weeks (I only use my desktop for gaming) and yes, I did have a virus

    That’s the stuff that’s my fault. Now the stuff that’s Blizzard fault-

    – letting guest players pick up loot dropped by paid players. It’d be pretty easy to track loot drops and only let guest account players pick up their own loot (every hack is done from a guest account)
    – giving away 3 guest passes with every D3 (see above)
    – game being online only when I’m playing the game co-op with someone in the same house, so if the game had a LAN mode this wouldn’t have happened
    – no steam guard like system to stop new computers using an account without permission

    • Bhazor says:

      Something people keep forgetting is that not only does the DRM cripple single player it also damages the multiplayer.

      No more Lan parties.
      No more private servers.
      No more mods.
      No more custom levels.
      Not to mention the loss of security from being forced to put your account online.

    • Azradesh says:

      About your first point, guest pass players can’t even play with full version players.

      • fish99 says:

        What it says on battlenet is –

        “Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players”

        That’s not the same as being unable to play, it’s just talking about the matchmaking system for open games, i.e. if you click join game you won’t be put in a game with paid players, but once the hackers have an account login they add their guest account to your friend list and invite themselves into a game, then loot all your gear.

        The only way to get gear off a character in D3 is to use another account, get both accounts in the same game, and drop all the gear on the floor, and because of this there’s always a followable trail that shows who did the hacking.

        So I can see the name of the account that hacked me (and of course I’ve reported them and that account should get banned), and from what I’ve read so can everyone who has been hacked, and it wouldn’t be worth the risk for these people if they had to keep buying the game over and over to do this.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Unless they have fixed it in the past week theres also the issue that blizzard passwords are inherently insecure compared to some other places.

      Firstly and most importantly there are reports from securiy people that theres no automatic cutoff for repeated password attempts (basically password attempts can be spammed). This was last week so i hope this has been stoped.

      This combned with the fact that the size of the passwords is limited (must be between 8 and 16 chars, so less for hackers to check), and you cannot put special characters into your passwords (so only numebrs and letters) AND the lack of case sensitivity means brute forcing may be possible if you were smart and distributed it. Hopefully its all sorted now but they have issues.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        One correction: battle.net passwords can include at least some special characters.

        Also, despite the other genuine security weaknesses in Blizzard authentication we’re still talking about a domain of roughly 4.2×10^25 possible passwords (assuming 4 viable special characters). It’s far from ideal, but we shouldn’t mistakenly assume that brute forcing an account is a trivial task. Especially given Blizzard’s notoriously flaky and easily overloaded auth servers.

  20. SirKicksalot says:

    The David Cage quote is SO RIGHT.

    As for Digital Foundry, I love it when pompous idiots are proven wrong. Reading their “can’t possibly work” article now is hilarious. The comments are pure gold too. So many people calling me a retard because I believed Steve Perlman’s claims!

  21. abandonhope says:

    When you insert a story about a new space propulsion system, I kind of stop caring about games.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Yep, specially one which doesn’t require fuel per se, relying on the QED vacuum (which isn’t empty at all).

      If there’s space, there’s fuel.

      Sorry, bot could someone tell me why is there one page of Diablo III discussion before any comment on this?

    • John Brindle says:

      Lucky it was pretty much right at the end. Crisis averted!

    • Quirk says:

      Uh, don’t get too excited about the space propulsion thing.

      Firstly, it’s really unlikely that an initial discovery on how to turn the Casimir Effect into some kind of directed energy propulsion engine has been made by a 19-year-old in a university that doesn’t have any departments dedicated to this stuff nor any lab equipment that would let them test their theories.

      Secondly, the usual progression for discoveries of this sort is someone publishing a paper with the theory in it, it getting chewed over by peer review, bounced around in a bunch of different forms in subsequent papers, someone else refining the practical examples to some semblance of real world usefulness, and finally someone doing some engineering based on the science and ending up with a patent. People who peddle perpetual motion machines and cold fusion seem to be a lot keener on jumping straight to the patent phase without scientific review. The pattern I’m seeing in this case is much closer to the latter – and the whole Casimir Effect/zero point energy field has been full of cranks for years claiming various absurdities.

      Thirdly, we have a mess of conflicting claims in the puff piece. We’re told the engine uses the dynamic Casimir Effect, linking to a PDF about the parallel plate Casimir Effect. The dynamic Casimir Effect requires a single mirror moving at relativistic speeds; but the next line talks about moving the Casimir parallel plates. It’s impossible to determine what the mechanics of energy generation are meant to be from the reporting. If however we’re talking about getting energy out of the system without putting any in, we’re firmly in perpetual motion machine territory; if we’re talking about having to move the plates around to generate energy, the order of magnitude of the energy being generated is really important.

      Fourthly, she patented her invention back in February, but if you go Googling for it, you’ll find nary a piece from any scientific journal or even a forum post, just more puff pieces in non-scientific media. I’d suspect that an actual discovery of a way to harness the parallel plate Casimir Effect to do something other than pull the plates together would have made more ripples than that.

      In short, it’s pretty much a cast-iron certainty that this particular patent isn’t going to be involved in the construction of any spaceship, ever.

      • Vinraith says:

        Quirk is 100% correct, here. Never take any “scientific discovery” seriously if the “discoverer” goes to the press and the patent office before publishing a word about it in a reputable journal.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          To be fair, there are plenty of “good” patents out there which don’t wind up in scientific journals. I studied chemistry, and patents were a major source of information that you often wouldn’t find otherwise published. These were fairly mundane processes, though, nothing earth-shattering.

          But yes, major discoveries usually need time to cook before getting excited about them, and running to the press before peer review is a big red flag.

        • abandonhope says:

          As far as I know, this would qualify the journal article as a defensive publication, preventing anyone–including the author–from filing a patent. I’m not familiar with Egyptian patent law, so if I’m wrong, someone correct me.

          As for her going to general media first, the original article gives the impression of a possible political/nationalistic motive, whether hers, her institute’s, or her government’s, which does cast suspicion on the “invention.”

          As for my enthusiasm over a potentially novel development in space travel, I’m not a dolt, and I’m not planning on buying a space propulsion drive anytime soon, Mustafa or otherwise. Committing enthusiasm to something has a very low risk profile, and neither NASA nor FKA nor SpaceX is waiting on my opinion on the matter.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Science “journalism” is just terrible.

  22. Chandos says:

    There are some interesting bits to the Kill Screen article. Actually part of me thinks the preference of a virtual world could even be a potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox.

    This bit though: “In the old days, if you were ever going to get a story, you had to have somebody tell it to you. It wasn’t until the printing press when regular people learned to read. You had to have a skilled teller or an actor. So that made stories extremely scarce.”

    Except they weren’t. There were stories around a campfire, there were stories in the church, there were stories told by parents and grandparents, there were stories told by politicians, there were stories we told ourselves. One might say the very essence of our own being is nothing but a narrative that links then and now. So I can’t quite agree that it’s this 20-21st century addiction that has suddenly made it an issue.

    • Phantoon says:

      No, now we just have an obsession with worrying about how everything might be hurting us.

      Sometimes, that obsession makes the hobby dangerous.

    • Zwebbie says:

      @Chandos: That’s indeed an extremely odd bit in the interview, and shows a thorough lack of understanding of oral culture. When telling stories is the only thing you can do on a winter’s evening, everyone will gain some degree of skill in telling.
      Personally, but this might just be me, I think we modern people are getting a bit bad at stories. With cheap books, television and computers, we’ve got no need to tell each other stories for entertainment and we’re getting no practice. Professional storytellers, meanwhile, can also resort to interactivity, special effects and world building instead of good stories, and they’re only all too eager to do so. I’m not sure if there are still people of Boccaccio’s or Ariosto’s calibre around…

    • v21 says:

      Funnily enough, Jim once wrote a lovely article on exactly this : Videogames And The Impossibility Of Escape From Planet Earth

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Actually part of me thinks the preference of a virtual world could even be a potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox.

      Retreating to virtual worlds and exploring the real one around us don’t need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they can assist each other in interesting ways.

      A good example is Greg Egan’s novel “Diaspora”, in which software-based “humans” (or at least, electronic consciousnesses descended from humans) can now explore the universe via a sort of shotgun approach. Copy an entire metropolis worth of minds countless times, send all the copies in different directions. Every citizen has their own criteria for being woken up — some on arrival at the destination, some when anything interesting is found, some only when conclusive signs of life are found, some refusing to wake at all if any other copy is reported to have awoken (to maintain their singular existence).

      Citizens can get together into a shared virtual space to watch a particular event live, or they can retreat to their own virtual world to relax or study problems. They can “rush” to speed up perceived time and watch things unfold / wait for events, and there’s always plenty of company to hang out with. All of which serves to eliminate any of the social or psychological problems associated with space travel — the technological problems having already been solved due to only having to send a small super-dense computer into space.

      Obviously, the problem becomes a lot harder if we’re still only sending either meat bags or unmanned drones into space. But even there, human spacefarers can derive a great deal of psychological benefit from virtual worlds — perhaps even physical benefit if the worlds are physically immersive as well. They can allow stay-at-home explorers to experience the sensory output from faraway unmanned probes, either for the purposes of entertainment (which in itself can help finance these things and drive more people towards science careers), or to make use of the human pattern-matching ability to find things that the raw data might overlook.

      The only way that I see virtual worlds as solving the Fermi paradox would be if it was discovered that sufficient reliance on them ultimately either resulted in the downfall of the civilisation in question, or otherwise squashed all instincts towards curiosity and frontier expansion. Because if anything, they make it easier and perhaps even more interesting to explore the surrounding universe, rather than less.

      On the other hand, you could perhaps argue that reliance on virtual worlds — probably resulting in reduced resource requirements — would make you less likely to leave a detectable impact on the real world. And certainly, compacting everything down into software would make your presence much harder to detect as well. So who’s to say there aren’t a dozen different races hovering above us, unaware of each other (or perhaps in collaboration), watching us in fast-time like a scientist watches a petri dish?

    • Chandos says:

      Thanks for your opinions, guys. Great points made.

  23. frenz0rz says:

    “Royal Bottom-in-the-wold”. Perfect.

  24. Greggh says:

    “A nineteen year old Egyptian student has patented a space propulsion system based on Quantum physics. At 19 I think all I could boast was that I was very good at Goldeneye.”

    I’m 22 and can’t boast that I’m good at any game…
    I do enjoy gaming though. A lot.

  25. frightlever says:

    Hardcore character in Diablo 3 – sure, but has anyone died in normal difficulty? Playing a hardcore character is going to be pretty tedious if you’re shuffling lethargically through Normal after every death at a harder level.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      This. I was pondering whether hardcore mode might be the one thing that would actually interest me in Diablo 3 enough to pick it up — that perhaps the experience of permadeath would make the whole thing exciting enough to be worthwhile.

      Then I discovered you had to grind through the entire game (possibly multiple times) as a sort of prologue to every character’s life, waiting for the excitement to finally return, just long enough to kill you and make you go through the whole thing again. Talk about “Sisyphus Simulator 2012″ …

      If Diablo 3 is indeed trying to recreate Hell, then they’ve done an awesome job right there.

      • Nick says:

        hardcore mode + lag in singleplayer. Sounds appealing.

        • Premium User Badge

          Wisq says:

          Yeah, I came to the above conclusions even before I considered the lag problem. Oof.

          Realm of the Mad God demonstrates that permadeath can work even in an online game. But that’s with minimal delay between lives, with some carry-over so you’re not starting fresh each time, and with, y’know, actual multiplayer to make the whole “online only” thing worthwhile.

          “Yo dawg, we heard you like to play MMOs in singleplayer mode, so we put an MMO in your singleplayer game”, etc.

  26. Premium User Badge

    bear912 says:

    The Unlimited Hyperbole episode has some STALKER spoiler-ish things. Listen at your own risk.